Tip your servers well, please. They have to put up with so much that people outside of the restaurant industry have no idea about. Actually, many people who work as servers at dining establishments haven't heard anything as crazy as this story, shared by reddit user tamiraisredditing.
After hearing this tale of an entitled "influencer," you'll not only want to tip your servers better, you may even want to hug them. Anyways, the story goes something like this...
We’re located right by my college, and a girl who attends my college was recently on The Dr. Phil show. She was not a featured guest, she did not even appear in person, she was just teleconferenced in for, like, three total minutes to weigh in on the featured guest’s (a friend of hers from high school I think) relationship.
But, because she “was on TV!!” she thought she was the hottest thing to have ever happened on campus.
I’d heard a few people joking about how she was going around telling everyone she was a celebrity and how she kept expecting people to recognize her. It sounded really cringey and terrible.
But I don’t know her, I hadn’t even seen the show, so what did I care? It was fun gossip for ten seconds but I quickly forgot about it.
However, the girl’s self absorption wasn’t completely baseless. There are a lot more students on campus than usual this summer because so many took gap semesters to avoid zoom school during covid. Not much is happening around here as we ease back into normal life, so people did get unreasonably excited about someone from our school being on national TV.
So, she was sort of being treated like a celebrity. She was getting a lot of special attention.
She even got some free things on campus and had some people ask to take a photo with her… in an ironic sense, but she didn’t understand that.
So she decided to start testing the waters off campus and I guess met with some success because most of the nearby businesses are staffed with students. She soon appeared in our restaurant.
She was a nightmare from the moment she stepped in the door. I didn’t recognize her at first but it all clicked as she was demanding a four top despite being a party of one. We were ok with it only because we weren’t especially busy.
She didn’t make eye contact with her server (she wasn’t my section but I ate up every second of her visit with us once I realized who she was.)
The first thing I heard her say after the server said hi and introduced himself was, “Menu, water, new fork.” Like she was writing out a list.
Her server was only just bumped up from trainee status and he’s barely 16, so it especially sucked that she was dumped on him. He’s incredibly shy and sweet. If I’d anticipated the shitstorm this woman blew in with her I’d have swapped with him. But this all happened pretty quickly and I’ll usually do anything to avoid serving classmates I don’t like. It’s rare I don’t like a classmate I haven’t met, but there’s a first time for everything.
Of course, nothing on our menu was acceptable to her as-is. She had to get a ton of substitutions and additions.
Even her side salad of mixed greens had to be, not kidding, “unmixed.” She wanted each lettuce, but separately, on the plate. Her server explained that the greens came pre-mixed but she just stared blankly past him and went, “So, separate it?” As though it were the most obvious thing ever.
The kitchen actually accommodated all of her requests because it was a really slow day and there were easy enough solutions to each thing, but she still sent at least one of her plates back.
In the twenty or so minutes it took for her food to come out she asked us how much longer it would take four times.
She demanded we change the music we had on to a playlist of hers instead, she made comments about the lighting, by the time she was finished eating we were seconds away from throwing her out.
But then she stood up and calmly just… Walked right out the door. I wasn’t sure what I was seeing at first. I thought maybe she’d gone to get her wallet from her car or something, but, this isn’t the kind of place where a lot of people drive. And I just knew in my gut I had to follow up because her server definitely wouldn’t.
I went out the door and, yep, she was traipsing down the street. Tapping away on her phone like nothing was wrong in the world.
I called out to her and she half turned around, then realizing I was from the restaurant, tried to pretend she hadn’t heard me and went right back to walking. Quickening her pace a little. I would’ve laughed if I wasn’t so pissed.
So I jogged to catch up with her and was trying to keep the situation nice and calm and allow her to save as much face as possible and was just like, “Oh hi, sorry, there’s just still the matter of the bill.” Knowing damn well she didn’t forget but figuring confronting her would just feed into unnecessary drama.
I didn’t want to be gratuitously mean so rather than antagonize further, though it was very low hanging fruit, I just told her, “Look if you don’t plan to pay we’ll have to involve the police.”
She laughed and said, “Well if you don’t know who I am, you won’t be able to find me, right?” Honestly, she had me there. But I didn’t need to admit to her that I really knew who she was, because for all she knew we had security cameras or would just describe her really well.
So I let her walk off and I went back to the restaurant and called the police. It was absurdly easy to track her down because I did know who she was and she was posting geotagged posts online all day. Including a super angry post about how she had eaten at our restaurant and it had been terrible (that positive mention had never happened, by the way, not that it would have gotten her out of paying, but still.)
So she incriminated herself and led the police right to her. I doubt the cops would’ve followed up so diligently if it were only us, but apparently she’d walked out on a couple other places that genuinely didn’t recognize her and expected her to pay up. And posted angrily about how the businesses sucked, further incriminating herself.
They didn’t know who she was but they described her well enough, and that paired with the post was enough for the police to drag her in. Our trainee server actually had to go down somewhere and identify her. He was terrified when he was first asked, but when he came back he was totally giddy and thought the whole experience was pretty cool. At least, cooler than working his shift haha.