He couldn’t believe the words that came out of his stepdaughter’s mouth when the waiter accidentally spilled food on her clothes. Who would’ve thought she viewed being a server as something so small?
Just a Normal Family Dinner
The day before this story was posted, OP (Original Poster), a 42-year-old man, was dining with his wife and children, including his 16-year-old stepdaughter Hailey.
For the First Time in Forever
They chose a relatively expensive restaurant, thinking it would be better to do things properly. After all, it’s been a while since they all went out together.
A Server’s Misfortune
During dinner, as the waiter was serving one of the dishes, he accidentally tripped. OP thought he might have lost his grip, but he’s not entirely sure.
Chastised by the Teenage Customer
Some of the food fell onto Hailey’s clothes and ruined it. With that, the waiter immediately apologized, but she got furious.
Hailey then called the waiter a “b******,” saying, “Why are you a godd*** waiter if you can’t even watch where you’re going? You are already paid low, so I’d have thought you’d be more careful.”
It’s Becoming a Whole Scene!
The 16-year-old was shouting, and at that point, almost everybody in the restaurant was looking at them. OP was shocked by how his stepdaughter acted and asked her to apologize.
Spurned to Express Regret
However, Hailey refused, saying she wasn’t obligated to apologize because the waiter ruined her dress. Still, OP kept on asking her, but she didn’t listen.
I Still Hold the Power
Eventually, OP told Hailey that although he might not be able to force her to apologize, he could still refuse to pay for her. After that, he asked her to get out of the restaurant.
Take Your Tantrums Somewhere Else
Due to that, Hailey started screaming and protested against what he told her. But OP didn’t change his mind, and she still had to leave in the end.
Mom’s Defense Mode: On
After that, OP’s wife lashed out at him, telling him that he “overreacted.” She reasoned that even though what her daughter said might have been wrong, there was no absolute need to ask her to leave.
A Good Man’s Remorse
Now, OP wonders if he might have been the a**hole, thinking he shouldn’t have asked Hailey to leave.
He said, “Perhaps I should have just apologized to the waiter on her behalf and left it there. I think that by asking her to leave, I made a mountain of a molehill.”
The Community’s Perspective
Redditors agreed with what OP did and believed it was only reasonable, given his stepdaughter’s actions. They also questioned his wife’s parenting as she still defended Hailey even after seeing how disrespectful her daughter was.
The top commenter wrote, “Not the a**hole. Your stepdaughter absolutely was out of line here, and you were justified in your punishment. She can’t behave herself? Then she’s not going to be there. It was absolutely disgraceful for her to punch down on someone who made an honest mistake. Not to disrespect your wife in the slightest, but she isn’t exactly helping here. What her daughter did was an overreaction, and it should’ve been corrected right then and there by her as the biological parent.”
The same person added, “I’m not saying that she’s an irredeemable monster with anger issues. In fact, her reaction could have been genuine anger in the moment. She’s a teenager; she likely spent a ton of time getting ready and looking her best, only to have it ruined. She maybe felt annoyed to begin with having to go out with her stepfamily. There are a ton of mitigating factors there, none of which, of course, justify what she did, but knowing how she feels could seek to understand why she lashed out the way she did. If this isn’t the first time she’s done this, then it’s a problem, and your wife enabled it by taking her side right after and giving her validation for acting out like that.”
Too Much Attitude
For other users, being upset about bad and unexpected things is normal; what’s not is insulting a waiter who didn’t intentionally ruin a customer’s dress.
A Redditor said, “Not the a**hole. It’s fine for your stepdaughter to be upset, but she went too far. She berated him, disparaging his work and with profanity, in a restaurant where parents might have been with their children. She sounds rather snobbish like the wait staff are deserving of abuse since they do low-paying menial jobs. Since she’s dating age, the boys who come in contact with her might want to give her a wide berth. Isn’t how your date treats the wait staff a tell-tale sign of how they’ll treat you as a romantic partner? Moreover, you gave her more than enough chances to walk it back. She refused. She drew her line in the sand; she can live with the consequences.”
Being a Server Is No Joke
A Redditor who’s in the service industry shared their thoughts on the matter, as well as their experiences.
Someone wrote, “Not the a**hole. I have worked in the service field my entire career. As we would say, we are all human, and s*** happens. I’ve made mistakes, apologized, and then rectified the issues. That said, I would not stand for that kind of treatment from a customer, adult or child. I can understand a shock, and words slip like “Oh s***! What the f***!” Again, we’re all human, but I don’t get paid enough to be spoken to like that; it’s not going to happen. I’ve told people to calm down or leave, and I’ve escorted people to management. Good on OP for his efforts, but he needs his wife to back him up and sit her down. While at 16, she’s not an adult, but 16 is old enough to know better.”
OP was right for making his stepdaughter accountable for her rude behavior. In no way should it be tolerated, and people should always stand for righteousness.
A commenter said, “Not the a**hole at all, and I commend you for not letting this s*** slide. I also do not tolerate people in my presence being obnoxious to waitstaff for any reason. If your server is clearly indifferent or even rude, call them out calmly and assertively, ask to speak with management, and don’t leave a tip. Publicly berating and demeaning them is extremely low-class behavior. Servers are human beings, and human beings make mistakes. Trips and spills happen in restaurants. He apologized profusely for it. I’ve openly scolded dates for mouthing off to the waiter. You don’t do that in front of me.”
The same Redditor wrote, “There are some teenagers who think they can do and say whatever they want. You need to put them in their place immediately and by whatever means necessary, short of smacking them. If that takes making a scene and tossing them out of a restaurant, that’s what it takes. Your wife is no better and clearly seems to be enabling this kind of bratty, obnoxious behavior. If she’s angry with you, tell her to go pound sand. Have a backbone. Stand up for what’s right.”
Have you ever seen someone be rude to their server? Do you think OP was right for asking his stepdaughter to leave?
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This post first appeared as His 16-Year-Old Stepdaughter Insulted Their Waiter and His “Low-Paying Job” After He Accidentally “Ruined” Her Dress. She Refused to Apologize, so He Kicked Her Out Mercilessly! Was He “Overreacting?” on Quote Ambition.