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Never Try To Satisfy Those Who Cannot Be

, , , , , | Right | June 2, 2022

During my last couple of years of high school, and throughout college, I work summers at my uncle’s (my Mom’s brother’s) restaurant. I am nineteen at the time, and this is my third summer working there. We have a party of eleven people coming in on a late Saturday afternoon. The “lead” person at the table is a guy who is in his early forties or so, and the rest are apparently all related in one way or another. All of them are adults, the youngest maybe in their early twenties.

I’m a very good waitress. My uncle trusts me implicitly and he understands that I know what I am doing. My uncle hates chronic complainers and charlatans that look for any excuse to get a comped or partially-comped meal.

Most people at the table don’t really complain directly themselves, but they certainly support this guy in his complaints by nodding in agreement or saying things like, “Yeah, that’s right!” whenever he complains about something.

Right from the get-go, he complains about anything and everything. I am too slow getting them their menus, even though I bring them over within thirty seconds of sitting them. Silverware settings are missing, either a knife, fork, or spoon. I know they are missing because he’s the one who removed them. I saw him take a spoon, fork, or knife away from each setting and toss them into a nearby tray that we used to put dirty plates when clearing the tables.

The steak he ordered well-done is too well-done, and the replacement is not well-done enough even though it does not have a shred of pink in the center. The waters aren’t filled promptly enough, his dessert is far too sweet, and his decaf coffee has caffeine in it because “I can see it in there!”

This goes on and on and on throughout the whole meal, which takes them over three hours to eat. Apparently, their food sucks, and our service is horrible. I wait on the whole table myself by taking each of their orders, but two other staffers help bring out their food, get drink refills, etc. Positively NOTHING they complain about is legitimate in any way whatsoever.

My uncle is kept informed, and he speaks to them numerous times to codify them to virtually no avail; the complaints continue. My uncle takes me aside at one point and tells me that this jerk is just trying to get their whole check comped, which he is not going to do. Other customers have even asked me what’s going on because they’ve seen nothing worth complaining about, but they’ve certainly seen what an entitled jerk this guy is being.

Their final bill is nearly $900, mostly steaks, seafood, and shellfish, all our more expensive menus items. Given their rudeness to him and particularly to me, my uncle absolutely refuses to give in to any of their demands. He even tells them that we’ve made every effort to appease them only to be met with rude, selfish behavior over things that are clearly a non-issue. He outright tells them he is not comping anything on their bill.

Finally, they leave and pay the bill in full. As he writes on the check “to make a point,” the guy leaves only a 5% tip because of my “horrid, inattentive” service. He doesn’t want to leave no tip, as he doesn’t want me to think he just forgot, but he wants to be certain I know “exactly why” I am not getting my full tip.

However, he didn’t notice that for parties of six or more, we add a mandatory 18% tip, and for parties of ten or more, 20%, which is what was added to his bill. So, I actually end up with a 25% tip! Not bad for serving a table full of self-absorbed a**holes!

This guy leaves us a scathing review online. My uncle responds by posting point-by-point every rude thing he said and his contemptible behavior and pointing out that his food and service had been exemplary. If any doubt his word, just check his other reviews. “Oh, and by the way, I have security footage to prove all of this!”

To their credit, several customers who were there that night and had witnessed what this jerk said and did left wonderful reviews for us and even mentioned my uncle and me specifically. Most of them called out the rude behavior of this guy and his family.  

My uncle told me that if they ever returned, he was going to refuse them service. As far as I know, they never came back, at least not during the two subsequent years I worked for my uncle. I love my uncle, but I’m so glad to now be out of the service job environment and into an office setting!

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