People have this habit of forgetting that anyone outside of their immediate circle exists. That's especially true of service workers who have a way of disappearing into the background - we're talking about you, wait staff ninjas.
We'll admit, we've gotten lost in conversation and not noticed a server walk up to the table before, especially way back in ye olde theater days.
The servers at Ruby Tuesday must have heard so much more than they ever bargained for. Then again, theater kids just have a way of standing out, ya know?
Maybe the servers knew exactly how ridiculous things could get with us...
Whether the customers just looked like the type to bring the drama, like the dad in the Mother's Day story, or not didn't seem to matter. Guests overlook service staff and get lost in conversation. They talk too loudly. They're oblivious.
I was clearing some tables after a wedding. Overheard the bride talking to the grooms mother. She was trying to justify having cheated on the groom the night before (which seriously seems to happen way too often for both genders, wtf.)
The part that made it really bad is that she kept trashing her now-husband and his mother was trying to be as sweet as possible, telling her it's understandable and she is stressed and all that; telling her to give it time. Part of me respects her calmness but seriously, she cheated on your son, don't tell her that's okay! I've seen it so many times before. But this left me livid.
As a delivery boy I was handing this young woman her pizza while she was on the phone talking about how her mom is in the hospital for attempted suicide. It was really sad and awkward.
Porn Is Terrible Sex Ed
There was a group of high school girls near the server station and overheard one girl say "wait, I shouldn't have given him a bl*wjob after we did it? They did it in a porno though and he had a condom on before."
A Military Town
Once worked as a waiter. I was clearing a table when I heard the following from a table behind me. "Ok, we'll need assault rifles, sidearms, machetes, and full gear. Don't forget four full clips for each weapon."
That got me curious. I turned to see four guys in military uniform sitting at the table. It would've been fishy if the restaurant wasn't in a military town. It was a small town which was right next a military camp (infantry) and a military academy.
It's not mine, is my mom's. She passed the table where this rich couple from Buenos Aires was and stayed close so she could eavesdrop when she heard the word "abortion."
Apparently their daughter and nephew had sex, and she got pregnant.
Keeping It In The Family
Back in high school I was a host for a small sushi restaurant. The host stand was about 2 yards away from the closest bar stool. On one particularly slow night a couple came in to sit at the bar for dinner.
After a happy hour large sake bomb, the woman was talking loud enough for me to hear. Her sister came up in their conversation and took a turn for the worse. She started accusing her husband of always looking at her sister a little too long and said her sister used her obnoxious laugh (?) whenever he was around.
I leave the host stand to do some work around the restaurant fast forward 10 min.
Now both the lady and man are visibly upset when he stands out of his chair and loudly for the whole other 4 people to hear "Yeah I think her sisters hot and I slept with her too" and stormed out.
My manager just quickly gave the lady the bill even though she was sitting there crying. By far the most interesting night I had working there.
An Immersive ExperienceGiphy
From the opposite standpoint; Definitely not something I was supposed to overhear from my waitstaff.
Anyone who knows anything about Disney World knows that they make it very immersive. You are never supposed to see anyone out of character at any time for any reason, even to the point where they keep dancing after going into the tunnels just in case someone can see.
That's why this story sticks out so much in my memory. I was in Disney back in my teen years and at a character breakfast. Alice and The Mad Hatter were very snippy at each other while they were entertaining, and finally they went aside and had it out around the corner toward the kitchen. They thought they were quiet enough, but my sister and I could hear the whole thing.
Alice and The Mad Hatter just had a coital rendezvous a few minutes earlier. The Mad Hatter was complaining that Alice totally took advantage of him, and that he was uncomfortable with the entire thing, and even more pissed off that she hadn't told him that she wasn't on birth control. She was snapping back that he never expressly objected to anything, so he can't be angry now.
The entire experience was absolutely surreal - watching two people in full costume that were supposed to have permanent smiles on their faces bickering over a very adult conversation. It was unforgettable.
I was eating at a restaurant one day and a boyfriend proposed to his girlfriend. It was very sweet, not attention-seeking at all, and seemed very genuine.
She started crying and said yes.
He grinned and said "April Fool!"
She. Was. PISSED!
It was Mother's Day '19, and I work at the best breakfast joint in my city, at the most popular location. We were on a 3-4 hour wait pretty much all day. At around 11 or 12, I had a 3 top get sat in one of my booths. A little miffed about it because it's the busiest day of the year and they were in a family booth, but whatevs, let's turn and burn them. I creep on them from the kitchen a lil bit to see who I'm dealing with. A mid-late 30's woman, in decent shape, Karen hair cut. Teenage daughter, completely enthralled with whatever boy is trying to convince her to show her skin on Snapchat. A early 40's behemoth of a man, 220lbs of rock hard muscle and 6'5" AT LEAST. He's red in the face and mad already, I assume because of the wait. I'm already thinking, "oh these poor women"
I walk up, do my little song and dance, go get drinks. All is well. All is normal. Guy is a lil stiff, but I saw that coming from a mile away so I do my best to defuse and disarm him with some directed charm. Made a joke about black coffee that got the tables around me giggling and the two girls, but he just gave me a Stoney glare. Soooooo this is awk. Let's take their order.
I'm at the point-of-sale(POS) adjacent to their table, just around the corner, and I begin ringing their order in. As I'm ringing it in, I hear in a gruff voice, "...well JOSH didn't have a problem with that, did he??" Then, in a timid voice, "...nothing...going on...Josh"
Uh oh, I'm listening to someone being accused of cheating on Mother's Day in front of their daughter this just got AWK
So I leave them alone till their food is up. As I'm walking up with the tray, big guy is roaring his head off screaming how she's a whore, how she doesn't deserve happiness, how she should just go sleep with Josh again, the nines. All in front of the kid.
Then he goes to stand up and I'm close by because I have their food and don't wanna be blamed for it being cold so I'm still tryna drop this food off, forget their their argument. I try to back away but there's another table WAY TOO CLOSE.
He jumps back and stands and cracks his head on my tray, HARD. $80 worth of omelettes and pancakes come crashing down, on top of a table of 10 halfway through their meal, in a fantastic display of shattered ceramic and flying berries. The guy storms over to me, gruffly apologizes and shoves a crumpled $100 bill in my shirt pocket and stomps out of the restaurant.
The lady is crying, the daughter has both headphones in now, I'm laying in a pool of strawberry syrup and whipped cream, and I got to re-fire 20 plates of food and got a terrible tip from the 10.
Karen-hair says, "That should teach me to ever go out on Mother's Day with my ex husband." and starts crying into her oatmeal, which was the only plate I was able to save. I gave her and her daughter and awkward Christian side hug and related my experience of growing up in a divorced household and got them new food.
Def should have walked away when I could have.
Passing On Their Wisdom
I work at a small cafe that has outdoor seats close to the counter. As I was collecting some dirty plates from a table, I hear these two elderly women talking to a younger woman about sexual topics. What also sucked was that every time I went to clean a table, the elderly women were still talking about sexual stuff.
One of the things I can remember one of them saying word for word was "Trust me, if he wanted to be a virgin he wouldn't have slept with you, now its time for you to cheat on him"