"Once, when I was working at this insanely popular breakfast joint, my first table of the morning was a seemingly adorable old couple.
After going through our specials, at their request, she ordered the duck hash special, and he ordered two boring poached eggs on toast. All good.
I bring them their food and the guy starts freaking out.
You see, I didn't bring him a tablespoon for his eggs. Granted, he didn't ask for one, but according to him, everyone knows that poached eggs are supposed to be served with a tablespoon. I've been a waitress for nearly a decade, and I've served a lot of poached eggs, and I've never heard this rule.
Nonetheless, I apologize profusely and tell him I'll go grab him a spoon. 'No!' he yells. 'My breakfast is ruined now!' and then, this grown adult throws his plate of food at me and storms out.
His wife gives me a sympathetic smile as she slinks out behind him, and I work the next eight hours with egg yolk stains all over me."
"I was only a waitress for about 8 weeks, but this is the story that stands out:
An older couple came in with their son that was I'd guess around 30. The son was incredibly obese and STUNK so badly (like I could smell him come into the restaurant).
It was a tavern-style restaurant. This was still during my first week as a waitress. The parents were I'd guess in their 70's. they ordered 2 side salads, and their son ordered the full rack of BBQ ribs. He literally sounded like a pig or a troll while eating. People at surrounding tables literally asked for to-go boxes and their checks as soon as he got his food, it was that bad. Near the end of their meal, the dad claimed to have found a hair in his salad, but he ate it anyway and 'lost' the hair (obviously trying to get something for free, which we didn't fall for). They paid their bill, left $5 (for myself and my trainer to split, on a $50 tab), and left.
When I cleaned up, there was scum all over the bench seat where the son was sitting, I literally was gagging while I scrubbed the bench seat. I scrubbed BBQ sauce off everything: the salt and pepper shakers, the drink menu, the table, the napkin box, the chairs he wasn't even sitting in, everything. So many scummy, BBQ fingerprints... We had to go to the store and buy Febreeze to try to clear up the smell, and for a good couple of hours, we used the secondary dining room for guests because that guy's BO lingered for so long. I legit threw up in the bathroom after I finished cleaning."
"I did a stint at Starbucks.
They put in a Starbucks at the Target that I was working at. I had just graduated from my degree program and they offered to let me manage it. It was good money.
Well, my coworkers and I made this woman's iced tea wrong. I don't remember why, it was a stupid mistake, but it happens. It would have taken all of thirty seconds to remake it.
She threw it back across the counter, literally threw it, turned to her daughter and said in the most preppy, stuck-up, never worked a day in her life soccer mom 'trophy wife' voice, 'See, this is why we finish high school.'
Being the manager, I refused her any further service. She thought she had me by the short hairs when she went to get the Target store manager. But when a ton of other customers backed up my story, she was removed from Target."
"I wait tables in a country club and had a memorable and an annoying couple come in once. As they were sitting down, before I had even introduced myself, the woman was already complaining, since they had to wait five minutes while we reset 'their table.'
She started off by telling me every time she gets the filet mignon it's awful and cooked wrong. I suggested she tried something else. Nope. She goes for the same thing again. I gave the kitchen a heads up and made sure it was perfect to save us all a headache.
Well, the steak comes up, seems fine. I drop her plate in front of her and I can already see that stupid smirk people get when they are not amused. She grabs her butter knife and legit slaps the top of the steak with the flat of it three times and goes 'this is disgusting.'
She hasn't even cut into it or tasted it.
So she has me take it back and bring her a new one.
So, of course, we do it. She gets her new one. Eats half of it and takes the rest home, wants to talk to a manager. Complains up a storm, gets her whole meal free and dessert. Leave me a garbage tip even if you don't include the free steak and dessert.
Even left me a comment card, just saying, 'Steak sucked,' and 'One star for service.'"
"This one is more of a sad story but one of the common and horrible parts of working in a restaurant.
I worked at a very popular seafood place in a resort town. A family comes in one night and they are clearly on vacation. It's a dad, mom, and two young boys, probably both around 5 to 7 years old. I get a weird vibe from these people like a white trash vibe, so I was immediately thinking, 'Oh dang, well I'm not getting tipped on this table.'
I go to the table and greet them and offer them one of our featured drinks that night. The mom immediately says yes to the special drink and the dad interrupts her and quietly whispers something. I didn't think anything of it.
I return a couple of minutes later with the drink order and suddenly realize that this lady is absolutely trashed. I quickly went back and got her a dummy drink.
As the dinner goes on, I notice that the lady has a flask as well, and start noticing that her husband is subtly begging her to stop drinking. The kids start to notice that something is up and are clearly very upset, not saying a word, just sitting in silence looking down. The kids are drawing pictures on their placemats showing their mom and she's just barely remaining consciousness.
As the woman keeps getting worse, the husband asks for all of their food to go. I wrapped everything up, they paid their check, and as they were walking out the woman ended up getting lost and going into the kitchen. The husband had been walking ahead of her with the kids, so he thought she was still following him to the exit. I had to go and get him and tell him in front of his kids that his wife was in the kitchen and that he had to go and get her out. The kids immediately started crying and the one young boy said, 'Why does she do this daddy?'
I wanted to die. I felt so bad for this man and his kids. He was able to get his wife to leave the kitchen and she finally exited the restaurant. He apologized profusely to me and I honestly just wanted to hug the guy.
The kids were obviously exposed to this before and it really broke my heart. There was nothing anyone could do to stop it.
Anyway, I looked back at the credit card slip that the guy left and it was a giant tip. Just another lesson to never pre-judge people, because you never know what they are going through."
"I was dating the manager (I'm the grill cook) of a restaurant and this group of thugs came in harassing the other customers and being extremely belligerent.
She came back to the kitchen with spit in her face and hair, so I called the cops, calmed her down, and went out to apologize to keep them in the restaurant and they gave me the usual, 'Y'all are racist,' and other nonsense.
They didn't pay their tab and two police cruisers were waiting for them outside the building. The two that got away on foot came back that night and tried to break into the place, all caught on camera which was recently installed by the owner due to trouble with deliveries.
Then about six months later, all four people were back in the restaurant, all most likely violating their probation, and I just said screw it.
I took a bowling ball that the owner kept in his office and threw it through their back car window, slashed their tires, urinated in their gas tank, and spit in their freaking food. They were jerks again and belittled everyone in the restaurant again, but guess who they couldn't call when they walked out to find their precious car in the parking garage.
When they came back to see if anyone had seen anything, I asked them if they had insurance which covers this sort of thing and they replied no.
I handed them my dad's business card for insurance and told them to call the police."
"A customer once made me go back and forth to the kitchen because his meal wasn't the way he wanted it. Overcooked, then not cooked enough.
Then he told me, 'Oh I'm celiac, please make sure there isn't gluten in it.' (He still ate a cake that was not gluten-free.)
He also tried to 'steal' a bottle from the neighboring table saying, 'The waiter told me that this bottle was for us,' made a mean comment about one of the waitresses, and spoke way too loud about uninteresting facts involving a rude vocabulary.
In short, he was putting water onto everyone's boiling oil (don't do that).
At the end of the nightmare, he asked for compensation because of 'The way we treated him,' and started to throw a fit at my mother (this was my parent's restaurant) because she said no. He kept arguing and yelled, 'The customer is king.'
What he didn't know is that this sentence is a direct way to summon my father (the cook) from his kitchen, so my father just came out with a huge knife and told him: 'Here in France we have history with kings, and I'm going to respect my ancestors, who wants to get beheaded?'
The piece of trash shut up, paid for his meal, and went away.
All that nonsense for a 15 Euro meal."
"A family of four come in, at 7 pm on a Saturday night, our busiest time of the week besides Sunday lunchtime.
The family seems pretty down to earth and perfectly normal. They order 2 fillet steaks and two burgers. Being a Saturday evening it is busy and there is a fair 30-minute wait for food, we told them this at the time of ordering and they're fine with it.
After 30 minutes exactly the father comes up asking where the food is, my wife says she'll go find out.
She comes back 2 minutes later, the kitchen is a good 30 seconds walk away from the section the family we're in, and lets them know it'll be 10 minutes as the wagyu burgers are especially thick today so may take a few more minutes to cook.
The father launches into a tirade about how poor the service has been- no updates on order, no offer of extra drinks, no DESSERT menu being given at the start of the meal and the music isn't to their liking. We advise that we had no knowledge of the burgers being thicker than usual, they are seated in the bar area where there is no table service so they order everything at the bar and we give dessert menus after their mains. The father gets in my wife's face and shouts, 'DO YOU KNOW WHAT I FREAKING DO FOR A LIVING?' My wife is the kind of girl who doesn't take nonsense and doesn't judge anybody by what they do, so she replies, 'Honestly, sir, I couldn't give a care. You won't get special service no matter who you are.'
The father then says, 'I'm a CHEF, this is terrible service,' is his reply. She responds, 'Then you know that I, a bar attendant and waitress, have no control over what you loud mouths with egotistical complexes do in the kitchen".
'I'LL THROW YOU IN THE RIVER,' is the father's reply. This is where three other bartenders and I all step forward from behind the bar.
The guy shut up real quick, told his family to get up to leave, and stormed out."
"I used to work at Subway.
There was one legendary customer that we only refer to as 'Crazy Bacon Lady'.
She was an older woman. She came in and asked how much a six-inch BLT would cost. We told her it was $3.50 plus tax. She then proceeded to yell at us saying it was $2 when she came in yesterday (she didn't come in yesterday, in fact, this was the first time she had even been in our store, plus the fact that the BLT was never at any point $2 in the three years I had worked for Subway). She barks out her order the whole way up the line saying such gems as:
'I am a good Christian woman, I don't deserve to be treated this way!'
'For $3.50, that bacon better be fresh!'
'The service here is terrible! I am never coming back, you hear me?'
And the best one of them all, when she gets to my co-worker who is manning the cash register and he tells her the total of $3.68 (tax and all) she says:
'You people are workers of the DEVIL!'
She plops down exact change, snatches up her bag, and storms out the door.
Whenever I see my old co-workers, we still have a good laugh about it."
"I worked at Friendly's when I was 16 years old. It was my first serving job.
One day, I'm serving a table of 10 people, two of which were counselors, the rest were special needs adults.
As soon as I introduce myself to the table, one of the counselors cuts me off and says, 'They all want Coca-Colas. Bring them an extra cup with ice so we can pour in a little at a time.' No problem.
So I come out with eight sodas and eight glasses of ice. One of the clients gets excited and grabs my arm, causing me to spill the drinks on the floor. All of the clients at the table start laughing and the counselor tells me that 'I need to be more careful.'
After I clean everything up, I get the food order (a lot of different dietary restrictions). As I start running the food out, the same client goes for my arm again. I am able to avoid his grasp, but the counselor hisses, 'Watch yourself,' like I had done something wrong. The table eats and gets ready to leave.
The counselor leaves me a 72-cent tip on an $80 bill. On the way out the door, she grabs my arm and says, 'Someone urinated in the seat. Wear gloves when you clean it up.'
I worked at several restaurants since then over the last 10 years, but this is still my worst experience."
"When I was 16 years old, I had an after-school job at Kentucky Fried Chicken.
I was working the counter one evening and we were packed.
A guy gets up to the register, orders food, then hands me a check. We accepted checks (this was like 27 years ago) and usually people would just fill it out for the total.
I rang up the total and put it in the register and closed it without looking at the check because this was a fairly common occurrence. The guy says, 'Whoa honey, I've got some change coming to me!' I was very confused and asked him what he meant. He started SCREAMING at me, in front of everybody, that he had given me a TRAVELER'S CHECK for $100 and that he had MONEY coming to him.
I calmly explained that I hadn't realized he had given me a traveler's check, that we did not accept traveler's checks, and that I would need to get the manager to open the register so that I could return it to him. I was 16 years old in a small Texas town and I had never seen one, so the situation was just naturally confusing for me.
This guy looks me dead in the eye and says, 'God, you are so stupid.'
I may be a lot of things, but stupid isn't one of them. I looked him dead in the eye and told him very loudly to go screw himself, all while everyone, including my manager, looked on in silence.
I never heard a word about it or even got scolded. People generally don't mess with me."
"I was working at Chili's a few years back and a table of two adults and seven kids in soccer uniforms come in. The woman tells me that they are in a hurry because their movie starts in 45 minutes. Oh and also there's three more adults and eight more kids on their way. I say it could be tight but if you get all the orders ready we can cook the food on the fly and get it out as soon as possible.
I took all the kids drink orders because they weren't ready with their food orders yet. I got the nine drinks ready and returned to the table to find the three additional adults and eight more kids.
But all the kids decided to switch seats with each other.
So I had to get it all sorted out and take the new kid's drink orders and the old kid's food orders. The new kids didn't even have their food orders ready and didn't for another 10 minutes.
When I finally get the food orders for the new kids, it has already been 20 minutes and the first adult starts yelling at me that I'm not fast enough. She says that I need to get all the food to-go. One of the ladies that came with the second batch left earlier than the rest of them and left me $10 on the table.
Once I finally got all the food out after 30 minutes, the first lady asked to speak to my manager, told my manager I was the worst waiter she's ever had, didn't leave a tip, and took the $10 dollars the other lady had left for me."
"A man comes in alone, looked to be in his late 50's or early 60's, and snaps at me to get my attention.
Before I can speak he says, 'Coca-Cola. With a lemon wedge.'
We were a tiny little cafe without the funding for a machine or the attention for a sponsorship, so we didn't serve soda. I told him so, and he says, 'I don't think you heard me. I want a Coca-Cola with a lemon wedge.'
I was pretty confused because I made it pretty clear we didn't have a soda.
Turns out, he actually wanted me to walk next door, buy him a soda, and then bring it in and serve it to him. I told him as politely as I could that this was absolutely not happening, and he picked up the China tea cups we put at each place setting and threw it on the ground, shattering it and cutting open my ankle just a bit.
The whole cafe went very quiet and I just kind of stood there looking at the mess of broken china. These were beautiful, rare cups that were all but impossible to replace, and I just didn't know what to do as an 18-year-old facing up against an aggressive older man.
Fortunately, just literally a few seconds after the China hit the floor, a man got up from his table across the cafe and walked over. He then reached into his back pocket and showed the man his police badge, because he was an off-duty cop.
China throwing guy did not get his Coca-Cola with a lemon wedge or any food, but he did get arrested and a ticket for making threats and breaking public property. The fun part?
'I just wanted a freaking Coca-Cola! If this little girl knew anything about service, I wouldn't have had to set her straight.'
I learned later he was the town looney who had actually done something like this in several other locations in town. I still have the scar from the piece of China that cut my ankle."
"I was starting out as a telephone person in a takeaway. There were 4 of us and we spent 8 hours just answering phones and repeating the same old orders.
After a while, you learn the regulars and half the time you could recount their order in your sleep.
The first regular I encountered was a woman we all loved to avoid. We knew her number and normally it was whoever pulled the short straw, being new I didn't really understand and just answered it. Well, she gave her order and me being new and trying to stick to all the rules, added up all the extras (I later learned to just make it the cost of the most expensive pizza on the menu instead of adding multiple 80p extras to an order), I tell her the price and she pauses and tells me there must be a mistake. I apologize and re-add everything and then ask one of the more senior girls what to do. She tells me, the price is lowered, I apologize again and tell the lovely lady I sorted it and hears the price (even lower than what she thought) and I think everything's fine, misunderstanding sorted. She went ballistic at me, shouting, complaining, insulting me for a simple error that I fixed when told, she went on for 5 minutes which when you're standing being yelled at on the phone, is a long time. Eventually, she asks to speak to my manager, I pass it over and she yells about me, to them.
After nodding and mhmming enough to calm her down, she submits her order.
Fast forward maybe 3 weeks and I accidentally pick up the phone to her, she's ordering the same thing and obviously doesn't recognize me as the 'stupid one', so I finish up and she compliments me on my phone skills before ranting about her past call and continuing on to insult and complain about me. Fair to say I wasn't completely upset when her card declined."