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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ugly scene last night, and I got to be front n' center for it. Ugh. :(

Long, silly story follows. Don't whine that I didn't warn ya. :blush2:


Anyhow, there's a restaurant I go to about once every two weeks or so. It's not a very good restaurant, but its saving grace is that it's open late, i.e. convenience. I went there last night, and got there about ten minutes before closing.

There's a bar section with tables, and a non-bar 'booth' section. Not seeing any servers in the non-bar area (they were probably in the back doing clean-up work), I sat in the bar section. I and one other table in the bar area had come in pretty close to closing.

I look around, and the bartender, this kind of "should have been a cop-looking", shave-headed, mustached guy, is also cleaning up for the night. He isn't coming over to serve me or the other table. But he does eventually shout for another guy, probably a bar-area server, to come over.

Server guy comes over and says to the bartender, "Sorry dude, I got cut." I used to work in a restaurant, and this is restaurant-speak for 'the manager told me to clock out early, he's cutting the floor (staff) to save money'.

So, bartender guy is going to have to serve me and the other table. Which is SOP, bartenders at this restaurant do take food orders all the time.

Well, bartender guy, upon getting this news, has his first meltdown (with a second, worse one to come later, as you'll see). He starts cursing, saying "F**k f**k f**k!!!" – yes, literally – and going on and on about something I'm not quite catching all of (but I am catching all the cursing).

So, I think to myself, "Hmm... Do I want to be served by angry cursing guy, or do I want to hop over to the non-bar section and get served by a fairly nice waitress whose I know by name, and who, looking over, I now see is back in her section."

So I get up, in plain view of angry bartender guy, go and sit in the non-bar section. Nice waitress comes over and takes my order. All is well.

Well, for like about two minutes. Unbeknownst to me, apparently angry bartender guy had continued his slow burn, and me relieving him of the responsibility of serving me had not improved his mood at all. Maybe the opposite... maybe he felt rejected. I dunno.

Anyhow, he comes storming up to me as I'm sitting at a booth (again, not in his area), and he starts YELLING at me. Yes, literally yelling.

It went very much like this:

Him: "Dude, you ALWAYS do this, you come in seven minutes before close and f**k EVERYONE'S SH!T UP! Why do you do this? WHY?!?"

Me (to myself): Is this guy crazy? Also, his watch is three minutes off.

Him: "Dude, you DO THIS ON PURPOSE!! ON PURPOSE!! Why do you have to be SUCH A JERK!!"

At this point, I'm thinking he might even go physical, so I get up out of the booth and stand right in front of him, so I can fight back if I have to. He seems a little surprised by this, but after a moment he gets louder still, I guess to keep himself psyched up.

Him: "YOU F**K SEVEN PEOPLE'S SH!T UP when you do this!! Do you LIKE doing this!?!"

Me: "What are you TALKING ABOUT?!?"

Him: "You do this ALL THE TIME!!" *more ranting*

At this point, I think about it for a sec, and the apparent devastating mental anguish this guy thinks I'm inflicting... and, yes, I do sometimes go there pretty close to closing.

But, that is a consequence of it not being a very good restaurant... I go there when nothing else is open. And the sign out front does not say, "We stop serving 15 minutes before closing." Nor am I the only late table. So, I'm not really feeling this guy, even attitude aside.

Him: *still ranting and raving, with some cursing thrown in too*

Me: "I'd like to see the manager."

Him: "F**K THE MANAGER! F**K THE MANAGER!!!". Does not go get the manager.

Me: "What is WRONG with you??"

Him: *string of semi-incoherent curses directed at me*

Me: (exasperated) "F**k you." I also start to notice the exact spot on his chin where you punch someone in order to knock them out.

Him: "You DO THIS ON PURPOSE!! YOU *LIKE* DOING THIS!!! You are a F**KING ASS***E!!!"

Me: "Let's see that manager."

Him: *same hysterical cursing* But he isn't trying to make it physical, there's no direct threats or him closing the range. It occurs to me that perhaps he's hoping I'll hit him, so he can sue me? Or is he just completely out of it with rage? Dunno.

At this point, I'm just disgusted with this guy. So I ignore him, turn my back on him, and walk over to the kitchen area (which is nearby). I say to the first guy I see (the server who got cut), "I'd like to see the manager."

Right as I say that, the manager has come out of his office, a middle-aged sort of TV Dad-looking guy, and he's walking towards me. Guess he heard the screaming and swearing. He says to me in an honest-to-God, voice of command: "OUT OF MY KITCHEN!!".

I think, "Oh great, so *I'm* the issue now??". But yeah, it is his kitchen. I go back to my booth. Angry bartender guy is now nowhere to be seen. My guess is he went back to the bar area in order to have 'plausible deniability'. And to think, at the outset of all this, all I wanted was a burrito.

About two minutes later, the manager comes and sits down across from me. His 'tude is different, looks like he may've talked to some of the crew.

Manager: "I am really, REALLY sorry about that. We've had some problems with him and his attitude tonight, and his language. Can you tell me what happened?".

I've finally gotten pretty angry/wound-up at this point, so it takes me a moment to start, but I recount to him exactly what happened. I add,

Me: "Hey, y'know, I used to work in a restaurant, I was a waiter at Denny's for over two years, a long time ago. I know it can be a bit hard when you're trying to do your side work and get out, and then some new tables come in late, but.... still, that's the job. And I have never seen anyone have a total meltdown like that. Is he new?"

Manager: (sighing) "He's been here for several years, I'm the one that's new. Just started three weeks ago. Again, I'm really sorry that that happened. Thank you for not hitting him or getting into anything with him."

He gives me his card and that of his district manager, and says the guy in question will for-sure be fired, this apparently isn't the first dumbass thing he's done, even that day. I told him I'd call him tomorrow to follow up. He also gives me my meal for free. I say I'd like it to go, manager shakes my hand, and continues to apologize profusely. I tell him I was just sorry that he had to deal with all the drama.

As I waited for my food, it occured to me that I actually HAD been served by angry bartender guy once before, several weeks ago. I had come in pretty late that night too, and I now remembered him being visibly annoyed (though no meltdown). But I also remember tipping him well, and giving him my card as soon as the food came out so he could be done with my table ASAP. I guess those gestures had not helped with the resentment he had apparently been nursing all these weeks.

I do actually feel a tiny bit sorry for him and his now-unemployed status, but at the same time… maybe it was for the best. He probably didn't like his job anymore if his 'tude was that bad. And jobs are plentiful right now in the Silicon Valley. He'll just work somewhere else. And probably be angry there, as well.

Will I keep going to that restaurant? Yep, probably. Will I sometimes come in ten minutes before closing? Maybe less often, but, no promises. Again and after all, it is the job.

I know, 'cuz I did it.
 

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You don't go off on a customer like that if you want to keep your job. I wouldn't sweat it for a second.


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i'm sort of surprised more people don't lose their **** and hop the centerline in a head-on or go full-on postal at work.

lots of stress, anxiety, and imbalance out there.
 

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Rule: Never eat at a ANY resturant where the employee's are unhappy. If they look even slightly off and not perfectly courtious, I leave before I order any food. If I would have been you, I would have walked out long before, no drama please.
 

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Wow. A lot going on in this post.

First, no excuse for going off on a customer, even if they are clueless about how they are treating the staff.
He deserves to be fired. I can't believe he just didn't spit in the food like he did the time before.

Even though you can order food in the last ten minutes a restaurant/bar is open, it is not considered good form. The owner doesn't care but ALL the help does. Because they try to get a jump on cleaning everything so they are not there extra late. So, if you are working for tips, you are working for free when you have to clean up after closing time. When you come in the last ten minutes, everyone has to work late for ONE tip.

Why do you wait until the last ten minutes? Is it because you can or because you can't make it there any earlier?
 

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"Dude, you ALWAYS do this, you come in seven minutes before close and f**k EVERYONE'S SH!T UP! Why do you do this? WHY?!?"

^There it is.

Barkeep wanted to bug out early, and you didn't let him.

My take was, like yours, that we're open until we close--period. And you never, ever, go off on the custies--double period. (Especially if the custy has given you financial rep when he's come in under the wire--props to you for that.)

But, if you've done the job, you know that none of that matters particularly when you're trying to bust azz and get out of there and into a nice cold beer, warm girlfriend, hot party, etc.* BITD, I can definitely remember half-jokingly telling my waitstaff "If you bring me another goddamned order tonight, I am spitting in it."

(But yeah, guys like that just aren't going to enjoy themselves in food service. You did him a favor.)


*Or even take care of a sick relative--not every bartender or food service worker is a hedonist. :)
 

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That guy was out of line, but I guarantee every employee is pissed that you come in 10 minutes before close and order food. I don't work in the restaurant industry, but as was said before, it's poor form and I get it. You should know this, especially since you worked in a restaurant (albeit Denny's, which is 24 hrs). Haven't you ever seen the movie Waiting... I bet you got a little extra with your meal that night ;)
 

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First of all, if the customer comes in 10min before the posted closing time, and this is a problem, post an earlier closing time! Somehow, I suspect the employees will still complain about it. It's not the customer's fault!!

Sometimes people are on the road, traveling around, maybe even working late, and they just want to grab a bite at the end of a long day. Oh look, this restaurant is still open. The sign doesn't say "don't order food after such-and-such o'clock," lucky me, I can eat!

Talk to the owner about a "no food 30min before closing" rule if it's such a problem. Just this past weekend, we were informed that it was too late to order food (2:30pm on a Saturday?? Okay, whatever) so we just went elsewhere, no big deal.

My brief time spent in food service (retail) I was instructed not to look the customers in the eye when they pressed their faces against the window, begging to be let in early/late. Nope. We were strict because we HAD to be strict. Posted times were observed. If the door was locked, that was it. But if they were IN the store before the door was locked, then they got whatever they wanted.
 

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If you're a regular customer they should have hooked you up with more than one meal. Some kind of gift card or certificate for several future meals. Unless this place is some kind of biker bar from the movie Roadhouse, that episode is crazy.
 

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I agree if they want to leave sooner, they need to stop serving earlier and post that. Otherwise, a minute before closing still means "open". You showed admirable restraint.


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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
That guy was out of line, but I guarantee every employee is pissed that you come in 10 minutes before close and order food. I don't work in the restaurant industry, but as was said before, it's poor form and I get it. You should know this, especially since you worked in a restaurant (albeit Denny's, which is 24 hrs). Haven't you ever seen the movie Waiting... I bet you got a little extra with your meal that night ;)
Thoughts...

1) The manager did say during our conversation that he's happy to see me 10 minutes before close, or even 5 minutes before close, for that matter (though I think the latter's pushing it).

2) If it really IS such a problem, a restaurant can certainly put on the sign out front, "All orders To-Go 15 minutes prior to close", or "No food orders 15 minutes prior to close."

There's actually a couple of sushi restaurants in my town with a 'last call for food' 10-15 minutes prior to close, and I eat at both of 'em and abide by the rule happily. But, you first have to make it a rule, right?

3) As a former waiter, I never got mad at tables that came in very late in my shift... instead I went, "Oh good, more tips pour moi." :)

In fact, while most of the other waiters/waitresses were hiding in the back doing their side work, I happily served all the customers they were avoiding. I made especially good bank the last half-hour of my shifts.

Just sayin'.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Update...

Called up the manager guy today to follow up. Angry bartender guy has been suspended, and will allegedly be fired upon the GM returning from vacation Friday. Apparently he has to sign off on it.

Manager also confided in me that when he broke the news of the suspension to angry bartender guy, "things got even WORSE", and that angry bartender guy bumped him multiple times and made him "fear for his safety". Wow.

I'm kinda speechless at this point. Guy wants to beat up his own manager for something his own dumb ass did? Yeesh. :eek:ut:
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
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