It was a Sunday afternoon a few years ago and my teenaged sister and my teenaged self were dining out with a huge group of friends at a pretty popular sit down restaurant. This was after a weekend teen camp and my sister and I had pitched in for gas and such for the trip which left us with $5 to split. We saw that the only thing we could really afford on the menu for our lunch was fries and we’d still have a bit left for the tip, so we agreed to get it and waited for the waitress to come around.
We had been seated at a booth next to our friend’s long table, and after the waitress took everyone else’s orders she came over to us and charmingly introduced herself and asked what we’d like to order. When we said, “We’ll split a basket of fries,” her whole demeanor changed, she became very frigid and brusque, scribbled it down, and immediately left.
Everyone got their items, and about 5 minutes later she plunked down a basket of cold fries for us as if it was an afterthought. She never asked us if we wanted refills on our empty water cups and we never had time to ask her because of her extremely brisk and rude manner. Our friend’s table was a very busy one, but our booth almost t-boned the table and to get from one end to another (which she did a lot since our friends had bottomless drinks and fries!) she had to go directly past us. She was flirting about with the male members of our party and charming the girls, refilling cups in an eye blink and swooping in at the slightest gesture from someone. The difference between her amazing attentive treatment of them and her cold condescending treatment of us was astounding. Even though she went past us several times she wouldn’t even glance at us and ignored our attempts to gain her attention.
We never got refills for our water or fries and ended up accepting our friend’s offers to share their drinks (even they had noticed that by that point we were drink and foodless!). Everyone finally finished eating and our waitress began to hand around the bills. We waited expectantly for our bill, however she continued to sweep past us, practically giving us goosebumps from her absolutely frigid attitude. My sister and I were very confused about her attitude, but we finally managed to flag her down as she bulled past us after picking up a few bills. We asked her for our bill and she coldly replied, “Your fries are free since your friends ordered bottomless fries” and whipped off again.
My sister and I were surprised; we had no idea the fries would be free but I guess that’s why she was so rude to us. Perhaps she thought we came in just to mooch fries and assumed we were some sort of scum even though we were clean, well dressed and spoke well. We were disgusted by her inability to treat even a non-paying customer with respect, but we still left our entire $5 on the table for her hoping it might make her regret her actions and be kinder in the future. Whether or not that was good for her character I have no idea, but her service sure put me off that restaurant for good.