My Mother The Monster

, , , | Right | September 1, 2020

I grew up with a mother that is every server’s nightmare. She always finds something to yell about and is not happy until she reduces the server to tears. I spent my childhood trying to make sure that no matter how messed up a meal was, I never said anything as it would fuel the fire in my mother.

Now, I am married and pregnant with my first child, but I’m still very timid around any customer service person as I’m afraid of being “that customer.”

We have gone to a restaurant that has both a buffet bar and regular meals. I am craving chicken-fried steak, so I order that and the salad bar. I get my meal and it is so laden with salt that it tastes like a salt lake — not just the steak, but the side vegetables, too. I decide to just eat from the salad bar and make a mental note to never order the chicken-fried steak again. It is now the end of the meal and the waitress comes over to give us our check. 

Waitress: “How was everything today?”

Me: “Fine.”

Waitress: “Any interest in dessert tonight?”

Me: “No, we’re fine.”

Waitress: “Can I get you a box?”

Me: “No. thank you. I don’t need one.”

Obviously, the waitress can see there is a problem, because who leaves almost a full meal and doesn’t want a box? She says she’ll go get us our check. But instead, she lets the manager know what is going on

Manager: “How was everything?”

Me: *Wishing I could disappear* “Fine.”

Manager: “How was the chicken-fried steak? It doesn’t seem like you ate very much, and you don’t want a box?”

I burst into hormonal tears, and I realize I am making a scene but can’t stop.

Me: “I’m sorry, please excuse the tears; I can’t make them stop.”

Manager: “Oh, honey, it’s okay. What’s the problem?”

Me: “It was just so salty that I couldn’t eat it, and I didn’t want to cause any problems, and I’m sorry.”

Manager: “It’s not your fault if the food was too salty. How about I just comp both your meals for you?”

Me: “No, no. I’m not trying to get anything for free. I can’t accept that; it is too much.”

The manager finally conceded to just take off my meal, which I felt was still too much, but I just wanted to go home. We ended up tipping the waitress the amount of my meal. 

I’ve since learned how to talk to servers when things are wrong without causing a Mom-sized scene or becoming a sobbing mess.

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