From A Private Booth To A Private Cell

, , , , | Legal | August 17, 2018

(I am the hostess and cashier at a Mexican restaurant. My station at the front is a completely separate room; I cannot see the dining area from the register. Every single staff member, from the owner down to the servers and cooks, is Hispanic. I’m the only Caucasian employee, but since I still have dark hair, dark eyes, and a fairly dark skin tone, people frequently mistake me for Hispanic, as well. A husband and wife walk in during a very busy Friday evening.)

Me: “Good evening! Welcome to [Restaurant]!”

Wife: “We want a booth, please.”

Me: “If a booth is available, that will be no problem.”

Wife: “Fine.”

(I seat the couple. Every booth is taken, so I put them at a table. I go back to the register, and within a few minutes have a long line of people cashing out. Eventually, the couple comes up to the register to pay.)

Me: “Hello! How was everything tonight?”

Wife: “AWFUL!”

Me: “I’m so sorry. What was the problem?”

Husband: “We asked for a booth and you put us at a table!”

Me: “Sir, there were no booths available when I sat y’all; it’s been very busy tonight and a lot of other people also wanted booths. It was just bad timing.”

Husband: “We saw people at booths get up and leave! You should have reseated us! You knew we wanted a booth, and now you’ve ruined our night out!”

Me: “I do apologize but, sir, I cannot see the dining area from here, nor what tables people get up from. If you want a booth that badly, you’d have a better chance at getting one if you came during a less busy time.”

Wife: *shouting at this point* “You b****! We should have expected this of some lazy f****** [Mexican racial slur]!”

(My patience and cheerful manner instantly vanish the moment the slur leaves her mouth. I can deal with swearing, but I have ZERO tolerance for racist crap like this.)

Me: “Ma’am, I don’t care how angry you are. You will not use that kind of language in this establishment!”

Husband: *also shouting* “How dare you speak to my wife like that?! We are God-fearing white folks! We’ll say anything we d*** well please about all you filthy [racial slur]s!” *gestures to me and to the couple of servers who came in to investigate the shouting* “You will give us our food for free right now, b****!”

(By this point I am shaking with rage but still trying to control myself.)

Me: “Sir, first of all, I am not Hispanic; I’m just as Caucasian as you are. But that still gives you no right to use racially abusive language towards anybody! If you think swearing and using racial slurs will get you free food, you are sadly mistaken!”

Husband: “No, you’re not! Don’t you f****** lie to me, you little s***! No respectable white girl hangs around these Mexican monkeys! You’re a f****** lying [racial slur] w****!”

Me: “Sir, after this behavior you are definitely not getting your meal for free. Please pay for your food and leave right now!”

(At this, the wife begins screaming unintelligibly, and the husband suddenly lunges at me, grabs my wrist and a handful of my hair, and attempts to physically haul me over the counter from behind the register, screaming profanities and slurs at me and the entire staff. The owner, who has walked in at this point, steps in with my the rest of the staff to pull the man off me. His wife is still screaming like a banshee and attempting to strike the employees pulling her husband off me. The owner eventually pries him loose and proceeds to inform him that once he and his wife have paid for their meal, they are banned from the restaurant. The couple is adamant that they won’t leave unless they get a free meal, which the owner refuses to do.)

Husband: “And what the f*** is some dirty [racial slur] going to do about it?!”

Voice: *from behind him* “Good evening.”

(The husband screamed and whirled around, fists flying, and VERY narrowly missed hitting the two cops who had just walked in the door and dodged him at the last second. One of the servers, it turned out, had called the police during the altercation. They ended up arresting the couple for assault and battery, and assaulting a police officer after the wife attacked the officers when she saw them putting her husband in handcuffs. All this because they got a table when they wanted a booth.)

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