I had a horrible customer last night and just need to vent to people who will understand. I work at a restaurant in Southern Minnesota that is similar to Applebee's but just a little bit pricier. Most customers are decent ("Minnesota nice" and all) but last night, I served the King of all assholes.
It was a normal Monday night, not packed but not slow, when I noticed I was being sat with a man and who I presume was his wife and young daughter. Even from a distance, I noticed the scowl on the man's face immediately.
I approached the table and before I could say a word, he barked out "I'll have a Pina colada and make sure there is plenty of alcohol in it!"
Oh boy, let the games begin. "Certainly, sir. Would you like to make it a double?"
This suggestion seemed to insult the jackhole, because he practically spat out "No, I don't want to pay extra! Just make sure there is plenty of alcohol in it!"
The wife ordered a 22oz Bud Light with olives in it.
A few minutes pass and I bring the drinks to the table. Almost immediately, the man (not his wife) proclaims that there are not enough olives in his wife's beer. I go fetch some more olives, which remained untouched until I brought them back to the dish pit after their meal. When I return, the man tells me there isn't enough alcohol in his Pina colada and wants it remade. (Surprise!) They also order their food at this time. I put their orders in and bring the guy his new drink. He seems satisfied for the time being.
Between the time they placed their order and the time I brought out their food (maybe 15 minutes) the man flagged me down three times to bring extra things to their table, always barking it as a command and never acknowledging me when I dropped off his requests. At one point, he even interrupted me while I was taking another table's order to ask for another cherry for his drink.
Finally, their food comes out and I knew, in my heart of hearts, that he would complain about something. Sure enough, a couple of minutes after I set down his fajitas, which were literally sizzling, I hear him cling his knife on his glass. I look up from wiping a table and he beckons me over with his finger.
"These need to be taken back because they aren't hot enough. And I WILL need to speak to your manager tonight, because this has been unacceptable."
I bring his fajitas back to the kitchen and get my manager. She went and talked to him, and apparently, he was rude to her, too. She ended up bringing his new fajitas back to him to make sure he was satisfied.
At this point, I was dreading going back to the table, but I noticed his Pina colada was empty so I asked him if he wanted another one. "Yes, but get that other server [who just walked past] to make it because she knows how I like it."
The other server, who has never been a bartender and has also never seen this guy before, is stumped but goes and talks to him. Apparently, the first Pina colada "was too thin." Fine. She brings him another.
A few minutes later, while I was wiping a table close to his, I hear him complain to his wife that I'm incompetent. Awesome.
I bring it out and, OF COURSE, he is pissed that there isn't enough whip cream on it and wants me to remake it. I brought the stupid sundae back to the kitchen and immediately started crying. I feel stupid for cracking, but his guy just got to me so much. My manager ended up bringing the new sundae and the check (with the fajitas, one Pina colada, and dessert comped) to the table. He stiffed me, of course, but I didn't care at that point.
The weirdest part is that the whole time, his wife was polite and pretty pleasant. From what I saw, him and his wife never said a word to one another through the whole meal.
I understand that everyone has asshole customers once in a while, but this really got to me and is still bothering me this morning. It is really frustrating to work in a job where asshole behavior is rewarded. Sometimes I wish servers could leave Yelp reviews for customers. "Personality needs more cheese and less asshole."
If anyone has advice for how to shake off encounters like these, I would love to hear it. Thanks for listening!