When The Wait-Staff Live Up To Their Name

, , , , | Working | January 17, 2019

(I win a $100 gift certificate to a local, non-chain restaurant. My husband, our two boys, and I go to eat there and spend the certificate. The restaurant is not busy — maybe three tables, already served — when we are seated. We sit for 40 minutes without our waitress coming to get our drink order. I’m fed up, and I step over the hostess desk and ask to speak with the manager. Once I explain what is happening, he apologizes profusely and promises the waitress will be right over. I follow a group of four as I head back to our table. The group of four sit at the table next to us.)

Waitress: *rushing out of the back to the new group of four* “I am so sorry for the long wait. They didn’t tell me they sat someone in my area. What can I get for you folks?”

(The waitress walks past our table and into the back and quickly returns with the drinks. I wave her down, but she refuses to stop. We wait another twenty minutes, and the new table of four are now eating. Fed up again, I head back out to speak with the manager. He follows me back in to our table. He calls the waitress over and asks why she hasn’t waited on our table.)

Waitress: “They just got here two minutes ago! I was on my way out.”

Manager: “No, they have been here one hour without drinks, dinner, or anyone waiting on them for over an hour! I told you about them twenty minutes ago.”

Waitress: *gesturing to the new table of four* “But I served them right away!”

Manager: “Take their order and make sure they are taken care of!”

(The waitress takes our drink and food order. Food arrives. No drinks. Food is ice cold and mostly the wrong food. We flag down the waitress.)

Me: “Our food is cold. We still do not have drinks. Please take these back, and bring us our drinks!”

Waitress: “Hang on. I need to get a tray.”

(Fifteen minutes pass with no sign of waitress. The manager arrives to check on us.)

Manager: “How are things going, folks?”

Me: “We still have no drinks. Our food arrived cold and wrong. We pointed it out to our waitress, but we haven’t seen her back here for 15 minutes, so it hasn’t been taken care of yet.”

Manager: “I am so sorry. Let me comp your meals!”

Me: “No. We are here because I won a $100 gift certificate. I don’t plan on coming back, so comping our meal is a wasted gesture.”

(The waitress returns at this time with our “drinks”: two clear sodas, a very dark beer, and a lemonade.)

Me: *to waitress* “My kids ordered Cokes, my husband ordered a [popular light beer], and I ordered an iced tea.” *turning to manager* “We are leaving. We are not coming back. We’ve heard that you are struggling with your restaurant, and this is why. Your wait and cook staff are useless. Cold food. No service. Ineffective management. Here is your gift certificate.”

(We left and headed to a nearby fast food joint. Got exactly what we ordered, right away, with hot burgers and fries and cold drinks. The restaurant went out of business two months later. We found out that the “waitress” was the owner’s sister-in-law and the “cook” was his brother — her husband. They “worked” every night of the week the restaurant was open.)

They Missed The Joke, Too

, , , , , , , | Related | January 6, 2019

(My mom and I have just left a restaurant, and we notice that the weather has changed when we get outside.)

Me: “Oh, it’s raining. Well, not raining, more like misting?”

Mom: “I missed you.”

Me: *confused* “I missed you, too?”

(Thirty seconds later, once we get in the car…)

Me: “Oh! You mist me!”

Mom: “Did you really just figure that out?”

Me: “I’m going to blame the food.”

We Have Sawdust Flavor?

, , , | Right | January 6, 2019

(We have a cafe in my store that has been closed for almost three weeks for remodeling. The entire cafe area has been enclosed in plastic sheeting to contain the dust, and at the time this story takes place the sounds of power tools can clearly be heard through the front half of the store. A guest walks up to me.)

Guest: *gesturing at the cafe area* “Do you not have popcorn and stuff like that right now?”

Unfiltered Story #135167

, , , | Unfiltered | January 2, 2019

(I went through a long period of self-harming when I was younger. I have scars and it took me a long time to get the confidence to wear short sleeves. Unfortunately, I was working as a cashier that summer, and the way a lot of people treated me didn’t exactly make me feel like I had made the right decision. Here are just a few examples:)

Customer: *eyeing my arms* “What did you get into?”

Me: “Nothing.”

Customer: “NOTHING?!” *throws up hands and storms out the door*

Customer: *grabs me by the wrist* What the hell happened to you? You look like you got hit by a weed whacker!

Customer: What happened to you?

Me: I got attacked by a bear.

Customer: No, you didn’t. What was it really?

Me: What if I said I did this to myself?


Customer: *without warning, runs her finger down my arm as I’m ringing her up* Were you a cutter?

(And finally–)

Customer: I hope this isn’t presumptuous of me, but I can see that you used to hurt yourself, and I just want to let you know that no matter how bad things get and how alone you feel, you’re always loved. Always, no matter what. Sorry if I’m out of line.

(It makes me a little sad that I have so many awful stories, and that one woman is, to this day, the customer who’s ever said anything like that to me.)

What In Carnation Are You Talking About?

, , , , , | Right | December 30, 2018

(I’m alone in the shop. Most customers are polite and understand I can only serve one customer at a time. Every so often, someone will have a simple question that I can answer while helping someone else. That’s not a problem. This time, however, keep in mind this whole conversation with [Customer #2] happens while I’m trying to assist [Customer #1].)

Customer #1: Could I have these flowers wrapped, please?

Me: “Absolutely. Would you like—“

Customer #2: “Excuse me, could I just ask a question?”

Me: “Sure. What do you need?”

Customer #2: “Why are these flowers here $4.99 and those flowers over there are $2.99? What’s the difference?”

Me: “It’s the same kind of flower, but the marked-down ones are a little older, so we discounted them.” *to [Customer #1]* “Ma’am, would you like me to put—“

Customer #2: “Oh, so they’re OLDER. I should have known.” *indicating more flowers on the display, which is prominently labeled with signs that say “$4.99″* “Are these flowers $4.99, too?”

Me: “Yes, they are.”

Customer #2: *poking at more flowers on the same display* “What about these?”

Me: “Yes, all the flowers on that display are $4.99.” *to [Customer #1]* “Here you go. If you just step over to the register—“

Customer #2: “So they’re all $4.99?”

Me: “On that display, yes.”

Customer #2: “Why are your carnations on sale?”

Me: “Because we got a huge shipment of them and we’re trying to sell them while they’re still fresh, so you get a deal.”

Customer #2: “Hmph! Is that so?”

Me: “…Yes.”

Customer #2: “Hmm.” *eyes carnations suspiciously*

(I really wanted to say, “If I tell you something’s wrong with them like you seem determined to believe, will you leave me alone?”)

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