By: Patrick Maguire
Book Chapter: Human-to-Human Service
Waiter and Blogger, Jeremy Smith, seems like the type of guy I’d love to have a few drinks with. Jeremy writes a restaurant blog called, You Just Got Sat. After reading his blog, he appears to be whimsical, funny, blunt, and ‘good people’. Jeremy works at Blue Fin Sushi & Grill in Rome, GA, and is someone whose writing and perspective, often resonate with me.
From Jeremy’s first blog post titled, I Love The Restaurant Business on January 9, 2011:
Over the years I have attained a set of skills that will ensure that I will be employable no matter where I go. I found a way to parlay my personality into profit and I don’t even have to take my clothes off…
There appears to be a negative stigma attached to working in the service industry, though. A lot of people seem to think that restaurant workers are greedy, stupid, mean-spirited people who lack drive, talent or worth. They treat us with disdain and contempt. Almost unanimously they will reply to any complaint made by a restaurant industry employee that they should just ‘Get a real job’. Then they’ll usually leave a crappy tip.
I firmly believe that working in a restaurant is a valid occupation and that those who do so are worthy of the dignity and respect accorded to those who work in other occupations. Maybe that is a silly idea, but what can I say? I’m a silly guy.
I love the restaurant business.
And I’m not ashamed to say it.
Pep Rally May 25, 2012 JerBer:
The other day was not supposed to be a busy day. Customers, if they did come in, were supposed to trickle in slowly. Tumbleweeds were supposed to be rolling with lackadaisical abandon down the main alley as servers filled out crossword puzzles while leaning over a beer cooler, games were supposed to be played, jokes told, cigarette breaks taken.
Obviously none of that shit happened.
At about 5:30 we discovered that due to some strange sort of temporal anomaly, everybody in a twenty mile radius who had a birthday that day decided they wanted to eat at The Sushi Joint. And in the spirit of their shared birth anniversary camaraderie, they all rode the same bus to get there. Now before this starts sounding like a bitch session, trust me–it’s not. It’s great having business and these people were all pretty much super nice, but unfortunately for this one table a perfect storm brewed up and rained down a torrent of inconvenient shit on them.
That’s overstating it a bit. Really the only complaint they had was that the overall service took a good bit longer than they’re used to. It wasn’t my fault, it wasn’t the kitchen’s fault, it wasn’t the hostess’s fault, it wasn’t the table’s fault–it wasn’t anybody’s fault. It takes a little bit longer for everything when your restaurant fills up instantly with large parties, and all those extra seconds spent waiting on the POS terminal, waiting on the beverage station, waiting on longer ticket times, etc. add up. Adding to the mix, it started out as a six top but grew to an eight top (which was not that big of a problem at all), and when they got sat and I took their drink order, I was told that two of them had to leave soon and they needed their food in ten minutes (which was pretty fucking impossible at that time to be honest).
Let me be clear about this: I am NOT bitching about this table. It was a group of medical professionals that dine with us frequently and I am never unhappy to see them in my section. They just happened to be the victims of unfortunate timing–if they had sat down twenty minutes before or after they did then you wouldn’t be reading this. You’d probably be on facebook or watching porn. And I wouldn’t be all that surprised if you had another window open right now. I wouldn’t be jealous. You and I, we’re cool like that.
No one complained about things taking longer than they normally would have. Not the eleven top celebrating a birthday, not the couple having dinner, not the nice family of four sitting adjacent to the medipro table, not even the medical professional table, NO ONE complained about anything. Everybody that was there knew that the place just got flash mobbed and they assumed naturally that it would take a minute. Everybody was pretty nice and understanding except this one guy at the medipro table, and even HE was still pretty nice and (oddly enough) fairly understanding about it all.
But despite all this he kept me at the table for five minutes making valid complaints about the time of service and disputing the autograt. He acknowledged the situation wasn’t our fault and the fact that there was literally nothing that anyone could have done differently, and honestly he was never rude or hostile. He did, however, actually say words to the effect of ‘If we are going to have to pay a service charge we should have our own server that waits on just this one table’, a suggestion that even he seemed to recognize as wishful thinking almost as soon as he said it. I could tell confrontation didn’t come easily to him. He’s always been a nice guy and a good customer before, but his shaking voice and shaking hands told me how upset he was. I felt bad for the guy to tell the truth, so much so that I even asked him (once) if he wanted me to remove the grat from his bill. He eventually settled on vowing to never come back and my last words to him were Please Come Back. Sometimes there’s nothing else you can do.
While we were having our conversation, the father from the family of four at the next table was listening, and then he decided that he wanted to have a conversation with me also. But his conversation was a lot nicer. He also acknowledged the generally goatfucked nature of the situation and then he gave me all this really, really nice praise and encouragement. I wish I could remember what all he said but I was too busy at the time and quite frankly blown away by the sheer niceness of it all.
You see, Family of Four Dad was under the impression that I had just been cussed out for five minutes and he was giving me a pep talk. He told me how pleasant his meal had been and how well he thought I handled the situation and how well I held up under pressure–things he probably would have never thought to say if he hadn’t witnessed me getting a tongue-lashing from his table neighbor.
Every once in a while, having a table chew you out or act unreasonable can actually have a positive effect on your night if you handle it well. Customers can hear what their neighbors are saying to you, especially if they are making a spectacle of themselves. When you handle anger with compassion, insanity with reason, and rudeness with kindness, people respond to that. They really do, and it can be a beautiful thing.
The guy at the medipro table wasn’t mean or hostile or crazy but the Family of Four Dad apparently thought he was so he gave me a really nice pep talk.
I’ve been cussed out before–REALLY cussed out–and rarely have I gotten a pep talk from a neighboring table. It’s happened though. And it’s always cool when it happens. The best, most succinct and concise pep talk I’ve ever gotten was from a local insurance magnate regular who overheard this crazy ridiculous bitch just going off on me because she wanted avocados with something that didn’t normally come with avocados and she couldn’t figure out why she should have to pay for them (FYI it’s because we sell food for a living lady). This guy overheard the conversation and said simply: ‘Man, don’t let what that miserable bitch said get you down.’
So to all you pep talkers out there: Thank You! Words are powerful, much more so than most people realize. When you give heartfelt words of encouragement to others you can have a profound impact on their night. Healing words are ten times more powerful than hurting words, so the next time you see some poor bastard getting chewed out for something feel free to try to give them a pep talk. It won’t hurt anything and it can mean the difference between going home crying while giving everybody the finger and going home laughing. Not that I ever give everybody the finger. That’s not like me.
And as always, treat restaurant industry employees with . . .
Dignity and Respect
Me, The JerBear
Please leave your comments for Jeremy below. Thank you.
Jeremy, let’s have that drink sooner rather than later. Cheers, brother.
By: Patrick Maguire
Book Chapter: Customer Hall of Shame
Every time I watch National Geographic, Discovery Channel, or Animal Planet, I am reminded that there’s not much difference between wild animals and some human beings in shared public space.
LEHI — A young mother of twins took potty training to the table — the dining table — in a popular Utah deli Tuesday. And the picture an onlooker snapped and posted on Facebook has a lot of people talking.
If anyone understands how stressful potty-training can be, it’s mother of three, Kimberly Decker. In fact, she just finished potty training her little boy and couldn’t leave her house for several days during the process. That’s why she was so shocked at what she witnessed Tuesday at the Thanksgiving Point Deli.
“I noticed that this lady was having her two — she had two twins, two little girls about 2-and-a-half years old, sitting on what I thought were booster seats,” Decker said.
But after doing a double take, she realized they weren’t booster seats, they were child port-a-potties.
“She had to undo the jumpsuits, and take them all the way down so they were completely nude, with the jumpsuits down to their ankles just eating their chicken nuggets, sitting on little toddler potties,” Decker said.
Decker snapped a picture on her cell phone, while she and her friend stared in awe.
“The more you thought about it, the more unappetizing everything looked around me,” Decker said. “I was like this is not ok, we’re eating, there was a business meeting with about five or six businessmen going on right next to me. The place was packed.”
Spokeswoman for Thanksgiving Point, Erica Brown, said they received several complaints from patrons. Their staff didn’t realize what was going on among the crowd until after it was already over, but she added they would have asked the woman to leave and take the potty training into the restroom.
“I think state and local health codes were probably an issue, as well as just social norms,” Brown said.
You’re probably right, Erica…
By: Patrick Maguire
Book Chapter: Confronting without Confrontation
This post is a precursor to a forthcoming post titled, Amateur Hour, Online Restaurant Reviews, that will include suggestions for restaurateurs and reviewers, especially anonymous reviewers. Some of your comments following this post will be quoted in the future piece.
Roy Binbuffalony, a Server Not Servant facebook group member, recently sent me a link to a story by ‘queenseyes’ on BUFFALO RISING, a website covering everything happening in and around Buffalo, NY. The piece, titled, Surprising Buffalo: Mike A’s, highlights a relatively new restaurant by renowned Buffalo restaurateur, Mike Andrzejewski. The piece includes quotes from travel writer, Steve Jermanok:
“Dinner was exceptional, probably one of the best meals I had since dining at the acclaimed Next in Chicago last summer. Mike Andrzejewski is one of the city’s best loved chefs and he finally has a high-end restaurant that matches his talent. One taste of his wagyu beef tartare, spiced with pine nuts, capers, watercress, red onions, olive oil, truffled Dijon mustard, and egg yolk, and you realize this dude’s destined for a James Beard award.”
Posted by anonymousOOO on August 7, 2012 PM:
A disappointment from one of WNY’s [Western New York] seasoned restaurant owners, & we never even made it to review the food! Our issues started with the lack of a sign for the restaurant/dining room, and some confusion between where to check-in, in relation to the location of the bar. (Note: it is a restaurant bar, not an open late hotel lobby bar.) A cheap curtain between the kitchen and the dining room, was our first red flag, far from five-star. The drink menu was impressive, and the specialty drinks even came with an old fashion single large ice cube, like Vera Pizzeria also does (nice touch). The odor of old and new in the place mixed together, interestingly. We especially liked chandelier lights in the bar area, but they totally missed with carrying the noir lights also into the dining room. (Cheap Home Depot spotlights throughout the entire dining room.) We then made our way into the loud echoing dining room, with beautiful high ceilings, which unfortunately only exacerbated the high noise level. There were nice mosaics throughout, and the unshaded windows provide a nice view of the library. We then had issue with the overzealous waiter trying to give us each 4 pieces of bread (another amateur mistake). Then after an expected deep dive into the menu, there was a lack of any specials menu. Now this is something that isn’t necessarily mandatory, but expected by many (another miss). Then came a whipped cream radish teaser thingy (another fail). We placed our orders and promptly received some overcooked scallops, and romaine wedge salad (didn’t know that a WEDGE came from Romaine- not what we expected) with a nice bottle of mildly priced pinot noir was ordered. Our wine arrived and the waiter then spilled our bottle of red wine all over me!!!, which promptly and effectively ruined any chance of any further review, EPIC FAIL! Given the above we cannot recommend this restaurant. This place has only been open a few weeks, but we expected so much more. [sic]
Response from Chef/Owner Mike Andrzejewski on August 9, 2012 4:43 PM:
RESPONSE to ANONYMOUs000 Hello Christopher Hawkins of HSBC bank aka Anonymous000, Lets tell the readers the whole story here- and Why you are angry , you classless pig. Mr. Hawkins showed up at the Lafayette hotel last weekend claiming he had a reservation under another name. Our hostess who behaved as professionally as possible to accommodated him and tolerate his obviously intoxicated ,agitated and aggressive behavior moved their table twice to satisfy his demands. The server was as tolerant as possible while Mr. Hawkins bantered and stammered, and the table ordered a bottle of wine and the rest of the savory portion of the meal. After eating the appetizers AND finishing the wine Mr. Hawkins purposely knocked over the empty bottle in a childish display of bad acting, blaming it on the waiter startling him. (This was witnessed and verified by other guests around him in the dining room.) Again making a scene he instructed the other guests to retrieve the car from the valet and he would “take care of the check”. when the manager went to print the check Hawkins then sprinted out the door and left without paying his bill, and worse stiffing the server whom he abused through his service. BUT WAIT – Hawkins then went to Seabar , Our other restaurant and demanded tho the Host that she take care of him and that “Mike A” himself sent him there to make up for his experience. Sherri, my wife and owner of Seabar trying to make the best of a bad situation promptly moved things around seated Hawkins , who once again was a complete Obnoxious jackass to the server. and the staff proceeded to try and provide a good dining experience, all the while Hawkins and his pathetic girlfriend with tears in her eyes berated my restaurants to everyone within earshot. Finally after being called about the situation I arrived at Seabar from the Hotel , just in time to hear how the server should be ashamed and that we owed him money. Immediately I made sure to tell him to get himself and everything else associated with him out of my restaurant, and the spineless tool even admitted he spilled the empty wine which he already had finished and skipped out on a bill. Demanding that he leave immediately he and entourage finally exited. BUT it gets better! After leaving the scumbag gets pulled over by Police , who is aware of the situation and make him call the restaurant and turn over his credit card number to cover our cost. To end the saga , the other couple they were dining with ,so mortified and embarrassed went back to the Lafayette and payed for the wine Mr Hawkins stole, and explained to our management that they wanted no part of such behavior. To them THANK YOU! that was a classy and dignified thing to do and earned a great deal of respect from our staff. Chris Hawkins is really a spineless and crass individual,and stories abound about his horrendous actions and abusive behavior throughout the restaurant industry. Now he is such gutless clown he wont sign is name to false criticism he is slandering all over the internet … I will though- this is the rest of the story. Mike Andrzejewski [sic]
The exact same ’anonymous’ rant was also posted on UrbanSpoon on August 7, 2012 under the moniker of “anonymous1″(first and only post), and also on Yelp under the handle, “C A.”(first and only post). Yelpers refer to (usually anonymous) reviewers with no photo as “Orange Heads”. The UrbanSpoon and Yelp reviews have since been taken down by the site monitors.
I reached out to “C A.” via Yelp’s messaging option. Here is his response and my exchange with him:
I have considered not responding to your note, but feel if I did not, then an accurate accounting of that evening would not take place… I am the victim here…
I would prefer that you not use my full name.
Patrick Maguire: How long have you known Mike?
Chris: I have been eating at his establishments for over 10 years, and spent thousands over the years. This was the first negative experience I have EVER had. I have never met the man other than saying “hello” to him over the years.
PM: Do you have a grudge against him? If yes,why?
Chris: I certainly do not have any grudge against anyone. I was simply disappointed, and I felt that it was my right to say so. The backlash of saying so has been significant.
PM: Do you have a response to his comments ripping you and your actions in his restaurants?
Chris: I do, he is outright lying in his response.
PM: Have you contacted him and apologized?
Chris: My Atty has advised me to have no further contact with him in any way. I have no intention to apologized as I did nothing wrong, other than leaving to avoid conflict.
PM: Is there anything you’d like to add?
Chris: Sure,.. As a foodie, I have ate[sic] at many an establishment, and posted several reviews. In this case, I have learned a lot as a result of my negative experience that evening and the internet post. That review was sincere and accurate from me. His rebuttal however, was not.
One of the things that I have learned, is that businesses can have negative reviews removed from some websites for a cost per word! Where is the literary integrity there?
When posting a negative review about any business, their proprietors take it as a direct personal attack on their livelihood and will do anything to fight back, including LIE. (My review was not meant to be a personal attack.)
In this case, some examples include, 1.) there was no police involvement that evening. (A quick review of the police blotter from that night can prove that).2.) We were not intoxicated at any time, (we had our first drink when we got to the restaurant.) 3.) Almost every other statement he made was either an outright lie or an exaggeration. Mr. A, personally wasn’t involved in any of the interactions, so any accounting he received was after the fact, except when he asked us to leave, which we quietly did, offering to pay for whatever we ate so far, but was met with “Just go”. 4.) I certainly did not spill anywine on myself!
He made a scene in his own restaurant, not us. (Perhaps he could have approached us outside, or asked us to talk privately- instead he blew up in the middle of his own establishment.)
I have always believed that, If you leave someone alone, they will leave you alone. He obviously is interested in some free press and attention, I however am not.
Which is why I posted anonymously.
At this point, I just want to put this to rest and move on.
A Cease and Desist letter has been sent to Mike Andrejewski from my attorney, to stop using my name or any likeness thereof, directly or indirectly through any 3rd party, in any slanderous way, as my Review was not directed at him personally, rather at our negative experience we had at one of his many restaurants.
After the written response from Chris, I called him and left a message, and he called me back right away to confirm that the Yelp message was, in fact, written by him. During that conversation, I told him that everyone would have a fair opportunity to respond to the public comments following this post. After speaking with Chris, he sent me another Yelp message requesting that I state that he is not employed by HSBC, and to add that he is a consultant.
I also called Mike Andrzejewski and sent him a couple of emails seeking clarification from his perspective. Here is my email exchange with Mike:
Patrick Maguire: In retrospect, is there anything you wish you handled differently? (It seems like you should have thrown him out of your steakhouse for being a drunk, obnoxious boor.)
Mike Andrzejewski: I think as a restaurant we did everything possible to make the best of the situation. It’s easy in retrospect to second guess, but at the steakhouse we had no idea he would run out on the check, and then show up at Seabar to try and extort a free meal there. I should have answered my phone earlier when they tried to call , but I was in the kitchen and the staff and my wife at Seabar did their best with a bad situation.
PM: Have you heard from Chris since the incident?
Mike A.: [He] messaged me on facebook with an very untrue explanation of his actions.And several delusional accusations. He also called the restaurant , spoke to my wife Sherri, attempted to apologize and ask that I remove references to his employment. I did not post anything regarding him, his employment or anything else about the incident after my initial response. I also instructed our employees to cease posting anything or even discuss the incident any further.
PM: Have you confirmed that the guy in question was him?
Mike A.: Absolutely confirmed it was him.
PM: Has he apologized?
Mike A.: When he called back with his credit card number he initially told our employee to take the number and tell us to fuck ourselves. Afterwards, when he called the restaurant, he asked us to remove employment references ( Which we did not post) and vaguely attempted to apologize. He was told to apologize to the servers and host whom he mistreated.
PM: Does he have an ax to grind with you? Why?
Mike A.: I don’t think he had a problem with me personally. He does now. I think if you read some of the comment threads which there are a lot of , his behavior has been known around Buffalo and he has a reputation of really being an asshole.
PM: Feel free to add anything you’d like me to include.
Mike A.: I want to make it perfectly clear that any references to Hawkins’ employment or personal issues were made by people following the posts he began, and not posted or sanctioned by anyone at our restaurants, just more literary integrity from the masses. ”The pen is mightier than the sword. “
Also, I need to say that the only regret I have is not finding out more of the police involvement , I have been unable to verify first-hand exactly what happened with the officer, and was told of this by customers coming back into the restaurant as the events were unfolding. I tried very diligently to follow up and get a first-hand and verifiable witness report, but received no contacts or answers from the people (2 separate Groups) who first told us of this happening. Everything prior, we have undeniable and first-hand accounts.
I think the history of our respective reputations speaks for itself. As does the response to the postings put up, literally hundreds of people chimed in with stories of their own about Hawkins, and myself for that matter. If he was so concerned about only voicing an opinion, he certainly did – posting the identical critique on yelp, buffalo rising, urbanspoon and several other sites. As far as paying for removable reviews? Really? and literary integrity, start by signing your work.
I have never responded to an online review previously in a public fashion like this incident, and have, on a couple occasions, contacted reviewers who posted negatively to address and correct the problems they brought to my attention. This was not the case in Hawkins’ situation. His malicious intent warranted a public response in defense of my staff, restaurant and the way he treated them especially my wife , who runs Seabar. There was a time in my life when I would have handled this differently, much differently.
As far as the claim he spent thousands in my establishments is a stretch , to say the least. Maybe a hundred fifty over the last 4 years. And as far as claiming I’m looking for free publicity? Seriously, I get an almost embarrassing amount of attention from the local press, and certainly do not need to drag this kind of bullshit out in public.
My actions in telling him to leave the restaurant , and not asking him to speak privately were directly in response to him screaming at the waitress for giving him a bill , and stating that she owed him money for his troubles. He so embarrassed himself that a number of customers actually applauded and commented as he finally left the restaurant.
Finally, if Mr hawkins wishes to contact attorneys, he can have them approach the “anonymous” people on facebook , Buffalo rising, The buffalo News and other public forums to cease and desist. Since its ok for anyone to post things as they see them why is he complaining? After all, Isn’t that his point when he put his comments up publicly?
I really love the restaurant and service business, I think it’s a pretty noble profession. It angers and hurts me when people degrade it and degrade the people who work so hard at it.
Sincerely, Mike Andrzejewski
#2- What advice/suggestions do you have for amateur, anonymous posters who hide behind their keyboards when writing restaurant reviews?
#3- How about suggestions for amateur reviewers in general, even those who disclose their real names?
#3- What do you think of Mike A’s response on BUFFALO RISING to the comments by Chris?
#4- What advice/suggestions do you have for restaurateurs when it comes to responding publicly to online reviews?
By: Patrick Maguire
Book Chapter: Confronting without Confrontation
Thank you to everyone who visited this site to read the last post about the customer who tried to play a little game with one of the servers at our restaurant. There were 10,542 visits to the site within a day and a half after publishing the post.
Thank you also to Patrick Farrell from the Diner’s Journal section of the New York Times, Chris Morran from The Consumerist, Andrea Grimes from Eater National, The Gothamist, Pulse News, and everyone else who shared the post on Facebook and Twitter.
Lastly, thanks to most of the people who commented on the last post. The anonymous, “ihatetipping” person, and a few others, are just plain mean, ignorant, trolling assholes.
So here’s the rest of the story:
I returned to the restaurant, with our general manager, on Monday night to a nearly full restaurant, after distributing food at a neighborhood block party. The servers quickly told us what happened, then got back to work immediately. It was busy. After making a lap through the diningroom, and watering all of the tables, I saw the potential tip money on the table.
I actually had another server tell me a similar story a few years ago, but never saw the 3rd Rock or Cheers episodes that several commenters referenced. It was appalling to believe that someone actually had the nerve to try this charade in real life. As Andrea Grimes at Eater National said, this might be funny on a sitcom, but it ”plays out like a serious dick move in real life.”
My first reaction was; This violates what we stand for, and we need to end it now. Our restaurant actually has a page on our menu called, Law & Order, in which the following two items are included:
- The customer is NOT always right. However, the respectful customer is always right, and the asshole customer is always wrong.
- … Just don’t be a douchebag.
The server who had the douchebag’s table was very busy, and really didn’t have time to think about the implications. Witnessing her anxiety and thinking about how demeaning the ruse was, made me and our GM, Suzie, incensed. Suzie went to the kitchen to check out the status of the couple’s meal, then came up with a brilliant plan: They’ve just finished their appetizers. Let’s take the high road. We’ll wrap up their entrées to-go, comp their entire meal and kick them out. I loved it. The dignity of our server was more important than the profit on the meal.
As it turns out, the couple had ordered a steak frites to split, so Suzie wrapped it up and handed it to me. I approached the table and said, Excuse me sir, may I speak with you outside? He immediately followed me out the door.
When we got outside, I introduced myself as one of the managers/partners of the restaurant, and shook his hand. I explained that I had just returned to the restaurant and learned about the little game he was trying to play with our server, and asked him, Do you realize how insulting, demeaning and disrespectful that is to another human being? He immediately began to appologize profusely, claiming that he was only trying to have a little fun, that he was smiling when he initiated the game, and that he had no malicious intent because he too, was in the restaurant business in New York. Not once did he push back at all, or suggest that I was overreacting. If he had, he would have been gone.
He was so convincing with his apology, that I told him I changed my mind about giving him his meal to go, and that I would allow him to finish his meal at his table. He returned to his table, promptly removed the cash from the table, then had to explain to his date what happened. They were both obviously humiliated. I took over the table so the server wouldn’t have to deal with such an awkward situation.
After taking a few bites of his steak, he stopped me on my way by and said, This is really good, and again, I am SO sorry. In front of his date I said, I hope you understand why I was boiling mad and how disrespectful that was? He said he did, and asked permission to apologize to the server. I asked him to make it brief. Moments later, he approached the server, gave her one of those two-handed handshakes where his left hand covered her right, and pleaded his case.
I’ve never seen two people crush and entrée so quickly. When they were done eating, they stacked their plates (to help), and asked for the check. After fumbling with his cash and the check, I noticed he was attempting to write or scratch something on his check with one of his keys. Apparently he was too embarrassed to ask for a pen.
After shaking my hand for the umpteenth time, he apologizing one final time, then sheepishly left the restaurant.
I quickly examined the cash and check to make sure he didn’t stiff our server. He left $71 on a $50.83 bill, and the note etched onto the bill read, So Sorry.
Part of me still regrets not throwing him out.
By: Patrick Maguire
Book Chapter: Confronting without Confrontation
Last night a customer tried to “play a little game” (his words) with one of our servers, where he put twenty dollars on the table and said, “I’ll take one away (from your tip) every time something goes wrong.” I asked to speak with him outside of the restaurant and put an abrupt end to his “game”.
Where the hell do these people come from? Demeaning fellow human beings is never funny or cute. You don’t play games with hard-working people who are just trying to make a living. We need to continue to call these people on their shit, or they will continue to get away with it.
I guarantee you that the guy who came in last night will never try that again, and if the woman he was with ever dates him again, she’s a fool. I believe in the old adage that if you really want to know someone’s true colors, observe how they spontaneously interact with service industry workers.
Have you ever had anything like this ever happen to you or anyone you know?
I’ll provide the details of how my confrontation with the customer ended after reading your comments and recommendations on how you think I should have handled it. (The outcome will surprise you.) Thank you.
Here is how the story ended: http://www.servernotservant.com/2012/07/31/game-over/