It’s said that bad experiences make good stories, and nowhere is this truer than the murky, hit-and-miss world of modern romance. It’s a rare woman who doesn’t have at least one hilariously bad date story that she rolls out over a glass of wine – and even the most hideous of encounters can usually be endured by staying focused on the fact that you’ll soon be able to horrify your friends with it.
And if there’s one group of people guaranteed to have a wealth of dates-gone-wrong stories, it’s waiters. Working in a restaurant, bar or café can have its downsides, but one of the positives is that you have a front-row seat to all kinds of romantic encounters: the first dates, the last dates, the good, the bad and the downright ugly.
This week, waiters have been taking to user-generated news site Reddit to share their stories about the worst date they ever witnessed at work. As you might expect, they range from the toe-curlingly awkward to jaw-on-floor shocking. Let the cringing commence…
Redditor oversized_canoe shared this story, featuring the guy everyone dreads going on a date with...
“Served a couple a few months ago. Every time I walked over, he would always be the one talking, and she would just be sitting there not having a good time.
At the end I asked if it was one bill or separate and she immediately piped up ‘SEPARATE’. I go and take his payment, and as I hand over the debit machine to the girl, I see the guy take his phone out and start swiping through Tinder.”
… While frogsmouth observed a man on a date who seemed oddly familiar to many female Reddit users.
“Once witnessed a date where the dude talked about how special he was and how his mind wasn't like other people's for the entire date. The girl was politely nodding along and every time she tried to get a word in, he'd cut her off. Absolutely brutal.
EDIT: the amount of women commenting on how they've been on this exact date before is... upsetting”.
Racism under the guise of helpfulness is never a good look, as schmackers observed.
“I was working at a Mexican restaurant at the time. I was waiting on a couple and I could tell it was a first date by the questions I heard them asking each other.
Anyway, towards the end of their meal there was this Hispanic girl sweeping next to their table and the woman looks at her, holds out the remains on her plate and says, ‘would you like to take this home to feed your kids?’
I stood there in complete shock. This woman spoke no English, but she could tell this random woman was completely degrading her.
The sad thing is she seemed like she really thought she was doing a good deed. Her date looked so embarrassed.”
In a story that’s more about a “non-date” than a date, Reddit user chantalkc had to deal with the fall-out after a customer was stood up.
“I worked at a cafe and it was a small local chain so there were two other locations in the city. This guy sits down for about an hour and comes up to the counter and asks if we can call around to the other locations to see if this girl was there because they had a date planned and he was sure she must have just gone to the wrong location.
We called to the other two locations and they said they never saw anyone fitting that description.
The guy stuck around for another couple hours, buying two more drinks and a sandwich just waiting until we finally closed for the night.
I felt so awful for him! He seemed so crushed.”
Watch: Fred Sirieix on how to have a successful first date
Zafuso’s manager turned what could have been a good date into a really, really awkward one.
“A man called [the restaurant] to let me know his son was there on his very first date ever (the son was in his late twenties). [...] My boss heard and instantly went to the kitchen in order to make sure they would get a ‘special treatment.’
What followed was plates with rose petals, red hearts etc. Wayyyy over the top. When serving the plates my boss even mentioned the phone call. To finish it off the dessert came complete with fireworks and all that.
The idea was sweet, but obviously this was way too much for a first date of two people who were basically just getting to know each other. As the evening progressed the girl was visually put off by my boss trying too hard. Poor guy.
Up until then he had been doing quite well, the pair seemed to have a lovely evening. Until my try-hard boss entered the scene that is.”
One situation where the woman should have insisted on paying her share of the bill (or just walked out), courtesy of cox-e:
Images: Rex Features