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Laziness Is A Business Extinguisher

, , , , , , , , , | Working | January 19, 2023

I work in a small restaurant in South Dakota. The place is profitable — barely — but the building is old and in poor repair.

One day, the fire extinguisher falls out of its designated slot in the wall overnight. We find it on the floor in the morning. The manager grumbles and puts it back in place, only for it to immediately fall out again.

Inspection shows that the bits that are supposed to hold the extinguisher in place are bent and broken. Grumbling some more, the manager fetches some duct tape and tapes it back into place.

I attempt to point out that’s probably a bad idea and almost certainly is not compliant with local safety regulations, but the manager says it’s just temporary until he can get someone out to fix it.

As you can probably predict, no one ever comes out to fix it. Eventually, the tape wears out, and the extinguisher falls again. The manager replaces the tape.

Over the course of about five years, this happens three times. Finally, during a business rush, a waiter accidentally bumps the extinguisher, knocking it down, and it explodes.

White powder goes flying everywhere. It fills up the kitchen. It fills up the dining area. We’re all coughing and choking on the powder. One of the cooks steadies himself against the grill, burning the skin on his hand badly. I’m not entirely sure how he is able to hold on to the grill for such a long period of time while in so much pain, but he basically burns completely through the skin on the palm of his hand.

We have to shut down for the day to clean up, which becomes three days, which becomes a week. Then, the owners announce that they are closing for good.

All because of one idiot decision about a fire extinguisher.

All I Want For Christmas, Is You… Leaving

, , , , , , | Right | December 25, 2022

It is Christmas Day, and our little diner is open for breakfast only. The staff and I are very much looking forward to closing at 11:00 am to go be with our families.

A woman bustles in at around 10:30 am with her four children.

Customer: “Thank God, you’re open! Everywhere else is closed!”

Me: “Well, that’s Christmas Day for you!”

Customer: “Yes, yes, it’s ridiculous. It’s very inconvenient! My kids will tell you what they want. I’ll be outside making a call.”

Me: “Sure thing, ma’am. Please note that we close at 11:00 today, so you might want to order your food now, too.”

Customer: “Whatever. Just coffee for me. Kids, tell her what you want, but no desserts!”

The kids are polite and have bought coloring books and the like, so they’re no problem at all in their booth while their mother is outside on the phone. We close at 11:00 and she is still out there on the phone! At 11:15 am, we have cleaned up the rest of the place and I go outside.

Me: *Politely* “Ma’am, we’re now closed. You’ll need to settle your bill and collect your children.”

She actually holds her hand up to me as I talk, as my request is obviously not as important as whatever she is talking about. I’m about to repeat my request more sternly, but then I overhear a snippet of her conversation.

Customer: “No, you don’t understand! I was supposed to come in yesterday, but my d*** ex dropped off the kids! He was supposed to have them for Christmas, but his mom had to go and get sick or some stupid s*** like that.”

Me: “Ma’am, I—”

Customer: *Glaring at me* “I am trying to get my eyebrow appointment rescheduled to today! Do you know how hard it is to get your eyebrows done on Christmas Day?!”

Me: “I’m sure, ma’am, but the fact remains that we are now closed. You need to settle your bill and collect your children.”

Customer:God! Five more minutes!”

Me: “Ma’am, in five minutes, I will serve all your children extra-sugary desserts, enough to make them extra energetic for the rest of the day.”

Customer: *Glaring giving way to shock* “Ugh! Fine!”

She finally paid and corralled her kids out of the diner. She came back the next day when our hours were back to normal. Her eyebrows were the same.

A Calculated, If Ridiculous, Response

, , , , , | Right | August 19, 2022

I work in a diner, and I am finishing up with a customer who has been generally polite so far.

Me: “Would you like anything else?”

Customer: “No, all set.”

He places a $20 bill on the plate. The meal was $17.40, so I assume that the rest is a tip. He sees me place the money into my apron pocket and starts frowning when I stay still and watch him.

Customer: “No, you give me my change.”

Me: “Oh, sorry.”

He reaches out for my pocket and just about places his fingers inside, but I move away. I tell him that I will get the manager, as the customer simply picks up the menu again. I do not think anything of this, but when I start talking to the manager, I hear the sounds of plates smashing onto the floor.

My manager and I come out to see the customer casually walking toward the door, leaving a pile of food and plates from someone else’s table all over the floor.

Manager: “What’s going on here?”

Customer: “Those dishes that ended up on the floor should cost about $20, shouldn’t they? Consider this a lesson, you f****** thieves.”

I talk to the group that the customer had walked up to. It turns out that the customer had walked over to their table, holding the menu. He had looked between the menu and their food for a moment before reaching his arm out and throwing exactly $20 worth of food onto the floor.

Patience Is A Virtue But I Am Not Virtuous

, , , , , | Right | August 17, 2022

Anyone in my industry knows that the Sunday post-church crowd is the ABSOLUTE WORST. This family comes in, dressed in their Sunday best, and orders a round of drinks. I am quitting this job soon, so I have become a bit… sassier.

Me: “Certainly, ma’am. I’ll just go get those for you.”

Customer: “Uh, excuse me! We would like to order our food, too!”

Me: “Absolutely! What are you having?”

Customer: “I don’t quite like your tone. Patience is a virtue, my dear. You’d know that if you were in Church today.”

Me: “My job title is literally waiter, ma’am. I’m here waiting for you to give me your order.”

Customer: “How dare you?! Get me your manager!”

Me: “He’s busy taking orders, ma’am. Can you wait?”

Customer: “Get him here right this instant!

Me: “Not possible, ma’am. Please be patient; it’s a virtue, remember?”

She waited while glaring. Her complaint was told to the manager who casually laughed it off once they were gone.

You Learn Something New And Delicious Every Day!

, , , , , | Right | CREDIT: istolethisface | July 18, 2022

I have a new job as a server at a tiny local diner. The place is so small we usually have one server on shift at a time unless it’s a weekend.

I had a young couple come in with their daughter the other day. The little girl looked about five and was super bubbly, chatty, and adorable. The parents were friendly and the little girl was very well behaved.

When I dropped off their food, the little girl decided she couldn’t eat the hot dog because it was on a burger bun. We had run out of the right buns and I did let the parents know and they okayed it. But when you’re five, a hot dog on a burger bun is a sin against God and science, so it was now chicken strips she needed. As I started back to the kitchen, she asked if she would still get fries and said something about liking the animal they come from. I started laughing (so did her folks) and told her she would still get fries, and off I went.

Everything was great after that and, when I went to drop off their bill, I wrote on the back, “What animal does the French fry come from?” A few minutes later, the girl came running up to my counter.

Girl: “The lemon!”

She was excited but trying to be super serious.

Me: “What lemon?”

Girl: “The lemon animal!”

Me: “…makes the French fry?”

Girl: “Yes!”

Translation: “Obviously!”

Me: “Oh, thank you for clearing that up. That’s important information!”

As she ran off, I could hear her parents cracking up, and I had to slip into the back to laugh without hurting the little one’s feelings.

These little moments are why I love this job.