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We’re Not Allergic To Stupid Customers, But They Sure Make Us Crabby

, , , , , | Right | December 8, 2023

I work in a restaurant and bar. Some angry customers stop to yell at me as they’re leaving.

Customers: “We have to go to the emergency room because of a shellfish allergy! Why didn’t you tell us the crab artichoke dip had crab in it?!”

That’s the same dip they ordered by saying the full name.

Sometimes, I wonder about people.

An Alarmingly White Red Flag

, , , , , , | Working | November 28, 2023

Many, many years ago, I worked half a shift at a bar in northern Wisconsin before I found out it was a local meeting spot for the scariest group of extreme racists that may or may not have been part of a three-letter hate group.

They’d take over half the seats in the house, get loudly drunk, and then wander off in all directions. The place looked respectable on the outside, so I never expected it to be such a nightmare.

On my first day, I arrived shortly after most of them were already a few drinks in.

One of them staggered over to the bar.

Me: “Hello! What can I pour for you?”

Racist: “We’ll see, but firsht, ya gotta answer me a queshion.”

From the way he was slurring, I was already wondering if my first task on my first shift would be to cut off a belligerent drunk and convince them to drink some water or eat some food.

Me: “Well, I’m new, but I can probably tell you what’s in just about any drink we serve.”

Racist: “Naw, naw, thassss…”

The word ended in a hiss, and he slowly tilted to the left before righting himself.

Racist: “…not what I wanna ashk. I just wanna know…” 

At this point, he went from slurring in a conversational tone to bellowing at the top of his lungs.


And in that instant, half the bar swiveled their heads, and they all stared straight at me, waiting for my answer.

Until that moment, I’d only ever heard of people saying their insides went cold, but I would’ve sworn I’d just swallowed an entire bucket of ice. With red flags waving and klaxons screaming inside my head, I put on my most agreeable expression and nodded to him. Then, I politely excused myself, told my boss that I was out, and left. My boss just shrugged and said maybe I wasn’t a good fit.

In the decades since, I have never encountered a workplace like that, and I hope I never will again.

The Night Tipped Into Your Favor

, , , , , , | Right | November 26, 2023

I’m working in a bar, serving a group of five or six people in maybe their late twenties. After staying there for about four hours and having around $500 worth of drinks, they opt not to tip. That’s obviously infuriating, but I have learned by now that drunk jerks will be drunk jerks — though I promise myself to give them poor service next time.

They leave around midnight, and the bar closes at 2:00 am. A few minutes after 2:00, a man in at least his seventies knocks on the window as we’re cleaning up.

Me: “Sorry, we’re closed.”

He replies in perhaps the gentlest and politest tone of voice I’ve ever heard.

Man: “No, wait. I believe some of my employees came here after work and failed to tip.”

Me: “Five or six people, mid- to late twenties?”

Man: “Yes, that would be them. What was their total bill?”

Me: “Give me a minute; let me check.”

I leave to check the system for their transaction and give him the total.

Man: “I see.”

He then produces a checkbook.

Man: “To whom am I making the check out?”

I’ve never had a customer pay by check; I have no idea who it should be filled out to.

Man: “I see. I’ll leave the line blank, then.”

He then writes out and gives a 200% tip. I think he’s added an extra zero, and I address it.

Man: “No, I wrote the correct amount, and it’ll be taken from their next paychecks.”

My jaw is on the floor, and all I can muster is an astonished:

Me: “Thank you.”

Man: “No thanks is necessary. What they did was simply not polite, and I feel I must teach them some manners.”

A few months later, the same group returned and remembered to tip this time.


, | Right | November 16, 2023

Customer: *Complaining.* “Why do you have the air-con on?”

Me: “Because it’s 40°C outside.”

A lot of people are still sat outside ’cause Australia, but anyway:

Customer: “I know [Owner]! I’m going to complain to him about how cold it is in here! There’s no one even in here anyway!”

Me: “Yes, I have six staff working in here right now, but they don’t count as people…”

How Many Times Has That Happened To Warrant That Response?

, , , , , | Right | October 23, 2023

Roughly every other Saturday, a bar in my city hosts a coffee morning for members of a certain alphabet-themed community. The coffee morning runs from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm, during which time the bar supplies free tea and coffee to attendees.

One day recently, the coffee morning overran. I had some really great conversations with a couple of people I hadn’t had opportunities to speak to before. As we were wrapping up, it was close to 1:15 pm. Since the bar also does food until 3:00 pm, I decided to stay a bit longer and get lunch.

I walked up to the bar, ordered lunch off the menu, and asked for another coffee. The person behind the bar adopted a world-weary frown and said:

Worker: “Just so you know, it’s after 1:00 pm.”

Meaning, “You will have to pay for your coffee now.”

Me: *With a smile* “Yes, I understand.”

Because I’m not an idiot and I can read both basic instructions and a clock, and because I had pulled out my card, a look of relief passed across her face. 

Even though she immediately tried to disguise it, it was obvious that she had expected me to be an awkward, entitled idiot and argue over the £2.75 cost of a coffee. So glad I could show her that not everyone’s THAT person.