Their Hearts Were No Longer In It

, , , , , , | Right | October 30, 2017

(I work in a very busy restaurant in the “function room.” This room holds ten tables of ten seats each. I always work alone in this section. I find many large tables so much easier to manage and serve than lots of smaller, two-seat tables. A table is celebrating a birthday. All guests at the table range from ages 18 to 25, and they have been “playing up” pretty much all night, making stupid requests, like asking for another serviette because the one they had wasn’t folded the same as another or sending a meal back to the kitchen because they decided they wanted what the person next to them was having. You know, those type of guests!)

Birthday Boy: *handing me a pen, which you have to click at the top to use* “May I please have your autograph? I get everyone I meet at my birthday dinner to sign a serviette.”

Me: *feeling a little chuffed to be asked* “Sure, I’d love to.”

(The customer hands me the pen, and I go to “click” the pen to make it work, and in fact it isn’t a pen but a small shock-emitting device. Once it shocks me — which isn’t a small shock, mind you! — everyone at the table starts to laugh, finding it so funny to shock a complete stranger.)

Me: “Ouch! That wasn’t a very nice thing to do!”

Birthday Boy: “Oh, it’s funny. See? Everyone is laughing!”

Me: *wanting to get my own back at him for shocking me, and for being so rude all night* “No. It’s not a nice thing to do! Let me tell you why. Three years ago I was diagnosed with a heart defect, and I now wear a pacemaker. The shock you just gave me could have put me into cardiac arrest! I don’t know what ‘manners’ your parents taught you, but young man, don’t ever do that to another person again. You don’t know their medical history; you don’t know anything about them.”

Birthday Boy: *looking like he has just seen a ghost* “Oh, I am so, so, so, so sorry. I didn’t know! Oh, geez, I feel so terrible now.”

(The whole entire table is now as quiet as a mouse, looking down and feeling terrible.)

Me: “Good. Now you know not to do that stuff again!”

(I walk out of the function room and into the kitchen and tell the restaurant owner what has just happened. He is ready to go and kick them all out when I stop him.)

Me: “Nope. Just leave it. I have a feeling my words did enough damage.”

(For the rest of the night, the table was the most perfectly-mannered table I had ever served. When it came time for them to leave — after they helped me clear off their table! — they called me over. They had already paid their bill, and they asked me to please close my eyes. Not trusting them, I told them I’d rather not, but [Birthday Boy] insisted, promising me nothing bad would happen. So, I played along, and someone took my hand and put it upright. Knowing what the feel of money is, I knew they were putting notes into my hand. Each and every single person at that table gave me a tip, and at the same time they all said “sorry.” My little “white lie” about having a pace-maker earned me $265 in tips! Ka-ching!)

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