Asking Her To Stay
The waitress, who had been hiding in the back, tried to keep the chef’s gaze off of her. As the conversation continued, she appeared tense and unconsciously began to bite her nails. The meeting was adjourned by the chef, but before everyone left, he begged her to stay.
In an attempt to keep her working the same way, he thanked her for her hard work that day. His first question was to ask her how she was, hoping that all was well with her. He would be broken beyond words by what she would share.
Chris merely wanted to see his goal of being a chef come true when he made the decision to establish his own restaurant in London. He spent many years working in the service sector before transitioning into the food industry in his twenties.
He established his business after nearly twenty years of training and work experience. What a dreadful disaster it would all lead to was unknown to him.
Doing His Best
Chris was known for his dedication to his work. As a chef, he achieved great success at the age of forty after beginning as a promising cook.
Additionally, he raised a family, which included two boys in middle school, a daughter about to enter college, and a wonderful wife who taught botany at the nearby university. He was completely unaware of how a typical workweek might compromise everything he had worked so hard to achieve.
Like many working parents throughout the world, Chris discovered the ideal harmony between his profession and family. Considering how close he was to his staff, he was a father at work as well as at home.
A few months ago, Chris shared a post on social media about how much he values his colleagues. “It wouldn’t be possible for me to be anything without them. I would never allow anything to happen to them.” Unbeknownst to him, one of his workers was about to experience something terrible.
His Best Worker
Audrey had been one of Chris’s ten most valuable employees. The twenty-two-year-old waitress at his restaurant had established her value by receiving numerous compliments from the various clients she served.
She had shown herself to be a quick learner, a diligent worker, and a team player while balancing work and school as a college freshman. When she recounted what the client had done to her, Chris’s heart naturally broke.
A Busy Establishment
It was just a few days before summer came to an end when this heartbreaking incident took place. Families and friends gathered at Chris’s restaurant in search of a good time.
Chris, the owner, couldn’t be more pleased with how busy the establishment was. Every time he turned, his staff gave him another reason to be proud, and clients were always grinning while they ate and conversed. Chris didn’t know what was actually happening in the gorgeous turmoil.
A Big Bill
Everything was going great that day. Even better, one of the customers, a mother in her early forties, ran up a balance of $1200, which she gladly paid.
Chris realized he had to thank her in person because he had never collected that much money from a table before. If only he were aware of the truth.
Something Was Not Right
Chris gathered his colleagues together as the day came to a close to express his gratitude for their dedication and hard work. The procedure went well, but he couldn’t help but sense that something wasn’t quite right.
He inquired about everyone’s day in an effort to get to the bottom of the issue. At first, his workers were reticent, though a handful did express satisfaction with the day’s labor. But the horrifying truth would eventually surface.
Chris refused to look at Audrey, who had been hiding at the back. As the conversation continued, she appeared tense and unconsciously began to bite her nails. Chris adjourned the meeting, but he asked her to stay while everyone left.
She was thanked for working the day, and he hoped she would keep it up. In an effort to ensure everything was well, he then asked her how she was doing. He would be more than devastated by what she would reveal.
A Safe Space
Audrey assured her supervisor that she was fine. However, her trembling lips and watery eyes revealed a different tale. Chris enquired, “What is it?” Was it related to the university, or were her parents in trouble? Had this to do with the job?
He reassured her that his office was a secure location and told her that she was more than just a worker to him—she was a close family friend and almost like a daughter. From what she shared, he wasn’t prepared.
Audrey wiped her tears and opened up about what had happened to her that day. Chris was dumbfounded to find out that it all happened under his nose.
One of the customers had been rude to Audrey, going as far as groping her and making insensitive remarks. They disrespected Audrey throughout their stay, ruining her day at work. But what was even worse was the customer’s identity.
Audrey identified the customer as the same woman who’d spent over $1000 at the restaurant. She hated that the woman looked like an upright and respectable person. How could she do such unspeakable things to someone half her age?
Hearing Audrey speak and seeing how traumatized she was by the ordeal broke Chris through and through. He knew he needed to do something about this issue.
What To Do Next
Chris paid for Audrey’s cab home, asking her to take the rest of the week off. It’s the least he could do for now.
Alone in his office, he pulled up the day’s payments and found the woman’s email address.
Chris began his letter with a simple greeting and got down to business. “I wanted to firstly thank you for choosing my restaurant for your meal tonight,” he wrote. “I understand you had the biggest bill we’ve ever had on one table here.”
“Unfortunately, throughout the evening, I was made aware that your party’s behavior was inappropriate towards Audrey, who runs front-of-house. She has told me that as a 22-year-old-girl, she was talked down to and disrespected by you.” But the email had only begun.
“I have spent the last hour having conversations with her that break my heart, make me feel like a bad employer and a terrible dad, having my own daughter,” he continued.
“Please provide your bank details, and I will refund your entire bill of £1100 minus £100 that I believe you should have tipped Audrey, which I will pay directly to her, as you left no tip. I would thank you for never returning to my restaurant. Audrey means a lot more to me than money. Please, be better.”
Disclaimer: To protect the privacy of those depicted, some names, locations, and identifying characteristics have been changed and are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblances to actual events, places, or persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.