Server Wants to Know If They’re the Jerk For Serving Pregnant Woman Virgin Cocktails When She Ordered Real Ones
After working as a server for three years, Reddit user YouGottaStopThat had an experience that made him wonder if what he did was right or wrong. At the time, he didn’t question his decision at all, but then his manager got mad at him.
It was an ordinary shift, and there were four ladies sitting together at a table. They ordered cocktails, and the server didn’t think anything of it and took the order. Here’s where it starts to get complicated.
“When I was on my way back to their booth with the drinks on a tray, I walked by the back side and overheard one of them talking about how she was 14 weeks along. When I rounded back, they were talking about the same topic and it was clear to me that she was pregnant. I figured her having one drink wasn’t a big deal. They ordered their entrees and I went off to handle other tables.”
At this point, everything is fine. It probably wasn’t a good idea for the pregnant lady to drink alcohol, but the server justified it in his mind and went on working as usual. The problem is that the ladies ordered another round of drinks.
“About five minutes later, they called me over again and asked for another round. At this point I started getting concerned, but I took the order and cheerfully said I’d be right back. This time, I went to the bartender, and asked him to make one of them a virgin cocktail. He was confused but since he’s a good friend of mine, I told him to just trust me.”
The ladies continued to order more and more rounds of cocktails, and each time, without telling the women at the table what he was doing, the server gave the pregnant lady a virgin cocktail. He thought he was going to get away with it, but the receipt gave it away.
“The problem came when I took them their check, and they asked to split the bill at the register. When Mrs. Pregnant Woman got to the counter, I saw her cocktails were marked with (virgin). My bartender had edited each in the system for inventory.
It was too late for me to edit them back, so I just had her pay, hoping that she wouldn’t look at the receipt. They all thanked me and left, leaving a generous tip in the process.”
Still, it seems like the server almost got away with it, but he was not so lucky.
“Several minutes later Mrs. Pregnant Woman came back and asked what (virgin) on the receipt meant. I fessed up that it meant non-alcoholic. She blank stared 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. It was a lame lie and I’ll admit it, but she looked me in the eye and asked me to return her part of the tip. I did so. Then she talked to my manager. My manager took me into her office and literally shrieked at me until hoarse.”
The server goes on to explain that he still thinks he made the right decision since a pregnant woman should not be drinking alcohol. He told his manager, “I’m not going to be responsible for FAS.”
The manager responded by taking the server off the calendar and telling him about all the trouble his lying could have caused.
“She also informed me that I could get the restaurant in serious trouble for discrimination, and upon examination of my state’s laws, she is correct.”
Yet, this server still stands by his convictions and says he plans to quit. His parents are on his side too. Everyone at the restaurant was mad at him though, so it made him wonder if what he did was wrong after all.
The Reddit community weighed in, and the overwhelming majority felt that he was in fact in the wrong. While nobody believes that a pregnant woman should be drinking alcohol, nobody seems to feel that it’s okay to change a customer’s order without their knowledge. Instead, he should have confronted the customer about what he heard, told his manager the situation or asked another server to handle the table.
Reddit user laraaar explained, “OP should’ve handled the situation differently. Maybe spoken with his manager, and maybe they should’ve spoken to the customer, saying that if a customer is pregnant, she isn’t allowed/recommended alcohol. Or maybe just mentioned it to her; “we cannot recommend drinking when pregnant” to get a chance to hear if it’s accurate that she’s pregnant (though it seemingly is). Intentions – good, execution – bad and unprofessional.”
Reddit user Khal_Aegon wrote, “I’ve spent most of my working years in food service, and half of that time has been in management. If I was your manager, I would’ve fired you on the spot. While I agree that pregnant women shouldn’t be drinking, you NEVER change a customer’s order without their consent. If you had an issue with her drinking, you should have taken it to your manager and let her deal with the situation.”
Multiple Reddit users highly doubt that the woman was even pregnant. Reddit use ClaireTrap wrote, “I mean she could’ve been 14 weeks along on a new diet or workout schedule. OP definitely didn’t give any further info on why she assumed this woman was pregnant. Also, you can’t inflict your personal morals on other people. She’s within her rights to be an idiot and drink while pregnant or perhaps she was planning to abort.”
Reddit user HyacinthFT added, “This is what does it for me. It seems actually unlikely that the woman was pregnant. The OP heard some parts of a conversation, without even getting full context. Then the group of women orders drink after drink. Everyone knows you don’t drink if you’re pregnant (ok, there’s debate over one drink every now and then, but not “lets get drunk at a bar” kind of drinking). None of the other women said anything. Now, it could be that Ms. Preggers found the only three people on the planet who don’t know about fetal alcohol syndrome. OR – and this seems more likely – the OP completely misunderstood their conversation and that’s why no one in the group said anything.”
Do you think the server made a bad decision by changing the drinks to virgin cocktails?