I worked at a Farrell's Ice Cream Parlor restaurant after high school, for 18 months. We had a
few changes in management teams during my tenure, and the new crew had been in power about 2 months. I was a waiter, only
worked lunch shift, and I helped in the dish room 2 days a week to give the regular girl a couple days off.
Well, this BITCH supervisor Krista had been getting on my nerves. We had a dispute over the schedule the Friday before,
and she had insulted me. It was now Presidents Day, and the place was packed. Krista was the only supervisor on
duty; the managers had the day off. I also noticed on my way in that she had put me on the schedule to CLOSE THE
DISH ROOM the following Saturday night! (I wouldn't close any night, and the manager knew it, so that was no real
threat, but the NERVE....)
I was waiting tables, already an hour past my shift, and she asked me if I would take the dish room for 1/2 hour to give the dish girl a break. I agreed, since I had my hours already, thinking that I'd be free after that. Wrong -- 15 min. into it, she sent the dish girl home! I finished the 1/2 hour and told her. She said "please do one more rotation of bus tubs." I did. I had the dish room clean and empty, and I told her I was done. She pointed to full bus tubs and said, "rotate those in..." rather callously, and walked away. She was planning on keeping me there all friggin day! I thought about the previous events, and decided enough was enough. She was too busy to notice that I had gone into the back and changed into my street clothes, and the dishes were piling high. She finally came searching for me, and finding me, said, "What are you doing?"
I said, "Nice workin' for ya; but if you want those dishes washed, you can wash 'em yourself!"
Her reply (get this): "That's it! You're not on next week's schedule!!!" (NO SH*T SHERLOCK! I QUIT!!!)
Needless to say, I laughed all the way out the door.
IF YOU WERE QUITTING TONIGHT, WHAT WOULD YOU DO?
Andy and Shawn, Reading, PA
The year was 1996 and I was doing double duty as a graduate student and a server in a popular Washington DC casual restaurant. I was about to get my degree and move into the "real" world of 9 to 5 employment and after years of supporting myself with restaurant jobs, I was up to my eye teeth with the idiocy and disrespect of the general public (I probably had 75% more education then some of the horrible, miserable, bored wives who talked down tome everyday).
It was the very last table of my very last shift at this restaurant. The couple had Russian accents and, wondering if this may cause a tipping problem since I'm not familiar with Russian custom, I politely asked where they were visiting from and how they were enjoying Washington. "Oh no," they told me, "We've lived here in DC for 10 years." "Whew!" I thought. After the meal was completed and I had given my usual stellar service, the bill came to $56.58. They left the money on the table and departed. I went over and saw that they had left me $57.00 total.
Well, I don't need to tell any of you how frustrating this is. After ranting to my busboy and anyone else on staff who would listen, I went over to the table and noticed a bag with the Ann Taylor logo on the side. I thought to myself, "Either I can have what's in this bag as my tip and hope it fits, or I can make sure this doesn't happen to another server of this couple again." At that point, I flung off my apron and ran out the door. I don't know what caused me to turn left down the street and not right, but I found them strolling up the road just a few hundred yards ahead of me. "Hey!" I yelled, "You forgot your shopping bag!" When they stopped to thank me, I let them have it: "Don't you ever pull this on anyone again. You've lived in America for 10 years and you know the damn rules. Tips are the only salary servers get." The man was so flustered and embarrassed, he pulled out his wallet, thrust a $20 bill in my hand and turned sheepishly away. I strolled proudly back into the restaurant.
A Bit of Dom Helps
While traveling through Europe and the U.K., I ended up getting a job in a snooty wine bar in North Harrow, just outside of London. I was in dire need for work, so wasn't too picky when I was offered the job. Bad decision.
This place was the worst, weirdest twilight zone place I had ever worked in. The owner was screwing the head waiter. The owner's husband was screwing a waitress who worked at their other restaurant, and to top it all off, the kitchen was run by a guy who couldn't speak a word of English and would sit in his car in the back alley after work and drink a six pack. But worst thing about the place, NO TIPS.
The stupid bastards charged a 10%service charge on every bill (most of which were quite high) and we didn't see a penny of it. The time eventually came when I was ready to jet back to Canada, so I gave notice, and low and behold, on the last night I working, there was a big banquet in the other restaurant which was located 100 miles outside of London. The owner decided that I should close the restaurant that night, but with the help of a former manager. So much for ripping them off right? WRONG!!
The former manager hated the restaurant as much as I did, and after all the customers left, we drained two bottles of expensive wine (50 pounds each) as well as a bottle of Dom (which I had never tasted before). In a last declaration of revenge, I re-wrote the reservation book for the rest of the year. Never got a chance to find out how things went...
Overworked & Undertipped, Toronto, On
It happened in one of those restaurants that has the cheesy antiques hot glued to the walls and the typical brass and plastic ferns.
I was fed up with the way things were going and just wanted so badly to walk out. But, it was my manager I wanted some revenge on. I asked him to follow me to the dining room on one of the busiest nights of the week. As he followed...I leaned over to every table along our route and said pleasantly yet, firmly..."fuck you...fuck you"...I did this to every table we passed.
The manager didn't have time enough to reprimand me in front of the customers....He was busy telling them..."Don't worry, you meal is free tonight".
As I got to the table closest to the door, I did my typical routine of leaning down and saying "fuck you"...I stood tall and looked my manager in the eye and said one more final "FUCK YOU" and then turned and walked out the door feeling better than I ever have before.
—David, Greenville, SC
For two and a half years I washed dishes, and was not deemed 'acceptable' to work on the serving line at any meal but breakfast. (I believe it was my shortness and glasses that kept me out of the line) To make matters worse, My last summer there, I said I needed all the hours I could get. The result: I worked ONLY on weekends! Here I was, having to save for college and help out in my sisters wedding, and getting next to nothing in the way of payment! The summer was drawing to a close, and I had told my boss I needed two weekends off at the start of the summer, and again two weeks before! When I saw myself on the schedule the day of my sisters wedding, I went and told the boss (Ed) I wouldn't be in. He spazed, but let me off anyway. I went in that Friday for my check. The boss sweetly asked if I'd be back next summer after school. I looked him right in the eye and said "Nope...I quit! Find someone else to yell at that dish machine!" I stalked out and never came back.
—Emily, Kansas City, MO
I worked at a breakfast restaurant here in Montreal for about 3 months. I was eager to get the job to begin with but only realized after I had started how much I hated it.
The customers that were coming in were not only very demanding but also very cheap! My manager as well was doing all in his power to make my stay there as uncomfortable as possible. He would place me in the worst section and schedule me at the least busiest times.
When quitting day came around, I already had another job lined up that night!
I went into work that morning anticipating 3 p.m. to come around so that I could leave for good! That day a Saturday, we were only 4 waiters on the floor, usually enough staff to cover the floor. Unfortunately, the place got packed and I ended up having to serve over 20 tables at one shot.
Part of the menu is to serve a basket of toast with every breakfast served. I was serving a group of 10, 2 tables of 8, a couple tables of 4 and the rest were deuces.
My manager came up to me and asked why there wasn't any toast on the tables where people were eating breakfast. I grabbed him and told him that if he's got the time to notice that people don't have toast on the table then he's got the time to put some on the tables. At this juncture in time, I pointed to the toaster and told him to make some (expletive) toast!
When all my clients had left, I cleaned up my section, did my cash, handed it to my manage on my way out the door and told him "It's been fun, c'ya!" and walked out the door.
I recently went back and found out that my manager had been demoted from manager to waiter, so now I get to go in and give him a hard time
Disgruntled employee, Montreal
When I was 16 I got my first job at Shoney's. I was the only girl there that was not a middle-aged, toothless, goal-less, hopeless crack ho, and, was therefore hated. My manager, whose name I have lovingly forgotten, gave me all the grunt work. She made me close every night and gave me the two hour long side work to go with it. Don't forget I still had high school to go to in the morning. She even had the nerve to steal a paper I was writing to give to her ill-bred illiterate son for his studies while I got an incomplete. That bitch tried to play it off even though I found it in her locker at work!
We had a shift that was a call in shift. You called in at a certain time to see if you were needed. Well after getting kicked out of my parents house one Monday I miss my call-in time by twenty minutes. When I called and explained she made it sound like it was no biggie and to come the next day. Well, when I came the next day, she fired me for calling in late and said the circumstances were no excuse. UM HELLO! I GOT KICKED OUT OF MY HOUSE!! AS IN NOWHERE TO GO'!! She should've been grateful I called at all!
After realizing reason was getting me nowhere she told me to turn in my shirt and apron and get the hell out. so...I...did... I took of my apron....handed it to her ...took off my shirt...and handed it to her. And walked out of the restaurant during business hours with my tits flopping in the breeze. They still talk about me in that town.
I really think I might quit. This could be it. After 15 years of
serving, which I have mostly liked, I think I might just go become a dive
instructor, or maybe a yogi at an ashwan in the middle of a unfamiliar map, or
sell t-shirts in the streets, or earrings made out of pasta. Anything
else, after Horseradish Man. He broke me I think. I'm done. I've
done diners, pizza places, night club cocktail waitress...all of it. But
for the last 8 years it's been fine dining. Really high end fine dining.
Lovely food, lovely wine, gorgeous rooms, perfect service, appreciative
customers, ok money....not the 1000's of dollars a night non-waiters think you
make of course...but ok.
But....Horseradish Man. AAAARRRRRGGGGHHHH Came in to celebrate his girlfriends birthday. She..lovely and smiley (but perhaps a Stepford wife, I could almost hear the cogs whirring under her astounding fake breasts). He...nasty, grumpy, angry, determined to be a real bastard, and a bit smelly too. I...took down elaborate instructions to enable the bartender to prepare his favorite drink (a horrific concoction of cranberry juice, melon liquor and something blue). Took a couple of these back because we failed to make them horrible enough...finally he accepted the drinks with much criticism of our bartenders ability to prepare said horrible blue crap. Criticism continued throughout the meal. The menu was crap, he didn't like anything on it. The room was too cold ( I turned up the heat). The room was too hot (I turned down the heat). He didn't like this table (I moved them mid starters). He didn't like this table either. (Since at 8:00 on Sat. night I would have had to throw a perfectly nice couple into the street to move him again I just apologized profusely). He wanted me to recommend a wine...I did...several options...several price points, he chose one, he hated it. He said it was "fucking gross".
Count to ten.
I took the wine back. I sent our wine director over. He suggested
a wine. This wine also..."fucking gross are you trying to rip us
off". He decided to stick with blue cocktails.
The finale....he ordered a tenderloin. The only beef on a "we're so fabulous fish and rabbit and organ meat and froth and tower and quenelle and lung wonton and tiny bits of other weird things menu". Yes, the food is fucked and shockingly expensive...but...the menu is posted on the door. THE MENU AND PRICES ARE POSTED ON THE DOOR. The sign does not say 'All you can eat Chicken and Ribs'. If, perchance, you cannot read, then the hostess/supermodel slinking towards you and taking your coat and asking if she could take your phone and answer your calls and pass on messages during the meal should have been your clue that you are not in Kansas.
The beef arrived. He asked for horseradish. I asked the chef. No. We have no horseradish. I relayed the information. He stared in what I hoped was disappointment, but what I now believe was complete insanity. His girlfriend smiled sweetly and admired her astounding breasts.
He freaked out. His meal was ruined, his day was ruined, his girlfriend's birthday was ruined, his blue drink was ruined. His entire life was possibly ruined. The restaurant was gross, it was fucked, I was a moron, I was a fucking moron, I was a fucking gross moron.
Deep breath....deep breath.
Could we bring him another condiment. Mustard? Hot pepper oil?
Deep fried dishwasher? Could we prepare something else for him?
Anything? at all?
Stroke of inspiration. I fled, across the street and down a block to the drugstore and its sad little grocery aisle. Horseradish, there it was with the ketchup and hot dog relish. Purchased with my own money while my other perfectly lovely tables languished under the watchful yet impotent eye of my non-English speaking busboy. I tried to send him for the horseradish but after much explanation was afraid he'd come back with a jumbo box of cornflakes or a 24hr wear lipstick in deep rose.
Me...sweating, out of breath, triumphant, at the table with the horseradish decanted hastily into the nearest receptacle. "Horseradish sir". Pause for thanks and gratitude.
He...refused the horseradish. It was too late. His meal was ruined. I was an idiot. This place was a dump and etc
I...lost it...really lost it...really really lost it. For years I have been calm under fire. Deep breath....didn't work....felt like dry wood in a furnace. Lost it, big time. I apologized for ten full minutes. I apologized for myself, for the restaurant, for the chef, for the owners. I apologized for the tables and the table makers and the tile makers who make wobbly tables possible. I apologized for the heating systems and the fans and the lights and the napkins and the glass makers and the linen makers and the silverware designers and my hairdresser who colored my hair. I apologized for the length of time it took me to run to the store, and for my parents who didn't spawn a faster runner. I apologized for the farmers who grew the vegetables and the geneticists who created the cow that gave birth to the calf that became his overcooked steak. I apologized for western civilization and for bread and for chairs and for the class structure and for the demand for service jobs in the current economy and for......apologized....until I couldn't any more. Until I couldn't think of anything else. And then I left. I left my other tables, I left my Lebanese busboy, I left and took off my apron and took off my trendy red tie and left. And came home, and turned off my phone and got drunk on vodka from my freezer (nothing blue).
And I talked to my manager today (two days later) and he said come back, you are good, you are calm, we know something very very very bad made you do that.
And I think I'm going to be a dive instructor, or a yogi, or an earring maker or something.
Jude - Vancouver, B.C.
I worked at a BBQ joint. (yes for some reason they're all called "joints")
One table actually asked, "What's the difference between the pulled pork and the
shredded beef?" My reply: "One goes 'Oink,' one goes 'Moo'. I was then asked:
"Do the sandwiches have two pieces of bread?" My reply: "Are you serious?" I
SoDak, Sioux Falls, SD