There’s a Reddit forum where people post real-life scenarios and ask other users to tell them whether or not they’re an a**hole for reacting the way that they did. Unsurprisingly, it’s called /r/AmItheA**hole. And while this forum often provides some pretty entertaining content, this thread asking whether or not a waiter should serve a pregnant woman alcohol pretty much takes the cake.
Drinking alcohol while pregnant is a known factor in birth defects, early labor and miscarriage, so let’s make it clear up front that her deciding to drink could absolutely have an impact on her fetus.
But…is s/he the a**hole? Read on to find out…
The original post goes as follows:
AITA for serving a pregnant woman a non-alcoholic cocktail?
I have waited tables for the last three years.
During my shift last night, a group of four women in their late 20s came in. They were a pleasure to have as customers. They ordered four of our house cocktails to start with and then went over the menu for their entrees.
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.
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.
A few cocktails later (hers strictly virgin) they started getting rowdy, and Mrs. Pregnant Woman was also getting into it. I figured that since she didn’t notice, things were OK. 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. They were talking in the parking lot for the next short while, presumably waiting for an Uber.
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.
I stood my ground and told her that I’m not going to be responsible for FAS. She told me that she was taking me off the calendar until she decided what to do with me. 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.
But when I talked to my mother and father about it tonight, they told me that they understood my position. The entire staff at the restaurant is against me and I think that I’m going to call in and tell my manager that I quit, but I still feel in the right here. I would like some perspective on this and if I’m the a**hole here.
As it turns out, most people believe the server is, in fact, the a**hole.
Because they lied.
If you don’t want to serve her, don’t serve her, but don’t try to trick her for her own good.
You would not be the a**hole if you had told her what you heard and said you didn’t feel comfortable serving her alcohol. You also could’ve cut them all off once you saw that they were intoxicated. That would be actually living up to your convictions and dealing with the consequences.
And that’s not cool.
YTA. 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.
He made decisions for someone without knowing all (or even most) of the story.
YTA here, you made a lot of assumptions about a woman and a situation you don’t know anything about – she might not want to keep it, but ultimately it’s not up to you to decide what she can or can’t put into her body. In my opinion that was a pretty big violation of her freedom of choice. You did it for the right reasons I’ll grant you that, but that doesn’t make what you did right.
You just don’t do that.
I have a friend who found out her baby had died in utero when she was 8 months pregnant. From the doctor’s office she and her husband went straight into a chain bar restaurant and both ordered a double whisky.
As she was drinking hers an older lady came to lecture her how drinking could kill her baby. For obvious reasons she lost her shit.
Moral of the story: mind your own damn business, you have no idea what’s going on in other peoples lives.
YTA. You are not her dr, nor her mother, just do your damn job.
Here’s another thing… it’s against the law.
YTA here. Strictly because of how much trouble you can get the whole restaurant into for discrimination. It sucks majorly, I know that’s a shitty position to be in. But I grew up around the bar and casino industry in Mississippi, and if your morals won’t allow you to serve a pregnant woman alcohol, you tell another server or your manager and get someone else to serve her.
Is that lady making a crappy choice? Likely. But is it worth the shit storm that could happen to the restaurant, the potential closures and legal fees you might have brought down on your manager and coworkers? Not really.
Should I go on?
In fact, I don’t believe I’ve ever seen one of these posts go so heavily to one side before now.
Do you agree?
I think I do!
Let us know in the comments!