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‘Word’ To The Unwise

| Right | January 4, 2017

(I am a server working a lunch shift when a woman and her teenage daughter are seated at my table. Many of our lunch portions are simply the smaller size dinner portions at a reduced price, so you can really get a nice deal by coming in early.)

Me: “Hi! How are you ladies doing today?”

Customer: “Oh, we’re fine. Before we order, though, I wanted to ask about the $10 off offer.”

(Our restaurant has a promotional club you can join online to receive coupons through email or the mail. We used to be allowed to just accept the coupon by looking at their smartphone, but our corporate office has just recently asked us to start taking physical copies.)

Me: “All right, great! Unfortunately, we just changed our policy about coupons and now require a physical copy. If you don’t have one, you can email it to us and I’ll have my manager print it out for you!”

Customer: “Oh, no, it’s not a coupon. We were told we could come in today and get $10 off.”

Me: *confused* “I’m sorry, I don’t understand. Do you remember the name of the manager who told you that? Or did he give you a business card with the discount on it?”

(My general manager will simply write a coupon on the back of his business cards on occasion.)

Customer: *sighs* “No! We were in here last night and the girl at the front told us we would get $10 off if we came in today!”

(At this point, I have no clue what she is talking about as the coworker in question has worked there for months and would never give out a “verbal” coupon.)

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, I can’t just give you $10 off. If [Coworker] really said that, then she didn’t have the authority to give you a discount.”

(I try to diffuse the situation by explaining to her about our promotional club and that she can quickly sign up and receive the coupon right there in the store. Then, we could simply print it out for her.)

Customer: “No! I was told I would get a discount! I don’t need a coupon! Just go tell your manager and he’ll give me my discount. You’re obviously incompetent.”

(I give up and go talk to my manager who is busy helping the kitchen crew prep for the night. Not surprisingly, he has no clue what she is talking about and tells me he needs a physical coupon. I head back to the woman and relay the news.)

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, we have to have a physical copy of a coupon. And unless something is wrong with the service or food, my manager can’t just give away discounts.”

Customer: *huffs* “Did you even speak to your manager?”

Me: *offended* “Actually, ma’am, I did. And to tell you the truth, I agree with him wholeheartedly, as a part of this new policy is that I, as a server, have to provide proof of discount for a coupon, or the difference will come out of MY pocket.”

(She motions to her daughter who hasn’t said a word throughout this whole exchange to stand up.)

Customer: *as she collects her stuff* “So, your manager refuses to honor his word?”

Me: “If he had actually told you himself, I’m sure he would give you a discount. But since you told me that [Coworker] told you this, then no, we cannot honor her word.”

Customer: *dragging her daughter away who is just shaking her head* “Fine! But your manager needs to keep his word!”

(Honestly, I’m just glad she didn’t try throwing a tantrum. I’m still amazed at the things some people will try just to save some money!)

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