Imagine it: An ordinary day on the job get shattered by a vicious customer who is determined to attack any employee associated with the restaurant. It turns out their rant is completely nonsensical and they usually don't even know where they are. It's beyond random and often gets violent. But that exchange, as well as the unforgivable offenses these customers pull off, is truly unforgettable. Content has been edited for clarity.
"I had been working at a Lion's Choice deli for a few years when this happened. I was working in the back when a new trainee came over, absolutely bawling her eyes out. I immediately knew that something was seriously wrong. I had her stay in the back of the place to calm down, and I alerted my head manager from the office so we could best tackle the situation. I got to the register and found a rather petite lady, who was shouting very loudly and demanding that the trainee come back. According to this woman, the trainee was trying to steal and cheat this woman out of her money. This Karen also kept shouting strong obscenities. the manager looked at her with a fear that only showed that he would never deal with this witch. Naturally, he told me that he would handle the line of people forming behind this Karen, and I got the pleasure of dealing with her. Somehow, I managed to keep a level head and asked her calmly to explain the situation. She was screaming and yelling and rambling about how upset she was. She claimed that the cashier refused to giver her any change. She also told us that the bagels she wanted to order were too expensive. I gave the woman her change and reran the bagels so hey would come out to a better total. The trainee had entered them into the register individually instead of as a pack, which changed the price. But it was her first day working by herself, mistakes were going to happen!
The entire time that I am packing up her dozen and a half bagels, she is still being irate and waving her arms around in a fit. She bumps into a customer behind her. He very politely and sternly stated, 'Excuse me!'
She somehow decided to take this opportunity to SPIT on this poor man. While all of this was going on, the assistant manager had called the cops on this woman. He had witnessed her behavior from the beginning. An officer arrived promptly. Once I finish ringing her stuff up, the officer walks in and tries to calmly engage with the woman. He simply asked to see her identification. She goes completely ballistic on him. She shoves the cop and spits on him too! He tries to grab her wrist and orders her to put her hands behind her back. Out of nowhere, she lets out this howling scream and starts trying to fight with this guy. She is shoving him around. The cop's partner comes in and immediately tackles her to the ground. They both take this woman to their police car in cuffs, and they come back inside to pick up her personal items that were dropped in the fray. One of them asked me if anything else was hers. I happily handed over her change and the bagels to them."
So I have three bizarre experiences from my brief time working at McDonald's. The first was when this man called our store. He immediately launched into explaining the plot of each Star Wars movie over the phone. He would also talk about his love life and how he was the proud owner of 'multiple beautiful electronics'. I was beside myself, there was clearly no way for me to help this person. So I put the phone on speaker for the other staff members to listen in on. He finally asked us randomly for clean coffee. He couldn't offer him any, so he immediately hung up.
The second experience happened when this middle-aged woman asked me for the manager, saying that I took her order wrong because her burger didn't have jalapeños. I tried to explain to her that she had ordered the green chile burger, and that we didn't have a jalapeño burger. She screamed in anguish. My manager tried to explain that green chiles and jalapeños were different. The woman only threw her half-eaten burger at his face started yelling at people. The manager had no choice but to call the cops while she was shouting about how we were all going to be arrested for fraud. The cops arrive and tell her to leave. She starts going on about how we were clearly trying to rob her. She told the cops that she expected them to arrest us for our insubordination. She got cuffed. It ended just as soon as it began.
My final experience came when these customers arrived from a furry convention. They walked up to the counter, in full fur suits, asking to get some quarter pounders at midnight. They were really nice, but it was quite interesting to have these people in cartoon animal costumes making small talk with you. At least they took their masks off. Two of them went on and on about the Cuban revolution and its historical context. The other two were making weird noises at each other."
"As a former Del Taco employee, I can confidently say that regular Del Taco customers are all mean and/or idiots. One lady in particular still makes my blood boil almost ten years later. It was Taco Tuesday (3 tacos for $1.00), and we had over fifty orders in our queue plus a line of people putting in more orders. We were slammed, understaffed, and our wait time was extremely long, even though we were trying our best. So this lady was getting really upset about waiting for her super important order of six gross tacos, defrosted and assembled by a guy who went to my high school but never actually showed up for class. Every time we would call out an order number, she would sarcastically (and loudly) cheer and clap and 'congratulate' us for 'finally learning how to do our jobs!'
This went on for ten or fifteen minutes before I finally showed her our order board and said, 'Here is the order we are currently making, order fifteen, and way over here is your order, order forty-five.'
Realizing how many orders were ahead of her finally prompted her to leave (with no tacos), so that we could continue fulfilling orders under the silent watchful gaze of our other thirty angry customers. I hated working there. Eventually, I showed up for my regularly scheduled shift to find a notice on the door that said, 'Sorry, this location has closed.' So anyway, I hate Del Taco. There was not a word to us until over a week after the notice was posted. Then they basically just said, 'Yeah we closed, oops!'
In all fairness, I should have seen it coming because they were a truly awful company that took advantage of their teenage employees. I worked there as a minor (16-17 years old), and they broke all sorts of labor laws. I always worked eight-hour shifts with no break, even though minors are entitled to a break every four hours. I was frequently scheduled until two in the morning, even though I had to wake up for school at six in the morning. Oh, and my 35-year-old manager confessed his feelings for me and how sad he was that we couldn’t be together 'because I had a boyfriend'."
"I was eighteen years old and working minimum wage at a Burger King. I was normally working the dine-in register, and I always tried to be a bit more personable with my customers than most of my co-workers. It had been a pretty slow day when this man in his sixties came up to the register, looking kind of weary. So I crack a few jokes, and I ask him where he's from. He's from New York, so we bond over our love of that area. The man receives his order and goes to sit down. Well, this guy comes back to this restaurant at the same time every single week. I learned that he owned some sort of pickle company, and he delivers them to various restaurants in my state and a couple of others nearby. I also learned that he had a 'thing' for younger women. He started flirting with me hard, even after I told him to stop it. I would be cleaning the dining area, and he would follow me around and ask me invasive questions, replying with increasingly inappropriate compliments. I needed to get my manager involved.
It all came to a head one day when I was leaving work. This man followed me to my car, offering me what looked like an expensive necklace. He pleaded with me to whisk me away for New Year's Eve in New York City, and that he could treat me to anything and everything that I wanted. I told him no, and I demanded that he never spoke to me again. He must have been looking for a sugar baby, but we don't really serve that a Burger King."
"I worked at a small town Dunkin' Donuts right off the highway about three years ago. The highway in question is one that everybody uses to travel from the city about a hundred miles to the south, up to their vacation homes in the lakes region of our state, which we're in the south end of. So we get out of staters all the time who come through and ask for Mocchaccinos and Frappés and other Starbucks nonsense. Once, I had a mom that came through (I only knew it was a mom cause of the screaming kids in her car), asking for some sandwich that turned out to be from the Sonic drive-ins. Those restaurants don't really exist where I'm from (the closest is two hours away). The three of us working were all super confused by what she meant, because we'd never heard of it before, so she asked to speak to our manager. We told them the truth: the manager had gone home for the night, but he would be available start at six the next morning. She demanded to speak to a manager right then and there and said that we needed to call her and put her on over the drive-thru speaker. Both the manager and assistant manager went straight to voicemail. We said we couldn't reach them, and she screams, 'THIS IS THE WORST SONIC I HAVE EVER BEEN TO!'
We're all bamboozled. Like what on earth actually just happened.
My co-worker literally asked what a Sonic was. Not to annoy her or to be funny or anything, but because she literally did not know what a Sonic was. So the woman freaks out even more and says, 'I WILL GO TO CORPORATE AND I WILL HAVE THIS LOCATION SHUT DOWN! I KNEW A SONIC UP HERE WOULDN'T BE ANY GOOD!'
She simply replies, 'Ma'am, this is a Dunkin' Donuts. What is a Sonic?'
Pause. 'I'm so embarrassed,' the mother mutters. And it sounded like she started whimpering a bit before she drove off. I think it's funny now, but at the time I had no idea what to think."
"I was a shift manager at a McDonald's in the middle of a shopping mall. This is very important context. This guy walks up to the counter, carrying several bags of McDonald's food. He exclaimed, 'My wife came through your drive-thru and you messed up the order!'
I replied, 'Are you sure she came through our drive-thru?'
He told me, 'Yes! She told me she came through the drive-thru, and when she got home, she realized the order was wrong. You all need to give us our money back and give us the right food!'
I looked around the mall in total confusion. I asked the man, 'Did she drive through Sears or JC Penny to get here?'
That was truly the single greatest amount of human stupidity I had ever experienced. It was possible that he was trying to scam me, but then I think about how he had to drive to the mall, park, and walk up to the food court. Logic could have hit him at any time before he talked to me. There was no way that a car was getting to our restaurant without running over lots of people."
I was the manager at an A&W restaurant. Wasted customers were always trying to order pizza from us another dumb stuff that we clearly didn't sell. One fateful night, this guy insisted that he needed a pizza. He refused to leave until we gave him one. I said that would be alright, but it would cost one hundred dollars and take an hour. This guy was totally cool with this, and he pulled up to the window and gave me one hundred dollars in cash. There were four of us working that night, so I set my plan into motion. I got the customer to park nearby. I then sent a worker to the grocery store across the street, in order to buy us a Red Baron frozen pizza. We brought it back, cooked it in our oven, and then we took it out to the dude, who at this point had fallen asleep in his car. The four of us split his hundred bucks equally. We had a general policy with anyone that we saw was driving under the influence. We would convince them to pull forward into the parking lot, and we would let them sleep and sober up. If that was looking like it wouldn't work, then we would have to tip off the police, so they could pick up these disorderly people."
"I was working as the night manager at a McDonald's. It had been a slow night, maybe a Tuesday or a Wednesday, and this couple rolls in the lobby in the middle of the night, around two-thirty in the morning. The woman comes up to the counter with a tray full of drinks, a happy meal, and two more meal bags. They looked like they had been sitting out for a couple of hours. She pulls out a burger from one of the bags and she just looks at me, opens it up, and show me a handful of her husband's hair on the patty. She screams, 'WHAT ON EARTH IS THIS?!' and just starts going off on how disgusting I was and how I would let the back end people do something like this. Now the backend staff during the week have been working that job for years. They have that job down to a science. Never would I ever imagine any of those sweet people to do something like this (maybe a kid on the weekend shift, but even then, that would be a far stretch). I simply said, 'Ma'am, there is no way that anyone here at this store would let that much hair get onto a burger.'
She goes on and says, 'Well I was here about an hour ago, and when I got home I saw this, so I turned around and came back! I DEMAND a refund for ALL of this food.'
So I asked for the receipt. I knew immediately that she never even came through the restaurant because I would have remembered an order that big (over $40) at that time of night. Also, the receipt was from another store. She also had an orange Fruitopia in her drink tray, and the restaurant I worked at did not have that drink at the time. When I called her out on this, she grabbed all the food back, knocked most of it on the floor, and said she was going to 'come back for me' when I was off work."
"One time, this elderly dude rushed up to order at the counter. He slams a coupon on the counter, exclaiming, 'I want this!'
I pick it up. It has menu items on it for Kentucky Friend Chicken. We're in a McDonald's. I ask him, 'What exactly would you like to order?'
This old man grows instantly disgruntled with me for not reading his mind and knowing what he wanted. He shook his finger at the coupon and exclaimed, 'Well, whatever if on the coupon, obviously!' in a very condescending tone.
I just stare at this man dumbfounded for a minute and tell him, 'Sir, this is a McDonald's. I don't know what you want me to do with this KFC coupon.'
The customer looks at me dumbfounded. Then he looks behind me at the menu. Then he spins around, examining where he is actually at for the first time. He yells in frustration, as if this isn't his first time walking into the wrong establishment. He snatches up the coupon again and then storms off. This happened during my afternoon shift, and at the time, I wondered if this poor dude was having early onset dementia, or if he really was that forgetful. I didn't take it personally though. I really hope he got to KFC alright!"
"I worked at McDonald's. We would always get people coming in who would ask for a Whopper Burger, either being completely serious or trying to make a joke. Cue the exhausted, 'We don't sell Whoppers sir/ma'am. We have the Big Mac,' response. Usually, the customer woul dlooked defeated and just say, 'Oh, right. Okay then, one of those."
One day, that whole thing completely changed. We had this guy come through the drive-thru window, asking for a large Whopper meal. The other employee tried to tell him the usual reply, offering several similar options that we could make for him. He refused all of that, demanding a Whopper meal. I came over and told him, 'Sir, we don't sell those. This is a McDonald's. The closest equivalent would be a Big Mac, but that is NOT a Whopper. If you want an actual Whopper burger, you need to go to Burger King.' This guy screamed profanities at me, wanting a Whopper Meal and nothing else.
The only thing I can tell him is, 'Alright sir, I can't give you a Whopper here, but I can order a Big Mac Meal for you. Are you happy with a large Big Mac instead?'
The man screamed, 'Yes, now was that so hard?!'
We gave this guy a large Big Mac Meal, and sure enough, ten minutes later, he is back through the drive-thru, screaming at us in the speaker that he didn't get his Whopper Burger. The most ridiculous part about the entire thing was that there was a Burger King no more than a one-minute drive away down the main road. This particular main stretch of road was so flat, you could easily see the big Burger King sign behind our signature Golden Arches. If this dude really wanted a Whopper burger so badly, he only had to turn out of the McDonald's exit and drive a whole forty0five seconds to get there. I'll never understand that guy."
"I work at Panera Bread Co. This one guest called us from her car to place an order, but there were multiple people with her in the car all shouting out their orders. The first order is something simple, but the next order was an item that we don't carry. It was this salmon dish of some kind. I know there are regional Paneras that have had salmon. We are not one of them. I let the woman know, 'Hey, I'm sorry, but we don't carry salmon. Maybe-' but then the person on the other end cuts me off and gets really aggressive. 'Yes you do! YES YOU DO! I KNOW YOU HAVE SALMON, I JUST ATE IT THE OTHER DAY!'
Now at this point, I'm just being honest with the customer and tell them, 'Look, I don't really need this attitude. We don't have salmon. I can't make the dish for you. You must have us confused with someone else.'
There is a long silence on the other end, and finally someone asks us if this is some completely different restaurant that was not a Panera. At that point, everyone on the phone call began shouting at each other, so I just hung up. Geez, customer service really is the worst."
"This happened in an actual Wendy's. I once had this woman come through the drive-thru and try to order macaroni and cheese. I politely informed this woman that we did not have that. She insisted that we did. I told her that we definitely didn't. She got angry and shouted at us that we did. I told her, 'Ma'am, I have been working here for three years. We have NEVER had macaroni and cheese. This is not something we serve. Would you like to order something else?'
The woman exclaims, 'Yes you do! I can see it on the menu board! It is RIGHT there in front of me on the menu!'
I tell her that I am really not sure what she is looking at, but we don't have macaroni and cheese. If it really does say so, then someone must have vandalized our menu. The woman replies that no, it is real and this Wendy's does have it. She refuses to leave until she gets her mac and cheese. Cue ten minutes of this nonsense back and forth, all while she is holding up the drive-thru line. I finally got the manager to come over and deal with it, after asking him for the fifteenth time. They did not pay me nearly enough to deal with a customer for this long. The woman absolutely REFUSES to accept that we don't have mac and cheese. She also refuses to order anything else, and she will not move her car until we give her the mac and cheese that we do not have. We have a line of cars wrapping around the building now, and everyone is beyond upset. It has been half an hour, and the line has not moved. The manager tells her that if she does not leave, he is going to have to call the police. She screams that she can't understand why we are doing all of this, and why can't we just serve her the mac and cheese?
I decide that enough is enough. I exit the building and walk along the outside to the drive-thru order screen where this woman's car is located. I tell her to please show me on the menu where it says the words 'macaroni and cheese' anywhere. She points and confidently exclaims how it is right there. She has all the conviction of someone who is absolutely sure they just proved some big dumb idiot wrong, and that they will be hailed as a hero. I look to where she is pointing. I sigh heavily as a bit more of my soul dies. I compose myself and say as politely as I possibly can, 'Ma'am, that is a picture of the peeled orange slices that come with the kid's meal. We do not serve mac and cheese. Please drive away before the police get here.'
The woman looks confused, peers at the menu board again, the realization dawns on her, and she drives off without another word. I go back inside and scream into the walk-in freezer for ten minutes.
There were always other shenanigans at the Wendy's I worked at. We would get people trying to come in and order lunch for the entire office. They would want to get fifty burgers made right then and there. I always refused them. Pro-tip: it actually is corporate policy that any order over a certain number of items must be called in at least an hour in advance, and they have to provide a credit card over the phone. This allows staff enough time to make the order without having to bring everything else to a grinding halt and make everyone else in line wait for forty-five minutes while we fill out a single order. Sadly, 99.9% of managers will make us take on the order anyway, because they are total idiots who do not care about their employees, or any of the other customers in line. It was always such a headache to go through this sort of thing."