The Man And The Waitress: Two Journeys, One Destination

By Yuri S.

What on earth is happening? Karl wanted to know why he couldn’t place his order after patiently standing in line for the past 45 minutes. However, he was met with a stern blank stare from the waitress. What could Karl have done to warrant this treatment? He thought.

Karl does not usually get this kind of treatment as he was a man who commanded respect and authority. His demands were always met at an instant, accompanied with a salute. If only the lady knew who he was, she wouldn’t treat him such. Nobody messes with Officer Karl and gets away with it. What will he do? Let’s find out.

How It All Started

It was a day-off for the hardworking Karl Baker, who has decided to enjoy it to the fullest. He planned to sleep in, eat out, stroll outdoors and maybe even go out with friends in the evening. He needed to blow off steam from the stress of working long hours.

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The thought of not working the next day filled him with so much excitement that he was up late into the night. With the adrenaline running through his body, he found it difficult to close his eyes. If he knew this excitement would eventually become butchered, he would have dreamed less.

The Dog Woke Him Up

He didn’t know that he’d slept in, but he was awakened to the warm feeling of his dog licking his face and full of energy. It probably needed a walk, but its master was lying lazily on the bed. Opening his eyes, Karl realized it was midday.

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He quickly jumped into the shower, had a quick shave, changed his clothes, brewed coffee, and pondered where to go for brunch. Eureka! He remembered the restaurant on the outskirts of town that his colleagues had raved about. It would be nice to give it a try.

Getting Out Of The House

Karl hopped into his cruiser and drove down to the restaurant for the perfect midday meal; he was already contemplating what type of food he should order. The restaurant was new to him, and he couldn’t wait to try the place out.

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He quickly found a parking space, turned off the engine, and went inside. Karl was a tall and muscular man, full of energy and not bad looking, to boot. All these qualities couldn’t save him from what was about to go down.

That Odd Feeling Of Being Out Of Place

Striding gallantly into the restaurant, he was impressed by the interior design of the place. However, what he couldn’t understand was the cold stare the staff sent him as he entered the diner. It seemed like a plague had just walked in the door.

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Karl felt he wasn’t welcome there. He wasn’t used to receiving such a strange looks. In his job as a police officer, he commanded respect from people. As a chief of police, he was practiced in gaining and reciprocating respect.

A Conversation To Ease The Tension

He quietly stood in line behind a big guy; he would have to wait a while as it can take ages for the staff to attend to everyone at a diner. Soon it would be his turn. Hungry, he patiently waited, checking the menu on the wall to see if they had what he wanted to eat.

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Fifteen minutes had gone by and he was still in line. So, he tried to strike up a conversation with the guy before him; “Hey, what a beautiful thing they got going on here,” the guy seemed uninterested in communicating as he just gave a shrug and looked frontward. It seems like patience isn’t everyone’s virtue.

Patiently Waiting In Line

Knowing that as a police officer he could walk up to the counter and place an order without staying in line, he opted to wait for his turn. No one in the diner knew who he was, and he wanted it to remain that way.

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The hunger was biting hard at him, his limits were about to become tested, but he decided to keep calm. He was a man of patience and chose to act that way. After what seemed like ages, it was finally his turn. What a relief that he could now order what he was craving.

The Worst Service Ever Experienced

Waned from the long wait, Karl still sent a warm smile to the cashier, accompanied with a greeting. However, he received a response that indicated impatience and displeasure. He could discern that the lady wasn’t interested as she was unpleasantly chewing a piece of gum in front of him.

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Choosing not to pay attention to her attitude, he simply started ordering his food and empathizing with her, for he thought she must also be under some stress because of the long line of customers she was attending to. However, it soon turned out the lady didn’t deserve empathy.

This Can’t Be Happening

After placing his order, he was stunned to hear his order wasn’t available at that time. The disappointment was all over his face, but he simply shrugged it off, opting to order something else, but was told his second order wasn’t available either.

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Now getting irritated, he tried a third choice and got an unpleasant look. His patience had reached its limit, and it took every ounce of goodness in him not to lash out at the lady. How could all the specials on the menu be unavailable?

The Straw That Broke Karl’s Back

This wasn’t the great experience he’d heard from his friends about this restaurant. He decided to go for other options not listed on the specials menu. Karl was taken aback by the reaction he got from the cashier when he asked if they any food available.

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The cashier rolled her eyes and gave him a long stare. Her look made him feel like he had asked a stupid question. Karl had accepted enough disservice and rude behavior from the cashier. He couldn’t take it anymore; the straw had broken the camel’s back.

The Manager Must Know

He was about to give her a piece of his mind but the lady to beat him to it by requesting he leave if he had no intention to order. How dare she? He couldn’t take it anymore. He requested to see the manager.

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The cashier immediately called for the manager loud enough to be heard from the kitchen. She was happy to get Karl away from her so she could attend to others after giving him a mean stare. Karl kept his cool as he waited for the manager.

Two Devils In One Day

Looking back, he realized a queue had formed behind him. A blonde came out and walked towards them. She stared at Karl and the queue behind him, then requested to know what was happening and why he’d held up the line. He turned to speak to the manager.

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The cashier didn’t allow Karl to speak and she immediately told the manager she couldn’t serve him; he expected the manager to act maturely. Instead, she began laughing right at that instant, looking at him sheepishly. He was confused as to what they found funny considering the situation.

Choosing To Be Calm

He didn’t understand what was going on but tried his best to stay calm as all eyes were already on him, and he hated attention, especially when it wasn’t the positive kind. Luckily, he was a man with a high level of patience.

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Instead of lashing out, he controlled his anger and politely advised the ladies to be more courteous in their behavior towards customers. Such an attitude would send the wrong impression of the restaurant to customers far and wide, damaging their reputation. It wasn’t something they wanted.

A Fatal Blow Had Been Struck

His little piece of advice seemed to land on deaf ears as the ladies kept on laughing. They didn’t care about his recommendation. The manager mockingly told him that they understand things weren’t comfortable for him, but he should accept his fate today.

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She then showed him the door, saying that they don’t serve people like him. Like an echo, the manager’s last word kept ringing in his ear. What did she mean by “people like him?” His plan for a fun-filled day was turning out to be his worst nightmare.

Tension Rising In The Diner

His gentle attitude diminished as he authoritatively asked the manager to explain herself. Her response added flames to the already burning fire. Harshly, the manager responded that she owed no one any explanation. She ordered him to leave the diner before more trouble broke out.

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As a person who had never been and would never get used to being humiliated or looked down on, Karl’s fury grew within him at that moment. The tension inside the diner was gradually becoming intense. He had never been this humiliated in his whole life.

Fear The Unknown; It Could Be Dangerous

His dignity was something he held dear and didn’t want anyone to toy with. He believed that respect should be reciprocal and that no one deserved the treatment he’d gotten from the diner staff that day. It was like a slap in the face.

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The interaction he’d experienced that day was extremely discouraging. One could tell that the diner staff had no idea who they were messing with. They didn’t know he legally had authority. Occasionally, he walked around wearing civilian clothing and acting like a civilian just to see how people would interact with him.

The Centre Of Attraction

His experience at the diner wasn’t what he had bargained for. The manager he had hoped would resolve the issue was worse than the cashier; she didn’t utter a helpful word. As the tension rose, many people got curious and started turning their heads towards them.

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At this point, Karl began to feel unfriendly stares directed at him. Everyone in the diner had diverted their attention to him. He felt embarrassed. The attention was unsolicited. Deep down, he wished there had been someone who recognized him; then he would certainly not get treated this way.

A Way To Retaliate

Karl was acutely embarrassed by the rude treatment he’d just got. He felt he wouldn’t win the argument at that time if it continued, so he backed off. But not without a strategy. He planned on returning to the diner the next day during working hours, dressed in his uniform.

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His desire to gave a nice day was trashed by his encounter with the diner’s staff. He thought of what their reaction would be when they saw him in uniform. He was determined to get justice for the mistreatment of the manager and cashier.

It’s Show Time, Who’s With Me?

The next day, Karl resumed work and dressed in his chief of police uniform. He had a lot he needed to attend to, and one thing was to revisit the diner. His motive was to gallantly stride into the diner and make them realize what a huge mistake it was to mistreat a civilian and hopefully settle things.

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After performing his tasks out in the field, it was time to visit the diner. He parked his cruiser outside and pushed the door open. The atmosphere took changed completely as he entered the diner. Standing tall, with a broad chest, he exuded a great deal of authority, catching the attention of all.

The Man Called Authority

The look on people’s faces wasn’t like the day before, as everyone was looking at him with respect. He could spot a smile on the face of those who didn’t show courtesy to him yesterday. Everyone paid attention to the man exuding a stern aura of authority.

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Karl could sense he was already in control without uttering a word; he walked straight towards the cashier, who also had a broad smile on her face. When he got closer, her smile quietly faded as she recognized who he was. A feeling of guilt washed over her.

A Drastic Change In Treatment

Who would have thought the cashier could be as gentle as a dove? She pleasantly greeted him, asking what food he wanted to order. Karl simply asked to see the manager, and immediately the cashier called out for the manager. It now appeared to him that the cashier was cautious of her manners.

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While waiting, his posture was that of the respectable cop he was on the street. He had one hand resting on his belt and the other on a radio device beeping with updates from his colleagues out in the field.

A Plea For Apology

He was eager to converse with the manager once again. However, it appeared that it was a different shift, and he met a different manager. Karl spoke to her about the previous day’s occurrence in detail. The manager was immediately filled with remorse and apologized. She assured him that they would conduct a proper and investigation to right the wrong.

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Within hours the story was on social media. Civilian commentary was already being posted across the net, forcing the diner to make a statement about the issue of their poor customer service, that was spiraling out of control. Things weren’t looking so well for the management of the diner.

A Nightmare For A Spokesperson

The damage was done already, but the diner had to come clean about the issue to prevent further incidents. Their spokesperson gave a detailed narration of all that had happened according to Officer Karl without leaving out any detail. They had to act in good faith to safeguard their reputation.

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Indicating their displeasure, the diner’s management was determined to uncover what could have warranted that treatment by their staff to an officer of the law. They promised to take necessary action that would ensure the prevention of future occurrences.

What The Public Had To Say

After the diner’s official statement, public opinions popped up on social media. Many wanted legal actions taken. A concerned reader said such action warranted legal action and Karl should sue for $150,000. The reader compared it to a similar situation when a gay couple were denied the right to purchase a cake because of who they were.

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The story continued to spread on the internet, across numerous social media sites, resulting in many aggravated people. As the story kept circulating the net, the diner’s management continued to reach out to the police department, requesting to publicly apologize to Officer Karl. The diner was losing customers.

Committed To Righting Their Wrongs

Commentary kept flying in, with the story becoming the number one trending topic. A particular reader said if he was in place of the police officer, he wouldn’t be concerned about the anti-police issue but rather harbor resentments with the diner and the kind of food sold.

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The diner kept putting in efforts to resolve the issue, but the damage was done already. Alexandra Police Union representative Pete Feltham admired their cooperation and desire to right their wrongs. The diner had to create posters outside their diner to indicate their support for cops.

The Public Wouldn’t Back Down.

Karl tried to avoid the spotlight; he remained reserved the whole time the as issue unfolded. He wasn’t interested in becoming famous. Surprisingly, the incident occurred in a community that usually had a harmonious relationship between locals and businesses. This issue needed to be solved quickly.

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Rumors of a permanent blacklisting began to spread on social media as the diner’s Facebook page kept getting flooded with angry comments. The damage to the business was getting uncontrollable and the diner tried to gain sympathy by spreading rumors about people trying to rob the diner.

We Are Not A People Of Destruction

Karl had to address the public to make clear his side of the issue. As a respectable police officer, he didn’t support any form of blacklisting or stealing from the diner in his name and because of an incident involving him.

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“Two wrongs don’t make a right,” said Karl, and asked the public not to engage in cancel culture as a way of expressing their disapproval of the establishment. Despite being the one who was wronged in the incident, he still wanted the best for the restaurant and encouraged them to rise to the occasion.

Investigation Concluded And Action Taken

The incident had resulted in the diner receiving tremendous insults both online and offline. However, they resolved to do better at their end. They went ahead to act with nobility by releasing another statement to the public in the Washington Post.

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The released a statement indicating that the actions of the involved individuals were uncalled for and didn’t reflect the position of their other branches. They also stated that they had concluded their own investigations, and the staff involved had been laid off. They expressed how much they value their customers, and specifically, officers of the law.

The Relationship Strengthened

The diner’s management respected their customers and would do everything in their power to give them the treatment they deserved. They had built a cordial relationship with the Alexandra Police Department over the years, and this was a relationship they intended to preserve. They had one more thing to do.

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The respect for civilians and law enforcement agents made the diner’s management give their all to locate Officer Karl to correct the wrong done to him. The behavior exhibited by two of their staff was against the company’s core values, which they uphold diligently.

We Don’t Hold Grudges.

The police chief admitted they were angry at first about the incident. However, he understood that the economy is failing and the diner shouldn’t be held responsible. He stated that everyone is calm and some officers are already back to frequenting the diner. We all have to forget to move on.

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The mayor of Alexandria, Allison Silverberg, commended the hard efforts implemented by the diner’s team to correct things. He implored everyone to live in mutual respect and try to do the right thing in such situations. He recounted an identical scenario of a waitress who was honored for doing the right thing.

Why Discriminate When You Can Appreciate?

Brittany was a nice, hardworking waitress who witnessed a similar situation as the one Karl experienced. She witnessed an offensive act before her while on duty. With her strong moral compass, she couldn’t just stand by and watch others be discriminated against, especially by people who should know better.

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She requested that her boss let her switch tables, but he declined, telling her to sort it out herself. So she stood up for the underdog, since she couldn’t stand what was happening. Read on to hear how Brittany became a hero.

It All Began At Fat Joe’s Bar & Grill

The story of Brittany was what you could make as a point of reference to Nathan’s saga. She worked as a waitress at Fat Joe’s Bar & Grill in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, where the locals love to gather for a good meal.

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She was very experienced, having worked for two years at the diner. From her post behind the counter, spotted a couple coming into the diner. She straightened and walked over to them as they took their seats, eager to be of service.

The Odd Old Couples

As the elderly couple took their seats, the atmosphere became tense. Brittany noticed it, and she knew that sometimes first-time patrons reacted that way at her place of work. One could tell they were not satisfied with the place from the start. Brittany saw that the couple was uncomfortable.

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The restaurant produced fine food even though it wasn’t a five-star diner. Their food was the talk of the town, and their reputation preceded them. Brittany believed the couple would change their tune once the enthusiastic and helpful staff attended to them.

More Than The Eyes Can See

Brittany could sense that something was wrong, but she chose to disregard the feeling and tried to be a positive influence on their experience. She thought the couple were probably just having a bad day. Her optimism made her think she could bring a smile to the couple’s face in one way or another.

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As she offered them menus, they quickly made her optimism fade. The old lady scrunched her nose as if she smelled a foul odor oozing from the waitress. It perked Brittany ‘s curiosity and she inhaled deeply to check if there was a bad stench.

A Ridiculous Act

Brittany could hear some murmuring from the couple as she walked back towards the counter. Looking back, she realized they were laughing and pointing at a different customer who’d just entered the diner. The look on the customer’s face revealed obvious embarrassment.

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She didn’t find anything funny and was curious to know what could have made the old couple crack up in such a way. She decided to uncover why they’d exhibited such rude behavior toward a fellow patron.

From Eavesdropping To Discovering

The old couple continued their conversation, unaware that Brittany was right behind them at the next table. She did not eavesdrop on other people’s discussions usually, but the couple’s behavior had spiked her interest. She wanted to know why the pair were acting so off.

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She was stunned upon hearing what they were talking about; that’s terrible, she muttered under her breath. A feeling of disgust washed over her. She believed no one should treat others the way they were. Especially since they didn’t know the other customer. A dislike towards the couple was building inside her.

What Is There To Say?

When Brittany went to take the elderly couple’s order, they asked her a surprising question. They asked what she thought about the other customer. They were disgusted by the other person for no apparent reason, and they felt he should not have been allowed into the restaurant.

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Just when she thought she had seen it all, a scene began unfolding before her. She held firmly to her morals and simply told the couple she didn’t agree with their judgmental opinion of the customer. Although she was irritated, she politely walked away. Her values were important to her, and no one could change them.

Not Your Regular Waitress

Representing each customer as appropriately as she could, she requested that her manager let her switch so that she wouldn’t have to continue waiting on the rude duo. He wanted to know why she was unable to attend to the couple. She recounted their demeaning and disconcerting actions.

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Upon hearing her reason for not wanting to serve the couple, the manager refused to let her switch tables; instead, he told her to “deal with the couple.” She couldn’t stand the couple any longer, and her manager told her to go home if she didn’t intend to do her job serve them.

Not An Easy Choice

Brittany was highly sensitive when in came to human decency. She didn’t want to deal with a couple filled with disdain and mean opinions about a fellow human who had done them no wrong. She instead decided to go home as that was the best choice for her.

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Grabbing her bag, Brittany quietly stepped out of the diner. She was firm in her resolve and didn’t regret standing up for what was right. However, would this be the end of her two-year job at Fat Joe’s Bar & Grill? She wondered.

The Internet Family

When she got home; everything came rushing back to her at once. She was shocked at the response of her manager and needed to let it out. With no one to talk to, she decided to let off steam by sharing it on Facebook. In no time, comments started trickling in.

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Readers praised her for standing up for what was right. Everyone who read her post supported her. Some readers reached out to the diner regarding the situation. The diner manager was shocked that Brittany had told the public about the incident and went offline.

Going Down For Speaking Up

The next day, the diner fired Brittany from her position. What had she done to warrant this? With immense displeasure, she took to social media again to vent her frustration, sharing details about the recent events. She outlined that her morals are of great value to her, and she’d choose them over money any day.

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The diner’s management stated that they terminated Brittany ‘s appointment because she refused to carry out the job she was being paid for and not for any other reason. They seemed unconcerned about the whole situation.

At Peace Despite Being Unemployed

Brittany, on the other hand, made it clear that she had encountered similar scenarios all the time. However, this was too much for her. Her conversation with the old couple had been horrible and filled with hate, making her choose to go with her gut instead of conforming to the diners neutral stance.

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The management’s show of neutrality made people conclude that the diner would keep tolerating such a hurtful and disheartening acts. Despite remaining jobless because of her strong morals, Brittany was at peace with her choice and remained happy with her decision.

Not One, But Many

Brittany ‘s circulating post ended with a link requesting people to leave reviews on the diner’s Facebook page. She knew social media was the right place to share her opinion and make people understand the unacceptable behavior of the establishment.

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The reviews on the link Brittany posted led the diner to temporarily shut down their Facebook page. Despite the poor reviews, the diner itself stayed open. However, they received many insults from people. They were even forced to call the cops when an in-person protest broke out.

It Could Have Played Out Differently

Brittany had merely acted professionally and politely by requesting to switch to another table; however, the managers unsupportive stance regarding the gravity of the situation left her with no choice but to stand her moral ground by refusing to attend to the demands of the rude couple.

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The manager’s emphasis on “just deal with it” or “go home” showed he wasn’t attentive to his employee’s concerns. Every patron should be treated with respect and if the manager was willing to let customers mistreat each other, while also not backing up his staff, he had a problem.

The Co-owner’s Opinion

In an official interview with CBS, the co-owner of Fat Joe’s Bar & Grill, Whitney Wallender, said that all individuals are entitled to their opinions and views about whatever they want. The diner cannot stop or make people change what they think.

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When asked about the situation surrounding Brittany’s employment, Whitney explained that the management decided to let her off for the particular day that the incident happened and didn’t fire her for refusing to take the couple’s order.

A Staff Meeting

The diner’s management held a staff meeting, reviewing the situation. Some staff showed the screenshots of Brittany ‘s Facebook post. There was no direct reference to Fat Joe’s diner in any of her posts; however, her profile indicated Fat Joe’s as her official place of work, tying her post to the diner.

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The management had planned on relieving her of her duties for that day alone but reviewed their decisions after viewing her posts online. The owners, Tad and Whitney, weren’t pleased with being publicly shamed on social media. They said the action was unprofessional as it placed the diner’s reputation at risk, prompting them to fire her.

What Was Best For Business

The diner’s management understood that Brittany acted on what she viewed as right in that moment. Posting on Facebook was her way of sharing her view about her being sent home for the day. At the same time, the management also had to do what was best for business.

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Her post on the internet had affected the diner’s reputation, which was an unpleasant experience for the diner and its management. They claimed everyone has their own opinion and must live and let live. It left them with no choice but to fire her.

A Second Speech

Tad, the other owner of the diner, was interviewed by “USA Today.” He explained that many diverse situations happen in their diner, so it’s best to maintain a neutral relationship with their patrons not asserting moral or political beliefs. Their sole purpose was to treat all their customers nicely throughout their stay and provide food and drinks.

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In today’s world, social discrimination is on the rise, and this has been a trending issue on both political and social media platforms. Tad claimed that the diner’s page had been flooded with hateful comments due to Brittany ‘s post, forcing them to close their page.

On A Final Note

When asked about the customer’s identities, Tad responded that both parties were regulars at the diner. There had been no prior encounter between the old couple and the other patron before the incident at the diner occurred.

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He also maintained that Fat Joe’s always ensures neutrality and respects every staff and patron, stating that people shouldn’t commit acts of discrimination, and anyone found guilty should face the consequences.

Who Is Right?

Brittany apologized to the restaurant as she claimed it wasn’t her intention to harass them in any way. She explained that she had only requested to switch tables, as that was the only way to keep working without being in contact with rude patrons, but was denied.

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However, she outlined that the diner enabling people to engage in discrimination doesn’t bide well with “staying neutral.” She thought the diner should make a stand explaining that everyone is welcomed in their establishment and that discrimination wouldn’t be tolerated.

On The Fence

After becoming the talk of the town on social media, the diner began having second thoughts. Tad’s insistence on neutrality implied the diner welcomed anyone to dine there. However, this sent mixed signals; for it also meant the diner was open to accommodating intolerant patrons.

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Wallender had to clear the air regarding the idea their neutral stance. She stressed that anyone who came to the diner to eat, drink or what not receive the best possible service. She insisted that when the said neutral, they meant that anyone and every one is welcome in their establishment.

Standing Her Ground

Brittany explained she had no grudges against the diner despite the fact that they had fired her for trying to stick with her values. She maintained a close relationship with some of the managers and staff of the diner as they were part of the family she had built over time.

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Brittany remained firm in her values against hate, discrimination, and slander. She, however, remained optimistic that there would be changes when it came to dealing with discrimination in the diner. She wanted people to be aware of what was happening and to take proactive steps to curb such hateful actions.