Going out to eat is supposed to be a fun fair. Great food, great company, what could go wrong? Unfortunately, sometimes things do. Yet, it's not always the food that's the issue, rather the people themselves. Having to witness that can be absolutely brutal. Just ask these Redditors.
Children of "Let me talk to a manager!" parents share their worst experiences. Content has been edited for clarity.
"One time my Grandad got a sausage roll at a football match during half time. When he got back to his seat, he found it was overdone, the pastry was quite burned. The man was irate. He didn't take it back straight away as the second half was about to start, but he spent much of the second half angrily lamenting his savory snack letdown. So he takes it home, calls the customer service number on the back (I assume he had a few choice words for the poor soul on the other end but I wasn't present for this), and keeps the remainder of the sausage roll in the freezer for the next couple of weeks.
Skip ahead to the next match day, my Grandad tells me we're heading out early so he can have his sausage roll replaced. The customer service line told him to go to Kiosk three at the front of the ground next to the ticket office. When we arrive, however, the shutters are down at the food place. The old man looks around growling and turning red in the face, stamps over to window number three of the ticket office, and slams his frozen burned sausage roll down like a freaking flaky gauntlet. At this point, I'm trying to convince him the ticket office was a completely different department to the catering concession but my Grandad was having none of it. The lady working the ticket window continually attempted in vain to convince him the same, they sell match tickets not hot snacks, but this just got him angrier and angrier. Across comes a colleague behind the glass, now there's just two people to rage at. Then a head steward comes to attempt to defuse the situation, and my Grandad begins to wave the burnt sausage roll in this man's face, I was actually surprised he didn't whack him with it. At this point I'm mortified by the whole affair, wishing I'd have stayed back at the house until nearer kick off.
Eventually, after an hour or so, the shutters come up on the food concession. Fella at the counter goes 'You must be Mr. Alaginge' and calmly resolves the situation, dispatching a freshly baked sausage roll with the steady hands of a surgeon. My Grandad is completely satisfied with the result of his hour of insolent rage.
As we're walking away, he turns to me and says 'That's how you get these things sorted.'"
"I grew up in a smaller town right on the cusps of its big growth boom. We knew our town had finally made it when we got an Olive Garden. We used to eat there two to three times a month. My mom and I would always split an entrée and my dad would get his own. We knew the rule: If you’re splitting an entrée and you get more than one of the family style bowls of salad, then you’ll get charged an extra four dollars for the extra person. Which is fair, two entrées come with two unlimited salads.
Well one day, my dad decides he wanted more salad. Only he wants the additional salad, but the waitress said if she refills the bowl, that we will be charged the extra four dollars. Well low and behold, my parents threw the biggest tantrum because only he wanted the additional salad. The demanded to speak to a manager, and the manager explained the rule (which we knew) but offered to comp the extra salad just to get my parents to stop yelling....and they did.
When our bill came, the manager comped my dads entrée and the additional salad fee. Well my mom got up. Interrupted the manager while he was talking to other guests and threw the check in his face and asked 'What’s this?'
She was furious that he comped my dads meal. He ate the meal, therefore we would like to pay for it. She wouldn’t stop raising her voice until she was allowed to pay for the meal (but not the salad). The manager was confused but obliged. When they brought the change, the manager slipped a few free appetizer coupons. My mom ripped them up and threw them on the ground as she left. Safe to say I didn’t eat out with them for at least a month and I still refuse to go to Olive Garden with them."
"My sister-in-law's step dad and mom took the family out to eat at a Red Lobster. They get there, and it is super busy. So the step dad walks up to the host and says, 'Yes, we have a reservation.'
The problem is, Red Lobster (or at least that one) doesn't take reservations. The host explains this, and says it is going to be 20 minute wait for seating. Her step dad flipped out and started screaming that he had called three hours beforehand and made a reservation. The host politely told him this was not possible, as they do not take reservations (again).
He continues to scream at the guy, and says he wants to talk to a manager. So the manager comes out and she tells him the same thing. They don't take reservations, so its not possible he had made one. He continues to cause a scene, and people started leaving just to get away from this toxic guy.
Finally, the manager says, 'Fine, we will put you ahead of everyone else that has been patiently waiting their turn.'
He says 'Thank you.'
They get seated.
Once they get to the table and the waitress walks away, he slyly winks and says to my brother and the rest of the family, 'That is how you get things done. I wasn't going to wait 20 minutes".
My brother refused to eat or order for fear of getting food that had been spit on."
"My mother-in-law is truly a 'Karen.' Going out to eat with her is always a nightmare. Her orders have 14 special requests, but she's not at all kind about it, she is defensive from the get go like you're an idiot who's already messed the order up.
'No dressing. Not on the side. Nothing. Completely dry. Do you understand? I will send it back!'
The one I will never forget though was dinner at Joe's Crab shack. In case you've never been, it's one of those places that every so often plays a song that the entire staff is required to drop everything and do a little synchronized dance to. It's quick, everyone gets a little kick out of it, it's part of the fun. Now my mother-in-law Karen knew this, it's not like she'd never been here. But apparently she was not willing to wait two extra minutes for her dry salad, so she starts going off as soon as the dancing starts.
She gets a manager, who clearly knows Karen well and offers a quick apology (for doing their job), a discount and her dry salad. But Karen's not completely satisfied. She tells us that even though dinner for our party of eight is on her, she's not tipping the waitress one penny. She proceeds to complain loudly for the rest of the meal, and antagonize our waitress over petty nonsense
I worked too many years in customer service and I'm a decent human being. I made sure to get my bill separate so I could tip for the entire table. I wrote a quick note on the receipt, something along the lines of, 'Way to stay positive even when the customer's a nightmare.'
I was a little afraid of the wrath of Karen, it was one of my first interactions with her too. When the waitress came and hugged me, Karen and I locked eyes. She knew. I didn't care."
"Growing up, my dad was sheriff of a small town. I must have been around eight or nine. He was brought in after the previous sheriff was booted out for political reasons/stealing city funds. That was a really unpopular movie, since he was super popular and spread his money all over town and let people get away with murder.
That sheriff was out and my dad was brought in. Everybody hated him, in part because they loved the old sheriff and also because my dad was an 'outsider' even though he came from about two towns over...he wasn't of their world, so he could never be fit to see over the village (It didn't help that my dad was an awful guy with a stick up his butt for the rules).
One day, my dad was dressed in his full uniform and took me alone to the local corner diner. Like, one of those places straight out of Roadhouse. We sat down and ate the full dinner, and my dad lectured me something about 'respect' and "the rules are all we have.'
Then the waitress came in and dropped the check. My dad looked at it, and it said the meal was free. My dad then excused himself and went up to the waitress. I kept to myself, and doodled on the napkin and the next time I looked up, my dad was full on screaming at the woman. He was straight-up shaking.
She tried to explain that free meals is how all cops are treated in this town. My dad was furious that he would get special treatment, that police are put above the normal laws. That the police have rules they must follow, and not accepting kickbacks is one of those rules. And that it especially happened in front of his kid, who he's trying to teach right.
Everyone in the diner was quiet and just staring at him.
It was a weird situation, because it was a moment where my dad showed a lot of integrity, but also a story of a 6'7" man with a loaded weapon on his belt screaming at a tiny little waitress. It stuck in my head as a clear picture of the contradictions that our parents are. Like, a lot of the good comes from them but at the same time a lot of the bad."
"My mom wanted to go to this burger chain called snuffers because she had some coupon that saved $1. When we get there, the place looks pretty crowded and pretty understaffed. We waited at the front for someone to seat us for a grand total of threeish minutes, and my mom starts yelling at any waiter that comes close enough to her that we've been waiting forever to be seated. The manager runs over to see what all the commotion was and seats us and apologies.
I do the standard 'I'm sorry look' to everyone staring at us. Menus come out. Mom wants fried mushrooms. Out of fried mushrooms. Mom wants manager. Unfortunately, they comply and he runs right out. She argues that they should never be out of something that's on the menu and starts exclaiming very loudly that 'She can't believe her favorite restaurant is going down hill.'
She really makes sure that everyone around us hears about how god awful this place has become. I mouth 'I'm so sorry' to the waiter that is standing behind her waiter watching this all go down. Manager gives us free cheese fries and my mom 'settles' for them. Then for the next minute, my mom tells with us (myself and my dad) about how terrible this place has become and keeps yelling that 'she should just get up and leave right now.'
She calms down and orders food. Free cheese fries and burgers come. My burger, actually wonderful. My dad's burger, he really likes it too. All of my mom's food, 'The most disgusting burger and fries she's ever had.'
She ordered it extra well and with lettuce and tomatoes. She specifically asked for no pickles, onions or sauce.She complained to the waiter who grabbed the manager and then told him about the quality of the burger. She then said might be able to stomach it if she got lots of pickles, some onions, ketchup, mustard, and mayo. She was also 'appalled' that the burger didn't come with those things already on it. The manager finishes his fetch-quest only to find out that my mom had at some point found out that there was some seasoning on her fries, and she can't eat fries with anything other than salt. So he runs back and get brand-new fries. We finish our food and the waitress doesn't even talk to us anymore.
My dad and I don't even care to get our drinks refilled. We just want to eat and get out of there as soon as possible. While we all finish our food, my mom isn't getting enough attention from the staff. So, she starts complaining to the other customers sitting around us and begins to try to bring them into the hate on this restaurant. We finish and the manager brings our check with blinding speed, and mom gives a coupon and dad gives credit card for meal. I see the coupon and it was for 1 dollar off. What. A. Bargain.
The icing on the cake of the whole ordeal is that the coupon only applied for lunch. My mom flips out. She goes off on the manager and waitress about how 'They should both be ashamed to work for an establishment that would lie, cheat and misled their customers like that.'
We got the meal comped. We left and I told my parents I forgot my phone at the table. I ran back in and apologized to the waitress. I also slipped her $20 for all it was worth.
All in all, great first day home. The rest of the holiday wasn't much better."
"My mom thought she was being overcharged 12 cents and freaked out at the poor Dairy Queen drive-thru dude. He was probably in high school and here’s my 'adult' mom screaming at him for overcharging her like 12 cents. Some of her exact words were 'Are you on crack?? What the heck is wrong with you? I can’t believe this is happening right now. You’re wasting my time.'
The usual flip out. Also, she mentioned her work... she loves bringing up that she works at a certain big business, as if that gives her more authority to be a brat to people.
But the Dairy Queen incident was special. Because just before going to get ice cream, my best friend and I had spent some quarters on giant fuzzy mustache stickers. So there we are in the backseat, rubbing our giant fake mustaches and staring at this kid getting screamed at by my mom. Dairy Queen dude was holding in laughter the entire time. I hope our mustaches made the raging mom incident less terrifying for him.
She did demand the manager who just shrugged her off and didn’t care."
"My dad is an active drinker. A rich active drinker. We were out at an extremely nice restaurant in our small town. It was a very foodie and chic place that had only been open for a couple of years, and had since become my favorite restaurant. I was sitting at a table with my siblings and cousins (all of us college-age), while my dad was sitting with my aunt and uncle and mom at a table nearby. By the time we get our food, the parents are still sitting there chugging their drinks with no food. My dad starts getting upset. I hear him call the waitress over. She brings them some bread and leaves them alone.
We finish our meals and our parents are still sitting there without food and several empty bottles. My mom is essentially fall asleep at this point. My father, furious, starts banging his fists on the table, shaking all of the silverware. The waitress goes into the kitchen to find the chef, but she is apparently taking too long. My dad storms into the kitchen. I hear him screaming at the top of his lungs like a freaking toddler. The chef calmly, politely walks him back to his table.
He sits him down and, in the calmest voice possible, says, 'Forget you, sir. Now, get the heck out of my restaurant.'
We have not been back since."
"I was about 13, and sitting in the front seat of the car while we were waiting for food in the Taco Bell drive through. We got our food, mom checked the bag, and noticed that while we had hot sauce, we hadn’t been given any mild sauce. She asked the window worker for a handful of mild sauce (which she’d already done once before), and the worker apologized and told her they’d run out. My mom just... lost it.
She started screaming at this poor window worker about how she should’ve been told immediately they were out, and who the heck runs out of mild sauce at Taco Bell and how the heck can you be so bad at your minimum wage job that you can’t follow simple instructions and just keep sauce in stock? Now, mind you, the window worker was like 16 and very nearly on the brink of tears, all because the restaurant manager didn’t order enough mild sauce.
I guess that finally clicked with mom, who asked to speak with the manager. When the manager arrived, they weren’t much older and my mom just ripped into that poor kid like he’d insulted her family or something. Remember, this entire time we’ve just been sitting in the drive through, taking up other people’s time and letting our food get cold because my mom was mad there was no mild sauce.
How was this issue resolved, you’re probably wondering. We got free cinnamon twists. My mom went on a 10-minute tirade that made a 16-year-old, minimum wage worker cry and disrupted the entire drive through line behind her for a $1.99 thing of cinnamon twists."
"My brother (13) sister (9), cousin one (10), cousin two (11) and I (11) went to go eat at the nearby Dairy Queen by our house. Brother orders first and gets ice cream. The rest of us get burgers. Brother regrets his order and asks to trade, but non of us wanted ice cream. So he decides to ask the cashier to switch his order. I tell him he can't do since he already ate some of it, but he ignores me and asks anyways. They say no because since he ate some.
Brother gets mad and walks home and the rest us eat our food. And then, oh boy.... my mom arrives, furious, and asks to speak with the manager. Manager comes up and says they can't switch his order because he already ate some of it. Mom waves the ice cream in managers face demanding to switch his order. Again, she says no. I'm super embarrassed and focus on eating my food. Now I didn't see exactly what happened, but cousin one did and his jaw drops and says something along the lines of, 'Your mom just shoved the ice cream at the ladies face!'
We all look back and poor manager lady had ice cream all over her face and hair! Mom grabs brother by the arm and nearly sprinted out of the store! I almost sank to the floor in embarrassment!
As the manager was wiping the ice cream off, she points to us and angrily asks us to come over. We booked it! Abandoning our food and ran home! Dad noticing us asking us what happened and we tell him. He gets mad, turns to mom and says, 'That was not necessary,' but mom wasn't having any of it and blamed it all on them.
Brother was red in the face. I don't think he expected that to happen.
About 10 minutes later (with parents arguing about it) the police show up with my little sister. We all forgot about her! She was mad at us for leaving her behind. The cops basically told us we were banned from entering that Dairy Queen. All of us glare at brother, who looked mortified. I don't know if my mom got in trouble (if she did it was well deserved) but it was so embarrassing and unnecessary.
To this day I haven't been back to that Dairy Queen. And that was almost 20 years ago! I always cringe a bit whenever I think about it."
"My brother was born when I was 13. When he was four or five, we went through the McDonald's drive through. My mom took him there every day because he would only eat chicken nuggets and refused any other home made food. As such, he had been collecting the current McDonald's toy line, and was hoping for the last one he had yet to collect.
We get the food, and my mom immediately digs out the toy. It's one he has three of, not the magical last one. She proceeds to ask the young man at the window if they have the last one. Disregarding the line up of cars behind us, he obliges by going to look and bringing all the toys in the line that they currently have giving her an option. Instead of thanking him for trying his best to help, she yells at the poor kid that she 'has all those, and she'll just settle for having 4 of this other one, as though it's crucial to her happiness. Then to put an exclamation point on it, she floored it and took off into the road.
I made the mistake of pointing out that it wasn't his fault, and that he had tried to help. Man did I get the death stare, and she was mad the rest of the day.
My saving grace was that I had been sitting in the back seat behind tinted windows, because my spoiled brother got whatever he wanted and was sitting in the front seat."
"When I was 13, it was my dad's year (divorced parents) to have handle my birthday. All I wanted to do was go to a pizza parlor with my best friend. We get there, and my dad invited his girlfriend. I barely knew her and it was clear to anyone with eyes that the two had been fighting.
We order our pizza and fries and I'm trying to enjoy myself, but my dad is acting like a brat. He is yelling at the poor teenage server over completely invented problems, and keeps asking for the manager. Finally, we are ready to leave and I hope the torture is over, when the manager says 'We hope you'll come back and see us again!' Or whatever other generic restaurant farewell he may have used.
My dad, full voice, shouts "That's not freaking likely!'
We take my friend home and my dad starts driving me back to my mom's house. I sat in the back seat and cried and cried. He saw this in the rearview mirror, and yelled at me for being upset.
When we got to my mother's house, I think I was out of that car before it fully stopped rolling. My dad jumped out too and followed me to the front door. I started to tearfully tell my mother what happened while my dad tried to shout over me, saying it was none of her business.
The man who would become my step dad, but then was just my mom's boyfriend, stepped in then. He's about six and a half feet tall and pretty muscular by nature. He put his hand on my shoulder and said 'You say what you need to say, honey.'
For the first time in my life, I told off my pathetic excuse of a biological father. I didn't know this until later, but my step dad stood behind me the whole time, staring daggers at my dad, just daring him to interrupt me. It was my birthday, I explained, and he humiliated me and ruined everything. I was only 13 and I was so heartbroken, and I just let him have it."