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Karma Is Sweeter Than Lemonade

, , , , | Right | CREDIT: L3n777 | October 19, 2021

I once hosted an event in a bar — a kind of celebration for police trainees, new recruits, that kind of thing.

As I was busy slaving away, pouring drinks, etc., this one woman who was absolutely full of herself was watching me pour measures for another customer, making comments about the amount of ice in drinks, how I was using the wrong glass — I wasn’t — and other obnoxious comments about how she was waiting to be served and she was here first — she wasn’t. I was pouring some spirits — for those who don’t know, they come in standard sizes of 25 ml for singles, 50ml for doubles, etc. I reached the end of the bottle as I was pouring the whiskey and there was a tiny drop left, so I just poured those few extra ml into the glass. You shouldn’t really do that, but who cares, right?

The woman got up in my face.

Woman: “It’s technically illegal to pour extra measures. The law is the law, and you should follow the law to the letter!”

I tried to brush it off and ignore her and carried on serving other customers. But there she was, commenting on pretty much everything I was doing, and as everyone who has worked in customer service knows, it’s very annoying to have everything scrutinised and commented on as though you’re nothing but a useless piece of garbage.

It came to the woman’s turn and she asked for an alcoholic beverage. So, using my limited powers, I asked her for her ID. She went bright red in the face and stuttered something about being old enough to be in the police.

Me: “Sorry. If you don’t have ID, I can’t legally serve you. The law is the law, after all.”

Lo and behold, she didn’t have ID and had to settle for lemonade.

BYOB: Buy Your Own Booze

, , , , | Related | September 30, 2021

What I was asked to do in this story is technically legal. By UK law, anyone over the age of five is allowed to drink alcohol at home but not in public. My dad would let us drink a sip (rarely more) of whatever he was drinking all throughout our childhoods so we wouldn’t go behind his back to get any.

My middle sister’s seventeenth birthday is coming up, and she wants a bottle of vodka. Instead of buying it himself like a responsible adult, my dad sends me to the supermarket to buy it and other things for him, as per usual.

I’m about to leave the house, just double-checking that I have my bag and passport, when he tells me to bring along my fifteen-year-old sister. I’m pretty sure everyone can see where this is heading. When I try to explain that the shop people are not going to sell me any alcohol with my sister with me, I get told I’m being “silly” because it’s not for her.

We both get ID’d and, as expected, we are not allowed to buy the alcohol. I do try telling the shop lady that my sister is fifteen and has no ID, and that it isn’t for her, not expecting it to work, but if I don’t at least try then I’m at fault here.

I phone my dad.

Me: “As I expected, they wouldn’t let me buy the alcohol with [Sister] with me.”

Dad: “That’s ridiculous! I’ve bought alcohol while shopping with [Sister]! A parent with a child in a pram could buy alcohol! Laws are stupid. Go to the little shop on your way home and buy it there.”

I realise that if my sister and I go to the little shop on the way home, we’ll be denied again, and even if I go back later, they’ll recognise me and might still refuse to sell to me. So, I take my sister home first. My dad starts ranting again.

Dad: “You’re making more work for yourself going out twice! They should sell you the alcohol because you’re of age. Why does it matter that your sister isn’t?!”

Me: “The lady at the shop didn’t decide the rules, and I do not blame her for refusing to sell to us when her job could be on the line.”

I didn’t even get ID’d at the little shop. The alcohol was more expensive, but it’s my dad’s money and his fault for making me take my sister. I wish I’d sent him to go buy his own alcohol instead of all the arguing, but realistically, that would have just made things worse.

We Really Hope She Doesn’t Have A Child

, , , , | Right | September 23, 2021

A woman comes into our store and stops by my service desk to check the balances on a few gift cards she has and to ask for directions to one of the departments. She appears to be alone and has apparently imbibed in some sort of pungent alcoholic beverage. She is walking okay, but her breath could send an elephant to rehab.

After I check the balance and point her in the right direction, I ask [Coworker #1] to watch the desk while I take my overflowing cart of defectives back to the compactor. By the time I’m on my way back, it has been about twenty-five minutes since the woman left the service desk. 

On my way back up to the front, I hear [code for a lost child] called over the store’s PA system. From halfway across the floor, I can clearly hear the woman screaming hysterically from the check lanes.

The procedure says that we all have to stop what we are doing to look for said child. Since I don’t have my own walkie and have missed the description of the child, I hurry back to the service desk and ask [Coworker #1] so I can join the search for the kid.

Meanwhile, the woman is pacing up and down the lanes, screaming the kid’s name, crying, and generally upsetting all the other guests.

Coworker #1: “We’re looking for a nine-year-old boy wearing a red shirt and khaki pants.”

Me: “Hair color? Eye color?”

Coworker #1: “Couldn’t get it out of her.”

Here is where I pause, trying to decide if this is a coincidence or if we are just getting trolled by this woman. No hair color, eye color, or any other physical features are available; just “a kid dressed like an employee”? I feel this is suspicious, but the woman seems genuinely upset, so I try to withhold judgment and leave to search for the kid all the same.

I search EVERYWHERE for this kid. In Toys, behind blankets and pillows, heck, even in the boxes for rugs. Everywhere.

Several members of staff report having checked the back rooms in case the kid wandered in and found a weird hiding place.

During this process, I run into [Coworker #2].

Coworker #2: “I’ve helped the lady twice tonight and she was alone both times. She smells like she’s just come from the local bar. I’ve told the manager.”

I ask if anyone has checked her car, and they have, with no results. We are under the code for almost half an hour before it finally gets canceled. I hurry back to the service desk to check in with [Coworker #1] who tells me that [Manager] is checking the video from the cameras in the store and has called down to tell us to cancel the code.

[Manager] does come back, and his expression is one that I recognize: he is angry but trying to be professional.

Manager: “Ma’am, I checked the cameras. You entered our store alone and did your shopping alone. At no time since you entered were you accompanied by a child.”

Customer: *Still in hysterics* “No! I came here with [Child]! He has to be somewhere! Why aren’t you looking for him?! Did your employees even try?! How can you not take it seriously when a child is missing?!”

My manager reiterates that she came in alone, and she insists that she came with a child. By now, the manager is completely fed up.

Manager: “All right, ma’am, since neither one of us is going to budge on this, I think it’s time that we call the police and file a report.”

The woman stops her hysterical behavior very suddenly. I can actually see that, whatever her game plan has been in this farce, she suddenly realizes that a line has been drawn that she doesn’t want to cross.

Customer: “Oh… wait… I forgot him at home. I guess I’d… um… better finish my shopping.”

Manager: “No, ma’am, I think you need to go home and calm down. And I don’t want you to return to my store.”

Customer: “What?! Why?”

Manager: “Because you left your kid at home, then ‘forgot’ that you left him at home, and then you caused a scene at our store and upset a bunch of our other guests. I have video evidence that you approached and harassed several guests and now, after wasting all of our time, you just want to go about your business as if nothing happened. I don’t know what kind of game you’re playing, but I’m ending it right now. Leave my store.”

The woman opens her mouth like she is going to argue, sees the look on the manager’s face, and then leaves.

Manager: *To me* “The cops have already been called. They are waiting for her to get into her vehicle.”

She apparently did get picked up by the police for DUI, and one officer came in to talk to my manager for filing a trespass order against her.

As an ending note, the guests that this lady had harassed were all people of color. She had very aggressively harassed them about the location of her child, demanding to know, “What did you do to [Child]?! Where is he?! What have you done to him?!”

I’m still not sure whether it was a drunken “prank,” or just an excuse for her to harass non-white guests, or even if the child existed at all.

Able To Pinpoint The Problem

, , , , | Right | September 9, 2021

I’m an alterations specialist at a bridal shop and often have brides bring three to four ladies with them for their first fitting. We only have one small room for pinning dresses; however, it’s an important moment to a lot of people so we try to be accommodating.

I have a first fitting for a bridal gown with a lady in her mid-twenties. She must have brought her whole bridal party with her — five or six women, including her. I lead them to the back where the fitting room is and realize pretty quickly that they have all been drinking before this and are behaving a little drunk.

I manage to help the bride into her dress with the proper undergarments and realize she needs your basic alterations; take in the bust, a hem, and a bustle for picking up the train. I start pinning the sides of the dress and manage to avoid stabbing her, even with her constant wiggling and giggling with her bridesmaids.

They are joking with the bride the whole time, all while I’m constantly reminding her to hold still. Eventually, they start joking about how drunk she is for the fitting. I assume they’ve finally noticed how much she is moving after about my tenth reminder to hold still.

Friend #1: “Girl, you’d better stop wiggling or you’re gonna get pricked.”

Friend #2: “Don’t move so much or she’ll make you bleed.”

Me: “I assure you that I’m an expert at fittings and won’t get her with the pins.”

I finally get to the innermost layer of her skirt hem, right next to her bare ankles. I have wasted a lot of time from being careful not to get her skin, and my next appointment will be showing up soon. I finally get fed up with her squirming and say in a joking, but very clear tone:

Me: “Now this is the part where if you don’t hold still, you will get stabbed.”

She did not move for the rest of the fitting and her girlfriends had a pretty good laugh.

This Editor LOVES Strawberry Mojitos

, , , , | Right | September 1, 2021

It is during graduation week, the busiest time of the year for restaurants in my city. Generally speaking, this specific crowd, which consists mostly of parents and families from out of town, can be quite demanding, impatient, and stingy.

My boss always gives me large parties because I can handle them. My trick is to handle large tables as if they are a kindergarten class. I make a seating chart on my server pad and no one orders “out of turn.” I also communicate everything, e.g. “Now I’m setting your silverware for your main course,” or, “I’ve just checked on your order and the chef said it will take about another five minutes. Anything I can bring you in the meantime?” etc.

I have a super obnoxious family of fourteen. They’re indecisive and ask a lot of questions and take their sweet time ordering. They also interrupt and talk over each other. But on top of that, they’re very impatient and demanding. One of the sons is also trying to hit on me while I’m taking his drink order:

Customer: “Uh, so, what’s, like, the manliest drink on the menu?”

I personally don’t like to categorize drinks this way. Alcohol is alcohol and everyone has their own personal taste. I always try to ask after customer’s preferences.

Me: “Well, what do you normally like to drink? Gin, vodka, bourbon, tequila?”

Customer: *With a dumb smirk* “What do you like to drink? I bet you like something sweet.”

Me: *Internally rolling my eyes* “Actually, I’m more of a bourbon or whiskey girl. If you’re looking for something a bit strong, I would recommend [particular drink]. It’s one of my personal favorites and it’s actually quite popular with a lot of customers.”

Customer: “Oh… umm… how about this strawberry mojito?”

Later, as I’m bringing their food, many of the customers at the table interrupt me to ask for little extra things before I have everyone’s meal on the table. For example, while I have my arms full of hot plates, the grandma asks me for “ready cheese.” I’m not completely sure what she means, but I assume she means Parmesan.

Me: “Of course. I’ll bring that for you as soon as I’m done getting this hot food out.”

Note to customers: please wait until everyone at your table has been served before you ask for extras like ketchup, napkins, extra sides, etc. That way we can ensure that everyone gets their food while it’s hot. Otherwise, you end up complaining later that not everyone got their food or that your food is cold.

Even though the table was difficult, I was able to organize everything pretty well and still attend to my other tables. The customers later called back that evening and they apparently told my manager that it was “the best service they ever had, but they were terrified of me.” Honestly, that’s the best compliment I’ve ever received as a server!