Servers From Around The World Share Idiot Customer Stories

Servers From Around The World Share Idiot Customer Stories

Waiters and waitresses have an incredibly demanding job, one for which most of them go unappreciated. Remembering the menu and all the orders, staying friendly even in the face of screaming children (and adults!), and everything else they have to deal with adds up to a job that can be downright nightmarish.

Not that there aren't occasional benefits: meeting new people, maybe making good tips, etc. But by and large waiters and waitresses have a difficult and not greatly rewarding job. Some servers have even dealt with customers that were absolute monsters in their level of rudeness, the kind of people most of us would probably just walk away from. But, these servers continued to be polite and professional.

Here are stories from waiters and waitresses about the worst customer they ever had to deal with, so we can all sympathize with them and (some of us) can learn how to treat wait staff better.

20917-1550504953044.jpgDaniel Steuri/Flickr

58. Nice Try, Dumb Guy

Early 2000's.

Working in an Italian restaurant, this one cat insists he needs lime juice for his meal. As we're an Italian restaurant, we don't have any on hand for our menu items, but the bar should have some. Thinking out loud I mention that the kitchen doesn't have any, but the bar throws those into bottles of Corona, so I might be able to get some there.

Customer: Are you going to charge me for that?

Me: No, I think I can get a garnish for you.

So I come back with the lime and he looks confused.

Customer: Where's the Corona?

Me: I'm sorry - you said you wanted the lime? Did you want to order a Carona as well?

Customer: Yeah I want one, you said you wouldn't charge me.

Leading into a back-and-forth wherein he's upset I didn't bring him a free Corona with his free lime because he misunderstood me.

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57. My Three Cents

We had one regular who was a horrible gross old man. He would constantly request to be changed into the section of a particular waitress (who hated him) so he could make inappropriate comments to her. I would never honor these requests (screw you, gross old dude) but my manager also wouldn't let me kick him out (screw you, crappy manager). One day he offered to pay me three cents to change tables. Three. Cents. Uh... no?

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56. You Don't Give Away Free Food?

Some old woman got mad at me because I told her that I wouldn't substitute the side on her meal for ANOTHER MEAL. Like she wanted $16 Meal A, and for her free side, she wanted $18 Meal B, but with absolutely no upcharge.

She was like "Wow really, you're not going to do that for me? Are you serious?!" I was busy and didn't have time to play stupid games so I just said, "No, I'm not going to do that for the price of one meal. You can order both meals if you'd like." She started up again until her daughter was like, "Mom KNOCK IT OFF."

Bonus story about requesting only female servers: Another guy always refused a male server and requested a female one. If all of them were busy he would demand the female manager wait on him. He was always creepy and he'd try to play word games with us, presumably because he was lonely and miserable. He'd make up his own names for the dishes we served and refused to tell us what he actually wanted.

One time I had him, he kept telling me he wanted a "large bistro-style salad", something that's not on our menu. I was sick of his nonsense, so I said, "Sure thing, Frank, I'll go get it right now" and walked away. He was like "wait!" because he obviously knew we didn't have such a thing. I just kept walking and told my manager I wasn't serving him anymore. She went over and chewed him out in front of a full dining room, so that was cool.

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55. The World Is Your Oyster

"I want oysters!"

I explained we are a burger joint, no oysters. He takes off his coat, talks to his date, then stares at me for a second.


I explain again, no oysters.

"Two dozen! Oysters!"

After a third and fourth time where he barks an order at me, then acts all busy so he 'can't hear' my response, I stop and stare at him. He asks again, I just stare, he asks again, I just stare. He finally makes eye contact with me. "Sir, we are a burger joint, no oysters." He is finally forced to acknowledge me.

"So go get some!"

We were in a casino, we were the only restaurant open at 2 AM. He knew this but expected me to run around to some closed restaurant and grab raw shellfish them just happen to be hosting during closed hours.

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54. Touchy Principal

He grabbed my arm and pulled me toward him. He was trying to flirt, but I was not having it. I asked him to not touch me and moved on to get him drinks. He insisted he was just trying to cheer me up because I looked upset. I was having a great shift, and smile too much always because I'm a happy person, so we know that's a lie. I said, "I looked upset? I'm smiling at you."

When I came back, he had his son, maybe ten years old say to me: "He wants you to know he's sorry."

Sure, it's not my job to parent other people's kids but I could not with that BS. I replied, "No, he's a grown-up and if he wanted to apologize, he would have told me he was sorry. You don't need to apologize for him." I had already alerted my manager to the inappropriate touching, but this was it for me. I knew I could no longer serve this table.

So I went back to my manager to let him know, and what do I see? The harasser is talking to a different manager. He told her I was rude, yelled at him, and threw things at him. Luckily my management staff knows me well enough that I didn't face any repercussions. But of course, he felt like I was rude. He doesn't like being faced with consequences to his actions.

Then, of course, the most corporate nonsense ever happened. They moved him to a new table with a male server and comped all his food. I wish I was not a poor student so I could quit this job.

Turns out the man is a principal at a local high school. The school system will be hearing from me tomorrow.

esther-lin-9CIHIGpuePw-unsplash-300x200.jpgPhoto by Esther Lin on Unsplash

53. It's YOUR Fault I Parked Illegally

Our worst regulars were 2 old ladies who ordered very little, drank only water, tipped very little. Stayed for way too long. They insulted the female servers more than the guys, but we all hated them.

I saw them pull in and park illegally. The only reason they fit was because the car in the spot next to it was a small 2-door.

When they're seated they tell me they are in a hurry because they're going to a show. No problem, I'd like them gone ASAP anyway.

Midway through their meal, everything was going as usual, and I see through the window that the car next to them was leaving. Suddenly I have a wonderful, terrible idea.

I asked one of our dishwashers to move his huge beat-up king cab pickup into the open spot and be sure to block in the other car. Done and done -- and once he parked it, there was like 2 inches between them. But the pickup was legally parked.

They finish, pay, tip their usual 5%, and head out. I can see them stop in their tracks, walk around their car like there's some magical way to extract it, then storm back in.

The next few minutes went just as you'd expect. They're yelling and screaming, my manager is asking them, "What do you want me to do? You parked illegally, it's a busy shopping area, I can't move the truck. It could belong to anyone in a 10-block radius."

Now they're yelling from the hostess station to see if anyone in the place owns the truck. No response. I suggest they should call an Uber or taxi but they don't have Uber and don't want to spend the money on a taxi.

After about 25 minutes someone comes and picks them up. I'm pretty sure they missed their show. Once they were gone we moved the truck.

And yes, they left a crappy review on Yelp that service was so slow we made them miss their show. They were half right.

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52. How Can You Resist That Charm?

I work bottle service at a high-end club and some of the stuff I hear 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 bang all night. Interested?" He spent the rest of the night being this charming. I don't know how I resisted such class.

Had a guy leave a $200 tip and then ask me for my number. When I said I had a boyfriend (I don't, by the way). He grabbed my arm and said, "I just left you a $200 tip sweetie, you're giving me your number." Security escorted him out.

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51. The Worst Customer Is 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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50. Who Brings Their Daughter To Hooters?

This happened to me at Hooters the other day. A guy orders a Blue Moon seasonal beer, so I bring it to him. I don't pour the drinks myself so I trust its correct. I know what Blue Moon draft looks like, so I 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 beer instead of the orange-colored beer I gave him earlier. So I knew the bartender accidentally poured a regular Blue Moon earlier. I bring the correct beer to the table and am about to explain the guy he had gotten the wrong beer 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 beer in it) and says, "Excuse me miss, but do you really think these are really the same drink? Do you need to learn your colors? Let's go back to Kindergarten. This color is ORANGE and that color is BROWN!"

He went on like that; I let him embarrass his 14-year-old daughter as much as possible.

timothy-dykes-Lq1rOaigDoY-unsplash-300x200.jpgPhoto by Timothy Dykes on Unsplash

49. Give Me Your Sweater

I had a guy complain that his wife was cold, while they were sitting on the patio. I suggested moving inside but no, "We want to sit outside and she's cold. What are you going to do about that?"

"Sir, I'm sorry I can't do anything but offer to move you inside."

"Well, you're wearing a sweater. Aren't you even going to offer it to her?"

"No, sir, I'm not going to give your wife MY sweater."

So he asked to speak to my manager who had to spend ten minutes explaining that he was not going to require me to hand over the literal clothes off my back and that we have no control over the weather.

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48. Smile For Me, Sweetie

Let me paint the picture that I have burned in my memory of these 3 Greek jerks. They're friends with my boss, and they always sit right near him. They are sweaty, covered in dark hair peeking out of their semi-unbuttoned and awful striped shirts. I try and be a sweet waitress, but they refuse to give me any kind of human emotion in return.

They order 3 very expensive steak and egg plates. Knowing that there are similar things on the menu that cost far less -- I double-check to make sure their order is correct. Obviously, it wasn't. So I had to explain to my boss why I wasted $40 of his food, which likely would be coming out of my tips for the day.

I finally finish dealing with these obnoxious men and am so overjoyed to finally get to hand them their check. For their entire meal, I had given myself a courteous waitress poker face. Not quite a smile, but in no way was I scowling or angry looking. As I lay their check down, one of them looks me in the eyes and says, "Hey. How about you give me a pretty smile before I pay for this."

I'm a little taken aback by that request. I look back at him and stammer, "What?"

He repeats in a far creepier voice, "I want to see you smile. Or I'm not paying this."

I turned to look at my boss, who gave me a 'freaking do it' kind of look. These men proceeded to make me lean in and smile like I was at the dentist or something. And then they laughed as I walked away.

It was just such a degrading and miserable moment in my life. Screw that.

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47. The Wet Booth

I used to work at a local dive bar/restaurant. Small town kinda place. Every Wednesday we served all you can eat Walleye. And every Wednesday there was a rather (for lack of a better word) obese woman who would come in by herself and sit in one of the booths.

She was an angry old soul, the kind who literally snapped her gums in anger every time she spoke. She would get no less than 5+ extra plates of Walleye and God forbid if you put ice in her iced tea, which she also drank to great excess to the point where we just started saying screw it and left a pitcher on the table. Oh, and she also never tipped anything over 7 cents, usually in pennies, but every now and then she'd leave a nickel.

Now I'm sure you're all thinking... That's not really all that bad, the woman just likes her deep-fried fish, lukewarm beverages and was a crappy tipper. Who hasn't seen a crappy tipper a time or two?

Unfortunately, the icing on the 'screw this, I quit' cake was that she also liked to wet herself. In the booth. A booth that had many, many crevices. Never said a word either. She'd eat, drink, pee, and then waddle out the door.

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46. So Bad The Customers Lost Their Jobs

To set the scene, this restaurant is a local “upscale” sushi bar with dim lighting and high booths. Working as a server here we also act as hosts, bussers and bartenders. It’s also important to note that the owner is also the manager and is at the restaurant 24/7 (literally, he lives there) and that these ladies all worked for a local business in which they had their work shirts on.

This particular day we were dead for lunch and both me and my coworker were in the office talking to the owner. Three ladies walk in and seat themselves, ignoring the “Please wait to be seated” sign.

The phone rings so my co-worker leaves the office to answer and it happens to be the three ladies sitting at the booth calling to get someone’s attention. Which is fair enough, a little annoying but effective.

Coworker apologizes for the wait takes their order and goes about business.

These ladies call her over to complain that they are on lunch and the food is taking too long. She apologizes and assured them it shouldn’t be much longer. They then make a remark about having to call to get anyone’s attention.

This particular coworker is not someone who messes around. She has worked at the restaurant for years and is not the type to kiss butt in these types of situations. Still, she kept her cool and walked off.

The ladies get their food, then proceed to walk up to the sushi bar to talk with the owner about how rude coworker is. Coworker overheard, and walks over to join the conversation which ends in yelling and 2 of the ladies asking her to “go outside.”

I eventually am asked to bring them the bill, they pay, stay and talk for a second and then leave.

When we went to clean the table, these ladies had crushed up sushi rolls, left noodles and meat ALL over the table covered in teriyaki sauce with a note on the receipt that said “dumb [bleep].”

The owner then proceeds to call their work and explain to the manager what they had done. The best part was they all paid separately and with debit cards so we knew all of their names.

A couple of hours later a woman walks in, hands my coworker $50, apologizes for their behavior, and explains that she is the business owner who had worked her way through college as a server. She then lets her know that she did not want those kinds of people representing her company and they had all been let go.

This is one of my favorite stories from this crazy job and I have an enormous amount of respect for the owners of both businesses involved!

louis-hansel-shotsoflouis-8FWQQXMspEM-unsplash-300x235.jpgPhoto by Louis Hansel @shotsoflouis on Unsplash

45. As Soon As I Can

Had a tray balanced on my shoulder full of food as I was setting down hot plates on the table. Grandma shook her half-empty glass of tea in my face and asked why she couldn't get any service.

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44. The Egg Spoon

Once, when I was working at this insanely popular breakfast joint, my first table of the morning was a seemingly adorable old couple. After going through our specials, at their request, she ordered the duck hash special, and he ordered two boring poached eggs on toast. All good.

I bring them their food and the guy starts freaking out. You see, I didn't bring him a tablespoon for his eggs. Granted, he didn't ask for one, but according to him, everyone knows that poached eggs are supposed to be served with a tablespoon. I've been a waitress for nearly a decade, and I've served a LOT of poached eggs, and I've never heard this rule.

Nonetheless, I apologize profusely and tell him I'll go grab him a spoon. "No!" he yells. "My breakfast is ruined now!" And then this grown adult throws his plate of food at me and storms out.

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43. Situation On The Floor

Typical busy night. Never ending pasta bowl time of year... yay. It was one of my first tables of the evening. Family of five: mom, dad, two sons, and a little girl (probably two or three). They were all exceedingly overweight, and the daughter had on a dirty shirt and no pants, just a diaper.

On a check back, I noticed an overwhelming scent lingering around the table. I don't judge, I have no idea what's going on in their life. I just tell myself someone probably farted and I just walked up at the exact wrong moment. Well, I return with some refills (the smell is still just as intense as before). On my way around the table to pass out beverages, I pass the high chair and notice the little girl has her hand where it shouldn't be.

I then proceed to watch her pull out a piece and throw it on the floor to join an even larger one that was already there, slightly covered by a napkin. I could not hide the disgust on my face. I don't remember exactly the words I used but I turned to the parents and said: "Um, your daughter has a situation going on over here."

The mother replies, "Uh, yeah, I know I threw that napkin over it." Then she continues to devour her third refill of never-ending pasta.

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42. No More

Waitress here. Had a large bruise (size and width of a hand) on my upper forearm, super swollen, and purple. Had a guy grab my arm and ask, "Does this hurt?" before squeezing HARD. He spent the remainder of his visit making abuse jokes and talking about how he was going to "take me home and give me more."


41. Dislike Does Not Equal Allergy

A lady and her husband came in and before sitting down told us that she was deathly allergic to white saying, verbatim, "If you feed me white I will die." So I run around double- and triple-checking recipes and ingredients and making sure the kitchen is ready so when she orders I know her food will be safe.

Her husband orders the special and I make sure to tell her not to eat any of his meal as it is dressed with a beurre blanc made with white and I'd like her to survive her dining experience. Well, I bring out their food and the first thing she does is scoop a big ol' forkful of hubby's special. I cry out in dismay as she shoves it in her dumb mouth and says while chewing, "Oh, one bite won't hurt".

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40. Why Keep Having It?

I wait tables in a country club. Had a couple come in once and, as they were sitting down, before I had even introduced myself, the woman was already complaining since they had to wait five minutes while we reset "their table."

She started off by telling me every time she gets the filet mignon it's awful and cooked wrong. I suggested she tried something else. Nope. Goes for the same thing again. I gave the kitchen heads up and make sure it was perfect and save us all a headache.

Steak comes up, seems fine. I drop her plate in front of her and I can already see that smirk people get when they aren't amused. She grabs her butter knife and legit slaps the top of the steak with the flat of it three times and goes "this is disgusting". Hasn't even cut into it or tasted it. She has me take it back and bring her a new one.

So, of course, we do it. She gets her new one. She eats half of it and takes the rest home. Then she wants to talk to a manager. Talks up a storm, gets her whole meal free, plus dessert. Leaves me a garbage tip -- even if she didn't include the free steak and dessert.

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39. Filling Up On Chips

The worst was a big group that came in on a Sunday. Ordered endless chip appetizer, waters all around, asked for extra lemons (you can see where this is going...). They stayed for a few hours, and their total bill? Like $6. I got tipped 50 cents for having to wait around on them for literally my entire shift.

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38. Hands And Feet

I accidentally dropped a fork on a dude's foot (he had obviously had too much of something), who got angry and shook his head and grumbled about it -- shocking I know. Bits of food fell on the ground as well, so I grabbed a towel to clean it up. I look the man in the eye to let him now I'm on the floor cleaning next to him. He then proceeds to stand up and step on my hand as he walks to the bathroom. It hurt, and I yelled out in pain. He didn't acknowledge it at all but chuckled as he walked away.

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37. Flying Chowder

I was working behind a dessert bar. We had a homeless lady that would come in to get drinks, but you have to have food so she would get clam chowder. She would ask for it to be reheated every 10 minutes but never touched it. The server started to ignore her requests to reheat the dish, so the lady took her bread and slammed it into the chowder spraying it all over the customers and my area.

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36. Devil's Sandwich Makers

There was one legendary customer that we only refer to as "Crazy Bacon Lady".

She was an older woman. She came in and asked how much a six-foot BLT was. We told her it was $3.50 plus tax. She then proceeded to yell at us saying it was $2 when she came in yesterday.

She didn't come in yesterday. In fact, this was the first time she had even been in our store. Plus, the BLT was never at any point $2 in the three years I had worked there. She barks out her order the whole way up the line spewing such gems as:

"I am a good Christian woman, I don't deserve to be treated this way."

"For $3.50, that bacon better be fresh!"

"The service here is terrible! I'M NEVER COMING BACK, YOU HEAR ME!"

And the best one of them all, when she gets to my co-worker who is manning the cash register and he tells her the total of $3.68 (tax and all) she says:

"You people are workers of the DEVIL!"

She plops down exact change, snatches up her bag, and storms out the door.


35. All Over 13 Cents

Had a group of girls speak to my manager and call me stupid over $0.13. Basically, they ordered a side of fries and one maybe got a lemonade. Anyway, give them their bill and they gave me just enough to cover it since we round to the nearest dollar instead of dealing with coins. The girls flip out over $0.13, so I go in my bag to scrounge it up. They speak to my manager who refunded them everything (stupid) and they proceed to call me names as they leave their table.


34. Don't Speak With Your Hands

This guy tries to get my attention, but instead of saying "excuse me, miss" he intentionally grabbed my backside and then apologized with, "Oh sorry, I was going for your hip." I know I've got a lot going on down there, okay, it's not hard to miss. He got kicked out after that, as it wasn't the first time he's done this to a server in our restaurant.

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33. Like A Domino

One time at my family's barbecue shop, a woman asked me my "nationality". She really meant my race, so I just told her I was black and white. She made the biggest stank face, and then said: "Oh, whatever makes you happy, I guess." I didn't get a tip, but she did write "Deuteronomy" on the paper. Wish I were religious enough to know what she meant.


32. Truly Vile

I accidentally spilled a small glass of water on a lady who was dining alone.

The place was packed and a customer had banged into me making this happen. I apologized profusely but the woman was absolutely vile. She was shouting at me so that the whole restaurant could hear. When she finished, I walked into the kitchen and explained what I'd done to the manager and my co-worker. They started laughing; I started crying and told them how vile she'd been and that I'd usually laugh too but couldn't this time.

With each word, I could see my manager getting angrier and angrier. Finally, he said, "Where is she?" We left the kitchen and I pointed her out. He marched over to her, and I don't know what he said but it involved escorting her out while the customers who'd overheard her applauded.


31. Pineapple Princess

A group of ten came in for a birthday to have drinks and sing karaoke. I start going around the table asking what each person would like and I get to 'princess'. She asks me for a drink menu. I tell her I have a full list list because we only cater to certain beverages. She asks about pineapple drinks. I tell her we could do a few different things. So she's asking her friend: "No, that's not it. What did I have that one time that I loved?"

So two more tables sit while I'm trying to take her order. So I'm just trying to speed it along. I tell her we make a pineapple drink but unblended. She just kept asking, "Well what other things with pineapple?" So I tell her, "You can pretty much make your own drink. What kind of base do you want?" She took that as me saying to go back and make her own drink. So I backtrack and say, "What I mean is we can start with a base and add pineapple and whatever other fruit or liquids you want."

She FINALLY just gets the first pineapple beverage I recommended .

So the night goes by, everyone in her group is super chill. We're having a great time, but she's just got daggers on me the entire time. They finally cash out. I give her her bill, which is $5.01 because of weird tax. It's cash only. I ask if anyone needs change. everyone says they're good and leaves. I go look at her ticket and she left me a $5 bill. Nothing else.

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30. Arm Grabber

I worked at Friendly's when I was 16. First serving job. One day, I sat a ten-top, two of which were counselors. The rest were special needs adults.

As soon as I introduce myself the to table, one of the counselors cuts me off and says, "They all want Cokes. Bring them an extra cup with ice so we can pour in a little at a time." No problem. Come out with eight Cokes and eight glasses of ice. One of the clients gets excited and grabs my arm, causing me to spill the drinks on the floor. All of the clients at the table start laughing and the counselor tells me I need to "be more careful."

After I clean everything up, I get the food order (lots of dietary restrictions.) As I start running the food out, the same client goes for my arm again. I am able to avoid his grasp, but the counselor hisses, "Watch yourself." Like I had done something wrong. The table eats and gets ready to leave. The counselor leaves me a 72 cent tip on an $80 bill.

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29. "Poisonous" Shellfish

I had a couple order two bowls of mussels, take each mussel out of its shell and then cut them up before eating them. When they saw the black stomach of the mussel, among other gross looking inside bits, they started yelling that I, the cooks, as well as the restaurant were trying to poison people. They would not believe that mussels really do look as awful and horrifying as they honestly do and under no circumstances should be cut up or analyzed too closely.

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28. Smeared Burger

When I was in high school, I worked at a Johnny Rockets. It was maybe my second day waitressing, and a guy with his family ordered a plain burger. I put the order in, but put it in slightly incorrectly so it came out with none of the toppings, but it did have thousand island dressing. Honest new kid mistake. The guy was totally furious, made such an angry face that I can still recall it 13 years later, and then, out of nowhere, smeared the burger all over my chest and walked out.


27. No Coke Here

Man comes in alone, looked to be in his late 50s or early 60s, and snaps at me to get my attention. Before I can speak he says:

"Coke. With a lemon wedge."

We were a tiny little cafe without the funding for a machine or the attention for sponsorship, so we didn't serve soda. I told him so, and he said:

"I don't think you heard me. I want a Coke with a lemon wedge."

I was pretty confused because I made it pretty clear we didn't have Coke. Turns out, he actually wanted me to walk next door, buy him a coke, and then bring it in and serve it to him. I told him as politely as I could that this was absolutely not happening, and he picked up the China tea cups we put at each place setting and threw them on the ground, shattering them and cutting open my ankle just a bit.

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26. Temperature Overreaction

Had a guy throw his plate back onto my tray, effectively getting his food all over me because it wasn't hot enough. Owner of the place nuked it for six minutes and sent me back out with it. Old man couldn't touch it until everyone else at the table was done.

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25. Glove On The Other Hand

I experienced what it is like for girls to be creeped on and now I have a whole new understanding of what it is like.

This guy who owned a gay bar in Leeds was talking to me. My bar was empty and he was a small, older gentleman who wouldn't stop saying how I'd be great there and that he would pay way more money. Also, that "at 11pm everyone takes their tops off and at 12pm their bottoms too, but only if you want to." I was polite and all that but it was creepy.

When it came time for him to leave he went to shake my hand but then pulled it over and gave it the sloppiest kiss I could imagine.

20942-1550508406157.jpgSteve Parker/Flickr

24. No Gnocchi

I work at an Italian family restaurant that is locally owned and basically a staple of the area. My very first day on the floor without a trainer was a Mother's Day. Yes, in hindsight that was pretty foolish of the owner.

A lady ordered gnocchi and I wrote down her order. I get over to the micro-fridges and can't find gnocchi anywhere and for good reason... turns out we don't serve gnocchi. I go back over to the table to let the lady know we don't sell that here and she starts screaming at me that I ruined her Mother's Day, the entire day was ruined because I didn't know that we didn't serve gnocchi. I can understand being a little irritated at me, I really should have known that, but lady, look at the menu next time.


23. Paid For Trickery

Once upon a time, I took care of a family of four and it was the husband's birthday. They were my last table, so I had tried very hard to give them good service. Being that I worked at this restaurant for years, I was in pretty good with the managers, so I could get people upgraded food items for free. Got this guy a free add-on salad and a large chocolate Sunday for his family to share. Dude asks me, "Do you play the lottery? Because you just won." He proceeds to hand me a scratch-off ticket with 50 dollars in winnings as a tip.

Go to the gas station to cash it in the next day, dude had already cashed it in. We paid 3% on our table's totals so I ended up paying like $5 for this guy to eat out and get a bunch of free stuff on my behalf.

20970-1550512886927.jpgMark Tunackus/Flickr

22. Birthday Selfishness

A lady who was having a party took one of the tables on the floor for presents and whatnot. The rest of the tables and booths are in a section that requires going up a few stairs. Party lady only had maybe two carousel tables full. An older lady with a walker comes in and requests the smaller table on the floor for obvious reasons. I tell party lady and she blatantly refuses because "we're having a party". She was rude about it even though this lady needed a floor table. I've never felt so bad in my life.


21. The Epitome Of Uncaring

I was seven months pregnant and working at McDonald's. Some customers ask for orders to be brought to their table. This is fine— some people are slightly disabled or have big orders and would rather watch their kids than wait for their food.

So I was carrying this big tray of food and that plus my belly meant I couldn't see my feet. Turns out there was a small stool in the middle of the floor that I didn't see. I tripped and fell and partially landed on my belly. As I slowly got up, in shock and as my colleagues ran to make sure I was okay, this lady stands over me and berates me for dropping her lunch, insisting that I personally pay for a replacement.


20. Secret Mission

They appeared to be enjoying themselves. From a personal perspective, I was nailing my job with promptness and politeness. Halfway through the meal, when I left the table, the woman went and sought out a manager to complain, specifically about me. She requested that I be fired. Her reasons were inconsequential lies. She used her own experience in the food industry as her support. There probably would have been severe consequences for me that evening if the "cool" manager wasn't working. She was comped. She stiffed me.

It is years later and this incident still upsets me. It was like their mission that night was to go out and get a waiter fired.


19. Christmas Dinner

I once had a really rude woman demand to book a reservation for Christmas day. We were only a small family run restaurant so we weren't going to open on Christmas day. She promptly turned and shouted, "What do you expect me to do? Cook it MYSELF?" She stormed out slamming a door and in the process smashing a pottered plant.

20950-1550509452557.jpgtiffany teri/Flickr

18. Serving Order Screaming

One day, during a busy rush, I had two tables come in simultaneously and sit right next to each other. I brought menus over to both and took drink orders. Table #1 was a man alone who declined a drink and informed me he was waiting for his wife. Table #2 was a foursome who ordered drinks right away. When I brought table #2s drinks over, they ordered their meals right away.

As I brought out Table #2s starters a few minutes later, I saw #1's wife arriving. As the tables were right next to each other, I was able to greet her and check if I could get her a drink immediately.

Her husband flipped. Stood up shouting about how he was here first and I shouldn't have served the other table before him. In the midst of his screamfest, he took a swing at my face. I felt the air brush past me but somehow he didn't quite connect and my boss and other patrons tossed him out.

dispute-argue-rage-fight-box-human-hand-faust-1564031-1550608154558.jpgMax Pixel

17. Forking Upset

I work at a certain pancake place. One day we're busy with like two servers working, when two men come in -- perfectly normal and nice. One of them orders a french toast and the food/drinks come out no problem. Because we were so busy, we had no silverware pre-rolled, so I asked them to give me about 30 seconds to roll some for them. They agree to it and I go roll.

As I was leaving he asks the other server for a fork and she says that I went over there to get him one. He gets up and throws his plate onto the counter and says, "You guys can eat this, I don't want to eat food from here." The guy with him ended up staying and finishing his meal while the other sat there angrily.


16. Dragged Away

On Christmas, a customer wouldn't accept that her three-minute long order which took a sheet an a half wouldn't arrive before the drinks and appetizers. Not more than 10 minutes went by, and anytime I came near that table she would grab my apron and demand to speak to a manager. Or call me incompetent.

Her poor family was so embarrassed. And when her food arrived she started pointing out all the things wrong with it. As I pulled out the page and half order this woman had placed for a surf and turf, explaining everything on the plate, she lost her mind and screamed at me to get the manager again while slapping her plate off the table. Her husband had to restrain her and drag her out of the restaurant kicking and screaming.


15. Insulting Over Unspilt Milk

I used to work in the Rothschild Manor restaurant as a waitress. A large group sat over two tables and ordered five teas, four coffees and two earl grays. We serve two tiny milk jugs per teapot.

I brought out all the tea/coffee first and then, on my last tray, the two earl grays and the milks. Well the "funny guy" of the table begins to mock me: "Stupid girl, don't you know earl gray is taken without milk?" Cue the entire group laughing.

Despite me explaining the milks were for the nine teas and coffees they ordered, he continued to mock me until my manager took the table over and asked them to leave.

20971-1550512940425.jpgShawn Henning/Flickr

14. Honest Mistake Repaid

It was one of my first days working in a full-service restaurant. I had never really served mixed beverages before and had received minimal training. I had a table that ordered a bottle, so I opened the bottle and served it. I had forgotten to give a taste to the gentleman who opened the bottle, instead just pouring a glass for each guest.

The next day, the man came into the restaurant and told his server to make me come over. He asked for my manager and made her sit at the table with him. He then ordered a bottle, made me go through the steps of service, and berated me about how I had embarrassed him in front of his friend. We were in front of my manager and other customers, and I left the table crying after about twenty minutes of belittlement. He told me he wanted me to feel embarrassed in front of my friends, as I had done to him.

20957-1550510898088.jpgDave Dugdale/Flickr

13. Too Many Legs

I used to work at Red Lobster. I had a kid (around eight-years-old) come in for a celebratory meal with his family. Dad said he could get whatever he wanted, so naturally, the kid orders enough snow crab legs for 17 people. He proceeds to eat everything. Dad is very proud.

Then, a few minutes later, he starts vomiting. All over the table. He managed to aim it into a bowl after the first few seconds, and then proceeded to hand the bowl to me, asking for a new one.

20958-1550510982352.jpgDavid Pursehouse/Flickr

12. Fast As Could Be

I was working at Chili's a few years back when a table of two adults and seven kids in soccer uniforms come in. The woman tells me that they are in a hurry because their movie starts in 45 minutes. Oh, and also there are three more adults and eight more kids on their way. I say it could be tight but if you get all the orders ready we can cook the food on the fly and get it out ASAP.

Because the kids weren't ready with their food orders yet, I took their drink orders first. I got the nine drinks ready and returned to the table to find the three additional adults and eight more kids. But all the kids decided to switch seats with each other. So I had to get it all sorted out and take the new kids' drink orders, the old kids' food orders. The new kids didn't even have their food orders ready and that took another 10 minutes.

When I finally get the new kids' food orders, its already been 20 minutes and the first adult starts yelling at me that I'm not fast enough. She says that she needs to get all the food to-go. One of the ladies that came with the second batch left earlier than the rest of them and left me $10 on the table. Once I finally got all the food out after 30 minutes, the first lady asked to speak to my manager, told my manager I was the worst waiter she's ever had, didn't leave a tip, and took the $10 dollars the other lady had left for me.

20960-1550511289357.jpgLuyen Chou/Flickr

11. Not An Expert

One guest ordered a cheese plate with their drink. The cheese plate was pretty big, with lots of different options, some pretty expensive.

So I set it down in front of her and she asked me what these are. It was written on the menu card, but she seemed to want to hear it. Still, I could only recall the names of some.

She rolled her eyes at my lacking knowledge and proceeded to ask if I at least knew where the cheese came from and how it was made, before insulting me for not knowing everything and complaining to the restaurant manager about me "not knowing what I serve".

I even went to the kitchen and asked the already furious cook but he didn't know himself.


10. Sing Like You Mean It

Worked at Carrabba's in south Atlanta about 10 years ago. One time, this guy wanted all the waiters to sing happy birthday to him. So, because we suck, we did. Then, after we finished and began to disperse, the guy yells to my friend, "Hold on a minute... that fella right there didn't act like he meant it. I want him to sang again, right here in front of me."

Really creepy.

20962-1550511681242.jpgTony Cecala/Flickr

9. It Obviously Works

I was working at a Mexican food place and I just brought chips and salsa to the table. I'm taking the drink order and one of the guests decides the chips need more salt. He tries the salt shaker but nothing is coming out of it. Without saying a word to me (I'm talking to another guest at his table) he opens the salt shaker and starts pouring the salt onto the floor by my feet.

I was dumbfounded. I don't know why he did that or why he thought it was okay. This wasn't a steak house with a "fun" throw your peanut shells on the floor atmosphere. We worked really hard to keep the place clean and looking nice, and he just poured salt on the floor right in front of me.

20963-1550511798308.jpgSeth Glickman/Flickr

8. Burn It Black

I work at the Cheesecake Factory. I once had this lady scream at me because her Miso Salmon wasn't "burnt" enough. She literally wanted it black on the outside. She then proceeded to ask management to have her entire $400 bill comped for her inconvenience.

20964-1550511867400.jpgSarah J/Flickr

7. Not A Mind Reader

St. Patrick's Day two years ago. The other server had quit three days prior, so I was the only one working for the entire day. Me versus 30 tables, with anywhere between four-to-eight people per table.

A table had been waiting for about five minutes before I was able to make it over to them. I greeted them and apologized for the wait. I informed her of our specials on beverages. I gave her multiple options and then said the different ways we can serve them.

She replied with, "Yeah. We'll have that." I wanted to clarify which one she wanted. Again, I was polite and friendly. She told me I should know what she wanted. Okay cool, I'll choose for her then. I asked her which size she would like: small, medium or large. She said, "That'll work." Now, I have a ton of other customers to serve. I'm trying to be professional yet efficient. I ask her to clarify the size. She let out a deep sigh and turns to me.

I fool you not, she says, "Do I have to carve the word stupid into your forehead?" I just did an about-face and put the order in.

20965-1550512084813.jpgSimonne McClinton/Flickr

6. Dark Heart, Mean Mouth

At the time, I was an 18-year-old male waiter working at a small town Mexican restaurant. A middle-class 50-year-old woman orders the chimichanga. She doesn't like it, and I offer to make it right by getting her a free drink while the kitchen makes the fix.

Needless to say, she has a blackened, toxic heart, and starts spewing horrible things at me: "This food is bad and I bet your home life is bad too." "I hope your romantic life is horrible." "Who could possibly like you?" Stuff like that. And it went on and on. Her children, who were in their 20s, apologized profusely.

It made me cry. It wasn't like I gave bad service, she was just a cold, mean lady.


5. License Not To Serve

It was just after midnight and we were only licensed to sell drinks until midnight. We were closing up just after setting breakfast up for the next morning when a party of six came back from a wedding down the road. A lady instantly barked at me for three glasses of something, which I explained was not possible due to our license which I pointed out on the wall.

As I was closing the shutter on the bar, she launched over the bar to grab me! Needless to say, I was super scared! Thankfully the manager appeared and took over!


4. Sugar Water Man

Do you remember the alien in the human body in the Men In Black movie that likes to drink sugar water? Well, we had a regular that looked just like that come in on a regular basis. We nicknamed him Sugar Water. He was always super dirty and smelled really bad. He would order the messiest food and it would get everywhere. We would fight about who had to handle his money after he left because it would be just as dirty as him with bits of food on it. We would sanitize his area after he left.


3. From The Restaurant To Facebook

Last Christmas I was serving an older man who came in during a rush. I served him like any other normal customer. The cooks had messed up his order and I mistakenly hadn't noticed. The dude was ANGRY. He cussed me out in front of multiple other people, cussed me out to my manager, filed a complaint...


20945-1550508562554.jpgBook Catalog/Flickr

2. Good Boss Makes It Better

I work at a very expensive fine dining restaurant in San Francisco. I was a new employee at the time of this story and was bringing a guest their dinner with a few other employees. We do a synchronized service and were dropping food for a party of ten, so there are waiters in suits all around the table.

I was behind a gentleman so I said "pardon me sir" as I was preparing to place his steak on the table. He, while talking, suddenly violently scooted his chair back into me, causing a small amount of sauce to spill on his sleeve. This guy began to berate me and curse at me calling me an idiot (and much worse). On and on he went, causing tables near his group to look up at the commotion.

He called me a moron, a waste of space, and told me he hoped I got fired and couldn't find another job. Shaken, I reported to my general manager what had happened. He immediately went to the table and very smoothly and politely took the offending guest aside. After carefully explaining to the guest that he was the one who caused the incident, my manager further explained that if he even looked wrong at me again they would have to step outside to have a different conversation.

In an industry where we professionally take people's attitude, management that has your back when people are cruel is satisfying beyond belief.


1. No Disrespect Intended

I was working at this oldies restaurant that used to be on Staten Island, clearing the table for this gaggle of old dudes. I was moving too quickly and dropped a fork on the head of the littlest old man. This guy's eyes turned into the black eyes of a shark. The hostess and the owner both came out of nowhere, apologizing, while this old-timer waiter, Sammy, scooted me off into the back of the restaurant. I couldn't figure out why he was making me hide back there.

Turns out he was some massively important guy, somebody my boss was afraid of. My boss thought I was going to get fitted for a pair of concrete shoes or something.