Welcome to the food industry…

This has been said to me a few times since I’ve become an assistant manager at a restaurant. And y’know what? If this actually is the food industry, then fuck you. I am disgusted and horrified that such people can actually exist out there.

Just today, in a matter of four hours, I had two really atrocious experiences with “guests” (as we call them).

Makes me want to be a hermit even more.

First off, let me just say, that when people come up to me to bitch about their food or their service or whatever it is that they have to bitch about, if they say something along the lines of:
“I’ve been in the food business for blahblahblah”
“You know, I’ve worked in customer service blahblahblah”
That is not going to make me give a shit. In fact, if you’ve been in the biz for so damn long, you should fucking know that assholes like you piss us off even more! Fuck off!


Okay, so I have to vent about these people ’cause work is starting to affect my whole life right now, and that is not cool.

The first person. A woman. 5’8″. Blonde. Early 50s. Glasses. Chef pants. Oh, she made sure to tell me that she was wearing chef pants. After all, she’s been in the food business blahblahblah.

One of my workers approached me and told me that the woman wanted to speak to a manager. Naturally, when a manager hears that, we shudder and hate the person immediately.

So I go over to her and she complains to me of apparently finding a metal shard in her tuna salad. She ordered two orders of a classic salad with tuna salad on the side to put on it. She tells me that she found a staple-looking piece of metal in her tuna. “If you’re not using pop-top tuna cans then you’ve got to sharpen your can opener if you’re getting pieces of metal in there like that. I don’t know if it’s from the tuna or the salad, but you really need to tear apart your food to check and see.”

Not suspecting anything, I apologized profusely and gave her the $21 dollars back for the two salads. A minute after she walks away, the other manager on duty approaches me and pulls me to the side. Apparently this woman comes in on a regular basis and there is always something wrong. The coffee has grounds in it. Or this or that. The manager told me that the metal looked like she’d just taken a staple and straightened it out. There wasn’t even any tuna residue on it.

And the kicker? Our tuna comes in fucking tubs! So no goddamn metal shards for you, bitch. But, for basing her life on lies, this woman got over twenty dollars worth of food. How disgusting a human being do you have to be to lie like that? I felt so abused.

And this next one’s even more enraging to me.

Being a bakery/cafe, we sell bread and baked goods. Not too long ago we started a sale where, during the last two hours of sale, we offered all of our baked goods for half-off. It got to a point where, even if we didn’t put the sign out, people would still come in looking for the sale. Now, the problem with this is that some of those baked goods are the verysame breads that we make our sandwiches on. So, we came up with the solution that it’s not the last two hours of service anymore, but the half-off sale is now at the closing manager’s discretion.

Makes sense, right?

Well, certainly not to some people.

Today, I don’t even remember what time it was, one of my cashiers came back to the office, asking for a swipe and confirming that we were doing the half-off. I told her no, we don’t have enough bread, I don’t want to run out, no half-off. Less than five minutes later she came back and said that the customer was unhappy and wanted to talk to me. Meanwhile, as I’m walking up there, I was later told that he was yelling at the other cashier who told the original cashier to go get me. “You don’t need your manager! Just give me my bread!”

So I approach the counter. This is a man we’ve dealt with before, when we first started the “at the manager’s discretion” time frame. He bitched then, and he got his bread. That wasn’t me, though.

He’s a tall man. Has to be over six feet. Very heavy set/wide. Italian looking, dark hair and skin. He works at the car dealership right across the street.

The following conversation occurred:

“I come in here two times a week to get my bread half-off. It’s the last two hours.”
“Not anymore, sir. It’s now at the manager’s discretion. I only have that much bread left, and I don’t want to run out so I won’t be able to make sandwiches.”
“But I always get it. You’re the first one that’s giving me trouble.”
“I’m not giving you trouble, sir, but I’m telling you that you can’t get the bread for half-off.”
“But I’m your neighbor. You can’t give it to me for half?”
“I’m afraid not.”
“But I’m right across the street.”
“You can keep telling me that, but it’s not going to make me sell you the bread.”
“I know your DM (District Manager), I can give him a call.”
“Go ahead and call him, sir. I’m still not going to sell you the bread.”
As he walks away: “Don’t buy a car from us, asshole.”
“Okay, I won’t.”

During all of this I never once raise my voice, while he gets more and more desperate in his pleas. (but don’t think that there wasn’t venom in my voice)

Now, first of all, if he comes in two times a week, maybe he lucks out and we have enough bread, but there certainly are times when we don’t have it.

Second, he threatened to call our DM last time, with no results, he never did. And if he called our DM, the DM would tell him that it’s at our discretion. And if he bitches that I was rude to him, I have two cashiers who’d back me up on that.

Third, this guy works at a ruddy car dealership! Is he that desperate to buy three loaves of bread at half-off?!

Fourth, what the fuck?! Is he twelve? Is he going to tattle on me and throw a fucking fit if he doesn’t get his way?! Like, what the hell? What kind of people are out there?

It’s just so sickening to see that people will resort to such petty, juvenile, sophomoric ways just to get a free fucking meal. I am really bothered by this! I’ll be damned if it’s not the last thing on my mind before I go to bed tonight. It’s just super frustrating. Why can’t people be reasonable adults? Why do people need to be so angry about the smallest things?

Buddha and the hippies were really onto something when they preached peace and love.

It makes me miss Buddhism, I’m gonna have to get back into it. Maybe then stress and work won’t rule my every goddamn waking moment.

That totally needs to stop.

I apologize for this post not being informative, or commentary on the news, or even witty. I just really needed to get this shit out. And it’s been so long since the last post because I worked for six days in a row and the internet’s been out for the last three. Sorry.

So, if I leave you with one thing, it’s peace and love.

Please, try to keep that as a constant in your mind.


~ by Cynik on June 27, 2008.

4 Responses to “Welcome to the food industry…”

  1. Nice writing style. Looking forward to reading more from you.

    Chris Moran

  2. Wow…. I’m really glad you got that off your chest. But honestly was all the swearing really necessary ? We would be more synpathetic if you toned down your language . It appears that swearing and cursing is obligatory in the food and catering world and might be acceptable within these sectors but it does nothing for the general public on whom you rely for your livlihood.

  3. Blossom, I totally understand where you’re coming from. However, I don’t swear like that because it’s the environment of the food and catering world. I swear like that ’cause I’m a 23 year old, male, recent college grad. I’m also of the mindset that they’re simply words, and a big advocate of people not being offended by simple language.
    This is not me attacking you, please don’t take it as that, I just simply wanted to explain myself.
    Thanks for reading! I hope I didn’t deter you!

  4. swearing and cursing seem to be epidemic in every industry — my dad used to say that cursing was the refuge of a lazy mind. On my zen days, I agree. Unfortunately, I don’t have many fucking zen days.

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