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Waitress at Red Lobster attacked for refilling water glasses too often

posted at 4:16 pm on August 18, 2012 by

It may be a first in the annals of restaurantdom—customers growing impatient because service was too attentive.

St. Louis TV station KMOV reports that last Friday a waitress at a Red Lobster in Fairview Heights, Ill., was struck in the head by a water glass hurled from behind her by an irate customer.

A diner at a nearby table who witnessed the incident told authorities that a trio of female customers went ballistic after complaining that the server was filling their water glasses too often. When the startled waitress turned around to see what had hit her, one of the customers hauled off and smacked her a second time, across the face with one of the dessert books.

The station reports that restaurant workers and customers detained the assailants until police arrived. All three were arrested. The waitress was treated on the spot by paramedics.

This is the second assault on a member of the wait staff at this restaurant in the past eight months. Last December, four customers became unhinged when a waitress brought the wrong food order to their table. One tossed a drink in the waitress’s face. Then she and her companions proceeded to punch and shove the woman, who suffered cuts to her nose and forehead and a swollen eye. A video of that incident was captured on another customer’s cell phone.

A spokesperson for the Red Lobster chain told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, which also covered Friday’s attack, that the incident was “unfortunate” and that “the safety of our employees and guests is our highest priority.”

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The waitress probably would have been attacked if she didn’t fill the water glasses by these worthless slugs? I would file charges against every one of them if it happened to me.
L

letget on August 18, 2012 at 4:35 PM

This black and rude dining is actually occurring everywhere.It is as if they are crazy.

pat on August 18, 2012 at 4:52 PM

It wasn’t the same waitress, was it? On top of which, how does filling my water glass too often get me irate?

/me resists the temptation to make a joke about M.O……..

GWB on August 18, 2012 at 5:02 PM

Things are going to get ugly this November.

Socmodfiscon on August 18, 2012 at 5:15 PM

This black and rude dining is actually occurring everywhere.It is as if they are crazy.

pat on August 18, 2012 at 4:52 PM

Such an easy deduction to make that the assaulter’s were black yet the media and even Howard lack the courage to tell the whole story.

lowandslow on August 18, 2012 at 6:50 PM

I keep a pair of brass knuckles in my pocket just in case they try to get stingy with the hush puppies.

Mr. Wednesday Night on August 18, 2012 at 7:15 PM

I’ll take the contrarian view, just to start debate:

Overattentive service can ruin the dining experience, just as can underattentive.

It takes good people skills to be a good server. You have to be able to read people and their needs, instead of just following a script. I can give three examples:

1. One young male bartender at a certain national chain restaurant/bar goes around the bar every 5 minutes or so… doesn’t bother to look at my glass or my plate – say, “you alright [cane_loader]?” I have to stop whatever I’m doing and answer. He makes no attempt to see if I need anything. During a one-hour meal, newspaper-reading visit, this is 12 such interruptions. A lot of times, I’m deep in a newspaper article, or thinking about something, and he gets in my face with the same parroted line. It’s bothersome as hell. One night, I asked for the check, signed it, pushed it back, started to get out of the chair, and here he comes – “you alright, [cane_loader]?” I’m like, “yeah, I’m on my feet and LEAVING!” Didn’t say that, but come on!

2. Local sushi place. I go there with my girlfriend for lunch. The waiter fusses around and comes to the table 10 times during a 45-minute lunch. Ruins our lunch because he breaks into a serious conversation each time, cutting us off mid-sentence, not even trying to see if maybe he should look at our table and SEE if we need anything. Waiter is a young dude, wrong age group for my GF, and so I don’t think it’s that…. it’s the wrong-headed idea that more service will always elicit a bigger tip.

3. A local Mexican sit-down restaurant – this has happened two times out of the last three visits, spaced a few months apart – I bring a book or paper – get seated in a booth. Both times, tired as heck from work, hungry, and wanting to chill.

Male waiter – about 30-40 y.o. – walks up – notices the paper/book, starts a conversation with, “so I see you’re reading a book.” I ask for a menu, to break it off because I’m hungry. He comes back 2-3 times during the meal and starts talking about random stuff, asking questions about me, etc., while I plainly have my nose in the book/paper – breaks my concentration – and this goes on until I leave.

The second time, a couple weeks ago, a different male waiter actually slides into the other side of the booth facing me, with no warning, and starts telling me about his life, and how he used to be on drugs, and how now he’s starting a job as a high-school wrestling coach. He forces me to engage in a five-minute conversation that’s all about him and his plans, when I’m so tired and hungry I can hardly think or speak. Then he leaves, and 10 minutes later, slides back in the booth and talks at me again until I leave.

I did nothing to ask these waiters to basically hover over me and ruin my meal. But ruin my meal, it did, both times – I asked for a box and left halfway through so I could eat in peace.

Crazy, yeah. But this stuff happens. The fine art of being a server is knowing when someone just wants to be left alone, and refilling the glass when needed.

I have no idea what made the customers throw the water glass in the above story, and of course no one should be throwing glasses at servers.

But again, overattentive service ruins a lot of meals. And I seem to see it more and more often.

cane_loader on August 18, 2012 at 7:31 PM

Oh by the way – the Mexican restaurant – I’d never seen either waiter before in my life.

cane_loader on August 18, 2012 at 7:34 PM

Nice…

stay classy St. Louis

harlekwin15 on August 18, 2012 at 7:41 PM

stay classy St. Louis

harlekwin15 on August 18, 2012 at 7:41 PM

Uh, Fairview Heights is in Illinois. It isn’t St. Louis.

These feral animals need to be treated as such. They do not deserve to live in civilized society.

tom daschle concerned on August 18, 2012 at 8:27 PM

Such an easy deduction to make that the assaulter’s were black yet the media and even Howard lack the courage to tell the whole story.

lowandslow on August 18, 2012 at 6:50 PM

All I had to do was read the title. Derbyshire was right.

JamesSeanMcKeane on August 18, 2012 at 8:41 PM

But again, overattentive service ruins a lot of meals. And I seem to see it more and more often.

cane_loader on August 18, 2012 at 7:31 PM

I know what you mean. Those are great stories.

Buy Danish on August 18, 2012 at 9:36 PM

cane_loader on August 18, 2012 at 7:31 PM

First world problems. My heart breaks for you.

mjk on August 18, 2012 at 9:37 PM

Obviously that waitress is racist. Refilling water glasses is a dog whistle code word for …. er… something.

bitsy on August 19, 2012 at 12:19 AM

This black and rude dining is actually occurring everywhere.It is as if they are crazy.

pat on August 18, 2012 at 4:52 PM

Millions of Black Americans, a dozen or so stories. “Everywhere”?

Such an easy deduction to make that the assaulter’s were black yet the media and even Howard lack the courage to tell the whole story.

lowandslow on August 18, 2012 at 6:50 PM

Such an easy deduction to make because of the photo of the perps posted in the TV report that Howard linked.
Get a clue.

itsnotaboutme on August 19, 2012 at 12:48 AM

Cane_loader, would it be SO hard to politely say “we’re fine…if we need anything I’ll let you know…we’re having a serious conversation here”. It has always worked for me.

hutch1200 on August 19, 2012 at 1:10 AM

cane_loader on August 18, 2012 at 7:31 PM

Jeez, you must be projecting the wrong attitude.
Waitresses are always very considerate to me in terms of respecting my space.
In fact, now that I think about it, on more than one occasion, I’ve had to call the restaurant on my cell and ask to speak to the waitress waiting on my table.
Now that, my friends, is consideration.

justltl on August 19, 2012 at 4:45 AM

Hey Cane_loader, those waiters ain’t freakin mind readers. Give ‘em a heads up when they initiate the service. Most of the time, they are just trying to be personable, a character trait with which you may have a deficiency.

Just sayin’, bro.

BigAlSouth on August 19, 2012 at 9:00 AM

All I had to do was read the title. Derbyshire was right.

JamesSeanMcKeane on August 18, 2012 at 8:41 PM

Derbyshire is gone. WFB’s job is never finished.

thebrokenrattle on August 19, 2012 at 9:22 AM

First world problems. My heart breaks for you.

mjk on August 18, 2012 at 9:37 PM

That’s not the point of his comments. Using your standard Hot Air might have to stop providing “palate cleansers”.

Buy Danish on August 19, 2012 at 9:55 AM

Thank you, Obamao, for this wonderful society. You have , AT LAST, given us a truly non-racist, love filled society. I,for one, will be forever grateful.

Excuse me while I blow chunks and take my meds.

rpjkw11 on August 19, 2012 at 10:32 AM

The natives are getting restless. I think they need to go back to the jungle until they learn to behave like civilized human beings.

theaddora on August 19, 2012 at 11:07 AM

Hey Cane_loader, those waiters ain’t freakin mind readers. Give ‘em a heads up when they initiate the service. Most of the time, they are just trying to be personable, a character trait with which you may have a deficiency.

Just sayin’, bro.

BigAlSouth on August 19, 2012 at 9:00 AM

You’re missing the point.
It’s not about being personable – it’s about hovering so completely that now you almost have an additional member of your party. I’ll say it again – part of the job is LOOKING at the table and seeing if the glasses need refilling – seeing if plates need taking away, etc.

This stuff should not require a conversation between server and customer. It really shouldn’t. It’s part of their job to use their eyes and brain. If you had been with me and seen how totally disruptive the overattentive service was, you’d understand, instead of snark.

When a couple is continually interrupted – 10 times in a 45 minute lunch – amid serious talk over the future of a relationship – such that again and again key questions are cut off by an intrusive server who didn’t need to loudly speak in the middle of a diner’s sentence and cut them off – IMO the dining experience is ruined.

cane_loader on August 19, 2012 at 1:18 PM

Most of the time, they are just trying to be personable, a character trait with which you may have a deficiency.

Just sayin’, bro.

BigAlSouth on August 19, 2012 at 9:00 AM

I’m very personable, jerk.

LOL

cane_loader on August 19, 2012 at 1:19 PM

Jeez, you must be projecting the wrong attitude.
Waitresses are always very considerate to me in terms of respecting my space.
In fact, now that I think about it, on more than one occasion, I’ve had to call the restaurant on my cell and ask to speak to the waitress waiting on my table.
Now that, my friends, is consideration.

justltl on August 19, 2012 at 4:45 AM

I know what you mean about underattentive service.

I don’t think I’m projecting any attitude. When I sit down – am reading a book or newspaper, there’s no attitude at all that I can see. I just came in to order food and eat it and be alone.

Funny, I went to the same Mexican restaurant last night because talking about it made me hungry, lol.

Had good service from a woman – and the waiter cleaning the table adjacent and talking to her was obviously gay, from his speech.

I’m thinking now that maybe the two waiters from the other times were hitting on me? One seemed effeminate, and the other was a wrestling coach… hmmmmm….

cane_loader on August 19, 2012 at 1:23 PM

Bottom line, if I want a running conversation with an employee, I can sit at the bar. A forced running conversation at a table or booth, when the customer is obviously reading or in intense conversation with a tablemate, is intrusive, unless the restaurant advertises “food & companionship.”

cane_loader on August 19, 2012 at 1:27 PM

And “personable” is not the server’s sliding into your booth twice during your dinner without even asking if they can sit down, and telling their life story 3 feet from your face and plate, when you have never met that server before or have never been a recognizable regular.

cane_loader on August 19, 2012 at 1:30 PM

Cane loader is very correct that over-attentive service can be intrusive. Servers can insinuate themselves into your conversation, which is even worse..and the “let me tell you about me” anecdotes are an example of VERY irritating presumption of a worse sort still.

However, Cane loader is not going to haul off and hit a well-meaning intruder/waiter in the head with his water glass.

I think the pattern of attracting and being unable to fend off the big intrustions might mean cane loader is having trouble asserting himself or seems to the waiters to be inviting the unwanted “companionship”. Perhaps he is too attractive to be resisted.

The Red Lobster incident, however, makes no sense at all unless one understands the patron was a chip-on-the-shoulder hothead who is either too impulsive and articulate to come up with a better plan of resolving conflict, and/or was raised to shout and hit to resolve conflict.

In a restaurant, if one is disatisfied with the service, one leaves a bad tip or resolves never to return, or leaves if there are unreasonable delays.

The best way to deal with a waiter who is hovering is to, as Barney Fife would say, “nip it in the bud, Andge, nip it in the bud” – You say “thank you but we want no more water until our meal is served.

To Cane loader to Mr Book Inquisitor: “Yes, it is a [new or whatever] book. I can’t tell you how much I want to relax into it and shut out the whole world. Please pardon me if I am not very chatty” or something along those lines.

When the waiter begins to interrupt about the book or anything unrelated to dinner, the proper response is to feign being so interested in the book that the intrusion is not noticed. Pretend not to hear. When the waiter repeats the intrusion, go “oh my goodness I didn’t see you there” were you asking about my entre/dessert/check? as if you never heard the question at all. If he is rude enough to persist with book questions, just aologise and say “its very engrossing, but what a pleasure it is to get into a book after a hard day of work. The dinner is lovely and I would like some coffee” You get the gist.

But who hits a waiter in the head with a drink? A savage who doesn’t belong in a restaurant, not even a gawdawful chain like Red Lobster.

SarahW on August 19, 2012 at 1:47 PM

Good freak’n grief. What is the matter with you people? This story isn’t about over attentive service. It’s about the collapse of civilized behavior in black culture. Why don’t you try addressing that?

lowandslow on August 19, 2012 at 3:33 PM

Good freak’n grief. What is the matter with you people? This story isn’t about over attentive service. It’s about the collapse of civilized behavior in black culture. Why don’t you try addressing that?

lowandslow on August 19, 2012 at 3:33 PM

Darn tootin’.
Now back to cane_loader.
Did the coach ask you if you liked Greco-Roman wrestling?
Or gladiator movies?
Or offer you a special burrito?

justltl on August 19, 2012 at 5:48 PM

cane_loader on August 19, 2012 at 1:19 PM

Nah, I’m not feelin that . . .

BigAlSouth on August 19, 2012 at 6:09 PM

unless the restaurant advertises “food & companionship.”

cane_loader on August 19, 2012 at 1:27 PM

Hmmmm, now *there* is an interesting business model……..

GWB on August 20, 2012 at 9:19 AM

All I had to do was read the title. Derbyshire was right.

JamesSeanMcKeane on August 18, 2012 at 8:41 PM

Amen! Repatriate.

Bulletchaser on August 20, 2012 at 12:17 PM