Sure, working in customer service sucks—and sometimes, it’s the customer service itself that’s a nightmare. These Redditors are chiming in from the other side of the counter about their good, bad, and horrifically ugly experiences with store clerks. From shady employees to miracle-worker cashiers to immature managers, these stories are good therapy for anyone who has ever had to wait in line too long.
1. I’m Getting Hangry
One day, I wanted to have food delivered, so I set up my UberEATS. I order my food, and it’s over $50 of sushi for me and a friend. The driver is highly rated. Cool. My phone is across the room, my food is supposed to arrive around 10:01 pm. I look at the clock and see, “Oh shoot, it’s 10:00 exactly! Better check my phone and see if Driver is looking for me!”
I have a notification that he arrived six minutes ago, but no missed calls. Odd. My phone was on vibrate, which I would’ve heard from across the room, so if he had tried to contact me at all I would’ve heard it. So it’s crazy inconvenient and rude that he didn’t call at all once he arrived. I have an accompanying notification from Uber saying that “Your driver can cancel your order with no refund after 8 minutes.”
I walk outside and text that I’m coming, and ask where he is. Good thing it hasn’t been 8 minutes, and I have documentation of that fact, right? At this point, I’m outside searching for him. I send him multiple texts and call him multiple times. I can see on the app that he “read” the texts, but no reply ever comes. Both the calls ring out to voicemail. I’m starting to panic, and I have good reason to.
I can’t find his car, because it’s not outside my apartment building, meaning it’s somewhere else in the complex. At this point, it’s obvious that the man is running out the clock. I keep walking around looking and finally spot him…driving away. He drives right past me, I see his face and recognize him, I wave frantically. I’m in the road behind him, there’s no way he doesn’t see me.
He keeps driving. He cancels the order. My $50 of sushi drives away with this man, and he now owns all of it. My order disappears instantly from the app, so I lose all ability to contact him. I immediately call UberEATS customer service, and here’s where it somehow gets even more ridiculous. The person I’m speaking to isn’t just scripted, they’re not even TRYING not to sound scripted.
They start with “I’m sorry this happened to your order, what happened?” I explain in detail what happened. She seems to absorb none of these details, and in a conversation so circular it made me dizzy, she managed to repeat herself seven times, saying, “It shows here your driver waited over nine minutes, so it is impossible for us to offer a refund.”…Yeah, and I couldn’t find him for those nine minutes because he never contacted me and dodged my calls once I checked and saw he was there.
And then he saw me and drove away anyway. Does she care? Of course not. She repeats herself mechanically, zero listening. I ask if there’s someone else who CAN offer a refund, so she says “I can transfer you to my supervisor” and I go on hold for about two minutes. The line picks back up, and I couldn’t believe who answered. It’s the same woman. Claiming to be a supervisor.
Call me crazy, I don’t care, this woman’s voice was INCREDIBLY distinctive. I’m not a suspicious person or a disgruntled customer by nature, but both of my friends who were in the room listening at the same time said, “Oh my god is that the same woman?” There’s no way it was someone else. She reads from the same script, acknowledges nothing I say, and I wish her a good night and end the call.
My friend tries calling, since $25 of her sushi was also in the car and she’s angry. The call goes exactly the same way, and although she’s much more insistent and persistent, it goes nowhere, and this time THEY hang up on HER. I ended up calling my bank to reverse the charge, and even though it was 11 at night, I had no problem explaining the situation to them, and it was a quick pleasant call.
Moral of the story, if you must use food delivery services, be sure you have a good bank first.
2. Don’t Call Us, We’ll Call You
I’ve been leasing my car for business purposes since 2007, and I’ve been with the same dealership since the beginning. I’ve always taken the vehicles to the dealer for service, as I wanted the records to show it, hopefully ensuring I’m getting the best value I can when I turn them in for new. The service department was always exemplary in the way they treated me and got the work done. And then one day I came to a stunning realization.
I brought the vehicle in for an oil change/checkup. While I was waiting, the service writer came to me and told me they thought I should get a wheel alignment and tire rotation. I have 10 years+ of what I thought was a trusted relationship, so I told them to go ahead. Didn’t think anything of it. When the car was ready, it struck me to check something before I left.
Backstory, this past summer, one day when picking up one of my granddaughters from school, I grazed a curb when I parked, causing a relatively painful-looking scratch on the right front wheel. Well, when I went to pick up my car, I went to look at the wheel. And there it was, the same dig on the same wheel. I called over the service writer and said, “Hey, when they do a tire rotation, they’re supposed to CHANGE the location of the wheels, aren’t they?”
He said yes. I told him what I was looking at, and his face went white. He called over the manager of the service advisors and there was a lot of scurrying about. “Where are you going?” I asked. They were going to take it back for tire rotation. I told them I didn’t want to wait any longer, just give me my money back on it. They did that, offered me some free oil changes (which I already have included with my lease), and I told them no thanks.
I spoke with the GM of the dealership, and everybody is oh-so apologetic. I filed a complaint with their motor division, asking for someone to get back to me. The wind-up? The only person that called me was the service advisor. “If you get an email survey, I’d appreciate it if you’d be kind. I think you realize I didn’t do it, and if the survey comes back bad, it all falls on me.” Sorry, pal.
Well, it’s now over three weeks later, and no one else has reached out to me. I’m amazed. 10 years of getting my cars and service from them, and they apparently are okay with letting it all go away for a lousy $28 tire rotation. I don’t really want anything other than someone in upper management/ownership reaching out to show me some kind of indication that they care.
3. You Are What You Don’t Eat
My wife and I went to eat at our favorite out-of-town restaurant. We ordered a meal to share that was $15. We told them no mushrooms, due to my wife’s allergy. The food came and I took a bite. Mushroom. People make mistakes, but this is a big one. The server came to check on it and then got the manager. I said just remake a small portion, because I was fine to eat what they sent.
Nope. Nothing. The only thing they did was send her a free dessert of their choosing. She didn’t like it. No discount, no remake, and no meal for my wife. Who does that?
4. A Rare Experience
So my wife is in hospice and really does not eat much anymore. A little earlier on in hospice, she would get hungry for very specific things that were sometimes odd. One day, she says she would like a Chateaubriand steak—we had shared one on a special night years ago, so maybe that was the reason. We are in “whatever you want” mode, so someone googles up a location and I make the call.
It’s a very nice restaurant that doesn’t do To Go, so I explain the situation. The manager gets on and says it will be ready in 20 minutes. We arrive and the manager and two other employees have the steak with two soups. I realize this guy must be familiar with hospice to include the soups when I notice the chef has cut the Chateaubriand into very tiny pieces, understanding that’s probably all she could handle and we wouldn’t have quality steak knives at a hospital.
It brought tears to my eyes and one day I will return to this place. I talk it up every chance I get.
She ate like two bites, but it was worth it.
5. If The Dress Fits
Let’s rewind 18 years ago to my high school graduation and the disastrous hunt for a grad dress. My mom and I went to one of the major party dress stores in the mall. A saleswoman in her early 30s started “helping” by pulling together dresses for me to consider. Salmon pink. Baby blue. Nothing that a punk-loving high schooler would go for. Then she went way over the line.
The saleswoman grabbed me by the hand and pulled me into the fitting room. Now, I’m trapped in a 3 x 3 box with her. “I don’t like any of these,” I said meekly. “These are perfect for you! You just need more confidence.” “I don’t like pink.” “You’re just self-conscious because you’re top-heavy. I got a breast reduction and it was the best thing I ever did!” And with that statement, she flipped her sweater up and revealed her bra.
“Mom!” I shrieked. “She’s showing me her chest!” At that point, the saleswoman realized she messed up. She unlocked the door to find my angry, 5-foot Slavic mom ready to unleash her rage. Unfortunately, my mother didn’t get a word out before this odd lady burst into tears and ran into the back of the store. It remains the weirdest shopping experience I’ve ever had.
6. Hot And Not-So Ready
One night, I ordered five pizzas with in-store pickup for my son’s birthday party through the pizza company’s app: two cheese and one pepperoni on normal crust, and two deep dish pepperonis. I had set the order to be ready about 30 minutes into the party so that everyone would have time to arrive and get comfortable. At the expected time, I was notified that the order was ready.
I told my husband and he drove the seven minutes to the store to get the pizzas. When he arrived he was told that they were out of the deep-dish pizza, but he was welcome to come back tomorrow for those. He was like, “I don’t need them tomorrow; I need them now! The party is today!” The guy said there was nothing he could do. My husband replied that we had a houseful of hungry people, and we’d paid for five pizzas, not three.
The guy said, “Oh you just need five pizzas? Ok here!” And gave him two sausage hot and ready pizzas, which are considerably cheaper than the deep dish which I had already paid for. My husband didn’t know what else to do, so he took them. We ended up having enough pizza, and it was something for us adults to talk about while the kids were going sugar crazy, but jeez.
7. The Goodest Boy
So this isn’t an actual brick-and-mortar store, but rather one of those online clothing subscription companies. One gives their preferences, a stylist picks out clothes, and the customer pays for what he or she chooses to keep from that month’s selection. I’ve been a member of this company “Thread Solution” for about a year now, and I’ve always been satisfied.
The clothes can get pricey ($150+) but as a plus-sized woman who has cried in-store fitting rooms finding nothing that fits, this service has been a lifesaver. I actually feel good about myself and have many stylish clothes. That wasn’t what made me cry, though. That was something truly horrible and wonderful at the same time. See, this company has a policy of paying three days after getting the box of items.
They also have the option to extend the payment day through their app, if one needs X amount of more time. On October 28th, 2018, my dog Niko (10 years 10 months) was diagnosed with diabetic ketoacidosis and had to be hospitalized. After his hospitalization, there were a lot of bills to pay (my boyfriend and I didn’t have pet insurance). Since my dog’s sickness as very unpredictable, money would have to be spent suddenly.
I had to ask for long extensions many times, apologizing but stating that my dog was sick and money was tight. I received many kind messages from customer service allowing me the extension and wishing for him to get better, and it was extremely thoughtful of them. On December 11th, 2018, just one week after his 11th birthday (I believe he hung in there for us), my good boy became extremely sick and fell into diabetic ketoacidosis again.
We rushed him to the hospital and the vet said there wasn’t anything we could do. My boyfriend and I had to make the painful decision to have our little brother cross the rainbow bridge. Pet cremation fees are a fortune ($800) so I postponed my clothing subscription for January, explaining that my dog had died and there were bills so I couldn’t afford that month’s box, but that I was so thankful for their well wishes through this tough time.
A few weeks ago, I get a small package from the company, which surprised me as I had postponed my box for the month. Its contents were heartbreaking. I open the package, and there is a handwritten card from someone from the company expressing their condolences regarding my dog’s passing. They also sent a candle that has a paw print on it and has written: “No Longer by My Side but Forever in My Heart.”
I broke down ugly crying, and when I told my boyfriend when he came home from work, he began crying as well. If you’ve lost a beloved pet, you know how awful the pain is. The fact that this company did such a nice gesture during such a trying time was incredibly touching. I wrote to them and thanked them for such a kind gift especially since I’d had to keep postponing payments and had to cancel one month’s shipment.
They replied: “Thanks for reaching out. I’m so glad we were able to brighten your day. I understand how difficult this time must be for you. We’re always here if you need anything.” My boyfriend and I will light that candle on the 11th of every month to remember our dog’s beautiful spirit and soul. He’s irreplaceable. So, so, so good and so kind. There will NEVER be another Niko.
Thank you “Thread Solution” for such an unexpected but wonderful gesture.
8. Nickle And Diming
I was in the grocery store last night and the lady in line in front of me was on her phone while the high school girl cashier was ringing her up. She said, “$15.33 please.” The woman handed her some money, said “Don’t worry about the change…” while still on the phone, and walked out. The cashier looked confused and I was like “What’s up?” She said, “Her bill was $15.33 but she only gave me $15 and told me to keep the change.”
I was like “WHAT? Screw that! Want me to go get her?” The girl clearly was not looking forward to a confrontation, but I was. I ran out and told the lady she just stiffed the kid .33. She was like, “Hold on a sec. There’s a guy here ranting and raving about something. Yes? What?” I said “You didn’t pay your whole bill. You still owe the store 33 cents.” She took out her purse and said “33 cents? Are you kidding me?” and started rummaging in the bag.
She held out two quarters towards me and I said, “Do I look like the cashier?” and she made a huge grunt and stomped back in and paid, but made a big show of saying “33 cents? REALLY? I’m here like three times a week!” The poor girl was embarrassed but grateful. Nobody clapped or gave me $100 but I still felt like Batman. Screw that entitled stuff.
9. Buttering Her Up
So me and my family went to lunch with another family. We went to a steakhouse for two reasons. First, we all loved steak, and second, it’s the safest thing for my mom to eat; she has a severe dairy allergy. So we all sit and order the steak, and my mom asks and we find out they dip their steak in butter before they cook it. So my mom asked to have the cooks cook the steak in another pan.
The waitress said no problem. Cut to all of us getting our steaks. Ohh they were perfect. My mom is about to take her first bite when we hear someone scream “NOOO!!!” from across the restaurant. We look and there comes our waitress running at us. She gets to the table and takes my mom’s plate, out of breath. She tells us the cook messed up and put the butter-less steak on the wrong plate.
She had just seen my mom about to eat the steak. Mom got a new steak and we left the waitress a big tip. It’s been rare we find a waitress who doesn’t get huffy about helping out with my mom’s food needs a bit. But there has to be another one who went this hard to make sure my mom didn’t die. Anyways, that’s my one really great story of the most amazing waitress.
10. Puppy Love
I had just received my eight-week-old golden retriever puppy from the breeder. I’d traveled to see and select her a few weeks previously, and the breeder sent her to my town via airplane when she was old enough to fly. I, naturally, had arranged to take her to be checked over by a vet early the next morning. It was my first visit to the practice, so I wasn’t familiar with the staff.
I arrived with my bundle of adorable, checked in, and sat to wait in the foyer. A young woman soon invited me into an examination room, greeted me, identified herself as a vet and proceeded to examine my pupper. As it was just a checkup to be sure she was healthy and hadn’t been injured on the flight, the whole thing took less than 10 minutes, with an additional five minutes for the vet to soak in some puppy cuddles, before I was on my way out with a clean bill of health for my brand new fur baby.
I had literally just stepped out of the first examination room when the door directly opposite opened and an older gentleman stepped out. He looked at me and said my name. Me: Yes? Gentleman Vet: [gestures into his examination room] You can come right on through. It’s nice to meet you. Me: What? But I’ve already been seen. The shock on the gentleman’s face was visible.
As one, we both turned to look at the lady vet who had seen me. She let out a laugh that is instantly recognizable to anyone who has had siblings—a legit “mwah-hah-hah-hah-ha!”—and shut herself back in her room. I looked back at the gentleman. Me: Did she…steal my appointment from you? Gentleman Vet: [downcast] Yes… I have never before seen a man of that age and dignity so crestfallen.
He looked like a little boy who had just realized Santa didn’t exist. His co-worker had nicked the chance to play with a puppy from him, which seemed to be a sought-after prize. Now that would not do. I had a lot of puppy to go around, after all. Me: Would you like to hold the puppy? That’s pretty much why you wanted my appointment, right? [I hold out pupper] Gentleman Vet: [lights up like a Christmas tree] Really? That would be wonderful!
He took my puppy and began to coo. Like, he actually cooed—dignified older gentleman cooing—over her while she licked his nose. The vet nurses started to gather and I took a seat until everyone had done the rounds. My baby loved meeting everyone and gave out kisses like they were going out of style. She was fed so many treats that her little tummy bulged by the time they were done.
It was a solid half hour before I got her back, but totally worth waiting to see the faces of the nurses and the gentleman vet. Everyone deserves puppy love!
11. A Wrong Turn
I ordered from a delivery pizza place a little before 9 pm because I was way too tired to make food myself. I get a notification that the driver is on the way, and it should be here in 30-45 minutes. Woo! I was so hungry so I was really ready to eat finally. 30-45 minutes passed and nothing. I got worried that maybe he got into an accident or thought maybe he was a new driver so he didn’t know the place well.
I was waiting a little over an hour and get a call that he is lost as well as he was a new delivery driver. I tell him exactly where he needs to go and told him I’d wait outside for him so he could see me, since I live in an apartment complex and it’s hard to know which building is which. When he arrives, he apologizes a lot and I told him it’s all okay, I understand how it is and it’s easy to get lost around here.
He said his GPS brought him to the wrong address and it was no biggie. He went to go grab the food and he said that I didn’t have to pay since he was so late, and all I could think about was how stressed and worried this guy probably felt, and I wasn’t going to let him go without a tip or have to pay for the food himself. I handed him the money and a really good tip and told him good luck with the job and to drive safe! I hope I made his night and made him feel less stressed.
12. Must Be This Old To Ride
I’m a 24-year-old girl. I was attempting to buy booze from a large well known superstore. I go to the register with my purchase and am asked for my ID. I hand it over and it seems to be taking a while for the cashier to give it back and finish ringing me out. She asks me how old I am which I tell her, and then she says she cannot sell me the drinks. I’m like “Why?” Her answer stunned me.
She says “You’re not over 40.” I’m like whhhaattt? She flips her little screen to show me a question the register asks, which was something along the lines of “Is customer over 40?” The register asks this to remind cashiers to card, not to DENY bottles to of-age people. I look at her and she’s just looking at me 100% serious. I tell her you only have to be 21 to buy and attempt to explain why the register asks that—I previously worked for a grocery store so I know.
She just says no, she can’t sell it to me. I take my stuff and go to the next lane over, where I successfully pay for it. I couldn’t believe it. Someone needs more training.
13. Reeling Them In
I wasn’t going to share this story, but I keep being reminded of it, so here we go. My son and I started fishing this past summer. I live about an hour from the bay system, and money’s been tight, so I saved the coin and got freshwater reels. His mom lives a three-minute walk from a bay-fed saltwater lake, so I should’ve known better.
Anyway, little man has caught just about every freshwater species we have in our local waters, and desperately wanted to fish in the salt, so I scraped together the money for a decent entry-level saltwater combo. I went to my neighborhood big box, buy underwear, art supplies, lunchmeat, and a tent while you get new tires installed store, and grabbed it on my lunch break.
Just as it was my turn at the checkout, I got a phone call from a client. Since it drives me nuts when I’m stuck behind someone holding up the line with a phone call, I just handed the cashier my $100 bill, stuffed my change in my pocket, and got out of there as quickly as possible. When I got to the car and went to put the change back in my wallet, I noticed that I had almost $90 when it should’ve been like $18.
I checked the receipt, and sure enough, I’d been charged $9.77 for my $74.99 combo. I went back in, spoke to customer service, who couldn’t understand what I was doing there, so they called a manager. I explained that I’d been charged incorrectly. He scanned the sticker, peeled it off, and scanned the one underneath it. Then he went, “huh,” shrugged, handed it back, and said, “Lucky you. Have a nice day!”
Pretty cool of him, I guess. We went out pier fishing that weekend and caught a nice little run of redfish, so for about 30 minutes we were getting hits almost before the bait even hit the bottom, catching our limit, with me casting and hooking, then li’l man playing them in. It worked on the day, but I needed another rod. At an entirely different location, while I was buying some terminal tackle, I noticed the same rod on sale for $64.99.
I thought, “Great. I’ll buy this one, and it’ll average out a bit, and everyone wins a little.” Not the greatest logic, but whatever. This one rang up at $14.99. I pointed it out to the cashier, who shrugged, looked me in the eye, and said, “Do you wanna pay the…$14.99 and be on your way, or do you wanna wait here, holding up the line, while I call a manager so he can charge you more money?”
I paid the $14.99. That saved cash, bought loads of bait, and has fed us several times over.
14. Food Fight
I spent two awful years at an overpriced private Christian school in California. I’m not going to outright say the name of the company that caters to their cafeteria, but they are notoriously terrible. Important background: I have anaphylactic allergies and we are paying about 10k a year for our meal plans. A few months in, I realized I was getting sick from cross-contamination.
In one instance, they said on their menu app that they were serving fettuccine Alfredo for dinner and it didn’t contain any of my allergens. I grab what was advertised as fettuccine Alfredo. Turns out, they last minute switched to pasta with a creamy mushroom sauce (I’m allergic to mushrooms) but neglected to change the menu. After this incident, I tried to get out of the meal plan but the school refused, claiming that if I see something unsafe for food allergic people, to speak up.
My worst allergy, though, is sesame seeds. They would never change the cloth in the bread baskets between morning seedy bagels and dinner rolls. I politely ask a worker if they could change the cloth. The worker rolls her eyes and asks why. I say, “I’m allergic to sesame seeds and was told to speak up in order to make the cafeteria more accessible.” The woman rolls her eyes again and tells me my allergies aren’t her problem.
I ask to speak to the supervisor and she says the manager is out, and she is the floor lead. I tear into her, telling her that if I die due to her unwillingness to do her job she has at the very least a lawsuit. After this incident, my allergist emails my school, threatening a lawsuit if they don’t release me from my meal plan. They thankfully released me, but I felt like such a Karen.
15. Going The Extra Mile
I am totally blind. I was flying home today and not expecting anything out of the normal. I listen to the announcement at the beginning, fall asleep, drool copiously just to annoy my neighbor…Well, color me surprised when one crew member offered me a Braille safety guide before he began announcements. I expressed my thanks and surprise, however, it wasn’t over yet.
While he made the standard announcements, another crew member came over and offered to allow me to explore the life vest and oxygen mask, orienting me to all the important pieces. This is something that has never been offered to me before by any other airline or crew. I didn’t even know they had Braille safety guides! Perhaps I should’ve asked in the past but it was so refreshing to have this crew take initiative and make the effort to make sure that I was just as informed as the sighted passengers around me.
Often times we get so caught up in advocating for ourselves, that it’s nice to have others pick up on ways to help us feel included and safe.
16. Run Rabbit Run
Growing up, I adored rabbits (still do!) and had a black rabbit called Hades when I was nine years old. He was gorgeous and I loved him dearly. Sadly, one day my mom came up to me and said she accidentally left the gate open when Hades was running around outside and he ran away. I was so distraught but it was a genuine mistake on my mother’s part, so I was never overly mad at her.
It took me a while to get over it but my parents agreed to buy me a new one. So off we went to the pet shop and, when picking out a rabbit, I told my story of woe to the pet shop employee. What she said to my nine-year-old self I still remember to this day. “Really? You lost a black rabbit? That’s weird. There is a group of wild rabbits that lives in the woods by where I live and I always see them when I leave for work. Recently, a black rabbit has joined them and they all seem very happy.”
My eyes lit up! I knew it was Hades and he was okay! He was living a happy wildlife out there! I rested easy after that and brought home my new rabbit. Believe it or not, it was only recently I realized that she lied to me, but what a wholesome lie. I wish I knew who she was so I could thank her personally because it really helped a nine-year-old me feel okay with the passing of my beloved rabbit Hades.
17. Coming On Strong
I’m a 20-year-old girl from Scandinavia, but last summer I was backpacking through the US when I was still 19. This story takes place in Panama City Beach, Florida, at some Asian buffet-style restaurant. The first time I was there, a male server told me I was so beautiful, complimented my hair, etc. He also asked my age, I figured it was in case I wanted to order drinks?
I told him 19 and he said something along the lines of “I really like that age.” He looked early 20s himself. None of this really creeped me out, and he left me alone after I was seated. I went back the day before heading to New Orleans, alone, armed with a book and my socially acceptable “I’m ignoring you” device, headphones. Neither did the trick.
The second I walked in, the dude grinned and said “YOU CAME BACK!” This time I wasn’t feeling too chatty, but he certainly did, and he started complimenting me a lot, then asking for my Facebook. I told him I didn’t have one. He then kept asking for Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter…I eventually gave him my Instagram. Then, the following conversation happened, according to the log of the group chat, in which I live-texted this whole ordeal:
Him: So how long are you staying? Me: Only until tomorrow, actually. Him: What?? I only get to see you for one more day? At least we can hang out tomorrow? Me: Um…no, my Greyhound leaves super early. (A lie, but he was already making me feel unsafe.) Him: Awww, but at least we can Skype! And you’ll be back, right? Me: Probably not? I’m a backpacker, just traveling through.
At this point, he left to do his job, but he touched my hair briefly on his way by. In retrospect, I should have left, but I really needed to get some food and get back to the cheap motel to pack up. I didn’t have the time to walk to a different spot. I would eventually regret this decision so badly. After about 15 minutes, he sits down by my table, with his dinner, and started eating as if we knew each other.
He asked me a lot about my personal life, and told me about himself, quickly turning it into date-type topics. Meanwhile, I tried to pick up my book to hint that I was busy, texted my friends what happened, and tried to get eye contact with other servers to let them know I was uncomfortable. Eventually a woman, I think it was the hostess, called him over, and he left in a hurry.
I kept texting my friends, especially this one friend who’s got a unisex name, but it’s usually considered a male name in English-speaking countries. And suddenly this dude is hovering over me, leaning over my shoulder, so close I could feel his breath. Me: WHAT? (Finally getting a bit angry.) Him: Is that your boyfriend? Me: No, it is not. I’m trying to eat.
Him: Oh ok, cause you don’t have a boyfriend, do you? Me: No. (I should’ve lied and said yes.) Him: Ok good! As he walked away I was getting so uncomfortable I didn’t even get dessert, although I wanted to. He kept making excuses to visit my table and was beginning to talk as if I was his girlfriend or something. So I went to the register, he followed.
I asked for a to-go box for my friend, since they offered them. (My friend being next-morning-me.) Him, holding the box out of my reach: Is the friend a boy or a girl? Me: A girl, can I have it? Him: Yes it’s ok then. I don’t want you to go to any boys. I snatched the box, filled it, and tried to pay, but he immediately told me to leave without paying because he had a “special prize for a special girl.”
It was obviously without permission because he was whispering and looking around. I paid full price and walked away. Him: WAIT! (And of course, he’s running after me.) I forgot to ask your phone number! Me: It’s a Scandinavian number, you can’t dial it. Him: Where do you live then? I’ll see you tomorrow before you leave. It was dark. I’m 5’2”, alone with this guy on an almost empty street in a foreign country.
I am not planning to pick a fight. So I gave him the name of a different cheap motel in the area, then I started walking back. He followed for a few blocks, so I took a detour, hid in a store for a few minutes, and went out a different exit, and got to my motel. Closing that door behind me and hearing the click was so relieving. Sadly the restaurant didn’t have a number, email, or anywhere to let them know what happened.
All I could do was edit my Google review from my last visit to include this story.
18. Straw Man
This happened a few years ago when I made the mistake of ordering from a popular sandwich delivery chain, one that prides itself on speedy delivery. What you need to know about me is that I’m pretty easygoing when it comes to food service. The last thing I want to do is upset folks who are handling my food, largely because I don’t want to give them any reason to tamper with it.
I’m polite, I don’t complain, I don’t send food back or ask for compensation, and I always tip. Apparently, that’s not always good enough, but I digress. I was feeling a bit under the weather and didn’t feel like cooking, so my wife and I decided to order a couple of sandwiches for dinner. She ordered hers with extra peppers and a bag of chips. I got mine with a cookie and a drink.
And then we waited. An hour goes by, and I start to worry. We had ordered online, and delivery from this place usually doesn’t take very long. Maybe something went wrong. Maybe they’re busy. 30 more minutes go by. I call up the store, and am greeted by a friendly employee (FE) Me: “Hi, sorry I was just calling to check on my order, we ordered about an hour and a half ago and haven’t received it yet.” FE: “Oh, sorry about that” confirms order details “Yes, it should be out to you soon, I apologize for the long wait, we only have one driver this evening and we’re busier than usual.” Me: “No worries, I just wanted to make sure it was still coming.”
Approximately two hours after we had originally ordered, the delivery driver shows up. Having been delivery drivers ourselves, we give him the benefit of the doubt and tip him normally. No complaints. Then it hits me. He forgot my drink. I rush outside hoping to catch him, but he’s gone. Now, ordinarily, I might have shrugged it off, but since I’d already waited two hours for my food I decided to call back and was once again greeted by FE.
I explain the situation and he offers to have it sent out immediately, with a free cookie of my choice for the inconvenience. I ask if he can just take off the price of the drink from my order, and he refuses, so I accept his offer. Another 45 minutes go by before the delivery driver returns. I’m pretty annoyed at this point, but I thank him for the drink, and apologize to him since it is now just 10 minutes to closing time.
Nearly three hours after I originally ordered my meal, I sit down to enjoy my long-awaited beverage. I open the bag that contained my consolation cookie, and surprise: It’s the wrong cookie, but more importantly there’s no straw. Now, I still had no reason to suspect that the delivery driver was angry with me. I had been polite. I didn’t complain about the extremely late delivery, and I had tipped him generously.
I hadn’t wanted him to make an extra trip just to bring my drink. I just didn’t want to pay for something I hadn’t received. But I soon discovered his revenge. You see, in the absence of a straw, I had to take off the lid to enjoy my soda. Upon doing so, I realized in a moment of rage and disgust that I had been saved by his incompetence. There, on top of the ice, was an unmistakable glob of translucent off-white slime; a big, fat, hate-infused loogie.
From there, it went exactly as you might expect. I proceeded to call the store for a third time, and as calmly as possible I asked to speak to the manager, who was cooperative. This was the result: I received a full refund, obviously, and the assurance that the delivery driver would not be receiving the tip for that order, and that he would most likely be let go.
I was offered a generous store credit, which I declined since A) I would not be ordering from them any time soon, and B) I didn’t want it to seem like I just wanted free food. I was contacted by the regional manager, who was extremely apologetic and understanding, and tried again to compensate me with free food, which I again declined. He also confirmed that the delivery driver had been fired.
I was mailed an apology letter from the corporate office which included a gift card (which I gave away). I have since resumed ordering from there, but I no longer get drinks. Every time though, I still think about how I narrowly avoided becoming a victim of his poorly executed revenge. Thank goodness he forgot the straw.
19. From Beyond The Grave
Unfortunately, I lost my dad back in 2017 and then had to start the process of getting his accounts closed, which let’s face it, when that happens you can’t really be bothered to deal with it because you aren’t really emotionally equipped. Pretty much all services I called up were clowns, but the pay-TV service was the worst. So I started off giving them all the account details and my details as I was an authorized contact for the account.
Finally, get my ID confirmed, and that’s when the nightmare starts. Me for me and FCC for them. Me: Hi, unfortunately, my dad has died and I need to cancel his account. FCC: That’s sad (in a very monotone voice) but you aren’t authorized to do that. Me: I’m an authorized contact. FCC: You are able to change the plan, upgrade, and pay for the account, but can’t stop it.
Me: Ok who can then? FCC: The account holder. Me: Unfortunately he has died, that’s why I called to cancel the account. I can email or fax the death certificate to you if you need. FCC: Can you please put your father on the phone, we need to talk to him to confirm the cancellation. Me: No. Again, he is dead (I was very blunt this time) he can’t talk to anyone anymore.
FCC: You need to put him on the phone so we can confirm your story Me: Ok, you grab the candles and I’ll get the Ouija board and maybe we can get him on the line. FCC: If you aren’t going to be serious I can’t fulfill your request Me: Me be serious? You are the one asking me to put my dead dad on the phone to talk to you. You know what dead means right?
FCC: I’m aware of what dead means, but he is the only one authorized to cancel the account. I can’t speak to you about it in case you are canceling it out of spite. Me: No, I’m not trying to cancel it out of spite. I am canceling because he is dead and doesn’t need to watch TV anymore, so I don’t want to pay the bill for it. Can I please speak to a manager?
FCC: I’m sorry, until you want to take this matter seriously and allow us to talk to him to get the account canceled we can’t help. Goodbye. And she hung up on me. That’s when I had a genius idea. I messaged them from my dad’s Facebook and told them “I’m dead can you cancel my account?” About 10 seconds later, I get a message back “Sorry for your loss, your account has been canceled, where would you like the final bill sent?”
I didn’t even have to verify his date of birth, account number, nothing. What was she expecting? To hear me yell out, “Hey dad, this lady wants to confirm you’re dead, can you talk to her for a minute?”
20. A Night On The Town
So this actually happened a few years ago. My daughter reminded me about it recently. I have friends that we’ll call J and D. J and D are old-school country folk with old-fashioned down-home values. They are not poor, but save money and are frugal (but not cheap). So J and D were heading home one night on a lonely bit of highway in the middle of nowhere when they see a car on the side of the road and stop to offer assistance.
J is a bit of a shade tree mechanic and takes a look and the car had a cracked radiator hose and had overheated. While patching it up, they start yakking about this and that. J and D were celebrating their 25th anniversary in a few days and were excited about going into town and eating at their favorite restaurant, Red Lobster. Their new friend explains that he was in town to check on a restaurant he owned and would love to host their anniversary dinner as a thank you.
J and D try to decline but the guy isn’t having it. He asks them to meet him tomorrow night at the restaurant at 6 pm and gives them his card. J and D go home and tell the story to their daughter, who looked at the card and gasped. She realized that the guy was a famous actor who co-owned a VERY expensive restaurant downtown. J and D don’t want to take advantage and were tempted to not go when their daughter threatened them with anything and everything she could.
So J and D dress up in their countryfolk finest and hop in their truck. Now…their truck purrs like a kitten, but had been around. It was at least 10 years old and had been used as a truck should but was kept clean. They pull up in front of the fancy restaurant and a valet comes to open the truck door, hands them a ticket and everything seems fine.
They walk in the restaurant and this is where things get interesting. They walk up to the host stand and the host tells them that they only accept applications on certain days and that they were currently fully staffed. J and D are confused and explain to the host that they were here for dinner. The host makes a point to look them up and down and then asks if they realize dinner is minimum $100 per person?
J pulls the card out and hands it to the host, attempting to explain that he was invited by the owner. The host laughs and says something like, ” I don’t know how you got this but you are not welcome here and need to leave before I call the authorities.” J and D didn’t want to cause a scene and decide to go. While they are waiting at the valet booth, the owner shows up and asks if they enjoyed dinner and apologized for running late.
J and D don’t want to get anyone in trouble and try to mumble some excuse but the owner realized this wasn’t the same bubbly, friendly couple from last night and knows something is up. He escorts them back in for dinner. The host looks shocked to see them back but doesn’t say anything in front of the owner, who personally seats them before disappearing.
J and D ordered drinks but said they felt so out of place they just really wanted to leave. Soon the owner returns and asks the couple what happened. Not wanting to get anyone in trouble still, they try to explain it was a simple misunderstanding, but he had already gone to review the CCTV. They learned the whole truth at that point. Turns out, one of the valets had seen their truck and had come in to warn the host to turn them away because everyone knew the owner was due in and they had been told to make the best possible impression.
The owner asked for the valet and the host. He asked them both about the incident and warned them he’d already watched the tapes. Amid a hail of excuses and apologies, the owner asks if they would treat his parents that way? He never CALLED them his parents, but kind of implied it. J and D are shocked but play along with their “precious little boy” going over the top and having a blast.
Dinner is saved and J and D end up having the time of their lives being fawned over by the staff and acting out with their “son.” The owner ends up becoming fast friends with J and D and invites them to dinner whenever he’s in town. They were finally able to return the favor and had him over for dinner, which almost gave their daughter a heart attack.
As for the valet and host, neither were fired (J and D insisted) but the owner made the entire restaurant undergo retraining and warned he’d better never have similar complaints from “other relatives in the area,” leaving them to always treat customers like family.
21. In The Bag
I went to the dentist last week with painful broken teeth. My simple appointment should have taken maybe 30 minutes tops, just checking out the damage. The wonderful hygienist I had ended up making my appointment a full exam, which all in all took four hours, just so I wouldn’t have to pay anything after my insurance. After the exam, the dentist of course wants to do the most expensive things, root canals and crowns.
I express to this woman that I can’t afford over four grand. She then starts moving stuff around and letting me know if I get them pulled and do an implant and a partial I’ll save a hefty amount of money. This wonderful woman spent four hours of her day sitting in that room with me making every adjustment possible to help me out and chatting with me to keep me company.
She complimented my bag and expressed really wanting one, even calling other ladies in to look at it. I bought another one and I went back yesterday for the actual dental work and brought her that same bag as a token of my appreciation for her going above and beyond her job to help me and keep me company. She burst into tears and hugged me. She ran around showing all the ladies that she had that same bag now.
Pretty sure I just made her the queen bee of the office, hah. I feel like people aren’t vocal enough when someone does a fantastic job. They only complain when things go wrong, especially at the dentist. I hope the rest of her day was awesome because I’ve never felt that comfortable or taken care of at any other dental office. And yes I did leave a raving review with her name on their customer surveys.
22. Power Tripping
This happened when I was in my early 20s. Although I did look younger, I was over 21. My girlfriend and I were at a coffee shop that we went to a few nights a week. One of her friends shows up with her boyfriend who was 19 at the time, and he had just gotten a fake ID. There was a bar next to the coffee shop and he wanted to try it out, so I said I’d go with him.
He shows his ID to the bouncer and he lets him in. I show my ID to the bouncer and he says, “This isn’t you, this is mine now.” Granted, I had long hair on my ID but had chopped it all off. It was still obviously me if you compared faces, as my family has very distinctive eyes. I asked for it back, then told him I really didn’t care about going in as I wasn’t going to drink anyway.
His response was “call the authorities,” with a smirk on his face, thinking I wouldn’t out of fear of getting in trouble with a fake ID. Well, it’s not legal for a bouncer to confiscate a real government-issued ID, even if it’s not yours. This was also a busy shopping center, and there was always an officer walking around for security. So, I found one and reported the theft.
We both walked over to the bar and the officer asks for the ID. He looks at it then hands it to me. The officer then looks at me and asks if I’d like to press charges. I say no, but the guy still proceeds to rip the bouncer a new one, saying how lucky he is that I’m not pressing charges and that confiscating a government ID is a major problem (I think he was overly embellishing this).
The officer honestly seemed angrier than I was. I went back to coffee with my girlfriend and the officer went inside the bar, I’m assuming to speak to someone in charge, as I never saw that bouncer again at the place.
23. One Woman’s Trash…
This happened a few weeks ago and I still have a grin on my face. I went downtown to this Mexican-themed local restaurant that makes arguably the best burritos in town. I went in around lunch and it had a few customers but wasn’t overly crowded. There are two people in line: me and some woman who is ~40 or so. Now, I want to note something: If you want something like guacamole, sour cream, salsa, or anything like that that isn’t beans, rice, or meat, it costs extra.
All of this is clearly stated on the menu board. So anyway, the woman orders the three base ingredients along with a bunch of extras. The entire time, she’s friendly with the guy making the burrito. It all goes to all goes to heck when this happens. E is the employee and B is the customer: E: That’ll be $11.45 B: What the heck?! The menu said the burrito only costs $9! Why’d you jack up the price?
E: You got guacamole, pico, and salsa on your burrito; those cost extra and add to the price. B: Well, how was I supposed to know that? E: It’s on the menu board. You should have seen it. B: I don’t have time to read the entire menu! Either sell it to me for $9 or I’m gonna talk to the owner. He’s a good friend of mine and always helps me out! E: First of all, I’m not gonna give you a discount. Second, either pay for your burrito or leave. Third, I’m the owner and I’ve never met you.
What happened afterward was what I pretty much expected. B stormed out, flipping the owner off and saying she’s never going to eat here again and she’s going to give it a 1-star review on Google (that’ll show him). I suppose the owner simply ran out of patience I walked up to the register and said that I’d buy the burrito so it wouldn’t go to waste. Good burrito, too.
24. Word Salad
This happened to my brother last night when he was picking up a carryout order from one of our favorite spots. We had ordered two salads, one that came with chicken, and one that we had added chicken to as a side. When my brother double-checked the order (this place gets very busy and has been known to forget things), there was just the side order of chicken.
Brother: Hey, one of our salads is missing chicken. Waitress: Oh, you actually have the chicken right there. B: This chicken was ordered as a side. W: Oh yes, I see that here. The second salad actually doesn’t come with chicken. B: Oh, shoot, really? We didn’t know that. What was the salad called again? The Asian salad? W: It’s the Thai Chicken Salad.
B: …… W: Yeah, it’s the Thai Chicken Salad and it doesn’t come wit—Oh. Oh yeah. I see the problem, sir. I’ll be right back with your chicken. Right after that, a girl came running out of the kitchen saying, “I forgot the chickeeeeeen!” The staff was really nice about it, and our family got a pretty good laugh out of the story.
25. Wait Your Turn
As always, this happened at the local big box store, about a year ago. My dad is blind and any kind of bright lights hurt his eyes so going to stores is awful for him. He wears sunglasses even inside. He also has neuropathy in his feet, making it painful if he had to stand for too long. We were only getting a few things but since it was Friday and before a holiday, the store lanes (all two of them that were open) and the self-checkout were all full.
However, there was a cashier in the makeup department (for some reason there’s a register there) and only one other person was checking out. She had only a few things, so my dad knew that he could wait. We were told during a previous visit that we could use this line. In comes Blonde Line Jumper or BLJ. BLJ: Can I go in front of you? D: No. BLJ: I only have a few things.
D: I don’t care. I’m disabled and need to sit down soon. BLJ: You don’t look disabled. Me: He’s blind. Leave us alone. We only have a few things. You can wait just like everyone else. At this point, the older woman in front of us is done and she probably heard our conversation because she glares at BLJ but doesn’t say anything.
This is where the line jumping comes in. Like I said, dad has neuropathy and doesn’t move too fast. Because of this, BLJ took the chance to cut in front of us. The cashier (C) wasn’t having it. C: Miss, they were here first. You can now go to the end of the line (three other people had lined up behind us). BLJ: They said I could go first. I only have two things. C: No they didn’t. Now go to the back.
BLJ moved so that she was behind us. C: I said the back. BLJ left and went toward Customer Service. I don’t know if anything came out of that because we left soon after that. Dad was struggling to stand at this point and it was obvious that he was in pain. I thanked the cashier and paid for our four items.
26. Silence Is Golden
I had a pretty fast internet connection from the Big ISP in my country. It was expensive, but the quality was decent enough for me to keep their product for years. Pretty stable, and good customer service. So one day the net was down. As a tech guy myself, I know all the routines; restart router, switch, and computers. Then I plug a LAN cable directly into the router and see if a connection is possible.
Nope. The connection is gone. So I call customer service and tell the friendly girl on the other end what I did to try and reset my end of the connection. She figures out in seconds that I am tech-savvy and agrees that this needs some more digging from her side. She then tells me to please hang on while she investigates further. This is where you usually hear a click, and that horrible waiting muzak starts.
But she did not hit the mute button correctly……So I sit in total silence as I eavesdrop on the most awkward moment of my life. She curses and swears at the system, the computers, and how awful the program and menus are. She even calls over another tech guy and I clearly hear them as they both swear and curse at how bad their system is. At this point, I am almost peeing myself from held-in laughter.
Finally, they find the problem and get it fixed. So she turns her attention to me again, sees that the mute button is off, and goes, “Oh my god, you heard us?” Laughing my head off, I reassure her that all is good and that I once had worked in customer service, so I knew how frustrating it could be. She kept apologizing for a while, but I could hear the tech guy laughing behind her through the phone, and finally, she gave in and laughed too.
The router was up and running a few minutes later.
27. Personal Cheerleader
Last week, my mother and I went to a very well-known bra store that tends to advertise with the skinniest models they can find to find some bras for my wedding coming up in May. I only recently started shopping here, and the quality and customer service had been awesome for me, so I wanted her to get fitted and find a good, comfortable, quality bra for the wedding.
My mother is a bit larger than average. (She’s lost 13 pounds in the last month though! So proud of her!) She wholeheartedly believed that women of her size couldn’t shop somewhere like this. I told her about my experiences and she was willing to get sized and see if there was anything that might work for her. So, we go in and I immediately tell the associate what I’m looking for.
I say my size and the fact that I need a multiway bra that can be used with a halter dress, and she directs me to where they are and helps me find my size. I grab two different ones so that I can try them on and see which one fits best. I then introduce my mom to the associate and let her know that she needs to be sized and we’re looking to get her a bra or two after, if she finds something that’s comfortable.
She directs us to their “bra specialist” who does all the sizing. She pulls my mom back into the fitting area while I try on the bras I pulled. I can hear mom talking to her and explaining about my wedding and how she’s never been sized before and how she didn’t think someone like her could shop in this store. I hear her tell the specialist, “I hope you don’t get too grossed out having to see all my fat,” while she’s getting sized.
This AMAZING bra specialist told my mom that she was beautiful. That she was absolutely perfect the way she was. After getting her measurements, the specialist went and got a “try on” bra to see how it fit on my mom. She made comments to my mom about how she didn’t need anything that’s going to make her look fuller, just something with a little lift.
Mom tried it on, the specialist asked how it felt, told her that it looked fantastic on her….And mom started crying. Happy tears. This amazing young woman boosted my mother’s self-esteem SO MUCH that day. There was a lot of conversation that I didn’t capture here, but every time my mom would say something about how she didn’t like the way she looked, this gal flipped it around on her and complimented her.
She explained that unfortunately, they didn’t carry her band size in store, but that the girl at the register could help her order online to get the same bra she just tried on. AND if she needed it sooner than it could be shipped, there was another (non-them) store just down the way that carried her size in store. Mom ended up picking out two bras from their online store with this girl’s help.
She even got one in her favorite color!! I ended up calling the next day to talk with her manager and HEAPED the praise on. Coming out of that store, my mom was a completely new woman. She told me before we left “I never would have thought that someone like me could come here and get a bra that fits right. And that they would be so nice to me!”
28. The Food Man
So, this is from three and a half years ago, but my oldest daughter asked about this guy, and it refreshed my memory. When I was pregnant with my second daughter, I had severe hyperemesis gravidarum. I lost over 80 lbs. while I was pregnant, had home IV infusions twice a week, a 24/7 anti-emetics pump, and toward the end, I had an NG tube. It was not pleasant and was very debilitating.
Right around this time, several local places were starting to promote grocery delivery, which I was SO THANKFUL for because I could barely stand without puking, let alone drive. The man who came to deliver my groceries is a man I will NEVER forget, and now, I realize, my oldest daughter won’t either. The first time he came to the house he knocked and I answered, in pajamas and scooting with my IV pole.
He had unloaded all my groceries into my garage, but as soon as he saw me he said “There is no way I am going to expect or even let you bring the groceries in! Normally this is against policy but this just won’t do!” He brought my whole order ($300 worth of food) into the house, and even offered to help me put it away as his next order was close and he had another two hours in his delivery window.
All the while, he was so nice and listened to all the crazy stuff from my bored toddler. I’d like to add that I live at a busy intersection, and don’t have a driveway that is big rig friendly, so he had to park in a lot across the intersection, and cart all the goods over and up the hill to my driveway. From that point on for the better part of almost a year, this guy came every week, sometimes twice if I forgot something with my first order.
When he came, he brought stickers for my daughter (and a balloon and candy for Valentine’s day, and a stuffed toy another time) dog treats for my dogs, and was so unbelievably helpful. I tried to tip him once, but he explained that if he ever got caught, it was grounds for dismissal. He even took a vacation to Disneyland with his own kids, and while he was gone, left special instructions for my order for his fill-in driver.
And now that I’m typing this I remember he brought my daughter back a giant lollipop. At an absolutely grueling and awful time for myself and my family, this guy was so awesome, and was nothing short of an amazing human being. He always smiled, was positive, helpful, and never made me feel any worse than I already did, even when I knew I was probably sometimes cranky, whiney, smelly (showering was hard for me to do alone, my husband or home nurse had to help) and otherwise toward the end with the weight loss and NG tube, I’m sure I looked painfully awful as well.
None of that ever fazed this man. I did make sure corporate and his boss knew how awesome he was. I took it upon myself to write formal letters and mail them instead of using online feedback. He has since moved on to other work, but I will never forget him sitting with my daughter, on the floor with Legos, trying to distract her while the home health nurse struggled to get a line for my IV.
When my daughter asked me about the “food man” at dinner, I knew I had to share.
29. Be Careful What You Wish For
My wife and I took a friend and her husband out to a newer Thai fusion restaurant. The place looked great and the food was above average, but the staff sucked. Like super sucked. First, we ordered drinks, which showed up and were slopped all over the table and the two ladies at the end. We had to ask for a towel instead of it being offered. Next, we ordered food.
I asked about a menu item and the server said “the description is in the menu.” Momentarily shocked, I ordered my go-to, pad Thai, to which the server stated that I should have another dish. I looked at the description and said no, I just wanted pad Thai. He proceeded to argue his point but eventually conceded to my pad Thai. Food shows up…and it’s the order the server suggested.
I asked about it and he says, “try it you’ll like it.” At this point, I give in because I don’t want to cause a scene with friends and I don’t trust this jerk not to spit in my food. We finish up and decline dessert and the jerk gets huffy because of it. We get the bill and I pay rounding to the nearest dollar. I end up tipping 14.3%. The waiter sees this and, I kid you not, points to the bottom of the receipt to the “tip guide.”
Average service 20%; good service 25%; excellent service 30%. My response? “Oh, I’m sorry” scribble scribble 0% “that’s more like it.” The look on his face was perfect.
30. Special Order
So after realizing I had quite a bit more spending money than I had thought, my partner and I decided that we would go out for dinner. I had been craving mapo tofu for over a week, so after driving to a place my colleague had recommended that had already closed for the evening, we decided to go to a random little place Google maps told us mentioned mapo tofu on their menu.
We got there at about 35ish minutes before they close. I really didn’t want to bother them but I figured that might be enough time to not be a pain. No one was there other than us and I believe an employee eating dinner. A waitress greeted us and seated us with menus immediately, and brought out some tea and water too. She came back shortly after to take our order.
By the way, the waitress had a very heavy accent and there was a definite language barrier. SO = significant other. W= waitress. At this point I see the mapo tofu in the veggie section of the menu Me internally: Oh, that’s a weird place to put a pork and tofu dish… maybe they’re thinking the tofu counts it as a veggie? Weird. SO: orders his sweet and sour chicken after some questions
Me to Waitress: “Hey, the mapo tofu, that’s the tofu in the red sauce with ground pork, right?” W: “Oh, no, no pork, just veggie and tofu.” Me: insert look of my brain hitting a wall at 100mph W: “You… need more time? Maybe you’d like—lists every pork or spicy dish I was not at all listening to as I desperately glanced over the menu. At this point I basically just resigned myself to not eating anything.
I figured we already took up a table so I’d order my SOs food to go and just tip on it. M: “Oh, uhhhhh, no…no, it’s okay. We’ll, uh, we’ll just go with what he ordered and, uh, you can probably do that to go and, uh, nothing for me…thanks.” W: “You sure? Ok then, I’ll bring some hot and sour soup while waiting, no charge on the bill.” SO looks at me apologetically as I put my hands on my temples, framing my eyes as I mutter-groan softly (I thought) to him after she was well out of earshot (I thought), “Man, I just wanted mapo tofu. My GPS said they had it and everything and I’ve been wanting this for weeks.”
Apparently, I’m not as quiet as I thought The waitress stops and comes back W: “You know what, we chop pork from shredded pork dish and put in tofu. You still want? We’ll make it good!” Me, stunned: “Uh, yeah, ok, thank you!” The waitress walked off as SO and I just stared at each other at how sweet of an offer to special order that for us so close to closing time was.
About 5 minutes later, she brought out our soup, and about 10 minutes after that she brings us out these HUGE portions of food. Seriously, we currently have at least five meals worth of leftovers in the fridge. It gets better. When it came time to pay the bill, she brought boxes for our food unprompted, got us fresh scoops of rice to go because she didn’t want to send us home with spoiled rice, and also gave us a freaking QUART of the soup because we seemed to like it.
At this point SO and I are trading awkward glances like “she did NOT have to do any of this, she’s so nice.” So I did what any completely sane person would do. I tipped $20 on a $19 order. She gave us a to-go menu so we could look it over if we ever wanted to try anything else in the future and saw us out before going to pick up the tip. As we were leaving, she came hurrying out of the restaurant (we parked directly in front of it) to thank us profusely over the tip which I just super awkwardly brushed off like “Oh, yes, no problem, thanks for the service.”
Super freaking awkward on my end because as someone with mostly NY heritage who works in customer service, I just expect some impersonal level of casual, normal rudeness. Seriously, people thanking me and going out of their way like this for me bothers me inherently; I have a problem, send help.
31. The Ones Who Came Before
I just got reminded of this. A few years ago, I had stopped by a well-known fast-food place on my way home to get breakfast for everyone. I get to the counter, make my order, and then when she asked if there was anything else I decided that since I was there I’d get some ice cream. She took a deep breath, grabbed the counter, and said, “I’m sorry, the ice cream machine is down.”
I shrugged and said, “Okay. I’ll have an apple pie then.” She looked at me. Her eyes got wide and watered and soon she was outright sobbing. I had no idea what I’d done. The manager came out to see what was wrong (as she very well should have) and I explained the situation. Then I said, “Is it the pie? Are you out of pie too? It’s okay; I probably shouldn’t be eating sweets anyway!” And the cashier just sobbed harder.
The manager gave her a comforting hug and said, “Sorry. The guy in front of you was a real jerk.”
32. Money Can’t Buy Happiness
At our local grocery store, there is a fully functioning bank. An older gentleman gets $700 out of the ATM. He sticks it in the top pocket of his shirt and starts walking out of the store. I honestly don’t know how he didn’t notice it falling out and then dropping all around him, but he didn’t. There are quite a few people around and I’m concerned someone is going to try and take this money if I don’t pick it up quickly.
I yell after the man, “Sir! Sir! Sir!” But he isn’t responding, just continues walking. I’m frozen for a moment. Do I run after him and leave the money, or pick it up so it’s not all over the ground and then try to catch him…As I’m thinking, a young employee runs out the door after him, also calling for him. I finish picking up all the money, get it neatly organized just as the man approaches me. It all went wrong here.
I go to hand it to him, and he roughly jerks it out of my hand, turns away from me, and says, “It better all be here!” Then starts counting it. At that point, I just walked away. I can’t ever imagine being that rude to someone. I just picked up all your money, stood there fixing it into a neat pile, and go to nicely hand it to you, and that’s how you respond?! I now wish I hadn’t and you dropped it someplace where it was taken. Jerk!
33. Me First
I was at the grocery store, and I had about $200 worth of goods in my cart. I get to the checkout and start unloading. I get about a third of my items out of the cart and onto the belt, when behind me, a lady starts putting her things on the belt. “Hi, you might want to wait until I’m done, I have a bunch of stuff left” I mention as I do a The Price is Right-style open-hand reveal of my still substantially filled cart.
She says, and I quote, “Oh, that’s okay.” and she keeps putting items on the belt. “No, you don’t understand. I am not done putting my stuff on the belt, if you don’t remove yours, our stuff will get mixed up. And I’m not paying for your groceries.” “I don’t have much, it’s okay, don’t worry about it” she says, as if the cashier can magically keep or orders separate, like the 2-into-1 lines at a fast-food drive-thru.
“Uhh… ma’am…you don’t understand, I’m not done yet!” Now, I’m getting frustrated. Of course, she just keeps ignoring me. I knew what I had to do. I grab the yellow plastic separator thing—you know that bar you put between your groceries and the next in line—and place it between her groceries and mine. I then use it to sweep her groceries back, like that arm that sweeps up the fallen pins at the bowling alley.
This of course gives me room to continue unloading. Which I do. And as I continue to push, one hand on the bar, the other unloading my cart, her groceries are starting to fall off the edge of the belt. She huffs, gives me a look, and a “Well, fine!” then arm sweeps her stuff back into her basket and storms off to find another checkout lane. Wow. Some people…
34. Holiday Cheer
I joined a Secret Santa at work, and it had a $20 limit. My pick wanted soft winter wear. I went to a store that sells everything and their winter gear was half-off. Awesome! So I picked up a soft scarf and a pair of gloves. I didn’t have much ringing out, so I went through the self-checkout. When I scanned the gloves, they were 22 dollars. I had gotten them confused with a different pair.
I hit the void button and the very busy self-checkout cashier came up and took them from me and asked what was wrong with them. “Nothing, I’m so sorry. I got mixed up.” “How much did you expect them to be?” I was getting pretty embarrassed at this point. “I thought they’d be 12 dollars, I got confused, I’m so sorry.” He then over-rode my purchase and punched them in at 12.99.
These were originally 44 dollar gloves. I thought this guy was being mean and just being stressed from holiday retail, but he was so kind. I thanked him profusely and I’m so sad I couldn’t speak to a manager about how great he was because I was scared he’d get in trouble about the discount. It meant a lot. My co-worker was so happy with her gift, and so was I.
35. Busting A Gut
When I was around eight years old, my mom took me to her co-worker’s wedding. During the reception, I was quietly sitting around bored so my mother nudged me and asked me if I’d like to get a soda from the bar. This was a Very Big Deal because we grew up very poor. Like, poor to the point I thought it was normal to eat cornflakes with water because milk was a treat for rich people.
I was always really anxious about money being spent on me and as a result, I’d always feel so guilty. My mother reassured me and told me not to worry because the drinks were free as part of the wedding. She told me I just needed to go up to the bar and ask for a drink and I would get one and I wouldn’t need money. Mind you, the entire restaurant/bar was booked out for the wedding so it’s not like I could have been mistaken as a separate diner who had to pay.
I walk alone up to the bar and see a young woman of around ~22 behind the counter who stares down at me with an annoyed look on her face. I was still really worried about the money issue since I’d never heard of free drinks before, so I shyly asked her, “Um…Is it true that the drinks are free?” I’m a tiny kid and I’d never heard of catering. The way she treated me still haunts me to this day.
The woman stops polishing her and lets out this loud snort. She then starts smirking. She stared at me silently with that smirk on her face for at least five seconds (which is actually really long when it happens to you) and then without taking her eyes off me, she tilts her head and loudly calls out, “Oi, Melissa!! Come over here!” And then she starts cracking up laughing.
A second waitress wanders out of a room behind the counter, stands next to the first waitress, and glances at us curiously. She asks what’s up. The first waitress sticks her arm out and points her index finger right in my face and while still cackling, she tells Melissa, “This little girl thinks the drinks are FREE.” Melissa howls with laughter and they both stand like a meter in front of me, one still pointing straight at me, just straight up jeering and laughing uncontrollably.
I’m beyond confused and I feel so tiny and humiliated. I thought it was an innocent question? Why are they both making such a big deal about this? They continued laughing and clutching each other for so long that I started to turn away and walk out on the verge of tears. That makes them stop laughing as hard and Melissa yells out “Oi!” I turn back. Melissa says to me in an extremely condescending voice, “They’re not free, they’re on the house.”
I’ve never heard of that phrase before and I’m still scared from their reactions so I just kind of froze. They sneer harder and go on to say that “on the house” means I won’t have to pay so hurry up and tell them what drink I want. And now my earliest memory of Fanta is sitting quietly at the table next to my mom drinking it and feeling so ashamed and tearful because I still didn’t understand why I didn’t have to pay if it wasn’t free, but that it must be my fault for being stupid because grown-ups wouldn’t react so strongly unless they had a reason.
Obviously, I know better now. I know it’s such a minor incident since it’s not like it cost me any money, but their reactions were so over the top. I’m now older than they were at the time and I simply can’t understand calling over your co-worker to point at and mock a child who was too little to know the difference between “free,” “on the house,” and “don’t have to pay.” I honestly didn’t exaggerate anything about their reactions.
36. Healthy Boundaries
This was almost six years ago, when our daughter was only a few weeks out of the NICU after being born more than 10 weeks early. She is now fine and doing great in Kindergarten. When we first brought her home, she still needed a lung and heart monitor to make sure she was breathing properly. She was born in February, so most of the time we would keep her home due to the extreme Midwestern weather.
But occasionally we’d want to take her out and feel like a normal family with a newborn. Obviously, additional precautions needed to be taken. We had a baby carrier cover to protect from the weather, but that gets quite warm so we started to use a mosquito net in order to keep random strangers from just reaching in and touching her. This worked amazingly.
It was important because she had a severely low immune system and any little bug could send her right back to the NICU. So this was a very big deal for us. We started using this net because it was an issue with complete strangers just walking up and touching our newborn. Not cool to do, by the way. And it mostly worked great, people could still see her and get all mushy over her, but couldn’t easily get to her without us noticing.
Well, this one particular day, we went to the grocery store to get a few items. All is going fine, mosquito net is working great. We go to self-checkout so we can get finished quickly and get her home. The woman attending the self-checkout apparently notices that we have a newborn and wants to see her. No problem, peek through the net like everyone else, right? Nope.
This woman thinks it’s OK to just lift the net and rub her cheeks. This woman works with money all day. Her hands have to be absolutely riddled with germs. We say politely not to lift the net, and not to touch her as she has an immune disorder. The woman actually says oh no, that’s OK, I’m sure she’ll be fine and keeps reaching into the carrier. My wife puts the net back down rather forcefully and says, no it’s not OK, and please don’t reach in there again.
I was grabbing a soda from the “last-minute coolers” at the register, when I hear a horrible sound. It is very clearly skin-to-skin contact from a slap. Apparently, the woman went back to our daughter while my wife was loading cash into the machine. My wife spotted her at the last second and reached over and slapped the heck out of the woman’s hand.
Now, this woman was easily in her late 60s. My wife and I were a very young-looking 27 at the time. She was just beside herself that someone had the nerve to slap her hand. She actually started scolding my wife about being disrespectful to her elders. So, my wife says let me speak to a manager NOW! Suddenly a look of “Oh God, what have I done” comes over this woman’s face.
As the manager is approaching, the cashier is being very apologetic and trying to calm the situation down now. My wife tells the manager what happened, and then told her about how the cashier responded. We didn’t stick around for what was said to the woman, but we never saw her again. The manager is now the GM at another location that we shop at now that we’ve moved, and she still remembers us.
Our daughter is always so excited to see her and talk to her about how things are going in school.
37. Double Dipping
I’ve been dealing with some really severe health issues, and am also visually disabled and don’t drive. I’m definitely doing better than I was before, but can sometimes be hit out of nowhere with flareups. Now, because of my eyes, I can’t navigate by bus, so I pretty much get rides from family/friends/neighbors and/or use Uber/Lyft when I really need to go somewhere.
So, on Monday I had a pretty important appointment in the afternoon to deal with matters related to my grandma’s estate, as she recently passed away. The plan was, I’d take a Lyft to my meeting, then run some errands in the area (pick up my meds, etc.), and then would go to the restaurant next door to have something to eat and my mom could meet me there when she got off work shortly after.
Everything goes according to plan, it’s all a pretty good day, and so on, until I get to the restaurant, and it immediately goes badly. I order and everything okay, but then start suddenly feeling really sick. So, I text my mom to let her know and ask her to please hurry, and nibble at my food and such while I wait for her. I also pay the check in full with my usual 20% tip and such, but don’t really pay much attention because I’m pretty out of it by then.
So, my mom gets there to get me, but even with having taken my meds, I need to run off to the bathroom. In the meantime, my mom glances at the check that’s still on the table and notices that it’s wrong. The restaurant has early dining specials before 6:00. In fact, these early prices are programmed into the computer that calculates the checks to make it easier on the staff, as we know because we’re regulars and on a first-name basis with all the managers.
It’s only a $2.00 difference, but the waitress had literally done a manual override to charge the full price. So, my mom asks for a drink for herself on a separate check while she waits for me because I’m really sick, and asks the waitress to please fix my check while she’s at it. I get back to the table to sip my lemonade for a few minutes while I see if it’s safe to get in the car, only to have the waitress come back, hand my mom something, and basically straight up toss a new check into my lap.
“Here, you just sign this.” Now, granted, I was pretty out of it, but not so much so as to not remember having already signed a check, so I was pretty confused. I open it up to look, and see my mom’s glass of red on there now. So, I’m just like, “Oh, okay, I guess I’m paying for your drink.” My mom looks up, startled, from what I can now see is her own check.
“Wait… what? Let me see that!” Sure enough, the waitress had fixed the early dine price thing, but when I was too out of it to notice that the first time around and my mom had told her how sick I was, she went ahead and put my mom’s drink on my check as well, as well as printing my mom her own check for that same glass, apparently counting on me to just blindly sign it.
My mom literally took both checks directly up to the manager. The full meal and drink and all ended up being zeroed out, because it was all so blatant. So, this waitress turned a 20% tip on two separate checks into no tip and a loss for the restaurant. I’ll be surprised if we keep seeing her in there.
38. Never Have I Ever
I was not there when this happened, but my husband told me right after the event. He was in line to pay for his groceries later at night, and the young female cashier checking out the woman in front of him was being talked to by another, older female cashier. The older cashier is bugging the younger one about any boyfriends, and the young one is looking uncomfortable about the conversation.
She looks shy and possibly a bit underdeveloped. The young one is saying she hasn’t had a boyfriend, and the older one puts up her two fingers in a “v” and goes “it’s because you’re one of these” and then smirks at the customers in line. Obviously very embarrassed, the young girl tells the older woman to stop, and that she’s uncomfortable. The older woman doesn’t stop.
My husband is furious at this behavior and obvious harassment. He is a wonderful and sweet person, but the moment you behave poorly, you will be getting a stern talking to. It’s like when you get in trouble from your most respected teacher. He means business and you will know deep down in your bones that you were in the wrong. He turned the full force of his anger on this woman.
He calls the older woman out for making the girl uncomfortable. She makes a comment about it being “just a joke.” He tells her it’s not a joke, it’s harassment, and that she’d better apologize, right now. She makes some sort of other excuse and he cuts her off and demands the apology again. She finally meekly apologizes to the girl—She actually apologized to him first, and he says, “Why are you apologizing to me?! Apologize to her!”
He got the name of the manager and told her to expect to be hauled into the manager’s office tomorrow. He let the woman sweat, and didn’t call the manager for a few days to make her think that maybe she was in the clear. When he did call, the manager was appalled that this happened and said he would deal with the woman right away. I bet it wasn’t the first time this happened for that poor girl, but I’m hoping it was the last time.
39. The Milk Of Human Kindness
I had to run some errands in town on the third consecutive day above 113°F and my three-month-old baby was not having it. I walked into a new café to sit down and feed her when she started screaming loudly. I went up to the counter pretty flustered and ordered a coffee quickly. The waitress says, “I’m sorry but the machine is down, do you have cash?”
My baby started crying louder so I apologized and asked if they don’t mind me leaving my stroller behind for a minute so that I’d run down and withdraw some cash while I feed my little one. Meanwhile, the waitress had stuck her head back into the kitchen and spoke quietly to an older man (presumably the owner), then said to me, “You sit down, you’re not to worry about it. I’ll bring the coffee over to you, which size were you after again?”
I thanked her and said I’d go to get the money as soon as I’d finished feeding, and she shook her head and said, “No way, this one is on the house.” I went and got the money anyway as soon as my baby settled, and when I got back to the counter I ordered lunch from a different waitress and asked to pay for both the food and the coffee I’d been given earlier. The new waitress shook her head as well and said, “Nope, she gave you that coffee for free didn’t she, you’re not paying.”
I left the change in the tip jar (despite their protests) and will be back for many a meal in the future.
40. On A Wing And A Prayer
A couple of nights ago, I was getting off the night shift at my own restaurant and craving some chicken wings, so I went to this place down the street. It’s this sports pub-type joint on a college campus. It was some night in the middle of the week, so it wasn’t really busy. I asked the hostess if I could get a seat near an outlet (phone was low battery) and she took me to a four-top.
The server comes over and asks if I’m waiting for anyone else. I said no and his face immediately changes. He’s like “Oh…okay…” before taking my drink and app order. Now, I was the soul unlucky enough to have a table near the point-of-sale system. This dude either had no idea how to whisper or just didn’t care, because I soon heard everything he was saying.
He and another server were debating on whether or not I got stood up. He also said something along the lines of, “She better be a great tipper because I’m losing money having her at that four-top” and “I could be serving a bigger party there and make better tips.” Stuff like that. But it got so much worse from there. First, he brought me the wrong flavor of wings.
I politely told him (I get it, mistakes happen) and he huffed and made that same snarky annoyed face before taking the wings back. When he dropped off my wings and drink, he plops them on the table and rushes off before I could even say anything. I had to call him a couple of times so I could put in my entree. After receiving my entree, it had been so long since he came to my table that I had to ask another server to flag him down so that I could order dessert.
The options on the dessert menu were different types of sundaes, but I just wanted the ice cream, so I asked if I would be able to just get a couple of scoops of vanilla ice cream. This dude snickers and is like “Yeah, I guess we could do that…” I watched almost two episodes of TV on my phone in the time it took for him to come back to my table for the check.
I probably could’ve just flagged another server again, but it’s not their responsibility to check on my table, it’s the other dude’s. I usually tip 25-30% but I tipped 15% because the service wasn’t that great. He goes to the point of sale and he’s laughing with the same server from before and showing her my receipt and being like, “Wow seriously? I can’t believe that’s my tip.”
I’m not usually a “I wanna speak to the manager” person, but if it weren’t late at night and if I weren’t ready to go to home and sleep, I probably would’ve gotten a manager. I liked the food there and everyone else seemed nice except for those two servers. Thank God for nametags, so next time I go, I can request to not be put in either of their sections.
41. The Root Of All Evil
So yesterday was my son’s 10th birthday. Last year we put his $50 birthday money from his grandpa into a new savings account at a local bank. He was crazy excited about the concept of his money increasing over time (simple interest). We even took him into the bank and explained the whole concept in front of the bank officer. He was more excited about getting mail than anything else, so we gave him the envelopes unopened.
Yesterday, we went over with his new birthday check…only to find that his balance had dropped and was around $35. The bank was charging him $5 every quarter to let him know by US mail he had earned a few pennies. The bank never mentioned the $5 charge or offered e-statements. I guess the good old days of opening a savings account to learn about simple interest are behind us and the days of banks sucking every fee they can off their customers are upon us.
Still, the kid actually did learn a lesson about banks.
42. Bad First Impression
So I recently switched doctors. I’m under Tricare as I’m a veteran and the doctor I’ve seen since I’m 14 suddenly doesn’t take my insurance. Anyway, I made my first appointment. Me and my significant other arrived at the appointment a half hour early as stipulated to fill out paperwork. I fill out the paperwork and I’m sitting waiting for the doctor.
The doctor is in a practice it’s her and another female doctor. Anyway, I’m sitting there and my SO and I are browsing the Internet, and out comes this tiny terror of a doctor. I hear the front office lady going, “Doctor, it’s not them!” However, too late. She gets in our faces and starts going off on me about how her time is precious and how I showed up an hour late, etc.
Meanwhile, two of her staff members are literally shouting at her, “It’s the wrong patient!” The patient, as it turns out, is an elderly lady who was late because the facility she was at was told the wrong time. She is now sobbing. The lady is like 85 with severe Parkinson’s, and her aide is this big burly guy who is now also ticked off.
I’m still being told what a piece of trash I am. Finally, my actual doctor comes out and basically drags this other doctor into her office. The medical assistant is trying to put out fires, but the old lady is just done by now and her aide takes her home and tells the front desk his facility will be filing a complaint and not bringing back any of their patients. My SO, who is fiery, is really mad, but I’m way laid back and was just amused by the entire thing.
I was more upset she made the old lady cry. Finally, my doctor comes out to me again and she takes us into an exam room. She apologizes and tells us her partner is going through some personal issues. She was nice and did apologize but pretty much left it at that. We told her we won’t be back and my SO and I will be filing a complaint as well.
43. Whipped Into Shape
I recently went to my local coffee shop for a blended frozen mocha with extra whip. Normally at this chain when they make your drink they will fill the cup but a little extra remains in the blender, which I assume gets tossed. If you ask for extra whipped cream you might get slightly less beverage, which is fine with me. I’m just here for the whip.
Anyways, she made my drink, then poured it into the cup. Seeing that there was a little extra in the blender, she poured it into another cup and then topped both cups off with heaps of whipped cream and a delectable drizzle of mocha sauce. She did the same with my friend’s drink. Maybe it’s not great for the environment to use so many cups, but this gesture absolutely made my day.
I told her this and thanked her, and also contacted the company to tell them of her outstanding service (leaving out the particulars of supersizing drinks at no charge). If you’re reading this, thank you generous barista, for knowing what I really mean when I ask for extra whip!
44. A Little Patience Goes A Long Way
My boyfriend and I went to a restaurant for dinner on Easter. The whole shtick of the restaurant was the 90+ beers on tap. When we got there, the hostess let us know their CO2 had blown and they were working on getting a new one, and she wouldn’t be upset if we wanted to leave. We ended up staying anyways, and I’m glad we did. I used to work as a server, so I could tell right away they were in the weeds.
The service was still great, and they did their absolute best. I asked for a cup of ranch to go with my fries, and the server forgot to bring it out. He remembered halfway through the next time he checked in and immediately began profusely apologizing. I interrupted him right away with “Don’t even worry about it. I’ve been there before. It’s all good.”
I could SEE the relief wash over him. I’m talking his whole body relaxed as he asked, “You’re a server?” I told him I used to and that I know exactly what he’s going through right now. He relaxed even more and began describing the horrible shift he was working. It was nice to see how he relaxed when he realized I was a server and wasn’t going to blow up on him, but it made me a bit sad that servers/retail workers/etc. have been so conditioned to automatically expect mistreatment from customers.
45. Standing Up For Yourself
My wife has been an endurance runner and triathlete for years. She’s in incredible shape. Two months ago, however, she got into a horrible car accident. A sloshed guy plowed into her and her sister. Thankfully they both are ok, but my wife suffered multiple fractures and two leg operations with pins, etc. Recently she’s been feeling much better and is home from the hospital and rehab, so we wanted to go out for dinner.
Now, she does have a wheelchair but she’s been doing really great with her physical therapy and is using crutches, so we decided to go to a chain restaurant here in town. Mind you, my wife has a heavy brace on her leg and obviously, it’s visible that she’s got an injury. We go into the restaurant with a six-minute wait. Cool, we take a seat and suddenly a family of 10 piles in.
It’s kids, a pregnant woman, and a miserable older lady. I get up, as does one of the other men sitting. The pregnant woman says thank you and gives us a smile as she sits. Granny gives my wife the stank eye, then she sits down and asks her, “How old are you? Didn’t your mother teach you manners?” My wife looks at her, like what the heck lady. She tells the woman she had surgery and has to stay off her leg.
The woman grunts and then looks at my wife, “lazy cow.” My wife ignores her and starts showing me something on her phone. This woman then intentionally knocks my wife’s crutches onto the floor. “I said get up!” She gives us both a glare. Thankfully, her daughter and son-in-law stepped in, and our table was ready. We get our food, eat our delicious meal, and get our bill.
The manager comes to see us, he’s a Black man, as is my wife. He tells us the hostess told him how rude the lady was to us. Apparently, she let loose with a bigoted rant after we left. Her family was completely mortified and the hostess had alerted the manager. Unfortunately, they turned away her party thanks to her behavior, I say unfortunately as her family seemed like good people.
The manager offered us free dessert and apologized again. Class act and we will definitely be going to eat there again.
46. Pay It Forward
I got up early this Sunday morning and treated myself to a buffet breakfast at a restaurant I frequent. The buffet is self-serve and the waiters clean up and bring drink refills. The place was slammed. I was seated in my favorite waiter’s section, a young man from Bosnia who is working his way through college. He’s always pleasant, friendly, upbeat, and highly attentive.
I love being served by him. On this very busy day, people are being very demanding, as well as rude, but my boy takes it all in stride and just keeps on working. I noticed, however, that these cheap, demanding jerks are all leaving a dollar or two, or stiffing him altogether while leaving a nasty mess at the table. When I left, I went to the wait-station and pressed a $20 into his hand.
He processed it for a second and then said, “Let me get you some change.” (His first thought is not of himself.) I said, no, that’s for you. Looks like you have a bad day ahead of you; I hope this helps make up for it. He started tearing up, pressed both my hands and said thank you, which made me tear up!
47. Not A Drama-Free Evening
My boyfriend and I were out for an anniversary lunch. We went to a slightly fancy place because it’s a celebration, but somewhere we had been before, so we knew it, and most importantly trusted them. This is because my boyfriend has celiac disease. He was diagnosed years ago, before going gluten-free as the fad began. This means zero bread, zero pasta, zero pastry—simple enough to understand, right? Apparently not.
So we went to this place before because they claimed to have contamination-free areas for preparing dishes for those who requested it. They also had specific “free” products, including gluten-free bread and pasta. They were as good as their word—my boyfriend had a great meal, and didn’t have any pains or repercussions afterward, something uncommon for us.
It was a no-brainer to go here again, and we checked online to make sure that there weren’t any bad reviews or red flags about dining with allergies. This time was different. We got there in good time, were sat down and ordered drinks, and decided on what we wanted. The menu, as it had done before, clearly stated the gluten-free options available.
We’d seen online that someone had ordered a gluten-free filled pasta, which is something my boyfriend loves. Our initial waitress was as helpful as anything when we asked about it, saying that they did indeed have the pasta but served it in a slightly different sauce as the kitchen couldn’t promise that the original sauce was safe from cross-contamination. My boyfriend was happy enough with that and ordered it as his entrée.
He had a plain salad as his appetizer, which we were also told was gluten-free. Appetizers come and are eaten, we drink and shamelessly flirt because why not, and wait for our entree. They both come out promptly, but it’s clear that the sauce served with my boyfriend’s pasta is the normal sauce and not the sauce that the waitress said would come with it. We queried it, and the waitress said that it must have been a mix-up with a normal meal placed at the same time.
She came back a few minutes later saying that the kitchen had already sent out the gluten-free meal, but was making a new dish already and it would be out as soon as possible. She also comped our appetizers and said she’d see if she could sweet-talk the shift manager and get us a free dessert since it was our anniversary and since we’d be in there for a little bit longer. Then it all went so wrong.
I can only say what I saw, which was the waitress going over to a middle-aged woman standing by the bar, talking for a minute, and pointing over in our direction. The next thing we know, the woman has sped over to our table and is asking what kind of scam we’re pulling. We said nothing since we were confused about why she was being so confrontational, and she started going on about how the pasta was definitely gluten-free and we had no reason to send it back.
My boyfriend started to explain that it was the sauce that was the issue since we were only going on what we were told and apparently it wasn’t safe for celiacs. The manager then started snarling about how she was so fed up with the “craze,” and that kids like us (we’re in our early 20s, so we’re probably just arrogant millennials to her) are so sensitive that we need all these labels.
The waitress brought over the new dish of pasta at that point, but the manager snatched it from her and started taking it back to the kitchen, saying that the “precious table” couldn’t eat anything unless the chef told her that it was all safe to eat. I really wish we had left then, but the waitress looked so nervous that I felt like we had to stay just so we could tip her well when we finally left.
The manager and the food came back a couple of minutes later. She kept a tight hold on the dish, asking sarcastically if we felt safe yet, or does she need to drag the head chef away from his job to please us. My boyfriend said that everything was fine and even thanked her for her level of care (he’s the calm and collected one, I was ready to flip) and started eating as quickly as possible, if only to get out of there.
I was halfway done with mine anyway, so we just sat and ate until we were both done. I was seething that our anniversary had been ruined so soon by the manager’s attitude, but the worst was still to come. We flag down the waitress as soon as we are done and say we want the bill. She says she understands completely and apologizes for everything.
She’s gone for a little while and comes back as white as a sheet. She says she went into the kitchen to check on another order and saw a pasta dish that looked exactly like the dish my boyfriend had sitting alone on a side. She asked if it was meant to be going out, and she is told that it’s the one that the manager brought back in about 15 minutes ago.
The waitress says the manager brought it back out to the customer, but she is told that the manager cornered the chef who was doing the pasta style dishes and told him to drain some normal pasta and serve it with the gluten-free sauce for a particularly demanding customer who didn’t “need” the gluten-free pasta. Guess who just ate a whole dish of gluten? My celiac boyfriend.
The waitress had comped more or less everything but the drinks. I insisted that we paid for all of my dishes, and then gave her a pretty big tip on top. We didn’t know what the deal with comped meals was, but she didn’t deserve to lose out on a table because of her manager. To cut out the gruesome bits somewhat, my anniversary afternoon and evening has been and will be spent with my boyfriend shut in the bathroom as things come out of both ends.
His stomach has bloated so much that he looks several months pregnant. He will be having repercussions from this for weeks, and maybe even months. I am so annoyed that I don’t even want to write a review about it since I will end up threatening the manager on a very aggressive, personal level. I want to call anyone and everyone, from my mom to the local news, about this.
I keep on bearing in mind that if I go nuclear, and I can, then people like the poor waitress who served us will be out of a job.
48. Dog Day Afternoon
My vet has been after me to take my dog to get his teeth cleaned. I made an online appointment to drop him off and received a confirmation email of my appointment time being 9 am. A couple of days before the appointment, I received another reminder email with 9 am. I arrive to the clinic at 8:45 am and check in with the receptionist. They ask me to have a seat and they’ll come get my dog quickly to take him back.
About 30 minutes later, after no one had come, I asked the receptionist if there was a delay and she responded, “Well, you should have been here at 7 am. So since you’re late it’s taking longer.” I replied that the appointment time I received and confirmed was for 9 am. She refused to accept my answer and continued to say that it was 7 am and it doesn’t matter what I received.
I politely sat back down to wait again instead of engaging in an argument. Shortly after, they came to take my dog back to clean his teeth. I spoke with the vet tech and they said that the reason for the 7 am arrival was for blood work but it wasn’t a big deal and they’d get it done still. Before leaving, I looked up the email on my phone and of course, it said 9 am. I proceeded to try to show the email to the receptionist, who didn’t even look at the email and instead said, “I don’t have control over the emails sent. That’s corporate.”
I responded that she may not be responsible for sending the emails but she works for the company that does and should be able to provide the feedback. She smirked at me and kept to her story, that it wasn’t her problem and it was my fault I wasn’t informed of the early arrival. The smirking is what sent me over the top. She began to act as if she wanted to physically fight, which was fine with me, but the lead tech came out to defuse the situation.
Eventually, I left to do a few errands while they completed the teeth cleaning. But it was far from over. 3 pm rolls around and I began to get worried that I hadn’t heard from the vet since 9 am. I attempted to call with no answer. After a few tries, someone answered. I asked about my dog and they simply responded with, “He’s doing good. He’s been out to pee and they should be calling you soon.” We hung up. 4:30 pm comes and I’m starting to get more and more upset that I have no idea what’s going on.
I tried calling and despite numerous calls, I couldn’t get through. I called corporate, who also was having trouble getting through. Corporate told me the only way to truly speak with someone was to GO THERE. I tell the guy on the phone he better hope he gets a hold of them before I get there to warn them I’m coming, because it won’t be pretty. I drive 30 minutes with corporate still trying to get a hold of them.
I park, get out of the car, walk up to the front desk and wait for the receptionist. Corporate comes back on the phone saying they still can’t get a hold of them. I tell the guy “I know. I’m right here waiting for the receptionist to stop ignoring me and I’m watching them ignore your phone calls.” At the vet, I ask about my dog. THEY HADN’T EVEN COMPLETED THE TEETH CLEANING. MY DOG HAD BEEN KENNELED FOR 8 HOURS FOR NOTHING.
At this point, my voice is raised and I’m not holding anything back. The same lead vet tech comes out to discuss with me and while I’m explaining that just that morning the receptionist (who wasn’t there anymore) had argued with me about needing to be there at 7 am FOR NOTHING. That it wouldn’t have mattered whether I got there at 7 am or camped out in the parking lot, they wouldn’t have completed my dog’s cleaning anyway.
I also pointed out the fact that NO ONE communicated with me about them not being able to get to my dog. Then I got sent over the edge. What does this vet tech do? SHE SMIRKS AT ME. I couldn’t even contain the rage anymore. I started lecturing her about the smirking and the fact that the SAME behavior is what set me off with the morning receptionist.
She swore she wasn’t smirking and apologized but it was too late. I told her if they don’t bring me my dog I will go back there myself and get him. An employee in the store (the vet clinic is inside a pet store) who was leaving stopped in his tracks and began watching the altercation between me and the lead vet tech. He stood there for about five minutes, holding an empty water jug, about 15-20 feet away.
After I finished giving the vet tech a lecture I turned to the employee and said “Can I help you? You can keep it moving. This isn’t a show.” His response was to turn around and walk back into the grooming salon that was right next to the vet and point at me as he gossiped to his coworkers. Me? I waved! I yelled: “Where’s YOUR manager?” He came back out and told me HE was the manager and he was worried about the vet tech’s safety.
I turned to the vet tech and asked her if she felt threatened and she replied no. I pointed out to him that he wasn’t needed and if he was soooooo worried about her safety he should have been much closer than 20 feet away for so long and shouldn’t have retreated to his grooming salon until I called him out for gossiping. As I’m talking to him, a woman appears and asks what’s going on. It got real interesting.
Guess what? SHE was the manager. I tell her that homeboy wanted to be an onlooker and then go and gossip to other employees. She tells me he wouldn’t do that. I tell her at this point all I want is to leave. All I want is my dog and I’m gone. They bring my dog out while the manager, grooming employee, and lead vet tech are there. Homeboy tries to pet my dog!
As I’m trying to leave, the lady who runs the clinic comes out and tells me she wants to talk. I respond that I’m done talking and they’ve lost my dog as a patient. She continues to try to get me to speak with her so finally, I give in. I don’t wanna be rude to an older lady. As I’m describing everything I’ve been through, the incorrect time on the email, the receptionist with the attitude, my dog being contained for 8 hours for no reason, the lead vet tech’s smirking, the employee who couldn’t mind his business…she proceeds to tell me that they KNEW when I dropped him off that they wouldn’t be able to get to him because of another emergency.
SAY WHAT?! She also tells me they’re having a lot of trouble with the employees at the clinic and she’s upset at my experience and wants the opportunity to do better. She offers to clean my dog’s teeth if I bring him in again, to which I replied absolutely not. I’ve got problems with at least two of your employees and you want me to trust your team to take good care of my dog?
You’re crazy. I left and vowed never to shop at the pet store nor use the clinic or grooming salon ever again. Good riddance!
49. Bon Voyage
I booked a cabin through Expedia for a little two-night getaway with my wife and 11-month-old son. Their “front desk” (a remote building miles away from the cabins) is only open until 7 pm. We wouldn’t be able to arrive until much later, so they suggested that they could just give me the combination to the door lock over the phone the day of arrival and I could formally check in the next morning.
This seemed reasonable so we got the code and drove out there. We arrived around 10 pm and I had my wife stay in the car with our son. I wanted to make sure we had the right cabin and that the code worked before waking my son up and carrying him out of the car in 30-degree weather. When I walked into the cabin, all of the lights were off except for the bathroom…I could see light under the crack in the door.
I assumed the cleaning crew just left the lights on in there. I’ve never been more wrong in my life. As I got closer, I heard someone was clearly on the toilet. To my surprise, my immediate reaction wasn’t fear or surprise, I was just trying to figure out how to handle the situation. Do I knock on the door? Do I say something loudly from the living room? Do I wait for him to finish and walk out on his own? This was certainly a first for me…
I decided to turn on all of the lights, get a good sense of the floor plan and layout, and see if anyone else was in the cabin. It appeared that everything in the rooms was untouched and it was just the one guy in the bathroom, so I just got prepared to confront him when he got out. I wasn’t expecting a physical altercation but I made sure I knew where anything was that I could trip on, anything that could be used as a weapon, etc.
In hindsight, I probably should have just left the cabin and called the front desk, but it didn’t seem necessary in the moment. The mystery pooper (or “MP” for short) walked out of the bathroom and was pretty shocked to see me standing there. “Who are you and how did you get in here?” I said, firmly. MP: “Uh…um…I thought this was our unit. Sorry…”
Me: “This is not your unit. Again, how did you get in here?” MP: “Uh…” Me: “What is the code to the door?” MP: “XXXX” Me: “How did you get that code?” MP: “The guy at the front desk gave it to me.” Me: “Why did he give you the code to my cabin, and if you thought this was your unit, where’s all of your stuff?” MP: “Uh…umm…” Me: “OK, I don’t even care at this point. You need to leave, now. Do not come back in this cabin again.”
MP: “Ohhh oh ohkay, sorry.” I then watched him leave my cabin, walk 30 feet away and walk straight into the cabin next door, where a group of three of his friends were drinking. “Oooookay then…time to call management,” I thought to myself. I found the 24/7 support number on the fridge and called. The person who answered had no clue where I was staying and didn’t recognize the name of the cabin I was staying in.
Clearly, the 24/7 support was outsourced to another company unrelated to the group that owns the 20 or so cabins. After much back and forth, she figured it out and connected me with the person responsible for the cabins. Me: “I just arrived at cabin #X and a strange man was using my bathroom.” Manager: “What?” Me: “I’m in cabin #X and a stranger was just in my bathroom. He said you gave him the code to my cabin.”
Manager: “Oh, that must have been the guys next door. There was a mix-up earlier and I gave them your cabin number and code…but we moved them to the correct cabin. It’s all good now.” Me: “You gave them my code and then didn’t change it? You need to come change the code immediately, that is completely unacceptable.” Manager: “I mean, we told them that wasn’t their cabin, they shouldn’t have gone in there. Maybe they thought it was vacant since you arrived so late.”
Me: “So how do I lock my door if these guys can just come unlock it at any time with the code? That is a huge safety concern.” It took a turn for the worse. Manager: “Well now that they know you’re there I doubt they’d come back.” Me: “Are you serious right now? You need to come to change this code.” Manager: “There’s nothing I can do tonight, I can have the manager call you in the morning.”
Me: “So you’re not the manager?” Fake Manager: “No.” Me: “This needs to be rectified first thing in the morning. I don’t have a choice, it’s freezing outside and my son needs to sleep so we’re going to stay here tonight. But this is completely unacceptable.” Fake Manager: “I’m sorry. The manager will call you in the morning. I will also call the guests next door and make sure they understand not to come back.”
I brought our stuff in from the car and got everyone settled. To make things extra fun, the entire cabin smelled like poop, so I went into the bathroom to find that the fan was broken. Opening the window and letting in 30-degree air was also not an option. Awesome. We went to bed and I’m happy to report that our neighbors didn’t come back. In fact, my son slept amazingly well. Yay!
The next morning the real manager called me and asked how I was doing. I told him we were OK but that he needed to come to change the code and rectify the situation. He then asked if he had to come right away or if he could come to change the code in the early afternoon. I was in disbelief at this point, but I didn’t even know what I was in for. He then followed up saying “I doubt they’re going to come back, we already spoke with them. Are you in the cabin now or do you have valuables you left in there?”
What the heck? I told him that I was out eating breakfast with my family and that he needed to get to the cabin ASAP and change the code as it was a major privacy and safety concern. He reluctantly agreed. Then we started to discuss how he would make things right. Manager: “I can offer you a free night on a future stay for the inconvenience. When would you like to come back?”
He was on speakerphone and my wife and I looked at each other like, “Is this guy serious right now?” Me: “No, thanks. I’m going to need a refund for last night, not a credit for a future stay.” Manager: “OK, let me see…I can refund you $XX.XX for Thursday night. Is that OK?” Me: “No, that’s not even close to the full amount we paid for Thursday night. Are you not including Thursday’s portion (half) of the cleaning fee? That cleaning fee is more than Thursday’s rate by itself.”
Manager: “Well the cleaning fee isn’t per night, it’s for the entire stay.” Me: “If I’m paying a cleaning fee, I’d expect that my room would be clean when I check in. Instead, I checked in to a room where someone pooped in my bathroom, used my soap and towels, and smelled up my entire cabin. By the way, did I mention the bathroom fan doesn’t work?”
Manager: “I see. I can refund you half of the cleaning fee. In total, the refund would be $XXX.XX.” Me: “OK, I booked through Expedia. Are you going to refund them and they’ll refund me, or how does that work?” Manager: “Oh, no. Refunding through Expedia is way too complicated and would take hours. We will just refund you directly. Do you have a PayPal account?”
Me: “Yes.” Manager: “OK, if I send you PayPal can you promise to write us a good review on Expedia?” Me: “I can write an honest review on Expedia and say that you eventually took care of things properly and provided me with an appropriate refund.” Manager: “OK, umm…how about you don’t waste your time and I send you the refund if you agree to just not write a review on Expedia at all?”
I look at my wife and we’re both thinking “What the heck?” and not sure if we should laugh or not. Me: “OK, that’s fine.” Manager: “Alright, I’ll send you a text asking you to agree not to post a review. Please reply with your PayPal and state ‘I agree’ in the text. I’ll send the refund immediately.” Me: “OK. Bye.” He then proceeded to send the text (which I screenshotted) and it reads:
“Hello. It is good to talk to you today. If you agree to NOT write any review on Expedia, I will refund you $XXX via PayPal. Please reply agree and your PayPal email. Thanks a lot <name of manager> <address>” I replied to the text and he sent me the money. I just wanted to make sure we’d get something. While I doubt the text message is binding (and maybe it is, since a transaction was paired with it) I only agreed not to post on Expedia.
He said nothing about every other travel site or social media. I’m not sure if I should try to post (a much shorter version of) this on the various travel sites to warn potential future guests.
50. The Jerk Tax
This happened about 10 years ago. I used to live in the countryside, and by countryside I mean there is a one-lane road that goes about 500m away from the main road with no streetlights. There is only one other house on the lane before you get to my house, and that one is half-collapsed and has been abandoned for years. My friend was staying over so we ordered takeaway from a place about three miles up the same main road that my lane is attached to.
The order came to $20, I had cash so all is good. Fast forward half an hour later, and I get a call from the delivery driver (D). D: I can’t find your house. I look out of the window and can see his headlights parked outside the abandoned house. Me: You’re pretty much here, it’s the house at the end of the road with the lights on. D: No, I’m not driving up, you can come and get your food.
I can see where he is, and it’s only about 100m away. I tell him I’ll be there in a minute, so athletic 15-year-old me I set off running down the hill. Literally less than a minute later, I get there and he’s pulling out. I wave at him so he opens his window. D: $25.00 Me: What? I ordered [list foods and prices], and it’s $20.00 D: Your house is too hard to find, $5.00 for the inconvenience.
Me: Screw off, you can see my front door! D: Guess you’re not getting your food then. To which he drove off. So I get home and call the place, say he drove off with my food. The manager says “Oh God, not again.” Apparently, the guy was new and had been trying to scam customers for extra money all night. I was the fourth person to call with the same complaint THAT NIGHT! He got fired, and I got a free meal the next night.