Customers Without Filters

| Vancouver, BC, Canada | Right | September 18, 2015

(I’m a server at a popular family restaurant that normally bends over backwards trying to accommodate its guests as best we can. However, we are not a fine dining restaurant by any means. I’m serving a table of two middle-aged women. Note: the tap water in our municipality is consistently ranked as one of the cleanest in the world and is better than most bottled waters.)

Guest #1: “Is your water filtered? I only drink filtered water.”

Me: “No, our water isn’t filtered. We do carry several kinds of bottled water if you like, though.” *I list them for her*

Guest #2: “It’s disgusting that people expect you to pay for bottled water. Water should be free.”

Me: “Yes, ma’am. Our water by the glass is free, though as I said, unfiltered. However, we have to pay for the bottled water so we do have to charge for that.”

Guest #1: *huffs* “Fine, I’ll have a glass of water. Are your ice cubes made from filtered water? I only want them in my glass if they’re filtered.”

(Our ice machine is the size of an average car and is made of complex machinery.)

Me: “I’m actually not sure if the ice machine has filters as part of its system. It’s probably best to assume it doesn’t. I’ll bring you your water without ice.”

Guest #1: “No, find out if the machine filters its ice and come back.”

Me: “If you prefer, ma’am.”

(I go to the back and ask the kitchen manager. He has no idea either. We both look at the machine, but there’s no way to tell from the outside if there’s filters. There’s a huge sign on the outside saying “Danger: Do Not Open! Extreme Risk of Electric Shock” so we decide not to open it to look. I go back to the table with no new knowledge.)

Guest #1: “Well?!”

Me: “I’m very sorry, ma’am. Both the kitchen manager and I looked at the machine, but we couldn’t tell if there are filters without taking apart the machine. It’s probably safest to assume there aren’t any. Shall I bring you your water without ice?”

Guest #1: “I don’t understand why you can’t just take apart the machine to find out for me. This is ridiculous.”

(I try for several minute to politely explain the size and complexity of the machine and why this isn’t really a feasible request. She constantly interrupts to insist that it must be possible to find this out and that I need to find a way. I have zero mechanical knowledge and as far as I know none of my coworkers know anything about machines. This machine would require a mechanic to take it apart.)

Guest #1: *finally* “Fine, I’ll have a glass of water with the ice on the side.”

Guest #2: “By the way, we have been sitting here forever and no one has taken our order! I just want you to know that the service here is terrible!”

(I choose not to mention that I’ve been at their table the whole time attempting to do just that. I also choose not to point out that they were just demanding that I leave their table for what would probably be several hours of mechanical work in order to answer a question for them.)

Wish You Could Hide From The Hyde

| Vancouver, BC, Canada | Right | September 18, 2015

(I work at a popular family restaurant that has a fairly diverse clientèle. Two older ladies come in just as I start my shift. It happens to be a statutory holiday that the government created last year. As such it’s a day off for most people, but not a real holiday.)

Customer #1: “Good morning! Happy [Holiday]! ”

Me: “Happy [Holiday]. How are you today?”

Customer #1: “Everyone has just been so nice today. That young man-” *referring to our greeter* “-held the door open for us!”

Customer #2: *extremely aggressively*“As well he should!”

Me: *taken aback, I try to change the subject* “Can I get you something to drink to start you off?”

Customer #1: *beams at me* “I hope they’re paying you bonuses to come in on a holiday!”

Customer #2: *interrupts in a savage tone of voice* “What would it matter? They’re here all the time anyway!”

Customer #1: *gives a big smile to her companion then to me* “We’ll just have coffees for now.”

(I escaped gratefully and happened to catch the coworker I was relieving as she packed up.)

Me: “That table is like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde!”

Coworker: “Oh, they’re always like that. I was so glad when you came in that I wouldn’t have to deal with them this time. Good luck!”

He’s Not F****** Kidding

| San Antonio, TX, USA | Working | September 17, 2015

(Our store has a rule prohibiting workers from swearing while on shift. Nearly everyone, however, including the managers, tend to ignore this rule. I, as a bit of a rules-stickler and also opposed to swearing on moral grounds, have tried several times to remind people that the rule exists. At one point, I write a note using a dry erase marker on an unoccupied metal counter, hoping to remind not just my shift, but shifts after me.)

My Note: “A reminder: Both cell phone usage and profanity while on the clock is prohibited by company policy.”

(A few minutes later, one of the worst offenders notices the note and writes something under it.)

Coworker: “Hey, [My Name]! Guess what I wrote!”

Me: *dryly* “I’m going to hazard a guess at something like, ‘Forget this; I’ll say what I want,’ only with more profanity.”

Coworker: “Um, actually, it’s ‘F*** that; I’ll say what I want.'”

(He then proceeded to erase both the note and the response, rendering my efforts basically fruitless. Thankfully, he has since found employment elsewhere.)

Jesus On The Munchies

| TX, USA | Right | September 16, 2015

(I am a cashier at this restaurant.)

Customer: “I would like three sandwiches.”

Me: “Okay, that will be $3.65.”


Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but I can’t. It wouldn’t be fair to just give you a free meal.”

Customer: “BUT I AM JESUS. YOU MUST.” *he grabs the sandwiches and starts eating them*

Me: “What would Jesus do?”

Customer: “AHHH!” *throws a fit*

Manager: “You are banned from this restaurant, Jesus.”

(He paid with his credit card and his name was not Jesus, but Paul.)

Jehovah’s Witless, Part 4

| IL, USA | Friendly | September 16, 2015

(My mom, sister, and I are out to dinner. I’ve recently graduated college and my sister is in elementary school. When she was a baby, I got the occasional “Oh, is she yours?” but less so as she’s gotten older. My mom realizes she needs a refill on her drink so she heads up to the counter to get one, so it’s just me and my sister left at the table. Note: my sister is wearing the uniform for a local Christian school.)

Sister: “[My Name], can we get ice cream, too?”

Me: “You gotta ask Mom when she comes back. That’s not my call.”

Sister: “Okay.” *goes back to her dinner*

(I notice that two teenage girls in long denim skirts and baggy t-shirts are watching us. I don’t think much of it until one approaches my sister.)

Girl: “Hi, would you like some stickers?”

Sister: *looks at me* “Sis, can I have some?”

Me: “Sure.”

(My sister accepts what looks like a page of smiley face stickers. The girls go back to their table and I go back to my meal, until…)

Sister: *loudly* “Hey, these aren’t stickers!! They don’t come off the paper!”

(My mom comes back to the table.)

Mom: “And I’m back.” *to my sister* “What’ve you got there?”

Sister: “Mommy, they gave me stickers but they don’t come off the paper!”

Mom: *examines the paper* “This is a witnessing tract. Where did you get this?”

Sister: “From over there.” *points at the teenage girls at the next table, who are avoiding eye contact*

(I look at the girls and raise an eyebrow. They quickly retreat to another table, still within earshot, where they join a group of five or so other teenage girls dressed in denim skirts and baggy shirts and a man in a suit, who looks to be lecturing them. Being the sassy person I am, I can’t resist a parting shot…)

Me: *loudly* “You’d think they’d notice that she’s wearing a [local Christian school] uniform!”

(The man and his denim-skirted charges quickly exited the restaurant.)


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