Call Me By My Name And I’ll Seat You Under Yours

, , , , , , , | | Right | May 17, 2019

(I work as a Maitre’D for a restaurant in a pretty fancy part of New York City. The chef is Michelin Starred, NYT reviewed, and pretty popular with celebrity clientele. The restaurant is his newest venture, and is very trendy in the industry. An online media company with a show devoted to comparing different styles of food has recently released a video featuring our restaurant, and combined with the chef’s reputation and the style of the restaurant, getting a reservation is difficult and walking in for seating is even more so. My job is to seat reservations, help walk-ins, and manage the waitlist. Because of the popularity, many people try to circumvent me, but sometimes they drive me to my breaking point.)

Customer: “Hello, we’d like a table for four. And we’ll need a high chair for our youngest.”

Me: “Wonderful. Unfortunately, at this point, we have about a two-hour wait for a party of four.” *notices some movement out of the corner of my eye* “However, it looks like there are some seats opening up at our counter seating right now. Those seats are first-come, first-served, so if you’d like to grab those you could dine immediately!”

(Her husband moves over with her kids to claim the seats; however, the woman remains in front of me.)

Customer: “That’s not going to work. My son can’t sit up on a stool that high. We need a table in the dining room right now.”

(Her son is sitting perfectly fine on the stool after his father puts him up there.)

Me: “Unfortunately, ma’am, I am booked full with reservations and I do have quite a waitlist already going. It could potentially be sooner if I have reservations that don’t show and parties on my waitlist also don’t return, but without both of those possibilities occurring, the counter seating is your quickest bet.”

Customer: “I can’t believe this. I come in here all the time. I’m here every weekend and we never have to wait. I am a good friend of [Chef] and we always get a seat. I’m on your VIP list. Don’t you know who I am?!

Me: “Don’t you know who I am?”

Customer:I want to– Wait… What?”

Me: “Don’t you know who I am? You say you’re in here all the time. I’m one of three people employed here in this position and have been here since the restaurant opened. If you’re here as often as you say then you should know who I am. You’re one of 300 people I am seeing this afternoon alone; I don’t know who you are. But if you can tell me my name, I’d be happy to get you seated.”

(The woman’s mouth opens and closes like a fish before she grunts and turns to join her family. My manager, who I didn’t notice was watching from just off the floor, approaches me. I’m convinced I’m about to be reprimanded, if not fired for talking to a guest like that. But to my surprise…)

Manager: “If she comes back up here and asks to speak to a manager, just give her my card and have her email or call me. I’ll make sure the boss and chef don’t hear about it. I just didn’t want to deal with her and you looked like you could take care of it.”

(Cue the sighs of relief.)

Unfiltered Story #148136

, , , | Unfiltered | April 26, 2019

(Note that I am the customer in this one sadly. I was driving back home from my first visit to NYC and was still in an overly cautious state)
Me: *getting ready to pump gas into the car*
Employee: “Would you like gas?”
Me: “Um, yes? It’s self serve, right?”
(The pump had all of the workings to be done by the customer at the pump)
Employee: “No, I pump gas.”
Me: “Are you sure?”
Employee: “….”

(I needed to go inside for the ATM anyway, so I checked with the counter and was told that it was not self serve, got my gas and paid for it at the pump. Gave him a tip and an apology.)

When Speeding Saves Lives

, , , , , | Legal | April 4, 2019

(I work as an x-ray tech. While at home, I get a call that there’s a teenager with a gunshot wound being rushed to the hospital, and I need to beat the ambulance there so I can help prep him for surgery by x-raying to see where the bullets are lodged. I hang up the phone, grab my stuff, and get in my car. I don’t have a light or siren, so I can’t just blast through intersections, but I am legally allowed to ignore posted speed limits, so long as I don’t cause an accident. There’s one stretch of road where the speed limit drops by ten miles per hour for a single block; it’s clearly a speed trap, as there’s nothing to differentiate the block from the rest of the street. And that day, there happens to be a cop hiding out at the speed trap, who sees me rush by and immediately flips on his lights and siren and pulls out behind me. I see the cop and groan, but I don’t stop, as I don’t have the time for this. Instead, I continue all the way to the hospital, pull right up to the ER doors, and run inside, throwing my keys and wallet to the receptionist.)

Me: “I’ve got a cop on my tail! Tell him I’ll be with him as soon as I’m out of surgery! Or he can just leave the ticket with you!”

Receptionist: “The ambulance just pulled into the bay. GO! I’ll handle the cop.”

Me: “Registration is in the glove box!”

(I run off to do my work, but I am told about the following when I come back to pick up my wallet and keys later.)

Cop: *comes running inside* “Where did she go?! Does she honestly think hiding in a hospital means I won’t arrest her for failing to pull over?”

Receptionist: “Sir? Sir! The woman you’re looking was just called into surgery. But she left me her wallet so I could help you sort this out.”

Cop: “Surgery? She didn’t look injured to me!”

Receptionist: “No, sir. She’s our x-ray tech. We just had a boy brought it with gunshot wounds, and she was called in to prep him for surgery.”

Cop: “A kid?”

Receptionist: “Yes, sir. And it’s a good thing she got here so fast, because his ambulance is already here, and the surgeon can’t start to operate until he knows where the bullets are. He needs an x-ray to guide him.”

Cop: *deflates* “Oh.” *turns and starts to walk out*

Receptionist: “Don’t you need to see her license and registration?”

Cop: “I’m not giving her a ticket for saving a kid’s life! Just tell her to be careful.”

A Busy State Of Travel

, , , , , | Working | February 5, 2019

(I’m reviewing a patient’s medical records that are part of a study but were flagged for “inconsistencies.” Usually, this means that the dates of illness or medication don’t make sense, but in this case, I see that the reviewer has highlighted the patient’s travel history, which is blank. I track down the physician who filled out the form.)

Me: “Hi, [Doctor], I’m reviewing the charts for [study] and I saw that—“

Doctor: *laughing* “Travel history, right?”

Me: “Uh… yeah.”

Doctor: “Turns out someone coded in upper limits to the interstate travel portion of the form, because it can’t go over seven times a week.”

Me: “What? How often does this guy travel?”

Doctor: “Well, the form just asks about traveling to another state. He lives in [State], but… legally, half his house is across state lines. So, his answer was, ‘Eight or nine times a day,’ and the computer didn’t like that one.”

Not In Line And Out Of Line, Part 4

, , , , | Right | January 27, 2019

(The store is known for having very long lines that weave around the perimeter of the store with someone at the front directing people to the registers. I’m at a register helping a customer. As soon as the customer is gone, before I can call my coworker for the next customer, a woman with a full cart pulls up at my register. It seems that she walked right past the entire line.)

Me: “Good afternoon. What register were you sent to?”

(This is usually the most polite way to start the conversation about line etiquette and to tell them they need to wait in line if they wish to purchase their groceries. However, the woman says nothing, just stares at my coworker at the next register. I begin to unload her groceries and scan them.)

Me: “Just so you know, for future, there’s a line and customers wait in the line and then my coworker at the front of the line sends them to a register once a register opens up.”

Customer: “Me, too.”

(She walks away from me, leaving her cart at my register. Not knowing quite what to make of this, I continue to ring up her items. My manager comes over, seeing me ringing up items with no customer. I relay the entire interaction. Moments later, we see the customer approaching the front of the line. It’s a very busy day, easily a twenty-minute line, and she’s been gone less than five. As she gets to the front of the line she doesn’t wait for my coworker, she just walks right up to me and stands to stare, once again not at me but at the person working the register next to me. My manager witnesses this entire next interaction.)

Me: “So, as I was saying, we ask the customers to wait with their shopping in the line before getting to the register. Then once they approach the front of the line the crew member working the front of the line will let them know when a register is available and which one to go to.” *I’m just about finishing up her order and she’s paid with a card, still not looking at me* “Do you understand?”

Customer: *looking at me in the eyes for the first time* “Not. One. Word.”

(She took her groceries and walked away. My manager and I were left, mouths agape. My coworker at the next register, who she’d been staring at the whole time, fell apart laughing. I’m just glad my manager witnessed the whole thing, because I don’t know if he’d have believed me otherwise.)

Related:
Not In Line And Out Of Line, Part 3
Not In Line And Out Of Line, Part 2
Not In Line And Out Of Line

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