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That Lunch Cost More Than He Will Ever Realize

, , , | Right | May 23, 2022

I work in a restaurant. We have a rule that if you make a reservation, we will hold the table for a half-hour. If you don’t show up within that time, we give the table to someone else. We only have six tables that are easy to push together for large groups; the rest are booths or high-tops.

One day, I get a reservation for a large party around lunchtime. The guy is pretty nice on the phone. I don’t really remember how many people, but it is probably around eight or ten.

The time of the reservation comes and goes, and the man and his group don’t show up. Sometime later, and after my manager has told me to pull apart the tables and give them to someone else, the party arrives.

Now, it is lunchtime, but we aren’t too busy; we have a lot of high-tops available and could pretty easily put the group at one of those. I tell the guy that it will just be a minute as we have to wait for a table to be cleaned so we can put a few more together.

All of his niceness just goes away. Standing at the door, in front of his entire group of people, this “businessman” starts YELLING at me for not having his table set up.

Me: “Sir, we only reserve tables for a half-hour after the reservation time. Your reservation was forty-five minutes ago.”

Businessman: “Well, you should have called me to ask if I was still coming.”

Me: “No, sir. We don’t do that.”

Naturally, this makes him yell for the manager. My manager finally comes up and, of course, the guy calms down because it’s easier to yell at a twenty-one-year-old woman than an older man.

We manage to seat him, he makes a bunch of comments about hiring smarter workers, and I walk away.

I’ve always been pretty emotional, and I end up crying in the bathroom.

One of the women in the guy’s group comes into the bathroom, looks at me, and gives me a hug.

Woman: “I’m his client. The fact that he acted like that in front of a bunch of clients was despicable; he was unbelievably rude. I’m actually ashamed to be seen with him, and when I go back to the office, I’m going to tell his manager how he acted. We won’t be doing business with him anymore.”

I end up killing the guy with kindness when he leaves as I smile sweetly and say:

Me: “Have a great day, sir.”

The client winked at me as she left.

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