Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Rumble in the restaurant.

Because I am a nerd, this post includes a visual aid.

A couple of weeks ago, we had some really classy "customers". It was about ten on a Saturday night, and just me and the other closer were on. We'd had a serious lull in business, and suddenly people started pouring in. We had sets of two and three at all the purple squares on the left and top of the picture.

About this time a couple in their late teens/early twenties came in and sat at the red table. When the other closer, Kate, went to greet them, they told her they didn't know if they were staying. So we continued taking care of our other tables, and about ten minutes later three more people showed up. It was a husband and a wife, and then another woman who I recognized; I know I've written about her before, but I don't remember when; she's just a goddamn bitch (ETA: the first bitch here!). The three of them stood up front, glaring at the two kids at the red table, and when Kate when to seat them she heard one say into her cell phone, "Well, she's here, so I don't know if we're staying!"

Eventually, the two women sat down at the table with the youngsters. The man sat at the bar by them (the purple slash) and had a beer. He sat there nursing his beer the entire time, chatting to the bartender as if nothing was wrong. Right after the two women sat down, a young couple and their baby came in, and requested the booth to the left of them. I already had a bad feeling about this, but nothing I could really say. The young family was my table, so I got their drink order; and that's around the time shit started getting out of hand.

At first, the classy people at that red booth were just quietly arguing. And then it escalated. They were yelling at each other, and swearing. "After all the shit you've pulled .... how am I supposed to fucking believe you .... are you telling the truth or making a lie!" (no, I didn't leave a word out, that's exactly what she said) "I've done everything you want, what do I have to do for you to forgive me?" "Well I thought you were going to fucking shape up!" There was slapping of the table, and standing up and stalking away and coming back to swear some more; it was just fucking ridiculous!

The entire place could hear them--which is why the visual aid, so you can see how they couldn't have sat somewhere more obnoxious for this--and they were being just plain nasty to each other. What I gathered was that the girl had been caught having sex with her boyfriend, and when her parents got upset she took off and was living with him. They spent about half an hour yelling and swearing at each other--and ignoring any attempts by staff to interrupt and take drink orders in an attempt to get them to shut up and simmer down.

Bitter Divorced Man was sitting at a booth just across the aisle from them, talking to his parents; since he wasn't saying anything, me and Kate didn't really know what to do. My young family looked uncomfortable, so I asked them if they'd like to move; that's what the arrow is, they moved to a booth. Of course, they could still hear the crazy bitches yelling! A ten top came in (the long blue box), and another set of five people (the round table on the right); these people were still arguing, gesturing wildly, throwing out swear words often and generally being a nuisance. And they still hadn't ordered anything.

The blue booth in the bottom left was my table, and as they finished their meal they asked me whose table those people were. I wasn't sure what to say; if I said they were mine, I'd get an earful; if I said they were Kate's, they might complain about her. So I told them they weren't anybody's yet, as they hadn't ordered. They were not happy; the husband said "If the manager doesn't get rid of them I'm going to be very upset with him!" They complained to me, and I promised to talk to the manager; I was glad they spoke up, because I hoped it would prod him in to action.

So I interrupted his talk with his parents; once we were in the kitchen Kate and I explained how I'd had a table move, and another complain, and they were being very unpleasant. And Bitter Divorced Man totally shrugged it off! He said they were being loud, but "not vulgar", and he calmly went in to the office. Goddammit. My table that had complained was ready to pay; as I took their cash, they complained again, and I told them I'd just finished talking to the manager. I thought that would be the end of it, as they were already standing and told me they didn't need change.

Oh no. Apparently complaining to me twice wasn't enough; they went to the bartender and ripped her head off before they left. While I was seating a six top on the far side of the classy bitches (no where else to put them!), the bartender went to the manager again, and this time he came out and talked to the people. It was sort of hilarious; you could tell from his posture and his rigid expression that he really didn't want to do it. Too bad he's the fucking manager, right?

So he asked the people to quiet down and order something, or leave. They told him they were going to order, and after that they were a bit quieter. They did order, too--one goddamn iced tea. After about an hour of making everybody in the joint uncomfortable, they left.

What I want to know is this: who the fuck goes out in public to have a fight? The kids knew the others were coming--they'd asked for a big table and six menus. The parents may have not know they'd be there, but then they stayed. When did it become appropriate to have obscenity-laced arguments in a family restaurant? And when did it become okay to hang out in a business without ordering anything (because they clearly weren't going to)? Isn't that called loitering?


JTN said...

I would point out to them in a private business, the bill of rights in the Constitution cease. They are trumped by the business's rights. That's why in part businesses can put up "no shirt, no service" signs, or malls can throw out people for misbehaving. Likewise, you do not get to say whatever you want in privately owned business and not have consequences. It's akin to having someone sit out on your lawn and think they can curse at you all day and get away with it.

Or, in a less long winded way, I'd tell them to settle it in the octogon, but not here.

Steven Nicolle said...

They should have been warned and booted out promptly if they continued. You have a very weak manager. Your whole night was ruined because of wimpy get a life manager. That is a shame.

Mary Sheehan Winn said...

All this commotion and BDM sits with his parents, as though nothing is happening?
Working at that restaurant is an endurance test :(

purplegirl said...

You're absolutely right about the manager, he's sort of a spineless ninny!