Childish Customers

If there is one thing that you can count on in the service industry, is that there are going to be instances of grown people acting like children. This has the highest chance of occurring when they ask for something we don’t have.

“Can I get a sweet tea?”

“We only have unsweet.”

Now mature people who have grown to realize that sometimes things don’t work out exactly the way you hoped they would react by drinking unsweet or picking something else.

“Well I want sweet tea.”

Okay, now I know you’re a child with wrinkles. I know you want sweet tea. Hell, I would like a sweet tea too. But it’s not a thing that we have. This isn’t a fucking grocery store. We have a list of shit that’s available and everything else is unobtainium. You’d have a better chance of getting your sweet tea at a jiffy lube.

I just don’t get how grown people can be so fixated on just one thing to make or break their experience. This evening a table of seven was enjoying their meal. Everything was going great, they were relaxed and having a great time. Nothing but smooth sailing. Some ate faster than others and asked for some to go boxes. I brought out the boxes and inquired about desert. No takers.

They were my only table, so I asked how they would care to split the checks. When I returned and started passing out checks, this adolescent 50 year old man said, “I’ve never gotten the check before I was finished.” This magnificent masterpiece of douche had two bites on his goddamn plate. Everybody else had their cards out. I pocketed his check and apologized.

“I’m already mad. You’re apology doesn’t mean anything to me.”

Now, I am unfortunately not in the position to shame this gray haired tween the way he deserves. I walk away and tell a manager. The manager talks to him, says the guy is fine. I go back to the table and he still is jawing. He hands me his debit card, says that now he’s finished and he’s ready for a check. Same amount of food on his plate from earlier. Every once in awhile I get the urge to follow a table out to the parking lot and tell them what for and I’ve never felt it so strongly tonight.

I can take some rudeness, some unresponsiveness, some exorbitant messiness, whatever. But nothing pisses me off more than an adult who behaves like a child.

What behaviors infuriate you in the workplace?



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