Tonight, a family of four came in. We have community tables that seat up to about 10. There was a family of four sitting on one side of the table and I sat the four menus on the other four table settings.
This, of course, is a cardinal sin against black people.
Black Woman: “Why can’t we get our o’n table!?”
Me: “Well…ma’am…this is how the seating works. It’s like a community table and the chef just comes out, cooks everyone’s food at the same…”
Black Woman: “You can’t tell us w’ere we can and can’t sit! You don’ hafta say dat ’cause we’s black.”
Me: “Uh…I wasn’t…I was just saying that…”
Black Woman: “I’ve haff a min’ to file a discrimination suit ‘gainst ya.”
Me: “Is that a joke?”
Black Woman: “No.”
Me: “Oh, I’m sorry. I thought it was a big joke.”
Why is it some black people feel entitled to special treatment? Oh, that’s right…because of all those slaves I’ve owned and all those Million Man Marches I’ve demonstrated against. That and I strangled Martin Luther King Jr to death with my own two hands.
And why is it when they don’t receive that special treatment they feel it is me “holding them down”. People, that’s how our restaurant works. It’s not racism or discrimination.
So I seat them, smile politely, and take their drink and dinner orders. I tell them that because they wanted a seperate table, it will take a little longer for a chef to come out.
Black Woman: “What fo’?”
Me: “Well, we only have two chefs on and you’re the third table to be sat. If you’d like your food a little quicker, you can sit at the table that I was showing you earlier.”
Black Woman: “But why is it gonna take longa fo’ us?”
Me: “Okay. You’re the third table. There’s two chefs. They can only cook one table at a time. That’s why we have large community tables that can hold eight people…so everyone gets their food faster.”
Black Woman: “Whate’er.”
Obviously, there’s no place for logic in a brain so filled with racism-paranoia and ignorance.
As I was walking away from the table, I heard the little girl at the table I tried to seat the black people at when they came in, point at the black family and say (within earshot of the black family of four), “Daddy, do they hate us?”
Cue laughter for me and the white family. Cue embarassment for the black family.
After the dinner, I brought them the check. I was polite and helpful throughout the entire dinner, even taking time away from other tables to show the black father how to use his chopsticks and getting them every to-go sauce they could ever need. I wanted to be overly-nice to this black family to prove a point to myself.
See, to many readers of this site, my stories could be complete horseshit. I could be the worst server in the world and could just be using that to fish for customers to get pissed so I have material to work with.
But I’m neither. I’m a decent server and a good guy. And I wanted proof that, regardless or my attitude and quality of service, I was going to get stiffed on my tip by a black family of four that is just looking for a way to “get back at the man” for all those things white people did to blacks before I was even conceived.
So out comes the bill: $110.98. Pretty hefty bill for four people. The boyfriend of the black woman that argued with me earlier gave me $115 and sad, verbatim, “Keep the change as your tip.” My fate was sealed. They were going to leave me a $4 tip on over $110 worth of food. That’s about a 3% tip on some damn good service.
It was here that I. Just. Lost it.
I looked the boyfriend in the eye and asked him point-blank, “Do you want your four-dollar tip back?”
He didn’t respond. In fact, I said it so loudly, patrons at the bar looked over and started giving the man dissapointed looks. He looked a little embarassed, but instead of facing it like a man, he took the path of a coward and walked out the door.
Then the black woman with whom I argued passed me and I said even louder, “Do you WANT your FOUR-DOLLAR TIP BACK.” She replied, “No” and kept on walking.
It was then that I stared in the eyes of the father with whom I had taught to use chopsticks. I looked at him, beet-red in the face, and asked just as loudly, “Would you like the FOUR-DOLLAR TIP BACK. YOU GUYS OBVIOUSLY NEED IT.” He just frowned and kept on walking.
Finally, the mother walked by me. I just stared at her, still beet-red, still furious. I didn’t say a word to her until she was so close she could hear my louder-than-normal heart rate. In a whsiper, I said:
Me: “How dare you.”
Me: “How dare you and your family.”
And then she as well walked out the door.
It was a slower-than-usual night and they wouldn’t have made that much of a difference if they had, indeed, tipped me well. But it’s ignorance and downright social idiocy that gets my blood boiling.
My manager told me after they left that the father came back in looking for me. I saw him open the door, but I didn’t want to look at him again. I knew I couldn’t hide the obvious disgust from my face.
Don’t pin the strained relationship between whites and blacks in this country solely on white people. True, it is mostly past white’s faults that blacks are still at a level of inferiority economically, socially and academically in this country. But there are those still in this country that revel in the strained relationship and feed that beast the ignorance and stupidity it so craves.
If they treat me, a white man that put forth an effort to provide great service to them, with this kind of disrespect how do they treat people the way they treated me?