As most of you know by now, I work in an airport. More specifically, I tend bar in an airport. My theory is that once the majority of passengers make it through security, they leave a few brain cells back there on the conveyor belt. We see a variety of people pass through our restaurant; some are pleasant (I’ve met some awesome people doing what I do), some are morons, some are rude, and some see that invisible line and hop, skip and jump right over it. I’m talking zero regard or respect for others. They think they can do or say whatever they please. I don’t take kindly to that.
More specifically – and the inspiration for today’s post – I do not take kindly to grown men who act like scumbags, and/or talk disrespectfully to women. The first thing that comes to mind when I see or experience this: How would you feel if someone talked to your daughter like that? Secondly: How about your wife? Thirdly: Do you even have a wife? I sure hope not. And here, for your personal anger and entertainment, is a prime example.
Saturday night. We’re about an hour into our 8-9 hour shift, the other 2 lady bartenders and I. Things are going smoothly – thank goodness – and a man approaches my bar. I greet him with a menu and he asks for 2 more, as he has 2 friends who will be joining him. Sure thing. I drop another 2 menus on the bar. I knew his friends had arrived when I heard someone yell a greeting across the restaurant, as if they were outdoors or in their own living room. The table I’d been dropping food off to looked up, startled. I gave them an awkward smile and turned to watch the three men greet each other. I approached the bar and took their drink order. Easy enough. I grabbed 3 beers and placed them on the bar. Then things got busy.
When things pick up one of the other bartenders will usually take that little sliver of bar where the three men were sitting. This particular bartender is extremely friendly, even when people are acting like douche-bags. As I was standing at the front of the restaurant, she approached me and gave me their food order, mentioning something about not wanting to deal with them anymore.
“What happened?” I asked.
“They were talking about wanting to buy a t-shirt, then said they wanted my shirt, like, off of my back.”
I could feel my blood starting to simmer. “What?? They said they wanted your shirt?”
They implied they wanted her to take off her shirt. She told them that was inappropriate, and the ringleader replied with “Sorry if I offended you.”
Now my blood was boiling.
As calmly as I could, I approached the three men. At this point I wasn’t sure of who said what, since apparently they were all involved, so I did it like this:
“Listen, whichever one of you made an inappropriate comment to the other bartender, don’t let it happen again. She was extremely offended and we can kick you out for things like that.” Of course they scrambled to defend themselves, mumbling about just wanting to buy a shirt, blah, blah, blah. A women and her husband next to them stepped in, claiming they did nothing wrong. I then said if that is the case then I am the one who is sorry, but please be careful how you word things. I was looking out for one of my own. “I totally understand,” the woman said. Case closed, right? Of course not.
I continued to take care of the men, a few more minutes went by, then the ringleader spoke again. “Excuse me, are you the bartender?”
“No, I’m not.”
“Then why did you come over here giving us shit?”
“You offended one of my bartenders, sir. Then I even made an apology to you saying if you didn’t mean anything by it, that’s fine, but to please watch how you word things.”
He then asked for my manager, complained, tried to get him to take care of the bill. No, no, and no. My manager said once he was close to the man it looked like he’d been drinking before he arrived at our bar. I hadn’t noticed anything more than his stupidity. More time passed, blah, blah, blah, he rudely asked me if he could pay. “Sure!” I said. Good, get the hell out. Of course I wasn’t expecting a tip after his experience.
But what I really wasn’t expecting was the word “Bitch” to be sloppily scrawled where a tip would normally be. He left before I even had time to see it. Coward. His friends stayed though, and after the ringleader was gone they were all “please” and “thank you” and “yes ma’am”.
I believe in karma, scumbag. And it will come for you. I also believe in standing up for yourself, defending yourself or others you care for. And if that warrants me a bitch, then so be it.
31 responses to “r-e-s-p-e-c-t”
Give em hell, Nicole!
Personally, I’ve always found bartenders to be up there with doctors in levels of respect due.
Even bartenders who I probably won’t see again.
(After all, the bartenders control the buybacks!)
“Do not bite the hand that feeds you.” I really believe in that quote. Have you ever seen Waiting? These morons are lucky I’m not one of those people who would mess with their food or drink!!!
KUDOS Nicole Marie! Way to support your co-workers. Takes courage to approach 3 unknown individuals and put them in their place. By the way, have you ever heard of “Break Room Stories”. It’s a blog on WP. Thought you might enjoy some of it. And your story would be great for them.
Thank you, Colleen!! And I’ve never heard of it, checking it out now. Thank you for the suggestion!
You’re welcome. The BRS is sometimes funny, sometimes a share of frustration. I hope you like it.
I wasn’t witness to any of this, so I can’t say for sure. But…While the man was clearly out of line, I feel like there might have been some overreaction on your part as well.
Fair enough. I feel I handled it correctly but to each his own opinion!
Good for you Nicole! Standing up for a friend/colleague. I hate it when people treat wait staff/ bar tenders like dirt. I don’t why they feel like they can get away with anything. Especially at airports/ airplanes people tend to behave like morons, I guess because they probably won’t be going back for a while or ever. Hope you have a few more of the nice customers to compensate for these douche bags. 🙂 Have a nice week!
Thank you, Amba 🙂 hope you’re having a great week too! Luckily things have been quiet since that day!
Ugh. What a horrible man.
Right? I hope I never have to see his face again!
What idiots! You did the right thing, standing up for your bartender. There are some people who just don’t get it. But some day karma will bite them in the ass. People feel they can treat service personnel like dirt, especially in places like airports. I don’t know why this is true, but it is. Maybe because they know they’ll never see them again. But what goes around comes around. They’ll pay for what they did someday. Karma always wins, Nicole Marie. You’re a good person.
Thank you so much, maire. He will get his one day!
I am a tad defensive when it comes to my friends, which makes me a very loud clown in real life. You dealt with this perfectly…
Worse than karma is an angry French clown on your ass… I’ve got your back, not that you need it.
An angry French clown DOES sound scary….thank you, Le Clown.
I disagree that he was cowardly, Nicole. After all, it takes a lot of courage to write something like that on the same slip of paper that contains your full name and credit card number. Not that you would ever do anything with that information – but there’s no law against hinting that you would, next time you see him.
You did exactly the right thing, though. You were as respectful as you could have been (should have been) towards a person who didn’t deserve that. That’s why you’re awesome.
You’re right, Edward. He isn’t a coward. He’s a d-bag! He’s lucky I’m not someone who would put his name out there. Thank you. ❤
Oh, and go look at these two sites for tons of stories from both sides of the customer/employee divide. They’re hilarious. Sometimes outrageous.
Awesome – thank you! I always love reading this type of stuff.
Been long and many years since I tended bar, but jerks never seem to go out of season or style, do they? Awesome job, standing up for your partner! If had been me, I would have thrown the other two out, especially if they were all brown-nosing once The Big Shot walked out…they are enablers of his addiction to the stink of his own sh**, and those people tick me off worse than the original offender!
I wanted to throw the other two out, but our manager discouraged it. Ugh. I agree! As soon as their friend left they weren’t so “funny” anymore!
I’m in awe of the fact that you didn’t punch him or scream at him—I don’t know if I would have been able to be so professional. Interesting that his friends were all polite once he left. What an ass. Karma will indeed get him, and I hope you get to watch up close.
Trust me, it took everything in me not to punch him. This job is pretty damn hard sometimes. I hope I get to watch too.
I wish I had been in that bar because I would’ve been happy to verbally pummel those a-holes. “I’m Mike, I’ll be your karma for the evening.”
You’re my hero, Nicole. 🙂
You flatter me, Mike! Maybe one day you’ll be at my bar and you can come to my rescue when a group of d-bags walk in. 🙂
Awww shucks. One, it’s so nice to hear how you had your co-workers back! Two, how is the chivalry of all these blogger buddies? Enough to warm me heart. It’s so sad to hear when a human has so little thought for a fellow human. Bullies!
I have the best blogging family ever! 🙂 They ARE bullies!
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Our lives are similar in many ways, Nicole.
I feel your pain.
Yes, yes they are. At least we are met with plenty of writing inspiration day in and day out!
I can imagine his take on the story — “dude, and then I totally split before she could see what I wrote”, and airing for the high fives that never come.