“It was my last day working at a fancy hotel breakfast buffet before heading back to college when I was 19. I was a great employee for multiple summers and had done my full two weeks.
Every morning around 9:00 am we’d have a 15-20 minute wait because again; one breakfast buffet, peak season, 1,100 rooms in the place and only business people come down for breakfast before 8:30. It was as bustling and hectic as one could imagine.
This lady walked up acting really snooty. She took one look at the parties we have waiting and said snidely to me, ‘Are these people waiting for breakfast?’
‘Yes sorry, we are on a short wait, unfortunately, but I can take your name and we do have complimentary coffee and orange juice in the lounge area right here.’
‘No, that’s ridiculous. Do you have any other places for breakfast here?’
‘We sure do! There’s a Starbucks at the end of the hall that has pastries and sandwiches if you’re in a hurry. They don’t have a line currently.’
‘No, I mean a nicer sit-down place like this.’
‘Unfortunately, we do not, ma’am.’
She started up the typical Karen ‘This is unacceptable’ shtick. My patience was already thin because our bussers were running slow today so I was antsy for tables to be clean and trying to clear some between customer names and this lady was holding up the name taking.
‘Look, there’s Starbucks down the hall or Waffle House down the street. Otherwise, it’s a 15-20 minute wait.’
She got even madder and wouldn’t budge. She started boasting and said ‘Do you know who I am? We paid XXX for these rooms and this is insane!’ By the way, everyone else in line also paid for rooms so like… you ain’t special, lady.
She at one point actually said ‘I refuse to wait with THESE people!’ loudly as she gestured to folks waiting in line who were very much within earshot.
She pointed to a dirty table that folks had just gotten up from and was stacked high with dirty dishes and said, ‘What about that table?!’
To which I replied, ‘Look if you want to get your dainty little hands dirty, clean it and it’s yours. I’ve got a rag and bucket right here. Otherwise, it’s back of the line or find somewhere else!’
My manager was walking up behind me halfway through this to try and defuse it. But the lady stormed off before she could reach the hostess stand to apologize/comp things. So I turned to her and said ‘Look, you’re going to get your first complaint about me in three years today, but my shift ends at noon and it’s my very last day here and I highly doubt you’re going to fire me in the next three hours because I’m good at my job and busting my back clearing tables. So take some names for a second and let me go clear some tables.’
I actually received applause from the guests waiting behind me.”