Is eavesdropping rude? A little bit yes, but sometimes you just can’t help it. These servers dish on the weirdest thing they’ve overheard from a customer.
I Would Freak Out If I Heard This Too
“Table was behind me
Him: ‘I’ve brought you here today because I have something important to tell you.’
Her: ‘Well start talking before the food gets cold’
Him: ‘We’ve been together for four years now.’
Her: ‘Three years and 10 months.’
Him: ‘Yeah that. And for the last couple of weeks, I’ve been thinking about it. You’re the person that I want to spend the rest of my life with.’
John: ‘Let me speak Claudia, please. I know we’ve had our ups and downs, I know your parents don’t approve of me.’
Claudia: ‘Yes about my parents…’
John: ‘Please Claudia, it’s already hard for me. I know I don’t have the biggest house, nor the richest bank account, but I really love you. And I think we can make a great family together, with lots of kids and your brothers and sisters can come to visit…’
Claudia: ‘Speaking of brothers and sisters..’
John: ‘For the love of God Claudia let me finish! I can’t live without you, not even for a moment. We have lots of things in common.’
Claudia: ‘More than you think…’
John: ‘I know baby, that’s why I need to ask you this: Claudia will you marry me?’
John apparently is on his knee.
Claudia: ‘John, please get up..’
John: ‘I need an answer.’
Claudia: ‘I’m your sister John…’
John: ‘I know’
WHAT THE HECK!
I need to do something…
Me: ‘Are you okay guys?’
Claudia: ‘Yeah we’re fine, we’re just practicing our lines for theater class; today’s our finals.’
Me: ‘What? Are you kidding me?’
Claudia: ‘We were convincing weren’t we?’
Me: ‘Pretty much!’”
Somebody Is Always Listening
“After I retired from the military I got a job as a defense contractor, but I had to wait a while for the security clearance process to do its thing (takes a while). So I was working several joe-jobs in the meantime to keep the bills paid. One of them was waiting tables.
One Friday afternoon a large group comes in, all fairly well dressed, and get a table together. It was obviously an ‘office lunch,’ and I didn’t pay them too much attention (it was the other waiter’s table). That is until I heard the topic of conversation.
I was two tables over when I overheard what they were talking about, recognized several keywords, etc. After about three minutes of listening I could tell exactly which government agency they worked for, had a pretty good idea which office they were in, and could tell who was a DoD civilian and who was a contractor. I had also determined that their conversation had bumped off the ‘classified’ wall a few times, all while in a restaurant that was owned and operated by foreign nationals (and I know the owner had cameras with audio recording).
I managed to catch one of the customers after he came out of the bathroom and ‘strongly advised’ that he and his colleagues alter their subject of conversation. When he looked at me funny, I ran down the list of everything I had gleaned from their discussion just by eavesdropping from one table over and watched the color drain from his face.
Three years later I was sitting in a ‘protecting secure information’ seminar, and I heard this exact story told by the guy giving the speech. Apparently, the story of the semi-crazy white waiter in the Korean restaurant had left an impression.”
Now That’s A Twist!
“All of my experiences were very open and very awkward.
Approached two weekly regulars (man and woman) who came in with another couple. Before I greeted them, the regular guy speaks up. He tells me he has to explain something.
‘I have to explain something,’ he says.
He motions to the woman sitting across from him, who is not the woman he is normally with.
‘This is my wife.’
He motions to the woman sitting next to him, who is the woman he is always with.
‘This is the woman I’ve been having an affair with.’
I greet the woman he’s been having an affair with and apologize to the man’s wife. She laughs, but it isn’t unkind.
‘This is the man my wife has been sleeping with, who is the husband of the woman I’ve been having an affair with.’
My eyes dart around the table. I take a drink list from my apron and hand it to the wife.
‘You’ll be needing the drink list then.’
The table erupts into laughter.
I have so many more. Guessing family dynamics. Over pouring for first dates. Men apologizing for flirting with me in front of their partners. People trapped me in the conversation for a few minutes. The guy who was on a first date insisted he saw me on Tinder (I wasn’t) and we had gone on a date (we hadn’t) before. The four top who came in and the wife had something to say about everything the husband ordered, and how my manager and I got her back. The sophisticated ladies who wanted my number to give to their sons. It was a super fancy but relaxed place. People dropped $400 between a two-top with no hesitation. Get rich ladies a little juiced up and flirt with them and you’re good to go! I miss it!”
Good Thing He Didn’t Butt Into That Convo!
“I overheard a woman asking a man to kill her husband. The first and only time I told my wife to shut up. She knew I was listening to someone in the booth behind me. I didn’t believe what that woman said. I had to look at the guy. I didn’t know how yet so I stood up and removed my sweatshirt and looked at him. He knew I heard and he winked. What on earth did that mean? He’s got to be a cop. Or is he not? Dilemma here.
I proceeded to the bathroom to call the police. This was a cop and he knew. I had my phone out to dial the police and he walks in and shows me his badge. I HAD to study it. It was real, but at the time I was thinking it’s stolen. We talked fast. He said, ‘Trust me, don’t ruin this. I got her on tape. You’re on the tape now, too. Watch when we leave.’ I’m stunned at this point.
Long story short, he paid for their meal and as they left, she was converged on in the parking lot and arrested. Dang, my own personal TV show. I almost ruined it trying to do the right thing.”
Emotions Running High
“It was September 14, 2001 — three days after the 9/11 tragedy. A few of my colleagues and I were out to dinner, as we were away on business, and with travel interruptions, we could not easily get back home. The restaurant was understandably empty. Well, we used to chat in sessions called ‘To Think Like a Thief’. We were fraud examiners, you see.
We had a suspect who had been on our radar for years. The problem is he had an identical twin brother and he used this to his advantage. He was reported as being killed in the Tower attacks. This was plausible as his office was there. However, there was a suspicion, as he had been seen at a company conference in Paris as late as September 10, 2001 (a Monday). The conference was to last until Thursday. He was reported dead by his wife — very soon after the attacks (within hours). We found this suspicious as there was nary any time for her to process the grief, and yet here she was calling in to HR to report her husband of 22 years dead.
We were discussing the possibility that this gentleman had ‘killed’ himself —:on paper, at least. The wife said she can prove he was dead as they found his DNA. We asked if she was sure it was his and not his brother’s. She was stunned. How dare we ask this? But it was our job. So we were running through scenarios of how the suspect could be alive and dead at the same time. This was a common conversation for us and it was never seen as offensive. But we did not factor in the raw emotions of the days following the tragedy nor did we consider how empty the place was.
The waitress was offended that we could think this way. She threw our order down on the table, visibly shaken and she was never seen at our table again. After some time the owner came over and sheepishly handed us the bill. We asked what was wrong and he explained. We tipped the waitress about 45% that night and sent our apologies after. We were careful to only think like a thief behind closed doors after that.”
Drama At The Applebee’s
“I am not a waitress but I am a hostess at Applebee’s. It was December 23rd, 2016, around 9:30 pm. There are three ladies. Let’s call them Mary, Sue, and Jill. Mary has a baby and is sisters with Sue. Sue is a lesbian and just got out of jail. Jill was just a friend.
Mary: -holding the baby talking to Sue- ‘While your stupid self was in jail, your girlfriend was hooking up with this other girl.’
Sue: ‘Well I am going to pound them both into the ground.’
Mary: ‘And go back to jail? This is what got you in there in the first place. You can’t control your temper!’
-hands baby to Jill-
Both Mary and Sue begin to argue and storm out of the restaurant. The baby is crying and my Manager comes running over. Jill explains the situation and the manager says she would have to pay the bill since they ran off.
Jill: ‘Oh they are coming back. This is not my baby, but I am sorry for what happened.’
At this point, the baby is crying so much that she pukes. The manager has me clean it up and I do so promptly. As I am kneeling down cleaning the puke, they return, still yelling at each other. Sue grabs her drink and throws it at Mary and it also lands in my hair. I get away as fast as possible.
I do not know what happened after that, but they were kicked out. Five minutes later, the manager lets me go home for the night. So much for Christmas spirit.”
Some People Should Just Shut Up
“I have a friend that is extremely skinny, we were at a restaurant and she ordered a rather large meal when she got up to use the restroom after eating her salad the woman at the table across the way said ‘It’s such a waste of money to take that girl out to eat, she’s just throwing it all up right now anyways.’
My friend is not anorexic (even though she does look it) or bulimic at all, she’s just exceptionally skinny and tall, unfortunately, she also has a very weak bladder and will get up many times during an outing to use the restroom, not just restaurants but anywhere, movies, church, you name it.
Every time she got up, the woman made the same kind of comments, about how shameful it was to waste the money, the food, the drinks.
It came time to order dessert and the waitress took our order before the other table, and my friend just so happened to order the last piece of the house specialty chocolate cake (it was near closing time) and the waitress explained that someone else had just ordered the last piece, but that they’d gladly comp her a different dessert.
The woman went off, ‘don’t you dare serve that vomiting disgusting twig my piece of chocolate cake! She’s just going to throw it all up anyways!’ She then turned to my friend ‘You should be ashamed of yourself, wasting other people’s money and good food, eating it and throwing it all up!’
My friend took her time savoring her piece of chocolate cake then looked at me and said. ‘Dear goddess if that cake wasn’t so good I’d throw it up in that woman’s lap just to prove her right.’
We had to stop for fries on our way home, she was still hungry.”
“I waited tables for 10 years. Anywhere from a family restaurant to fine dining, I’ve done it.
I’m 16 and this is my first ever serving job, I was on a Sunday morning breakfast shift (~8 am) and this small family comes in (mom, dad, and son). They’re not super cheerful or talkative – not everyone can be a morning person, but you can tell there’s some tension in the air. While serving them and pre-bussing I caught a couple of phrases or words the dad would say to the son. Such as, ‘check your attitude’ or ‘not in my house’ sort of thing.
Fast forward, the family has their check and they’re still talking in hushed, but tense tones. Next thing we know, the son TACKLES the father onto the table – breaking it instantly. They start struggling, wrestling, and screaming at each other on this broken table in the middle of a busy restaurant on a packed Sunday morning. All you hear is the son and father fighting since the restaurant goes silent once other customers realize what’s going on. Stuff is flying everywhere, food and drink are flying onto other nearby tables. One of my coworkers had to start yelling for someone to call 911.
Turns out the stepfather was sending his stepson to a boot camp for his behavioral issues. I guess the step-son didn’t take the news all that well…”
Putting People In Their Place
“When my twin boy and girl were seven, I took them to Applebee’s for lunch. They loved going to Applebee’s, and they knew dad didn’t love to take them there, so they were always on their best behavior.
The hostess seated us in a booth next to an elderly couple.
My kids and I were quietly playing tic tac toe when a waiter came over and asked the elderly couple what they would like.
The man pointed at us and said, ‘I’ll tell you what I would like. I would like you to move us. We are not sitting anywhere near THAT.’ And he pointed at me and my two kids.
I was so proud of how well behaved my kids were in public, and as the couple moved from their booth I felt real anger begin to rise in my stomach. I decided I was going to tell the man what I thought of him.
I’m six foot three. If I scared him a little bit, all the better.
As I got out of my booth, I saw that the man’s keys had fallen from his pocket, and were lying on the seat of the booth he had vacated. I grabbed them as I walked past.
When I got to the couple, they were being seated at their new booth.
He was even older than I had realized he was, and his legs were shaking from age as he tried to slide into the new booth.
He saw me standing there and holding his keys, and he looked old and tired and weak. He was so grateful I was holding his keys, and thanked me as he took them.
Seeing how old and helpless he was, my anger melted away. Did I really want to teach my kids that it’s cool to yell at and scare an older couple in poor health? I decided I did not.
I said, ‘You’re welcome,’ and walked back to my seat. It was the right decision.”
Better Leave Grandma At Home
“Very, very, unfortunately, the person who said the most offensive thing I’ve ever heard in a restaurant was sitting with my husband and me.
We took my 90 something-year-old, mostly deaf mother-in-law to a country-style buffet place to eat. The tables are very close together and the place was packed. After we plated our foods and sat down to eat, an African American family sat at the table right behind us.
MIL leaned over to my husband and in what I’m sure she thought was a whisper, but in fact was nearly a shout, told him that in ‘my day blacks were not allowed to eat in the same room as decent white people.’
Of course, the family, and half of the rest of the customers in the dining room heard her. We were ready to sink through the floor with shame. I felt so bad for those poor people, but they politely ignored the comment.
When we left (hurriedly) my husband paid for their meal and sincerely apologized for his mother’s comment. I would like to say that it was dementia or the like, but unfortunately, she’s just a prejudiced old woman who is too old and set in her ways to see how wrong she is, and no amount of discussion is going to change her.
That was several years ago, and I still dread to go anywhere in public with her. When she talks like this at home, I just stand and leave the room. I just can’t deal with this kind of attitude. Thank God my husband feels the same as I do.
Offended family-if you’re out there reading this, please accept once again our apologies. This horrible incident still occurs to me often, and I still shrink with shame whenever it does.”
A Happy Thing To Experience
“I once interrupted a granddaughter telling her grandfather she was pregnant. I could tell she was nervous from the second they walked in, enough that I clocked it and decided to pay extra attention in case something was wrong. And yeah I was also a little curious.
Things were pretty normal during the drink order, he got a Budweiser, she got a coke. I was making the rounds past all of my tables so I could take a bathroom break and I was understandably distracted by the time I made it to them, my last table.
I was literally walking up and pulling my customer smile as she said ‘I’m pregnant. I think I’m gonna keep it.’ I’m just standing there, closer to her than grandpa was.
Grandpa’s face lit up, he was in tears, and he was so happy to see me because he needed to order some bubbly and whatever dessert his granddaughter wanted so they could celebrate. He even insisted I have a glass with him. He let me finally go to the bathroom first though!”
They Must’ve Been Hungry
“I go to a sushi bar, make an order, wait for the order to arrive. In the meantime, there were these fat girls sitting closely.
Now, when I say ‘fat girls’ people immediately imagine I’m saying ‘fat for a girl’, expecting me to expect every woman to look like some supermodel.
I live in a city. Let’s be real here – there are more non-models than there is model material, and I’m not just talking about how skinny they are.
THESE GIRLS, THOUGH…
There’s this guy on youtube, avocado, or something, and he caught a very niche market: people who like watching other people eat obscene amounts of food. They call it ‘feeding’ here because, well, this is what this is to certain people. A bit kinky. These girls caught the local market, it seems, and they discuss how they’re going to eat their food, what poses to take, who’s eating from who’s body (kinda like that stereotype of rich people eating sushi from a girl’s body, except these girls are definitely not fit for the stereotype of the girl), how much to order of what.
Me and the waiters are probably vomiting on the inside.
A little pause – I’m sure you have some kind of ordering food app. You may not use it yourself, but are definitely sick of youtube constantly reminding you about it.
Today I ordered a fairly large meal for myself: eight salmon + random ingredient rolls, and a five-piece salmon nigiri. I absolutely love salmon.
Now, I admittedly don’t know your portion sizes, so I can’t call whether you call it a large or medium, or whatever. In my case, imagine a 4′ heel. That’s the length of the piece. I can’t tell you the diameter, but if I had to guess… 4cm? Maybe 5cm?
Point is, that’s enough to feed me for a day. The nigiri is fairly large, but again, I can’t tell you whether it’s considered large or medium in your country. It was arranged in the shape of a rose, but about… twice the size of the red part of the rose?
Now, these girls are very loud, and they keep complaining about it taking such a long why it takes such a long time to prepare such a simple meal, to which one girl (now, SHE was definitely model material) replies there are three guys working on it.
Now I kind of wants to see this insane order.
I eat slower to get a glimpse at this… well, I can’t find a word other than ‘insanity’ to describe it.
Their order indeed arrives after a while.
I do my best to not vomit.
8 bags of stuff. 8 FULL bags.
Now, remember how I paused at the food ordering app? First of all, they’re delivered usually by motorcycles, Vespas, or electric bikes. The girls thought ahead and ordered a delivery cab through another app. Delivery cabs are often larger than normal cabs and either have their back seats removed entirely or folded down in case it’s a family trip.
They took a ride with their delivery cab.
This makes sense, I suppose, but still: eight full bags of god knows what.
One waiter commented ‘they’re messed up in the head’”