A woman had worked as a waitress for three years, and felt like she had ‘seen it all’. However, little did she know that a pregnant customer would soon lead her to question her own hospitality practices.
The Pleasant Group
One day during a shift, the woman had the pleasure of serving a friendly group of four women in their late twenties. They started with four house cocktails and delved into the menu for their entrées.
A Hidden Truth
As the waitress approached their table with the drinks, a conversation snippet caught her attention – one of the women mentioned being ‘14 weeks along’. When she returned to the table, it became evident that the topic was about pregnancy. Despite this, the group ordered alcoholic drinks, leaving the waitress in a dilemma.
A Concerned Decision
Concerned about the expectant mother’s well-being, the waitress decided to take action. When the group requested another round of drinks, she secretly asked the bartender to make one of them a virgin cocktail without the group’s knowledge.
The Rowdy Turn
As the evening progressed, the cocktails flowed, and the atmosphere grew rowdier. The pregnant woman, oblivious to the substitution, joined in the fun. The waitress, though uneasy, hoped that her actions were for the best.
Splitting the Bill
When it was time to settle the bill, the group requested separate checks. As the pregnant woman reached the counter, she noticed her cocktails were marked as ‘virgin’. The waitress’ attempt to safeguard her was exposed.
A Difficult Conversation
The pregnant woman confronted the waitress. “She asked what ‘virgin’ on the receipt meant”, the woman explained. “I fessed up that it meant non-alcoholic. She blankly stared at me for a few seconds and then asked if she had ordered a non-alcoholic cocktail. I said no, but told her that I assumed she wanted one seeing as she was pregnant.”
A Request for a Refund
In response to the revelation, the pregnant woman requested a refund of her portion of the tip. The waitress complied, not wanting to escalate the situation further.
The Manager’s Wrath
However, the incident didn’t end there. The pregnant woman brought the matter to the manager, resulting in a heated confrontation. “My manager took me into her office and literally shrieked at me until hoarse”, the woman remembered.
A Moral Stand
The waitress stood her ground. “I told my boss that I’m not going to be responsible for FAS (Fetal Alcohol Syndrome)”, the woman recounted. “She told me that she was taking me off the calendar until she decided what to do with me. She informed me that I could get the restaurant in serious trouble for discrimination, and upon examination of my state’s laws, she was correct.”
Having Two Minds
The woman was stuck between two minds on the conundrum. On one side, she believed that regardless of state laws, it was against her moral compass to serve a pregnant lady an alcoholic beverage. However, she did recognize that this was the pregnant lady’s choice to make and not hers.
The woman headed to her favorite online agony aunt page, telling her story and waiting for public responses. However, the woman was surprised to learn that most readers defended the pregnant lady. “You assumed a lot about a woman and a situation you don’t know anything about”, one person stated. “That was a pretty big violation of her freedom of choice.”
Even considering the customer’s pregnancy, some people felt strongly against the waitress’ non-consensual order change. “If I were your manager, I would’ve fired you on the spot”, another commenter wrote. “While I agree that pregnant women shouldn’t be drinking, you NEVER change a customer’s order without their consent.”
They Were Both Wrong
However, whilst the waitress was generally criticized, readers as a whole at least saw her perspective. “It’s both of your faults”, one reader stated. “She sucks for obvious reasons… but you also suck because you had no way to prove she was pregnant. You altered her drink without informing her, and you made a big decision without speaking to your manager.”
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