Senior Gets Confused Over Steak

October 15, 2010

in Diner Stories

I’ve been working at this certain restaurant for quite some time. The past Sunday afternoon I was working a lunch shift that typically lasts from 11:30am to 1:30pm. Sunday is the day that the trashiest and worst tippers come out to eat, and leave you cards with pictures of Jesus rather than tips. It was slow and I had only had three tables, all of which were white trash. Being white myself, I have no problem saying that I consider the white trash tables worse than “trashy” people of any other ethnicity because these tables know how to tip and disregard it. I pride myself on the fact that I care more about creating a great dining experience for guests than for trying to get a good tip. I do my work and don’t think about the tip until the end. However, when I get three $2.00 tips on $30.00 meals, I get very annoyed. My typical tip percentage is between 24% and 30% because I am very personable and nice to guests.

Anyways, as I am getting cut, I see a table of seven approaching the door. I needed the extra cash, so I request to stay on for the table. My manager agrees. The table of seven consists of seemingly 80+ year olds. Although there are seven chairs (four on one side and three on the other), they argue with me for five minutes that there are not enough seats. Finally, I persuade them to just try to fit and, of course, it works. I take drink orders and bring seven waters in about two minutes, along with rolls.

I let the table know about the special for the day – $3 off prime rib! Everyone at the table orders a 12 oz prime rib except for the old man on the end. He orders a 12oz ribeye. I repeat orders back twice, since I know old people get confused and can’t hear. Everyone smiles and nods their heads, so I put their orders in.

About 15 minutes later, I spot food runners heading to my table. All the prime ribs are set down and when the ribeye is set down, the old man YELLS at the food runner, “This is NOT what I ordered. What the heck are you doing???”

I instantly tell the food runner that I have control of the situation and approach the old man. “Sir, I have it written down here that you ordered a 12oz ribeye. Everyone else ordered prime rib.” On my notepad every seat’s entrée is listed as “12oz PR” except his, which is “12oz RIBEYE.”

The man looks up at me in outrage and yells “Are you calling me a LIAR? I KNOW what I ordered. This isn’t it. You wrote it down wrong and put it in wrong.”

Normally I follow the customer is right rule, but I was pissed off at being yelled at for nothing, so I told him “Sir, I said it back to you twice and you agreed it was right.” This infuriated him even further. Obviously this guy is constantly corrected for his bad memory because he got PISSED!

Another customer told my manager about the commotion, so he came over and asked what was wrong. The old man proceeded to tell my manager that I purposely put the wrong steak in for him then called him a liar. WTF? Luckily, my manager is used to crazy people and just kind of nodded his head and asked what he could do. Another old man at the table felt bad for me and switched entrees with the crazy man. Everything was then fine… or so I thought.

The crazy old man begins screaming at me as soon as my manager walks away and says I “PURPOSELY” gave him a SMALLER steak than everyone else because I was mad at him. Umm… hello psycho. Your friend switched with you. I haven’t taken a step away from the table or touched your food. Are you insane?

Eventually my manager gives him an additional 6oz just so he will shut the F up. The old crazy man proceeds to treat me like shit the rest of the night, and keeps muttering about me under his breath. I hear him tell the rest of the table that I am not getting a dime as a tip.

I did not stay an extra two hours to be yelled at and not tipped. We don’t do a gratuity where I work, but how would they know? On the check, under the total, I wrote, “Recommended (18%) Large Party Gratuity: $20.45” (their bill was over $100). And guess what? I got it! And even better, as they walked out the door, one of the old ladies slipped me $7.00 and said “In case he didn’t tip well enough.” How nice.

Wow, sorry that your family dumped you in a retirement home old man. Don’t take it out on me!

{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

rerere October 15, 2010 at 5:46 pm

Well, at least the other seniors were good in this situation. When we go out to a restaurant with my grandfather, he usually gives like 10%. My mother acts like she forgot something goes back to the table and leaves more money.


Wotan October 16, 2010 at 1:32 pm

I'm white, 69 and wife is black,50 and of course I always pay and leave exactly 15% for my bill based on amount without ST if I'm not happy for service or if server has an attitude. Otherwise, I leave 18 to 20%. Now, here is the hammer: My wife used to recount my tip left on the table and took some of it claiming they don't need that much. So, in order not to have arguments with her I pay, whenever I can, with my credit card and refuse to let her see my stub. I don't want to get into this race thing but is it comon for blacks to tip less then other races? This is my second marriage and first time with a black. Yes we do have a wonderfull relation otherwise.


Lea McFalls Zeqiri August 29, 2012 at 7:14 pm

Wotan, yes it is. Most servers refer to blacks as Canadians, apparently they don't tip either, I don't know. But servers will argue and try to slip out of waiting on their tables. In their defense, I owned an Italian restaurant in a predominantly black town and I had some wonderful tippers as well. Unfortunately, that is not the norm.


Hack August 30, 2012 at 9:08 am

Be quiet, Lea McFalls. I have a few black friends who always tip above 18%. I’m not saying that all blacks tip well, but at least give the ones who do credit, douchebag.


Amber May 11, 2016 at 2:18 pm

Canadians tip, our tipping culture is very similar to that of the US. The difference being is we do not tip for bad service. Our servers make the same rate of pay as all minimum wage jobs, the difference is servers get tips on top of it when they provide good service. Here it's 10-15% on ok service and 20-25% on good service as the norm. Those that understand the tipping culture in the US, know to tip in the US more so because of the messed up rules regarding your server's wages.


Jack October 17, 2010 at 8:59 am

So, here we have another server who doesn't like his/her job. Sweet.

You say "I pride myself on the fact that I care more about creating a great dining experience for guests than for trying to get a good tip. I do my work and don’t think about the tip until the end."

If so, don't you think it would have been almost effortless to bring another chair to the table, instead of arguing that there were enough?

Then you said when the gentleman claimed he got the wrong order, "Normally I follow the customer is right rule, but I was pissed off at being yelled at for nothing," awww poor baby, you got yelled at! It seems being "right" meant more to you then giving the customer a "great dining experience". The man was in his 80's, maybe he didn't say the correct words when ordering, ribeye, primerib, same cut of meat, just cooked differently. What difference did it make who was right, just give him what he wanted. He's not there to please you, you are there to please him, serve him, and provide him with a great dining experience.

I'll ignore your "RACIST" remark calling your customers "white trash". You seem to think you are better then the vast majority of your customers. Someone like you should never have a job "serving" any human being. You need a lesson in humility, and how to be gracious.

Perhaps your $2.00 tips are indicative are of your level of service, and your outlook on other human beings. I suggest you make a career change ASAP!


fuckmytable October 18, 2010 at 4:29 pm

And perhaps your disdain for service industry workers is due to a sense of entitlement that's entirely undeserved.


Jack October 19, 2010 at 11:02 am

Expecting good service at a restaurant is a sense of entitlement? Excuse me, when I pay good money to eat in a restaurant, I expect at the minimum, good food, and good service. If the service is better then just good I tip accordingly. If the service is sloppy, mean spirited, and/or incompetent I also tip accordingly.

I don't fault the server for poor food, but I do judge him/her how he responds to my dissatisfaction with the food. Cold french fries are one of my pet peeves, I will always send them back, and ask for fresh, hot fries. If the server acts like it's a big bother, or I'm being picky, I remember that when I leave the tip.

Service industry worker choose their jobs, no one is forced to be a server. I expect to be treated like a guest, I want my needs taken care of promptly and politely. If a server can't do that perhaps he/she should find a new line of work.


Hugh October 19, 2010 at 1:36 am


You are a douche.

There is a difference between being obsessed with a good tip, and merely requiring ample compensation for working. In our country, fortunately or unfortunately, tipping is the majority of a servers wages. I also do not subscribe to the "customer is always right" creed. I believe the customer is always right, unless they are wrong, as this guy was. If everything the server said was true, and I believe it, having waited tables for a brief stint in college, then there was really NOTHING he could have done to make this man happy. Some people are just miserable, and you CAN'T please them. I would surmise he did this often, as members of his party compensated. Had the server been out of line, others in the party would have complained to the manager.

I also don;t think it's racist to refer to people as white trash. I'm white, and I fully agree that white trash people exist in society.

I suggest you need to chill out, take a deep breath, and grow up.


Jack October 19, 2010 at 11:59 am


You are wrong on several points. Number one, in a case like this, it doesn't really matter who is right or wrong. The customer was served something he didn't want. So instead of arguing, you make the exchange, a simple solution to what became a nasty problem. Number two, you have no idea this elderly man ever did this before, you are assuming. It doesn't really matter if the man did it before or not. What mattered was solving a service issue in a pleasant, efficent way.

The customer is always right, if you think otherwise, you are just plain wrong. When your livelihood depends on creating a great dining experience for guests, it's plain stupid to beat a guest into the ground, just to make a point that he is wrong.

If you don't think the "white trash" comment was racist, that says a lot about your values. It also tells me the server thinks he/she is better then those being served. Besides being angry, frustrated, and nasty, this person should not be in the service industry meeting and catering to the public.


Lea McFalls Zeqiri August 29, 2012 at 7:15 pm

Jack you are cheap, not only white trash. Be proud of yourself.


BJames May 2, 2018 at 10:54 pm

Quality amount of down votes you have there. Wonder if that reflects on anything.


tim October 18, 2010 at 8:54 pm

That old guy obviously was miserable and nothing you did was going to be right, but look at the bright side…at least you didn't have Jack sitting at that table.


Jack October 19, 2010 at 12:02 pm

Right Tim, because if I had been at the table, and the server starting giving someone in my party a hard time, I would have summoned the manager. I also would have seen the server received the smallest possible gratuity. I leave a gratuity for service provided, not an elitist attitude.


Jody October 20, 2010 at 2:24 am

And if I had been at the same table as Jack, I would have given the server a supplmental tip and told the manager that the server was good, it was a member of my party that was the cause of all the problems. (as was done in the original story)

To the OP — I definitely sympathize. Seems like you did everything to make sure the customer knew what he was getting. It's quite possible that elderly customer had dementia, so there's nothing more you could have done.


Jack October 20, 2010 at 2:22 pm


Take your server's uniform off for a minute, and put on your customer's hat. The old man probably misspoke when he ordered, anyone can make a mistake like that, young or old. It's up to the server to handle it graciously. This server did not handle it well at all in fact he/she said:

"Normally I follow the customer is right rule, but I was pissed off at being yelled at for nothing, so I told him “Sir, I said it back to you twice and you agreed it was right.”

…and then wondered why the customer got angry. The server got "pissed off", and out of spite gave very poor customer service. Not the sign of a competent, conscientious, server. More like a spoiled little kid.

Do us all a favor "OP" get out of the business, go work in a factory, become a miner, join the forest service, whatever, just give up being a server, because you suck at it.


IndoorVoice November 9, 2010 at 10:32 am

I used to be a server and I worked in various service positions for years, and I have to agree with Jack on this. My grandmother is about the same age as the customer in this story, and she's a wonderful person who frequently gets confused and frustrated due to dementia.

One of the last times we went out to eat, Grandma ordered decaf coffee, and when it arrived, she said, "I didn't want coffee! I wanted tea." The server, being polite and professional, simply said, "I'm sorry, ma'am. I'll get that for you right away." He brought the tea, end of story. Everyone at the table, except for Grandma, knew that she hadn't ordered tea, and that the server had brought exactly what she asked for. Technically, the server was right and Grandma was wrong, and technically, he had no reason to apologize to her. But he did, because he understood that it was more important to just politely get the lady her tea than to make a point that she was wrong.

If the server had responded the way the OP did, my grandmother probably would have cried. I can't imagine how frustrating it would be to be losing my memory and my mental sharpness, and to have that frustration multiplied by a server insisting that he's right and I'm wrong. It sounds painfully embarrassing to me. Sorry for the screed here, but respect for the elderly is a huge deal to me. When I find myself getting impatient with an especially cranky or demanding elderly client, I find it helpful to remind myself how I'd like my grandparents to be treated. Strangely enough, my patience skyrockets.

Of course, the possibility exists that the man in this story wasn't confused at all; it's possible that he was blaming the OP for something he knew was his own fault. But even if that were true, was it really worth getting in an argument? I know that customers can be very, very wrong, but if I had to choose a battle, I wouldn't choose a battle with senior citizens over chairs and steak. Would it have been so difficult to just apologize and get the man what he wanted? Sure, the wrong order wasn't your fault, but is it really that big a deal to say, "I'm sorry" and fix it? I no longer work in the service industry, but I still have to apologize for things that aren't my fault at work every single day. That's just the way it is, and I suspect it's the way it will be for as long as my work involves other people.


BarackOff November 10, 2010 at 8:32 am

Sorry to hear about your grandmother, but you need to face the fact that she may need to be put down. When she becomes this kind of burden to society, and causes frustration for others, she has outlived her usefulness. Maybe she can donate organs, or even her whole body to science, to perform one final act of usefullness.


Reddy December 17, 2010 at 11:05 am

You sound so ignorant right now. To say someones grandmother needs to be put down is stupid. Maybe you need to be taken out back in the woods and "put down" properly!!!


BarackOff December 20, 2010 at 2:20 am

Reddy, there is no need to be so testy. So we disagree on something, that is no reason for such a vicious personal attack.I am merely trying to view the situation in the most practical means possible. If you disagree with me, as you state, then solving said disagreement by threatening to do the same thisng to me, is utterly ridiculous. I am not not or inform, I am still a valuable, contributing member of society. if and when I cease to be, then I would of course be in favor of being "put down" for the greater good.

ahandro39 December 23, 2012 at 5:56 pm

Oh my God, hahahahahaha….


Jack December 20, 2010 at 10:01 am

It has become so rare for people serving the public to ever say "I'm sorry" when they make a mistake. Just the other night, my wife and I went out to dinner at a local diner. We both ordered salads, I asked for blue cheese on the side, my wife asked for vinegar and oil. When the waiter brought the salads both were covered in blue cheese. I said "I'm sorry my want vinegar and oil, and I wanted the blue cheese on the side". He looked at us with disgust, snatched the salads off the table. In a few minutes he brought the correct order, and said with a sneer "is this better"? When our entrees arrived I noticed my french fries were cold, and limp. I called him over, and asked for hot fries. He looked at me and rolled his eyes, and again snatched the plate off the table so fast that some of the fries fell on the floor. When he returned with the new fries, we were just about done with our dinners. He plopped the dish down without a word. I immediately said "check please". By his attitude he ruined what could have been a pleasant quick dinner. I left him a dollar tip. When the cashier asked "how was everything", I replied, "fine except for the extremely rude waiter".

A simple I'm sorry would have improved his tip by at least $10. Some people shouldn't in the service industry.

Another thing that frosts me is waiting in line, and when the clerk starts to wait on you he asks "do you want something". Well yeah, what the hell do you think I standing here for. This happened to me this morning at the post office.


Sacha July 10, 2011 at 12:54 am

Dude, I have to say, you were right in that situation.
BUT, I hope you didn't eat those fries after all.


BarackOff December 20, 2010 at 2:21 am

Ooops, the one line should read " I am not old or infirm" not "not or inform" Sorry all.


Kim Craig April 2, 2011 at 8:36 pm

We should start a blog saying Who Hates Jack? Id spit in his meal Jack you are a waste of oxygen.


waiter87 April 8, 2011 at 3:57 am

I know what u feel i had a lady today who asked for tiramisu right after i have told her we didnt have anymore…….. she went on by yelling at me and shouting that why would i offer her tiramisu when i knew there wasnt any….. crazy bitch I never said anything to her about us having tiramisu yet i apologise and deciced not to charge her for her dinner her husband embarrazed by her decided he wanted to pay for his dinner and ended up leavin me a 30% tip…… it really didnt matter because the asshole that i have for a manager blame the hole thing on me when he knew for a fact that there was no tiramisu and that i didnt offer it to her…… It sucks when u have a manager that cant defend its employees when they know nothing wrong has been done on their employees behalf.


crella October 23, 2011 at 8:01 am

OP, one day you'll be 80, good luck!


FMFM May 18, 2012 at 7:52 pm

I have to admit the first time I started reading this story I stopped after I heard you insulting your customers even if wasn't to their faces. White trash and "trashy", regardless of your own ethnicity, is just a rude and insulting way to be talking about anyone. Although I am sorry you had a bad experience with a member of the group, it sounds to me like you don't always start out with the greatest attitude, in mind anyway. Sometimes taking a deep breath, and a step, back can save you a lot of trouble and bring a little bit more patience and understanding to the situation, whatever it may be.


@vger8 March 7, 2016 at 3:38 pm

And the OP also manages to be racist toward non-whites as he forgives them for knowing any better for being trashy.


@vger8 March 7, 2016 at 3:40 pm

*for NOT knowing any better for being trashy.


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