Whoever said the customer is always right never worked in the service industry. These waiters and waitresses share the rudest, snootiest folks they’ve ever had to wait on.
Who Was In The Right Here?
“Not exactly what is asked for but it is my restaurant story.
True story! Boston on Christmas Day 2018.
I was visiting friends. We had a tradition of going to a local Chinese restaurant. They served good food (not a buffet) at a good price. There were nine of us. When we got there, we were welcomed by the elderly woman owner and were seated at sort of a King’s table — good service — the restaurant was very busy. Three different waiters took our orders. The guy who took mine was not nice, but it was over quickly. I’ll call him Won.
Everyone was served except the three of us whom Won served. Finally, I flagged down a guy who was cleaning tables and asked if he would check on our orders. He agreed and rushed off. I’ll call him Tau. A few minutes later, Tau came back with our dinners. Once during the meal, we wanted a condiment and I caught Tau’s eye. He rushed to me and then quickly returned with the condiment. For well over an hour, I never saw Won.
We finally finished, and it was Tau who cleared our plates and the table. They then brought us a nice dessert ‘on the house.’ As we ate, the first three waiters — including Won — came back with small trays that each had a bill for the food. Won put the bill down next to me and then stood there waiting to get paid. I collected the other two bills and then gave Won my credit card. He left and came back with the credit charge card for me to sign. By this time, we were all getting ready to leave. The bill had a place for me to enter a tip and then write in how much to charge total. I added in $1.00 (one dollar) for a tip, totaled it, signed it, and gave it back to Won.
Won just stood there with a very evil look on his face. When I came back to my chair, Won tore off my copy of the credit card sheet, handed it to me, and then announced in a very loud voice, ‘Thank you for your $1.00 tip for your $147 meal. That makes you a very special kind of person.’ It was loud enough that the whole restaurant got quiet and looked at me. Won looked at me like he had gotten even.
I grabbed a large glass from the table and a table knife and stood up and then tapped the glass like a chime several times. It was loud and distinctive enough that everyone stopped eating and turned toward me — including Won and the owner. I then announced in a loud voice for all to hear, ‘I wish you all a Merry Christmas and want to thank the owner and the cooks for a wonderful experience. I highly recommend this restaurant if you want great food at good prices. However, if you want the best service, I recommend you avoid this particular waiter (pointing at Won). He took my order and then never once returned again — not even to deliver the food — but he was the first to present me with the bill. The rest of the waiters are like this man (I pointed to Tau) who took over (Won’s) duties and was most helpful and courteous all evening long.’ Facing Tau, I said, ‘Thank you’ (and then I gave Tau a $30 tip).
I got brief applause and noticed several people smiling or laughing and pointing at Won. I then took my coat to leave. I caught a glance at Won as he stood by the kitchen door staring at me. I saw the owner push him into the kitchen. We left.
I was 20 to 30 feet outside from the door when Tau came out shouting to me, ‘Sir! Mister! Sir!’ I stopped and Tau came up to me and said, ‘The owner told me to give this to you.’ He then handed me a red envelope. I said ‘Thank you,’ but before I could open it, he ran back inside. All my friends gathered around to see what I was given. One guy thought it might be a note to never come back. Another guy thought it might be a further charge for services.
I opened it. It was a signed card from the owner for two complimentary dinners.
The next time we went there, Won did not work there anymore, and Tau remembered me.”
A Snob Gets Put In Her Place
“Villa vacation in central Italy. The guest called ahead and asked for the shipping address. Nothing out of the ordinary — we have people send stuff to themselves for long stays: clothes, diet foods, vitamins, and medicines. This wasn’t it. It was four boxes. Super heavy. When the guest arrived, with 11 other people, his wife with the fake Upper East Side accent (you know the one: where the vowels are stretched and they speak slowly so you lessers can understand) said: ‘Oh, those boxes? That’s my riesling. I only drink white from the Loire (pronounced slowly in a bad accent) valley in France: I had the vineyard ship 48 bottles; hopefully, that lasts me the next two weeks.’
So a lot to point out here. First, we’re in Italy, renowned for making fantastic wines, and that year my neighbor had won the top 5 white wines in the world. Secondly, two weeks. That’s 14 days. Does she hope? HOPE? That 48 bottles will last her? Thirdly the villa has an award-winning cellar to draw from.
So, this lady spent two weeks taking bottles of white riesling from the Loire valley all over central Italy. Every day she left with two bottles and came back with none, and before she left she would have me verify that the restaurants would let her bring her wines for lunch. If they didn’t, choose another restaurant.
Finally the last night they were to go to a tasting at my neighbor’s vineyard. Part of the reason people stay with me is that it’s known I can get them access to my friend’s estate. Oh, it’s a castle. As in, an actual 14th-century castle. Very exclusive. They just don’t open their doors to anyone. Of course, she demands to bring her own beverages. The estate says no. She has a fit. A 50+-year-old woman, surrounded by her husband and friends, has an actual temper tantrum. Her friends don’t care. They want to go. So as we were leaving in the Mercedes vans, she came storming out of the villa with the largest Birkin bag that has ever existed. Yup that’s right. She tried to sneak a bottle into A PRIVATE ESTATE’S cellars. OMFG. So, at dinner, where a 1-Star Michelin chef was cooking, right at the table, while the chef was presenting his first dish, she opened her bag, pulled out the bottle, and started to open it, with the estate’s corkscrew.
Literally, in a cavern, we could hear the squeak, squeak, squeak of the opener fighting with the cork. Dead silence. Dead f’ing silence. The chef walked from the head of the table, picked up the bottle, looked at it and said ‘Thank you, I needed something to clean the floors with tonight.’, took the bottle and walked back to the kitchen with it.
Everyone at the table snickered. Including her husband. She demanded that they return it; it was from the Loire Valley! That they couldn’t do this to her. They didn’t know who she was. The staff and her friends didn’t give two sh*ts. It was epic. She pouted, and once she realized she wasn’t going to get her way, she got hammered on Italian vino.
At the end of the night, while paying, she insisted, loudly, that for the outrages foisted upon her, no tip was to be left! NO TIP! Yeah, no. Her hubby left quite a sizable tip to the staff that night, and she went home still yelling in the vans about the wines from the Loire valley.”
A Customer Complained About What?!
“I worked in a restaurant/bar in a male membership golf club about 30 odd years ago. The men were all wealthy, crusty old men and I was in my early 20s. During the weekend the men were allowed to bring their wives to the club and they would be given a four-course meal and then dance a few classics, like the waltz, after the meal. I worked at the bar and it was okay, but at my age quite dull.
One evening they all came for their meal, as usual, dressed up to the nines, in dinner suits and long dresses and I served those that came to the bar as usual. One man came up and ordered drinks for him and his wife and I made them up, nothing different from any other bar transaction. We weren’t allowed to receive tips as this was ‘an exclusive club’ owned by the members (as was explained to me when I took the job) and the members did not feel it was appropriate to tip, which wasn’t an issue to me. It was minimum wage but I appreciated the hours of work.
I will also mention I had taken the job because I had two children and my husband worked during the day so I could work the evenings and we could look after the children between us. We were a very happy family (still are today) and had a few evenings each week that we could have quality time together. It was hard but we used the extra money to give the children holidays and experiences we otherwise would not have been able to.
Well, the next day I went to work and was told to go into the office with the manager. Apparently, the wife had made a telephone complaint that she didn’t like the fact that I had smiled when I had served her husband.
He was old enough to be my grandfather! The manager told me that I should look down and not make any eye contact when serving at the bar and that although she had always been a cantankerous woman if her husband came to the bar again, I should call him over to serve him as they did not want to upset any of the customers, who employed him as the manager. Apparently, she had been quite vocal and was demanding I should be replaced with a male tender. The best part was the husband came in a few days later, rather embarrassed, without her and apologized to me for his wife complaining (as even he couldn’t see anything wrong), I just looked down, trying not to make eye contact as I had been told to, while he apologized and then I called the manager over to serve him. The manager looked at me annoyed and said I should serve him as it was ok because his wife wasn’t there and it wasn’t his job to serve drinks!
I remember thinking the men were idiots and how insecure she must be, despite all the money they may have had as I can assure you every time I went to work, all I wanted to do was be at home with my lovely husband and children. With quarantine, I get to make up for that lost time every day with my husband of 35 years, now furloughed, and I love it!”
“A Mental Illness In My Book”
“One Sunday my father and I went to a locally popular buffet. Seated behind Dad was a couple who were dressed in their Sunday best, he was in a gaudy suit shirt and tie combo that made me cringe along with a heavy gold ring on each finger, she was in a nice but loud print dress and a three to four-carat diamond ring with a mink coat laid over a chair, not letting it out of her sight. In itself that’s fine but the ‘shoo’ hand gesture as any waitress walked by quickly irritated me. Additionally stopping our mutual waitress for ‘something’ every time she walked by became tedious too. Twice she had to glance around for a purpose.
After all, this as they prepared to leave she made such a show of putting her knee-length mink coat on. While she is I bet imagining all the envy I spot hubby taking the tip off the table nearby and putting it on theirs. That’s IT for me.
I started waving the manager over. Thank goodness I told him about the tip thing and heard him mutter something about monopolizing his waitress. He had grabbed said tip and caught them short of the door. Had a brief talk with them and came back. Said, ‘Thank you, sir. I’d missed that. She works hard for her money. She’s a single mother. I told them their stunt was observed and I didn’t like the idea that a thief was in my customer’s company. Please don’t return.’
My observation: Some people cannot enjoy something unless it is used to belittle or irritate another. They need to impose offense on others to demonstrate their imagined superiority. A mental illness in my book.”
Now That’s Just Ridiculous
“This wasn’t really snobby but it was bizarre.
My husband and I were eating breakfast in a crowded IHOP somewhere in Alabama. I don’t even remember why we were in Alabama without the kids. Anyway, there was a man at the table next to us who had called his waitress over to complain about his order. We could see and hear what they were doing and saying.
The poor waitress was trying her best to fix whatever was wrong but there was nothing wrong! He was saying he didn’t get what was in the picture on the menu. She was going over each item to show him that he did, indeed, get what was in the picture.
Finally, we all realized what he was going on about: his plate didn’t look exactly like the picture on the menu! The waitress moved his bacon a bit and placed his toast on the other edge of his plate. That was it! Problem solved! He was happy.
The waitress glanced at us as if to say, ‘What the heck? Did y’all see that?’
We weren’t sure why he couldn’t just rearrange the food himself or just eat it as it was! Crazy but true.”
Pandamonium At Panda Express
“As a connoisseur of fine dining, this story takes place in the local Panda Express…
<Hazy dream sequence>
Panda Express Counter, Noon. I get in line behind a man on his cell phone. When it is his turn, he makes the counter staff wait while he finishes his thought on his phone. He doesn’t hang up. The clerk keeps waiting. Finally, the guy points to the Fire Chicken and the Orange Chicken. The clerk is left to determine if he wanted a bowl or a combo tray. I proceed to make my selections while following the loud talker through the line.
When he gets to the cashier, he finally decides to look at his order. ‘This isn’t what I ordered. I told her I wanted x and y, not b and c!’
The person who made the tray came over and started to apologize and the dude laid into her. ‘This isn’t what I ordered. I told you I wanted x and y!! And I wanted a combo!’
At this point, I decided to be ‘that guy’ and butt in. ‘Uh, actually, you didn’t tell her anything. All you did was grunt and point like a monkey. I think you are lucky to have gotten that and not spit-fried rice.’
He looked at me for a moment. I chose to square my stance to him, not breaking eye contact. He made some sputtering noises and walked out of the restaurant; all the while yelling into his phone about how terrible Panda Express was.
I stepped up to the counter to pay for my meal. The manager slid the tray my way and simply said, ‘Thank you. Please come back again soon.’
<Hazy swirly memory foam>
Present-day. I recognize that this isn’t snobby, per se’, but it was terribly rude and the man treated the employees like dirt.”
“Let’s call this guy Jack.
Jack ate an entire meal, drink and dessert included, then very loudly refused to pay because he found a hair in his food while proudly showing his napkin with a hair on it.
Jack then smugly walked out of the restaurant leaving a sobbing waitress in his wake. However, before he could get to his car, two patrons at the bar, overhearing all this caught up with Jack. They argued with a lot of finger-pointing and nose-to-nose yelling. Then things got quiet. The two guys from the bar had their hands on their hips staring at Jack who resolutely stood his ground. Then the two from the bar looked at each other, nodded slightly, then in a flurry of fists and elbows proceeded to pummel Jack to the ground.
With a sprawled Jack at their feet, they then took his wallet and removed all his cash (nice roll too) and his driver’s license. Then they shook him into consciousness.
They told him if they ever saw him again they would repeat what had just happened. If the police were called they would go to his address listed on the license and again pummel him in front of his wife and kids. They were pointing and talking and Jack just kept nodding at everything they said.
Then they dragged him back into the restaurant and had him apologize to the crying waitress. They whispered something to him and he took out his credit card and handed it to her telling her in a loud but shaky voice to ‘Please use this to pay for my meal and please give yourself a 50% tip off the bill’. More whispering in Jack’s ear produced the following, ‘I want to apologize to everyone here for my behavior, I was foolish’. More whispering in both of Jack’s ears produced this: ‘and as a means to try and make things up to all you folks, I’d’… then he stopped and shook his head. The guy on Jack’s right kidney punched him with only two fingers and Jack started to whimper…then he continued ‘I’d also like…like to buy you all……dinner too’.
The restaurant was quiet for a while until a boy about 10 said ‘gee thank you mister’ then laughter and applause filled the room.
Then the two squeezed Jack between them, each wrapping an arm around Jack’s shoulder while smiling from ear to ear. They then asked the restaurant patrons to take pictures of them and their good ole buddy Jack and to post them on their Facebook page.
Then they led Jack to a bar stool and sat on each side of him, then proceeded to get him plastered while the rest of the patrons finished their meals and the checks were tallied.
The restaurant’s closing time was 10 p.m. but the owner closed early after the last diner left, which was around 9:25 p.m. Then the owner with the kitchen and serving staff, assembled around the bar to have their free drink for the night. All the while Jack slept and snored with his face on the bar top settled in a pool of spilled ,spirits and littered shot glasses.
The owner made eye contact with the two on either side of Jack and pointed with his chin to the back of the restaurant, they nodded and followed. When they got there, this is what was decided. The owner would call for a taxi service he used for handling inebriated patrons and tell him Jack drank way too much, lost his license and needed a ride.
The two agreed, handed the owner half of Jack’s roll and told him to take care of his staff and the waitress too…again. He smiled as he left.
The taxi arrived at about 10:10 p.m., and the two had to carry Jack to the taxi and buckled him in the back seat. The owner appeared with an empty gallon can with the top off and the rim taped, just in case things got dicey with Jack’s stomach.
The last of Jack’s rolls went to the taxi driver as the two discussed what had actually happened to Jack, which was the reason he was bleeding, bruised and had one eye swollen shut.
The driver was quiet for awhile while looking at the two then said, ‘yah I could tell he was pretty wasted cuz he fell face-first into two cars just gotten to me’.
That settled, they all shook hands, gave the driver Jack’s wallet with no cash and a missing driver’s license. As the taxi backed up, their eyes met; the driver and both of them gave a half salute to the driver who nodded back. And that was the last they saw or heard from Jack.
So you ask yourself, how does this guy know how this all went down in the restaurant and outside out of hearing range. Well, by deduction I must be either Jack or the left bar patron, or the right bar patron. But I’m not telling….Mick.”
“My horrible former sister-in-law was a world-class snob. Once, I was unfortunate enough to go to a diner with her and a couple of other family members. First, she made a fuss about where she sat in the diner, forcing the hostess to move us twice – and she wasn’t nice about it. The waitress dropped off menus, and within seconds, my SIL managed to knock the (glass) ketchup bottle to the floor. A passing bus person saw what happened, and dropped off another bottle of ketchup on her way by, on the opposite side of the table, no doubt planning to grab the other one when she came back the other way.
This of course wasn’t good enough for SIL. She tsked loudly, and for some reason, moved the ketchup bottle to where the previous one had been. Then she somehow knocked it over too. It fell onto the first bottle, and they both broke. Ketchup splashed all over SIL’s shoes, as well as my mother’s. SIL shrieked, and proceeded to blame the bus person for being too lazy (her words) to pick the first bottle up from the floor. Then she stood there, snapping her fingers, demanding the mess be cleaned up, and threatening to sue for the cost of her shoes.
Well, I had been putting up with her nonsense for several hours that day, and I’d had enough. I immediately apologized for her rudeness and asked where they kept their cleaning supplies. Then I helped them to clean up the mess this *&^% had made. My outspokenness made me even less popular with her, of course, and my family members later informed me that I had been rude to SIL – but to this day, whenever I go to that diner, I get a free pie.”
“I’m not sure if this qualifies as snobbery, but it does count towards arrogance and an attitude of entitlement. And I had a front-row seat.
A mutual friend invited us out for dinner at a Cajun-themed restaurant, and we accepted. The evening started going downhill as soon as we arrived. We were informed it would be about half an hour to wait for a table, to which he only agreed after a lengthy and embarrassing conversation with the hostess at the front of the house. He had no idea he was doing anything wrong – apparently, he believed the young lady working the front was there for him to yell at, berate, and make crude comments about her figure.
When we got a table, it was a high top close to the bar, and that was also unacceptable. It was a popular, trendy little place, on a Friday night, so it was packed. Go figure. After another lengthy discussion, it was determined that the table was acceptable. The real fun started when we were ready to place our dinner orders. The waitress was interrogated about the entrees – what were the ingredients and seasonings, was the fish fresh or frozen, were the vegetables locally sourced, on and on. The food was good, but no one should have been forced to watch this guy eat. His lack of table manners was absolutely epic. Talking with food in his mouth (showering everyone else at the table with bits of what he was eating), chewing with his mouth wide open, slurping, smacking … like he was competing to be the most disgusting diner in the restaurant.
The kicker was dessert.
After laboring over the dessert menu, he decided on a piece of cheesecake with a caramel drizzle. When it arrived, he blew a fuse. It had CARAMEL on it. CARAMEL was made with SUGAR. He was allergic to SUGAR, because it made him HYPER.
Dude, it’s sugar. It makes everyone a bit hyper. That’s one of the reasons people like it so much.
I apologized to the waitress on our way out and left a little extra tip on the table. I was appalled by his behavior. He was mean, condescending, and unforgivably rude to the waitress and any other staff members who got too close to our table.”