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Reservations About These Reservations

, , , , , , | Working | April 4, 2022

We have some friends staying from across the country. They get here shortly before dinner and we walk over to the pub/restaurant we booked last week.

Me: “Hi. I have a reservation for [My Name].”

Worker: “Oh, sure, how many was it?”

Me: “Eight.”

Worker: “Okay. You can push those two tables together if you like.” 

So much for being reserved. I feel like they forgot about us. We’re lucky it is as empty as it is or we might not have been seated.

Me: “We did ask for a high chair; I was told that it wouldn’t be a problem.”

Worker: “Yeah, I’ll bring it over in a minute.”

It takes us reminding them twice and fifteen more minutes before the highchair appears, and it isn’t even clean.

Me: “Can we have some sort of wipe to clean this?”

Worker: “Of course, I can get something for you. Oh, and by the way, we have a quiz night at seven, so we will need the table then.”

Me: “It’s six now!”

Worker: “Yep.”

Me: *To my friends* “I am so sorry; they are not normally so useless here. There’s a restaurant around the corner.”

Friends: “Yeah, let’s go.”

Worker: “Wait, so, you’re not staying now?”

Me: “Nope.”

She wandered off, muttering about people wasting her time. We, on the other hand, had a great meal and fantastic service. The pub was on our way home. We looked through the windows and the table we had was still there and empty, as was most of the pub. Looks like the quiz night wasn’t such a popular event as they thought.

When They Want Your Manager Plus A Pretty Bow

, , , , | Right | March 30, 2022

I work in a restaurant with a bakery. As someone who’s worked in customer service for quite some time, entitled customers don’t surprise me anymore, though, to this day, I find myself asking, “What is freaking WRONG with you people?!”

On this particular day, we were hit hard with a busy lunch rush, and we have a GINORMOUS order for tomorrow, so we need all hands on deck.

Our breads are super-popular; they sell like hotcakes around the holidays. A guy comes up to my register with a literal armful of said breads. I ring him up like usual.

Customer: “Can I get these fancy-wrapped?”

For the record, customers can get their breads wrapped in cellophane and tied with pretty ribbon — for a charge, and when there’s someone around to do it, of course.

For obvious reasons, we stopped allowing customers to wrap their own stuff ages ago. We can’t even sell the ribbon by itself anymore.

Me: “It costs two dollars per loaf.”

Customer: “That’s fine.”

Me: “But there’s no one available to wrap these. We’re all busy right now.”

Customer: “Can you find somebody?”

There’s already a line practically going out the door behind him, along with our half-packed restaurant, to say nothing of the mountain of boxes for our future order. Another cashier has to come to give me a hand.

For the sake of good customer service, and to humor the man a little, I step into the kitchen, where my manager is up to her elbows in sandwiches and salads.

Me: “Is there anyone who can wrap some bread for a customer?”

Manager: *In her best you-gotta-be-kidding-me voice* “We can’t! We’re busy!”

Me: “I know, I know… but he’s not budging.”

After getting the expected answer a second time, I return to my customer.

Me: “I’m sorry. No one’s available right now.”

Customer: “Well, can you sell me the ribbon? I can do it myself.”

Me: “Sorry, the ribbons aren’t for sale.”

Customer: “Can I just take some ribbon with me, and I’ll pay you the difference?”

Me: “No. Too many people were misusing our ribbon, so we can’t sell it by itself anymore. I’m sorry.”

Customer: *Pointing to some of our pre-made gift baskets* “You use the ribbon for the gift baskets, right?”

Me: “Yes.”

Customer: “So, can’t you just give me the ribbon and I’ll pay you the difference?”

Seriously? What part of “not for sale” is this guy not understanding?

Me: “I’m sorry. But the ribbon’s not for sale.”

Customer: “I’d like to speak with your manager.”

Unfortunately, this is not the first time (nor will it be the last, I fear) a customer disregarded my word until my superior told them the exact same thing and they were finally “convinced” I wasn’t bluffing.

With the utmost reluctance, I went to the kitchen A SECOND TIME and got my manager. She wasn’t happy as she walked out to oblige him, and I couldn’t blame her.

I don’t know how it ended, because it was out of my hands by this point. But when my manager came back, she was merely shaking her head with a “why me?” expression on her face. I thought it best to give her a little extra space and focus on my job.

If you absolutely must have a pretty package, that’s what FREAKING ORDERING AHEAD is for! Don’t just waltz right in and take your chances, least of all in a big crowd, and don’t give us the attitude because we can’t give you everything you want at the drop of a hat.

Thank God This Creep Was A Braggart, Too

, , , , , | Legal | March 30, 2022

CONTENT WARNING: Attempted Sexual Assault


I was at a restaurant by myself, mostly killing time watching a sports game, when I happened to look up to see a man standing next to a nearby table, slightly hunched over it. It wouldn’t have stood out as anything special to me except the man saw me, got this conspiratory grin, and put his finger up to his mouth as if to shush me before going back to his seat at the table. I had no clue what that was about, so I mostly just forgot about it and went back to my meal. 

I ended up staying to watch the end of the game I’d started and so was there for some time after finishing my meal. It was quite a while later when I was bumped into by someone and so looked over to see what happened. At some point, the man at the other table had been joined by a woman, and that woman had bumped into me as they were getting up to go.

Seeing me looking at them, the man came up to me with a cocky grin on his face and said, in a voice that sounded both as if he was bragging and inviting me into some sort of joke:

Man: “We’re just heading back to my place to relax.

He put an extra emphasis on the word “relax” which made it clear that was not at all what he was intending.

Now, I will fully admit that I’m not the most observant guy out there — far from it — but even I couldn’t fail to miss just how creepy and off this man was behaving. That caused me to pay enough attention to both of them to realize the women looked… off. She seemed a little confused, and she seemed to be having trouble walking as if dizzy. She almost seemed drunk except that when I looked at her glass on the table it appeared to be a soda. I stood up.

Me: “Ma’am, are you feeling okay?”

She looked slightly confused even as she said she was okay, in a voice that also sounded a bit off.

Hearing me listing all these symptoms, I’m sure this all sounds super wrong, but I need to stress that while all the symptoms were there, they were all very underplayed. She seemed very slightly confused, very slightly unstable. Every individual symptom was so minor it would be easy for anyone to dismiss it if they noticed anything at all, and even taken as a whole, I likely would have written it off as her having gotten slightly inebriated if the guy wasn’t still grinning at me as if he was proud of what was happening and otherwise doing everything he could to make me feel something very bad was happening here.

Eventually, even I managed to connect the dots and realize that the man may have just finished slipping something into this women’s drink right when I was looking up. I didn’t witness that, but he seemed to think I had. The only problem was that I still wasn’t sure if that was true. Again, I stress that all the symptoms were minor enough at this time that I couldn’t be certain that they weren’t my own imagination due to her date giving me the creeps. I had no definitive proof anything was actually happening, and I really wasn’t sure if, from a purely legal standpoint, I was allowed to physically intercede given my lack of evidence. Still, I couldn’t just sit by and do nothing given my suspicions.

Me: *To the woman* “Would you like me to give you a ride home?”

Man: *Offended* “No! She’s coming home with me. She’s mine.”

Again, I really wasn’t sure I had a legal basis to do anything, so I just directed my question to the woman.

Me: “Ma’am, you don’t look well. Could I please take you back to your home?”

She didn’t give me a definitive answer, looking unsure what she wanted herself. Meanwhile, the man got increasingly aggressive. I got a distinct vibe that he thought I was trying to steal her away so I could be the one to take advantage of her, as if it never occurred to him that I might just not be okay with a woman being assaulted like that.

This made me more confident that my guess that he had done something was right, but I still wasn’t sure what I legally could do if he just escorted her out of the restaurant without her giving a clear answer that she didn’t want to go with him. Luckily, the man screwed himself over by being too aggressive with me, as this drew attention and eventually the manager, another woman, came over to ask what was wrong.

This is when the man started to look concerned. Before I could give any real answer, the man said:

Man: “Nothing’s wrong. I was just going!”

He high-tailed it out of the restaurant, leaving the woman behind.

After the manager offered to speak somewhere a bit more private, I told her what I suspected. She looked outraged.

Manager: “I’ll make sure to save that man’s credit information and everything else about him that we can, in case the police call. I’ll also have the staff save the rest of the woman’s drink somewhere so it can be tested.”

That had never even occurred to me.

Eventually, I ended up giving the woman a ride back to her apartment, and as time passed, her symptoms grew worse until it was clear that she must have been slipped something. I tried to explain what I thought happened during the drive, but I wasn’t really sure she was retaining it, and she ended up falling asleep, still fully dressed, in her bed at the apartment not long after I got her there.

Not sure what to do after that, I wrote her a very long note explaining everything that had happened, telling her the manager of the restaurant had saved everything in case she needed evidence, and giving my own contact information if she needed to reach out to me. Then, unable to think of anything else I could do, I let myself out, making sure the door was locked as I left. 

I never heard back from the woman. In fact, I never even learned her name. I honestly have no clue whether she pressed charges or what happened to the creep that drugged her. In retrospect, I likely should have called the police immediately and maybe had them take her to a hospital, but I’d been uncertain enough about my suspicions at first to not be sure I should waste the police time on it, and by the time it became evident, I guess I had already committed to driving her home and didn’t reevaluate my options. That was a clear mistake on my part that I regret now.

But worst of all to me is realizing how close I came to missing the signs. If the creep hadn’t been so certain that, just because I was another guy, I’d be okay with his drugging his date that he went and basically tried to brag about it on his way out, I would have never picked up on it. It’s scary how close he came to getting away with it.

Don’t You Speak Asian?, Part 8

, , , , , , | Working | March 30, 2022

My dad is on travel with a group of three other coworkers: his immediate boss and two men in similar positions as my dad, one of whom is Korean-American. They decide to go to a Chinese restaurant for lunch, back when this is rather a novelty. After perusing the menu, where all the entrees are assigned numbers, the boss decides to ask the waiter a question.

Boss: “What item would give me the most food for the least amount of money?”

The waiter is a recent Chinese immigrant and doesn’t understand the question. After a minute of repeated rephrasing of the question, [Boss] turns to the Korean-American coworker.

Boss: “[Coworker], can you explain what I want to this guy?”

[Coworker] doesn’t speak Chinese, but instead of taking offense at the opinion from his boss that all Asian people understand each other, [Coworker] turns to the waiter and gestures to indicate a large pile on the table.

Coworker: “Big food…”

Then, he gestures a pinch with his thumb and forefinger.

Coworker: “…little money.”

Waiter: “Ah! Number seven!”

Don’t You Speak Asian?, Part 7
Don’t You Speak Asian?, Part 6
Don’t You Speak Asian?, Part 5
Don’t You Speak Asian?, Part 4
Don’t You Speak Asian?, Part 3

Even If You Don’t Take Your Work Home With You… It Finds You

, , , | Right | March 29, 2022

I worked at an indie movie theater. I was enjoying a nice, fancy dinner with my husband when someone at the table next to me recognized me.

After a brief, but friendly acknowledgment, the guy thought that it was an appropriate time to quiz me.

Man: “Hey, can you tell me what movies you’re showing, and what they’re about?”