By Christy Rasmussen, author of Mother of the Year (www.worstmotheroftheyear.com), freelance writer, and server at a resort restaurant.

This week’s Please Don’t Sit in My Section Award goes to Audrey Tackyton. Audrey was a regular in a restaurant I worked at for years. She wasn’t the worst customer we could have had, but all the servers definitely threw out an, “Ughhh…” when she walked in. Audrey was the most unfriendly, cheap, stuck up lady we knew. She never smiled, never left more than a few dollars, and never made any attempt to actually seem to be a warm human being. That being said, we all knew it wasn’t personal so she never ruined our day.

One time Audrey came in with a big group of co-workers and was actually nice. Whether she was being fake around her friends or just happy to be with them was the question of the day, but we didn’t care. It was a nice change. At the end of the meal, one of her co-workers tipped a pretty measly amount and then Audrey added some cash on top. This was shocking to all of us working, but it wasn’t extremely huge to the point that I would question it. I’m not a super greedy person. If someone tips me extremely huge, I will always question whether or not they meant to tip me so much. First of all because I think it’s the right thing to do and second of all because sometimes people reward that kind of behavior. Audrey’s tip was not over the top so I didn’t double check.

A few hours after I got off work, my boss called me. “Audrey came back and said she wants her tip back.” He said. “Are you kidding me? Why?” I asked in disbelief. “She said she didn’t realize that the other lady tipped you as well.” “But they left 18% together!” I protested. “Look, I’m not saying you have to give her the money back. That’s up to you. But can you come down and talk to her because she wants to see you.” Ughhh…So I went down to the restaurant to face this evil lady. “I want my money back.” She said straight faced to me. “I already spent it.” I told her. “You ALREADY spent it? That was three hours ago!” I was a single mom going through college at that point. It went to food…not to drugs or alcohol. “Yes, I bought food for my 3 year old.” I was hoping she had a heart. I should have known better. “Well, I guess that my husband and I are not going to leave a single dime here until that tip is made up. So your co-workers can thank you.” With that, she left in a huff.

I stewed on this situation the whole night and into the next morning. I could not believe the nerve, the tackiness, and the attempt to make me feel bad for spending the money already. I lived off that money. I didn’t have a husband with a huge real estate business like she did. I think that’s what bothered me the most about the whole thing. She didn’t need the money. That was pocket change for her. It was a couple of meals for me. The next day, I went down to her husband’s business. I handed an envelope to the secretary. “Can you give this to Audrey? Tell her she apparently needs it more than a single mom waitress.” The lady’s mouth hit the floor. No one talks to Audrey like that…except me because I had a boss that backed me up at the time.

A few weeks later she came back into the restaurant. I told my co-worker that I wasn’t waiting on her so if she didn’t want to, Audrey would be ignored. Again, I had bosses that backed me up on this one. She waited on Audrey. I successfully ignored the tackiest lady I’ve ever met. Right before she left, Audrey walked into the kitchen. “Christy, I just wanted to say thank you. You did the right thing!” I wanted to spit in her face. Way to throw salt into wounds. I just looked at her and walked away. Money can’t buy class, but sometimes money buys arrogant, entitled witches.

So congrats Audrey Tackyton! You have won the award of the week. Please, don’t ever sit in my section again. You won’t get bad service from me because you wont get served at all.

By Christy Rasmussen, author of Mother of the Year (www.worstmotheroftheyear.com), freelance writer, and server at a resort restaurant.

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