Self Service Restaurant

November 29, 2007

in Server Stories

Back when I was working on my undergrad, I played in a band to make money to pay my bills. One night, around 2 am, after playing a gig in a medium-sized town several hours away, we decided to stop at an all-night dinner in a small town on our way home. When we first arrived we were told to pick any seat we wanted, but that it would be about 15 minutes until we would be served because they were having a shift change and had to close out the registers. The group I was with agreed that this would be fine and patiently waited.

After 30 minutes of waiting, our server finally comes over to the table and takes our order. None of us ordered a big meal; just soda, coffee, hash-browns, and eggs. After waiting for 20 minutes, I try to flag the waitress over, but she was preoccupied with a phone call. After several more minutes of waiting, one of our group gets fed up with the service and gets our drinks for us. About 10 minutes later the waitress comes over and says “Good, someone brung yall, yall’s drinks” (it was in the deep south and she really did say it this way); apparently not noticing that she was the only waitress in the place. At this point, we ask if we could have some refills and if she knew when our food would be ready. She responds by saying that she has yet to turn in our order to the cook but she was on her way to do it.

My group and I were fairly frustrated by now, but with no other eating options for two hours in either direction we agree that we should just wait it out. A few minutes later we see our food come up in the window from the cook and still the waitress is chatting on the phone with no interest in serving us. After waiting long enough that we feared our food would be cold, we just went and got it ourselves along with our own refills. After finishing our food we chatted for another half hour about the poor service, especially noticing that we were the only people, although many had come and gone, who actually had anything to eat or drink. After this we decided that we were ready to leave, but the waitress showed no interest in taking our money (we had intended to pay with a credit card). So we figured out what our bill was and left the cash on the table, along with three pennies from the take-a-penny jar for a tip, just to be spiteful.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Rob April 2, 2009 at 7:09 pm

First good story I've read here.

I like the 3 pennies bit.


jaymoney April 3, 2009 at 5:51 am

Fantastic! Maybe that's how a restaurant should operate? The only part of dining out that sucks is dealing with some pimple faced (or in your case redneck) server who has no interest in doing their job. And then expects a tip.


Anonymous May 15, 2009 at 7:27 pm

that is a really good story. it would have served her right if you had only left the three pennies on the table.


MW July 13, 2009 at 4:33 pm


Finally a good one.


D_Me August 30, 2013 at 7:10 am

Goood Job Stranger =D
Awesome Story I Loooove it.


Jay May 25, 2017 at 5:56 pm

I want to go to an all night dinner.


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