I had an unusual encounter with a table last night and I’m still not sure what happened.

I was out in the big section and every time I looked up, the cashier was double seating me.  I’m old, fat and slow and the big section is miles away from the kitchen and waitstation.  It has booths which seat up to 6 people and the cashiers hold the large parties for these booths.  While other servers might be juggling 20 people, the server in the big section can have up to 36 people all needing attention RIGHT NOW!

Angel seated a family of 5 at Table 13 and considering my section was bursting at the seams with people in a rush to go to the rodeo NOW, I thought everything went quite well.  I joked with them, smiled, kept their drinks refilled, prebused their table, and brought them extra rib sauce.  When I asked if they wanted a box and the man asked to talk to the manager, I honestly thought they were going to say something pleasant about either the food or me.  Well, I was wrong.

It seems I did nothing right. 

  • I was in a bad mood.  BS:  I’m making money hand over fist and I’m damned happy about it. 
  • I was impatient while taking their order.  BS:  I patiently stood by while you let your teenaged sons whisper their order to you so then you could repeat the order to me instead of just ordering for them in the first place.  My mental clock told me I had enough time for this.  And if you are referring to the rocking I do while I’m taking the order, I do it anytime I’m standing still.  I do it in church, I do it waiting in line, I do it when I’m taking orders.  It relaxes me and makes my back hurt less.  If you don’t like it, why don’t you just ASK why I’m doing it?
  • I slammed their food and drinks on the table.  BS:  Since they were at a big table with a high chair on the end, I couldn’t reach the table to slam anything on it.  I had to hand the glasses and plates to the parents so they could pass them down. 
  • I stormed off.  BS:  No.  I stood there and attended to your needs just like I do for every table after I drop off their food.  “Do you need mustard, more rib sauce, ranch?  I see your sons need more root beer, let me get those for you.  Let me take away those empty plates so you have more room.  All set?  Okay, I’ll be back to check on you, but until then enjoy your dinner.”  Liars go to Hell.  I do this at every table so don’t tell my manager I didn’t do it at yours.
  • The man had to ask for his drink.  BS:  Since I’m not psychic and since he didn’t order when everyone else ordered their drinks, yes, he had to ask for his drink.  This is not my fault.  If you decide you want a 7 Up when your meal is nearly finished don’t make it seem that I forgot to bring it.  When you asked, you received it.

The interesting thing about this whole situation is that the family had been really friendly and nice until they asked to speak to the manager.  When they finished complaining, Chetto said he would talk to me (he knew none of their accusations were true) and he walked away.  I returned with their box as he was leaving and the previously nice guy yanked the box from my hands and threw it on the table.  The woman threw the money for the check on the table and the guy elbow-shoved me out of the way as he was leaving.  Of course at this point I didn’t know they complained, so I stood there with a stupid confused smile on my face as they stomped out of the restaurant.

So what gives?  Were they angling for a free meal or was it a personality misunderstanding?  All of my other tables thought I was funny as hell, so what happened with this table?

9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Catherine
    Jun 25, 2010 @ 13:31:14

    I am as mystified as you, looking forward to seeing what the other commenters think could have been the problem.

    Hopefully they will shed some light on it for us because I’m stumped.


  2. whatigotsofar
    Jun 25, 2010 @ 14:03:49

    Angling for free shit. You shoulda given them some shit. Take a dump in the doggie bag box and put with their ribs.

    HAHAHA! Some people I was acquainted with once picked up a cooler from the side of the road. It was full of shit. It couldn’t have happened to better people.

    Yeah, that would get you fired and the restaurant shut down, but dammit, whatta way to go.

    I always say go out in a memorable way.


  3. Bob
    Jun 25, 2010 @ 14:08:24

    So beyond the swaying you did and the drink thing there is no middle ground to the rest of it? That is really weird. I can see them being rude to you as they left because they complained and did not get the free meal but they had to honestly feel that you wronged them to actually act that way.

    After all my years of working with people, I know they play games to get what they want and some are downright con artists. See, I usually know when a table is pissed or unhappy or pouting and I give a heads up to the cashier or manager that they are going to complain. I had no clue with this table. If I did something to make them mad, it’s part of who I am and I can’t change that.


  4. DarcsFalcon
    Jun 25, 2010 @ 15:06:28

    Free stuff, all the way. That’s why they were so nice during the meal, so you wouldn’t suspect. Jerks.

    I do that swaying thing all the time too. It started with becoming a mother and doing that to calm the baby. I realized it calmed me too. 😀

    I’m glad your manager knew they were cull of crap. It sucks having to defend yourself all the time.

    I don’t know when I started the swaying thing, but it’s been a lot of years. Some othere servers do it too.

    Chetto doesn’t really give a crap so it’s good that he was the manager on shift. Darren might have initially questioned me, but my coworkers know what my mood is…they’ve been with me for hours and we talk in the waitstation about which tables are being jerks. I was happy and that table was never mentioned. The whole reason for the complaint was that I was in a bad mood. As far as the rest of it goes, if my mood wasn’t bad then everything else that follows is crap.


    • Sparty Girl
      Jun 26, 2010 @ 11:46:28

      I’ve done the rocking thing ever since I became a mom, too! Actually ever since I was about 6-7 months pregnant. I seemed to soothe the baby even before she was born. From then it’s been almost like instinct.

      I must have been a bad mom because the swaying isn’t associated with the kids. I think they were teenagers before I started doing it. I can’t remember, but it wasn’t when they were babies.


  5. DarcKnyt
    Jun 25, 2010 @ 17:45:41

    Wow. I guess the consensus is they’re angling for something free.

    If their list of complaints weren’t so long, I’d almost say something you said ticked them off. Maybe a comment you didn’t think could be taken the wrong way was. This happens to me a LOT and sometimes I get fired for it. One person in a crowd of a couple dozen takes it the one wrong possible way and you’re being hauled on the carpet.

    One thing I know, if I’m going to get a complaint it will be from some woman on a night I’m wearing my hair in a pony tail. I know this sounds absurd, but I can document the correlation. I had my hair in a pony tail that night. They don’t complain ABOUT my hair, but they complain because my hair looks better than theirs.

    But because the list of offenses is so long, it’s like they let it build up over the course of their time there and then decided to dump it all at once. Very interesting. And strange. I can see why you’re blindsided by that sort of stuff.

    Yes, but it’s all petty shit not worth complaining about. I’m currently reading other servers’ blogs and you would be amazed at the amount of free food restaurants hand out for the smallest of complaints. People know if they eat all their food, the restaurant isn’t going to give them a freebie beyond a dessert. The only thing left to complain about is the server. The laundry list they presented to Chetto could be a standard list they use everywhere.

    I am all about taking blame for my actions. If I felt this table had a legitimate complaint, I would have owned up to it, but I don’t think they did.



  6. blogmella
    Jun 26, 2010 @ 00:13:52

    Yeah, they wanted freebies. I hope they visit the UK, they’ll fucking LOVE the service here! Hahaha!

    HAHAHA! I didn’t think of that.


  7. izziedarling
    Jun 26, 2010 @ 05:50:59

    Free meal for sure. A pox on that gang!

    Certainly on the guy who elbow-shoved me out of the way. Bastard.


  8. Sparty Girl
    Jun 26, 2010 @ 11:48:11

    I agree with the others… they were after a discount or a free meal. Like DarcKnyt, I’m real suspicious about how long and diverse their list is. If it was a personality misunderstanding they would have just said you were rude or snapped at them or something. They wouldn’t have added all that extra, untrue crap about forgetting drinks and slamming plates. Jerks.

    Yeah, I never stop being amazed at the lengths people will go to in order to get something free or out of pettiness. If my old manager got a complaint like that, I got demoted and my job was in jeopardy. I basically had to wear a Dunce cap until somebody else screwed up worse.

    I’ve received complaints in the summer on my quality of service because I’m old, fat and slow, but never that I was “in a bad mood” or that I “slammed” food and drinks on a table. It’s not in my nature…unless a table has pissed me off and then everyone is aware of it.


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