Sometimes we just reach our breaking point and nothing can take us back. For one Reddit user, that came on a night that she was working the coat check at the restaurant where she was also the hostess. In her Reddit post, she breaks it all down for us in excruciating detail. The level of frustration is off the charts and you can't blame her, we would all be at our wits end too.
It all started on a winter night at her trendy restaurant in the New York City neighborhood of TriBeCa...
The woman, who we'll call Allyson, knows all too well what life in the service industry is like. She knows exactly how terrible people can be, saying,
"There is no better study of human behavior than working in the service industry. The way people treat those who are providing them food and drinks can be horrifying."
She started working in the industry to earn some extra income, but she was definitely questioning whether it was all worth it after this night.
Allyson had been working at the fashionable restaurant for a while as a hostess, which she described as being "like a 1st-grade teacher, making my students follow me in a single file line." She didn't have to worry about handing out menus, as that was the job of the servers. Overall, it was an easy job and she made good money doing it, more in fact than what she made at her 9-5 job as a designer.
For the most part, it was a cushy job with barely any duties, except in the winter months when her job duties expanded to including taking care of the coat check. The coat check is where her soul-crushing incident happened.
The biggest problem for Allyson is people's seemingly complete inability to produce the ticket they were given, usually just an hour or so previously, for their coat. Instead of the ticket, people would just describe their coat and when they did, it was pretty vague. Here's a typical interaction, according to Allyson:
Customer: "It's BLACK and it has BUTTONS. Do you see it in there?"
Allyson: "Um....theres a lot of black buttoned coats, what brand is it?"
Customer:"I don't remember."
Allyson: "Does it have any other distinctive features?"
Customer: "It's a peacoat."
And this happened a lot, which would soon lead to a huge problem.
Allyson didn't mind, the money was good, the job was easy, so she laughed off most of the temper tantrums that customers pitched when they didn't produce their ticket and it took some time to deduce which coat they was theirs.
"I didn't mind being yelled at by grown men and women because it's hard to get that upset when you know you're making a lot of money," Allyson wrote.
On top of that, the tips were incredible at this expensive restaurant, with people actually tipping $50-$100 sometimes, for their coat! Everyone would put up with some nonsense for that kind of dough. Allyson was certainly willing: "I would put up with the ugliness of the human population for an inflated bank account."
Until, according to her, her "soul slowly started to rot away."
Then she hit her breaking point one point with a confluence of two customers.
The trouble started with the same kind of shenanigans that had occurred at the coatroom many, many times in the past. A customer finished dinner and demanded that Allyson bring her coat to her. Of course, this customer didn't bother to produce the ticket she had been given before dinner, but she did offer a description, which, according to Allyson was, "Black, fur collar, EXPENSIVE!!!"
Now, "expensive" is not very descriptive - plus all the coats in the restaurant were pretty fancy - and "black" probably describes 95% of the coats in New York City. So for Allyson, the fur was the key component to finding the pricey garment. This was how Allyson described the next few moments:
"I dove through racks of $1,000 jackets looking for what I assumed had to be this woman's pride and joy and the only form of happiness she'd ever had. I brought out a coat that fit her description and she snatched it out my hands, didn't say thank you and stormed out the front door."
Done and done. Yeah, the woman was rude, but Allyson was used to that, right?
30 minutes later, Allyson realized the mistake she had made.
Just a mere half hour after a rude customer snatched her coat from Allyson at the coat check and left, another snob, again with no ticket, demanded her coat. The description? The same as the other woman. "Same brand. Same color. Same style," is what Allyson said.
Uh oh! Allyson immediately thought she might have a real problem on her hands. Since the first woman didn't have a ticket, Allyson handed her the first coat she had found in the coatroom and the rude woman was in such a hurry, she stormed out of the restaurant before double-checking to make sure it was her coat. Now, just a few minutes later was another rude woman, replaying the same scene as before. Allyson was immediately nervous, "My stomach fell into my feet. I braced myself for impact."
It was with good reason too.
Immediately, Allyson's mind started racing. She had a bad feeling that she had given this snobby customer's coat to the last snobby customer. In an attempt to stall, she said to the customer, "A woman just came up asking about the same kind of coat without a ticket. In order to ensure people aren't taking the wrong coats, I can't give you a coat without a ticket. Unless you can find it you'll have to wait until the end of the night to retrieve your coat."
Allyson then saw that the first customer's friends were still in the restaurant. Her plan was to ask them to contact her, as she had already departed, and see if she had the right coat. All of this could have been avoided had both customers simply held onto a ticket throughout their dinner. But they didn't and now Allyson was in a race to find the right coats.
The scene that occurred next was like something out of a movie.
In a fit of rage and spewing profanities, the woman waiting for her coat went nuts. According to Allyson, it was something like, "ARE YOU A (Censored) IDIOT?!?!?! (Censored) YOU, YOU (Censored), I NEED MY (Censored) JACKET!!!! WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS TO ME?!?! WHAT IS YOUR (Censored) PROBLEM!!!! NO WONDER YOU DO COAT CHECK YOU (Censored) MORON!!!"
This all coming from a woman that couldn't manage to save a ticket for a couple hours while she ate dinner in the same place.
Allyson wasn't sure how to react. She watched as the woman continued her temper tantrum, pacing back and forth while her friends nodded in approval behind her. Another hostess came over to try to calm the woman down, but that only spurred her on.
"IT'S A $1,500 (Censored) DOLLARS!" She was almost out of control. Allyson even feared for her safety a little bit, remarking " If she had a [weapon] in her purse I'm certain she would have whipped it out and murdered me on the spot."
Finally, Allyson's boss, the manager of the restaurant, saw what was happening and came to help. He told the woman, "No problem, if we don't have it for you at the end of night, we will write you a check for a new one."
But this didn't settle her down. "THEY DON'T HAVE THE SAME COLOR ANYMORE!!!! THEY DIDN'T MAKE THAT MANY!!! YOU'VE RUINED MY (Censored) LIFE!!!!"
It seems there was no solution that this woman would be ok with. Meanwhile, Allyson was in the back, looking for the coat.
Success! The coat was found! Well, a coat was found anyway. It turns out, Allyson's gut was right all along, she had given the wrong coat to the first customer. No matter, she held the coat up and asked the ranting second customer if it was her coat and with an insult and a dirty look, the customer snatched the coat away from Allyson and stormed out, throwing the coat hanger at Allyson as went.
The next day, the restaurant got a phone call.
The second woman called early the next day and was just as livid as she had been the night before. She had discovered that the coat she snatched out of Allyson's hands was too large - the coat she never found the ticket for. The first woman also called after she realized the coat she had snatched was too small. Finally, the problem was solved and the coats were returned to the correct owners.
For Allyson, this was the end of her service industry career. None of the events that happened would have occurred had the women simply taken a little time to make sure they had their ticket or, at least, treated Allyson with some basic human dignity. But, Allyson laments, that is not how many people treat people in the service industry. Instead, they see them as beneath them somehow, as simple servants deserving little or no respect.
Allyson had had enough. "No matter how much money I was making, I couldn't handle another day in the service industry without losing what was left of my sanity."
She was done, all because two snobs couldn't be bothered to save a simple piece of paper.