At first, it seemed like an ordinary afternoon table: two couples in their sixties, meeting for lunch. Because I'm not feeling very creative today, we'll call couple #1 Ed and Edna and couple #2 George and Georgina. They ordered their waters with lemon and their lunch specials, reminded me to give them their precious senior discount and split their tickets, and began talking about their grandchildren or whatever.
When I went to plate up their lunch, I discovered that we had just run out of clam chowder, which Edna had ordered. I apologized to her and she chose something else, and everything seemed fine. Then finished their lunch, declined desserts, and I brought them their tickets.
As I finished my usual ticket drop spiel, Georgina suddenly piped up. "I think she gets free dessert, doesn't she?" She pointed at Edna, who just looked at her.
Thinking maybe it was Edna's birthday, I laughed and said, "Oh? Why's that?"
"Well!" Georgina huffed. "Because you were out of the soup she wanted! And it says it right there on your specials board! It still says it! You should erase it!"
This just irritated me. Had Edna asked, I probably would have gone to Uncle Fester and relayed the request. But Edna was not contributing to this at all, and in fact was looking at Georgina like she was crazy. So I apologized again, gently explained that sometimes we run out of things and we'll have more ready soon so we wouldn't be changing the board. Georgina seemed mollified. Edna still didn't seem interested.
Ed and George both gave me credit cards, which I scanned and returned. At that point, Ed pointed at a little blurb on the table tent and said "we get free dessert, right?"
Ugh. Fucking corporate and their genius ideas. In this case, it was printing "FREE DESSERT! If we don't offer a Sam Adams!" on one of the ubiquitous table decorations. Figuring Ed's eyesight might just be not so good, I said politely, "Oh, that's if I don't offer a Sam Adams like I did when I first came to the table." Ed just said "oh" and thanked me when I handed him his black book.
At that point, these folks were my only table and my bladder was about to revolt. I dashed in to the bathroom and when I came out .... Ed and George were gone, but Edna and Georgina were talking to Uncle Fester, who stomped back in to the kitchen looking pissed and then took them something.
Turns out that the lovely ladies told Uncle Fester that they had a "horrible experience" because I was "incredibly rude" and that I "argued" with them when they said I didn't offer them a Sam Adams. Fester was pretty annoyed at me and told me to never argue with guests, and said he'd given them dessert coupons. I relayed the conversation to him - specifically the complete lack of arguing - and showed him my credit card slips where both Ed and George had tipped me more than 20% and he calmed down.
Sadly, the story doesn't quite end there. To be continued.