Always Handle Grown Ups With Kid Gloves, Part 2

, , , , | Right | September 26, 2012

(I am serving at a very busy restaurant downtown with a very large patio. Outside the patio entrance, there is a big red stop sign that reads, “Please wait to be seated.” Two customers in their late twenties walk past the sign and rudely ignore the hostess’s calls to stop. They sit down at a dirty table. I walk up to the table and start stacking the empty glasses from previous guests.)

Me: “Hello—”

Customer: “REAL NICE! We came here for a nice lunch and have to sit at a dirty table?! Unbelievable!”

Me: “Sorry about that, folks. We’re really busy and the guests from this table just left less than a minute ago. Let me take care of that for—”

Customer: “Is that supposed to be some kind of excuse?! How hard is your job, really?! What a joke! You’d think you people would have some kind of system to address these things!”

Me: “Again, I’m very sorry. Normally, we clean a table before the next guest is seated by our hostess, but you seem to have seated yourself, so let me take care of that for—“

Customer: “Who?! That rude little girl that yelled at us on the way in?!”

(At this point, I’m holding a stack four or five pint glasses in one hand, a billfold from the last table in the other, and four menus under my arm, and I’m trying to keep table 44’s apps and drink order in my head.)

Me: “Ma’am, she didn’t yell at you. She plainly said, ‘Excuse me,’ to try and get your attention.”

Customer: *scoffs and YANKS the menus out from under my arm*

Me: “Ma’am, it’s not exactly polite walk past the sign, ignore the host, and be upset that YOU sat yourself at a dirty table.”

Customer: “Sign? What sign?!”

Me: “The big one at the front that says, ‘Please wait to be seated.'”

Customer: “Yeah, well, what if I told you I can’t read? Huh? Then what?!”

Me: “Well, that’s why it’s red and shaped like an octagon so you’ll associate it with ‘Stop.'”

Customer: *smugly* “Yeah?! Well, maybe I’m color blind, too!”

Me: “Well then, sweetie, it sounds like you’re gonna have a really tough time with our menu.”

(I walk away before she has a chance to respond. I eventually circle back to their table with two kiddie paper coloring menus and crayons. A few minutes later, they are gone but have scrawled a note on the back of the kiddie menu. This is exactly what it says:)


(It was also followed by a very crude scribble that a coworker and I later concluded had to be an attempt to draw male genitalia.)

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Defiance Is The Best Teacher

, , , , | Right | August 25, 2012

(My friend, a former coworker, comes in on a Saturday to say hello. She is standing by the counter chatting with me when a regular customer comes in. I immediately go to serve her.)

Customer: “I’ll have a latte.” *looks at my friend* “You’re wearing that to work?!”

(My friend is wearing ripped jeans, a local band shirt, and boots you could kick through a wall with, as well as her nose stud and four rings in each ear.)

Friend: “I don’t work here anymore.”

Customer: “Well, no wonder, if you started showing up like a hooligan! Young people have no sense of professionalism these days! If I met you in the street, I’d think you were going to mug me!”

Friend: “Actually, I quit because I started a new job.”

Customer: “Doing what, exactly? Scaring children?”

Friend: “Sort of. I’m a kindergarten teacher.”

Customer: *gasps, grabs her latte, and runs out the door*

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Bigot Bait

, , , | Working | August 13, 2012

(My ethnic heritage is a bit of a mish-mash. On one side, I am of recent European immigrants, while on the other I am native and English. This occurs on the first day of my first job as I am sitting with coworkers and my supervisor in the lunch room. My coworker is getting increasingly vocal about his disdain for native Americans due to recent news items including a blockade of key roads in the Montreal area. The conversation takes place in French.)

Coworker: “Natives are s***! They don’t pay taxes. They’re into smuggling and criminal gangs, and they all drink themselves into prison. I hate them!”

Me: “Um, I’m part Mohawk.”

Coworker: *embarrassed* “Uh, I have to go and compile that program…”

(My coworker leaves. My supervisor, who has overheard everything, approaches me.)

Supervisor: “Well, that ended wrong, didn’t it? I guess every generation has its problem with one group or another. In my day, it was the f***ing DPs. You know what a DP is? Displaced Person. God, they flooded the city after the war. Useless, and I bet most of them were Nazi sympathizers. They were filthy and they brought disease. They took jobs away from good Quebecers!”

Me: “Um, my mom was a DP. I’m part German.”

Supervisor: *laughs* “I put my foot in it that time didn’t I? Well, at least you’re not English.”

Me: “Um…”

(I quit very shortly thereafter.)

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These Minutes Are Minutiae

, , , , | Right | July 30, 2012

(I work in the pro shop at a golf course, and people often call to make tee times. Note that our tee times are spaced eight minutes apart.)

Me: “Hello, this is [Golf Course]. How may I help you?”

Customer: “Hi, I’d like to make a tee time for 2:30, please.”

Me: “All right, I’ve got 2:32. Can I have your last name, please?”

Customer: “2:32?! That’s WAY too late! Do you have anything earlier?”

Me: “Sure, I have 2:24.”

Customer: “2:24?! That’s MUCH too early. You guys need to have better times!”

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Generosity That Knows No Bounds (Or Much Of Anything Else)

, , , , | Right | July 16, 2012

Me: “Would you like to make a donation to help support children who are sent back to school without supplies?”

Customer: “Oh, fine.”

Me: “Okay, you can make a donation in any amount that you like, or you can donate a back to school kit, which has nine essential school supplies in it. The kits are five bucks.”

Customer: “Fine, I’ll donate a kit.”

Me: “Great, thanks for your contribution!”

Customer: “How long is this going to be going on for? Because this is my third time coming into the store, and I get asked every time to donate! I’m going to run out of money!”

Me: “It’s going on ’til September, but you know, you’re allowed to say ‘No’ when we ask you.”

Customer: “No, I’m not!”

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