Working in the fast food industry, you see some disgusting things that no human being should ever see. These food workers share the moments where they could barely stomach the disgusting environment or horrible treatment they received from customers.
(Content has been edited for clarity)
These Food Workers Needed A Raincoat For This Job
“I used to work at Sonic. On rainy days, especially when it was pouring, people would intentionally park across the lot (the spare spots that weren’t covered by their famous awning), and make the car hops walk the food out there to them. We’d be standing there outside their car window with the food on a tray, waiting for them to roll down their window. They’d take their sweet time getting out their cards or cash while we were getting drenched. All the while, there were plenty of open spots under the awning, closer to the restaurant and out of the rain. By the time they took their food from us, they would demand the meal for free since it was wet.
Mind you, not wet enough to give back the food, just wet enough to demand a full refund while they shoved the offending fries in their mouth. Those people also never tipped. Also, we had people who would make us go back inside and replace their 44-oz drink four and five times, even when you insisted it was the right drink. ‘This ain’t diet.’
‘Sir, I poured this drink myself, I can assure you it’s diet.’
‘I want you to go back in there and do it again, and I better not have to send this back a third time.'”
You Couldn’t Pay Them Enough To Clean Up This Crap
“I was 15 and working for the golden arches in a big two-story, city location.
An elderly lady came in to use the upstairs toilet and when she came back down, she had poop caked all over her hands, which she dragged down the banister she used to steady herself on down the stairs. She then went and sat at a table for a moment before leaving.
She clearly had dementia, although I didn’t recognize that at the time. I was sent to the bathroom to investigate the damage and it was a literal crap show. I reported back to my manager, who told me I had to clean it all up. No thanks! I quit on the spot. I was not cleaning up crap for $4.85 an hour.”
This Fast Food Worker Just Never Caught A Break
“I worked at a popular Canadian coffee franchise almost ten years ago.
One day, a drive-thru customer had some sort of altercation with a pair of pedestrians who had been walking through the drive-thru. The way I understand it, the customer had almost hit the pedestrians–a man and his mother, and then had started shouting. This is what I heard over the drive-thru headset: ‘YOU WANNA FACE FULLA BICEP?! I’LL GIVE YA A FACE FULL OF BICEP!’
I had a teenage coworker who believed in Santa. When a mall Santa came into the store, this coworker started looking out the windows for his sleigh.
I had a teenage coworker who asked me, ‘What’s a Nazi?’ with total sincerity. When I explained what a Nazi was, the follow-up question was, ‘So, do we like them or not like them?’
I had a customer hurl racial insults at a coworker because the coworker did not butter his bagel in the manner he expected. I had a customer who requested a bagel ‘dripping in butter,’ noting that she would ‘send it back if there’s not enough butter.’ I buttered until the butter was soaking the paper. She sent it back, quite livid. I put a BURGER PATTY worth of butter on the bagel. She opened it again, inspected it, was clearly still not satisfied, and drove away angrily.”
This Guy Needed Some Anger Management
“I was working at a pub shortly after college. During the evenings, things would always get pretty stressful and hectic. People would be snapping at each other, or saying mean things, or arguing, or whatever. Pretty standard stuff in a high-stress situation like that.
One day, though, in the middle of dinner, the other cook (my immediate manager, but not the restaurant manager) apparently just had a bad night. He’d been getting progressively more agitated all night (not with me, luckily). Suddenly, a waitress came back and complained that one of her tables was complaining because the food was cold. First, the manager responded by telling her that if she’d come get her orders when they were done, they wouldn’t be cold, but when she made some comment back, he snapped.
He picked up a hot pan from the stove, and I was terrified for a second that he was going to throw it at her. Instead, he swung it as hard as he could at the entire stack of clean plates and knocked almost all of them off the table, shattering them on the floor. Then he literally tore off his apron and stormed out, but not before knocking a tray of full food out of another waitress’ hands.
Weirdly enough, the store manager was going to let him keep his job if he’d admit being out of line. She brought him in during lunch the next day to talk to him, and instead of apologizing, he smashed a coffee cup against the wall and left.
All told, it was probably for the best.”
No Take Backs For This Drink
“I worked at McDonald’s part-time while I was in college. One day, I was working the drive-through, this guy ordered a lot of drinks. One of them was low on soda syrup, but instead of just telling me about it like a rational person so I could give him a replacement drink, he threw the extra large drink at me. Of course, the lid came off and I was soaking wet.
The manager, who was actually pretty good as far as fast food managers go, saw this happen. He took off running into the parking lot, flagged down the driver before he could leave, and told him to never come back. Then he came back in, found me a dry uniform shirt, and let me have a few minutes on the clock to sit in the break room and calm down.”
They Watched Him Die Right In Front Of Their Eyes
“I was 19 and working at KFC in a bit of a rough area. It was a quiet day shift, so there were only three staff and no customers in the store at the time. A young couple, who looked pretty messed up, walked in and went straight to the bathrooms.
After some time, the girl came out screaming for help. She said her boyfriend had gone into the bathroom to use smack and he was not responding and was inside the locked men’s room.
My manager called an ambulance while I tried to get the door open. I couldn’t kick it down like Chuck Norris, so I went and grabbed some tools and finally got it open.
Found the kid, blue and cold on the floor. His pulse was faint. There was a syringe next to him. He had blood in his mouth so I couldn’t make mouth to mouth contact and started administering chest compressions. The whole time his girlfriend was screaming at me to save him.
I feel like I could sense the moment he had passed. The ambulance came within a few minutes, but there was nothing they could do.
His mother came a few days later to apologize and thank us for trying to save him. There were some police questioning and plenty of nightmares. It has been about 17 years and I still think about it often.”
“Why Don’t You Apologize To My Son For Making Him Cry?”
I worked at a McDonald’s for about eight years, and have a ton of these stories, but the most memorable one comes from my last year there. It was a Sunday morning, and we were actually a pretty dead by normal standards when in walked a small group. Their order is long and slightly complex, but most of them were friendly, so I didn’t mind.
One lady had her son with her and tried to order a blueberry pomegranate smoothie, which had been taken off the menu several months ago. She got this annoyed look on her face and told me it’s the only thing her son likes. I apologized again and she ordered a sausage biscuit with extra sausage instead.
A few minutes later she walked back up. Our exchange was as follows. Note that she got angrier as this goes on:
Her: ‘Hey, since you don’t have the smoothie, can I get a toy for my son?’
Me: ‘Oh sure, they’re (about $2, I don’t remember the exact price).’
Her: ‘Can’t you just give it to me?’
Me: ‘I’m sorry ma’am, I’m not allowed to do that.’
Her: ‘Well, I don’t want to pay that much.’
Me: ‘I’m sorry, but-‘
Her: ‘Get a manager, they can help me.’
Me: (In full button up shirt, with a tie, and a nametag that says ‘manager’ on it) ‘I am a manager ma’am, I’m sorry, I can’t just give you a toy.’
Her: ‘Well, my son’s going to cry and we’re going to leave.’
My immediate supervisor was standing behind me the whole time and looked like he was trying very hard not to laugh. The older lady this woman had come in with was up at the counter the whole time giving her a look of ‘What the heck is the matter with you.’
Had this been the end of it, I wouldn’t have even blinked about it, but she came back up five minutes later. ‘You didn’t put extra sausage on this!’ She said as she flung the sausage biscuit down on the counter, looking at me like I tried to murder her firstborn. I took the sandwich and had a new one made. I handed it to her and apologized.
‘Why don’t you apologize to my son for making him cry?’ She said before storming off. I could see her son, he was laughing and playing in the play place.”
This Would Be His Last, Explosive Night
“I worked the night shift at a Krispy Kreme. It was always just me and the manager. She never helped. She’d just go in the office to do ‘paperwork,’ and leave me alone for eight hours to make everything. Because I knew she’d leave me alone, I’d take the trash out multiple times a night for a smoke sesh.
Well, one night I came back in from my smoke sesh and noticed the conveyor for the OG glazed was starting to rattle pretty badly. There’s several things you needed to turn off prior to stopping the conveyor (glaze fountain, heating elements, dough ejector thingy). So I turned all of those off, but for some reason, the conveyor was in a weird ‘dieseling’ state, where it continues to run, but is disconnected from power.
I started to panic. The conveyor kept going and continued to get louder and louder. I started pounding on the manager’s office door, but she wouldn’t answer. Stuff was starting to fall apar, and my baked mind can’t handle this. I finally shoulder charged her office door down, screaming ‘WHAT THE HECK?! I NEED HELP!’ But she wasn’t in there. Looking on her security screens, I saw her car wasn’t even in the parking lot.
Once I realized that witch was gone, the conveyor finally went. The motor took out one end of the conveyor line, and gallons of 100% pork lard fryer oil covered the floor of the entire kitchen.
I called the off-duty manager, told him what just happened, said, ‘Screw this, I’m done,’ and just left.”
“You’ll Probably Only Ever Be A Fast Food Worker”
“I worked at Braum’s for a bit.
I went to hand an elderly lady her ice cream cone. She took it from me, pulled her arm into her car, took a lick, and then dropped the ice cream down her door. I genuinely felt bad for her and offered to give her another one and clean it up if she would pull around.
It’s 100+ degrees out and I’m in full uniform. I begin wiping the side of her door when she throws a plethora of insults my way.
‘This is why your generation is so messed up. You saw I had braces on my wrist. You knew I had arthritis. You should never have handed me that cone. You should ask if I want a cup instead. You’ll probably only ever be a fast food worker. It’s people like you that make everyone’s life hard.’ She said a few more things.
The heat and moment got the best of me. I threw the dirty napkins in her lap, told her to shut the heck up, reminded her I was doing her a favor (and it wasn’t my fault), advised her to order correctly, and told her to clean up her own dang mess.
I walked back inside, explained to my manager what I did, and in came this lady playing ‘I’m a good, sweet Christian and would never disrespect someone’ card. The manager told her to call corporate, but as he wasn’t outside, he couldn’t believe what she had to say.”
“Free Burgers, Free Burgers!”
“I worked in a small Maccas during the Sydney Olympics, I was about 15 at the time. There was a series of big screens at Circular Quay showing live Olympic events. There were always large crowds down there.
This store was around 500 meters or so away from my store and because of the demand, we occasionally had to take things down there. Our store was closing and they were running out of buns at the busy store so they sent me down with a big trolley of buns (those pre-split ones). Easy right?
I got about 20 meters from the store and there was a giant crowd between me and the store. So I started asking people to move and most people were nice until one guy ripped open the bag of bags and started throwing them up in the air, screaming out, ‘Free burgers, free burgers!’
The crowd moved towards me and some police/crowd control noticed this and came over and told everyone to back off. Then they had a few heated words with the free burger guy. They guided me through the crowd and to the store awaiting the buns.
I got grilled about arriving with one less tray of buns but once I told them the story, it’s all good.
Bonus story: because that store was so busy, I picked up a shift after my normal shift that totaled 20 hours. I was the richest 15-year-old I knew at that time.”
This Manager Was Riding On An Intense Power Trip
This one manager (who kept reminding everyone he was so hot because he had a diploma in business):
He would roster teenage girls to close the restaurant, alone. This is midnight (sometime later) when we were usually hit with wasted and rowdy people after a night out.
He gave me shifts during school hours (I was 16 and in high school), or try to have me work till midnight during the week ‘because he’s trying to run a business and I should be grateful for a job.’ He went crazy when I told him school would always take priority over my job, and it’s how his predecessor sold me the role.
An older employee (late 40’s?) slipped and badly hurt her back. She was crying in the lunch room in pain. The manager kept yelling at her to get up and back to work because we were busy. In the end, I told her to go home and I did her shift – he went off at me because he didn’t authorize it, and therefore wasn’t going to pay me.
Eight people quit in two weeks, including me. The restaurant fell to pieces and they moved this guy to another restaurant. I was offered a pay raise and a promotion when I quit, but alas, it was too late and I went to work in a toy store (best job ever!).”
He Wouldn’t Hit A Pregnant Woman…Would He?
“At McDonald’s of course. I was a first assistant manager. We had a kid who was just promoted to shift manager. He was a very good employee and he knew his stuff. We had high hopes for him.
His very first shift, five minutes into the shift, he did a walk-through of the dining room. He asked a girl who was seven months pregnant to change a trash bag and she told him no, that she couldn’t do it. He walked to the back of the store, got the trash masher (basically a mop handle with steel plates on the end to compact the trash) walked to the garbage bag and mashed the trash. He then took the trash masher and knocked the girl out with it, screaming, ‘I’m the freaking boss and everyone better do whatever I tell them,’ and continued to yell at everyone about how she needs to be fired for insubordination and no one else better ever test him. He was arrested in the store and was trying to argue with the police officers that he was in the right.
The girl had a major concussion, but she and the baby were OK.”
This Scene Looked Like Something Out Of The Black Lagoon
“I managed a breakfast joint for a while, beginning a few months after it originally opened.
We have a very large oven where we bake our bagels, and one day, after the bagels had been baked for the day, the baker left the door open to cool.
While I was up front, the restaurant and I could hear a deafening, ‘HOLY CRAP’ from the back where the oven was. I walk back laughing, expecting to see a proofing rack knocked over or some other stupid mistake. Instead, I’m hit with a geyser of jet black water from the sprinkler system above the oven.
Well, shouting resumed as we tried to cover what we could while waiting for the fire department to arrive. They finally arrived and spent the next 2.5 hours looking for the shut off switch for our sprinkler.
Turns out the switch had been inadvertently covered/obstructed during our store’s construction.
I got to stay late that day and help clean every ounce of black, smelly water from our appliances and slicers. There was about three hours worth of pressurized water in the kitchen.”
Tales Of A Tired Starbucks Barista
“I worked at Starbucks and a woman ordered her coffee at 140 degrees in the drive-thru. She walked back in the cafe after pulling out and complained that her coffee was 139 degrees because she has a thermometer in her car and she demanded it be remade. I laughed at her and asked if she was joking and she demanded to see my manager. My manager remade it but I didn’t get in any trouble. She was ridiculous but Starbucks’ policy is to remake anything if a customer asks for it.
Another time there was a long wait during rush hour in the morning and I apologized to a guy that it was taking a long time to get his white mocha to him. He glared at me and yelled, ‘You don’t really mean you’re sorry!’ and refused to be cordial. He continued to look at me with disdain for the next few minutes. It made me super sad at the time. I really was sorry! Butthole. I learned not to be affected by crappy people so much as I got older.”
This Restaurant Wasn’t Prepared For Any Type Of Emergency
“I used to work at a fast food chicken place. (For anonymity reasons I’d rather not say which one but I’m sure most can guess)
One night I was working with my co-worker, we’ll call him Andrew. Andrew was a big dude working in a small kitchen. It was kind of cramped and it was hard for him to move around. That night he went into the chicken cooler and ended up slipping on some chicken grease. His foot flung forward and he fell backward into the wall, but the wall had metal paneling on it. One of these panels was bent on the corner, so when he slipped he subsequently sliced his back from the bottom of his back up to beyond his shoulder blade by landing on this bent corner.
He screamed out in pain, I ran over and asked what’s wrong since I didn’t witness it. ‘My back, my back dude, it hurts so freaking bad!’ I saw blood staining the back of his shirt and screamed to my manager to call an ambulance. I rushed over and sat him up and told him I was going to take his shirt off so I could put pressure on the wound. When I lifted that shirt, holy crap.
Imagine taking a hunk of meat and slicing it with one, even slice using a Katana. That’s what it looked like. I kind of automatically went ‘holy moly’ and he asked if it was bad, I told him ‘Nah…’
My manager, instead of calling an ambulance, called THE DISTRICT FREAKING MANAGER and instead of the district manager yelling at him to call an ambulance, he instead wanted an entire description of what’s going on. My other manager and my store manager began to argue about this, while I was asking my other co-workers to find a first aid kit.
My co-worker found one and I swear on my life I am not making this up: One small, partially used roll of gauze, a bottle of 2-propanol, and a set of third-grader band-aids, that’s it. That right there should’ve put the store completely out of business.
I asked for some towels, anything I can use to put pressure on the wound. All they can bring me that was ‘clean’ was some flipping paper towels. I didn’t want them to stick to him, so I had to kinda hover over the wound with it, lightly tapping it in some places and putting pressure on others. I’m no medical expert but I felt it was better than doing nothing.
20 minutes goes by. During those 20 minutes, someone else called an ambulance and eventually they came. Then they had trouble getting the stretcher into the flipping place, we had to move all sorts of crap around. Finally, after about a 45 minute to an hour ordeal, Andrew was on the stretcher and in the ambulance. If I recall correctly, he required 12 stitches and a few staples, but this was years ago I don’t remember exactly what he had done.
Unfortunately, he couldn’t sue, or at least he didn’t for a few reasons. One he said that since he wasn’t wearing the proper shoes it wouldn’t have went anywhere in court, and two he’s just too nice of a guy. Would rather get back to work than anything.
Oh and the real gross part is all of that chicken should’ve been tossed, but only half of it was.”
They Were Tired Of Rolling Out The Red Carpet For This Celebrity
“In high school, I worked for a certain gigantic movie theater chain. Our location was smack dab in the middle of Newport Beach, California, where a ton of various one-percenters live.
One resident in particular, Kobe Bryant, would come to see a movie every other week, and he made a point to make sure everyone on staff at the time was aware. His ‘guy’ would call whoever was the manager on duty at the time, and we would have to drop what we were doing, no matter how important or time-sensitive it may be, and go open the theater exit doors (you know the ones, to the left and right of the screen) in order to show him and his sizable entourage in.
There are a number of things wrong with that kind of special treatment. For starters, they would never send someone to the box office afterword to pay for the tickets, which really messed with our audits. What really would get to me, though, was the obscene amount of noise he and his family/friends would make. The cherry on top? After the movie was said and done, and we’d ushered his group out via the way they came in, the entire auditorium would reek of his cologne. No joke, you could show up the day after Kobe came to see a movie, and at least two or three rows would still smell like him
A great example of people presuming they’ll be treated like VIPs no matter where they go; it’s condescending.”