Fast food workers don't get enough credit. They have to deal with terrible hours, terrible coworkers, and most of all, terrible customers who expect five-star service for a dollar menu price. Throughout the course of a day, someone working in a fast food restaurant will experience daftness and desperation than most of us will in a lifetime.
A Reddit thread recently asked current and former fast-food workers to share their craziest day on the job. Whether it was dealing with insane customers, coworkers, or the circumstance, each of the people in the following stories offers some ridiculous even that happened to them. Each of the posts have been edited for clarity.
When Customers Attack
“I used to work at McDonald’s. One time, a guy came through the drive-thru and ordered chicken nuggets. We gave him his food and he drove off.
A few minutes later, he came into the store and ran up to the counter ranting about how we forgot his BBQ sauce. My manager met him at the counter, apologized profusely, and gave him some BBQ sauce packets (extra too, maybe 6-7 packets). He proceeded to throw them at her and the rest of us workers behind the counter. We all had BBQ sauce splattered on our uniforms and on the walls. After he ran out of ammunition, he ran out of the store and drove away like a coward.
It was scary at the time because I didn’t know how far he was going to take it. But now (11 years later), it’s just a ridiculous memory. The funniest part to me is that he still left without his precious BBQ. I like to imagine him going home and sulking as he eats his dry nuggets.
I was only 15 years old at the time, and I pretty much lost my faith in humanity.”
This Story Just Keeps Getting Worse And Worse
“Some friends of mine worked at a 7-Eleven, and this guy I knew through them was the head cook in the kitchen. I don’t think 7-Eleven’s do it much more anywhere else, but up here in Canada they still sell chicken. And I mean tons of chicken. So this guy, let’s call him Dave, used to make empty hollow shells of batter and throw them in the deep fryer. The batter expanded as it cooked, filling with boiling oil before sealing shut from the batter expanding.
They used to throw it around when nobody was in the store. Long story short, he used to fool around with battering different stuff, and one time, he made a chicken kebab completely out of his own feces. One of the guys working bought it and bit into it (I imagine the entire store/franchise would have been in a whole ton of trouble if it was a patron) and almost immediately threw up. My friend was working that night and this guy was lazy. It was three in the morning and he didn’t feel like cleaning, so they half-heartedly mopped up the puke and just threw a ‘Caution – Wet Floor’ sign over it before leaving for the night.
The next morning, this soccer mom came in with her troops at 5:30 am (we lived in a town about an hour and a half from a large city that had a tournament), and she was rounding the corner and wiped out – she reached out as she’s falling instinctively to grab onto something and completely shredded her hand on the wire rack. She would have needed more stitches than I could count. She tried pressing charges, but the store was covered because of the wet floor sign.
Funny thing is the guy went on to win tons of bonuses for streamlining their kitchen process and make it almost 300% more profitable than it was when he started.”
The Scream Queen At Dairy Queen
“I work at a Dairy Queen. A woman, probably in her 40s (was a total soccer mom), came through the drive-thru and ordered six things, which sucked because we were a smaller Dairy Queen and it took us longer. I made her a ketchup hot dog instead of mustard by accident; that’s totally my fault, I accept blame. But instead of driving to the front window or driving around again, she proceeded to back her car up (there was a car behind her at the drive-thru, she came SO close to hitting it) and weaved around it so she could get back through in line.
My coworker, who was ringing her up, said she complained that ‘Whoever else was working the drive-thru was doing a horrible job today.’ I had been there for five years at that point and I just made an honest mistake.
I made her a mustard dog and she drove away. Less than two minutes later, she parked her minivan in the front lot, came up to our front window, threw the hot dog at us, and began SCREAMING at me. She claimed I ‘sabotaged’ her and put too much mustard on her hot dog out of ‘revenge.’ She screamed and screamed and screamed, asking for a manager. When my manager went over and apologized, she wouldn’t have it. I stayed calm, didn’t raise my voice, and apologized repeatedly. She would NOT have it. She just screamed, ‘My kid in the car has to go to the bathroom, I can’t believe this!’ (Then why are you prioritizing YOUR hot dog over your child’s needs?)
She kept screaming and wouldn’t listen to my apology. I asked her to stop yelling, but she wouldn’t listen to that, either. Eventually, I said, ‘Yelling won’t solve anything,’ and went to the back. I have pretty bad anxiety, so I had a panic attack. I could hear her demanding I be fired.
This happened like two weeks ago, but I’m honestly still scared of her. Who screams at a 19-year-old girl over too much mustard?”
Was She Trying To Game The System With This Trick?
“While working at Pizza Hut, a black lady came in and ordered $150 worth of pizza, soda, and wings. I told her the total, and then without missing a beat, she asked if I remembered to apply her African American discount. I questioned her about this and she proceeded to yell at be about how she gets a federal mandated 75% off all food for being black because of slavery.
After the woman (she was very obese) demanded her discount, I said no such thing existed. She yelled at me saying that they did and that I was a racist for not giving it to her. I followed up by asking by that same merit should we give the Chinese, Irish, Russian/Polish/most other Soviet Bloc immigrants a discount as well for the way they were treated? She didn’t find my question funny and proceeded to throw her 7-11 Big Gulp at me. My manager came to the front, gave the other black woman in the lobby, who had been sitting there quiet the whole time, a free pizza/two liter and told the woman that had been yelling at us to get out of his store before he called the police.”
Do You Know What Happens To “Old Ice?”
“The ice dispenser broke at the fast food joint where I used to work. As a temporary fix while we waited for the repair guy to come take a look at it, we set out a giant serving bowl full of ice with tongs, so people could still ice their drinks. About 10 minutes after putting out the ice bowl, a customer came up to me to complain that the machine wasn’t dispensing ice.
I told him: ‘We know. A repair guy was called, but he’s not here yet. In the meantime, there’s a bowl next to the soda fountain, so you can still get ice.’
The guy immediately got an attitude about it. ‘How do I know that ice hasn’t been sitting out there all day?’
I stared at him for a few seconds before saying, ‘Because it’s still solid.’
Me: ‘If left out at room temperature, “old ice” would just be water.’
Him: ‘I want to speak with your manager.’
My manager at the time was a creep named Richard. He was right behind me but pretending he couldn’t hear or something. I thumbed back to him and said, ‘Manager’s name is Rich. Have fun,’ then walked away. Didn’t stick around to hear the placations.
Afterward, Richard pulled me aside and said that he completely understood my animosity, but I needed to be nicer to customers anyway. I disagreed. When I quit that job to head off to college, I was explicitly told I would not be welcomed back if I ever needed a job. I was 17 at the time and yeah, I was a bit of a jerk when I was younger. I don’t work in anything customer service oriented now, but if I did, I wouldn’t be such a jerk to the guy asking for ice.”
She Left Her Kids In The Play Place While She Did Something Terrible
“This doesn’t have to do with McDonald’s food, as the store I worked in was fairly sanitary and I never encountered anything gross happening. Then again, I worked the morning/day shift and the people seemed to be much cleaner and more diligent than the afternoon and night crew.
However, I had put in my two weeks notice because I got a different job. One of my last days of work, something extremely messed up happened. A young woman brought her two children with her to the store. Not an unusual thing. The same day, a large group of senior citizens from a local retirement home were there as well. One of the old ladies walked up to the counter and told the boss that one of the bathroom stall doors was locked and she could see a woman’s legs on the ground. She knocked on the door to no response and therefore told us.
Our managers ran in there and found the woman passed out on the ground and she was apparently turning purple and not breathing. She drank a bottle of bleach that she brought with her and left her two kids in the play area while she tried to kill herself in our bathroom. These children were about 3 years old. All of the employees were freaking out and crying. The paramedics and police came and there was a huge commotion. Everyone thought she was dead.
The paramedics were able to revive her. I’d like to believe it was an adrenaline shot through the heart ‘Pulp Fiction’ style, but I honestly have no idea how, and she was sent to the hospital. Needless to say, I made sure I never stepped foot in that bathroom again.”
These Guys Were Like Something Out Of A Bad Reality TV Show
“I was working the night shift at McDonald’s in the drive-thru last year when a car came through at around 3 am. When the car pulled up to my window, I saw two dudes that looked like they were straight out of Jersey Shore. The driver had his shirt unbuttoned.
Now, I wouldn’t have even noticed the shirt if he hadn’t looked down at it, looked at his friend, and said to me, ‘Oh… no. Don’t get the wrong idea. We’re not gay. We hook up with girls. We actually just did it with some girls like 20 minutes ago. Would it be weird if I told you that it was the same girl? Yeah, we did this chick at the same time. Hey, you’re hot. Wanna party?’
I just stood there, dumbfounded. I think I finally found words and said something along the lines of, ‘Uh, no thank you. So, your order comes to $2.92.’
They didn’t give up though. They just kept trying to get me to party with them and were trying to ‘entice’ me by bragging about the size of their junk. I finally had a manager handle the situation and they left, only to return 10 minutes later to try it all again. This time as they were leaving they said, ‘We’ll come pick you up when you’re off at 7. We’ll show you a good time, babe.’
So that’s why I hate working drive-thru at night.”
This Old Woman’s Mouth Was The Nastiest Place In The Store
“I worked at Subway for about two years when I was in high school. I will never forget this one old lady who worked there with me. Imagine a 72-year-old woman who constantly coughed up chunks of M&M cookies onto every surface available – including the sandwiches.
One day, she and I were chatting in the back of the store, and while she was talking to me, a chunk of cookie flew out of her mouth and landed on my lip. I nearly gagged.
She also would wear the same pair of gloves for cleaning, prep, and serving customers. It was disgusting. For whatever reason, my boss never said anything to her about any of this. I guess he felt bad that she was so old and still working.”
The Family That Sticks Together Gets Sued Together
“I worked for a fast food restaurant.
Being a proud employee, I had fantastic metrics across the board, though it wasn’t hard because of the nepotism in the store. Everyone but me and two other people (the guy who hired me and his best friend) were members of the same family. Small town, sorta happens… but everything was garbage because of it.
One of the family members came in after having a few drinks and continued to drink through his shift. He left his cans in the ice bay beneath the fountain for the drinks. Eventually, I called the cops on him doing so after a particularly bad incident involving a screaming match with customers.
So the regional manager came in to talk to us, especially to me because I’ve ‘been written up three times’ and I was ‘about to be fired.’
Er… what? Hold the phone. With a single exception of spilling a drink on a customer, I’d made roughly no mistakes in my nine months here… and no one’s said a thing about anything, and these are all performance write-ups?
They forged my signature on my write-ups and backdated them. I never heard a thing about this. But because I was the reason one of the family members was sent to jail for public intoxication in violation of his parole after killing a guy…apparently, that makes me the bad person.
They were solid forgeries, though, except that, for my initials. They copied the capitals of my signature when I use different initials for signatures things. And that’s shown on my ID, and on my acceptance signatures for the handbook.
I took one look at ‘my write-ups,’ tore off my shirt, threw it in her smug face, thinking she’d won, and screamed at her for the forgeries.
The regional manager tried to smooth things over. I told him to fire her on the spot and then I might be willing to talk. He said, ‘Well… I can’t,’ and then I walked out.
The lawyers had a blast, especially after I was like, ‘I’m more than happy to sign over whatever you win. This isn’t about me getting rich, this is about them burning for it.’
I do know the owners ditched both their stores about a year later struggling with other ‘legal troubles’ and both stores have long since closed. Apparently, when the lawsuit was put in the local paper, other people brought forth their own grievances to the lawyer in question…”
Some Wires Didn’t Cross Right In His Brain
“I worked at Burger King and one day, we had a really busy rush with the line stretched all the way to the door. This guy came in and got in line with a terrible look on his face. He waited in line for about 10 minutes (anger building), got up to my register and screamed while waving a Taco Bell bag at me: ‘You forgot my sour cream.’
I was dumbfounded at how the guy could have waited in line, with all the pictures of burgers plastered all over the place, and the completely different color scheme. So I told him I would go get my manager (she was a real old and crankier kind of lady, rough around the edges).
As I came back, I could see the guy had an odd look on his face. It was like it was starting to sink in. When my manager came up, I told her: ‘We forgot the sour cream for his tacos.’ She looked at me, rolled her eyes harder than I have ever seen anyone roll their eyes, and turned around and walked back to her office.
The guy looked at me, he was starting to look nervous, and his brain knew something was wrong. I pointed out the window, he looked out the window and saw the Taco Bell next door.
He was out the front door fast, bright red, not saying a word.
At the time we had sour cream for our baked potatoes. Had he not been a jerk when he got to the register, I probably would not have made him feel half as stupid as I’m sure I did, and I probably would have given him sour cream as well, but people like to use cashiers as their personal whipping boys, even more so at fast food places.”
How Could This Happen To Her Twice?!
“My best friend worked at a McDonald’s for several years in high school and there were two stories she told that stuck with me.
One day, her store experienced some sort of malfunction with the milkshake machine. Apparently, they were coming out pretty much melted. A customer demanded a chocolate milkshake and said he didn’t care if it was melted. She did one up for him and handed it to him so he could get a look at how melted it was. He freaked out on her for ‘ruining his milkshake,’ and threw it at her. She was completely covered in chocolate and yet was expected to stand there and finish the rest of his order.
The second story is an experience she had as a manager. One cold winter day, a hobo walked into her store and went to use the washroom. He came out about 10 minutes later and politely provided the dollar whatever needed for a cup of coffee. She gave it to him at no charge and told him to enjoy the rest of his day. That pleasant phrase threw him into a rage, and he ended up throwing the hot coffee at her. She ended up calling the cops on him as he refused to leave the restaurant after doing this.
The story doesn’t end there, however, as later, when she was doing a store inspection, she peered into the men’s washroom and discovered bloody feces smeared around the room.”
The Entitled, Racist Princess Got What She Deserved
“I was working at Sbarro in a rather affluent area. An awful woman came in with that oh so familiar attitude of ‘I’ve never worked in my life for money, and I’m a princess.’ She ordered a slice of the stuffed pizza and our pizza maker, a very polite guy of Guatemalan descent, scooped the pizza up with a spatula and put two fingers (with gloves on) on top of the pizza to make sure it didn’t fall.
She then proceeded to scream: ‘UGH! THAT MEXICAN JUST TOUCHED MY PIZZA!’ I politely informed her that he had gloves on, the brick oven is 450+ degrees, and he’s not a Mexican. She continued to rant and rave about it and demanded a discount, despite the fact that we gave her a new piece, sans ‘Mexican’ finger touching, and I told her that we would not be giving her a discount. Meanwhile, her poor husband (with a child in tow) had a disappointed look on his face of ‘I can’t believe I procreated with this despicable wench.’
After she sauntered off, the woman behind her in line began to empathize with us, calling her an ‘ungrateful fool.’ I then offered the woman and her two sons their pizza for free if we could get a little poetic justice. She happily obliged and took off in the woman’s direction in the all but empty food court. From completely across the court, we heard our hero shouting at her calling her, among other things, ‘disgusting human being, scum of the earth.’ All the while, the uppity rich girl maintained her uppity salt of the earth composure and threw terrible racial epithets at the woman and her two young boys. At that, the woman screamed: ‘Get lost, you white cracker,’ and promptly threw her slice of pizza in her face and took off.
I honestly have never laughed so hard in my life, all of us did, and that woman glared daggers at us, as we laughed at her.”
The Day They Lost Faith In People
“I worked at a McDonald’s in Iowa for around three years. One Sunday, I got called to come in and help with the lunch rush as they were ‘having troubles.’ Figuring I would only be assisting them through rush, I agreed to come in for a couple of hours. Dear lord, I had no idea what I was in for.
The second I walked into the place, I was met by the most disgusting and gut-wrenching smell I’ve ever faced. The sewer backed up and was coming up through drainage grates in the floor all throughout the back of the store. There were turds floating in grey water, about one-inch high, from behind the counter all the way to the back by the storage.
I told the manager we had to close down immediately because this violated countless health codes. I was told to call the owner and explain the situation (everyone else was afraid of the old money hungry hag). After explaining the situation to him, he basically told me to nut up and squeegee the crap out the back door. So that’s what we did. There were countless comments from customers about what the smell was, so I blatantly told them exactly what it was. Not a single one left. Not a single one cared. They all ordered their food even though they could see the feces. This is also the day I lost hope in people.”
They Couldn’t Believe How Dumb Their Customers Could Be
“I worked at a Dairy Queen.
We had a promotion for the Ultimate Burger, so there were full menu-sized panes that said: ‘ULTIMATE BURGER.’ A lady approached the register, pointed slowly at the giant poster with mouth agape, and asked:
Her: ‘Is that the Ultimate Burger?’
Me, without looking: ‘Yes, yes it is.’
Her: ‘Oh, I don’t think I could suffice an Ultimate.’
I flinched. She proceeded to order a bunch of other food. My friend Kurt overheard this and we turned it into a game where we’d try our best to misuse a fancy word for no reason. All shift, we tried but never really topped that customer’s line.
Then Andy, the resident skateboard punk, rolled in, 45 minutes early for his shift as usual so he could get baked and talk to everyone. After chatting for a minute with Kurt and me, Andy turned to the bathroom and said: ‘Excuse me, gentlemen, I have to go use the faculties.’ We died laughing, but we were ashamed. Andy won our game without even knowing we were playing.
Another time, during winter, there hadn’t been a customer in two hours. My friend Kurt and I had a history of trolling each other.
A girl and her friend approached the counter and asked, ‘Is there dairy in your ice cream?’
I’ve got a reasonable poker face. I said, ‘I think so, but let’s make sure.’ I called back loudly to the kitchen, ‘Hey Kurt, is there dairy in our ice cream?’
Kurt, a full-time class act who did not see the customers come in called back, ‘Are you stupid or something?’
I got to turn back and faced the customer who definitely heard that and said, ‘Yeah, there’s dairy in there.'”