Silent Waiter Stands Over Table

January 8, 2016

in Server Stories

This particular story occurred a few years ago when dining at a now-defunct Asian restaurant in College Station, Texas. My roommate and I were grabbing some dinner one Friday night before meeting friends to have drinks out. The particular restaurant we were at wasn’t anything fancy or special, but had been around a while and had good prices on sushi and drinks.

We were seated quickly at our table by the hostess, and had a couple of minutes to look over the menu, before the world’s most awkward waiter came to take our drink orders. He came and stood by the table for two minutes before saying anything to either of us. We both said “hello” and asked him “how’s it going” to no response. Finally after a minute longer of awkward standing, he acknowledged our presence. He told us it was his first day as a waiter and we were his first solo table. No big deal.

After placing our drink orders, the waiter left to go and give them to the bartender, and then came right back to the table and stood there awkwardly without speaking to us. We were still looking over the menu to decide what we wanted, so with his continued presence at the table we quickly made decisions thinking he was waiting on us to make up our minds. However, the restaurant was not very busy and they had not put anyone else in his section (presumably to let him get his feet wet first before overloading him). We gave him both of our orders, and he left again to go and place them in the kitchen without any sort of verbal affirmation or anything. Normally you expect the waiter to say something like, “I’ll go and put your order in,” or “I’m going to run and get this started for you,” or “Bye, I’m not going to stand here any longer.” But, he was gone, so we didn’t mind.

A couple of minutes later, our waiter exits from the kitchen and comes to stand – you guessed it – right next to our table. He doesn’t say anything again, but just stands there in silence, looking at us and the other tables in the restaurant. After a couple of minutes, we decided to strike up a conversation with him to at least give him a reason to stand there. He responded to all the questions we asked him and talked for a bit. Nothing seemed wrong with him, but for some reason he hovered next to our table like a moth to a light bulb. After we ran out of questions to ask him, we tried to start talking to each other, hopefully indicating that it was time for him to go somewhere else and leave us alone for a little bit. After a couple of more minutes of uncomfortable silent standing, the waiter turned and left to get our drinks from the bartender.

Surely, he wasn’t going to continue to stand there… but once he brought back our drinks, he went right back to standing right at the edge of the table. After twenty more minutes of this, he turned and headed for the kitchen and brought our meals… which we ate under the uncomfortable watch of our guard-waiter. Mid-meal, he finally got another table assigned to him and we finally got a little bit of relief from his constant presence as he had another table to wait on and more orders to place. But after he had placed those orders and served them drinks, he came right back to our table to stand there.

At this point, I figured someone had to be messing with us. Is this some weird joke the other waiters had put him up to as some sort of hazing? Looking around, there was only one other waiter… and it looked like she was pretty busy working the four other tables she was assigned to. She definitely wasn’t concerned with what was happening on our end of the restaurant.

Once we were done (after eating pretty quickly), the waiter grabbed our plates without saying a word and headed back to the kitchen to drop them off. In the interim, the restaurant manager came over to our table to ask us how he was doing. We told him he was doing well except for the fact that he liked to play the role of watchdog over our table. The manager apologized and said that he’d talk with him later about it. We told the manager it wasn’t a big deal.

The waiter then came back with our checks and stood there (for the hundredth time) as I pulled out my debit card to pay. I was covering the whole bill, as my favorite NFL team had been beaten by my roommates the previous week and I was on the losing end of our friendly wager.

The waiter went back to the waiter’s stand and ran the bill for about 10 minutes, which seemed like a long time seeing as it was all together on one check. I could see him swipe my card a few times out of the corner of my eye, and he looked confused. He called the manager over and they stood and talked for a few minutes as the manager obviously was trying to instruct the waiter on something.

Our waiter brought the check back to our table, and in the longest sentence he spoke all night, told me that he accidentally charged my card FOUR TIMES for our bill. So my ~$50 total tab had now deducted over $200 from my account. And then he WALKS AWAY leaving the bill at my table. No apology, no plan on how to solve this problem, nothing. It was as if he thought I’d just be fine with paying four times the amount my meal should cost.

I got up and went over to the manager, who was chatting with a group of customers at another table, and mentioned what happened. The manager immediately apologized, saying that he was extremely sorry for what had happened and would refund our entire meat, and took my card and bill to the waiter’s station to make the changes.

We never saw our waiter again that evening, or on any future trip to the restaurant. That still tops the list as one of the weirdest dining experiences I’ve ever had.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

@StripClubStory January 9, 2016 at 5:52 pm

Eeek. Not fun! Tough with a new server though…everyone is new at something once. :/ Hopefully he's learned some social skills since then, but sounds like he might've been a hopeless cause….Makes for a great story though! Cheers!


RedHead0186 January 11, 2016 at 3:01 pm

Yeah, sounds like this guy might have been super nervous, so he felt the best thing to do wast just 'keep watch' on your table so that he'd be right there if you had any issue. But then the nervousness set in and he didn't know how to explain himself. Seems like maybe being a server isn't the best job for him.


Jodi January 13, 2016 at 2:47 pm



Slothmaster June 2, 2016 at 8:53 am

Sounds like it might of been his first day and as Redhead was saying also sounds like he was super nervous.


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