work at a chain restaurant which sees its fair share of lunatics. Okay, more then its fair share. It is also small enough that usually only one server is on a shift, and they are with the customers from seating throughout the entire meal. I knew this was going to end badly when I seated a woman and her two children, who she proceeded to call ass clowns at her preferred booth.
How endearing of her… Anyways, the meal went rather smoothly, I cashed out her debit card, and got a ”wonderful” three dollar tip. Now that wasn’t the problem here. About an hour goes by and this lady STORMS back in the dining room from where ever she had been, and starts screaming.
Mind you, I probably have at least seven tables at this time, and they could hear her loud and clear. She starts yelling at the top of her lungs about how much of an idiot I am and how I overcharged her card blahblahblah. But here’s the thing.. payments made with a card at our restaurant aren’t closed out until after midnight.
So one, this is impossible and our computers won’t even let us put in more than the bill was, and two, I didn’t overcharge her card. She then starts going on about how I’m causing her an overcharge fee because of my stupid mistake. And what does my manager do? She doesn’t really defend me, just tells her that I would never intentionally do that and I’m a good employee. Only later to go back and check and see that I didn’t overcharge her. Assholes.
Submitted by: Danae
Often when I read these stories of situations escalating to nightmares-ville I can’t help but think, “Why didn’t somebody just kick that asshole out before he knocks over the desert tray and lights the Sous Chef on fire?” There is no reason to keep a customer around who demeans your staff or demands free product or refuses to leave adequate gratuity. They cost money and they suck morale.
These stories seem to be more common at national chains, and there’s a reason for that. Mostly it has to do with out-of-touch corporate executives and bored losers writing poorly written screeds on Yelp. In my decade-plus career as a service industry schlep I have seen some shit. But I have also given some shit, with the full support of management. Because I work for small businesses. And small business owners are certifiable.
My absolute favorite customer smack down has to between a former boss lady and a crotchety fart stain of a customer* who tried to make a reservation a few weeks after leaving a $5 gratuity on a check for $102.
Boss: I’m surprised you’re calling to make a reservation. I thought you’d be calling to complain.
Jerk: No. Why would I complain? Everything was fantastic last time. I’m really excited to try your blah blah blah.
Boss: Well, in that case, I’m sorry but you are no longer welcome at our dinner service.
Jerk: What? Why?
Boss: Because you did not pay your bill in full last time.
Boss: Leaving my girls $5 on a $102 tab is disgraceful. [hangs up]
* He was a notoriously shitty tipper and all around Ruiner Of Fun. This particular offense was the proverbial straw.
Submitted by: January
I was working a few years ago at a local breakfast joint. A family of seven (five kids ranging from infancy to early adolescence) and two parents came in. Already I could tell this was going to be a taxing table, but I thought I’d make it worth it and give them the best service I had to offer in hopes of a damn good tip… Such was my luck!
I walk up to the table, and before i can get out a greeting one of the younger kids starts screaming how he wants orange juice. You’d think any sane or halfway decent parent would take control of the situation, but not this family. The father stared at me with cold, hard eyes as if this was all my fault. I smile and introduce myself and say ”Well we can see this young man wants some orange juice.”
The mother shouts at me, ”Excuse me? Make sure the orange juice does not have pulp in it or my baby could choke!” At this point I’m already pissed as I’ve not had the easiest morning to begin with, but whatever. Grin and bare it, as the saying often goes. I explain that our orange juice already has the pulp in it. The father pounds his fists on the table, and soon the other kids joinin. I cannot believe this is happening. I say, ”Excuse me, can I get everyone something to drink to start off?”
They order drinks and I quickly hurry away, glaring back over my shoulder, as the family begins talking too loudly about how their waiter sucks and they should just leave. The rest of the meal goes okay, but as the mother tries her bacon, she screams at me how the bacon is too crisp and she wants another one. One of the middle kids decides it would be absolutely hilarious to throw his nearly full glass of water at me, and it splashes all over me. ”Good one Jake!” the girl says, and they high-five.
I can’t take it anymore. I turn to the parents, who just sit there stupidly and stare at their kids, and scream, ”Did you guys not take the parenting classes? For fuck sakes they’re offered at the library for free! Jesus Christ! Just get the fuck out of here.” The kids start chanting fuck, fuck, fuck. By this time the whole restaurant has gone deathly silent. Needless to say, their bill was completely comp’ed, and that was the last morning shift I ever worked there.
Ugh. Fucking families with parents who can’t control them to save their lives. Sigh.
Submitted by: Bill
It was a busy Sunday morning when I had about 6 or so tables. some eating breakfast, lunch or in-between. I enjoy working morning hours but really dislike that breakfast usually requires about 3 plates per person, ketchup, coffee, sugar, constant refills, little kids, water, orange juice, jelly, etc, etc, (breakfast is very involved!) for about six bucks and change a meal.
I was particularly busy when three of my tables needed me. At the first table was this very impatient lady who drank 5 cups of coffee in under 15 minutes. I told her that I started to brew her coffee and I was going to take care of my other customers so by the time I was done with them her coffee would be ready. When I came back around the tables for the second time (helping my customers and still waiting on the coffee) she started singing in the loudest, fake opera voice “OH WHERES MY COFFEE!! I LOVE COFFEE! COFF-EE! WHY ISN’T MY COFFEEEEEEE READYYY YET! LITTLE GIRL GO GET MY COFFEE NOOOOOW”
It was the most obnoxious thing I have ever heard. A grown ass women was intentionally doing this to stop me from being able to service any of my other guests. She was so loud I couldn’t hear what any one was asking me because SHE wanted me to sit in the galley waiting for her coffee to be finished! People were staring at her strangely and one of my tables told me they even felt bad for me. I was completely ready to strangle this women and of course, less than a 5% tip!
Submitted by: Nikki
Here’s my worse customer- by far.
I’ve been working at a family pizza restaurant for the past 5 years. I love my job and I’ve had MANY compliments on my service. I am usually very patient with my customers and I always try to get them the best deal for their buck as possible. I’ve been a customer many times so I treat them like I want to be treated.
ANYWAYS, it was lunch time and we have a pizza/salad/pasta buffet at lunch hour. She came in the door and right away, one of my co-workers went over and asked her if it was only for one. She abruptly said yes (in a cold, snappy way). My co-worker carried on to ask if she wanted buffet or a menu. She replied: ’I’m HUNGRY, I don’t want BUFFET’, in an attitude that we should be able to read her mind and not even dare to ask!
Anyway, she sat in my section so my co-worker told me to be careful with this one. I looked quickly over, but she seemed like a nice lady so I figured my co-worker was exaggerating.
I went over to the table with a huge smile and said Hi She said: ’I don’t want buffet!!’ (She was very rude and snappy).
I’m just thinking: I know, that’s why you have a menu lady…
Anyways, I said ok and I asked her if she wanted something to drink while she looked at the menu. She said water so I went over, made her drink and went back to the table. I put her drink down and asked if she decided.
She had the nerve to ask me what was on the buffet (after she practically yelled at me that she didn’t want it), so I started enumerating everything that we served. She asked how much it costs and if their was Cesar salad (which I had JUST mentioned there was…). She was clearly not listening to me. So I told her the buffet was 9.99$ and yes, there’s Cesar salad.
Then she looks at the menu and says: ’Well, if I order a large Cesar salad from the menu, it’s more expensive than the buffet.’
I’m just thinking: I don’t make up the prices, and buffet is always cheaper lady!
So I just said that yes, unfortunately it was more expensive if you order from the menu. So I asked if she changed her mind and wanted to take buffet.. She looked at me as if I had just ruined her LIFE for asking her about the buffet. She practically yelled NO and told me ’I said i wanted to order the Cesar salad from the menu’.
I’m just thinking: You didn’t order anything, you asked me about prices and buffet.. and complained about our ’expensive’ prices. So anyways, I apologize for my ’misunderstanding’ and ask her if she wants anything else with her salad. She asks me if any bread comes with the salad. I start by telling her that no, we don’t serve bread with the salad (she gave me the angriest look ever) BUT that we do have a bread bar she can help herself to. And I pointed to the bread bar which was just in front of her (like 2 metres away). I told her (with a huge smile and in a nice way) that she can serve herself to the bread.
I’m about to walk away, but then she says (snappy and very rude of course): ’Don’t give me soggy Cesar salad from the buffet!!!!!!! Not at the price I’m paying!!’
First of, I would NEVER give a customer a soggy salad or leftover buffet salad… as if! So I told her ’Oh, of course not ma’am, I’m going to make you a fresh one. Won’t be long ’
I rung in the order and made her salad RIGHT AWAY and PERFECT. I didn’t waste any time on her order. So 1 minute later, I bring out her salad, drop it off very carefully on the table and said ’Here you are, Enjoy your meal ’
About a minute later, I go check on her and ask her how her salad is. She says ’What? You guys don’t put anything in your salads? There’s nothing!’
Her salad was FULL of fresh lettuce, croutons, bacon and Parmesan and it looked soooo good. So I asked what she meant by that and how I could improve her salad. She said ’ Well, there’s only bacon and croutons.. were’s the veggies????’
I didn’t know what she meant because I’ve never seen a cesar salad with extra sorts of veggies in it. So I asked her what she wanted added but she denied my offer. I tried to persist but she brushed me off. So, I carried on. If you don’t ask me for anything, you can’t have it your way. I can’t read your mind lady!!!
I didn’t want to bother her for anything else, as she was reading the paper so I was glancing over at her often to see if she was done her meal. I had noticed that for the past 7-ish minutes, she had stopped eating. What kept me from going over to her table was a small piece of bread left uneaten on her plate (the size of a thumb basically). So after those several minutes and the bread untouched, I went over and asked if she was all finished. She SAID yes, so I leaned over to grab her plate and she lifts up her arms in disbelief that I am taking away her CRUMBS of bread left. She quickly snaps ’ Can’t I NOT just finish MY MEAL!!!! ’
I was so shocked by her behavior and stupidity as she just TOLD ME she was DONE. So I said : I’m sorry ma’am, I misunderstood you were finished. And I quickly left her to FINISH her ’meal’.
Not even 30 seconds later, she was getting up and putting her coat on. So I printed her bill and asked her to follow me to the cash register. I handed her the bill and said the amount that she owed. She took the bill rather roughly from my hands and examined the bill for WAY TOO LONG. Then she asked me what the ’NO DRINK’ on the bill meant. I responded not to worry about that because it didn’t charge her anything, and I pointed to the 0.00$. Then, very very angry she said loudly ’ I DIDN’T ASK YOU WHAT IT COSTS, I ASKED YOU WHAT IT WAS’.
I just looked deep into her eyes, asking myself if I was on a hidden camera or something. Anyways, I explained to her that we didn’t have a button for WATER in the system and that we can’t print a bill without adding a drink to the check. So, I need to add NO DRINK (0.00$) to the check for it to actually print.
She finally handed me over a 20$ bill. I think I owed her about 7$ and some cents so I quickly take out a 5$ bill from my wallet and put it on the counter, and as I’m plunging my hand down my apron to give her the rest of her change, she didn’t give me a SECOND to even breath and she says ’YOU CLEARLY OWE ME MORE MONEY.’
There I am, standing with my hand down my apron, not wasting ANY time to give her her change. I just looked, again, so deep into her eyes, trying to resist the urge to strangle her.. and I say ’ I know ma’am, I’m giving you the change right now…. as I’m putting down the change on the counter….’
Then she went on a rant to say that this restaurant is not a restaurant and that it was LOUD, and that she had cleaned her home all morning and she just wanted to come in to relax. She made it sound like it was the worse experience in the world, and that her house-work was soooo exhausting, etc etc.. I apologized and said that if I had KNOWN that she wanted a nice quiet place to RELAX, I would have sat her in the quiet corner we have in the back of the restaurant rather than where the other waitress had sat her. She complained on a few other things which I can’t remember but which I apologized for and told her that if I would have known, I could have made her ’dining experience’ a better one.
Anyway, ANYTHING I said or tried to do for this lady during her visit was just not good enough. She was just a cranky, miserable lady who wanted everything served her way and catered to her as if the world owed her so much.
I still can’t believe that some people live like that and address other people as if they are a piece of shit. I am actually really impressed by my patience with her, and to be honest SHE was really lucky to have ME as her waitress because none of the other waitresses working would have been so nice to her…
Submitted by: ibelle