My Policies

I have two policies:

  • The customer is NOT always right.
  • There are no free meals.

I violated both of my policies on Tuesday night because I am thisclose to snapping on a customer.

An older (than me) man and woman both ordered the baby back combo, which consists of a half rack of ribs, a quarter of chicken, three side dishes and two pieces of garlic toast.  Most couples share this meal.  Usually only young, linebacker types order a combo meal on their own.

When the couple ordered, they were really polite.  Then I brought out the 4 plates of food and they were slightly less polite.  I checked on them not long after they started eating and they said everything was fine.  About midway through their meal, the guy flagged me down and asked if our ribs were always that tough.  Honestly, sometimes yes, but I had 4 tables at that time eating the same combo meal and no one was complaining.

I started to explain that we are a dry, smoked barbecue, and we do not boil our ribs like many southerners are used to, but he flipped out and yelled, “I’m from Tennessee and I know barbecue.”  I’m so used to hearing, “I’m from Texas blah, blah, blah,” that I kind of blacked out for a second.  When I came to, I noticed the guy was visibly shaking.  WTF?!  Who gets so mad they start shaking over barbecued meat?

I told him that our ribs are what they are and I offered to get him something else.  He flapped his hands at me, so I continued on with my other tables.  I came back to the table about 5 minutes later and the guy was vibrating he was so pissed off.  Meanwhile, the woman wouldn’t make any eye contact with me.  He started complaining again and I told him I would talk to the manager since I wasn’t in the position (bend over and grab your ankles) to give out free food. 

For crying out loud, the guy had gnawed the ribs until they were bones.  There wasn’t a sliver of meat left on his plate.  He ate most of his chicken, both pieces of garlic toast, the fries and the cole slaw.  The woman ate all of her chicken, both pieces of garlic toast, most of her ribs and all three of her side dishes.  He had the nerve to sputter, “Look at how much food is left over.  The only things that tasted good were the fries and the cole slaw.”  Well I’m glad, because the only things left to eat are the plates.

I gathered their plates and put them on the employee table so Darren could decide whether to give them a free meal or not.  Then I went to find Darren.  I found him cleaning the smoker. 

Yeah. That's about right.

Because of Darren’s appearance and the guy raging out, (and my overwhelming urge to break someone’s neck) we decided to only charge for one combo meal.  Thisclose, you bastard.

Sometimes the planets align and people slip one past me.  Don’t be the next one to try it.


11 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. izziedarling
    Aug 26, 2010 @ 05:01:17

    You HAVE to get a book deal out of this; am reading “Waiter Rant” which is very good but it’s time for your voice! 🙂

    My mom recently self published a book and has already recouped her costs so I might give that a try. I’m not big on the rejection thing.


  2. redriverpak
    Aug 26, 2010 @ 08:52:16

    How you manage to survive every day without snapping and just tearing these jerks limb from limb is a real mystery to me! 🙂 If YOU were not so superhuman, you should be doing 10-20 in the State Pen right now… 🙂

    If I ever come down with a terminal illness, people better watch out. Dying in prison means medical care, 3 hot meals, a place to sleep, and round the clock care for free. I’m just sayin’.


  3. trailerparkbarbie
    Aug 26, 2010 @ 15:15:53

    After reading how much food they ordered, I had to unbuckle my own belt. Who were they…Jr. and Lulu Samples form HeeHaw?
    “Look at how much food is left over!”…you should have said, “Well goodness gracious, hon, after all that bone sucking, there’s still might be enough left to feed a poor village family in the Congo. What say we package them right up and drop them in the mail before that minute amount of marrow dries all the way up?”

    Ya gotta lot more patience that I do, girlfriend.

    I wanted to say, “Look at how much you started with, pig”, but if my mouth ever gets going, it just isn’t going to stop until I’m standing in the unemployment line.

    The only time customers make me cry is when I have so much to say, but can’t. My mouth slams shut, the pressure in my head is like a steam cooker, I get a vision of police cars and orange jumpers and the tears start pouring out. That is the point where people need to take about 2 steps back before shit gets real. Don’t laugh cuz you made me cry, say a prayer of thanks that I don’t want my kids visiting me in prison.


  4. Becky
    Aug 26, 2010 @ 15:39:11

    They say that journaling helps people cope better with difficult things that happen in their lives. Thank god you have this blog and all of us to help you avoid blowing up, killing someone, and going to prison. 😀

    That’s why I started it. I was so filled with rage I knew it was a matter of time before something bad happened.


  5. redriverpak
    Aug 26, 2010 @ 16:27:37

    You never did run down that policy on side dishes again for me….. I’m ready whenever you are…. 🙂

    You ARE cruisin’ for a bruisin’.


  6. M.T.
    Aug 26, 2010 @ 19:39:48

    People have to be pretty screwed up to totally lose it over some tough ribs. I always wonder what the hell has happened to them to make them so foul. And I wonder how they treat their children…

    Ribs are what they are…a shitty cut of meat. Different places do different things with them, but they are still fatty and/or tough unless you boil them, they they are fatty and tasteless.


  7. DarcsFalcon
    Aug 26, 2010 @ 20:31:11

    If they ate that much of their meal, didn’t even make a note of anything unsatisfactory until half way through, and didn’t complain until they were nearly done, that’s not deserving of a free meal, that’s a scam.

    I know, but I was feeling weak and I knew my mouth was going to get the better of me.

    It’s funny, I was talking about this very thing with Darc last night, how when I was in food service – really dessert service – our boss told us the customer is always right. Being new there, I raised my hand and asked, “What about when they’re not?” He explained that even when they weren’t, it was our job to make them think they were, because that’s what kept customers coming back, and it was customers who paid our paychecks. That was an eye-opening conversation for me, way back when I was a teen at her 1st job. He was a wise man.

    The customer is right until they start scamming us out of money. First and foremost, I’m there to make money for my employer. If I allow people to get free food they’ve eaten or steal off the salad bar, I’m taking money out of his pocket. There is common sense involved and sometimes I have to give in, but I refuse to let people take advantage of they system just so they can be repeat customers…who will do the same stuff all over again.


    • DarcsFalcon
      Aug 26, 2010 @ 21:26:50

      Don’t misunderstand – my boss would never allow people to scam him, and they tried, make no mistake. People always do because people are jerks. He had rules for what was permitted and what wasn’t, as far as what we could replace or comp. He ran a dessert place, and people would walk out the door, then walk in again claiming they’d dropped their stuff and we should replace it free for them. His rule was once it was out the door, it was on them. Half gone or more, on them.

      🙂 I started to write a response on this and it turned into a post. People ARE jerks.

      He was also a deputy sheriff on his day job. People knew not to cross the owner, especially when he was there in his badge and gun. 🙂

      I wish I could go to work armed. I’ll bet I’d have fewer assholes.


  8. whatigotsofar
    Aug 27, 2010 @ 03:59:25

    “I’m from Tennessee and this is how it’s cooked in Tennessee!”

    Well, you’re in Wyoming now, bitch. This is how it’s cooked in Wyoming. (Or where ever the heck you are.)

    As soon as I hear “I’m from __________,” the conversation is over. I don’t give a shit how you do it back home.


  9. Bob
    Aug 27, 2010 @ 05:37:58

    I am usually the one with my head down low making no eye contact with the wait staff because of a stupid person I am eating with.

    Her behaviour tipped me off that he does this all the time and she is embarrassed to be a part of it.


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