People typically don't make the best decisions when they are hungry. It's an understood truth that someone is more likely to get upset and blow a gasket over a meaningless situation whenever they haven't had a good meal in a while. It happens. But sometimes, people just take it a bit too far.
A Reddit thread recently asked restaurant workers to reveal the worst temper tantrums they have ever witnessed on the job. Some of these are ridiculous while others are flat-out repulsive, but all of these stories involve people making highly questionable decisions because of food. All posts have been edited for clarity.
All Of That Over A Dime? A Dime?
“A little old lady in an unbridled rage absolutely red in the face started screaming at a teenage Baskin Robbins employee because she wanted $0.10 off a $0.99 ice cream cone. The deal was only available on Sundays, and it was Thursday.
She made us wait in line behind her while she argued over a dime, but the cashier couldn’t do anything because the register was electronic and wouldn’t apply the discount. I was about to pay the lady in loose change to move along, but someone stepped in to assist us off to the side.
We were in and out in a few minutes, and the irate octogenarian was still raging when I left.”
She Might Want To Get Her Priorities In Check
“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’s a car behind her at the drive-thru, she came SO close to hitting it) and weaved around it so she got 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?”
When A 5-Year-Old Is More Adult Than The Adult
“I work at the Costco food court, and there are a plethora of stories, but one sticks out in particular. We usually have the option of chocolate or vanilla ice cream, however, our shipment of chocolate ice cream didn’t come in one day, so we were left with only vanilla all day. Most people wanting chocolate were slightly upset but went on their way. But here came in a mother in her 30s with her son who was maybe 5 years old who were more adamant than the usual customer.
Mother: ‘I’d like two chocolate ice cream cones, please.’
Me: ‘I’m very sorry, ma’am, but we only have vanilla at the moment.’
Mother: ‘Oh, then I’ll have the twist (Mixture of chocolate and vanilla).’
Me: ‘I’m sorry, but we just don’t have any chocolate ice cream right now.’
Mother: In shock ‘So how am I supposed to get chocolate ice cream? Today is the day we get chocolate ice cream.’
Me: ‘I’m not sure what to tell you. Our shipment might come in for tomorrow or there are other stores that could sell you ice cream.’
Mother: ‘That is unacceptable. Where is your manager?’
I then proceeded to call the manager, who quickly came over to see what was happening.
Mother: ‘Your worker here told me that I can’t have chocolate ice cream and I should go away!’
I stared at the manager like the woman was a complete psycho.
Manager: ‘Ma’am, our shipment for the ice cream never came in, so we can’t serve you any for today.’
Kid: ‘I’m okay with just vanilla ice cream.’
Mother: Yelling at her kid ‘Are you kidding me? This is chocolate day. We always get the chocolate ice cream. We are leaving right now. This place is awful.’
Then what happens next is something I’ll never forget. The mom dragged on the kid’s arm pulling him towards the exit. The kid turned to us with the saddest look and mouthed: ‘I’m sorry.’
Sometimes, a 5-year-old can be more adult than some adults.”
Her Reputation Preceded Her
“When I worked in the bakery at Whole Foods, we had a customer who kept asking us to make banana muffins with A LOT of pecans on top for her – but only a few at a time, like two or three. In general, it was a request we could accommodate, but we had a few considerations we had to account for, like the fact that if we made them and she didn’t pick them up we couldn’t sell them to anyone else because pecans weren’t on the ingredient list.
The problems started arising when she would call us while she was on the way to the store, expecting to pick them up when she arrived. She was about 20 minutes away and they took 45 minutes to bake. Even if she had called us while she was an hour away, we were on a pretty tight production schedule and someone would have to interrupt the work they had to get done that day for an unexpected special order for this one customer.
First, she got mad that we couldn’t magically make them in 20 minutes. I was, unfortunately, the supervisor on shift when she called most of the time, so she’d keep me on the phone for 15 minutes raging about how the customer is always right – even though she was factually incorrect in this circumstance. She started saying we should just make them her way all the time so that we always had them on hand for her. I explained to her that we could get heavily fined by food inspectors if we did that, but that only made her angrier.
Eventually, my team leader said that we had to put our foot down with her and tell her that she had to put in special orders two days in advance just like everyone else. When we told her this, she, of course, became infuriated. We were able to just say: ‘Well, management says so, sorry,’ and we thought that was that. She went along with it for a couple days, sending her poor mother to pick them up for her because she was too angry to step foot in the store – her mom always looked so apologetic.
She finally came in to berate my team about how rude and inconsiderate and generally horrible we had been to her. Then she asked to speak to our store manager, who had been made aware of the whole Banana Nut saga. He escorted her outside and told her she was banned from the store. We found out later that she had also been banned from the three nearest Whole Foods locations over this exact same set of circumstances.”
Not All Tantrums Are The Same
“When I worked at Starbucks, there was a very well-dressed man who came in and ordered a latte with the following customizations: whole milk, no foam, 200 degrees. We had just run out of whole milk, which I told him and apologized for. He didn’t get snappy with me or anything but was sort of weird and soft-spoken. Okay, whatever. So I handed his cup down the line for his drink to be made. 200-degree no-foam lattes are a chore to make, but my best barista was on duty, so I wasn’t worried at all. She handed off his drink. He took the lid off and looked at it.
Customer: ‘I said no foam.’
Barista: ‘Oh, I’m sorry, I must not have been paying attention. Give me one moment and I’ll remake it for you.’
Customer: ‘No, it’s fine.’
The customer walked away in the middle of my barista explaining that it would only take a few seconds to correct his drink. Suddenly, but also very silently, he took the lid off of his drink and poured it all over the condiment bar in a sweeping motion.
The guy had some very VERY weird ways of dealing with dissatisfaction.”
Well, That’s One Way To Lose Faith In Humanity
“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.”
Well, They Won’t Be Back Any Time Soon
“I was at a restaurant with my uncle and cousins who were visiting from out of town. It was the first time visiting with them in years. At the end of the dinner, one of my cousins snuck off and paid for everyone as a kind gesture.
My uncle became irate and started yelling and complaining that he wanted to pay his share because he had a movie ticket points Visa card and he was close to getting a free movie. He argued and told off our cousin loudly in the restaurant over a few free movie points. He would not drop it until he got our cousin to apologize to him for costing him movie points.
I don’t think those cousins are going to fly down again any time soon.”
At Least Someone Got “Satisfaction” By The End Of This Encounter
“Flying out of JFK with my boss and team analyst, we had about an hour before our flight left, so we decided to sit down and eat at one of those restaurants where you could order via a tablet. We all ordered, and our food came out about 10 minutes later. My boss and I got burgers with his coming with a side salad. Our team analyst got a chicken sandwich.
The guy at the table next to us looked at my boss’s plate, and very condescendingly stated: ‘You’re eating my turkey burger.’
My boss lifted his bun, confirmed his burger was beef and answered: ‘No, I’m eating my hamburger. Not your turkey burger.’
The guy then stood up in a manner that made him look like a villain from some bad ’80s movie.
The guy made a beeline to the waiter that served us and started screaming: ‘Where is my turkey burger? I was here four minutes before the three of them, and I still don’t have my turkey burger!’
The waiter became visibly nervous as the guy kept screaming: ‘I ordered a turkey burger, it hasn’t come. I want my turkey burger, I demand satisfaction!’
The waiter said he would check and then rushed back into the kitchen for a few minutes. It was easy to tell that he didn’t want to confront the rude customer again, but it was part of his job.
‘Sir,’ the waiter said as he came back, ‘No order has been placed on any of the tablets at your table.’
The guy just lost it and started screaming: ‘This is nonsense, you think I don’t know how to use a tablet. I want my turkey burger, I demand satisfaction!’
Five more minutes ensue of him screaming about demanding satisfaction before the waiter finally grabbed the tablet at his table, looked over the order, and then noticed that the ‘submit order’ button was never hit.
The guy was angry and embarrassed and had a look on his face like he was going to go home and beat his wife. The waiter looked smug like he was the one who actually got satisfaction out of all of this.”
“Never In My Life Was Getting Fired So Satisfying”
“One of those typical ‘Can I speak to the manager’ looking women ordered delivery from my work one night (local pizza and sub shop). It was super busy and I got to her house about 15 minutes late with her order.
I felt bad and was going to give her the food on the house or hook her up with a $20 gift card for the inconvenience, but this lady’s attitude made me do neither.
I opened the door and she told me ‘You’re late’ in this condescending tone. I apologized and explained we were busy, and that I was aware her order was running late. She cut me off, took the pizza out of my hand, and said: ‘I’M NOT PAYING FOR THIS.’ So I yanked it out of her hands and said: ‘Yes, you are, or the police are going to be here to arrest you for theft.’
This lady then tried to attack me. She slapped me in the face and tried hitting me some more, but she was small and not really a threat at all, so I just walked back to my car, got in and drove up her street to a dead end circle. As I came back, she was still outside screaming, so I chucked her pizza and entree items out the car window onto her front lawn and said ‘Enjoy the free meal you stinking old witch,’ and drove off.
Never in my life was getting fired so satisfying.”
This Guy Was In No Position To Call People Out For Their Life Choices
“A guy sat down at my bar at 10:30, which was 30 minutes before we opened for the day.
Me: ‘Morning sir, here’s a menu just wanted to let you know we open at 11, but you’re more than welcome to sit here until we open.’
Guy: ‘Fine, can I have a drink?’
Me: ‘No, sir, we open at 11.’
Guy: Scowling ‘Whatever.’
I served him a glass of water and continued opening my bar. At a few minutes to 11, I grabbed him the drink he requested. He proceeded to get on his phone ranting to someone pacing all around the restaurant in circles.
Just as he was about to exit out the side door (which leads straight to a parking lot) I got his attention and asked for a credit card if he was going to leave the restaurant. He protested, yelling and cursing. I replied politely that it was policy. He proceeded to lunge at me, and from across the restaurant, threw a gold American Express card at me like he was a knife-throwing circus performer yelling: ‘Fine. Here.’
Of course, I immediately closed his tab and ran his card because he was the very picture of belligerence we’re warned about in responsible vendors classes. He came over and began to flip out at the notion of being kicked out of a restaurant at 11:15 in the morning. As he was yelling, I kept repeating: ‘Have a nice day sir, have a nice day sir, have a nice day sir,’ until he finally retorted: ‘Oh, I will, because I don’t work in a bar.’
I quietly replied: ‘Oh, I know you just wait outside of one shaking at 10:30 in the morning.’ He lost his mind, signed his credit card receipt so violently that he tore it a bit and left the receipt shrieking about how rich he his. I looked down at the receipt trying hard not to think about my life choices and it was signed: ‘GET BENT!'”
He Wanted His Fries, No Matter How He Looked In The Process
“I was at an all-inclusive resort in Costa del Sol, Spain, and I watched an extremely obese Scottish man nearly have an emotional breakdown when there were no fries at the dinner buffet.
A waiter ran over to figure out what the problem was, but couldn’t understand this enraged, fat, screaming man, which only made matters worse. He was literally shouting, ‘It’s not on the buffet for Christ’s sake. You’ve got no fries. It’s not on. It’s not on. I am going on vacation, and I expect some fries.’
My wife started laughing hilariously and the guy turned to her and said, ‘It’s not funny!’ My wife calmly replied, ‘I am watching a human adult lose his crap over potatoes. Mate, this is the best entertainment I’ve had all week.’
The fat guy looked around, realizes the whole restaurant was staring at him, and waddles off to where his family was seated, all looking like they wanted the Earth to open up and just deliver them from this nightmare.”
No More Family Dinners After This Disaster
“On Mother’s Day this year, my parents made reservations at a nice Italian restaurant for 6 pm. This was late for us as we have a baby who usually goes to bed around 7:20, but it was a special occasion and what not.
We got in on time, and it took about 15 minutes to get our drinks, but my mom’s coffee was forgotten. This led to my sister, mother, and father loudly passive-aggressively complaining about bad service. My husband and I quietly talked and decided that we would ask for our food to go since we were a) getting embarrassed by my family’s behavior and b) the baby was getting fussy because it was close to bedtime.
Around an hour later, our food wasn’t there and the baby was having a full-on meltdown, so I took him to the entrance to try to calm him down, and about five minutes into calming him down, my husband rushed at us with the diaper bag and car keys and said, ‘We need to go, NOW, your dad is losing his mind.’ I noticed that my husband forgot our baby’s bottle, so I went back to get it and my dad was SCREAMING at the manager about the slow service, how they had ruined his night out, and ruined my first Mother’s Day and that I was leaving, yadda, yadda. I basically hid my face, grabbed the bottle, mouthed, ‘I’m so sorry’ to the waitress and manager and bolted.
As we were getting in the car, I could see my parents and sister (with her two kids) being walked out by the manager and a chef. They yelled across the parking lot to get my attention about going somewhere else but I ignored them. It was the most embarrassed I have ever been in my entire life, and my husband and I now have an agreement to never go out to a restaurant with my family again. I mean, at the point where my dad was losing his mind, I don’t think we would have wanted our food because I wouldn’t blame them for spitting in it (or worse).”
Sorry, Finding A Cheeseburger Isn’t In A Nurse’s Responsibility
“I had a patient’s family member that was super picky, constantly calling the nurses station, and constantly coming out of the room to complain.
She was upset because she ordered a guest tray and wanted a cheeseburger, but it hadn’t come up yet.
Another patient coded next door, meaning the patient was literally dying. All of the nurses left the crazy lady to go to the code, and the lady went insane, yelling: ‘YOU DON’T CARE ABOUT MY CHEESEBURGER?!’
We ignored her.”
This Guy Gave Up On Acting Like A Rational Person
“I was at Arby’s with my dad one day back when I was around 10 or 11 years old.
I don’t mind if you’re fat. You do you, and all that good stuff. But I saw a man easily weighing over 400 pounds, with greasy hair, a stained shirt that looked like a tarp, and sweatpants with such a fetid odor, I wanted to gag.
He was screaming and stark raving mad at the girl behind the counter because he ordered three extra-large curly fries and not the two that received. He demanded that his meal be free (even though he had $30 or so worth of junk as there was only one unattended table nearby), when she said she’d give the third fries for free.
Spit was flying out of his mouth and he absolutely needed his third curly fry as if he was withdrawing from an addiction. I thought he was going to murder the girl behind the counter.”
“She Was A Real Meanie Baby”
“When I was 16, I worked at McDonald’s. This was in the days of Beanie Babies.
One day, a woman came in with her two small children. She ordered some happy meals and wanted a specific Beanie Baby, but when she found out that we didn’t have it, she flipped out. She called us every name in the book, right in front of her little kids and everyone else’s kids.
She was a real Meanie Baby.”