We Were First!

One busy night I am sat two tables at once. They are both two tops in
booths next to each other. No big deal I thought, I can just get both
orders back to back. Since they were both sat quickly while I was in
the kitchen, I didn’t see which table was first so I asked the one
hostess who indicated the nearest table was first. I go to the nearest
table and take their order and as I turn to the next booth the people
stand up. Of course I’m confused at first, but thinking maybe they
were called with an emergency or somehow just realized they couldn’t
stay. The man says huffily as they walk past, “We were here before

Soooo basically they waited to walk out until I had fully taken the
other table’s order, probably just so they could verbally jab me on
the way out. Then I would imagine they went to another restaurant when
if they had just stayed put their food would have been in front of
them before they could drive across town and be seated elsewhere.
Since they are semi-regulars I can sweetly explain the situation next
time I see them, and maybe they will feel as stupid as they acted.

– Karen


  • Xiao Gou

    May 16, 2010

    I recently had an animal at my bar who said the same thing. He’d arrived, shoulder-to-shoulder, with another party (2 guys who spend about $1,000 weekly at our restaurant) and what happened is I ran to our very good customers (in fact, he’d just done me a very big favor and I wanted to thank him again) and after I serve them their drinks, I go back to the other guy. He shouts out (so the other guys could hear him) “Hey, I got here first!” Then he gives me his drink order and I’m making it… he just wanted me to waste the booze, ’cause as I walked over with his drink, he got up and said “I’m leaving.” This moron spends about $35 every two weeks at our place).

    When I said “(name), you’re being unreasonable,” he said “you wanna take it outside?” Oh, boy.

    I walked out the door with this guy (by now I was sipping the drink I’d made for him). He started in with “I spend a lotta money here…” I told him “No, you don’t. When I see you coming, I see a 20-minute ordering saga wherein you ask me ‘what’s good?’ and then poke around — and order the same thing every time. I served those customers because they know what they want and they’re very, very nice guys who respect my time and others’.”

    The conversation ended with me taking the last sip of (his) drink in my hand (no, I didn’t make an effort to charge him for what he’d ordered). Then he asked me if I wanted his business. I responded “no.” He wasn’t ready for that, at all.

    He’s not been back. P.S., the two guys I served first felt guilty and apologized profusely for “causing trouble.” I assured them that, at least from this particular classless piece of trash, they’d not be getting any trouble in the near future.

  • At Your Service

    May 16, 2010

    Xiao Gou… Wow, you’re lucky you work in a place where you can get away with sticking it to a customer like that! I could never, would never, say what you said but I commend you for having the nerve to give that customer what for!

  • Hot Pants

    May 17, 2010

    Xiao Gou–

    I wish I could pull something like that off. The server in me wants to shake your hand, but my manager self want to grind you under my heel and kick your ass out the door at the same time. It may be time for you to consider another line of work. Not only are your customer service skills lacking, but if you feel the need to drink on the job…well warning bells should be going off in your head is all that I’m saying.

  • Lizzi

    May 17, 2010

    Hey Hot Pants,

    I don’t know if you’ve read the Dinners From Hell blog, but Xiao Gou had a story on there about burning a customer who was rude and obnoxious to him. He DEFINITELY needs a new line of work, and his customer service skills are deplorable.

  • jane

    May 18, 2010

    Xiao Gou I think this sounds great! Customers that say things like “we were here first” need to get kicked to the curb. GROW UP PEOPLE IT’S ONE F-ing MEAL OF YOUR LIFE. So many “regulars” become regulars at various places because they feel it gives them carte blanche to abuse the staff. I always found when I was waiting tables that our most annoying regulars were regulars at many, many different places. Pathetic. Oh and if you are drinking on the job at a busy restaurant–you’re doing it right! rock on.

  • Hot Pants

    May 18, 2010


    I’ll agree with you that some “regulars” think they can get away with being abusive, but this does not give a server the right to be outright rude. Xiao Gou committed a cardinal sin. Only an owner or acting manager has the right to refuse business. Xiao Gou should of been fired. A good server would have served the customers politely, while playing the mental games that are the waiters best tool. Taking a little longer with the drinks or getting the food. Forgetting extra salad dressing or ketchup. The minor things that will piss the customer off, but not get you in trouble. Yea, you’ll lose the tip, but you probably weren’t getting one anyways. So have fun.

  • At Your Service

    May 19, 2010

    I gathered from a previous comment of his that Xiao Gou is a manager… so I guess he’s in a position to be able to do that kind of thing!

    Hot Pants: What’s the difference between being outright rude and being passive aggressive, as you described above? Those “mental games”, as you call them, are nothing but passive aggression… the key word being AGGRESSION. As a server, and a good one at that, I don’t bother playing those kind of games. I’d rather be rude to a customers face than put in all that effort to provide sub-par service. Either way you’ve got a good shot at being complained about, having regulars request any section BUT yours, and getting a lousy tip. Being mildly rude to a customers face, which doesn’t happen very often, is actually less work than having to run back to the kitchen every time one of your passive ploys has the customer flagging you down for what you “forgot”. Of course I’d never go as far as Xiao Gou described… though at times I wish I could.

  • Laura

    January 16, 2011

    As long as Xiao Gou doesnt make it a habit to verbally bitch slap all crappy customers, I dont see the harm. I actually think that he provided a great customer service… to all other customers, that is! People like that are prone to outbursts that probably annoy the other clientele just as much as it annoys the people serving them. Kudos to him for not making the good customers have to deal with him anymore. Also, one drink on the job does not an alcoholic make.

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