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
One, Two Punch
"Pour the whole tray of drinks over a guest - twice. International trade fair with students as waiters. First time was an accident, second time she was so nervous she was practically shaking and spilled the drinks again on the same guy."
People Share The 'Dirty Secrets' That Their Bosses Don't Want Customers To KnowThere's a lot businesses hope their customers believe, and there are many business practices you wouldn't dare believe. These are some of the secrets Reddit ...
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."
Feels Good to be Bad
"The worst thing i did was to this one guy that I already didn't like and he was being kind of an a**hole, I overcooked his eggs." -- LoneRhino1019
"You are the devil" -- taladrow
"Note to self: to get my eggs the way I want them, be a huge a**hole to this guy." -- Warhawk137
All About Perception
"This isn't really bad, but a lot of the times when people send food back and there's clearly nothing wrong with it, the chefs will just rearrange the food on the plate, wait a minute or two and then send it out to the table."
"The funniest part is when the customer says that it's better."
"I haven't worked in a restaurant in over 15 years. I never messed with anyone's food because that is assault. What I used to do to snotty Karen types is give them a senior discount and announce to the table when I dropped the check that I remembered to add the senior discount."
Legal, But a Rough Sammy Nonetheless
"Worked in a deli for a few years, I never tampered with anyone's food but if you were a d!ck I guaranteed your bread was over toasted, the lettuce on your sandwich was wilted, the tomato was the butt end with the hole from us removing the core, your onions were little pieces, the meat was the smallest of the portions, and on and on."
"I wouldn't tamper with someone's food but I damn well wasn't making them a good sandwich. And all of that goes the exact opposite way with the customers I liked, always gave them the best product to the point they would wait for me to help them."
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.
Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.
Everyone has a breaking point.
Even the person who seems to be the calmest has that moment when their patience has run thin, and all it takes is a little more prodding and antagonizing to set them off.
Curious to hear examples of when strangers online were surprised by what they witnessed, Redditor Specktakles88 asked:
"Have you ever seen a normally calm person completely lose their sh*t? What happened?"
A triggering moment unleashed wild behavior.
The Dude Who Had It Coming
"I was chilling at a friend’s house as a kid. His dad was the chillest, nicest guy. That day, my friend’s mom (also super nice) was across the street talking to the neighbor about something that I can no longer recall. Neighbor was one of those guys who never respected common etiquette: music blaring, parking his sh**ty boat in front of other people’s house, cars parked on the lawn. The neighbor started screaming at the mom and we all went out on the stoop to see what was happening. As soon as we got outside, the guy called my friend’s mom a c*nt. Well, my friend’s dad heard that and went full Hulk mode. He ran SCREAMING across the street and just f'king decked the guy and crouched over him shouting warnings and threats. Took a while for his wife to calm him down. I don’t think any of them had ever seen him react to something in that way, maybe even the dad himself."
"I worked as a line cook with a chef who I became really good friends with. Really chill dude, easy going, and actually super fun to cook with. He taught me most of what I know about cooking and I owe him a lot for my success. Never really saw him get mad until one day, we were getting slammed during busy night and one of the servers said something that really ticked him off, not sure if I ever heard what it was, but next thing I knew he had sent the deep fryer basket flying at Mach 1 across the kitchen, nearly missing the dish kid and shattering a light bulb. He stormed off and 5 minutes later after a smoke break, came back and casually continued cooking as if nothing had happened."
"He apologized about it the next day and we never talked about it again. The restaurant industry is a stressful place."
Thing About Grandpa
"When I was in my late teens I was financially irresponsible and borrowed money from my grandparents to move out of my mom's house. We made a plan on how I would pay it back in installments and I only missed two payments, with each one I called my granddad and asked if it was okay. He was always cool about it. One day I got a call from him and he was LIVID. Screaming at me on the phone and I could hear my grandmother crying in the background. He was the angriest I’ve ever heard anyone in my life and I was terrified. He wanted to know why I hadn’t made the payment that month, but I was sure I had. It turns out I had accidentally set the automated payment to be drawn from the wrong account and it hadn’t done it. It was an honest mistake on my part, and I explained that to him. I transferred the money immediately and he instantly calmed down. I later found out he had become an alcoholic after he quit smoking, and he would talk to my grandmother like that regularly when no one was around."
Awakening The Beast
"This is not my story but my dads. Growing up his best friend Leif was a quiet, shy guy that was a bit socially awkward. In school he wasn't physically bullied but this one kid teased him constantly. This would have been late 50's, early 60's so kids were expected to just tough it out. My dad would usually confront the kid but one day a girl runs up to him and says that Leif and the kid are fighting."
"My dad runs over to save Leif but when he breaks through the circle he finds the bully flat on his back, Leif sitting on his chest, holding him by the ears and smashing his head into the pavement over and over. My dad tackles him, wrestles him to the ground and screams at him, asking what he's doing. The thing that stayed with me from that story was how he described it, 'it was like there was nothing in there, I felt like I could see the back of his skull through his eyes.'"
"Luckily they were kids so the damage was serious but limited, the bully escaped with stitches and a concussion and Leif had to talk to the school psychologist. My dad and Leif stayed best friends and when I met him as an adult he was still quiet but less shy and awkward."
Work-related stresses really brought out the fury in these people.
"I had a friend who was in his 60's, a functioning alcoholic but he was the most calm and composed guy I have ever known. He never used to raise his voice or swear. Everything was done with meticulous precision."
"He once explained to me that if you use vulgar language and shout all the time, then you will have nowhere to go when you really do get angry."
"I had worked with him for about 3 years, never heard him raise his voice or swear before. The week before he had been shafted on his pay and the manager promised to get it sorted by Friday. Friday rolled around and it had not been sorted. So when my friend walked up to the manager in the open office and declared loudly 'Where the f'k is my money? You promised this would be resolved.' The whole office went silent and the look of dread on the manager's face was haunting. The money was in his account by the end of the day."
"That was him losing his sh*t."
"I used to see this woman in my building every day. Very friendly. We always checked on each other’s lives. We had lunch a few times over the years. It was friendly to a certain degree. A couple years passed. She was much older than me. One day, riding the elevator, she told me that she was saying goodbye. I said I was sorry to see her go and asked why. She said she was retiring that day. I asked if her office was throwing a party or if she was celebrated. She turned to me and her face contorted into an image of rage. She clenched her teeth and said she didn’t tell anyone in her office, including her bosses. She only told the HR person last week. This was her last day and she was never returning to see or talk to anyone in her office again."
The Gentle Giant
"I used to do seasonal work sorting tax returns. Like, 500 people in a warehouse size room sorting through returns, stacking them in boxes, etc. This one guy on my team, huge dude, a gentle giant, really nice. Suddenly one day he smashes the table he's working at, then flips a big box full of paperwork. It flew over my head and twenty feet away. He threw the table out of his way them stormed out. Turns out he was getting his paycheck garnished for something or other."
Rambunctious behavior really set these people off, but it also restored peace.
The Teacher Who Had Enough
"One of my teachers in high school was THE calmest dude. Never yelled, never told kids off, would just laugh and smile and wait for us all to calm down and then continue with his teaching. One day we must have been particularly rowdy and we weren’t calming down like we usually did. He couldn’t get a word in edge ways. I could see him getting increasingly frustrated and eventually he just bellowed SHUUUUTTT UPPPPP And the entire class was shocked into silence. He never had to do it again lmao"
Too Angry To Hold A Knife
"It takes a lot to make my mom yell. On the rare occasion she did yell, it still felt like she had self control. Like she yelled on purpose, because there was a reason to yell (like she needed to be that loud for us to hear us, or one of the kids needed to learn to never run into traffic again.)"
"But one morning when we were teenagers, my brother was being really, really difficult."
"And my very sweet, soft-spoken mother yelled 'GOD DAMN IT SHAWN' and threw a butter knife down so hard it stuck, 1/4 inch deep, in oak hardwood floor. Against the grain. I can still hear the noise it made."
"We were all very, very well behaved for the rest of the day."
"I did eventually ask my mom why she did that. Her explanation was that she felt she was too angry to hold a knife, even a butter knife, and was trying to get it out of her hand before she did something stupid."
Granny's Mean Streak
"Man my grandma has a similar thing. This boy was a couple years older than she was and he was constantly picking on her. He's riding his bike home from school one day and he rides past her and he's shouting at her and she knocks him right off his bike and beat the sh*t out of him. My sweet lil granny. The neighbor that saw it said he was proud as sh*t that she beat the snot out of this shitty kid lol. I think it was the start of my grandma's bad b*tch streak because not much later, she started street racing. She was allegedly a sweet little girl, but man I think she must have had a mean streak in her."
"Jerry Springer Christmas"
"My mom. We had what we now refer to as the 'Jerry Springer Christmas' when I was 7 or so. One aunt hated her sister in law and started screaming at her, then shoving started, husband's got involved, then it just continued to devolve from there. My mom went straight into mediator mode and tried to calm everyone down but it wasn't working. She decided to come check on us kids and found my cousin and me holding each other and sobbing because we were scared. The next thing I hear is her scary mom voice screaming over everyone 'listen here you motherf'kers. My kid is in there crying on Christmas because her family can't keep their sh*t together for one the one day a year we all see each other. You're gonna march your a**es into that room single file and apologize to each kid individually, then you're going to shut the hell up until I get them out of here. We're going to go find look at lights and this family better be the picture of goddam Christmas joy by the time we get back.' My mom never really cussed in front of me and only ever used gd when things were really bad. That side of the family didn't celebrate Christmas for a few years after that."
"Edit: thank you for the awards and kind words! Ma is tickled pink at all of the comments about how wonderful she is. I tell her every day how lucky I am to have her."
Rage is something that exists in all of us.
Some people are good at letting small things run off their back, while others have no patience for the smallest of grievances.
The lesson to be learned here is, never underestimate the calmest people. They might be the ones to really look out for. You don't want to be the reason for them to break their patience streak and unleash all of their built-up fury on you.
Be kind to others, and just don't be a prick.
Songwriters base many of their songs on love because the relatable emotion makes it easier for artists to connect with their audiences.
Whether that applies or doesn't apply in our own lives, we listen to the songs conveying these experiences to take us back so we may relive these affirmative moments from the past.
Curious to hear what's on the moody playlist of strangers online, Redditor udontknowmegurl asked:
"What is the saddest song you've ever heard?"
These iconic artists really touched the hearts of many people through their music.
Dolly's Love Anthem
"I will Always Love You by Dolly Parton, you can really tell she f'king lived that song."
When Mom Went To Heaven
"The night my mama died, my dad sang Elvis' Can't Help Falling in Love to her in the back seat of the car on the way to the ER. She died of fully metastitized pancreatic cancer 18 days after diagnosis."
It Gets Deeper With Age
“'Landslide' by Fleetwood Mac I find that the older I get, the more meaning this song has."
Leave it to Disney to have us reaching for the tissue box.
"That song from UP makes me cry every time and it doesn’t even have lyrics."
When She Loved Me
"That one Jesse sings in Toy Story 2"
And let's not forget these emotional tunes that resonated with many Redditors.
Irish Folk Song
"‘Danny boy’ at a friends funeral 10 years ago. He, his sister and his gf all passed away in a house fire all in their early 20s. It was an Irish wake and the mix of grief and whiskey joy was something else."
When Love Moves On
"Into Dust by Mazzy Star gets me."
When You Want To "Disappear"
"How to disappear completely by Radiohead. Haunting instrumental, depression dripping through everyline of lyrics 'im not here, this isnt happening.'"
Ray Of Light In The Darkness
"You Are My Sunshine"
"Everything but the chorus is heartbreaking. Few people know anything but the chorus though."
From A Powerful Album
"Sylvia - The Antlers"
"Actually that whole album, Hospice, breaks me but this song in particular just leaves me in a mess every time."
When Love Fades
"The Night We Met by Lord Huron."
"No matter where I am, if I’m happy, who I’m with, etc. I’ll bawl my eyes out if that song plays. It’s so painful and true because one day they’re there and they’re your everything and then they start slipping until they’re gone and you wished you could go back to before you met them so you wouldn’t have to go through the pain of losing them. Just the lyrics 'I had all and then most of you, some and now none of you' hit this. People falling out of love in relationships, growing apart with friends, family members passing, etc. is what this hits for me and it hits hard."
One of the saddest songs I've heard is not connected to a personal experience, but the story being told is heartbreaking.
It's called "The Queen and the Soldier" by Suzanne Vega. The song is basically about a lonely, repressed virgin queen who keeps her heart closely guarded.
When a soldier enters her domain and challenges her internalized emotions, it's too much for her and has the soldier executed.
The song has continued haunting me ever since I first heard it.
An almost guaranteed phase of entering adulthood is unintentionally making it clear how much older you are than some present company.
This could be by the way you dress, talking about seeing a movie in its initial release when the person you're talking to wasn't born yet, or more than likely, by the way you talk.
When you say a slang term or phrase which was common place when you were a child, but today would likely be met by looks of confusion, or even disgust, should you use a term which is not only outdated but now considered offensive.
But then, shaking these old fashioned, or just plain old, terms and phrases might be a difficult task, so engrained are they in our vocabulary.
Redditor InfiniteDrafts was curious to hear what phrases people continue to use, despite knowing how quickly it will date them, leading them to ask:
What slang do you use regularly that is totally outdated?
Maybe rethink alternative words for "awesome"...
"I called a taco 'the Shizznit' a few days ago."
"I instantly felt 90 years old."- fattydad075
Not as "radical" as it once was...
"Righteous and radical."- king_7__Colors Flashing GIFGiphy
Language is eternal!
"None of MY slang is outdated, it's today's youth that are wrong!"- hotasphalt
How long have you got?
"I say things are the bees knees on the regular."
"Is 'on the regular' dated?"
"I also call the ocean 'the drink' for whatever reason."
"Picked that up at some point."- Paradigm6790
"This sub is making me extremely paranoid about my words now bc I say pretty much all of these words still."- jjjjjjj30season 10 friends GIFGiphy
Charming once, vulgar now...
"HAULIN’ A**."- f*ck_korean_air
Nah, come closer.
"Far out."- PaulClifford
A bit off
"Right on."- bombaderogato
Does anyone still even eat popsicles?
"When I'm ready to leave I say 'Let's blow this Popsicle stand."
"To be honest I'm not even sure what a posicle stand is."- B-Sdetector69Popsicle Freezer Pop GIFGiphy
It's hard not to feel self conscious around the younger generations who might laugh at your dated vocabulary.
But one should just remember, in 10 years or so, they'll likely find themselves in the exact same position.
And won't feel as "groovy" as they once did.
Who doesn't love a theme party?
When you not only get to dress up in something completely over the top, but also get to bear witness to everyone else's zany outfits in-keeping with the party's theme.
Be it Regency era, glam rock, or fairy tale villains.
Or what if the challenge is just to be blatantly inappropriate?
"You are going to a party. The theme is dress inappropriately. Who or what do you dress as?"
And not on your foot, one imagines...
"Nothing but a tube sock."- Sanguiniutron
"Dress normally, because if the theme is to dress inappropriately, and you dress appropriately, technically you're the one being inappropriate for the occasion."- GoAwayImHereForMemes
"I've actually been in a completely opposite situation."
"Was invited to a art exhibition, came in well dressed. It was basically porn but the person I went with forgot to mention that."
"I felt very malplace standing around people wearing next to nothing."
"So I would probably do that again because what's more inappropriate than being appropriate at an inappropriate event?"- cccantyousee
"I mean, if dressing inappropriately is the appropriate attire, then dressing appropriately would be inappropriate for the party, thus, making it appropriate."
"Now that I think about it, it's an unsolvable paradox."
"You could never appropriately dress inappropriately."- MUNKIESSGetting Ready Jimmy Fallon GIF by The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy FallonGiphy
It's all in the details
"With the pants cuffs rolled up, wearing tevas with gym socks."- BitPoet
And they say you can only wear it once...
"Bridal gown."- fromhelley
Depends on your surroundings...
"Imma wear a parka."
"In South Texas."
"In August."- Ahshalon_TeniskParka GIF by moodmanGiphy
The question is, what aren't you wearing...
"Nothing I'd just show up in lingerie."- cloboehobo
Wrong on so many levels...
"A two sizes to small wrestling singlet, and crocs."- thirdtimer_2020I Like Swimsuit GIF by MOODMANGiphy
There's little more fun than facing the challenge of dressing to impress.
Or, in this instance, un-dressing to impress.
And if you are greeted by a round of shocked expressions, you know your choice of outfit was a success.