This Rich Woman Tried…

Boss: “Good evening, madam. How may I assist you this evening?”

Wife: “I find it unacceptable for your staff to wear headphones while working. We are regular customers and expect a certain level of service. This is quite distressing.”

(Most of the other guests look visibly uncomfortable, realizing she’s referring to me, and it’s clear I’m wearing hearing aids.)

Boss: “I assure you, our policy strictly prohibits the use of headphones during work hours. Could you please point out the staff member you’re referring to so I can address this?”

Wife: “For heaven’s sake! It’s that girl!” she points at me, still at the table, “We come here often and I’ve never seen such disrespect to customers.”

Boss: “I’m terribly sorry you feel that way, but there has been a misunderstanding.”

Wife: “Well, I should hope you’d—”

Boss: “I wasn’t finished. I was apologizing to my employee and friend. You, on the other hand, have behaved inappropriately. It’s quite clear she’s wearing hearing aids, not headphones. You’ve not only embarrassed yourself and your group but also insulted my staff member. I must ask you to leave, madam. Your party is welcome to stay, but we cannot tolerate such treatment of our staff.”

Wife: “Well, I think you’ll regret speaking to me like this. You’ve just lost a lot of business from us. My husband here is a solicitor, and he will—”

Husband: “That’s enough. I’m sorry about this. We’ve been served by her before and know she wears hearing aids. And for the record, I’m not a solicitor.” Turning to his wife, “You should head home. I’d like to stay and order, please.”

(The wife, clearly embarrassed, leaves the table. I proceed to take the orders from the rest of the group, and the evening continues smoothly. When it comes time to pay, the husband calls me over.)

Husband: “I’m truly sorry about earlier. Just so you know, I used to be an accountant and she worked in a shoe shop. We came into money through a lottery win, not from any high-flung careers. I don’t understand why she acted that way, but I assure you, it won’t happen again. She won’t be coming back here with me.”

(The bill for the meal exceeds £400, and the gratuity is generous, as the guests sympathize with the situation. The husband continues to visit the restaurant with friends, always requesting my service, and is consistently generous with tips, though I now share them with my colleagues.)

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