Working in a customer service related field can be a real pain in the butt, as people can get really worked up over the smallest things, even if they're in the wrong. And when the job has anything to do with food it makes things even worse, because customers almost never play nice when they're hangry. As a result, food industry workers often have some of the best wild tales about obnoxious patrons.
Whether it's a guy at McDonald's who totally flips his lid after being asked a question about his McMuffin, or a food stamp recipient who flies off the handle when his illegal scheme is put on hold, the poor workers who have to deal with these people truly deserve an award. It's unreal that people can be so selfish and entitled, and then take it out on these hapless employees. Here are some of Reddit food industry workers' nuttiest, most dreadful stories about the craziest, rudest customers they've ever had. Content edited for clarity.
"I once had a Chinese woman yell at me in broken English, saying that my English was horrible because I am 'a freaking Jap' (in a Japanese restaurant, nonetheless). I'm half Japanese but I don't really look it, and I've lived in Canada for most of my life so my English is perfectly fine.
Although I was tempted to laugh and say, 'It's better than yours, and my nationality has nothing to do with this!' I simply smiled and said there was nothing I could do to help her. I told my manager after her party left and he said that he would have been happy to kick them out."
"I used to work at McDonald's and one morning this guy came and ordered an egg McMuffin. Because he wasn't a regular and I'd never seen him before, I said to him in the nicest voice possible, 'Cheese comes on that sir, is that okay?'
He stopped what he was doing, looked at me, and said, 'I have been eating McDonald's for 20 freaking years! Don't you think I know cheese comes on a McMuffin? How freaking stupid do you think I am?!'
I replied, 'Sir, I apologize, but I have to ask every customer that buys one if cheese is okay on it since not everybody knows and we have to throw a lot away because people bring them back.'
Then, for no reason at all, he said, 'God, you people from the South are freaking slow and have no respect for your elders!' I can't remember everything he said because I was extremely upset, but just imagine several more minutes of being talked down to.
Then my manager came over and the rude customer said, 'What were you thinking when you hired this girl, she is a total idiot!' to which my manager replied, 'I agree and I'm sorry sir, I promise this will never happen again and she will be dealt with.'
My manager then looked over at me like I'd killed somebody. Oh God, it was the worst look ever. At that point a few of my regulars came up and started yelling at the customer, 'How could you make this sweet girl cry, you Yankee prick?!' I left from behind the counter to go to the bathroom and clear the makeup off my face, and on the way one of my regulars grabbed me and gave me a hug while her husband continued to yell at the guy.
I should point out that I never even rung this guy up for his food because he was too busy yelling so I just kinda froze and sat there. Long story short, after several minutes of my regulars yelling at him, he left without his food.
After that, my manager took me to the back and lectured me about how I shouldn't talk down to my customers even though I wasn't, so of course I tried to defend myself to no success. That whole day was just awful and I'll never forget it; I think that one old man's speech was the most anyone has ever hurt me."
"I've worked many customer service jobs so I have a million stories, but my favorite happened when I was 16 and working produce at a grocery store. I was doing my basic duties one day when an older woman came up to me with a watermelon and asked if I could cut it in half for her.
This was a common occurrence in my job, so I just took the melon in the back, cut it in half, wrapped both chunks in cellophane, and brought it back to her. When I gave it to her, she looked at me like I was an idiot and said, 'This isn't my watermelon.' I assured her that it was and she responded, 'No, mine wasn't cut in half.' Really? How do you even talk sense into someone like that?"
"I worked at Hardee's for several years and one time I was working the 6 am-2 pm shift on Father's Day when a family came in about a half-hour into my shift. That early in the morning, the only people working in the store were my manager, the cook, and myself.
The dad ordered, his kids ordered, and then, in the middle of his wife's order, he saw that the cook had handed up his food to be bagged. He interrupted his wife to ask me if I'd stop what I was doing to give him his food so it didn't get cold.
I tried to explain to him that I had to finish taking the order before I could put it together and hand out the food. He then proceeded to throw his cup at me as his wife tried to calm him down.
Then he yelled, 'Eff no, I don't want to eat here, she's being a witch!' Needless to say, it was a good thing they left immediately, as the guy who was the cook that morning was about to round the corner and 'defend my honor' in a potentially violent way."
"I was a server at Chili's for more time than I care to recall. I've had a lot of buttheads come through, but the worst was a group of 17 people from Tennessee who came in and were at the restaurant for about two hours.
They were so needy I had to literally give away my other tables to my coworkers so that I could meet the needs of these turds. When it came time to pay, the matriarch pulled out $300 in Chili's gift cards (their total was like $260) that she had won in a contest. I thought to myself, 'Ok, well hopefully they'll leave me with a good tip since I worked so hard and made absolutely no money that day due to their huge table taking over.'
Standard gratuity at Chili's was about 17-18%, but with anything over $60, people get cheap and only tip about 10%, so I was hoping for maybe $20-30. They took their check, their to-go boxes, and their to-go iced teas and left me with NOTHING. Absolutely nothing. It was a conglomerate of like three families and when the bill payer stiffs, usually someone will leave a small tip, but there was nothing.
It wouldn't even have been money out of their pocket because they could have tipped me off the gift card and still had enough left to come back again! Even if they thought I had given bad service, they could have left a meager tip. When they finally left, it was closing time. Being a college student I only worked two or three shifts a week, and my total take from that 5-hour shift plus lots of cleaning work after was 6 bucks. Please people, no tipping is completely stealing."
"I used to work in a sandwich shop and we once got called in an hour early because we had a catering job and had to make a few platters, which were pretty much just sub sandwiches cut into smaller pieces for easy eating.
This lady showed up right before the lunch rush, looked at the platters for half a second, and said, 'Those aren't two-inch pieces.' Apparently on our website it says that the subs are cut into two-inch slices and they were, approximately, but we don't use a ruler when slicing them because it isn't woodshop. Nonetheless, they're right around two inches.
The guy who sliced them just happened to be the guy who helped her at the counter and he started to lose it. The manager saw, came over, and, being the brand new 25-year-old manager, said,'We'll do them over for you.'
Needless to say, redoing a giant catering order during the lunch order is a TERRIBLE IDEA. The guy who was helping her went ballistic on another level and the manager immediately brought him into the back. He was screaming about what a crazy witch this woman was and how it was ridiculous we had to remake the order, etc. The manager just told him to find a ruler (we didn't have one) and help remake the order.
At that point, the dude completely lost it and made this awkward rebel yell that can only come from massive rage. He started kicking over 5-gallon buckets of everything. Sauerkraut. Sauerkraut everywhere.
Then he walked back out front and spits at the nasty, entitled woman who couldn't possibly deal with 2 1/2 inch sandwiches, opened the register, took out all the 20s, crammed them in his apron, and walked straight out the front door. The rest of us had the worst lunch rush ever making this witch not just the original order, but extra platters so that she wouldn't go nuclear over the situation."
"I work in maintenance at Whole Foods. One day I was sweeping stuff in the produce section when a rich older man walked by with his 30-something trophy wife. As they strolled past me, he threw trash on the ground in front of me and said, 'Keep the change,' while giving a hearty laugh.
Last week a customer walked up to me and told me that the women's bathroom was a little dirty, so I went to clean it, only to discover that the walls were literally sprayed with feces. It was just great."
"I was sixteen and very meek and mousy when this woman came through my line at the grocery store. She was buying an onion and one other item, so I rung her up and she put her money down, a twenty dollar bill.
I reached for it, assuming she wanted to pay for her order, but she just started screaming at me, 'You stupid little white witch, don't touch my money!'
It was like a freaking blow to the stomach, and I had to hold back tears as I tried to say in the calmest, most unshaky voice I could, 'Ma'am, you have to pay for it, I thought you wanted to.'
Then she said, 'Don't touch my freaking money!' I just said nothing and tried not to cry because I was already in trouble with my management. Thankfully, she took the twenty dollar bill away and finally gave me some other bills and I gave her the change. Then she left, still berating me the whole time, and I tried to hold it together while I rang up the next customer. I've never been that publicly humiliated in my entire life."
"I worked at a Sam's Club and during my time there, we began accepting EBT cards (Illinois food stamps). The cards would reload on the first of the month and this particular first of the month was a national holiday (one of those random ones that is always on a Monday).
A man who would buy supplies for his vending machines with food stamps came in and was shocked that his card would not work. We'd called several times on the subject and had basically been told, 'Something went wrong and the people who fix it won't be in until the next day.'
The man became irate when we relayed the message to him and started screaming at the cashier. He wound up to punch the cashier (a girl) in the face when my manager stepped in and grabbed his arm. My manager was a massive former boxer who weighs about 270lbs. 'Is there a problem?' he asked. The customer let out a high pitched screech and ran for the exit.
The manager then took his membership and EBT cards (the guy left them) and called into the state welfare office to report him for using the money to run his business. The guy was tossed off the program and my manager got a nice check for turning him in."
"When I was a teenager, I was a trainer at McDonald's and this happened while I was training a new girl in the drive-thru. A man came through in a big lifted truck with a quad in the back and his country music blaring.
He proceeded to order a plethora of burgers, fries, milkshakes, etc, and the new girl was taking the order and, being brand new, was slow as heck. He was talking to his other buddies in the truck about how this girl must've been 'some kinda simpleton' and she was getting upset, so I took over for her and told her to start bagging up their food.
The guy got to the window and I forced a smile and handed him his food. He slowly started to pull away and I went over to take another order, but then I looked back to see the dude had backed his truck up to the window again and was honking his horn like he'd witnessed a murder.
The trainee walked up to the window and opened it to see what he needed, and the second that window opened a Big Mac sailed right through and hit her square in the face. He and his buddies all laughed and he peeled out of the drive-thru, narrowly missing hitting a parked car. This girl was maybe 14 and it was literally her first day. She just started bawling and took off out of the store, never to be seen again."
"I work at a fast food restaurant that mainly deals with ice cream. One day a woman called our store saying that she came through the drive-thru during lunch and that her order was wrong, so I told her she could come back anytime with her receipt and we would remake the order for her.
At that point she became irate, saying that she was at work and didn't have time for bullcrap, calling me a moron and such. Being the smart aleck I am, I told the lady, 'Well, it looks like we've run into a little problem since you can't come get the food and I can't deliver it.'
Then she asked for the manager and complained about me, but my manager told me not to worry about it. I've also had people chew me out because their cake wasn't ready (not my area) and continue to get rude with me even though I'm trying to help them. I hate fast food."
"I worked in what was considered the 'Hooters of coffee' in my area. One night, a white van with two men in it came through the drive-thru right when we were about to close up shop.
When I went to hand them their coffees after they had paid, one of the men grabbed me by the wrists and tried to pull me into the van! The girl I was closing with had to grab my ankles to get me back into the building. Worst of all, the coffee spilled all over me and onto the floor I had just mopped!"
"I started working at a local grocery chain a few years ago and since then I've graduated from being a cashier to a customer service 'team leader.' Basically I'm glorified customer service staff with a tiny bit more authority. Either way, things were relatively normal for the first 2 and a half years I worked there.
But last August, everything changed. I had just been promoted to team leader and was working a closing shift. It was about 9:30 pm and we still had a few customers in the store, but we were winding down and preparing to lock the doors in the next half hour.
Now, next to the store I work in there are several restaurant/bar combinations and as a result, we get quite a few people hammered out of their minds coming through. A few minutes past 9:30, a man stumbled in through the door and staggered toward the restrooms. I didn't think much of it, but kept my eye on the restrooms.
About 10 minutes later, I heard someone screaming bloody murder in the men's restroom. Since I was the only supervisor in the store and the only other people near the restroom were women, I ran in to see what the problem was.
I walked in and, reflected in the mirror over the sink, I saw an image that will forever be engrained in my head: the wasted guy, standing completely naked and jerking off furiously on top of a toilet. I slowly backed out of the restroom and immediately called the police, who arrived promptly to arrest him. I went home very soon after that because it was pretty scarring."
"I'm often astounded with how annoying Domino's customers can be. Of course, there's the occasional person who orders carry-out online thinking that it's for delivery. 'What? No, I ordered delivery.'
'Did you order online? Because it says here you selected carry-out.'
'Well yeah, I thought that meant they'd carry it out to me...'
Then there are the ones who think our prices are too expensive. Just the other night I had a conversation go like this: 'How much is a large one-topping pizza?'
'At menu price, it's $11.99.'
'Oh heck no!' (Dial tone)
There are customers who call after we're closed and I answer the phone to inform them of this fact, and then they ask, 'Oh, so you're not delivering anymore?'
'No, we close at 1 am...'
There's one customer that doesn't like it when we ask for his name or address (I don't know the whole story with him, I think he has mental issues) and gets really offended when we do, even though we have to because we never know when it'll be a 'mystery caller' using his number.
We also have a lady who insists we never put enough green peppers on her pizza so she makes us weigh out triple the typical amount of green peppers and takes that as her toppings.
Then there are the customers who get angry because they can't use a special that's only for a certain time of the week, like our carry-out special for Mondays through Wednesdays. 'I want that carry-out special you guys have.'
'Well, that's only Monday through Wednesday, and today is Saturday, sorry.'
'Oh, well, I'll call you back in a few minutes then...' However, I guess it's not all that surprising that Domino's customers aren't all Mensa card members."
"I worked as a cashier in a local grocery store when I was about 16 and one day, a lady came through my line with a huge basket of groceries. After I rang everything up, she paid with a food stamp card. It worked but she still had a small remaining balance on her order.
When I told her the balance, she screamed at me, telling me that the card was supposed to cover everything. When I told her that it wouldn't cover the dog food she had, she lost her mind, saying that I didn't know anything about food stamps and that her dog needed to eat, too."
"I used to work at a pizza place that did delivery. One time I took a phone order from a guy, put the order in, assembled the soda, breadsticks, pizza, napkins, peppers, cheese, and so on. The delivery was taken out and I forgot about it.
Two hours later, I answered the phone and it was the same guy, raving about how I didn't give him extra parmesan cheese (which he hadn't asked for but assumed I knew). My manager saw how upset I was and took the phone from me. He then chewed the guy out and told us all to refuse deliveries to his address."
"I worked in a coffeeshop while putting myself through college. I was the barista, waitress, cook, and cashier. It was a small family-owned place and I was the only employee working the day shift, so I had to do it all. Since that included waitressing, they paid me tip wages (roughly half minimum wage).
This one smug, condescending prick came in every day, talked to me like I had the mental capacity of a four-year-old, and never bothered to tip. One day he brought four of his lackeys in and they all got coffee.
He paid for all of them with dollar coins and they all leaned in, wide-eyed and giggling as if they expected me to jump up and say, 'LAAAWD-A-MERCY! What're these here new-fangled big quarters?!' I hate people like that."