When I was in college, I worked at a Bennigan’s at the Inner Harbor in Baltimore. I loved that job. I had lots of fun, my coworkers were terrific. Customers ranged from demanding tourist assholes, to demanding, non-tipping assholes from the projects down the street, to fun business people and cops – lots and lots of cops. Those guys were the best. They’d come over after they got off duty, order beers, and tell stories. SO many stories!
Dealing with people is hard. I fully understand that. Some people are just jerks, and they treat wait staff like their own personal slaves. And dog forbid you don’t immediately cater to their every whim!
Yo! I want that couch seat (booth). I don’t like this one.
Hey, can you have the cooks put exactly 1/4 cup of Alfredo on my pasta – no more, no less!
I forgot to ask you for another drink refill when you were here a minute ago. Get it for me now. What, it’s not here yet?
We all want frozen daiquiris (from a table of 10). Why is it taking so long?
There’s not enough rum in my rum and coke. Take it back.
Why aren’t you writing anything down? (I always just memorized the orders for tables of six or less, unless there were a lot of special additions I had to write down.) If you don’t get our order just right, you’re not getting a tip.
There were demanding assholes.
There were assholes who would tip you $1 on a $75 meal and act like they were doing you a huge favor.
There were assholes who would send back their food if it wasn’t prepared just the way they wanted it multiple times and then demand their meal be comped, because they weren’t satisfied.
And yet, through all this, I never once considered doing anything unpleasant to their food, like spitting in it or worse.
I also had the picky customers who wanted their sauces on the side, who wanted their broccoli arranged in particular ways, and who would order gargantuan portions of food, followed by that Diet Coke.
And again, throughout my career as a waitress, I never ever messed with their food. I never surreptitiously replaced their diet soda with regular. I never gave them anything containing dairy, if they asked for something to be prepared dairy-free. I never rolled my eyes when someone would ask for a dish prepared a certain way because they couldn’t eat gluten. I simply took the order and ensured it was done the correct way.
In other words, I was never this asshole.
Food allergies are no joke, and for some the wrong ingredient can literally mean the difference between life and death. Despite this however, certain people in the service industry seem to take great pleasure in giving customers precisely what they DON’T want.
This was recently highlighted by an Imgur user named Amrikia, who posted about somebody boasting about having deliberately served people regular coke instead of the diet coke they’d asked for.
You know why I was never that asshole? Because people can die. Literally. Fucking. Die.
And because I’m not a murderer.
It costs me nothing to get the order right and not be that smarmy douche canoe who decided that the person ordering that gluten-free item doesn’t really need it – that they’re simply lemmings following a fad, and that I would show them how silly and superfluous their whole gluten-free thing is.
People. Can. Literally. Die.
I have a mild processed sugar allergy. My tongue breaks out in painful, red dots if I have more than a tiny bit of processed sugar, so I try to avoid it as much as possible. My life won’t be in danger if I ingest a regular Coke, but it won’t be pleasant.
A diabetic can die. Someone with a severe allergy to sugar – more severe than mine – can die.
If you give someone who is lactose intolerant dairy after they ask you for soy, you could cause severe intestinal distress. Someone with a dairy allergy could die. Someone with Celiac disease could die if you decide to be a snotty asshole and decide you’ll prove to them that their gluten-free fad is exactly that.
You think pulling one over on an unsuspecting customer, because you hate your job, or because you think they’re ridiculous for getting that diet soda with that big tub of popcorn, or because you’re just a miserable hemorrhoid, and you want the rest of the world to be just as miserable as you, is funny? You think because your fat ass can’t be bothered to do some exercise, it would be fun to ridicule those “skinny bitches” and undermine them by giving them a boatload of sugar? Are you really that jealous? Are you really that wretched that you need company in your swamp of mental shit?
Your best outcome is the customer asking you to replace that diet soda. I’ve done so numerous times after tasting the drink and realizing they (hopefully) unintentionally gave me regular soda.
Your worst outcome is that you kill someone. Is that something you really want on your conscience?
You get paid for customer service. It may not be a lot. It may be a shitty job to have to deal with people all day. But it is your job.
Do it, or get the fuck out. Don’t be that asshole.