I’m a server in a sushi bar. It was a Sunday night, 30 minutes from closing and a couple walks in from the movie theater next door looking to get midnight snack before they went home. My manager seats them in my section and tells us they’ll be the last table for the night.
On this particular night, I had been working a double the day after I was the closing server but I had still managed to keep a smile the whole day. When they sat down I still had 2 or 3 other tables. These two sat at table 45, two booths away from table 47 where I had a mom and her daughter.
When I greeted them, they asked for one glass of water to split (not fucking joking) and one of the cheapest rolls from our happy hour menu. So I brought them their one glass of water and put their order in. When I went to drop it off the man asked for ginger and wasabi. I said “Absolutely, I was just gonna ask that!” With a big smile and walked back to the kitchen. On my way back, 47 was ready to pay so I grabbed the check.
In the back, I ran 47’s card, printed 45’s tab so I was check-ready, and grabbed the ginger and wasabi, so you can estimate about how long I was back there. Back at 47, I drop the check off, chat with them for a few seconds, wish them a good night, etc and the whole time I can feel the two at 45 staring at me, burning holes in the side of my head with their eyes. I walked over to 45 with a smile still on my face, set down the ginger and wasabi, and before I could say anything, with the meanest look on his face the man demands “Is the service here always like this?!” “Yeah, we need the ginger and wasabi to eat our food.” chimed in the lady.
I was awestruck. I didn’t know what to say. I thought he was joking for a moment because I thought I was doing awesome but he didn’t break. I wanted to say so much. I wanted to tell him “Not only are you my last table, but you’re the last table for the whole restaurant. Not only are you the last table for the whole restaurant, you’re my last table after being stuck here for 20 of the last 36 hours. Not only are you my last table after a 20 hour shift, your tab is literally $3.90. Do you really think I’m worried about that 50¢ tip I might get? Do you really think I even give a damn if you even pay. If you walk out right now and my manager makes me pay for this, I won’t be hurting.” But instead I just sat there with my mouth wide open for a moment, then stepped aside and started bussing table 44.
The man said “Fuck this place” and they got up and walked out. I said have a “Have a good night! ?” and watched them leave. My manager comped their roll and gave it to me to eat.