I’ll tell ya what to do with yer beans and franks

Sometimes we all lose awareness of our surroundings. It happens.

But sometimes we’re just plain oblivious.

While delicious, I’m pretty sure the kitchen doesn’t have hotdogs

I once worked in a fine dining restaurant. White linen table cloths, a little stool for your purse, champagne cocktails. A pianist playing light jazz standards. The whole bit. We also catered to a large tourist, bus tour thing, which given the nature of the restaurant, was a little weird. So you can imagine that this wasn’t the only occurrence of this type.

Anyway, regular day. Busy lunch with regulars and some tourists when this bus arrives. But we hadn’t been given the usual heads-up by the tour company. So out of the blue this puts us all in a scramble. I was host that day and trying to make sure all the tables could be looked after was a challenge. Finally we had everyone seated (full bus of 60 plus all the other diners that were already there) and the regular hum of the restaurant began again. Then this man, last one off the bus I guess, waltzed through the dining room. He weaved in around the well-laid tables and in a booming voice—directed at no one in particular really and drowning out the piano—said, “DO Y’ALL HAVE FRANKS AND BEANS FOR THE KIDDIES?”

Where did he possibly think he was?

Wait a minute—there was no dinner theatre sign when we walked in

We went to this nice Japanese place years ago in Ontario. Everything was great. The staff were friendly and attentive. Our appetizers were superb. But as we were waiting for our mains a woman threw open the front door of the restaurant. She pulled so hard that the door banged on the outside wall. She stormed through the dining room in high heels and an expensive looking dress and went into the kitchen. We were seated pretty close to the kitchen doors and all we heard once they swung closed was thumping and banging and screaming and yelling. It was like sound effects for a Warner Bros cartoon. We didn’t know what was happening and I said to my friends that having (what sounded like) a fight in a kitchen isn’t safe. That’s where the knives are kept.

We weren’t sure what to do. We hadn’t eaten our mains so of course we didn’t have our bill but it sounded like all hell breaking loose in the kitchen. Before we could figure out what to do the kitchen doors swung open and the woman came flying out backwards. Still on her feet, she started for the kitchen again when one of the cooks came out and somehow managed to get his arms around her with her back to him. She was wild, crying and kicking, losing her heels in the process. He carried her over to the front door and went to put her out. She used her feet to brace herself against the door frame but eventually he got her out onto the sidewalk. She made to come in the front door but he held it closed while yelling at her in what I can only assume was Japanese.

Finally she stomped away, shoes in hand.

The cook apologized to the room and then went to each table to apologize again. We just asked for our bill so we could leave. That would be, I would guess, the worst night he had ever had.

We are hoping you can be a part of this series by submitting firsthand experiences of imperious/generous bosses, difficult/wonderful guests, and your own and others’ faux pas or feats. Please send stories to or private message on social media.

Thanks to everyone for their submissions!

About Rod Weatherbie

Rod Weatherbie is a writer working in the hospitality industry. He spent a number of years in Toronto as a member of the financial press before returning to PEI. Rod has published one piece of short fiction, one book of poetry, and has had work published in Red Shift, the Antigonish Review, Mitre, and the Toronto Quarterly. He has also recently co-produced, co-directed, and acted in a stage production of old television shows.

He also likes writing about food. Go figure.

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