Food For The Homeful

, | RI, USA | Friendly | July 4, 2016

(My dad is 71 years old. He does not act like it. He frequently helps my sisters and me move regardless of when we’re going, cleans, works out, drives, and owns 3 homes. He has just helped my sister clean her apartment for her lease ending. He is dressed in jeans and an old dirty pair of sweats. He orders chili from a fast food restaurant on the way back to his house, eats it, then decides to get some to bring home to my mother.)

Dad: “Can I get one more bowl of chili, please?”

Server: “One moment, sir.” *whispers something to manager on duty* “Don’t worry about it, sir; it’s free of charge.” *gives him a sympathetic look*

(My dad drives away and later relays this story while I was visiting.)

Me: “Dad, I think they thought you were homeless and were doing a good deed.”

Dad: “They were. I’ll always take free food!”

Male-ing A Meal Out Of It

| London, England, UK | Working | July 4, 2016

(In this story, I and a friend go on a lunch date to a semi-well known restaurant in central London. It is clearly our first date, and as we’ve only met once before we’re quite awkward and blushing a lot. Throughout the lunch, nearly the whole wait staff have come to check on us and I’m pretty sure they’re talking about us, but we don’t mind because it’s kind of nice. It’s relevant to mention that I’m FTM transgender, but I don’t pass very well.)

Waiter: *taking our plates* “Would you two like dessert?”

Me: *looks at my friend* Sure, I could do dessert. Could I get a sticky toffee pudding, please?”

Waiter: “With two spoons, right?”

Friend: “Uh, no, I don’t like that. I’ll have the chocolate cake.”

Waiter: *raises his eyebrows but says nothing, going to give our orders*

(We eat and chat, and once we’re both finished we ask for the cheque. The waiter immediately hands it to my friend, and I start to protest that we should pay equally because I don’t like other people paying for me. The waiter is still standing there as we’re talking, making disapproving noises.)

Me: “We’ll pay half-and-half, please.”

Waiter: “Uh, no.” *turns to my friend* “You need to pay for her.”

(At this point both of us are a little stunned, but I wave to get his attention.)

Me: “Hi. I’m a guy, and you don’t tell me or him who is paying for the bill. Fix it so we’re paying separately.”

(He leaves with a sour face, and when he comes back he’s still mumbling about how men should pay for dates.)

Waiter: “Here’s your separate bills.” *to my friend* “You should be ashamed of yourself, not paying for her meal.”

(Needless to say, we got out of there pretty quickly, and I left a note by the “tip” part saying “If a customer says they’re male, they’re male. Don’t assume you know better.” He looked pretty surprised to see that when he came to collect our money!)

Don’t F*** With The Menu

, | Australia | Right | July 4, 2016

(I work on drive-thru. I have a bit of a reputation for acting silly with customers, usually because I work the late-night weekend shifts and therefore talk to a lot of drunk people.)

Me: “Hi, welcome to [Restaurant]. Can I please take your order?”

Customer: *confused, obviously caught out* “Ah, ah – f***!”

Me: *not missing a beat* “That’ll cost extra, sir.”

Within A Hairs-breadth Of A Scam

| Raleigh, NC, USA | Right | July 3, 2016

(I’m working late on a Friday night. Two men and a woman are seated at one of the tables in my section. They proceed to order mixed drinks with “upsell” (more expensive) liquors, appetizers, and racks of ribs. All in all, a rather pricey check for our chain restaurant. After I’d brought out the racks of ribs:)

Customer #1: “She’d like to add a side of broccoli with her ribs, with melted cheese on it.”

Me: “Of course. The extra side dish is about $2.69.”

Customer #1: “That’s fine.”

(The kitchen whip up the side dish very quickly: a mound of broccoli with fresh, gleaming, melted cheddar over the top. I take the plate out to the table, drop it off, fill up some drinks at the next table over, and return to my section in about three minutes to check that everything is going well. The plate with the broccoli is at the edge of the table, with a long black hair embedded into the cheese. The hair is easily eight inches long, and there is no way on the planet I would’ve missed it or brought it out of the kitchen if it had happened there. Frankly, it looked so revolting that I didn’t want to be the one that had to pick it up and take it back!)

Customer #1: “We want to return this because it’s got a hair in it.”

(Both of the men are clearly trying not to laugh, and the woman just looks at me like they think they are all very clever.)

Me: “Well, I’m very sorry to see that, sir. Do you want another side dish of broccoli to replace this, or just have it removed from your check?”

Customer #1: “No… no, we don’t. Look… can we talk to your manager?”

Me: “Certainly, sir.”

(I give them a bright smile and go to find my manager in the kitchen to show him the side dish before he goes to talk to them. Our manager laughs.)

Manager: “Where did THAT come from?”

(I explain. The manager looks around the kitchen and laughs again. He has short, salt-n-pepper hair. Our head cook is bald, and our other cook has short, curly red hair. My hair, also trimmed around ear-length, is red, and the only other waiter on at that point of the night wears his hair cut in short, bleached-blond spikes.)

Manager: “Some people… Look, don’t worry; I’ll go talk to them.”

(He returns in a couple minutes and explains he is taking the side dish ($2.69) off the check, but nothing else, and that he’d made that clear to the customers. The customers decide they don’t want dessert, and pay the bill (about $78) with cash and leave me a $2 tip, making sure to make a point of reminding me that the hair in their broccoli had been gross and that they don’t plan to return. Once the trio has left, one of the pair of elderly women sitting in one of the booths in my section calls me over.)

Lady: “I saw the whole thing! That man reached over and plucked one of the hairs off her head and stuck it in the food! They were laughing about it the whole time! I hope you didn’t get in trouble.”

Me: “No, ma’am, I didn’t. You see, nobody in our kitchen tonight has hair anything like they ‘found’ in the food, so they didn’t get away with anything more than having that single extra side dish taken off their check.”

Lady: “Well, good! I don’t know what’s with these young people today, trying to pull a fast one on hard-working people!”

(It was charming how indignant she was! I gave them their dessert teas for free for her honesty, and she ended up tipping me $15 on her $27 meal.)

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Dorado No No

| Bahia Asuncion, Baja California Sur, Mexico | Related | July 2, 2016

(My dad and I are visiting a small town in Mexico, and a fellow tourist advises us to go to a certain restaurant that has ‘the best tacos dorados in town.’ Having seen plenty of pictures of dorados around, and hearing some of the fish tales, we’re eager to try some and place our order.)

Waitress: “Carne o pollo?” *beef or chicken?*

Me: *confused* “Pescado.” *fish*

Waitress: *slower and louder* “Carne o pollo?”

Dad: “Dorado… pescado, si?” *dorado… fish, yes?*

(This maybe goes back and forth once or twice more until she rolls her eyes and leaves. We get our tacos shortly, but I notice something is off with the texture and, moreso, the consistency of the grease.)

Me: “This is chicken.”

Dad: “No, it’s fish!”

Me: “Fish doesn’t have grease like this. This is chicken fat.”

Dad: “No, it’s dorado.”

Me: “It’s chicken…”

Dad: “It’s fish!”

(Some months later, we are at a different town that sees much more tourism and has English menus, where I see ‘Tacos Dorados: Chicken or beef in a crispy golden shell.’ Dorado may be the name of a fish, but it is also the Spanish word for golden. We got a good chuckle out of it.)

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