Restaurant workers have a front row to seat to some of the worst behavior people are capable of. What is it about eating out that makes some people such
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The Crazy Bagel Lady
“I worked at a soup & sandwich cafe for 3 years while I was in undergrad. Good job, easy money. Anyways, we offered quick breakfast options: bagels & cream cheese, breakfast sandwiches & burritos, and a quick 2 egg breakfast with toast, hash browns or grits, etc. We offered a $1 small cup of coffee because Starbucks was 2 blocks down and my manager was like that. We broke even on the coffee, not really hoping to profit. Just trying to get people in the door and serve quick, good food. That kind of place.
A super-yoga soccer mom started coming in every morning to buy a coffee. She would bring in her own bagel and her own cream cheese. She would purchase the coffee and then ask us to toast her bagel and put her cream cheese on it for her- and expect us to run the food out to her like we did for every other paying customer. While she was purchasing her coffee, she would ask that we put on new gloves while preparing her food. Okay, fine. Not a big deal the first few times because the owner (a working manager) was trying to keep his customers happy all of the time. However, this budding new cafe was starting to increase in business exponentially. This Bagel Lady started coming in every, single day. The boss grew a little tired of her request because after all, he isn’t seeing the benefit of selling her a $1 cup of coffee and having us prepare her food for her. She didn’t tip either, however, because my boss always lived by ‘The Customer is always right’ method, he did this.
She came in on a Saturday morning once. Thinking she got special treatment because she was a regular customer, she decided she would skip the line and put her bagel on the counter near the register. She waited in line, purchased her $1 coffee and noticed her bagel was right where she left it, untouched.
‘Excuse me, I expected this to be toasted and ready when I purchased my coffee. I come in all of the time, you should know me by now. I am one of your most frequent customers.’
‘Yes, ma’am. I apologize, I did not see it. Here is your coffee and I will bring it out to you in a moment.’
‘I just don’t understand you people sometimes- so incompetent and rude to your customers. This is the kind of behavior that leads to disease and sickness in restaurants.’
I didn’t realize my boss was standing over my shoulder during this encounter. He sort of pushes me out of the way grabs her bagel (ungloved hands) takes a bite, goes to hand it to her, drops it and asks her to leave with a mouthful of bagel. He goes to his office and closes his door still chewing the bagel. He comes out and says ‘Coffee is now $2.’
Cheap As Cheap Can Get
“I used to work at a seafood restaurant and one time we had a huge party of 30ish people. Most of them got crab legs and such, so the total bill for all of them was easily $500-600. They had two servers helping them and stayed for close to three hours in the party room, which they absolutely freaking trashed. The tip they thought was appropriate for this? FIVE. WHOLE. DOLLARS.”
The Worst Kind Of Woman
“Bartended full time for 6 years, but the worst behavior I ever witnessed was after all that. Well, I did see a hustler, who was hustling out of a TGIFridays in Nashville TN, get the cops called on him by the bar manager and then he threatened to murder everyone there. But this was even worse than that.
I was home for the holidays, at a divey, busy college bar. They run a 6 wings for 2 dollars special, coupled with dollar brews, on Thursday night, so it really packs the place.
About 8 of us went every Thursday, and this time we invited a friend of a few people in the group, let’s call her Leah, and her boyfriend. Leah is considered pretty hot, and her boyfriend Jake, also not his real name, was a little insecure about it and was constantly doing things to seek her approval. Nice guy otherwise.
So we order some cold ones and wings and wait. The place is beyond packed. And everybody’s ordering wings. It routinely takes 45 minutes to get food on these nights. Well, Leah wasn’t having it.
At about 20 minutes in, Leah starts complaining to the waitress, who is frantically running around grabbing bottles and actually doing a really good job. We never waited more than a minute or two for brews.
At 30 minutes, Leah starts loudly talking crap about this waitress and how bad she is to all the tables around us. Leah either does not know or does not care that even though this is her first time, we come here often and know some of these people. We are deeply embarrassed. We sheepishly try to shoosh her.
At 45 minutes, Jake has caught on that Leah is hating on this place, and he takes it up a notch. He tests it out by dropping a little snarky comment about the waitress, and Leah literally shrieks, she’s laughing so hard. His insecurity is the turning point.
He starts going bigger and bigger now that he realizes that being crappy to the waitress is really entertaining Leah. He starts doing everything Leah was doing, embarrassing us even further. He starts declaring that they shouldn’t have to pay for their wings. He starts declaring they shouldn’t have to pay for their drinks either. Now they need a manager to come tell them whats taking so long. Finally, they decide to ditch on this poor waitress.
Around this time, we succeeded in finding a free(ish) table and we left Leah and Jake to their lonesome, unwilling to be associated with them any longer. We apologized profusely to the waitress and tipped her extra.
But here’s the crappiest part: Leah and Jake had asked for the check when we left. They wrote horrible, nasty things about the waitress on it and every napkin at the table, did not pay their tab, and totally trashed the table. They smeared sauce and salt and pepper all over the table, put napkins in their drinks and stuck them all over, dumped the plates of eaten wings (which they finally got) out, and generally left this table as bad as it was possible to leave. Then they ran out laughing.
I personally have not spoken to or hung out with Leah since, despite her being in the larger friend group, because of this. I worked service too long to abide that nonsense.
It is true that you can see someone’s true colors in how they treat someone they perceive as subservient or powerless.”
Hopefully They Upcharged Her
“When I used to work at McDonald’s, some lady came in and ordered a cheeseburger without cheese. So being the person I am, I just put it in a Hamburger wrapper and gave it to the front. Well, she came back like five minutes later and all heck broke loose. She was yelling at the poor girl who gave her the sandwich and the girl was new. So I went up to help and asked what was the matter. This is what she said: ‘I ordered a Cheeseburger without cheese you gave me a Hamburger. I want what I ordered right now and I want to speak to your manager.’ So, I told her I was the manager. She proceeded to call me a liar even though I had a name tag that said shift manager on it. But I told her I would fix it. I took the burger and put it in a Cheeseburger wrapper and gave it back to her. She looked at it. Then at me and then I’m pretty sure she had the realization of what a Cheeseburger without cheese is. She then just walked away without thanking me or anything. Also, I sent the girl home since she was crying.”
Just Going At It
“Former Bartender, college bar, crappy food, and good pitchers specials.
Two people just started trying to have a stealthy hook up. There was music but not really a dance floor. Just a small space between the bar and a few other tables where you can stand in a little room. But most nights someone would get trashed enough to find it and dance really poorly.
This night there was this couple dancing in it. Stupidly slow grinding against one another to some Killers song. And the guy just pulls her shorts down. Straight to the floor, she has nothing on underneath her cut-off shorts. She immediately yelps and playfully swats at him as she pulls her shorts up. Still dancing, she makes no move to remove his hands that are now, much more slowly, pushing her shorts down again.
No one in the bar was doing anything but watching them. Four bartenders, the manager, a half a dozen people sitting at the bar, another half dozen between the darts and the hunting game.
No one I spoke to knows how his johnson got out. I don’t think I ever saw his hands move off her shorts and she had her arms around his neck. But there it was poking her in her belly button, her shorts are around her knees and she is making no move to put them back.
The manager is behind the bar and goes to get the security guy from the front door. Mr. Johnson-Out finally acknowledges someone else’s existence and spots the manager moving with purpose.
The shorts go up, the junk goes away, and they are just dancing when the security gets there. Security and the manager have a quiet conversation and from the body language, it looks like Johnson-Out is denying anything went down and doesn’t want to go. The chick is just giggling the entire time.
Johnson-Out is unmistakably ‘excited’ the entire time.
They agree to leave but the girl wants to use the bathroom first. Johnson-Out is following her there so the security guy tags along and has to physically stop him from going to the bathroom with her. Nothing aggressive, he just puts a hand on his shoulder and Johnson-Out let himself be placed by the wall. Johnson-Out laughs a little bit and spends an awkward five minutes acting like he’s trying to adjust his rod while clearly giving himself what he thinks are surreptitious cranks.
The lady comes out and they laugh and leave the bar together. Apparently, they turned the corner and immediately started going at it in the parking lot and were arrested instantly by police that happened to be driving by.”
A Kid Loses It Over Doritos
“I worked at a Subway many years ago. One day we’ve got a full, stacked house. The line is several people deep, so we’re just trying to work through people as fast as we can. A family – parents and one young kid, maybe 5-7 years old, come in and get in line. Once they get near the display for chips, the kid starts acting up about how he wants some Doritos.
No big deal, normally, but the kid starts yelling and screaming and making a scene. The parents look exhausted beyond their years and just try to calmly and quietly inform him no, that he isn’t getting chips. The screaming goes on and the brat remains at the display but the parents move on, getting their order in and ignoring him. Taking our cue from them, we and the other customers do the same.
As they are ringing up, the boy realizes that his ploy has failed and he must up his game. I see him look at the chips in his hand, at his parents, back again, then at me. Calculation crosses his eyes and he asks me, ‘If I break this, do they have to pay for it?’
Quick as you please he drops the chips on the ground and stomps them hard with his foot, making a very recognizable pop sound as the bag explodes. The room is stunned. Everyone slowly turns to the parents. They look, sigh, and ask my bud to ring up a bag of chips. They pay and leave, never once rebuking the child.
If I had tried that as a kid, I wouldn’t be alive to post this story.”
An Awkward Proposition
“Here’s one to lighten things up. I used to work at Red Robin, and there was this old nasty dude and his girl that came in. They weren’t unclean, she was just high out of her mind on something, and he looked really sleazy.
They end up inviting 22-year-old me to a little ménage à trois with them later. I decline and laugh it off, and they asked me maybe two more times during their night. Maybe it was just due to my not being offended about it or something, but they continued coming in at least once a week after that, and every time they did, they requested my section and halfheartedly asked me if I wanted to come back home with them. I declined every time, but they continued coming in, tipped well, and in spite of being slightly off-putting, they were perfectly fine customers while I worked there. It was always pretty funny, and the kitchen staff enjoyed asking me every time if I was going to take them up on it this time. Got to the point where I looked forward to them coming in because it meant everyone would be in good spirits, which was rare there.”
A Crazy Woman Goes Insane
“Former bartender here. I wasn’t working that day but I was there hanging out. This woman, a regular, was there acting oddly. Like she’d been up on speed for days and decided to do acid. Finally, we had to throw her out. She started raising heck, cops got called, she went off to jail.
Three hours later, after daddy bailed her out, she showed BACK UP at the bar, this time with this huge claw hammer and went after the bartender that threw her out. She was tearing the place up and nobody could get ahold of her to stop her. It was a hairy few minutes there. This woman was straight up in a psychotic rage. She was laying waste to the bar. The bartender had locked herself in the bathroom to get away from her. There are still holes in the walls around the bathroom door. Finally, the cops got there and subdue her. They had to taser her to get her to stop. She was so jacked up on whatever it was she was on, it barely registered on her. It was absolutely insane.”
Just Another Night In The Pub
“I have a few.
A massive brawl broke out, I don’t know why, but people were on the floor, glasses were smashed and everyone was shouting.
Two couples got in a fight outside and then the woman of one couple tried to start a fight with my boss, saying he didn’t care and was on their side and wanted her to get mugged.
At my pub, you can buy drinks and leave them in the taps/fridge but the customer needs a receipt that’s been signed and clearly states what they have left in that they need to produce. I tried to tell this to one guy who started arguing with me and eventually balled the receipt up, threw it at my face and called me a stupid ‘witch.’
I’ve also had more than a couple people telling me I shouldn’t be allowed to work because I’m deaf and I’m taking the job of hearing people by being there. I’ve had a lot of people shouting at me because they won’t speak up when standing next to loud people about how bloody incompetent I am.”
A Truly Nasty Man
“My significant other was a bartender that often acted as the front of house manager at a chain steakhouse.
He was managing one night & this 4-top came in, gave their server grief about not being able to use 2 coupons at the same time. They insisted she outsmart the point of sale system by splitting and recombining the checks. She said, ‘No, it’s against corporate policy & I’ll get fired.’ The guy demanding it was just really nasty to her.
So, my significant other went to try to salvage her tip and he applied a manager discount to their bill, blamed himself & corporate, etc.
These people paid their split check & left. The one guy came back in alone. He made sure the server (who was cleaning tables down the way) saw him. He went up to the table, took all the cash out of both check presenters, and re-divided it to them, pocketing a bunch, and left again.
The total was now -$10 and the server had been stiffed. The guy was gone by this time so they couldn’t call the police or anything.
My significant other reopened it and comped some things so she still got a tip at least, but Jesus. Who DOES that?”
Typical Chef Davey
“One regular, who everyone called Chef Davey despite him being unemployed and possibly never having been a chef, was notorious for not being able to pay his tab. He’d come up short, tell us some excuse-riddled crazy story, and then make good a few days later. I think we put up with it for the sheer entertainment value.
One time, he was like $10 short of paying his bill. He went out to the parking lot, popped the trunk of his car, and brought in two bags of groceries and asked if we’d accept them as payment. His wife had sent him to do the shopping and he’d taken a detour!”
Don’t Mess With A Football Fan
“Just yesterday, I went to my usual place for some wings. A young woman I’d gotten to know a bit was bartending/serving; she’s a really sweet person. She told me that the guy down the other end of the bar had been there all day watching his favorite college football team get beat. The game had four seconds left and his team was down by 12. It was over.
At that time, another patron asked for the TV to be changed to another game just coming on, and the bartender did it. The guy who was watching the earlier game flipped his lid on her, cursing her out, saying he wasn’t tipping (after she served him the past three hours), and making a big baby type scene that has most of the other patrons chuckling at his ridiculousness.
Just then, the bar owner walks in. He’s a big guy who’s been in the business for two decades and won’t accept crap from people. A lengthy discussion which I wish I could have heard ensued, and the jerk stormed out.
I tipped my bartending acquaintance triple; she may have made a tiny gaff that meant nothing, but that’s no reason to bawl someone out in front of strangers.”
A Baker Takes Heat
“I once had a guy shout and swear at me because I was charging him 5 pence for a plastic carrier bag because that’s the law.
I once had a guy come in (I worked for Greggs by the way. Those not in the UK, it’s a store/bakery. Very popular) who was wasted. With three pubs literally surrounding us, we got this a lot. I asked how I could help him and he went on a rant about how our products were terrible. How I couldn’t bake. How none of us could bake. How we were all terrible. How we should go to our competitors to learn how to bake. That competitors were much better than us. I was honestly in shock so I just let him rant it out. Finally, I said, ‘If your only purpose is to stand here and insult me, I’m going to have to ask you to leave,’ but he then went on some more. I didn’t raise my voice as we weren’t allowed to argue back. So I just stood there, arms folded trying to give him my evilest nonsense and said, ‘Can I help you at all?’
‘Yes, I want a doughnut.’
Another time, I was once serving someone turned around to grab a coffee. When I went back to the counter, the customer wasn’t there. I looked down and there he was on the floor. A policeman on top of him. He had been in the pub and trashed the place. While he was on the run, he decided to nip in for some food.”
“I walked into the men’s toilets to do the hourly toilet clean up/check and immediately encountered 2 guys doing blow. They tried to bribe me not to tell but it was too late, the Saturday night door staff were in and already recognized one of them from an incident somewhere else in town a few weeks before and came in about a minute after I did.
Police were called, CCTV of the outside caught them buying it from someone and they still had it on them when the fuzz showed up.”
Working The Late Shift At The Diner
“I work at a Denny’s. There was one guy who stalked my manager for about a month until we were finally able to get the police to intervene.
We also once had this guy who ‘worked for the FBI’ and had this tacky wallet with a painfully fake badge.
Finally, we once had some teenager steal a human-sized cardboard cutout of our egg mascot.”