Mini Meltdown

I had a terrible experience on Saturday night. My sister was visiting us on her way to the UK so after the rugby ended on Saturday evening we decided to go out for dinner. Im in two minds whether I should mention the restaurants name? For SA readers, I’ll give you a clue – it’s a very famous seafood chain with the initials “JKP”.


Anyway we arrive around 7:00pm and decided to sit outside which also happens to be the smoking section. And no I didn’t even have a ciggie and after this incident I swear I could have smoked a pack BUT I didn’t.


Our starters arrived so we started eating. There was a large table inside where the majority of the people sitting there were smokers so they kept on coming outside to smoke. That wasn’t the problem. A couple had their very small, probably around 1 year old daughter crawling around on the floor. She kept on crawling outside and coming between our legs, still not a problem – we just carried on chatting and eating. The mother of the child was also a smoker and sat at the empty table behind us with her daughter on her lap and lit up, the father, also a smoker did the same. She finished before him and went back inside and the father thought it would be a good idea to sit on the floor, about 1m away from our table, with the daughter between his legs – still not really a problem but I was starting to get a bit irritated with the whole situation. This guy had his legs stretched out and under my sister’s chair. I wanted to call the manager but thought I would just let it slide. The fact that he was blowing smoke into the baby’s face also bugged me a bit but again – its not my child. Just as we were finishing our meal he decided to give the child an unlit cigarette to PLAY with. This became a bit much for me because she was crushing it up and putting it into her mouth. So I leant over and said “Please would you be so kind as to get up off the floor and sit at one of the empty tables behind us, I don’t want to watch you giving your child a cigarette to play with”.


At this point the man launched into a tirade of rude and disgusting comments to all 3 of us and refused point blank to get up off the floor. I was still pretty calm and decided to get up to go and find the manager. By the time I got back he was screaming and shouting at my husband and sister. The wife meanwhile was just walking in and out of the restaurant feeding the child – pretending that everything was just fine. The manager arrived and I told what had just happened, then the guy JUMPS up with this poor child in his arms, waving and gesturing at me and treating the child like a sack of potatoes. I JUST S.N.A.P.P.E.D. I totally lost it, embarrassingly so. I started screaming like a woman possessed. I asked (more screamed at) the manager why I have to eat my dinner starting at a piece of white trash mis-treating his daughter and SITTING on the floor when there are like 5 empty tables around us. Then this prick of a guy starts asking me if I have any children – by which time the tears are already flowing. When I answered no – he said, yes that explains why I don’t understand. Not sure what I don’t understand – if giving your child a broken cigarette to play with forms part of Parenting 101 then yes I don’t understand.


Then the manager turns around to US and asks us to leave because we have upset that arsehole and his friends. By this time I was an emotional wreck, to be honest my memory is actually sketchy because I was so worked up that I actually don’t know what I said. Apparently at one stage I swore A LOT – and used every f-bomb known to man. Then the group of arseholes of about 8 of them just got up and left WITHOUT paying and the manager was apologising to them????? Afterwards the manager again asked us to leave and made sure we paid for our bill. By that stage I was more than happy to oblige but I just wanted to ask the manager one questions – “Is this the culture of what to expect at JKP’s – people lazing around on the floor, smoking cigarettes in their childrens faces?” And his answer? “There is so much air pollution that you might as well smoke” WHAT.THE.FUCK.


Then the table next to us started on the band wagon – telling me they have never seen anyone behave so badly before and that I should go after that prick and his friends to apologise. As calm as I could muster – I walked up to them and apologised if I had upset them and walked away, they just screamed after us that we are disgusting and they don’t accept my apology. So as we left I told them if Im so disgusting they should look in the mirror, with that the one chick started threatening us and telling us to watch our backs. Needless to say we left.


I had a sleepless night going over everything in my head again – was I within my right to ask the guy to get up off the floor and sit at a table? Was I upset with the fact that there was a child involved? Was I sorry for what I did? Would I do it again? Was I rude when I asked him to move to warrant an outburst from his side? I felt like I had been ganged up on – the manager totally taking the pricks side (when HE actually started the screaming match), the table next to us feeling the need to threaten us, the prick and his gang of friends who all thought that it is perfectly acceptable to smoke INTO a baby’s face and let the poor thing play with a crushed cigarette and then swinging the baby around like it was a pillow???? Ive been thinking of contacting JKP’s Head Office and explain what happened but to be honest I don’t have the energy and besides the way we were treated on Saturday night was so disgusting that I actually don’t want to spend another second of my time on that company. We will NEVER eat there again, that I can guarantee you.


I seriously don’t understand how a decent evening out turned out to be such a nightmare. My sister was shocked that people in this area treat each other like that. Perhaps I was wrong to swear like that at people but I felt so incredibly vulnerable, especially when the question came up about whether I have children. Its like something in me just snapped and the anger was so intense it actually scared me. For those that had met me, I think you know that Im never like this, was it stress or just trying to do what was right? Should I have let it be? Afterwards I really thought so.


11 comments so far

  1. Shaz on

    Dee, what an awful experience.
    I think I would have done the same thing though. There’s one thing I’ve realized since I became an ex-smoker and don’t shoot me for saying it, but smokers are actually really selfish when it comes to their addiction and they don’t really care who is affected by their habit. I guess he feels that if he can pollute his body like that then why not his childs as well.
    I think the reaction of the manager was totally appalling as well.
    I can only imaginehow shaken you must have been after that dreadful experience!

    Sometimes, I suppose, it is better to keep quiet, although I have a very hard time with that as well.

  2. Nix on

    What an arsehole. you’ll probably find that they smoke in the childs room while reading her bedtime stories. PRICK!!!

  3. April on

    So…I used to get in arguments with my grandmother about “smoker’s rights.” what it boils down to is that smokers are crazy at times. 🙂 B and I tell this one story about her frequently that still leaves me feeling bewildered. My cousin had just had a baby and brought her to my grandmother’s house. My grandma was smoking a cig and waved it back and forth in front of the newborn…about 1 nch from her face and said, “Look, the baby likes the smoke…I should do this all day.” B and I had to leave. I couldn’t even believe it. My cousin was a little shocked, but didn’t really care since she was a smoker, too. I still can’t believe it to this day.

    Should you have kept quiet? Who cares? I am sure that there are other places to eat in SA. i would write a letter, though, if I were you. wait another day though so you can be more objective. Make sure you present how disruptive they were to your dinner, how he was the one who started the altercation, and how you were threatened by other customers. you don’t have to mention IF. The whole thing is just weird. I would just present it as a letter that wants to inform the place of its unfair treatment and that you will never be dining there again and will not hesitate to tell other people. 😉

  4. Sasha on

    eish!! what an @$$hole!!! shame girl- hope you feel ok now?

  5. Celeste Fland on


    What I wold do is call their corporate headquarters. No matter if you were right or not, they began it by totally disrupting your meal, and the manager finished it by rewarding them.

    Do not take no from someone without the power to say yes,

  6. eve on

    Ok, so I am a smoker, but heck, I cant stand people who make their kids sit in a smoking room! That makes my blood boil!!!!!!!!!

    I like the fact that Spur has started introducing the no under 18’s allowed in smoking rooms, even if accompanied by parents!

  7. dee on

    Thanks so much for your comments. I actually feel alot better about it after bloging, I think it gave the whole thing perspective. Im still thinking about contacting their head office but Im really not in the mood for a “he said, she said” debate.UUrrggg……

  8. Sian on

    Jeepers creepers. That sounds like a terrible experience. I have recently become an ex smoker, but even when I was a smoker I tried my best not to inflict my smoke on anyone else. Especially a baby.

  9. Joni on

    OMW, I can’t believe that they turned the whole thing around onto you!! Really as you know this is one of my pet hates (soo much so that I’ve had people kicked out restaurants before) and thank goodness I wasn’t with you cause they would’ve had to deal with two screaming banshees…. I really just can’t can’t get over that it was turned onto you like that! Not sure who JPK’s is but I would definitely be contact their head office and publishing a complaint on, that is just disgusting that you were treated like that!! Freakin white trash!! Do they know she can die from tobacco poisoning by eating the cigarette!!! What crap parents…. It is just not fair I tell you!!!!!!!!

    Children under that age of 16 are not allowed in smoking sections, so that Restaurant Manager broke the freakin law too!!!! I am soo soo sorry that this ruined your evening, but I totally agree with what you did, some might say you shouldn’t have ranted like that but they don’t realise how people in this country all to often when they know they’re in the wrong try and turn it around & make you out to be the “vark in the verhaal”!! Ever look at the indignant way someone looks (even swears) at you when they skip a stop street????? They blame you for their mistakes!!!!

  10. C on


    Came across here from Sams blog. I cannot believe that they put it all on you. I get so furious when I see children is smoking sections in restaurants or in cars where people are smoking. Its against the law but it goes on all the time., people turn a blind eye!
    I agree with Joni, report them to maybe after reading what happened to you other like minded people will no longer frequent their establishment.


  11. Lesley on


    What a terrible experience. I don’t think you did anything wrong but with people like that they would never understand why it is upsetting to other to watch a baby being treated so badly.


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