When The Grinch Ate Christmas

, , , , | Right | December 19, 2017

(I am the manager of a bar & grill in Brooklyn. It’s the week of Christmas and we are of course very busy. On this night I’m serving drinks at the bar itself, when I notice a commotion from a table nearby, where an elderly couple is having dinner.)

Man: “Hey, come back here!”

Waitress: “Yes, sir?”

Man: “I ordered a skirt steak, medium rare!”

Waitress: “Yes, sir, that is indeed what I brought out.”

Man: “And you didn’t notice something wrong?”

Waitress: “Excuse me?”

Man: “The sauce bottle on this table is empty!”

(He holds up a bottle of steak sauce that is indeed completely empty.)

Waitress: “Oh, dear, so it is! I’m sorry I did not notice that. I’ll get you a new one right now!”

(She rushes back to the kitchen and returns immediately with a full bottle of sauce. The man grumbles as he accepts it and then things quiet down… until the two finish their meal and the waitress returns to collect their plates.)

Waitress: “So, how was everything?”

Man: “It was fine… once we had what we needed to eat it! I know you’re probably preoccupied with thinking about spending Christmas Day alone with a bottle of cheap vodka but that’s no excuse for not doing your job!”

(I look up and the waitress looks quite shocked.)

Man: “I was thinking of ordering the cheesecake on your menu, but I suspect if I did you’d just bring me an empty plate and a fork.”

(I note the waitress trembling slightly, yet ever the professional she just picks up their plates without complaint.)

Man: “Well? What? Aren’t you going to say anything?”

Waitress: “Sir, I’m sorry about the sauce. I assure you it was not intentional, and you don’t need to say such unkind things to me.”

(The man suddenly slams his fist on the table.)

Man: “That’s no excuse! Where the hell is your manager?”

(She turns and points to me. The man promptly stands up and walks over to me.)

Man: “This incompetent woman ruined a very nice night out for me and my wife! I demand you do something!”

Me: “Okay. Seeing as I witnessed everything from where I’m standing, I can do one of two things: either I can make you pay your bill and ban you from ever coming here again, or I can call the police and have you arrested for harassing my staff.”

Man: “WHAT?!”

Me: “[Waitress] is right. You have no excuse for berating her over a simple mistake. It’s busy and we can’t keep an eye on everything. If you’re going to be this unpleasant then please leave and never show your face in here again.”

Man: “But… it’s Christmas!”

Me: “Then how about showing some good will to your fellow men and women? Namely by paying your bill and removing yourself from the premises?”

(Thankfully he did just that, albeit leaving no tip, and we have yet to see him or his wife again.)

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