Servers at restaurants never know what kind of customer they’ll be waiting on.
Rude and obnoxious patrons are typical, but the hard-working servers are expected to continue doing their best with a smile on their faces.
But sometimes, there are patrons who have the server’s back when things get unpleasant.
Redditor ZealousPapaya is one such supportive patron.
The 23-year-old husband witnessed an injustice while he and his wife were dining at a restaurant with his wife’s friend.
But when he spoke out and caused a scene, he later visited the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit and asked:
“AITA for calling my wife’s friend out for how she treated our waitress?”
The Original Poster (OP) began by sharing some background.
“My (23M) wife (22F) has a friend who she has known for around 10 years, and who I met during high school.”
“We got along pretty well in school, but over the years she has become much quicker to anger, snaps at every little thing, and has on several occasions screamed at my wife for wanting to spend time with me at home rather than go out to the bar.”
“Despite all of this, my wife has stayed friends with her, and I understand why. Isolation over the past year had been hard on us, and my wife was not able to see many of her friends as much as she used to, so having contact with her longest friend again has been something she wants to keep.”
“The event that caused this specific issue happened a few days ago. My town had its annual jubilee parade, which is a huge occasion and generally brings in massive crowds for a rodeo, downtown party, and a big music festival at the end of the weekend.”
“This also means every single restaurant is absolutely packed to the brim. My wife and I met her friend at one of the restaurants in town, and it took only around 30 seconds for said friend to snap at one of the hostesses for not seating us immediately.”
“There weren’t any clean tables yet, and it took only about two minutes to get a clean table, but even as we sat down the friend was already rolling her eyes and the hostess and waitress and complaining.”
“It took around 10 minutes to get our drink order in, which again the restaurant was absolutely packed. When the waitress came by with our drinks, the friend berated her for taking so long, but shut up once we put our food order in.”
“We get our food about 20 minutes later, and things are quiet as we’re eating. However, my wife’s friend began to criticize the wait staff for how long they were taking to do things, and saying things like, ‘I’ve worked in the food industry, you wouldn’t see me making people wait this long for their food and drinks,’ and generally putting down the workers in the middle of a rush.”
“The tipping point for me, ironically, was when we were leaving, and I was leaving behind the tip for our waitress.”
“I went higher than usual (somewhere around 55% of the bill) because our waitress looked incredibly stressed and tired. The friend, seeing me putting the cash down, asks in a very snarky tone, ‘why are you tipping at all for such sh*t service?'”
“I should mention that the waitress was standing right there the whole time. I went off on the friend for this, telling her she needs to stop acting like a child, and expect everyone to treat her like the center of attention.”
“She seemed to get very embarrassed by this and left the restaurant immediately, and my wife went after her. Later that night, my wife came up to me and said that while, yes, the friend was being obnoxious, I shouldn’t have called her out publicly, as I had embarrassed her in front of the whole (packed) restaurant.”
“I feel like I might be the a**hole for calling out my wife’s friend publicly, instead of approaching her in a more calm manner privately after this took place.”
Strangers on the internet were asked to declare one of the following:
- NTA – Not the A**hole
- YTA – You’re the A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everybody Sucks Here
A majority of Redditors thought the OP was not the a**hole in the situation.
“NTA. She doesn’t want to be called out publicly? Don’t act like an a**hole in public, then. Problem solved.”
“Good on you for supporting hospitality staff.” – grindelwaldd
“Please don’t take this the wrong way, but sometimes someone NEEDS to step up and be an a**hole to an even bigger a**hole.”
“I used to treat waitstaff like your GF’s BF, though not nearly to that degree. I was dressed down, in public, by my GF. I deserved it.”
“Sometimes, public humiliation IS the only way to get through to someone. NTA.” – Dark_Tangential
“NTA. If she can dish it out publicly, she can take it publicly, too.”
“Bout time someone said something. People like that don’t usually respond to a private talking-to. It takes them experiencing the same sense of shame or embarrassment they inflict on others, to finally get it.”
“Hopefully she has time to reflect later and thank you for it. But that’s probably overly optimistic lol.” – Juicebox-shakur
“NTA. You made the wait staff there so happy by calling her out and kind of defending them. Her behaviour was already embarrassing and humiliating, she just didn’t realize it.”
“If she acted like a reasonable adult then maybe she wouldn’t have needed to be called out at all, but that’s not the case.”
“I’m worried about your wife and why she would let this person stay in her life while not addressing this behaviour. I know they’re old friends but that sounds so exhausting.” – tfydb
In response to the above Redditor’s concern, the OP replied:
“My wife has been very honest in how draining this friendship is on her.”
“The friend in question has had a rough couple of years (which is no way an excuse) and doesn’t really have anyone else but my wife for support.”
“I think my wife is worried that if she ends the friendship, the friend will spiral again and do something bad, and I know that would destroy her. It’s just a bad situation overall.”
Most Redditors still thought the friend should not have been rude to the server—regardless of the hard life she had.