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Locked Up With Fear

, , , , , , | Right | October 21, 2021

My family owns a restaurant in the city. We are offering food for people in need and the homeless in these crazy health-scare times.

A man comes into the store on his second visit here. I realize during his first visit that he is mute and types on his phone to communicate with me. During his first visit, he asked many questions like, “How many employees does this restaurant have?”, and so on. I thought it was odd but not too bad. He asked for the food for the people-in-need special and left soon afterward.

Today, his second visit, he comes to ask for food again. He types on his phone and shows me that he’s asking for food.

Me: “Sure! Let me grab that for you.”

I start to pack food for him when I notice he’s heading to the front door, which he then locks. I see this and I start to inwardly freak out. Why would he lock the door?!

Me: “Please unlock the door.”

Customer: *Gesturing* “What?”

Me: “Unlock the door. You’re making me really uncomfortable.”

He unlocked the door and walked out. I ran to the back and told my dad what happened. 

I’m still a bit shaken. It was such a small thing, but I am manning the front by myself and I don’t know who he is. I didn’t want to be on the six o’clock news.

Wanna Be Put On The Spot?

, , , , | Right | CREDIT: batkevn | October 20, 2021

I worked as a server for a small, brand-new, family-owned restaurant. The place was one step below white tablecloth and had a bar on one side with the restaurant on the other. The owners were awesome and provided industry professionals to train us on how best to treat customers and maximize our tips. As an example of how effective this training was, on opening day I dropped an entire tray of drinks down a woman’s back, yet this family returned several more times and would only let me serve them. The owner brought them a parka the first time they returned.

One technique we were taught was to establish who was paying based on social cues and make sure they were happy. If a couple comes in and you believe the man is paying, make the woman feel like a queen. When it’s time to pay, she’ll likely encourage a higher tip. Incredibly effective.

As I finished taking an order, I noticed a family of four being sat in my section and stopped by immediately to introduce myself. My assessment was this: husband and wife, very nicely dressed, their beautiful daughter in her twenties (my age), and what I gathered was her boyfriend, wearing a suit and tie. Dad was very clearly paying, but the aspiring businessman here (the boyfriend) interrupted Mom when she was ordering her drink.

Boyfriend: “I’ll be ordering for the table.”

If looks could kill, the father would have taken out this young man and probably ten people in the bar area. Oh, buddy, your night is NOT going to go the way you thought.

Every time I returned to the table, I would face him, only look at and talk to him, and turn my back to the father. The daughter asked for something, I don’t remember what, and without ever acknowledging her, I asked the boyfriend:

Me: “May she have that?”

Boyfriend: “Yes.”

When I brought the bill, I set it right in front of him. They hung around for a while and I continued to check in and refill drinks while the bill remained untouched. I think Dad was making him sweat. Eventually, Dad grabbed the bill and put his card in. I brought back the receipt, thanked the young man for coming in, and walked away.

I was returning from another table when they were getting up from the table and the young guy moved to the door at a speed that made lightning look slow. The other three were all smiles, and the dad looked across the dining room and mouthed, “Thank you.” I gave him a smile and a nod and continued on my way.

I don’t remember how much the tip was, but I know it was good. Really good.

It must have been a small wedding because I never received an invite.

That’s Just Plain Weird. And Gross.

, , , , , , | Right | CREDIT: spam1424 | October 18, 2021

I’m a waitress at a restaurant chain known for their ice cream. I have a semi-regular family that comes in every once in a while. Every time they come in, they order their youngest child mac and cheese. The first time I served them, the child threw up all over the booth. I didn’t think much of it, just that he was sick or had an upset stomach. I cleaned up the booth. The next time was the same thing. Mac and cheese and then puke — again, in the booth and on the table.

This happens every time: the kid orders mac end cheese and then throws up. The kid never gets to the bathroom, and most the time he doesn’t even make an attempt to leave the table.

This most recent time they came in and I was their waitress, the child went to order mac and cheese again.

Me: *To the mom* “Is he okay to have that? He gets sick every time.”

Mom: “Oh, yeah, mac and cheese makes him sick, but he wants it.”

Me: “Ma’am, I’m sorry, but I don’t think your child should order this if you know he’s going to puke from eating it. And quite frankly, I really don’t want to have to clean up vomit tonight.”

The mom threw a bit of a fit.

Me: “Why are you allowing your child to order a food that makes him sick, just to have someone else clean it up?”

The manager came over and agreed with me. The kid’s mom ordered him chicken tenders and fries, instead.

This Is Just The Tip Of The Waitstaff Iceberg

, , , | Right | CREDIT: A**hole_Catharsis | October 18, 2021

Automatic gratuity is there to protect the staff (and the business). Because large parties are an extra burden to bear. Because if one person’s section is bogarted by a large party, their night is sink-or-swim based on your “charity”. Because the number one reason service staff will have a breakdown or spontaneously quit their job is getting screwed on a large bill.

Cue this one high-maintenance sort and his family of twelve. Despite their best efforts to run me ragged, everything went super smooth and genial. Then came the bill.

Customer #1: “Uhh, excuse me, but why is there 18% gratuity? I’d like to write in my own tip.”

Me: “And you can! There’s a line below where can add whatever you’d like on top of the gratuity, and it’s much appreciated.”

Customer #1: “No, no, no. I’m talking about the principle! I always tip above 20%, but having it forced on the customer feels unfair.”

Me: *Playing coy* “Well, if you wanted to tip above 20%, you can just add the 2% or whatever on the tip line underneath.”

Customer #1: “It’s the principle!”

I just thanked him and walked away. He sat there stewing for fifteen minutes while his family was polishing off desserts and gathering their things to leave. It was a situation best ignored until they leave.

And sure enough, he had signed the bill with no extra tip — totally shocking — but managed to write out an entire novel on the front and back of his bill, addressed to the owner, detailing why automatic gratuities are the worst thing ever and how much more he would have tipped if it wasn’t an imposition.

One of my first service jobs was at a corporate place where the gratuity was conditional on large parties, and at best you could only ASK the party for permission to apply it. Most said it was fine, but of course, that wasn’t always the case.

One night, my entire section was cordoned off for a large party of twenty, mostly teenagers, and they did obnoxious things like ordering steaks well done, eating half of them, and then complaining they wanted new ones, or asking for extra drinks when I was explicit about no free refills but still complaining when the bill came, etc. I was gutted because I knew what was coming with the $400 bill.

Me: “Hey, you guys cool if we add a gratuity?”

Customer #2: “What’s that?”

Me: “It’s an 18% tip added to the bill to ensure staff—”

Customer #2: “Nah, it’s cool, we got you.”

I let out a long sigh and put my head down in shame. They left me $15. My tip-out on the party was $20, and I would never screw the rest of staff, so I took a net loss of $5 for the night. I was shaking and ready to quit. Managers basically said, “Bummer, but it’s life. See you tomorrow.”

I didn’t work there for much longer.

Since When Is It Appropriate To Ask Strangers Medical Questions, Anyway?

, , , , | Friendly | October 17, 2021

I am female, and it’s hotter than Hades where I’m from. I don’t like my natural hair, so I shaved it one summer. I got lots of mixed reactions from different people, most of them positive, with the occasional rude person who thought I looked like a boy even though I wear makeup and am well-endowed. This takes the cake, though.

I was sitting in a coffee shop waiting for my boyfriend and his sister, and I had already ordered and been complimented by the barista. One woman got her drink, spotted me, and clutched her hand to her chest with a soft, “Oh!”

Woman: “You are such an inspiration, dear! Was it hard, battling the cancer?” 

Me: “Um, I don’t have cancer. I just have my hair like this because I like it this way.” 

Woman: *Chuckles* “Oh, sweetie, there’s no need to pretend! Was it very difficult? What kind was it?” 

Me: “I’m serious; I’ve never had cancer. Some girls just like their heads shaved, and I’m one of them.” 

The woman huffed and stormed away. I later overheard her talking on the phone about “that poor girl with the shaved head”. I told my boyfriend and his sister about it, and they both agreed she was either nuts or trying to be a good person and thought I was being stubborn.