Bad Customers Gone Good

Surliness. Arrogance. Narcissism. Borderline personality disorder. Basic stupidity. Restaurant Gal deals with them all–all in a day’s work.

Today, however, two polar opposites crossed the threshold of my foyer, giving me hope that human beings are basically, well, human, and that all are not so very terrible.

Ms. “I Want to Do Right” came in one day last week. “Hi. I was here two days ago and left a gratuity on my credit card for the waiter. But it hasn’t shown up on my credit card. Only the charge for the meal has posted. I want to make sure he gets his tip.”

Wow, here’s someone who is over the top about being on top of her credit cards. “Thank you,” I told her, equally impressed by her wanting to make sure her server gets his due. “Give me your name and number, where you were seated, the time you were here, and I will make sure to follow up.” She gave me her information, and off she went.

What are the chances this will really work out? I gave all the info to the office manager.

Amazingly, she came in again today. “Hi,” she smiled. “I just want you to know an adjusted charge showed up on my credit card. The gratuity came through. Will the waiter still get it this late?” I assured her he would. And I thanked her, trying not to gush about how nice she is to care so much about the waiter getting his tip. I double checked with the office manager–the server will get the tip, no question about it.

Mr. “I Need to Make Something Right” came in today as soon as the doors opened. “Hi. Um, I was here several months ago. I walked out on a check. I was sitting right out there in that bar area. I’d like to pay it today.”

Seriously. I wanted to hug him.

“That is so nice of you,” I told him. “Really, thank you. Let me call the office manager. I know he can help you straighten this out.” Which the office manager did.

To the woman who is concerned that her server is properly thanked–thank you, a thousand times.

To the man who is working step by step to correct past issues–good luck and God’s speed on your new life.






8 responses to “Bad Customers Gone Good”

  1. Alex T Avatar
    Alex T

    What got put in the city water where you work? A shocking display of renewed faith in humanity. It only takes one or two of these instances to make up for a month’s worth of “Hi, welcome to the restaurant this eveni-” “GIMME ICED TEA. NOW.”

  2. Faith Avatar

    I’m one of those types that checks the bank account info almost daily. I picked up on a missed $7 tip to one of my fave bartenders a couple of weeks ago, and asked her about it the next time I saw her. She told me that she’d lost my signed slip, and had to just charge me the total tendered for the evening. She said not to worry about the tip, but nothing doing…she gives me awesome service, she deserves the tip, dammit. I gave her $14 that night to make up for the $7 she’d missed the week before.

    Sometimes, it’s good to follow up on those charges as often as possible. And these days, with online banking the way it is, it’s easier to do than ever! Gotta love it…

  3. Natalie Avatar

    Well, we don’t check up on the credit cards daily, but we keep all of the receipts and make sure everything is groovey when we get the statement. You can’t be too careful with all of the identity theft that goes on. We’ve also noticed the occasional tip not going through. Any idea why that is?

  4. DIXIE Avatar

    That is awesome, just awesome!!!

  5. Sue Avatar

    I once totally forgot to leave a tip…maybe it was the couple glasses of wine with lunch…as I was walking home, I remembered, called, apologized and mailed a (much larger) tip as soon as I could. I TRY to be a good human. I’m glad to hear there are others out there who do the same.

    In contrast, I once dated a guy who skipped out on his tab (I was not with him at the time. It was busy, he couldn’t get anyone to give him a check…those were his excuses) then had the nerve to go back to the same place with me and another couple about a week later. When they busted him for it in front of everyone, he got so uncomfortable but I got a really good laugh. He deserved it.

  6. Chris Avatar

    Wow. Seriously..these people give me hope that there are still decent people out there…sometimes you forget when you deal with so many ***theads in one day.

  7. bossanovachin Avatar

    WONDERFUL stories!! I waited tables for ten years to get my two degrees, I wish these people were the rule and not the exception, lol! But it really does make your day when it happens, totally renews your faith in humanity and human decency.

  8. Ceetar Avatar

    Was out with a couple of friends once when we walked out on a check. there were 10 of us or so and I the bustle of putting money in and taking change out, someone ended up taking the whole pile as change. Of course no one realized this until we got home, and but the time we get back the Waitress hasn’t even realized that we didn’t pay yet.

    On the other hand, it was kind of disturbing how easy it was for 10 of use to sit down ,eat and then just get up and go without paying.