Well for whatever reason today, the waitress I usually see on the morning shift was not there (she is amazing and always remembers me and we definitely have pleasant chit chat between us), and someone I recognized from an afternoon shift was there. Still someone I've seen in the past, so I thought nothing of it and picked up a newspaper to read until she was ready to take my order (the place was fairly busy, as it was 7:45ish and the pre-work crowd was in). It was getting on ten or fifteen minutes before she even glanced at me and asked if I wanted coffee. I replied yes and she put an empty cup in front of me and walked off. It was another ten minutes before she poured me any and asked for my order. I wasn't overly concerned as I had ample time before work, but I do emphasize that this level of service was very out of character for the establishment, and during my wait I saw her refresh the coffee of three different customers while offering me none. She took my order and walked off. It came out in a reasonable amount of time, but then this ridiculousness ensued:
Her: *puts my food down, eyes me and kind of chuckles* Little early for a costume? (and I emphasize that her tone was extremely condescending)
Me: Excuse me?
Her: Well it's not Halloween yet honey.
Me: I'm sorry, but I do not follow.
Her: You look like a witch.
Me: Please get me the owner.
Her: He isn't here.
Me: I can see him in the kitchen, I know who he is. (and this is true, as I had spoken to him in the past, and could literally see him in the kitchen from where I was sitting)
I don't want to make this about what I was wearing, but for the sake of clarity my wardrobe falls into the gothic/deathrock genre. I was wearing nothing offensive, no words on anything I was wearing, and nothing that would be improper for a dining establishment. While I understand it may be outside societal norms, it should never invite negative or snide comments-- especially from those in the service industry. I am a customer, regardless if I am wearing a business suit or a prom dress and purple feathered hat, if I so chose.
So I talked to the owner and told him exactly what happened. He listened to me and seemed genuinely put off by what I told him, and offered to comp my meal. I thanked him and told him I appreciated it, and that I had been patronizing the diner for several years. He remarked that he did recognize me, and apologized a second time for my treatment. Honestly I was more offended that she'd lie to me about the owner being there than anything else.
I feel good that I am able to share a story with a somewhat nice outcome, though I have no idea if that waitress was reprimanded or not. I would patronize the diner again, but with a little reservation if I saw her there once more. But I guess the only way to see if anything changes is to give them another chance.