People don't typically make the best of decisions when they're hungry. It happens to just about everyone, but most of the time, they forget there are actual people on the other side of their terribly stupid question or comment.
A Reddit thread recently asked food service workers to share their most insane stories about dealing with customers who weren't the brightest. Take a look at some of our favorite stories, and let us know if you think you've experienced something worse. Don't worry, we took the time to clean up the comments for the sake of clarity.
Oh, You Don’t Like The Smell Of Fish? Why’d You Order Fish Then?
If you don’t like the smell of a certain type of food, logic would tell you not to order a dish that’s made up entirely of that particular food. People, however, don’t always use the best of logic, which you can see in the following story.
“I work at a restaurant and we deal with annoying complaints from customers all the time, but this one is my favorite,” wrote truly_clueless.
I had a customer come up to me and asked me why her husband’s meal smelled like fish. I asked her what did her husband order, to which she replied that he ordered the fisherman’s platter. As you may have guessed, fish is part of the meal.
For a few seconds, I didn’t respond thinking this has to be a joke. But she was serious.
When I said I could get the manager for her to go over her complaint, she said it was not a complaint as everything was okay with their meals. She added that her husband loved fish, but she couldn’t handle the smell.
All I could say to her was I that would inform management about the issue.
This happened about three years ago, and I still can’t wrap my head around what happened.”
When People Mistake A Friendly Joke For Sarcasm
“I work at Jimmy Johns, and as you may know, all Jimmy Johns have a sign that says free smells,” wrote blowin_Os. “I had a lady come through the drive-thru one day while my manager and I were running the window.
The lady asked about the free smells after her order, and my manager told her to pull up to the window. She got to the window, got her food, and then proceeded to look through the bag. She eventually looked up all confused and asked where her free smells were?
My manager jokingly said: ‘Oh yeah, come inside and you can smell all you want for free!’ She then said: ‘Ok, jerk!’ and then sped off.
To this day, I have no clue what she thought would be in that bag.”
Is It Considered Being Lost In Translation If The Person Just Refuses To Make Sense Of It?
Just about everyone will admit that they are oft to make a mistake or two when ordering dishes at ethnic restaurants, but people can only use ignorance as an excuse for so long. At a certain point, ignorance is replaced by extreme levels of stupidity, as evidenced in the following story.
“I work at an Italian place right now, and we call our Italian menu items by Italian names with English descriptions,” wrote Trebuchetfight. “I get a lot of questions, but I don’t mind a hair because I get paid to talk about food.
Not too long ago though, it sort of went slapstick. It’s not that they asked a dumb question, but they kept asking the same question over and over again.
Customer: ‘Pollo e penne?’
Me: ‘Oh, that’s chicken and pasta with…’
Customer (interrupting): ‘Does it have meat in it?’
Me: ‘The chicken pasta? Yes, pollo is Italian for chicken.’
Customer: ‘Can I get the chicken but not the pollo?’
Me: ‘Pollo is just Italian for chicken. If you want chicken, it’s really good…’
Customer (interrupting again): ‘No, I like chicken, but I don’t want pollo.’
I kind of lost it for a split second.”
It might seem like a misunderstanding as dumbfounding as the one above would be a rare occurrence for servers, but unfortunately, that’s not the case. The waiter in the following story can attest to that fact after dealing with a customer who was sure that they were right and the server had to just go along with it. Sometimes, there’s no point in arguing semantics longer than needed.
“When I was waiting tables a few years ago, this couple ordered two orders of fettuccine penne,” wrote TheMasterDebaterr. “Dumbfounded, I asked if they wanted fettuccine alfredo or penne alfredo.
They responded, ‘No, no, no, we want fettuccine penne.’
I tried to explain to them that they were ordering two different types of pasta while I was asking what sauce they wanted. They had no clue what I was saying. I ended up just giving them penne alfredo.
When I went to check up on the table, the customer thanked me for getting the order right, exclaiming the ‘fettuccine was off the charts.'”
This Is Why Some People Shouldn’t Have Kids
People like to think that their children can do no wrong. They’re usually the same people who think that they can do no wrong either. They also happen to be the kind of people who shouldn’t have kids. When they do, situations like this happen.
“I worked at a fried chicken place,” wrote one Redditor. “This lady called and said that her daughter was going to be placing the order.
The daughter sounded like she couldn’t have been any older than 5 years old, and so I laughed it off when she placed an order for 500 pieces of chicken. The mom got on the phone and asked how long it would be before her order was ready. I told her that her daughter just ordered $1,000 in fried chicken and that I wanted to double-check to make sure that was what she really wanted.
The lady went nuts screaming at me asking if I thought her daughter was dumb.
Me: ‘So, you want 500 pieces of chicken?’
Her: ‘My girl wants what she wants. Make it and stop making fun of her.’
Me: ‘It is going to be at least an hour and $1,000, just so you know.’
The lady ended the call by saying that I should not be making fun of her and her daughter before questioning why I thought I was better than them, or something along those lines. We went ahead and placed the order.
About 10 minutes later, the woman and her daughter showed up looking for their chicken. I explained the call to the manager ahead of time, just in case something went down. Well, it did. The woman freaked out when the cashier told her it was $1,000.
The lady refused to tell us how much chicken she really wanted while the little girl stood there screaming she wanted 500 chickens.”
It Would Be Nice If People Would Explain What They Mean
People like to give little nicknames for everyday products, but if those people are going to use their created names, they may want to make sure not to pick one that’s already in use. Otherwise, there’s going to be a great deal of confusion and a high chance of some kind of issues down the road. Kind of like what happened in the following story.
“I work at a supermarket in the dairy department,” wrote Senorpuddin. “One day, as I’m stocking eggs on the shelf, a customer approached me, and we had the following conversation if you can call it that.
Customer: ‘Where are the Eggos?’
Me: ‘They are in the frozen department.’
Customer: ‘No, I buy them in this aisle.’
Me: ‘We don’t have waffles in the dairy department.’
Customer: ‘Not the waffles, they are liquid eggs.’
Me: ‘I’ve worked here for years, we don’t sell Eggo brand liquid eggs.’
Customer: ‘What do you call that, smart guy? (points to EggBeater brand liquid eggs)’
Customer: ‘That’s what I’m looking for.’
Me: ‘You asked for Eggos.’
Customer: ‘That’s what I call them.’
Me: ‘Think carefully before you answer this, how would I know your random liquid egg nickname?’
The customer complained, and I was sent home early for arguing with her.”
A Simple Menu Doesn’t Always Lead To A Simple Ending
Anyone who has worked in a short-order restaurant with a limited number of items knows that sometimes a simple menu only makes things more complicated for the customer and restaurant alike. These two stories help paint that picture.
“I work at a small outdoor restaurant that sells wings and fries; nothing else, just those two things (as far as food goes),” wrote ThePirateYar. “About a week ago, a man walked up to my counter, took a menu, proceeded to read the entire thing in front of me, and then put down his menu to ask, ‘Can I get a cheeseburger combo?’
After taking a minute to wipe the dumbfounded expression off of my face and telling him no, we only sold wings and fries, he said, ‘What about a hot dog? Let me get a hot dog!’
My mind was blown after that conversation.”
And then there are the times where a customer’s unwillingness to properly read the menu (or actually pay attention to what people are telling them) drives the server beyond the point of no return. It’s a small miracle the waiter in the following story didn’t’ a) get his butt kicked or b) get fired for what he did when a customer took things a little too far. Fight fire with dynamite, right?
“I worked at a bar once that only sold pizzas, and one of those pizzas was the buffalo chicken pie,” wrote itsthematrixdood. “So, one customer told me he wanted to order the buffalo chicken wings.
I told him we didn’t have wings, and that it was a pizza. He said fine and that he would take it. I repeated that it was a pizza, and again, he said sure.
When it was ready, I brought it to him and he said: ‘Hey, I wanted the wings!’ I kindly responded by saying that I told him it was a pizza and that we didn’t have wings.
At first, he said it was okay, but when I turned my back to walk away, I heard him say to someone sitting next to him: ‘this jerk just doesn’t want to give me wings.’
I turned around, grabbed his pizza, and said: ‘You know, I’m giving you your money back.’ As he protested and cried that it was fine and that he didn’t care, I gave him his refund and proceeded to eat his pizza in front of him.”
Maybe More People Should Ask Questions
Sometimes, customers don’t even have to ask a question in order to show their lack of intelligence and manners. Sometimes, people just don’t want to admit that they are mistaken, and those people would probably be better off asking a question or two.
“It wasn’t really a question, but I had a lady flip out on me one time when she ordered the wrong thing over the phone,” wrote FelineFupa. “I was the hostess, and part of my job was answering the call and putting in to-go orders. I always read them back because I’m socially awkward and terrified of confrontation.
This lady ordered and I took it down, read it back, and handed it over to the kitchen. She sent her 8-year-old in to pay when she got there. The 8-year-old didn’t have enough money, so she went outside to get more from her mom. The mom called the line instead of coming in and started screaming at me about how she ordered a kids meal. We didn’t even serve kids meals at this place.
I told her this and that’s when she started yelling:
‘THIS ISN’T MY PROBLEM! THIS ISN’T MY PROBLEM!’
She just kept yelling it over and over. I told her she could speak to the manager, but she kept yelling this over me as I tried to calm her down.
When she eventually paused, I said; ‘Ma’am, this sounds a lot like your problem. If you would like to come in and try to solve it, that’s fine, but as of right now, we are just going to eat your food if you do not come in and pay for it.’
She was not happy. She hung up and called again asking for the manager, so I gave the manager the phone, who promptly hung up on her.”
There Seems To Be Misconception About Grocery Stores
There’s a common misconception about grocery stores where people think that just because the store is open late, all the different departments are open as well. If you’ve ever been into a grocery store at say 10 pm and see that the deli department is closed, you would think that you shouldn’t bother trying to get lunch meat. Well, some people aren’t so quick to figure this out.
“When I was a deli clerk, a guy came in one night at 9:59 pm nearly 30 minutes after we closed,” wrote moonlightwolf52. “We had to do the dishes, mop the floors, and clean the slicers before we were supposed to clock out at 10 pm, and I was already a bit behind schedule.
The guy came up to the counter and was all like, ‘EXCUSE ME, WHERE’S ALL YOUR FOOD?’
I said: ‘I’m sorry, sir, we close at 9:30.’
‘WHAT?’ he exclaimed. ‘YOU GUYS SHOULD STAY OPEN LATER SOME PEOPLE HAVE TO WORK LATE AND NEED TO EAT YOU KNOW.’
I stared at him for a moment before smiling and saying, ‘Yeah, I’m sorry sir, I know the feeling.’
He looked at me very confused before I’m assuming it registered to him that I was still working. He finally walked off in a huff.
The crazy part is that he was in a grocery store and was literally surrounded by food, including cold chicken tenders he could heat up in a microwave.”
This doesn’t seem like it’s isolated to one store. I’m afraid this is a common occurrence for those poor souls who have to stay late closing down a grocery store.
“Our deli closes at 9 and the store closes at 10, but since I’m the closer/assistant manager, I have to do a bunch of other stuff on top of cleaning the deli,” wrote Bellatrixk. “This guy comes in every other night at 9:45, and asks for lunch meat.
It always goes something like this.
Me: ‘I’m sorry, but we’re closed. We close at 9.’
Guy: ‘But I need chipped ham.’
Me: ‘Sorry, but I already took apart and cleaned the slicer.’
Guy: ‘That’s fine, you can just clean it again.’
Me: ‘I’m sorry, but as I said, we’re closed.’
Guy: ‘Let me talk to your boss.’
Me: ‘I am the boss, and we’re closed.’
Seriously, every other night, this guy does this. Our deli is open from 6 am to 9 pm. Who waits until almost 10 at night to get lunch meat.”
Baristas Are Not Paid Enough To Deal With This Level Of Stupidity
It’s not hard to feel bad for baristas. People love to crap on them and call them worthless millennials who don’t want to commit to a “real job,” but these are the same poor souls that have to put up with people who haven’t had their morning cup of coffee. With that being said, let’s cut them a little slack.
“I was working at a small coffee shop that roasted its own beans and had its own brand,” wrote NoDoThis. “One day we had a customer whose comments still have me scratching my head.
Customer: ‘Do you sell Starbucks here?’
Me: ‘No ma’am, we roast our own coffee.’
Customer: ‘Well, that’s just bad business!'”
Starbucks is to coffee what Kleenex is to tissue. They’re both the most popular brand names in their respective markets, and so, with time, people begin to associate the name of a company with an entire industry. It happens, but come on, not every coffee spot is Starbucks, just like this next story demonstrates.
“I used to work at a Coffee Bean & a Tea Leaf,” wrote theoutlet. “One early morning, I had a customer order a frappucino.
I responded with: ‘I’m sorry, we don’t serve those here.’
Startled, the customer looked at me incredulously, then looked around like they were actually seeing where they were for the first time, then looked back at me and said’ ‘This isn’t a Starbucks?'”
But sometimes, it even happens to baristas at Starbucks. I guess they aren’t even safe from dealing with people whose brains aren’t quite firing on all cylinders.
“I used to work at Starbucks,” wrote darcendale. “I don’t know how many times people would come through and order Egg McMuffins, McGriddles, hash browns, or basically anything on a McDonald’s menu.
I would have to say something along the lines of: ‘Oh, I’m sorry, this isn’t McDonald’s, we don’t have those’ and they’d freak out and yell: ‘YOU DONT SELL MCMUFFINS?'”
Dont_Tellem, a self-proclaimed Starbucks veteran said: “I can’t tell you how many times people ordered Frappe’s (those are from McDonald’s), and we would repeat back the order and say okay so one Frappuccino and they would get so mad and insist they wanted a Frappe.
Another one was a lady who wanted a chocolate latte. So, again, we repeated the order back but used the correct term Mocha so we wouldn’t confuse the barista who was listening to the order as well. The lady got so mad she screamed: ‘NO! I said a CHOCOLATE latte! CHO-CO-LATE!'”
And then you have people who just can’t be helped. No, really, there’s no hope for people like the one in the following story.
I was working at Dunkin Donuts one day, and some lady came in for coffee,” wrote one Redditor.
Customer: ‘What’s the differences between ice coffee and hot coffee?’
Me: (Confused) ‘Uh, iced is cold.’
Customer: ‘How do you make it cold?’
Me: ‘Um, ice.’
Customer: ‘Do you have French fries?’
Me: ‘No, we don’t sell that.’
Customer: ‘You have hash browns.’
Me: ‘Yeah, but those are like, breakfast food.’
Customer: ‘I’ve had French fries for breakfast.’
The worst part is she was a fairly regular customer. Also, every time she comes in she tries to take our tips.”
People Don’t Go To Vegas To Use Their Brains
When people visit Las Vegas, they’re typically ready to gamble, party, and try new things. Well, if we’re to go by the example set by the couple in the following story, I guess using your brain isn’t on the list.
“I worked at a well-known golf restaurant that is known as a nightlife spot,” wrote UltimateItalion. “A new site was just built on top of a hotel in Las Vegas, which is where I dealt with a quite a few dumb customers.
Guest: ‘Can you move the net back farther?’
Me: (laughing) ‘No, no I can’t.’
I have never laughed at a guest before, but I did that day. The net is held up by about 20 metal poles that reach 200 to 500 feet in the air and who knows how far down into the ground and probably weigh tens of thousands of pounds.
This all followed the second dumbest customer I’ve ever met while working, who just happened to be the guy’s wife. She asked about seven times if we had lemon pepper wings.
Wife: ‘Do you have lemon pepper wings?’
Me: ‘No ma’am.’
Wife: ‘So, no lemon pepper wings?’
Me: ‘No ma’am.’
Wife: ‘But you can probably make lemon pepper wings, right?’
Me: ‘No ma’am.’
Wife: ‘But you probably have the ingredients for lemon pepper wings?’
Me: ‘No, we do not.’
Wife: ‘Could you ask the chef to figure out how to make some lemon pepper wings for me?’
I get it, it doesn’t hurt to ask; you never know what could come from it. But to continue to rephrase the same question, over and over again, when it didn’t work the first time, is one way find yourself on the top of the waiter’s list.
Some Customers Just Lack A Basic Understanding Of Pricing
So much confusion going on here.
“I work in the meat department of a small grocery store, and people are so stupid sometimes,” wrote BellatrixK.
“Lady: ‘How much are your ribeyes?’
Me: ‘They’re $11.99 a pound.’
Lady: ‘Okay, let me have a pound.’
Me: ‘Well, the steaks are pre-cut, I have to put one on the scale to price it anyway, so you can see how much it weighs before you buy it.’
Lady: ‘No, you don’t have to weigh it, just give me $11.99 worth of steak.’
Me: ‘I have to weigh it to get the price, and because our steaks are precut, I don’t think I’ll be able to give you an exact pound.’
Lady: ‘Oh, forget it. I don’t like pork anyway.’
Basically, People Don’t Use Their Better Sense Of Judgement When Dealing With Food
People don’t always use their better sense of judgment or their brains when it comes to ordering food. As we’ve seen over the previous stories, it doesn’t take a great deal of intelligence to figure that out. Just ask any of the poor souls who had to put up with these terrible customers.
If we’re to take anything away from those stories, hopefully, it’s that we should think about what we’re about to say when we’re out at the grocery store, the coffee shop, or a restaurant. Otherwise, we’ll end up in a story like the ones found on this list.