The only thing that sucks more than working is somebody expecting you to do something while off the clock. That’s exactly what happened to the folks in these stories where people mistake them for service workers!
Yeah…This Ain’t Jim.
“So here’s the story, it is 3:08 in the morning, I get a call from an unknown number. I answer and the person started screaming at me. I automatically hang up on them because being 17 and suddenly being screamed at over the phone really does something to you.
Not even 6 minutes later I get these texts:
Unknown Number- ‘HELLO?! WHY DID YOU HANG UP?!’
Me- ‘Um who is this? Why are you calling me at such a late hour?’
Unknown Number- ‘This is the boss of the store you work at!’
Me- ‘Dude I’m only 17 I don’t have a job yet please stop harassing me!’
I didn’t get a response after that. So 6:02 rolls around and I’m still in bed trying to rest from being woken up so early.
I get 21 missed calls from the same number threatening me, saying that they are gonna tell corporate that I’m stealing money and food out of the store and they will have me fired.. then they threaten to call the police and have me arrested for stealing over 300 dollars from the cash register.
So here’s the thing…I DON’T WORK YET.
I text the number and the following conversation goes:
Me- ‘Will you please stop texting and calling me?! I do not work for your company! I do not work at all I am 17 and still trying to finish high school!’
Unknown Number- ‘DON’T LIE TO ME I KNOW YOU WORK FOR US OR ELSE I WOULDNT HAVE THIS NUMBER!’
Me- ‘Maybe the employee you hired gave you a false number! This is a private number!’
Unknown Number- ‘DON’T LIE TO ME JIM!’
Me- ‘MY NAME IS NOT JIM I DO NOT WORK FOR YOU LEAVE ME ALONE BEFORE I REPORT YOU TO POLICE FOR HARASSMENT!’
They proceeded to call me 10 more times before giving up. I went online and filed a report on the number. Turns out that the number wasn’t even real, it was coming from an app that could be easily erased. Now what kind of sicko does this stuff? I would show the screenshots but I deleted the messages because I was sick of looking at them.”
She Should Get Her Ears Checked
“I’d like to preface this by saying that the language used by the awful person in question is not the language I condone or use myself.
Part of my job at the time was collecting food for clients, so I find myself entering an establishment that Prince Andrew loves and goes to a lot (jokes). When I go in, the host greets me and I give him my order number, he tells me it’ll be about 20 mins, but please wait. All good I tell him, I’m not in a huge rush and I’ve bought my Kindle for this exact purpose.
So I can set the picture, it’s winter, so I’m dressed in jeans, a big black, thick jacket and a bright purple beanie. The restaurant staff in question are in smart, white shirts and suit trousers. No beanies, no jeans, no thick, winter coats.
There was a couch waiting for customers next to the host stand, so I sit down and start reading. At some point, the door opens and I’m vaguely aware of a draught of cold air.
Random Woman: ‘Ahem… ahem, AHEM, AHEM!”
I’m completely oblivious that I am the subject of the ahems.
Random Woman: “AHEM!”
I look up, see an angry demon practically jumping out of her skin. Her eyes buggy. She’s well dressed but wearing a comically large hat that makes her look like she’s being abducted by a UFO.
Me: ‘Oh, I’m being served, you can go on ahead.’
Woman: (she interrupted me) ‘Table for two!’
Me: ‘Err, sorry I don’t work here?’
Woman: ‘DO . .YOU. . SPEAK. . English? TABLE FOR TWO!’
I’m baffled here, completely taken aback
AH: ‘ARE YOU DEAF?’
Me: ‘Ahh, I don’t work here.’
AH: ‘ARE YOU MENTALLY CHALLENGED? I WANT A TABLE FOR TWO!’
I gave up trying to speak and thankfully the host came over at this point.
The rude woman gives me the filthiest look possible and mutters under her breath about me being ‘special needs and ugly’ and stomps after the host. Her boyfriend/whatever sort of shrugged like this was normal behavior and followed his awful girlfriend to their table.”
Ma’am This Is Literally A Food Truck
“Okay, so this is by the most hilarious and quite annoying encouter that has ever happened. This didn’t directly to me, but to the bemusement of the food trucker owner and her husband. I took my mom to the doctor today for an appointment, and at the hospital complex, there’s a food truck that comes and serves food for the employees. I’ve seen it several times since, that’s where my mom’s doctor works. Since it was around lunchtime when my mom got done she suggested that I go and ask if I could order some food from there. I go over there and the woman in front of me is sounding irritated I could even hear her even though I had my headphones in, I take them out like the sneaky person I am, and here this conversation, if you can call it that.
Karen: ‘What do you mean can’t take me to my husband! He’s sick!’
Food truck owner, we’ll call Marisol
Marisol: ‘Lady I told you. I just own this food truck. I can’t take you nowhere.’
Karen: ‘Who is your boss?’
Marisol: ‘I am, sometimes my husband when he’s in the mood.’
Karen: ‘But my husband is sick! And you’re here! TAKE ME TO MY HUSBAND’
Marisol: ‘Dios Mio lady! Get the heck out! Unless you want a burrito I’m gonna call the cops.’
Karen just shut up and walked away after it seemed she wouldn’t get her way. I got up and talk to Marisol, I didn’t press into it because it wasn’t my business but Marisol said that Karen came up her truck demanding that she take her to her husband who was sick (not sure with what) just because they were on hospital grounds. I got my food and my mom’s, we ended up having a good lunch. I told my mom about it and we laughed so hard.”
“Go Right Ahead, Lady!”
“This happened last week. I was visiting Austin, TX, and staying at a nice hotel. I’m brown and I’m an IT executive.
I ordered take-out from a local BBQ place and was going back to my hotel with my food in a large paper bag with the name of the restaurant written in large letters on the side.
There was a group of people outside the hotel and as I approached the hotel entrance, this woman rushes over and grabs my bag of food. I yank it back.
She goes ‘I’ve been waiting for this!’. It just hits me that she thinks I’m her food delivery driver here with her food. I politely tell her I’m not her delivery driver. With a confused look on her face, she goes ‘Are sure? You LOOK like one’.
At this point I just want her to let go of my bag and a few of her guy friends come over and tell me to stop giving her a hard time and to hand over her food.
So I spell it out for them. I am NOT your food delivery driver. This is MY food. I’m a guest at this hotel.’ I yank the bag away from her and as I enter the hotel, I see her pulling out her phone and saying ‘I’m calling (delivery service) and telling them what an a-hole you are … and I want my money BACK!’
Go right ahead, lady. Go right ahead.”
Don’t Mess With Her Dad!
“This story was told to me by my dad, so this is all secondhand and some details may be missing. Background: My dad is Hispanic and looks it: dark skin, brown eyes, and a mustache. He also takes pride in his appearance and he looks like a refined cowboy when he dresses up: Straw hat, neatly pressed button-up shirt, black jeans, and spit-shined boots. He’s very social and his work is his second family, so if there is a party, a convention or any other kind of get-together, he will be there!
Storytime: Pre-quarantine, my dad and his coworkers had checked into their hotel and decided to go to the lobby, which had a taco bar set up for the guests. It had discounted margs, a live mariachi band for entertainment, and ‘unlimited’ food, so it was perfect for my dad and his buddies to have dinner and relax after a long day.
This was an informal gathering, so my dad was wearing his cowboy getup and everyone who knew him knew who he was. He was milling around, making his rounds and making sure to shake hands and talk to everyone there.
At one point, he went in line to the taco bar to have his dinner, and how he put it, a snooty woman who called herself the manager tapped him on the shoulder and started pestering him.
K is Karen and D is my Dad.
K: ‘Excuse me, sir. This bar is only for the guests!’
D: ‘I am a guest.’
K: ‘Lemme see your key pass! This bar is for guests only, not the band members!’
(And this is where my dad started getting mad.)
D: ‘Why should I show you my key pass? Why won’t you look at my friends’ key passes?’ (He pointed to his other, fair-skinned friends and called them out) ‘Why are you picking out the Mexican in the line and not the other white guys?!’
One other thing everyone knows about my dad is that he will be nice only once, then he will get in your face if you keep pushing him. My dad tried to be polite at first, but once that stubborn Karen manager would not let it go, my dad decided to escalate the situation. Once he did not back down from this woman, she was the one who tried to apologize, but then my dad said the magic words. ‘I want to talk to your supervisor! I want to talk to him about your conduct!’
The woman’s supervisor was called, and even though the man tried to cover for her, my dad was already ticked off and was not going to go quietly! He accused the woman manager and the supervisor of being racially insensitive and kept asking why he was the only one being called out. Now, this was not the first time my father had been mistaken for a service worker and he always believed in making the accuser so uncomfortable that they will keep him in mind next time they wrongfully profile another person.
Now, he has the entire lobby and the rest of the guests listening in and most likely on his side, judging Karen and her supervisor. The supervisor was red in the face and was finding any way to de-escalate the situation. Finally, he apologized for the 50th time to my dad and asked if there was anything they could do to make this right. My dad seized this opportunity and said ‘In that case, I would like to have my dinner at this taco bar for free and I want my table to have free drinks all night.’
The supervisor was quick to jump at the chance to calm my dad down and satisfy the rest of the guests. My dad still tells this story and even though he can get up on his high horse, this time, it was warranted. My dad is and always will be the proud Hispanic cowboy who takes no bull from anyone; especially snooty Karens who runs their mouths way too much!”
Wait…Who’s Operating The Register?
“I work for a very popular quick food chain that started in the Midwest. During Covid, we had to close our lobby for obvious reasons, so we resorted to putting up a tent (the ones you’d see at fairs) to take orders outside in addition to our drive through because we can get very busy, but we also don’t want to waste labor by having someone out there all day, so we just send someone to run out after we get x amount of cars lined up in the drive-thru and it remains unmanned otherwise.
One day, we are having a slow afternoon. I work in the kitchen and order starts to pop up on the screen, which is weird because we have an overhead system that gives the kitchen the audio when someone is taking an order in the drive-thru so I know we don’t have a guest in drive and we have our breaks done, so it isn’t one of my coworkers’ food. I call up to frontline to ask who’s ordering and they are at a loss, so I look at the screen again and it says that it’s coming from the kosk that we have outside. Our kiosk isn’t the easiest to navigate, or at least wasn’t at the time, and usually requires 3-5 days of training to get someone used to all the different menus on it and to get them to remember asking for sauce on orders with tenders and condiments on burgers.
Turns out, some customer had decided to take his own order on the kiosk outside, without issue, and cashed himself out. (We dont have a register out there, you can only pay with a card, so we weren’t worried about him stealing.) He even added his own side of sauce, he gave himself a number for the order, and he tendered it to the right location. A few of us managers were curious if he would be interested in a job because we are always in recruit mode, but he politely declined. Everyone on shift thought this was hilarious and the story was circulating around the store for a week or so because we found it so funny.”
All She Wanted Was A Sandwich
“This did not happen to me, but I was there to witness it.
I’m not a social person, and I’ve always been a night owl, so it’s not unusual for me to go grocery shopping at midnight, though not often to overpriced stores, this was one of those exceptions. Anyway, I went to my nearest 7-11, saw nobody in the store, figured the employee was doing something in the back, so casually browsed their selections for what I needed. It was about this time that another character entered the store, let’s call her Karen since I don’t think she said her name, who simply rushed to the counter and impatiently waited, not that I cared, thinking she was just trying to get some gas and leave. Boy was I wrong.
It only took her a minute, if that, to start shouting for an employee to serve her, and reluctantly, he did eventually come out of the back to face her, where he barely had the chance to greet her before she started saying how useless he was, and how she had to come ‘all the way over here,’ and how she better be compensated. Having finally finished her rant, he actually got the chance to ask her what she needed help with, and here is where she went full crazy.
She demanded that he gets off his ‘lazy butt’ and open the Subway next door to make her a sandwich, even going as far as to demand it for free because she had to ‘track him down.’ It was clear that neither of us knew what she was talking about, he clearly didn’t work for Subway and tried to tell her such, but she just couldn’t believe it, going on and on about how it was unacceptable, how she just wanted a sandwich, how he’s being prejudice against her, and finally the coup de grace, she demanded to speak to his manager. In response, he rather calmly said that he’s the only employee in the store, a fact that she refused to believe, eventually demanding his manager’s phone number, and when he refused that, she said that if he doesn’t, she’s going to call corporate and get them all fired. He said good, which seemed to shock her a bit, but she still huffed, pulled out her phone, and stormed out of the store, and by the time I left, she was still screaming into her phone in front of the Subway.”
That’s What You Get For Trying To Help…
“My husband and I work together with my in-laws at a small restaurant. It’s the only restaurant in my town people actually go to. The food is very good so it’s not uncommon for me to walk there on my off days and get a bite of something and visit my husband/in-laws.
The other day (I wanna say Wednesday? Maybe?) I had my husband pick me up, and take me to work to grab a bite to eat so I wouldn’t be alone. Well, I’m wearing an oversized Taco Bell hoodie, and camo sweats with some crocs. I definitely don’t look like the normal uniform everyone else is wearing (red shirt, black pants, black shoes, apron) I’m sitting at a table with my husband when he gets up to leave to take food out. I’m eating my food, enjoying my time with lemonade and some tacos.
When a lady approached me ‘Where is my waiter?’ I’m like ‘Who is your waiter??’ She said ‘The one with long hair’ (my brother-in-law) I said ‘I’m not sure, what do you need him for?’ (If it’s something like I need a to-go box I can just grab her one so he isn’t bothered, even if I am off the clock) ‘We need our drinks!’ I go to find my brother-in-law and he is swamped, apparently, her party of 12 ordered 2 blended drinks each. (We make our own drinks for our tables, and only have 2 blenders.)
So he is making them, she had only ordered them 5 minutes ago. I go back to my table and keep eating, she comes up again. ‘Where is he?’ ‘Making your drinks.’ ‘Can you go get them?’ ‘Ma’am I’m off the clock, I’m not even in uniform.’ She then stormed off back to her table and complained about me to my husband who helped bring them chips and salsa. (Complimentary if you eat at where we work). She told him I was very unhelpful and rude, my husband was like ‘Well they aren’t working so…’ Honestly I get it if I would’ve been in uniform, but I very clearly wasn’t…”
Here’s A Happy Ending For Once
“The holidays are stressful, I get that. Even without the supply chain issues that have been happening all over the world, getting that perfect gift for your loved ones can be difficult. We’ve all heard the songs about trying to fight the crowds, about obnoxious relatives, the frenzy of getting that latest hot toy so one can look on proudly Christmas Morning as your kids tear through the wrapping paper like a pack of consumer-driven Mongols. Sometimes, though, a little patience and a kind word can soothe the insanity.
Which is how I found myself yesterday. Have the day off from my retail job, have already done my shopping and wrapping, and decided to treat myself to a movie. Our local theater closed during quarantine, so the only option is about twenty minutes away in one of those preplanned shopping ‘villages’. Along with the movie theater, there are restaurants, retail establishments, and a good-sized book store.
I had some time to kill before my show (Spiderman: No Way Home, for those wondering), so I’m at this bookstore, dodging the mad rush of people trying to get those last-minute purchases. I’m in the history section, seeing if there are any good WW2 books I don’t have, and I notice that one of the tables is just a mess. No issues, I start straightening it up, sorting the books, and helping my fellow retail employees.
Now, I’m wearing a wool coat and a flat cap, and a mask. Nothing that makes me look like I work there. But since I’ve made the ‘mistake’ of cleaning something, I’m now a target.
‘HEY!’ I turn to have a smartphone shoved into my face, and my eyes cross. ‘HELP ME FIND THIS!’
‘Woah!’ I take a step back, and there’s a very anxious lady, gesticulating with the phone wildly. ‘I need this! NOW!’
‘Slow down. What’s wrong?’
‘I said, Help me find this! NOW!’ She’s stressed out. Might look like a typical Karen, but I don’t know her story.
‘I don’t work here. And before you say a word, I was straightening that table up because I felt like it. Now, let’s try this again. What are you looking for?’
‘What do you mean, you don’t-‘ I cut her off.
‘I mean exactly what I just said. I do not work here. But what are you looking for?’
She deflates and is on the verge of tears. ‘I need this for my kids.’ she holds up her phone. On the screen is Betrayal at House on the Hill. Good game. ‘And I can’t find it. My daughter just wants this, and I can’t find anything in this stupid…’
‘I know where that is. Take a moment. Breathe. It’s gonna be okay.’
She is just stressed to heck and back. ‘I’m sorry, I’m sorry…’ she just keeps saying. ‘I lost my Mom to that stupid illness, and she wouldn’t get the vaccine, and I couldn’t even go to the funeral…’ She’s trying not to sob as I guide her to the games. The spot for Betrayal is empty, but I find a copy in another spot before she has a meltdown.
‘Okay, here you go. Anything else here you need help with?’
She’s holding the box in her hands, fingers nearly crushing the edges. ‘Why did you help me?’ she squeaks. ‘I’m such a hag…’
‘Because you needed help. Merry Christmas.’
She gave me a grateful smile and went to pay.
No, I didn’t get pay it forward, I didn’t get a free coffee, I didn’t get a ‘thank you’ from the employees. But that smile, to help a fellow human being in a stressful time? Worth it.”