Ma’am… Do You Know What An Onion Is?
“Used to wait tables a while back, breakfast place. Mother’s Day was always the WORST to work in restaurants as I’m sure anyone else can agree with.
So this Mother’s Day is going particularly well, and then towards the end of the brunch rush, I get sat with a party of 8. Everyone’s in a good mood. Mom (it’s her day!) orders our breakfast tacos with no onions- she says no onions like three times. Right, no onions.
The drinks are going fine, everyone is doing well. Food comes out, I ask how everything looks. Mom pushes her plate away and loudly and aggressively says ‘I said NO ONIONS’. I look down at the tacos to see that there are in fact, no onions.
Me: ‘Ma’am I put your order in with no onions. There are no onions.’
She gets a lousy grin and goes ‘Oh YEAH? Well, what are these!!?’ and points to the green bell peppers on the tacos.
Me: ‘umm…those are green bell peppers’
She rolls her eyes and goes ‘SAME THING!’ The table is now silent as no one in her party knows what to do, clearly blinded by her stupidity.
My brain short circuits. I think to myself ‘No, no the heck they AREN’T the same thing, they’re not even the same color, you can read, you’re a freaking adult, just say how you want something and stop making a scene.’
Instead, I just put on my best customer service smile and said, ‘Right, sorry about that, we’ll get that fixed.’ Took it back to the kitchen and told my chef and he just started laughing about it.
$0 tip. Happy Mother’s Day!”
All This Over Cheese And Peppers?!
“Pizza, ice cream, a sandwich shop in a small rural town. I was on delivery.
We had this guy who ordered maybe once a week or so. This customer lived a solid half an hour outside town. None of us knew why the owner ever agreed to deliver to this guy in the first place, being that far out, but we used to wonder if the owner was being threatened into it.
The level of stuff the customer would raise if you didn’t bring him cheese and peppers for his pizza was absolute madness. There was an incident where a delivery driver found the customer waiting on his porch polishing a Mossberg 12 gauge, and the first thing the customer did was loosely point the weapon towards the driver and say, ‘Did you bring my cheese and peppers?’
We fully believe the customer would have shot our driver if the answer had been no. As it was, the driver didn’t have as much cheese and peppers as the customer would have liked. Customer called the restaurant, threw a fit. From then on, when we delivered to this customer – because the owner didn’t cut him off – we were told to take a bucket of cheese and peppers with us. I’m talking like one of those bulk ice cream buckets you buy at the supermarket. We all kept on in our trucks. But we had to start taking an extra just for this one customer.
I wonder if the guy was even in it for the pizza.”
They Tried To Kill Her With Chicken?!
“A lady from the real estate agency next door ordered a chicken box, and then proceeded to drive an hour to her next showing. In the middle of summer, where it probably was right in front of her AC unit in the passenger seat. Surprise, surprise; food gets cold when left in the cold. Who knew. Upon the shocking discovery that food doesn’t stay warm, she called us to scream at my boss that we tried to kill her. Because he’s a spineless pushover in the summer, he agreed to give her a new free meal when she came back.
She came to get her free food, and things didn’t improve. One of our chefs came to collect her cold food. While still in front of the window, he opened the box and fished out the uneaten biscuit. He threw the rest away but walked away with the bread. I presume he meant to eat it, but he went about it all wrong. She started screaming about how we were ‘recycling’ food, that she was good friends with the health inspector, that she was going to see us in court. The histrionics brought my boss out of his office, and after chewing out the idiot chef, he tried to smooth things over. I don’t remember much, We were completely busy, and since he’d taken over the Drive-Thru, I hopped onto another task.
She wouldn’t move forward, and the line was piling up. My boss was starting to get annoyed. They had stopped talking to each other. Her hot, fresh meal is up, and he goes to hand-deliver it and tell her to get the heck out of line. I’m not entirely sure, as I was halfway across the store trying to make drinks. All I remember is a surprised gasp from our food runner, and looking up to see a box of steaming hot chicken came sailing through the window and scatter across the front of the house. My boss had barely stepped back in time. We could only stare as the crazy lady roared out of the parking lot, and he snapped at the first person stupid enough to still be making eye contact to clean it up.”
Okay, Now That’s Pretty Clever!
“When I worked at Subway one night we were running out of spinach. A guy dressed as a cowboy came in and ordered a foot-long. We get to the spinach and the cowboy says ‘I want a lot of spinach’ (good luck with that) we’re only supposed to put pinches on anyways, but this guy is used to me giving people extra when my manager isn’t around because I roll that way, but not today.
‘You’re gonna give me more than that,’ he says in a demanding tone
‘We’re running out of spinach today’ I say, knowing a boomer tantrum brewing when I see one
‘Give me more’ I give him pinches, but he wants handfuls. The cowboy demands
‘I NEED MORE SPINACH THAN THAT BOY’
‘Sir we’re running out of spinach’
‘DO YOU KNOW HOW MUCH I COME HERE AND THEY GIVE ME ALL THE SPINACH I WANT’ I only have people extra when they’re nice so bug off dude
‘Yeah other customers are gonna want spinach tonight though’
‘I’VE BEEN COMING HERE FOR YEARS EVEN THOUGH YOUR PROVES KEEP GOING UP’
‘WHY DO THE PRICES KEEP GOING UP’
In my head (because this isn’t a restaurant it’s a sandwich factory, and companies in unchecked capitalism are free to maximize profit as opposed to worry about food quality, health, price, or what silly cowboys think)
What I said ‘I’m a cashier dude, they don’t even let me touch the board’
‘YOU JUST TALKED YOURSELF OUT OF A SALE WHATS YOUR MANAGER’S NUMBER?’
I give him my number
The cowboy leaves and leaves me a voicemail. I text back one thing
Y E E H A W.”
Who Rearranges The Furniture At A Restaurant?!
“I used to work at a Starbucks right next to a Walmart, and one of the Walmart employees would come for lunch every day.
She was maybe in her 60’s and she was a very strange woman and very demanding.
She always ordered a spinach feta wrap on a plate with a fork and a knife and a tall hot coffee with room for cream. So when I saw her I would say hi and then say her order. She would say ‘Yes, that’s right.’ Then while I am typing it in she would say it again very sternly. Then, while I was putting it in the oven and getting the plate ready, she told me again very sternly. She would repeat her order a few times despite me displaying that I know what it is, and she was always angry and scoffing during the process.
The next part of her ritual was to go find a table and rearrange the furniture VERY loudly. She would drag the metal bottom of a table across the polished concrete floor. Then drag the wood chairs across it too. We, and even some customers, had offered to help her move it but she always insisted that she could do it. So for a solid 5 minutes a day everyone in the store just had to listen to very loud sounds.
Next, she would go get her coffee ready at the little bar and make a HUGE mess. Always pulled out a bunch of sugar packets and smiled them everywhere, then she would take a load of napkins but not use them to wipe up. Then she would come back to the counter and squeeze in front of whoever was currently being helped and say that we were out of napkins.
Then she would go have her food and drink. Leave the plate and cup there, go into the bathroom and throw all of the napkins on the floor and some paper towels too. So we always had someone go clean up after her.
Then she would go back to work and return later. When she returned she would always complain that she had left her stuff on a table and that it was now gone. We explained that we had cleaned it up and that she can not reserve a table for herself. She would be furious and demand a free coffee. But she already had gotten a coffee so I would just give her a refill that Starbucks already offers for free for members.
Then again she would drag tables and make a huge mess for us to clean up.
We were always kind and always did whatever she wanted but she was always a hag anyway.”
Who Wants To Bet This Was An Olive Garden?
“Oh boy. Story Time. I was working at the most popular Italian ‘fine dining’ chain in America. We opened at 11 but I was scheduled for 10:30 to do opening duties. Two middle-aged women were at the doors at 10:45, we let them in because it’s not a big deal. But what is a big deal is that they both ordered drinks and our bartender didn’t get there until 11. I let them know and they seem ok with it. This is where things fall to heck.
I drop off waters while they wait for their drinks, ‘That’s great honey, but that’s NOT what I wanted! HAHA!’ They smile and it’s clear she’s just trying to make a bad joke. Again I tell them that it’s only 10:55 and the bartender is not in yet. They tell me to make the drinks, I can’t because of corporate rules. I ask my manager to make the drinks. While he does that, I take their food orders. I don’t remember what their mains were, but they got calamari as an app.
They start oversharing, like a LOT. Turns out they’re out to lunch because one of them was at the hospital and just got a lot of blood drawn, they mention trashy men, bad drivers, and they are swearing a lot.
Now it’s 11:05 ish and they have their calamari and their drinks ‘UGH was that so HARD? FINALLY!’ Other guests, including young families, arrive and sit in my section.
They eat half the calamari and then decide it was undercooked. It was golden and perfect. I ask the kitchen to drop new Calamari and cook it a minute longer than is typical. Surprise, this ruins the calamari. They hate it, ‘I’m not eating this TRASH!’ and I ask the manager to take it off their check. They’re taking up a lot of my time and asking for a lot of little things. I go to take care of some other tables, they ask if I’m ok and then ask if I could ask the women to stop swearing so much in front of their children. Next time they drop an F-bomb I tell them that this is a family restaurant. ‘Blah blah blah free country, Oh I want another DRINK!’
Fine whatever. I put the order in. Their meals are upright at that second so I return within a minute to drop their food off. ‘WHERE IS MY SECOND DRINK?!?! HELLO!?!’ Now they are banging their half-empty glasses on the table. I offer grated Parmesan on their meals, one says ‘Come on, what do you think?’ Now they’re yelling at me and I start to cry, while still trying to take care of my other tables (who are angels)
I ask my manager to take over the rude folks and to let them know they are cut off from the drinks and he tore them a new one in the way only managers are allowed to. They got upset they couldn’t order more drinks and asked for the check and leave. They barely leave enough cash to cover the bill but one comes back and asks if she left enough of a tip. I say, ‘No. You left me a 2% tip.’ Because Yeah I could get fired for saying that but also, I’m so done. She gave me five more dollars and I never saw them again.
Worst customers ever. Best manager ever.”
“Worst. Day. Ever.”
“It was my first week as a waitress at a Perkins. Two old ladies came in two hours before the end of my night shift. They ordered the turkey specials which came with soup, the meal, and dessert. I got their food and checked up on them, everything was fine but they were still eating. I came back 15 minutes later to check up again. One woman was finished so I took her plate, but the other wasn’t so I left her to it. I came by again ten minutes later and asked ‘still eating’? The centerpieces in the middle of the table were positioned in such a way that I didn’t notice the fork in her hand. She responded very rudely ‘obviously I am, what does it look it?’ I was new at this so I was taken back. I apologized and laughed it off nervously. At this point however the kitchen was 10 minutes to closing and I needed to put in their dessert order so the staff would know what items to not clean up and put away.
So I asked the women if I could take their dessert orders and the same woman looked at me angrily and said ‘Do not rush us! We come here every week and never have experienced such poor service. There is no need for you to be hovering like this.’ I suppose I was hovering but they were taking forever. I apologized and explained the kitchen was closing soon but she wouldn’t have it and sent me on my way. By the way, as all this happens the other lady sat there awkwardly not saying a thing, although as I walked away I heard her tell her friend she shouldn’t have yelled at me like that. I went back to the kitchen and talked trash with the other waitresses but as I did I noticed my boss walking to their table.
Oh great, so they’re chatting now and she’s not even finishing her food. So a half-hour passes and the kitchen is closed and the restaurant is about to close too. But there they are still chatting. When they were finally done I went and asked if I could take their dessert order. And guess what, they ordered something that needed to be prepared by the kitchen as well as coffee for the table. Well, the coffee machine had already been cleaned which was a whole process, and the kitchen staff was gone. I told them that and the one rude woman insisted I ask my boss to reopen the kitchen because he knew them and they were regulars. Having no choice I asked him, and he reluctantly did it.
We made a whole new batch of coffee and he whipped up their order in the kitchen. They got a ton of free coffee because we had nothing to do with the leftover. I had to stay an hour and a half late while my ride waited in the parking lot so in could re-clean the kitchen by myself. Then I got yelled at by my boss for not taking their dessert order earlier and he gave me no chance to explain myself. To top it all off when they left I got a measly $8 tip on a $75 bill. Worst. Day. Ever.”
F is For Friendly’s
“I worked at Friendly’s in high school as a server and this brings back so many painful memories. Worked my butt off all night once for a whole soccer team and parents who came in with no notice. Then at the end of the night, they wanted everything split up. The kids were sitting at different tables so trying to get the right kids’ food to the right parent was near impossible. Not to mentions some kids split meals or got specialty drinks and ice cream or appetizers. Some parents were trying to tell me what their kid ordered, others were just saying ‘whatever the blonde kid with the headband ordered’ etc. it was impossible to work how got what and who was supposed to be charged with it. Not to mention about half of them had coupons that they were all switching around with each other some of which were expired, but they wanted to use anyway because they were ‘spending so much money.’
A huge portion of the bill had to be comped because no one would claim a bunch of items and I didn’t think to tell them beforehand they couldn’t split the bill 17 ways. After reprinting checks about 10 times because god forbid someone pays an extra $2 on a milkshake they said their kid didn’t order even though you could look over at the table and see half the kids had milkshakes I was in the back crying. My manager was yelling at me over what a fiasco this was and mad because the kids had been drawing on the tables and throwing crayons at other customers over the partition.
I finally come back out to hopefully get everyone change or swipe cards or whatever and one of the dads had the audacity to tell me to ‘not look so stressed out it’s just Friendly’s.’ Whoever that guy was, jump off a cliff, please. They then left me about a $15 tip in total for the 3ish hours I waited on them with a bill that was EASILY over $400. A lot of them tipped on the coupon price instead of the ACTUAL cost and a lot of them just left whatever change was leftover.
I know it’s ‘only’ Friendly’s and I might have been young, but that doesn’t make the job any easier. F*** THOSE PEOPLE.”
“I Was Gutted.”
“There was an old couple I loved who used to come in every single week to the restaurant I worked at. They were super nice and clearly still very much in love. I’d always kinda thought of them almost like role models of how I’d like to be in my retirement. They lived a couple of towns over in a picturesque place and would always have nice story’s about what they’d been up to, the guy spoke like Ray Winston which made him cool as heck in my eyes, serving them always made the shift better.
Anyway, one day we were doing a charity thing for World Hunger Day, specifically for children in Africa and there were relevant pictures of starving kids on the flyer we gave with the bill. It was one of those tick here if you want to add 25p or something things. It was a bit cringe but most customers were like whatever, it’s only 25p. So anyway, I take over the bill and the guy totally blindsides me with his response;
‘I ain’t giving no money to some stupid n****!’
I was caught off guard and stood in silence as he went into a massively prejudice rant. I’d totally never expected that. I’d seen these guys as people to aspire to and it turns out they were massive bigots. I was gutted.”
C’mon Its The Dollar Menu Not Gourmet
“Worked fast food in high school. I’ve got a few:
- Man orders double cheeseburger with extra cheese and receives one with 4 slices instead of the usual 2. Two minutes later, he is absolutely red in the face and screaming at the poor cashier. He’s demanding to talk to the ‘little prick’ that made his sandwich and asking if we think this is some kind of joke. Apparently, when he ordered extra cheese he wanted one extra slice, not two.
- Some guy comes to the drive thru and orders 4 fish sandwiches. We only had 2 pieces of fish cooked and they were really close to their hold expiration time. Since we had to cook more anyway, my manager said to waste those 2 since they were old and make all fresh ones for the customer. Guy comes up to the window and they ask him to pull forward because it’ll be a couple minutes. Meanwhile, we keep serving other cars. After a couple orders go out, this dude is in the lobby and asking for a manager. He is irate that we made him wait on his food while serving other people. The manager apologizes and explains the situation. Most people would be thrilled we didn’t serve them old food, but for some reason that just made this guy angrier. He starts yelling louder, and then threatens my manager with physical violence over it. She asks him to leave and threatens to call the police. Dude storms out, slamming the door so hard he broke the latch, and squeals his tires as he leaves the parking lot…without his order. Never came back for it, either.
- We had this regular who came in every Sunday morning and ordered the same thing: a side salad, super size fries, and a happy meal for her grandkid. One day, the person who bagged her order put the salad and the fries in the same bag as we were trained to do. If you’ve never seen a super size fry container, they’re tall…and the side salad is in one of those little rectangular plastic things, so as you can imagine the fries fell over. For a normal person this is no big deal…but not for this lady. She needed new fries and a new salad, in separate bags this time. Of course the fries we had already made that came up 1 minute ago were not good enough, and she refused to leave or accept the new ones until we made a fresh basket.”
Was That Neccessary?
“When I was bartending one night I had two people come in that seemed a little loose but not so much that I shouldn’t serve them. I gave them a round or two and they were having fun and interacting well with customers until they weren’t.
They started crossing the line where I felt comfortable serving them anymore, and I probably gave them one more round than I should have but I was hoping they would cut themselves off. Well, the time came to cut them off, I apologized and had to let them know that I couldn’t serve them anymore because they were being disruptive in a small bar and were obviously very wasted. At this point one of the two starts yelling at me for refusing to serve her and then when it got so bad that the customers around her started defending my choice she then started throwing a tantrum at them and then my manager after that.
So, that part I can deal with. People get wasted and say all sorts of stuff they don’t mean. You have to learn to brush it off. What truly baffled me, is that while the one customer was screaming at me and anyone else in range of her voice, her friend had retreated to the bathroom and set fire to one of the wicker baskets that we used as trash can. They left before one of our poor bar backs was told that our bathroom was on fire by a customer.
I’ve broken up fights, I have hade one customer puke three times in the process of trying to get them out, I’ve had to kick out people three times my size for being bigoted and intolerant, I’ve had people yell at me for cutting them off, and I’ve had so many people just fall asleep on the bar top (you know who you are) but arson just really took the cake.
Crazy thing is, after all that nonsense, I’ve always encountered way more good than bad and I truly miss being behind the bar during this quarantine. Hopefully, I’ll get to see more crazies soon.”