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That’s Just Plain COLD

, , , , , , , | Friendly | December 24, 2021

If you want to book a large table for your Christmas party at a restaurant, you need to order and pay for your meals in advance. In November, you think, “Roast turkey with all the trimmings? Yum!” But a week before Christmas, by now you hate the sight of turkey, and you know you are having it again next week. During the meals, it’s like watching military exercises — the precision of those teams of cooks and servers moving like an army, serving more meals than they usually do in a week each night. There is no room for specifications or special orders that haven’t been informed about and paid for in advance.

My sports team had organised Christmas dinner at a pub to commemorate a successful year. As the meals we had ordered a month ago started arriving, it was clear some dishes were more impressive than others. My — ahem — friend expressed her disappointment that [meal #1] she had chosen looked relatively unappealing. Then, a few moments later, the waitress came out.

Waitress: “I’ve got three more [meal #2]s.”

My friend’s hand shot up.

Friend: “Yes, I ordered [meal #2]!

And she shamelessly took someone else’s dinner. When the final dish was brought out, the poor team member had to accept the inferior dish that was all that was left. I still remember her disappointed face.

I didn’t say anything. For a moment, I was just shocked that she would do something so blatant in front of me, and by the time I regained my composure, she had started eating, so nothing I could say would rectify the situation.

Being A Regular Has Its Hazards

, , , , , | Right | CREDIT: mr_majorly | November 5, 2021

This incident took place about ten years ago or so at my favorite pub next to my college alma mater. I had been going there for about three years at the time and got along extremely well with the staff. I’d stop almost every day after work to wind down; I work in the steel industry four minutes away.

This took place on a Saturday, and unknown to me at first, the same exact day a huge tailgating extravaganza was going on near the stadium for a huge rivalry game that was to take place in the afternoon. I had just gotten off work and wandered in and found my favorite spot at the bar. As I sat, I started seeing more and more folks filter in — older people, younger people, kids with parents, and of course, college kids. I was around thirty-eight at the time. Most of the older people and families stayed away from the bar to order food before the big game at the tables.

Most of the college kids started to gather around the bar… and gather… and gather… and gather. Within thirty minutes, the bar portion itself was packed three to four people deep, all getting drinks and shots and whatever else they needed. It was a madhouse so with only one bartender and I think one bar back, they were getting overwhelmed.

Then, it happened. A full fresh beer and shot were shoved down in front of me by the bartender.

Bartender: “[My Name]. Dishes. Now.”

And she went back to serving the mob of college football fanatics. I glanced down to where the clean glasses were normally, and it was nearly empty. I guzzled some of the beer, slammed down the shot, rolled up my sleeves, and walked behind the bar to where the sinks.

I started pounding out the dishes through three different sinks. Suds and water were flying everywhere. And of course, that’s when it started. A drunk football fan called to me over the bar.

Customer #1: “Can I get a beer and shot?”

Me: “Sorry, don’t work here.”

As water splashed in my face:

Customer #2: “Can I get some wings and a beer?”

Me: “Talk to [Bartender]. I don’t work here.”

As I was stacking clean glasses:

Customer #3: “Can I get a round of Fireballs for friends?”

As I was stacking sixteen-ounce wet glasses in a cooler to frost:

Me: “Sorry, I don’t work here.”

Customer #3: “What? Yes, you do.”

Me: “Nope, but I’m getting free drinks to do dishes.”

Customer #3: “I need that gig. Can I at least get a beer?”

Me: “I don’t know which tab is which. Gotta wait for [Bartender].”

This same exact scenario played out every couple of minutes as people waded in from the back to the front. Over and over. At least forty times.

Finally, the game was about to start, and the crowd started to slowly filter out after an hour. I was caught up and leaned back to take a breath and stare at my shriveled-up hands. [Bartender] ran into the back to get some last-minute food order… and there it was. A finger snap. I looked over and some young college kid was getting my attention drunker than drunk.

Customer #4: *Slurring badly* “One more shot before I go.”

Me: “I don’t work here, sorry. I was just helping with dishes.”

Customer #4: “Of course, you do!” *Hiccups* “Just get me my shot so I can go, old man.”

I blinked repeatedly as she slapped down a five-dollar bill.

Nope, this ain’t happening. I leaned forward from where I was resting, grabbed a double shot glass, and set it in front of her. I grabbed her liquor of choice and filled it to the brim. As she reached for it, I picked it up and slammed it down in .32 milliseconds right in front of her. She just sat there staring at me with half rage, half a bewildered look.

Me: “You’re drunk and cut off as of this moment. Take your money and kindly leave. I hope you have fun at the game if you remember it.”

As she was trying to speak, I just pointed to the door. Defeated, she staggered out. I FINALLY got to go back and sit at my seat and relax. I never did tell [Bartender].

Wisdom Is Knowing You Don’t Know Everything

, , , , | Friendly | September 14, 2021

[Friend] is super competitive; he’s not happy unless he’s winning — and preferably someone else is losing. It’s a bit annoying at times, especially when all he talks about is how much he’s won or how great he is. He never seems to remember all the times he’s lost, though.

I’ve joined his team for a pub quiz. I’m not much for general knowledge, but I know a lot about random facts.

The next question is read out.

Quiz Master: “In the Bible, who cut Samson’s hair?”

Friend: “Yes! I got it. It’s Delilah.”

Me: “It’s not. I know this one. It’s definitely not that.”

Friend: “It is; it’s famous. I’m writing it down.”

Me: “It was one of the servants, I’m telling you.”

Friend: “I’ve written it now.”

Much of the quiz is like this; he overrules everyone else. While he does get quite a few right, if he listened to us we would do a lot better.

At the very end, we come fourth and miss out on a prize.

Friend: “I can only get so many of these right on my own. You guys need to step your game up!”

We had the next quiz without him, and we came third!

There’s Cheapery And Then There’s Thievery

, , , , , | Legal | August 7, 2021

[Friend #1] is tight with money, but we all know she earns plenty of money and has some pretty big savings — no kids, good pension, she just doesn’t want to spend anything. From taking the salt and pepper packets home, to digging things out of the bin, she does it all.

Surprisingly, she actually booked herself a few days away in a hotel. We are talking about it over a few drinks

Me: “So, how was the hotel itself?”

Friend #1: “Good, actually, thanks. Quiet, and the food was good.”

Friend #2: “Did you see [Nearby Famous Attraction]?”

Friend #1: “Oh, no. The tickets were far too pricey.”

Me: “Oh, so what did you do?”

Friend #1: “We stayed in the hotel mostly. Oh, I didn’t tell you the best part! We were a bit naughty and took the towels home. They had matching dressing gowns. We had to sneak them into our bags.”

Friend #2: “Err, I think that’s stealing, [Friend #1].”

Friend #1: “I bet they have hundreds. With the prices they charge, they should be free, anyway.”

Me: “You pay by card? Might want to check they haven’t added the cost of them on after they discovered them missing.”

Friend #1: “They can’t do that! Can they?”

Turns out they can and did. The “free” towels actually turned out to be very expensive, indeed. Apparently, the hotel refused to take them back once she offered, due to hygiene reasons. When [Friend #1] complained, they threatened to let the police deal with it, instead.

She (reluctantly) paid the bill.

This story is part of our Best Of August 2021 roundup!

Read the next Best Of August 2021 roundup story!

Read the Best Of August 2021 roundup!

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.