I’m Not Tomatopathic

, , , , , | Right | November 8, 2019

(One day, I seat a couple – a man and a woman. At first, they are polite, friendly, and cheerful. They go through the menu and I take their order. The woman chooses a popular meal which contains tomatoes. Said meal has the word “tomato” in the name, the picture of it in the menu clearly shows that it contains tomatoes, and the menu description also clearly states that it contains tomatoes. Like always, I repeat their order back to them to ensure I have it right, and the couple agrees I have it right. However, when their food is brought over, the woman pushes the plate away.)

Customer: “Oh. I ordered [tomato dish] by mistake; I meant to order [other dish].”

([Other dish] sounds and looks nothing like [tomato dish], but the couple have been polite and friendly up to this point, and I figure brain farts happen to the best of us, so I offer to go and get her the meal she wants, but still charge her the cheaper price of [tomato dish]. The woman suddenly stops smiling and glares at me.)

Customer: “Well, what are you going to do about this mistake?”

Me: “Um… like I just said, I’ll go and get you the meal you wanted. I can get the chef to prioritise it—”

Customer: “This is unacceptable. I want my meal for free because you messed up.”

Me: “Madam, you admitted you ordered the wrong item. You got what you ordered. As I said, I am happy to go and get you the meal you wanted at no extra cost, even though it is more expensive, but I can’t give you a free meal when we did not make a mistake.”

Customer: “You should have known it was a mistake!”

Me: “I read you your order back and you agreed it was correct. How was I supposed to know you had ordered the wrong thing?”

Customer: “Because I don’t like tomatoes!”

Me: *pausing for a second, dumbfounded* “Madam, you are a complete stranger. It is impossible for me to know what foods you do or don’t like unless you tell me.”

Customer: “But that’s your job! You’re supposed to know!”

(The woman then demands her entire meal for free, including the drinks and sides. When I refuse, she demands to speak to a manager. I go and get the manager on duty and explain the situation to her before we get to the table.)

Manager: “Madam, as [My Name] explained, we cannot give you a refund because you ordered the wrong thing. We are more than happy to make you the meal you actually wanted at no extra cost, but we cannot give you a refund.”

(The woman starts shrieking and threatens to walk out without paying. Luckily, my manager possesses what many other managers do not: a spine.)

Manager: “Madam, you have two options. Either you accept the offer [My Name] has given you to get you the meal you wanted, continue eating, and pay for it at the end, or you pay for what you’ve ordered so far and leave. Either way, you will be paying the full price for your food. If you refuse, I will call the police.”

(The woman quieted down and mumbled that she’d like to have the meal she originally wanted. For the rest of her meal, she complained quietly to the man she was with about how appalled she was that we wouldn’t compensate her for OUR mistake. When it came time to pay, I was worried she would try and bring up the discount again, but she agreed to the full amount. However, she locked eyes with me as she put her PIN into the card machine, glared, and told me she was never coming here ever again. Unsurprisingly, she didn’t leave a tip. It wasn’t a complete loss, though, because true to her word, she did not come back.)

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