He’ll Be Waiter-ing A Long Time

, , , | Right | September 3, 2018

(I am working with my mom one Sunday morning in the coffee shop she owns. It’s kind of old school as you order your food and then go sit down at your table, and when your food is done we call out your number and you come pick it up. There are signs spelling this out when you place your order. My mom and I are cooking and there are no other customers except the one table with a man having coffee. It’s only just after six a.m. and we’ve just recently opened for the day. A man and an older woman come in. He orders and I hear my mom tell him that he is to grab his drinks, sit, and when his order is done we will call his number, and where he can pick up his food. A few minutes later he comes up and complains that it’s too cold. My mom assures him that it will get warmer as we recently opened and the heat hasn’t been on for long. A few minutes later he comes back up and interrupts her taking another couple’s order because he poured cold water into his tea-pot instead of hot and cannot find the hot water spout. My mom takes a second to show him where the hot water spout is; it’s right beside the cold water one. A few minutes later he comes up and loudly complains that his silverware is dirty. The knife has water spots on it and he wants all new cutlery. My mom gets him new cutlery and he goes back to his table grumbling. We are getting busier by this time and the line up is getting longer.)

Me: “Order number 000.”

(The customer looks around at the other people in the restaurant and shrugs.)

Me: “Order number 000.”

(The customer again looks around, says something to the lady with him but ignores me.)

Me: *catching his eye* “Sir, your order is ready.”

Customer: “Okay.”

(He still doesn’t make an effort to get up. We have 40 seats and are 3/4 full by this time. My mom’s still on the till, and I’m cooking and putting the orders up. My dad is in the back kitchen doing dishes and doing the daily baking.)

Me: *waving at the customer, I catch his eye* “Sir! Order number 000 is ready.”

(He just shrugs at me and shakes his head. I see a regular customer lean over and it looks like he’s explaining the way it works. My mom says to me that she will just have to bring his order to him as soon as she is done with the customers at the till. I have to turn back to the grill so I don’t notice that the man has come up and is standing looking over his food.)

Customer: “Is this my order?”

Me: “Yes, sir.”

Customer: “You could have f****** told me I had to be my own f****** waiter!”

Me: “Sorry, you must be a new customer. We try to let everyone know if they aren’t used to the way it goes around here.”

Customer: “No one told me s***! You should have a sign!”

(I point over to the sign that clearly states how to order. He grumbles something and I smile and then turn around as I have eggs on the grill I need to take off. I plate the eggs and turn back around and the guy is still there and looks thoroughly pissed at me.)

Me: “Sir?”

Customer: “I see how it is. You and that old f****** lady over there think you can just get your customers to do your work for you! Well, you know what? I’ve worked at a greasy spoon like this before! I know how it works!”

(He stomps away, leaving his food on the pass through. I’m dumbfounded. I’ve worked in my parent’s diner for seven years and we’ve never encountered any customer like this. We have a line up at the till; I’m swamped with orders and can’t leave to take his order to him. I call out his number again and turn back around to plate and get the other orders ready. I call out the next two orders and the people come up for them. Finally my mom gets a break in people ordering so she comes out to the pass through and grabs the man’s order and takes it to him. I can hear him yelling at her a few seconds later.)

Customer: “That’s right! You have to serve me! I’ve paid good money for this s***! It better not be f****** cold! If it’s cold I’m going to get you both fired! You dumb c***!”

(My mom, who has worked with the public for years, simply smiles at the man and comes back to help me on the grill. A minute later I see the man stomping up to the pass through with his plates in his hands.)

Customer: “This s*** is f****** cold! I want your manager now! You are both going to be f****** fired!”

(He’s pounding his fist on the counter, making the plates jump and the food spill all over. By this time my dad is out of the back and two of our regulars, who are rather large truck drivers, are making their way to where the man is going crazy.)

Dad: “Can I help you?”

Customer: “Are you the manager?”

Dad: “I am one of the owners, yes.”

Customer: “Good! I want to put in official complaint! These two are being f****** lazy! They are making everyone here come and get their food! My food was cold!”

(While he’s complaining to my dad, my mom and I are still cooking and calling out orders. Everyone coming up is chuckling at the guy because he clearly is seeing them come get their food, and no one else is complaining. I can see the woman that he is with grab her coat and purse and wait by the door. She clearly is embarrassed by him.)

Dad: “Sir, I’m going to give you back your money because you clearly aren’t happy with the service you got here.”

Customer: “I got no service! That’s the problem! If they just did their job I’d have no complaints!”

(This is completely untrue since all he’s been doing since he got there was complain about everything! He continues yelling as my dad goes behind the counter and stands at the till. My dad gives him back his money and loudly asks him to leave. Finally he stops yelling and looks around at the other customers.)

Customer: “Why are you all still coming up to get your food? Why are you letting them be so lazy! It’s bull-s***! I’m rich! I’m going to buy this place and turn it into a proper restaurant! Mark my words!”

(He threw up his hands and stomped out of the restaurant.)

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Waiting In Line And Starting To Whine

, , , | Right | September 3, 2018

(I’m a customer. I’m at the grocery store shortly after noon. The queues are long, and the cashier has just announced that she regretfully can’t open another line because there aren’t enough employees. One middle-aged customer a bit behind me has been muttering loudly for a while now.)

Customer: “You have to open another register! I’m on my lunch break; I still want to eat something today!”

Cashier: “I’m sorry, sir, that’s not possible right now.”

Customer: *keeps muttering and complaining*

(Finally a second register is opened and he rushes to be the first and relates his tragic story to the new cashier again… He’s on lunch break; this is an outrage, etc. It’s my turn on the first register and I am fed up.)

Me: “You can stop complaining now. It’s your turn. They said it’s not easily possible to open another register, but they’re obviously working as fast as they can. Please stop harassing them!”

Customer: “I’m not talking to YOU!”

Me: “And thank goodness for that.”

My Cashier: “Thank you. Some people really think we’re robots, apparently.”

(I bid them a good day and walked to my car — and the guy had the gall to follow me and start harassing me about not knowing what it’s like to work. I’m obviously dressed for an office job and clearly old enough to be working. He said that I’m a lazy b**** and need to keep my mouth shut. I told him to leave me alone but he followed me to my car, where I got in quickly and locked it from the inside. Eventually he wandered away, again muttering, and got into a car with a business logo and name printed on the side. Guess who received a rather colorful email the moment I came home?)

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Room With A Screw

, , , , , , , | Right | August 31, 2018

I am working on reception at a fairly up-market hotel. A female customer comes to check out. She is attractive but looks very tired.

She has been with us for a fortnight and in that time she has never allowed housekeeping into her room. She has requested many new towels, though, leaving the dirty ones outside her door for pick-up.

We have been suspicious about her for a while, thinking she is probably a prostitute. This is against our rules, but the hotel is quite big and people can enter the premises without coming under the nose of reception staff, so it’s hard to catch them out. As long as their customers are discreet and they don’t cause a noise complaint or similar anti-social issue, there’s not much we can do about it.

When I print out the bill, she offers me a wad of cash, many thousands of dollars. We don’t have a credit card imprint, because she checked in with a cash bond, instead. I smile and tell her it will just be a couple of minutes, as we have to check her mini-bar, and dash up to her room.

It is an absolute ruin.

The carpet is dotted with hundreds of burns, where cigarettes have been flicked onto the floor. It’s also stained with food and wine.

The curtains have sweat marks on them. The glass is cracked in the shower. The bed is a wreck, structurally broken at one end and horribly stained across the mattress.

And the whole room stinks of body odour and smoke. It is absolutely overpowering, making me want to retch. We are a non-smoking hotel, and it smells like she was burning tyres in there.

I march back down to reception and let her know we have to repaint the room, replace the carpet and furniture, and charge her for the week it will take to do it. This is a standard charge for room-wreckers, which adds more than $20,000 to her bill.

She pays at once. In cash.

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Don’t Do The Crime If You’re In The Wrong Line

, , , , | Right | August 28, 2018

(I work at a popular grocery store chain. A young woman comes up to my ten-items-or-less checkout with a cart full of items.)

Me: *smiling* “I’m sorry, ma’am, but this is a ten-item-only line.”

(I point at the sign above my head, clearly saying, “TEN ITEMS OR LESS,” in huge letters.)

Customer #1: “Oh, come now, honey. It won’t be long, promise!”

(She smiles sweetly, and starts unloading things onto the checkout belt.)

Me: “Ma’am, I’m sorry, but this is more than ten items. Please use a different checkout.”

Customer #1: *kindly demeanor instantly drops* “WHY ARE YOU NOT LETTING ME CHECK OUT MY F****** ITEMS, B****?! I WILL GET THESE D*** ITEMS CHECKED OUT AT THIS D*** CHECKOUT!”

(She runs around the checkout booth and pushes me out of the way, slamming me into the wall, and grabbing the register.)


(The entire store has gone silent. Everyone is staring at [Customer #1].)

Me: *holding my hurt arm* “Ma’am, I—”


(My manager walks over, attracted by the commotion, and stops in shock.)


Customer #1: *sweet as sugar again* “Oh, hello there! This cashier won’t let me check out my items, so I, of course, had to try and—”

(My manager has this look in her eye; we jokingly call it the “Death Glare.” You do not want to be on the receiving end. Needless to say, as my manager glares at this woman with the Death Glare, she seems to shrink and go white.)

Manager: *acid in her voice* “Are you trying to tell me that my cashier wouldn’t let you check out your…” *quick count* “…over twenty items in the ten-items-or-less line?

Customer #1: “I… yes…”

Manager: “And when she kindly refused you, you ran around the counter, shoved her out of the way into the wall, and tried to make her teach you how to check out your items?”

Customer #1: “I… I can move…” *tries to move out of the way, but my manager blocks her*

Manager: “No. You’re not going anywhere.” *to my coworker, standing there in shock* “Call the police.”

Customer #1: “N-NO! WAIT! PLEASE DON’T CALL THE COPS!” *breaks down in the fakest tears I have ever seen in my life* “I… I CAN’T GO TO JAIL!

Coworker: “The police are on their way.”

Manager: “Good.”

(Five minutes later, two police officers walk through the door. [Customer #1] immediately stops fake crying, and loses what little color she had regained.)

Customer #1: “NOOOOOO!”

(She shoves my manager out of the way, tries to make a mad dash for the door, but the police officers catch her and take her away, still screaming.)


(The customers start moving again. [Customer #2] comes up to my line. I am shaking.)

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, I need a moment.”

Customer #2: “That’s fine. I cannot believe someone would freak out like that. Are you okay?”

Me: “Yeah, just a little… shaken up.”

Manager: “Well, I commend you for keeping your cool and staying polite even as that happened.” *grins, pats me on the shoulder, and returns to work*

(I check out [Customer #2], who smiles at me and leaves. My coworker turns to me.)

Coworker: “Did that just happen?”

Me: “Yeah. We’ve got the cart of stuff to prove it!”

(That was the last I heard of [Customer #1].)

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Shouldering This Prediction

, , , | Friendly | August 27, 2018

(My husband and I are driving along a fairly busy four-lane highway, in the left-hand lane. We are on our way to look at a furniture sale. He is driving and I am looking through the sales paper at the deals the store is offering that weekend. Suddenly, my husband hit his brakes.)

Husband: “S***!”

Me: *dropping the paper and looking up* “What happened?”

Husband: “Look in front of us! This lady is crazy!”

(A middle-aged woman in an Infinity has just zipped in between our truck and the SUV we were driving behind. She is so close to the SUV, it looks like she’s attached herself to its bumper. Even after hitting the brakes, we are also still incredibly close to her at the moment, too. Keep in mind, we are in my husband’s Ford F-150, and the SUV ahead of us is pretty large, too. If [Husband] hadn’t been paying attention, this lady in her Infinity would have gotten crushed between the two when she suddenly pulled between us like that.)

Me: “She seems to be swerving a little… Maybe we should write down her license plate?”

(As soon as I say this, she suddenly swerves over again into the right-hand lane, then all the way over into the paved shoulder of the road. She then USES THE SHOULDER to pass several people before swerving back into the actual traffic lanes! She continues to do this, even almost hitting a guardrail head-on when she whips back into the shoulder to pass another car in the right-hand lane.)

Me: “Oh, my God! She’s going to kill someone!”

Husband: “Where are all those highway patrol cars we saw out here last weekend? One would be nice right about now. Did you get her license plate?”

Me: “No, I wish I had, though. Seriously, she is going to cause an accident!”

(The lady is soon out of sight. About ten minutes later, we notice traffic slowing down and see a minivan pulling off into the center-median area that separates the east and westbound lanes.)

Husband: “You don’t think she crashed, do you?”

Me: “I’m not sure. We’re about to find out.”

(It wasn’t the Infinity, but another car that had gone into the median and was now straddling the wire fence running down the middle. The person in the mini-van was already out of their car and checking on the person in the Honda. We slowed and pulled into the median to ask if we needed to call 911, but the first person who stopped had already done so, and it seemed like the person who wrecked was shaken up, but not seriously injured. Apparently, “someone” had swerved in front of him and he over-corrected, ending up in the median. The “someone” kept on driving.)

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