She Is Everyone’s Number One Problem

, , , , , , | Right | July 14, 2021

My pub shift is uneventful, until a colleague notes that a female patron is unable to hold her head up and has had a bit too much to drink. Unfortunately, she did not come in to purchase her own drinks, but instead is benefiting from the generosity of the regulars. My colleague and I resolve to not serve her and provide ice water to her table.

An hour passes, and I watch her waddle through the bar, searching for the toilets. I direct her to the door, open the door, and allow her inside to do her business. At this point, I spy a regular easing a handbag over the draft pumps, trying to throw it behind the bar. I ask the regular what’s happening, and his response is simply, “I’m not dealing with that.”

Confused, I watch as the drunk patron returns from the bathroom, sodden. She’s wearing a jumpsuit, and the oblivious woman has not managed to get it off in time before wetting herself. Upon seeing that the regular has left her belongings behind the bar, she proceeds to collapse on the floor and wail. The regular was her date and has abandoned her.

At this point, it’s a little after 6:00 pm and our restaurant tables are beginning to arrive. I phone my manager who asks me to move the woman to the staff-only area so that she can have her breakdown in peace.

Unfortunately, when asked, this woman can’t remember her own address, nor her daughter’s phone number, nor where she put her own phone. Every detail she provides is then immediately corrected, and after a while, it becomes apparent that the sodden woman does not want help.

Finally, a consistent detail emerges. She lives in the next town over, fifteen miles away. She can’t remember her address, though. I phone a taxi and explain the woman’s state. I offer her my spare uniform to wear, knowing I’ll never see it again.

This phone call to the taxi is the most difficult one in my life, as the woman keeps interrupting me to say things like, “I’m not confused. I’m fine. I don’t need a taxi. I’ll drive!” 

The taxi service is reluctant, but as we are a pub and give them a lot of business, they agree to drop her off at her town’s train station. I pay for the taxi on the phone and tell the woman to wait in the staff room until the taxi arrives.

A few minutes later, I go to collect the woman, only to find that she has vanished. The people in the garden say she sprinted away into the night, soaked in her own pee. I manage to get a refund for the taxi but get thoroughly chewed out for wasting their time.

I think that I have heard the end of the tale of this woman, until the end of my shift at about two in the morning: I walk home, only to find that the police have taken up the high street and the local doctors’ office has been broken into.

It turns out that this woman is a doctor and broke into her place of work to sleep in her office. Why she didn’t use her keys, we’ll never know.

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Thanks Ever So Much For The Help!

, , , , | Working | July 9, 2021

My husband and I took over the lease to a pub kitchen. This happens on our second night. We never thought that we would be this busy this fast; we’ve been open for less than forty-eight hours and we have 200 people booked.

The problem is that the bar staff are not happy about suddenly having gotten work; the pub went from ten people a week to 200 in a night. They refuse to run plates, so that is left to me, and only me, while my husband is the only chef cooking.

To get from the kitchen to guests, I have to go down a very steep, narrow, dark set of stairs. I am dyslexic and I have trouble judging distances like stairs. But I focus hard. After about forty-five minutes of going up and down, the old boys from the bar have set up camp at the base of the stairs. Every time I make it down, they cheer me on. It becomes a game that helps me.

By the end of the night, I’ve spent four hours running plates, and I’ve carried and cleared over 350 dishes. There is one table left to serve: a couple on a date. The man holds up his table number.

Customer #1: “Lucky forty-four.”

I am standing there with two plates. The couple is in good spirits considering they have waited over an hour for their food. I look around the now empty bar.

Me: “Um, no, thirty-eight.”

Customer #1: “What the f***?”

Me: “I’m kidding. Forty-four. I am very sorry about the wait; it was just me and the chef tonight. Please enjoy your meal.”

Customer #2: “Just the two of you? What about the five standing behind the bar?”

Normally, I would bite my tongue, but we do not work for the pub. We lease the kitchen; we own the business.

Me: “They informed us that they are bar staff and they are not paid to run plates.”

Customer #2: “Oh.”

As one of the bar staff is walking behind me, I say:

Me: “The thing is, we are not employed by the bar; we are independent. We would have paid them to run plates on top of what they would have got from working the bar. They each missed out on at least $100 cash tonight.”

Ah, well. More money for us.

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The Sigh Of Relief Heard Around The World

, , , , , , | Romantic | June 10, 2021

I’m home from university during my first year. I’m out with some friends from my hometown, catching up over a few drinks. I get a text message from my girlfriend. I read the preview line of the message.

Preview: “Oh, my God, I think I’m pregnant…”

My heart stops, my blood runs cold, and the bottom drops out of my stomach. We’re both only eighteen and we have only been dating a month or two. Neither of us is in a position to be having a child. Not to mention, the few times we have been intimate, we’ve taken sufficient precautions, so the question of HOW this might have happened is also racing through my mind.

I open the conversation to read the rest of the message and begin to formulate a response. And then, I read the full text.

Message: “Oh, my God, I think I’m pregnant with an Indian Food Baby. I have eaten SO much curry! How’s your night going? xxx”

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Needs To Night-Shift Their Opinion

, , , , , , | Right | May 15, 2021

My brother and I are functionally nocturnal. We sleep at 10:00 am and wake at 4:00 pm. After a stressful night at work, the two of us find a pub and buy some drinks. As the weather is nice, we decide to sit outside while we drink.

A woman passes by with a bunch of young children. She sees us and points us out to her children.

Woman: *Pointing at us* “Disgraceful. It’s not even eight. Drinking at this hour. Kids, make sure you don’t become like them. You all must study hard and not be drunk deadbeats like them.”

Me: “Ma’am, really? You don’t want your kids to become doctors? Okay.”

Brother: “Pity. We need more surgeons on the night shift. Accidents can happen at any hour.”

Me: “Like that old man that had a stroke at 4:00 am?”

Brother: “Or that drunk driver that crashed at 2:00 am?”

Me: “Whatever. Kids, if your mom doesn’t want you to save lives, then who am I to complain?”

As we speak, we pull out our staff lanyards for the local hospital, grin, and knock our bottles together. Admittedly, we are a bit drunk by now, which is why we are being so unprofessional.

Woman: “Don’t listen to them, kids. They’re liars and drunks and a disgrace to society.” *Drags them away*

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Attack Of The Muffin Man

, , | Right | April 9, 2021

I’m working on the bar on a fairly busy night, serving a table of regulars.

Regular #1: “[Beers], please, [My Name]!”

Regular #2: “Actually, I’ll have a latte. Have you got any biscuits to go with it?”

Me: “No, I’m sorry, we don’t.”

Regular #2: “That’s fine—”

Regular #1: *Butting in* “That’s not good enough. We’ll be expecting a wedge of cake on the side for the inconvenience!”

They all laugh and I know they’re just joking around, but as a special treat, I decide to quickly run into our back storeroom and grab a mini muffin from our breakfast stock. I’m not really supposed to just give them away, but our company has a policy that focuses heavily on going the extra mile to make guests happy, so I figure this counts.

I pop it down beside [Regular #2]’s latte, but before anyone can say anything, [Regular #1] grabs the muffin off his buddy’s plate and gobbles it up in two seconds.

Regular #1: *With a mouth full of crumbs* “Aw, cheers, [My Name], you’re a real star!”

I don’t know how to react while staying professional, so I just kind of walk away to serve other people. While I am taking care of other customers, [Regular #1] keeps coming back up to the bar.

Regular #1: *For the third time* “Hey, [My Name], can we get more muffins?”

Me: “Sorry, buddy, I can’t do it. I wasn’t supposed to even give you that one.”

Regular #1: *Whining* “Oh, come onnn, [My Name], just two more for the other guys!”

I feel bad for [Regular #2] not getting his muffin, but my gut tells me his mate is just going to pull the same stunt and eat anything else I bring out.

Me: “It was supposed to be a one-off treat for [Regular #2]. I was trying to do something nice and you ruined it. That’s your own fault. It’s done. It’s over. You ruined it. You’re not getting any more.”

He huffed off back to his table. Months later, he still occasionally tries to get free muffins out of me, and he even dropped me in trouble with my manager by complaining to them that I “wouldn’t give [him] free stuff anymore.”

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