Being a server has its perks; free drinks, and decent tips. But there is always the scourge of rude customers. When it comes to that some folks just have to smile and wave. These waiters and waitresses share some of the outlandish things rich people have said to them while on the job.
“I started dating a woman after I was recently out of school who was born into wealth. I would somewhat regularly go to eat with her family.
I had gotten to know her pretty well before getting to know the family as is pretty common. I had never once seen her talk down about servers or services. She could be judgemental about the quality of food, but that was about it.
Her parents and her youngest brother were absolutely some of the worst people I had met in regard to treating people in the service industry people with respect. Her father would snap his fingers at people and wave across the room. He would often get upset if the server in question did not immediately drop what they were doing and attend to his needs.
Her mother was the kind of person who simply set herself apart from anyone else in the world who did not meet her standards. ‘These people’ was a common phrase heard from her in almost any given situation where ‘lower class’ people could be judged.
Her brother would often mirror the mother’s behavior. He seemed to set himself apart from most people. He seemed to enjoy making remarks that he probably would not consider cutting or offensive to boost his own ego.
How she did not pick up any of this is still a wonder to me. I have a bunch of stories actually from ‘fine’ dining with these folk, but this was my favorite.
We got invited to join the family to go eat at this posh steakhouse. Real fancy joint. We get there and the mom is already bitching about some other table that is seated next to us. Keep in mind this place has probably an 8 foot gap between tables. So we are not packed in.
We sit and they bring water and bread menus etc. The dad is snapping his fingers about 2 mins in at a poor unsuspecting busboy, who comes over.
‘Where is our server?’
‘I don’t know sir, let me find out.’
‘YOU DON’T KNOW?!’ spluttering and harrumphing commence.
Poor unsuspecting busboy scurries off to find our server.
Two mins pass. I swear, 120 seconds. Probably less. Server arrives.
‘Good evening my na…’ unsuspecting soft-spoken waitress
‘Where have you been? We have been waiting 20 minutes!’ The dad
‘I am very sorry for the wait, may I….’
‘We are also very sorry’ the mom in very sharp tone.
Orders are taken. I am just stoked to be there, but this was actually one of the first times I really experienced this with her fam. I happily sip my expensive whiskey and make small talk with everyone, kinda feeling like I am being grilled over high heat. Her fam never really approved of me either, but that is a whole different story.
The mom proceeds to engage her son in banter about how it’s amazing the people here keep their jobs. How stupid they are. How none of them were properly educated. She seemed to enjoy trying to repeat this everytime our server was on the way tot the table or at the table.
Well, appetizers were served and we ate. More talk. Wait for the main course. The mom starts up the talk again.
The server brings the main courses. Mom starts talking to the brother about ‘its amazing that they keep hiring such dumb people to work here. Nothing is done right..what do you expect from a bunch of dropouts….blah, blah, blah.’
At this point, my jaw was probably on the table. The waitress is literally putting food in front of us as she is saying this.
‘Oh don’t worry I am not talking about you.’
‘Can I bring you anything else?’ The waitress manages to squeak out.
We eat. The mom still seems to want this poor server to know she does not approve of her…at all. After dessert is served she proceeds to ask the waitress what her plans are after she leaves the restaurant.
The server responds that she plans to work two more months and start community college in the spring. She had plans to become a teacher as I recall. The mom looks her up and down and scoffs. ‘Typical.’
I was just keeping quiet but had found newfound hatred for that woman that day. I knew if ended up marrying her daughter (bullet dodged and another story) I would fit the stereotype of hating your mother-in-law.
Well. We finish up and the check is brought. It is obvious that our server had been crying. The mom again can’t resist and mentions ‘weak people’ or something to that effect as the server is walking away.
We sit a few more mins. As we get up to leave the server kinda rushes up to the mom as we head towards the door.
‘I just wanted to thank you. You reminded me I should never be weak. I just quit my job. I was scared, but I am not weak. No, I am gonna be strong and make a change. I don’t want to help you or anyone like you anymore. So thank you….’ Empowered server.
I probably did not get what she said exactly right, but something to that effect. It was so awesome. Apparently, it really rubbed the mom the wrong way as she bitched about it the next time we went out to eat and the next few times. I eventually just started declining invites.”
Being Insulted for $18 per hour.
“My wife and I worked at Farmington Country Club in Charlottesville VA. Yes I’m giving the real name of the place because I don’t give a shit. It’s an EXCLUSIVE country club with celebrities and shit. Pretty much anybody who has a horse and loves to golf belongs. Anyway, I have tons of stories about people being rich pricks, especially the freakin teenagers that went there and signed their daddy’s name on everything, but the best is a story from my wife.
She moved to Charlottesville after graduating from William and Mary to wait for me to graduate. (Yes it took me 6 years and no I’m not a doctor). This place had three different restaurants on site, all with differing levels of service. I worked the main dining room where (I’m crapping you negatively) I wasn’t to make eye contact with the members. My wife worked at the 19th hole and the other restaurant which was less formal.
Anyway, she is waiting on a member and his family and it’s obvious he and his daughter are arguing. My wife comes to the table to fill the tea or something and he says to his daughter ‘If you don’t go to school, you are going to end up like her’ whilst pointing directly at my wife. My wife takes a second to collect herself and says to the member, ‘Sir, I went to William and Mary and graduated with a double major’. He says nothing and she leaves. 10 min later, my wife is called into the manager’s office and reprimanded (officially) for being ‘discourteous ‘ to a member.
Thats just one of the many many humiliations we suffered for the (at the time) ridiculous $18/hr they were paying us.
Also have some good stories of very nice members. Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman were members and every interaction with them was fantastic. Truly very nice people, at least to the waitstaff.
Howie Long also a member, and that guy is a badass.”
Is This Glass Half-Full or Half-Empty?
“Had this prick regular come in, and that day, he ordered something different than usual. He said, ‘I’ll have a grey goose on the rocks, tall glass.’ So, I made him exactly that. He looked at the drink, and with all his other buddies around him watching, said to me: ‘Hey buddy, would you say that glass is half empty or half full?’ I said something like ‘I’m always a half-full kind of guy, so I’ll go with ‘half-full’.
He said, ‘Well, that makes you a shit bartender, because I asked for neither! I (very clearly) asked you for a glass of Grey Goose on the rocks, not half of one!’ (Keep in mind, a tall glass full of vodka even with ice in it is about 6-8 oz of straight liquor. Bars just don’t pour drinks like that, and if we did, they’d cost $30-$35 easy.)
Anyway, I went ahead and filled his drink to the rim with Grey Goose, and he just said muttered something like ‘that’s more like it’.
Oh yeah, you know that prick? It was Joe Scarborough, who was (at the time, a Congressman and member of the House of Representatives from Florida.) He’s more famous now with his TV shows and shit, but still a total prick to the core. (This is only one of many stories I racked up dealing with him).”
Who Talks To A 16-Year-Old That Way?!
“I worked in a country club as a teenager. The kitchen was extremely old, and we filled out tickets with the lunch order, sent them down to a dumbwaiter, and then waited for the food to come back up via the same system.
I sent down my ticket correctly. Up comes the order – one sandwich missing. I go to the table, explain, and serve the others.
You know what’s coming. I send the ticket down again, write THIS IS MISSING, and up comes the sandwich. IT’S THE WRONG SANDWICH. I go back to the man and explain, at which point he starts screaming at me in front of the entire dining room: ‘WHAT THE F**&@# is WRONG WITH YOU! IT’S ONE SANDWICH! IS THAT SO HARD TO GET RIGHT? YOU MUST BE THE STUPIDEST B&*#$ I’VE EVER MET.’
I was 16. I burst into tears and ran back to the dumbwaiter to try again. My manager followed me over, asked what happened, and I told him. He went back to the table and apparently explained to the man that I had absolutely no control over the situation – the kitchen was on another floor and I could not communicate with them except by slip.
The man came back to me, huddled in my corner, waiting for the sandwich and said ‘Here.’ My manager said ‘take it.’ In his hand was a $20 bill.
I was not a very outgoing person at that point in my life, but I’ve always been proud that not only didn’t take the money, I took off my apron and walked out the door. My parents were big into work ethic and keeping jobs, but even they did not berate me for quitting.”
That’s Life in Hollywood
“Once I had a job as a cocktail waitress at a bar in Hollywood, it was very ‘A List’, lots of movie stars & celebrities in there all the time. One hectic Thursday night I’m running drinks back and forth from the bar to tables. One of my tables had about 5 women that looked like a girls’ night out, they were probably in their late 20s. Obviously had money, I could tell by the purses, shoes, and snotty attitude. I put their order in for their second round of drinks and I’m rushing by their table holding a tray full of drinks including martinis going to another table. One girl decides she wants to change her drink order so as I pass by her she turns and grabs the back of my dress to stop me so she can change her order. Of course, my tray tips when I’m jerked back and the drinks crash to the floor. I give her a withering look and she just says -‘instead of a cosmo I want a grey goose on ice.’ Then she turns back to her friends as if nothing happened. I was mortified and furious.”
These People Don’t Deserve Service
“I was opening a bottle of wine for this table and I started getting chest pains and I got scared because the last time that happened I had a seizure. I almost dropped the bottle because of how quick the pain started. So I put the bottle down on the table real quick just in case. One lady was like ‘honey are you okay?’ because it was clear something was wrong. The guy who ordered the wine said ‘We aren’t paying $50 a person for you to die here’.
After a couple seconds which felt like forever the pain gradually went away and I apologized and explained what happened to me last time that happened as I opened the bottle. Then the guy goes ‘at least you didn’t drop the bottle–it costs more than your life’.
Tears silently came down my face as I poured their wine. I never went back to that table. The bottle costs $300.
The lady who asked if I was okay came up to me later and apologized for the guy. She gave me $100 in cash tip. But still I remember feeling completely worthless at that moment.”
He Said What?
“It wasn’t a direct insult, but it was uncomfortable. I worked at this fancy event center where a bunch of yuppies have their weddings. My job was so easy; I literally just opened doors or clicked buttons on the elevator. One time, a man who I had previously opened the door for had come back to talk to me. He proceeded to ask me where I am from and what I thought about him adopting a daughter from Korea. I am an Asian American, born and raised here(United States), so I responded with something along the lines of ‘yeah that’s really cool..good for you.’
Even though I told him I wasn’t Korean and I was born here, he kept asking me uncomfortable personal questions and made offensive comments. For example, the fact that I could fluently speak English was amazing. I get if you are curious about my culture, but some people go about it sounding really disrespectful and dumb. I am Cambodian, so Korea and Cambodia are waaaay different places even though they are both in Asia. I come from a very educated and upper middle class family and in times like these I literally feel like they think I came straight from the slums of Asia or something.”