The food industry can be a tough one. Having to make and server various types of food, remembering people's orders, and trying to keep the customers happy at all times. These are incredibly difficult tasks, especially the last one. The customers sometimes don't care about the staff, thinking they're only there to serve them and forgetting they're people too. Which, can lead to some unbecoming behavior.
Food workers on Reddit share the worst customer they ever had to deal with. Content has been edited for clarity.
"I was at work the other day when I get a phone call that went like this. I'm 'Me', she's Irrational Lady ('IL').
Me: 'Thank you for calling our store. This is [me], how can I help you?'
IL: (please picture a super snotty tone for her)'Yes I was just in there, and I bought 20 cans of cat food and it was supposed to be 20% off and I didn't get my 20% off!'
Now because where I work likes to torture us employees personally; when something is on sale, on your receipt it will have the full price listed. Then way down at the bottom, it'll have a 'coupon' that takes off the discount. A lot of people miss it, I've been yelled at many times.
Me: 'Could you check on your receipt down toward the bottom after subtotal, is there a black bar that says coupon, with money taken off?'
IL: 'There's nothing.'
Note: she answered way too fast to have actually checked but whatever.
Me: 'Well that's strange, the brand you bought is definitely on sale. If you come back we can re-ring it and refund the difference.'
IL: 'I'm on my way home, obviously I'm not turning around.'
Me: 'I can't do anything without the payment method here, our system doesn't store credit card information.'
IL: 'Well you need to fix that!! This is ridiculous, you have a sale up, and I didn't get the sale, you need to fix this now!'
Me: 'I understand it's frustrating, but I can't fix this for you, unless you're here.'
IL: 'Well I'm never shopping there again!'
Me: 'Okay. Have a nice day.'
I still don't know what the heck she expected me to do. Issue a refund with my magical powers? If I had any type of control over things like that, she wouldn't have been talking to me in the first place. The people with the power are at corporate. I did get curious though, since that sale has been going for a while (it's about to end in fact) and any kinks would have been sorted out weeks ago. I looked up her receipt...she only bought 18 cans. You have to buy 20 or more for the sale price. I really hope she got home, looked at her receipt and felt like an idiot. I doubt it, but it would be nice."
"The other day, I'm working a long shift, and it's slowly getting to the end of the day when my manager counts all the drawers and takes out all the extra cash and puts it locked away in the safe. Basically, my register has about two tens, a couple fives and some more ones.
Customer comes up and tries to buy a candy bar for 99 cents. First, she doesn't even have a store card, so she would've needed to pay the full $1.29 but I just let it slide and gave her the sale price anyway.
She then goes on and takes out a hundred dollar bill and tries to pay with that. I ask her politely if she has a smaller bill, but she says no even though I can clearly see in her open purse on the counter a couple ones and fives. I tell her that my register does not have any extra cash, and we need to get money from the office from the safe. She lies again and says this is the only bill she has.
I told her that we can only give change in fives and ones, but she complains she wants twenties and tens.
Long story short, we spend the next twenty minutes getting $99.01 by calling the manager, opening the office, opening the safe, and then counting out eighty dollars in ones to transfer from register to safe in order to get bigger bills.
And the worst part was at the end of the day she gave us bad customer service scores even though we catered to her every need.
So next time, please don't buy a 99 cent candy bar with a hundred dollar bill at 10:30 at night."
"I work at a grocery store in the prepared foods department, where I portion out entrées and sides from a display case and weigh, package, and serve them. Tonight, for whatever reason, I had tons of customers order things from me when I was trying to close. This is nothing new to me, though it is super irritating as I like being on schedule, and this set me pretty far behind. Therefore, my mood wasn't the best. While I was still closing, an older couple came up to our prepackaged case (right next to mine), where they picked up one of the already made meals.
The woman asks, 'Excuse me, can you heat this meal up for us?'
Me: 'No, I'm sorry, and even if I could, all of our equipment is turned off for the night. There are some customer accessible microwaves in the café that you can use, if you'd like.'
This is our standard reply, I get this question all the time. The woman shakes her head and turns around to leave, and her husband looks at me and says,
'That's what your job is, isn't it? Your job is to make people's lives more difficult,' he snarls.
I simply apologized and went back to closing, but not before getting a glance of the man glowering at me.
So I apologize to this man for having a precooked and packaged meal all ready for you, and a microwave in the same building for you to heat it up in one minute. I am so, so sorry.
It really makes me sad that some people can be so spoiled."
"I worked at a quick-service restaurant where the mascot is a cow and the meat we sell is chicken. Not going to lie, I actually enjoyed my job. Managers were awesome, except the one I was terrified of, and the woman who managed it all in place of the actual owner/operator man is the sweetest woman I've ever met.
That said, even the customers weren't so bad. Most of them were your run o' the mill college town folks...minimal screaming and awfulness here (not counting the students of course).
However, there was an expection.
I'd been working for about half a year here, gotten used to the filling of orders and where the heck everything was, and it was a busy afternoon. I should also mention that it was a football day. For my town and basically anywhere else with a college football stadium, the customers were here in full force, line is out the door. Naturally, I'm completely freaking out on the inside (first jobs tend to make you do that), but handling it pretty well--I didn't knock anyone over that day.
So this lady comes in, and already I smell trouble. She was decked out in Louis Vuitton designer clothes.
First thought: Why the heck are you coming in here if you're so bloody rich?
'Welcome to Chick-fil-A, how may I serve you today?' I asked.
Her order is to-go. Fine. Meal, meal, meal, meal--meal with wacky changes that have to be keyed in by hand--what? You want five shakes? Right now? To go? And you want five freakin' cherries in all of them? Cue panic attack Shakes take for-bloody-ever.
Luckily, Jay, the awesome manager makes four of them for me, and I just have to deal with the one (I hate making shakes). I go back up to the register, put it in the flimsy cardboard drink holder, and get ready for the next customer. No dice. This woman will not leave the front counter.
She looks at the strawberry shake, and takes the bloody lid off. This woman pushes it away like it's diseased (please note that she didn't even put the lid back on, so it's still oozing everywhere).
'I don't like how this one looks. Make it again,' she said.
What. The. Heck?
Your order was incredibly crazy to begin with, you make us put in four extra cherries--which we are not supposed to do, by the way--and then you and your stupidity ruin its 'looks' --and you want me to help you more? Ugh. Have I mentioned that the line is still out the door?
I run over to the shake machine, get a weird look from Jay--til she sees the woman I'm helping. Jay pats my shoulder and makes the shake again for me. Finally, the woman leaves, and I can take care of the other, less awful customers.
I hate morons. I especially hate arrogant, rich, entitled morons who think the world revolves around them. She pretty much fits the bill."
"The theater where I work is in a very posh area. Located just outside a major city. There's lots of money floating around the area, which brings people to the movies because they have nothing better to do. Recently remodeled with recliners, it is a nice place to see a movie. The theater also pulls in the not as wealthy from the surrounding areas, because it is so nice and has $11.32 tickets, somehow better than the surrounding area.
This creates a wide range of interactions.
Sunday afternoon. Concessions line was maybe 20 people at one point (not including any kids with those adults). I am on the regular line, farthest from the Premium line. Most of these people just want their popcorn and a water cup. I work well for these people.
I try to wave one up, and he has this trash-eating grin and asks, 'Aren't you supposed to help them?'
'Yeah, but they can't hear me. What can I get you?' I ask.
'Fair enough. Large popcorn,' he said. His expression changed to something more pleasant, and he told me to keep the change, and that was the fastest he had been through concessions in a long while.
Another time, this family, a mom and two kids approach. The mom orders a small popcorn and drink, then turns to the kids, probably 12, encouraging them to order exactly what she just ordered.
This takes about two minutes, felt like an eternity.
'Okay, I got the three popcorns and three drinks. Would you like to just make it one large popcorn instead of three? I could give you some trays to split it and it would save you about $15,' I offer.
She was offended and snaps back with a 'We're not poor.'
Me, shook, 'Oh okay. Its $45.60.'
You already know I scraped all the kernels and crumbs in the popper for those three regular popcorns."
"I work as a cashier/shift manager in a grocery store. In our store, people need to bring produce to the register, where we will weigh and price it for them, or just scan the item when it is individually priced. One of these items is lettuce, which comes in opaque bags with an open-top. A middle-aged lady, we'll call her 'LL' for lettuce lady, loads all of her groceries on the belt, and I start to scan. When I reach for the lettuce, I felt something strange, it turns out lettuce lady had stacked three lettuces inside this bag. When I confronted her, she said she just grabbed the bag from the shelf. So I called in our produce clerk (PC).
The conversation went like this:
Me to PC: 'This lady said she found a bag with THREE lettuces stuffed inside, isn't that strange?'
PC:' Yes it is, as lettuces are only sold individually (LL starts to turn red).'
LL: 'I want to speak to your manager immediately.'
I proudly introduce myself as manager to LL, which made matters even worse because she just threw a tantrum a 3-year old would be jealous of. The tantrum started with tearing off the bag with her teeth, and throwing the lettuces to the floor, smashing them with her feet. I told her to calm down, which only works as fuel on her already raging fire
She then starts to throw things from the belt into the store. This was the point where I called in security, and told PC to phone the police. This makes her more angry, so when security arrives, she spits all over our security guard and my register, and tries to punch both me and the guard in the face. The guard eventually manages to tackle LL and keep her immobile until police arrived.
She then was arrested. When she was dragged out of the store, she starts to scream things about our customer service all over the place. She ended up in the back of a police car, because she was too stubborn and self-proud to admit her lame try to steal one of the cheapest items in our store like any sane adult would do.
This woman was too cheap to pay the extra 75 cents for the lettuces, which were on sale anyways."
"So I work in a bakery, in a supermarket. Amongst your regular baguettes and sliced loafs and rolls and stuff, we have your more 'upmarket' breads including pane ciabatta, pane di casa and sourdough.
One of these breads is really popular (though to be honest I can't see the fuss about it but if the customer wants it then they want it), and so sometimes we run out. It can be hard to predict sales, because there are a few people who when they do come in, they'll buy several of them and freeze some I guess. But if they don't come in, we might not sell them all.
So cue busy Saturday morning. We get a phone call asking to hold a couple of loaves aside, sliced, to be picked up at noon. We comply, and store them in bread crates. Well, so busy that we quickly sell them all and the bakers start to prepare some more.
We get your usual requests for them, and we apologize, explain the situation and most people understand. Not this one lady however.
Lady: 'Have you got any of that bread?'
Me: 'No sorry, it's sold out and the next batch will be some time away.'
Lady looks past me and sees the order.
Lady: 'I see some there, can I have that?'
Me: 'Sorry, a customer has ordered that and will be here soon to pick it up.'
Lady: 'Well I'm here now so you can give me those, and they can have the next batch.'
Me: 'No, I'm sorry but the next batch will be too late, and we've already promised them that bread at that time.'
Lady mentions something about first in first served, and I'm just think, they had the foresight to understand that and order some ahead of time. If you'd done that then we'd do the same for you.
But either way, one person is leaving empty-handed. Priority goes to the person who ordered because we've promised them, we haven't promised you.
So I eventually manage to convince her and get back to my work. Or so I thought. I find out she straight away went to another worker to ask the same question - can I have another customer's item. Again she was denied, but she acted like a child asking dad because mum said no.
Not only did the customer who ordered them come only minutes after, I'm told we keep it further in the bakery than we used to because some customers in the past have literally walked in, ignoring all signs, without hair nets, and grabbed what they see in crates to buy. Ignoring the fact that they are sometimes old, unsafe, or recalled products waiting to be processed. So we changed the layout to make it harder to see, and harder to barge in and take without being caught. She might've tried this because apparently its happened before.
Anyway, she huffed away in a 'never coming back' attitude."
"The movie theater where I work is one of the few non Dine-In that will deliver food to their reserved seats.
One manager started it before the super hot food menu came out, putting signs by all the concessions tills. Of course, these have since gone away, but there are plenty of guests that know and will specifically ask.
None of us mind at all during prime or a rush it is nice knowing that we are not making anyone miss their movie. But I refuse to deliver french fries in the last hour on a weekday. You know, that stretch where guests still trickle in but it isn't much of a crowd.
On a slow Wednesday night, I'm pre-closing as fast as heck, trying get out.
Two women walk through the obnoxious S shaped line set up in the lobby, instead of saving 15 steps and walking around. One of them opens with 'Hi how are you?' and I start to respond with a 'Well I'm pretty tired.'
Nope. She just goes right back to chatting with her friend for another 20 seconds about what they are getting. One wants a small popcorn and the other wants a smaller drink.
'Okay. Together or separate?' I ask.
One says separate the other says I got it.
'Okay, its $11.42,' I inform them.
'Oh! Also, I want french fries' says the one paying.
'Okay one second,' I said.
I walk down to the end of concessions and toss her fries in the Fryer. Their movie is still five minutes until the showtime. I walk back to them, and they are chatting again, so I don't interrupt them the fries have a minute and a half left.
'It's 17.04 with the fries,' I tell them.
'Okay,' one of them says as a card is thrown on the counter at me.
'Thanks, your fries will be done in two minutes right down there,' and I point to the hot food pickup area.
'Oh. Could. You. Deliver. Them. To. My. Seat?' She starts talking really slow like I'm a child.
'Ma'am, I just put your fries in the fryer, they will be done by the time you get your drink. Your movie still has three minutes until the showtime, and there are 15 minutes of trailers, so you won't miss anything picking the food up in a minute over here,' I tell her.
'But you can bring them to my seat? I don't want to walk all the way back out from my movie,' the woman complains.
Finally, admitting defeat, 'Okay. What theater are you in?' I ask.
'Eight (around the corner down the hall, it is the farthest auditorium), but I don't know my seat.' she replies.
'Don't worry I'll find you,' I say as the fryer starts to drop the food. The ladies go to get the drink and I get the fries in a box and deliver them across the lobby.
It is the blatant disrespect that gets me. These people come in and almost expect us to wipe their butts for them. They expect us to be listening when they are finally ready to order, and they even ask things and then blatantly ignore what I say."
"I work in a pretty gigantic grocery store. This particular chain of grocery stores is well renowned and respected. I'm pretty sure our store is around 130,000 square feet. It's also self-service, like 99.9% of all grocery stores. It's one of those places where, if you are on a budget, you can buy some of the best quality, the least expensive foods and if you aren't then you can buy some pretty expensive gourmet food.
Because this particular location of the store is in a 'wealthy' (=middle class) area, many of our customers have serious attitude issues. A few weeks ago, a woman walked up to the service desk (where I work - lucky me) hands me a gigantic list of groceries and says 'I need these.'
Clearly, I'm a bit shocked, but I collect myself and hand her list back, along with a preprinted store directory, and tell her that the directory will help her find things. She hands it back to me and says 'No, I need YOU to get these for me. I'm in a hurry.'
I try to kindly explain we are a self-service grocery store, and we don't have a shopping service, and that furthermore it would probably take me LONGER to do her shopping because I wouldn't know specifically what she wanted. She refuses to accept this and soon my manager is involved, trying to tell her that we can't do her shopping for her.
She continues to make a big deal about it and asks for the front end manager (above the service desk manager). So, our gigantic Paris-Hilton-Meets-a-Hippo Front End Manager comes up. The woman starts crying to her and telling her she just came from having surgery and her mother is in the hospital, and she is in a hurry, blah blah blah. The front end manager isn't buying it, but after a while she says to me 'Can you just get these things, it's the only way to get this lady to leave.'
We're now about a half hour into this lady's stay in our store. So, begrudgingly, I begin to do this woman's shopping. Her list is a work of art in itself. Instead of specific items and brands, she has such things listed as 'spaghetti sauce,' 'bread' and 'snacks.' So, wanting to provide her with the best quality items, I decide to select the most expensive items offered in each category. So instead of $1.49 store brand spaghetti sauce, $.99 white sandwich bread, and $2.00 store brand potato chips, I select two jars of $14.99 imported pasta sauce, an $8.00 loaf of fresh baked organic whole wheat bread, and $25.00 gourmet cookies. You get the idea. I fill the entire cart in this manner.
Oh yeah, and I went really slow. About an hour and a half of shopping. It was a long list!
I get everything on her list and then bring it back up to the desk, where she is just standing there with a bored look on her face, getting in the way of people trying to buy lotto tickets. I give her the cart and tell her she can get in the lines and cash out. She scoffs at this and DEMANDS to be taken care of at the service desk. Normally we can cash out short orders, but not big ones like this. We don't have a moving belt, and we only have a portable bag stand (the registers have two bag stands each which are bolted in place, so they don't move all over the place). She complains until we finally give in and take her order. Because we are not properly equipped, it takes me about a half hour to ring in her order.
If you're keeping track we're at over two and a half hours.
Now, if this were my shopping, on my budget the same list would have cost maybe $150. But due to my creative shopping style, this cart of groceries comes to about $1,400. She starts to argue with me but I cut her off and say 'Have a great day, ma'am, you'd better rush along to get to your mother in the hospital- I'm sure she really needs you now!'
She didn't know what to say after that, so she just left- albeit not very happily. We printed up a second copy of the receipt and hung it in the back supply closet 'Hall of Fame.'"
"I work at a supplement store. A woman comes in 10 minutes before close to make a return from an online purchase. She says she ordered these supplements for a trip, but they arrived late so now wants to return them. Okay, no problem.
First, it starts to take a while because for some reason, this purchase won’t appear on my computer like it’s supposed to. But it’s fine, I get the okay from my manager to override and do this manually.
So I get to the end and ask her to produce the card she had made the purchase with. Our policy is very clear that money must be put back in the exact card to prevent frauds. But this lady has not brought the card. She brought a photo of her card, and only of the front so not even the security code on the back. I politely inform her that we actually need the physical card, but she tells me it broke.
So now there's several things that don’t make sense to me. Our shipping only takes two days so how did these arrive to late for her trip, and why would she not just want to keep them for use later? Why did she take a photo of her card before it broke? Did she know it was going to break?
Well I inform the lady we can’t finish the return with just a picture of the card, and as is written in our policy, we can’t give cash back for a card purchase. She starts yelling at me telling, telling me I should do this, and every other store does his for her. So I calmly tell her that I will call the manager. I already knew he would confirm we need the card line but hey maybe this will calm her. He of course says no, I politely inform her, and she begins yelling at me again.
Now it’s officially the time I have to close the store, and I still have two customers behind her. I’ve spent over ten minutes trying to do this for her.
It felt very satisfying to smile and wish her a good day as she finally picked her box back up and walked it ranting and yelling at me the whole time."