What makes rich people think they can treat everyone else like literal turds?! Money can only get you so far, and it wasn't far enough for these restaurant workers to put up with such terrible behavior! The clap-backs were epic. But seriously, these rich people must have come from another planet if they thought this was how to treat other people! Content has been edited for clarity.
"So I was working a mid level Manhattan restaurant on the Upper East Side, when this really obnoxious group of Long Island stockbrokers came in for dinner. They were all dressed in bad ties and short sleeve button down shirts with penny loafers. Even I knew that was in poor taste. Hey, I get to be a little snooty too! Anyway, we put them in the back room away from other customers, but they still managed to annoy the entire regular dining room, myself, and the rest of the staff. We had large two foot long pepper grinders that we would bring around to people who had Caesar salads and stuff. We also had an absolutely enormous five and a half foot tall pepper grinder. It worked, but the pepper was put in there in about 1974, so it was mostly used for show. So this guy says demands I use the massive pepper grinder for his salad, but I tried to convince him otherwise.
This stockbroker adopts a mocking tone and shout, ''What, you can't do it?! He can't do it! One hundred bucks says he can't do it!'
I had never actually tried to use the massive grinder, but this guy took things way too far. I went over to the grinder, brought it to the table, and I proceeded to ruin this man's salad with a ton of old gross black pepper. He thought this whole thing was hysterical. I should have won a hundred bucks for doing this, right? Nope. He is about to put his money clip back in his pocket, but he stops and takes it out again. He doles three hundred dollar bills onto the table and tells me it's all mine if I take the enormous pepper grinder and hit his friend with it as hard as I can. Um, what? I mean, I wasn't going to turn the whole thing down! So I swung the pepper grinder as hard as I could and hit the guy in the bottom of the foot. And so the guy gives me just one of the hundreds and says I didn't hit him in the head. The bill was like $700 and he tipped me $20. Even with the hundred, that's a terrible tip. That guy was a cheap bag of garbage."
"My very first job, when I was sixteen, was as a server in a very small very high-end lunch restaurant in a very wealthy seaside resort. Actually, scratch that, I was the only server. The place was so small that you could only really fit a couple of employees inside the back area, but we still had like twenty outdoor tables. One day, we got slammed at lunch and sold out of pretty much everything. Our chef was trying his best to make do, but there wasn't much he could really create. We called the owner, but he told us to keep seating people. What an idiot. So I sat a snooty looking older couple from somewhere in the Deep South, judging by their accents. She wanted a lobster roll. I explained that we were sold out of a lot of stuff, including lobster rolls. She fussed but eventually made a decision. I tried to process her order, but as our chef went to grab what he needed, he realized we couldn't fill the order. I go back out to their table to let her know I can't fill her order, and I offer a special instead. Our chef was awesome and he could come up with amazing meals out of nothing, and he had come up with like a seafood paella he could throw together for her. As I leave her for a moment to consider her decision and see another table that is trying to flag me down, she straight up screams at me, 'DON'T YOU WALK AWAY FROM ME!'
I was stunned, and the whole deck area looked at her awkwardly. I apologized and told her I would be with her in a moment, but she didn't take kindly to that and began to insult my intelligence. She kept asking me what on earth was wrong with me, those kinds of insults. She was red in the face. Her husband looked really embarrassed. At this point, I had been working for about three weeks without a day off, for seven days a week, ten hours a day. I was saving for university and was getting concerned about burning out. I kinda snapped. I first let out a burst of hysterical laughter, and then just started sobbing. But I was sobbing and laughing hysterically at the same time. I took my apron off and threw it at her, stormed inside, still hysterical and grabbed a smoke from the chef, walked back out onto the deck, and lit it. And I just sat at the bottom of the steps, crying. Another customer sat beside me and told me not to worry about awful customers. She told me she had been a server for years and she knew how I felt, which was really nice. All the customers on the deck were looking at me having a breakdown, it was so awful. The chef had followed me out to see what was going on. He was livid at the customer who had screamed at me, and asked the couple to leave, saying something like, 'She's SIXTEEN! She's busting her butt off for you people!'
They left embarrassed, and they were not allowed to return. We stopped seating customers for the afternoon after that, closed up, and the chef and I drank a box of bubbly and smoked all evening instead."
"I waited tables at a posh restaurant for about two years on and off. I had a customer come in one day with the order, 'I want a medium rare steak, but I don't want to see a single drop of blood!'
I went to the kitchen and told them to do that. The chef literally threw a frying pan at my head, told me to get lost and come back with a real order. I went back out and told said customer how that's impossible. The customer starts arguing, getting more and more aggressive. He calls me a total moron. He says how he's glad his kids (sitting there) study so hard, so they won't end up like me. He tells me he won't speak with me anymore, so I should get the owner, because he 'knows her well' and I'm gonna 'get my butt chewed'. I just say, 'Alright sir, whatever you say,' and I walk to the office, open the door and just go 'Mum, one of your nasty friends is here to make a complaint about me'.
Mum goes out, says hello, and asks what the problem is. The customer has about a hundred complaints about me not being able to fulfil his stupid request. She turns to me and goes, 'Is this true?' and all I said was, 'Sure, mum. A med rare steak with no blood. I'm not even a chef, and even I can tell you only a total moron would make an order like that.'
The second the customer heard me call her mum, his face went paper white and he changed his tone. he admitted he was being unreasonable but said he wasn't at fault."
"I worked at a high-end steakhouse during college. To paint a little picture, women's uniforms consisted of two-inch heels, fish net stockings, and a black skirt. It tried to take to the 'jazz' aspect of the restaurant, since there was a live jazz band there every night. It's actually a part of a pretty major steakhouse restaurant chain, super high end dining, with an average of $90 per plate. On Valentine's Day, we would always get swamped. Usually they would overstaff the servers, just to make sure we had enough coverage on the floor. This is all well and good, but that means smaller sections, and I have to turn and burn these tables fast in order to have a good night of tips. I had a couple who was clearly on edge the entire dinner, and the husband would take it out on me every time I approached the table. He would criticize things I would say, and he had a problem with simple questions I would ask. He even mocked me a few times. Total loser. They ended up staying twenty minutes after I dropped off their check, which is just a terrible move on top of everything, being that it's one of the busiest nights of the year in the restaurant business. The wife just kept looking over at me and apologizing. In the end, they left a 20% tip, but I'll never forget the absolute disrespect I experienced with that table. I think about it, years later from time to time, and I just tell myself I'll never treat a human being that way. It doesn't matter who they are or what role they are in. The guy felt that because I was a young girl dressed all up serving him expensive steaks, he could treat me however he wanted. Forget that guy. If you've worked in the restaurant business, you could understand how incredibly frustrating it is. Just by them taking the twenty extra minutes could cost me serious money on a night like that. And they did. Especially when the guy was being so mean about it. If people are nice, I never minded them hanging out for a little."
"I worked as a waitress at a 'casual fine dining' bed and breakfast when I was twenty. It was crazy busy one night due to us hosting a date night special, so lots of couples showed up. There was an older married couple that was in my section, and the husband was super nice. He asked how my night was and even postponed his order so that I could clear a nearby table. His wife had a permanent angry face and glared at everything. He asks about where I'm from and we get into the casual banter that you get in that type of setting. Their meal gets cleared and it's time for dessert and bubbly, as per the date night feature. She orders a brand that technically is a different drink. I didn't want them to feel ripped off so I told her what she would be ordering was a totally different drink, and would that be okay? She just kind of looked at me for an uncomfortable amount of time. Her husband is just looking at her, like maybe she's having a stroke? Well, her brain must have been going into overdrive trying to think of something insulting, because after a while she just says, 'Sweetheart, I see how hard you're working, and have you maybe considered getting some work done on yourself? You wouldn't have to work so hard if you were a little prettier. Just a thought...'
I could not even process what said until I got to the kitchen. Her husband's face was what made me cry. I can take an insult, but the mix of embarrassment, shame, and disgust on his face just made me lose it. I comped his dessert and made her drink with mostly apple juice. I hope that $27 glass of 80% cheap apple juice was good!'
"So I worked in a country club as a teenager. The kitchen was extremely old, and we filled out tickets with the lunch order, sent them down in a dumbwaiter, and then waited for the food to come back up via the same system. I sent down my ticket correctly. Up comes the order, with one sandwich missing. I go to the table, explain the delay, and serve the others. You know what's coming. I send the ticket down again, write THIS IS MISSING, and up comes the sandwich. IT'S THE WRONG SANDWICH. I go back to the customer and explain, at which point he starts screaming at me in front of the entire dining room, 'WHAT THE HECK is WRONG WITH YOU?! IT'S ONESANDWICH! IS THAT SO HARD TO GET RIGHT?! YOU MUST BE THE STUPIDEST BRAT I'VE EVER MET!'
I was 16. I burst into tears and ran back to the dumbwaiter to try again. My manager followed me over, asked what happened, and I told him. He went back to the table and apparently explained to the man that I had absolutely no control over the situation. The kitchen was on another floor and I could not communicate with them except by slip. The customer came back to me, huddled in my corner, waiting for the sandwich, and handed something to me. My manager told me to take it. In the customer's hand was a twenty dollar bill. Now I was not a very outgoing person at that point in my life, but I've always been proud that not only did I refuse the money, I took off my apron and walked out the door. My parents were big into work ethic and keeping jobs, but even they did not berate me for quitting."
"My wife and I worked at Farmington Country Club in Charlottesville, Virginia. Yes, I’m giving the real name of the place because I don’t give care about them anymore. It's this exclusive country club, complete with celebrities. Pretty much anybody who has a horse and loves to golf belongs there. Anyway, I have tons of stories about people being rich pricks, especially the entitled teenagers that went there and signed their daddy’s name on everything, but the best encounter is a story from my wife. She moved to Charlottesville after graduating from William and Mary, in order to wait for me to graduate. This place had three different restaurants onsite, all with differing levels of service. I worked the main dining room where I was not allowed to make eye contact with the members. My wife worked at the 19th hole and the other restaurant, which were less formal.
Anyway, she is waiting on a member and his family, and it’s obvious he and his daughter are arguing. My wife comes to the table to fill the tea or something, and he says to his daughter, 'If you don’t go to school, you are going to end up like her!’ whilst pointing directly at my wife. My wife takes a second to collect herself and says to the member, 'Sir, I went to William and Mary and graduated with a double major.'
He says nothing and she leaves. Ten minutes later, my wife is called into the manager's office and is reprimanded (officially) for being 'discourteous' to a member. That's just one of the many many humiliations we suffered for the (at the time) ridiculous $18/hr they were paying us.
Also have some good stories of very nice members. Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman were members, and every interaction we had with them was fantastic. Truly very nice people, at least to the waitstaff. Howie Long also a member, and that dude was equally fantastic."
"I work at a pretty high-class seafood restaurant in Rhode Island, and one evening, I had a table of people that I assume were not from around there, considering their heavy accents. I went to clear their table, and all of them had some form of a lobster dish. One of these men complained that the lobster was not fresh and was frozen. I politely informed him that our lobster that we served to him was never frozen. He was very adamant that he was the correct one, as he was clearly the biggest lobster expert to ever walk int our doors. So I said sorry and walked off, and I passed my manager and mentioned it to him. My manager simply said, 'Go back to that table and tell them we have 250 pounds of fresh lobster every day, and they can sort through it if they want to be sure!'
So I went back and told them again, politely, and once again the gentleman was still convinced the lobster was frozen. One more time I told my boss, and he just stormed off to come back five minutes later, with a cardboard box full of live lobster. With an angry gleam in his eye, he told me, 'Go show those losers.'
One last time, I walked out to them and set down a box full of ten or so lobsters and said, 'See? Fresh!'
And the guy's dumbstruck face was so satisfying. The tip? Not quite so satisfying."
"I worked as a barista and had a pair of soccer moms with babies and strollers come in. Each one of them would order an overly complex latte, and they would sit and talk for over an hour. Meanwhile, I was very attentive to them. I gave biscuits to the babies and made sure that their water glasses were filled. They tipped me twenty-five cents. They literally left a quarter on the table before coming to the register to pay. Of course, I saw this, and with a level of disdain you could carve with a knife, I thanked them for their 'generous tip'. They looked stunned, mortified, and then they both quickly strolled their babies out the door. My boss, who had told me before that I was the best employee he had ever had, also saw the exchange and asked me what I said to them. Holding up the quarter, I told him. He started to discipline me, when I reminded him that I could walk next door to any shop in the mall and get the same amount for a paycheck, and I could get more respect. He put five bucks in the tip jar. I told him it was a good start."
"I worked valet and was a waiter for about a year at this really classy hotel/restaurant downtown. We routinely had Mercedes, BMW's, Range Rovers, football player's candy colored cars, Porsche's, and pretty much any other kind of high end, non-sports car. I got to drive some incredible cars. One time, a guy pulled up in a decent Mercedes, not an AMG or anything super high dollar. He seemed cool at first, but after I gave him the valet claim ticket, he casually went to his back seat and retrieved a newspaper. As I still holding the driver's door open, he starts disassembling the newspaper, like he was about to clean up cat urine off the hardwood floor. Once he had four or five single sheets of newspaper, he began setting the newspaper on his driver's seat, as to protect it from my apparently dirty butt. He didn't even have to say anything, and it was the rudest insult I had ever received. But that sort of treatment motivated me to seek employment elsewhere, where I could be treated like an actual human being."
"I have waited tables before, but never anywhere snooty enough to qualify for this thread. I DO have a story though. I started dating a woman who was born into wealth, after I was recently out of school. I would somewhat regularly go to eat with her family. I had gotten to know her pretty well before getting to know the family, as is pretty common. I had never once seen her talk down to servers or service. She could be judgmental on the quality of food, but that was about it. Her parents and her youngest brother were absolutely some of the worst people I had met, with regard to treating people in the service industry with respect. Her father would snap his fingers at people and wave across the room. He would often get upset if the server in question did not immediately drop what they were doing and attend to his needs. Her mother was the kind of person who simply set herself apart from anyone else in the world who did not meet her standards. 'These people' was a common phrase heard from her in almost any given situation where 'lower class' people could be judged. Her brother would often mirror the mother's behavior. He seemed to set himself apart from most people. He seemed to enjoy making remarks that he probably would not consider cutting or offensive, in order to boost his own ego.
How the girl I dated didn't adopt any of this behavior is still a wonder to me. I have a bunch of stories actually from 'fine' dining with these folk, but this was my favorite. We got invited to join the family to go eat at this posh steakhouse. Real fancy joint. We get there and the mom is already whining about some other table that is seated next to us. Keep in mind this place has probably an 8-foot gap between tables, so we are not packed in. We sit and they bring water and bread to try out. The dad is snapping his fingers about two minutes in at the poor unsuspecting bus boy, who comes over.
'Where is our server?'
'I don't know sir, let me find out.'
'YOU DON'T KNOW?!' The dad's spluttering and harrumphing commences. The poor, unsuspecting bus boy scurries off to find our server. Two minutes pass. Probably less. Server arrives.
The unsuspecting, soft-spoken waitress said, 'Good evening my na-'
'Where have you been? We having been waiting twenty minutes!'
'I am very sorry for the wait, may I-'
'We are also very sorry!' says the mom in very sharp tone.
Orders are taken. I am just stoked to be there, but this was actually one of the first times I really experienced this with her family. I happily sip my expensive drink and make small talk with everyone, kinda feeling like I am being grilled over high heat. Her family never really approved of me either, but that is a whole different story. The mom proceeds to engage her son in banter about how it's amazing the people here keep their jobs. How stupid they are. How none of them were properly educated. She seemed to enjoy trying to repeat this every time our server was on the way to the table or at the table. Well appetizers were finally served and we ate. More talk. We wait for the main course. The mom starts up with the talk again. Server brings main courses. Mom starts talking to the brother about how, 'Its amazing that they keep hiring such dumb people to work here. Nothing is done right. What do you expect from a bunch of dropouts?!'
At this point my jaw was probably on the table. The waitress is literally putting food in front of us as she is saying this.
'Can I bring you anything else?' the waitress manages to squeak out.
We eat. The mom still seems to want this poor server to know she does not approve of her at all. After dessert is served, she proceeds to ask the waitress what her plans are after she leaves the restaurant. Server responds that she plans to work two more months and start community college in the spring. She had plans to become a teacher as I recall. The mom looks her up and down and scoffs and uttered, 'Typical.'
I was just keeping quiet, but I had found newfound hatred for that woman that day. I knew if ended up marrying her daughter (bullet dodged and another story), I would fit the stereotype of hating your mother-in-law. We finish up and check is brought. It is obvious that our server had been crying. The mom again can't resist and mentions 'weak people' or something to that effect as the server is walking away. We sit a few more minutes. As we get up to leave, the server kind of rushes up to the mom as we head towards the door.
'I just wanted to thank you. You reminded me I should never be weak. I just quit my job. I was scared, but I am not weak. No, I am gonna be strong and make a change. I don't want to help you or anyone like you anymore. So thank you.'
That was the best response that the server could have made. It was so awesome. Apparently it really rubbed the mom the wrong way, as she complained about it the next time we went out to eat, and the next few times after that. I eventually just started declining invites."