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Way Better Than Leaving A Tip

, , , , , , | Right | CREDIT: withouta3 | January 31, 2023

About ten years ago, I was managing an Asian fusion restaurant. It was a weekday and we didn’t have a bartender, so I would handle the bar. Our bar was separate from the dining room, so I would go between, making all the mixed drinks and checking on the servers and kitchen. You know, manager stuff.

A couple sat down at the bar and ordered a couple of drinks and appetizers. I placed the order and made the drinks and then a server had an issue that took me a while to solve. We had a good team there, so another server saw that my apps were up and took them out for me. She then came and found me.

Server: “I took your apps to the bar but the lady looks upset. She said everything was fine, but you might want to check on her.”

“From one problem to another,” I think.

Back at the bar, the man was nowhere to be seen, and the woman was typing angrily on her phone. Her drink, a cosmo, was empty and the man’s was barely touched. The apps were untouched. I prided myself on knowing what my customers wanted before they did, so I started mixing the woman another drink. She put the phone down and asked for another cosmo just as I was garnishing.

Me: “You mean this one?”

And I set it in front of her. She gave me that surprised look that I absolutely loved as a server.

Woman: “He left, didn’t he?”

Me: “I don’t know, but I can find out.”

I did check later and the hostess said he bailed only a few minutes after they got there.

Woman: “You would not believe what that a**hole asked me!”

She then explained that that was supposed to be their first date. They had met through friends and had been talking for some time, but this was the first time for the two of them to go out just the two of them. After hellos, the first thing he did was ask, “Am I getting lucky tonight?” Needless to say, the woman reacted negatively to this. He said he needed to pee and proceeded to leave the building.

Woman: “Can I get another drink?”

Me: “Sure, but you do need to eat.”

It was a slow night, and I figured she could use some company, so I spent most of my time that night in the bar chit-chatting and polishing glasses and such. Eventually, I said something and I saw an abrupt change in her demeanor. Never before had I seen such a clear indication that a woman was interested in me. She was attractive and I was flattered.

She ended up hanging out until closing and having five or six drinks and a full meal in four hours, and she was not a small girl so she was probably feeling pretty good but not drunk.

I called her a cab, and when she left, she asked if I would come by later.

Me: “No, you are ahead of me on the drinks, but here is my number. If you still feel the same way tomorrow, I would love to take you out some time.”

We ended up dating for a year and a half until we had an amicable breakup. We still talk often and are good friends.

The Only Language I Don’t Speak Is Jerkish

, , , | Right | CREDIT: ThisFreak100 | January 31, 2023

I’m a polyglot; I speak Polish, English, German, and Spanish. I was born in Poland and currently live in Spain.

Back in the days when I used to work as the head waiter in a restaurant and bar in Spain, in the absence of my boss or manager, I was in charge.

This happened in the middle of the week during a pretty slow day. A middle-aged couple sat down at one of the tables outside. Already, seeing them through the window, I could tell they weren’t locals. Once I got closer, I heard them speaking Polish, but they started to speak English to me and asked for a menu in English, to which I obliged.

I don’t always talk to foreign customers in their language if I know it. I can tell from the start how they will behave and their attitude, and I could tell that these two were the entitled type of customers. Boy, was I spot on.

They had been talking pretty loudly at their table, making fun of other clients and, in general, being rude — all in Polish, of course. After a few minutes, they waved me down.

Me: “Are you ready to order?”

Couple: “We don’t understand this menu. Can you explain it to us?”

As the restaurant was basically empty, I tried to explain everything they wanted to know — still in English, though. After around five minutes of explaining half of the menu:

Couple: “We can’t understand you. We want someone who speaks clear English or, even better, Polish!”

Besides my colleague at the bar, I was the only waiter, so I tried to explain it to them, but they cut me off and DEMANDED someone who spoke their language or clear English.

Me: *Smiling* “I’ll see if I can bring someone over who can help you out better.”

I went inside. Before going in, I heard them talking about me, wondering out loud how stupid someone could be to not be able to explain a menu.

I took my sweet, sweet time inside with the air conditioning on. I talked for a minute or two with my colleague at the bar and then went to the kitchen and had a snack and a laugh with the cooks.

Eventually, I came out again, and they weren’t happy. As soon as they saw me, the woman sighed and said with a smile to her husband/boyfriend in Polish:

Woman: “Look, the r****d is coming back.”

With the best “F*** you” smile I could manage to bring to my face, I looked straight at them and said in pure, beautiful, and clear Polish:

Me: “Good afternoon. How can I help you?”

As to be expected, they went pale white in a second. Still smiling at them, I asked if they want me to explain the menu to them. After the initial shock, the man looked at me and asked angrily:

Man: “Why didn’t you tell us you speak Polish?!”

Me: *Smiling calmly* “You never asked.”

This answer apparently was the wrong one as he got really pissed at me. Red in the face, he was a few centimeters from mine when he stood up.

Fun fact: I’m tall — 189 cm or 6’2”. The guy was at least 30 cm (12 inches) shorter than me, which meant he had to look up at me.

Man: “I want to speak to your manager, and he’d better speak coherent English.”

I smiled even more.

Me: “Of course, sir. I will call him immediately.”

And went inside. You know where this is going.

After a minute or two, I came back out with the brightest grin of my life. They looked at me, dumbfounded, while in the best and cleanest version of the American English I was forcibly taught back in school, I said:

Me: “Hello. I am the manager. How can I help you?”

Let me tell you that they flipped the f*** out while I calmly stood there waiting for them to calm down. They never did. They packed their stuff and left.

After they left, I even paid their bill which was one whole Euro for a water bottle. I could handle such a loss in my finances. They left me a nasty review on Facebook which was quickly explained and answered BY ME, saying, “Next time, make sure your waiter speaks your language.” The review was taken down a couple of hours later.

This Feels Illegal

, , , , | Working | January 30, 2023

I have had a bad wrist since 2005; there’s a metal plate repairing the bone I broke completely off. As a result, I can’t do everything as normal; the tendons are stretched over this plate.

I used to work in a kitchen. The job itself wasn’t bad work, just typical tasks like washing dishes, prepping for meals, keeping an eye on food in the oven and steamer, making a list of supplies to order, restocking when orders came in, cleaning, and locking up at end of the day.

One day, I was working prep for soups when the celery we had in was kind of funky. I was told to do the best I could with a piece of celery that grew as one plant rather than the many stalks we know them to be. Despite the difficulty I had using knives because of my wrist mixed with this oddly-formed celery, my boss got angry and got in my face.

Boss: “You are taking too long with this! Hurry up, or I’m firing you!”

I had been working there for two years; my wrist problem was not new knowledge or a surprise. For whatever reason, that day, [Boss] was just fed up and decided that getting in my face and making a threat to fire me over how I cut celery was how she was going to handle it.

I immediately went job hunting after that. Someone else quit at the same time I did, and last I heard, [Boss] can’t keep anyone for long except for like two people from when I was there.

Literally Does Scream For Ice Cream

, , , | Right | January 27, 2023

I work in a family-owned restaurant that is also an ice cream shop. There are two different counters, but the system is linked so if you order online, you can order both in one transaction. For online orders, we have a shelf on the restaurant side and a freezer on the ice cream side. The business was sold about a month ago, and this story takes place on my first day working with the new owner within the first hour of my shift.

There are a few orders waiting to be picked up, and I see on one receipt that there is also ice cream, but I forget about it because I’m working the restaurant and someone else is working the ice cream. They got their own ticket with just the ice cream and scooped it.

As I’m taking an order, a customer comes in and grabs her order off the shelf. She immediately starts ripping through the boxes, and I know there’s going to be trouble. I finish with my customer while seeing her stand there impatiently in my peripheral vision.

Customer: “Is this order all here?”

Me: “Yep! That should be everything!”

Customer: *Rudely* “Well, it was supposed to be curbside, but no one brought it out to me!”

Me: “Oh, I’m sorry about that. Did you call?”

Customer: *Raising her voice* “No! Why should I have to? I had to fill in what my car is! You should bring it out! It never said that anywhere!”

Me: “Well, we have two parking lots and lots of customers, so—”

Customer:And you said the order was ready! Where is my ice cream?! This is ridiculous!

I blocked out the rest of her rant, but she continued to yell over me while I tried to explain that the ice cream was in the freezer. She would not stop her tirade, so I walked away in the middle of her speech. I have worked in retail/customer service for nine years, and I have NEVER walked away from someone in the middle of a sentence.

I stormed around the back of house trying to find the new owner, and he was grabbing the lady’s ice cream and bringing it to her by the time I found him.

I went downstairs to the prep area to have a panic attack. I went back up when I could breathe again, and the son of the old owner was covering the counter. When I asked him if he could stay there for me for five minutes, the customers who were waiting and overheard the screaming told me to take ten.

Luckily, the new owner had my back and wasn’t upset with my reaction. I might have been able to calm the customer down if I also wasn’t worrying about what my new boss expected of me.

The old owner came in shortly after that and noticed the name on the order was for the local high school principal and that the customer who picked up the order must work for him. I told my new boss if I saw that name again, I was getting him because I won’t touch it. He told me to never put up with that kind of behavior from people and to let him handle it.

Not Very Closed-Minded: Opposite Day Edition

, , , , , , | Working | January 27, 2023

My dad and stepbrother went on a bike ride together. My stepbrother planned out a route with a restaurant at the midway point; the plan was for them to have dinner there and then cycle the rest of the route which would lead them back to our house.

They didn’t make a reservation at the restaurant beforehand, but they figured they wouldn’t need it for the time they planned to arrive.

When they arrived at the restaurant, according to schedule, they were initially disappointed. There was a large sign out front.

Sign: “Closed for private party.”

Stepbrother: “Oh, that’s unfortunate.”

He and Dad got off their bikes to stretch a bit and debate where they might go instead, but Dad wasn’t entirely convinced.

Dad: “Are you sure it’s closed? There are no diners inside.”

Not only was there no one inside except staff, but the hostess was also eyeing the two of them from the doorway like she was waiting for them to come in.

Stepbrother: “Well, maybe the party hasn’t started yet.”

Dad: “I’m just gonna go ask to make sure.”

At this point, I’m sure you’re all thinking my dad was about to become one of THOSE customers. I thought so, too, when I heard the story.

My stepbrother was equally apprehensive and tried to talk my dad out of it saying that if the sign said they were closed, they were obviously closed. My dad is a stubborn one, though, so in he went with my stepbrother trailing behind him.

Dad: *To the hostess* “Hello, are you open?”

To my stepbrother’s surprise:

Hostess: “Yes, we are! Table for two, then?”

Stepbrother: “Really? You’re not closed for a party?”

Hostess: *Slightly confused* “No, why would…” *Eyes going wide* “Oh, no. Is that sign still out there?”

My stepbrother confirmed the presence of a sign, and the hostess rushed outside to look. When she came back in, she was laughing.

Hostess: “Well, no wonder people keep driving by without coming in! And we were all wondering why it was such a slow day!”

One of the waiters hauled the sign inside, and the hostess explained where it had come from while showing my dad and stepbrother to a table. They HAD in fact been closed for a private party… the day before! Somehow, no one had thought to remove the sign after the party was over.

Everyone laughed about it afterward, but when I heard the story I couldn’t help thinking that this was the only instance I knew of where a customer’s refusal to heed a sign turned out to be a good thing!

Not Very Closed-Minded, Part 52
Not Very Closed-Minded, Part 51
Not Very Closed-Minded, Part 50
Not Very Closed-Minded, Part 49
Not Very Closed Minded, Part 48