Humor Magazine

Parking Ticket

By Blairbarnes

I am the manager of a small, 40 seat family owned restaurant. I also
serve on the weekends. We are located downtown and parking for our
location is street parking metered by the city.
A woman came in for lunch, she was meeting a friend who hadn’t yet
arrived. She moved tables 3 times, all 3 times I was more than
accommodating, trying to make her the most comfortable. She finally
settled in at an outdoor table on a nice sunny day. I was tending to
other outdoor tables and I saw what I assumed was her friend charging
up the block with a parking ticket in her hand. I could almost see the
steam coming out of her ears and I thought to myself, this poor woman
is in for a stressful lunch with her friend because she looks mighty
The arriving friend with the parking ticket in hand bypassed her
patiently waiting friend altogether and stormed right up to me. When I
turned around to greet her, she SLAPPED ME IN THE FACE over and over
with her parking ticket and was screaming something like “You need to
do something about this ticket!” I was being beaten in the face with a
parking ticket trying to deduce what the heck this woman was attacking
me for. I slowly backed away trying to quickly arrive at the best
sentiment to calm this irate and totally out-of-line woman. (I should
have snatched the parking ticket out of her hand and instructed her to
calm down) but since most of us in the service industry are trained to
“be polite” at any cost, I sympathetically stated, “I’m sorry mam’, I
feel your pain. I work down here and frequently get parking tickets.
Sometimes it costs me $30 a week in parking tickets just to commute to
work.” She continued screaming and causing a scene shouting about how
“we as a business” needed to do something about her parking ticket. I
eventually found out that she had parked her car in a metered spot,
came in to our restaurant to get change for her meter and by the time
she got back out to her car, had gotten a ticket. A $10 ticket.
After failing to calm the woman by trying to explain that it was the
city that she needed to address her complaints to, and it wasn’t my
fault she did not come prepared with change to pay the meter, she got
on her cellphone with I assume the city, and began aggressively
screaming into the phone while standing in the middle of the
About that time, the owner came in the door and could tell something
was awry. I pulled him into the back and explained the situation. He
approached their table and very nicely admonished the woman for
treating her server the way she did about something that was
completely out of my control. The two women stormed off without
About an hour later, we get a company email from the woman’s FRIEND
saying “I guess your small business has become so successful that you
no longer care about hospitality.” And “All my friend wanted was a
sympathetic ear.” And “I don’t come to your small cafe for the good
food, I come to BE TAKEN CARE OF.” Finally concluding with “I will
never be back.” (Thank god).
After being physically assaulted (with a meager slip of paper but
alas, physical contact in anger with a complete stranger is never ok)
I really didn’t know what I could have done different….offer her a
back rub with her coffee in compliance with her request of being
“taken care of”?
GEEZ. I am reminded almost everyday of the crazies out there. Stay
strong servers!

- MO

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