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They Have A Forking Problem

, , , , | Right | June 6, 2022

Customer: “Can I have sixteen forks? I know we only have two people, but I’m serious. I drop forks a lot.”

Reason Falls On Deaf Ears, Part 2

, , , , , , | Right | June 5, 2022

I work at a take-and-bake pizza place. We make a raw pizza and you take it home and cook it in your own oven. It’s super convenient, and we have many customers place orders online in the morning and pick them up on their way home from work. One even drives twenty minutes the WRONG WAY to get his pizza every week. We love our regulars.

One of them is a young man, probably only a few years older than me, who’s the sweetest, most polite guy you could ever meet. He gets the same thing every time. He’s deaf, so usually, he had to communicate by writing until I started working here.

I’ve had many Deaf friends over my life, so I’m semi-fluent in ASL (American Sign Language) and even have a name sign. I’ve made our regular’s life much easier.

One night, [Regular] comes in later than usual to order — he always walks in since he lives only about a ten-minute walk around the corner — and I greet him the usual way, saying, “Welcome to [Pizza Place],” in ASL. He responds, and we have the following conversation in ASL.

Regular: “How are you? How’s [Boss]?”

Me: “I’m good. She’s also doing well. She’s in her office right now. Want me to go get her?”

Regular: “No, thanks. My usual, please.”

Me: “We’re out of beef. Would you like bacon or ground sausage, instead?”

Regular: “Yes, bacon, please.”

I put his order in. Then, a customer I’ve never seen before walks in. I greet him verbally and then go back to my regular as my coworker helps the walk-in. We chat a bit more as we complete the order, and then I call up the next customer. Everything from here is spoken.

Me: “What can I get you today?”

Customer: “All meat. And a manager.”

I was confused, but I put his order in and then went to grab my boss. I didn’t stick around for all of this, but I was told later that he complained that our Deaf regular and I were “flashing gang signs”.

Reason Falls On Deaf Ears


, , , , , | Right | June 4, 2022

As a kid, whenever I went to a sit-down restaurant that offered lemonade, I always asked if they had any strawberry lemonade. I loved strawberry lemonade but never got it at home.

I’m at a restaurant with my family and the waitress is taking our drink orders.

Waitress: “How about you?”

Me: “Do you have strawberry lemonade?”

Waitress: “I’m sorry, we don’t.”

Me: “That’s okay. I’ll have a Sprite, please.”

When she comes back with our drink order, she saves mine for last.

Waitress: “Guess what? I found some strawberry flavoring in the kitchen!”

She plunked down a strawberry lemonade in front of me. It tasted amazing. It’s been over a decade since then, but I still smile at her doing something she absolutely didn’t have to just to make a kid smile.

Carpeted With Apologies

, , , , , , , , , | Right | June 2, 2022

I am working the front counter at a sushi restaurant. It’s getting pretty late and we have a full house. At this particular location, the guests will come to the front register to pay for their meals.

A group that has been situated at one of our tables — three young men and a woman — approaches the counter. I smile at them as they arrive and the first one hands me their bill and card.

“How was everything?” I ask cheerily as I finish checking out one individual and move to the next.

Customer #1: “Great!”

Customer #2: “Good, thanks.”

Customer #3: “Good.”

Customer #4: “Does the carpet match the drapes?”

There is a silence as I stare in absolute shock at the man who spoke. His friend, a large local man, throws his billfold and credit card at me and wrangles his friend out of the restaurant by the back of his collar with repeated apologies.

Once they are gone, the three remaining customers ask if I’m okay, apologize to me numerous times, and pay out their tabs. They all cycle outside and have a group conversation beyond our windows as I stand there, still in relative confusion as to what happened.

Eventually, the large man comes back in to retrieve his card, which I have processed.

Customer #1: “I am so sorry about that.”

Me: “I, umm, it’s okay.”

Customer #1: “He works in construction, and apparently, someone on his jobsite told him that ‘Does the carpet match the drapes?’ is a response to someone asking how things were going.”

Me: “He’s never heard the term before?”

He shakes his head.

Customer #1: “Apparently not. He’s not the best wordsmith out of us; I genuinely believe that he would not have said that had he known the true implications of the phrase.”

Me: “I see. Well, no harm done.”

Customer #1: “He wants to come back in and apologize if you are cool with that.”

Me: “Sure.”

The man taps on the window of the shop, attracting the attention of his friends, and the young man that created the problem came back in.

Customer #4: “I am sooooooo sorry. I didn’t know.”

Me: “It’s all right. What did you think that meant?”

Customer #4: “When we do work, interiors are always last. I was told by someone I was working with that the phrase is the same thing as saying, ‘Everything went well,’ because the carpets and drapes are installed.”

Me: “I see.”

The larger boy shook his head, burying his face in his hands.

The group ended up leaving me a $37 tip and became regulars of the location.

Never Try To Satisfy Those Who Cannot Be

, , , , , | Right | June 2, 2022

During my last couple of years of high school, and throughout college, I work summers at my uncle’s (my Mom’s brother’s) restaurant. I am nineteen at the time, and this is my third summer working there. We have a party of eleven people coming in on a late Saturday afternoon. The “lead” person at the table is a guy who is in his early forties or so, and the rest are apparently all related in one way or another. All of them are adults, the youngest maybe in their early twenties.

I’m a very good waitress. My uncle trusts me implicitly and he understands that I know what I am doing. My uncle hates chronic complainers and charlatans that look for any excuse to get a comped or partially-comped meal.

Most people at the table don’t really complain directly themselves, but they certainly support this guy in his complaints by nodding in agreement or saying things like, “Yeah, that’s right!” whenever he complains about something.

Right from the get-go, he complains about anything and everything. I am too slow getting them their menus, even though I bring them over within thirty seconds of sitting them. Silverware settings are missing, either a knife, fork, or spoon. I know they are missing because he’s the one who removed them. I saw him take a spoon, fork, or knife away from each setting and toss them into a nearby tray that we used to put dirty plates when clearing the tables.

The steak he ordered well-done is too well-done, and the replacement is not well-done enough even though it does not have a shred of pink in the center. The waters aren’t filled promptly enough, his dessert is far too sweet, and his decaf coffee has caffeine in it because “I can see it in there!”

This goes on and on and on throughout the whole meal, which takes them over three hours to eat. Apparently, their food sucks, and our service is horrible. I wait on the whole table myself by taking each of their orders, but two other staffers help bring out their food, get drink refills, etc. Positively NOTHING they complain about is legitimate in any way whatsoever.

My uncle is kept informed, and he speaks to them numerous times to codify them to virtually no avail; the complaints continue. My uncle takes me aside at one point and tells me that this jerk is just trying to get their whole check comped, which he is not going to do. Other customers have even asked me what’s going on because they’ve seen nothing worth complaining about, but they’ve certainly seen what an entitled jerk this guy is being.

Their final bill is nearly $900, mostly steaks, seafood, and shellfish, all our more expensive menus items. Given their rudeness to him and particularly to me, my uncle absolutely refuses to give in to any of their demands. He even tells them that we’ve made every effort to appease them only to be met with rude, selfish behavior over things that are clearly a non-issue. He outright tells them he is not comping anything on their bill.

Finally, they leave and pay the bill in full. As he writes on the check “to make a point,” the guy leaves only a 5% tip because of my “horrid, inattentive” service. He doesn’t want to leave no tip, as he doesn’t want me to think he just forgot, but he wants to be certain I know “exactly why” I am not getting my full tip.

However, he didn’t notice that for parties of six or more, we add a mandatory 18% tip, and for parties of ten or more, 20%, which is what was added to his bill. So, I actually end up with a 25% tip! Not bad for serving a table full of self-absorbed a**holes!

This guy leaves us a scathing review online. My uncle responds by posting point-by-point every rude thing he said and his contemptible behavior and pointing out that his food and service had been exemplary. If any doubt his word, just check his other reviews. “Oh, and by the way, I have security footage to prove all of this!”

To their credit, several customers who were there that night and had witnessed what this jerk said and did left wonderful reviews for us and even mentioned my uncle and me specifically. Most of them called out the rude behavior of this guy and his family.  

My uncle told me that if they ever returned, he was going to refuse them service. As far as I know, they never came back, at least not during the two subsequent years I worked for my uncle. I love my uncle, but I’m so glad to now be out of the service job environment and into an office setting!