TalesFromYourServer: Surprisingly, I have no control over the sun.
So, not a server. But I bring you a story from the hosting side of the food industry! Hopefully this is acceptable. This happened three years ago and it is still the story I tell people when they try to tell me, “Oh, hosting isn’t that bad!” Obligatory mobile/formatting issues disclaimer.
I work in a theme park. That means lots of people, and lots of entitlement. My old restaurant (it’s no longer there, Rest In Peace) was very popular every day, often making us reservation only. If we weren’t, we had at least a 45 minute wait. (By this point we had started refusing walk ins after we got to an hour because people would just get too rude.) People would wait that long, and then get so incredibly entitled because they “waited so long.” We also were all outside with limited shade…which means a lot of sunny tables.
One summer day, I believe it was about 100 degrees, I was checking people in. On warm, sunny days we would tell people, “Just so you know, we are an all outdoor restaurant. That means there is a good chance you will end up sitting in the sun. If you get to your table and want something shadier, there will be an additional wait.” Some people complained. Some people realized that…you know…duh. And some people would claim to understand, and then get pissed later. This story is about the last option.
I check in a woman who seemed to be in her mid 40’s. She’s quoted a 45 minute wait and I give her the above spiel. She agrees, takes her pager, and sits down. After 40 minutes she gets called and seated at her sunny table. She says nothing to the host who seats her, so they assume it’s fine and come back down.
Two minutes later, she comes storming down, cuts the line of people, and starts yelling. She will be “EW” for Entitled Woman…and also because EW.
EW: HOW DARE YOU ALL, WHAT KIND OF CUSTOMER SERVICE IS THIS? Me: …I’m sorry? EW: You make me wait 40 minutes, and then YOU DARE seat me in the sun? Me: …Ma'am, when you were checked in you were told your table may be sunny. But if you want to wait longer we can get you something in the shade. EW: NO. NO ONE told me that. So I will NOT be waiting longer. Me: I’ve been in this spot all day. I checked you in. I’m sorry you don’t remember, but I did tell you. I’ve told everyone today. And we simply do not have any tables in the shade right now. EW: It is 100 degrees outside! How DARE you expect me to sit in the sun after standing around in it all day?
And then I snapped.
Me: I am aware how hot it is. I’ve been standing directly in the sun for six hours. You don’t need to explain that to me. But unless you know a way to turn off the sun, I can’t help you without having you wait. We have nothing in the shade.
And then she stormed off. She wasted all that time, and didn’t even eat with us. I will never understand people who do this. Like… I told you. And what do you expect me to do? I do not control the sun.