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If you’ve ever thought about opening your own restaurant, you might want to first consider this anecdote from Jeff Black. Black, owner of a number of neighborhood eateries including BlackSalt and Black’s Bar & Kitchen, related this sordid tale about a diner last night at Addie’s in Rockville.

The problem started, Black says, when the man paid for his meal with a credit card, which was rejected by the processing machine. It wasn’t the diner’s fault, Black notes. It’s just a glitch in the processing system; sometimes it rejects a credit card if the expiration date is too far out.

But when the waiter-trainee (and his trainer) tried to solicit another card from the diner, the man blew up, Black recalls. “He starts calling people names,” the owner says. The word “stupid” popped up.

The man wouldn’t have entered the Addie’s Asshole Hall of Fame, however, if it weren’t for what happened next. The man paid his bill and left, Black says, only to return in a few minutes. “He walks straight into the kitchen and calls the manager a bitch,” Black says.

Then the dude calls Black today to paint a picture of a victimized diner, the owner says. Black was ready for him. He gathered intel from his staff and gave the man a piece of his mind. “Just because you spend money in my restaurants,” Black says he told the diner, “doesn’t mean you can demean the staff.”

More umbrage ensued from the man, who said he would never return to a Black restaurant. “I look forward to your never coming back to my restaurants,” Black says he told him.

“Where is the civility?” Black wonders to Y&H this afternoon. “It was just an honest mistake.”

Photo by Orange_Beard, Flickr Creative Commons Attribution License