As most of you know, Hubby works for a well known restaurant chain as a General Manager. He occasionally comes home with funny (and sometimes sad) stories of people who work there and regular customers and people who try to scam the restaurant. It never ceases to amaze me the lengths some people will go to in order to get a free meal or a handout.
In fact, the last time I went in there to eat there, I met daughter #2 and we (along with hubby) were sitting in the back dining room enjoying our meal when a woman and man come in and say they were “sorry to interrupt our meal” (apparently they did NOT know Hubby was the GM) but they had a “urgent” request. They then went into a sad sob story (and I only say this because it turned out to be a scam, if it had been true it surely would have been sad) about how her brother (as she pointed to the gentleman with her) had just lost his wife at a nearby hospital and he didn’t have the money for the hospital bills or the funeral and they wouldn’t release the body so he could have the funeral until he paid the hospital, etc. and just wanted to know if we would be willing to “contribute” anything towards the expenses it would be greatly appreciated. Now, I don’t know about you, but, if I had just lost my spouse, I don’t think I’d be in a restaurant begging people for money. Truth be known, I think they realized that people who dined there might have some money to give and they were working the crowd.
Hubby asked them to wait outside the room and excused himself and went directly to the hostess to ask how in the world they had even gotten into the restaurant to bother the guests. That sort of thing is definitely NOT allowed. Of course they scammed her too and had told her they were meeting their party there and could they just walk around to see if they were there yet. Pretty smart on their part. They then proceeded to go table to table asking for donations. They didn’t get very far as hubby has lots of regular customers who recognized it as a scam and sent them to our table knowing hubby was back there with us. Pretty smart on their parts, too. Needless to say, after hubby got his security guard (yes, he does work in an area where they need a security guard – he has been robbed at gunpoint in the parking lot before), gave them $20, and explained their “dining policy” they were happy to leave.
So, the other morning hubby was telling me about an encounter he had recently. He said one of his servers came to him and pointed out a particular table at which a man in his mid thirties was sitting with a very young woman with a child. She informed hubby that she was willing to bet this guy was going to “find something in his food” to try to get a free meal. When hubby asked her why she would say that she tells hubby that she had waited on him the week before and he had found “a hair” in his food and one of the managers had comped his meal and when she started comparing notes it turned out that most of them had at some point had a “problem” with him. It seems he comes in once or twice a week and always finds “something” in his food or wrong with his meal. I’m surprised it took them that long to figure him out.
Anyway, sure enough, after they had pretty much finished their meal, he finds a fly in his tea…. And tells the server he’d like to see a manager. One of my favorite things that hubby politely tells people who are trying to scam them like that and I love it is “I’d be happy to take off your ticket whatever you haven’t eaten”. They have usually eaten it all. Anyway, one of the assistants goes over and tells the gentleman he’d be happy to subtract the cost of his appetizer for his trouble and the guy starts causing a scene telling him he’s gonna buy his whole “effing meal” and he wants to see the REAL manager.
So hubby goes over to assess the situation. First off, I gotta give hubby props. He should be a detective for his observation skills. As he walks up he notices that the young woman (and I use that term very literally) with him, holding the baby that is obviously his AND hers, is very young AND she’s drinking a strawberry daiquiri that he ordered (so she wouldn’t have to be carded). Hubby had noticed when he walked up that the diaper bag had a current local high school ID on it… hers. Tell me – why is a 30 something year old man hanging out with a teenager? Sorry… back to the story. He (the gentleman – and I use that term VERY loosely) proceeds to tell hubby what he is and isn’t going to do and how he’s “gonna cause problems” (I can’t remember the exact words because it was like 5 AM when hubby was relating this story to me) if he doesn’t take care of his whole meal.
Hubby calmly explains to the man that since he has already eaten practically the whole meal (and obviously didn’t have a problem with the food) and he only found the offensive fly in his tea ( because he obviously put it there himself), all he could do was take the price of the tea and the appetizer off his ticket but that he would have to pay for the rest of the meal. The gentleman was irate that hubby would not comp the whole meal and starts telling him he’s going to call the police, etc. So, hubby tells the gentleman that he will be more than happy to call over his security guard and call the cops for him but that he needed to realize that his “girlfriend” was going to need to be able to provide ID for the alcoholic drink that she was now drinking that he had ordered. And he would have to explain how he was contributing to the delinquency of a minor (not his exact words) for ordering the drink for her. (Nice catch honey!).
This gentleman tells hubby that won’t be necessary but that he doesn’t have enough money to pay for the meal. His bill (after taking off the tea and appetizer) was over $60 and he only had $26 on him. Now please explain to me why if you know you only have $26 on you that you would order $60 worth of food UNLESS you were planning on trying to scam your way out of paying when you walked in the door. And apparently she’s not the only “young lady” he brings in there. So, this guy is a real player. A real poor player!
Hubby explains that he is very sorry but if he needs to leave and go to the ATM or whatever to get the money and bring it back that will be fine. So the gentleman proceeds to get up and tells the girl to get up, let’s go get the money so hubby says… not so fast….. SHE stays. You go get the money and bring it back.
Hubby says the guy is gone for a couple of HOURS and the girl is very antsy and the baby is crying and he feels bad for the baby but not the girl or the guy. So he finally comes back and he’s still like $1 short of the whole bill but hubby lets him go. The guy starts walking through the dining room and lobby full of people waiting to eat and he starts throwing a fit. He’s screaming obscenities and yelling about how terrible the food is and how terrible hubby is and F this and F that and about the time he gets halfway through the lobby the front door opens and in stroll 5 uniformed police officers (apparently the security guard had notified them when he saw the guy come back) and they ended up hauling him and the girl (handcuffed) away in the squad cars. Hubby had walked out to the parking lot with them when they left and he said when he walked back in the door, the entire lobby erupted in clapping and cheering. Only in Atlanta can you have dining patrons hauled off to jail and have the ones left cheering you on for doing it! But for hubby…. It’s all in a day’s work!