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Some Managers Will Drive You To Drink (With Or Without ID)

, , , , , | Working | June 28, 2021

In the beginning of summer, my entire family likes to spend a week at the beach. We’ve been doing this since I was a child and there’s a particular restaurant that we love to eat at as it always has good food and good service, and it’s only a few minutes walk from where we stay. On this fateful night, my husband and I are having dinner with my parents. We’re seated at a table, and after a minute or so, our waitress arrives.

Waitress: “Hi, guys! Welcome to [Restaurant]. My name is [Waitress] and I’ll be your server this evening.”

Me: “Hi, [Waitress], how’re you doing?”

Waitress: “I’m all right. I’m sorry if there’s a bit of a delay in your food; we’re a little busy tonight and this is my second night on the job, so I’m still figuring things out.”

My family is very friendly and understanding, so we assure her that’s fine and it seems to put her at ease. We order drinks. My mom and I typically don’t order alcoholic drinks as we don’t like the taste, but we’ve eaten at this restaurant several times and both like their strawberry daiquiris, so we order those.

Waitress: “All right, can I see everyone’s IDs, please?”

Everyone hands over their IDs, except for Mom, who typically leaves her purse in her car and forgot to grab it before we walked to the restaurant.

Mom: “I’m so sorry. I think I left my wallet at home.”

Waitress: *Suddenly very anxious* “Ma’am, I can’t serve you alcohol without seeing your ID.”

Mom: “That’s fine. I’ll just go with a lemonade, then.”

The waitress leaves to get the drinks, and when she returns, we place our food orders. By the time the food is brought out, we’ve finished our drinks and Dad orders a mango daiquiri for himself, which Mom asks to try when it arrives.

Waitress: “Ma’am, I can’t serve you alcohol without seeing your ID.”

Mom: “I know, I’m happy with my lemonade. I’m just going to have a sip from his; I don’t need my own.”

Waitress: “I’m going to need to see your ID.”

Dad: *Firm but respectful* “The mango daiquiri isn’t for her; it’s for me.”

The waitress dithers for a few moments, then leaves. We discuss quietly how it’s a little silly that Mom can’t drink but her daughter can. But we know that serving alcohol to underaged guests is illegal and figure that, since it’s her second night working and the place is pretty busy, she’s just feeling stressed and trying to not mess up, so we brush it off.

At this point, I have finished my daiquiri and set the empty glass aside, about midway between myself and Mom, and I have begun working on my water when a man approaches. He’s wearing a staff uniform with a badge that identifies him as the manager, and he stops at our table. He’s narrowed his eyes at me and addresses me with an accusatory tone.

Manager: “Ma’am, your waitress is unable to serve you alcohol without seeing your ID, and if you continue to harass her, then I’m going to be forced to ask you to leave.”

It’s clear that he thinks I’m underaged and trying to pull something. I immediately suspect the waitress was flustered and did not communicate the situation clearly to her manager, but I’m too shocked to respond. Both Dad and my husband jump to my defense, and all three men begin to argue quietly while Mom and I sit there uncomfortably.

Eventually, the manager, unwilling to budget and unable to be convinced that this is a misunderstanding, curtly informs us that he’ll be sending the bartender out to deal with us and that there will be absolutely no alcohol provided to anyone at the table without ID. My husband and my dad are both fuming, and I’m very uncomfortable and worried that the manager might try to remove me from the restaurant. Mom is upset by the conflict and decides that the easiest way to resolve the issue is to go get her ID, so she walks the ten minutes home — by herself, at night — and back. 

While she’s gone, the bartender arrives. He’s significantly more pleasant and recognizes Dad from his and Mom’s visit the night before. We calmly explain the situation, apologizing for making the waitress uncomfortable and expressing our offense at the manager’s aggressive, misinformed accusations. The bartender sympathizes and informs us that the manager is a rather unpleasant individual to begin with and that he figured that this was likely a misunderstanding from the get-go.

About this time, Mom returns with her ID and the bartender brings her a daiquiri as an apology, chatting with us a little bit before heading back inside. We don’t see that waitress for the rest of the night, but we do spy the manager shooting us nasty looks until we leave.

We decided to eat elsewhere for the rest of the week, the experience having put a sour taste in our mouths. Honestly, if it hadn’t been for the bartender, we probably would’ve just left money on the table for what food and drinks we received and walked out.