• Whitney

I Want To Speak To Your Manager!

Updated: Apr 27, 2018

** Disclaimer - All posts from "restaurant" are written by anonymous 3rd parties. I am simply giving them a space to breathe. As a restaurant owner, I find it to be extremely cathartic! If you have a story that you'd like to share, please email WhitneyLeeThompson@gmail.com

"One day, while working as a bar tender in a well known Italian chain restaurant known for their salad dressing and endless breadsticks, I was totally swamped. The other bartender called out and it was a holiday so we were packed! In addition to making all of the drinks for the entire restaurant, I was tending the bar, several tables in the bar area, and handling takeout orders.

A guy sat at the bar and I greeted him, got him a drink, and gave him a menu. He ordered something with mushrooms. I told him, “I think we’re out of mushrooms. Let me go check for you!” I scurried to the kitchen completing several quick tasks along the way. I returned in short time, grabbed some bottles, and began making a drink order while I let the customer know (with haste) that I’m sorry but we are out of mushrooms. I asked him to look at the menu and see if there was anything else he wanted, then I quickly left to make more drinks. He took my extreme busyness as disrespect and asked me what my problem was. Things escalated, he got pissed, I tried to explain but he demanded to see a manager and I got yelled at.

Fast forward a few months, I had officially been accepted into the U.S. Army’s music program and kindly put in my two weeks notice. While on one of my final bar tending shifts, good old boy comes and sits at my bar. Being in good spirits, I muster up a smile and greet him with a menu. First thing he says to me is, “are we gonna have any problems today, son?” I took a moment to ensure self control, then replied, “Sir, I would love to make you a drink and take your order. We have [whatever microwaved pasta shit with cheese] on special today!” He retorts, “No, no, I asked you if we were going to have any problems today.”

My reply was one of the most empowering moments of my life. I slowly leaned over the bar and said in a very controlled, low voice, “Sir, I have four days left of working here. I’ll be leaving for basic training in two weeks and I’ll be making twice what I make tending this bar. I am only continuing to work here as a courtesy to this restaurant. So, I would love to have this conversation with you, but I’m not going to. Let me know if you would like to order something.” His pupils shrank. And then I simultaneously turned my back to the customer and the restaurant industry which had enslaved me for so many years.

A few minutes later, he called me “Sir” and kindly asked for a tall Bud Light. My only thought was, “Bud Light? Figures......”"

M. - Jacksonville

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