It's not a secret that restaurant servers are some of the hardest workers around, but sometimes the stress of living off of tips gets a little out of control and they take it out on the customer. And nothing kills the mood of a having a nice dinner with friends and family than a rude server. These folks took to Reddit to share the tales of the rudest servers they ever had to deal with. Content has been edited for clarity.
"When I was 23, I landed my first position as an Executive Chef. I was recruited as part of a team to turn around a failing sports bar and restaurant in a busy college town. I decided to go check the place out the night after I got hired (also the night before I started work).
None of the staff had met me yet as I was recruited via a phone call. So, I walk into this place with a pretty lady friend of mine, wait almost 20 minutes to be seated (place was about half empty) and am most pleasantly greeted by our grumpy, overworked, under-experienced server.
'Heeyyyy, I'm Lisa,' she said. 'You want anything to drink?'
'This is gonna be good,' I think to myself.
'Oh yes, one glass of Louis XIII please,' I jested.
'Um, excuse me? I'm pretty sure we don't have that,' she replied.
'Haha, it's okay, miss. I'm only kidding. Two mojitos please.'
I heard her mutter 'freaking prick' under her breath as she walked away. When she returned with our drinks, I inquired as to whom she was referring with her previous statement.
'How DARE you?!' she said. 'Who do you think you are?! Where do you get off?!'
'Miss, please. I'm not here to make trouble, but that was very rude and inhospitable.'
'Well eff you and your freaking bimbo too! I don't care! You're not my boss!'
At this point, I put on my mental troll face and ask for the owner by name. She swallows the near instant fear in her throat and storms off to the back and promptly returns with him.
'Hello sir, what seems to be the problem?'he asked.
'No problem at all! I just wanted to take a minute to formally introduce myself before I begin work tomorrow!'
I thanked him for his time and hospitality and told him that I could not wait to begin work tomorrow and asked him to please make sure that all his staff would present in the morning...particularly this gem of a server. He smiled and thanked me and told me he looked forward to working with me. I glanced at my now exceedingly nervous server and winked.
At the end of our meal, I tipped her 50% (about $25) and wished her good luck for the next day. Then, I gave her a second chance.
I gave the entire staff a chance to serve me, one by one. They had to come in from the back room, set my table (cloth, plates, utensils, napkins, glasses), greet me, take my order, and serve me. They were either fired or hired on the spot. Only 3 out of 12 passed. She didn't make it past table setting."
"I'm the nightlife coordinator for Caesar Entertainment in Atlantic City. Most of the managers and higher-ups know me, however, unless I'm at one of the nightclubs the employees usually don't know me.
I was going to have dinner at one of our new restaurants with a friend of mine and her bachelorette party; I arrived early and decided to wait for them by the bar. I order a drink, and about five minutes later a bartender walks over to me. She tells me I need to move, because I'm sitting there with one drink, and she could be getting other customers. Mind you, it's a sit-down bar, and she singled me out for no apparent reason.
'I'm waiting for some friends.'
'I don't care. You're sitting here alone with one drink, and I have more important groups I could be waiting on, so move.'
'Tell you what, get your manager to make me move, and I'll gladly step away.'
It's at this point that she grabs two security guards and the manager, all of whom know me very well. 'I told him to get up and move, and he told me he's not going to unless you tell him.'
The Manager: 'Probably because he knows I would never do that. That's (my name), the nightlife coordinator for the four properties.'
Me (to her): 'You're fired.'"
"My dad told me this story. He and my mother met when they worked as a waiter and waitress in New York City back in the 1940s. Fast forward to 1980. They were out to dinner with a bunch of friends. The waiter was rude and/or inept, the food was cold, the evening was only saved by good friends and good conversation. My dad was in charge of the check. He collected money from everyone and figured on a 12-13% tip, as he figured the waiter may have been having a bad night and the cold food was not his fault. My dad left the money with the check, and they all left.
The waiter chased my dad to the parking lot, held out the tip he was given, and said, 'Do you really think this is fair, or do you not get out often and don't know how to tip?'
My dad looked at the waiter and said, 'Well, I was a waiter for many years and yeah, I know how to tip. I gave you the benefit of the doubt, figuring you were just having a bad night. But you're right, this amount is not right.' Whereupon my dad took a $10 from the waiter and continued, 'Now it's right...' and he got into his car and left.
"I took a good friend of mine out on a dinner date in an attempt to cheer her up (we'll call her T); she had lost her eye (saving my dumb self) and had just gotten out of the hospital. T is really depressed over everything, and her depth perception is so far gone, that you'd think she was hammered or not trying. We get to the place and instantly she notices almost every waiter staring at her. This was before T took her loss like a trophy, so she's clinging to my arm like she's trying to dodge the stares. We get our seats and our waiter comes, gets our order, brings us our stuff, and goes about his duty.
About half-way through the meal, T accidentally knocks her drink over and our waiter walks up and says, 'Try to be more careful, cyclops.'
I was furious, but before I could breathe a word, T gets right in the waiter's face and exclaims 'I would hit you for that, but I'd probably miss' and storms out. I walked out afterwards, didn't pay, and never went there again.
Afterwards, I took her to the place down the street (that we decided was too expensive before settling on the other place), kindly told the manager about T and what had happened at the last place, and we were treated like freaking kings. We got our meals half off, but I paid in full and told our waiter that everything after the half off price was his tip."
"I was on holidays with my girl in The Canary Islands. All the restaurants have a greeter outside to hustle for customers, most are on the charming side of aggressive, but will offer you free shots or a cheap bottle of plonk, so you let it slide.
One guy asked us to come in for dinner as we were passing by. I said we were only going for a stroll and would think about it and maybe come back later when we were hungry, which was true. He asked where we were from, I said Ireland. He said a few lines in Gaelic (all the greeters will know a line or two in most major languages, but because the area we were staying in was crawling with Irish we weren't too surprised) and we had a chuckle.
So, on the way back he asks us again. I said I think we'll keep looking. My girlfriend isn't listening, but he grabs me by the elbow and whispers into my ear, 'Pog mo thoin. Do you know what that means?...' (That's 'kiss my rear' in Gaelic) I was going to give him some choice words, but my girl was already dragging me away, so I could only give him a quick 'bug off, pal!' before he was out of earshot.
We finally chose a restaurant with a sweet sea-view as the sun was setting, but you could also see the restaurant where this cretin was hawking. I was fuming, but didn't want to ruin my girl's night so kept quiet.
Before the starter had come out, we hear a commotion and look down onto the street to see the same greeter jostling a dude in a Gaelic football jersey (Mayo, for anyone wondering) just at the same moment as this Irish dude pulls the sweetest dragon punch I've ever seen in reality. The greeter went through a table. It was glorious.
The funniest thing about it was that the greeters from the other restaurants started to clap and cheer, as did some punters from the restaurant where it happened."
"I was eating in for the first time at my usual sushi take-out place. When my order came (10 minutes after my sister's meal), it was totally wrong. I asked the waitress what she had given me because I couldn't even recognize the roll. She told me the name and left. I looked it up in the menu and it was $12.95! The roll I ordered was $5. I called her over and told her she had given me the wrong roll she said 'it's already been made.' When I looked at her in disbelief and asked her to take the roll back (I hadn't touched it at all), she walked away.
She avoided our table while we sat absolutely fuming at the ridiculousness of it all. When I finally flagged her down again and more forcibly asked her to take it away, she said 'it's your fault' and walked away again.
The sushi chef saw that I was upset and he started to talk to our waitress in Japanese. She pointed at me and started yelling. It was not pretty.
Finally, I blew a gasket and demanded that she take the roll away and that we'd like our bill to pay for the sushi that we actually ordered. As we went up to the counter to pay (which was right by the sushi chef's area) he handed over the roll I actually ordered. He was super polite and I told him that if he'd kindly put it in a take out box I'd happily pay for it. I looked the waitress in the eye and said 'I'll pay for the two rolls that I ordered and nothing more.'
She handed over the bill and what did the hag try to do?! She tried to charge me for the $12.95 roll. I lost it and so did my sister. We RAGED at her. It was incredibly awkward for everyone around us (the place has about six tables and it's tiny) so when we went to walk out the door the entire store was staring at us."
"It wasn't said to me but was said about me.
I was in Kansas City at this too-hip little restaurant that consisted of little more than a bar, a stage for the jazz band, and a few tables. I was in from out of town visiting friends from college and was sitting at the bar with them for about an hour waiting for a table to open up. When one finally did, the waitress came over to get us more drinks and talk about the menu (which was all prix fixe), on which all of the items were based on meat.
I'm a fairly strict vegetarian, so I'd had my reservations about going to the restaurant in the first place. I told the waitress very politely that I was vegetarian and if they couldn't make me anything I was perfectly happy just to nurse my drink for the rest of the night.
About 15 minutes later, one of the chefs came out and sat down at the table. The first words out of her mouth were, 'So, one of the waitresses came in to tell me that some dorky-looking loser wanted us to make him a vegetarian meal.'
'And what did you say to her?' I replied.
'Well, first I told her not to call my best friend a loser.'
Yep, I forgot to mention that my best friend from college was the head chef at this restaurant."
"About 15 years ago I took my parents to a pretty nice restaurant for Mother's Day brunch. They were a little late getting brunch started that day, leaving a crowd of about 40-50 in a line with nothing to do but stare at an empty dining room while the staff flitted around joking with each other instead of seating anyone.
After roughly 30 minutes, we were seated. When I saw our server approach, 20 minutes later, I turned my coffee cup right side up to accept a nice blast of java and noticed that the cup was dirty. Dirty isn't really the right word, there was something stuck to the inside rim of the cup that looked like a slug shaped wad of chew.
Our server went around the table pouring coffee saving me for last, at which point I said 'Can I get another cup please? This one is dirty' with my nicest 'please don't spit on my food' smile. She took a look at the cup, slug and all, then back to me, then back to the cup. She grabbed the cup, looked me right in the eye like a boss, and said 'Your mother didn't raise you right.' Then she turned and left.
I was so flabbergasted by her remark that an appropriate retort didn't become apparent to me until she was about 50 feet away, when I screamed at the top of my lungs 'I GUESS YOU DIDN'T REALLY WANT A TIP ANYWAY, DID YOU FATTY?' Just like in the movies, the now full restaurant goes completely silent with every eyeball in the place on me. We stayed, for whatever reason, and the server attempted to apologize several times.... to the point I had to ask her to stop annoying me with it and just do her job.
Not a single tip was given that day."
"It was not a waiter that was rude to us, but a restaurant owner.
My then-boyfriend (now husband) was looking for a place to take his parents for their respective 50th birthdays, which are close together so they usually just have one celebration. We'd been to this place before and loved it. Several other relatives were coming too, so we made a reservation for 12.
The trouble started early when we were seated at a table - actually several short tables thrown together - too cramped for our numbers. The tables were pushed so close to the wall - no more than a foot or so away - that the larger men in the family all were forced to sit on the other side of the table, and even the smaller people felt cramped. If the place had only had this tightly packed front room in which to seat us, the poor seating would have been understandable, but the restaurant also had a back room large enough to accommodate us, as well as an outdoor area suitable for a party of our size.
What was merely an uncomfortable situation became obnoxious when, after about 15 minutes, the owner approached us and asked if we could all shift down a little so he could take one of the short tables and give it to someone else. Since we were already squished - and had started eating the bread, enjoying our drinks, and using the place settings - my boyfriend's father said a polite but firm 'no.' The owner started arguing with us, even sitting himself down at the table (in a chair briefly vacated for a bathroom trip) to persuade us to move. He was getting pretty worked up. Eventually, he stalked away, muttering, 'I just thought you could help me out.'
After that, my boyfriend's aunt left the table to talk to the owner, basically telling him that we were there for a special occasion and would appreciate it if he didn't speak rudely to the birthday boy. He wasn't impressed. He told her that if she didn't like it, we could all leave.
We probably should have taken his advice.
Our poor server tried mightily to salvage the evening, but his boss could be heard muttering things about us under his breath whenever he passed our table. On several occasions, he started in with members of our party about how we could sit more compactly if we would shift how we were sitting mid-meal.
Towards the end of the disaster that was dinner, the owner came over one last time and tried to make peace. He soothingly admitted to my boyfriend's mother that we had all gotten off to a bad start and that he may have been at fault - but could not end it like that. Within 30 seconds of his apology, he followed up with something to the effect of, 'but if you had just squeezed a bit tighter like I asked you to, we all would have been much happier.'
When it came time for dessert, my boyfriend asked the server if it would be possible for his parents' desserts to have candles put in them, and if the rest of us could order dessert, too. The server was midway through taking our dessert orders when the owner pulled him away, shaking his head vigorously. The owner came back to tell us that there were simply too many people waiting for tables and he couldn't serve us dessert.
Furious, we paid and walked out the door. Performing for the group of people waiting to be seated, the owner called after us in a saccharine voice, 'Have a wonderful evening,' to which my boyfriend's father replied, 'We'll never have one here again.' The owner said, 'Never come back to my restaurant!' and slammed the door behind us."
"Not something he said, but something he did.
I had just left the hospital, and some friends picked me up to get a bite to eat. I had a third-degree ACL tear in my knee, so I was limping around wearing this hip-to-ankle leg brace - you couldn't miss it.
We grab a table, and I'm on the outside (not beside the wall, but next to the walkway) with my bad leg tucked safely under the table and my good leg 'protecting' me on the outer edge. Our waiter is this curt, unfriendly dude who was glaring at me the whole time.
Eventually, when he brings our food (slamming the plates down roughly), he manages to kick my bad knee under the table while reaching to put food down on the far side. This on its own I wouldn't hold against him. But it hurt, and I yelled 'Ow!' pretty much in his ear (as he was leaning in front of me). The dude doesn't even react. My friend picks up on it: 'Uh, you just kicked her.' The waiter just walks away.
So my friends decide that he will get a $1 tip on each person's bill. (I am not an advocate of tipping poorly but having had a fairly bad day end with being kicked on my already injured leg, so I was okay with it given the circumstances.) My one awesome friend writes a note on her receipt explaining WHY he was getting a bad tip. Then we get up and slowly make our way outside. At this point, the waiter pretty much chases us down and catches us at the door.
'I didn't kick a girl with an ACL injury!' He seems outraged.
'Uh, yes you did. That would be me,' I reply exhausted and kind of shocked that it was even a question. My friends step in to relate the story of how I even yelled, and he was oblivious. He's like: 'Well then I'm sorry.' He sure didn't sound sorry. What did he want us to do, go back in and give a better tip? He turns angrily back into the restaurant.
The clincher: as he went in, another couple was leaving, and they overheard everything. Looking at my leg, the woman says: 'He kicked you?! I passed by him inside earlier, and he elbowed me and didn't say a word!' What an a-hole."
"I was a waiter for a long time. I made decent money and liked working nights and being around people and staying in motion. But it takes a certain type to enjoy the work and do it well.
I learned most of what I know about waiting tables from an older guy who took me under his wing when I got my first server job. It was a really nice, expensive restaurant, and new servers were expected to backwaiter for a few weeks before they were trusted enough to take tables themselves.
I was backwaitering for this guy, who I'll call M, and this happened:
Party of eight. Couples. Celebrating something. Not a birthday, not an anniversary. Probably business guys closed a deal and taking the wives out for a night on the town. Drinks flow. Appetizers disappear. Finally, M is making the rounds, taking orders. He's already discussed the night's specials in detail, already sold a couple of $40+ entrees.
Then, he gets to The Loud Guy. This guy has a few drinks in him and, much to the chagrin of his visibly embarrassed wife, has decided to impress everyone with how awesome and knowledgeable he is. So, of course, he asks M to repeat all the specials. M does. The dude starts drilling down to specific ingredients, even asking what kind of herbs are in the Béarnaise sauce (it's tarragon, moron, it's a freaking Béarnaise sauce). Now, this is at 8:00 PM on a Friday night. M and I have three other tables of four already seated. I'm doing what I can, but M is trapped at this eight-top. Loud Guy keeps asking stupid questions and wanting to chat.
Finally M says, 'Sir? I'm sorry, but I have other tables that need my attention. May I take your order?'
Loud guy freaks out. How rude, blah blah blah.
M looks at him and says, 'I'm sorry sir, I didn't realize I was here to entertain you.' And then he starts dancing. Like, John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever disco moves. He boogies around the whole table, says to me 'Get this guy's order!' and pelvic-thrusts his way back to the kitchen, leaving the eight-top speechless.
The guy ordered a steak. Medium well. Dirtbag."