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Lack Of Being Serviced Leads To Poor Service

After nearly a decade of reading and enjoying the stories on your site, but never contributing one of my own, I would like to share a little slice of life – I think it should fall under the “Bad Business” category, although I don’t want to be too harsh on the waitress involved, as her antics made me giggle all the way to work this morning.
I have a habit of going out for breakfast once a week, on Wednesday, in a place halfway between my home and the office. It’s mainly a small retail bakery, but it has a few tables where they serve breakfast and sandwich lunches. As I go there quite early, the place is never very crowded, and there is only one shop assistant behind the counter, who is also the waitress.

This morning, it was even more quiet, as my fiancé – who doesn’t usually join me, but he did today as he has a day off work – and I were the only customers. I noticed at once that the usual shop assistant/waitress wasn’t there, as the only person in the shop was a girl in her late teens, who looked rather grumpy and worse for wear. As soon as we stepped inside and headed for one of the tables, she came up to us and said rather abruptly “Good morning! I should warn you: our coffee machine is not working, but we have tea.” We thanked her for the warning, sat down and ordered our breakfast.

The girl then disappeared into the kitchen, and came back with the bread rolls we ordered in a wicker basket, which she placed in front of us. She then informed us, in a peculiarly conspiratory whisper, that she would be returning shortly with plates, cutlery, butter, ham, cheese and tea, and warned us that our table would be quite full. After a while, she indeed returned with said items, which still left plenty of room on our table. Nevertheless, she urged me, friendly but firmly, to please remove my phone from the table, because it would be a shame if it should fall because of all the plates and cutlery and tea mugs etc. I found this a rather peculiar request, but proceeded to put my phone in my coat pocket, to which she nodded approvingly.

The girl then kept standing by our table rather indecisively for a few moments, before asking “Would it please be okay for me to take my smoking break now?”. My fiancé and I were rather surprised, as that would mean she’d leave the shop – and the till – unsupervised, but told her we had everything we ordered and we would be fine, so off she went through the back door of the shop.

A few minutes later she had to return, as a customer had come in. Her first words to this customer were “Good morning, please don’t mind how dreadful I look… rough night”. The customer, who didn’t seem to know this girl either, was a bit taken aback, but proceeded to order, pay and leave the shop with a puzzled expression on her face.

Our bizarre little waitress disappeared again into the kitchen, where she started a heated argument over the phone, which continued for over ten minutes. By that time we had finished our breakfast (nothing wrong with the breakfast, by the way, it was great as usual), and were waiting by the counter in order to pay. A few minutes passed, but finally she noticed us, and – still on the phone – returned to the shop, shouting into her phone “don’t hang up on me, but shut up now, I have customers who want to pay”, before slamming the phone down on the counter, attempting to smile, and saying “I forgot to ask you before, but did you want any jam with that?”, pointing at our table with the empty wicker basket, empty plates and empty tea mugs. We assured her that breakfast had been delicious, and that we did not suffer from any lack of jam (which we didn’t order anyway).

After we had paid our bill, she thanked us and said that she was very, very disappointed in her boyfriend. I told her we couldn’t help overhearing that this was indeed the case, gave her an encouraging smile, and told her to “hang in there”. Before we could turn around and walk to the door, she added, with growing anger in her voice, “You know, I worked all day yesterday, which is much more than he ever does, and yet I still found the time to arrange for heaps of presents and surprises for his birthday, but when I called him last night after work he told me he was too tired to meet up! Too tired, I tell you! I mean, that’s supposed to be the girl’s line, isn’t it? Guys aren’t supposed to use that line on girls! But I told him straight, you bet I did! I told him good night and sleep tight and I’ll see you tomorrow then, but just so you know, I told him, I will still be horny tomorrow, so you’d better not be touching yourself tonight, Mister, because I can tell if you have, and there will be hell to pay if you can’t get it up!”

At that point my fiancé and I simply had to rush out of the store, before bursting out laughing and asking each other “Did I hear that right? Did this really happen?”.

Luckily we’re not easily shocked or offended, but I can’t help wondering whether the rest of today’s customers will be treated to a similar performance, and how they will react.   0404-12

=8-O is all I have to say this morning.

{ 58 comments… add one }
  • Enna April 5, 2012, 8:47 am

    I like the OP saying if she saw the person again she’d ask her if things were okay. That’s nice.

  • Challis April 5, 2012, 9:19 am

    lonely? nope, I’m pretty sure that she was still drunk from the night before and that’s why she was doing the excessive TMI-ing.

  • Athena C April 5, 2012, 11:12 am

    @Cat Whisperer – what tends to happen is the ex was a perfect angel before things got serious. Then after marriage / the relationship gets serious / they move in together, the innocent party is too invested in the relationship to easily break it off, so they stay in an awful relationship and do their best to fix it, even though it’s a lost cause. People who are legitimate abusers know this and purposefully set up relationships like this.

  • Cat Whisperer April 5, 2012, 2:09 pm

    Athena C., my dad was abusive and I’m familiar with the dynamics of abuse. But I still don’t get the people who bad-mouth the ex to people who are merely acquaintances or even strangers.

    “I made a mistake, things didn’t work out, I corrected it and moved on,” is all that really needs to be said about a busted relationship to anyone who is not an intimate or therapist.

  • Vicki April 5, 2012, 7:50 pm

    With regard to “why did you get involved with him/her if s/he is so horrible?” sometimes people develop serious problems after getting involved in relationships. Someone who seems, and is, perfectly nice at 19 may later develop the symptoms of schizophrenia. Someone of any age who seems, and is, perfectly decent while courting may later start abusing alcohol or other drugs.

    That’s separate from people who manage to put on an act for long enough to convince someone to marry or move in with them. There are people out there who think that their friends are entitled to better treatment than their families. Not “I choose to spend more time with you, because I like you, and you treat me well,” but “I will break plans with relatives to spend time with a friend” or “promises to friends are valid, promises to family are tissue paper.” And some of those people define a boyfriend or girlfriend as a friend, but a husband or wife is family. Unfortunately, they don’t say “Marry me, so I can stop treating you respectfully,” but it happens. (Mercifully, not my own experience.)

    Another piece of it is that often, the bad ex has both good and bad points, but a prolonged bad relationship or difficult breakup can erode that affection and make the good points seem much less appealing.

  • Angela April 5, 2012, 9:14 pm

    I think that sometimes a person will have guilt or regrets about a breakup or a fight and they “bad-mouth” the partner, hoping to get agreement and validation from the listener so they can feel better about what they’ve done.

  • chelonianmobile April 6, 2012, 6:47 pm

    I’m on the autistic spectrum, and honestly the waitress’s behaviour is uncomfortably familiar. I’ve learned since my early teens not to utter potentially embarrassing information to strangers and so on, but the general not-all-there feeling definitely reminds me of me on my bad days. Maybe I’m just projecting, though.

  • Angela June 14, 2012, 1:10 am

    Omg where is this bakery? I want her as my watiress. Lmaooo.

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