The world’s most reasonable customer
“I was having lunch at a TGI Friday's with a friend of mine. The restaurant was fairly empty, only a couple of tables occupied. There was a 20-something girl sitting alone and reading something, keeping notes and looking pretty distracted.
“When the waiter served her a salad, she smiled, thanked him, and returned to her pile of books. She was sitting right next to our table, so we were in luck for what was about to come. She started moving her fork around in the salad, not really noticing what she was doing, taking small bits and eating them without even looking. Suddenly she stopped, fork midway to her mouth, took a good, long look and placed it back on the plate. She stopped eating but did not call a waiter over.
“When he came to check on her, she said: ‘Can you please take the salad away?’ He asked if there was a problem, and she replied ‘I wouldn't want to be a bother, but there's a caterpillar in it, and I happen to have had my protein for the day.’ She said it in a cheerful tone, not in an ironic way. The waiter panicked, apologized profusely, and removed the salad immediately.
“Not long afterwards, the manager arrived to the table to apologize personally and tell her they were replacing the salad, which would be comped. She smiled again, told him not to worry, she did not need it to be comped and the caterpillar was actual proof that their greens were fresh and tasty.
“The waiter came with a new salad. The girl fiddled with the greens once again and did not even take a bite. The server came back and asked anxiously if everything was OK. She replied, and I quote: ‘It looks amazing, and there certainly is no caterpillar in here. But you forgot that I’m allergic to celery and did not remove it, like you did with the first one. Now, I wouldn't want to become a liability by eating this. Besides, bloated, red, and puffy doesn't look good on me.’ She was not the least bit upset, though the waiter was mortified.
“The manager came over once again, and she reassured him it was no problem at all, told him the server was great and very helpful, and that mistakes happen all the time. No biggie.
“In the end the server comped her a giant chocolate-covered dessert as a thank you for her impossibly nice demeanor, and she left him a note on the receipt. Yeah, we checked it out, how could we not? Wouldn't you?
“‘You will need it for a good drink to calm you down, you look like you deserve it’ was written, under a $50 tip on a less than $10 meal after the comped salad and dessert.” -- Christina Spiriakos [Editor’s Note: Holy crap.]