Hospitality Is Going South

| LA, USA | Bigotry, Language & Words, Top

Me: “Hello, thank you for calling [restaurant]. How can I help you today?”

Customer: “I have some questions about a party coming in next week.”

(I pull up our reservation book and review the information with the guest. She is very agitated, and makes a request that we are unable to take care of.)

Me: “No ma’am. I’m afraid we have no way to do that. If you—”

Customer: “How dare you! Don’t talk to me that way! I know exactly what you are doing! I hate it when you Southerners use ‘ma’am’! Don’t think I don’t know what you mean!”

Me: “I’m sorry?”

Customer: “I am so f***ing sick of your fake southern bulls***! I moved down here with my husband. He’s from here and I’m not. I’m so sick of you people calling me ‘ma’am’! I know that you aren’t really being polite, you’re being ugly to me and trying to pretend it’s polite so I won’t know what you’re f***ing doing! But I’m not a f***ing idiot. You are the rudest b**** I’ve ever met, you and all you other southern b*****s. F*** you!”

(She hangs up and I am left thinking how sad her husband’s life must be. 15 minutes later, I get a phone call from the same woman.)

Customer: *sheepishly* “I’m sorry. My husband heard the whole thing and demanded I apologize. He told me everyone in the South uses ‘ma’am’, and it’s just good manners. I just moved here with him and I can’t make any friends!”

Top Shelf Morals, Bottom Shelf Attitude

| Medford, MA, USA | Awesome Customers, Rude & Risque, Underaged

(I am stocking magazines at a bookstore when two young boys reach high up on the shelves and grab adult magazines. They hunch over and open the magazines to gawk at the photos.)

Me: “Excuse me, are you guys 18 or over?”

Boy #1: “Why, what’s it to you?”

Me: “It’s my job, actually. If you’re not 18, you can’t even touch those. Would you put that magazine back, please?”

Boy #2: “I’m 18.”

(Boy #2 is obviously about 12 or 13 from his height and appearance.)

Me: “Really? What year were you born?”

Boy #2: “None of your business!”

Me: “Okay, both of you put those magazines back, right now.”

Boy #1: “I’m 18, too.”

(Just then, a young mother carrying a baby and a diaper bag approaches the counter a few feet away.)

Young Mother: *to cashier* “Can I ask you for a certain book?”

Cashier: “Sure, what are you looking for?”

Young Mother: “It’s called ‘How to Raise a Moral Child‘.”

(Boy #1 and Boy #2 burst out laughing, catching the attention of the young mother, who looks over disapprovingly. The boys laugh and turn away from her, now facing me.)

Me: *arms crossed, leaning in* “How about now?”

(They stop laughing abruptly, put the magazines back on the nearest shelf, and slink out.)

Good Men Are Rare

| Cambridge, England, UK | Bigotry, Extra Stupid, Food & Drink, Top

(I am a waitress at a high end chain of worldwide hotels. It is an extremely busy dinner shift. I am serving an obviously rich man, with who appears to be with a new girlfriend.)

Me: “Good evening, sir, madam. Are you ready to order?”

Male Customer: *showing off* “I want a steak, and I want it how the animals eat it. None of this namby-pamby cookery stuff. Just cave-man style, you know?” *he indicates the woman* “Oh, and just fetch her a salad, or something equally low-calorie. I don’t want her all bloated, if you know what I mean!?” *laughs in a creepy way*

Me: “Erm, okay, sir. So, one blue steak and a house salad.”

Male Customer: “That’s what I said wasn’t it? God, do they employ idiots here? And fetch me a bottle of your really good champagne; not the cheap stuff you give to the general public.”

(I have already realized by this point he is going to be a painful customer, and feel sympathetic to his girlfriend, who is clearly embarrassed. I return with the steak and salad, and after his first mouthful I can hear him shouting across the restaurant).

Male Customer: “Are you trying to kill me? Give me Mad Cow disease?”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir. What appears to be the problem?”

Male Customer: “My steak is bleeding! And cold in the middle! You’re trying to make me ill, and then charge me a ridiculous amount for it!”

Me: “That is a blue steak. Simply lightly seared on the outside, whilst mainly raw in the middle ‘like the animals would have it.’ I assure you it’s perfectly fine to eat!”

Customer: “I am a human being, not a dog! My food needs to be cooked! I will take you to court if I get food poisoning!

(Luckily at this point my manager steps in to calm him down, as he is talking about suing the hotel. Later in the bar, I serve the girlfriend who is now alone. She thanks me for opening her eyes to what a jerk he is and tips me £20, and buys me a drink!)

How To Give Customers The Crepes

| Poughkeepsie, NY, USA | Food & Drink

(The restaurant phone rings.)

Me: “Thank you for calling [restaurant]. How may I help you?”

Customer: “Yes, I’m calling to take a survey for my free short stack of pancakes.”

(On receipts, there is a number to call for surveys, but she has called the restaurant.)

Me: “Ma’am, I’m sorry, but you appear to have called the wrong number. You are supposed to call the number on your receipt, not the restaurant number.”

Customer: “No! I’m taking this survey over the phone right now! Give me your manager!”

(I proceed to call the manager, who comes up and takes the phone. I notice a woman talking into the phone and hear the exact voice I was talking to.)

Me: “[Manager], this woman is actually sitting in the restaurant!”

Manager: *into the phone* “One moment, ma’am.” *hangs up, then turns to me* “Where is she sat?”

Me: *points over to her table* “Right there.”

(He proceeds to walk over to the table with me in tow.)

Manager: “Excuse me, ma’am. You have to exit the restaurant before you can claim your free pancakes.”

Customer: “HOW DID YOU KNOW THAT WAS ME?! YOU STALKERS! I’M CALLING THE POLICE!” *storms out, red faced and embarrassed*

Guarding The Lifeguard

| Albany, NY, USA | Awesome Customers, Top, Wild & Unruly

(I’m a lifeguard at an apartment complex. It’s the end of summer, and some new tenants are at the pool for the first time, the first of whom is pretty muscular. I notice that they’re smoking, which is against the rules.)

Me: “I’m sorry, but we don’t allow smoking in the pool area. Could you please put those out?”

New Tenant #1: “Really? Come on.”

New Tenant #2: “You can’t do anything anymore.”

Me: “I’m sorry, but it does bother some people.”

New Tenant #1: “Whatever.”

(They put out their cigarettes and I go back to my chair. A few minutes later, Tenant #1 gets up and dives into the pool. It’s 4.5 feet deep, and there are signs everywhere forbidding diving.)

Me: “Sir, there is absolutely no diving at this pool!”

New Tenant #1: “Man, I’m about ready to throw you over the f***ing fence!”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but diving isn’t allowed. There are signs all over the place.”

New Tenant #1: *flexes menacingly* “Who the f*** do you think you are?”

Me: “I’m the lifeguard, sir, and it’s my job to enforce the rules. Please don’t do that again, or you’ll have to leave.”

(Overhearing the commotion, an old tenant speaks up.)

Old Tenant: “Are you okay?”

Me: “I’m fine, no problem.”

(The new tenants go back to their party, and they leave in a minute, still grumbling angrily.)

Old Tenant: “That jerk! I can’t believe he threatened you like that! You need to tell the manager. I’ll back you up.”

Me: “Don’t worry, I will. Thank you so much.”

(The next day, the old tenant told the story to everyone who missed it. A dozen people came up to me and said they had my back if he returned, thanked me for being such a good guard, and apologized for him. On the last day, I got four thank you cards and $80 in tips!)

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