Yes! There’s a kind of crazy that only restaurant employees are privy to. For instance: “When the waitress asked if I wanted my pizza cut into four or eight slices, I said, ‘Four. I don’t think I can eat eight’.”
1. A Free Ride
I once had a family of 4 come in, a wife, husband and 2 kids, the wife ordered a cheese burger. Everything seemed to be going well, I asked if they like their food and if there was anything I could get for them, they said everything was fine. The wife finished her burger and got my manager, she told her that he burger was absolutely horrible and wanted a refund for the whole meal. My manager almost laughed at her and told her if she hadn’t finished the burger and had said something at the beginning she would have gladly gotten her another burger but there was no way she was getting a meal for 4 for free nor was she getting hers for free because she, at first, told me she liked it.
2. A $1 Coffee
I worked at a soup & sandwich cafe for 3 years while I was in undergrad. Good job, easy money. Anyways, we offered quick breakfast options- bagels & cream cheese, breakfast sandwiches & burritos, and a quick 2 egg breakfast with toast, hashbrowns or grits, etc. We offered a $1 small cup of coffee because Starbucks was 2 blocks down and my manager was like that. We broke even on the coffee, not really hoping to profit. Just trying to get people in the door and serve quick, good food. That kind of place.
A super-yoga soccer mom started coming in every morning to buy a coffee. She would bring in her own bagel and her own cream cheese. She would purchase the coffee and then ask us to toast her bagel and put her cream cheese on it for her- and expect us to run the food out to her like we did for every other paying customer. While she was purchasing her coffee, she would ask that we put on new gloves while preparing her food. Okay, fine. Not a big deal the first few times- because the owner (a working manager) was trying to keep his customers happy all of the time. However, this budding new cafe was starting to increase in business, exponentially. This Bagel lady started coming in every, single day. The boss grew a little tired of her request because after all, he isn’t seeing the benefit of selling her a $1 cup of coffee and having us prepare her food for her. She didn’t tip either however, because my boss always lived by “The Customer is always right” method, he did this.
She came in on a Saturday morning once- thinking she got special treatment because she was a regular customer, she decided she would skip the line and put her bagel on the counter near the register. She waited in line, purchased her $1 coffee and noticed her bagel was right where she left it, untouched.
“Excuse me, I expected this to be toasted and ready when I purchased my coffee. I come in all of the time, you should know me by now. I am one of your most frequent customers.”
“Yes Ma’am. I apologize, I did not see it. Here is your coffee and I will bring it out to you in a moment.”
“I just don’t understand you people sometimes- so incompetent and rude to your customers. This is the kind of behavior that leads to disease and sickness in restaurants.”
I didn’t realize my boss was standing over my shoulder during this encounter. He sort of pushes me out of the way grabs her bagel (ungloved hands) takes a bite, goes to hand it to her, drops it and asks her to leave with a mouthful of bagel. He goes to his office and closes his door still chewing the bagel. He comes out and says “Coffee is now $2.”
3. Split It Four Ways
I work at a local tourist spot as a food services supervisor, and we have a few different food outlets in the park. As a supervisor, I’ve had to deal with all kinds of challenging customers, including some that have turned out well (communicating with deaf customers, a Korean group who wanted $200 worth of hamburgers–twice) and not-so-well (customer who wanted a free bottle of water and screamed at me, Asian man who accused me of discrimination, a lady who said abusive things because she lost $2 in a vending machine, all sorts of silly food requests/complaints). Fun times.
One of the dumbest ones I came across, though, was dealt with by a co-worker of mine. Near the very end of the day, a lady came up to our fish and chips window and ordered a four-piece chicken strip combo. She said that she wanted it split four ways for her four children. My co-worker said sure, but informed her that since the combo just came with a small fries, that meant each of those four portions would include just one chicken strip and a few fries. He repeated it a couple of times, but she impatiently told him that was okay. You can probably see where this is going. When she came to pick up her order, she was irate. From the sounds of things, she wanted each of those portions to have at least two strips and a small fries–even though she was only willing to pay the price of a single combo. She screamed at my co-worker, told him he was incompetent, all kinds of things. (The fish and chips place is in a remote location from the main kitchen, so there was no manager there, just supervisors.)
She wasn’t willing to pay more, though, and my co-worker wasn’t about to make her more chicken strips and fries for free, so finally he told her the outlet was closed and that if she had any more issues she should take it up with the manager. She left and he closed the shutter, but then she came around to the side door of the building and screamed at him some more. Even when they closed the door, she waited for them and followed them across the park when they walked back to the main kitchen…where they were able to meet up with the manager and she was asked to leave the park. 😀 We don’t allow meal-splitting anymore–if customers want something split, we’ll give them plates and knives and they can do their own portions.
tl;dr: If you’re going to ask for a meal split four ways, that’s exactly what you’re going to get.
4. A Cheeseburger Without Cheese
When I used to work at McDonalds some lady came in and ordered a cheeseburger without cheese. So being the person I am I just put it in a Hamburger wrapper and gave it to the front. Well she came back like 5 minutes later and all hell broke loose. She was yelling at the poor girl who gave her the sandwich and the girl was new. So I went up to help and asked what was the matter. This is what she said “I ordered a Cheeseburger without cheese you gave me a Hamburger I want what i ordered right now and i want to speak to your manager.”
So I told her i was the manager. She proceeded to call me a lair even though i had a name tag that said shift manager on it. But I told her I would fix it. I took the Burger and put it in a Cheeseburger wrapper and gave it back to her she looked at it. Then at me and I’m pretty sure she had the realization of what a Cheeseburger without cheese is. She then just walked away without thanking me or anything. Also, I sent the girl home since she was crying.
5. When You Earn It, You Earn It!
I worked inbound customer service for chase credit cards. This lady was late with her payment and wanted the late fee waived. She claimed it was the first time it had happened. It wasn’t. I looked at her payment history and she had been late 28 of the last 36 months. On top of that, the notes left by previous CSR’s indicated she was belligerent and had had 4 fees waived. (you’re supposed to get 1 every 6 months.)
So i tell her about email alerts, text message reminders, autopay, and all our other payment options, and say:
“i’m sorry but you can’t have another fee waived for at least 6 months.”
Lady: ” whatever, racist fuckin’ white boy.”
Me: ” Ma’am, since we’ve had no contact in the past, you can only base your assumptions about my race on how i speak; isn’t it kind of racist for you to assume i’m white because i speak clearly and with correct grammar?”
Lady: ” ARE YOU CALLING ME RACIST? YOU BETTER NOT BE CALLING ME RACIST, YOU LITTLE WHITE BITCH!”
Me: ” What i’m saying, ma’am is that your tone is entirely inappropriate, and if you continue with this offensive, bigoted tone, i’ll have to end the call.”
Lady: ” WAIVE MY FEE OR I’M GONNA REPORT YOU TO YOUR MANAGER, WHITE BOY.”
My manager, who i hadn’t realized was monitoring my call ( who is a black woman) cuts in, speaking with as heavy a “ghetto” accent as she could muster: “MA’AM, this is crocodilly_pontifex’s manager. I’ve listened to this whole call, and i am obligated to inform you that due to the overt racism and belligerant, uncooperative, and threatening attitude you’ve displayed during the course of this call, you’ve been put on our abusive caller list. Do not call customer service regarding your card in the future. You will not be helped, and any further contact will constitute harrassment. If you have any further concerns, you can send them in writing, or visit a bank branch directly. Crocodilly_pontifex, end the call.”
Me: (after a pause, i read from the script) Thank you for calling Cardmember Services, I hope i was able to resole your problems today. Again, my name is (my name) and i hope you have a good night.” end
i got to spend the rest of the day off the phones b/c i “earned it.”
6. Let’s Call Him John
This one guy, we’ll call him John, was a regular at a restaurant I worked at. He would always ask for recommendations and no matter what you suggested, John would tell you he had that last week and it sucked. He would take up as much time as possible no matter how busy the restaurant was. He had a wife who would jokingly tell him to knock it off but she would laugh so it would just encourage him to be a jerk. Then after bringing the food to them, he would ask me to box it up so they could take it home. They would occasionally leave a tip. Years later, I was a brand new nurse and my coworker had gotten a tray of food thrown at her by a patient. John was the patient.
7. Religious Pamphlets
In the early ’90’s I was a waiter at Friendly’s. On Sundays I worked all three shifts: breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Sunday nights were particularly brutal: it was our busiest night, yet we were always undermanned due to staff not showing up, and I was tired from a long day.
Every Sunday night this large church group would come in, about 20+ people. They would come in at the tail end of the dinner shift, just as I was about to pull myself out of the weeds, and they would ask for me to be their waiter. Then, if they couldn’t get five tables near each other, they would spread out all over the restaurant into other waiters’ zones but still insist on me being their server. They would act disappointed (and in some cases annoyed) that I didn’t remember their drink preferences from previous weeks. They would place their beverage and food orders, then get up and change tables. Not to fuck with me, mind you; they were just being sociable with each other.
Then they would get fussy with their orders. This or that was wrong, this is undercooked, I didn’t think it would look like that so can I order something else, etc. It was hard for me to tell if I had gotten an order wrong, or if maybe I had the right order for the wrong guy because they wouldn’t stay in the same seat throughout the experience. It went on and on. They were, per capita, the neediest customers I had to deal with all week, and there were 20 of them all at once. Every. Fucking. Sunday.
Don’t even get me started on the asshole cooks who couldn’t get the orders right. Let’s just say Friendly’s doesn’t exactly draw the best and the brightest, and only the dumbest ones showed up Sunday nights. I was too poor not to.
So here’s the kicker: religious pamphlets. That’s what I got tipped every week, plus about $5 in change.
8. Don’t Touch
While I worked in an all you can eat restaurant we frequently got customers who would eat say, three or four plates of food, then go and fill up another five, leave them all full on the table and claim the food was all disgusting and refuse to pay. There was one time in particular when a couple tried to do this, the managers got involved and were refusing to let the customers leave whilst they called the police. The woman in the couple tried to push past one of my managers and he took hold of her arm to stop her leaving. Cue shouts of assault and harassment, and male partner suddenly going ape shit shouting, “don’t you fucking touch my woman” etc. Luckily there was a full restaurant of people who were watching the show so they couldn’t get away with it. Douchebags…
9. A Party Of 15
A few years ago, I worked at a pizza place with a dine-in area, though I wasn’t a waitress. I just took orders at the counter and brought out the food. One night we had a group of 15 people come in as a party, and every single one of them was deaf. This particular group was the most obnoxious, self-entitled, rude crowd of people I have ever dealt with. They all acted as if they hated me from the moment they walked in the door, so that was awesome to start out with. Almost every single one of them was completely deaf, yet wanted to communicate their orders verbally.
Now, I have nothing against that, but they would blatantly look away when I would try to repeat their order to make sure it was right, and then they would send it back to the kitchen blaming me for getting it wrong. Or if they did acknowledge me while they were ordering, they would get extremely frustrated while I was repeating the order, as if I were mocking them in some way. Not only did they not tip (not terribly important considering I was paid hourly, but it’s the norm for big groups), but the youngest of the group knocked over 2 cups of water as they were leaving and just looked at them while he was walking away, not a single fuck given. Four out of the 15 had their meals comped for being “incorrect”, and the others just chose to make that night hell for me. Having a disability isn’t a get-out-of-jail-free card for being a douchebag.
10. Totally Organic
I worked as a server at an organic restaurant. We were known for being vegan-friendly, wheat-free and willing to accommodate individual’s “special dietary needs.” One day a man and his family came in for dinner. He came up to the counter to order and he told me he had a few allergies. I told him that was fine, because we are used to accommodating allergies. Then I asked him what he was allergic to. “You might want to grab a pen” was his response.
This man was allergic to eleven major food groupings including, all peanuts, tree nuts and pine nuts, all shellfish and seafood, dairy, lentils and peas and well as wheat. I couldn’t believe it. I grabbed the cook from the kitchen and brought him out to talk to the customer because I didn’t even know what to offer him. I understand that allergies suck, but cross contamination is so common in restaurants that someone whose life could be threatened by and number of common foods should maybe stay in to eat.
The story ends as the customer orders and eats steak and cooked quinoa. I stood within arms reach of the phone his entire stay just in case I had to call emergency services.
11. Two For Four
I used to work fast food. We would regularly have people from construction crews come in an one person would usually end up ordering for the entire group (anywhere from 5 to 20 people). Often, these guys wouldn’t speak English so they’d come in the store and we’d bust out the picture menu for them and things would go pretty smooth.
Every once in awhile though, these guys would decide to come through the drive thru and that was always an ordeal. If you’ve ever tried to take and order from someone who doesn’t speak English, who is ordering for 15 people, and is talking through a drive thru speak, you’ll realize it is one of the most frustrating experiences there is. One day, this guy was trying to order and just kept yelling “2-4-4” over and over and over.
At first I thought he was ordering a number 2 meal and 2 number 4 meals. Apparently not. He got more emphatic with his shouting. So I looked through the menu and found an item priced at $2.44 and thought that might be what he wanted. Wrong again! He yelled for a few minutes more, and then just started going off on me in Spanish. Meanwhile, I’m yelling back (all through the drive through speaker) “I don’t speak Spanish! I don’t know what you want! Come order inside!”
After a few minutes of this, I realize it’s not going anywhere and start helping other customers. He eventually gives up and decides to come inside, but not to order. Oh no, it’s too late for that. This guy comes in irate and is yelling and screaming profanity at everyone behind the counter. Funny thing is he was cussing and yelling at us in English when he came inside. Oh you speak English now all of a sudden?? Fuck you man.
12. Screaming On Tiptoes
Two older couples came in. For the sake of clarity, I will call the two women Nice Wife and Bitch Wife.
I knew the table was going to be difficult when Bitch Wife presented me with a handful of coupons. I explained that I could only take one coupon per ticket, as was printed on the coupons themselves. Bitch Wife threw two coupons at me and said “Split our checks, then.” She told Nice Wife they could just pay two separate checks. Whatever, people do that all the time.
Bitch wife proceeded to drink Dewars on the rocks until she was extremely intoxicated. When she ordered her steak she asked me to have it cooked “blue.” She flipped out when I told her we didn’t do blue steaks and she instead ordered a very rare steak. Her husband ordered salmon. I was given very specific instructions on how to cook both entrees. Nice Husband and Nice Wife look mortified. Bitch Wife gets her food and promptly flips out because it’s not “blue,” even though she was totally clear on the fact that we didn’t do that at the restaurant.
My manager, an experienced chef, goes out of his way to make the woman a damned blue steak and serves it to her himself. It is the third steak we have cooked for her. Bitch Wife lectures me for 10 minutes (I am not exaggerating) on what a terrible server I am, how the restaurant is a piece of shit, etc. She eats all of her steak and half of her husband’s salmon and complains that their food was inedible. She demands that their entrees be taken off their bill.
I am fuming at this point, but the manager still comps their meals. I take the check to the table for Nice Wife and Nice Husband to pay. I am lectured again about what terrible service I offered. After another 10 minutes of being scolded, I calmly told her that I understood she was upset, but that I didn’t prepare her food and had served her exactly what she ordered. Bitch Wife demands to see the manager who cooked her food. She also lectures him and says that she is a professional chef and is appalled at our inability to prepare a blue steak. Manager offers her a job at the restaurant since we obviously don’t know what I’m doing. Bitch Wife flies off the handle and storms out. Her husband follows meekly in her wake.
Nice Wife and Nice Husband leave me an immense tip. They’re so embarrassed by their friend’s behavior that they can barely look me in the eye. They leave and I start cleaning their table. Nice Wife comes back, presses an additional $20 into my hand, and whispers “I’m so sorry about the way she acted. If I’d known she would be that way I would have just fed her at my home… but she’s a chef and I don’t know how to cook.” She gives me a hug and leaves.
A few weeks later, Bitch Wife came back and got super drunk on Dewars on the rocks again. She ended up standing on her tiptoes screaming into the manager’s face in the middle of a packed dining room because there wasn’t cottage cheese on the salad bar. She was banned from the restaurant.
13. A Pregnant Wife
I waitressed in high school. This happened when I was ~16 or 17. A guy came in to eat with his family (a little girl and his pregnant wife). They were really really friendly and at first I thought it was a great table. The wife went to the bathroom and the guy asked for the check, and on the check he wrote his phone number in the tip area along with “call me baby”. I ran his card, waited until his wife came back, and brought over the guy’s card and his receipt. I handed the receipt to the pregnant woman and told her something was wrong with the tip. She got SUPER upset and I got in a lot of trouble with my managers for stirring shit.
like, in retrospect, I probably didn’t handle that the best way, but at the same time I was fucking furious that some guy would come to eat with HIS PREGNANT WIFE (they were both wearing wedding bands, acting couple-y, 99% positive they were married, pretty much 100% confirmed when I gave the wife the receipt with the guy’s “tip” on it) and try to hit on a girl half his age. wtf. wtf. if he’s pulling that shit so brazenly, god knows what else he’s doing behind his wife’s back.
14. One Place – Two Stories
Used to work at McDonald’s during high school. You really see all kinds come through there. A couple of stories come to mind:
1) Lady comes through the drive-thru and orders 3 large chocolate shakes. It’s a pretty rainy day out (relevant). I fill the order and pass it to my manager who happened to be working the window at the time. The lady rolls her window down about 6 inches and extends a hand to take the shakes. My manager points out that the cups are pretty tall, and she’ll have to roll her window down all the way so that they fit. She insists (rather loudly) that it’s fine because she doesn’t want to get wet. Nevermind that there is a little roof over the window, sheltering it from the rain. She takes the first shake, rotates it about 70 degrees, and puts it in her car. She repeats this process for the second one, except she smashed the lid against the window in the process. Of course, the crappy plastic lid popped off, spilling shake all down the side of her car, both on the inside and the outside. She flipped out. Yelling at my manager about how he didn’t put the lid on all the way, calling him stupid and all sorts of other shit. He hands her a big stack of napkins, puts on his best smile, apologizes, and makes her a new shake. She got way better than she deserved.
2) Lady comes through the drive-thru at 12:15 on a Saturday. Pretty much the busiest time there was at our store. She orders about $20 worth of food, and pulls around to the window. The cashier gives her total, and the lady hands her a big bag of unrolled coins, saying something like “I think it’s all there”. Cashier calls the manager, who politely tells the lady that we’re very busy and can’t count out all of these coins right now. He asks her to pull off to the side so that the people behind her can get through while we count out the change. The lady loses her mind, and starts bitching about how she was there first, and everyone else can wait until she is served. She again assures us that all of the money is there, and is angry that we won’t just accept her giant bag of coins as payment without counting it first.
15. Two Women, One Lunch.
Two women come in for a power lunch at Buzzard Billy’s, not the place I would have chosen for a business lunch, but whatever.
I greet them and they’re both very nice. Over the course of 2 hours, they order appetizers, entrees, drinks, desserts, and a more drinks. Their bill came up to about $250 for the two of them.
At the end of the meal they asked me to split their enormous check, which I did graciously since it was a large bill and was expecting a good tip. I hand them them bills and walk back to the kitchen expecting them to whip out corporate cards and pay. I come back to the table to discover them 1) gone, 2) they’d both paid by check (which we didn’t accept) 3) they had both rounded up to the next dollar for the tip.
I took my apron off, handed my boss all the cash and totaled out, and left , never to be a server again. Fuck that shit.
16. A Triple Burger
Customer: “… and a triple burger.”
Employee: “Okay, that’s $54.22.”
<a while later>
Customer: “Hey. I ordered a triple burger but only got two patties. Can you just toss another patty on it?”
Employee: “Sure! We’ll get that out ASAP!”
<in the ‘kitchen’>
Employee: “Hey. The guy ordered a triple burger but I accidentally rang in a double. He said he’s fine just having another patty thrown on it, we don’t need to remake it.”
Me: “Sure, I’ve got one just coming off of the grill for that other order. I’ll take that one out to him right away.”
Manager: “DID YOU CHARGE HIM FOR IT? GO CHARGE HIM FOR IT.”
Now, my thinking is that the guy spent upwards of $50 at a slightly nicer local burger joint, we fucked his order up, and he’s being totally accommodating in how we fix it. Let’s eat the fifty-cent cost and make him feel good about this.
My manager’s thinking is that we wouldn’t want to lose that twenty-odd cents of SWEET SWEET PROFIT fixing the guy’s order. We should go out to him with his burger sauce covered hands and tell him to dig his wallet out and come up to the counter and ring through another transaction FOR A FUCKING DOLLAR. Because we fucked up. It costs half our cost of the patty just to swipe his fucking debit card!
If it’s something minor, it was potentially/probably our fuckup, and the customer isn’t rude then fuck it, spending a few bucks a day/hour in keeping people happy like that is some of the best and cheapest advertising you can get.
17. First World Problems
I used to work at Starbucks. My store was by the beach, and very busy in summer. You could wait in the register line for up to a half hour or even 45 minutes. It’s not like we were dicking around back there. Just that busy.
So, the thing about Starbucks is, people forget that the line to wait for the drinks is going to be a while too. You still are going to wait for a bit even after the register. All of a sudden, you waited in line for 30 minutes, and your drink is supposed to be done lickety split.
We had a party of several high school age girls getting frappucinos, and they’d waited in line for a while to get them. So they were pissy. This one chick in particular was acting like an entitled little cunt, riding me and watching me like a hawk while I made these drinks. Asking me if each next drink was hers.
Finally I told her something like “I’m going as fast as I can, we’re very busy, your drink will be out as soon as possible.”
Her father heard me say that and decided I was being sassy (I really wasn’t) and threatened violence.
It never came to that, I ignored the prick just like I ignored his daughter, made the drink in order, and gave it to them. But jesus christ, threatening to punch some 19-year-old kid that’s half your size over the wait for a frappucino?
FIRST. WORLD. PROBLEMS.
18. “I will never go back!”
I worked in a Dunkin Donuts by the beach and it was terrible. On a Friday afternoon they scheduled just me to work the front and one girl to work the drive-thru. All the managers worked the same shift and were out of the store by 2pm. We literally had a line out the door. We were pushing out orders as fast as we could, but, of course, it wasn’t enough for some people. People were rude and cruel. One person starting mouthing off to me about how incompetent I must be and another customer looks at him and says, “are you blind? There is just two people working and they are going as fast as they can. If you don’t like it, leave.” I was so grateful for that.
Then she placed her order and left us like a $20 tip and told us she was waitress and she knew what it was like to deal with assholes like that. That job was terrible. I will never go back. I got hurt on the job because the mangers stacked things higher than was allowed and then would ask me to get it. I did it because I was young and stupid. I got hurt so bad I was having chest pain. The people I worked with told me if I left I was fired. My grandmother came in, told me it was just a job and I was going to the emergency room. Turns out I had pulled every muscle in my chest from lifting something I should have never been asked to lift in the first place. The GM told me to take a few days off and seemed to be nice about it. I didn’t know that I should have filed workemen’s comp, but again, I was young and stupid.
19. A Bag Of Money
I used to make coffee at an espresso bar where the coffee machine faced out of the front window. One morning, I think around 10, this very pale and sick looking middle-aged man in very dark glasses sat outside right in front of me at one of the tables and started smoking, something not allowed in that city. It’s quiet, but there are other people around so I sigh and go out the front to tell him he has to stop. All he has with him is a small plastic bag with maybe ten packets of cigarettes and what looked like a couple of grand in fifties and twenties, all mixed up.
I start telling him he has to put it out and he cuts me off, saying very quietly, “Leave me the fuck alone. You’re going to fuck everything up.” I freaked out and ran back to the coffee machine. Over the next five hours he smoked constantly and just stared at me. At one point, he came in and bought a bottle of water. I grew increasingly more terrified and wondered what kind of incredibly dangerous shit storm was about to unfold in front of me. I was too anxious to decide what to do.
A few minutes before I was scheduled to close, a car pulls up in front of the shop window and two uniformed police get out. The creepy guy gets up and walks over to the car, talks to the cops for a minute, then throws the bag of money in the back and drives off without the police, who just walk away.
tl;dr: Eye-menaced for five hours by a creepy man with a bag of cash and a weird and ambiguous link to the police.
20. Fun Times
I hate the ones who come in, order, say something like “Well I said chicken nuggets, but what I really meant was a hamburger. Can you fix it for me? And give me my money back for messing up my order?” Those piss me off and we get that at least once a week.
Also, being a little white girl in a predominantly black area means I get accused of racism any time I deny someone free food.
We are between three bars and a liquor store. Fun times, I tell you. Fun times.
I keep a blog of some of the funnier stories, but here’s one that’s not on there yet – leans more towards the funny than the horrible, but he was a bad customer.
Man wanders in with two brown paper bags from the liquor store next door. Already staggering drunk. I am surprised he was even able to buy whatever was on those bags. Usually they don’t sell to people who are already intoxicated. Anyways he comes up, orders a couple dollar menu items and sits down at the back of the dining room. I go on break – I was taking a lit class at the time, so I had some reading to do. The man finishes eating, leaves his trash on the table (which pisses me off. I don’t want to clean up after you!) and wanders to the front. He’s in line again, so I shrug off the trash. Maybe he’ll get it after he eats more. All of a sudden I hear a crash behind me, and the man is on the ground, and so is our big display sign, which is now ripped in half. I guess he fell and took it down with him.
He stands up again, orders something, sits down at the table right beside me. He starts hitting on me but I pretend to be so thoroughly engrossed in my book as to not notice. He eats, and then LIGHTS A CIGARETTE. I’m a little skittish around drunk people (I come from a family of violent alchies), so rather than tell him off, I pretend that my break is over and go in the back. I let my manager know what’s up, she comes out and tells him he can’t do that. He challenges her. “What are you going to do? Kick me out.” “Yes, I am. You can’t be in here with that cigarette lit. Put it out or get out.” The man gets up and starts to walk towards the door. My manager turns and starts to walk away, and the man, seeing this, stops where he is and starts smoking there. Twice, he tries to bring the cigarette back inside. My manager stands there watching until he puts it out. He comes back in to the second table he sat at, looks around and starts screaming.
He accuses everyone in the restaurant of conspiring to steal his liquor, says it probably hidden in the fridge in back, and how he’s going to have us all arrested. He calls the cops. After he gets off the phone with them he keeps yelling about how the customers were all rich fuckers who wanted him to blow more and more money on booze to keep him poor, and a lot of other bullshit. A family packs up their children and walks out. He’s making a lot of noise. Finally someone looks over at the mess he left on the first table and goes “Hey buddy, is that it over there?” So he goes and gets it, and starts screaming about how we all were hiding it from him and we were just being assholes playing a prank on him. He leaves before the cops show up. They come in, we explain what happened, they leave.