As an artist and struggling New York actor/writer I of course have waited on many a table. I've served the rich the poor, old and young, the fashionable, the plain, the kind and the evil. (There is far more evil eating out... just FYI) And it always made me wonder about strangers and their stories. In particular the stories behind the people who left me with a sense of sorrow. I've seen people stood up, celebrate the passings of loved ones from 9/11 and even a proposal gone awry. (Never ask for someone's hand in marriage with the ring on an Olive Garden breadstick!) Seeing people at their most vulnerable is definitely something you remember.Redditor u/nGear wanted to know about the times they felt a tug at the heart for a few customers by asking them to divulge.... Waiters, what's the saddest "I'm waiting for someone" you have experienced?
Shame on you young man....Embarrassed Hide GIF by florGiphy
I was a server for 5 years and the most heartbreaking experience I had was an older woman, probably in her 60's was waiting for her grandson to come meet her for lunch. When I greeted her at the table she was very excited as I assumed she didn't see him much.
As time went by no one showed up so she decided to order. Towards the end of her meal no had shown up so it being a slow shift, me and my gf (we worked together at the same restaurant which is where we met), decided to just talk with her for a little bit and give her some company. We both felt so sad for this sweet old lady but we could tell that simple act of kindness made her day. Shame on that grandson.
Happy Birthday Sir.
I was actually a hostess at the time and I was asked to take the table for a server. An old man came in asking for a table of 6 and he asked for 6 waters. I set up his table and I put his order in. He said it was his birthday. He was there for about an hour or 2 and nobody showed up. It was really sad. He ended up tipping me like $30 and he said "Sorry for the trouble." I still think about that guy. I hope he's doing okay. :(
You dodged a bullet....
Once at my shift I saw a really shy guy, you could see that he is on a budget, but omg, he was so trying so hard and looked so exited about upcoming date! He brought one rose, and asked what he can purchase on 10 euros to make this evening beautiful. My heart melted so much that I offered him for free two glasses of wine and a dessert (I was a manager).
We put on a table some candles, and so he was sitting there and with the big smile waiting for his date to come. But she never came. He waited like 2 hours, nervously checking on his phone. When he left, he gave this rose to me and thanked for kindness towards him. He was so broke. So was my heart about this situation. :(
After Goodbye....disney love GIFGiphy
Place I used to work at had a man come in every night for a week, wait for a few hours, order food and drinks, then leave with no one showing up.
Later learned he was just trying to cope with his wife's death, believing that she'd arrive to greet him at the restaurant were they had their first date.
Not the waitstaff, but the "Wait-er."
I had set an OKCupid date at this nice coffee shop in Brooklyn. I get there, and I know the barista from college. I'm the only person in the shop at the time, so we talk a little, awkwardly. Gradually other customers arrive, so she attends to them and I attend to my phone.
It gets to the point where my date is 20 minutes late and hasn't been responding to my messages asking about an ETA. I'm sweating. Profusely. I'm so embarrassed that I'm probably being stood up in front of someone who I had several classes with years prior and knows most of my friends. I feel so humiliated.
Then my date walks in.
Stands there for a moment.
AND WALKS RIGHT BACK OUT THE DOOR
Barista: "Was that her?"
Barista: "What an a-hole."
That comment made things slightly better.
An Extra Plate....
A six-year-old boy came every day with his older brother at lunchtime and for almost a month they ordered three plates of food and always left one. When I attended to them, the boy told his older brother to ask his mother for lunch because she was already arriving, but their mother never came.
The boy's older brother asked me to give the food to someone who needed it when they left and he told me that his mother had died and that he did not know how to explain to his little brother that his mother was not coming back, but that this cafeteria It was the last place where she had taken her little brother to eat and that is why the boy believed that she would return for the dinner.
4 in a row....
A woman came in 4 nights in a row just in case she got the day wrong. She'd sit at the bar wearing the same flowery dress every night and would hopefully look at the door every single time it opened. Left in tears the first two nights when we closed, the third and fourth nights she just stared vacantly at the door until we had to make sure she left.
I never saw her again, I don't think any other staff did either but we all felt really bad for her. She got a couple free drinks and apps, we didn't even care if it was a scam cause she seemed so broken about it.
Why so Public?bugs bunny cooking GIF by Looney TunesGiphy
Was working an evening shift and a relatively younger guy came in and waited for his date. She showed up and not even 10 minutes later he got up and left and she sat there crying.
Patrons that are there to breakup are also hard to witness.
No doggy bag?
Not a waiter, but was out with my girlfriend and we were seated next to a date.
Guy was clearly trying to engage with the girl, but the girl kept looking at her phone disinterested. Guy initiated all the conversations, only to be met with 1 word answers.
He ordered a lot of food (it's a dessert place, so a lot of small meals) and then the girl suddenly took her bag and left? He banged the table after about paying, and just left with the food untouched.
Everyone in the vicinity, including the waiters were visibly shocked. I felt so bad for the guy.
Stalled....Simon Pegg Wink GIF by Working TitleGiphy
Not a waiter, but this happened to me.
I went speed dating, turned up to the venue to find it very quiet. Barely anyone was there.
The event was on the second floor, so I got a pint for the time being and sat down and waited for people to turn up.
I tried to go up to the second floor only to find that it had been closed off. Noticing my confusion the bar man asked if I was there for speed dating, I said yes, he told me it was cancelled. I didn't get an email about this, nothing.
So I sat there, dressed up and alone. I finished my pint and went home.
Dropping $1500 for Nothing....
Ugh this one was tough; I worked at a pretty fancy steakhouse in town, and we had a private dining room that could set up to 32 at a single, long table. To book the room we charged a $1500 deposit, which we then used to cover part of the bill (it was a deposit, not a room charge). Anyways, this girl books it for 26 people, puts the deposit on her card. She shows up with her sister, and then after about 20 minutes, 2 of their 'friends' show up and sit at the opposite end of this giant table from the birthday girl and her sister.
Nobody else came. They waited an hour, the birthday girl was sobbing, the other two just awkwardly left. It was awful. I'm grateful to my manager, who in a moment of compassion refunded the whole deposit back onto the poor girls card. I felt terrible for her.
Just say NO.sad adventure time GIFGiphy
Got sat a "party of 15 to 20" for a woman's bridal shower.
Her mom decorated the table and chairs and the whole corner for the party, everyone in the restaurant could see there was going to be a party there on a busy Friday night. 4 people showed of the possible 20, that includes the future bride and mom. I didn't even care about the money I was missing out on (four tables of my section gone on a busy weekend shift) I just felt so bad for her.
Why Bother Lady?
Not a waiter, but worked at a coffee shop for several years and made friends with tons of regulars. One of the regulars, we'll call him J, was working on his PHD in Art History or something to that effect at the university near us. He came in one day, got his usual tea and asked if I could charge him for a latte, but make it later, no big deal.
I was bussing tables and asked who the latte was for and very excitedly expressed that he was meeting a lady and it was "kind of a date". He was an awkward kind of guy, but very interesting and incredibly friendly. One hour passes, no show, two, no show, finally three, he's looking despondent and starts collecting his things and leaves.
She showed up 20 minutes later asking about J. Apparently they got their times completely mixed up. He comes in the next day and I mention that she came in looking for him and he looked so excited. I found out a week or so later from him that she basically blew him off a second time. He was so crestfallen, it broke my heart.
Still With Me...
Ahhh, I haven't bartended in a million years, but the saddest one was a guy in his 30s. He had a 2 top, asked for a bottle of top shelf champagne, candles lit, all that. Told me they were celebrating. No one showed. Guy looked morose, but had an appetizer, poured a glass of champagne for the person who wasn't there, then asked for the bill.
I felt bad he obviously got stood up, so I brought him a desert in the house. He smiled, and told me it was his anniversary. My face must've showed my sadness for him, so he clarified- his wife died of cancer a few month ago. It may have been the saddest thing I've seen.
Not exactly a waiter, but I was working at a bar a few years back and there often was this girl (in her early twenties maybe) who sometimes used to meet her mother at the bar (maybe about every 2 or 3 months).
The thing is, more often than not the mother either came extremely late (1 or 2 hours at least) to didn't came at all. When she came, there often was a huge tension between the two. It was obvious that they had some unresolved issues.
Watching the girl wait for hours even if it was clear that the mother wouldn't come on that day always broke my heart. As a barkeeper and since she was a regular, I tried my best to engage a conversation with her to distract her a little, but there's only so much you can do.
Fun fact: Years after I stopped working at that bar, I met her at a random party and we had a great evening/night together. She told me that she 'broke up' with her mother tho.
So it's a No?Sorry Dog GIF by swerkGiphy
Guy was dressed really nice. Says his date should be there soon and goes ahead and is seated.
He orders a drink and 30 minutes pass by... then and hour, and another drink later. He started fidgeting with something and I noticed it was a ring. After an hour and a half he asked for his check and muttered something about "There goes two years wasted and down the drain." He tipped 2x his bill.
into crack town....
This gentleman in his mid forties came to my restaurant frequently and would not order his drink until "his wife got there." He would wait for a few minutes, then pull out a framed picture of a woman, set it on the table, and proceed to order his food and drink. He would talk to the framed picture and have dinner with "her" about once a week.
I noticed him doing this often and told my coworker I thought it was cute he was having dinner with his late wife and she replied,"Oh, no that's not his wife. He found that picture at good will and has been a relationship with it ever since. He told me that a long time ago." What did I expect from working right off the freeway in crack town. Very true story, no lie.
14 is an unlucky #...
We had a 21st birthday party booked for 20, the family showed up early with a few friends. They had a few drinks and let the staff know some of the party were running late. Half an hour in, when the late people were supposed to arrive, two friends left.
An hour went by and the birthday group ordered.
Got their starters, told the service staff some more people were coming. About two hours in the mother said just bring the mains out.
It was so sad, I felt so bad for them. Being stood up by fourteen people, and the two friend who did show up didn't even eat.
"Honey, it is going to be okay."
A few years ago, I took myself to a movie and dinner. It was the weekend before Valentine's day. At the time I had a warehouse gig and that day my step counter was at 7.9 km. Being exhausted, I just sort of plopped down. Ordered quietly, sipped a beer, and derped around on my phone.
I must have looked like I was on the verge of tears (in reality I'd been rear ended at a red light the week before and just hurt all over.) Server comped my cheesecake, smiled politely, and quietly remarked "Honey, it is going to be okay." Until that point I wasn't sad to be alone- but after that I was fighting tears all the way home.
She GoneAngel's GlowGiphy
I had a regular who would always come in with his wife. One day he sat in my section and I noticed his wife wasn't with him. I asked "where's your wife today" he replied "she's in heaven waiting for me". Immediately I died inside 😭😭😭😭🥺
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Why do bullies bully? More importantly... how do we get bullies to back off?
Can we just use words? Does it always have to resort to violence?
There is no reason in this world for anyone to be a bully. It's all about power and self worth.
The bully has none and it's all they want.
RedditorYaboi2tallwanted to hear about how bullies can be stopped.
"How did you get a high school bully to never mess with you again?"
I swung on my bully, with a pencil. Never had an issue again.
"Vomited all over him. After that he never messed with me again."
Linklee2Throw Up Season 2 GIF by Amazon Prime VideoGiphy
"A group of sociopaths from my school that always tormented us followed me and my friends to my house one day in a pick up truck. They stole my friends shoes, pushed one of them until she fell, and took my sketchpad and threw it in a puddle. My stepbrother came outside, beat one of them badly, stole his pants, and threw his keys into a sewer grave before hitting him with an empty vodka bottle. It was traumatizing for me on both ends, but that group of kids never even looked at us again."
"He tried to shove me down an embankment while on a field trip. Had I fallen, I would have broken my leg or worse, because the embankment ended about 25 feet down, then dropped off into some deep brush and trees. Anyhow, my best friend was next to me, and said 'Watch it!' as he came at me."
"I side-stepped him, and he tumbled down the embankment and over the edge into the brush. Fractured several ribs, dislocated his shoulder and broke his ankle. He never did anything to me again. F**k you Darren! You b**ch!"
"She told me, my face made her want to kill herself. So I told the school counselor that she had confided in me she wanted to kill herself. She had to explain to the everyone what she really said. She would call me fat, and ugly everyday. She also would tell me I was trash because I was adopted. 'Your own mother thought you were so ugly she didn't want you.'"
"Made friends in the football team. Bullies think twice when you are buddies with a 6'2 250 pound Samoan. Crazy how nice so many Samoans are."
Large-Statistician-3serie a football GIF by U.S. Sassuolo CalcioGiphy
I do like Football players. I knew they'd good for something.
"I was bullied for my wheelchair, so I ran their feet over."
"Fast and furious."
Sigmrpaul walker family GIFGiphy
"A bully was harassing my daughter on the bus. Instead of calling his folks, or jumping on him, I did this…"
"I pulled him aside at the bus stop one day and asked for his help. “Hey Danny. I was hoping you could help me out. I guess there’s a kid on the bus who is picking on my daughter. She’s a girl and small and I’d like for you to help protect her. If you see anything like that, could you stick up for her please and let me know about it.'" That was the end of the bullying."
"Pretty much the same. Stopped associating with our mutual friends when I realized they're not my friends if they're friends with a bully like this person and ever since we graduated, and I've been out of that social bubble, it's just was over."
"Not a bully per se, but a d**k." In my French class a guy who sat behind me would always kick my chair repeatedly, and I was at the point where I was visibly infuriated by this happening every lesson. The girl who sat next to me turned to him and said 'Hey, you should probably stop doing that, he looks like he's about to hit you.'"
"Guy laughed it off and said I wouldn't. I didn't, but I turned around and cocked my arm back. He was leaning back on the hind legs of his chair with his feet on mine, so when I did this, he flinched, fell backwards off his chair, and got a few laughs from the people behind us. He never kicked my chair after that."
"Challenged him to a fight at lunch, left during the period before lunch to move 800 miles away."
undercoverhippieJosh Whitehouse Duel GIF by PoldarkGiphy
Sometimes all it takes is one good punch. Not that I'm advocating violence. But most bullies are just cowards.
As much as we love to have eyes for others, those eyes are witness to some yuck.
We are easily turned on by many things and people.
We're humans, humans are easy.
But turning off and shutting down is also easy.
And once we see certain things, they can never be unseen.
And so... we move on.
Let's make a list so people stay vigilant.
Redditorfiginjosejospewanted to hear about what makes us yell a big NO for some things.
"What is your biggest turn off?"
I am easily turned off. It's my one flaw. Anything can do it. Alas...
"When people smell bad. Hygiene is important."
ccherry124Violet Reaction GIF by Murdoch MysteriesGiphy
"One-uppers. Whatever you have done/seen or place you have gone, they have done it better."
"I struggle with this SO BADLY. I hear someone’s story and think 'I can relate! I’ve done XYZ' and tell the story. As soon as I see their facial expressions change I know they’ve taken it as me one upping. It’s so hard for me to relate without telling the story WHY I relate."
"Deception. Say what you freaking mean, and your actions must match your words."
"I don't know if this counts as deception but I have the hardest time verbalizing my thoughts in the way that I think them. So I say something that doesn't match my thoughts but it's like theres a disconnect in my brain that doesn't let me say what I want to say. I've had multiple tbi's from a young age but I don't know if that has any to do with it."
"When they constantly cut you off during a conversation."
"I noticed my bad habit of interrupting when I started dating my partner. I worked on it because it bothered him so much. Now when I'm around my family who I don't see often, I'm keenly aware of how bad we all are at it. Dinners, drinks, video calls are a literal cacophony of people talking over each other and having to repeat yourself because no one listens."
"Having been on this earth almost six decades, I can say this has definitely gotten worse over time. Now, you can see it getting worse by the year."
Cautious-Damage7575Blm Fight Me GIF by Holly LoganGiphy
I hate entitled people. Nobody is owed anything.
"When a person is rude or just behaves poorly and everyone around them says, 'that's just how he/she is.' No. There is no excuse for piss poor behavior."
Sarahkm90No Way Do Not Want GIF by Schitt's CreekGiphy
"Over sharing at social media."
"I had an ex who would straight up get pissed if I didn’t post about us on instagram or facebook back when I had it. Even if we just hung out and did nothing Lol. She got even more upset if I did post something and not include her... or if I got more likes than her."
"Social media has completely ruined our brains… it’s so sad to realize the damage that’s been done in such a short amount of time."
"Littering. I absolutely hate it when people litter just because 'there is no trashcan close' or 'Yeah, but everything here is anyway already dirty.' That makes me so annoyed and just ugh. I can understand that it's annoying to keep on holding onto trash but like... It's not that difficult."
"Open mouth chewer. Or any kind of lip smacking while eating."
"At a family reunion, I got seated in front of a woman I hadn't met before. Food gets there and we started loading ourselves up. I still remember what we had: tostadas."
"They're a flat baked or fried tortilla topped with pretty much whichever ingredients you want. Usually meat, some veg, cheese, cream, and salsa. This is relevant because half of that food ended up smeared on her face. I have never seen a grown a** adult eat like that. Open mouth chewing, with food actually spilling out as she ate."
"Loud, boisterous talking and laughing, with more, half chewed food spilling out everywhere. And napkins seemed to not be a thing for her because she never used one, making all the cream and salsa get stuck to her lips and cheeks. I was freaking disgusted, as was everyone around her. That was not a pleasant meal."
"Using phones every time we hang out."
"My wife has a friend that if you aren’t talking to her about only her, she zones out and just stares at her phone."
mofoofinventionphone glow GIF by jjjjjohnGiphy
When the turn is off. It's off. And that's all.
When trying to eat healthy you have to do research.
We have to be vigilant and read the labels.
Just because it says "healthy"... that means nothing.
That was just years of gaslighting.
Also, just because it says "diet" you can't have 10 of them.
RedditorJoltyJobwanted to dissect what's on the menu.
"What food do most people think is healthy but is actually unhealthy?"
I love fruit. But... some fruits are just sugar. Now they tell us.
"Can confirm this. I used to work there and most of the smoothies on the menu are made with frozen juice concentrate which was just liquid processed sugar and multiple scoops of sherbet. Not sorbet. Sherbet."
Coconut_LessJoseph Sikora Drinking GIF by PowerGiphy
"Naked smoothies/juices and flavored yogurt."
"Looking through the various yogurt's nutritional information while trying to find a good High-protein Greek Yogurt recently was very eye-opening. The majority of them were pretty much just softer ice cream."
"Some people think 'Gluten Free' means 'healthy.' Not automatically, it doesn't. This is NOT about people who MUST follow a GF diet."
"As someone with celiac disease it’s astounding how often I have to explain this to people. Gluten free diets are no healthier than regular diets. Gluten is just a single protein being omitted from your diet. The difference is you’re probably eating way less bread, or you’re just generally more anxious about eating so you might lose weight as a result."
"I'm shocked how many moms think Nutella is better than peanut butter."
"When it first came out in Australia they advertised it 'less fat than peanut butter' and 'less sugar than jam' so that sounds great..."
"Until you think about it, peanut butter is high in fat but low in sugar and jam is high in sugar and low in fat. So of course Nutella has less fat than peanut butter, it's got to make room for all the added sugar. And of course it has less sugar than jam, it's gotta make room for all that palm oil."
Same for apples...
"Granola bars. They're chocolate, oats and sugar for the most part. Oats can be healthy by themselves. But a granola bar is unhealthy due to all the sugar, chocolate and stuff along with them. Same for apples. Apples are healthy, apple pie, not healthy."
SinisterMeatballSnacking Hey Girl GIF by Nature ValleyGiphy
The truth about granola bars has been out there forever. Beware...
"That's because when I was kid the food pyramid posters were printed by the American grain council. They said we needed a couple of servings of both meat and vegetables and like 9 servings of bread and various grain products."
"Juice. Most packaged juices you get are super high in sugar."
"Ha. One of the reasons why I switched providers last year for my prenatal care was because the first one told me, in all seriousness, I needed to drink three cups of milk and two cups of juice per day. I was like, say what now???"
"Same with ketchup 25% of it is sugar."
Check the Bag
"This is actually a pretty good response. A surprising number of people didn't check the back of those packages to find that they're just Pringles that included a little bit of vegetable dust in the potato chip mix. People actually think they're just eating salty crispy vegetables."
"Anything 'natural' doesn’t immediately mean healthy. At least in the EU when a product is natural, it doesn’t need to go through all the testing that is required for other products. This doesn’t mean that the product is safe, as many natural products can be harmful."
"Panera Bread...healthy 'clean' ingredients. It's full of salt, sugar and processed crap."
Carrann82312. Panera for the Win!Giphy
Just because it says healthy or diet doesn't mean it's true. Lesson learned.
It's hard not to look back on history and be disgusted by a number of things which were at one point deemed acceptable, even not so long ago in the grand scheme of things.
The endless list includes segregation and women not having the right to vote.
We'd certainly like to think that we've come a long way.
But when we look back on how much we, as a culture, have evolved for the better, it also makes us stop and wonder what current customs or practices accepted in society today people twenty years from now will look back on in disgust.
This piqued the curiosity of RedditorSalt-Campaign6402,leading them to take to Reddit to ask:
"What modern day practice/ belief is most likely to be considered barbaric and outdated in the future?"
A revaluation of medical practices
"The way that f*cking speculum is shaped."- PopK0rnAndMMs
"Gynaecology procedures being done with out sedation or some type of proper numbing agent."- baconbutt96
The end of stigma
"The entire system surrounding mental health."- crapgarbage
More respect for the environment
"Deforestation hopefully."- CrumbledTheCookies
More sustainable materials
"Single use plastics."- Lemilli000000n
Improvements in wages and working hours
"Working long hours to the point of sleep deprivation and exhaustion."
"Right now people brag about it."- HonestlyPizza
"It's a scam made up by the rich to make the poor feel good about being exploited."- whythatusername
More humane treatment of animals
"Breeding dogs that can’t breathe."- username-alrdy-takn
Possible life saving advancements in science?
"I feel like organ transplants from strangers will seem bizarre in the future."
"I imagine we will be able to grow genetically-identical organs and use those instead."- thunderbiird1
Twenty years from now, we'll likely find ourselves relieved that some things have finally changed.
Then too, we might look back in horror at many things we wouldn't even take a second thought about at the time.