They’re A Real Glass Act

, , , , | Right | March 12, 2019

(It’s a really busy day at the restaurant where I work. There’s a line out the door, and the moment a table gets cleared off it gets filled again. I’m serving a section that’s kind of separated from the rest of the restaurant. There’s one table that’s in a little nook at the back. There are tables straight across from it and it’s long enough that if you need to sweep or vacuum under it you need to move the tables across from it in order to pull that table out. One of my tables earlier in the day has somehow managed to smash about three glasses on the table in the nook. Because the table across is full, I can’t pull the table out to get all the glass from underneath — they got glass EVERYWHERE — so I warn my manager and the rest of the staff not to seat anyone there. Then, I clean the glass shards from the table, booth seats, and the floor in front of the table as much as I can, just as I was told to do. It is later in the day. A new family is seated at the table across from the nook table. For most of their meal, everything is fine and pleasant. I notice at one point they have let their young daughter — about five — start to run around, climbing on other tables and crawling on the floor. I warn her once not allow her kid to run around and climb on tables because it is dangerous and she could get hurt. Near the end of the meal, as I’m clearing away dishes, the mother stops me by grabbing my arm.)

Mother: “Excuse me. That’s really dangerous, you know. There are glass slivers on that table. My daughter could get hurt.”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, some customers broke some glasses earlier. I thought I had it cleaned as best I could at the time, but that’s one of the reasons we don’t want children crawling and climbing on tables where they aren’t seated. I’ll clean the table further.”

Mother: “Well, do it fast; it’s really not responsible to leave it like that!”

(I look at the table. There are no slivers that I can see on the table, but I do spot some I’ve missed on the booth seats. I grab a cloth, anyway, and come back to wipe down the seats when I see her daughter is now crawling around UNDERNEATH the table with the broken glass. When the daughter sees me she climbs out from underneath and I begin wiping the seats.)

Mother: “I knew it! Excuse me!”

(I turn back to her.)

Me: “Yes.”

Mother: “My daughter got hurt because of your incompetence!”

(The mother then holds her daughter’s hand out; she has a tiny cut on her hand about the length and width of a small papercut.)

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, I—“

Mother: “I don’t want to hear it. If you’d cleaned properly in the first place, this wouldn’t have happened. Get me a bandaid now, and I want to speak to your manager.”

(The daughter is looking really uncomfortable and trying to pull away, telling her mother she wants to go play. I apologize again and go to get a bandaid and tell my manager what happened. He tells me he’ll be with them in a minute and I give the bandaid to the mother. Everything seems fine until I notice that the daughter is back playing at the nook table.)

Me: “Ma’am, as you already pointed out, and as I’ve already told you, it’s not safe for your daughter to be climbing and playing at that table.”

Mother: “She can do what she wants!”

(My manager arrives and sends me off to do other tasks while he speaks with the customer. A few minutes later, my manager is telling me that he’s going to have other servers cover my tables so I can go scrub down the tables to make sure all the glass is gone. I assume everything has been worked out with the mother… until I hear her shouting again.)

Mother: “D*** it, your stocking is ripped, too! You!” *points at me* “You are in sooo much trouble. If you had just done as you’re supposed to, this wouldn’t have happened. My baby wouldn’t have been hurt. I’m calling the cops on you! I’m going to have you arrested for assault, you b****! You left glass there on purpose!”

(I just decide to ignore her and go tell my manager what’s happened now. The daughter isn’t bleeding from the leg, and I am just about at the point of yelling back at her about watching her child instead of letting her run around, so I figure it is best to just not engage her. My manager agrees and sends me back out to keep scrubbing the table. He comes out to talk to them and offers them 20% off their bill. They seem content and he walks away.)

Mother: *turning back towards me as I clean* “D*** useless b****, trying to hurt my daughter. You’re going to be arrested, you know. I’m going to charge you with assault. Aggravated assault even. What, are you deaf? Are you even listening to me?”

(I continue to ignore her and just keep cleaning.)

Grandmother: “What are you doing with that jam, [Mother]?”

Mother: “This lazy b**** doesn’t want to clean, so I’m going to give her something to clean. I’m going to open every one of these and smear them on the tables!”

Grandmother: “Stop it; you’re making a scene.”

Mother: “No!”

(She then proceeded to open three or four packs of jam and smear them on the table and seats. Just as I was about to go tell my manager what was happening, she stood up and rushed to the front where customers are supposed to pay. She then continued to rant to the manager about my poor service, cleaning job, attitude, etc. She then demanded he make it up to her daughter for getting injured by giving her a free stuffed animal and giving them their meal free. In the end, the manager gave them the 20% off and a free toy. With them gone I was finally able to pull out the nook table and properly clean underneath.)