Do Not Throw Unwanted Water Refills On Your Red Lobster Waitress

There are many ways to tell the restaurant employee who is currently serving your table that you are satisfied with your present quantity of ice water and would not care for a refill. “I don’t need any water, thanks,” you could say when they approach with pitcher in hand. You could shake your head “no” at them if your mouth is crammed full of breaded shrimp. In an informal establishment, you could put a paper napkin on top of your glass. We do not recommend that you follow the lead of three Illinois women, who were charged with attacking their Red Lobster waitress. A witness told the media that the trio expressed their displeasure at too-frequent refills by tossing their ice water on their waitress, then striking her with their hands. And their menus.

It all went down Friday night in the St. Louis suburb. Red Lobster detained the women until police showed up, and they’ve been charged with mob action and aggravated battery in a public place. The waitress declined medical attention: for the physical attack, not for having ice water thrown at her. In December of last year, four customers attacked another waitress at the very same restaurant, and one of them has been charged with similar crimes.

Please be nice when declining water refills.

3 Charged in Attack on Red Lobster Waitress [KMOX]


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  1. JollySith says:

    I might get violent over coffee or tea refills. It seems like eery time I get my tea sweetened just right, or just the right amount of cream in my coffee the waiter comes by and tops up my glass or mug, throwing off my balance. But ice water? What’s the harm from extra water on your table.

    • HoJu says:

      I friggen HATE that. If my cup is half full, then I still have coffee to drink. ASK if you must but don’t just walk over and put more in there! it’s common sense! Isn’t it??

      • Fubish says: I don't know anything about it, but it seems to me... says:

        Oh, the humanity!

      • YouDidWhatNow? says:

        No. Settle down. Maybe switch to decaf…

      • one swell foop says:

        Um. No. I am a server. I have been a server in fine dining for ten years. While it is my job to intuit your wants and desires while you are at my table, such an unusual preference requires that you communicate it to me explicitly. If you do not, then I will come back in a little bit and try again.

        I will not ask you every time because I don’t want to interrupt your time with your dining companions with whom you are presumably enjoying yourself, in between neurotic fits, of course.

        If you want to be left alone until you want your coffee or tea refilled, tell your server that you have it just right and will ask for a refill when you are ready for one. Generally, at that point, the server will communicate to the assistants that they should not refill until requested. Sometimes one of the assistants does not get the word and will try to. Don’t freak out.

        If you really object to verbally communicating your desire once, when you see someone approach to fill your cup, place your hand above your glass.

        • JollySith says:

          To be clear I wouldn’t actually get violent. I have a full decade of table waiting and restaurant management. I do also make it clear to servers that i will let them know if I need a refill. However I also trained my waitstaff to ask before topping up tea or coffee.

          • one swell foop says:

            That was more to HoJu than to you. When my guests are in conversation I usually pause with the french press tilted above the cup before pouring to give the guest a moment to notice and object. Most people where I live don’t drink hot tea with dinner and only drink sweet iced tea, which we do not serve. Since the sweetener dissolves differently in cold water they typically find un-sweet tea with added sweetener insufficient.

    • Duke_Newcombe-Making children and adults as fat as pigs says:

      #firstworldproblems ?

  2. Hagetaka says:

    In those ladies’ defense, Red Lobster waitresses seem unusually aggressive in refilling glasses. Neither polite words nor rude words nor physically blocking the glass with my arm would stop them. They gang up on you, too. Two of them held my arms down while one poured my sweet tea to overflowing, laughing derisively the whole time. They poured a whole pitcher of Sprite in my kid’s sippy cup, and “forgot” to take the lid off first..

    Then they hit me in a face with a cheddar biscuit. And called me a wimp.

    When I came out to my car, they had keyed into the side of my car “TIPS APPRECIATED. < 20 PERCENT OR GO TO OUTBACK, CHEAPSKATE". I thought that was kind of unnecessary.

    • spartan says:

      In their defense. We are in the middle fo the worst lobster glut in America’s history.

      These women are working 80 to 120 hours a week just to keep the supply chain moving.

      Besides what kind of parent lets their kid drink non-caffeinated soft drinks?

      • McRib wants to know if you've been saved by the Holy Clown says:

        Worst lobster glut?
        More like the BEST lobster glut!


        • Diabolos needs more socks says:

          Instead of assaulting the waitress, they should’ve just said “Hold! What you are doing to us is wrong! Why do you do this thing?”.

        • The Beer Baron says:

          I suppose if you enjoy eating giant ocean-going cockroaches, you might consider it such. I however, will stick to eating crab, as the Good Lord intended.

          • McRib wants to know if you've been saved by the Holy Clown says:

            There is a reason an STD was named after crabs, but none after lobsters, you heathen.

            • RogueStomper says:

              I knew a guy in the Navy who had the STD crabs that were so large, they WERE lobsters. Penicillin and melted butter cured him.

              • mharris127 says:

                Where do you think crabs come from? They don’t come from the water but from humans. :)

                Seriously, who is dumb enough to think he can get away with assaulting a waitress in this day and age?

    • SecretAgentWoman says:

      Sprayed coffee and granola. Do you know how hard that is to get out of a keyboard?!

    • Blueskylaw says:

      Having read thousands of stories and many more replies
      on Consumerist, I’m not sure that you’re actually kidding.

      • mianne prays her parents outlive the TSA says:

        They didn’t even get to the part where the waitstaff upsold dessert to the customer while brandishing steak knifes and claw crushers!

    • Chuft-Captain says:

      Less than 20 percent or go to Outback? Seems like they weren’t THAT worried about the tip then…

  3. spartan says:

    I just saw a news report from Memphis about how the Mississippi River is at the lowest level and years and barge traffic has had to come to a stop.

    Meanwhile upriver in St. Louis they are using water to douse over-eager waitresses.

    Life just isn’t fair.

  4. HomerSimpson says:

    Probably some company metric which dictates it (just in case a mystery shopper/diner shows up).

  5. GMFish says:

    There’s a St. Louis Florida now?

  6. 2nd party post dated counter check says:

    Red lobster, for the seafood brawler in you !

  7. Harry Greek says:

    ,… ‘MURICA; if we aren’t punching laboring senior citizens in the face, we are a LEAST dowsing the hard working class with water.

    TAKE THAT, you proletarians!!

    • Blueskylaw says:

      If you weren’t already a card carrying member, I would
      have you sent to a re-education through hard labor camp.

  8. Uncle Don says:

    I know you already know what species of animal would do something so uncivilized but I went to the story just to confirm that they didn’t let me down. They didn’t……so predictable.

    • Harry Greek says:

      Hey, look at that, it only took a dozen comments for someone to go there.

      Were you late to work? Or you haven’t had your coffee yet??

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      Species = human, a.k.a. homo sapien.

      If you’re going to be racist, at least have the balls to be honest about it.

      • Velvet Jones says:

        Is it still racist even if it is true? Go on and make your excuses, but there is an undeniable pattern with these incidents.

        • Jayus says:

          Are you sure it’s undeniable? This sounds more like confirmation bias. What brought you to the conclusion that there is an “undeniable” pattern?

          • Velvet Jones says:

            OK, find an instance of another group of people launching an unprovoked attack against wait staff, clerk, or any other type of service provider. I’m not sure if race has anything to do with it, but culture certainly does. A culture were feeling “dissed” is a free pass to brutally attack someone is accepted and even encouraged.

            • AstroPig7 says:

              I think you listen to too much gangsta rap.

            • cactus jack says:
              • Velvet Jones says:

                Oh wow, you’ve just complete changed my mind. Maybe you could run for mayor of Chicago. Tell all of the people that the increasing violent crime is all the work of the evil media and lying tea party members.

                • JJFIII says:

                  It’s fine if you wan tto be a racist moron, but facts don’t lie

                  Federal Bureau of Prisons inmate population
                  White: 129,219 (59.2 %)
                  Black: 81,405 (37.3 %)
                  Native American: 4,004 (1.8 %)
                  Asian: 3,491 (1.6 %)

                  Want an even better statistic that shows what a moron you are:

                  Inmates By Gender
                  Male: 203,893 (93.5 %)
                  Female: 14,226 (6.5 %)

                  So it goes to show you the most dangerous people int he world are white males.

                  • TheMansfieldMauler says:

                    Your own statistics disprove your point when you look at the percentage of inmate population as compared to the percentage of general US population (about 12% for Black).

                    Also you deliberately chose a single prison system, and I suspect the one with the most “unskewed” population percentages.

                    Try again.

                    • AstroPig7 says:

                      Where did you get 12%? The U.S. Census Bureau estimates just over 40.8 million Black citizens in the U.S., and the federal prison statistic JJFIII cited implies an incarceration rate of 0.199%, not 12%. (The same data gives an incarceration rate of 0.053% for White citizens.)

                    • TheMansfieldMauler says:

                      I wasn’t saying 12% of the given population is incarcerated in that prison system.

                      I was saying that about 12% of the population of the USA is “Black”, but as the stat above shows over 37% of prisoners are “Black”.

                      The point is that the prison population statistics do not mirror the US population statistics. JJFIII’s supposed point is invalidated by the very statistics he/she posted.

                    • AstroPig7 says:


                      It depends on what the question is. If it’s “what is the likelihood is in prison”, then we should look at the total population. If it’s “what is the likelihood prisoner is ”, then JJFIII is on the right track.

                      Unfortunately, these statistics say nothing about whether the crime committed was violent, so JJFIII’s point was doubly moot.

                    • AstroPig7 says:

                      Ugh! My variables were treated as HTML tags. I meant to insert “person of certain race” where words are obviously missing in my hypothetical questions.

                  • Velvet Jones says:

                    This is the federal system, which makes up less than 10% of the total number of incarnated individuals in the US. If you’re going to make an argument, at least try and make it even somewhat believable.

                  • Costner says:

                    Not to split hairs here, but as a percentage of total population blacks are much more likely to be in prison. Then if you look at just those between the ages of 18 and 30 it is even more skewed.

                    Now that doesn’t mean race is the determining factor… It could very well be due to socioeconomic status, education level, byproducts of single parent homes or drug/alcohol use or a million other possibilities. However it isn’t early as easy to separate people based upon those features and is much easier to use gender, race, or age etc.

                    Point being – if you look at straight race and percentages in context, blacks are much more likely to be in the US prison system. I don’t want to give the race-baiters more ammo, but that is just a fact.

                    • Velvet Jones says:

                      The problem is there are too many people the JJFIII that have a knee jerk reaction to any mention of race, and that doesn’t help any more then having the same views as the Klan. America has become so PC and shy of controversy that they will not even attempt to discuss problems that are happening it certain communities or demographics. They would rather blame other people or throw money at the problem then sit down and work on a solution.

                • cactus jack says:

                  You asked for it and I found you examples rather quickly. Sorry if that bothers you.

                  • Velvet Jones says:

                    You found single perps. How about groups? All groups of people have nut jobs. It’s more disturbing when you find groups of three or more that commit these types of incidents.

        • Costner says:

          Jackasses come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. Not sure one is any worse than the other. That being said, I have noticed in some cases people exclude factors such as race when reporting a story because they don’t want to be perceived as racist. So is purposefully avoiding the subject just another form of racism?

        • Hoss says:

          Of course when white wimmin throw something at a negro server, management fires the server — no news there.

        • poco says:

          Yep. I was thinking that myself.

      • Golfer Bob says:

        This is why I support harsher penalties for 8 year old shoplifters. Then we wouldn’t have these types of problems.

    • Evil_Otto would rather pay taxes than make someone else rich says:

      Yeah. 1961 called, it wants its attitude back.

      You don’t have to be to be an asshole.

      • Evil_Otto would rather pay taxes than make someone else rich says:

        Crud. That should have been (less than)race(greater than). Tags get stripped out apparently.

  9. Blueskylaw says:

    Were the women also charged with mayhem?

  10. dolemite says:

    Well, at least they didn’t break her fingers.

  11. dicobalt says:

    There has to be more to this story and I’m bored so here is how it probably went:

    They all show up to the restaurant, they get their seats and food. The waitress comes over to refill their water and they tell her they have enough. Some time passes and the waitress comes over and refills the water (because that’s her job) but she forgets they didn’t want anymore or perhaps the waitress doesn’t quite realize how important water conservation is to these 3 women. Then the 3 women get all bitchy. Then the waitress without realizing what she just did, comes back to refill water again and the waitress doesn’t understand why the 3 women are such bitches. So then the waitress decides she should be a bitch also and goes to refill the water anyway. Then the bitchyness hits critical mass and estrogen ignites.

    • RadarOReally has got the Post-Vacation Blues says:

      Maybe you should also speculate on how PMS was involved. “bitchyness hits a critical mass and estrogen ignites”?

  12. eccsame says:

    What did you expect from a Red Lobster in St. Louis? If it’s anything like Baltimore, I’m guessing that Red Lobster isn’t one that most reasonable people would step foot into.

  13. Kuri says:

    Eh, I get depressed when I’m reminded that we apparently live in a world where it’s been deemed ok to be nasty to people you perceive as “beneath” you.

  14. CanadianDominic says:

    Just leave the water glass full? Waitress cannot refill a glass thats already topped off?

  15. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    Mob action? Really?

    • cactus jack says:

      Sec. 25-1. Mob action.
      (a) A person commits the offense of mob action when he or she engages in any of the following:
      (1) the knowing or reckless use of force or violence

      disturbing the public peace by 2 or more persons acting together and without authority of law;
      (2) the knowing assembly of 2 or more persons with

      the intent to commit or facilitate the commission of a felony or misdemeanor; or
      (3) the knowing assembly of 2 or more persons,

      without authority of law, for the purpose of doing violence to the person or property of anyone supposed to have been guilty of a violation of the law, or for the purpose of exercising correctional powers or regulative powers over any person by violence.

  16. triana says:

    Do you know how many times I’ve gone to dinner and had an empty glass for most of my meal, with the server nowhere to be found? It might be annoying if she keeps coming back every five minutes, but at least she’s doing her job.

  17. RadarOReally has got the Post-Vacation Blues says:

    “…Red Lobster detained the women until police showed up, and they’ve been charged with mob action and aggravated battery in a public place.”

    This makes it sounds like Red Lobster had been charged with mob action and aggravated battery. I had to read the sentence several times, because I thought the Red Lobster employees had been charged because they detained the customers.

    Technically, I suppose it truly reads like the police have been charged. The “they” is a big too vague here.

  18. tidomonkey says:

    I know people like to play devil’s advocate here, but anyone siding with these women should be ashamed.

    • Difdi says:

      You don’t have to side with the women to point out poor grammar.

      As for you, I’d suggest a remedial English class, since you completely missed the point of the post you replied to.

      • Difdi says:

        My apologies. That odd vertical line to the left of your post made it look like a reply to the one above it.

  19. dush says:

    Why did they still have their menus?

  20. Aliciaz777 says:

    I feel really bad for the waitress. Servers have to deal with idiots all day long and said idiots have no right to treat them like they’re less than human just because they work in the food service industry. Servers are performing a job and that job happens to suck, but that doesn’t mean people have the right to act like they’re above them, especially the types that get all high and mighty when it comes time to leave the tip. “Oh, server Jane was took a minute too long to refill my soda, minus $1 from her tip for that”. You know those types. Be nice to your server, they could be having a crappy day and saying “Please” and “Thank You” and treating them like an equal could make that crappy day just a little better.

  21. Cerne says:

    How hard is it to put your hand over your glass?

    • Evil_Otto would rather pay taxes than make someone else rich says:

      How hard is it to not physically assault someone if they give you more water?

  22. steveliv says:

    don’t get in between three women and their endless shrimp…

  23. Difdi says:

    I could sort of see a bad reaction being justified if someone starts giving you endless refills of something that doesn’t have free refills. I’ve encountered things like that a few times, where the server circulated through and refilled my soft drink without saying a word, then had three, four or five soft drinks appear on the bill when I thought I’d only ordered one (the worst offender was this place that had very small soft drink glasses, that wound up charging me $2 a glass for the first one that I did order, plus eight refills I never asked for).

    But for something complimentary, there’s just no excuse.