A Busy Night Made Worse By Parental Negligence
Anyone who has been in a busy restaurant during the dinner rush, let alone worked in one, knows things can quickly get out of control. A normal, nondescript evening can become an unforgettable nightmare in an instant. It doesn’t matter how hard we try to avoid conflict, sometimes it’s within arm’s reach, waiting to rear its ugly head and bite.
Well, that’s exactly what happened to Dallas, the general manager of an upscale Japanese steakhouse. One night, he had an accidental run-in with a young customer and the child’s father in the busy, packed restaurant in the middle of a crazy dinner rush. What started as a normal evening soon became one full of bloodied children, angry fathers, unpaid bar tabs, police intervention, and one great, unforgettable story.
This is definitely one night Dallas – as well as one unfortunate father and son duo – won’t soon forget.
The Calm Before The Storm
On the night this all went down, Dallas was gearing up for what looked to be a busy shift, though it was nothing out of the ordinary for the experienced restaurant manager. The restaurant was pretty upscale, the kind of place where you sit around a hot hibachi grill while the chef cuts, dices, flips, and twirls all sorts of vegetables, meats, noodles, and what not.
Dallas describes it as “the kind of place where they do the hibachi grill in front of you and charge you $20 for a plate that’s 75% rice.”
The restaurant started to pick up in volume as the night geared into full swing. Dallas, short-staffed for one reason or the other, was forced to not only do his job but the jobs of several others.
“It’s Friday night. We’re balls to the wall busy and, like most restaurants on a Friday night, everything is generally chaos,” Dallas remembered. “I currently don’t have an assistant manager, so at any one time, I’m doing 8,000 different things by myself.”
At the peak of the dinner rush, a group of 25 8-year-olds showed up to eat for one of the little jerks’ birthday.
To make matters worse, this score of demons was being supervised by four adults. Yes, four… In other words, the kids weren’t being watched at all. At first, Dallas paid as little attention to the group as humanly possible, as he had more than 150 customers in his restaurant at any given time.
“I was running around trying to make sure the other 150 customers are being taken care of while all these prepubescent little monsters are treating my restaurant like it’s a Chuck-e-Cheese’s,” he said.
Meanwhile, the chaperones were at the bar drinking and not paying the least attention to the group of demons running roughshod over the restaurant. It was only a matter of time before something went down. And boy did it…
All He Wanted To Do Was Focus On Work
As the night went on, Dallas continued to pay as little attention to the group of kids as possible. You could say it was a combination of choice and necessity to block out the chaos that seemed to do a better job of following the kids than the “chaperones” who were still firmly planted at the bar.
“At this point, I’m so busy that I don’t even have time to be concerned about these little minions or the worthless parents that should be trying to control them,” Dallas said.
That, however, would quickly change. When Dallas saw one of his waitresses attempting to flag him down from across the restaurant, he quickly headed her way. Like many attempted rescue efforts, the waitress’s request would steer Dallas from his marked course and into troubled waters, the ones where no one leaves unscathed…
“I Hit That Kid So Hard…”
As he was fighting his way through a massive crowd that “amassed in the lobby” to answer the distress call of the waitress, Dallas admitted that he was “moving at a pretty brisk pace.”
All of a sudden, one of the hostesses standing directly behind Dallas called for him, causing the general manager to make a “very abrupt 180 to turn around and see what they need.”
“It was in this turn that, apparently, I forgot how to control my arms,” Dallas recalled. “I turned around so quickly that my arm swung out in a weird kind of sweeping arc and the large faced, very heavy, metal watch that was on my wrist makes the most solid contact imaginable with this 8-year-old’s forehead.”
The impact of the heavy, metallic watch against the child’s forehead was so loud and so forceful that Dallas expected someone to pop out of the crowd and yell, “WORLDSTAR!” For a moment, it was like time had stopped. Everyone nearby had heard the loud “THWAP” of the watch hitting the kid and were staring at Dallas with mouths agape.
The First Interaction With The Father
As the dust settled and time started back up again, Dallas realized what a massive mess he’d helped create. He looked down at the kid sprawled across his feet and the sorry sight of the little boy made him feel so guilty for what he’d (accidentally) done.
“My watch actually cut the kid when it hit him, so he’s laying on the ground bawling and bleeding everywhere,” he said. “I’m just standing there staring at the kid in shock.”
Dallas didn’t have much time to feel bad for the kid, though, before the kid’s dad showed up, itching for a fight. “The kid’s dad (who just happened to be one of the four adults) has now left the bar and is making a bee-line right for me and his concussed 8-year-old.”
To Dallas’ knowledge, the dad hadn’t left the bar at all since the birthday party arrived, but, likely alerted by his son’s caterwauling, he was clearly in “Daddy Bear” mode now. The father immediately got into Dallas’s face and started ranting and raving about how Dallas had just hit and bloodied up his son.
Like any manager in a similar situation, Dallas tried to remain calm and level-headed as he attempted to work out what had just happened. But no matter how hard Dallas tried to smooth things over with the child’s father, the man only became angrier and ruder.
“At this point, I was still trying to be all about customer service and trying to calmly and politely explain that it was an accident and I’m extremely sorry,” Dallas said. “The dad continues to be a massive jerk, accusing me of assaulting a child and threatening to call the police.”
After handling all he could take, Dallas finally took off his “manager hat” and snapped…
What Kind Of Father Allows This To Happen?
Dallas admitted that he is usually the last person to lose their cool in this kind of situation, but something was different about this interaction. Was it the fact that the kid was just running around the busy restaurant all willy nilly while his father was spending more time nursing a few drinks than watching his 8-year-old son? Or was it the fact that Dallas was attempting to apologize with all sincerity and was only being met with accusations of assault?
“I always treat customers with respect and kindness even when they’re being belligerently rude, but I just couldn’t deal with this guy,” he said.
Dallas totally blew up on the man and asked him what kind of terrible father sits at a bar drinking while a horde of children he’s responsible for run around a restaurant, unsupervised.
“I told him that if he gave a shred of a regard for his kid, he would’ve been watching him and this never would’ve happened,” Dallas said. “As this, the father became irate, he started screaming about what a crappy restaurant we are and about what an incompetent manager I am.”
The man then proceeded to grab his kid (who was still crying and bleeding at the point) by the arm, yanked him off the ground and stormed outside, leaving behind a fury of profanity as he exits the front of the restaurant. Though he’d made a grand exit, it wouldn’t be the last time Dallas saw him.
Even The Cops Were Exasperated By This Guy
As the doors closed behind the father and his crying son, all that was left is an air of confusion and trail of blood in the restaurant.
All went back to normal, or at least for the moment. No fewer than 15 minutes passed when suddenly two police officers walked in with the father riding their coattails like he was somebody of importance. The man, standing behind the authoritative stances of the two peace officers, looked around for a quick moment, located Dallas, and pointed him out to the officers. Looking somewhat reluctant, began to question the general manager.
“The police came to question me and they’re very curious as to why I ‘would punch a child in the face,'” Dallas recalled.
As the conversation progressed, Dallas informed the inquisitive officers that it was all just an accident and nothing more than a big misunderstanding. Furthermore, Dallas explained that everything was caught on the restaurant’s security cameras and that he would be more than willing to share the footage with them in order to clear everything up.
“They watched it and agreed that it was a total accident,” Dallas noted, which is why the officers cleared him of any wrongdoing.
With all of the details seemingly worked out, Dallas assumed things would go back to normal. Or so he thought…
Aren’t You Forgetting Something?
A quick resolution was the last thing on the mind of the father after he saw the recording of the alleged assault, judging by his reaction to the lack of action.
“When the cops went to leave without me in handcuffs, the father became absolutely furious and started screaming at me and the police officers in the middle of the lobby,” Dallas remembered. “The cops began to explain to the man that he needed to calm down before they’d be forced to do something.”
When most people would have shut up and kept to themselves after the police stepped in, the officers’ advice had the opposite effect in this case.
Their words only made the man even madder. But Dallas wasn’t as hot-headed. Instead of getting mad, the manager decided to simply get even instead.
“Then I mentioned to the police officers how the guy never paid for the drinks he had at the bar and how he just walked out on his tab. When I accused the guy of walking out on his tab, it became too much for his insignificant little mind to bare and he snaps,” Dallas recalled. “He lunges at me, swings, and totally misses. I jump out of the way as the cops take the guy down and slap the handcuffs on him.”
Dallas laughed to himself as he watched the police officers drag the enraged father from the restaurant. The father, not allowing his cooler head to prevail, screamed at anyone and everyone as he was forcefully removed from the premises.
Obviously, if a parent sees their child get hurt, they’re going to want to leap to their kid’s defense. Sometimes, though, that kid got hurt because they were doing something they weren’t supposed to or because they weren’t being watched properly. This particular dad took out his poor parenting skills out on poor Dallas, but Dallas had the last laugh in the end.