“When I was 17, I was a server in a fairly good steakhouse.
One night, I was serving in the drinking area. It was me, another server, and a bartender in that section. During dinner, a guy who was not in my section grabbed me by the arm. He demanded I find his server because he needed another drink ‘right now.’
He eventually got his second Manhattan, and third, and fourth.
Every once in a while I saw him grabbing his server’s arm and yelling, but I didn’t think it was hard enough to hurt. I just tried to find the manager to tell him what was going on, and for some reason couldn’t.
After I noticed he was on Manhattan number six, I went to the bartender, and he hadn’t seen the manager either. He wanted to cut the guy off due to behavior, but only managed to find the manager just long enough to tell him this one guy should be cut off due to behavior (like him yelling at and grabbing servers), and the manager not only said no but told him the next one would be on the house.
Later on, the inebriated guy ordered a steak. We brought it out and he kept on saying it was not well done enough and yelling, ‘TAKE IT BACK!!’ All the while, this man was just getting more and more drinks.
I couldn’t find his server at all, so I called the bartender to take my tables for a minute.
I soon found the server. She was sobbing in a closet. This guy had grabbed her arm a whole lot harder than mine so she had bruises. She couldn’t find the manager either. I told her to take a minute and gave her my section so I could take care of this guy (so she wouldn’t have to).
I finally found the manager, and between me and the barkeep, we told him he should be tossed out by a cop, if possible, for hurting staff and being just too wasted. Our normally nice manager said, ‘No, you guys are going to go back out there and give him what he wants.’
I got back, and he was on Manhattan number eight. He saw me and starts yelling loudly. Other servers were looking in at this point. The guy grabbed my arm and crushed it like his hands were the Jaws of Life and he was freeing a supermodel. I got a bruised arm, too, but the worst was yet to come.
He grabbed me, shook my arm, then got out his steak knife and pressed the tip against my cheek. He screamed that he would get his steak done right. The manager (finally) came over, and the bartender yelled, ‘Please, sir, now he’s a danger. Throw him out!’
The guy went, ‘Doesn’t matter, this was the worst dinner I’ve ever had! I’m leaving!’
Do you know what the much-loved-until-this-point manager did? ‘Sir, I’m so very sorry. If you’ll just come with me, I’m going to get you a fifty-dollar gift card,’ and then he yelled at me, the other server, and the bartender for not taking care of guests properly.
As soon as I saw the guy walking away with the manager to get his free cash, I undid my apron and said, ‘I can’t do this. I quit.’
I went home and cried. The next day, the manager called me. He begged me to come back. He told me he thought he handled things well the previous night.
I responded, ‘So you were okay with a very wasted man roughly handling two of your waitresses to the point that both got bruises, caused both to cry, and you’re okay that he almost stabbed me?’
He got huffy and said, ‘I did exactly what a manager does.’ I told him to never call me again.
The bartender called me an hour later. All but one person working in that restaurant quit that night. (The one who didn’t was a brand new line chef and didn’t get what was going on.)
Within a few months, that placed closed down.”