Servers From Around The World Share How They Got Revenge On Rude Customers

Servers From Around The World Share How They Got Revenge On Rude Customers

It's a really bad idea to start drama with the people who handle your food. Not only are you betting that they won't spit on your burger, but it also just makes you look like a tasteless jerk who things servers and bartenders are "beneath you."

These servers from all around the world snapped back at rude customers -- some with words, others with deeds. Even better, they took to the internet to share how they got their revenge on insensitive diners.

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45. The old "I know the manager" routine

There was a customer who said he knew the manager to one of my buddies who was working as a waiter. Usually this just means that they’re trying to get something for free -- because they never actually know the manager -- but I guess my buddy wanted to have some fun on this particular night. I heard the waiter exclaim, “Oh, you know Dave!” to the customer, all excited.

I couldn’t help but eavesdrop to the rest of the conversation. The waiter basically strung this customer along long enough to bring out the manager and pointedly say, “Hey, Steve, I didn’t know you went by Dave!”

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44. "I love all my tables..."

I had a large table at the end of the night. They were okay, except for one incredibly annoying guy. He was the guy that was so sure he was the funniest in any room and kept being obnoxious and would make jokes at my expense. They were not hurtful or rude per se, but obviously he didn’t care how I felt about it and knew, as a server, I couldn’t say anything.

So, near the end of the meal, everything had been going well but he kept up his schtick and someone commented about their group and “funny guy” says, “Oh, I bet this server hates us! Am I right?” To which I replied, “No sir. I love all my tables. Some when they sit down and others when they leave, but I love them all.”

To which everyone at the table laughed. Then a few seconds in, as they realized that I might be talking about them, it turned into nervous laughter


43. Her whole life has been babysitting

I’ve served this couple a few times and the husband is always pretty demanding and rude to me AND to his wife. I feel bad for her. At some point during the service I mentioned that I have a child (can’t remember the context). Toward the end of the meal I asked if I could take anything away -- plates, etc. The jerk husband says, “Yeah, HER,” gesturing to his wife.

He elaborates, saying “Hey maybe you could use her, she’s done a lot of babysitting.” I glanced at him and then looked her in the face and said, “Clearly.” I ignored him for the rest of their time there and spoke only to the wife. She paid the bill and tipped me well.

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42. Iced tea with a little something extra

Some lady ended up with a dirty teaspoon and flung it across the table at me, hitting me in the chest. I smiled, apologized, and promised to fix the problem. I got her a new iced tea, with some of my spit in it. She told me it was much better. I smiled, apologized again, and went about my business.

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41. Won't pay the difference

A lady was complaining about her drink, claiming it didn’t “taste right.” I think it was too strong for her and she was ashamed to admit it. We have no problem pouring a new one, but she wanted to swap it out for a completely different, much more expensive drink. I explained to her she would have to pay the difference but she refused, saying that we messed up her drink and she should get a free one.

After arguing for about five minutes, I started to walk away. She then started demanding for a manager, which was me. Then she was like, “Well I want to talk to your boss.” So I said, “Then go find him.” She said, “So I’m the customer, you’re the employee, and YOU’RE telling ME to find YOUR boss?” I looked her in the eye and said, “Yes.” Like dead on and then walked away. She ended up leaving.

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40. The hairy salad

We had a customer who got a salad and when she was finished she placed one of her hairs in the bowl to try to get it refunded. She got the complimentary “I’m sorry” free bakery item. She did this every day. Finally, the manager sat down at her table and told her this was her last day eating in the cafe, as they would refuse her refund today and refuse her service in the future.

She started to say something about the customer always being right and he just put up a hand to cut her off and said, “You cause us to lose money every day. You’re absolutely not our customer, you are a liability, and you are no longer welcome here.”

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39. False competition

I live in a small town and worked in a Fish and Chip shop, one of two in the area. We were a tourist town, and one of the main attractions was the award-winning fish and chips. People in the town believed we were in massive competition with the other shop, but we weren’t. We had 25 plus staff and they had around seven, so we were serving thousands more customers than them.

So, on the rare occasion whenever a customer got angry, they would simply exclaim, “Well I’m going to [insert competitor’s name here] AND I WON’T BE BACK.” Like it was a big deal and would really hurt our feelings and business. We would simply tell them that we don’t want them back, and they should enjoy the food from the other shop.

The truth was that we owned both shops. So yeah, you really showed us!

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38. Any given sunday

This woman comes in every Sunday and complains every single time. This past week she said, “I won’t be coming back!” And my manager goes, “Alright, I’ll see you next week.”

Of course, she came back the very next week. And of course she complained about our wait time even though she knows very well Sundays are our busiest days. The pos-church crowd is easily one of the most entitled groups of people generally speaking, and she is apart of it. Every. Sunday.

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37. The size doesn't matter

A buddy of mine was serving a table with an eight-year-old kid. He gives her an adult glass for her apple juice. The dad pipes up and says he doesn’t want her having all that sugar so he needed to take it away and come back with a kid-sized one. My friend replied that the glasses are the same size but the adult size just looks bigger because they have thick bottoms.

The dad responds that “the adult glass is clearly bigger and LIKE I SAID I don’t want her to have all that sugar.”

My buddy is a jerk, so this is is opportunity. He gives a super deliberate exaggerated nod, says nothing, and marches to our little service alley behind the bar. He re-emerges with a kid’s cup, sets it down beside the glass, picks up the glass and pours the adult glass, lifting it progressively higher until the last drop is dropped from like a foot over the glass. I died.

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36. Walk it off, lady

Rude lady to our gay cashier: "Sorry, I don't speak gay."

Cashier: "That's okay, I'm fluent in moron."

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35. What a charmer

I work bottle service at a high end club and some of the stuff I hear from customers is so offensive I can't even believe people say it.

I was working a party for a bunch of investment banker/hedge-fund types and this guy comes up to me and asks me to dinner. I politely decline and say no, that I have a boyfriend. He then looks at me and says, "I don't give a [bleep] about your boyfriend. And you shouldn't either. We're young and I just like to hook up all night. Interested?"

I had security escort him out when he kept hitting on me. I don't know how I resisted such class.

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34. When the customer is also the owner

The owner of a coffee shop I worked at came in during a particularly busy rush on a Sunday which was one of our busiest days. After serving him he told me he wished he could go back in time and break my parents up so I was never born because it was the worst service he had ever had.

Mind you I paid extra attention to his table because he's the owner. After telling him that he needed to be a little more patient because I was the only server and it was very busy he said that if he was a paying customer he'd make me pay for the meal and then said something like he couldn't believe I could tie my shoes in the morning considering how bad I was at serving.

I told him to fire me then and he balked. I worked there for another year without a word from him.

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33. Let's go back to kindergarten

This happened to me at Hooters the other day. A guy orders a Blue Moon seasonal draft, so I bring it to him. I don't pour the drinks myself so I trust it's correct. I know what Blue Moon draft looks like, so thought the seasonal looks a lot like it (same color).

Later, the same guy orders another one, and the beer the bartender gives me is a dark draft instead of the orange colored one I gave him earlier. So I knew the bartender accidentally poured a regular Blue Moon earlier. I bring the correct drink to the table and am about to explain the guy he had gotten the wrong draft earlier, that here was the correct one now, and I would have the charge for the first beer gotten rid of.

Before I can say anything, the guy holds up his first glass (with a little bit of the orange colored draft in it) and says,

"Excuse me miss, but do you really think these are the same drink? Do you need to learn your colors? Lets go back to kindergarten. This color is ORANGE and that color is BROWN!"

I let him embarrass his 14-year-old daughter as much as possible before bringing him the wrong drink again. He didn't notice.

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32. I'm not a dog

I worked at a very high end sushi restaurant. A guy at one of my co-worker's tables started snapping his fingers at the waiter from across the dining room. Unfortunately for the customer, the server had a short fuse and had already been dealing with this kind of nonsense all night.

So my colleague walks over to the guy snapping his fingers, and says, I kid you not, " Do I look like a [bleeping] dog to you? Don't you dare snap your fingers at me you deadbeat." Then he just walked away.

The whole table starting laughing at this guy who was in shock. The guy was too embarrassed to say anything to a manager.

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31. You make me wait? I'll make you wait

I worked at a busy hotel restaurant in downtown Tampa, FL.

Once, I had two businessmen come in for lunch. The one guy was on his phone, and I tried to wait until he got off the phone but he was taking too long with his conversation, so I went over to the table. I ask them what they'd like to drink, they both order.

I come back with their drinks and ask what they'd like to eat. The one guy is still on the phone, and it's getting really frustrating trying to communicate with him when he's obviously having an important conversation and doesn't want me to interrupt him. So I take the guy's order who is not on the phone, and then turn to the guy who is still chatting away.

He indicates me to come closer with his free hand, so I assume he's going to whisper it to me or something, but instead, he takes my pen right out of my hand and starts writing something down (from his phone call, NOT to give me his order). I was so over it at this point. I was like, screw that guy, and left. It was the rudest thing anyone had ever done to me. Like, I've been called names and told I'm a bad server, but that just ticked me off. I wasn't even WORTH that guy's time.

The other guy at his table looked beside himself, he was so embarrassed at his friend's behavior. So I put in the other guy's order, and I didn't go back to the table since I took the order, so when I bring the non-phone guy's food, the phone guy is FINALLY off the phone and asks, "Well when are you going to take MY order?" And I say, with the sweetest smile, "I'm sorry sir, I don't have anything to write it down with."

He gives me my pen back and I take his order, but I make sure to take a looooong time to bring his food and refill his drinks. Like, an hour. His food was definitely cold.  I don't remember if I got a tip, but I didn't care.

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30. Enjoy your spit sandwich

Working at Steak 'n Shake around midnight. A guy at the counter, who's been snippy with his waitress since he walked in the door, calls her a... well, the worst word you can call a woman, all because she forgot his iced tea. And not even under his breath -- it was loud enough for her to hear as she walked away and me to hear down the line.

It is one of only three times in my 4 years of food service that I saw food being deliberately tampered with. I felt it was fully justified.

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29. You want it hot? You got it hot

I used to work at a restaurant in a hotel. This guy orders a hot tea. So the coffee machine makes the hot water from a separate spigot, and it comes out like boiling hot. I don't make the water hot myself, it comes out hot. I fill up a tea pot and bring it to him.

He says it's not hot enough. So I apologize and check the machine to make sure it's working right (it is) and get him another pot of hot water, and go about my business.

He calls me over, and has his finger inside the water, and goes, "This water is NOT hot. I ordered a hot tea yesterday, and the server last night was able to bring me hot water. Is there something wrong with you?" I apologize again, but this time I'm furious.

So I get hot water from the coffee machine, and I put it in the microwave for like ten minutes. It's hot as lava. I put it in a tea pot and give it to him, and smile and say, "I made sure it's hot this time."

He then calls my manager over because I gave him this boiling hot water, and I can't do anything right, and blah blah, and it's hilarious. My manager is like, "Sir, what temperature would you like this water at? Just give me the exact temperature and I will get it there, because I'm not sure how else to make you happy."

She later told me not to do that again, but she honestly didn't give an eff because that guy was being a total pain.

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28. Hurts even more when it's your mom

My first job was at Waffle House. My parents came in during breakfast to give me some support and see how I was doing; it was their first time coming to visit. But they picked probably the busiest time of the morning--every table in my section was full and I had only been on the job a few weeks so I was still a little daunted. My mother stiffed me on a tip because I didn't refill her coffee fast enough for her liking. She thought it was hilarious.

I didn't speak to her for a week. She has never stiffed a server since.

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27. On last burn before I quit

A few weeks ago I was working my final shift in a pub local to my uni house, and we'd had a business meeting or something in (lots of guys in suits acting like idiots) and I was fortunate enough to cover their table. By the time they got to ordering their main course I was sick of their remarks about my petite figure (some bordering on harassment), they made me repeat the various different cooks of steak at least twice for all 10 of them, they were rude, obnoxious, and generally downright unpleasant.

As I was bringing their mains out, I was holding one of the plates with my thumb in such a way that (apparently) the recipient thought I was pressing my thumb into it (I wasn't; that's incredibly poor hygiene practice).

So when I arrived at the table I was immediately verbally accosted by not only the recipient but their entourage. After a few minutes of this the recipient finally got around to "Why my thumb was on his steak." I'd had more than enough, so I replied, "Well I have chronic eczema, and keeping it moist helps to reduce the pain and bleeding, your steak was ideal for just that."

For a few moments the table fell silent, the recipient (seemingly trying to be the alpha male of the table) was quickly trying to come up with a come back, which went along the lines of, "Well next time you feel the need to do that stick it up your backside. I want to speak to your manager."

What he wasn't expecting was my response of, "But sir, where do you think I keep my thumb when I'm in the kitchen?" Went and got my boss, clocked off, walked out and never looked back.

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26. I don't know how you kept your job, but good for you

I don't know how this didn't get me fired instantly. This table was a 6-top that was out celebrating a birthday or something. These people were among the worst I had ever dealt with. The two kids would suck down their sodas as fast as I could refill them and start complaining the second they ran out. The adults were just trying to get as hammered as possible, as quickly as they were able to, and for as cheap as could be done. T

he only decent person at that table was an old lady, the mother I assume, who looked horrified the entire time and snuck out to the car before things got out of hand.

Long story short: for two hours these people sat and insulted me for my profession, told me that the only way to succeed is to be your own boss (they owned a landscaping business or something), lectured on how God takes care of those who take care of themselves and all sorts of insulting stuff. But I gritted my teeth and worked through it.

Then, at the end they try and tip me about $5 worth of loose change on a $300 bill. I freaking lost it! I followed them to the parking lot with the pile of change and said, "you forgot something." And before they could even register what was happening I threw the whole pile of change on the ground, told the main male in the group he was a piece of craps who needed to teach his family some common decency and manners, stormed off and got in my car and drove home.

I didn't get fired but my manager was "very disappointed". I worked there another two or three weeks before I finally quit.

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25. Treat me like crap, you get crappy service

I worked as a server at a bar and this guy sitting in my section was a total jerk to me all night, even though I was sweet to him. After taking care of him for about an hour, I was incredibly frustrated, but still giving excellent service. Then he said something along the lines of, "If you want a tip, you're gonna have to do better than that sweetheart!"

Screw you, sir. If you think I'm gonna kiss your cheap butt just to get a $2 tip on your $80 tab, you're insane. I took everyone else's orders before his, and I brought his drinks out one at a time. Everyone else at his table got theirs first.

This whole time, I'm still being super sweet to him -- "Oh, so sorry that took awhile sir, we had to restart the computers," etc. -- so that he can't complain to my manager about any sort of attitude. This was around 12:30 and the cutoff for ordering drinks is at 1:50am (depending on the size of the crowd), so I waited until 1:51 and informed him he had 9 minutes to finish his drink and leave.

Between the time he made the tip comment and 1:50 I managed to get away with serving him only 3 drinks. When 2:00am rolled around, he wasn't done with his drink, so I walked up to him and took it (policy). He gave me the meanest look I have ever seen and he called me a name. I had our bouncer throw him out.

Treat me like crap, you get crappy service.

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24. You're not getting lucky

Bartender. This guy used to come into my bar late at night, always with a different woman. He was incredibly rude, (a money waver and yeller and just all around unbearable). So I waited until he brought in a girl that was especially attractive and then casually asked him if he could thank the girl that he'd brought in the night before because she "tipped me really well." His date left without him about half an hour later.

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23. Don't mess with Starbucks staff

Ex-barista. In general, if you're rude you get decaf. But my real joy came from messing with one customer in particular. Every. Single. Day.

We'll call him "Dean." Dean used to come in twice a day, and order three extra-hot triple grande lattes. Same thing every day. He was a real piece of work. Always mean to the new guys, freaking out if they didn't get his order exactly right, always complaining about our store even though he was the most die-hard "regular".

He walked in like he owned the place. And the worst part was, after a while, it was like he did. The staff tripped over themselves to make sure this guy was happy. The line could be out the door, and then whispers of "Dean is here!" would be echoed throughout the store, and making his drinks would become the store's top priority. He was rude, didn't tip, and yet, he was treated like royalty.

I could only resist in one small way as a 16-year-old, but I looked forward to it every day. If I was working the register, or if I was the barista asking the line for their drink orders, I would look at him with the blankest of expressions, and innocently ask for his drink order.

Every day, I saw the expectation in his eyes, that I would finally remember his freaking three triple grande extra hot lattes. And then the very next day, I would "forget." He must have thought I was the biggest idiot in the world, or suffered from "50 First Dates" level short-term amnesia. For 2 years, he would sigh in exasperation, roll his eyes, and repeat through gritted teeth his order. And for 2 years, I would leave work knowing that I had ruined this idiot's day. It was awesome.

Dean, because I couldn't say it then -- screw you.

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22. Ok boomer

I work at Arby's, and one time, a woman in her mid thirties came in, and started being extremely rude, complained about everything, and called us all horrible names. I gave her the senior discount. She didn't say a word afterwards.

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21. Polite and by the book, but biting

Perhaps this isn't as satisfying as, say, punching a customer in the face, but this was the most vindicated I ever felt.

I worked as a host and back waiter at a AAA 4 Diamond restaurant, and we had a just terrible customer come in. She complained about everything, from the way I offered to take her coat ("don't point at me" ... I wasn't pointing) to the bread ("it's too yeasty") to the free amuse bouche ("I wouldn't feed it to my dog and you better not charge me for it" ... right, it's an amuse, you won't be charged for it, and it's a prix fixe menu anyway).

She harrumphed and complained about every course. Called the kitchen staff idiots. Argued about the costs of everything. Returned the second course twice and was about to return it a third time.

Finally, Chef walks out of the kitchen, leans down at her table very politely and says, "Ma'am, I'm afraid we won't be able to satisfy you this evening, so I won't be dropping a check, but we would like you to leave. At your leisure. Please let us know if we can make you a drink, and if we can make you a reservation elsewhere, we'll gladly assist you."

It was so polite and helpful, but also kind of a screw you. She ended up leaving very quickly.

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20. Flip the script

Delivery driver. Dude would tip only the change. One time the pizzas was 18.95 and he gave me the nickel. He ordered from us almost daily. All the drivers were sick of him. So next time I delivered his pizza to him, I casually handed the pizza to him upside down. He never ordered from us again.

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19. We don't serve your kind here

I work at a chain pizza place in a small town, so many of our customers are regulars that visit 2-3 times a week. One such customer has been dubbed Old Grouchy Beard by our store manager. He's probably 55-60, has a huge white Duck Dynasty-style beard, and is racist. Not casually, passively racist like many people are without acknowledging it. He is incredibly, unabashedly racist.

We have one black guy on our payroll, and OGB won't have anything to do with him. If he's working the front counter, this guy will stand there and stare at the menu like no one is there until a white employee comes to take his order. Every time he orders while the black dude is there, Old Beard will nod toward him and ask "Is he gon' touch it?" If we say yes, he'll just walk out.

Our store manager says we have to "pick our battles" and we're not allowed to be rude to him or refuse him service, though we all agree he's a massive loser.

One day, while the manager wasn't there, I was working the front counter. He came in, and I just said in my sweetest customer voice, "I'm sorry, sir. We don't serve your kind here."

I'm not sure what his expression was - he always wears sunglasses - but he just stood there looking at me. I just kept smiling until he called me a slur under his breath and walked out.

Now there are two people at my store he won't talk to.

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18. I'm so glad people applauded

This guy was a regular, and also a total scumbag. Would snap his fingers/yell across the restaurant to get my attention, snottily mumble orders instead of asking for things like a normal person, completely ignore me if I came to the table and he didn't need anything, etc.

The event in question was on a busy weekend. I was the only server (small restaurant that only sat 40-ish people) and was running around like a madwoman because most of the tables were filled and there was one "big" party (8 people) there as well. This party was seated next to scumbag's table. I admittedly hadn't checked on his group since bringing them their food, but I hadn't been gone long.

I had a tray of plates for the big party in my hand, and as I was moving towards their table, scumbag decided to get my attention by swinging his arm out into the aisle, catching me in the legs. I could've fallen, plates would've broken, and very hot food could've gone all over people, namely the little kids who were seated at the end of the table.

I put the tray down and lost it on the guy. I was quiet at first, but the angrier I got the louder I got until I was yelling at him about how his obscenely rude, childish behavior could have seriously burned little kids, injured me, caused damage to the restaurant and potentially gotten us sued, just because he wanted a refill.

To my surprise, people started applauding at the end of my tirade, I didn't get fired that night, and scumbag... didn't really quit being a scumbag, but he was certainly quieter. Given his attitude I'm surprised he didn't complain to the owner about my behavior, but I'm not gonna sweat it.

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17. All over some chicken wings

I worked at a chain sport bar. The servers did everything from serving the food to busting the table.

One of my coworkers had this lady who was one of the most rude people to ever come into the restaurant. So we had a wing special going on and of course this is what the lady ordered. When you order wings it comes in 2 boats. One boat is for the wings and the other is for the bones. This lady tried every wing sauce then ordered.

Once the order was brought to her she insisted it was too spicy though she ate more than half of the wings and requested a different sauce. She was then mad because the server did exchange the wings that were too spicy for another sauce, but only the same amount that she had left to eat.

The lady caused a scene with the server, then proceeded to dump her bones around the table. The server had to pick up these with her hands. So the server picked up the bones and put them in a boat. The server then dumped the wings on the lady and told her, "Do not EVER come back!"

The server immediately quit because she knew she would be fired. She was then rehired month later. She was a hero to all servers that day.

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16. Wavy gravy

There was a guy who came into the restaurant where I worked on the waiting side, complete knob. Complained about everything. Moved tables multiple times, clicked his fingers when he wanted someones attention until they came to the table. Talked down to everyone and sent every course back multiple times.

It was a hotel restaurant so this went on for a week till the third night the chef got sick of him and started screwing up his meals deliberately because well he was going to complain anyway. Raw instead of steamed veg, underdone steak (for what he ordered which was well done), lumpy mash but the best of all was near the end of his visit with us.

The guy came in and places his order. There was a gravy on the meal so the chef sent it out and it was perfect. Stunning I know because when it got sent back without being touched I got to eat it and the chef made another while I watched and ate the first (it was a quiet night).

The chef had finally had enough. So opened the grease trap above the cooker and got a nice big slimy handful and chucked it into the gravy. Mixed it all in and this stuff was freaking vile. Then he sent it back out to the guy. The guest ate it... still complained about it being cold, but he ate it.

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15. Sometimes kindness is the best revenge

Killing people with kindness is what I go straight for. either they give you dirty looks and are disappointed by the end of their stay, or they break.

Either way, I don't have to deal with their crap.

I had a really rambunctious family come in, and the parents were extremely neglectful of their children. They ordered hot chocolates for like 5 kids, elementary school ages, after some time giving me guff about the coffee quality and how they wanted "better" coffee/a new pot.

In response I gave all their children hot chocolates with a whipped cream about 3 inches high off the mug. Then got their coffee about 5 minutes later. When I finally came back to check in and give them their coffee, the kids were such a mess, so hyper, and bugging the crap out of the parents, that it was worth it.

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14. Kindness taken to the extreme

I prefer to (obviously) "kill them with kindness." Best example would be a particularly needy family I served about a year ago that repeatedly had me running to get sides of dressing, drink refills, more breadsticks... Something different each time I returned.

It reached a critical level of ridiculousness and I started in with my sarcastic grin and, "Of course I'll get that for you. It would be my pleasure." "More breadsticks? Absolutely! They're bottomless, which means I can't wait to bring you more."

What I remember most about this table in particular is that after all my fake smiles and thick sarcasm that they were clearly picking up on, I dropped off their change and gave them one last jab: "Make sure y'all get home safe." To which the mom replied, "We hope you get in an accident on the way home."

It felt good to know the hate was mutual and there was no way for them to complain to management.

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13. So I guess just serve yourself?

At my restaurant, if people seat themselves we completely ignore them and when they finally freak out and call us over we say "Oh I'm so sorry sir, whoever sat you will be along to help you shortly" and explain the policy that since we don't have a hostess the waitstaff "serves who they seat."

There is a VERY obvious 'Please Wait to Be Seated' sign, and those who blatantly ignore it deserve the looks of shock they get when I explain this to them. They can't even try to argue it and it's wonderful.

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12. Please and thank you open doors

Like I said in the other thread, I'm part of the service staff. It was a bit slow so I ran some food out to the bar for two guys. They're already noticeably hammered but the bartender was letting it slide. Bought out their order of wings and they asked for some additional blue cheese. Takes 2 seconds to get it to them.

Then, they ask for something else. I get it for them. There's no "please" or "thank you" given.

So I called the bartender over and told him that the manager is on the cameras, so card everyone. They order drinks and turn over a fake ID. They got thrown out with the quickness. The thing is, the manager wasn't even around.

Kindness goes a long way.

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11. Don't make my servers cry

I worked the prep line at a major sit down burger restaurant. Busy Sunday rush, a party comes in which includes a complete and total witch. The server is a very small girl, like just over 4 feet, and queenwitch is treating her like garbage while they all order food.

Order gets placed, food goes out, queenwitch complains and gripes and takes it out on the server. Server is crying at this point, full on sobbing, and returns the food to the back to me and says the lady wants it to go because we obviously can't make it correct in time for them to leave for their afternoon movie or whatever. Server runs to the back to cry.

Okay. I can take care of this. Remake her food, condiments come from the crusty corners of the mayo/mustard/ketchup pans. Lettuce and tomato are the freeze-dried pieces from the bottoms of their pans. And the fries. Good god the fries. I reached behind the fry drop next to the grease fryers and scrape crusty, old, dehydrated fries that have been there for hours into her to-go box and seal that shit up. Drew a smiley face on top and sent it out.

As queenwitch was leaving I saw her pop the box open and eat a fry. Afterwards I told the server what I did. She was equal parts furious I did that to her guest, and grateful that I cared enough about her to get revenge. I told her we look out for each other, it was a crazy busy Sunday after all.

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10. Sweet but sour

We have sweet biscuits with icing on top. Every weekend this lady comes in and wants them fresh with extra icing. But every time something is wrong, with the main complaint being that’s it’s too cold, probably because of all the extra icing on top. Well, the last time she came in, we give her the biscuit, fresh out the oven and loaded down with icing, but she still said it’s cold.

The manager tells her the only way to get it any hotter would be to melt the icing in the microwave, which we refuse to do. The lady has a conniption, demanding to know why. My manager came up with the perfect response. She said, “because sugar is hotter than the seven sons of heck when it’s heated up like that and no matter how much you deserved it, I refuse to give you an excuse to have a lawsuit against us.”

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9. Dad to the rescue

When I was 15 and working at my family’s restaurant, there was a Christmas party and they booked out the front room. This one old guy kept complaining every time I brought him food and took it away. When dessert came, he made some snide comment and I burst into tears. When I got back to the kitchen my dad saw me crying and asked what was wrong. I said it’s okay and not to worry.

Next minute, my dad storms out of the kitchen and asks the entire front room who made his daughter cry. The room goes silent and everyone points him out. Dad rips into him for making a child cry and told him he’s not welcome back. Old guy tries to defend himself saying I wasn’t doing my job. Dad said something along the line of him not doing a good job as a human. I miss working with him!

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8. Creme de la creme

I work in an ice cream shop and one day a man ordered a shake, drank the whole thing, and then demanded a refund because he claimed the whipped cream tasted sour, which is impossible because we make it in house every day. My manager, a 53-year-old Indian man, proceeded to take the cup from him, then grabbed a spoon and ate the whipped cream right out of the cup, then says, “it tastes fine to me, get out of my store.”

Maybe it was a little overkill, but it was one way to deal with it.

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7. Moral victories are sometimes all you get

A regular at the place I work will tap her martini glass with a fork, wait for me to turn and make eye contact, and then call across the room, “MORE MARTINIS!” or “WE’RE READY FOR OUR FOOD NOW!” Sometimes I’ll see how many times she taps, because I know she knows that it’s trashy, and she’ll start to get uncomfortable but still keep going.

So it’ll go: tap, tap, tap. Silence. Tap, tap, tap. Someone will point out that she’s trying to get my attention, but I’ll tell them to give it a few more taps. It’s hard to not acknowledge her, but I wanted to make sure everyone hears her tapping before I ask “More martinis?” By then, she usually has the whole dining room looking at her sideways, which is enough for me.

Small victories are the best victories in the service industry.

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6. This isn't a desert

Table of 10, Sunday brunch, fancy restaurant, and I’m hungover. A crowd swarms in right as we open and my whole section is sat at once. I’m efficient and cool—I’m used to this. I get to the big table and preface that water is being brought as we speak, then begin taking everyone’s drink order. As I’m taking orders around the table, one woman blurts out that she wants water and not to forget the water, interrupting her friends and family as they make their requests.

I acknowledge her each time until after the fourth time, when I said, “If you ask for water again, I’ll make sure everyone here gets water but you.” She sank back in her chair looking dumbfounded as I put in the order then headed to the bar.

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5. The pizza connoisseur

I used to work at a pizza store. I had literally just made a pizza and put it in the box. This Karen type lady breezes in and just states, “Pepperoni.” And shoves her card in my face. I ring her up, turn around, grab and show her the pizza. She barely looks at it and just tells me it’s old. “Make one fresh.” I tell her sure thing, just five minutes.

I take the pizza into the back. I put a new one in the oven. After this one comes out, I take it, cut it, and box it up. Then, I grab the original pizza and bring it out. “Careful, it is very hot miss.” I show it to her and she just starts talking about how perfect it is. She leaves and I just laugh and go back to more of the same.

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4. Did you think that would impress her?

For context, I’m a female in my 20s working at a fine dining restaurant. This older guy kept bothering me all night. Doing stuff like ordering crudités and then calling it rabbit food and sending it back. At the end of the meal he says, “Where do I put this comment card?” I said, “See that black box over there? Right in there!”

He responded with the most inappropriate comment I ever heard from a customer. He seriously asked me, “Did you just ask me to stuff your box?”

I said, “Never in a hundred million years, sir. I need to actually help people now.” His friends started cracking up and his face turned bright red. I don’t understand people who make inappropriate comments like that in public. It made the entire meal uncomfortable and his friends were clearly not impressed by the way he was treating me.

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3. A table for one

This is kind of a long one. I was working at a restaurant at a resort. The guest is a Type A jerk. He obviously has to be the “group leader” of a table full of four or five other dudes. During my spiel, I tell the table we are out of a certain THING (I don’t remember what or why). I start taking the table’s order and get to him. He asked for the thing we were out of and I reiterated: we were out of it.

He then said he’d have to call up his good friend, the general manager, and see if they could find any for him. I said: “You’re more than welcome to do so but the number on the business card you picked up at the front is an office number, not their personal phone. Also, they’re the one that just told me we’re out of this thing. Maybe if you called in advance to let your GOOD FRIEND know you were coming we could have held some back specially for you.”

Now this may not seem all that destructive but to this guy, at this table full of his colleagues, it was BRUTAL. He TRIED to save face but it failed so hard. He said, “Well, if you can’t keep your food in stock then we probably should have gone somewhere else to eat.” The gauntlet has been thrown down. I said, “That’s an excellent idea, sir. Would you like me to check if there is a table free at our steakhouse?”

He said yes and then he started talking to the other guys in the group like somehow the restaurant was in the wrong here. They’re ALL just looking at him like he’s a complete jerk, because he is. I go to the phone, call the steakhouse, and ask if they have space for ONE. They do. Good. Back to the table. I said, “You’ll be happy to know, sir, that our steakhouse is able to accommodate you and will have a table waiting when you arrive.”

This guy, in the rudest voice he can muster, which is nowhere NEAR as rude as I could be, said, “THANK YOU for SOME KIND of service.” He turns to the rest of the table and says, “Let’s go, guys.” That’s when I say, “I’m sorry, sir, I was under the impression you would be dining alone and didn’t ask if they could take a party this size. I assumed they’d be dining with us seeing as they all ordered items we have available.”

The guy just looks dumbfounded and while he’s standing there trying to process this one of the dudes at the table chimes in: “Don’t worry about it, head on down there. We’ll meet up at the bar for drinks later.” The rude guy grabs his drink, says nothing, and walks out. He hits the door and the rest of the table goes into that quiet “what a jerk” laugh that only men of a certain age and income bracket are able to do properly.

Later on, the dude called my manager and complained about me. When my manager talked to the other guys at the table, they had my back the entire way. It was beautiful.

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2. Time punishes all of us

I was serving a table with a couple and their toddler. The two sat on the same side of the booth, kissed, etc., so I knew they were a couple, but the woman looked much older. Like she looked terrible. I’m sure it was substance abuse of some kind, but it was noticeable. So she’s super rude to me the entire time. She asked for her eggs over easy hard.

I explained to her that her eggs could either be over easy and over hard, and what both meant. She then got really patronizing, saying things like “Bless your heart” and asking for a real server. I told her that I know how eggs are cooked, and asked if she meant over medium. That’s when she got verbally abusive and asked “How hard is your job? Honestly, how hard is it to just serve people eggs?”

I’d had it. I gave her order to the cook, and of course, he asked me what she meant. I told him to just make them over medium, as I felt like that was what she meant. I gave her the eggs and she sighed real heavy. She said, “I’m sorry, was my order too hard? Did you not understand me? What kind of place is this that nobody can make me eggs?”

I took a deep breath, and went all in with a brutal insult.I said, “Ma’am, I apologize to you, your son, and your grandson. Let me go ahead and comp your meal.” Her face twisted up and got so red I thought it was going to pop off of her face. She yelled, “THIS IS MY HUSBAND AND THAT’S MY SON!” Oh boy, it was so worth it. She began screaming for my manager.

I got my manager. He yelled at me in the office, but couldn’t prove that I was purposefully disingenuous. So I didn’t even get written up. It was awesome.

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1. An ominous "how's your sandwich?"

I worked at a private club, once. One guy, in his mid-20s, came in with the rest of his family-about 10 people. Despite his young age, he was obviously taking up drinking as a hobby and he wasn't nice when he was on the sauce, either. In fact, I'd waited on him previously, and he was a pretty insufferable piece of crap.

The last time he came in, this guy would order double screwdrivers and try to pound them as fast as possible. Unfortunately for both of us, the club was starting to be big on moderating service, which means that you have to slow service to people who seem intent on killing all their brain cells, and cut them off if they're visibly intoxicated. Real fun stuff when you work in a club full of entitled jerks as it is. I had my work cut out for me.

I'd hoped that this guy would be on better behavior this time since he was with his family. Nope. He ordered a double screwdriver, sucked it down in minutes and ordered another, which I also brought. After that, I took their lunch order and then explained the moderated service policy to the table so they would understand, and everyone else thought it was reasonable. Not him. He started calling me stupid, then he got more personal with his insults because he had to wait 15 minutes until he could have another drink. His family was mortified but silent on the subject. They basically tried to be endlessly gracious to make up for his behavior.

Right before their order was up, he demanded his drink and I said I would bring it after I served the meal. He called me the c-word. I went back to the kitchen, doing a slow burn. Something biological definitely did NOT make it into his sandwich and then cleverly hidden, because that would be disgusting and probably illegal.

Anyway, I calmly brought out and delivered the meal. Everyone was thankful, except for the verbal abuser. He demanded his drink, and I calmly brought that to him. "FINALLY," he said. "I can't believe someone so stupid can even work here, etc. etc." (I'm paraphrasing.)

He was still going on about how stupid I was when I looked him right in the eyeball and said, with an ever so slight suggestion of irony,"How's your sandwich?"

He was surprised at the drastic change of subject. He looked down at his half-eaten French Dip. "Uh, it's good. Real good."

Still looking him right in the eye, I smiled and said, with just a bare hint of satisfaction in my voice, "Good."

Then I went around to the rest of the table and politely inquired as to their meals, if I could get them anything, anything at all. Everyone loved their meals. They loved me. I solicitously fulfilled every request.

Double Screwdriver did not say one word for the rest of the meal, and he did not take another bite of his sandwich. He just stared at it, horrified. He knew. There was nothing he could do to prove it or even make the accusation. But he knew. Wen I went around to offer boxes for leftovers, his dad wondered why he didn't want one. "You sure?" "NO THANK YOU!"

Eventually I quit working at that club, and started at a restaurant down the street. Wouldn't you know it, that guy came in and started the same bad behavior AGAIN. "I want a screw driver, and be quick about it, etc."

I looked at him with a grin. "Sure, I remember. A double screwdriver and a French Dip, right?" He looked at me, did a double-take when he saw who I was, then got up and left.

This is my favorite story of waiter revenge from my personal history, but at the same time, it's a cautionary tale. It takes a lot to push most people over the edge and make them do things they normally pride themselves on not doing, like food tampering. But it can be done. So the next time you call someone a name because they didn't serve you fast enough, keep it in mind.

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