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Customer tells 'annoying pest' waiter to leave them alone for a serious talk. AITA?

Customer tells 'annoying pest' waiter to leave them alone for a serious talk. AITA?


We've heard of entitled customers demanding to speak to the manager, but what happens when the staff asks the manager to speak to you?

So, when a conflicted restaurant customer decided to complain to the moral compass of the internet otherwise known as Reddit's 'Am I the As%hole' about an aggressively attentive waiter, people were dying for the juicy details.

"AITA for asking an annoying pest of a waiter to leave us alone during a serious conversation?"

My mom and I decided to have a heartfelt conversation while enjoying dinner at a local restaurant. We were discussing some deeply personal matters and needed a quiet, private environment. However, the entire experience got derailed due to a persistent and annoying waiter.

At first, the waiter seemed friendly, which we appreciated. But as our conversation progressed, it was like they transformed into an annoying pest.

They kept interrupting us, demanding our attention by asking how the food tasted, attempting to upsell us on various items, and hovering around our table. Their constant interruptions were becoming incredibly grating.

At one point, I decided to take a stand. I politely, albeit firmly, asked the waiter not to come back to our table unless we explicitly signaled them. I explained that our conversation was important and that their persistent interruptions were disruptive. They seemed taken aback, but they did give us some space for a brief period.

However, the waiter apparently complained to the manager about my request for some peace and quiet. The manager came over to our table to address the situation. While the manager was understanding, I couldn't shake the feeling that I was being treated as the bad guy here.

Am I the a$hole for telling this annoying pest of a waiter to leave us alone during a serious conversation? Could I have handled this differently, or was my plea for some understanding and space reasonable considering the circumstances?

Here's what the jury of internet strangers had to say about this mess...

HeirOfRavenclaw said:

YTA 100%. “Needed a quiet, private environment”. THEN GO TO ONE. You went to a public restaurant where someone’s job is literally to go to your table through your time there.

You sound terrible to interact with. I doubt he “complained” to his manager. Manager likely asked why he was avoiding the rude people at that table, as it’s his job to watch his tables.

And the way you call him an “annoying pest”. Have some fucking time to reflect, you are the annoying person who chose a public restaurant when needing a “quiet private place.' Entitled and rude. YTA.

Wild-Calligrapher316 said:

Former server here (American). Different customers frequently wanted different levels of attention from me. I would always try to pick up on the cues they would give me, but it was even better if they flat out told me they were going to be talking for a while and not to come back unless they signaled.

Now, if the server only has 3-4 tables in their section and you're seeing those tables turn more than once during your conversation, it's only fair to tip generously for the income they are losing by you taking up that table. NTA, server should have just left well enough alone.

MerelyWhelmed1 said:

Waiter was doing his job while you were trying to treat the restaurant as your private dining room. If you need to have a quiet, private discussion, then you stay home.

This isn't a soap opera where you get space and no one else in the room while at a coffee shop. Nor was it Downton Abbey where the servants keep their distance until you're ready for your after dinner brandy. YTA.

HighEnglishPlease said:

A. You should have alerted the server about your need for privacy as soon as the serious conversation began.

B. Know that often servers are trained/ordered to keep things moving at their tables to keep table turnover up. The server may have been under pressure to move you along.

creamcheeseplease16 said:

ESH. Sure maybe the waiter shouldn’t have been hovering as much, but if you’re in the US that’s literally his job. They can be written up and get in trouble all the time for not upselling products and handling their tables efficiently.

I don’t think he “sent” the manager over there, but he definitely informed them that you requested he back off in order to cover his a%s. What the manager decided to do after that was his own decision.

Not to mention, I’ve seen multiple instances of customers not wanting to be interrupted at that certain moment, but then they turn around 5 minutes later and get mad that their waiter isn’t around because they need service right now.

So, there you have it...

While the opinions were fairly divided for this one, most people agreed that this customer was rude and delusional to think that this waiter wasn't simply doing their job. If they needed to have a fully private conversation, there are other environments where this could've been accomplished.

The server most likely had no choice but to involve the manager, as the instructions to hover were probably direct orders. Threatening someone's source of income because you don't want to be bothered about the specials is shady behavior.

Sources: Reddit
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