A TikTok user has gone viral after sharing a story from early in her career in which a waiter commented on her appearance, claiming her ‘low-cut’ shirt proved she was of drinking age.
In a video with over 456,000 views, user Olivia (@oliviamancuso__) says she was 23 and working as a reporter in a small town in Iowa when she decided to go out to dinner with some of his friends, who were also journalists.
Olivia ordered a glass of wine, prompting the waiter to ask her if she was of drinking age.
“I’m like, ‘Oh, yeah, I’m 23. I can show you my ID,'” Olivia recalled. “She’s like, ‘No, you know, I guess I trust you. It’s just that when girls wear such low-cut shirts, they’re trying to look older, so I just want to make sure.
“By the way, my shirt wasn’t low-cut at all,” Olivia adds.
In the caption, Olivia says the experience was “the strangest, most uncomfortable encounter I’ve ever had in a restaurant and it only got worse from here.”
@oliviamancuso__ This was the weirdest, most uncomfortable encounter I’ve ever had in a restaurant and it only got worse from here on out #restaurantstory #storytime #serverstorytime ♬ original sound – oliviamancuso__
In response, Olivia says she simply brushed off the encounter and continued with her meal, aware that she was a local celebrity given her television appearances.
But upon paying, Olivia says the waiter was nowhere to be found, even appearing to intentionally ignore Olivia when she made eye contact.
After a considerable wait, Olivia says she decided to approach someone who appeared to be a manager so she could pay her bill. She asks to pay, then after a brief interaction, escalates the comment made by the waiter.
The manager apologizes profusely and offers to compensate parts of the meal. Olivia refuses, saying she just wanted to bring the action to the manager’s attention as it made her “really uncomfortable”.
She says the table got a discount on their meal. However, when the server in question dropped off the check to sign, Olivia alleges that the server said sarcastically, “I heard I made you feel uncomfortable.” Olivia claims she said that, to which the waiter allegedly responded with a flimsy apology.
Despite this, Olivia says she tipped 20%.
However, the story wasn’t over, as she revealed in a second video.
@oliviamancuso__ In response to @oliviamancuso__ yikes sorry here’s part 2 #serverstorytime ♬ original sound – oliviamancuso__
A few days later, Olivia says she was called into her chief information officer’s office. There, the manager questioned her about the incident in the restaurant, later revealing that he had received a letter claiming to be from another patron of the restaurant that evening.
This “customer” claimed that Olivia was actually wearing “very revealing clothes” and made the waiter cry after he was rude to her.
Fortunately, Olivia says the other reporters at the dinner were able to back up her story and allow her version of events to be believed. Also, upon further investigation, Olivia learned that the letter was not written by a customer, but by the server’s aunt, and that the server was related to the owners of the restaurant.
“Don’t lie to a bunch of journalists, because we’ll find out the truth,” concludes Olivia.
In the comments, viewers supported Olivia.
“I swear this server made the comment because she was insecure/bullied and just didn’t think she would be timed on it,” one user wrote.
“Jealousy, pure and simple,” added another. “Sorry you had to deal with that.”
“It was inappropriate for a service person OF ANY DESCRIPTION to comment on any aspect of a customer’s appearance. Period,” a third shared.
Others have come up with similar server horror stories.
“My husband and I went to the restaurant for our anniversary. The waiter came over and pointed to my tummy and said ‘Oh we’re celebrating a new baby too’,” one commenter recalled. “I wasn’t pregnant.”
“I once told a waiter in a shirt that I was getting married soon and she told me not to order what I wanted and that I should order the light menu,” said a second.
The Daily Dot contacted Olivia via email.
*First published: September 18, 2022, 11:28 a.m. CDT