For anybody who's worked at least a few months in the food service industry, that adage that "the customer is always right" can be a total tease.
Yes, good customer service is important. We want people to enjoy their meal, tip well, and come back to pay more money in the future.
But sometimes a customer's entitled attitude can ruffle a waiter's feathers enough for them to take some *subtle* action.
Or, in many cases, a waiter may simply be careless enough to do something profoundly awful to a meal, whether there was some customer transgression or not.
Either way, it's best to have your head on a swivel and be as polite as possible whenever you find yourself giving your order to a hard-working server.
RegulatoryCapturedMe asked, "Restaurant workers of Reddit, what is the worst thing you have seen done to a customer's order?"
Some people chose to talk not about vindictive behavior, but mindless habits. These stories outlined all the gross things that happen behind the scenes because a cook just couldn't be bothered to keep things sanitary.
Floor + Griddle
"I worked at a popular fast food chain in my younger years, it was my first time with closing shift and we were all doing our part to clean and prep the store."
"I see this lady with a mop and bucket come out of the back, slop it on to the griddle and START MOPPING IT. I was appalled. I went and told the manager and she tells me well that's the quickest way to clean it then scolded me for worrying about things that didn't concern me."
"I quit that job next day and then called the district office and told them what happened. That location closed down not long after. But the franchise still exists."
5 Second Rule (x 50 = 250 Second Rule)
"Worked at a 50's style diner."
"Was prepping the chicken breasts for our burgers and dropped a tray of 50 and they slid right under the grill, easily the dirtiest place in the whole restaurant."
"My boss saw and had me pick them all up rinse them with water and re-season then and stick them back in the fridge..."
"No One Will Notice"
"I saw a waiter pour an orange juice, take a big swig with his lips on the rim, top it up then take it to the table." -- RegulatoryCapturedMe
"In college, I worked for a well known pizza place. One of our wait staff came to collect a pepperoni pizza, and nabbed a piece of pepperoni off the top before taking it out."
"He gets to the table, and everyone is staring at him in stunned silence. There's a very fine string of cheese going from the pizza to his mouth." -- DeeTee79
Others chose to highlight the times a co-worker was, indeed, straight up vindictive. These small acts of revenge were blatant, shameless, and often very gross.
A Symbolic Attack
"Worked in restaurants for over 10 years. It's pretty rare that you see people mess with someone's food but it does happen occasionally."
"The most memorable was once when a customer made a waitress cry complaining about their food and sent it back. The chef farted on the remake. It got a lot of laughs."
"More common is if a customer is an ahole, when they order dessert, you find the smallest slice of cheesecake you can."
The Brine Does Look Like Urine
"I know a guy that pissed in a bucket of pickles. He would have never been caught if he didn't talk about it." -- filthysquatch
"Welp. That's a felony." -- saltnskittles
"number 14 mcdonalds pi** pickles" -- LetsGeauxSaints
Some Burger With Your Pickles
"I had a buddy at mcdonalds, a real chaotic type, who every once and a while would say 'oh hey, guess what time it is... PICKLE SURPRISE!' and put a whole handful of pickles on a random cheeseburger." -- mattmoney31716
"Dude... I got like 9 fu**ing pickles on my regular tiny hamburger the other day.. I think he might still work there." -- vl8669
A Clear Policy
"At my last restaurant job, my coworker would make very ugly sundaes for customers who were rude."
"For particularly nice customers, she would painstakingly recreate the sundaes in the menu pictures and give them extra cream and sprinkles."
Finally, others were just as revengeful, but they took out their rage in a more subtle way.
Rather than ruin a meal completely in a brash, obvious way, these cooks and waiters simply listened to customers' order and gave them exactly what they asked for.
These stories remind that we should be careful what we wish for, especially if we've upset the waiter.
A Crowded Pie
"I gave them what they ordered. We were a pizza/Italian/bar restaurant. Our menu was ludicrously large and essentially anything that was on the menu that could go on a pizza was listed as a topping, probably 40 to 50 topping choices.
"I would get asked pretty often for 'a pizza with everything on it!' I had a usual joke or two to find out what they really wanted. Typically a deluxe but then they'd want no black olives or whatever. No big deal."
"Until the a**hole came in that that ordered 'everything' and then proceeded to ask if I was ret##### when I questioned him. My sister has disabilities so I didn't appreciate his tact... told my boss about it and he smiled and said get him a pizza with everything."
"Brought it out and gave it to him. He flipped out and demanded the manager of course. My manager had my back and gave the guy his bill which at $2 a topping was well over a $100 pizza. Guy refused to pay, cops got called, Yada Yada Yada. I hope he enjoyed his pizza with clams, pineapple, Buffalo chicken, broccoli, anchovies, green olives, cream cheese, cauliflower, jalapeños, shrimp..."
Flying Too Close to the Sun
"Some Indian guys came in one time and asked for us to make their food as spicy as possible. I told them that's going to be extremely spicy and wanted to make sure they knew what they were asking for."
"They went on a long rant about how Indian restaurants are the only places that actual know what spicy is and anything we bring out isn't going to be close to how spicy they like their food."
"So I had the owner come over to tell them that we'll try our best but there won't be any refund on this food if it's too spicy. So we made them chicken fried rice with Trinidad scorpion peppers. After 2 bites and about 10 glasses of soy milk later, they ordered something else."
Extra Extra Extra
"Wanted extra mayo so I maliciously complied by drenching it. Lady thought I would forget her fake $10 prayer tip the last time she was there." -- Dumfk
"Just keep one on hand for when you see those people again, give it back as their change, or if you care about/need your job, dont listen to me about anything." -- harpo555
It's a list that might leave you feeling rather paranoid about going to fast food or sit down restaurants in the future. But at least one preventative maneuver emerged as a common theme: be polite.
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People Explain Which Things They Thought Were Completely Normal As A Kid And Later Realized Were Really Weird
As much as adults regularly hammer home the importance of honesty with their children, parents are responsible for a significant amount of white lies and bent truth.
It makes sense. Parents are busy, they're human beings who grow impatient, and they find efficiency rather refreshing.
So it's no wonder they fabricate a few elements of "reality" here and there, all to make their kids act in a way that, typically, is well-adjusted for societal expectations.
But when those kids grow into adults, they learn to adopt the behaviors without the lies. And at that moment, the absurdity of their parents' myths all comes flowing to mind.
ancient_a**holed4 asked, "What normal thing in your childhood did you later realise was extremely weird?"
Many people shared some truly inventive, out of the box thinking. Most were the creative innovations of parents trying to keep everything running smoothly.
Tire Them Out Before Bed
"My mom taught me and my sister to howl at the moon. It would get our dog all worked up, and he'd howl too."
"It would make my grandma so mad, but my mom found it hilarious."
"My parents didn't want to shout our names for dinner or to come downstairs so my Dad installed a literal doorbell in our bedrooms."
"So if we were needed in the kitchen we were summoned by the 'child bell'. - we lived in a 2 bed semi."
A Very Fun Way to Enjoy Burgers
"Burger Roulette: every time there was a barbecue or we made burgers one of the burgers would be stuffed with hot sauce and peppers. So hilarious and definitely made dinners more exciting, but not a normal thing lol"
A Myth They Made On Their Own
"I think I only thought about this once, then completely forgot about it. When I was a kid (6-7?) I used to think 'brown people pooped brown poop, and white people pooped white poop.' "
"It never occurred to me that I had never seen a white sh** any time I went to the toilet, and so when I saw that someone had unfortunately forgot to flush the toilet (at school) and I saw the 'remnants,' I was immediately intrigued, since I was the only brown kid at that school, and I thought there was another brown person at my school, and I just hadn't seen them."
Other people came to understand that their parents' strange, often dishonest behavior or commentary actually had a very admirable motivation underneath it.
These were good stories that shed light on the honor of moms and dads.
"My mom used to have me practice screaming for help at the top of my lungs before going to friends houses ಠ_ಠ" -- lazydaisy2pointoh
"You know whilst this is weird it's also a good thing to teach kids to use their voice . They're told to shut up or be quiet so often that when they need to use their voice it's not natural to them" -- Ieatclowns
"Whenever I wouldn't wanna get shots my mom would say 'te lo van a poner en tu cosita si no lo dejas' which means 'they're gonna put the shot on yo di** if you don't comply' and the doc who didn't know Spanish was like 'yeah en tu cosita.'
A Boarding House
"Random kids living at our house."
"I had 9 siblings and my parents always had one or two other kids that had been kicked out of their homes living with us. Usually friends of my older brothers and sisters, it wasn't until my twenties that I discovered that most had been disowned by their parents for being gay."
"Also had no clue that this wasn't normal for the 60's."
Best Guy to Have Around
"It's a little thing, but it was very surprising to me - that it was my dad and not my mom who stayed home with me when I was sick."
"Also, my friends all had stories of their parents trying to get them to go to school even when they were sick. My parents never did that, and even let me stay home a few times even when they knew I was faking it."
"I know it's hard for a lot of working parents to stay home with a sick kid, but all my friends at the time were pretty much from the same middle-class background as I was, and my father was a hospital physician and the head of his division at the hospital and also saw a lot of patients, so it was not easy for him to miss work. I guess he handled a lot of stuff by phone (this was before the internet)."
"It's a little thing, but it really made me feel so cared for and I still associate staying home sick with getting taken care of by my dad who had an excellent bedside manner."
Finally, others discovered the flaws of their parents. These misunderstandings weren't the results of purposeful fibs on the part of parents.
Rather, the kids at the time couldn't conceive of a world in which their parents could screw up.
"Getting honked at, flipped off, and yelled at while driving. I just thought driving was this extremely aggressive and negative experience that made everyone angry."
"Turns out my dad was a serial tailgater who used to ride right up on people in front of us, regardless of the speed we were traveling. Highways, subdivisions, country roads, didn't matter."
"It wasn't until I began to learn to drive myself that it all made sense."
"My mom's cooking. She boiled noodles until they were mush. Her potato soup was boiled onions and potatoes drained then added to warm milk with salt and pepper. Baked beans were beans, ketchup, and pancake syrup."
"The most common meal in our house started as spaghetti, then became chili, and then chili mac."
"Vegetable soup was all the vegetables dumped straight from a can with no seasoning and the meat would be hamburger, canned roast beef, or canned corned beef with potatoes."
"A lot of the other stuff she cooked was pretty good, but that was only if she followed a recipe. If she winged it things got strange. My favorite will always be the grape soda bbq because she didn't have Dr Pepper."
Here's hoping you aren't still under the spell of any lies or half-truths that proliferated when you were a kid. But there's no harming in acknowledging just how long you lived according to them.
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Remember Theranos? It was a breakthrough technology company that claimed to have devised blood tests that required very tiny amounts of blood. The hype was real: In 2015, Theranos received a $9 billion valuation and its CEO, Elizabeth Holmes, seemed prime to become a household name. Shortly afterward, she was exposed as a fraud; her trial (on charges of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud) has been postponed several times as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
After Redditor LineofDeath asked the online community, "What was supposed to be the next big thing but totally flopped?" people reminded us how you should never fall for the hype.
"Now they are chiefly remembered..."
Quadraphonic entertainment systems in the early 1970s. They were supposed to replace stereophonic systems. Now they are chiefly remembered for inspiring the name of The Who's second rock opera.
Google+ was supposed to be the answer to Facebook.
Remember those days? That didn't end well for them, didn't it? The hype was real and it died as quickly as it began.
"I saw ads for it..."
That streaming service that lasted like two months. 'Qubi' or 'Qupi' I think?
Even bad timing aside (a mobile-based streaming service at a time when no one could really leave their house) the marketing was just horrible. I saw ads for it for nearly a week before I realized it was a new video streaming service, and by that point was so annoyed by the ads untrusting everything I didn't care at all, just out of spite. Also, I mean it was just YouTube you have to pay for and got worse content.
Not sure if this one has totally flopped yet, but I noticed while in Costco the other day that there are no longer any curved TVs. If Costco is no longer carrying them then I think we can assume they're going the way of the dodo.
"I thought it was a good idea..."
Google Wave. It was supposed to replace email with a more collaborative approach. Essentially it was like a dynamically-created discussion board you'd share with select people and you could have a more readable discussion than one with a bunch of forwards and CCs and the like.
I thought it was a good idea, but it flopped big time and Google got rid of it after a few years.
"They pushed really hard for those..."
Amazon's shopping buttons. They pushed really hard for those and I never saw the point.
They try a lot of things.
Not all of them are winners.
"It was supposed to..."
The Divergent series. It was supposed to kinda have a Hunger Games concept and all and try to be a replacement. The last two movies ended up being so unwatchable.
These were terrible.
When the actors gave up on them, you knew it was over.
"Now they're just used to..."
Segways were supposed to revolutionize travel and replace the automobile. Now they're just used for guided tours for dorks in tourist traps.
"These were the next, awesome way..."
Airship travel. These were the next, awesome way to travel long distances; in fact, the spire on top of the Empire State Building was meant as an anchoring point for airships.
The Hindenburg kind of put a damper on it, though.
"I had a friend in high school..."
I had a friend in high school who was preparing to go to film school. She swore up and down that 3DTV was the way of the future and one day all movies and tv shows would be in 3D.
The hype machine is a real thing...
...and you can't believe it all the time. Sucks to be the inventor... or the investor. (Looking at you, Quibi.)
Have some suggestions of your own? Feel free to tell us all about them in the comments below!
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One of the most freeing realizations I've had was when I understood that not everyone was going to like me. That's just the way it is for all of us, and I learned that it would be unfair for me to dedicate so much time worrying about what others might think. It changed my life––improved it, I'd say. That, combined with my willingness to take responsibility for my own actions, was crucial to my self-development.
After Redditor RainShxdow asked the online community, "What's the biggest life lesson you've learned?" people shared their observations and experiences.
"That life's not fair..."
That life's not fair. You could be struck with injury or disease or death at any time. Try and enjoy what time you have. None of us are guaranteed 90 years or even 70 years or 50. Live while you're alive, we're not guaranteed an afterlife either.
"All of these people..."
You have to be the one looking out for you. This doesn't mean don't look out for other, this doesn't mean others never look out for you.
- Your parents.
- Your boss.
- Your neighbors.
- Your friends.
- Your realtors.
All of these people can and will fail you in life because all people fail at something at some point. You have to look out for yourself, and you have to do what's best for you.
Working hard doesn't equal success. If hard work was all that was required, there would be a lot more millionaires.
This is very true.
There are a lot of factors that affect how successful you will be. The connections you have? That matters. How much people like you and want to work with you? That matters too.
"Some of the smartest people I've met..."
I like to say "Just because you're smart, that doesn't mean you aren't dumb."
Some of the smartest people I've met are also shockingly stupid in different contexts. Some of the dumbest seeming people can have profound insight into things they know well.
Intelligence isn't a linear scale, it's more like a skill tree. Everyone has a certain number of skill points to spend when they're born, and education and experience can help you earn more. But if you put all of your skill points into a few obscure stats you can be wildly under-leveled for something mundane.
If I had a nickel...
...for every time a brilliant person showed me how absent-minded they can actually be, I'd be rich as hell.
"That if you cringe..."
That if you cringe over your past actions, that means you have matured.
Another big one.
If you've ever been guilty of lying awake at night thinking of your past behavior while shaking your head, this might apply to you!
"You have to go forward..."
You have to go forward, or else you're stuck forever in your past.
"It's hard to tolerate..."
It's hard to tolerate not being liked, but we're all the a-hole in someone's story.
"You'll burn out..."
Working hard, doing extra shifts, taking on more responsibilities at your job will mean absolutely sweet FA to your boss in the long run. You'll burn out while being paid the same and all of the extra you did will be used against you.
"Don't feel guilty..."
Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don't.
I used to think the adults around me knew everything. Turns out they knew very little and were just trying to figure it out as they went along. We all go through it.
"Your life is incredibly short..."
Try every experience you can! Go to concerts of bands you've never heard of, take road trips and vacations in places you've never been, eat new foods, talk to everybody, learn everything you can about any subject that comes up, and take every reasonable risk.
Your life is incredibly short and once it's done you don't get to make up for missed opportunities so do it all now. Even if an isolated experience isn't the best, the process of experiencing it will usually be something you are proud of.
Get out there and live your lives!
Life will indeed pass you by if you don't go ahead and seize it––we only get one shot at this. Words of wisdom.
Have some lessons you've learned that are not included here? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments below!
A lot of emphasis can be placed on your birthday.
Until the train derails and crashes into the side of a mountain.
Reddit user, u/TriggerLilVgang, wanted to hear about when your life anniversary wasn't great when they asked:
When Physical Pain Comes Into Play
Sometimes it's not outside forces causing your birthday to fall apart. Maybe it's something wrong within your rapidly aging body, suffering from something you could never see coming.
Someone Steps Up To Make It Go Away
My 20th birthday, I had just had surgery and i was in pain with my knee and leg because of it and i was by myself and depressed but my stepmom came home early from work and said she couldn't leave me by myself for my birthday so she left work early and bought me a present and a cake
My dad didn't care but she did and she was the only one who bought me a present out of my family
Oh, Never Knew That About Myself
When I turned ten. My parents decided to throw me a surprise party that year. I walked in the door, they jumped out, everyone shouted "SURPRISE", and I promptly had one of my first major anxiety attacks. I threw up everywhere, and then hyperventilated until I passed out. I haven't celebrated my birthday since (I'm 20 now).
Friends Who Let You Down
Friends are great, right?
Except when it's your birthday and it's time for them to step up to make your day better, only for them to crash, burn, and fail all over the place.
When You're THAT Friend...
When I was 11-13 I had a group of friends who used to celebrate each others birthdays by covering the birthday kids locker full of things they liked (photos of celebrity crushes, favourite anime/show characters, favorite candy bars etc.) They did this for everyone in the group.
Everyone but me.
How Do You Turn Down A GameBoy Cake?
I was in the 2nd or 3rd grade. My mom was throwing me a party at home and invited everyone in my class at school. She made a huge cake shaped like a GameBoy and I was stoked to have everyone I knew to come hang out and eat this cake. Day arrives and my cousin shows up...he lived next door and one other kid I knew from school arrived...his Dad worked with my mom. Hours went by and no one else arrived. I was crushed honestly. My Mom decided to make the party a sleepover with my cousin and the one friend from class but I remember when they left the next day, I just stared at the massive cake with a few cut out pieces and cried. My mom let me run my fingers through the icing as a consolation prize but that was a cold reality check. I felt like a fool for wanting others to like me or wanting to see me. It was dreadful going back to school and facing everyone that I felt rejected by. It was probably worse not saying anything about it to anyone.
In hindsight I understand now that other parents might have been uncomfortable bringing their kids to a trailer park. It was the first time it really dawned on me that people treat lower socioeconomic classes differently. It's honestly the last time I remember doing anything celebratory on my birthday.
Still the reason I don't really like to celebrate mine or anyone else's birthday.
Changing The Direction Of The Attention
When my friend who always makes everything about her had a tantrum, locked herself in my bathroom crying for hours until half my friends went home cause they couldn't even use the toilet at my house. All that cause her best friend kissed a dude she flashed her boobs to once.
But she had to pick my party to drive everyone apart.
A Truly Tragic Reminder
Then there are those birthdays that carry a tragic weight with them, only there to remind you of what you've lost as opposed to the age and experience you've gained.
A Gap Where A Loved One Should Be
Last year. It was my first birthday since my grandmother passed away from cancer. She was the only person who celebrated my birthday with me.
Bad News. Happy Outcome.
I was diagnosed with cancer the day before my 23rd birthday and spent my entire birthday talking to doctors about treatment options. That one sucked
How are you now?
I've been cancer free since February and have my first check up in about 2 weeks!
A Reminder Of What You've Lost
My brother died on my birthday.
I'm so sorry something that horrible happened on your birthday.
Thank you. I figure I get his birthday now that he's not using it anymore.
That's the spirit! My brother passed away a week after my birthday three years ago, so it's always kind of somber leading up to it. I try to make light of it, though, and just remember him fondly and reflect on our friendship and inside jokes. I will be having a word with my parents about which one of my brothers now gets his birthday though. Thanks for the idea.
In a few years I'll be able to be mad at him about it, I'm sure, and he absolutely would have thought it was hilarious.
Even if a birthday isn't going exactly as planned, try to remember what it means: you've survived one more trip around the sun, which is more than most get. Try not to let the little things get you down and pray for enough wisdom to be able to comprehend the big things with compassion and acceptance.