Working in the food service industry isn't for the faint of art, especially when talking about working in fast food. Every day, those in that industry deal with customers expecting a high degree of service for dollar menu prices. Beggers can't be choosers unless it's someone buying an extra value meal. And the people who work for the McDonald's, Taco Bells, and Subways of the world know this all too well.
A Reddit thread recently asked fast food workers to share their worst experience in dealing with the customers on the other side of the register (or drive-thru speaker), and the results were something else. You have to feel bad for these people (the workers, not the customers) for what the
The Legend Of The Beefy Freeze
“I worked at Taco Bell for four years. Once I turned 18, I had the privilege of being scheduled closing shifts. One night, a wild group comes through the drive-thru. They order a bunch of $1 burritos and three Strawberry Frutista Freezes. One of the guys yells into the speaker that he wants a scoop of beef in his Frutista Freeze. I’m over this shift and this job and say, ‘Whatever, sounds good, your total is $X, please pull ahead.’
The closing manager is helping me out with drinks during the post bar close rush and decides to personally hand out the order to this car. The driver is taking the food/drinks and handing it to the passengers, someone from the back seat yells ‘I hope you didn’t forget my beefy freeze!’
My manager replies, ‘We didn’t, but good luck figuring out which one is which.'”
They Figured They Were Doing The Workers A Favor
“I worked at a Subway between finishing high school and starting college. These two young girls (both about 15 years old) come in. One doesn’t order anything, the other gets a 6” sandwich. The one who orders asks to leave a pamphlet with me–I decided it was easiest to just say yes. So I’m looking at it and it’s got a cartoon of animals and people sitting together with the text, ‘Soon, all suffering will end.’
Great, I thought–vegan hippies. But then I saw ‘The Watchtower Society’ on the back of the pamphlet–Oh-ho! Not vegans, Jehova’s Witnesses! Even better!
Anyhow, fast forward to them leaving, they purposefully left a GIGANTIC mound of napkins etc on the table…with another freaking pamphlet on top of it. Yes, they made a huge mess just so someone would be forced to come over to clean it, and thus find the pamphlet.
I mean, why would I want to join a religion full of such inconsiderate jerks?”
The Art Of Expecting An Exchange
“When I worked at a burger stand years ago, the crap we would get from people was amazing. I seriously couldn’t be creative enough to make these stories up.
I once had a customer bring in a shake that was days old, claiming that it was ‘too runny’ when they originally bought it, but that they ‘just didn’t have the time’ to come back until now, so they managed to save the remnants of what used to be a milkshake from our stand for the entire time so they could bring it back later and get an exchange.
Same place, a different customer brings in a burger in a Ziploc bag, claiming that the burger was wrong when they bought it, but they didn’t notice until they got home. Again, the item in question was days old, and they had just now brought it in, ABSOLUTELY EXPECTING an exchange.
The manager of the stand at the time gave them whatever they wanted just to avoid dealing with them.”
A Kid Loses It Over Doritos
“I worked at a Subway many years ago. One day we’ve got a full, stacked house. The line is several people deep, so we’re just trying to work through people as fast as we can. A family – parents and one young kid, maybe 5-7 years old, come in and get in line. Once they get near the display for chips, the kid starts acting up about how he wants some Doritos.
No big deal, normally, but the kid starts yelling and screaming and making a scene. The parents look exhausted beyond their years and just try to calmly and quietly inform him no, that he isn’t getting chips. The screaming goes on and the brat remains at the display but the parents move on, getting their order in and ignoring him. Taking our cue from them, we and the other customers do the same.
As they are ringing up, the boy realizes that his ploy has failed and he must up his game. I see him look at the chips in his hand, at his parents, back again, then at me. Calculation crosses his eyes and he asks me, ‘If I break this, do they have to pay for it?’
Quick as you please he drops the chips on the ground and stomps them hard with his foot, making a very recognizable pop sound as the bag explodes. The room is stunned. Everyone slowly turns to the parents. They look, sigh, and ask my bud to ring up a bag of chips. They pay and leave, never once rebuking the child.
If I had tried that as a kid, I wouldn’t be alive to post this story.”
She Ruined That Policy For Everyone
“Near the very end of the day, a lady came up to our fish and chips window and ordered a four-piece chicken strip combo. She said that she wanted it split four ways for her four children. My co-worker said sure, but informed her that since the combo just came with a small fries, that meant each of those four portions would include just one chicken strip and a few fries. He repeated it a couple of times, but she impatiently told him that was okay. You can probably see where this is going. When she came to pick up her order, she was irate. From the sounds of things, she wanted each of those portions to have at least two strips and a small fries–even though she was only willing to pay the price of a single combo. She screamed at my co-worker, told him he was incompetent, all kinds of things. She wasn’t willing to pay more, though, and my co-worker wasn’t about to make her more chicken strips and fries for free, so finally he told her the outlet was closed and that if she had any more issues, she should take it up with the manager. She left and he closed the shutter, but then she came around to the side door of the building and screamed at him some more. Even when they closed the door, she waited for them and followed them across the park when they walked back to the main kitchen…where they were able to meet up with the manager and she was asked to leave the park. We don’t allow meal-splitting anymore–if customers want something split, we’ll give them plates and knives and they can do their own portions.”
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.”
Hopefully They Upcharged Her
“When I used to work at McDonald’s, some lady came in and ordered a cheeseburger without cheese. So being the person I am, I just put it in a hamburger wrapper and gave it to the front. Well, she came back like five minutes later and all heck broke loose. She was yelling at the poor girl who gave her the sandwich and the girl was new. So I went up to help and asked what was the matter.
This is what she said: ‘I ordered a Cheeseburger without cheese you gave me a Hamburger. I want what I ordered right now and I want to speak to your manager.’ So, I told her I was the manager. She proceeded to call me a liar even though I had a name tag that said shift manager on it. But I told her I would fix it. I took the burger and put it in a Cheeseburger wrapper and gave it back to her. She looked at it. Then at me and then I’m pretty sure she had the realization of what a Cheeseburger without cheese is. She then just walked away without thanking me or anything.
Also, I sent the girl home since she was crying.”
Thought You Could Pull That One Off, Eh?
“While working the drive-thru window at a fast food joint in high school. I had a verbally abusive mini-van mom scream at me because we weren’t serving breakfast. While trying my best to calm her down, she demanded that I comp her entire order.
I said what any rational 17-year-old would say: ‘No? We can’t do that, just because we aren’t serving breakfast.’
To which she proceeded to throw her entire tray of drinks at me while screaming from the top of lungs that I was a jerk as she peeled out of the parking lot.
She later tried to file a complaint against me with the company. She exaggerated the details and quoted me as saying ‘I ain’t gonna help you, idiot’ (she also left out the part about throwing a tray of drinks at me).
I could have lost my job, but luckily I had multiple witnesses who backed up my story.
After about a week, she came through the drive-thru a second time, She even had the nerve to complain as she was ordering that she came through last week, was treated poorly, was refused breakfast and that this meal should be comped. My manager asked them to drive around, she then confronted her at the window, stating that she not only assaulted one of her employees but also attempted to have him fired under false pretenses and that we would not serve her.
Needless to say, she filed a complaint against my manager as well, which unfortunately didn’t get as easily dismissed. She was suspended for a week without pay.”
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 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.”
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 do mouth to mouth contact, but I 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 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 into 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 are 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 apart, 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 at 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, ‘Forget this, I’m done,’ and just left.”
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.”
Sweet, Sweet Grilled Grease
“Two women ordered a Bloomin’ Onion. After it was delivered, my coworker went over to see how everything was. The lady asked for a cup of the sauce at the bottom of the plate.
‘Ma’am, that is actually fryer grease, not sauce.’
She looked at him and said, ‘I don’t care what it is, just get me a cup of it.’
He went to the back, ladled out a soup cup of fryer grease, and brought it out. The woman seasoned the grease with salt and pepper and went to town. That was probably the most disgusting thing I ever saw working as a server.”
At Least It Was A Small Soda
“My first job was working at Subway. Deaf people used to come to our store on a surprisingly regular basis. One day a particularly heavyset deaf lady came in and ordered a sandwich.
She looked at me and said. ‘Footlong. White bread.’
I politely asked what kind of sandwich she would like.
So I put some mayo on the sandwich and looked at her.
‘More,’ she said.
I put more on.
‘More,’ she said again.
So, I added a bunch more. There was about a quarter inch mayo layer at this point. I looked at her again.
‘Salt and pepper,’ she demanded.
I salt and peppered away.
‘More,’ she demanded once more.
I covered that ‘sandwich’ in salt and pepper and asked her if she wanted anything else.
‘Soda,’ she said.
And that was it. Big, deaf lady ordered a mayo sandwich with salt and pepper and a small fountain drink. Freaking disgusting.”