A Fountain Of Laziness

, , , , , , , , | Working | February 19, 2020

I work as a bartender in a busy bar and restaurant. The bar is set up two-sided; one side has all the beer and lager taps with the liquors as well as fountain drinks. The other is strictly fountain drinks as it is meant as a quick station for servers to get refills for people.

I get an order from the restaurant for about ten people, all fountain drinks but different because two of the party are diabetic. I start on the drinks, getting glasses and filling them with ice, generally doing them two at a time and placing them on a tray.

I am the only one working on the bar itself.

Every time I get another glass, I notice that my drinks order has gone. One by one, every soda on the tray has vanished.

The man who has ordered has his back turned and is in conversation, but none of his party have their drinks.

I start the process again, and with each new glass, the same thing happens.

Frustrated, I move my tray, collect all the glasses, and do all the drinks at once.

As I am moving across the bar to deliver what seems to be the most difficult order I have ever filled, one of the new servers stops me and tries to pluck a soda from my tray.

I give her a “WTF” face and she brazenly states that it is my job to pour her drinks and that her table needs the sodas.

It turns out that she has been stealing my drinks orders whilst my back was turned, with no regard for preference — diet, zero-calorie, etc. — and giving them to her tables.

I finish serving my now angry customer, apologise, and then have to explain to the waitress that she actually has to tell me what her tables are drinking so I can pour them, not just steal drinks from other customers.

I show her the fountain station on the other side of the bar, even though I personally watched her being trained on this.

She is soon let go when she is found doing the same thing on other shifts, too lazy to get her own drinks for customers or to write orders down.

That evening, I filled 25 glasses for an original order of ten. The definition of madness is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

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Mistakes Happen, And So Do Customers

, , | Right | February 18, 2020

I’m out with my friends eating sushi and all but one of us are done with our soup. We stack our empty bowls on top of one another, and a waitress comes to pick up our used dishes. As she’s picking up some of our other empty plates, the friend who didn’t finish her soup puts the almost-full bowl on top of the pile of five empty bowls. The waitress, not noticing the extra addition — likely because it wasn’t there before — picks up the pile and promptly tips soup all over the table. The spill avoids us, thankfully, but a few drops land on my friend’s purse.

We immediately apologized on her behalf, and the friend apologizes, as well, after turning a healthy shade of red. The waitress doesn’t react or say much, instead leaping to action to clean the mess. After she leaves, we think nothing of it and scold our friend for the mistake. Incident forgotten, we enjoy the rest of our meal.

At the end, a different waitress comes back with six free meal vouchers for us but doesn’t explain why. I turn the card over and see something written on the back, thinking it is just some promotion they are doing, but when I ask what it says, the new waitress says it is the manager’s signature.

I think what happened is that the waitress told the manager that she spilled the soup — even though it wasn’t her fault — or the manager saw, but either way we were likely given the free meal vouchers to “compensate” for what they thought was the waitress’ mistake so that we don’t complain. While nice of them, it’s completely unnecessary; mistakes happen! It made me realize that a different set of customers had likely gotten angry and complained over a similar situation, and that it happened enough that these vouchers became common practice.

Servers sure go through a lot!

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Waitressing Should Not Be In Her Wheelhouse  

, , , , , | Working | February 18, 2020

My husband was in a horrific auto accident which left him bedridden in the hospital for weeks, and then in rehab for several more. He has recently been released to continue his rehabilitation from home but is still dependent on the use of a wheelchair to get around. He’s feeling better and wants to go to a baseball game, something he did on a regular basis before the accident, and to celebrate his first day back in the ballpark he has also asked that we eat dinner before the game in an on-site sit-down restaurant. The place is hugely popular, does not take reservations and, on the day of a game, is open only open to those attending and is therefore only accessible from the continuously-staffed concourse entrance.

Although we are there when the gates to the stadium open, when we arrive, the restaurant has filled and there is a wait to be seated. Our name is put on the list — our pretty uncommon last name is used to avoid confusion as our first names are quite popular — it is noted that we need wheelchair access, and the family sits on a nearby bench to people-watch and wait.

Finally, our name is called and we are led to a table that has one chair pulled away — as requested — seated, and handed menus with the usual, “Your server will be with you shortly.”

We wait, and wait, watching several people seated after us get their drinks and even appetizers or meals, trying unsuccessfully to flag someone, anyone, down repeatedly as they pass the table to wait on others. Finally, a young lady, who has been waiting tables all around ours, approaches, and we expect to finally get service of our own.

Instead, the waitress says, “You know, you can’t just waltz in and seat yourself and expect someone to help you; there are many people who’ve been waiting for quite a while. You need to leave. This table was prepared for a customer in a wheelchair and we had to find a seat for them elsewhere.”

We have not seen anyone else in a wheelchair waiting to be seated, nor do we see any others currently seated. My husband responds, “Excuse me? We were seated here by the hostess, and as you can see, I’m—” 

The waitress cuts him off. “I told you to leave. If you don’t, I’m going to have to get my manager and security.”

“Please do, now!” I chime in, and she marches off, shaking her head. Soon, a manager arrives, as well as another man wearing a ballpark security jacket. The waitress is at another table but quickly joins them.

The manager says, “I understand you came in and seated yourselves at this table which was being held for a customer in a wheelchair instead of waiting your turn. We have many other people trying to get in to eat and you need to wait for a hostess to seat you. We don’t tolerate that and you will need to leave as requested.”

I start to explain, “We were seated by the hostess, at this table, and my husband is in—”

The manager cuts me off, saying, “That’s easy to check; what name did you give when you checked in?”

We give him the name. He approaches the hostess stand, looks back through the list and, shaking his head, starts back toward the table. It appears that he suddenly realizes that my husband is, in fact, sitting in a wheelchair, as he stops abruptly, his facial expression changing from bewilderment to surprise, looks between my husband and the smirking waitress, and then resumes his approach.

The manager says to the waitress, sternly, “Please see me in my office at the end of your shift. Now, go back to work; I’ll take care of this table.” Then, he turns to the security guard. “Thank you for your response; you can go now.” And finally, he turns to us. “I’m so sorry for the misunderstanding; dinner is on me. What can I get you to drink?”

We are late to our seats in the ballpark, but we are well taken care of from that point. The waitress never says another word to any of us but does shoot an occasional hateful glare our way until we leave, stuffed beyond stuffed, as the manager insisted that he was also paying for desserts all around. He also refuses the tip that we offer.

My husband has made a nearly full recovery and now uses only a cane on most days and a walker on bad days. The wheelchair rarely gets used. He’s been to many games since and I’ve joined him for a few of them, but we’ve not been back to the restaurant.

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Giving New Meaning To The Term “Cheap Date”

, , , , , | Right | February 17, 2020

(For the last few years, I’ve been running a restaurant that has been my own personal project. Thanks to some great reviews, my place has gained a decent popularity over time and we now have a number of regulars who love our food and service. I’m really proud of this since I have built it from the ground up. My place is in quite an affluent area, but both my staff and regulars know I will not stand for anyone entitled or rude. On one slow Sunday afternoon, I see what looks like a high school senior in a Letterman jacket pull up in an expensive-looking SUV. He appears to be on a first date with a girl and both look a little nervous. When they walk through the door, he breezes right past the hostess and sits at an empty table in the middle of the restaurant and immediately yells:)

Kid: “SERVICE!” *clicks his fingers loudly*

(The server is there immediately but the kid mocks him for being “slow” and proceeds to speak to him in the most condescending and patronizing voice you can imagine. Several times he refers to him as “dumb” and then comments that he “probably didn’t finish high school,” but, true to form, our server still maintains a wonderful and professional attitude and seems to just ignore the kid’s attempts at mocking him. He’s being an irritating little twerp, but we figure he’s just trying to impress his date. However, even she looks a little unimpressed.)

Date: “Why are you being so rude to the waitstaff?”

Kid: “Oh, that’s just a little joke between us. I’m here all the time! In fact, I’m basically family! 

(I’ve never seen this kid before ever.)

Date: “Well… they didn’t seem to like it! Maybe stop doing it!”

Kid: “Nah, just chill. We’re so tight here! In fact, they let me eat for free!”

(This line now has my back up and I gather my two servers and tell them to be wary of this kid as he might try to dine and dash. When they serve him the bill, one server stands by the table and I have another mop the floor at the front, so he can be close to the doors. When we give him the bill, there are inevitable fireworks and he immediately starts screaming for a manager. Today, my manager called in sick, so I am covering the front of house management duties. This kid has been loud and boastful to his date the entire time and has clearly irked the patrons. When I walk over to him, he has a face like thunder.)

Me: “Hi, sir. How may I help you?”

Kid: “Yeah, you want to tell me why this a**hole charged me for my food?!”

(I give him an “Are you kidding me?” look.)

Me: “That’s how a restaurant works, sir; you order food and then you pay for it. Did I miss anything here?”

Kid: “Look, how about you just comp my meal and things won’t get unpleasant for you!”

Me: “Was the service bad?”

Kid: “No.”

Me: “Was any of your food undercooked or inedible?”

Kid: “No.”

Me: “So, explain why the h*** I would comp you?”

Kid: “Because my dad happens to know a lot of important people! Does the name [Guy] mean anything to you?”

(He has a really arrogant sneer on his face. His date looks super embarrassed by him.)

Me: “No, sorry.”

(He looks extremely shocked at this fact.)

Kid: “You must not have heard me, I said [Guy]!” 

Me: “Still doesn’t ring a bell.”

Kid: “WHAT THE H***?! HE OWNS THE F****** [Luxury Car] DEALERSHIP! EVERYONE KNOWS HIM!”

Me: “Okay… I don’t, I’m afraid!”

Kid: “Well, he happens to be a personal friend of the owner! And he’ll be furious if he finds out you pissed off his number-one customer!”

Me: “Oh, he knows Oliver?”

Kid: *smugly* “Yeah, sure does!”

Me: “Describe him to me!”

Kid: *suddenly nervous* “Err… he like… umm… has, like, blonde hair and, like… err… tall and stuff! Look, just comp my d*** meal!”

Me: “Can you please read my badge?”

Kid:Fine! It says [My Name], owner…”

(Immediately, his face drains of color and he starts to look worried.)

Me: “So, we’ve established there’s no Oliver! Now, either you pay your bill, or I get the police involved!”

(Quickly, the kid pulls me to one side; his once cocky demeanor has completely vanished.)

Kid: “Look, I’ll level with you! I don’t have any money; can you just do me a solid?!”

Me: “H*** no! Either pay or you get arrested.”

Kid: “I just thought you’d know who my dad was and give me free stuff! Everyone does business with him!”

Me: “That’s a really stupid plan, first of all. Secondly, I don’t give out free food!”

Kid: “Come on, help a brother out! I’ve been begging [Date] to go out with me for weeks and I promised her a free meal! If she has to pay, then everyone will laugh at me and say I’m cheap! Please, I’ll pay you back double with interest next time; just give me it free this time!”

(His date has looked unimpressed with him the entire time, so I think a second is already out of the question.)

Me: “Then call your dad and get him to come and pay! Either way, that bill is gonna be settled.” 

Kid: “WELL, YOU KNOW WHAT!? THIS PLACE SUCKS! COME ON, [DATE], WE’RE LEAVING!”

(He makes a defiant stride towards the doors, but my server quickly locks them while his date remains frozen to the spot! By now, many of my regulars are angrily yelling at him and demanding he pay up and stop being a brat. The kid looks as if he wants the ground to open up and swallow him whole.)

Me: “You have three choices here. One: get arrested, two: get your date to pay, or three: get your father down here pronto. Either way, your meal is getting paid today! Next time, don’t act like such an idiot!”

(Totally humiliated, he was forced to call his father and ashamedly tell him that he had gotten into a very tricky spot. He showed up a few minutes later and furiously berated his son in front of his date and the restaurant. He paid for his son’s meal and was thoroughly apologetic for his behavior. Unfortunately, the story didn’t end there. The next day, his son put up a very abusive review online, complete with multiple expletives, about how he hated my restaurant and how I ruined his date by “being a cheapskate” and how he should have gotten a free meal. Then, he called for people to boycott my place. Worst of all, he made several threats of bodily harm and even mentioned firebombing the restaurant. When several of my loyal customers tore him apart and threatened their own version of harm, his review was quickly taken down. The next day, the father came in with his son in tow and angrily made him apologize to me! He explained that several of his regular customers had taken business elsewhere because of his son’s review and, as a punishment, he had taken away his son’s car, computer, and allowance and was forcing him to work for free in the dealership. Ironically, after that day, his dad became a semi-regular customer of mine and has hosted several dinners at the restaurant. Each time I see his son, he looks as if he just swallowed a lemon. Several of the business friends in town say this kid pulled this name-dropping stunt a few times, but thankfully, I was the first to put him in his place and teach him a lesson.)

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The Beer Audacity Of The Man

, , , | Right | February 17, 2020

Me: “Thanks for calling [Restaurant] in [Town]. What can I do for you this evening?”

Caller: “Uh, yeah, do you guys deliver?”

Me: “Yes, sir, we deliver within a five-mile radius.”

Caller: “I think I’m within that. Can you check?” *gives address*

Me: *looking it up* “Yes, we can deliver there! Can I just get some additional information from you first?”

(The customer gives me their name, phone number, and confirms their address.)

Customer: *places order*

Me: “Is there anything else I can get for you tonight?”

Customer: “Uh… um… Do you guys sell beer?”

Me: “We have the proper license to serve beer and wine, but not to sell. You would need to stay in the restaurant to drink it.”

Customer: “Can I get a couple of [beers] delivered with my food?”

Me: “I’m sorry, we can’t deliver alcohol. Not only would we risk having our license revoked, but we could also get a hefty fine, not to mention that our delivery driver is under the legal age and could get in a lot of trouble for having alcohol in his car.”

Customer: “What if I paid extra?” *suggestively* “Something for you, and something for the driver?”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir. It doesn’t work like that. If you would like, we could change your order to a pickup, and you could come and get it and have a drink at the bar?”

Customer: *clearly agitated* “Well, I guess I’ll have to come and get it, then!” *continues grumbling*

Me: *trying to remain cheerful* “All righty, sir. Your total for the food is [amount]. It should be ready in about twenty to thirty minutes.”

Customer: “Whatever.” *click*

(A while later, the customer comes in. His food is ready, and I begin to bring it to him at the register.)

Me: “If you’d just like to double-check these, make sure everything is correct.”

Customer: “Where’s my beer?”

Me: “We can definitely add a beer to the order. I’ll go place these—” *gestures to the food* “—back on the oven to keep them warm.”

Customer: “No, I don’t want to pay for it! I’ve already made the trip! I demand to be compensated for my troubles!”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, I can’t give out free beer. You would need to pay for it.”

Customer: *yelling* “No! I demand it come out of your pocket!”

Me: *losing my patience* “Sir, I have tried to be nice. But to be honest, I don’t feel comfortable serving you anything now. I suggest you pay for your food and leave. If you are that hard up for beer, there is a large bottle shop about three-quarters of a mile down the road. You can’t miss it. They probably have better prices, anyway.”

(By now, I realize my boss has noticed the commotion and has stepped out into the doorway of the kitchen, silently watching. He is a very large, intimidating man.)

Customer: *now red-faced with a bulging vein going down his forehead* “I DEMAND TO SPEAK TO YOUR MANAGER! THIS IS RIDICULOUS!”

(My boss leisurely moves towards the counter, stopping just behind me.)

Boss: *placing his hand on my shoulder* “Hi, I’m [Boss]. What seems to be the problem?”

Customer: “She–” *points to me* “–promised me free beer if I came to pick up my order! But now she’s refusing me service! What kind of f****** establishment hires such dishonest, rude sluts? I want my food — AND MY BEER — FOR FREE!

Boss: *calmly* “Sir, [My Name] has been working here for years, and I believe she knows the rules by now; she’s one of my best employees. Now, from what I have seen, you have been harassing my staff and disrupting my other customers. You have been attempting to bully my worker into committing an illegal act, risking her job, my restaurant, and the safety of others. If you do not want to pay for your food, fine. We will donate it to the local fire station. But I suggest you leave these premises and do not return.”

(The customer sputters for a moment, and then quickly turns on his heel and storms out the door. Now, it’s worth noting that my boss is not a very fuzzy person. However:)

Boss: *under his breath* “What an a**hole.” *to me* “[My Name], I believe you handled that very well. Good job. Take a few minutes to pull yourself together. When you leave for the night, ask [Coworker that is trained in martial arts] to walk you to your car.”

(Now that the situation was over and the adrenaline was no longer pumping, I began to deflate, and I was thankful for the break and the knowledge that my boss has my back. I never heard anything more from the angry customer, and he never called again.)

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