Driving Home The Point

, , , , | Working | June 6, 2017

(I, my aunt, and a family friend all carpool out to eat at a restaurant that usually provides good service and great food. Our friend orders a glass of wine.)

Waitress: “Here’s your wine. You’re not driving tonight, are you?”

Friend: “Oh, no, we all came in one car and I’m not the driver. No worries, dear!”

Waitress: “Okay.”

(We figure that’s the end of it, but then we get our meals.)

Friend: “That glass of wine was so good! Could I get another one, please?”

Waitress: “Oooookay, but that’s your last one for the night, okay?”

(Our friend looks upset, so at this point I decide to step in.)

Me: “[Waitress], I really appreciate what you’re doing here; drunk driving is a serious issue. However, as we’ve already told you, she is not the driver tonight, so please just get her what she asks.”

Waitress: “Hey. You drink, you drive, you lose!”

Me: “She’s not driving! Listen to us! We all came in one car and it’s her–” *point to my aunt* “–that’s driving us all home. No one at this table is getting behind any wheel after drinking alcohol, okay?”

(The waitress wordlessly walked away, but our friend still looked a little embarrassed. We reassured her that she was fine and decided not to push the issue with a manager. After we paid and left, I glanced behind us as we were getting in the car and saw the same waitress watching us all get in to make sure our friend wasn’t driving! I just shook my head and decided not to upset our friend any more by telling her.)

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VOTES
  • Katherine Alice Thompson

    Urgh….

  • Matilda

    Two glasses of wine dosnt bring you over the limit for drunk driving?

    I mean the waitress is clearly the problem here. It just suprised me is all.

    • Anne

      It can. Different people process alcohol differently and some states have an extremely low tolerance.

      But the waitress was just an idiot.

      • Matilda

        Yeah here in Sweden it´s 0,2 so 2 glasses would most likely put you over. Of course the general attitude is, if you have drunk anything alcoholic, no matter how little, you don’t drive. Period, no discussion. Or if you were drunk the night before.

    • Jami

      I get drunk on one beer. So for some it would.

      • Xenobio

        Yeah me too this is why I basically don’t drink.

    • Jami

      I get drunk on one beer. So for some it would.

    • jokergirl129

      It really depends. For some people all it takes is a glass or two of wine to get them drunk while for others it takes a lot more. Plus it depends on the state laws and such.

    • Alan

      If you’re small and had them on an empty stomach, sure. If you’re large and had them over the course of dinner, seems doubtful. Of course, you can get a DUI without being over the limit if the cop decides that you’re still impaired.

    • sacke5

      Would you start driving after taking 2 schnapps of booze? because 2 glasses of wine is 9.75 cl 40% booze. the content of one schnapps is 4.4 cl…

    • Jhinnua

      My country has made it so you can’t even drink one glass of wine before driving without risking a DUI.

      • Melody

        Makes sense. When I learned to drive they told us that buzzed driving was actually more dangerous than drunk driving.

    • Cathrope

      The waitress, would make me order a damn bottle, if she acted like that to me.

      • Atlessa

        Maybe that was her intention all along…

        • Cathrope

          Could be.

  • darsa

    Seriously? You’re angry at a waitress for being concerned for your life and the lives of the other people out driving? This is idiotic.

    • Souless night

      Concern is one thing, ignorance to being told she’s not only wrong in assumption but being condescending to ops friend for wanting to drink more after already being told she wasn’t driving? That’s rude

    • Sandy Pham

      being concerned isn’t the same with being rude.

    • randomnessdoubled

      Unless the aunt was also ordering alcohol (which is very doubtful given “no one at this table is getting behind a wheel after drinking alcohol”), there is absolutely no reason for the waitress to be so fixed on the friend for drinking, as it should be obvious that maybe the non-drinker is the one driving.

      • Nic

        Exactly – and OP wasn’t drinking either, so there were two possibilities for the designated driver.

    • randomnessdoubled

      Unless the aunt was also ordering alcohol (which is very doubtful given “no one at this table is getting behind a wheel after drinking alcohol”), there is absolutely no reason for the waitress to be so fixed on the friend for drinking, as it should be obvious that maybe the non-drinker is the one driving.

    • scatternerd

      Having concern is one thing, pursuing the issue until they left the premises is something altogether different. It’s borderline harassment after being assured that the person drinking would NOT be driving.

    • scatternerd

      Having concern is one thing, pursuing the issue until they left the premises is something altogether different. It’s borderline harassment after being assured that the person drinking would NOT be driving.

    • Anima

      The problem isn’t about the waitress being concerned — its about the waitress harassing them about it after being assured that they weren’t the driver of the party at which point the concern should have been dropped.

    • Anima

      The problem isn’t about the waitress being concerned — its about the waitress harassing them about it after being assured that they weren’t the driver of the party at which point the concern should have been dropped.

    • ShadeTail

      Seriously? You’re *not* angry at the waitress’ haughty condescending attitude? You don’t treat adults like children, particularly after being told you were wrong in your assumptions. She was nasty and rude about the whole thing.

    • ShadeTail

      Seriously? You’re *not* angry at the waitress’ haughty condescending attitude? You don’t treat adults like children, particularly after being told you were wrong in your assumptions. She was nasty and rude about the whole thing.

    • jokergirl129

      The waitress went beyond simply being concerned. The friend said she wasn’t driving but the waitress didn’t believe her and made her feel guilty for wanting another glass of wine. Then when OP went to explain that friend wasn’t driving and that no one that has a drink would be driving the waitress still didn’t listen and replied condescendingly.

      Yes it’s good to be concern about drinking and driving but you can take it too far in the case here.

    • John Grahame

      You really need to stop doing hard drugs darsa, and stop selling them to schoolkids, that’s a bad thing to do

    • I Troll Libtards

      2 glasses of wine with dinner is not cause for alarm.

    • Shatteredstar

      Concern would be the first mention, being rude is the second.

      Not to mention unless it is pretty strong wine and/or generous pours and no food/quickly eating and leaving, unless you’re a very small person your BAC is unlikely to be over the limit in most places. As we don’t know the weight of the friend, total time of visit, size of the drinks, amount of food, any other liquids consumed, we can assume averages and it is unlikely they would be over the limit anyway by the time they’d eaten and left.(barring more than two drinks obviously)

      Then again if you subscribe to full prohibition levels of alcohol hate, none of that even matters since alcohol was served at all.

    • Flami

      Found the waitress.

    • ittybittyphoenix

      What’s the concern with drinking NEAR a designated driver? Because by that logic no adult should ever be allowed to drink, ever, without people falling all over themselves to object.

      • Shatteredstar

        There are a fair amount who keep pushing for ever lower and lower BAC because they believe alcohol is just downright evil and even the slightest amount will cause drunk driving and kill everyone. They basically want prohibition back.

    • KashyaCharsi

      I would be angry if a stranger assumed I can’t function and proclaimed herself my personal nanny, assumed the worst of my honesty and couldn’t even comprehend what I were saying.

  • Kathy Plester

    On the one hand, the waitress meant well and I’m sure part of her job is making sure people drink responsibly BUT those responsibilities have limitations. If you are told once the person you are serving is not driving, you have to take their word for it. Even if for whatever reason you think they are lying, you say nothing more. You can watch them as they get in their car and notify police if you see somebody drunk get behind the wheel but again, that’s it. You don’t give lectures, you don’t pressure them into not having any more drinks, you don’t keep insisting. While it may have been meant with the best intentions, what the waitress did was poor customer service and I do not blame OP and her friend for being appalled by it.

    • David Willy

      Maybe she previously worked at a place that got sued for “allowing” someone to DWI.

      • Kathy Plester

        Even still they’d be let off if the customer said they weren’t driving. They’re not expected to be lie detectors. They checked.

      • Kathy Plester

        Even still they’d be let off if the customer said they weren’t driving. They’re not expected to be lie detectors. They checked.

      • Jackie Fauxe

        Yeah, I do think *something* is behind her being so vigilant.

    • David Willy

      Maybe she previously worked at a place that got sued for “allowing” someone to DWI.

    • linkcourage1

      Depends on local laws actually. Where I am, to serve alcohol you have to have a certificate and a training course to go with it (which I have myself and have used what it entails). That certificate allows you to legally refuse service to someone if you think they are being deceitful to you in regards to driving/operating machinery while under the influence.

      • Cathrope

        What about operating a horse? I don’t know if it’s true or not, but some guy got a DWI while riding one.

      • KashyaCharsi

        Obeying the law is one thing, playing mom to the customers is another.

  • randomman29

    At that point you should have told everyone then filmed the waitress as the friend got in the driver’s seat.

    • Kitty

      Nah. Just turn and flip her off while getting into the car.

  • Kevin Conti

    *takes out money to tip her*
    “You’re not going to use this for drugs are you?”
    “No!”
    “Are you sure? Because drugs are really bad!”
    “I’m not!”
    “Hey, you do drugs, you lose!”

    • elysiana

      “Oh shoot, you’re right, this IS my drug money! So glad you caught me in time. And to think I was about to tip you with it!”
      *puts tip money back in wallet, walks out*

      • elysiana

        *snort* And I just realized I read your post entirely wrong. Chalk it up to a Mondayish Tuesday.

        • Cathrope

          Your talking to yourself again.

          • elysiana

            Who said that?!
            Oh, it’s just me.

    • Alan

      Exactly the right response! Except I would skip the tip entirely. I don’t go to restaurants to be abused

      • Mike Carr

        Agreed, but if your not willing to speak to the manager about the problem you’re probably not justified in a $0 tip. (I have no idea why OP didn’t want to take it up with the manager, I would have been thinking about doing so with the server’s first commentary.)

        • Alan

          I see going to management as the “nuclear option”. I’m generally not going to do that because it risks the server’s job, their livelihood. I have done it, but just once in 40 years of eating out, and that was only when a server said that I had to leave a tip because of the size of my party. I gladly explained to the manager that the server had lost orders, delivered some orders when the rest of the table was finishing up, and had spent most of his time flirting with another staffer right next to our table. At that point I really didn’t care that I was getting him in trouble. Generally, though, I’m not going to do anything that could cause the server to lose their job unless it’s more egregious than the server is this story. I’ve never felt the need to do that except that once, and then my hand was forced by the server himself, who demanded I speak with the manager.

          • Melody

            Managers deal with complaints all the time. Unless the server keeps repeating the same issues, they’re not getting fired for it. Staffing a restaurant is a pain.

          • Alan

            Out of curiosity, why is staffing restaurants a pain?

          • Cheesyluna

            Getting people who show up and do their job ok is about what you could hope for. Anyone who shows up on time, ready to work and actually helps out is a blessing. Most people are there because it’s just another job that they have, they’re not attached to it, they don’t care much about it, and they don’t care what people think and/or they have a very high opinion of themselves. You can never find enough good employees

  • Kevin Conti

    *takes out money to tip her*
    “You’re not going to use this for drugs are you?”
    “No!”
    “Are you sure? Because drugs are really bad!”
    “I’m not!”
    “Hey, you do drugs, you lose!”

  • ShadeTail

    *pats pockets theatrically* “Oops, left my phone inside. Just a minute.” *goes back in* “Get me your manager, right now.”

  • ShadeTail

    *pats pockets theatrically* “Oops, left my phone inside. Just a minute.” *goes back in* “Get me your manager, right now.”

  • Kitty

    Nothing wrong with dropping a word to the manager that, while it’s great that this waitress is concerned not just for people’s well-being but also keeping her ass safe in case of people lying, drinking and driving, she’s a little TOO enthusiastic about it. Like asking once is okay. Beyond that, I already answered, no, my answer is not gonna change.

  • Alan

    Honestly, this server wouldn’t bother me at all. Sure, she might annoy me at the time, but I’d feel great when I wrote the “0.00” for tip.

    • Aireiel Celeste

      Better to just write ‘none’ otherwise they might get snarky and stick a 1 at the front of your 0.00, give themselves a nice tip at your expense.

  • Aireiel Celeste

    I would have complained to the manager. In fact I think OP should do so anyway, even if it’s after the fact. Call them, or send in an anonymous e-mail, and tell them what happened. Whatever the waitress’s motivations, OP and their party came to that restaurant to have a good time and feel comfortable, and that was ruined by this waitress for no valid reason. Complaining is not always automatically a ‘mean’ thing to do, and can sometimes be constructive if it’s done in a respectful manner, and in a way that the problem is identified well enough that it can be corrected for next time.

    It’s better the manager hear it from a calm and reasonable customer now, and potentially get the chance to correct the waitress, rather than from a customer later who’s going to make a scene and possibly lose the restaurant business over one waitress who can’t keep her judgement to herself.

  • Passenger_Zero

    OP, some things really do call for a manager and that was one of them.

  • TSBJ

    The waitress wasn’t diligent enough.

    She should have followed you home to make sure you didn’t pull over so your aunt could swap places with your friend.

    And then once you’re home, hang around to make sure your friend doesn’t drive anywhere else.

    Stalking? Pffft. As long as it prevents one drunk driving accident, it’s totally worth it!

    • Cathrope

      Dork.

    • KashyaCharsi

      Yes, if you do it, do it well.

    • Hahn Ackles

      It’s important not to half-ass things, after all. It should be fully assed or nothing. 🙂

  • WonderRabbit

    Not listening, and refusing service when legitimately requested.
    That’s how you lose a tip.

  • Xaveston

    It is possible she had a bad experience where someone drunk and drove even when she told them not to, and they died, or that it could have been herself, I think in this instance it sounds more concerned and worried because of something that happened. For all they know, the restaurant went through another moment like this where they had let the driver drink, and they died in a car accident, so she’s being paranoid and not wanting it to happen (Plus, people lie,). I would have given her the benefit of the doubt and just shrugged it off, especially if she was watching the car I would have wondered if she was just scared for any of those reasons.(Definitely think pushing it to a manager would be overreacting, but at the same time maybe if the manager knew something bout her past, they could help her move on.).

    • das Wunderkind

      My first thought was that the waitress lost someone to a drunk driver, or was herself hurt by one at some point. Three of my friends were killed by drunk drivers (3 separate collisions), my aunt and uncle were seriously injured by one, and when I was a teenager my mother and I were hit. No doubt all of that impacts my perspective.

      I would much rather have a waitress like this than one that’s blatantly incompetent or downright nasty.

      • KashyaCharsi

        I’d rather have one who warns me ONCE, then considers me an adult who can decide.

      • Xaveston

        Exactly, more caring people is what we need,.

  • Sadies Ariel

    She is aware that a couple glasses of wine doesn’t get anyone even the least bit tipsy, let alone full blown drunk, right?
    I love having a glass or two with lunch, dinner, before bed, etc.

    • das Wunderkind

      Some people don’t tolerate alcohol well. I’m one of them. Last time I had a glass of wine, I couldn’t walk straight and went face-first into a door. I haven’t had any since.

      • Sadies Ariel

        That’s a shame really. Wine is delicious.

  • Sounds like the waitress is a designated driver — designated to drive people crazy, that is.

  • Art Metz

    OP,

    You might want to memorize these two magic words:

    Manager. Now.

  • Tyler Tenebrae

    And her name was Lisa Simpson.