I've been waiting tables at a little family bar and grill for two months. I've never waited tables before, and I feel like I picked-up on it pretty quickly and well. Some nights my tips aren't great, but only because the place gets slow. My tips are ALWAYS above 15%. I've never had a complaint or any kind of a real issue about my service.
Tonight, a family came in around 9:30PM (it was slowing down.) It was a father or grandfather with a woman, teenage/20-something young lady and a cute little boy (around 4.)
I took their drink orders immediately and brought them-out within two minutes.
I took their dinner order, and the man ordered for the little boy. I made smalltalk with the little boy, like I always do with little kids. (I love little kids!)
I took the menus and told them their soups would be right out.
The SECOND I got to the computer to punch in their orders, I realized, "Waaaaaait, the man didn't give me an order..."
I thought, "Maybe he just didn't order anything, since a lot of people don't order dinner that late at night" but I went back to the table and said, "Sir, I am so sorry, but did you want to order anything else?"
He literally looked at me with his arms folded across his chest and said, "I WAS but I do not WANT anything NOW. You TOOK my menu away without ASKING me."
Me: I'm so, so sorry about that...I took your menu after you ordered for the little boy and I honestly just forgot to specifically ask you what you wanted. But I didn't put anybody's orders into the computer yet, so you can just tell me what you want now and it will come-out with everybody else's food.
Him: I don't WANT anything NOW. It's TOO LATE.
I apologized again, went and put their orders in, came back and checked if they needed a drink refill, brought their soups and walked away.
I brought out their dinner, and one of the women said, "Just bring us a check for the drinks and we want to speak to the manager."
I was like, "Oh good lord, what are they even complaining about?"
I went to my manager in the kitchen and briefed him on what happened. He told me not to worry about it, that he's SO used to this and always sticks-up for the waitresses when the diners are a bit out-of-line.
Wellllllll, he told my manager that I was VERY disrespectful and must have a problem with black people.
Like...what what what?????
I admit, I was wrong in overlooking his order, but WITHIN THIRTY SECONDS I CAME BACK APOLOGIZING PROFUSELY.
-He could have spoken-up and said, "Hey, I also would like to order..."
-I brought-out their drinks and soups RIGHT AWAY.
-I was perfectly nice and polite and helpful and peppy. I always am.
They left, and then the table I had right next to them asked me to get the manager for them. He came over to them, and this couple told him that they really hoped I didn't get into trouble at all, because I was perfectly wonderful to them and to that other table.
My coworkers teased me about it because it was kinda ridiculous AND the two women both had ordered steak dinners which were never eaten, so four of the girls I worked with dug into the steak and baked potatoes and said it was the best part of their day to get free steak dinners!
Glad something good came out of it.
I'm, of course, pretty hurt/insulted that people would make that assumption of me.