"When I went to university, I worked at Taco Bell. Usually, I worked the drive-thru. One night, a car pulled up to receive their order, when the driver stated, 'I thought I was hungry, then I got a look at you. I think I lost my appetite.'
While handing her the change that was due, I remarked, 'And I thought I left a town of incompetent hicks, bound for a city with more intelligence and culture. I guess I was wrong about that.'
The next day, the customer showed up to the restaurant and complained to my boss that I was 'rude to her.' I explained the situation. My boss smiled, looked at me, and said, 'Yup. Still one of my best employees!' I apologized to my boss later for the trouble I may have caused. He told me that my witty comeback was nothing compared to what he may have done. Sounds like my customer was lucky I'm just ugly. I could have been ugly AND mean, like my boss."
"I used to spend my summers waiting tables while I was in high school and college. Once, a group walked in to be seated. As is customary, I asked how many were in the party. I could easily see that there were six of them, but I always asked the total in case more people were on the way.
One woman said 'Four adults and two children.'
A man, I assume her husband, then sputtered: 'That makes six total.' I didn't really think anything of it until I heard him turn to his wife and say quietly (but not so quietly that I couldn't hear), 'You have to make it clear for the waitress, she might not be able to add them.'
I turned to him and with the sweetest smile said: 'Oh don't worry, I just wait tables over the summer. During the school year I attend the Oregon Institute of Technology where I'm double majoring in Civil Engineering and Applied Mathematics. I know that 2 and 4 make 6.' I kindly showed them to their seats and they ended up giving a very generous tip."
"The owner of a coffee shop I worked at came in during a particularly busy rush on a Sunday, which was one of our busiest days. After serving him, he told me he wished he could go back in time and break my parents up so I was never born because it was the worst service he had ever had.
Mind you, I paid extra attention to his table because he's the owner. After telling him that he needed to be a little more patient because I was the only server and it was very busy, he said that if he was a paying customer he'd make me pay for the meal and then said something like he couldn't believe I could tie my shoes in the morning considering how bad I was at serving. I told him to fire me then and he balked. I worked there for another year without a word from him."
"Back when I was around 16, I had a job at a bakery. It was my first day at the job. I was serving a man behind the counter and he requested a specific type of muffin. Because it was my first day, I was still learning the various types and I couldn't see the signs in front that described which muffin was what flavor. We were the only two people in the store.
I pointed to the one that I thought was the one he mentioned and asked 'Do you mean this one?' I had picked the correct one, but I wanted it to be sure before I put it in the bag to ring him up.
His eyes darkened as if I had told him I had killed his puppy. He looked at me with disdain, as if I were a mere maggot feeding off a larger maggot. The corners of his mouth turned down. 'Yes, THAT one....did you graduate high school?' he asked. Wow, I was completely blown away at the nerve of this fully grown man. I ignored him and proceeded to cheerfully ring him up.
'I asked you a question,' he said in an authoritative tone. He saw me as an inferior human being, and he wanted to make sure I knew it.
I looked him in the eye and said, 'Sir I am only 16 years old and I am a junior, I am not old enough to have graduated.'
'Do you plan on graduating high school?' he asked.
'Of course,' I said.
'Good,' he said and then left the store. I was floored that someone could be so rude, especially since I was just being thorough. I later told my shift manager about the exchange and she informed me that I never had to take that kind of abuse. Under those circumstances, I was allowed to tell the person to get out of the store and never come back. Fortunately, while I had some rude customers, I never had anything on that level again."
"I started waiting tables about 3 months into my stay here in the United States. I had immigrated from Malaysia where I had previously been a Lecturer in college teaching English as a Second Language. Customer service was not alien to me because of my prior experience with students and parents.
The first time I've ever experienced someone being rude to me was a few months into my first serving job at Olive Garden.
I had a table of 5 Caucasians. From how they interacted, they appeared to be a family of 5 - the parents had 3 adult children. They were pretty rude to me as they sat down, demanding for this and that (which in most cases, was a pretty normal occurrence; bossy customers are a norm).
When everyone finally settled down after I had gotten them their beverages (and the mom rudely threatening me after I 'didn't give her a full 6oz pour), I started to take down their meal orders.
The last person I spoke to started speaking in broken English and what I'd assumed was a fake Chinese accent. Towards the end of his order, he'd said, 'I-ah want-ah dat-ah easpelegus instead-ah of-ah da blokkali. You meik sue-ar dat I-ah get-ah de easpelegus.'
I was stunned by this man's speech. Everyone else at the table was snickering. The man who was doing the fake Chinese accent looked really pleased with himself. Everyone waited to see how I'd react. I mustered every ounce of professionalism I had in me and responded in the most fluent, unaccented, and grammatically correct English. The man who had been rude to me looked taken aback. I smiled at him pleasantly, took all the menus back, all the while my heart was pounding in my ears, and quickly walked away to put in their order.
That was the first time in my life that someone was blatantly racist towards me. My response had been to kill them with kindness. I'd made an offhand remark to my coworker after I'd put the order in and said, 'Some people are so rude... This guy said to me he wanted asparagus with his meal instead of broccoli but he did it in a fake Chinese accent. He said easpelegus instead of asparagus. The nerve huh?' My coworker was livid to hear it.
Unbeknownst to me, she had gone to the manager and told him what had happened. Moments later, the manager came to me and asked me to recount the incident. After I'd done so, my manager took a plate of raw asparagus, went to the table, and set the plate down rudely, saying, 'I hear someone wants asparagus?' He then proceeded to have some words with the customers and told them that if they disrespect any of his staff again, that he'd call the police on them.
When I returned to the table to check on their meal, the man was exceedingly polite to me, as was the rest of the table."
"I asked a customer how he wanted his BBQ Burger. We had about 3-4 different types of BBQ related entrees so it was easy to mix it up unless you are clear to the consumer. He looked at me kind of funny and said, 'Well done I guess?.' I don't like to deal with questioning remarks, especially when it comes to food (food allergies, really picky eaters such as myself), so I proceeded to repeat the order back to him. He said it was correct, but I still had my doubts.
I bring the food back to the table, he looked at me like I was the dumbest thing on the planet. 'I definitely said BBQ Chicken...' I apologized, said 'Oh! I'm sorry about that I thought for sure you had said the burger, that's why I asked you how you liked it cooked.' The next thing that came out of his mouth was this:: 'Oh I just thought you were mentally challenged so I didn't really question it.' I was never so mad in my life over something that stupid."
"I worked at a private club once. One guy, in his mid-20s, came in with the rest of his family - about 10 people. Despite his young age, he was obviously taking up drinking as a hobby and he wasn't nice, either. In fact, I'd waited on him previously and he was a pretty insufferable piece of trash.
The last time he came in, this guy would order doubles and try to pound them as fast as possible. Unfortunately for both of us, the club was starting to be big on moderating, which means that you have to slow service to people who seem intent on killing all their brain cells and cut them off if they've visibly had too much. Real fun stuff when you work in a club full of entitled jerks as it is, so I had my work cut out for me.
I'd hoped that this guy would be on better behavior this time since he was with his family. Nope. He ordered a double, sucked it down in minutes and ordered another, which I also brought. After that, I took their lunch order and then explained the moderated service policy to the table so they would understand, and everyone else thought it was reasonable. Not him. He started calling me stupid, then mentally challenged, then a witch because he had to wait 15 minutes until he could have another drink. His family was mortified but silent on the subject. They basically tried to be endlessly gracious to make up for his behavior.
Right before their order was up, he demanded his drink and I said I would bring it after I served the meal. He called me the c-word. I went back to the kitchen, doing a slow burn. Something biological definitely did NOT make it into his sandwich and then cleverly hidden, because that would be disgusting and probably illegal.
I calmly brought out and delivered the meal. Everyone was thankful, except for the verbal abuser. He demanded his drink, and I calmly brought that to him. 'FINALLY,' he said, 'I can't believe someone so stupid can even work here, etc.'
He was still going on about how stupid I was when I looked him right in the eyeball and said, with an ever so slight suggestion of irony, 'How's your sandwich?'
He was surprised at the drastic change of subject. He looked down at his half-eaten French Dip. 'Uh, it's good.'
Still looking him right in the eye, I smiled and said, with just a bare hint of satisfaction in my voice, 'Good.'
Then I went around to the rest of the table and politely inquired as to their meals, if I could get them anything, anything at all. Everyone loved their meals, they loved me.
Double Screwdriver did not say one word for the rest of the meal, and he did not take another bite of his sandwich. He just stared at it, horrified. When I went around to offer boxes for leftovers, his dad wondered why he didn't want one. 'You sure?' 'NO THANK YOU!' Lol.
Eventually, I quit working at that club and started at a restaurant down the street. Wouldn't you know it, that guy came in and started the same stuff AGAIN. 'I want a double, and be quick about it, etc.'
I looked at him with a grin. 'Sure, I remember - a double and a French Dip, right?' He looked at me, did a double-take when he saw who I was, then got up and left."
"This happened to me at Hooters. A guy orders a Blue Moon seasonal, so I bring it to him. I don't pour it myself so I trust it's correct. I know what the regular Blue Moon looks like, so thought the seasonal looks a lot like it (same color).
Later, the same guy orders another one, and the drink the bartender gives me is dark instead of the orange colored one I gave him earlier, so I knew the bartender accidentally poured a regular Blue Moon earlier. I bring the correct beer to the table and am about to explain to the guy he had gotten the wrong one earlier and that here was the correct one now, and I would have the charge for the first one gotten rid of.
Before I can say anything, the guy holds up his first glass (with a little bit left) and says, 'Excuse me miss, but do you really think these are really the same drink? Do you need to learn your colors? Let's go back to Kindergarten. This color is ORANGE and that color is BROWN!'
He went on like that and I let him embarrass his 14-year-old daughter as much as possible."
"The set up: every Tuesday the pizzeria I worked at had an all-you-can-eat night. People would come in, put down money for a plate and take a seat at a booth. For about four hours we would put pizzas into the oven non-stop and the servers would take them around and ask each table in turn if they were interested in what we had on the pan. People who were interested would be given a single slice and then the server would move on to the next table. The single slice rule was very strict in an attempt to get everyone a shot at every pizza. Additionally, diners would request pizzas from the servers who, after returning to the kitchen, would make up the pizza and queue it up for the oven. Eventually, people would leave when they were full, usually after getting a couple of slices of their requested pizzas. The whole process was very personal and became a favorite post game hang out of the women's soft ball teams. The place was packed.
Now on the all-you-can-eat night in question I was a server, so I had been picking up pizzas and offering them to the diners in turn. Having completely emptied my pan I start to head back to the kitchen when suddenly I hear, 'Get out of here [very offensive slang term for a gay man]!' from an old guy sitting alone in a booth. I was startled and eventually got back to the kitchen where I told the other servers what had happened. Apparently, he had been calling the women names as well if they didn't bring him what he wanted. The person who took his last request informed me that the pizza I just ran out of was one of his, so I figured he was upset that I ran out just before I got to him and he resorted to calling me names in retaliation.
We were all fed up with him so we made sure that only the most disgusting pizzas that were requested, usually involving pickles and/or artichokes, or bbq pizzas, which we found out he disliked, would come by his table. Since, he didn't take the hint after an hour of having an empty plate we got the manager involved and got him banned from the restaurant."
"I was a bartender for eight months back in 2013. I was badly paid, and of course illegally hired.
My boss made me work alone, and always liked to remind me that my job was a privilege he graciously handed me. I saw through his bull but I needed the money. Even though it meant greeting customers, serving them, crafting the drinks, doing the cash out, and cleaning the place all of this for €4 per hour. Thankfully, the bar was usually empty, due to high prices and bad location, so, I had time.
One day, these customers walk in intoxicated. It was 9 pm and there were 12 of them. I sat them down and handed them menus. It went badly afterward.
They took their drinks and started spilling them over each other during a long, angry argument. I tried to break it off, even though my boss didn't want to bother to come out and help me. One of them insulted me, saying I was 'too poor and meaningless' to even address them while trying to spill his empty drink on me.
Long story short, a fight broke out, and thankfully they left - without paying. My boss then came down and berated me for not handling the situation better. It ended with me having to pay for them and stay extra time to clean up their mess. Needless to say, I was late and exhausted at my class the following morning."
"I was working as a hostess at a restaurant when I was in college. I had worked there for a couple of years and had a spotless record as an employee. Our regular customers adored me and I had a great relationship with everyone there.
One evening, I finished sitting a family down and had gone back to the hostess station to seat the next group. Not long after seating the group, my manager asked me to come to the kitchen area. He fidgeted for what seemed like a minute, not really knowing where to begin. Finally, he said, 'I can't have you back on the floor for the rest of the night.' I must've looked super confused, because he repeated himself. 'You can't go back out, you'll have to stay in the kitchen the rest of the night.'
I was speechless and had no idea what I had done wrong.
'The family you just sat down, well, they complained about your clothing. They said your clothes are too revealing.'
I was wearing a button-up blouse and a black skirt that came more than halfway down my thighs and I did absolutely no bending over whatsoever. I also had dark tights underneath, so no actual skin was showing. My clothing was 100% in compliance with our work dress code, as my other manager would've sent me home or kept me in the back for the night if I had come dressed 'suggestively.'
My manager seemed so uncomfortable, but he continued, 'Now, I don't agree with them and your outfit seems perfectly fine, but I can't have you back on the floor the rest of the night. The woman said she would come back later and make sure you didn't work the floor again.'
I asked, 'Are you SURE she said me? Maybe she was talking about someone else.' The head hostess was known for wearing super short skirts, but since she was dating the manager, she never got in trouble, and she stayed mostly behind the greeter's desk, so her legs were rarely visible.
'Yes,' he explained, getting uncomfortable. 'She said the Mexican girl that looks like a girl working the corner. I'm so sorry. I hate to do this to you, but we are a family restaurant and if a customer complains, we have to act.' I'm Puerto Rican and was the only Hispanic girl, or even the only person who looked Hispanic, working that night...
I was absolutely horrified!!! But I donned an ugly kitchen uniform and resigned myself to stay out back for the remainder of my shift. I cried a few tears, mostly out of anger.
After the family left, both managers came to the kitchen and apologized profusely, saying it was so unfair and that they think it was racially motivated because of things she said that they wouldn't repeat. They told me that the reason they asked me to stay out of sight was for my sake, because they were afraid she was going to make a scene and cause me more harm. I was too upset to say anything, but I do understand that they have a business to run, and having a hysterical, screaming woman calling one of your employees a street walker is probably not the best image for a family restaurant.
I was allowed to change back into my hostess clothes and go back on the floor for the remainder of the night. And if she came back, the managers assured me, they would throw her out and even call the police if needed.
She never did.
Later that night, my friend who was their waiter said that the wife kept yelling at the husband the whole night in front of their kids and, well, apparently anyone within earshot. According to her, he came into our restaurant frequently (I had never seen him before, or at least not that I recognized), and she was convinced he was having an affair with an employee there. When I sat them, he must've looked at me somehow and she became enraged, accusing him of coming to the restaurant only to check me out. The waiter told me she kept calling me some pretty nasty names. I think she was a very twisted, insecure, jealous woman who went off the deep end that night and took it out on me. She could've gotten me into some SERIOUS trouble had it not been for the fact that my managers loved and respected me.
After that, I kept an eye out for that guy but I never saw him again. Rumor had it that he was a day customer who came in often with a woman who wasn't even Hispanic. So maybe the wife was right in suspecting him, but it certainly wasn't with anyone at my work, and MOST DEFINITELY not with me!"
"I had a man yell 'waitress' across the room at me. The room goes dead silent and all angry eyes are on him as I walk over to his table. He's completely oblivious to the dirty looks from other customers and I say, 'My name's Jen, sir.' He responds, 'Jane, Joe, Susanne - I don't care what your name is. Bring me the check.' It was a business meeting and I can only assume he was trying to assert his dominance or something stupid like that."