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Waitressing Gripes Page - Reader's Stories

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Michele in New Jersey:
Coffee Cup So this group comes in and tells my friend who was in an adjacent section to mine that there are 8 of them, but they want separate checks because they don't want to pay the gratuity! So he happily splits the checks for them, they happily pay and leave him whatever tip they feel is fine. What they don't know is that he added gratuity to each separate check so they wound up paying more than 15%... serves them right! What nerve!

Caroline in Little Rock, Arkansas:
Coffee Cup The only time I have ever considered refusing service to a customer was one busy Saturday night when a gentleman, upon sitting down, proclaimed that he was pissed off that he had to wait an hour for a table, so I better do a good job. Then, after ringing up a $60 dollar tab, he stiffed me. Perhaps I didn't do a good job of making up to him the discomfort his decision to wait caused him? I'm still mystified.

Jennifer in Texas:
Coffee Cup Our most infamous customers at the restaraunt I work are the "corn dog people." The name comes from the fact that they insisted we needed to serve corn dogs. For months they griped about us not having corn dogs (in a Mexican restaraunt). Finally the manager ordered some damn corn dogs to make them happy. It is even on the menu now. They come in often and NEVER order corn dogs!

Jennifer in Tennessee:
Coffee Cup I work for a Red Lobster and a woman wanted to "create" her own meal at her own price. We have a meal for $13.99, a special price during "lobsterfest" that comes with two 3oz Maine lobstertails and seafood pasta. She wanted the 8oz rock tail instead. I explained to her that Rock lobster is $2 an oz and that the only way I could give her that was to ring up the pasta and add the tail to her meal. She told me, "I don't think so" and that she would pay $16.99 for the meal she wanted. This is not let's make a deal here. She told me I had better check with my manager 'cause the customer is always right. I have worked there for a year and I am quite familiar with the menu and how to order items. A year in one restaurant is an eternity! I went to my manager and she told me to ring it up as I had already explained to the woman. I went back to the woman and she decided to just get the Rock Lobster dinner. She got a potato with everything on it. It costs 49 cents extra. When I gave her the bill, she asks me, "Why do I have to pay extra for everything on the potato, I got the lobster?" Just because you get lobster doesn't mean you are entitled to everything else free! The bill came to $22.63. She gave me $24 and told me to keep the change. I told her Oh gee, thanks. Then she kept putting her hand up for more things. Suddenly she became invisible!!

Kenneth Shank in lovely Palm Springs:
Coffee Cup I work at a pizza resturant.This woman and her two children come in and she orders a pizza.She said in a nasty way:"Look you,I want HOT pizza, HOT pizza,if the pizza is not HOT pizza, I will throw it in your face.I went back to the kitchen and prepared her HOT pizza myself.I loaded it with jalapeno juice,red pepper, Tobasco & black pepper.The split second it came out of the oven, I rushed it to her table and served it.She ate for about 5 minutes before she rushed into the restroom.She paid her bill and fled.I can only assume that her HOT pizza was HOT enough for her.
Coffee Cup I was serving in the pizza resturant diningroom when I noticed a family praying over their meal before eating.Later,as I walked past the pious diners, I saw the husband hand his wife handfulls of silverware, which she thrust into her purse.I went over to the service station and picked up the whole,huge silver service tray full of silverware and walked over to their table with it.In front of a packed diningroom, I dumped the whole tray of silverware on their table.Amid the crashing silverware I shouted:"If you're going to steal our silverware, you might as well steal it all".Needless to say they paid up and crept away.

Sharon in Beautiful California:
Coffee Cup While working the morning shift at a diner in N.Y. a regular customer ordered a 1/2 grapefruit, I was a bit busy but took the time to section it for him. Everything was going fine until it squirted him in the eye! He was fit-to-be-tied! He yelled at me across the room "DON'T YOU KNOW HOW TO SERVE A GRAPEFRUIT" all the while waving one hand at me while his other hand held his napkin on his "squirted eye".

Michele in New Jersey:
Coffee Cup Me: "Would you like to start with something to drink?"
Her: "Yes, I'll have a Stoli and tonic mixed together with no fruit." *her words exactly*
Me: "Did you want that on the rocks?"
Her: "No- Stoli and tonic mixed together.."
Me: "On the rocks?"
Her: "No- no fruit"
Me: "Sure"
*I bring back a Stoli and tonic with no fruit **NOT ON THE ROCKS**
Her: "No no got it wrong...i want Stoli and tonic with ice"
Me: "Oh- I thought you said you didn't want it on the rocks.."
Her: "I DON'T want it on the rocks I want it with ICE!"
Coffee Cup This was a weird one at the new restaurant I work at... A one top came in...I guess he was lonely so I amused him by making minimal small talk... When I asked "Did you need anything right now?" He replied,"Just you... have a seat." I told him..."Oh I have a boyfriend, he works here...i can't, he'll get mad." So he says "I'm just flirting with you..." So I smile and walk away... Hoping the experience is coming to an end when he finishes his risotto, I ask if he needs anything else... Of course he wants some rasberry sherbert... As I bring it to him he asks if I ever had it before... I tell him that I haven't so he puts some on his spoon and holds it up and tells me to taste... I give him a weird look and say "Umm....I can't." I walk away and give him his bill... what a weirdo!
Coffee Cup I remember one night a four top came in and I could tell that they were going to be trouble.. The guy orders.. one strawberry colada, and two strawberry daquiris with whipped cream blended in... I watched the bartender make these drinks, it wasn't very hard... Of course they were somehow wrong, so he went up himself and watched the bartender make the drinks over (the same way).. Over the course of their meal I checked back with them many times to see if everything else was okay.. they smiled and said "fine"... Then they stiffed me and left me a note that read like this.. *this is their spelling too* "No tip for you. You loosy waitress. Next time work of service." The rest of the wait staff (including myself) were laughing our asses off at these idiots... we even posted the note up next to the schedule as a joke! Everyone was calling me Lucy (Loosy) for the rest of the night! I didn't even care that they stiffed me because it was obvious that they needed to save the money for higher education!

Karin from Red Deer, Alberta, Canada :

Coffee Cup A guy came in one evening with his horrible kids and orders two kids' meals and a clubhouse sandwich. You know, a typical three decker clubhouse sandwich, served exactly as it is in any other restaurant on earth. Naturally, they were in "a really big hurry," but everything went alright until the waitress (this didn't even happen in my section) brought out his sandwich. He just started freaking out, actually almost shouting because the "tomatoes were too green."
The waitress that was serving him was relatively new, but she did the usual thing and asked him if she could get him anything else, etc. but he was making this huge scene, so I decided to go back and check him out. I went over to his table and said something really saccharine along the lines of "I heard you were having some trouble and I wanted to know if I could get you anything else," and he started freaking on me about how his sandwich was too big. He just kept on saying, "How am I supposed to get my mouth around this? What kind of a place would make a sandwich this big? You're feeding me as if I was a dog! How am I supposed to eat this? Is your management here?" He ranted about how horribly big his clubhouse was for five or so minutes.
I asked him again (decidedly less politely) if he wanted anything else and then he got this whiny look on his face (You know, the martyred "I can suffer without eating" look) and said "No, my appetite's ruined." Then he collected his kids and stormed out, naturally paying only for the kid's meals.
The most amusing part of this story for me is that our local paper runs a little "Word on the street" section, where they ask random people a survey question and take their photo --and the next day this guy had his picture in the paper, with a quote along the lines of "I'm visiting here with my two kids. We really enjoy this town, everyone's so friendly, blah blah blah." Gee thanks, asshole.

Brandi Todd in Cambridge, Ohio:
Coffee Cup One story that sticks out most in my mind is one day I was waiting on an old man and his wife. I was really busy, so he asked the server in the next section over for some butter. She went back to the kitchen and retrieved his butter for him and delivered it to him. A minute later he started throwing his silverware all over his table and slamming things around while yelling that damn dumb waitress! He called me over (as loud as he could) and asked if it was margarine or butter. I replied to him it was margarine. At that moment I knew it was all over... he slammed his fist onto the table, threw his silverware at me and told me that he was allergic to margarine and that his throat was going to swell shut and he would start breaking out all over the place... he then grabbed me and told me that I better run for the hills! I started to cry (just what you don't want to do). He said he wanted to see my manager, I went back to get him and he was too afraid to come out. Luckily the owner was there at the time, and he seen me crying. He went up to the gentlemen, but the old man didn't even give him a chance... he told my boss that I was the worst waitress ever, I was stupid, and I was getting sued. My boss told him that I was an awesome waitress, I've been working for him for 6 years and he could leave! The old man got up told us both at the top of his lungs that We better both run for the hills! What a loser!

Julie in Columbus, Ohio:
Coffee Cup A party of four came in and wanted nothing to drink, just four glasses of ice. Uhhh, ok. Then one of them proceeded to pull a 2 liter bottle of soda out of her purse and pour it all around.
Coffee Cup Our restaurant's policy is to add a 15% gratuity to parties of eight or more. On more than one occasion I have had customers call me over to tell me that I made a mistake on the bill because they "didn't order no gratootie".
Coffee Cup A guest ordered a Long Island Iced Tea (which at our restaurant include about five shots of liquor), and proceeded to chug it down like it was a glass of water. She then called the server over and said that there was something wrong with her drink because she was "feeling woozy".

Tracy in Greenville, South Carolina:
Coffee Cup It was the busiest day of the week and two of my co-workers had called in sick, which left us very understaffed. I was running ninety or nothing, trying my best to stay caught up. I didn't have a single empty table in my section. There was a line of people waiting to be seated. As I'm standing at a table, taking an order, I look up and see a man standing in the middle of the dining room, tea glass in hand, arm stretched to the sky, looking straight at me and yelling across the room, "CAN I GET SOME MORE TEA OVER HERE!?!" His tea glass was still half full! He was in absolutely no danger of dehydrating, yet there he stood, arm out-stretched, looking like the Statue of Liberty. I was expecting to see a boat-load of immigrants gathering at his feet.

Stupid Remarks heard by Jeff in Plano, Texas:
Coffee Cup "Hey the menu says that the chicken breast is 1/2 pound. This can't be more than 8 ounces!"
Coffee Cup (reading in fundamental)
"Tell me about the Pate ('Pait')."
Oh, do you mean the Pate ('Pa-tay'), sir?
Frustrated, "No, this Pate ('Pait')!"
His wife points out his mistake... "Uh, I'll have the ribs".
Excellent choice, sir.
Coffee Cup "I'd like the Filet burnt, and bring some A1 and Ketchup!"
Coffee Cup "Hey, my daughter (obviously 12 or 14 years old) thinks you're kinda cute. Do you wanna give us your phone number?"
--How in the world do you respond to that? I said that doing that would be a violation of my parole as I winked at the guys daughter. Bet he won't try that trick again!
Coffee Cup "Excuse me, could you get my waiter." This was said to me after I have already brought out drinks, took the order and brought out their food.
Coffee Cup I walked up to the table and said my usual, "Hi, how are you guys doing tonight?" Apparently there was a rather, uh, not-too-feminine-looking "person" who jumped up and said "I AM NOT A GUY! Do I look like a GUY?!" I guess this upset the person and they stormed out of the establishment. Obviously that person had some "issues" and eating wasn't their biggest concern anymore.

Beth in Illinois:
Coffee Cup This is the funniest thing I have ever had happen. I had a guy come in who wanted a cheeseburger without cheese. Now the plain hamburger is less of a cost than a cheeseburger, and I charged for a hamburger, since he wanted no cheese it was obviously not a cheeseburger. Then he starts bitching and yelling when his bill comes saying he ordered a cheeseburger. I say sir, you ordered it without cheese, that makes it a hamburger and the cost is less, nope he has to bitch about how I did it wrong, so finally to shut him up I just charged him for the damn cheeseburger.

Sallie, in Horseshoe Bend, Idaho:
Coffee Cup We were having a very busy day, the waitress I was working with turned in an order (from people who obviously didn't eat out much). She continue with her job of taking orders from other tables, when her customers stopped me on my way past and asked where their food was being fixed. Very puzzled I replied "in the kitchen" then they asked where it was, I nodded my head in the general direction, and they said (rather angrily) "We were just wondering because, she just keeps going to other tables and we haven't gotten OUR food yet!"

Jen Andrade in Chelmsford, Massachussetts:
Coffee Cup We have a large crowd come in for Sunday breakfast, especially between 9:30 and 11:30 a.m. The policy of the restaurant is that if there is going to be more than five or six people you should call and make a reservation to be assured seating. On this one particular morning we had two reservations for fairly large parties. We had just finished setting up the tables when a lady and her family of like ten came in. We had a packed dining room with only one or two tables open. She demanded to be seated, and when the hostess explained that the tables were saved for people with reservations she said "well they're not here yet and we are." I went over and tried to explain things and finally my manager had to go over and explain that because she didn't have a reservation we didn't have room to seat her. She stormed out of the dining room and vowed to never come back.

Carrie Mason, in St. Louis, Missouri:
Coffee Cup I work at Olive Garden where it seems like everything has a refill:drinks, salad, breadsticks and soup. Well, anyone who reads the menu knows that salad is only included with entrees. Pizza, however is not considered an entree. I had this table of three women where two ordered entrees and the other ordered pizza. When I asked the one who ordered pizza if she wanted a salad for an extra $1.95, she said no. Her friend said, "Aren't we going to get the big bowl of salad?" I said yes and asked the "pizza girl" again if she wanted salad. She said no. Then I brought salad plates out to the two women who got salad and not her. When she didn't get a plate, she asked why, and I replied with the only answer I thought could be given, "Well, you didn't order salad." She said, "Can't I have a plate?" So I brought her a plate and she put salad on it. Then she even flagged me down for a refill of salad. When I brought out the bill she asked why she was charged for a salad! I said, "But you ATE salad." She said, "I never ordered it." (Sorry, there isn't a difference between ASKING for salad and ORDERING salad.)

Stephanie in Rochester, New York:
Coffee Cup I waited on a family of four the other day. The two kids got kids drinks so they get a special "bendy" straw while the adults got "straight" straws in their Long Island Teas. Well, as I was WAITING ON ANOTHER TABLE, the woman starts schreeching,"Waitress! Waitress! I want one of those bendy straws!!! How come we got the straight straws???" Excuse me, but does anyone else think this was a dire enough emergency to necessitate interrupting my job? Also, according to the complex laws (or should I say STRAWS) of physics, don't both kinds of straws work exactly the same way? People really need to find more interesting things to obsess over.
Coffee Cup We have a promotion at my job where we put a stopwatch on the table for lunch and if the food doesn't arrive in 14 minutes, it's free. WELL, one day, I noticed one of my tables had a stopwatch that read 13 minutes. So, I told my manager and the cooks that we were a minute away from buying four lunches. The food arrived at 13 min. 48 seconds. So the guy at the table FLIPS out!!! He said that I noticed that they were close to getting a free lunch and that I had "been listening to their conversation about it" and ran and told my manager. First of all, with my entire section FULL, you can bet I didn't have time to eavesdrop on people's conversations and second of all, it's my job to keep the restaurant from losing money unnecessarily!! Needless to say, the poor babies had to PAY (God forbid) for their lunch and stiffed me to boot!

Jan in Williamsburg, Iowa:
Coffee Cup I remember one time when a couple stopped in for dinner and told me how they had driven for an hour just to eat at the restaurant because they liked the mashed potatoes. Well, the mashed potatoes were only served during the day and fried potatoes are served in the evenings. When I told them this, the woman actually started crying and refused to order anything! I called another restaurant in the area and found one who still had mashed potatoes. They left me a tip for my trouble which was nice but I was still amazed about how upset she was over the potatoes. It's just potatoes for goodness sakes....just peel 'em, boil 'em, and mash 'em...not too hard to make yourself! Brenda, Arlington Heights, IL:
Coffee Cup I was working at a truck stop. There had been a big snowstorm and I had a restaurant packed with angry truckers who can't leave. One guy orders a chocolate milk. I bring him the drink. He calls me over and asks me if it is white milk. I offer to add more chocolate syrup. He then tells me he is allergic to white milk and can only have chocolate milk. O-kay, I'll just milk our Hershey's chocolate cow in the back for you.

Karyn W.:
Coffee Cup Another guy I had once specifically ordered liver and ONIONS....when I bring it out to him, he claims not to like onions and demands I bring him a new plate without onions. It was really busy at the time, and when I told him the best I could do is to pick off the onions - he threatened to just throw them on the floor! Really mature for a seventy-something man!
Coffee Cup I had two older ladies in one day for lunch, they both ordered something like liver or salisbury steak... something that came with gravy. So as I'm about to put the plates down in front of them, one asks "Is it too late not to have the gravy?" Moral of the story - if there's something you don't like, or worse are allergic to, please PLEASE *PLEASE* read or ask if it's included with you meal!

Jill A. in San Francisco:
Coffee Cup One man asked me for his wife's glass of wine to be heated up. I jokingly said, "sure, we'll just throw it in the microwave" and he said, with a straight face, "that'll be fine."

"Peaches" in Baltimore, Maryland:
Coffee Cup A party of three arrived just after our kitchen closed for the night (we were open for drinks or desserts). They whined about the fact that they could not order from the menu, pleaded with me to keep the kitchen open just for them, to no avail. They then claimed to be on their way to the airport to fly to London for a month and "we need something to eat first!" as if there was not food available on the way to AND at the airport. These ploys did no good. But, it did not stop these three from coming in THREE NIGHTS LATER! I simply asked "How was London?"

From Dave O'Hair:

Coffee Cup The customer who chose for her three side dishes three orders of rice pilaf. Big deal, so I make up the dish. Later the waitress comes back with it, apparantly the customer is upset that there is just one huge pile of rice instead of three individual little mounds!
........At a mexican restaraunt: customer complains that the food is too spicy, and wants some salsa which is milder than our "mild" salsa (which is truly wimpy). So the waiter puts some ketchup in a dish and gives it to her. No further complaints.

These stories are depressing me, take me back

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