Is there some unspoken, universal rule out there that decrees: All Family-Based Activities Must End In Disaster!
For every family reunion, there's that one over-served relative who's there solely to humiliate himself (and you in the process); and for every "family-style" dinner, there's that one server just waiting to insult the size of your member via your dining bill.
Or maybe that was an experience specially reserved for four unlucky diners at Peter Chang’s in Arlington, Virginia this past weekend.
According to the Washington Post, a server at the popular Szechuan restaurant — whose namesake chef was nominated for a James Beard Award this year — left notes on a customer’s receipt that read “im a [plaid] a**hole” and “I have a small penis.”
Now, before you go thinking that such a note reads as a little extreme, you should know that the reason the server saw fit to do this is because one of the diners actually dared to relay a personal anecdote about his dining experiences in Beijing!
As one of the patrons (who asked to go by Matt) shared to the Post, his party of four (some of whom were reportedly donning plaid clothing) ordered rice for their table. When the server delivered it to them in one communal bowl, Matt allegedly inquired as to why the rice had not been served in individual bowls. Matt, who had previously spent some time living in Beijing, declined the server’s offer to bring out individual bowls, and said, "Just wanted to let you know that's the way it's done in China."
Apparently, his insight went unappreciated, because when Matt and his three fellow diners were later served their check, they found the two aforementioned notes on their bill, keyed in from the restaurant’s point-of-sale (POS) system.
The guests immediately summoned the manager, Qian Cheng, who in turn summoned the server (and the additional server who typed in the lewd comments). Cheng explained that the servers had been warned before about typing (and subsequently forgetting to delete) offensive notes in diner’s bills.
If Matt and his party were hoping for a sincere apology, however, they were out of luck.
"I would say they seemed slightly embarrassed," Matt said to the Post. "It wasn't like, 'We're so sorry. This is unprofessional. We mean to treat our customers better.' It was more like, sorry-this-is-embarrassing-it-was-a-joke sorry."
Cheng was later approached by the Post for comment; while he hasn’t decided whether or not one of his servers should be fired over their offensive behavior, he has cut back on their hours, and banned them from working prime weekend shifts in the near future.
"I know it's not comfortable," Cheng said to the Post. "If somebody had given me the check, I [wouldn't] be comfortable."
Matt and his dining party were each given a $20 gift card for their troubles. Something tells us they won’t be cashing them in on a weekday.