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"I work at McDonald's, so I deal with all kinds of crap. But I'll never forget the day an old gentleman walked up to my register, very angry. He took his burger, threw it at me, and screamed, 'What the eff is this rice doing on my burger?!' I took a look and couldn't find a single piece of rice, probably because we didn't have any freaking rice.
Anyway, I told him I couldn't see any rice, he then proceeds to, out of his pocket, pull out some nasty looking onions. I told him it was the onions that are standard on all burgers. He then threw the onions at me and spit on the floor. Jerk."
"I worked at a Mexican restaurant that gave out free chips and salsa.
A female customer ordered a cheese enchilada. When her meal arrived, she saw a piece of onion in the cheese and demanded we remake it. I informed her it's probably just one tiny piece of onion and asked if the rest has any onions. She started yelling about how she's allergic to onions, she wanted the meal remade now, and she's also not paying.
Once she shut up, I asked if I should call an ambulance, because she just ate a ton of onions via the three bowls of salsa she had eaten. Back-pedaling, she said she didn't see any onions in there. I stood firm and asked her again if I should call 911 for an allergic reaction.
I think she knew she was caught lying, and suddenly got quiet and was a little nicer."
"Back when I was hosting at a restaurant with a very popular patio, I had a guest who didn't know how the earth worked. I'll call her Galileo.
Galileo: 'Excuse me, but I think you need to fix this umbrella.'
Me: 'Okay, what's the problem? Is it coming out of the base?'
Galileo: 'No, well, when we sat down, the table was shady and it's not shady anymore. Something's wrong with the umbrella.'
Me: 'Oh, maybe...maybe we can move you to this table over here since it's much shadier.'
Galileo: 'No thanks, we like this table. I just need you to fix the umbrella.'
At this point, I'm probably visibly perplexed.
Me: 'I don't think the problem is with the umbrella, ma'am. The sun has moved since you sat down about an hour ago, and the only way to catch the shade now would be to move.'
Galileo: 'I don't think you understand! The sun is fine. It's the umbrella. Shade always comes straight down from an umbrella. This one's broken. The shade is coming down at an angle.'
She's gesturing wildly at this point.
Me (trying not to be offensive): 'The sun makes shadows, and the shadows are at an angle right now because the sun is moving in the sky and the only way I can think of to give you shade is to move you to another table.'
Galileo: 'The sun doesn't move.'
Me: '...Let me get my manager for you.'
Then I hid behind the wait station and watched my manager and this woman who has never taken a basic science class in her life arguing for a decent amount of time. He came back over with the most dejected look I've ever seen on a grown man. 'She doesn't seem to understand what the sun is?'
And nobody learned anything that day."
"My coworker had a walkout last night. All walkouts suck, but this one was very different.
The table that walked out included three 20-somethings: two guys, and a girl. The girl happened to go to high school with my coworker who was serving them. They spent a good portion of the night catching up, having a good time, and everything was going smoothly. After an hour and a half and ordering $80 worth of food and drinks, they walked out on their bill.
Since we scan and save IDs at my bar, we permanently flag anyone who's walked out on their tab and ban them from reentry - unless, of course, they come back to pay their tab and apologize for their lapse in judgment. My coworker figured she'd message the girl on Facebook and let her know she should come back and pay her bill (I'd have told her that she was a huge piece of crap, but my coworker kept it cordial).
The next day the girl called the restaurant.
Girl: 'Hi. I'd like to speak with a manager.'
Manager: 'Absolutely. How can I assist you?'
Girl: 'I need to complain about a server I had last night.'
Manager: 'What seems to be the problem?'
Girl: 'One of your servers found me on social media to tell me I needed to pay my tab. It was very unprofessional and I'm creeped out by it.'
Manager: 'Was your server Sarah?'
Manager: 'I remember you and your two friends. You didn't pay for your meal last night.'
Girl: 'Yeah, but Sarah shouldn't have contacted me through social media. It was very weird and unprofessional.'
Manager: 'From what I recall, Sarah was trying to help you. We ban people from our bar who walk out on their tabs. Would you like to pay for the $80 plus an added 20% gratuity?'
Girl: 'No! I'm calling to do the opposite. Your server should never have contacted me in the first place. My social media profile is private.'
Manager: 'Ma'am. Were you friends with Sarah on Facebook?'
Manager: 'Then by definition, your social media profile was not private. I feel like this conversation isn't going anywhere. Would you like to pay for your tab or not?'
Girl: 'No, I want her fired!'
Manager: 'That is not happening, and we are banning you and your friends if you don't pay your bill.'
Manager: 'That is my final statement on this issue. Would you like to pay?'
Girl: 'No, but...'
Manager: 'Then this conversation is over and you will not be allowed at our bar again. Goodbye.'"
"I worked at a sandwich shop on a college campus. We were open late, so we naturally had crowds of wasted people coming in on the weekends. Normally, we tried to get the customers through the line as quickly as possible, but one night we had a girl who was obviously on something hold up the line at the register because she couldn't find her money.
Finally, she pulled out a tube of lip gloss and handed it to the cashier. When he looked at her funny, she started to get annoyed and just kept repeating, 'Just swipe it already! It has my PIN and everything!'
The phrase, 'Ma'am, you're trying to pay me with chapstick,' is now famous in that establishment."
"I use to serve drinks at a casino. One time, this lady came up to me and asked if I had seen her purse. I said no and told her to go check with security. She told me that she had seen a girl with my uniform come up and take her purse. I told her that if any of us had seen an abandoned purse, we weren't allowed to touch it until security got there, so that was impossible.
I kept trying to get her to talk to security, telling her that they would find her purse. She said no. Fine whatever. She then stood outside the server area, screaming at us about her purse until security got there. The lady that had been sitting next to her was super concerned that we had, indeed, stolen this lady's purse, so she called the cops since no one was 'handling' the situation.
The cops got there right as they find the purse right where she'd left it, under her chair. It was filled with illegal substances and had the lady's ID. Security just handed the purse over to the police."
"I worked as a waiter at a pizza place about three years ago.
A party of seven high schoolers came in and took a high-top table. I was the person to take their table. I got sodas and breadsticks for them, nothing weird.
Fast forward five minutes, several of our cooks started coughing uncontrollably. I walked out front and the entire front-of-house was in coughing fits. People were leaving. Still unaware of what the actual heck was going on, I walked up to my table and my throat started to feel like it was on fire and my eyes and nose started running uncontrollably.
Turns out, one of the girls was given pepper spray by her parents. One of the guys, thinking it was funny, sprayed it under the table for a lengthy period of time. It cleared the front of the restaurant and went through the ventilation into the back. Police were called and took both the kid and the girl away, and I was sent to the hospital as my face would not stop leaking.
We didn't press charges, but it could have been serious if we did. That is considered food tampering with a poisonous substance, use of a weapon in public, and much more.
It was my first week on the job. It was a crazy place."
"I'm a server at Steak 'n Shake. I brought out a customer's double cheeseburger and, at the same time, another server brought out food to her table, which was directly behind my table. My customer looked at her burger, then at the other burger behind me and asked me angrily, 'Excuse me, why is my burger smaller than their burger?'
I laughed a bit, then said, 'It's because they got a triple burger.'
To which she got even more irate, saying, 'Nuh-uh, their burger is bigger than mine. I want a new burger and I don't think I should pay for it.'
I saw where this is going and, fed up, I told her, 'Ma'am, I think I'm with all guys when I say we wish our meat was bigger too, but we all make do with what we got.' The rest of her table laughed their little tails off while she sat there trying to figure out how to handle what just happened.
The manager was still called in about the burger being small but she never got her free meal."
"One night, last month, I was at work waiting tables, getting people drinks. My shift had just started and the line was already out the door. My table was sat immediately and, as per corporate policy, I approached my guests to take a drink order no later than 30 seconds after them having sat down.
They were a middle-aged couple who had already bought their drinks from the bar. When I went over to say hi and get the ball rolling, they didn't even look up at me. They barked at me dismissively, 'We just sat down. We're not even close to being ready.'
Terrific. Great. I'm doing fine thanks. Nice to see you, too. It doesn't happen all the time, but I hate it when people go out to a restaurant without wanting to have any sort of interaction with any other human being. You don't want to be bothered at all tonight? You don't want me to even come over and take your order?
I gave them five minutes. Then I returned and tried to tell them the specials. They still didn't even look up at me. The man cut me off midway through the fish and said, 'Why don't you come back in five minutes.'
At this point I was trying really hard to not appear ticked off; I went to say, 'OK, sure,' but before I could even make it through that response, he cut me off again and said, 'Maybe ten minutes.' And he and the woman he's sitting with just kind of extended their smiles, like they were totally conscious of how rude they were being, like they were enjoying it.
Everything went as you'd imagine it would after an intro like that. They sat around for like half an hour before they even picked up their menus. They took another half hour to order. And after their empty plates were finally cleared, they stayed in my section and sat at my table for the entirety of the night. For five hours, they camped out and got wasted. They ignored my glances toward the check, my silent pleading to please, please, get out of my life here, go away and let me make some money from somebody else.
They started out sitting across from each other, but as the night progressed and as they downed more drinks, they wound up side by side. Then they started cuddling. Then making out. It was gross. All the while, I had to just stand there and watch these two get it on. I had to stand back and watch all of my coworkers work, for actual customers, actually making money.
I'm not exaggerating when I say this was one of the worst customer experiences I've ever had as a waiter. From five in the afternoon until closing, they just sat there, occasionally ordering a drink, totally blocking me from selling meals, never looking up as to so much as acknowledging my presence, casually denying my need to work and make tips for a living. nt.
Cut to last night. It was the beginning of another busy Friday night at the restaurant. The bar was already packed, a line already forming at the greeter's podium. And guess who sat down right away in my section? That same couple. That same guy with that same bullcrap smile.
I didn't know what to do. My heart immediately dropped to the soles of my feet. I couldn't take another night of being fleeced by these jerks, another night of being leisurely ignored, of being used, stepped on, impotent with boiling rage, forced to smile and say, 'Thank you, sir. Very well ma'am.'
The night was still early. Maybe one of the day staff would cover for me and work a double. Maybe I could fake sick. I went to one of the other waiters, someone who has worked there for a while, 'Is there any way of getting out of this shift, this situation?' He was sympathetic, he remembered the couple from a month ago, but he gave it to me straight, that I was most likely out of luck.
Both the man and the woman were talking on their cell phones. I considered shoving the menu in their face, pointing right to the bottom where it says, 'Please refrain from using your cell phone in the dining room!' I wanted to grab a permanent marker and add a not-so-nice word to the end of that sentence and then show it to them.
But I didn't do anything. What was I going to do? Was I going to blow up? Get fired? Have no job? No, I couldn't do anything. I was powerless, and that feeling of powerlessness, that knowledge that these people are in complete control of my life, of my job right now, it was just coursing through my body. I was growing numb as if something was dying inside.
I waited for them to close their phones and I put on my own bullcrap smile, 'Hello. Can I get you something to drink?'
'Just water,' they both said. Huh. No adult beverages today. Maybe they wouldn't be staying. Maybe I'm in luck. I dropped off their water. I didn't even bother with the specials, I didn't want to waste my breath, I didn't feel like giving them the opportunity to cut off or tell me to go away.
But the lady chimed in, 'I had something the last time I was here, a salad,' and she proceeded to tell me all about her previous meal, 'and I was sitting right over there. It was six months ago.' Six months ago?
I said, 'No, you were here a month ago, and you were sitting right there. I was your waiter.'
'No,' she told me, 'I haven't been here for at least six months,' and then she looked over at the guy.
He cut in with a, 'Well, maybe I was here for lunch.' And then he looked up at me, his smile starting to break only slightly, and went, 'You must have remembered me.'
I couldn't believe how quickly the situation had reversed itself. I made direct eye contact and told him, 'Yeah. I totally remember.'
This was unbelievable. This had to have been his wife, and the lady from a month ago must have been a girlfriend or a mistress. That's why they were staying in the restaurant all night, getting wasted and making out. They had nowhere else to go. The whole thing was illicit. And now he was back in the same restaurant with his wife, and he happened to have the same waiter that he screwed over the last time. What kind of a guy brings two different women to the same place?
There was this complete emotional 180. Whereas before I was ticked, ready for the worst, trying to weasel my way out of the shift, now I'm pumped, I absolutely hold the advantage, there's no way I'm going to get pushed around by this guy, not tonight, not ever again. The couple ate their meals in like 10 minutes, paid the check, they left like a 25-percent tip, and they were gone.
Sweet vindication. Much like a hot glass that's suddenly filled with ice-cold water, my body was reacting similarly to the extreme change in emotion and temperament. For the rest of the night, I was pulsing, on edge in a good way, just slightly on top of everything. I'd been down and then right up again all in the course of like ten minutes. It was almost too much to process."
"A family walked in my restaurant one night and one of their young sons puked all over the floor, literally as soon as they entered the front door.
The family decided they still wanted to eat. As they were sitting at their table waiting for their food, the kid threw up all over the floor again. This time, one of the owners cleaned it up because the dinner rush was coming and we were all getting really busy. They still didn't leave and their food finally came.
For some reason, the mother had decided to order something for her sick son, which he ate and proceeded to throw it back up all over the floor again. They didn't leave until the whole family had finished their meals."
"Had a dine and dash table of three teens a night I was working. Our host recognized one kid from school saying his dad was a firefighter. My manager called the fire department and 30 minutes later, a fire truck rolls up with lights on. The kid and his dad walk in. The dad made his son apologize to the server and management before making him pay for the food. I don't think I've laughed so hard in my life."
"This dude came into my bar, acting pretty normal. Two drinks in, out of nowhere, he decided someone was going to shoot him and that someone was hiding in the bar. I assumed whatever he was taking kicked in or something. This guy backed up to the wall and started screaming for everyone to back off. When the bouncer approached, he started screaming, 'You're going to kill me, aren't you?'
This went on and on until he just bolted out the front door at full speed. Assuming that was it, normal bar business resumed. Until the cops showed up looking for the bouncer who 'threatened to kill this man while brandishing a weapon.'
Apparently, this idiot ran down the road until he saw a cop car which he then jumped in front of while screaming, 'They're trying to kill me!'
So everyone explained to the cops that this guy has lost it and no one here had a gun, let alone was trying to kill him.
The cops looked at the bouncer and said, 'Are you on something?'
'Is he messed up?'
'Okay. Have a good one.' And that guy promptly went to jail."
"I was a 15-year-old busboy (male), and one night I was clearing a table of a middle-aged husband and wife, and every time I came to their table the husband would wink at me. So the last time I had to go to their table was when I brought them their to-go bags, and the guy went, 'You know, we've been looking for someone to have a threesome with for a while, are you interested?' I said heavens no and got my boss, who kicked them out and almost beat the crap out of him for trying to solicit a 15-year-old boy."
"I used to wait tables at a Middle Eastern restaurant. On one occasion, two parents with a smug, neckbearded graduate student of a son, walked in and decided to ruin my day. You know that 'Portlandia' skit with the couple asking which farm the food came from?
The parents and their cursed offspring decided to go through the menu and asked me how each different protein option was killed 'since it says halal.' Then I got berated by the wife since 'ethical meat would mean more tips for you,' and I should know about the farms to impress my manager after I informed them that I indeed do not know how the animals were slaughtered.
Then came ordering time. They started off with asking to talk to our sommelier about their options, which were 'underwhelming' or unfamiliar. You know, cause all restaurants have sommeliers, especially Middle Eastern ones with a really small bottle list. Thankfully, I sold them on a dry white after explaining that most local Middle Eastern restaurants actually lack a sommelier.
I recommended the safest items at their request, and they ordered stuff that they would hate. All of which gets sent back, especially the whole roasted fish because it had bones, which I'd told them four times over. The sides of hummus tasted a bit 'beany.' The baba ganoush didn't taste 'authentic' (they were white and from the area). The pita bread 'didn't taste organic.' Anytime I checked on them, they griped about something else. Tablecloths, no sommelier, the 'head chef' not coming out to hear how the customer can improve his kabobs. I comped all of the first orders and got them a second round of entrees which made them happy, finally, but not any less crabby.
I put up with it all smiles. Talked with them during the complaints. Bottles of the white came out fast and all glasses were poured nicely. Water was always filled. They got free food they didn't deserve. They left a $1 tip in change."
"I run the register at a pizza restaurant in my college town. Like most pizza restaurants, you order up front and the pizza is brought out to you. Well one day, this man comes in and I'm my normal, bubbly self (need to flirt for the tips) and he is not taking the bait at all. After a few long minutes of deliberation, he finally decides what he wants, pays, and goes to sit down.
A couple minutes after his pizza arrives, he brings the pizza back up to the counter and looks at me and in the most condescending voice says, 'What are these!?' while pointing to some tomatoes. I kindly explain to him that they are tomatoes and they come standard on the pizza he ordered. He then proceeds to lecture me on how those tomatoes were 'sliced' while our menu advertised 'diced' tomatoes.
I genuinely laughed because I thought he was kidding, but when I found out he was completely serious, I was flabbergasted. 'I don't know what you want me to do for you, sir,' I said.
'Well, I guess we'll just eat them this way,' he sarcastically said as he wandered back off to his table. To this day, that has been the weirdest complaint about our food I've ever had."
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