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 😭😭😭😭🥺
Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.
We are in a fragile place right now when it comes to bringing children into this world.
Not everybody is meant to be a parent.
In fact, many people should never be one.
So I find it commendable how many of us acknowledge that and chose not to procreate.
Redditorucinangel wanted to everyone to vent about why children are a "no thank you" in their book of life. They asked:
"What is the biggest reasons why you don’t want children?"
I have never wanted children. Best decision ever. But y'all do you if you feel differently. How do we feel?
Restless3. Taking a lot of napsGiphy
"I like sleep too much."
"I took two naps today.. definitely couldn't do that with kids."
"I don’t want to be a parent."
"This is reason enough."
"I am a parent. One of my friends told me she didn’t want kids and said she hoped she hadn’t offended me by saying so. I said absolutely not, no one who doesn’t want to be a parent should be one. It’s an unquittable job. You have to want it for the long term."
"I don't want kids because they're expensive and I don't have any free time. I have yet to break it to them though. Maybe after soccer practice tonight."
"I miss having free time. I can't hang out with friends last minute after work because I have to pick up my kid and feed her and get her to bed."
"It can really wreck you physically and emotionally. Even if it's an easy pregnancy, your whole body/hormonal makeup changes wildly. People act like it's 9 months of sitting in a field, making flower crowns and serenely stroking your growing belly."
"Nah bro, it's mood swings, having your guts kicked from the inside, your hair changes, eyesight might change, all kinds of crap I had no idea about until my friends started popping out kids. Like I knew it was intense before, but I had no idea how intense."
HOT AF!!Cool Down Season 2 GIF by FriendsGiphy
"A two person income with no children is too sexy to pass up on."
Kids are EXPENSIVE! I like $$$ too much as well.
Shut UpGrocery Store Reaction GIF by TravisGiphy
"All that noise… hurts my head."
"I'm barely capable of taking care of myself, so I definitely shouldn't be responsible for a child. I also think it would be a crime to make a child using my DNA."
"I commend this sentiment so much, and I wish more people would follow. My brother is 40 years old and never had kids, simply stating he knows he wouldn't be capable of taking care of them. There's so many unwanted kids in this world because people don't think this through before having them."
"I got a cat and the amount of anxiety and panic I regularly have over being responsible for an animal that doesn't need to be taught to walk is nuts."
"I don’t even have any pets, but I watch my sisters dog and a friends cat every few weeks, and the amount of time I spent staring at them when they’re sleeping to make sure they’re still breathing is too high."
"I grew up poor so u bet ur a** I'm enjoying my money not having to worry about diapers and baby formula."
"I feel this so much. I was the kid who never had the money to go to the movies or the concert or whatever it was my friends wanted to do. I make decent money but am so stuck in poverty mindset I'm terrified to spend it and I genuinely don't feel like I will ever feel financially stable enough to feel comfortable supporting a kid."
Best ideasSacha Baron Cohen Thumbs Up GIF by Amazon Prime VideoGiphy
"Wouldn't make a good parent. I'm 56. I don't see myself changing my mind on this one."
"My older brother got a vasectomy at like 27, no kids. He knew it was a very good idea. I actually agreed (I have three myself, he, ummm, probably wouldn't have been a killer dad). They're not for everybody, and you have to really spoil 'em if you expect a decent nursing home someday."
Kids aren't for everybody. That is truth and that's ok.
When visiting any place for the first time you want to do your best with the locals and the culture.
You're a guest.
Whether it's someone'e home or if it's as vast as the scope of the entire country.
You want to experience all you can while being respectful.
So let's discuss hitting up America for the first time.
RedditorPraglikwanted to share some must knows for the people whole and visit our land.They asked:
"Americans of Reddit, what's something anyone visiting the US for the first time absolutely must know about or be aware of?"
Welcome to America. A few beginner rules...
No MoneyBribing Season 3 GIF by NETFLIXGiphy
"Do not under any circumstances try to bribe a cop depending on where you come from that might seem odd but trust me you will get in trouble if you try."
"Don't get out of your car if you're pulled over by the police unless directed to do so. Police here take their own safety very seriously so they may see someone quickly getting out of the car as a sign of aggression. Coupled with the fact they carry guns and generally don’t have a track record of deescalation, it’s possible you might get shot."
"Drinks come with ice by default."
"And refills! Soda is cheap as hell. No one's coming to pour it into a glass for you, it's made on the spot and you can have as much as you want."
"And everybody wants to put lemon in them but they never wash the lemons you have to ask specifically for no lemon in your water."
"If the price says for example $5, you need to be aware that is $5 plus taxes."
"Plus extra recycling taxes on plastic water bottles in certain states (like California) So that pack of water bottles listed for $3 will cost over $5 after taxes."
"That’s literally false advertising. If a product is advertised (say on television) at a certain price, that’s how much you pay."
ServiceMusic Video Mv GIF by Lady GagaGiphy
"Plus tip, if it’s served to you."
Tip. Tip. Tip. And tip properly. 20%.
Eat Updiner dancing GIF by Justin TimberlakeGiphy
"24 hour Diners. According to stuff I read in Reddit, our diners are legendary. ETA: I’m American and I eat at them a lot. I was just surprised how much visitors from other countries love our diners so much."
"I think it’s really funny that the CA DMV official drivers manual says, 'do NOT make eye contact with another driver, this will make them MORE angry.'"
"If you screw up while driving put your hand up as a way to say sorry/my bad to the other driver. It diffuses situations because it shows them you didn’t mean to do that. Many times drivers think something was intentional when really it’s just human error."
"I live in SoCal, and the Los Angeles area has the most brutally aggressive drivers I know. Sure, other countries like Vietnam etc. are a free for all, but Los Angeles drivers literally want you dead."
"The CD is not free, never accept something from someone on a street."
"People will follow you around and thrust the CD (usually their mixtape) in your hand and then as you’re walking away with a CD you didn’t even ask for they start telling you you need to pay for it and then they refuse to accept the CD back so they make you pay for it or they keep harassing you. Happened to me in Venice beach."
"GO TO NATIONAL PARKS!"
"But be respectful! Our parks are beautiful, but often dangerous! Stick to set paths, look up local wildlife, and get an idea of common dangers. A park in the northeast will have drastically different dangers than Utah. And always have plenty of water with you. States often have very gorgeous state parks, too."
break the chainApplebees GIFGiphy
"Do not eat exclusively at chain restaurants then go home and talk about how American food sucks."
So much to do and see. What would you add to this list? Let us know in the comments below.
The world is full of crazy people.
It feels like that more and more as I meander in my local shopping center.
But a little crazy I can deal with.
I want to discuss the people who leave an imprint of fear.
The people who lack empathy, remorse... and a soul.
You met many of those?
Redditor playmesomethinnice wanted to see who would fess up and discuss the person or persons that leave us shook.They asked:
"What type of people are you scared of?"
No SenseSeth Meyers Lol GIF by Late Night with Seth MeyersGiphy
"It's a bit hard to categorize, but for me it's people who can't be reasoned with."
"Like flat earthers. I met one in the wild last summer and it was the weirdest experience. My friend slept with him anyway and I'm still mad at her for it, like don't reward him????"
"People who are manipulative liars. Who get you to care about them and then play the victim just to watch you suffer."
"This. It scarred me so much I lost faith and trust in humanity. I was not the target but I’ve seen it with my eyes on a dear friend of mine."
"Had an ex who lied about having cancer and a twin sister who died in a car wreck, makes no sense to me we were in high school at the time lol."
"There is an odd category of people who seem to be able to get away with anything they do. May it be with their looks, skills, wits, power and everything in between. Them. I'm afraid of them."
"My ex husband is this type. I witnessed him get away with crimes, and not just get away like not get caught... like he got caught, went to court, and somehow convinced the prosecution and judge to drop all charges. It was at that moment I knew real fear from that man."
Lacking in Brain
"The dangerously stupid. F**king up and hurting others but come out unharmed to sheer luck."
"Oh like my father in law who was torching weeds right by his shed that then caught fire and spread to an electrical box, deck, tree, and outdoor bar and then laughed about it cause 'I did something just like this at our old house too.'"
CertainHappy Daffy Duck GIF by Looney TunesGiphy
"I don't remember who said it but, 'It's not the people that are unsure that bother me, it's the people that are so certain that scare the hell out of me.'"
It's all about sanity levels. Or lack thereof.
HIMDrunk On One GIFGiphy
"The drunk guys at bars that always have that stare."
"People with a short temper."
"I would add people with a short and unpredictable temper. Those kinds of people who can be totally fine one second, then you do something that doesn't even cross your mind could be 'wrong' and suddenly they're yelling at you. People who explode at seemingly random stuff, no consistency, and particularly at moments you wouldn't expect."
"That's the worst. I'm not particularly used to being yelled at and I'm also rather non-confrontational, so I just don't know what to do when someone does yell at me when I'm absolutely not expecting it. Those people scare the sh*t out of me. I'm constantly on edge when I'm around them and I always feel like I have to walk on eggshells."
"People who refuse to take responsibility for their mistakes."
"They think it keeps them out of trouble, failing to recognize it causes so much more trouble for them in long run. A former friend of mine seems to have their brain constantly working on writing excuses for everything (to the point they can't keep their owns tory straight much of the time)."
"With the idea that any decision they make has to be the fault of others. They convince themselves that their every move was beyond their control and they were forced into it by others and then if they still suffer consequences they think it just means they are the victim of injustice. Tragically failing to realize they effectively deprive themselves of any control over the decisions."
"People who who are unwilling to accept the limits of their knowledge."
"I hate that my limits are there. I want to know more. And I wake up in the middle of the night wondering about James Joyce books and the NASCAR jeopardy questions I don't know."
"My boss hates me but said I'm the only person who is the best on all the machines. I suck at people, but I'm the machine whisperer. I'm the skinny *itch who can tell an autoclave to behave. A DSD to suck it up Sally. I'll even help the front desk with Bob Marley printer."
"Because he be jamming, not my job, but I have a personal vendetta against that machine. I fixed a Gameboy that was sitting in water for 2 weeks. Nintendo does make them good. Yet, I cannot for the life of me can't use an automatic car. Stick or nothing."
Be Scaredthe exorcist father merrin GIFGiphy
"Be scared of the man who has nothing to lose. Be very scared."
"With money diminishing more people are feeling trapped and in a corner."
I believe I've met all of those people. God help me.
There are just some people who need a good, spiteful talking to.
The amount of poor behavior I witness on the daily is astonishing.
How are we like this in these modern times?
Instead of serving shame, we're serving justice for improper deeds.
Be a better human.
Redditor ValenFrost wanted to share what people need a little bit of bad spotlight. They asked:
"What do you think people actually deserve to be shamed for?"
I shame anyone who doesn't use a turn signal.
GrossBasketball Wives Ugh GIF by VH1Giphy
"Leaving pee on the toilet seat when you have guests."
Stay with the truth...
"Knowingly spreading lies about someone."
"My life was legitimately destroyed by someone knowingly spreading lies about me. I’d been in a new town just a few weeks. It’s been almost 10 years and I still can’t make friends and my kids still have issues with their friends being allowed to hang out with them over it. All over something that never happened."
Don't Toss It
"I remember when I was a kid this guy in a 7/11 threw trash on the ground and another little girl looked at him and said 'you're littering' in that you're in trouble voice. And the guy just said something along the lines of 'I'm an adult, it's ok.'"
"Ummmm so I’ve had a work training that I planned, for MONTHS, and we already had to move the training once because of an internal work crisis. The training was moved to today. It's in an hour."
"This morning alone, 4 people have asked me to move it and they’ve known the training date for months. It’s so disrespectful. Moving the training from our previous date was a $500 fine, and if you can’t make it, that’s on you. Your poor planning does not constitute an emergency on my behalf."
First Be Betterlady bird self centered GIF by A24Giphy
"Selfishness that harms others."
"I think most of us do in some ways. Hopefully people might decide to try harder at minimizing the harm we do while surviving and entertaining ourselves and others."
Humans really need to be better.
Wait your turn...Looking On Line GIF by HULUGiphy
"Trying to skip a line."
"A lady came up to me once, asking to skip 30 people in line to buy a banana for her crying daughter at Disney, and I told her I can't speak for all 30 people behind me."
"Especially a traffic line where it is going one way and you get every other 15 vehicles behind that will go to the middle lane just cut in line to wait behind even more traffic."
Not Always Right
"Being entitled and treating customer service workers badly."
"I work in a restaurant and my boss will argue with you and kick you out if you don't behave, downright telling people they are the worst people are so surprised every time they get told to leave after insulting a staff member."
"I dealt with this hard during the early days of the pandemic at Gamestop. When we got crappy no-mask customers when I was working with my friends, we would be rude right back and borderline harass them out of the store. The next several customers would always praise us for not taking s**t. Everyone hates crappy customers, including other customers."
"Finding the fault in others while ignoring the same fault in yourself."
"An unfortunate truth is that a lot of adults stop emotionally maturing when they’re still children. When we’re kids, we can’t really imagine that there are adults who are less mature than us, but it’s actually depressingly common. Something stunts their ability to mature and then they’re just stuck with the emotional maturity of a teenager."
"They develop physical skills just like everyone else, and seem to live successful lives. They have careers and homes and families. But they also can’t connect with people on a deep level, lack the ability to introspect (so they can’t handle any criticism of themselves), and they can’t grow as people. It’s very sad."
“what the hell dude?”
"I watched someone try to run over a cat with their car in the Walmart parking lot, like 3 times. It was 2 am and they were speeding and swerving trying to hit the cat. Poor thing was running away terrified. I got out of my car and shrugged at them like 'what the f**k dude?' and they drove off."
"Tried to give the cat food and be nice to it but it wouldn’t come near, I think it’s just going to be terrified forever."
"Edit: I don’t understand it at all. I can at least conceptualize evil for the sake of personal gain, but what do you get from trying to murder a cat? It’s evil for the sake of evil and it’s freaking sick."
SavageOn Air Dj GIF by The Mowgli'sGiphy
"Listening to music from their phone without using earphone in a public place."
Well all of those people deserve a little shame. Some... A LOT of shame! What is wrong with people?