These Customer Service Nightmares Had Us Saying, “Check Please!”
Everybody knows that working in customer service is a thankless job. From having to please that angry Karen to dealing with unruly brats all day, it’s enough to drive someone insane. At the same time, one mean server can ruin a whole meal for those of us on the other side of the equation. From both sides of the counter, here are the most “What the Heck?” customer service stories.
#1 Nothing Good Starts in a Getaway Car
I work at an auto parts store. This one guy pilfered some $60 headlights and literally sprinted out the door. We went to look outside to try and get his license plate…just in time to see him speed off, hit a curb, and blow out his tire. Called the authorities and the idiot not only got detained, he had to have his car towed.
#2 Lean and Mean
I was out to dinner with my family. We sit down, order our drinks, and so far everything is going nicely. The waitress comes and we order. When it gets to my mom, she orders what she wants, and the waitress responds with, “If you’re on a diet, you don’t want that.” My mom had said nothing whatsoever about being on a diet.
She is slightly overweight, and I mean very slightly. She is self-conscious about it and it’s difficult to even get her to come out to eat with us. My mom simply said, “I’m not on a diet” with a cold stare. The waitress turned red in the face and walked off to place our orders. At least she had the decency to be ashamed of herself.
#3 Expensive Tastes
A woman was unreasonably upset that we stopped carrying a certain type of hummus at our expensive grocery store. Attempting to be helpful, I told her that Target had started carrying the same kind and, while I wished we still carried it for her, perhaps that could be a good replacement. I never expected her ridiculous reaction.
She literally stopped writing her check and looked at me with the most definite What-the-heck-is-wrong-with-you face and said, “What makes you think I would ever buy food from a Target? That is disgusting.” I get the feeling she wouldn’t even let me bag her groceries if she saw all the Great Value boxes in my cabinet. Sorry to offend you, lady.
#4 Tipping His Hand
More than a few decades ago, I worked at a Denny’s. I had two male customers who decided to dine and dash. Got their license plate number and reported it to the authorities, and then jokingly mentioned that they didn’t even tip! Later that night, they got pulled over for something else, but officers recognized the license plate number from the report.
They brought them both back to the restaurant and forced them to pay the bill. After they were done paying, the officer just stood there and looked at them and said, well? The guy sheepishly handed me my tip.
#5 Just the Ticket
This guy comes into our store and is being a complete jerk. Not wanting to show ID to buy tall cans even though he looked 20 at the oldest, constantly yelling and swearing. He also had parked in the handicap spot despite not having handicap tags or plates on his car. One of my regular customers, who is a sheriff’s deputy, was also in the store. He came up with an ingenious plan.
He saw how the guy was acting. Saw where he was parked. Went out, got his ticket book, and wrote the guy a ticket. Guy realized he wasn’t getting his cans, went outside…to find he was getting ticketed. I could not stop laughing.
#6 It’s Not-a Me, Mario
I was standing at the counter of the pizza place I work at. This lady storms in and slams a pizza down on the counter. “This isn’t the freaking pizza I ordered, what the heck are you going to do about it?” She asked. I look at the pizza, then over at my buddy Nick, who’s grinning at this point, and turn back to her and say, “Nothing.”
She then goes on a long rant, saying how we are going to be fired, how stupid and incompetent we were. She actually told me I must be developmentally delayed, then asked why the heck we weren’t going to do anything? I said, “Because that pizza came from the pizza shop across the street.” I think she actually managed to shrink in size and slink out.
#7 Turning the Other Cheek
Not me but a friend of mine. Went out to dinner with a group of friends, and their waitress was rude, snappy, and all around unpleasant. At the end of the meal, a few people in the group wanted to leave no tip, but my friend said, “No, let’s not do that. There is nothing wrong with us; we’re wonderful people. She’s the one who’s got a problem and we’re not going to act that way.”
Instead, they left her a generous tip along with a note: “Sorry you’re having a bad day. Hope things get better.” They then sneaked away to watch her reaction from a distance. She read the note, sat down in the booth, and cried. I guess you never do know.
#8 Caught Red-Bearded
I was at an awesome BBQ place in Fort Worth with a bunch of friends. Our server was a bit goofy. He was funny, really nice, but kind of distant. He just seemed like he wasn’t suited to waiting tables. He got our drinks and orders wrong, but it was hard to be upset. The real “what the heck” moment, though, was totally bizarre.
He had a huge red beard, and I said, “Dude, your beard is awesome!” He then said, “Thanks! My neighbor has one just like it. Some people think he’s my dad, but he’s not my dad. I’ve met my dad.” Then he just walked away without saying anything. We all just sat there, really dumbfounded. We still joke about that to this day.
#9 What’s a Little Vintage Between Friends?
I had a waiter spill a $100 bottle of vintage—first and last time in my life I ever paid that much for a bottle—all over my fancy dinner. He refused to replace it, also. After I didn’t tip him, he then literally chased me out of the restaurant and physically threatened me for his tip. He had to be restrained by the manager.
#10 In the Dog House
Warehouse worker here. Customers have to show a card to shop, and even though we’re not technically a grocery store, we don’t allow pets. One dude tried to power walk past the employee at the entrance door holding a big pit bull puppy on a leash. We stopped him and told him he couldn’t bring his dog inside…and he LOST IT.
He said he’s our best customer and he’s here five times a week and he owns stock, all that. He demanded to know why we don’t allow dogs. We explained how it’s a food safety issue, especially with an untrained puppy. At this point, our manager came over and just waved him through because he has no backbone and “the customer’s always right.”
Well, not even 5 minutes later, this dog squats in the middle of the main aisle and pees, followed by a poop. The man turned so red and dragged the dog towards the exit, abandoning his groceries. We stopped him and asked him nicely to please clean up after his pup. “That’s the reason we don’t allow them, sir.”
#11 Here’s a Tip: Back off
One night in the middle of a night out, my friend came up to me, clearly in a tizzy, and told our group that we were going to get shots at the bar. For some reason, my angry friend made it clear we could only ask one particular bartender for the drinks. Once we got them, my friend left a really insulting tip. I wondered what was going on—but I didn’t have to wait long to find out.
The bartender came up and made a huge scene about how a $1 tip was a jerk move and he was going to remember our faces and none of us would ever be served again. So finally, I asked my friend to explain himself once the guy walked off. Well, turns out the server had just been to the restroom and had asked my friend’s girlfriend if she wanted to help him “take a pee.” Revenge is sweet.
#12 Do You Know Who I Am?
Worked at Best Buy 10 or so years ago, and this happened on Black Friday. Most of the customers were in bad moods since they’d been waiting hours to come in and stand in more lines. But this one lady was a raging witch. After yelling at everyone in my department about how she NEEDED the laptop that was on sale despite it being sold out, she took it up a notch.
She proceeds to tell us she’ll have the store closed down because she “Works with the city and knows the fire marshal and we have too many people in the store.” So she calls him, we tell her to leave, and nothing happens to the store. However, we called them as well to report what she’d said, and she got fired from her job for mistreatment of power.
#13 Pain in the Butt
When my wife had a C-section after the birth of our child, she was in a severe amount of pain. She had been in labor for about 10 hours before they decided to perform surgery. Afterwards, the nurse kept coming in to check on her pain. My wife responded that she was in absolute agony. Nurse said, “If it was that bad, you’d be in the fetal position in the corner screaming.”
Wife responded, “If I could get up and get over there, that’s what I’d be doing.” They had her set up on a morphine drip with a patient-activated button. My wife kept hitting the button and it didn’t help. Fast-forward 14 hours later. Nurse: “OH, your button isn’t hooked up to give the requested drip. HAHA!” Witch almost got choked.
#14 Special Menu Item
My co-workers and I went to a BBQ place for lunch. It was located in a converted garage and looked very shady. Inside was filthy, with piles of dirty pots on display out front and a 500-pound lady taking orders with a dude who looked like the Grim Reaper preparing the food. This was in an open area, so we could see everything.
As we are watching Reaper get our order together, he stops, bends over, and vomits into a bucket. I guess he dropped his comb or something because he then reaches in and takes something out. We were in shock and just paid and got out of there. In the car driving back, it was silent until somebody asked, “Did that just really happen?!” and we all started laughing incredulously.
#15 A Double-Edged Knife
I went to a steak house in San Francisco. Ordered steak. Got a butter knife. Called the waitress over and asked for a steak knife. She returns with a new butter knife, only with a wooden handle. I say, “Sorry, what I’m looking for is a steak knife, something that cuts meat.” She insists, “That will cut meat!” It only got weirder from there.
I run the knife over my hand a few times while saying, “No, no, you don’t understand, I’m eating meat and this doesn’t cut meat.” She says, “That’s a steak knife, though!” I say, “I’m not sure what to tell you. I want a knife that can penetrate and slice meat.” Well, that must have really set her off, because then it took another turn.
She says, “Are you threatening me?” Strangest of all, I had already handed her the “steak knife,” so at that point I was sitting there with my girlfriend empty-handed. I say, “What?” She says, “You’re very aggressive and asking me for a knife to stab and cut with!” I give her the “what the heck” look. My girlfriend laughs.
I say, “Uh, no, you’re not a steak so you have nothing to worry about. Look, just give me what you have and I’ll deal with it.” She says, “I don’t think it’s safe to give you any knife. I’m sorry,” and walks off, leaving me knifeless. At a steak house.
#16 The Customer Is Always Wrong
Kind of a different story…I was at Carrabba’s with my family and another family came and sat down at table near us. They were the stereotypical rich, white, snobby, nose-in-the-air family. They were so rude to the waiter. The waiter, meanwhile, got everything they asked for in a good amount of time and was really nice.
All the while, they were talking behind his back to other waiters about him and flagged the manager down twice to complain. The second time the manager came, I spoke over the people and told him that the waiter did nothing wrong and they were being jerks and needed to leave. It was so funny—it went eerily silent and his wife said, “I never” and they got up and left.
#17 A Game of Chicken
At Buffalo Wild Wings, I had a waitress forget my order twice. I was with a party of eight people, and everyone finished before I got my food. When the manager came back for a third time and asked what I ordered, I’d had enough. I stood up and said, “Nothing, and nothing ever again” and my wife and I left. They ended up comping the entire table, but the waitress said, “Way to be a jerk” as my friends were leaving.
#19 The Justice System
I was working the window at Mcdonald’s late at night. This guy orders and pulls up. When I walked up to the window, I didn’t see that the jerk had trash in his lap. I open the window to take his card/cash, and he throws the bag of trash at me. I take a step back, bothered that I just got trash thrown at me, and I watch his car speed off.
I’m angry, but there’s nothing I can do. A couple seconds later, I hear a small “bang” of metal on metal. I walk to the lobby and look out the windows. The idiot had just slammed into a officer’s cruiser. The guy was about to loop around and use the drive thru himself. Of course, I also went to tell the officer what just happened inside.
#20 First Class Act
I had some money and personal items taken out of my hotel room while vacationing in Mexico. The day we had to catch our flight was the day I noticed it had all gone missing. Some of the memorabilia I had bought for friends, along with $80 American and some expensive makeup. I was 18 at the time and I was absolutely devastated.
The hotel refused to help in any way. So I headed to the airport sadly, completely bummed about an otherwise awesome trip. At the check-in at the airport, the guy asked why I was so glum, and I told him what happened. Without saying a word, the guy upgraded my plane ticket to a first class ticket. Except I didn’t realize what he had done.
I glumly accepted my ticket and made my way to the boarding gate. While waiting for the plane, there was this incredibly rude woman who glared at me the entire time for no apparent reason. I asked her for the time, and she scoffed at me and took another seat. I could hear her criticizing what I was wearing and how “trashy” she thought I looked.
Anyways, when they started calling up passengers by class, I looked down at my ticket and noticed that my seats were being called for first class. Dumbfounded, I grabbed my bags and sat my butt down. I was ecstatic about the twist ending to my vacation. And the witch who turned up her nose at me? I had the pleasure of staring her down as she walked by me and sheepishly avoided eye contact.
#21 Salad Hound
I have a buddy who has a great Olive Garden story. He was a bartender and he noticed this lady was super obnoxious, so he cut her off. She made a huge fuss about it, and my friend decided to get her a salad at no charge to get some food in her. Well, she asks for red wine vinaigrette dressing for her salad, then chugs the entire decanter. She was then thrown into a taxi and driven home.
#22 There’s No Such Thing as Bad Pizza…Right?
Maybe ten years back, a new Mountain Mike’s Pizzeria opened in my town. Since it’s a really small town, my family got excited for a new restaurant, so we went in just a few days after they opened. The four of us sat down and were helped right away. Ordered a large pepperoni pizza and drinks, pretty simple. Our drinks come in a timely fashion. Our pizza did not.
We’re generally all pretty patient and understanding, so we waited for an hour before we snagged a server to ask about our pizza. There were very few people in the restaurant, and most of the servers were sort of milling around, sweeping and wiping clean tables and other busy work. The guy apologized for the wait and said he’d go check on it for us.
He came back out and said they were very sorry, but it would be another 30 minutes on the pizza. No explanation, but we figured maybe they’d forgotten to put it in. We gave them the benefit of the doubt since they’d just opened. We waited another 45 minutes and no pizza came. Called a server again. He told us he was very sorry and he would go check on that for us.
He came back out with a black disc that wasn’t even recognizable as a pizza. It was a giant charcoal brick. Parts of it were actually smoking. He put it on the table and told us to enjoy our pizza, and that they were sorry again about the wait, but that they forgot it in the oven. The very first time we ordered it. We were all stunned.
So my dad finally had enough and very politely told the guy thanks but no thanks, we wouldn’t be eating this pizza and we would probably not be returning unless we heard that their service had improved. We stood up to leave….and the nightmare really began. The guy bolted for the back room. Out came the manager. He asked us what the problem was.
My dad told him that we waited nearly two hours to be served a pizza that had been in the oven for just as long. He showed it to the manager. It was literally inedible. The manager shrugged and said, “I don’t see anything wrong here, sir, except that you’re trying to leave without paying for your meal.” The manager then ordered employees to stand at every exit to ensure that we couldn’t leave.
My dad still refused to pay and suggested that the manager let us leave or he would call the authorities. So the manager actually called them, saying there was an indignant customer in the restaurant. The officers showed up and asked what the problem is. After hearing both sides, the officers scoffed at the manager, walked us out of the restaurant, and we’ve never eaten there since.
#23 Born to Do it
I was at a restaurant with a bunch of my co-workers. The waitress is taking our orders but she wasn’t using any notepad. After the 10th person, someone finally asked her, “Are you going to write any of that down?” She said, “No, I have an eidetic memory.” She wasn’t kidding—got all 15 orders perfect, and learned all of our names.
#24 Run-Away Customers
My family and I went to a sushi restaurant for my cousin’s birthday. The service wasn’t really that good. They gave us the wrong drinks and they forgot stuff that we asked for as soon as they walked away, so we gave the waitress like a $2 tip instead of the usual $5. As we’re walking in the parking lot back to our car, the waitress runs after us and tells us that we didn’t tip 15%!
She’s literally chasing after us. My uncle gives us this “ummm” look, but then he pulled the best move ever. He pretends that he is going to follow her back into the restaurant to pay. Then as soon as she goes through the door, my uncle starts sprinting to the car, and we all run and jump inside and drive away. When I looked through the back window, I could see the waitress and her manager running after us, but they couldn’t catch up.
#25 The Pepsi Challenge
I went out to dinner a few months back with some friends at a pretty typical chain restaurant. Me: “I’ll have a diet coke please.” Waitress: “Oh, we only have Pepsi, is that ok?” Me: “Sure. A diet Pepsi would be fine.” I have my soda and a few refills over the course of dinner and then start feeling really, really bad.
Right about here is where I should mention that I’m a type 1 diabetic and, since I always just drink diet coke, don’t know the difference in taste between diet and regular pepsi. I checked my blood sugar, which had been perfectly on target before the meal, and my meter just read HIGH, meaning that the value was so high that the meter actually couldn’t process it.
What I had eaten for dinner couldn’t possibly have put me there, so we flagged down the waitress and I asked, “This isn’t diet Pepsi, is it?” She responded by telling me that it wasn’t, that the diet Pepsi fountain was out of syrup and she didn’t think I’d mind, and besides, I’m plenty skinny and don’t need to drink the diet stuff.
I started cursing, pulled out my insulin syringes to dose for the 4 full sugar sodas that I drank, and told her exactly what I was doing. I then told the manager what had happened, and that I wasn’t planning on paying for the meal but would instead put the money toward the ER bill that I was about to incur. Even as I’m saying it, I know things are getting worse.
Went to the hospital, where the lab determined that my blood sugar was still in the 700s even after I dosed, and I ended up staying overnight because my glucose level stubbornly refused to come back into range.
#26 A Lot on Their Plate
At a Swiss Chalet, six of us at a table. Five plates come out. We wait a couple minutes for the sixth plate. We then inform our waitress that we didn’t receive our sixth plate. She responds with “Yes, you did.” After a bit of a back-and-forth, she accuses us of hiding the last plate somewhere.
#27 Man on a Commission
My wife and I needed some furniture for our new house, so we went couch shopping a couple of months ago. Now that we are in our 30s, we are looking for pieces that are a little better quality and will last longer, so we went to a “nicer” store. Before our visit, she had gone in with her folks to scout the place out and had been helped by a very nice salesman.
This time when we walked in, that salesperson was not around and we were approached by someone very pushy and quite unfriendly. We politely told him we did not need any help as we were just looking. As we made our way around the store, it was clear that this new rep was keeping a close eye out. He came over to offer his assistance once again, at which point I told him that we would not be needing his help today and continued shopping.
After about 30 minutes, the wife and I had narrowed our search to a particular couch. As I was testing it out, my wife happened to see the salesman who had helped her and her folks. She walked across the store where he was just finishing with a customer and asked if he could help us. He recognized my wife and told her he would be over there in 1 minute to give us a hand.
All of a sudden, out of nowhere, the second salesperson comes up to my wife and says, “What do you think you’re doing?” My wife was surprised, so she asked him what he meant. He said, “You are supposed to be my customers. I haven’t taken any other customers since you walked in, so how dare you talk to another rep.”
Well at this point, I got up from the couch and walked over, asking who the heck he thinks he’s talking to. He began arguing and telling me that I was supposed to be his commission and that I was cheating him out of money. At this point, I just about lost it and thankfully the nice salesperson came, took me by the arm, and defused the situation.
Needless to say, the manager and I had a nice long chat. The rest of the staff could not believe what he said to us and we could see them arguing with him at the other end of the store. I think he was just a bad salesperson who saw everyone else get sales, and that was the day he snapped.
#28 Too Little, Too Late
My wife was very sick and in the hospital. One of those things where you spend days in the hospital just waiting for her to get better. I would stay with her after work until the hospital shooed me out a couple of hours after the end of visiting hours. Then I’d realize I’m tired and famished, and stop to grab a bite at the local burger place, then go home.
Tonight was going to be different though. It was 9:30, and I wanted dinner. Denny’s it was! I ordered the chicken fried steak with side veggies from the menu, got a soda, and started reading a book as I waited for my order. The book was really good. 40 minutes later, I realized I didn’t have my food. I called the waitress and asked how long it takes the chef to cook dinner, and she went to check.
She returned with my food, a very cold chicken sandwich with fries. What the heck? Okay, apparently it’s someone else’s dinner. So I complained. She went back to the kitchen. A few minutes later, I see her walking out the door and saying “Goodnight” to the other servers. Another waitress comes to my table and asks me if I’m ready to give my order now.
I’ve rarely been this mad in a restaurant. I was quietly furious, and asked what the heck happened to my chicken fried steak? The new waitress didn’t know, so we got the manager over. Apparently, there had been a shift change. New waitress, new cook. Me left between the cracks. So I told them, “Fine, I’ll take my chicken fried steak dinner, on the house.”
“I’m sorry sir,” said the manager. “It’s after 10pm, and we don’t serve some dinner items after 10.” “It was on the menu!” “Yes, it is on our regular dinner menu, after 10PM we use the ‘late night’ menu.” “I ordered my chicken fried steak BEFORE 10, so I expect that for dinner!” “I’m sorry sir, but our day chef is gone. Our night chef isn’t familiar with that item.”
That was it. I made a scene. I blew up and yelled at the manager. Then I left.
#29 What a Racket
I had booked a hotel room. When I get there, it turns out it was filled up, but they were getting another room ready and it would be an hour. I go to the bar, where three other parties have the exact same story as me, with some waiting as long as 3 hours. So that seems a bit sketchy, but what can I do. I buy a drink and hand the girl a $20.
She never comes back, so I eventually go, “Umm…I didn’t get any change.” She said that there wasn’t any, and when I said I paid with a $20, she called security to tell me I had to leave. On my way out, one of the guys at the bar said I was the second guy that had happened to tonight. The next day I e-mailed the manager, who said he would look into it and wanted me to call him.
Sure enough, every time I called him he “wasn’t available” and I had “to leave a message.”
#29 Scarfing It Down
My girlfriend and I like to get pho during the cold months in Minnesota. We have become regulars at this great little place where this nice older lady is our server most of the time. Last spring, my girlfriend left her scarf there. She considered it lost and it was starting to get warmer out, so we wouldn’t be back in a while.
We went back just because this summer, over three months later, and order our food from a different waitress. After we order, our usual waitress brings out my girlfriend’s scarf and says she has been waiting for us to come back for quite some time. We thanked her and now go back no matter the weather. Now that’s customer service.
#30 Category Is: Entitled Karen
So, I manage a plus size women’s clothing store. We actually get a surprising amount of non-traditional customers. Guys who need a dress for a charity show, cross dressers, gender-fluid people, transgender women, and drag queens aren’t unheard of. So, a drag queen comes into the store to pick up some shoes they ordered online.
They must have been either coming from or going to a show because they were still in full makeup. I get their name, and during our conversation another customer walks in. I call out a greeting and say something like, “I’ll be right with you.” I go to the back room, and it takes a minute to go through all the web orders.
I find the one I need and am on my way back to the counter when the new customer throws her arm out to stop me from passing. She then says, “I am a new customer and I’ve been here for 20 minutes and no one has spoken to me.” First, I greeted her when she came in, and second, she had only been in the store for 5 minutes at that point.
I resigned myself to groveling, but before I could say anything, the drag queen stomps over, glares at the customer, and says, “Honey, she said hello to you.” Complete with sassy finger snaps. The Queen then made a big show of thanking me for getting her package, and gave me a big sparkly kiss on the cheek before she left.
The other customer sheepishly paid for her Spanx and didn’t make eye contact when I told her to have a good day.
#31 Half Pint, All Idiot
I was with a male friend (I’m a lady) at a cafe in Berlin, and the waiter takes our order of two pints with a bit of attitude, but nothing too unmanageable, this is Europe after all. He comes back out a bit later with two drinks, one in a normal glass and the other in a teeny tiny glass, which he puts in front of me.
We ask him about this, as we had just said two drinks and not specified sizes. He says, “Well, the small one is for you because you are a woman, and that is polite.” I give him my very best “what the heck” face, and say, “But I didn’t want a small drink.” He looks at me and just walks off, leaving me with my tiny tiny glass.
My friend is all “screw this,” and takes my small drink inside to the girl behind the counter, tells her that the waiter gave us attitude and then a lesson in sexism, and she tells my friend, “Yeah, that waiter’s a total idiot.” On the up side, it was super fun eyeballing him while we drank our drinks, and we only got charged the price of a small.
#32 It Takes All Kinds
As a teenager, I was working part-time at a convenience store. I was being trained by the late night cashier when this dude comes in and grabs a bunch of cans of vegetables and such, and comes to the counter and stacks the cans in a very specific way. It was like a weird kind of pyramid on the counter. I wondered about it, but didn’t say anything.
As the experienced cashier (my trainer) takes each can off the pyramid and rings it up, she reaches the end of the stack…and we realize that the weirdo has his junk out and has it laying on the counter behind the cans. Without saying a word, the trainer grabs one of the big heavy metal cans of beans and slams it down as hard as she can on the guy’s junk.
He screamed an incredible scream of searing pain, grabbed it, and ran out of the store. Her to me: (calmly) “You get all kinds on the late shift.”
#33 The State of the Union
I’m from New Hampshire. When I was going to college in Florida, I had a gas station cashier refuse to sell me cigarettes because I showed her my ID and she didn’t believe that New Hampshire was a state.
#34 I Wear Your Sunglasses at Night
My parents and I decided to try a new, trendy pizza place right around the corner from my apartment one night last month. We decide to sit outside because the weather was nice and they had a big patio and a side deck. Everyone working at this place had an attitude, from the hostess who seated us to the waitress taking our orders.
They made us feel like a huge inconvenience, but we were hungry and had heard the pizza was good, so we tried to look past that. As soon as we are seated on the patio, the girl offers to lower the shades because the sun was setting and was directly in our line of sight. We say that would be great, and a guy comes out and lowers the blinds for us. We order our drinks and look over the menu.
Not even five minutes later, a young guy comes to our table, incredibly peeved that the blinds were lowered. In a very condescending manner, he tells us that he’s going to have to raise the blinds because they trap heat in the patio, ultimately raising the patio temperature about 20 degrees. My dad politely tells him that the sun is in our eyes and that they really shouldn’t offer to lower the shades if it’s going to cause a problem. The guy snaps.
He is incredibly disrespectful toward my father and goes on a rant, assuring us that the sun would set and even going as far as to take his sunglasses off of his head and offer them to my dad. He’s young, maybe 25, and treating us like we’re imbeciles, saying that our request to lower the shades would make the other customers less comfortable.
Whatever, they raise the blinds and we question whether or not we’ll stay to order food. We stay. Our drinks arrive and we take a few more minutes to look over the menu. The waitress is nowhere to be found. We sit there in awkward silence trying to get past what had just happened. Meanwhile, other tables are seated and the hostess offers to lower the shades for each table.
We finish our drinks and the waitress still hasn’t returned to take our order. We contemplate leaving, but she finally shows and we order. The food came out cold, but one of the managers was walking around asking how everything was. We told him about the sunglasses jerk and he was furious. I haven’t seen the guy working there since.
#35 No Manners, No Problem
This past weekend, I went to a restaurant for dinner with my girlfriend and her friends for her birthday. We had about 10 people and had about five different tabs, which all included an 18% minimum tip. The service was terrible. The server was incredibly rude and would always respond with some kind of sarcasm when we asked questions about the menu.
He took the wrong drink orders twice and blamed us for getting them wrong. Brought all the appetizers and entrees at the same time and got upset when we said we didn’t want the appetizers anymore. To top it all off, my friend paid in cash and when the server brought back the change, there was no receipt in the slightest.
My friend was expecting to see 5 bucks and some change back. When the server came back, there was only 4 bucks and change there. She asked him to see the receipt to see if she had miscalculated. Instead of saying something along the lines of “I’ll go check,” the dude got irritated and said that he threw away the receipt.
He then reached for his wallet and said, “How about I just give you a dollar if you want it that badly.” That peeved us all off, so we didn’t leave any extra tip. I wrote down “NOPE!” on my receipt in the additional tip line. But that was just the beginning. When I went to use the men’s room before leaving, he tapped my shoulder as I was washing my hands.
He goes, “You think you’re pretty funny with that tip, don’t you? Why don’t we step outside so I can show you how funny I can be?” I’m like, what the heck? Called the manager over and told him her server wanted to fight me because I didn’t tip him. Explained the whole situation to her while the dude was just eyeing me the whole time.
Other servers had to calm him down because he kept trying to interrupt me when I was talking to the manager. I declined all their gift cards. I don’t want to come back to a place where the staff is going to shank me.
#36 Let Me Help You With That
When she was a little girl, my ex’s family would eat at restaurants while traveling cross-country—a single mom and seven kids. On one of the trips, one of the kids revealed that he had been picking up the money that mom had “forgotten” on the tables.
#37 Can I Change…Your Mind?
I was at a department store buying some jeans. I asked the store attendant if I could try on a pair. He said sure and led me to the men’s changing rooms. I went into the cubicle and dropped my pants. The store attendant knocked on the door. I unlocked it and opened it a crack. This is where things got really weird. He asked if he could come in.
I said “No, why would you want to?” He replied “Because I think you’re cute.” He then proceeded to forcefully open the door and about 30 seconds of me and him pulling and pushing on the door ensued. I was starting to get a bit frantic, so I yelled out for assistance. He immediately stopped pushing on the door and disappeared.
I put my pants on and got out of there. I was shaking. I got home and called the department store and told them what had happened. I found out later that they fired him on the spot.
#38 You Made Your Bed, Now You Can’t Lay in It
Last weekend, I went to the beach with my friend. We had booked a hotel room with TWO queen beds. For whatever reason, there was an administrative error and the hotel had forgotten to reserve our room. We get there, and there are no rooms with 2 beds left. The front desk agent was very apologetic and offered us an extra room at no charge…until it all went wrong.
Suddenly, the owner of the place moseyed on in and instead said “NO, if you want 2 rooms, you’re going to pay for 2 rooms” and asked us why we couldn’t just sleep together in a king bed, which is not really his business and if we WANTED TO SHARE A BED we would’ve booked a room with one bed instead of specifically booking a room with two.
If we had known they were out of rooms, we would’ve gone somewhere else. At that point, he insisted on us staying in one room with a cot, which I said was ridiculous because one of us is sleeping on a cot, and it’s not something we agreed to pay for. Eventually, after 2 hours of arguing, he left and the original clerk let us have 2 rooms.
#39 Shattered Dreams
A customer came into my store while in his cups. We refused to sell bottles to him and he flipped out. Ended up throwing him out, so he went down the street to another store. Then as he walked back past our store, he yelled some very mean things at us—and immediately tripped, shattering the bottle he just bought on the sidewalk. Glorious.
#40 Service With a Snarl
There’s a Subway that recently opened right across the street from my house. I started eating $5 foot-longs every day. It was glorious. Not only was it extremely convenient, but the service was better than any subway I had ever been to, by far. Fast, the sandwiches were made great, and the girls were talkative and flirty.
There was one downside. The guy who worked most nights was a short, surly dude who was always being a jerk or trying to intimidate you, which was pretty easy due to his bulk and full sleeve tattoos. Every time I’d go in there, I’d say, “Hey, how’s it going?” and he would answer with a grunt or just ask “What sandwich do you want?”
I’d get through my order as he threw meat and veggies around all willy nilly, creating the most disheveled, sad-looking sandwiches I’ve ever seen. After going there a few times with this experience, me and a friend of mine go in one night. I go through the same routine. Then my friend asks a question about the gluten-free sandwiches. Big mistake.
Dude drops his mop to the ground (he had started mopping) and says “Are you serious? CAN’T YOU SEE THE PICTURE?!” and gestures toward a picture of a gluten-free sandwich. My friend is shocked and says something like, “You know what, screw you man, you’re a jerk” and storms out. I say, “Wow great customer service man.”
He answers, “What?! You asked a question and I answered it!” He was doing the “come at me bro” stance and had a fury in his eyes, as if I had just insulted his entire immediate and extended family.
#41 Secret Sauce
Our server kept insisting that he “came” in my friend’s soup…like why would you say that?
#42 Going the Extra Mile
A while back, my ex got detained after taking my car without permission. My car was impounded, and it was $250 to get it back. Needless to say, the entire situation made me fairly irritated. I arrived at the place to get my car, and as I walked into the building, my ex’s mom called to try and find out more about what was going on and see if I needed help.
I was inside, but I had not addressed any staff whatsoever, and it was obvious that the conversation I was having was with the person on the phone, not anyone in the building. On the phone, I was explaining that I had just gotten there, and I wasn’t sure if they had my keys or if I needed to go to the jail and have them released to me.
I’m sure I sounded irritated, because I was. Queue the receptionist jumping all over me, telling me that they know how to do their jobs, and that I’m being rude. I look over at her and explain that I’m sure they do, I’m on the phone, and I’m sorry if she thought I was talking to her. She’s having none of it, and gets up and starts screaming in my face.
I tell her she’s being inappropriate and absurd, and I want to speak to her supervisor. So she screams for him to “Get out here and handle this stupid girl.” He comes out and starts screaming at me to get out if I’m going to treat his staff like this. I tried to explain that I hadn’t even addressed her until she started screaming at me.
I also said that I needed to get my car out of their impound lot. He wouldn’t listen. Long story short, I was 25 at the time and had to have my mother come help me get my car out of impound because the people who worked there were insane. I’d never experienced anything like that. They did have my keys though…my ex was smart enough to give those up, at least.
#43 We’ve Got Beef
I had a weird one a few years ago. Me, my wife, and a couple of her brothers went out for coffee one evening. I had just gotten off work and hadn’t eaten, so I took a look at the menu and ordered beef frajolaki while my wife ordered a turtle cheesecake with her coffee. About 5-10 minutes after the waitress had taken our orders, another group of people sat down in the booth behind us.
The same waitress came up, chatted with them and grabbed their orders. After about 20 minutes, out comes the cheesecake that my wife ordered. No, wait, it’s a cappuccino cheesecake. My wife called the waitress back and told her about it, and the waitress apologized and offered to bring her the proper one out, but my wife liked it well enough. If only there weren’t more.
Another 15-20 minutes go by, and I’m still waiting for my meal, getting a little cheesed off by this point, when I spot the waitress coming our way, plates in hand. Wait, plates? I was the only one who ordered! She walks by us and to the booth behind us and distributes the food. Now I’m getting really ticked.
I hear the table behind me discussing their meals, and one of them asks another what he’s eating, to which he replies, “I don’t know, but it’s really good!” Well, I thought, how the heck do you not know what you ordered? Another 10 minutes go by, and I’m about ready to leave, when out comes the waitress, plate in hand.
She sets it in front of me and asks if there’s anything else I need. I look at the plate and back to her and say, “Uh, this isn’t what I ordered. I ordered a beef frajolaki. This is a beef dip.” She looks at the plate, then quickly looks at the booth behind us. Yup, mystery guy who couldn’t remember what he ordered? He was chowing down on my food. But that wasn’t even the end of the story.
Mistakes happen, and I’m pretty mellow, but then she said, “Well, can’t you just eat this instead?” super indignantly. At that point, I asked for the check and got up and went outside to wait for my wife before I totally lost it. To top it off, she even tried to charge me for the beef dip. Can’t say I ever went back there again.
#44 Undercover Boss
I started out in the real estate industry, doing deals here and there until I had enough savings to buy my first restaurant. The restaurant was well-established in the Seattle area and I do still own it along with a couple others now. I try to treat my employees with as much respect as I can and I do try to keep the pay high enough so that employees can actually afford to eat in my restaurants, as they are somewhat expensive and higher-end.
Now, keep in mind that I am a relatively absentee owner now because the restaurants are owned by a corporation that I head, so I have no idea who a lot of the employees are. I know most of the managers, but the turnover rate for the servers is relatively high as most are college students. Needless to say, I don’t get to know them very well.
One day, I decided to do some undercover management where I go through and judge the service and the quality of how the servers help the customers and the clientele. I took my wife in to one of the restaurants so we could grab some dinner and observe the employees and management. Well, the service was awful and I was sorely disappointed.
Toward the end of the dinner, I got the bill and paid it, but didn’t tip very much, thinking that would get the message across. Instead of the server getting the message, he followed me out to the parking lot. He confronted me, telling me I was a jerk, calling me other names, and saying that the awful owner of the restaurant doesn’t pay him much.
Laughing internally, I apologized and asked “How much does he pay you? It must be pretty bad.” Wages for a server at this restaurant are roughly 15 dollars an hour plus tips. Again, I try to pay enough so that the servers can actually afford to eat in my restaurants. He told me he was only getting paid minimum wage. His entire story was untrue but I entertained it.
The next day, I called the manager to set up a meeting with the server in question. The manager knew who I was, but wasn’t working the night prior when I had dinner there. I showed up to the meeting and walked into the room where he and the manager were assembled. Keep in mind, I told the manager to not tell the server who I was.
I walked into the room and saw the server’s face fill with contempt and anger. The server immediately said, “This guy again?” Then he looked at me and said, “What do you want, to rip me off again? I already know you can’t tip.” I laughed, and the manager asked the server if he knew who I was. The server said, “Yeah, one of my customers from last night who treated me badly.”
Now, I was a little hard on him the night prior because I wanted to see how he would handle different situations. I laughed at his last response and told him he was fired. He asked me, “Who the heck do you think you are, you can’t fire me.” I calmly explained that I was actually the owner and what he did was in terrible form and he is not fit to be a server in the restaurant.
I saw the blood drain out of his face after it sank in that I was the owner, and he started tearing up and apologizing, explaining that he was under a lot of stress with his wife and daughter and he was suffering from PTSD from his time in Iraq. Come to find out, these were all total lies too. This jerk didn’t even have a daughter.
#45 Be Careful What You Whine for
One day at my call center, this lady lays into me for the amount of her bill, calling me every bad word in the English language. She claims we over-billed her by about $20, and she is demanding that I go through her home entertainment system order point by point. Come to find out we under-billed her by a $1,000 dollars due to a misplaced zero. The silence on the other end of the line was so beautiful.
#46 Plot Twister
It wasn’t the customer, it was the manager. She was AWFUL. She was rude, intentionally picked out favorites and gave them presents in front of everyone, messed up schedules on purpose for people she didn’t like, etc. Worst manager ever. So one day there was a huge storm coming in, and people were really worried about it.
Like, the news was telling people to stay home, other businesses were closing, all that. So it was up to her to either keep our store open or close it. Of course, she kept it open. Because schools closed, only half our scheduled employees showed up, the rest called in—and she called her favorites and told them they didn’t have to come in.
Well, as the like 5 of us who showed up were standing there, watching out the front windows, she starts yelling at us, threatening to write us all up, and we are like—no one is here, all the work is done, we are watching the wind BEND TREES OVER and worried about if we are safe or will even be able to get home.
Right about this time, we hear a SUPER LOUD crashing noise. CAHCHUNK – CAHCHUNK – CAHCHUNK – CAHCHUNK – WHAM! As the industrial air conditioner on top of the building got BLOWN OFF. Like it rolled along the roof, then went flying into the parking lot….Right onto her car. It was so perfect it was surreal.
Right in the center, smashed her car flat. Like if she had been in it, she would have been a goner. And it only happened because she parked right up by the building, where we had SPECIFICALLY been told not to park for the storm. All our cars were out in the farthest corner of the lot. We later found out her insurance didn’t cover the damage because it was an “act of god.”
#47 Zero Tolerance Policy
I went to McDonald’s a few years ago in Alberta. I went with a friend of mine, and we just both happened to be gay. In a laughing sort of situation, he said that we should pretend to be dating. I asked if he was crazy and he said, “Well, it’ll be funny to see the reactions.” So he held my hand and put his head on my shoulder.
We shuffled up and I ordered my food and also said, “And my fiancé here will have a (insert insanely fattening meal here).” My friend, Jake, put this massive dopey grin on his face and reached up and kissed me. Me, being fairly good at improv, kissed back. The server, who before this had already seemed ill at ease, refused to serve us.
He stood there with a defiant look on his face, refusing to fill our order. When I asked what was wrong, he looked at me and said, “I’m not letting some filth get the right to eat here.” I, taken aback, immediately responded by telling him to go get his manager. He refused. I asked again. He refused. Jake decided it was time to drop the charade and tried to explain that it was a joke.
The server said “No, you’re both filthy. I watched you kiss.” We stood there for a few minutes, trying to argue sense into this moron, and then we saw a flash of a manager’s shirt outside. I told Jake to go get him. Jake runs out, gets the manager, and hauls him back in. The manager is standing there on the floor with me and Jake and I’m trying to explain.
By now we’ve gathered a small group of people watching, including a couple of other servers. The manager just looks at me up and down and says, “I don’t see what the problem is here. You don’t deserve rights” and walked away. I was flabbergasted and so upset. Then one of the people in the “audience” comes over to us.
He’s dressed in a suit, and he says he’s going to sue the place on our behalf if he doesn’t serve us. The manager still refuses. The guy in the suit, who turns out to be a lawyer named Andrew, says that the manager needs to provide the owner’s information anyway. We get the phone number of the guy who owns the place. He says he’ll be right there and he arrives.
He then proceeds to fire the server and the manager in front of us as well as giving us free coupons and a free meal. Sweet, sweet, justice.
#48 Everybody’s Got a Story
Once I went to a place known for it’s Cuban sandwiches with my family. We were all really excited, because we like food in my family. So we get our drinks and everything seems fine. We were seated immediately and everyone was really nice. Our waitress brings us our drinks and says she’ll be back in a bit to take our food orders.
We’re conversing and such, so we don’t notice immediately how long it’s taking for our waitress to come back. We wait another 20 minutes just in case. The place is pretty empty, so eventually we ask another server if they know what happened to our server. He says he’ll go check, but that he’ll take our food orders if we’re ready to speed up the process.
About 45 minutes later, my dad is about to explode. It doesn’t take that long to make four sandwiches. He’s about to go complain when, as if on cue, our waitress comes running and screaming out of the kitchen and goes right on out the front door. Everyone goes completely silent and just watches the door for a couple seconds. Then we found out the dark truth.
It turns out she had a nervous breakdown right about when we ordered our food. She had been just pacing around in the kitchen, slowly becoming unhinged. The manager apologized and we got free sandwiches. The moral of the story, though, is that you never know what is going on with your server. Maybe they’re doing a bad job, but they might be on the edge of snapping entirely.
#49 Bait and Switch
I used to be a hostess in a pizzeria chain. I’ll never forget this family of eight who gave me—THE HOSTESS—a $25 tip on a $50 bill, all because they hated their waitress and I was the one who kept refilling their drinks. The waitress was beyond peeved, but my manager said to her: “Should have been paying more attention…the tip is hers.” Best day ever.
#50 Give It Your 20%
I’m currently living in Washington, DC. I ate at a fairly nice restaurant and left a 20% tip, as I always do. Suddenly, this server chased me out of the restaurant and asked, “Was there anything wrong with the service tonight?” I told him there wasn’t, and that’s why I left him 20 dollars on the 100 dollar bill. His response shocked me.
He said that most of the people who eat there are Senators, and it’s customary to tip 30% at that particular restaurant. I asked him if he’d rather give me back my 20 and he left in a huff, calling me a cheapskate. Screw that guy.