rude to staff

Outside work I rarely end up in conflict with staff anywhere unless they are jobsworth to the letter on an stupid issue and rude about it.

The Question

Why do people not understand what being rude is always about? I find it interesting that the concept of customer service has changed to mean a manager tries to chastise me when his staff perceive rudeness when none was intended. I think a normal customer would have complained about the experienced member of staff refusing to entertain customer views. Really it would only have taken a polite phrase to end it but they were not well trained.

In this modern world – is it better to be the first to complain. I was much shorter with the manager than to the staff yet in either case I see no reason to complain. This was normal interaction. I asked the manager if he had achieved what he wanted from our conversation. He said yes, therefore I can only assume he has no reason to complain either.

When are we going to start taking responsibility for our own emotional state?

It is that experienced member of staff’s choice to be offended and if I was rude – is dealing with that not part of her job?

Tonight I had some conflict over a stupid system that I am told is policy. I will give details on that stupidity, in case you want the detail, at the end.

This interaction involved a manager of some staff behind the bar in a food service area at a David Lloyd sports centre. 

A new member of staff who was being taught, an existing member of staff doing the teaching and a third members of staff who only heard my last interaction. This last member of staff was legitimate in his understanding of me being short with the others because in this last interaction – I was. 

Prior to his interaction below I had agreed to bring my account to the bar to pay for each and every item separately due to the stupidity of this system and not having a credit card on me. 

  • This third staff member mentioned about me setting up a tab.
  • I said it was not a tab as she would not let me set up a tab (noting the experienced person). 
  • She stated that this was policy.
  • I said that I could have a tab – I was short in this interaction. 

This interaction was really not the issue. The main issue was that I was decended upon by a manager called Mark. Mark came up to my table, 15 mins later, and in quite an angry manner sat down saying I had been rude to 3 of his staff. This started as a landslide in one direction. 

In dealing with this I admitted:

  • I was short with those staff. 
  • I had signed a name that was not my own (common point that makes no difference and should highlight that I had not been asked to sign the accound sheet – something they should be doing to get a signature comparison).
  • I had torn up my receipt and asked them to destroy it (something I have always done as I do not keep these receipts).
  • I also challenged him on the method of approach he had to arriving with me on the table. After he admitted he should have asked my experience before trying to chastise me like a child we discussed that this situation with the tab is a ludacrous policy – according to him PTI policy.

In a quick calculation about how much money my company has spent in this establishement since mid October. I think it is about £780.

As the contract for myself and other colleagues (I am not the only one who stays here) coming to do this work is ongoing. A reasonably large sum is to be paid to this establishment over the next few years.


In every PTI restaurant in the country including independent pubs I take my business account sheet to the bar where I get food and drinks then I pay. If there are excess charges I pay them.

Indeed the site info (shown in this image) from

tells me I can pay for food etc

I do not need a credit card.

We (the company) have been using PTI or back then travel inn for about 15 years. I have been booked by the company through a business account for several of those years probably nearly a decade. I have never in this time come across the following stupid system.

I turn up to order and I must get a receipt for the soup and the drink and sign. Then when I decide on a main I go back up queue, order and sign a new receipt.

Later I fancy another drink and again queue, order pay.

Then the same for dessert and another drink. 

Each time due to the issue around the card number going through the till can take 10 mins. If I had a tab they would serve me at my table.

I have on several occasions placed a card behind the bar when I believe I will go over the tab amount. Travelinn business account advertises not needing credit cards or receipts.