Our restaurant presents live musical performances on Fridays and Saturdays; usually upbeat jazz and R&B. These shows are very, very popular, and we encourage people (via our website and press releases) to call the restaurant to reserve a seat.
I was in the middle of seating a whole lot of people on a Friday night; the place was packed; four of my most favorite customers (who’d called the week before to reserve) were with me, heading toward one of the prime tables in the restaurant. The five of us were nearly knocked over by a rather rotund woman and her husband who went running past us – and sat down at the table we were headed to (it was marked with a card saying “reserved”).
I asked my customers to bear with us a moment and went to tell the couple that they couldn’t sit there; it’d been reserved and that I’d be happy to get them another table if they’d wait for a moment. The lady looked at me and said “we’re not moving.” I replied that she was a party of two occupying a reserved table set for four. Again, all she said was “we’re not moving.” Not wanting to cause a scene; I seated my table of four at a booth (one they really didn’t want – but they were understanding) and then went to my service staff and told the server in that section that I did not want her to waste her time on the offending couple; that I just wanted them to wait and maybe they’d just go away.
Over the next 45 minutes, the woman continued to sit there, oblivious to the fact that she was being intentionally ignored, but for the fact that every time I passed the table, she’d utter some sort of obscenity, very loudly, in my direction. “F*ck! Sh*t. Dick-head. Assh*le.” It started to wear on the diners seated in the vicinity. I finally went to the table and said “I guess you didn’t get the hint; you and your date need to leave right now.” To which she again said, “we’re not moving.”
I called the police. We have a liquor license and are therefore entitled to eject any customer, for any reason, without repercussion. It seemed to me if an individual was being this belligerent she must’ve had something to drink, or worse, a pill or something like that. But I must tell you I can’t stand having to call the police – I’d much rather reserve that for when we really need them. Most of the time, I can get even the most unreasonable customer to a middle ground where we can at least respect each other. In this case it just wasn’t going to happen.
When the officers arrived, they heard what was going on and rolled their eyes – in disbelief that all I called them for was a customer who wouldn’t change her table. I was telling them the details of this woman’s behavior as we approached the table (two of the four tables surrounding this woman applauded me and the cops when we arrived – they stood and applauded) and when she turned around and saw us all, she lunged up at me with her water glass, aiming it right at my face. The cops tackled her but not before I got a glass full of water all over my suit and a nasty knot in my head where the glass hit me (thank God it didn’t break).
Meanwhile, astonishingly, her date (or her husband) stood by, wordlessly. When prompted by the police for a comment, he just said “oh, she’s pretty demanding. She’s like this all the time.” We were rendered momentarily speechless. He seemed genuinely surprised when they put the handcuffs on the lady. She, meanwhile, was vomiting obscenities and told the police and me that our mothers were “whores” and worse.
Now, I could’ve filed assault charges that’d have resulted in up to five years’ jail time in our state. I declined. I did, however, tell the Court that I wanted this woman to get some sort of counseling – the judge concurred.
Now, when that party of four – the ones who the table was intended for – comes in for one of their frequent visits to our restaurant, we have a little schtick. They sit down immediately at their favorite table, and when I come to get their drink orders, they all chime in at once “we’re not moving!”
– Xiao Gou