November Theme Of The Month: Black Friday!

Putting The Pain In Pain Au Chocolat

| Portland, ME, USA | Food & Drink, Math & Science, Top

(I’m 21 years old, but look considerably younger. I have just spent the day with my professor collecting ticks for a research internship, as well as driving quite a bit to find proper fitting gear for the next time we go out.)

Me: “…and I’d like a chocolate pastry.”

Cashier: “Okay! That’s the last one; they’re fantastic!”

(The customer behind me suddenly starts shouting.)

Customer: “NO! I wanted one of those; what makes you so special you get to have one? I’m your elder; you should give it to me!”

Me: “Ma’am, I was here first, and I’ve had a long, stressful day. I would like to get it, as it is the first thing I will have eaten since 7:30 this morning.”

Customer: “What could you have done that was so stressful? You’ve clearly been laying out in the sun; you’re sun burnt for crying out loud! I’ll have you know that I have had an extremely stressful day, and as your elder, I would like this pastry.”

Cashier: “Ma’am, she was here first. Unless she wants to give it to you, I am going to let her have it.”

Customer: “Well, she should give it to me. I mean, how hard is it to lay out in the sun all day?”

Me: “Ma’am, with all due respect, I have been outside working in the field all day, capturing small mammals and collecting deer ticks from them, and releasing them. I have dealt with angry squirrels, as well as a very frightened cardinal. I then had to drive about 300 miles today to find proper fitting gear. While I may look younger, I am 21 years old. I would like that pastry, as it is now 5:00 pm, and I have not eaten anything since this morning, and I need to continue driving home after this. If I may ask, what was so stressful about your day that could possibly compare to that?”

Customer: “I BROKE A NAIL! Do you understand how much that hurts?”

(The customer storms away to get a manager, who, having heard the whole thing, laughs in her face.)

The Sauce Of Her Entitlement

| Buffalo, NY, USA | Bad Behavior, Food & Drink

(10 hours into my shift, an entitled, belligerent customer begins barking out orders. After an arduous ordering process, her meal arrives.)

Customer: “WHAT is THIS?”

Me: “That’s the broiled seafood platter you ordered, miss. May I provide any other sides or sauces to complement your meal?”

Customer: “What IS this?”

Me: “Oh, that small cup of cocktail sauce? We provide cocktail sauce with all of our shrimp meals, as it is commonly requested.”

Customer: “Well, I don’t LIKE cocktail sauce! I won’t eat it!”

Me: “Not a problem; you’re under no obligation to do so!”

Customer: “I SAID that I don’t LIKE it! TAKE IT OFF MY PLATE!”

(Although startled, I comply.)

Customer: “Bring me something else!”

Me: “Would you like drawn butter?”

Customer: “I want shrimp sauce!”

Me: “Cocktail sauce is the condiment we most commonly pair with our shrimp, but I’d be happy to bring you samples of our remoulade, tartar, hot sauce, Asian sauce—”

Customer: “ASIAN sauce? What is that?”

Me: “It’s similar to sweet and sour sauce.”

Customer: “Is it spicy?”

Me: “Mostly, it’s sweet and sour. I don’t find it spicy at all, but I can’t predict how it will taste to you.”

Customer: “Ugh, you’re no help! Fetch me the sauce your executive chef recommends! Unlike you, he’ll know!”

(Upon recommendation, I offer the Asian sauce.)

Customer: “UGH! This is spicy! You lied to me!”

Me: “I apologize; I did not intend to mislead you. Would you like to try another sauce?”

Customer: “I don’t understand why you won’t just bring me shrimp sauce! That’s what I want! You aren’t very good at this, are you?”

Me: “I’m sorry; the only ‘shrimp sauce’ we carry is cocktail sauce.”

Customer: “Wait, cocktail sauce? That sounds about right. Bring that out immediately!”

(The woman happily devours her cocktail sauce, casting me death stares all the while.)

Seize The (Mother’s) Day

, | VA, USA | Awesome Customers, Family & Kids, Food & Drink, Top

(It is Mother’s Day, and my mother has had a hard and disappointing day. Due to a failed dinner by her husband, I take her to a fast-food restaurant at about 9pm. She starts speaking at the counter.)

Mom: “Happy Mother’s Day to me, at [fast food restaurant] at nine at night.”

Cashier: “Yeah, I’ve been here all day.”

Mom: “Oh, really!? Wow.”

(We finish ordering and eat our food. As we are leaving, my mother is staring into the kitchen. The cashier, thinking we need something, comes over. We wave her away. We get into the car, but my mother stops me from starting the engine.)

Mom: “I have decided we should do something for the woman in there. Here I was complaining, while they have been working all day. They probably weren’t able to spend time with their families.”

(We drive to the nearby store. She buys two bouquets of flowers, and two boxes of chocolates. We go back to the restaurant. My mom approaches the cashier.)

Mom: “You’re a mother, aren’t you?”

Cashier: “Yes, I am.”

Mom: “Well, I thought you deserved these.”

(Mom gives the woman the flowers and chocolates. The cashier thanks her repeatedly, looking on the verge of tears. My mother leaves feeling a lot better. Even though her day wasn’t what she had hoped it would be, she at least got to make someone else’s better.)

On The Need For Hazard Pay, Part 4

, | USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Food & Drink

(It is late at night. I’m doing headset on all drive-thru lanes, and handling money by myself. I am talking to a customer at the window.)

Me: “Hello! Your total is $[total] tonight.”

(I take the money, and another car pulls up. I greet them while I count change.)

Me: “Good evening! Order when you are ready.”

(I turn back to the window.)

Me: “Here is your change, sir. Have a great night!”

Customer: “Why are you talking to yourself? Are you slow or something? I don’t want your kind handling my money!”

Me: “Uh… I was just greeting the customer who pulled up to the speaker.”

(As we are talking, I am typing in the next customer’s order.)

Customer: “I’m the only one here! What are you doing now? Hey! Answer me!”

(I am now ignoring the guy yelling at me through the closed window.)

Me: “Your total will be $[total] at your first window, ma’am. Please pull forward.”

Customer: *banging on the window* “You can’t ignore me! I’m a paying customer! Open the window!”

(I yell through the window.)

Me: “Please pull forward, sir! You are blocking the next customer.”

Customer: *suddenly very calm* “Okay, I’m sorry. But could I get another copy of my receipt? I dropped the one you gave me.”

(I oblige and print him a new receipt. When I open the window he suddenly grabs my arm and tries to pull me out of the window. My screaming alerts my manager, who pulls me back inside, and locks the window shut while the customer speeds off with their food.)

Manager: “What the h*** was all that about?! He nearly kidnapped you!”

(I don’t work nights anymore…)

On The Need For Hazard Pay, Part 3
On The Need For Hazard Pay, Part 2
On The Need For Hazard Pay

Blind To Change

| Charleston, SC, USA | Food & Drink, Money

(Part of my job as a hostess is to stand out front and try to convince tourists to eat at our restaurant. Most nights a server or two will hang out there with me. Across the street we have metered parking, but that’s free after 6pm. A server and I are watching a man put change in the meter at 8pm.)

Server: “Sir! You don’t need to feed that; it’s free after six.”

Patron: “You don’t know that.”

Server: “Well, yes sir, I do. You don’t need to bother with that anymore.”

Patron: “No! I have to go to dinner, so I’m sure to be gone for the next hour and a half! I don’t want a ticket!”

(The server gives up.)

Server: “Understandable. Have a good meal, sir.”

(About two hours later, rotation has me standing back outside. This time I’m alone. The same man returns to his car.)

Patron: “I just found out there was no need for me to pay this meter after six. That would have been nice to know two hours ago!”

Me: “Sir, I was outside when my coworker told you there was no need to feed the meter.”

Patron: “That’s just not true. I wouldn’t have paid if someone told me not to. You should really inform people of that.”

Me: “I’m very sorry, sir. Have a good night.”

Patron: “Would’ve been better if I hadn’t stuffed all my change into this stupid meter!”