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    Accentuating The Problem

    , | Paris, France | Food & Drink, Language & Words, Tourists/Travel

    (My family is on vacation in Europe with a large tour group, consisting of about 40 people from Canada and the US. My sister and I are trying to order at a Parisian McDonald’s, while a middle-aged Texan woman from the same tour is waiting in the next queue over.)

    Me: *in bad French* “Uh, could I have a… McChicken?”

    Employee: *in French* “Sorry, what did you want?”

    Me: *in French, more clearly* “Um, McChicken.”

    Employee: *in French* “Ah! Of course. That’ll be [amount].”

    Sister: *to me* “I think you were trying too hard to get the accent right. You sounded ridiculous.”

    Me: “I didn’t think it sounded that bad… At least I tried.”

    (While waiting for our food, we can’t help but overhear what’s going on in the next queue…)

    Texan Customer: “Yeah, I’d like a combo number four–”

    Employee: *in French* “Sorry, what?”

    (The woman gives the flustered employee a death stare, then speaks loudly and slowly.)

    Texan Customer: “COMBO. COOOOOMBO.”

    (We left then, so I don’t know if the customer ever got her food. To this day, no one in my family ever says the word ‘combo’ without putting on an exaggerated drawl!)

    Thinks He’s So Grape

    , | Norway | Extra Stupid, Food & Drink

    (I work as a wine waiter in a business hotel, where we often have repeat guests. One such guest, who always has a problem with something, is tasting a bottle of wine I’ve just opened.)

    Guest: “This wine is bad. It’s corked, or oxidised, or something.”

    Me: “May I test it?”

    (I take the glass and smell the wine, knowing straight away that there’s no problem.)

    Me: “I don’t notice anything wrong here. If you insist, I can open a fresh bottle.”

    Guest: “Well, you obviously don’t know anything about wine or service. Of COURSE I want a fresh bottle.”

    Me: “Very well, sir.”

    (I take the bottle away, re-cork it, and wait a few seconds before returning to the table with a new glass. I open the bottle again as I arrive and I pour a little for him to taste.)

    Guest: “MUCH better. Can’t believe you thought there was nothing wrong with the last bottle. You obviously don’t deserve to be in charge of wine here.”

    Preorder Disorder, Part 2

    | Toronto, ON, Canada | Crazy Requests, Family & Kids, Food & Drink, Themed Giveaway

    (I work at a family style restaurant that offers free bread, salad, dessert, and tea or coffee with all entrees. One particular shift I’m notified I will be taking a birthday party of 15 kids, but they need to be out at a certain time for a movie. The group comes in 15 minutes past their reservation.)

    Mother: “Did you receive my preorder? I gave your manager our complete order so we can catch our movie on time.”

    Me: “Yes, I received it. The bread and waters are already on the table like you requested. I’m just about to bring out the salads, and the kitchen is already working on your order.”

    Mother: “Fine. But talk to the kids and see what else they want to drink. My son wants pop.”

    (She has me stand there reciting all of our drinks to the 15 boys multiple times, as they all choose different items. Before I walk away to make the drinks the mother speaks up.)

    Mother: “Excuse me? Why aren’t the salads out yet?”

    Me: “I was just going to get them before the boys needed more drinks. I didn’t see them on the preorder so they’ll have to be made now.”

    Mother: “You know we’re trying to catch a movie don’t you?!”

    (I quickly bring out the salads, and rush the drinks out to all the boys. Before I can go back to the kitchen to see how the meals are, I’m stopped again.)

    Mother: “As you know, we are in a rush, so my husband and I will have our teas right now. I prefer cream in my tea, my husband will take milk, but we want them both heated up.”

    Me: “Of course. I’ll be right back with them.”

    Mother: “Why haven’t you checked on our food yet?”

    (I go back to the kitchen and see the order is being finished. I have time to bring out the teas before I bring all of the food.)

    Me: “Here are your teas, and now I’ll go and get the meals.”

    Mother: “No, hold on. I want to order for me and my husband. We should eat something before the movie.”

    (It is a busy Saturday night, and the kitchen is backed up.)

    Mother: “We’ll have two steaks, medium, with a side of fries.”

    Me: “All right. I will put a rush on your order because I know you have to leave soon. But I should let you know steaks do take a bit longer to prepare.”

    Mother: “We ordered what we wanted! If we wanted something else we would have gotten that! Now where is their food?!”

    (I run back to the kitchen to place the rush order, and bring out the boys’ food. Everything is handed out and fine, when I’m approached again.)

    Mother: “This pesto linguine for my son is nut free, correct? It was on the preorder that he is deathly allergic!”

    (I know there was nothing on the preorder about an allergy, and even show her the paper she gave us. I take the pesto linguine away since, obviously, there are nuts in it, and get him something nut free immediately.)

    Mother: “You need to be more careful! He almost ate that!”

    (By the time the boys are finished eating, plus the parents, and I’ve given them their desserts, it’s the time they should have left. The mother comes up to me and starts freaking out about the movie time.)

    Mother: “I can’t believe how unprofessional you are. You knew we had a movie to catch!”

    (They all leave 15 minutes later, and the mother doesn’t leave me a tip on a $250 bill. She talks to my manager on the way out.)

    Manager: *to me* “Hey, I want to talk to you. Thanks for handling that table so well! She comes in every year for her son’s birthday and pulls that crap. Don’t take her personally. We’ve all had to deal with her here. I just can’t believe you didn’t break down like a few of us did!”

    (A few people in the lobby who have been waiting for a table witnessed some of her pleasantries, and were seated in my section afterwards. They tipped very, very generously after seeing me cater to her every whim!)

    Related:
    Preorder Disorder

    The Very Picture Of Ignorance

    | USA | Bizarre, Family & Kids, Food & Drink

    (My mother’s never worked in customer service, so she is sometimes rude without meaning to. She has a photography hobby, and lately she’s been taking pictures of people without asking first. We’re at the drive thru getting food when she suddenly pulls out her camera.)

    Me: “Mom, don’t—”

    Mom: *click*

    Cashier: *blinded by the flash*

    Me: *to cashier* “Um, I’m sorry about that. Mom, you’re supposed to ask first, not just take a picture!”

    Mom: “It’s okay. People love to get pictures taken of them! I’m like a paparazzi! They feel like celebs!”

    Me: “No, they don’t. It’s rude!”

    Cashier: *rubbing eyes* “Here’s your food.” *hands over food*

    (My mom drove off without an apology and I saw, in the rearview mirror, the poor cashier still rubbing his eyes. Sorry, poor cashier!)

    Signed His Own Fate

    , | USA | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Money

    (We had a bad storm the night before that disconnected our store’s internet which is used for the credit cards. We have signs posted on the doors and on the registers that we cannot accept credit or debit cards. We can accept only cash or checks.)

    Me: “Hello. Is this for here or to go?”

    Customer: “For here. I’d like to use these coupons.”

    Me: “Okay.”

    (I ring up his order which comes to around $35 even with the coupons. He hands me a debit card.)

    Me: “I’m sorry, sir. We cannot accept cards at the moment.”

    Customer: “Well. I guess I’ll have to go elsewhere.”

    Me: “Okay, sir. Sorry for the inconvenience.”

    Customer: “Y’all need to have signs up for that.”

    Me: “You walked past two when you walked in, sir, and there’s one right there in your face.”

    Customer: *shamefully walks out*


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