Last night I had the “pleasure” of waiting on a table of 8: granddad, grandma, aunts, husband, wife, all relatives. The husband & wife brought in their two screaming children ages 2-5. So they’re loud, their kids are loud, they are rude from the start, and they ignore me whenever I ask basic questions. Annnnnnnd they were encouraging them to yell and letting them run around through the galley where hot plates of food are sent out.

Beyond letting their spawn run wild, they fail to answer me or acknowledge me, or even look at me when I retrieve many of the items they asked for. I bring over some items to keep the kids satisfied, and the wife asks to have her kid’s food comped because she doesn’t like it. All some of my biggest pet peeves as a waitress, but I try to not let it get to me.

Fast forward 30 minutes, The wife bursts into tears and one of the aunts starts yelling across the table “I can’t believe you! You’re OUTTA LINE!” Frozen holding a food tray, I wonder if I should continue serving pasta while the yelling happens. The grandma tugs on my arm and assures me it’s not me, and not to worry about it. It continues.. “FINE, whatever, Susan. You are RIDICULOUS!” “Yeah? Am I? AM I?”

Every other table in the room is starting to fall silent. Next thing I know, a full on Talladega Nights-style family fight with tears and name calling has begun; the wife runs out of the restaurant in tears and the ancient grandpa looks like he is praying for death after his relatives’ lack of manners. “I’m so sorry about my horrible sister in law,” one of them says. “Uhh. It’s okay.” I say, not really sure what is going on anymore. The wife has fled outside crying to the place where we take our smoke breaks, and our other employees are starting to get confused.

But they don’t leave. They stay, for quite awhile, and continue to argue. I wait til they finally flag me down and I go to hand them their check – and yes, they are still arguing. “I already added the gratuity!” I remind them, as I hand the slip to the aunt. “Yeah, okay” they say as they sort of blow me off again.But the story has a happy ending. Hundred dollar check AFTER gratuity. They tipped me about 20 on top of that because they were too busy fighting.



  1. I’m wondering who thought it was a good idea to invite the entire family out to eat knowing that putting certain individuals in the same room could prove volatile? I mean, seriously? This can’t be the first time verbal punches have been tossed about by these folks and/or bouts of crying at a family gathering. Yeesh! And ignoring the waitress? Letting their kids run amuck? Wow…ya know, my kids occasionally got hyper and/or loud in restaurants when they were that small, which is why…guess what? I left their yappy little butts at home with a babysitter 90% of the time – especially if there was the possibility of a family brawl. If not, the minute they ran off, I took them outside and spanked them with my hand – in public! Yes, I know, that’s not the Oprah/Dr. Phil approved method of parenting. But, the thing is – IT WORKED. In that, they stopped running around, and neither of them became ax murderers, and neither of them considered me to be abusive. And I treated them just like my dearly beloved mother treated us with a firm hand that didn’t cause any major damage. The only time my mother spanked me for acting up in public, I was a helluva lot more embarrassed than I was in physical pain, which subsided in a minute or two, but my face stayed red for an hour. And, needless the say, my boys’ behavior was much improved during subsequent dinners out. That said, glad to know you at least got a good tip from the worst customers ever…:). Thanks for sharing! :)

  2. hitwyla says:

    I don’t have kids and HATE when parents let their kids yell and act crazy… I always feel like I should send them my bill.

  3. People like that shouldn’t have kids!

  4. I have come to believe people like that have been kicked off other planets and landed on earth to terrorize (and in a warped way, entertain), us. The worst I’ve had was on a flight from Italy to San Diego! You’ve inspired me, I think I’ll blog it too! I’m glad they double tipped though. (=

  5. rod says:

    I can’t stand people who let their kids run wild in a public place,
    no consideration for others.

  6. rod says:

    I absolutely hate people who let their kids run wild like that.
    So I love it when places label themselves ‘family friendly’,
    let’s me know to walk the other way.

    Glad about the tip though.

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