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Some People Just Want To Watch The Dessert Burn

, , , , | Right | March 31, 2020

(In the restaurant where I work, there are only two tables that will sit a group larger than four. A large group approaches the host stand while I am literally in the process of cleaning the only available group table, so they wait, at max, five minutes for it to be clean. They are then promptly seated.

It is a fairly busy lunch so there is a bit of a wait for food, but nothing unreasonable. When I do quality checks and refills, everything seems fine until the end. While clearing the dishes:)

Me: “Any dessert or coffee today?”

Customer: “No.”

Me: “Okay, then, just the bill?”

Customer: “No.”

(I halfheartedly laugh, as this is a lame joke I’ve heard before. When I bring the bill, they crumple it up and throw it on the table, which I find odd and think that it’s a weird way to joke. I honestly have no idea they are upset; I’m usually very good at reading my customers and am sympathetic when they get slow or bad service. 

I leave to let them look over the bill and get the payment terminal. I notice at one end of the table someone has put down some money and the customer who crumpled up the bill took it. I figured they just decided to pay credit, instead. I return with the payment terminal and begin processing their payment when:)

Customer: “This is the worst service I have ever received!”

(I am completely caught off-guard as everything seemed fine and they didn’t complain once throughout the meal.)

Me: “I’m so sorry. Is there anything I can do to fix it?”

Customer: “We waited twenty minutes to be seated!”

(They waited five.)

Customer: “No one brought my son a highchair.”

(The kid was in a highchair when I first greeted the table, so obviously, someone did, and fairly quickly because we have to greet tables within two minutes of being sat.)

Customer: “We waited over an hour for our food!”

(They waited twenty to thirty minutes.)

Customer: “And you never once brought us refills!”

Me: “Actually, I did bring refills to your table.”

(She just ignored me every time I came to the table and asked.)

Me: “And I apologize about the wait times, but it has been a fairly busy lunch. Would you like to speak to my manager?”

Customer: “No! But we will never be dining here again!”

(And with that, she stormed off, of course leaving no tip. I then realized the money that had been left on the other side of the table was meant to be my tip from the sane people at the table who actually paid attention when I asked how everything was and if they wanted refills, and she had stolen it.

I was so mad. My manager could see and asked me what was wrong, so I explained the whole situation. It’s a good thing I did, because the customer called later and tried to complain about me.)

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