Not So Closed-Minded: Extreme Edition

, , , , , , | Right | June 4, 2018

I work as a corporate trainer for a chain of quick-service restaurants that feature a cafeteria-style line with the food on display. I am responsible for leading the training teams, and teaching the new employees. Since the building exterior is finished and there are uniformed employees and activity inside, it could appear that the location is open and disappoint potential new customers.

At this particular new location we have the following in place to prevent any confusion: All three sets of stairs up to the patio deck that surround the restaurant are roped off, with a large stanchion sign that says, “In training! Opening day is [date].” The main door and two side doors are locked and have the same sign, but double-sized. In addition to the locked doors and signs, the patio furniture is not set up, but stacked at one end and chained together. There are no tables of chairs in the dining room yet; the chairs have just been delivered but are still in boxes, stacked up ten feet high, and there are so many, it’s hard to find a path through the dining room. I’m sitting on a box doing paperwork when I witness the following…

A woman in her mid-thirties approaches the main patio stairs. She stops and reads the stanchion sign. She walks over to one of the side stairs, stops and reads the stanchion sign. After looking around for a moment, she goes back to the main stairs, lifts the rope and ducks under to enter.

She tries to open the main door. After a few pulls, she appears the read the sign again. She continues to try the door two or three more times. She walks over to the two side doors and does the exact same thing. By now I’m so astonished, I decided to see how far she will go, instead of going outside to stop her.

She proceeds to try the main door yet again, reads the sign, checks her watch this time — to check the date maybe? This time, she spots the side entrance between the restaurant and building lobby, which, by law, we have to keep unlocked for safety. She enters the building lobby, stops in front of another sign that states we’re not open, then reads and pushes it aside to access the door.

She enters, looks around at the boxes and chaos and continues to work her way to the service line. At one point she almost has to crawl over a box to get through. After finally getting to the service line, she stares at the empty cases — with manufacturing stickers and packing materials all over them — and looks around for someone.

I decided to finally intervene and approach her. When she sees me, she asks, “Are you open?” I mentally facepalm. I tell her, “I’m sorry, no. We’re not open yet. We are training the staff, and opening day is next week,” and motion for her to follow me safely out.

She immediately turns angry and starts yelling at me that we’ve wasted her time and used up her limited lunch hour and ruined her lunch, that she can’t get lunch anywhere else, and that we should provide her a free meal from someplace else right now! I try to remain calm and state that she ignored all of the signs telling her we weren’t open, and that the doors were locked for the same reason. I finally have to ask her to leave or deal with the police and a charge of trespassing.

On her way out, she continues to rant, adding that we should also pay for the dry cleaning and repair of her clothes, damaged by her acrobatic attempts to get in through the boxes.

Sadly, this is the first of six similar incidents that day. By then, all I can muster is, “Signs blocking your path, roped-off stairs, and locked doors are normally enough to indicate we’re not open for business. I’m sorry that wasn’t enough. Exactly what would have indicated to you that were we’re not open?” and with the stumped silence, I escort them out.

Sounds Like They’ve Been Babied

, , , , | Right | June 4, 2018

(I work at a smallish, family-owned restaurant as a hostess. This restaurant has three sections, and one of these sections we call the bar area. There are six tables in this area. We are pretty busy most of the time and this is the day before Mother’s Day, so we are very busy. Every table has been seated and we are on a small wait. We have a reservation coming in for eight people. In the comments section of this reservation it says, “Wants to be in bar, as private as possible.” So, I reserve them a table in the bar, our smallest section. They come in and I bring them to the table. The conversation goes like this.)

Customer: “We wanted to be alone!”

Me: “Sorry, what?”

Customer: “When I called, I told the person on the phone that we wanted to be alone in the bar. We wanted the entire room to ourselves!”

Me: “For eight people?”

Customer: “Yes! I was assured that no one else would be here!”

(I’m pretty sure no one would have told this lady that she could have an entire section to herself. We sometimes rent out sections for people having parties, but they are charged for it, and those parties have twenty people or more.)

Me: “Well, I’m sorry about that, but we are very busy.”

Lady: “We have a baby with us and I don’t want her to be near other people.”

Me: “I’m sorry.”

(Then, she walked away. I don’t know why this lady thought that she could just request to not have people sat around her. They stayed, and the waitress said they were nice enough and didn’t cause any problems. Plenty of people bring their babies in the restaurant. If you don’t want your baby to be near people then don’t go to a restaurant.)

Not Being Five Makes Them All Sixes And Sevens

, , , | Related | June 2, 2018

(I am second in line behind a woman and a child at a buffet-style restaurant. At this restaurant, one child five years old or younger will eat free with the purchase of an adult meal.)

Woman: “One adult and a five-year-old.”

Child: “I AM SEVEN!”

Cashier: “One adult and a five-year-old.”

Child: “NO, I AM SEVEN!”

Cashier: “Okay. An adult and a seven-year-old.”

(The cash register screen displays an adult and free child. The mother pays, thanks the cashier, and then leaves.)

Me: “Kid didn’t want a free meal, huh?”

Cashier: “Guess not.”

(In the background we hear the kid yelling.)

Child: “I AM SEVEN. YOU KNOW I AM SEVEN. WHY WOULD YOU SAY I AM FIVE?!”

The Bourne Mystery

, , , , | Related | May 30, 2018

(I’m having lunch with my mum, who is telling me about a movie she and her best friend watched the weekend before. Both my mum and her friend are in their late 70s, love serious movies, and never ever watch any violent, naughty, or blockbuster-y types of movies.)

Mum: “So, the other day, [Friend] said there was this movie we really needed to see. It was supposed to be great and she got it especially for us: The Bourne Identity!”

Me: *nearly spits out my food laughing* “Oh, no! That is totally not your sort of movie! How did it go?”

Mum: “Well, the first quarter of it was in the dark, so we didn’t see anything that was going on! Then we had no idea who was who or what was happening. There was a car chase, sex, and gunfights!”

Me: “Why did you continue watching it?”

Mum: “We kept hoping it might all be explained!”

Understanding Has Gone From Eleven To One

, , , , | | Right | May 29, 2018

(I work at a pizza delivery place in town. Whenever a customer calls for a delivery, we have to confirm their phone number and address before taking their order.)

Me: *after confirming phone number* “And is this for eleven-sixteen [Street]?”

(There is a ten second pause between the question I asked him and his response.)

Customer: “Um… No. I have a new address now.”

Me: “Okay, do you mind giving me your new address for your order?”

Customer: “Yeah, it’s one… one… one… six, [Street].”

Me: “So, eleven-sixteen [Street].”

Customer: “Uh… Yeah.”

(I couldn’t tell if he was just messing around or if he was serious. Either way, I got a good laugh out of it that night.)

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