The restaurant industry is hard. Long hours on your feet in a hot environment with the public breathing down your neck is not for everyone. And evidently, as these crazy stories prove, some can't even make one day.
(Content has been edited for clarity.)
Who Knew The Delivery Guy Needed To Make Deliveries!
“This happened at a pizza restaurant I worked at in college when a new delivery driver was being shown the ropes.
‘So, where’s the car I’ll be using for deliveries?’
‘You use your own car.’
‘Well, I don’t have a car; you’re going to need to provide me with one.’
‘I specifically asked you when you were interviewing if you had your own car.’
‘Well, I thought you meant, do I have a way to get to work, and I do. I took the bus.’
Then he went around the kitchen asking everyone if he could borrow their car for the day. Shockingly, nobody was willing to hand over their keys.”
Not The Best Idea For A Side Hustle
“When I worked in fast food, we cycled through employees on the weekly. The worst was a guy who, on his second day, asked for a smoke break and went next door to try and rob a bank. In his uniform. And yeah, he was fired (and arrested).”
Flirting With The Boss
“The new guy was friendly and caught on quickly during his training. I was impressed that he had picked up this second job to help support his wife and their two babies. I wished him good luck with the rest of his shift and went home.
Over the next few hours, I got all these cheesy, desperate, skeezy text messages from him like, ‘Hey girl, I can’t stop thinking about you,’ and, ‘Will you tell me what you would like to do to me?’
They got pretty graphic.
I am your boss, idiot. I replied back and fired him by text, and then I called the restaurant to have the rest of them walk him out.”
A Smelly, Lazy, Incompetent Idiot
“I am the general manager at a popular chain restaurant. They were getting ready to open another store in our city, so all of the managers that had been hired were sent to my store for training. Everyone was great except one guy. We will call him James.
All of this happened on his FIRST day, as hard as that may be to believe.
James took it upon himself to institute a ‘no smoking’ policy. He even went as far as to attempt to confiscate the pack of employees he caught going out for a smoke. When I confronted him about this, he said ‘I hate the smell.’ Bear in mind, this was MY store. He had no authority whatsoever. He was there to learn. That’s it.
He was running expo – the person who organizes food onto trays and makes sure it goes out to the correct table – and was unable to keep up despite it not being that busy. I comped food for nearly half the restaurant that night because they either got the wrong food altogether or waited 45 minutes for their food because it had to be re-made because he sent their food to the wrong table. I was told by my regional manager NOT to intervene. At this point, he was supposed to be ready and able to ‘stand on his own feet.’
During his 10-hour shift that day, at least two hours was spent pooping, in the guest’s bathroom.
About halfway through the rush and after numerous complaints, James began yelling at my cooks. He told them they were worthless, that they haven’t been giving him the right food, and that they should be fired. He refused to take responsibility for any of it.
At this point, my kitchen manager stepped to help our cooks out of the weeds. James stood behind him and was attempting to ‘help’ by telling him he was doing everything wrong.
My kitchen manager finally sent James off the line saying something along the lines of ‘get away from me, idiot!’ So James went outside and sat in the break area for an hour or so before I found him and asked him what he was doing. He proceeded to explain that the entire kitchen staff was conspiring to make him look bad, that they’ve ‘had it out for him’ since the moment he got there. I sent him back inside to attempt to expo during a lull in service to hopefully help him get his bearings, and then I had the kitchen manager come to my office.
My kitchen manager explained what all went down after he stepped in and what James had done to get himself thrown out of the kitchen. I relayed this story to my boss who told me to send James home.
I went to find him, but he was nowhere to be found. He had just disappeared. Apparently, he told someone else to hop on expo and then ducked out. No one ever heard from the guy again.
Some other things the guy did that I only learned about later from my employees:
-When he wasn’t pooping, he was picking at his bum in full view of everyone. He would not wash his hands either. He would put on gloves and take them off, pick his bum, scratch his face, and pick at his teeth. Then he would throw on some new gloves and call it good. When my lead cook mentioned it to him, he said, ‘that’s what gloves are for.’
-Apparently, he spent more time looking at the servers’ butts than doing his job, which is probably why he was so slow and confused trying to expo.
-He openly propositioned at least one 17-year-old hostess (he was a 45 ish-year-old guy) saying something along the lines of, ‘What are you doing after work? I bet boys your age don’t party like I do,’ and then gave her what she described as an ‘I’m going to assault you’ wink.
-The guy stunk like nothing I’ve ever smelled before. It smelled like a combination of body odor and poop mixed with mildew. It was disgusting.
The fact that this man even made it through the hiring process is beyond me. In nearly 15 years in this industry, I have never met someone so incompetent. And that, my friends, is why I hire my management from within.”
“PIZZA IS NOT MY LIFE!!!”
“I work for a pizza delivery and I have two stories, both about delivery drivers:
- A very quiet girl was hired, and it was immediately apparent she was not going to last. We gave her a uniform shirt and hat, but her pants were about five sizes too big for her, and they were being cinched with a belt. The pants gathered around her waist in huge ruffles. Also, she was holding pizzas under her arm, like a book, which means all the toppings were sliding to one side. She kept doing this and putting them into the hot bags the same way like you’d tuck something into your purse. After a couple of runs and customers being comped both times, she was taken off the road and we tried to work with her inside instead. It was then we noticed the smell of poop. Apparently, she had lost control of her bodily functions during the day and didn’t bother to ask to go to the restroom, or just go. She was told to go home, and she didn’t come back.
- This was the girl’s first job, ever, and it was obvious she had no idea about shifts, peak time, or being required to stay and help sometimes when it’s busy. She initially started crying when she said she was hungry, but she’d only been there maybe two hours. Then she sulked in a corner while the rest of us were busy during the dinner rush. Finally, once the rush was cleared, she asked if she could go home. When my then-manager asked if she’d do some side work before she left, in a vain hope that she’d try to redeem herself, she then wailed, ‘PIZZA IS NOT MY LIFE!!! IT MIGHT BE YOURS, BUT IT’S NOT MINE!!! MY BOYFRIEND IS WAITING FOR ME!!!! AAAAAAHHHH!’ Yep, she left that night.
For weeks, we’d joke around, ‘PIZZA’S NOT MY LIFE!!!!'”
Showing Up Wasted Is A Terrible Idea
“When I was working at this Japanese restaurant, we had to fire one of the new cooks his first day because he showed up wasted.
I had to go pick him at the bus station because I was the delivery driver. When I pulled up there, I saw him finishing a tall boy. I was thinking, ‘Oh man, this might not be good.’ He got in the car and seemed okay. I offered him some gum and he accepted and thanked me.
When we got to the restaurant, I didn’t see much of him because I was out in the front, but man did I hear a lot. While the owner Carol and the other cooks were training him on what to do, he kept messing up and knocking things over. Carol was an intense person and liked to berate people at first, but I have never seen her as mad as when this guy accidentally lit a rag on fire.
That was it, she screamed, ‘You’re fired, get out!’ She had me drive him back to the bus station, which was one of the most awkward car rides I have ever had.”
He Rearranged Her Schedule, Just Not To Her Liking
“She asked to talk to me after being there for 5 minutes. I thought maybe she had a question to ask that she felt embarrassed about. I was wrong.
She told me she needed to go home and I needed to rearrange her schedule so she didn’t have to work with ‘those two disgusting lesbos’ and then pointed at the two lesbian employees that worked there. I was pretty blown away by the fact that she just came out and said it. I think she thought that since she was friends with my brother I would accommodate her bull? I’m not really sure.
So I adjusted her schedule so she wouldn’t have to work with ‘those two disgusting lesbos’ by telling her to go home and not bother coming back as I’m a fair and benevolent manager.”
“We Thought He Died”
“They drove our delivery van into a parked 18 wheeler. They claimed they couldn’t see it/it was in a blind spot. He T-boned it.
The best was a different job where that driver was let go because he dropped acid, took the van into NYC, went to a rave and then lost the van. We thought he died until the NYPD called about the van.”
A Scammer And A Stealer
“I am an employee at a restaurant in a fancy hotel. The hiring process involved three interviews and about two weeks of training before the new hire even got to start.
1. The girl hired to be a hostess mentioned only after the above process that she was pregnant and did not want to have to stand and could only work a few hours a week. Fair enough, but that would be nice to know beforehand. So she was told it wouldn’t work out and said she’d sue us. The next day she came back in asking if she could get a discounted hotel room rate because she technically worked for us for a day.
2. There was a guy hired as a busboy. On his first day after training, he waited for our manager to leave her office for just a second and immediately stole from her purse. She walked around the corner to talk to someone and was back in 20 seconds; he had dumped her purse out onto her desk and was pocketing anything valuable. His excuse when she caught him was that he had to tie his shoe and somehow his head hit her bag and some of her items fell into his pockets. I don’t know how someone that stupid got through three interviews.”
The Dullest Knife In The Drawer
“I am not a manager, but I witnessed a co-worker get fired.
I am a server/bartender, and I trained this lady in her 30s that had some addiction issues. The training lasted six days, and it came down to her serving a manager which is the final test in this training process. Pass, and you are on your own, or fail and take it again the next day. Somehow she miraculously passed on her first try which shocked me, so she was on her own the next day.
She struggled a bit on her own but that is typical for someone new. She survived her first day and was told to finish up her tables and complete some closing tasks like cleaning, sweeping, and rolling silverware before she left. She decided this was a good time to walk down the street to Walmart to buy herself a Red Bull. SHE STILL HAD TABLES! No one knew where she was and her tables were asking for her. I was baffled. She returned to finish her duties and she got yelled at for being so stupid. My managers gave her a second chance because she was so new. But first, they suspended her for a week. She did it again on her first day back. I have never met someone so stupid in my life. She was fired.”
Be Careful Who You Confide In
“I was a pizza delivery guy at a family owned Italian restaurant. They brought a guy in to help make pizzas. Two hours into his training he starts talking about wanting to bang the waitresses. The waitresses were the daughters of the owner. The guy teaching him how to make the pizzas was the older brother. He was physically ejected from the building.”
He Needed Bail
“New kid around 19 or 20 comes in, goes out to buy weed during lunch break and gets busted. Turns out he has a warrant out for him, goes to jail, then has the balls to call us to bail him out because he lives with his grandmother and she would get upset.
We didn’t bail him out.”
The Epic Hour Joe Spent On The Job
“Worked at a fifties themed restaurant. Kid names Joe gets a job as a busy boy. Was told to clean tables and set them. Nothing more. Nothing less. First table he cleans he steals the tip. Server (foolishly) gives him the benefit of the doubt. Joe’s next act of defiance was when he approached a friendly and elderly regular. They get to chatting and the gentleman brings up that he has just had serious dental surgery. Joe is intrigued and begins failed negotiations with the gentleman for painkillers. The negotiations turned to pleading and my manager intervened and promptly fired him. This all happened within the first hour.”
Losing A Finger And Losing A Job
“A guy showed up stoned as it gets to my kitchen on his first day. The person training him had to snap his fingers in front of his face to get his attention, then he sent him home after 80 minutes when he cut a sizable portion of his finger off with a veggie slicer. On the way out, he said ‘So, I’ll get in touch with you to schedule my next shift, right?’ Wrong.”
Their Reasoning Wasn’t So Sound
“They were supposed to start at 8 am, showed up at 9 am. When I asked them why they were an hour late I got a reply along the line of, ‘Well, since it was my first day, all you said I was going to be doing was new hire paperwork, so I didn’t think it would be a big deal if I came in a little late.’
I was dumbfounded at that, needless to say, I wasn’t going to put up with that, and to this day remains the only person I’ve fired on their first day.”
Fired Over Facebook
“I manage a coffee shop. A young girl came in fresh out of culinary school and had previous coffee shop experience. What could go wrong, right?
On her first day, I had her shadow the other employees just to get a hang of the POS system and general flow of the store. The customers overwhelmed her, and she liked to hide in the back leaning on the ice machine. Fine. Whatever. She said she loved baking earlier on, so I sent her to the kitchen to make some cookies. I didn’t care what kind, as long as they were awesome and delicious; she had creative control. She came out later, admitting she didn’t know how to make cookies and needed help. Now I’m getting bloody frustrated.
As we moved on into the lunch rush, a wave of customers flooded the front of the house, and I was needed. I had 40 liters of soup in the back needing some attention and asked her to thicken it a tad before serving. Surely she could handle that as soups and sauces were addressed in the first week of the culinary school she attended. Nope. She found a box of cornstarch and dumped in the whole box. Dry. Soup destroyed. Her shift ended shortly afterward. I forgot to get her contact information at the beginning of the shift, so I had to message her on Facebook telling her not to bother returning. Classy, I know, but she was just one huge mess I couldn’t even begin to fix.”
The “Wet Look” Was All The Rage Back Then
“I worked at an upscale lounge as a bartender. One day, my boss hired this new guy to work behind the bar with us, it was rush and the bar was packed, and we were all running around. Then this new guy came up to the sink behind the bar, kneeled down, put his hair under the running faucet and then flung his head back leaving a splatter on the wall behind him. He then proceeded to smooth his hair down at rush in front of customers. He didn’t stay long.”
Another Side Hustle Gone Wrong
“My chef hired a guy who was less than a week out of prison for dealing. He was just going to wash dishes. He seemed like an okay guy who was just looking for some work after serving five years locked up. On his first day, he walked up to the head chef and asked, ‘Hey man, you know anybody here who wants to buy smack?’
He was out of the door two hours into his first job out of the joint.”
He Almost Got Away With It, Until His Stupidity Ruined Everything
“I once had a co-worker text my boss that they were going to be late. They said that their car got a flat tire. No big deal, that’s fine. However, for some reason, the employee then decided to send my boss a picture of the popped tire…which had a watermark from an image website. The person clearly Googled ‘popped tire’ and sent our boss the first or second result. This didn’t bode well for their trustworthiness or dependability going forward! My boss just replied with something like, ‘This isn’t working out, no need to come in today.'”
She Didn’t Even Do Anything Wrong!
“I used to work in a local restaurant. One day, our dishwasher walked out mid-shift, so my boss called the first person on our stack of applications. A lovely middle-aged woman came in and got straight to work. She was a killer porter, washed those dishes like mad, and had a lovely disposition and smile. At the end of the day I asked my boss if I should get paperwork ready for her and put her information on the schedule sheet, he told me not to bother. He never even called her to say she was fired. She came in later in the year for her tax info and I had to tell her there was none. Those jerks got a free day of labor from the nicest woman ever.”
The New Girl Knows Everything!
“My first job was at a franchise called Cookie By Design. We had just hired some girl, and pretty much everyone working there was in high school. On her first night closing, we started closing shop a few minutes early as it was a slow day. She refused to leave until the time listed on our schedule and proceeded to curse me and the other person out for 10 minutes while we closed the store and told her it was time to leave. She refused, continuing her tirade, and we were forced to call the manager, who proceeded to come down to the store and tell her why she was wrong and that she didn’t have to worry about working until the end since she was fired. She stormed out, and we had a laugh while the manager bought us some pizza next door.”
Surprising He Made It As Far As He Did
“I was working as a waiter in a fancy restaurant. This classy guy showed up, well dressed, well mannered, looking for a job as a cook. They needed help back in the kitchen, so they hired him on the spot.
He showed up hammered the next morning, and not in a ‘had a crazy night out with the buddies, am still a little hungover,’ kind of way, but more in a ‘just downed a bottle for breakfast,’ kind of way.
He had watery eyes, awful breath, stuttered, and struggled to walk straight, but he somehow managed to keep his head high, so management said forget it and put him to work.
The first thing he did was grab a big prawn and managed to stab his own finger with it. Right under the nail.
Everybody was dumbfounded by this prowess. They sent him home no more than 10 minutes after he started.”
He Didn’t Even Last 10 Minutes
“I worked as a manager in an upscale seafood restaurant a few years ago.
We had recently hired a few more wait staff to cope with the customer demand as summer was around the corner.
Excited to train up new staff for the first time ever, three of them turned up on time and got started with their trainers. The fourth guy turned up an hour late, stunk of Jack Daniels and body odor, and had dark yellow pit stains on his ‘new’ white shirt.
I fired him within 10 minutes. He then proceeded to knock over chairs and pull tablecloths off tables, so security was called.”
A Jailbird Can’t Cut It
“My boss at the time (restaurant GM) hired a guy we didn’t need, who turned out to be on supervised release from jail. He wore an ankle monitor, which he proceeded to show off to anyone and everyone. Then, he cornered another employee in a small closet to aggressively ‘ask her out.’ He was relieved that evening.”