Sometimes when you work in customer service, every day feels like a Monday. The Karens keep coming through in droves, the guests decide to throw tantrums, and nothing from the back room is in stock. But every horrible customer service day we’ve ever had pales in comparison to these nightmares. Witness and believe: These customers were SO wrong.
1. By Any Other Name
I’m a server. A guest walks into brunch and orders our smoked salmon plate. The only dairy in this particular dish is a ramekin of cream cheese that is served on the side. A couple of minutes later, I’m in the kitchen getting coffee for another table. I turn around and the smoked salmon lady has followed me to the kitchen. When I turn around and see her, I ask, “Is there something you need?”
She says, “I forgot I’m not eating dairy, so can I change my order to the buttermilk pancakes?” Confused at what I just heard, I ask, “The buttermilk pancakes? There is dairy in the pancakes…” “Well, as long as it’s not a lot it’s ok.” Lady…..it’s like the main ingredient. It’s in the name. BUTTERMILK pancakes. Do people really listen to the stupidity that comes out of their face holes??? I can’t.
2. Musical Chairs
Today I’ve had probably the worst/best thing happen when bringing a group of 32 people to their table. I work in an all-you-can-eat restaurant where the people can pick out the food themselves and take it to their table. This means you need to walk back and forward once in a while to grab new food. Because of this, we don’t have rows of tables that exceed five people, so when you stand up there’s not a lot of people to walk past.
Otherwise, it’s like sitting in the middle of a row in a full cinema, having to go to the bathroom, and passing like 10 people in the process. So for this group of 32 people, we had three tables of 11 with five on each side and one at the head of the table. However, the woman who made the reservation HAD to have everyone sit attached to the same table, rather than having two small gaps in between each of the three tables so it’s easier to get up.
I tried explaining to this woman that this is very difficult as the seating will be less comfortable, but she kept on yelling and yelling that it HAD to happen. So I agreed and moved the tables against each other. What followed was probably the best five minutes of my life. Just watching 16 people struggle to get on the couch located next to the table.
After enjoying the view, I once again offered to the woman that I could move the tables slightly apart so it’s easier to stand up, but once again she started yelling that it had to be like this and she would complain to my manager if I offered again. They dined for 2.5 hours, and every time someone stood up, I watched seven other people having to move off the couch to the side of the table so one person could get their food, turning a five-second task into a five-minute task every single time.
This woman yelled at me, ignored friendly advice, and threatened to go to my manager, but in the end, she got a nice dose of karma.
3. Blonde Boomerang
I worked for a big chain grocery store as bagger and cart wrangler. There was this one overweight blond woman who would come in all time and cause chaos to no end. One example of her ridiculous and unnecessary nonsense included buying a 15-pound turkey and complaining that it tasted bad and wanting to return it.
She presented a platter with an empty carcass except for one piece of meat on one bone. Another time, she bought a $37 plant, did not water it, showed up a year and a half later with the plant dead as a doornail, and demanded a refund. Then she bought a grill, used 10 gallons of gasoline as fuel, caused an understandable fire/explosion, came back with receipt and charred grill, and demanded a refund. I could go on.
This would be a weekly, if not bi-weekly, happening. It got to the point where many cashiers would see her enter the store, turn off their light, and leave. Now, when I say she made a fuss, I’m not talking about your normal “I want to speak to your manager” type deal. Oh no, she went beyond that and went even further.
She would rant and rave, throw herself on the floor, roll around, throw things, call the police, which I witnessed and kept count at 87 times, and pull out her cell phone filming herself being “victimized” to report us to the media. She was eventually banned from the store after years of this. I heard stories that she began terrorizing our neighbor branch 7 blocks down the road.
4. On Lock Down
I’m a locksmith. I was in the shop one day and a customer was in getting some keys copied. It was a nice and simple job. Suddenly while I’ve got the machine running, some shirtless guy comes in looking really frantic. I tell him I’ll be just a minute longer, then I finish the keys and send the first customer on his way. Frantic dude: “Jeez, took you long enough, I need you to come unlock my car.”
I’m already a little annoyed since it’s almost closing time, but I just figure he’s got a kid/dog/groceries in the car and give him the benefit of the doubt. Me: “No problem, where is it?” FD: “A couple of miles that way, my girlfriend drove me over here. You can follow us to it.” I get some info from him, the kind of car it is, his name/number/address in case we get separated, etc.
FD: “My phone’s in the car so if you call it, I won’t answer” Me: “Then how about your girlfriend’s number?” FD: “Hers is in there too” Well, ok then. Since it’s pretty much closing time, I just go ahead and set the alarm and lock the doors to the story as I leave. He doesn’t like this and starts saying how I’m taking forever.
Yeah, yeah, take a chill pill. I get in my truck and follow him out there. When we get there, I grab my tools and head to his car. I take one look and instantly feel something is off. Surprisingly, there’s nothing in there except for the keys on the seat. No kids or dogs, so now I’m just hoping it’s actually their car. FD: “You’d better not mess up my doors, this is a classic.”
I open it up in about 10 seconds and check the insurance card. Yup, it’s their car. I pick up the keys and go over to him, tell him it’s $40, and he just looks at me dumbfounded. FD: “Wait you mean I have to pay for this?” Ummm, yeah? Me: “Yes sir, we charge a service call when we have to go out to the location.” FD: “Well I’m not paying for that, you did it in 10 seconds, I could’ve done that myself if I’d have known.”
Me: “Well I’m sorry, but I can’t do this for free.” To be honest, I could’ve, but there was no real urgency like a life endangered, plus he was rude about the whole thing. Also, we normally would just bill someone in the situation, but we’ve been burned too many times, so we’ll only do that for companies now. FD: “I’m not paying for that, I don’t have any money.” Then I get an ingenious idea.
Me: “Then if you think you can do it yourself, go for it.” I throw his keys back in the car, lock the doors, shut them behind me, and leave. I get home about 10 minutes later, then after probably an hour, he calls back. FD: “I can’t get it open, come back and open my car again.” Me: “I can go out again, but I’ll have to charge you for two service calls.”
FD: “Screw you, I’m not paying you 80 bucks.” Me: “Then you can call the other locksmith nearby, I’m sure he’ll be happy to help y-” click I didn’t tell him, but they charge $100 to unlock cars. Never heard back from him.
5. Humiliation To-Go
I worked at a restaurant that was across from a state park entrance. Spring through summer, we were insanely busy as we were a favorite of both the tourists and locals. It wasn’t unusual for the tourists to treat us like garbage or to be inconsiderate of our policies, such as the large sign on the gate to our patio telling people it was dine-in only and to see the host to be seated there.
It was such a problem, in fact, that eventually we padlocked the gate shut, since if there was a fire out there, it would actually be easier to climb over the fence to get away than go to the weird corner where the gate was. One day, when we were nearing the end of another seemingly endless lunch rush, I saw some people sitting at a table crowded with our to-go boxes in another server’s section, looking around like they were angry.
I remembered them as a tourist family from earlier in the week who had been jerks to me, so I went up to ask the server, Cait, about them. Me: Hey, what’s up with table 20? Cait: Huh? They’re done. Why? Me: Oh, they were jerks the other day, and they look kind of angry now. I just wanted to know if they treated you ok?
Cait: They were fine. I don’t know what they could be mad about now, but I’ll go check. She walked out to the dining room, where she had a clear view of the table, then immediately turned around and came back. Cait: Uhhhh…those aren’t the people I waited on. And where did those boxes come from? My party didn’t ask for any.
We ask the host; nope, she didn’t clear that table yet and she definitely didn’t seat those people. They were jerks to her when they ordered take-out from her a while earlier when she had told them that no, she couldn’t seat them on the patio with a to-go order but the picnic tables in our garden were free for them to use.
Knowing now what must have happened, and that these people have mistreated everyone they’ve come into contact with, we collectively decide to just ignore them. The rush is over and we don’t need the table, so the entire staff carefully avoids them while we serve everyone around them. This family proceeds to get angrier and angrier as we clear every table but theirs, which has not only all of their take-out garbage, but all the plates, glasses, and trash from the guests who sat there before.
In the meantime, we informed the owner of the situation, and he was looking forward to when they finally had enough and stormed inside. The father immediately starts yelling about how we let them sit and never cleared the table or served them. He’s completely righteous and red in the face about it. The owner’s response was perfection.
Owner: So, let me get this straight. You yelled at my host when she helped you with a take-out order and told you she couldn’t seat you on the patio. You were directed to the picnic tables in the garden, which is lovely by the way, I tend it myself. Instead, all four of you climbed over a padlocked gate with a sign on it telling you the same thing the host did. You then proceeded to seat yourself at a dirty table, and now you have the gall to call my staff rude?!
He took a pause here, then said, “Sir, let me tell you how a restaurant works. If you’re nice to us, we will do just about anything to make you happy. But you’re a jerk, so you’re always going to get treated like one. Now GET OUT of MY restaurant!” The father sputtered for a second, and the owner just shouted, “OUT!” again and drowned the guy’s response.
He and his family then slunk out, with Awesome Boss of the Day right behind them to ensure they didn’t try and come back. Having a boss that sticks up for you is the best.
6. The Writing On The Wall
In college, I worked for a floral shop that shared a space with a bakery. We had the space for both businesses to operate and it naturally was a good partnership. This story takes place near the end of my senior year. I was six weeks shy of graduating with two degrees. Although I cared about the stores and wanted them to do well, my nonsense-tolerance had dropped significantly.
One day, a woman came to me for balloons for her son’s 2nd birthday party. She had already picked up her cake. Woman (grumpily tossing her balloon choices at me): Ugh, I can’t believe the bakery. Me: Oh, is there something wrong? Woman: Yes! LOOK at this cake! She opens the box. It’s a nice-looking cake, decorated with icing and trains.
A scrolling script says: “Happy 2nd Birthday Jackson!” Me: … Woman: DON’T YOU SEE IT?! Me: I think it’s a lovely ca-” Woman: IT’S IN CURSIVE! WHY THE HECK WOULD THEY PUT IT IN CURSIVE? HE’S TWO! Me: Oh…well, it’ll take me a couple of minutes to fill these balloons. I bet you could take it back, and they could scrape off the old lettering, re-frost the blank space, and rewrite it for you.
Woman (clearly hasn’t heard a word I said): I CAN’T BELIEVE SOMEONE IS SO STUPID TO THINK THIS IS OKAY! Me (yelling above her): CAN YOUR SON EVEN READ?! She immediately fell silent, blushed a deep purple, and was silent while I filled her balloons. She paid without a word.
7. It’s Quittin’ Time
I used to be a property manager at a major motel chain in the US. The general manager was a company rock star who spent a lot of time helping other properties, so I was the acting GM a lot (like I was that night). This was a 96 room property—a four-building box layout with a swimming pool in the center. We had a lot of construction contracts.
These were easy guests who worked all day, came back, played cards and drank, and turned in early. I was at home when my phone rang at 3 am. It was Josh, the night auditor. Josh was reliable, but he drank a lot every week and was typically loopy. Josh: “Hey man, you probably want to come down here. Someone just drove a truck into the swimming pool.”
Me: “That’s…impossible. It’s fenced in.” Josh: “Dude, they crashed through it.” Me: “How could a truck even get in the courtyard?” Josh: “They drove through the gap between buildings two and three.” I started visualizing the scene—Building #2 is on a hill above one and three, and there’s a gap there. Someone determined enough could point a truck downhill, put the pedal down, and build up the momentum to crash the chain link and go into the pool. So yeah, it was possible.
Me: “Josh, you had better not be screwing with me.” Spoiler alert: Josh wasn’t screwing with me. I got to the motel and there was a construction company pick-up truck nose down in the swimming pool and its tailgate in the air. I had to blow up the phones at corporate, get the authorities out, start documenting everything, photographing everything, deal with the other guests, etc. until way past dawn.
It turned out, two of the crew members had been drinking and decided to quit in the most spectacular way they could think of. We even had an eyewitness. She told the officers that one guy drove and the other guy rode standing up in the flatbed, holding on to the top of the cab and yee-hawing all the way down the hill. The construction company did the repairs themselves.
8. Not A Good Choice Of Words
I work at an upscale restaurant attached to a large convention center. We recently hosted a convention for a multi-level marketing (pyramid scheme) women’s clothing company. I’ve never seen so many Karens in one place. Not just figuratively, but literally; it wasn’t uncommon to have two actual “Karens” seated at one table together.
This is a particularly dangerous situation as this multiplies the Karen Effect exponentially. The two primary Karen drinks of choice are typically either a Cosmo or chardonnay; it is from these potions that they derive their evil powers. Well, needless to say, the cosmos and chardonnay were flowing like water. The bar started to mix four-six cosmos at once and pop multiple bottles of chard simultaneously, just to keep up with the frenzied demand.
Trouble was clearly brewing. This was the recipe for disaster. As the Karens began to migrate from the bar to their respective tables for dinner service, the orders started coming into the kitchen. Naturally, everything was special ordered to accommodate their litany of dietary issues and whatever fad diets they were currently participating in; keto, paleo, macro, vegan, take your pick.
This is a trap. Special orders take extra time, are more difficult to accurately execute, and bog down the flow of the kitchen, increasing ticket times. This is exactly what the Karens want to happen. They were setting up the attack. Little did they know that we were ready and waiting for them. We had called in the cavalry and manned the lines twice as deep.
You could see the looks of confusion and dismay on their faces when their orders came out correctly and on time. We had neutralized the Karens. The night was drawing to an end…before one particularly evil and vile table of Karens came in just before close. No doubt these were pros, not to be taken lightly. Coming from the bar, they immediately notified me (their server) upon sitting that they were very upset.
Right out of the gate, they put me on defense. After I inquired as to the problem, they notified me that they were offended that the bar didn’t try to up-sell them from the two glasses of chardonnay to a whole bottle….This was a new move. I hadn’t seen this one before. Being “offended” because someone gave you exactly what you asked for? Brava.
I was not prepared for this tactic. But before I could offer a solution, the Mecha-Karen dropped the mother of all Karen phrases: “I don’t understand why the bartender didn’t offer us a bottle instead. I just wanted you to know that we feel very violated…” Except, she used a much stronger word for assault. Yup. I couldn’t believe it.
I was floored. I’ve seen some Karen moves before, but this was the most outrageous and offensive thing I’ve encountered. Not even knowing how to respond to that, and being short for words for one of the only times in my life, all I could muster was: “Well that’s certainly very strong verbiage. I’ll give you some more time to look over the menu.”
I left the table and immediately went to the manager. Explaining what just transpired, I flatly told the manager that I was not comfortable waiting on a guest who was not only apparently intoxicated to some degree, but that would also use such inappropriate language so casually. Shockingly, the manager agreed. She went to the table and let them know that they were welcome to place an order for food through her, but would not be served any more drinks at that point.
They thought they were pulling the mother of all power moves, but in reality, they had overplayed their hand and crossed the line. The Karens knew they had been defeated.
9. Hotel Havoc
I used to work as a front desk agent at a boutique hotel. A guy who was obviously very full of himself came in with an online reservation that he had booked at a shockingly cheap nightly rate. He proceeded to give me a hard time about EVERYTHING, from telling me he shouldn’t have to give me his credit card info since he had prepaid his reservation, to telling me “Um yeah, I’m pretty sure I can find the elevators, I’m not stupid.”
He was just being an all-around jerk. About 10 minutes after checking him in, he came down and demanded that we give him a bigger room with a king bed and a view, even though he had booked a standard queen bed online. I complied, as we had extra king beds available. But that was just the beginning of the nightmare. 10 minutes later, he came down again to complain about the size of the room.
He told me, “I’m only going to give you one more chance to make me happy,” and asked for the general manager. After much arguing between him and my manager, we ended up giving him our nicest suite AND free parking since we had “Given him trouble.” He got all this for a way cheaper rate, like $40 per night! Oh, but he outdid himself.
Get this: He informed us shortly after the ordeal, while on his way out to dinner, that he was not even going to be in the room for the majority of his stay, as he was visiting friends and would be staying at their home. What the heck! So I got my revenge. I made it my personal mission to make his life a living nightmare from that point on.
I reset his room keys every time I saw him leave the hotel—which was quite frequently, 3-4 times a day. It was particularly funny when he came back tired from a night out and had to come all the way down to the front desk to get his keys fixed. Needless to say, he was very frustrated by the end of his stay. I doubt he’ll be staying with us again.
10. Godspeed And Good Luck
I’m a hotel worker. Who loves bridezilla stories? Because boy, do I have one! Buckle up: it involves shoplifting, the end of at least two relationships, a very long visit from your friendly neighborhood officers, a few evictions, and a ton of overtime for my employees. It was like we were hosting a live version of the Jerry Springer show or something.
Needless to say, there’s going to be an employee appreciation party very soon since none of them walked out on me when all the crazy stuff happened. The hotel I work at has 132 rooms and the wedding party that stayed with us last night had rented out 70 of them. But that’s not all! We also had not one, but two school sports teams in-house that were renting a combined total of 30 rooms.
Our hotel was very much bursting at the seams. Since each group wanted to be as far away from the other as possible, we had to pack regular travelers between them all. Party hardy am I right? Hindsight is 20/20, and we should have realized we were in for a storm two days ago. The bridezilla, her groom King Kong, and the wedding party of monsters all checked in then.
The men asked for one of our largest suites for a bachelor party while the women checked into another for their bachelorette party. We fully expected the men to cause a riot because they were hauling in drinks literally by the keg. We were so, so wrong. In reality, the bridezilla and her bridesmaid minions were the ones that went on a rampage.
Not only did they tally up a total of three noise complaints (the fourth one gets you evicted) and over $100 worth of pantry charges, but they actually paid a group of kids $20 each to run up and down the hallways. I can only suspect it was because they meant to use the kids as a distraction from their own roughhousing.
The employee on duty that night said a guest came down to report that they thought the room was being used to film a Girls Gone Wild video. But the sun eventually set, and I came into work for my morning shift the next day. Stupidly, I didn’t see all the red flags sailing right in front of my face. Less than 15 minutes into my shift, the bridezilla’s maid of honor came down.
She saw me standing behind the desk and wearing a nametag, so naturally, she treated me like I wasn’t a human being. After all, people who work in customer service are just robots in cheap flesh-suits, beep-boop…Anyway, she chewed me out a little bit for my employee’s “despicable behavior” last night towards herself and her friends.
I ran through my programming and said, “We’re sorry if you felt disrespected and insulted,” but I also informed her that her room had multiple noise complaints against it. “We’re very strict on our noise policy ma’am,” I told her. “You aren’t the only guests in the hotel and if you cannot be courteous to our other guests, we will kindly ask that you seek other accommodations.”
The bridezilla’s maid of honor didn’t like when I said that. She responded, “Well, it’s just my opinion, but as someone who’s a part of a wedding that brought your hotel more than 60 rooms worth of business, I think you guys should be a little more lenient with the rules for us.” Unfortunately, my sass module was not installed at the time due to a lack of sleep.
So instead of going “Minnesota nice” on her, I told her, “We’re trying to provide a consistent experience to all guests. I know you guys are throwing a party and it’s a happy time for many of you, but we cannot bend on our noise policy.” After that exchange, she handed me a list of more people who were arriving and she wanted me to assign them to specific rooms. She told me I had to make sure certain people aren’t rooming too close together. Then we got into the dirt.
Some of the incoming guests were previously linked to the existing guests, so there was drama there…but they promised to behave themselves if they didn’t have to look at each other. Now, I may just be a simple robot that cannot consume liquid beverages, but in my opinion, I don’t believe exes and drinks mix well. The maid of honor also asked for housekeeping to come up ASAP to clean their trashed room, because they were going to use it as a prep room for the wedding.
The housekeeping executive didn’t show up for another hour, and I refused to leave the desk to spend time cleaning their room. I told her she’d have to wait a bit until someone came in, to which she responded, “I really think a hotel this big should have someone always on duty for stuff like this.”
By that point, it was 9 am; basically the dawn of the second day. And would you believe it, people for the wedding were already showing up to check-in! It was just wonderful that all these people were so punctual that they came an entire six hours early, just so they wouldn’t be late! Graciously, we were not full the previous night, so I allowed them all to check into rooms as they showed up.
But do you want to know what I honestly thought? They all looked like clones of that woman from the “That’s my OPINION” gif, and I did not want to test how well my eardrums could stand up to a whole choir of sirens. The small highlight to the busy morning is that there was a professional who came in to do hair and makeup for all the kids involved in the wedding party.
She did up flowers in all the girls’ hair and they all looked freaking adorable running through the breakfast area. They were so excited to show off their new dresses to anyone who walked past them. I hoped the bridezilla wouldn’t influence those kids’ behavior too much. The rest of the morning passed by in a flash, and I’d checked in at least 40 of the 75 arrivals we had for the day.
The worker taking over the evening shift arrived and I caught her up to speed on the state of things. I even offered to stay late and help her, as I expected it to get even crazier once the wedding started. She declined and said she’d be fine. She would come to regret it—big time. At 5 o’clock, she had a line of people out the door, all of them a part of the wedding group, screaming at her because they were late for the wedding.
More than five women were demanding that she give them keys so they could change in the rooms without having to bother with trivial things like payment or signatures. She was a trooper and stood her ground, asking all of them to wait their turn to check-in. My houseman on duty even offered to help her if she signed into the second computer for him, but that small ray of hope was quickly squashed.
A mother on the third floor came down to inform us that her son had swallowed a large quantity of pool water. The pool water upset his stomach and he ended up vomiting all over the elevator and third floor. That was the very same floor that the wedding party was assigned to, so he had to go deal with that. Once that rush was over, all was quiet for a few, peaceful hours.
Then, it was time for the shuttle to pick them up. Weddings usually all follow the same pattern: they ask for shuttle service from 8 pm until 1 am and are happy to pay our outlandish fee for the private use of the shuttle. Then, no one bothers to use it until 11 pm; at which point the drinks make them view the shuttle as a clown car and they all believe they’ve joined the circus.
Tonight followed that same pattern with only one exception. At 8:30, the driver had a single woman ride it back to the hotel, sobbing her eyes out. She told him that she saw her fiancé making out with her cousin behind the reception hall and she couldn’t believe it. He tried to offer her comforting words on the way back, but I was told it was an all-around awkward 15-minute ride.
When she got back to the hotel, she demanded the front desk employee take her car off the file and make her ex-fiancé pay. We didn’t do what she asked because we needed him to come down himself and slide his card. The chances of that happening were slim to none. As my shuttle driver was busy acting as the Ronald McDonald clown bus, stuffing close to triple the proper capacity into it (since not a single one of them bothered listening to him), a whole other nightmare was happening in the hotel.
Remember those sports teams that I mentioned earlier? One of the two teams had rented out a conference room to have a pizza party in. They were informed several times that they only had the room from 5 pm until 9 pm, so after the children stuffed themselves full of pizza, they ran off to use the swimming pool.
As I’m sure you’re all aware, global law states that if you’re at a hotel for your kids’ sporting event, you are allowed to get completely wasted. And I mean absolutely gone. At that point, the hotel staff is supposed to babysit your gremlins so you can party like you’re 21 again. Isn’t that swell? Our houseman was trying to get the kids to behave themselves and stay quiet in the pool, while the front desk was threatening to evict the parents.
It was 10:30 pm at that point and “Party in The USA” by Miley Cyrus was being blasted from the conference room, so we had to kick them out. Meanwhile, the one, singular mother who was actually being responsible stopped by the desk with about 20 bottles of Diet Coke and her son. Apparently, our vending machine had broken on the second floor.
She said that her son put in the money, and then proceeded to press the button a hundred times while waiting for his soda. He must have had the strategy guide for that vending machine downloaded to his phone because he knew just the right amount of times to push the buttons so that the machine would continue spitting out pops.
The son did it about two more times before the mother realized he shouldn’t have been able to buy 20 pops with only $5. She forced him to bring them all down to the desk and apologize for taking them. In the meanwhile, the other parents back in the conference room had been waving off the front desk’s threats until we finally get a lucky break. The night audit came in a half-hour early because the weather was bad and she didn’t want to be late.
My night auditor has plenty of years under her belt and has seen far worse. She called the authorities within seconds of walking in and informed the sports parents that she was doing so. When officers arrived, the parents had all belligerently returned to their rooms, and the evening shift was able to go home after that stressful day of work. But that’s when the real fun started!
The officers got called away only a few minutes after arriving, but we knew exactly where they went after that. They actually got called to the reception hall where the wedding was being held! Apparently, they needed to shut down the bar because the parents were buying drinks for the kids who were underage. Plus, one of the kids who was drinking became heavily intoxicated, took the keys to his mother’s car from her purse, and crashed it into another car in the parking lot.
The kid was fine but he probably suffered a wicked hangover this morning. The reception hall had called the officers to kick them all out, and that’s when they became our problem again. See, the driver, who should have still had pick-ups at 12, 12:30, and 1, now had to pick them all up at 12. There were at least 35 people cramming into the bus.
Each of them was holding a glass with at least half a pint of liquid in it. That’s when the driver put his foot down. He turned off the shuttle and told them they weren’t allowed to have open beverages while in the vehicle and that he would not drive them back until they all disposed of them. Needless to say, that didn’t go over well. None of them listened to him and just berated him to bring them back because it was cold.
One of the officers on site came over and told the driver that they’d be willing to escort him back and would overlook the many passengers and their drinks, just so they could get the people inside. When the shuttle and the entourage showed up at the hotel a half-hour later, it was like unleashing Pandora’s Box upon the building.
Four officers even stayed around to help the night audit deal with all of the disorderly people because there were a lot of complaints. The first complaint came from someone on the first floor—apparently, someone was attempting to do an amateur remake of 50 Shades of Grey and was not being subtle about it.
Then there was the screaming, yelling, and breaking of lamps. Remember that cousin who broke up someone’s relationship earlier? Well, she apparently had a fiancé of her own. And while she was doing the nasty with that other man, her fiancé walked in on them. It didn’t end well, and we had to evict all three of them. Keep reading…
Meanwhile on the third floor, Girls Gone Wild had resumed in full force. The night audit went up with one of the officers to tell the group that they were receiving their final warning before their eviction. While she was doing so, a man in the room across the hall opened his door to yell at the night audit.
His exact words were: “Why are you dragging me out of bed? Do something about this noise!” Before the officer could say anything, the night audit spun on him and said, “You got out of the bed of your own volition, sir! We’re dealing with the situation.” It was all the same song and dance for the next few hours.
When more people called in to complain, the audit and officers dealt with it. Apparently, the officers were having a slow night and two of them stayed until the night audit was done since she didn’t feel safe on her own. My houseman stayed until 3 am to clean the hallways because they were trashed with a capital ‘T.’
We don’t know what 310 was doing in their room at 4 in the morning, but 210 swore all the way to Sunday that they were practicing an Irish gig. But the crazy thing is that when the audit got up to the room, the entire floor was silent. Towards the end of the evening, a man came down to our pantry, took an arm full of random items, and started walking away.
The officers watched him bewilderingly and the night audit called out, asking the man if he would like to charge his items to his room. The man must have actually been three deer in a trench coat because he sprinted off the second she asked. An officer caught him, but he was so out of it that our night audit took pity and said that we wouldn’t press charges. She asked the officer to just escort him back to his room.
Today, I came in at 7 am and was brought the speed. I gotta say, seeing an officer standing around at the front desk did not do my heart any good. The morning was quiet…too quiet. And then, I heard it—the heavy stomps down the staircase; the screaming agony of a stomach demanding food; the bridezilla descending into the lobby with a hunger.
A hunger that could only be satiated by screaming at me. So I just took it, listening to her scream and demand that everyone in her party be refunded. All 70 rooms. She couldn’t believe that we had the audacity to call the authorities on her friends and family. “It’s a wedding!” She shouted over and over. “We’re supposed to have fun, not be treated like a bunch of dogs!”
I really didn’t want to deal with her, so I told her: “Ma’am, you must keep it down, or else I will have to call the officers back. Our employees were verbally threatened by some of your guests last night and did not feel safe.” I wanted to say that if they didn’t want to be treated like dogs, they shouldn’t act like dogs, but I felt that may be a little too unprofessional.
Finally, the wedding party began to check out…but not before they trashed breakfast. There was food dropped, coffee spilled, and my two breakfast attendants swear it was done on purpose. When they were cleaning up some spilled coffee, a bridesmaid knocked over another cup of coffee, and they all snickered at them. What is this, Mean Girls 2?
And that is my tale of the bridezilla. I’ve already gotten two emails from our guest relations department saying that there have been complaints opened up against us, but they’re both from members of the wedding party, so all I have to do is submit a copy of the police report and I think we’ll be good.
I pray that all of you will never have to deal with bridezillas of your own. And if you do, Godspeed and good luck.
11. I’m A Cool Boss
It was my first day at a pizza restaurant. This place was always SLAMMED. It’s really where I learned how to be a good server, because before that I worked at over-staffed burger joints or Italian restaurants. Things were moving pretty fast but I was doing surprisingly well. I had about 10 tables and I was used to three-four table sections previously.
I will never forget this couple that came in and sat down at table 24. They were an old couple. I’m talking both grey-haired and over-dressed to be at a pizza restaurant. I will say I did give them excellent service despite my frazzledness of starting a new job. I was feeling it, and felt great about handling all of my tables…until I did mess up.
The man at table 24 handed me his card to close out. I’m BUSY, like I didn’t even have time to pick a wedgie if I had one. I go to the computer and swipe his card. Admittedly, I forgot to print out the itemized receipt, which I get can be very frustrating. The man at table 24 had every right to be upset. But instead of asking me to grab the itemized receipt, he began to LOUDLY, in a small room, with a deep and firm tone, tell me how horrible I am at my job.
He said that it’s no wonder I only got as far in life as working at a pizza shop. He kept going on with these TERRIBLE comments and wouldn’t let me walk away when I tried. So now all of my other tables just saw me get ripped a new one, and I’m in the weeds after wasting time getting yelled at by this guy. The owner of the restaurant must have come in at some point.
He saw this man yelling at me, came up to the table, and did the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen. Owner: “Excuse me, sir,” he says to the man at table 24, “I am the owner of this establishment. I’m not sure what the problem is here and frankly, I don’t care. What I do care about is you belittling my waitress. So I’m going to ask you and your wife to leave and not come back to my restaurant.”
The man at table 24: “Fine, but you’ll be losing our business.” Owner: “I really don’t care, and don’t want people like you in my restaurant anyway.” It was the coolest reply I had ever seen. The owner then STOOD THERE AND WAITED for these people to leave. After they left, the owner came up to me. He said: “Screw those people. You’re doing a great job and I wouldn’t have hired you if you didn’t show potential. If anyone else talks to you like that I want you to tell them to screw off and get out. I don’t want their money.”
Coolest. Boss. Ever.
12. Smile! You’re On Camera
Many many many years ago I worked at a retailer in the UK. A grimy looking family came in and started acting shifty, having over exaggerated discussions on washing machines, asking ridiculous questions about our returns policy. They bought a reasonably expensive Hotpoint washing machine from us, and wanted to take it with them that day, which we were happy to do.
They paid cash. They took their washing machine, loaded it into the back of their van, and we watched them drive over to the McDonald’s on the other side of the trading park. About an hour later they drove back and said that we’d sold them the wrong machine. They’d gotten it home, unwrapped it, and it was the wrong machine.
We told them to bring it on in and we’d sort it out. They went out to their van and brought in a CLEARLY DIFFERENT, DIRTY, OBVIOUSLY SECOND-HAND WASHING MACHINE. Oh, and they didn’t want an exchange. Just a refund. With every alarm bell ringing, my boss and I had a quick scan through the security cameras.
Sure enough, they had driven to McDonald’s, and come straight back. Whilst I was “running the refund through,” my boss called the police, who turned up, had a little look in the back of their van where, unsurprisingly, there was a brand new Hotpoint washer, still in its wrap. They were carted off by the cops. Didn’t get charged, unfortunately, but it was a definite get out moment.
If they’d only been more patient and less greedy and gone home for a few hours first, they probably would’ve gotten away with it, knowing how much my boss would adhere to the “customer is always right” principle.
13. The Silver Lining
This story took place four years ago when I was 19. I lost my mom when I was six; yet, despite the young age, my memories of that time are very vivid. I remember the lack of kindness that seemed to be everywhere. It was also the first time that I saw my father cry. This one guest at my hotel reminded me of that time, and I wanted to make sure he knew he wasn’t alone.
I was raised in the hospitality industry. My dad buys old hotels, fixes them up, then sells them again. During the fix-up process, he keeps them operating like normal hotels. As his oldest child, it was usually my responsibility to help keep things running. The incident with the guest took place after I decided to stretch my wings and work for a hotel not owned by my family.
I was alternating between the second and third shifts at this hotel. Now, at the time, I had my hair dyed a ridiculously bright red, like fire truck red. While my boss had been hesitant to let me keep it, I never got anything but compliments from guests. This particular hotel was located near a hospital and offered a discount shuttle service for people with relatives at the hospital.
During one of my second shifts, this man came to check-in. He said he was staying for a week with the hospital rate and looked very distressed. His English wasn’t great, but he did his best. Several times during the process, he mentioned how much he liked my hair. He also got very talkative about why he was staying there, and since it was a slow night, I indulged him. His story broke my heart.
It turned out that his wife had been flown to our hospital from Puerto Rico. After he checked in, he went to the hospital to check on his wife and stayed there for a while. I was still on shift when he returned and he asked me where he could get some food. I gave him a list of restaurants that delivered to us. He asked which was my favorite and what I liked to eat there, then wandered off to make his call before lingering around the lobby waiting for the delivery.
When the delivery showed up, he brought his food to the desk and set a box in front of me. He told me that he hadn’t eaten dinner alone in years and he wasn’t ready to start. He had ordered the food that I told him was my favorite and was hoping that I’d be able to eat with him. Since my relief had shown up already, I clocked out early and sat in the breakfast room with the guest to eat our food.
Every night after that was the same thing. He’d come home from the hospital and ask me to order food for him so he’d get the front desk discount, and I’d order my own food. His wife wasn’t doing well and he ended up having to stay with us for almost two months. We had dinner together every night. I lived two blocks away and would come in on my days off.
The guy was really nice and really lonely. Apart from his wife, none of his kids were able to get to the US. He called me “Red” even after I’d changed my hair and would tell me all about his life in Puerto Rico. After a lifetime of bad guests, it was a really great experience. His wife ended up passing in the hospital.
He made sure to wait for me to come into work before he left so he could thank me for the dinners and let me know that I’d made a hard time a little bit better.
14. Service With A Smile
I know we all have had those phone calls. The ones from customers after they get take-out and something was messed up. They can range from the upset woman who got the chicken when it was supposed to be steak and who just wants it to be comped the next time she comes in, to the raging man who found one onion in his taco and is planning to drive to the store to scream at the manager and wants everyone fired.
It’s always a little nerve-wracking when you deal with these phone calls. The procedure for my store when getting one of these phone calls is to get a manager immediately, but I feel like I can deal with these customers better than my managers. And my managers all know this, so I am allowed to take these calls. Then I got one call that put all my powers to the test.
It was a busy Thursday evening because we have a burrito special, so the store was slammed. We also have Uber Eats, which means we have Uber drivers coming in and out getting takeout orders. If you know anything about Uber Eats, customers can sometimes write comments to specify certain things that they want done to their particular order.
After we slowed down a little bit, we got an Uber order, and in the comments, the man said, “Could you please add napkins and draw a smiley face on something to make me a little happy tonight.” Of course, after I showed all of the servers we all freaked out and decided we would write him so many notes just to brighten up his evening.
We ended up making over 50 notes including jokes, drawings, and little stories (we also added an extra side of queso). I felt really nice to be able to do something for someone. Later that night, as I was getting ready to clock out, one of the other servers comes and gets me and says there’s a man on the phone who wants to speak to a manager about something, but they’re all busy so can you take this?
Of course, I’m like oh geez, I do not want to be dealing with this right before I leave. Still, I reluctantly agree and ask him how I can help. He proceeds to tell me that he was the one who placed the Uber order and after receiving all of the notes he just wanted to call and say thank you. It went from heartwarming to heartbreaking in an instant.
He started to cry on the phone. I didn’t know what to say, so I just told him that we loved serving him and we hope to continue to do so. He told me that he wishes he was able to come into the restaurant, but he hadn’t been able to leave his house in years. His little splurge every week was ordering takeout from our store.
I started to tear up at this point and asked him to hold on for a minute. I got all of the servers and put him on speakerphone. I said “Hello, we all just wanted to say have a great night” and all the girls got the cue and started saying, “Have a good night!” “Enjoy your burrito!” “We can’t wait to do this next week!” I took the phone off speakerphone after everyone had said something.
I told him that he was now not only a valued customer, but a friend. I thanked him again and hung up. Now I’m sitting in my car crying thinking about this stranger and I hoped we helped him.
15. No Show, All Idiot
I work at a big name hotel in a beach town. In the summer, our rates skyrocket to almost $300 a night and we are usually sold out. Someone booked two rooms for a long weekend and decided not to show up. Our no-show policy is pretty standard—a night’s cost for each room booked. So this gentleman was charged over $500 total for his two no-show rooms.
It sucks, and it’s a lot of money, but it’s 100% his fault. The gentleman called me a couple of weeks later when he got his credit card bill. I explained to him our policy and that he wouldn’t be getting a refund. He went off. “You don’t know who you’re messing with,” he told me. “I’m not paying you, idiot.” Eventually, he told me he was just going to dispute it with his credit card company.
This is basically what I said to him: “If you want to dispute the charge with your bank, you have every right to do that. I would not personally recommend it though. If this was a case of a stolen credit card, I would agree with you, but we have documentation showing you were informed of the no-show policy. However, if you wish to pass this issue along to the bank, I will gladly deal with them.”
When you dispute a charge, the bank will front you the money while they investigate. When he got money from the bank right after he filed a dispute, he called me to GLOAT. He told me how stupid I was, etc. What I don’t think he understood is that the money is pretty much a loan, under the assumption that his charges really were genuine…which they weren’t.
I easily won the dispute, proving that he wilfully did purchase these rooms and that he was informed of the no-show policy. Then the bank billed him back for the money they fronted him. He called me again. Lucky me. He told me that the bank was billing him and that I had to pay it. He claimed that because it all started with my hotel, it was our responsibility to pay his bank bill.
At this point, I didn’t even know what more to say. I just said, “No, have a good day” and hung up. Later on, he called AGAIN, saying that his credit card company was threatening to turn over the bill to collections if he didn’t pay. Now he wanted us to pay $800 because of the interest. I told him that his personal finances were his own business and to stop calling. I tried to warn him in the beginning.
16. One Bad Date
I’m a full-time student getting my PhD at age 30 and I work full time as a server. I’ve been working at this Greek bistro for the greatest people for almost 15 years now. I started bussing at almost 16 and I’m now a manager. So a few months ago, it’s around six, and one of our regulars—I’ll call him Andy—comes into the store.
Andy works at a mattress store and always comes in for lunch. He’s an awesome guy, and he’s a big guy at close to 400 pounds. Anyway, Andy shows up after work with a woman. She’s maybe a good 10 or so years older than him, but it’s obvious they’re on a date. So we make a fuss over him. The owner’s wife gets him our best table and we bring them a complimentary glass of champagne.
He orders our platter of meat and she orders a vegetarian platter. They are eating, and suddenly I hear her gasp. Andy’s face is blue and his hands are over his throat. I go over and I give him the Heimlich while the owner calls 9-1-1. I’m giving him back blows when his date whacks me with her purse. “You’re hurting him, I took first aid and that’s not right!!”
She’s screaming in my face. He’s still choking, so the owner pulls her away from me and she’s screaming still. Andy’s piece of steak goes flying, and he’s then able to breathe. By now, the paramedics are there and—get this—his date is telling them I hurt him. On the contrary, the paramedics told her that I saved his life.
Anyway, they end up taking Andy in because he was wheezing a bit. She throws me a dirty look and follows them out. Two days later, Andy comes in for lunch with his co-worker and thanks me over and over. Then he tells me that was the first and last date with that woman. He brought his newest girlfriend in yesterday. She loved the restaurant and best of all, she’s nice.
17. A Helping Hand
My old manager was a real “working for the weekend” type and never went out of her way for us or the customers, no matter what. One of the most difficult things about her was that we had a homeless guy who’d camp out in our back alley (because a lot of heat comes off a vent back there) and she’d always make us toss him out because he was visible to customers from the main entrance.
She’s gone and we have a new manager now. In the new manager’s first week, one of the employees said, “Hey, that guy’s back.” The new manager said, “This guy here often?” and we told her the whole story. She asked what our interactions with him had been like and we told her perfectly pleasant, considering the circumstances.
She walks out, shakes the guy’s hand, and offers him a dishwashing job on a trial basis. She had one of the busboys help him get cleaned up and put him right to work. He knocked it out of the park, made good honest money, and got staff dinner. She told him he was welcome to come back to work any night of the week and if he was consistent, she’d see about getting him hired.
That was two weeks ago, and he started on a permanent basis today!
18. Like A Dog With A Bone
I’ve worked in a hotel for over a decade. The other night, I had a guest come down to the lobby and listen to music on her phone. She didn’t have headphones and the music was very loud with explicit lyrics, but it was a fairly slow night and I didn’t want to give her trouble, so I let it go on for about 10 minutes.
Eventually, the lounge closed and three stragglers came walking through the lobby back to their rooms. A few glanced between me and her with a strange look. I just raised my eyebrows to them in acknowledgment, but at this point, it still didn’t seem like a huge problem and it wasn’t bothering me. Minutes later, one of my last arrivals came in.
It was an older lady with the air of someone who would definitely leave a review with nothing but complaints. Right off the bat, the music from the phone got ridiculously explicit. I started hurrying to check this woman in as fast as possible while she was evil-eyeing the lady on the couch and shaking her head in disappointment at me.
I finally got her checked in and she left for her room, but at this point, I realized I had to do something. I politely addressed the lady on the couch. “Ma’am, I’m sorry but the sound on the phone will have to be off while you’re in the lobby.” She shrugged, got up, and walked to her room. That actually went well, right? Cut to the next night.
I ran to the kitchen for about five minutes to help the restaurant staff close a few things down for the night, and as I was walking back to the desk, I noticed the same girl sitting on the couch with a guy about her age on the couch next to her. They both appeared to be in their mid-20s—way too old for childish behavior—but I immediately knew that’s what I was about to get.
As I said hi to them, I noticed the girl look at the guy and nod. He nodded in return. It was obviously an attempt at clandestinely saying, “Yep, that’s the guy.” Oh good, what’s this gonna be? I got behind the desk and braced for what these two were about to do. The guy asked the girl something along the lines of, “Hey, have you heard of such and such song?”
He was saying it loud enough for me to hear, in a tone that was so obviously planned and staged. He then told her he’d play it for her, and immediately started blasting some weird song from a genre of music I can only describe as circus-themed EDM. I was not going to let this get to the point it did the night before, so I immediately told the guy the sound had to be turned off.
He replied, “I’m not going to turn it off, but I’ll turn it down some.” After some back and forth, he obliged to fully turn it off, then began having a conversation with the girl that was, again, aimed at me. They were basically throwing backhanded insults my way just loud enough for me to hear.
At one point, the girl actually called her mom on her cell phone and began talking about badly the hotel was mistreating her. Whatever, I was not easily offended and I’d seen my fair share of jerks. Eventually, someone coming from the lounge passed through the lobby while talking to someone on his cell phone. The girl yells at him and told him he was being too loud on his phone and was going to get kicked out.
That was enough for me…at that point, she was messing with business, so she had to go. I told them both that they were going to need to go to their rooms for the night, but they ignored me and acted like they didn’t hear. So I picked up the phone and pretended to dial security. Security doesn’t actually have a phone, but I was hoping the bluff alone would work.
It did, and they both got up quickly and scurried off to their room. But that wasn’t the end of the story. I got a call from my manager the next day asking me what had happened with these guests. He said that the girl’s mom drove to the hotel, demanded to see a manager, and screamed for 15 minutes about how rude I had been.
I told my manager what had happened and we shared a laugh. He told me if that if I had any more issues, I can go straight to the authorities and have them escorted off the property. Then came night three. The girl came back down to the lobby holding hands with another girl. They both made sure to hold their hands up so that I could see it and shoot me a passive-aggressive grin. I currently live up north, but I’m from the South and have a thick accent that most people immediately pick up on. I honestly believed that they were trying to bait me into saying or doing something homophobic, assuming that I must be a stereotypical southern Christian gay-hatin’ person or something.
They stood at our local brochure cabinet and “browsed” while talking under their breath. Not loud enough for me to hear, but I’m sure it was aimed at me. A few minutes later, the guy joined them and the conversation became loud enough for me to hear. It was definitely more insults thrown my way. At that point, I decided it was enough.
I told them they were going to need to return to their rooms or I would have security escort them off the premises. They demanded to know why, and I told them the truth as best as I could put it. “Because none of you have emotionally matured past middle school and I won’t sit here and be disrespected for a second night because you fail to understand why we can’t have curse words blaring in a place of business.”
The girl said something along the lines of, “Did you not learn your lesson yesterday? I guess I’ll have to call my mom again.” I told her to go ahead, her mom could be escorted off the property as well, and they stormed off to their room. I got a call from my manager the next day saying the mom came back for another go. He had promptly ended their reservation a day early. I love my manager.
19. Power Couple
Bartender here. This girl walks into my bar and I walk over as usual place a napkin in front of her. Then I ask her, “Hey! How are you? What can I get you today?” “Cosmo,” she says. “Alright coming right up—that’s a really cool dress, by the way,” I say. It was like one of those expensive skin-tight Kim Kardashian dresses.
It also had these metal panels going through it that lit up when she moved—I don’t know, it was cool so I just mentioned it. It was a very quick off-the-cuff comment. Not hitting on her or anything. Her response chilled me to the bone. She then gives me this “ew” look and goes, “One. I have a boyfriend. Two. I don’t date gay men. Three, hurry up with my drink before I decide you don’t get to work here.”
I suddenly stop, slightly shocked. A flood of thoughts quickly go through my head. Like was she joking…? Would someone think that was humorous? Nope. Witch was SO serious. My Turn: “In what universe do you think you can walk into a bar—insult the bartender—and actually expect him to make you drinks???? Silence. “Nah witch, you’re dismissed.” But it wasn’t over.
This girl comes back the next day with her boyfriend and she points at me as if saying “that’s him.” He goes, “Yo, I heard you insulted my girl. Do you know what happens when guys talk like that to my girl?” Ugh, here we go with one of those jerk guys who wants to put on a macho performance for his girl. These specimens are the dumbest of the dumb.
I go, “Do you know what actually happened?” He goes, “I don’t care what happened! You disrespected my girl.” At this point, he actually jumped over the bar and I jumped over the bar as well to HIS side. Then this guy jumped BACK over the bar to the guests’ side, at which point one of the bouncers tackled his dumb butt to the ground.
If my girlfriend acted like that to a bartender and they got mad, I’d be like “Yeah—that was a rude thing to say.” God, I hope those two don’t procreate.
20. Covert Operations
I’d been working as a front desk agent for about a week. It was my first time working at a hotel, so I was still learning the ropes even though I’d previously worked as a check-in agent for a cruise line. I was working the afternoon shift and things were pretty slow, with a couple of check-ins here and there. Then, at 7 pm, this lady came in.
After talking things out at the valet, she made her way over to me. We exchanged greetings and she told me she would like to reserve a room but “only for a couple of hours.” I let her know that the minimum of time she could reserve a room for would be a full night. After asking what the price would be ($240, which is way too much for the kind of hotel I work at, by the way) she agreed and handed me her credit card.
This is where things got… weird. As soon as I asked her for ID to make the reservation, she backtracked and says that she didn’t want her name anywhere on the reservation and would like to make it out under the name of the guy who would be joining her later instead. I paused for a moment, and after asking her again if she was planning on using the room as well, I told her that I at least needed to put her name into the accompanying list for the room.
I reassured her that only the employees would be able to see the list and that the guy she was planning to meet wouldn’t see it. Throughout this whole interaction, the woman was super composed, kind, and understanding. At this point, however, I was just thinking she came by for a one-night stand and didn’t want the dude to know anything about her because she was probably married or something.
I just thought, why not just actually get a motel, lady? This theory of mine was further solidified when she asked me to make a note on the reservation saying that if at any point we needed to address her by name around the dude, we wouldn’t call her by her real name. Instead, she gave me a fake name (or so I thought) to address her by.
I was obviously bewildered, but I was still trying to be accommodating. I tried not to let it show how much I was trying to figure out what the heck was going on. We got through the rest of the check-in process and she even went as far as showing me a picture of the dude so I’d know who he was when he came in.
I handed her the key and she headed over to her room. About an hour later, the mystery dude walked in. My co-worker (who had no clue of anything) ended up checking him in, so I didn’t really get to see much of him. To be honest, I still wasn’t giving the whole thing much thought other than, “That’s a bit weird.” Not even 30 minutes had passed since the guy went up when the woman came back down and handed me BOTH their keys.
She said “Thank you” in the most serious yet cordial way, then walked off. Multiple thoughts went through my mind as she made her way to the valet: “That was way too fast even for a quickie,” or “Why the heck did she give me two keys? Where’s the guy?” or “Please tell me she didn’t off him somehow.” Security was standing behind me staring her down and probably had the same thoughts.
My co-worker and I were whispering with each other, still trying to figure out what the heck happened because that did not look like a lady who had just had a pleasant romp in the sheets. Cue the guy coming down the stairs—we were like, “Okay, we can breathe, he’s not a goner.” Suddenly, though, we had an onslaught of distressed clients, so I never got to find out what really happened…
…Until the worker from the valet came over. Boy, did he have some tea to spill. It turned out, that the woman asked the valet guy to park her car in a way that hid her license plate from plain view. Apparently, the guy she had been talking to me about was her husband. You might be asking yourself by this point, “Why has this lady gone through so much trouble to hide anything that might give her identity away to her husband?”
Well, dear reader, the name woman gave me just so happened to be the name of the girl her husband was cheating on her with. This woman somehow got her cheating husband to believe that his “girlfriend” had booked them a sweet, sweet night at the hotel, only for him to show up and find his wife sitting on the bed instead.
The woman came back downstairs after probably ruining the heck out of him, with not a hair out of place I might add. She then patiently waited for the husband to get his sorry butt back to the lobby so that she could extend her hand and demand their house keys from him.
She later got into her car and just drove away. The only thing that would’ve made this even better was if the dude’s “girlfriend” had also been there to tear into him as well. I’d like to think she had a part to play in this whole thing, since how else would the wife have managed to trick him into getting to the hotel? Point is, this woman is all I aspire to be.
21. A Regular Hero
I’m a bartender at a fine dining restaurant, and when I work the lunch shift, I help the server take tables if it gets busy. One afternoon, I had a table make me cry and tell me that I was rude and didn’t know how to do my job because I tried to take an empty appetizer plate away without asking first. They were in the middle of a conversation and their main course was almost ready.
They shouted at me and everyone just turned around and stared. I had other guests on the floor, and every time I passed by these jerks I could hear them talking about me. They racked up a nearly $200 bill and didn’t leave a tip. I kind of wonder if they made up something to be upset about to justify not tipping on a large check, but whatever.
I just dipped out to the bar, which is in the front of the restaurant and away from the main dining room, and asked my food runner to take good care of them so I didn’t have to interact with them anymore. Later that afternoon, I had an older man come and sit at my bar. I knew he was a regular and that he lived nearby, but I’d never really spoken to him because he usually wanted to sit in the dining room and not the bar.
He was wearing headphones when he sat down so ignored most of my greeting, and I thought “Oh here we go again.” I’ve never been so wrong in my life. He immediately apologized and stated that he was in a hurry and just wanted some ice water and a glass of my favorite red that we offered. I talked to him about the choice for a minute while I opened a fresh bottle.
I’m studying to become a certified sommelier, so I know a thing or two. I then served it to him. He asked for the check right away. It was only a $14 glass, and after I ran his card I handed him the receipt and thanked him before going to check on my other table. I came back a couple of minutes later and his glass was untouched, but he handed me some money wrapped in his receipt. Then he said something that almost made me cry.
He said, “I hope this is enough. I was walking by earlier and you looked like you were having a bad day. I know your lunch shift is almost over. This glass is on me.” When I opened the receipt, he’d left me two 20s. I’ve heard stories of people taking care of their servers like that, but it’s never happened to me before.
I was so cut up over how my first table treated me that I definitely got teary-eyed again after the regular left my bar. Just a reminder that sometimes the most unassuming customers might have your back. My first table had me feeling less than human, but this guy really reminded me why I do what I do, and why I love it.
22. Not In My Rented Room
I worked in a hostel in Miami. I’ve learned to deal with a lot of different people. Some are eccentric, some are reserved, and some are just plain stupid. I’ve had a guest the past few nights who is obviously gay and sometimes tries to flirt with me. I personally have nothing against this—I actually find it flattering that he’s attracted to me.
But I do find it a little odd that he knows I’m straight and he still finds the need to flirt with me. I am a 6’1″ straight male and happily engaged to the love of my life. I am comfortable enough with myself and my own sexuality to not be at all bothered by this…but this other guest clearly struggles with that. At one point, the gay man came by and complimented my beard before heading into the guest-area kitchen.
Soon after, a man with a Scottish accent came to me with a complaint: “What the heck was that, mate? That queer just got all feely on you and you don’t have a problem?” I responded, “I’m sorry, sir, but how is that your business?” He said angrily, “Because a man like yourself shouldn’t have to be flirted with like you’re a pixie, mate.”
I stood back a bit, then told him, “I’m sorry that that bothers you, sir, but that is none of your concern. Please, enjoy the rest of your night.” That’s when things got really heated. “Oh, so you ARE gay,” he blurted out loudly. At that point, I just give him the ultimatum. “Sir, here we tolerate people of all backgrounds and sexualities. If you do not respect that, then you are welcome to find other accommodations for your stay here in Miami.”
He proceeded to flip me the bird and walk away to the guest area. Moments later, the man who was being a flirt came out and said that the guest came to the kitchen and called him and his friends’ names before he went to his room. I went after the guest to kick his dumb butt out, and he told me: “It’s fine, you queer-lover. I’m leaving anyway. This place doesn’t deserve my money.”
I proceeded to get his passport photo from our system and uploaded it to the group chat I was in with the other night auditors in the area. My new gay friend bought me some pizza and wings, so that was cool. After that, the rude guest tried to check into other hostels in the proximity and got rejected.
23. Keep Em Coming
I’m a server, and last night I worked a table of 14. They were all terrible people, the douchiest people I have ever come in contact with. The royal family of Worthless Jerk Land. One guy sits down and orders a pint. He says, “Every time you come to the table I want you to have a pint for me.” I thought he was probably just joking, so I leave and come back.
He says, “Where is my pint? Did you really forget what I told you like two minutes ago? Wow.” So I said, “OH! I am so sorry, it won’t happen again.” So, for the next two hours, no matter what, EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. I approached the table I left a pint. After about 45 minutes, the drinks began to pile up. I just didn’t ever stop.
Every time I put a drink down, he said nothing. If he would have acknowledged my presence and told me to stop, I would have. He said nothing. I started to feel bad, for a couple of minutes…and then he yelled at me like a dog to get the food out faster. THAT IS WHAT HE WANTED. I just want to reiterate that. HE ASKED FOR IT.
Also, I was watching him drink. If at any point his behavior or consumption increased, I would have stopped. He walked out the exact same way he walked in. Like a jerk. Anyway, it got so bad that the pints were SURROUNDING HIS SEATING AREA. Just glasses and glasses and glasses. It was incredible. I make my own drinks where I work, as we don’t have a typical bar, just a large server station.
A friend of King Doucherbottom even tried to take one that I put down, but I grabbed it. Then I said, “Sorry sir, this is your friend’s drink. I would be happy to get one for you if you like.” Long story short, he ended up buying 25 drinks at eight dollars a pop with a 20% mandatory auto-gratuity on the table. He maybe drank four.
I have never felt so good in my life. It doesn’t pay to be an arrogant jerk, folks! This was a crowning achievement in my seven years of serving. I work at a place where some people come in and treat me like a piece of stew meat, and I have learned to play the game in order to make money. I love my job and the people I meet, but I get stepped on a lot. It’s nice to win one for once.
No bartender was involved. I can’t deny the illegality of it, but I do not regret it! The bussers enjoyed the undisturbed drinks after he left, too. I felt so good bringing them back in a bus tub of ice. It was like seeing the excitement of children on Christmas morning. My manager saw the bill and was angry, but no reports of anything we would be liable for as of yet! And there was a sweet twist at the end.
They split the bill seven ways, and they did not even look at the charges. I put down the bill and the cards went on top. Their total bill was about $1,200 with everything included. This not common for a table of 14 where I work, but not surprising. I came out making around $240 before tip out. So all in all, a very good evening for me.
24. Fast And Fresh
So, where I work we have the option for people to pre-order food from their phone because I guess that’s the way it is nowadays; everybody wants everything fast. The system is kind of messed up, though, because sometimes they call in for the food and pop in five seconds after as if they ordered from the parking lot. So it obviously won’t be ready yet.
Anyways, this lady did exactly that, but thankfully it was a really small order so I started preparing it immediately. She walked up and I’m guessing it took me about 30 seconds too long, so she starts going “HELLLLLLOOOO!?” like three or four times. I walk over, smile at her, and give her the stuff. She then starts yelling at me as if I’m her child.
She’s yelling something like “THIS ORDER WAS ON-THE-GO WHICH MEANS IT SHOULD BE READY THE MOMENT I GET HERE SO NEXT TIME DO YOUR JOB AND HAVE IT READY.” This was out of character for me because I’m the nicest guy if you’re nice to me, but I kind of just looked in her direction and tiredly murmured, “Screw off.” She started flipping out and yelling more.
“EXCUSE ME!? EXCUSE ME!? WHAT’S YOUR NAME?” I lied and gave her a fake one. She told me to get a manager. I went and got the manager, and at this point I was enraged. I briefly explained what happened, and when my manager got over there the lady started being rude to her, saying things like, “Oh, he WILL be fired. I can guarantee that.”
She called corporate and all the managers and owners got involved. I talked with the owner on the phone, and the owner was only upset that I lied about my name. The owner was saying things like, “In the future, this is how you handle it,” so I assume I still have the job. She did mention that she HAS to call the lady back and apologize.
Anyway, if I get fired…my God, was it worth it. Telling this lady to screw off was the most satisfying thing I got to do all year.
25. Bait And Switch
This happened back in April. Around mid-morning, an attractive young woman came into the lobby of my hotel where I work and asked for a key to her cousin’s room, who we’ll call “Shi-Shi Garcia.” Cousin: “Can I get a key to room 206?” Me: “Is Ms. Garcia here with you?” She sighed loudly and immediately lost her patience. Zero to sixty.
She badgered me for half an hour. She called someone who she said was Shi-Shi and put that person on speakerphone. Together, they badgered me in stereo. Eventually, I offered to check the camera footage to see if she was present at check-in. I thought this was a very generous solution to her problem; a definite grey-area loophole—but they didn’t see it that way.
The person on the phone said, “You’re really going to be that petty? Why can’t you just do your job and let my cousin into our room.” Finally, I snapped back: “Doing my job means your cousin plops down on that couch and waits for you to get back here to let her in. What I’m doing is extra. It’s special treatment. I’m being nice, and I don’t appreciate this.”
The cousin took the key, sighed loudly, and walked back to her room without even so much as a sarcastic “Thank you.” That could have been the end of it. It wasn’t. Five minutes later, Shi-Shi came into the lobby. This struck me as odd because I was told she was “hours away.” Never looking up from her phone, she asked for my name and my supervisor’s name and took the opportunity to slip in a few more derisive remarks.
After I said, “Have a nice day,” with perhaps too much bite, she told me she was going to get me fired. “What you did is illegal,” she said. I think she was trying to say that I shouldn’t have let the person in. Then, while I was speechless, she smugly turned on a dime like a model on the runway and strutted back to her room.
I called my manager. She was very sympathetic and laughed it off, reassuringly. I puzzled over it for a while, then grabbed my cell phone. I set it to record, took a deep breath, and knocked on Shi-Shi’s door. That conversation went like this:
Me: “Front desk here.” (Shi-Shi opens the door, holding her cell phone up to her ear, saying something inaudible into it).
Me: “Do you want me to call the authorities and oust this person from your room?”
Shi-Shi: “No no no—she’s actually in the restroom.”
Me: “Is it okay that she’s in here?”
Shi-Shi (innocently): “Yeah. That’s fine.”
Me: “Then why are you upset that I let her in?”
Shi-Shi (talking into the phone): “Hold on, can I—is there a way I can call you back or put this on hold or something?”
My goal was to bait her into saying that it was okay for the cousin to be in that room. She walked right into it. At the moment I knocked, she was actually on the phone with the hotel, filing a complaint about me—which is why she said, “Can I call you back?” She got off the phone as soon as I start asking questions. She followed me back to the desk where we talked a little longer.
I asked her to clarify why she was threatening me and she replied, “I’m just doing it to be a witch.” That conversation went like this:
Shi-Shi: “Okay.” (long pause)
Me: “So it’s okay that that person’s in the room?”
Shi-Shi: “That is correct.”
Me: “Then what’s the problem?”
Shi-Shi: “The problem is… your… customer relations.”
Me: “So it’s not that I let her into the room as you threatened me with earlier?”
Shi-Shi: “No, not necessarily… I’m doing it to be a witch if you want me to be honest with you.” The only reason I recorded this stuff was to defend myself against a write-up or worse. I was content to let the whole thing go. She had her key and filed her complaint, but my manager was on my side. Great.
The next day, after they checked out, housekeeping discovered that Shi-Shi and her cousin had taken all our pillows and left their own raggedy, old pillows in the pillowcases. Naturally, her card declined for the theft. Fine. At least that would be the end of it…Nope! Two days later, I saw Shi-Shi Garcia’s name on our arrivals list. Two adults. Oh, dear.
I called the phone number on file, expecting to have it out with her, but it was a man who answered. I told him we’d have to cancel the reservation because Shi-Shi and her cousin were not welcome at our hotel. He asked why and I told him the whole story—the key, the mistreatment, the “I’m just doing it to be a witch” comment, and the pillow swap. I did not mention the recordings.
He apologized profusely. He said they put their employees at our hotel all the time and we’d always been great. He thanked me, said he’d “talk to her,” and ended the call. The next day, I learned that man had been her boss’s boss. He called her supervisor, who called the hotel, and spoke with my manager.
My manager told him the whole story and mentioned the recordings. Ladies and gentlemen, it saddens me to tell you: Shi-Shi and her pretty cousin were let go. They were fired in a strange city, a thousand miles from home, in the middle of a business trip. Sad.
26. Mistaken Identity
On my day off from serving, I scheduled a lunch date with a guy from school, but traffic was brutal so he was running late. I was sitting at my table, looking at the menu. Note: It wasn’t the restaurant I work at, it wasn’t the same kind of food as the restaurant I work at, and it is geographically nowhere near the restaurant I work at. A woman came up and took my menu out of my hands.
“Why are you just sitting here? We’ve been waiting for service for 45 minutes.” No, they hadn’t. They came in the same time I did, 10 minutes ago, and they had already gotten drinks. “Ma’am, I don’t work here.” I didn’t recognize her at this point. “Don’t lie to me, you’re a waitress, you served me just last week, don’t you remember?”
I vaguely remember her coming into my restaurant now because she complained her meal wasn’t served with hot sauce then sent it back because it was too spicy. I tell her, “I am a waitress at local Mexican restaurant but I am not a waitress at ‘local burger bar.’” She says, “Same difference. You’re a waitress. Get a pen and paper and take down our orders.”
“I am a waitress, but not here. I’m just trying to enjoy my lunch like you are. I am not employed here in any capacity.” To which she replies, “But you’re a trained waitress and this place is clearly running behind. Don’t you people take an oath or something?” Well, this lady asked for it. I rarely get to stand up to this kind of stupidity in my role as a server, because 99.9% of the time it happens while I’m actually at work.
So I went over to their table with a pen and paper from my backpack. I wrote down all their orders. I said it would be 45 minutes and to just sit tight. I even brought over ketchup they asked for (just grabbed off another table) then…….I left. I texted my date to meet me at a place a few blocks over. The next day, the lady had called my boss at my actual restaurant, as well as totally unleashed on the manager at the restaurant I was dining at.
I felt bad when I realized the tough spot I’d left the people who actually work there in, so I went back the next day to apologize and follow up on the aftermath. Thankfully, they were chill and we had a great laugh over it. They were like, “We were so confused because she described the server with explicit details but no one remotely like that works here so we thought she’d lost her mind.”
My boss knew who I was from her description and told them he takes this very seriously and asked what day this occurred. Then when they told him he said, “You must be mistaken, because that’s that server’s day off, and she wasn’t here.” After some irate yelling and screaming at my very friendly manager about how I still need to “represent the restaurant wherever I go,” she gave up.
Now to just cross my fingers she doesn’t come by my actual restaurant!
27. What A Day
I just came from the craziest shift I have EVER worked in a hotel. That’s an understatement. I work mid shifts for my hotel. When I went in the morning, my manager notified me that our system was down. I couldn’t check people in or out, give receipts, make reservations, etc. He was already on the phone with IT creating a ticket to get it back up and going.
An hour later, it started working. At that point, I was backpedaling and checking people out, helping the executive housekeeper change room statuses, etc. Out of nowhere, my system shut down again. I was locked out and couldn’t do anything. As this happened, the maintenance guy came to the desk with a bloody hand and said, “I just cut my hand on the roof. I’m going to the hospital to get it stitched up and I’ll be back.”
My whole management team had also gone to our sister property next door for a meeting so it was just me manning the desk. I texted my direct manager and let him know that everything had shut down again and that I’d been calling IT to get it back up. I called IT on the hotel phone so we could get rolling again. As I was on the phone, a guy walked in and said, “I have the meeting space booked, could you let me in?”
I switched to the handheld phone and walked over to the meeting space to open the door with my master key. It didn’t blink. Oh, God. Our maintenance guy was at the hospital. All of our managers were gone. IT was talking my ear off and the next thing I knew, the executive housekeeper called me on the walkie and said, “None of our doors are opening.”
So, at that point, I had: A guest trying to get into the meeting space, a broken system, and no master keys for opening doors. My next move was to call our sister property’s maintenance guy next door for help. He came by and immediately started working on the meeting space door. My managers then came back and also started helping where they could.
After about another hour, we finally got our system back up and in another 30 minutes, our doors were working. Great. I started playing catch up at 2:30 in the afternoon, trying to get everything done before the 3 pm check-in. Here’s where things went CRAZY. I was replenishing the coffee (this is important), then I went to check in a few guests.
This guy walked into the lobby and said, “Hi, I need to check on the status of my application.” I told him to wait a moment and grab the manager. She then explained to me that a homeless man named “Bob” often came in posing as an applicant so he could come in and take our cookies, breakfast cereal, bananas, coffee, etc.
He’d already been removed from the property multiple times and banned from returning, so at that point, he was blatantly trespassing. She came out and asked him to leave while she was on the phone with the authorities. He tried to argue back and forth with her until the officers arrived. They told him that he could not be on the property.
The man flipped out. He threw the coffee I had just made AT A GUEST. There were cookies and bananas all over my lobby floor, and a soda hit the lobby wall. Officers restrained him and took him away. I was about ready to pull out my hair in frustration, so I went outside. Just as I was exiting the door, my other manager came in on the walkie and said there was a man wearing jeans, a grey hoodie, and a grey hat on the property who just tried to attack a housekeeper on the elevator.
She told me to take one flight of stairs up while others were outside checking the parking lot and the first-floor common areas. By the time I made it to the third floor, my manager got on the walkie and said that the man had been restrained and that we could go back to our regular duties.
The maintenance guy and I happened to be on the same floor, so we both got on the elevator to go back down to the first floor. As it was going down, it stopped to let someone on. When I saw him, I nearly gasped. The man was wearing jeans, a grey hoodie, and a grey hat. The maintenance guy and I were looking at each other in disbelief. I just stood there thinking, “This has to be a coincidence.”
I asked the maintenance guy if they were sure they got the right guy and that’s when the worst happened—THE FREAKING ELEVATOR GOT STUCK. Right then and there, the grey hoodie man started chanting: “The United States. Suicide. Suicide. Suicide.” I LITERALLY CANNOT MAKE THIS UP.
So, of course, the maintenance guy grabbed me and pinned me in a corner in case the guy tried to attack. The maintenance guy was tall and well-built, so I knew that if grey hoodie man were to attack, he was going to have to go through him first. I got on the walkie and said the elevator was shut down and that the officers had the wrong guy.
Then, all hell broke loose. The manager was now freaked out and standing outside the door trying to pry it open. We were on the elevator with this guy for 45 MINUTES while the fire department tried to get us out. Grey hoodie man sat there and chanted the same statement over and over again. He never moved, he never looked at us. The man didn’t even know we were there.
I have NEVER been genuinely afraid of a guest. FINALLY, they got us off and I bolted to the back office to have the freaking panic attack I’d been holding in for the last hour. At that point, I had an hour left of my shift to go. I definitely needed the freaking hours, so I collected myself and went back to the desk.
Grey hoodie man was escorted off the property. We all assumed he was going to be taken to a hospital to be checked out because there was genuinely something wrong with him, but nope. I didn’t know this. Neither did the other staff members. We kept working, just trying to wrap things up so we could all go the heck home. Near the end of the night, I went to use the bathroom.
Y’all. I opened the freaking bathroom door and the grey hoodie man was SITTING ON THE BATHROOM SINK chanting the SAME statement. He came in the back door this time so the front desk did not see him. Needless to say, I lost my mind. I walked back to the lobby to find it FULL of high school students who had arrived for a school function.
All I could think of was, “Great, let’s call the authorities and freak out a bunch of teenagers.” I grabbed the maintenance guy again and told him that the grey hoodie man was back in the bathroom. He went to guard it while I called 9-1-e. in the back office. Finally, they came by and took the man to a hospital.
It turned out, grey hoodie man was a veteran who had just undergone a severe PTSD episode. My heart broke for this him. Thankfully, officers were able to take him to get the help he needed. Overall, I am done with today. I will be taking a very hot bath, drinking a full bottle of red, and then getting back up in the morning to go back to a literal dumpster fire.
28. Cruel To Be Not-So Kind
I’ve been a server at various points throughout my life since I was 16, and I am 29 now. Usually, I would serve or hostess as a part-time job, but currently, my only job is being a server. Recently, I had three guys come in who looked about my age. When they sat down, I greeted them and then asked them how many shots they were going to be buying tonight.
They were fairly loud and seemed in a good mood, and I said this mostly to be funny. The first couple of guys told me they didn’t want shots, but they would be ordering pints. Then the last guy told me he would need a few shots if I was going to be his server. I chuckled, since I thought we were joking, and went and got their drinks.
They ordered their food, a few more drinks, there weren’t any major issues, and they said it would all be one check tonight. I went to pick up their credit card receipt, and there was 0.00 in the tip line. Ok, maybe they’ll leave cash—no big deal. But as I am thanking them for coming in, one of the guys interrupts me. His words shook me to my core.
He tells me that I probably noticed he didn’t tip me. I am honestly kind of embarrassed to be having this conversation, and I was flustered, so I just replied with something like “Oh, that’s okay, have a nice night.” He then proceeded to tell me; “I didn’t really feel like shelling out an extra 20 bucks for you, because no offense, but you could step it up a bit. All the other waitresses in here are very cute and earn their tips, try putting on more makeup, or going to a gym. I am just being honest with you. If a guy wanted to screw you, he’d tip you better.”
I was so mortified I didn’t even say anything. I could feel my face turning red, while every guy at that table stared at me. Nobody said anything. I work very hard, and I take so much pride in my work. I try to look nice and put together every night, because it can speak to how much pride you do take in your job. I am friendly and outgoing, because I love working with people and I love my job.
I wish I would’ve had something to say back to him, but I just walked away instead. I’ve worked double shifts all week and closed each night. I’ve been stiffed a couple of times almost every day this week, but I don’t take it personally and I try to still always hold my head up. Even so, that really hurt. For what it’s worth, though, I don’t think what he said holds any true merit.
I love and accept myself wholeheartedly. It was more so the fact he said it at all, his entitlement, and to be reduced to whether or not he wants to sleep with me to determine my worth. This happened at the tail end of my night. I was the only server on the floor, and the only other female on staff with me tonight was the bartender, who I’ve never really confided in and or gotten along very well with.
We’re just co-workers, that’s it. I also didn’t tell my manager, because my manager is a guy. He is mostly friendly, but honestly, my manager is creepy too. Lots of unwanted hugs and shoulder touching. Comments and questions asking me if “I have a man, or if I’d ever be willing to be a stepmom”—he has four kids with his ex-wife.
Like I said, it’s been a long week. I worked doubles every day, and closed every night. Two of those nights I was the only server on for hours because so many other servers called out. I know I am better than he is, and that I am doing just fine, it’s just exhausting existing as a woman sometimes, and there’s not enough places you get to “just be.”
29. Not All Heroes Wear Capes
The other day, I had a woman call me from Nevada asking about weekend rates for my hotel. She wanted to come out and see her man who had been locked up in our town. He was recently transferred from another facility and it was more for economical to visit. When I did a quick check, my heart instantly dropped. Our room rates were ridiculous and I had no available discounts that I could offer her.
She gasped when I told her the price. I told her about a few hotels that she could most likely afford that were even closer to his location. We talked about how she was thinking of taking the Megabus to San Francisco, which was four hours away at minimum, and I also told her about an airline that could fly her for the same price. She’d be able to touch down 45 minutes south of where she wanted to be and still be able to take public transport into town to save her some cash.
She finally stopped me and said, “Girl, why you being so cool with me? I’m not even staying with you!” I said, “Ma’am I’ve done some time myself and I understand going to jail is expensive. I feel you because some of my friends have been locked up in places I can’t get to, so if I can help, I’ll help.” Her response lit up my day.
She started laughing and said, “You know what? You’re the nicest person I’ve talked to today. I said ‘prison’ to some other clerk and they hung up on me. My man was run up on a small charge, It’s some stuff I’ll tell you, but he’s getting out next year. When he does, I want you to plan my trip so I can pick him up. You’re really sweet and you know your stuff.”
I laughed and said I’d be honored. I wrote my name down for her and promised she’d get her a better rate when the summer was over. I then called the cheaper hotel that I suggested and let them know that she’d be calling. My girl V over there hooked the nice lady up. Sometimes, I can be a superhero.
30. Wait And See
So last night was probably the busiest night we’ve had for the last week. I’m a waitress at an upscale steakhouse restaurant. The hostesses up front put us at an hour-long wait for walk-ins because of so many booked reservations, which is the usual protocol from the general manager. Well, this particular couple had me FUMING beyond belief.
The front lobby is packed with guests waiting for a table while reservations are seated as soon as possible. The hostesses have a system on an iPad to let all the managers know which guest is seated where, how long they’ve stayed, etc. I’m bussing a table at my section when I overhear one of the hostesses try to speak to a pair of people at my section a booth over.
This couple walked into the restaurant, saw the number of people waiting for a table, and decided to seat themselves with NO reservation. They also sat at a dirty table, and here I’m thinking, “Are these people for real?” This is what I got between the hostess and the older man sitting down with his wife: “Excuse me, sir? You didn’t come up to the host stand in order for us to find out what reservation you had?”
“We don’t have reservations. Someone needs to clean this up.” Here, he points to the messy table. “I’m sorry sir, but if you don’t have a reservation the wait is going to be an hour long. Someone has already requested this booth by the fireplace and they need to be seated.” “We don’t care about reservations. We’re hungry and we’re going to eat. Get someone to clean our table! I’m not asking a third time!”
After that failure, the hostess looked at me, and she was pretty shaken up. She had never dealt with any guests THAT rude and upfront before, so it was understandable. With my Latina blood boiling, I went over to the jerks and gave them a piece of my mind. “This is my section, and after hearing that conversation, you both have no right to be served. There’s a family waiting for this table, and I’m going to ask you to leave. Unless you want me to get a manager to escort you out.”
The couple squawked at me, demanding I get them drinks, while I went straight to my manager, who saw what had already happened with the hostess. They were escorted out and were told they weren’t welcome back. Ever. This is the type of stuff I don’t think I’ll ever get used to. If you have to wait an hour-long for a table like everyone else, then you do it. If not, go to another restaurant.
31. Be Careful What You Wish For
I had a winner today. You know a customer is going to give you trouble when they strut in wearing a shirt that reads: “Public Land Owner.” My hotel is located inside a national park, so people like that always think they own the place. He went up to me and said: “I know the county has a burn ban going on right now, but since the lodge is on federal land, it doesn’t apply. So I can start a fire on the grass just outside my cabin, right?”
Me: “NO. NO, YOU MAY NOT. I’m not selling you any firewood now that you’ve established yourself as a fire risk in the middle of the forest.” Him: “WHAT?! I WANT TO SEE A MANAGER.” Me: “Well, I am manager, so it’s still no” Him: “Y’know, since this is federal land, I shouldn’t have to pay state and county sales tax. Take it off, or get me a manager who can.”
Me: “I’ve already told you—I’m the only manager on duty right now. If you look on that wall behind me, you’ll see that our business license is from the county, so you do need to pay sales tax because we are required to charge it.” Him: “But I’m from Oregon and we don’t pay sales tax there.” Me: “Well, you’re not in Oregon right now.”
Him: “Well, Washington State lets businesses waive sales tax for Oregon residents! Can you do that for me?” Me: “Do you have a tax-free ID from the US State Department?” Him: “No.” Me: “Then that’ll be $98.73. Will you be paying at the register, or charging this to your room?” Him: “Actually, I’m just checking out early. I don’t care what the policy is, just give me my deposit back. This place is a dump in the woods. I want something classy and this place is just embarrassing.” I was already annoyed at this point, but it just got worse.
Me: “Well, I can definitely break the cancellation policy for you, sir. I sincerely hope you find a hotel that meets your standards. But, uh, there’s an agricultural festival, a big bicycle charity ride, a baseball game, and a fishing tournament this weekend. It’s not like any other hotel the area would have rooms available on a summer weekend.”
I told him to have fun searching for another place that would have him. I guessed that the next available place was probably a two-hour drive away, but I may have forgotten to mention that to him. So anyway, four hours later, he came storming back in, demanding to know why his keys weren’t working. He demanded I give him his room back.
Unfortunately for him, I had already sold that room 15 minutes after housekeeping cleared it. I told him to get out before I called security. There was nothing else he could do, so he finally left me alone and that was that.
32. Putting Her In Her Place
I waited tables during college, and this is one of the best memories I have of my manager handling a rude guest. One of my tables was a gay couple at a booth. They were holding hands across the table basically the whole time they were at the restaurant. At one point, a lady with two small children flags me down from across the dining room.
Her table wasn’t in my section so I assumed she just wanted me to go find her server. I go over and ask her what I can do for her, and she says, “What the HECK is wrong with you? How can you possibly allow THEM in here? I’ve been coming here for 20 years and I’m appalled that they’d let a couple of those types eat here. Do me a favor and move those queers to a different table so my kids don’t have to see that sort of disgusting behavior.”
Literally, all they were doing was holding hands. Get over yourself lady. I wanted to tell her off for being such an intolerant witch, but instead just said, “One moment ma’am and I’ll get a manager for you.” I went and told my manager what was going on and he promptly went over to her table and told her that if she had an issue with other guests minding their own business and eating their food, then maybe she’d be better off not eating out at all.
She grabbed her kids and left without ordering. I always had a ton of respect for him for not putting up with horrible people’s issues.
33. The Early Bird Special
I work at a two-star family hotel. In the winter, we close only for Christmas, which is when we get our three-week paid leave. During the colder months, there are times when there are local events, and since the surrounding islands have no good infrastructure, many guests book at city center hotels like ours.
It was almost November when this happened—we had no rooms available on one particular night, but a guest came in. For the sake of the post, let’s call him Greg. A thin, tall, businessman type of guy with a mafia mustache and glasses. He looked to be in his mid-50s with grey hair. From the way he spoke, I could tell he was very educated. He walked in just half an hour before my shift ended.
Greg: “Good evening, I have a room booked for me and I know I’m early but I can wait.” Me: “Not at all, the check-in desk is 24/7.” Greg: “Magnificent, I can check in now then?” Me: “Of course, your name please?” Greg: “Greg McGregor.” Me: “Hmmm, I can’t seem to find your name…” Greg: “Oh, it’s there for sure, I booked just an hour ago while I was waiting at the bus terminal at the airport.”
At that point, I vaguely remembered the fax that was sent in. Me: “Oh of course, but your reservation is for… tomorrow?” Greg: “That’s correct, that’s why I asked if I could check in now.” Me: “I‘m afraid you cannot check-in now, as the reservation is for tomorrow, and I don’t have any rooms for tonight to extend your reservation.” Greg: “It doesn’t matter, I can wait a few hours until it’s ready then! Can you point me to an outlet so I can plug in my laptop while I wait?”
Me: “Sir… the check-in time is after 2 o’clock of the day you have reserved. Not midnight the day before.” Greg: “I respectfully disagree. I am taking the room at 1:01 am just like you promised me.” At the time, I did not fathom what he was trying to say. I have had guests that believed they were entitled to the room at midnight…but why 1:01 am?
After much thought, I decided to check his reservation form directly. The request was auto-approved as we have configured auto-approvals for non-chargeable check-in or check-out times, but they are strictly for checking-in after midnight of the next day, not the previous.
Me: “This is an auto-approval message. It clearly states here and here that it’s for the next day, not the previous.” Greg: “No problem, I can check in at 2:01 am then.” Me: “I’m not sure you understand what I mean.” This is when he started getting spicy. Greg: “You think that you’re the manager here?” Me: “Actually, I am.” Greg: “I will post a negative review then for not keeping your word.”
Me: “Please exit the hotel now or I will call the authorities.” Greg: “Well, okay…I’m afraid you lost ONE MORE GUEST NOW. You may cancel my reservation for tomorrow.” He left as if he thought that all was well. Well, needless to say, he is not getting a refund. Don’t tick off the front desk, people.
34. Mother Knows Best
I was working as night manager at a large hotel. We had four overnight staff: me, a cleaner, the night auditor, and a security guard. The guard’s duty is to continuously walk the 10 floors and listen for noise incidents. Our hotel is very close to a plaza that is FILLED with bars, including a very sketchy country bar that is known for over-serving and not checking IDs.
We saw three or four ladies in their late 40s and a younger girl leave shortly after 11, clearly dressed for the country bar. I thought it was a little weird to go clubbing with your mom and her friends, but whatever. Just before 1 am, the younger girl and one of the older ladies returned.
It was pretty obvious that the younger girl was quite out of it, but they were being quiet, so I didn’t hassle them on their way to the elevators. 20 minutes later, the older lady was heading back out to continue the party with her friends. Then, 20 minutes after that, we got a call from the security guard that a woman was passed out on the floor in the hallway.
I headed up to the floor in question and sure enough, slumped against a room door was the young lady from earlier. She was unresponsive to our verbal commands until she started throwing up. We rolled her into the recovery position and called an ambulance. While waiting for the ambulance, the mother and her friends returned to their rooms.
We informed the mother that we called an ambulance for her unconscious, unresponsive daughter, who was throwing up. Her reply was wild. She started SCREAMING! “How DARE you call an ambulance? What are they going to think? My husband is a first responder and will find out!”
Now, the cleaner arrived with the EMTs, who started making sure the young woman could breathe. They loaded her onto a stretcher to take her to the hospital. One of them did in fact know the mother and that is when we found out the daughter was only 16!!!! The mother then walked off with the ambulance crew, crying.
That was, by far, the weirdest and most stressful night I’d ever worked.
35. Ding Dong, The Witch Is Gone
I am no longer a server, but I was one all through college. I worked at a franchise of a chain of 24-hour restaurants that is notorious for cheap breakfasts and bad service. A big yellow sign with red letters. I took great pride in my job and how I treated my customers. In all honesty, if I could find a server job that offered good insurance and steady tips, I would consider going back to it.
I really, truly loved waiting tables and making people’s lives a little more pleasant, at least while they were in my section. It sounds cheesy, but it’s true. I had several “regulars” that always sat in my section, but there were other servers who had their regulars as well. One of them was a really pleasant, jovial man…and his horrible, nasty wife.
She was the kind of woman who got off on being a witch and making other people’s lives miserable. One particular day, I had to cover some tables in a different server’s section because a server called in sick. I was warned about this couple when they came in, but had never waited on them before, so I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect.
I was told that she had a habit of complaining endlessly about everything, demanding to speak to the manager every time they came in, and berating the servers and cooks at every turn. The husband (who often came in by himself) was the opposite—friendly, good-natured, well-liked. As soon as they were seated, before I could even get their drink orders, the husband got up from the booth and walked outside for a few minutes, leaving me alone with the wife.
I put on my best smiley, cheerful face and greeted her. She refused to make eye contact with me and instead scowled and snarled, “You would think that, as much money as we spend here, you people would know what we like to drink! Why do we have to keep going through this? I want ICED TEA, NO LEMON!!” She didn’t tell me what the husband wanted, and I didn’t ask.
I was just so taken aback by the anger straight out of the gate that I just turned on my heels and walked away. I poured her an iced tea—NO LEMON!!—and brought it back to her. Before I could even set it down, she snapped, “I already know what I want to eat, and we’re in a HURRY.” (Bear in mind that the husband is still outside).
I took her order, still trying to be pleasant, and before I could walk away, she snarled, “and the last time you people brought the food out, it was COLD!! I do NOT want cold food! And I want EXTRA CHEESE on my scrambled eggs!! and SALSA!!” Her voice seemed to drip with more and more anger with every word she spat out.
As I was ringing up the order, I thought of a thousand things I wanted to do, then I hit upon an idea. Instead of getting back at her, I was going to not only go out of my way to make her meal as perfect and delicious as possible, but I was going to embarrass her as well. I made sure everything was perfect…piping hot, lots and lots of cheese on the eggs, fresh salsa warmed up to room temperature.
By the time the meal was ready, the husband had returned to the table and was happily chatting with one of the servers. I mustered up my best scared/sad face as I brought out the food to her. As I sat it down, I started to tear up, just a little, and expressed in gushing, flowery terms how sorry I was for how badly she was treated the last time she was here, and how hard I worked to make sure the food was absolutely 100% according to her specifications.
I said that I felt SO BAD for how she was treated that I was going to pay for her meal out of my tips and how I hoped that she would be willing to accept my apology on behalf of the whole restaurant for her miserable experience. I really laid it on as thickly and sweetly as I could. Her husband, who was happy and smiling and cheerful just seconds ago, stared her down with a sick, horrid look.
His face turned bright red. She was MORTIFIED, her face turning equally red…she hung her head and said, “Ummm…okay…”. I asked her if everything was to her satisfaction this time, and if it wasn’t, I would rectify it immediately. She stared at her plate, pushed it around a bit, and said, “Ummmm…yeah…”. The husband is staring her down now, clenching his jaw.
He politely ordered his meal and as I was walking away, I heard him hiss at her, “What did you say to her? What did you DO??” She was silent and sulking for the rest of the meal, and he was polite but not overly chatty. When they were finished, she stormed out before he even left the table, head hung. He apologized profusely to me for how she had acted and left a generous tip on top of paying the tab.
To the best of my recollection, she never acted like a witch to any of us ever again.
36. Coming Clean
I will always remember this one scam artist I dealt with. I was working in Corporate Guest Relations at a hotel and I received a VERY long email from a guest about their stay at our resort property in Mexico. It was a very nice, all-inclusive beachfront resort. She put a lot of effort into the email, which ended up being like a day-by-day account of her eight-night stay. It listed every possible complaint and included a huge collection of pictures as “evidence.”
It was several pages long, and it looked something like this: Day 1: The shuttle driver was rude. We had to wait 30 minutes to get checked in. The view was horrible, we couldn’t see the ocean. The sheets were dirty. The A/C was so loud I couldn’t sleep. There was a crack in the sidewalk outside our room.
My dinner was cold and there wasn’t any salt or pepper on the table. The shower has no water pressure. Day 2: We had breakfast and they were out of pancakes. My daughter’s favorite cereal wasn’t available. There were loud children playing in the pool all day. There was a light out on the pathway. I called the front desk to ask for more towels and no one answered.
I think housekeeping took money out of my purse. The chairs in the lobby were uncomfortable. One of the electrical plugs in my room didn’t work. Imagine a list with 100 more things from her eight-night stay. Now, some of the complaints seemed reasonable, but really, who spends their entire vacation making a log of everything they think is wrong with a resort? I contacted the manager to discuss the guest, assuming their system (which I could not access) would have all the logs from this woman’s complaints.
But there was nothing there. In fact, the entire time she was at the hotel, she never voiced any complaints. She merely logged them in her little “complaint diary” and went about her business. Many of her issues were extremely petty. For example, the “crack in the sidewalk” was about three inches long and flat on both sides. It wasn’t a tripping hazard, just a small crack.
The light out in the path—even in the picture, I could see that the area was still very well lit because they have lights everywhere in that area. Her room didn’t have an ocean view because she booked a courtyard view. The picture of the dirty sheets showed one tiny little black spot in the corner…Like, if you tapped the sheet with the tip of a pen or fine marker.
It took 30 minutes to check her in because she showed up three hours early and they had to get a room ready. The shower in her room was fine and the A/C unit was not loud at all. We looked into everything, talked to all of the department heads, and had the room she stayed in fully inspected. While the list made it seem like she had a horrible stay, there really wasn’t any substance behind her complaints.
Since this all seemed a bit fishy to everyone, I called the guest and spoke with her about her complaints. I told her that I had been in contact with the hotel and that we couldn’t find any record of her complaints. When I asked her who at the hotel she had spoken with while she was there, she confessed the shocking truth. She admitted she talked to absolutely no one.
I gave her my apologies and suggested that next time, she should express her complaints while on the property so that they could be immediately addressed. For example, housekeeping would have been happy to change out the “dirty sheets.” Keep in mind she was there for eight nights, at an all-inclusive resort with seven different restaurants, four bars, multiple pools, etc.
She probably never left the hotel, but she also never said a word about all the “problems” she was having. Note: 100% of the employees speak English, which is a requirement because it is an American hotel chain. So, in the name of customer service, I told her that we would like an opportunity to make things right. I offered her three FREE nights to come back in the future.
Nope, that was not good enough. She wanted a FULL refund ($6,500) and nothing less. I told her that I would get back to her. The next day, I informed her that the hotel would not offer a refund, but they were willing to add in another night, for a total of four free nights. Nope, unacceptable, she continued to demand a full refund.
We went back and forth. She wanted my manager, who then told her the same thing. The guest hung up on my boss after things got a bit heated. A few days later, she called again and wanted to know the status of her refund. Um, how do you give someone an update on something that’s never going to happen? She then said she was going to contact corporate.
I rolled my eyes and explained to her that I was the Corporate Guest Relations Coordinator. I am corporate. I spent forever on the phone talking with this woman, who just refused to accept the free nights and was bent on getting her money back. She just kept going back to her list… “Well, what about this” or “What are you going to do about that?”
I wouldn’t budge. It was four free future nights or nothing. Then, the unimaginable happened. In all my years of customer service, I have never had a scammer resort to telling me the TRUTH. When she finally realized she wasn’t getting a refund, she cried, “I can’t afford to pay for this, I don’t have the money! I don’t know what to do…You have to help me!”
I was like, “You… can’t afford to pay? Weren’t you planning on paying for your stay when you made the reservation? It’s not like we were charging you more than you agreed to…and we are still offering you free nights for your next visit…” She responded, completely broken and weeping: “I didn’t think I would have to pay!! I thought I would get my money back! I don’t know what I’m going to do… Please…You have to help me…I can’t pay for this…I’ve got kids…I need you to give me a refund. I don’t know what I’m going to do if I can’t get that money back…I can’t pay for this…”
The woman just admitted she planned all of this, thinking she was just going to complain her way into a $6,500 refund. Me: “Ma’am, I’m sorry, but there is nothing I can do.” She replied, “I’ve got to get that money back, I’ve got to do something… you’ve got to help me out here…I don’t know what else to do…I don’t have the money…I can’t pay for this…”
Me: “Ma’am, you should have thought about that before you went on a vacation you couldn’t afford.” Yeah, I shouldn’t have said this, but I was just DONE with this woman. She had wasted enough of my time already, not to mention all the people at the hotel who looked into her entire list. She cried some more, then she started screaming, so I hung up on her.
Everything was noted. The call was recorded, so I went ahead and attached that file. She did send some hate mail to our corporate offices, but due to the fact that I had a RECORDING of her admitting she was trying to scam us, they ignored her letters. Oh, and her “frequent guest” membership was flagged and banned from all properties. We did not send her the free night certificates, either.
37. Silence Is Golden
I waited tables and tended bar for years before switching to my current career. One day, this table comes in, eats, drinks, pays cash. I tell them to have a great day and walk away. While taking a drink order at a new table, I notice the lady standing there angrily, and I make eye contact with her husband and he looks really embarrassed.
I finish taking the drink order and go over to them. “Yes? Is there a problem?” She tells me I gave her the wrong change and was really nasty about it. I can’t remember exactly what it was, but I had intended to round up to avoid pennies. You heard me right…pennies. Like, their change was supposed to be $3.78 and I intended to give them $3.80.
Well, I guess I made a mistake this time and gave them $3.75. Either way, she was really rude. She showed me the receipt, and I apologized and admitted my error. But then came the best part. Looking at it, I pointed out that I had forgotten to ring up her coffee, and that I would be right back with an updated check. She was angry that she ended up paying more than if she’d just kept her mouth shut.
38. One Fine Day
This was many years ago, in a tiny town in Redwing, Minnesota. It’s a swanky river hotel that is usually fully booked a year in advance during high season. A couple came to the front desk (still in their wedding regalia) to check into their room along with other members of the wedding party. Well…nobody had remembered to book the room for the bride and groom.
Luckily, they did not blame us, as the best man acknowledged the lapse. We felt terrible as we were completely full, but we knew we weren’t about to send them away. Instead, we came up with an ingenious plan. We turned the library into a bedroom that night, complete with champagne. Housekeeping went over the top to make it beautiful.
In the end, they LOVED it and all were happy. I still remember how overjoyed they were that it worked out. Anyway, just wanted to share a “feel good” story from the front desk. We all have had so many bad ones to share.
39. A First Time For Everything
I was a manager at McDonald’s and I worked there for about two years. After a few issues with upper management, I decided to quit and pursue another job in the food industry. The day I quit, I got an offer to work at a popular ramen restaurant, where the ramens cost between $13-$20. Now, I thought I would be a PRO at working at my new job.
But it was just like hitting rewind and learning from the start. McDonald’s compared to working at a restaurant is a huge step and has many differences. I still decided that I was going to try my hardest to be quick with learning everything. During my first shift, I guess some customers could tell I was very stressed out.
In my opinion, the training wasn’t very good. This restaurant is more of a “learn as you go, but still get scolded for not knowing something that you weren’t taught.” One of my tables in my section overheard me getting scolded for something, and continued to watch me work. I could feel their eyes on me but I thought nothing of it.
By the end of their stay, they called me over. Asked for the bill, and had separate bills between the two. I brought it over to them and they paid. After paying, one of the guys took $50 out of his pocket and told me, “You’re a hard worker and I can see that. It can be stressful, but you’ll get used to it as you work more. Don’t let the mistakes get the best of you!”
I almost started crying. Since this was an Asian restaurant, usually tips get split between everybody. But the manager let me keep it as it was specifically for me. Thank you to the guy who made my first shift 100% better and for relieving my stress.
40. The Buck Stops Here
I work at a hotel. I hate people who try to pressure me into kissing their butt over things I have no control over. Ain’t gonna happen. I’m probably in the wrong industry, but that’s why I’ll never be in management. This woman called down twice last night with noise complaints, telling me it sounded like people were in the hallway. I sent security up and he confirmed that her neighbors were being pretty loud. He proceeded to give them a warning.
The second time we received a complaint, he said it might have just been their noisy TV because they got really defensive that they weren’t doing anything. We also have a “three strikes, you’re out” policy, so one more call and they would have been removed. I got the feeling this lady was being a little fussy, but I didn’t hear from her the rest of the night…until she checked out.
Here was the interaction: Me: “Okay, you should be good to go.” Her: “Okay…pretty noisy on the third floor last night, huh?” Me: “Oh yeah, I’m sorry about that. I sent my security guy up when you called and it seemed to just be the neighbors.” Her: “Well it’s a shame. The property is nice but I might have to leave a bad review.” (Side note: No you don’t. Grow up.)
Me: “Yeah. Well, ya know there’s not much that can be done.” Her: “You can kick them out, that’s an option.” Me: “Yes, but we have to give them a chance, we can’t kick them out right away.” Her: “Well, it’s just a shame. I’ve been up for two hours already because of that and now I’m going to the airport.” Me: “Mhmm. Well, that’s just how it is sometimes.”
41. A Card-Carrying Fool
I was serving a family. The parents were clearly in their 50s/60s, while their kids were in their mid-20s. When ordering drinks, I carded the kids but not the parents. The mom pipes up with the whole, “Heyyy I don’t look that old, why didn’t you card meeeeeeeee?????????” I respond with, “Okay, let me see your ID, then.” It all went so wrong.
As it turns out, mommy dearest left her wallet at home. I inform her that, unfortunately, once requested, I am legally not allowed to serve her drinks unless she produces a valid ID. Obviously, she’s FURIOUS about this, so I send the manager over to confirm with her that I am not allowed to serve her. It almost goes without saying that I didn’t receive a tip, but hopefully, this idiot learned something today.
42. The Ballad Of Sam And Dale
On one Friday, two guys walked into my lobby asking how much a room would be for the night. They explained that they’d come from the bar and their ride had failed to show, so they were stuck for the night. One was sober and the other was clearly tipsy but not incoherent. We’ll call the sober one Sam and the tipsy one Dale.
As I was looking up rates and availability for the night, Dale was going on and on about finding Jimmy—”Where is Jimmy? Have you heard from him? I texted him a bunch of times. Maybe we should call Jimmy”—and he was clearly annoying Sam. At about the same time, I quoted them a price, Sam told Dale to go outside and call Jimmy to see if he could figure out where he is.
Dale stepped outside the lobby, dialing up their friend on his phone. Sam forked over his license and credit card. “Can we do this as quickly as possible?” I gave him the normal canned response; “I’ll get you into your room as quickly as I can.” The next thing he said stunned me. “I don’t want him to know which room I’m in,” he said, gesturing toward Dale outside the door.
“I see. I’m glad you said something; I would’ve given him keys too since you’re checking in together.” Sam stressed it again. “No, I really don’t want him to know what room I’m in. Can you please not tell him?” I responded, “If you tell me not to tell him, then I can’t tell him. It’s your room and you’re paying for it, that’s between you and the hotel.”
During this exchange, I was executing the check-in as fast as I could. I super compressed my spiel into a few seconds, stripping out all but the bare basics. I gave him his keys and, grabbing them hurriedly from my hand, he sprinted across the lobby to his room via the alternate exit.
A mere 30 seconds later, Dale came back in, noticed that Sam was gone, and asked me where he went. I said, “He’s not with you? Hmm, I wouldn’t know sir.” Confused, he asked, “Did he buy a room or not? Where is he?” Remembering what Sam told me, I just said, “I’m sorry sir, I’m afraid I wouldn’t know where he is right now. Maybe try calling him?”
He was not buying my lies: “I know he bought a room. Did. You. Give. Sam. A. Room. Or. Not?” I shrugged: “I’m sorry, if I had I wouldn’t be able to divulge that information.” This kicked off a literal five-minute back-and-forth of Dale repeatedly asking me which room Sam was in, and me repeatedly refusing to give him any details.
I don’t know why he fled from this guy, but it was my job to defend his privacy, so the dude didn’t get anything from me. During this exchange, a cab pulled up in front of the lobby and in came Jimmy who smelled terrible. The cabbie was also with him—we’ll call him Cabbie. Cabbie came to the desk and informed me as impolitely as possible that I needed to contact Sam and let him know his ride had arrived.
This gave me an imperceptible moment of pause because I knew that Sam was, in fact, waiting for a ride, but I also knew that he had expressly forbidden release of his whereabouts to these disreputable characters. I decided to keep my mouth shut about Sam’s whereabouts. Cabbie laid into her own demands that I released Sam’s information, which I refused to do.
At some point, she started cussing me out. She informed me that Sam had no money and couldn’t pay for his room anyway. “That card he gave you is no good!” Of course, this was laughable because no guest could check-in without their cards being authorized. When this tactic failed to scare me, she demanded to speak to a manager. I replied with my favorite showstopper: I am the manager.
She then stormed out while shouting profanities at me. “Come on, let’s go.” They pulled slowly out of my driveway and made a slow lap around the building before speeding off into the night. For a moment, I debated calling Sam to let him know I just saw his ride.
I decided against it because he’d already bought the room and I didn’t want to serve as an intermediary between him and his reprehensible friends. I thought it would be over here. It wasn’t. 40 minutes later, Sam came running back into the lobby with his button-up shirt still mostly off and his shoes in hand.
He was still putting his clothes on when he told me, “Hey, my ride is here. Since I’m not staying here tonight, I’ll need a refund for my room, okay?” I laughed and said, “I’m afraid I cannot refund your room since you’ve already bought the room and occupied it.”
“That’s ridiculous! I’m not even staying here tonight, why should I have to pay for the room?” I calmly explained, “You’ve occupied the room for 40 minutes now. You’ve consumed the product, so I’m afraid I won’t be able to refund you.” “He still wasn’t satisfied. “What about your cancellation fee? Can’t I just pay the cancellation fee and be refunded the rest? I’ll be happy to just pay the cancellation fee.”
“Unfortunately, our cancellation fee is one night’s stay, and since you’re only here for one night anyway, the cancellation fee is your room rate. I will not be refunding your room.” During this conversation, the cab showed up again and Cabbie, seeing Sam arguing with me, came storming back into the lobby. Jimmy and Dale were presumably still in the car.
A split-second before I got aggressive about putting a stop to that intolerable nonsense, Cabbie did it for me by yelling “Knock it off!” out of my lobby door. Sam quickly explained that he couldn’t get a refund for his room, which triggered an almost verbatim repeat of the immediately preceding conversation, this time between me and Cabbie who was much more profane about it.
While Sam has retreated across the room to put his boots on, propping them up on my sofa, Cabbie informed me that I was being extremely rude and that her friend worked at the same hotel in the next town over. She said she has never heard of them not giving a refund before. I was a few words into the “Each hotel is independent…” when she cut me off.
“I don’t care what your stupid policy is, you’re going to be refunding Sam’s room because he isn’t staying here tonight!” I held my own and said, “I’m afraid I won’t be doing that. He has occupied the room and will be charged for tonight.” Cabbie then said, “Then I want to speak to your manager. Get them on the phone right now.” I just replied, “I already told you, I am the manager.”
“No, I want to speak to YOUR supervisor! You’re gonna get me the district manager or corporate on the phone or I’ll have you fired!” I just scoffed and said, “I’m afraid it’s not up to them, and they would tell you the same thing anyway. I won’t be calling anyone at 12:30 in the morning. I’m the manager here, and the decision is final.”
“You said your cancellation policy is one night’s stay?” “That’s correct.” “Can I have that in writing?” “No ma’am.” “Why not?” “Because you are not a guest here.” This really ticked her off. She went wide-eyed and spluttered for a moment before shouting, “What is your problem!?” At this moment, Sam finished tying his boots, took his feet off of my upholstery, and stomped over to the desk.
He took over the conversation now. “I don’t consent to pay for the room because I’m not staying here tonight. You can’t charge me for something I’m not even using.” “Unfortunately sir, when you signed the papers, you purchased the room and agreed to pay for it.” “Can I see those papers then?” I pulled out his papers from the bucket where they had been filed an hour earlier and, stepping back from the desk so I would be out of his reach, I unfolded his registration card to show him that his signature was on the document exactly where he put it.
Reaching out for it, he demanded that I hand it over. “No sir, I’ll be keeping this. You signed for the room.” “I am entitled to any document I’ve signed! Now give me the form! I promise I’m not going to tear it up or anything.” “I will not be giving this to you.” “Can I have a copy then?” A moment’s thought passes as I try to imagine what the authorities would say if they were called for my refusal to provide a copy of the form that this guest did indeed sign.
“Yes sir, I’ll make a copy for you right away.” I had no idea if what he said was true. I didn’t think he was entitled to a copy after he left the transaction, but I couldn’t think of a good reason not to give him one. In any case, refusing to give him a copy of his agreement—especially one that was in dispute—would be dishonest. I made him a copy and but kept the original, which I slipped into a locked drawer under the desk.
I pointed out on the copied document the critical bits of information—the room rate and tax, the arrival and departure date, and his signature. After a moment, Cabbie snatched the paper out of Sam’s hand and read it over. She looked at me sternly and informed me that she’d be calling corporate tomorrow. Then she stormed out of the lobby.
Sam sighed and addressed me in a plaintive tone as he turned to leave. “Well, I hope you have another job because you’re not gonna be working here tomorrow. Good luck.” “Have a good night.” They sped away again. I waited for a moment, then caught my breath. I quickly wrote myself a key to turn off Sam’s door and ran up to his room.
Sure enough, the bed was turned out, the toiletries were opened, and someone had obviously taken a shower. How that qualified as “not using the room” evaded me completely. The story does end here, at last, with me adding the guest to our DNR list and double-checking the authorization on his card.
I still work here, and we have not refunded his room.
43. I’ve Got Your Back
Setting: Miami Beach, Florida in late 2009. This was at a Seafood Bar and Grill. I had this 40-something, sweet as pie, creative, and smart regular who would come in with his elderly mother every Sunday and ask to be seated with me. We’ll call him Jimmy. He was certainly on the spectrum, but a genius in his own right. He was a very talented painter (I’m sure he still is).
Every Sunday, Jimmy would be sitting at my table greeting me with an honest to goodness smile. Between managing tasks for them and other tables, I’d have incredible conversations with Jimmy about the universe and physics. About mathematics and art. I was very happy to have met such a great customer. I could also tell he thoroughly enjoyed the company of a server who, one, didn’t find him strange and off-putting, and two, who could keep up with his favorite topics of conversation.
I had just started studying mathematics in college at about this time, and I’m also on the spectrum (but was undiagnosed at the time). I very much looked forward to seeing them each week. After about a year of this, he one day excitedly announced that his sister from New York was coming into town and that he’s told her all about me and he can’t wait to introduce us. He’s convinced I’ll love her, and I didn’t doubt him.
So, next week comes around and now there are three people sitting at my table! I can see this thin, elegant yet earthy woman with GORGEOUS wild curly hair. Jimmy introduces her as Patty. She’s oozing with charisma, and she definitely had a NYC attitude—short, to the point—but she was, you could instantly tell, very caring.
Also intimidating and smart. Not like the dreamy, colorful, wooey science stuff Jimmy and I liked, but like…savvy. Jimmy had been keeping up with my progress in school since around the time I had started. This was between semesters, and he knew that I picked four exciting classes for the following semester. More than I had ever put on my plate before.
He had asked me about how I felt now that the semester was coming up. I was freshly 19, with no financial aid, no student loans, living on my own, working two serving jobs to pay rent and tuition. I was super poor. Sure, I picked those classes…but, really I was just hoping against hope that I could come up with the $1,200 I needed to pay for them.
The deadline was fast approaching and I had, just days before this conversation with Jimmy, Patty, and their mom, made the decision to drop one, if not two, of the classes so that I could afford the semester. Smiling and embarrassed, I told him that I’d be dropping a couple of the classes. He gave a frown and an “aww” and I had to scamper off to go do server stuff.
Between the refills and the food drop-offs and the cleanups, we all just continue chit-chatting. Patty casually asked how much my four-class semester was going to run me. I told her, not thinking anything of it. The conversation naturally moved on. I run off again to serve other tables and I come back to their table towards the end of the meal.
Gabbing continues when Patty extends her hand out to me…with a piece of paper. Instinctually, I grab it and look. Its contents changed my life. It’s a check for $2,000. I try and give it back, tears in my eyes, but she’s not smiling—though I can tell she’s perfectly happy—and she adamantly refuses to take it back. NYC attitude in full swing.
I can tell she’s totally serious. And I just sloppily thank her and then run into the kitchen because all of a sudden my knees are Jell-O. I plop on the floor on my butt and sob. Other staff are running toward me, concerned, and I can barely tell them that it’s not anything bad, that in fact, it’s incredible, through the crying.
Eventually, I gather myself and I gave her a bit better of a thank you, and said goodbye. I paid for and took all four classes. Passed all of them with a perfect A. I bought a graphing calculator and a laptop, too. I’m not a mathematician yet, but I’m working on it. And I’m not rich yet, but the moment I can afford to make this kind of impact on someone else, I will. Thanks, Patty… <3
44. Tone Deaf
Each Sunday, the hotel hosts an afternoon tea for the grey set. This started after my shift ended. All was well when I left, but when I came in the next day, I heard about an older lady who had a heart attack and passed at the afternoon tea. My manager called me into her office, I assume to ask if I was okay, etc. Nope, screw that.
She actually said, with all seriousness, “Why did you leave so early yesterday? We could have used your help with the medical emergency. The other manager struggled to cope.” I was SHOCKED. I bluntly said, “Are you serious? How was I to know someone was planning on having a heart attack and passing an hour after my shift ended?!”
She responded, “Well, you could try and make a habit of staying back a little in case we need help…” I noped out of that and walked out. I finished my shift exactly on time that day.
45. Dishing It Out
Boy oh boy, some people. This happened yesterday. I’ll keep this short and not bore anyone with unnecessary back-story about the type of restaurant I work in, or anything about the set up. All you need to know is that: First, it’s fairly small, so I work alone with one chef; second, it’s family-friendly; and finally, we have a wide menu, with options ranging from $7.00 dishes to our most expensive $17.50 dish.
Not very pricy at all. One day, I received a phone call asking specifically about our $17.50 dish—our seafood paella. It’s made fresh to order, and takes about 15-20 minutes to make. Not to mention that seafood is expensive. So, the price is justified. The person I was speaking to asked if we were a buffet. We are not. I told them we are table service, and can do the paella any time.
I asked if they wanted to make a reservation because of the time it takes to prepare the paella. They said no, and hung up. So I went about my day. A few hours later, a family of four comes in. They sit down, glance at the menus, and then wave me over with a snap of the father’s fingers (gotta love that). The dad then says, “Show me the paella.”
I direct him to the back of the menu, where it’s listed very clearly and shows the ingredients and the price. Him: “I want that.” I write it down. The mother then says she wants a paella, followed by the two kids saying the same. So I confirm. Me: “So that’s four paellas? You don’t want to share?” Dad: “No. We’ll all have paella.”
So I put the order in after reminding him it’ll take about 15 minutes. I offered them drinks, but they just wanted water. I started getting the cheap vibe, but they ordered FOUR paellas, so how cheap could they be? Food comes out. They love it. Dad asks if he could get one to go. I put the order in so it would be ready when they finish.
We’re at five paellas now, and almost $90, before tax. I let the chef/owner know my concerns that the family may object to this price despite having made it clear to them. He gave me the okay to give them a 10% discount right off the bat. He’s a good guy. The time comes to bring the bill, and the man’s eyes go super wide.
I wrote out the bill so that every paella has $17.50 next to it. I watch as realization hits. He opens his mouth to object, and I immediately say, “The owner said to give you a discount because you ordered five of our most expensive dish and he wanted to thank you. He was happy to hear that you enjoyed it enough to order another to take home.” That shut him up. I then watch as he scans every last line of the bill and then settles on the tax, which was nearly $11.
Him: “You added a tip for yourself?” He was angry. Me: “No sir.” Him: “What’s this then?!” Me: “…The tax.” Honestly, I wasn’t expecting a tip at that point, but he did leave me 10%. So basically the discount we had given him. They said the food was excellent, but I highly doubt they’ll be back. For some reason, they thought ordering the same dish would equal just the price of one dish.
46. Does Not Compute
I was working a 3 pm to 11 pm shift last week at the front desk of my hotel. The hotel’s restaurant and bar close early on Sundays in the winter because it’s so quiet. Around 9:30 pm during my shift, this girl and her friend (a big bulky guy) came out of the hotel. He must have been the designated driver because he was stone-cold sober, but she looked like she had been drinking. As they walked for the door, I said, “Have a good night!”
She waved as she walked past the desk. “Heyyy hot guy!” She stopped, then looks at me. “You’re hot!” Me: “Well thank you, that’s very nice of you!” After a long pause, she staggered over to the desk. “So um…do you…have a girlfriend?” Me: “No, I do not!” Girl: “Oh! Well hey, I don’t have a boyfriend!”
Me: “I do!” Cue the most hilarious five or six seconds of the week—she attempted to process the words I just said. You could almost see the “ERROR” message flashing in her brain. Finally, it clicked. Girl: “Oh! Oh, I’m…oops…I hope you and him are happy!” Me: “We are, thanks!” She staggered out of the hotel and her friend laughed. “Pay her no mind, have a good one man!”
Just too dang funny.
47. Pie In The Sky
First, let me explain a few things here. This is not my story as such, but I got to witness it firsthand. A good friend of mine is from a family that owns three very successful Italian restaurants, with a pizza oven that uses actual wood, so really top of the line. So he learned the business basically from the day he could walk.
When he was 25, he had a good business idea: A place in the middle of the city that sells mostly slices out of a window, but also whole pizza, pasta dishes, and salad, and does delivery. Plus a few small tables inside if someone wants to eat here. He created a solid business plan, and had his eyes on a prime location. It is 50 meters away from the biggest parking area in the city.
There are 400 parking spots there, where several times a year we have big city fairs, and anybody who wants to go in the park strolls right by it. So his dad said he would finance him, but as a credit to be paid back in a timely manner. They agreed on everything, and a year later he opened up. The story takes place about two years after they have opened and the place is HOT.
He already repaid almost 75% of the credit in a mere two years. Usually, there is a line for the slices, which are from a huge family-size pizza. One day, we are sitting at a table playing chess, while his guys run the shop; he had already worked a full 11 hours that day. In comes a baby boomer couple, and it was clear as day that the lady with the you-know-which haircut rules this relationship with an iron fist.
They sat down at the table next to us, and after not even a minute she rudely asked us why she has no menu yet, and to get off our lazy butts. I already wanted to tell her I do not work here, but my friend winked at me and walked over to their table, giving them our menus. The lady says to him, “It’s about time you get off your lazy butt.” By the way, she has now waited a minute. “You can’t play chess when you have people waiting. What kind of service is this?”
So my friend took their drink orders and walked behind the bar to make their drinks right away. They had to wait maybe three minutes for their drinks. When he comes back, she says, “About time, did you have to brew it first, or what is taking so long?” At this point, my friend’s patience is starting to wear thin, but he still stays friendly.
Friend: “You saw me walk to the bar and make your drinks right away, then return right away. Those drinks take a bit to pour correctly. I am sorry, but there is no way I could have brought those to you any faster.” Her: “We are customers and this is how you talk to us? Ever heard of the customer is always right? How can you be so rude to paying customers?” Now my friend really had enough.
Friend: “I was very respectful toward you, while you were very rude from the moment you came in here—“ The moment he said that, she got this weird grin on her face, and you could tell this was EXACTLY what she wanted. Her: “SHUT UP ! How dare you!!! I will have you know that me and the owner are old friends. I will have your job over this, now get me your manager.”
This is where it got so good. He decides to mess with her. Friend: “PLEASE, I need this job.” Her: “TOO LATE, you should have thought about this before you treated guests this rudely. NOW. GET. ME .THE . MANAGER.” Friend: “Right away miss.” He then went behind the bar and had a short talk with one of the older guys working there.
They then both return to the table. Server: “What seems to be the problem?” Well, this woman changed so fast. Suddenly she played the sweet old lady. “When we came in here, your server sat there with someone and played chess. We waited and waited, and finally asked nicely if we could have a menu. He rolled his eyes at us and gave us the menu from his table.”
She tells the rest of her “story” in her sweet voice, then says, “Since I know the owner, and we eat here all the time, usually, the service is excellent. I demand you fire him and comp our meals.” The new server turns to my friend and asks, “Is that really what happened?” Friend: “Of course not, she came—” Then the lady’s mask drops again.
She starts screeching, “What are you asking him for? I just told you what happened. Are you calling me a liar? Wait until the owner hears of this.” At this point, my friend and the server could no longer hold it back and they started laughing. Her: “YOU THINK THIS IS FUNNY, NEVER EVER HAVE I BEEN SO INSULTED.” Well, enough was enough.
Friend: “Yeah I know, wait until the owner hears of this. Oh wait, the owner already did hear of this. I AM THE OWNER, and I have never seen you in my life, nor have you ever eaten here. You two are just trying to scam a free meal out of me, by being impossibly difficult until the server finally snaps or does something wrong.”
Wow, I had no idea people could get that red in the face. She put 10 dollars on the table immediately. Friend: “Now GET OUT.” And they shuffled out, never to return. BOY that was the most entertaining attempt to scam him I have ever witnessed.
48. Double Booked
A large part of my job is answering phones and dealing with people who want to rent out our large function room. In our town, our room is one of the very few places available to hold wedding receptions, birthday parties, etc. The process for renting the room is quite simple. People ring up all the time and ask if the date they want is free.
If it is, we place a hold on the requested date for 14 days. If we don’t hear back from them, it opens up to anyone else that wants it. If they do decide they want it, they have to come in for an appointment with either me or my boss. We go through the booking form and help them fill it in. They then pay their deposit and the function gets written in the diary.
We don’t take deposits without a booking form, and we don’t take booking forms without a deposit. You have to physically come in and hand both over. None of this can be done online since we don’t have a website. Fast forward to this morning, when a bridezilla walked in with her mother. Me: “Hi, can I help?” Bride: “I’m here to pay the deposit for my wedding.”
Me: “Okay. Let me get you a form and we’ll go through it. What date did you book?” Bride: “Tomorrow.” The smile on my face dropped. Me: “We have a birthday party booked in tomorrow.” There was no way she could have her wedding at our venue that day. Me: “Tomorrow isn’t available. We already have a booking.” Mother: “You double booked? You’ll have to cancel the other booking.”
Me: “We haven’t double booked. If you haven’t filled out a form or paid a deposit, then you haven’t booked the room. When did you ask about the date?” Mother: “Last July. I remember because we came in before we went for my birthday lunch.” Me: “We only hold the date for two weeks. Someone must have told you that at the time.”
Bride: “Yeah, but it’s a wedding.” Me: “The same rules apply. If you don’t fill in a form and pay the deposit within two weeks, we open it up to everyone else. Unfortunately, someone else has booked the room.” Bride: “I did it all online.” Me: “You did what online?” Bride: “Paid for the room.” Me: “Then why are you here today trying to pay for it now?”
Bride: “Uh…” Me: “We don’t have a website, so you can’t do anything online.” Mother: “She can’t have the wedding here?” Me: “Nope, sorry.” They left. There was no shouting and no anger at me. Nothing. She just casually shrugged her shoulders and walked away.
I was fully expecting the wedding party to turn up all kitted out. However, my boss saw her throwing a huge tantrum on the road outside of our building.
49. Be Careful What You Wish For
This isn’t your traditional customer service story, as I make pizzas, but it’s still a frustrating story from the food industry. I work at a chain pizza place, and like most pizza places our busiest day is Friday during the dinner rush. Almost all the staff is on hand and everything is on fire. It really didn’t help that we had a 40-pizza order that day due at 6:00 pm.
This all happened last Friday. A lady calls in (by the way, please order from the web) and orders four pizzas for delivery. Three of them were double pepperoni pizzas, which take way longer than you would think. I tell her that it will take about 1½ to 2 hours for delivery. This lady starts asking what the heck is up with that wait time, and I explain what I said before about the dinner rush.
She goes into a rampage, telling me that she’s been at work all day and she does not want to cook. “My family is starving, my kids are crying, and you’re just making them suffer more with that wait time!” Being the shy, timid college girl I am, all I could do is apologize and apologize as this lady is grilling me. Also, the wait time is only getting longer as orders are coming in.
She still hasn’t put in her order, and I can’t help make anything as I’m on the phone. My manager knows this. So he comes over to the phone and takes it from me. He asks the problem and then says, “Here, your wait time will be nothing and you won’t have to spend any more money!” Slams the phone down, ignores her order, and continues on with his work. Thank you, manager!
50. Dog Eat Dog World
Nothing grinds my gears more than when people try to exploit the service dogs loophole in hotels. This lady came in and wouldn’t answer the two legal questions we are required to ask them about their service dogs. She kept mouthing off that it was wrong to ask, which was a major red flag. She kept going off about how much trouble I was going to be in. Little did she know the tables would be turned…
Sure lady. So I went ahead and printed out the rules about them. She refused to read them even though I highlighted the parts where it says I am allowed to ask these questions. She kept saying “I have papers, here read them.” Finally, she let it slip that it was a “comfort” thing. I was being respectful the whole time, but also stern.
“But I got let inside a courthouse before. I have a vest and certificate to show. I paid $40 dollars for it!” This was another red flag since training for a service dog is expensive! Yes, ma’am, you got let in because you purposely misidentified your dog as a service dog. She then said she forgot her charger in the car and never came back. People like her ruin it for real service dogs.
51. Crying Over Spilt Milk
Saturday night, I have a table of six. It’s a mom and dad, plus four kids between the ages of probably 6-10. Nice people, well-behaved kids, whatever. It comes time to order food, and the dad gets really serious and says, “We need to have a conversation.” I kind of laugh a little because up until now, things have been light-hearted and jokey.
But then he starts telling me that his daughter has a severe milk allergy. This isn’t a problem, but as the conversation continues the mom starts to interject a little and I learn that the kid is sensitive to even the slightest cross-contamination. That’s fine, I’ll have my kitchen manager make it in the back at our separate stove for allergies like this.
But no, I don’t understand, she will literally go into anaphylactic shock, they have an Epi-Pen, the whole bit. One of the kids (not the allergic one) says, “Yeah don’t give her milk or it’ll be off to hospital-town tonight!” I assure everyone no one will be going to hospital-town, and that I’ll take good care of them and let my kitchen manager know the severity of the situation.
I’ll spare you the lengths I had to go to just to keep the kid’s burger safe because that’s not the point of the story. When it finally comes time to run everyone’s food, the little girl with the allergy got a burger with bacon and an egg on it, nothing else. I was carrying everyone else’s food on a tray while my manager carried her burger separately.
My manager sets the burger down at the spot the little girl was sitting in (she’s not around at this point) and the dad immediately springs up from his seat and sits in her place. He picks up the top bun and closely inspects it, then holds it against his nose and takes a good long whiff. Then he takes the corner of the egg and lifts it up a little to inspect it, then rips the piece he grabs off and sort of breaks it up in his fingers a little bit, and eats it.
Gets up, says all is good, and the rest of the dinner went without issue. I guess he was checking for butter. My manager and I were so taken aback. We’ve never seen anyone act that cautiously, ever. Honestly, I respect it, though. I’d hate to know what experience they had at what restaurant to cause this behavior, but I’m glad that whatever it was wasn’t in my restaurant on my watch.
52. Come Again?
This was my experience as a guest at a hotel in rural Georgia. I was traveling for work and my husband needed to bring me some paperwork that I forgot halfway across the state. We are both men. Me: “Hi, I am leaving for work now. My husband is bringing me some paperwork, but I will not be here because I’ll be working. He will be here in about four hours. Can you please let him into room 123?”
Front desk: “Huh?” I repeated my statement. Front Desk: “Oh. So your boss is coming with paperwork?” Me: “No, my husband.” Front Desk: “Oh okay, did you mean your co-worker?” Me: “No, it’s my husband. The man I am married to. We are gay.” Front Desk: “Okay, I’ll let your friend in when he gets here, no problem at all. Have a good day.”
I mean, I know it’s rural Georgia, but have they never had a gay hotel guest? Am I crazy? Anyway, the rest of the hotel staff was very lovely. I just found this both confusing and amusing.
53. Fighting For What’s Yours
One of my favorite co-workers at my restauant is a woman who’s been serving for over 30 years. She’s not well-liked by many because she’s meaner than an entire bag of piranhas, but if you can fire back (and do your job right) she’ll respect you and be your best friend. She told me a story today from back in the 80s when she first started.
She sees this guy come in wearing a really nice suit, and she watches him take the cash someone left as a tip, right off of the darn table, as she’s going back into the kitchen. She walks up to him and says, “I saw you take that. I want that money back on the table when I get back out here.” She returns to the floor after a minute holding a pitcher of water.
Lo and behold, the money isn’t there. As she passes the table, she “trips” and dumps this pitcher of ice water all over this guy in his nice suit in the middle of a Michigan winter. She goes into a fake bout of apologetics. “Oh my goodness I’m so sorry sir! I’m so sorry!” Then she leans in and whispers: “I’ll be back in a minute with the coffee.”
She comes out a minute later, coffee pot in hand, to find that her money has mysteriously reappeared.
54. I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends
Bottom line rule at my workplace space: If you’re not early, you’re late. The other day I sat down and zonked out…right before my shift. When I woke up, I was already 30 minutes late. For what it’s worth, I’m always on time and I love my job. I hit the ground running, but then something very much unexpected happened.
I discovered my 16-year-old kitty had died in my bathroom. I of course lost it emotionally immediately. They covered my shift, but I had to be written up due to the tardiness factor. When I returned to work yesterday and mentioned signing the write-up, my awesome manager told me to forget about it and that I had enough on my plate. I can’t express my gratitude enough in words for the people I work for and with.
Everyone cares for each other so much! They are such amazing people and I just had to share this.
55. Make Like A Tree…
This conversation just took place 10 or so minutes ago. An older couple from Florida, maybe in their 7o’s, was checking in. Woman: “Gosh…the trees look absolutely awful without leaves on them.” Me: “You just missed our peak fall season. It was beautiful, but now most of the trees have lost their leaves for the season.” Woman: “It’s horrible. It looks …depressing.”
Me: “Yes, I can imagine that winters in the north can be a bit dismal compared to Florida.” Woman: “I knew it was going to be cold. I expected the cold. I’m not stupid. But the trees? Are all of them going to be like this?” Me: “Most trees in our region are deciduous and lose their leaves for the season, compared to the evergreens.” Woman: “But the ones you have out front are ornamental, right?”
For reference, the trees in the front of our property are flowering crab apple trees. Me: “I guess you could say that; they are absolutely stunning in the spring. Covered with flowers.” Woman: “Well, why just leave them there during the winter when they look so horrible?” At that point, I kind of just gave her a blank look, as I wasn’t quite sure what she was inferring.
Woman: “Can’t you remove them? I really think you should have them removed. They look awful. It’s upsetting.” Yes, she actually said the trees were upsetting. “If they are good for the spring, just plant new ones in the spring, why keep these ones when they are done blooming?” Me: “Oh, well, those are full-grown trees.” She didn’t like when I said that.
Woman: “Is there a manager I could talk to about this?” Me: “I am the only one on-site at the moment. The owner will be present here in the morning when you check out.” Woman: “Okay, they need to be removed. It’s very ugly. Just awful! How is anyone supposed to be comfortable staying here when all they see out their window are things that look like THAT! Are you sure that they actually aren’t dead? I mean….they really look like it to me. I think you should get rid of them. You could probably hire someone to come and do that tomorrow. And maybe when we get back to the hotel I won’t have to look at them.”
Me: “Well…you are welcome to make your suggestions about them to the owner in the morning. I can leave him a note about your concerns in the meantime if you like.” Woman: “Yes! Leave him a note. We will be gone all morning tomorrow. I hope you get some pine trees so it will look festive! For the holidays! It will be so much better! You’ll see!”
And with that, they went off to their room. They will be here for five days. I’m now just imagining the conversation that will take place when she returns tomorrow and finds out that we had not done something completely ludicrous like removing and replacing all of our trees for her…
56. Let It All Out
Oh my God, this was one of my most embarrassing moments. I was 18 and working in a Mexican restaurant. It was a table of four, two couples, who were pretty friendly and laughing. One woman was a grouch, but no big deal. One guy asks, “What is the “chor-IZ-o”? Me: Chorizo? It is basically a Mexican version of sausage, this one is spicy.
Other guy: “Ooooh! Can I get you to put the Mexican sausage into my fish taco?” LONG PAUSE. I proceed to absolutely lose my mind. I laughed until I was crying. I thought it was a joke! It only got worse when…One girl: I don’t get it…. Other girl: OH MY GOD Guy: I …uhhh… didn’t mean it that way. Worst server moment ever.
It still makes me so embarrassed. I ran back to the kitchen and traded tables. Apparently, I am an 11-year-old boy inside.
57. Crossing The Line
This Booking.com guest (BG) at my hotel called down at 8 am and said, “I requested a late checkout and I wanted to make sure that went through.” It was weird because 1) there was nothing noted on the reservation, 2) we were sold out and not offering late checkouts, and 3) they were paying just $69 for their room. Me: “I’m sorry, but that was not noted here and we are not able to offer late checkout at this time.”
BG: “I requested it online on Booking.com!!!” Me: “I’m sorry but that was a request, not a guarantee. Booking.com also didn’t notify us of that request, so you should contact them if there was a miscommunication.” BG: “I stay here every weekend and always get a late checkout!!!” Me: “I’m sorry, but you’ve only stayed here once before. We were nice enough to offer you a late checkout because we were only 40% occupied. Today, I am 100% sold out. So your checkout time is at noon today.”
BG: “I want to speak to a manager!” Me: “I am the manager, and I am telling you that I cannot offer you—” BG: “That’s just weird because EVERY other time, the manager on duty has given us a late checkout. You can ask her. When does she get in?” Me: “I am the only manager available today. Your check-out time is at noon, sir. If we weren’t so busy, then I would just love to give you a later checkout time. But today we cannot offer late checkouts to anyone.”
BG: “I don’t understand how I was ALWAYS able to get a late checkout at 4 pm, but YOU are telling me that I can’t!” Me: “As I’ve said, it’s based on availability. I cannot offer late checkouts today because I am 100% sold out. And housekeeping staff needs time to ensure all rooms are clean and serviced. THAT is why you cannot have a late checkout.”
BG continued to argue with me, but I was growing tired of her. Being cranky and not wanting to deal with it, I said, “Look. If you are going to make a huge deal about a late checkout, I will go ahead and approve of it just for YOU. 1 pm is the ONLY available time I can give you.”
Well, rather than take the 1 pm time and thank me, the jerk continued to argue. BG: “I’ll take the 1 pm, but if you call your other manager and ask her, she will say she has always given me a 4 pm checkout! I just don’t understand why you can’t give me that. I stayed here every weekend and you were NOT slow. You were booked up top to bottom!”
Me: “Sir, I’ve worked every weekend for the last year. And every weekend since July has NOT been sold out. I can tell you that right now. And I don’t know how your information would differ from mine because you don’t have access to our system to check availability. I am trying to be nice and help you out with a later checkout time that I’m not even supposed to be giving anyone. So at this time, this is my final offer. 1 pm checkout or nothing.”
He then started yelling at me and calling me a liar. So I hung up. Every five minutes afterward, he would call back to harass me about why he deserved a 4 pm checkout instead of 1 pm. I’d repeat myself and say: “1 pm is the latest time I can offer you.” He would then say to his girlfriend, “Can you believe this?” in the background.
The girlfriend would reply, “That’s not what you said the last phone call!!!” By the fifth time he called down, I was done. I was tired, cranky, and heavily pregnant, having Braxton Hicks contractions. So I snapped as soon as they started. BG: “Yeah, I just don’t get it. Why can’t we have a 4 pm checkout?” Me: “Okay, you know what, sir? You are just calling down to harass and disrespect me at this point and I am not okay with this. I’ve gone above and beyond by at least offering you a 1 pm checkout since it is that important to you.”
“But since you don’t want to take that offer and continue to call down every five minutes just to be rude to me, I am taking my offer back. You must now leave the property. You have 30 minutes to gather your things and leave. Failure to leave will result in officers escorting you out of the hotel. We do not want your further business and I will be sure to let Booking.com know that you were being rude and disrespectful by calling me a liar even after trying to help you out.”
“I will urge them to ban you from ever booking a reservation at our hotel again, so please do not come back. Our system will also cancel any reservation you book with us outside of Booking.com. Thank you and have a great day.” Click. I didn’t hear back from them, but I did see an angry dude grumbling something to himself while getting a luggage cart. I called the room 45 minutes later and there was no answer.
58. Order Up
I bartend, and was working a day shift. We aren’t a restaurant known for takeout, but we allow it and are set up through the various service apps. We had an UberEATs order in the middle of lunch hour, and eventually had a driver brusquely walk in and act a little aggressive when announcing himself. I had the order ready, so I asked him to verify what he was picking up.
He raised his voice, “It’s for [name], what’s the name say?” We don’t get a name. I told him that I didn’t have one, so I just needed him to tell me what was on the order. I’ve seen them check this dozens of times. It’s usually not inconvenient. Again, louder. “What’s the name say!? Are those the wings!?” It was three items together. None were wings.
I repeated that I didn’t have a name and told him that we didn’t have an order for wings. He got angry. “Are those the wings!?” I explained again that they weren’t wings, showed him that I had three items together, and asked him to clarify what order he was looking for. At this point, he snapped, and started screaming at the top of his lungs.
“CAN I GET ANY SERVICE!?” The bar fell silent. I put the food down and told him to leave. He continued shouting. “FINE, I’LL LEAVE THEN!” He continued causing a scene as he made for the door. I told him he needed to get out immediately or I’d call the authorities. Then he spit on the floor, slammed the door open, and stormed off.
The bar stayed silent for a few more seconds before people returned to their meals. Not two minutes later, another driver showed up, verified the order, and left without issue in under a minute.
59. Wrong Place, Right Time
I’m a night auditor at a hotel. This big ol’ facepalm happened a couple of nights ago. A dude came down around 2 am, on his phone, pacing back and forth. I poked my head out of the office and asked him if I could help with anything. He said, “Naw, I’m just trying to find my girlfriend. We left the casino and agreed to meet back at the hotel, and she said she’d be in the lobby, but … “
Both of us looked at the empty lobby. I said what I knew he was thinking out loud: “…Clearly, she’s not.” “Right,” He replied. I told him that I’d be around if he needed anything specific. The conversation continued, and eventually, I got to hear his side: “Babe?…No, Babe, I’m in the lobby, you’re not. Babe?…Babe. No, babe, I’m in the lobby…Okay, honey, I am literally standing where you paid the bill for our hotel room. Ya. I’m standing here, with the night clerk…Yup, I am staring at our car. So, where are you?…No? We can’t BOTH be in the lobby.”
At that point, I suggested to him that perhaps she was in our south building. He walked down then came back, still on the phone. “No, I don’t know where you are either…Nope…Ya know what? Just stay where you are, wherever you are. I’m going to find you…No, I’m not driving. Yes, I know, I know…Because I’m going to find you and get you back here before you wind up in China or something.”
The dude took off on foot and I guess he just started visiting hotels. He returned 45 minutes later. On the vestibule phone, he said he found her at The Sandman, a property about 10 minutes south of us. He led her, a very pretty blonde lady, towards the elevator. As they walked, he asked her, “So, does this look a bit more familiar?” “Yeah…” she replied, dreamily. “Ya know, I wondered why my room key wouldn’t work…”
…I’ll bet you did, lady. I’ll bet you did.
60. Bread And Circus
You sat at my bar at just the right—or wrong—moment. I’d been getting my behind handed to me, and it wasn’t even 8 pm. You found a bar seat and ordered the soup special and a drink. You asked if the soup came with bread. I assured you it did. Even though I was wary, and had a feeling your bread would be forgotten, I was on the border of weedsville, and did not risk going back to the kitchen to make sure.
I was right, your soup came out in a very timely manner, but alas, no bread! Though I was now thoroughly slammed, I did indeed notice, and ran back to the kitchen to get some bread. This bread needs to be warmed, and it’s going to be a moment. I go back to my cubicle of fire and brimstone to see I’ve gotten a rather large group that I need to make sure I ID, since they all look extremely young.
From the corner of my eye, I see you are not eating your soup. This upsets me, but I can’t do much about it in my current state. However, I am worried for you. In my state of madness, you ask, “Is that bread coming anytime soon?” I feel faint. “I’m working on it! I’m sorry, I haven’t gotten a chance to—-” You say it’s ok, you see I’m busy.
This is still not ok with me. This man needs his bread. I get through my herd of college kids. I sprint to the kitchen to find perfectly warmed bread. I present my dude the bread, but I’m concerned, since I don’t think he’s touched his soup because he’s been waiting for bread. I saw this coming. I ask if I can get him a new soup, since he’s been waiting.
No. It was the perfect amount of time to let it cool down, apparently. The bread is perfect. He proceeds to tell me I’m incredibly good at what I do, understands I’m busy, and he will take the check. I thank him for his patience, and we laugh a bit. I go back to getting nearly ruined by college kids. $14 check, $40 tip. Thank you, bread guy. May your autumn days be filled with room-temperature soup and warm bread.
61. Lovely In All Languages
Today, I wanted to share a story about a hotel guest of mine who was so sweet it made me cry. This booking came in a few weeks ago with a note attached to it, saying that the guest will be traveling with their deaf father. It was included just so that we would be aware when dealing with them when they arrived as they would be staying for a number of days. His daughter wanted to make his trip to Ireland as smooth as possible.
Upon seeing this note and noting that I would be the one to check them in, I decided to learn some very basic sign language. I greeted the guest in my usual fashion, asking for the surname on the booking. Once I heard the name, I realized immediately who was standing in front of me. I knew what I had to do.
I had been learning how to say “Welcome to Ireland” for the past two weeks. My sign language was terrible, but I told them if they needed anything during their stay to just let me know. I smiled at the father and daughter in front of me. Then, I turned to the father and I greeted him in ASL, doing the bit I had learned for him.
His daughter broke down crying and called me sweet. The father also smiled and was so happy. Honestly, seeing his reaction was enough for me. It was so worth the last few weeks of learning basic ASL. On check-out, I sadly wasn’t working, but they had left a gift for me. A small box with some chocolates and a book on ASL.
Inside was a note, and its contents broke my heart. The inscription read, “Thank you so much for what you did on check-in. My father has been in amazing form since you checked us in and insisted we get you a gift before we left. You have no idea how much this meant to my father and me and we can’t thank you enough. You’ve made his trip home to his family after 50 years very special with one simple gesture.”
They wrote a letter to the general manager also asking to give me a raise, which I really appreciated. And they gave us an amazing review on Trip Advisor. I cried like a little baby for a solid five minutes when I came into work today to find this gift in my locker.
62. Found In Translation
This happened years ago, but it still feels like it was yesterday. I was serving at a Steak ‘n Shake, and was about 70 lbs. bigger than I am now. I’m very white, with blonde hair, so you wouldn’t know by looking at me that I’m almost fluent in Spanish. As I was cleaning a table one night, the one right next to it was seated for me.
While wiping the dirty table, I heard the new table talking loudly about me in Spanish. When I understood their words, my blood ran cold. They were saying how big my butt was, how fat I was, and how they didn’t want to be served by someone so disgusting, not knowing that I 100% understood them. My initial reaction was anger and tears.
I wanted to give them bad service and not even try to be nice. But, I wanted to be the bigger person. I walked to the table and did my “Welcome to Steak ‘n Shake! My name is Brandi and I’m here to help you out” speech…but I said it all in Spanish. The look of shock and embarrassment on their faces gave me one of the greatest feelings ever. Then, I listed every burger, every milkshake flavor and every side item in Spanish.
For the entire meal, I spoke no English at all, and I gave them the kindest and most attentive service I’ve ever given anyone. The nicer I was, the more humiliated and ashamed they were. When one of them asked quietly if he could have some more water, I already had a tray in my hand with his water on it. They refused to speak Spanish to me, and would hardly even look at me.
When they left, they closed their ~$25 check, then left me a $50 bill under a plate for my tip. Such a glorious day! Everyone always asks why I didn’t spit in their food, give them bad service, or ring in their order wrong. Hurt people with kindness baby! That’s the way I do it.
63. Once In A Blue Moon
Two days ago, I checked in a unicorn at my hotel. It was magical. The unicorn came up to the desk, with his ID and credit card in hand. He just gave them to me. He was super top-tier—he booked with a fancy credit card and all. But there was an issue with his reservation. When he called his brand rep, the agent messed up his rate code.
It could have been a big problem but I just redid the training. “Not to worry! Take your time,” said the unicorn. Oh my God, y’all. He didn’t yell at me. My lead and I couldn’t fix his rate code, so we jerry-rigged all his benefits onto his reservation. He was as happy as a clam. He thanked us profusely and asked where he should go for dinner. I suggested a fun tapas restaurant just across the way. He was delighted.
He called down from his room saying that he loved his view. He loved how quiet his suite was. He was excited about dinner. At breakfast, he said the restaurant was amazing and he called me an angel. I may have floated. Then, the unicorn checked out and waved goodbye. A charge hadn’t come through from lunch yet, but he reacted in such an unexpected way—told me not to stress and to just email him. WHOA. And then he left, just as happy as he came in.
What a lovely juxtaposition from the rest of the grumpy house of Karens. A real, live sparkly unicorn.
64. Born This Way
Last night I had a table of two made up of a mother and her teenage kid. I couldn’t figure out if the kid was a boy or a girl because they had a gender-neutral haircut and amazing makeup on. Guys wearing makeup and styling themselves more feminine seems to be more common and doesn’t bother me a bit, but I didn’t want to offend them.
Instead, I did my best to use gender-neutral terms until the mom used the word “he.” Anyway, I get their dinner to them, check in, and leave them alone to enjoy their meal. Flash forward to the end of service and I really wanted to compliment him on his makeup, so I said “Hey, I hope you don’t mind me saying so, but your makeup is awesome!” and oh my god, the mom just starts GUSHING.
She’s talking about how he’s going to NYC to do a really prestigious makeup artist program or something, and how her son had done her makeup for an event and how well it turned out. She was just so proud of her son and his talent even though it’s not a “typical boy’s hobby,” and it warmed my heart. I wished him luck and joked that with his skill he wouldn’t need it.
Mom tipped $10 on $30 and drew a smiley face on the merchant copy 🙂
65. Concerned Citizen
A few weeks back, when we were completely booked at my hotel, a guest complained about the smell of substances coming from a room. I asked them which room they thought it was coming from, and I made my way there. I went up to the unit and knocked on the door. There was a group of like eight or nine people, and they were definitely having a party. I told them someone reported the smell and I asked if they had anything.
The room didn’t smell strongly of it, but it definitely seemed like they had some. They assured me they didn’t, and I left it at that. I wasn’t allowed to search the room and they were keeping quiet, so I just apologized and left. About 10 minutes later, the same guest called down to complain again, except this time he said, “I know you probably can’t call the authorities, but I can if you want.”
“No, sir, I do not need you to call the authorities on that guest. I will check on them again.” “I can do it, just let me know.” Honestly, this time I just did a walk-by of the room; I still couldn’t smell anything, and in my hotel, you can usually smell everything. I went back down and relaxed for a few minutes when a guest walked into the lobby. “Do you need anything, sir?”
“No, I’m just waiting on someone.” I recognized his voice as the guest who’d been calling down. About 20 minutes went by and one of my city’s finest, whom I know because he had been at the hotel for other problems before, walked in and said he got a call. “I didn’t—” “That was me!” said this jerk.
“I think there’s someone puffing up next to me and this fellow isn’t doing anything about it.” The officers went up, spoke to the guests who I’d already spoken to, then came back down. I asked them if they found anything, but of course, they didn’t. I apologized for wasting their time. One of the things we have guests sign is a paper saying that if they cause a disturbance to other guests, we reserve the right to ask them to leave.
This includes loud noises, verbal or physical harassment, and basically, anything we feel violates the safety or well-being of another guest. So I asked the officers to stick around for a minute—and I got my revenge. I called the guest who had called them and informed him he had violated our disturbance policy and needed to leave.
Of course, he fought back and started yelling at me over the phone. I asked the officers to accompany me up to the room, and together we walked the guy out of my hotel. He should’ve just listened to me in the first place. By the way, the guests who had been bothered were very understanding. Management compensated them on the next day that they were in. They didn’t have a problem with us at all.
66. I’d Prefer Not To
To start off, I’m not a server at the moment but this happened to one of ours. The other day we had a customer go OFF on a cashier because they asked if they replaced something due to an allergy or if it was just a preference. For what it’s worth the corporate office mandates that we ask this question for their records.
She had substituted some pasta for our gluten-free rice noodles and because it’s a lot more work for us to deal with it and a lot of people just honestly like the taste of rice noodles, we want to know if we strictly need to do it as an allergy order. This lady, who was I’d say 50 or 60, got real close, and in that Mom Whisper started lecturing him on how rude it is that he asked.
She says how it’s none of his business, how she has Never Been So Insulted, how we should just treat everything that COULD POSSIBLY BE GLUTEN FREE as if it was an allergy, etc., etc., etc. He replied: “Okay, that’s great, but is it an allergy or a preference?” therefore cementing him in my heart as one of my favorites. As expected, it was a preference.
67. Course Correction
I’ve been in the industry pretty close to 10 years between restaurants, bars, coffee shops and back again. I’ve worked front and back of the house and felt pretty confident that I had seen it all and that nothing would truly shock me. That was until tonight. I work as a server in a local family restaurant. It’s a chain that is well known and we are in the parking lot of the largest shopping center for a two-hour drive in any direction.
So as you can imagine, our business can be heavily affected by the mall sales, etc. Tonight is a Tuesday evening. No weekly food specials so usually Monday-Wednesday are pretty slow compared to the rest of the week. Tonight was not. We got slammed. All the servers had their own section plus were rotating a closed section that became overflow.
They sat a table for me in the overflow section. I already had six other tables and got a solid triple seat to go with it. In other words, it took some time to get to the overflow table. I went over after probably close to 10 minutes later. At this point, I’ll note that anyone who has chosen to sit in the overflow section knows that the service in that area will be slower and they’ve chosen to sit there instead of waiting for a table in general dining.
So I go over with my best “I’m sorry” face and genuinely apologize to this table for keeping them waiting. I gestured to the restaurant and let them know it wasn’t a typical Tuesday night. This lady, with her two just shy of teenage boys beside her, laid into me. She yelled about how bad the service was and how it was unacceptable and that I should be fired.
She said if she wanted to be treated so poorly, she would have gone to the restaurant up the street to be forgotten about. Now I apologize many times, grab their drink and food orders at the same time, and let them know that I would plug in the food then bring the drinks over to cut down on their wait time. I walk over to the computer and a co-worker silently asks me if I was okay.
She heard this woman yelling at me from two sections away. That’s an easy 40 feet away. I wasn’t in the best state, but the night was busy and my armor was up. I knew I was doing my best and that’s what mattered. Food in, drinks poured, and I gird myself to go over to the table again. As I’m setting the drinks down, the lady said the absolute LAST thing I thought she would say.
“I think I might have come off as a bit of a witch before. It’s been a long day, I’m tired and I’m hungry and I took it out on you for no reason. You’re obviously busy and doing all you can and I’m very sorry.” To which I responded, “We’re good. I get pretty hangry sometimes too.” They waited, they ate, they were polite, she tipped mediocre and we all went about our lives.
I’ve had people yell at me, throw things, sometimes just be general jerks and I’ve even had people apologize on their behalf, but I’ve never had someone apologize about their own behavior.
68. Sugar Pie Hunny Bun
It was a little after midnight. I was in the back finishing up my audit at my hotel when I heard someone walking up to the desk. Before I could get up, this 50-year-old man slapped on the desk and shouted, “Hey honey! Are you back there, darling?” I assumed he was looking for my co-worker from the 3 pm to 11 pm shift, who was a pretty, small blonde girl.
For what it’s worth, I’m a grizzly-looking man. As I got up, he called again: “Sweetheart?” As I rounded the corner, I replied, “Right here, sugar.” I’d never seen a grown man curdle like milk in 1.5 seconds. He then quickly and quietly bought a few things from the market, and then I told him, “Have a good night, pumpkin” as he made his way to the elevators. I then returned to work, but not before I took a quick break to laugh.
69. A Big Ask
This happened a couple of weeks ago at the very busy restaurant I work at. A woman came in saying she had some people from a jujitsu club wanting to come in for dinner and drinks, and do we take reservations. My manager asked for how many—and she said about 75, but maybe up to 100. My manager started laughing, but was soon stricken by horror.
She realized the woman was serious. We have a large restaurant, but a very small kitchen, and have a strict table of 20 cut off. When told about this, the woman still insisted that they were already here and pretty much refused no for an answer. We ended up allowing them to come in as it was around 8 pm and things were slowing down.
They sat outside in our big patio area, and we had two servers split the group. People were ordering at different times and many were just drinking, so the kitchen managed to do okay. The worst part was that about 30 of the people never went to their designated area, and instead crowded the bar and stood there. Us servers use this area to walk through and obviously get our drinks.
After several attempts at pushing our way through the crowd, we eventually gave up and accepted it as our reality. To get our bar drinks, we would go around to the bar side, every. darn. time. We have a long bar and only entry on each side, so this is hugely out of our way. This group stayed almost all night. The people were nice, but darn, how clueless are you!!!
I wasn’t the one serving them, I was just another server trying to keep the rest of the place under control. I heard MOST of them tipped, although they did all pay separately and we ran out of check presenters, obviously. Also, a few of them walked out on their tabs. Not on purpose, I’m sure they probably just wandered to meet their friends at the bar and forgot to close out.
I find this very rude no matter who it is. If you aren’t sure how to pay, ask the server or let them know you are leaving, moving, etc. Most of all, treat everyone with compassion! Server, customer, whatever. Treat cranky old people like they are your parents, because one day, they could be. Remember rude customers are JERKS, but also probably have a worse life than you do.
Know that some people don’t understand “restaurant etiquette” as we do, and if they did, maybe they would act differently. Remember your server is just a human being, not a servant, and being nice goes a long way.
70. Total Meltdown
I saw a public freak out recently that reminded me of something that happened when I was a hostess in my early 20s at a steak house. A family of four came in, and when I sat them, the mom (I’ll call her Karen) wanted to move to an area where all the tables were full. I told her she could wait back up front and we’d seat her when one of the tables opened.
She insisted on standing right by the bus station so she had a view of the people sitting in her desired area. The four of them were in the way of guests and servers but Karen did not notice, she was too busy staring daggers at people eating. I went to the manager, who tried to move her to no avail. Finally, we just let them stay because we noticed a couple in a booth packaging up their food.
I checked in a few minutes later to see if that table had left yet and was dismayed to see they had ordered dessert and coffee. Karen was still standing there, watching them. The kids were bored and running up and down the wheelchair ramp. I asked Karen again to move back down to the waiting area as she was blocking servers and her kids were an accident waiting to happen.
She loudly asked when her table would be ready and pointed right at the couple sipping their coffee. Knowing we were talking about them, the couple looked at us and smiled. A disturbing realization dawned on me. It hit me then that they were not leaving on purpose. Oh dear God. Karen realized it as well, because she got very angry.
She yelled that they were keeping her booth from her and we should kick them out. I told her we would not ask anyone to leave until they were ready. Then I watched in horror as the woman approached the couple. Karen: “You’re done here, this is my table now. Pay the bill and go.” Couple (Smiling sweetly): “We just got our coffee and dessert.”
Karen: “THEN TAKE IT TO GO!! WE ARE HUNGRY AND YOU’RE IN OUR BOOTH.” Couple: “This is our booth. It’s not yours until we leave.” Karen raged insults at them until the manager came rushing up to help. He tried to intervene but could not be heard over her screaming about her starving children. The couple kept their cool the whole time, nibbling their dessert and stirring their coffee at a sloth’s speed.
Finally, the manager had enough and told the woman to go. She was utterly FLOORED that we were asking her to go and not the couple. Then she escalated it. She picked up an empty dessert plate from their table and chucked it across the room, where it hit a wall and smashed into pieces. The manager screamed for someone to 9-1-1, since this was before everyone had cell phones.
I remember trying to hide my smile from the people around me. What adult acts like this? This woman was in her 40s! There were a ton of open booths too, just not in that area. Then Karen’s husband appeared, grabbed her by the sleeve, and started pulling. She let him lead her toward the front door as she continued to yell insults at us.
She called the manager a loser and mocked his career choice. She told me I was “a plain nothing going nowhere” and “worthless,” and when they’d gone, I went into the back for a while to hide. I needed to get away from people. When I returned, the server of the couple ran up to me. He said, “That couple left but they wanted to talk to you.”
Apparently, they felt so bad about how that woman acted. They saw her watching them and she was being so rude, so they decided to take their time to mess with her. They didn’t think she’d do that! They waited a few minutes to talk, but they thought I went home and asked the server to give me something as an apology.
The server then handed me a $100 bill. It was a bad night but it kind of made me feel better. It’s not every day a customer acknowledges when they’ve made your life miserable. If the couple had just left, none of that would have happened. Nothing they did hurt me, of course, but the insults from Karen sure did. Thankfully, Karen was never seen again.
It’s not easy to be a young kid making $5 an hour and being berated by people who think they’re better than you.
71. Booked And Busy
I work for one of the most recognizable hotel brands in the world and we have a few of them in town. This happened over a year ago. My former colleague was trying to find a reservation that was not traceable. No matter which name the guest gave us, nothing would show. I was working with her on this particularly busy, sold-out Friday night.
My colleague (we’ll call her Jane) dealt with this lady, but I was sorting out other things on our system to ensure that we didn’t mess anything up after checking in a lineup of guests. This is how I remember it: Jane: “Is your reservation possibly at the other hotel?” Lady: “No. It’s here. I booked here.”
Jane: “Okay…after opening my search parameters, I can’t seem to find anything. Let me just give them a call to verify. “Lady: “Absolutely not. I booked here so you’re going to find my reservation.” Jane: “Okay, I forgot to ask, do you have a confirmation number?” Lady: “No, but I booked here.” Jane: “Did you get a confirmation email sent to you?”
Lady: “I might have. But it doesn’t matter because I booked here.” Jane: “Okay, well, I’m going to call the other hotel.” Lady: “No! I know I booked here. I have my family with me and we specifically booked this hotel.” Jane: “As I said before, I can’t find it. And we’re sold out, so I will not be able to accommodate you until I figure out that your reservation is being held here.”
Lady: “Well, it must be your system. You’re going to make it work even if my reservation didn’t show up.” As this lady kept freaking out at Jane, repeatedly saying that she booked here over and over, I took it upon myself to call the other hotel while she was not paying attention. The lady noticed me and I was already on the phone with them before it was too late.
I just remember how wide her eyes got as the conversation I was having with the other hotel was transpiring. I’m sure you can guess what they told me. Me: “Lady, I just verified with the other hotel, and your reservation is, in fact, at the other hotel.” The lady didn’t say a single word and walked out the door. Pride is a tough thing to swallow.
72. You’ll Pay For This
I just remembered a lovely moment of karma from a few years back. I was serving on July 4th in a vacation town in California at an upscale German bratwurst place. Everyone mid-day drinking, we were wildly understaffed, and absolutely slammed. I’m a really fast and sweet server even when I’m busy, but I had 10 tables and I was pretty frazzled.
One of my tables was a middle-aged couple and their adult son. I can’t remember the specifics, but they were really condescending, high-maintenance, and impatient. When it came time for them to pay, I was pretty relieved for them to leave. The man paid with card, signed the receipt, crumpled the customer copy, and put away his card.
We were trying to turn tables as fast as possible because we were so busy, so I picked up his signed receipt and thanked them. Then, they sat there for what felt like forever. I didn’t think much of it because I was wildly busy. When I went to clear their table after they left, I was really confused. The original itemized receipt was still on the table with a stack of cash, enough to cover the whole bill and an OK tip—BUT THEY ALREADY PAID AND TIPPED ME WITH CARD.
I guess the guy was more sloshed than I thought, completely forgot he had already paid, and then paid again in cash and just left. It was definitely not on purpose, because the “tip” on the credit card receipt and cash “tip” on the cash payment were almost the same, and they were complete jerks. In the middle of a hellish shift, I almost started crying with joy.
It came out to a $100 “tip” for a $75 bill. A little blessing from the server gods on a hard day. Wishing accidentally generous customers on you all.
73. Unplugged, Unreasonable
Our hotel is at the end of the road in a national park. There’s no Wi-Fi, no cell service…not even any AM radio. Our lone amenity is our location. We advertise the fact we have no amenities on our website. It’s a “Enjoy an unplugged experience free from modern distractions!” type of place. One time, this guest came up, furious about the lack of Wi-Fi.
On top of that, they were expecting DVDs to borrow from the front desk, but there wasn’t even a TV in his room. He said, “How are they supposed to entertain themselves and their children?” Blah blah blah. I helpfully pointed out that our gift shop had playing cards and board games. Their response was shocking. I am quoting verbatim: “You expect me to spend time with my children?”
I’ve never seen somebody voice so much horror and disgust into such a compact sentence.
74. The Tax Man
I work security at a bar that is open until 2 AM, nightly. The job is mostly checking IDs at the front door and spotting guests who are clearly in their cups so I can cut them off. Last Friday, a small group of young 20-something guys showed up around 8 pm and started drinking like they were at a college fraternity party.
While I am checking IDs at the front door a few hours later, one of the bros gets kicked out by a manager. I’m told to not let him back in. Cool. I asked if he was driving, he said no. I offered to call him a taxi, but he told me to go screw myself because he was getting an Uber. This guy was so out of it, he couldn’t stand or see straight.
10 minutes later, he is still there and I ask what’s up. This time he decided to insult my ethnicity (I’m Jewish). A few more minutes pass, and he comes up and asks me to call him an Uber. I tell him that not how it works, he has to do it. He throws another Jewish joke at me and orders me to call him an Uber and hands me his unlocked phone.
This is the part where I could have just opened the app, ordered a ride, and left the driver a massive tip, but this guy needed to pay the jerk tax. I opened his contacts and found exactly who I wanted to call: his mother. I told her that her son was out of it, got kicked out, and needed a ride. She was livid and said she would be there in 15 minutes.
I give the phone back to him and said his ride was coming. That guy sobered up so fast when his mother pulls up and immediately starts shrieking at him in front of everyone. He gets in the car, crying at this point, and I tell the mother about his comments, which sends her into another rant before driving away. I wish I could follow up with what happened to him, but I doubt he will be drinking anytime soon.
75. Bad Vibes
I work at an upscale restaurant. We have two floors, and last night I was serving upstairs. We only have hosts downstairs. When we are on a wait, the hosts will see when there are open tables upstairs, page the guests and send them up. A server then greets them, sees where the host had pre-planned for them in our system, and we seat them.
Now that you know how that works, I’ll also just add in here that I am one of the top servers in my restaurant, consistently selling the most every week, and I’m a trainer. So my managers all love and appreciate me and mostly have my back. Okay, so the Karen family, is paged that their table is ready. They walk upstairs and stand by the host stand while I finish at my table and make my way over to them.
I said, “Hey guys, how’s it going” They just stared at me. Finally, the wife goes, “Do we just seat ourselves?” I, holding a paper cocktail menu and silverware, after walking over to them and feeling like I had made it clear I was about to seat them, said, “Nope that’s my job! You guys can follow me this way.” They follow to the table for six and they all take their seats.
I slide the silverware I was holding down to everyone individually instead of just setting six silverware on the end of the table for them to hand out. I said, “Our menu is all virtual, and there is a link on your table. I’ll be right back!” I come back and ask if they have any questions or if they’d like to get some drinks started. Again, silence.
I just pick someone and say, “Okay, can I grab you something to drink sir?” We don’t have what he asks for, but I suggest something similar and he says okay. The wife asks what we have on tap. I said, “We have a lot, what do you like to drink?” She said “I don’t know, that’s why I’m asking YOU.” I say, “Alright, we have 27 kinds on draft plus 19 that are bottles, so if you tell me what you’re usually into, I can guide you through what will work for you.”
She goes “Jesus Christ, I’ll just have a Bud Light since you can’t sell a drink.” I, looking stunned, laugh and say okay. Her husband then turns his attention to me and says, “Are you having a bad night?” To which I say, “No sir, are you?” and he said, “No, we are just trying to have a nice family night and you’re rude. You’ve been rude the whole time and you threw our silverware at us.”
I’m stunned so I just say, “I definitely did not throw it at you guys I was trying to slide it down the table for all of you, sorry if it came off that way. I’m not having a bad night and I haven’t had an attitude.” The wife jumps in and says, “It all started up front when you said, ‘THAT’S MY JOB’ (she changes the entire tone I said this in, of course) and now you’ve just been rude to all of us this whole experience.”
For what it’s worth, we’re like five minutes in from them walking up the stairs at this point. Then she yells, so loudly that all my other co-workers hear, “YOUR AURA IS UGLY AND WE DONT APPRECIATE THAT, JUST SEND US A NEW SERVER.” It took everything I had, like I mean, everything, not to say anything rude back to her.
I just said, “I’m happy to grab you a new server, and I’ll just grab my manager for you too while I’m at it.” My manager goes over, knowing everything from my side already, and they tell him I was rude by seating them and making that comment about how they could not seat themselves, when “there was no host at the stand so we just assumed it was pick your own table.”
They also mention throwing their silverware, and “my attitude and aura are just plain ugly.” My manager stuck up for me and said I’m actually one of their best, but they still insisted on another server. Imagine being one of the three other servers having already heard and seen this go down, and now it’s your table. That server made $3 on $80, by the way.
Screw you guys, my aura is shiny.
76. A Taste Of Her Own Medicine
I finally did it. I stood up for myself. I had an angry Karen harassing me and I straight up told her she’d be denied service. She told me I couldn’t do that, and I told her we had the right to deny service and that I was exercising that right. She pulled out her phone, hoping the threat of her showing it to my boss would get me to submit.
I told her on camera that she couldn’t harass the staff. She went off about how she couldn’t wait to show this to management. I told her to have a great night. Of course, she put the phone down so she wouldn’t record the things she’d say afterward. I told her to have a great night even after that. Then, the unexpected happened.
She just gave up and left. I didn’t get in trouble. I hope denying service to these Karens becomes a norm. They’re only this bad because we allow them to be. They’ve likely done it before and still got rewarded with apologies, rewards points, and free breakfasts. Service denial is a RIGHT and we should use it. Treat employees better.
77. Party Of Eight
Oh man…this group. I have never turned to a manager before and said, “I’m done, I’m not going back over there.” But I did last night. Yesterday was a particularly slow Monday. I didn’t have any tables until 5:30. This table of two sat in my section and wanted happy hour, which is for high-tops only of course, so I moved them to the right section.
The hostesses were able to get me a new table immediately, and it was a group of eight people. Six women, I’m putting money on past sorority sisters, and two boys around eight years old. I should have just taken the two happy hour people and taken the wrath from management, honestly. The table of eight is immediately obnoxiously loud, and it’s pretty much just seat #3 causing it.
While the other women were just raising their voices, #3 was actually yelling as if she had earplugs in. They also have a birthday at the table, “Oh my gaaaawd, girls!! Let’s sing!! Every time someone mentions the birthday we HAVE to sing!: And they did. They sung/screamed happy birthday no less than five times, one for every round of drinks.
By the time the appetizers came out, my manager had already walked up to them about a noise complaint from a table across the restaurant. Seat #3, a grown adult, goes to the bathroom, but stops halfway and asks me, “Wait, do I need a mask??” “Yes, ma’am, you do when you’re traveling around the restaurant.” “Are you sure??” “…Yes, ma’am.” “Like, really sure??”
This conversation happened multiple times with seat #3 and our other staff members. She would stop a staff member every time she ran to her car, went to the bathroom, checked out the restaurant, ran after a kid, and ask, “Are you sure I gotta wear a mask?” And of course, then never wear it. My work doesn’t allow staff to enforce the mask policy, so I can’t do anything but answer her questions and maintain a biiiiig distance.
Anyway, the first round of drinks comes out. Seat #2 keeps drinking Seat #1’s cocktail, even though she has her own margarita to work on. Gets a good bit of the way through her friend’s drink, turns to her with a sour face, and goes, “You like that?” Seat #1 says, “I don’t know…” and she finally gets to try her half-gone drink.
She says yeah, she likes it. #2 goes, “Are you sure??” Seat #1 says… “I don’t know…” So, now seat #2 sends back a drink that’s not even hers, and has me get seat #1 a new drink. That new drink never got touched. I think she actually really liked the first one, but gave into some bizarre peer pressure. Thankfully, this was the only issue I ever had with seats #1 and #2. Otherwise, they were great. But I wasn’t out of the woods.
Appetizers get dropped. Kids’ food gets dropped. I’m standing there taking the ladies’ orders, and I’m watching the boys who are to my left and in front of me. One of the boys is enjoying his first ever Shirley Temple. I was so happy to give it to him, y’all. I shoved so many cherries in that kid’s cup. He’s sitting there chugging his daily requirement of sugar, when he sort of sits up while still drinking, and turns towards me.
He pulls the straw from the cup with liquid still in the straw, and his mouth was so full his cheeks were bulging. He turned towards me, and SPIT his drink through the straw down my legs. I have never…EVER…been spit on. What the actual?! I let out a bewildered, “Excuse me?!” as my legs are dripping Shirley Temple and 8-year-old saliva.
The mom? LAUGHS. And then it got worse. She even praises him! “Good one, Dom!!” I walk away now. Thankfully I had everyone’s orders when it happened. I clean up and come back out, head to a different table, and now seat #3 is rushing me from across the restaurant, absolutely hauling her butt, without a mask on of course.
She catches up to me, grabs my arm, and turns me around. Proceeds to get in my face, to the point where our breasts are physically touching, and goes, “We have a birthday at the table…do you guys do anything for that?? Like sing maybe? Ooh! Or cake! Bring out a cake! Do you have a chocolate one and candles?!” The entire time she’s going on about this request, I’m backing up slowly.
She’s following me step for step. I have backed up so far that I have now backed up into another table that actually has people eating at it, and she is still breast-to-breast with me going on about cake and singing. I can smell the drinks on her breath. Finally, I get her happy with a slice of Baked Alaska for the table for free, and she finally screws off.
The table I backed into wouldn’t let me apologize for being on top of them practically, and it actually turned out to be the table that complained about the noise in the beginning! They were 100% on my side after getting the full experience just now with guest #3, and would continue to be on my side and explain to the managers what was going on.
I hate that this one table ruined their meal, since they were really such nice ladies whose experience was ruined by this terrible group. So, I bring out dessert. Baked Alaska, set it on fire, ooh ahh. That dessert didn’t stand a chance, it was gone. I go back over to make sure no one wants anything else, and seat #3 goes, “Why did the hostess yell at us earlier?”
Me: “Oh…Well, that was the manager. She was informing you that you have a noise complaint against your party.” 3: “Who complained? Tell me who complained, I’ll take care of it.” Me: “Yeah… I can’t release that information.” 3: “You can’t? Uh okay. Well, can you tell the woman who came over here to screw off?” Me: …“Yeah, that’s my manager, I can’t do that either.” Her response made my face go red.
Lady #3: “Okay, well you can just screw off then.” Me: “Okay!!” I walked right up to my manager and asked her to cash them out and handle whatever they had left, since I was done. We had four different managers in the building that day, and all four had been watching the table since the noise complaint before appetizers, so she didn’t ask any questions from me and just printed the check for them and walked over.
She said, “Hey everyone. Here’s your check, it’s time for you to head on out of here.” Seat #2, who is actually a really nice lady and doesn’t deserve to be roped in with her awful friends but you should choose your friends better, starts apologizing for everyone’s behavior. Manager just says, “It’s time to go.” She just keeps repeating it until #2 paid for the entire check ($304 after discounts) and they left. Oh, but the disturbing climax is around the corner.
I go with my bussers and start bussing this absolutely wrecked table. One of the bussers reaches under the table and grabs this aqua blue pile of fabric. He’s turning it this way and that, trying to figure out how you’d wear that sort of face mask, when he spots the skid marks…yes. My table left their used panties under my table. And guess who’s seat they were by? Lucky #3!
What the actual heck, y’all. I just can’t believe that actually happened last night.
78. In The Red
I was scheduled for a party of 135—yes, you read that right—with just me and a new server. There is also no auto gratuity at my place. I have a day job, and have been working the restaurant kind of ad hoc until they hire to recover from a mass quitting due to a clueless owner and general manager. So yeah, this is shaping up to be a really awful night, and I know it.
I went in a little early to try and talk some sense into the owner and the manager. I asked for another server, or to at least to be allowed to auto gratuity the bill. Shot down on both. The party starts to arrive, and I introduce myself and the newbie to the lady in charge. She asks where the other servers for her party are, and I explain we are it.
She is super angry immediately. I tell her I already voiced her concerns, and she will have to take it up with the manager. The people trickled in pretty slowly, so we did a pretty fair job with drink orders. I had preset some dressings to try and make the salads go easier, and preset extra napkins, bread, etc. It went as well as it could go, but it was rough.
The new server was completely overwhelmed, the head lady was rude, and they were not the most understanding party. It ended up being one check, though, thank the restaurant gods. The total was just shy of $5,000.00. The lady left $60.00 total tip. At this point, the new server is crying in the kitchen, and the vein in my forehead is popping out.
$60.00 doesn’t even cover the bar tip out, let alone the bus or host tip out. And it was a TON of work. A heated discussion between myself and the owner ensues, and it is clear she doesn’t care that I’m at negative money for the night, actually the week now. I tell her that I will not be returning. She switches gears and tries to “reason” with me.
I give the new server the 60 bucks, and tell the owner I will be calling the labor control board if I don’t get paid minimum wage for the week. I tell her and the manager both how I feel about them, and out the door I go with both middle fingers in the air. Feels good.
79. The Bar Around The Corner
I had an older guy in tonight who was very shy and sat at a busy bar drinking soda and lime. I was powering through so I really didn’t get a chance to talk to him much. He was by himself the whole night and I introduced him to my favorite regular in the middle of making a drink because they had the same name, and my regular doesn’t drink either.
They were chatting all night. I shut down the bar and let the nice regulars finish their drinks while we closed down the bar, and he was included. At the end of the night, he gave me a hug and told me he’s just been through a very hard time. He’d just gone through a divorce. He had struggled with alcoholism and he wanted friends like the bar friends he used to have when he was younger, but he didn’t know where to go.
I told him he wouldn’t get a drop of drink from me, but he could definitely become a favorite regular and I would be missing some good chats if we didn’t see him after work next Tuesday. I really want to give him those friends. I really hope he comes back.
80. A Little Love And Understanding
This happened tonight, I work at a “the customer is always right” chain restaurant. It was a REALLY slow day, with most servers ending with four-five tables for the whole night. I was excited to have a table of six come in, my only table, and gave them my full attention. One woman got wine, one got champagne, so I went to the bar to get both.
I came back to the table with them, and the woman with champagne was very unhappy with what she received. To be fair, this was a $10 beverage and had a very small glass, and it was STILL only around half full. I went back to the bartender to make sure this was the appropriate fill level, she confirmed, so I went back to the guest.
She was very unhappy with the amount she received for her money. I offered to replace the champagne with a drink that she would rather have, and take it off her ticket. She was grateful, but said it was the principle of it that bugged her, and that they wouldn’t be spending any more money here. With this went on, I went to my manager and tried to get him to comp as much of their ticket as possible, because honestly what they got for the price they would be paying really wasn’t good.
For context, I really like all of the managers…except the one working tonight. He’s very new and has made offensive remarks to multiple people, including women wearing “too much makeup,” etc. So he went to talk to the table and was stuck there for around 5-10 minutes with both women laying into him. Eventually, he came back to the computer and comped all of their food, so I took the women their revised tickets.
When I arrived at the table, they reassured me that they knew it wasn’t my fault, I was simply the messenger, but that my manager had said that it was most likely my fault and that I had described the drink incorrectly to her, placing the blame on me. Gladly, the women had stood up for me and told him it absolutely wasn’t my fault but rather whoever thought it was acceptable to charge $10 for half a glass.
Honestly, at this point, I felt so bad about their experience, and it made me feel so much better that they understood that I had no power in the situation. In the end, they left on a good note with me, not so much with the restaurant, and left a VERY reasonable tip. Thank you so much, ladies.
81. It’s Too Early For This
I’m a night auditor and a front desk associate at a hotel next to a mid-sized airport. I deal with lots of dumb stuff, but this one took the cake. At around 4 am, a mom and her kid were in the lobby waiting for their 4:30 am taxi. Since I’m a night auditor, most of my job involves me just being there to take care of guest requests, so I bring my gaming laptop with me every night.
Most of the time, I just play some low-key music or documentaries, but after 2 am, I do some gaming. When the mom showed up with the kid to check out, the kid noticed my laptop. He asked about it, and I told him the make and model. The kid was obviously a little envious, but otherwise really cool. They sat in the lobby when suddenly, the kid was also interested in our lobby computer.
After getting bored of it, he whispered something to the mom and she whispered something back. Suddenly, the kid ducked behind the counter and started trying to play on my laptop. I politely asked the kid to stop touching my laptop and to get back to his mom. Surprisingly, the kid obeyed but the mother freaked the heck out.
“I’m sitting here waiting for a taxi and you can’t let my child entertain himself on your laptop? I told him he can play on it until we leave.” “No, I can’t let him do that since guests aren’t allowed behind the desk and this is my own personal property.” “He’s just a child, let him have some fun while we wait for the taxi!” “I can’t allow non-employees behind the desk, since other guests’ personal information can be viewed. This is company policy for all involved, and I’m sorry the taxi is taking so long to get here.”
“Well, I told him he can play on it to keep busy because he needs something to do. What is he supposed to do now?” “Ma’am, I understand your child might be bored, but that’s not our responsibility. You’re welcome to change the channel on the television to find something suitable for him if you’d like.” “Why aren’t there any games on the computer in the lobby?”
The computer in the lobby is our “business center” and is stock standard, meaning it just has Windows 10 without anything extra installed. “That’s a business computer and it’s meant to be used by our customers for business purposes.” “Then you should install some games on it! If your hotel is going to host children, then it should entertain them as well!”
Thankfully, the taxi arrived as she finished her sentence, so she gathered her child and baggage before storming out. But the nightmare continued. Suddenly, the taxi driver was walking in with a receipt book, telling me we promised to pay for her taxi. This was false and completely against our policy. He easily accepted this, but the mom did not.
“YOUR WEBSITE SAYS YOU HAVE A HOTEL SHUTTLE AND IF IT’S NOT RUNNING, THEN I EXPECT YOU TO PAY FOR OUR TAXI!” “I’m sorry, but our shuttle only runs from 7 am to 9 pm. Outside of those hours, you are responsible for your own transportation.” “YOUR WEBSITE SAYS THERE’S A SHUTTLE TO THE AIRPORT! WE TOOK IT YESTERDAY AFTERNOON!”
“Yes, when our airport shuttle is operating. We list our shuttle hours on our website, I’m sorry for the confusion.” The mother then started swearing at me, calling me names, and threatening to call my manager for about three minutes before realizing I wouldn’t budge. That’s when she gave up and stormed back out to the taxi. Finally.
82. It’s On Me
On my very first shift as a bartender, a beautiful woman in her mid-20s came into the bar. It was a regular Saturday night, so the place was crowded, but not packed. She had five female friends with her, but she was clearly the self-proclaimed ringleader. At one point, they come up to me at the bar counter and she makes a big show about how she’s going to buy them all mojitos.
These drinks run at about $13 apiece. I tell her it will take me a few minutes to get the six drinks ready and she’s fine with that. After a couple of minutes, she gets up to go to the restroom, I assume. I get the drinks ready and start wondering what the heck is taking her so long. I have a fellow bartender check up on her in the restroom, as I figure she’s either throwing up or getting it on there. Well, I wasn’t completely wrong in either of those assumptions.
The other bartender came back and says that she WAS throwing up, but then found some dude in there who was chatting her up. The other bartender informed her that she was needed back at the bar. A few minutes go by, and she and Mr. Knight in Shining Armor grab two seats at the bar. I walk up to them and the dude tries to order a drink for himself and water for her.
I inquire about where she wants the six mojitos placed and this is how it plays out: Stupid girl: “Those aren’t for me. I’m too gone to have more drinks” Me: “But you ordered them. And here they are.” Stupid girl: “But I don’t want them.” Me: “That not really the issue. I made them, so now you’ve gotta pay for them.” Stupid girl: “But I’ve been in the restroom the whole time, so I couldn’t have ordered them.”
Me: “Actually, you ordered them with me at the bar 15 minutes ago, before you stepped into the restroom.” Knight in Shining Armor: “I was with her the whole time and SHE DID NOT ORDER THOSE DRINKS.” Stupid girl looks infatuated with Knight in Shining Armor. It’s clear that they’ve just met and this dude is thinking that she’ll be an easy score if he just huffs and puffs a bit for her, putting me in my place.
Me: “Well, you’ve only just met her in the restroom JUST NOW, and she ordered those drinks BEFORE she went in there.” As a side note, some of her girlfriends, who had been hanging around the sides of the bar area waiting for the drinks, suddenly disappeared into the adjoining rooms. They clearly didn’t want to be a part of the mess.
Stupid girl: “But none of my friends are here to drink them.” Me: “It doesn’t matter. You ordered them, I made them, and now they need to be paid for.” Knight in Shining Armor: “She clearly doesn’t need more drinks, and this is your fault for serving them to her in the first place!” He’s getting angry. Me: “She was fine when she ordered them.”
Knight in Shining Armor: “But she shouldn’t have to pay for them.” Me: (having had enough) “Fine, then you can pay for them. That’ll be 78 dollars.” Dude was actually taking out his wallet until he heard the amount. Then he promptly looked at her, clearly assessing whether she was worth it. He decides no, not happening.
He puts his wallet back in his back pocket, and now it’s really awkward. She’s looking down at her glass of water, he’s looking for a way out of this situation, and I’m just standing there staring daggers at the both of them. Me: (directed at stupid girl) “If you don’t pay, we’re going to have trouble.” The stupid girl is now looking around for someone to save her.
Everybody’s looking away, including Knight in Shining Armor. Me: “So what’s it gonna be?” The stupid girl reluctantly and very slowly takes her credit card out and pays, all the while looking around for pity or someone to step in and pay. I hand her the drinks and tell her very firmly: “DO NOT DO THIS AGAIN.” We’re a small bar in a local town, you can be darn sure we gave her stern looks and asked for humiliating confirmation every time she visited after that.
83. No Show
We close at 8 pm on Sundays. It was 7:45 pm. Phone call: “Hey, I see it says you guys close at 8 but if we have 10-12 people, could you stay open for us?” Me: “I’ll have to ask the chef for you, one second.” I know I should have just said HECK NO, but I have to run everything by the chef, who is also the owner. He tells me to tell them yes—ugh.
Me: “Yeah, no problem.” Then they say, “Okay, we should be there around 8:30.” Me: “…Okay” So I put a bunch of freaking tables together and pour all their waters and put menus on their tables. 8:45 pm, they call back and tell us they aren’t coming after all. FIRST OFF, WHO THE HECK CALLS A RESTAURANT AND ASKS THEM TO STAY OPEN FOR THEM? Then you have the audacity to cancel? 15 minutes late? The worst.
84. VIP Customer
So first of all, I work for a budget hotel chain that overuses the color purple a lot. I was working the front desk and at about 11 pm, a middle-aged lady came in. Now, she didn’t have a reservation and we have a general rule that if any night staff accept a reservation after the night shift starts, they would have to take responsibility for that customer should they cause any problems.
She seemed nice enough and we had a lot of empty rooms that night, so I thought sure, let’s give her a room. Her total came to about $75 and she got out her card to pay. I watched her put it into the machine, as a few of our guests sometimes miss the little slot or try to swipe. She saw me looking and said to me, “Oh, yes, this my Halifax Ultimate Reward card. It looks smart doesn’t it?”
Making idle conversation, I replied, “Yeah, I’ve got one of those as well.” To my surprise, the woman said, “Oh you must be mistaken—this is an exclusive card for valued customers of Halifax. They don’t give them to people like you.” This threw me for a loop. Feeling defensive—and admittedly, I may have been in the wrong here—I pulled my identical card out of my pocket to show her.
This woman flipped her lid. “YOU CAN’T HAVE THAT, THAT’S NOT YOURS. YOU’VE TAKEN THAT FROM A GUEST. FETCH YOUR MANAGER RIGHT NOW.” I was utterly bemused by this turn of events, so I went into the back office to get the night manager, who couldn’t quite grasp the weird situation I’d gotten myself into. He came out front and she went off at him.
Now, our night manager has been there for years, so he was used to this stuff. He just stood there while she ranted and raved until she was out of steam. Then he said, “I’m very sorry, but due to the attitude you have displayed towards my team, your reservation is canceled and you are no longer welcome in this hotel. Also, I feel like I should inform you that Halifax will give one of those cards to anyone who will pay $15 per month. You are not special. Please mind the revolving door on your way out.”
She gaped at us for a while and then left while muttering about complaining to head office. So yeah, definitely one of my weirder check-ins.
85. Bad Mood Betsy
I was working the MORNING front desk shift and it was a cakewalk. As per usual, I had lots of calls but no weirdness. Then this witch walked in. Her: “I just made a reservation in the parking lot.” Me: “Alright, excellent! Welcome. How were your travels?” Her: “That’s none of your business.”Already, we were off to a bad start. Not only was she an hour early for check-in, but she was pulling out that attitude for no reason.
Thankfully, my housekeeping staff is stellar. I had a room ready. Cool, no sweat. Me: “Sorry about that. I’ll just take an ID—” She then proceeded to slam the ID on the counter. Great. But when I checked the system, her reservation hadn’t popped up in the system yet. Sometimes it takes a few minutes, but never too long. I grabbed her a bottle of water and a little snack, then let her know it shouldn’t take more than a moment.
When it hadn’t shown up after 3-4 minutes, I double-checked the system, thinking she may have checked in online. Then, I got a hunch and checked the arrivals for the next day. Bingo. Me: “I’ve found it! Unfortunately, the reservation is for tomorrow and I see that you booked through Smotels.com, so I am unable to alter your reservation. I’m happy to—”
What I was going to do was give her options. It was a one-night stay, so my initial thought was that a call to Smotels.com in order to change it so she wouldn’t be charged up the wazoo in fees for the transfer. Please keep in mind that it’s her mistake that she would like my help to fix. At that point, she was doubling down.
Her: “Fix it.” Me: “I’m so sorry, I am unable to alter reservations of this nature but I’m going to help—” Her: “You can help me but you won’t. You have my reservation right there, why are we even talking about this?” We went back and forth for a few seconds. She had no idea what she was talking about, and the more she realized that fact, the more she doubled down.
She finally realized that if I just made a new reservation for her for one night, she would be charged for the second night regardless. Her: “I want the second night. Make it happen.” So I made the reservation, instructed her to come down for fresh keys the next day under her Smotels.com reservation, and proceeded to write up an alert warning my fellow front desk warriors about the dragon lady in 302.
86. Empty Head Syndrome
The following occurred earlier tonight. Some guy wandered into the restaurant when we were obviously closed (lights off, no open sign, tables all flipped) with a phone in one hand, a bag in the other, and an expression that I can only describe as “stupid face.” Him: Doordash. Me: We’re closed. Him: Doordash? Me: We’re closed.
Him: DOORDASH! starts waving the bag around and pointing to it Me: We. Are. Closed. Him: Should I go through the drive-thru? Me: No, you can’t go through the drive-thru. We are closed. There are no more orders tonight. Him: I’m here to pick up (stares at his phone and starts reading off food items) for (someone’s name).
Me: When did you place the order? We don’t have any open tickets left. Him: Right now. Me: We’re closed right now, and we never got that order. Him: It says here (pointing at his phone again) that I have to pick up (names food items again). Me: Who ordered it? We never got any orders for Grubhub. Did you order it over the phone?
Him: No, I’m supposed to order it now. Me: You can’t order it now, we’re closed. Him: Staring into the abyss But they already ordered it. Do I cancel it? Me: I don’t know. That isn’t my problem. Him: Leaves the restaurant looking defeated and confused The owner of the restaurant (who had just come out of the back): What an idiot.
87. That’s DOCTOR Idiot To You
I work at a very large, very old beachfront resort. It is technically a motel, but for some reason, the word “motel” just bothers me. Anyway, our varying nightly rate attached to the 16 different room types is by far the lowest in our destination area. With that in mind, you can imagine the unsavory locals we often attract.
My front desk staff is accustomed to handling all types of crazy and each of them deserves a humanitarian award just for making it beyond week one of training. This is my favorite and most recent mind-blower. A female guest arrived in all her green-haired glory with a simple shoulder bag and a third-party booking for a one-night stay.
I’ll call her GH. She had a little trouble at check-in when supplying payment for the night, particularly the required $100 incidental hold. If I remember correctly, GH gave a sob story to one of our newbies who eventually caved and accepted the incidental hold in cash…A no-no in our books, but I couldn’t seem to get the newbies to grasp the purpose of a required credit or debit card payment versus cash.
A story for another day…Anyway, GH extended her stay one night at a time. She came to the front desk prior to the 11 am check out, forked over a handful of crumpled bills, and had her keys updated. Somewhere along the lines, she updated for two nights and convinced another newbie that a manager said it was “totally fine” for her to use her cash incidental hold towards an additional night’s lodging.
Ummm, no. One morning, when reviewing some high balance folios, one of us figured out the mistake and called the guest to correct the error. She wasn’t happy, but GH made her way to the lobby accompanied by a middle-aged man who absolutely did not belong in the company of GH under normal circumstances. But who was I to judge?
We’ll call this unassuming fool MAM; that is, Middle-Aged Male. GH had convinced MAM that she was desperate. The only reason she was at our motel-hotel resort is that her horrible boyfriend had kicked her out! Without the assistance of MAM, she would be on the street, with no roof over her head.
We couldn’t have that now, could we? MAM gladly put down his card to cover the nightly resort fee and the incidental hold. He inserted his card into the chip reader and proudly signed the documents as if he was a knight in shining armor! His comb-over and ’80s style wooly worm attached to his upper lip did not stop him from puffing up his chest and escorting GH out of the lobby on his arm.
Whatever. At least I had his digits and signature. That was my only concern at that point. Fast forward approximately seven days—I was approached by a flustered employee who begged me to come to the front desk and deal with an irate guest who was disputing several hundreds of dollars in outlet charges. I first asked my list of questions: Do you have a signed card? Did you research the disputed charges and find signed copies for each?
Does everything look on the up and up? He answered yes to all of the above, so I headed out to the front desk. I am met with MAM pacing back and forth. “Good afternoon, Sir! How are you today?” MAM: “Not very good. Not very good at all!” Me: “I am sorry to hear that. How can I help make this a better day for you?” MAM: “Well, you can start by explaining to me exactly when you will be refunding me the hundreds of dollars charged to my credit card.”
Me: “Oh. Well, I see here that a person staying in the room for which you placed your card as collateral has enjoyed several pounds of shrimp at our oceanfront restaurant. Was there a problem with the food or service, sir?” MAM: “Stop with this ‘sir’ stuff! It’s DOCTOR! CALL ME DOCTOR!” First of all, how the heck was I supposed to know that?
Second of all, people who usually got THIS upset are almost always academics, never medical doctors. I just put on my witch face. Me: “Sir—excuse me—Doctor, you placed your card on file for all incidental charges and signed the applicable forms, giving permission to the hotel to collect all charges outside of room and tax TO YOUR CARD.”
MAM: “But you didn’t tell me that meanT unlimited room service! I didn’t even eat shrimp! I wasn’t even there!” Me: “You did not give any instructions to restrict the charges to the resort fee only—” ‘I was then interrupted by MAM throwing his hands up in the air, huffing, puffing, and pacing back and forth. Doctor, do you know GH?
MAM: “YES! I mean, I’m not sleeping with her or anything. I’m just helping her out. You guys were going to kick her out on the streets! What was she supposed to do when you locked her out? She needed a place to stay! These are tough times for her!” Me: “Sir, this is a place of business. I am sorry for her situation, but we are required to collect payment in full and an incidental hold for each guest’s stay. You willingly put your card on file and signed for the charges.”
MAM: “Well, who was she with? Was he a younger guy? Were they having fun? Did she look afraid? This is ridiculous and I am not paying for these charges. Where is your manager? Where is the person in accounting that can refund my money?” Me: “Sir…” MAM: “DOCTOR! CALL ME DOCTOR! Me: “Excuse me, ‘doctor,’ I AM that manager and I AM ‘that person from accounting’ and I will not be refunding these charges.”
MAM: “I’m going to call my lawyer!” Me: “Please do. Here is my card. Have them call me directly and I will provide them with the appropriate paperwork, all of which contain your signature and your approval for these charges.” MAM: “Well, can I at least get a key? She won’t even let me in the room!” Do you see what is happening here, friends?
It was kind of sad at that point. MAM had been duped by GH and needed someone to blame. Not only did she eat pounds and pounds of shrimp with her real-life boyfriend, but she also tipped the bill! TWICE! I spoke to the staff over at Food and Beverage, asking them to make me aware of all instances where a guest tipped the bill in excess of $50.
Regardless, this lady was a baller. But back to the conversation at hand. Me: “Your name is not on the reservation or the room. I cannot give you a key. I am sorry.” MAM: “I am going to leave terrible reviews on every website I can find! Terrible reviews.” Me: “That is perfectly fine. You do that. I will have every single review removed as you are not a registered guest here.”
MAM stormed out of the hotel lobby. I shouted after him, “Have an excellent day!” then instructed the peanut gallery cackling in the back to note the folio. Under no circumstances was anyone to refund the guy a dime. I asked security to inform GH that it was time for her to go. This pleasant exchange with MAM combined with the fact that she had been kicked out of the hot tub late at night on two separate occasions with two different gentlemen convinced me of what was going on here.
GH didn’t put up a fight. She was rather pleasant, actually. We might not be a high-class hotel, but it is not an hourly-rate place either, so I stuck to my convictions and asked her to pack up her belongings. She politely accepted the marching orders. Weird. Ten minutes after, MAM required my presence at the front desk. I took a deep breath and walked back up to the front. I already knew what was coming…
Me: “Yes, Doctor?” MAM: “I want to take care of this calmly and professionally. I do not want GH out on the street. I’ve already paid for the room for two more nights. Can’t she stay? She is just my friend and is down on her luck. Very sweet girl…I am not sleeping with her or anything. Just helping her out.” Me: “Um, no. You have made it very clear you will not pay and I cannot knowingly add charges to your card after this conversation.”
MAM: “But I paid for it! Can’t she just stay? Can’t we just put the room on here, not unlimited room service?” I used that moment as my opportunity to get further acceptance of payment responsibility to all prior charges. I had him sign a credit card authorization form plus a written agreement to all charges previously posted to the room. I made him sign every single room charge receipt.
I let her stay. If he was that much of an IDIOT to buy her lies, it wasn’t my problem. As I finished the mountain of paperwork I required of him, he proceeded to tell me he was a published quantum physicist. He rattled off a list of varying degrees and then told me he would be running for President in 2020. Sure, buddy.
By the way, GH and MAM were caught later that night in the hot tub and asked to leave the property for repeated violations. Their room was a dump when they left and we hit MAMs card for another $250 in cleaning charges. I am proud to say that I definitely obtained his signature of responsibility for this charge while he ranted on about his quantum theory of collective consciousness. What a douche.
88. Thank You, Next
I work in a rich, very conservative part of town, so sometimes we get super conservative people in. I generally ignore the political attire that you see a few times a week, because as long as they respect me, I don’t care. By the way, I also have buzzed hair, so I’m used to comments about being feminine with short hair (usually positive), and I think this is why one customer started this conversation with me today:
Customer: Are you a homosexual? Me: Excuse me? C: I asked if you were a homosexual. M: Why do you ask? C: I don’t want to be served by a lesbian. M: (after a stunned silence to make sure I just heard what I just heard) Well, then I guess you can go ahead and leave because no one here wants to serve you. And I immediately walked away to get the manager, who proceeded to ask them to leave because, well, you know.
I went outside for a few minutes to calm down, because I’ve never had this type of hatred spewed directly to me, face-to-face like this before.
89. Sorry, Wrong Number
So a few minutes ago, our janitor came to the front desk of our hotel and said, “Um…there’s someone calling on the elevator?” I was like, “What do you mean? There’s someone stuck in the elevator?” Which, you know, wouldn’t have been the first time, but still. He replied, “I don’t know, but they’re talking on the speaker.” So I went to the elevator and stepped inside.
Sure enough, there was a lady’s voice on the speaker going, “Hello? Can you hear me?” I said, “Yes, I can hear you. Are you okay?” I started thinking that maybe she was stuck in the other elevator and had somehow managed to call the one beside it. Then, I found out the odd truth. She said, “Yeah, is this Windsor Arms?” I’d like to speak to someone about making a reservation.”
Okay… WHAT? “Ma’am, you’ve reached the elevator.” “I what?” “You’ve called the elevator on our property. May I ask what number you called?” She then listed off a number that was in no way similar to our front desk number and wasn’t one I’d ever heard before. Turned out, she called 411 for Information and the number THEY have on file goes directly to our freaking ELEVATOR for some reason. What the heck.
90. THIS Customer Is Right
Dear sir. You stuck your head in the front door around 20 minutes to 10:00, looking expectantly with your blonde wife in tow. I swallowed disappointment, yet again, while wearing a pained smile, and waved you into the bar area. You sat down and ordered straight away: top-shelf bourbon on the rocks for you, Prosecco for the wife, and a volcano cake to share.
You were both well dressed and charming and funny. Your wife was hot and smelled good. You both savored every bite, made me laugh, tipped 30%, and breezed out the door with two minutes left on the clock. I love you.
91. All In The Family
My wife unexpectedly delivered our third daughter in a standard two-queen hotel room last Monday night, and we made the front page of the local paper. For some background, my wife was 38 weeks pregnant with our third kid. The first two were both delivered by C-sections, and our local hospital doesn’t entertain VBACs (canal birth after cesarean), so for the whole pregnancy, we planned on traveling to a city just shy of 100 miles away that’s more VBAC-friendly.
We also planned to have the baby at a birth center with a midwife, using the hospital as a backup. 11 days before the due date, my wife had her weekly Monday appointment with her midwife. The midwife checked her and said my wife wasn’t in active labor, but we could expect the baby to come within the next day, or day and a half.” She recommended that we gather our stuff and head to the other city at a more relaxed pace than do so in a panicked rush.
We brought our four- and five-year-olds with us, expecting to call grandma a bit closer to go-time to come over and watch them. We made the drive and got to town around 5 pm, grabbed coffee, went out for a leisurely dinner, and checked in with the midwife, who then told us to check into a hotel and get some rest. Still no active labor at that point, but she said, “I don’t think we’ll send you home tomorrow with an empty car seat.”
I picked a hotel less than five minutes from the birth center and we checked in around 8 pm. We brought waterproof pads inside in case her water broke or something, and we had things ready in case we needed to get out in a hurry. I got the ladies—our kids and my wife—down to bed at 8:30 pm and I texted my parents to expect a new grandbaby sometime the next day.
20 minutes later, my wife’s water broke. I called the midwife to got her headed to the birth center. I threw our stuff and the kids into the van, dodging other guests who were slowly meandering their way down the hall or pushing their luggage cart in through a side door that wasn’t meant for those carts. I finally got back to the room to help my wife.
She said she couldn’t move because the baby was coming at that very instant. I called the midwife and redirected her to the hotel that we were staying at while frantically getting more pads down on the floor. I rearranged the furniture to create as much space as I could, and….freeze. I just remembered the kids were left alone in the van. My wife was trying to push our next kid out, and I had no clue what to do.
Luckily, I didn’t have to wait long for the midwife to show up and she was even able to get her birth assistant to the hotel as well. We set up near the window as there was a bit of space there, but the darn heater kept kicking on and blowing air right at my wife. In between pushes, I brought the kids in and grabbed them snacks to keep them from melting down while we have this baby.
Thank God the midwife knew what she was doing—after some time, we brought our little girl into the world. It was at 10 pm, just an hour after everything started. The assistant visited the front desk to get more towels but still hadn’t let them know that we just had a baby in there (I’m guessing to prevent the front desk from calling an ambulance and bringing in even more chaos).
Grandma showed up around 11 pm and I headed to the lobby to meet her. I looked at the front desk lady and she asked me how it was going. “Exciting,” I said. “I don’t know how many times you’ve heard these words, but my wife just delivered a baby in your hotel.” The front desk lady said, “Wait, really? Wow! Do you need me to call an ambulance or something?”
“No, everything is fine, this all happened about an hour ago.” “Really? We didn’t even get a noise complaint!” The adrenaline eventually subsided and we all went to bed. I finally got up at around 8:30 am to grab breakfast and I heard people talking all about our experience at the other tables. Eventually, I got the kids up and brought them to the front desk to share our story.
They were far from upset. In fact, they actually had gifts waiting, including a blanket and jammies for the wee lass. The manager asked if she could take a picture and share it on the location’s Facebook page. We ended up checking out that day and traveling home. I submitted a news tip to the paper, thinking it might be a fun story somewhere deep in Section C or whatever.
Not only did they call me back, but they also sent a photographer to our house and ended up running the story on the top of the front page! All in all, it was a pretty cool way to welcome a new member of the family.
92. That’s Just Good Parenting
I was working the front desk when a mom brought over her crying 12-year-old. “Tell her what you did,” she sternly told her daughter. In between sobs, the daughter told me that she jumped up in the hallway, slapped the exit sign, and it fell down. Her mom went on to tell me that her daughter would pay to replace it. She wanted her to learn from her actions and take responsibility for them.
Now, I know it’s in our hotel’s nature to say it’s okay or no problem, but I knew this was important to her mom. I thanked the little girl for her honesty, then asked her why she chose to do what she did. She said she thought it would be fun and never thought it would fall off. I asked her if she would ever do it again? “No, never, I’m so sorry,” she said.
We then went to check out the sign. If there was a fire, then guests would not be able to see where the exit was and it could be very dangerous. The three of us went to the hallway and upon inspecting the sign, it wasn’t broken at all. I was able to put it back up and it worked perfectly. I told the girl that there was no damage, so she didn’t have to pay to replace it.
I also told her that I was proud of her for taking responsibility for what she did. Her mom told her she was proud of her too. Just a reminder to us all that if a parent has a child apologize for something they’ve, don’t just say, “No problem.” Be kind, but encourage them not to do it again. Also, thank them for their apology.
93. The Good Samaritan
30 minutes ago, I had someone with a reservation walk in without a mask. When I told him he needed to put one on, he joked that he had to get it out of his bag. He tried talking to me while he was unzipping his luggage, but I just waited for him to actually have it on. I don’t really have patience for that kind of stuff anymore.
So I was so delighted, but also saddened, when I received a call 10 minutes ago from someone who was in our parking lot. She revealed a scary truth to me over the phone—she had learned someone she spent time with during the holidays had tested positive. At first, I was worried she was still going to check in, but she just asked if there was any way she could cancel because she was about to make the drive all the way back home.
I made sure she knew how much I appreciated that she respected the hotel’s policies enough to call us and let us know, and I was glad to hear the person who did test positive was asymptomatic. I wished her well, and she drove away. That seems like the obvious thing to do for a lot of people, but as we know, working in a customer-facing position, you can’t expect people to make rational decisions like that on a daily basis.
94. A Game Of Patients
Okay, this isn’t about customer service per se, it’s about a doctor’s office—but they still deal with the public (except their customers are often sick and in a very bad mood). Several years ago, I was the COO of a mid-sized acute care hospital in a prosperous suburb of a major metropolitan area in the Deep South of the USA. I am now retired.
One of the things you have to do when you’re in the hospital management biz is schmooze with the doctors. So, for 30 to 60 minutes a day, I would hang around their private dining room or the other common places where they would go when they needed a break. I’d simply listen to what they had to say. Doctors like to talk about themselves, so my opinion was rarely requested (and even more rarely provided).
Some were good doctors, some were bad. But one that stood out was a board-certified internist whom I’ll call “Dr. G.” Dr. G was 60+ years old, fiercely independent, and one of the few “solo” doctors who admitted patients to our hospital. Most of our doctors were in large multi-specialty group practices. Not him. He was by himself.
Dr. G had more business than he could handle. Not only did he have a huge patient base because he’d been practicing for decades, but he was also a darn good doctor, so many of the hospital’s other doctors referred a constant stream of patients to him. Dr. G didn’t need money. His wife was an anesthesiologist. They already had a huge house, an equally huge vacation house, several cars, and no debt.
Their children were grown. He never told me how much retirement money they had, but he hinted that it was a load of stocks and mutual funds. He was working because he wanted to, not because he had to. His office was only open four days a week, Monday through Thursday. He had hired twice the number of nurses, bookkeepers, secretaries, etc., that he needed to run it.
So nobody was overworked or overstressed. One day, during the Christmas season, the doctors were sitting around their private dining room talking about what they were giving their office staffers for Christmas. The gifts ranged from tacky (new office uniforms) to useless (pre-paid “detail” at a local car wash for the cars of nurses and secretaries who were paid so poorly that they all drove rust buckets).
Everyone had to admit, however, that Dr. G’s Christmas gift was the best. Even though he gave each employee a gift certificate that was in the low four figures, that was not his “best gift,” not by a long shot. It was Dr. G’s other gift that got everyone’s attention. Every Christmas, each one of his office employees got to “fire” one patient, no questions asked.
It did not matter who the patient was, or what they had done to the employee, they were out. The employee didn’t even have to say why; although they usually enjoyed making sure that the rest of the staff, including Dr. G, all knew why. There were some limitations and exceptions. For example, if the patient was in the middle of a crisis where continuity of care was essential, such as during or shortly after hospitalization, Dr. G promised the employee a “rain check.”
The patient would be “fired” as soon as it could be done without compromising their medical treatment. Also, a patient could never be “fired” if they were terminally ill. I think there might have been a few other exceptions, such as patients with severe dementia. I just can’t recall them all. The staff understood that they could not “fire” patients who were so sick that they couldn’t keep themselves from behaving the way they did.
They could only “fire” patients who were capable of acting like decent human beings, but chose to be jerks. This was never a problem because there were always plenty of those. When a patient was “fired,” Dr. G would send a polite, personal letter to the patient, informing them that he was limiting his practice and they were no longer within the scope of the patients that he would treat.
This was actually true, although his letters didn’t say so, because medical science has no cure for being a jerk. His office would be glad to forward a copy of the patient’s medical records to any other doctor’s office, free of charge. He did not suggest any other doctor, because, after all, these were “bad” patients. If the patient had a small balance on their bill, Dr. G’s letter would tell the patient that he was writing it off.
His staff would also flag the patient in their office systems and records so that current and future office staff would know to never let that patient come back. Ever. That’s it. He had eight to 10 employees, and he could easily afford to do without eight to 10 patients out of the thousands that he treated every year. So, all year long, every time a patient was rude to one of his office staff, the staff person could think, “In a few months, I’ll never have to put up with you ever again.”
Dr. G said that it was the best morale booster he had ever used with his staff, got rid of patients that he himself did not want to treat, and cost him practically nothing.
95. Showing His True Colors
At the time, most of the guests at our hotel were businessmen. The guys from this particular company had been staying at our hotel for a while, and I got along very well with a few of them, including the person I later found out was the owner. One evening, probably around 5 or 6 after my managers had left, three guys from that company came down and wanted to buy drinks and snacks.
I sold the first two guys their drinks and snacks no problem. The third guy, however—I can’t remember exactly what he said, but it made me mad, and I could tell he was already tipsy, so I refused to sell to him. Well, he did not like this, and he called me all sorts of names and just started yelling at me. I told him to go back to his room, but he wasn’t leaving.
Luckily, his two co-workers were still around and they took him out of the lobby. He went back to his room and it was over, or so I thought. I was so, so wrong. I got a call from his manager, who I knew, asking what had happened. I guess one of his co-workers called and told him what had happened. I explained the situation and told him that he was not allowed in the lobby if he was going to be disrespectful.
His manager apologized and said he would get him on a new assignment. He also told me if anything to call him if anything else happened. Alright, that sounded good to me. About 30 minutes later, the dude came back down yelling at me about how his manager called him and was making him leave. He then pulled out his phone and started to record me, on Facebook Live, saying how I wouldn’t sell to him.
He then went into the shop, and on video, took drinks from the cooler. He told me he was going to get me fired and just started screaming at me again. Unfortunately, his co-workers weren’t in the lobby, so all I could do was tell him to go back to his room. He eventually did. I looked up the guest’s reservation and called the number on file for the manager I had talked to earlier to tell him what happened.
I ended up getting sent to the voice mail for who I thought was his other manager. I knew him as well. I left a message, explaining what happened and he called me back almost immediately. He apologized. Since it was late, he couldn’t get him a flight that night to leave; but he had a flight first thing in the morning. I then found out that this manager was actually the owner of the company.
A few days went by and I got another phone call—this time, it was from the HR team. I explained the situation and they apologized. I then got a call from their risk management team, and they apologized. The next time I was at work, all of the managers, the owner, and the employees came and apologized. The guy got fired, and every person in the company had to take a harassment class.
96. I’m All Ears
I’m a valet. I was on the drive greeting cars as I usually did on any shift. A group of ladies and kids came in with an SUV and insisted on parking in the valet lot. After I didn’t let them park there, they started talking about me amongst themselves in Arabic. Little did they know that I spoke fluent Arabic, so when she roasted me, I understood everything.
She then asked in English, “So, where can I park sir?” So I gave her instructions to the parking garage in Arabic. The whole car went silent, the mothers dropped their phones, and she whispered sorry and drove off. Their reactions were priceless.
97. Privileged Information
I work at a small hotel in a major city. This happened on a Friday night, right before my shift was about to end. I had all my check-ins done and I was ready to get out…but then the phone rang. Me: “Hi, how can I help you?” Phone: “Ugh, hi, yeah—can you tell me if you have a guest checking in under the name of Mr. So and So?”
Phone: “So you’re actually telling me that when you got hired you were told that you’re not allowed to tell someone that?” Me: “Um, yeah, actually; as well as at the other two 5-star hotels and the cruise ship that I worked for.” Phone: “Well, that’s ridiculous. Can I speak to your supervisor?” Me: “Unfortunately, we don’t have a supervisor present at the moment. My general manager will be back Monday morning at 8 am.”
Phone: “Okay and what is your name? Do you have an employee number?” I told them my name, but I didn’t have an employee number. Phone: “And your last name? What do you look like?” Me: “Excuse me…?” Phone: “Well, if you don’t have an employee number, how will I explain to your manager who I spoke to?” Me: “I’m the only one here with my first name, so please feel free to call my manager on Monday morning after 8 am and tell her you spoke to me.” Click.
And he never called. Must have realized that I was, in fact, right.
98. Who’s The Boss?
The owner of my hotel was a millionaire several times over, but you would never know it. His wife dressed like she was going to dinner with the President and he looked like a slightly worse-for-the-wear guest. He was a little old dude who walked around in khakis, Hawaiian shirts, and ratty shoes. But he was also an absolute shark and would wait to let you have it if he didn’t like you.
He typically spent all of his time in his windowless office in the basement making phone calls and doing who knows what else. This was over 20 years ago, and the town we lived in had about 50,000 people. We rarely had a security guard on staff and no security cameras, so he would occasionally chill out in the lobby to keep an eye on things if he was concerned about something.
As long as you did your job, this wasn’t an issue. He didn’t often chat with us unless it was in the back office because he wanted to be taken for a regular travel-weary guest. I personally think it was a game for him. If he was hanging out in the lobby, he would just sit and people watch or read the paper. However, there were times when people would become belligerent with the front desk staff for whatever reason and they would always start with, “I know the owner, you better do as I say.”
They would then go in on the fact that they were going to get him fired, etc. This guy had the best response. The owner would look up from his paper and say, “I have no idea who the heck you are, but stop bugging my staff. You aren’t getting an upgrade. You’re lucky I even let you stay after that.” After a guest was properly chastised and left for their room, he would give a lopsided grin and go back to reading the paper.
99. Slow Clap
I was checking in this girl who was in town for business and as usual, her company was paying for her stay. This lady was already kind of impolite, but I didn’t sweat it. It was 9 o’clock and she had bags under her eyes, so she probably was exhausted from her travels. I made small talk, which she barely partook in, but she did mention that she had driven for hours from the next major city over because of a sudden transfer.
Bingo. Her company is moving her all over the place on short notice. I asked her what her method of pay would be and immediately got an alert that the company’s card on file had expired. I had to break the news. “I’m so sorry ma’am, but the card on file that we were given is expired. Is there any way you can get a hold of them and maybe we can work something out? I just need a valid card.”
That did it. She broke. She turned around, paused, and started clapping. She clapped loudly and proudly. She clapped all the way out of the lobby. I paused for a moment and thought if I should be angry. But, you know what…no. She released her anger in a physical manner, rather than directing it at me or anyone else. You let that anger out, girl. You do you.
100. Stay Safe
I was at the front desk when I got a call from one of my regular guests. He’s a sweet guy and I’ve never heard him complain about a single thing. He’s also a businessman, so he enjoys our low-cost, low amenity hotel. Guest: “Yeah, there’s a woman screaming near my room—it sounds like she’s really in distress.” Me: “NO PROBLEM! I’ll check it out!”
I raced down the corridor towards the fire exit. His room was situated as far away from the other guests as possible, so I knew it had to be someone using the fire exit system. I burst through the door and saw a strange, disturbing sight. A very large man was pulling a small woman by the elbows up the stairs.
Me: “What’s going on here? Sir, this is a fire exit.” Big Guy: “Sorry, it’s all good here.” Small woman: “I don’t know where I am, where are my friends? The woman was extremely intoxicated. She couldn’t stand up straight. The moment she started speaking, the guy let go of her. She kept repeating herself and stumbling up and down the stairs.”
Big Guy: “Go with him, he’s trying to help you, he works here.” He then quickly disappeared up the stairs. She kept shouting that she didn’t know where she was or who we were. She was staring off in random directions and I had to grab her arm to lead her back to the lobby. She was completely out of it.
Me: “Do you have a hotel room?” Small woman: “No, no. “There were multiple attempts to try and get some information from her. I sat her down in the lobby and asked if I could call anyone for her. She fell off the chair. I tried to give her water, but she just dropped it. Clearly, this woman’s drink had been spiked. I mean, she was completely incoherent in a strange way.
So I called for an officer to assist and he was able to find the whereabouts of where she was staying. Her story never developed past that, thank goodness…but I did see the big guy who tried to lead her upstairs after a good few hours. Me: “So, was that your friend…or?” Big Guy: “No man, I just found her like that outside one of the clubs”
Me: “So you tried to take her to your hotel room?” He just shrugged and smiled. My blood went cold. The worst part is, we had two more incidents just like this happen in the span of two weeks, with the manager being responsible for stopping the other two.
For what it’s worth, I told the officer everything I saw; though, he never made a follow-up call with me. I would hope that this was due to the officer taking the proper course of action; that is, getting her medical attention and speaking to her once she was of sound mind. I could’ve done more definitely, but I’m confident I did all I could do under the circumstances. It was quite a situation to be in and I was definitely not thinking clearly. I did send a report to corporate and my manager and heard nothing further.
101. Karen On Tour
This happened yesterday. I’m a bellman for a tourist hotel that has had a mask policy, but with the updated mandate, we now also have a health questionnaire that must be filled out upon check-in. A group of three had checked in and were wandering around the lobby, one with his nose out, one holding a mask against her face, and one without one at all.
Me: “Hey, folks, if we could wear those properly it would be very appreciated.” Karen: “But I’m staying in this hotel.” Me: “It’s a state mandate, I’m sorry.” Karen: “Well, the mandate says if you have a medical condition, you don’t have to wear one.” Me: “So you’re stating you have medical issues?” Karen: “Yes, they give me headaches, so I won’t be wearing one.”
Me: “I’m sorry for that inconvenience.” At this point, she got a huge, smug smile that let me know she thought she had won. Me: “You’re staying here? Did you check in yourself or did someone else check you in?” Karen: “I checked myself in, I’m not a child!” Me: “Well, then you remember signing the health questionnaire when you checked in? The one that asked if you had medical issues preventing mask-wearing and if you planned on wearing a mask?”
Karen: “I didn’t sign anything like that” Me: “What room are you in?” Karen: “I don’t have to tell you that, you’ll stalk me!” Me: “No, I just want it so I can find your questionnaire. If you’ll come to the front desk, please.” My supervisor now came to my side. Supervisor: “I have it here, I remember them checking in.”
“He slid it under the sneeze guard and I grabbed it.” Me: “Your name is Karen McDoobie? Is this your signature?” Karen: “I didn’t know that’s what that was! You expect me to read every little thing you idiots hand me?” Me: “Just the five-foot sign about masks and the check-in paperwork, which states that you have no medical issues and that you agree to our mask policy.”
Karen: “What can you do about it? Are you the manager?” Me: “No, I’m the bellman. But I have a duty to our guests and staff.” Karen: “I’m a guest, you idiot, I just told you that!” Me: “If you break hotel policy, that can change. So which is it? Are you a policy-abiding guest or do you have medical issues that will prevent your stay with us tonight?”
Karen: “Ridiculous! I would never have come if I’d known I’d be harassed like this. My town doesn’t have any mask policy and everyone is fine!” Me: So you’ll wear the mask? Karen: “I made these reservations last week! Everywhere else will be full!” Me: So you’re okay wearing the mask inside the hotel?” At that point, I was the one with a smug smile under my mask.
She grabbed the mask that was hanging on her wrist and held it on her face. Heading for the elevator, I could hear her mumble under her breath. As the doors closed, I saw her pull the mask away and wave it at me. At least she didn’t come out of her room all night, thank God!
102. Ya Done Goofed
I had JUST gotten in for my 7 am to 3 pm shift at my hotel, and my night auditor had just left for home. Within the first five minutes, I had one of the worst jerks I’ve ever walk up to me and flip his lid. We’ll call him Chad. Chad came downstairs and wasn’t very nice from the start. It was like 7:05 am, and I hadn’t even had my second cup of coffee yet.
Before I continue with the tale, I just want to say that Chad yelled at me a lot. I also didn’t tell him to stop, but for a good reason. Me: “Good morn—” Chad: “YOU SERIOUSLY CHARGED ME?! WHAT THE HECK IS WRONG WITH YOU!!” Me: “I’m sorry, I’m conf—” Chad: “YOU CHARGED ME FOR THE ROOM?” Me: “Yes?” Chad: “DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOU DID?! Me: “I charged you for your stay?” Chad: “NO, YOU DESTROYED MY MARRIAGE!”
I was so confused. What the heck was this guy going on about? Chad: “YOU DESTROYED MY MARRIAGE.” Me: “…How, may I ask?” Chad: “YOU CHARGED MY CARD AND NOW MY WIFE IS GOING TO FIND OUT I WAS HERE!!!” Me: “Okay?” At that point, things were starting to click into place.
Chad: “I WAS HERE WITH A DIFFERENT WOMAN!!! WE SHARE A BANK ACCOUNT!” Me: “…I don’t see how I am at fault for you cheating on your wife?” Chad: “BECAUSE YOU CHARGED MY CARD. I NEED A REFUND RIGHT NOW.” Me: “No?” Chad: “YES, YOU NEED TO SWITCH IT TO MY AWARDS POINTS RIGHT NOW BEFORE SHE SEES THE CHARGES.” Well, I took a deep breath, because this was going to be bad.
Me: “Sir, I do not have the power to switch any reservation to a points reservation. You either have to do that online or through our reservation service. Once you are checked into the system, there is no switching to points or any way to do a refund unless for a very valid reason, and it has to be a valid reason.” Chad: “THIS IS A VALID REASON.”
Me: “Was there anything wrong with the room?” Chad: “No.” Me: “The check-in process was fine?” Chad: “Yes.” Me: “Nothing happened during your stay?” Chad: “No, it was fine!” Me: “Then why would I refund you?” Chad: “BECAUSE MY WIFE WILL KNOW I WAS HERE. THAT ISN’T MY WIFE IN THAT ROOM WITH ME, YOU KNOW.”I got really annoyed and I knew this was just going to go around in circles.
Me: “Okay dude, this is seriously your own fault. You chose to make the reservation without points, you saw the authorization go through, we charged your card for payment…You knew this would all happen. This is entirely your own fault.” Chad: “I NEED YOUR MANAGER RIGHT NOW.” Me: “No, you can call her tomorrow.”
Chad looked very confused and angry. I just slowly sipped my coffee, staring back. Chad stood at the desk for a minute, just staring at me. He then took out his phone and started playing on it. Me: “Is there anything else I can help you with?” Chad: “Yeah, a refund.” Me: “So, if that is all, I need you to please step aside so I can help the next person in line.” And then at that moment, Chad had a huge realization.
He realized the entire lobby was full of firefighters and other people waiting to get help from the front desk. At that moment, my day was made. He looked horrified because he just admitted to an entire lobby that he cheated on his wife and he was blaming me, the front desk person, for his own horrible move. That is why I didn’t have him stop yelling. After he ran out of the lobby, he never came back down. He never called the desk. He quietly left the hotel. At one point, the firefighters and other guests started asking about him. I just smiled and said, “He messed up.”
103. Come Closer, Little Girl
As I pulled up to work at my hotel last night, I saw the girl who worked the swing shift being led to our second building by a very creepy-looking dude. She was young and petite and he had the look of a spider who had just caught himself a nice, juicy fly. Her eyes were wide with fear and she kept trying to make excuses, but he was insistent that he couldn’t get into his room and needed her to help him.
Reading the situation, even though I was still in my motorcycle gear and not yet technically in uniform, I told her that I’d escort him down. He still insisted that she do it, though he couldn’t give a good reason why. I said fine, but I stayed right behind them. At one point, he actually put his hand on her lower back and I politely but firmly asked him not to touch our employees.
He took his hand off of her, but he was obviously not happy about my presence. We finally got to his door and he made a half-baked attempt to use his key card as if to prove he wasn’t lying about not being able to get in. I could tell he was about to ask her to do it for him, so I stepped in and said, “Allow me, sir.” I took the card from him and what do you know—the door unlocked on my first try.
He gave me a half-hearted “Thanks, buddy.” Then he went into his room, slamming the door behind him. She thanked me and told me he’d been creeping her out for a while. Maybe I was reading too much into the situation, but I shudder to think what might have happened if I’d shown up just a couple of minutes later. I considered calling the authorities but I figured they couldn’t really do anything because they can’t detain someone for being a creep.
104. Buy Me A Drink First
My friend is a manager at a popular tapas spot. One night she received a call from a man whose girlfriend was currently dining in, asking to send a bottle of his girlfriend’s favorite red to her table and to pay her tab over the phone. He made a point to make sure that the server knew it was from him, her boyfriend. There was a disturbing reason for this.
Turns out that the girlfriend was on a date with another man, and he knew. The server knew this, too, but told them anyway that her boyfriend had paid their tab and sent the bottle over. Apparently, “Their facial expressions and abrupt exit were priceless.” God, I wish this could’ve happened when I worked. This is the karma all servers would love to watch.
105. Thanks For Playing
Last week, it was a glorious night. A party of six comes in…headed by a Karen. This Karen wants two four-seater high-tops pushed together. Our host says she can’t do it because the restaurant was too busy. Karen looks her up and down and says, “Let me speak to the manager.” She’s calm, just insistent, and it’s obvious she’s played this card before.
So I roll up. “How can I help?” “Can we push those two tables together?” Nope, I say. “You can have that table that’s for six in the corner, you can have that booth for six after we clean it, or you can have that table for six outside after they get up—in about 10 minutes.” All the while, I’m pointing to each table like I’m showing them emergency exits on an airplane.
“You can’t push those tables togeth—” “No, we will not be moving the tables. You can have……” and I point out the tables again. “You know what I think? begins turning to her friend You know what I think?” both of them together “We go somewhere else?” But I had the absolutely perfect response to this. At this point, I clap my hands together.
Then I say, “Thank you and have a great night,” and immediately turn around and walk away. The best part? The Karen stares at the back of my head for a solid two seconds before she shuffled out. I didn’t realize this until I watched the video of the exchange.