Server Makes A Spectacle Of Diners

October 20, 2009

in Server Stories

A couple of months ago my husband and I were out running errands and decide to meet up with some friends at a local “Mom & Pop” restaurant. These friends of ours had just ordered their lunches with their 9 month old daughter when we arrived. My husband and I decided to just order a couple of sodas and desserts as we had a big breakfast earlier in the day and we explained to the waitress that our two orders would be on a separate ticket which seemed to confuse her.

After we ordered the waitress came back and apologized saying they were out of the pecan pie I had ordered. I changed my order to some specialty chocolate cake they had without much ado. A couple moments later our waitress arrives with the Taco Salad and melon plate my friend had ordered for herself and her daughter and just placed it in front of me without a word and breezes away. Then she circles back with drink refills and the remaining orders and notices a melon rind on the floor that had been accidentally dropped by the 9 month old. She glares at the back of our friends’ heads, scoops up the rind and storms off.

When it came time to pay she brings our ticket and explains that she rang us up for the pecan pie I had ordered as it was less expensive and what I wanted in the first place, but we noticed that she charged us for our friend’s Taco Salad. We point out the mix up and she snatches the bill up and flounces off. She comes back with the new bill and my husband notices that she rang up his dessert as “a la mode” which was about a dollar more expensive, and not what he ordered. He calls her back over and explains the mistake and she proceeds to try and justify it by saying that if she would have rang up the bill with my chocolate cake and his correct dessert it would have been the same total as the bill we were currently have. My husband looks at her and says he thought she was cutting us a break on the bill because they didn’t have what I wanted. The waitress just stares back at him, snatches the bill from his hand and storms off and starts shouting across the entire restaurant “THEN I’M CHARGING YOU FULL PRICE FOR HER DESSERT!!!”

Everyone in the restaurant stares at her then at us. I was so embarrassed by the spectacle she made us into that I just wanted to leave. We promptly got up from the table and found the manager and explained what just happened. He still made us pay full price for the two sodas and the two CORRECT desserts and just said she talked to him about it so he knows what happened. I can only imagine what she actually told him. That was the first time I did not leave a tip.

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

ps October 21, 2009 at 10:38 am

Wow, sounds like you were making reasonable requests and the 9 month old dropped a rind. Usually servers talk about diners from hell, sounds like you had the waitress from hell.


Stuck Serving October 30, 2009 at 5:26 pm

Waitress from hell is right!


Slotper December 3, 2009 at 4:31 am

Please extinguish the tipping bollocks.

The world is tired of it.

It makes people feel important to leave big tips, WOW… It makes people working in the service industry happy. SO WHAT?

If you abolish the stupid, and worn tipping system, people will do their jobs even though you think you are ensuring good service. The prices may go up, but will be REAL, instead of some arbitrary donation.

Get rid of it, I'm so tired of tipping int he USA…


sara December 6, 2009 at 2:20 pm

Nice idea. Explain it to the government, taxes and how an industry has been run since you put a coin in the baths in Athens a couple hundred years before Jesus. I for one don't mind working for tips I do think it depends on the dining room and who you're server is. Some servers deserved to be stiffed. However, the concept of gratuity does make sense. As long as you do your job and do it well.


RJ December 7, 2009 at 3:15 pm

Slotper, it doesn't work that way in the USA. Servers here – and no, I am not a waitress/waiter/server, so I'm not saying this on my own behalf – get barely minimum wage and depend on tips to make any kind of a living. I can think of only one time I didn't tip, and that was because the server was so extraordinarily nasty that I agreed with the group I was with and just couldn't justify leaving anything. Other than that, I was raised to show respect for the person waiting on me. It's a tough job and I doubt I could do it without smacking a plate over someone's head at least once every hour.


Mel January 8, 2010 at 12:10 pm

Speaking as a waitress myself, RJ is completely correct. It can be a difficult, ans stressful job. Not a single day goes by without at least one customer who is extremely picky, impolite, or downright rude no matter what you do for them. Also, depending in the state of course, most servers don't even get minimum wage. I work in a restaurant located in a busy international airport, and our servers are paid just over $2 an hour, are taxed on their tips, plus are taxed aprox 5% on all cash transactions. Therefore, in short, our servers generally don't even receive a pay check of more then a few bucks, if that, and quite literally live on their tips.

Now, don't get me wrong. I don't beleive that servers should receive tips out of pity for this fact, even being one myself, and fully beleive that any tip received should be earned. I simply wanted to state a few facts.


m February 6, 2010 at 3:55 am

If we paid servers only minimum wage… it seems to me the level of service would go down. Servers put up with a lot of crap, but they keep coming back, because those people who know that tipping is a standard social convention make it worth our while. Would I put in half the effort for $8 an hour? Heck no.


Norton Mary October 27, 2018 at 3:21 pm

Why not put in the effort no matter what you’re getting paid????


Warren Pierce November 28, 2018 at 10:22 am

Would you be willing to do your job for half your current salary?


everyonespal January 16, 2014 at 5:58 pm

I stopped tipping more than $1 many years ago.. and the money I save on snotty waitresses and busboys goes into me having more great eat out meals|! the waitstaff treat me with respect, the owners know here is someone cool and i get more food for my buck. winners all round!


Ace November 27, 2016 at 2:29 am

You forgot to add: "The restaurant saves on groceries since up to 40% of my meal now consists of bodily fluids".


Noteveryonespal'sPal February 18, 2018 at 9:23 am

Why would the waitstaff treat you with respect? You must not be able to eat anywhere twice in fear of them spitting in your food. Tipping should reflect service. If you consistently tip a great waiter $1, he will make hs service worse to compensate.


Norton Mary October 27, 2018 at 3:22 pm

WHY would he make his service WORSE to compensate????


Ed Hausman February 12, 2019 at 6:48 pm

To return the favor.


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