Monday, July 23, 2012

From the Vault: A Delightful Assortment of Douches

In honor of The Bitchy Waiter publishing one of my old restaurant rants as one of his vacation guest posts, I am pulling a few recipients of my weekly "Douchiest Customer Award" feature.  

First of all, if you're a new reader brought here by The Bitchy Waiter or Facebook, welcome. (If you're an old reader, sorry...I know my neglect has been reprehensible.) Before we begin, let me explain: my blog used to be one of those food service bitching blogs, until I got a corporate job. Then, once I realized corporate land sucked only slightly less than the food service, it became an office worker bitching blog. After about two years of writing on Prose Therapy (which also happened to be one of the most unhappy periods of my life, which no doubt informed the overall tone), I made a few positive life changes and removed most of the vitriolic posts, saving them in a separate Word file, because let's face it - I'm not The Bitchy Waiter. I'm just kind of a bitch.

Still, a dose of snark here and there never hurt anyone (okay, that's not true, but at least I never named names). Now that I am leaving town to go to graduate school and, as such, will leave both jobs behind, perhaps this is as good of a time as any to reflect on why, in part, I chose this path.

Unlike our Bitchy friend, I (thankfully) never waited tables. I cashiered at a bakery-cafe chain (whose name may or may not mean "time of bread") for three years, near a very large college campus. While I was spared the horrors of refilling people's water seventeen times, relying on tips to sustain me, and dealing with people for more than a few minutes at a time, my experience was similar to any restaurant worker's - I was, after all, dealing with customers.

Oh, customers. Customers and their money. Customers and their food. Their egos. Their children. Their demands, lies, condescension, cheapness, messes, and entitlement. Sometimes it was hard to pick just three of them for my Douchiest Customer list each week.  

From October 31, 2010: Keep the Change, You Filthy Animal

You ordered an iced tea from me. You were overly nice and called me by my first name. This, of course, made me suspicious from the beginning. You paid with a $20, and I gave you your $18 and change.

Or, at least, I was pretty sure I gave you $18 and change. I was tired, hungry, and dizzy, and by that point had been hoping a break for that action long enough to get a drink of water for three hours. I really just wanted you out of my way, so I was not paying attention when you apparently hid the $10 underneath your receipt, in your pocket, or up your ass. 

You showed me $8 and asked me, as if you were trying to figure it out yourself, wasn’t the change supposed to be more than that? Typically I’m very careful about counting change, about counting it in my hand so I can see and feel it and know it was correct, but this one time I thought to myself, ‘Finally, a low-maintenance order,’ and didn’t.

I saw the $8 in your hand and said that I was sorry, and yes, you had paid with a $20 and not with a $10 bill—that much I did remember clearly. Because I have screwed up before and given people the wrong change or forgot to altogether, and because I don’t trust my own instincts, I entered my manager numbers to open up that drawer and handed you $10. 

So tell me, MOTHERFUCKINASSWIPEPIECEOFSHITASSFUCKERSCUMBAGFUCKFACESHITHEADDOUCHEFUCK (as I referred to you in the office later when my deposit came up $10 short), where did you go with those extra ten dollars? Was it worth it? Would it have been worth it if I worked for the kinds of people who would fire me on the spot for shit like that, instead of telling me it was okay and that they knew I didn’t steal it and they would fix it? What then?

What did you buy? Cigarettes, booze, a sandwich, a $10 hooker? Whatever it was, I hope that iced tea gives you the jitters, the pack of smokes gives you cancer, the alcohol gives your liver cirrhosis, the sandwich gives you a heart attack, or the hooker gives you AIDS. 

Had you gotten me fired, I would have found a way to do at least one of these things myself.

From October 9, 2010: You Don’t Even Count as a Customer…
…because you walked up to the counter, asked the cashier for a coffee, and acted all shocked and shaken when he put out a cup and told you it would cost $1.69 (oh, the horror—shit costs money!). So then you asked if he had change, and when he said no had the nerve to ask if you could get coffee for free.

I have to hand it to you, man. You have balls.

From October 2, 2010: Pick Two Soup is Still Soup 

Any time I open the store on a Saturday and my first customers are 20-year-old males with bloodshot eyes, I know a few things instantly: 

1. You’re an obnoxious prick. 
2. You’re still drunk and/or high. 
3. You’re an obnoxious prick. 
4. You did not go to bed last night, unless you coerced some poor young skank into sleeping with your grody ass. 
5. You think it’s really impressive that you’re “up early” (doesn’t count if you didn’t go to bed, sorry) and want free shit. 
6. You’re an obnoxious prick. 

You met all these criteria (except #3, most likely, because I cannot imagine anyone sleeping with you). You were also hilariously disoriented. 

You: So, um, what’s like the easiest thing for you to make right now? I know you’re probably getting ready to close so I’ll just have whatever you can make. 
Me: [Thinking] Oh, dear. 
Your More Coherent Friend: Dude, I’m pretty sure the sign says they just opened. At 6. 
You: Oh. So, what can I get? What’s good? 
Me: [Draws in breath to answer] 
You: Can I get soup? 
Me: No, we don’t have soup ready. We have breakfast, and can make sandwiches or salads. 
You: Oh. Do you still have that pick two deal, with the sandwich and soup? 
Me: We don’t have soup ready. 
You: Oh. You don’t have any soup? 
We do have soup--fresh from the freezer. It’s sitting in a plastic bag, which is sitting in a giant vat of filthy hot water.
Me: No. No soup. 

You ordered a couple of bagels, and your friend ordered a sandwich. About fifteen minutes later, I noticed you passed out, face-down on the table. 

August 28, 2010: Here Are Some Foreign Words for You, Fuckwad

I knew you’d be a stronzo when I heard you in line telling your friend about the German word for such-and-such, but I greeted you anyway and figured none of this pretension would affect me in any way.

You looked at me through your thick-rimmed glasses and asked for a “cwah-SONT,” as minchias who want to let the world know they spent a summer abroad (not necessarily in France) or took a quarter of French tend to do. Your friend, who seemed far less of a stunad, said,

“Dude, do you really need to pronounce it like that?” and you made some snarky remark about how it was correct, as if none of us was aware that this was a French word. 

I, like an idiot, decided it would be a great time to make a joke, and said,

“Yeah, this is Amuuurrrrrrica!” in my best hick voice, to which you responded,

“Um, if it weren’t for France, then there wouldn’t be an America. Thank you, Mr. Lafayette.”

Mmkay. First off, I took history too, maricón. Second of all, it was a fucking joke – learn to take it like a real man. Thirdly, while I’m all for respecting the role that our friends across the pond played in shaping this country, we’re still in this country. We’re stubborn and butcher languages of origin and don’t give a fuck about it. (According to, my authority on everything English,” kruh-sahnt” is an acceptable alternative pronunciation.) France’s relative historical impact on this country has absolutely nothing to do with this croissant you’re ordering, which was made by a woman named Andrea while country-western music blared on the radio.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the accomplishments of others do not earn you the right to tell other people how to pronounce certain words or lecture them on the importance of people with whom you have no affiliation whatsoever. Lafayette, French pastries, and European culture are not any more yours to claim than mine, you schweinhund.

From Saturday, August 7, 2010: Businessmen Are Self-Absorbed Assholes, Part 2

You ordered a large caramel latte. My boss made said latte. Upon finishing she got ready to add the whipped cream topping, and instead of politely informing her you did not want the whipped cream you shouted,

"Whoa, whoa, WHOA!!!!!!!" at her as if she were holding the cup underneath her crotch and getting ready to piss in it.

Was the whipped cream really a matter of life and death, or do you just feel more powerful if you try to make it so? Like, if you pretend having whipped cream on your latte is a nightmarish catastrophe that you miraculously managed to stop, you can pretend you saved the day at the firm?

If I remember you don't want whipped cream on your latte next time you come in will you praise me for my initiative, take me under your wing, and offer me a position at your company? And then, would I earn a six-figure salary and the right to act entitled and boss around random people, disqualifying them from my "people in the world who know what I want and therefore what matters" list every time they are unable to read my thoughts?

No, you won't, mostly because next time I'll put whipped cream (and maybe more...wink wink) in your drink.

Sunday, July 25, 2010: Leave the Product Knowledge to the Employees and We'll Leave the Faux Food Snobbery to You

Arrogant Asshole Sack of Dung: [In an extremely condescending tone] Every time I order this sandwich, which says ‘asiago cheese’ comes on it, I get some other type of cheese [pointing to a sandwich that says it comes on asiago bread]. Do the managers not know what asiago cheese is?
Manager: Actually, the asiago cheese is baked into the bread [points to same sign, which clearly states that cheddar cheese comes on the sandwich].
AASOD: Well, what about the panini [points to a sandwich that does come with asiago cheese]? I never found asiago cheese on that one.
Manager: The asiago cheese actually comes in flakes, not slices. It’s an oven-baked sandwich, so the cheese is melted onto it and kind of blends in with the spread. 
AASOD: Oh. Well. Um. It was just my wife’s question anyway [points to woman next to him, who has not spoken a word the entire transaction].

From July 17, 2010: A Compilation

“Is this mine?”

I dunno. Let’s figure this out together. Did you order a lemonade? Okay, check. Now, let’s make sure this very drink is meant for you, and not the others sitting up here. Wait a minute…my stars, this is the only drink sitting on this counter! Yes, I do believe that when I shouted, “Lemonade!” six times this was the lemonade to which I was referring, and therefore yours. And it must be yours, because when the ticket came out it also had ‘deaf, bleach-blond sorostitute with ostentatious sunglasses and a gaudy pink sundress’ printed on it, so it’s not like you would have had to bother to tell me what you ordered when you asked if this was yours anyway. Actually, never mind. Come to think of it, this is the wrong drink. Could you wait just a moment while I get you my specialty lemonade, otherwise known as piss over ice?

From July 6, 2010: Walk of Shameless

One bright Saturday morning two springs ago, you came in to order food like all the other hungover students out to cram carbs into their queasy stomachs. 

You were wearing the following: A man's oversize t-shirt, tucked into a man's boxer shorts (which were rolled several times), last night's makeup, and heels.

You were not wearing any of the following: A bra, pants, or your dignity.

You smiled at me and politely placed your order as if you were pretending it was two hours from now and you had showered and properly dressed. I apologize if I laughed at you - perhaps it was a sociology experiment and you were testing me?

From July 6, 2010: Mr. and Mrs. Thurston Howell

One unseasonably warm night early in the spring I was closing the dining room, and you and your husband walked in a couple of minutes before my manager locked the doors. You each ordered soup and sat down. Not wanting to disturb your late dinner, I found a few other things to do until I had nothing left except to start floors. As I started to get a few feet away from your table with the broom, you looked into my eyes for the first time and said, 

"Oh honey, come back later. I don't want any dust in my fur."

I was delighted. I thought that rich people only talked like this on TV. I immediately put the broom down and darted into the office, where my startled manager was counting drawers, and told him what happened. I then proceeded to find each of the other four closers and tell them all individually also. I wanted to write a song, a poem, and a story about it. I was too amused to be mad; most people shy away from such blatant "I wear fur when it's 50 degrees out, you sweep floors" classism but you, Mrs. Howell, were not shy about it. For this I applaud you.

June 12, 2010: Gaggles of Graduating Girls 

Congratulations on finishing finals and four (or five, or six) years of undergrad! Either you had too much to drink at last night’s senior bar crawl or our food didn’t agree with you. I don’t know and don’t really care which was the culprit, but I do know that every time a female employee or I would use the bathroom on Friday one of y’all was in the other stall either throwing up or spewing explosive diarrhea into the toilets which some unfortunate soul would be cleaning later that night. Way to celebrate being officially educated! 

...andddd that pretty much sums up three years of my life. 

Once again, new readers, welcome. Feel free to stay a while.


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