Yesterday in my #MIMM post, I referenced the Twilight Zone of this weekend, and particularly a story from Friday night. Here I will detail what happened. There will be a second part to this post that will go into more discussion of restaurant etiquette.
I am going to change a few details (like the name of the liquor that was purchased) in the interest of protecting myself, but please consider this a Public Service Announcement to all diners. And waitresses.
I got verbally assaulted and physically intimidated Friday night by a diner who got himself in over his head monetarily. This has never happened to me, nor has it happened to the majority of my friends and coworkers. But I want to share it a) because this is my recap day, and b) as a PSA for how to be a responsible participant in life.
To describe the people I was dealing with: Couple A, who we shall call Bimbo and Bimbette, were rich middle-life-crisis “winners?”. Bimbette entered wearing a fur coat that cost at least $5k, as did her cheek implants. When the coat check lady approached her to ask if she could take the coat, she scoffed/sneered in her face (what of it she could move) and turned away. Bimbo was her slightly shorter husband with a thin gold chain, and expensive custom button down undone a few buttons to show his puffed up (and tanned) chest. Neither were lookers.
–Insert picture of plastic surgery victim here—
Couple B were their much more modest looking friends. They shall be OC for over compensater (the man) and NW for Nice Woman. It was like two sides of the same Dallas coin–2 “good ole boys” who went way back but one struck it mega rich and the other did very well. And wanted to keep up.
K, so they get seated in my section. And OC orders the “Best DJ you have” (DJ will stand in for what they ordered). Knowing that we have a particular vintage of DJ that costs $50 a shot (no joke), and that the next best is $25, I quickly presented him with both options. He chose the $$$. And ordered a double, neat. And then ordered one for Bimbo, also a double. And then NW decided that she wanted in, and she was allowed. Bimbette wanted another of the drink she had been having.
At this moment, the table’s tab = $315. No food yet. YEAH. Internally, I give myself a high-five, because a) they are making my whole night, and b) I NEVER get the high roller tables like this. They usually go to the big boys that have been there for forever.
During the course of the meal, during which I was complemented repeatedly on my service and my suggestions for them, OC ordered TWO MORE ROUNDS OF THE SAME TEQUILA, THE SAME WAY. I asked him each time if we were staying with the same, if we were still doing doubles, and if everyone else was going to be partaking. Also, Bimbette was included in the other rounds. They literally finished the bottle of DJ R ($50 a shot). We didn’t have enough for the ladies’ last round, so I talked to my managers, and we suggested another liquor, PE, a mesily $45 a shot. They gave me the green light, but asked for the check (which OC had specified at the beginning of the meal, in front of Bimbo, who relented, that he was to receive). When I brought them the last two drinks and presented OC with the check, he waved me off and shoved the card at me.
So I did as I was bade. And ran the card. I dropped it off at the table, thanked them effusively for coming in, and wished them well. I felt good; regardless of what they tipped, which was on them and a reflection of them not of me. I had done an excellent job, and I knew it. I have no regrets, and I do not question the integrity of my conduct in the slightest.
And then things went to sh*t. Apparently, overcompensating leads to overcompensation. SHOCKER. And OC, on his way back from the bathroom, got in my face and told me (well, spat at me), that I was very lucky that he was such a generous man, but that he and his friends would never be back. Then he basically accused me of taking blatant advantage of them and, when I tried to defend myself, told me not to play dumb and just kept going and going. Getting RIGHT in my face and aggressively positioning his body. Which wasn’t difficult, as he was (in typical good ole boy fashion) overweight and I am a tiny person. He shoved the coat check stubs in my face and told me to go get their coats and blahblahblah and right then one of my managers walked by, saw my face, and came to check. I quickly retreated to let him deal with the issue. By then I was starting to freak out–I was mortified, humiliated, and scared: what was going to happen? would I have to pay for their $1350 tab? Would I be fired? I hadn’t done anything wrong! What would happen at work moving forward? Did my managers trust me? My thoughts were racing, and I got increasingly worked up. I watched my GM walk up, and the guy got in his face, too. Finally, when I had their coats, I made my way back over, scared out of my mind, and handed them over (of course, OC dropped his vest and I had to follow after him.)
And then I lost my shit. I went to the back room and literally burst into tears and started shaking. I can’t explain what was going through my head other than to say I was in psychological traumatic shock. I couldn’t get my emotions under control. I was shaking, and I just remember not being able to lower my arms (folded and glued to my side but hands up by my face, which I am no recognizing as a defensive but scared gesture). D and J (my two managers who had been directly involved) came down to discuss the matter with me, and I answered their questions honestly but while shaking and crying uncontrollably.
To make the rest of a very long story short, they had 2 friends cover my tables for me, while I stayed out of sight (I was in no shape to go in public). I called Alex and burst back into tears at the sound of his voice, and ultimately asked him to come and meet me to walk home. My manager cut me and I agreed, as I felt I wouldn’t be able to be fully engaged in my tables in my state. Verrrry long story short, my managers supported me, backed me up, and believed me, based on my past conduct. I thanked them, and brought them a small present the next day and pulled them aside to say thank you; I don’t think they will ever know how much I appreciated their support, regardless of whether or not that was their job.
Comforting Tortilla soup and ice cream helped calm me down when Alex and I go home, about 1.5 hrs later (after I closed out my tables and did my sidework).A little bit of a Treat Yourself Tuesday (Thanks, Becky!) to round out the situation. Tomorrow will be way more focused on treats, though…. I’m gonna save it for then!
What do you think about this situation?