Problems are constant in the food industry. Once things escalate, there's only one person who can take care of the problem before it gets any further out of hand: the manager. When a belligerent customer already working with the manager demands to speak with the manager, that's when they get to spout their favorite line, "Actually, I'm the manager, and we're done here."
"I had a customer try to use a coupon on an item that wasn't eligible due to it being on sale. The customer asked if I could ring it up as full price and then apply the coupon, thus saving him like three dollars compared to the sale price it was currently at. I told him I couldn't do that. He then asked to speak to the manager, I told him that I was the manager and that again, I wasn't going to change the price.
Now, we have a policy of just taking care of the customer in certain situations so that it doesn't escalate because our district manager will just give the customer whatever they want anyway. So I figured, if this guy was going to push the issue, I'd relent because it was only three bucks difference anyway.
But the very next words out of his mouth were, 'Well, isn't it your job to give me what I want?'
No. I repeated my refusal and he ended up buying the item."
"I ran an ice cream shop. I must have had to say, 'Actually, I am the manager,' at least once a week.
My favorite was this woman I eventually banned from the shop. She would come in with her husband and bratty kids. Then she would try to order a large (three scoops) and ask me to put it in three single scoop cups, but only charge for the large.
I said no. You either order three single scoops or you order a large. The difference in cost is quite a bit, but it's fairly standard for companies to do it this way. I wasn't having it. She got mad that I wouldn't do it. First she said, 'Well the manager let me do it last week.'
'No I didn't,' I told her flatly.
'Well then, whoever was working let me do it and they said they were the manager.'
'No, they didn't. I believe my workers over you.'
'Well, I want to talk to the manager.'
'I am the manager. You are talking to me. I said no.'
'Fine!' And she and her little family stormed out without any ice cream. No skin off my back. She was rude to me and my workers, I wasn't going to let her treat us that way.
Then she called the shop the next day, when I was working again. She said, 'Hello, I need to speak to the manager.'
'Speaking. How can I help you?'
'I was in there yesterday and some little hussy lied and said she was the manager, but she wouldn't let me get what I wanted...'
'That hussy was me. You're banned from our location. Don't come back.'
She tried to call corporate to report me. Corporate outsources complaints to the manager with the highest rating in the area. Which was me. So when she called corporate to complain about me, she also got me. I wrote up the details of the conversation and forwarded all of her messages to the district manager, and he agreed with my decision and allowed me to send her an email officially banning her from the store."
"I was being trained as a manager a few months ago. On my first day managing the floor by myself, a customer from earlier in the day came by demanding to speak to the manager on duty because (to make a long story short) we royally messed up her '$45 order' and that we had to replace everything.
Now, I'm a rather petite lady, and I have a baby face. I also didn't have a manager shirt yet (my size had to be custom ordered), but I was a full-fledged manager.
I said I was the manager and asked what her name was so I could check my 'problem customer' book in the office and see if her name was there. It wasn't. No problem, I just asked to see her receipt. Surprise surprise, she doesn't have a receipt from about two hours ago. Sorry, lady. You aren't in the problem book and you don't have a receipt. Best I can do is some free food coupons, like ice cream or a free sandwich. She asked to speak to the manager. Honey, I AM the manager tonight. She said I was, 'inadequate as a manager' and that I deserve to be fired. I told her I was sorry, but I couldn't replace her order and at most I could give her one free meal. She screeched and stormed out."
"My manager, let's call her Kelly, was getting ready to make a run to the bank. She came up and wordlessly took the big bills out of my drawer when it popped after a transaction. We've worked together for two years and done this hundreds of times, I hardly noticed. My customer, however, seemed to think it was bad for some reason. She glared at Kelly and said, 'That was really rude for you to do that.'
Kelly turned, 'Pardon me?'
'I said that was really rude, for you to just butt in like that.'
Kelly offered a generic retail apology and continued on her way to the office. Some customers are odd, not much you can do about it. The lady rolled her eyes and started gathering her things together. 'Who would I ask about requesting a donation?' she asked. 'It's for the high school soccer team.'
With growing amusement, I directed her to the office. I craned my neck, wanting to hear what was said. I could hardly contain my laughter when I heard, 'YOU'RE the manager?!' Followed by the lady walking out of the store very quickly.
Kelly and I both had a good laugh about it. Make sure you check who the manager is before you decide to be a pompous, old witch."
"I worked in a bar where the bartender was the manager for the night unless the actual manager was in. This night he wasn't, so I was the manager just for that night. It's a relatively small but busy bar in Amsterdam, we got many tourists there.
This evening there was an American lady sitting outside, on a table right by the door. From the inside, it's three steps down to street level, so a little stair thingy. One of my co-workers was serving outside, and when she was on the little stairs, she lost her balance and dropped a glass from the tray she was carrying.
Miss America went NUTS because of this. According to her, we put her safety in danger because the glass was flying EVERYWHERE. She could have been blinded, or the glass could have cut her. She demanded a new drink and new food because there was obviously glass in it. The way she demanded this stuff, her attitude and loudness made me very willing to set her straight, so I told her that if she wanted a new drink and plate of food, that'd be no problem - if there was actually glass in it. Which there wasn't. It's worth noting that the glass fell a good 10 feet from her table. So, since there was no glass in it, she didn't get splashed upon by the drink that fell, and nothing really happened, I asked her to calm down.
I told her she's at a bar where things get dropped. She then went into full American mode and demanded to speak to the manager, told me she'd call her lawyer and would sue us. At this point I couldn't really control my laughter and told her, 'I'm sorry miss, you're in the Netherlands. We don't sue each other for stuff like this. No one has ever made a fuss about a glass being dropped, as most people seem to realize that that's what happens in bars. I'm the manager tonight, but I'd be happy to call the owner for you, so he can come over and tell you the same story in a different voice. I'm sure he won't mind leaving his kids at home for you.'
She then shut up, paid and left. I think she wrote a crappy review on some website, at which point the boss asked me what happened and when I told him he said that he'd frame the lawyer's letter if it ever came in. It didn't."
"I work at a restaurant where you fill in a ticket with all the ingredients you want on your pasta/pizza/salad. There are large boards above a counter explaining how to order correctly. Once customers fill out their ticket, they can bring it to the register. During a weekend lunch rush with a line of at least 25 people, a woman comes up to the counter and tells our cashier what she wants. When the cashier tells her that he needed a ticket she gets annoyed about the 'inconvenience,' all while the line builds up behind her. She demands to be given a ticket and begins filling it out right there.
Seeing this, I come up to the cashier and tell him to ring up the people behind her while she takes her sweet time making the important decision of which pasta sauce she wants. She finally finishes, pays, and sits with her gaggle of companions.
Later, she comes up to me and tells me that my behavior of having the waiting customers pay before her was extremely rude. I respond by telling her we try to make sure every customer gets speedy service and her holding up the line because she didn't read our large signs was also rude to all of the other customers. She tells me that she'd like to speak to the manager to complain about me. With a gleeful (and maybe slightly evil) grin I reply, 'You already did. I'm the manager.' The look on her face when she realized she wasn't going to get to whine and feel vindicated about my 'mistreatment' of her was lovely and even though this was years ago, it still brings me joy."
"I used to run a bar. I'd usually be in the office or supervising, but I got bored one night and covered the bar whilst the bartenders went out for a smoke break. This woman comes up with her friends and quickly becomes an 'annoying customer.' Takes forever to decide on drinks, keeps trying to get free shots, trying to haggle on drinks prices, all while being rather rude. I start to get irate as the bar starts to get busy, more and more customers are trying to get drinks, but this woman will not decide what she wants. Eventually, I tell her that there are other people waiting to be served, and I'll come back to her once she's ready to order.
That did not go down well. The woman starts shouting at me, saying how she could take as long as she wanted, she was there first, blah blah blah. She ended her ranting saying that she didn't want to speak to a crappy bartender anymore and demanded to see my manager. I oblige, go into the office (a door right next to the bar) wait for 30 seconds before coming out, come back to the woman, and say, 'I hear you've been having an issue with a member of my staff?'
Her: 'Is this an effing joke? I said to go and get your manager!'
Me: 'You're looking at him, love! And seeing as you've wasted my time and all the good folk's time, you can wait 'til everyone is served before you.'
The look on her face was priceless. She began swearing at me profusely, even tried to throw someone else's drink over me, by that point I had more than enough reason to throw her out of the bar, which I did, to the delight of the other patrons. I was tipped well after that, but I put that in the tip jar because managers don't get tips, at least the bar staff got some money and a laugh out of it!"
"My parents owned a franchise deli some 12 years ago. My mom was there full-time making things run smoothly and my dad would be there sometimes to help out when he wasn't working his tech job. Well, this lady came in one time and ordered her food. When it arrived, she claimed that the kitchen made it incorrectly. My mom apologized for the inconvenience and comped her meal as well as gave her a certificate for a free sandwich next time the lady came in. So the lady came in again, ordered her food, and again claimed it was made incorrectly. My mom again apologized and gave her another coupon for a free sandwich. This happened probably one or two more times. My dad had heard about it and was convinced they were just being scammed by this lady.
Well, the next time the lady came in, my dad happened to be working the kitchen. Sandwich lady came through the drive-thru and ordered. My mom recognized her and, to make sure everything was perfect, my dad made her food himself and gave it to her. A couple minutes later, the lady called the store to say her food had been made wrong again! My mom set the phone down, went to my dad and said, 'That lady is on the phone and says you made her food wrong again...'
My dad said, 'You tell that bimbo I didn't make her food wrong and that she is never welcome in this restaurant again!'
My mom picked up the phone and said, 'Uh,' but the lady cut her off.
'I heard that! You tell that boy that he is fired!'
My mom responded with, 'Ma'am, that 'boy' is the owner of the restaurant.' The lady hung up and never returned! My parents both had a long laugh about that whenever they are thinking of all the stupid stuff that went on with that restaurant."
"A guy calls my pizza place one night looking for a delivery.
After the customary info gathering, getting his name, address, phone number, etc, I ask, 'So what can I get for you tonight?'
He replies, 'I want a large pizza, with pepperoni, and...what else?' I wait for a few seconds, cause I figure he must be trying to decide what else to get on his pizza. 'Hello?' Comes his voice from the other end.
'You want pepperoni? Only pepperoni?' I ask.
'Naw, I want pepperoni, and...what else?'
Confused, I ask, 'What else would you like on your pizza?'
The guy immediately snaps and gets snippy, 'I've got no clue, idiot! Surprise me!'
I keep my cool because this definitely isn't the biggest jerk that I've spoken with even today, and say, 'Alright, I'll surprise you.'
We finish the transaction with him giving me his credit card number to charge the pizza and I let him know it'll be about 45 minutes. I must have used four cans of anchovies on this poor sucker's pizza. About 50 minutes later, the phone rings again. It's Mr. Surprise, 'Let me talk to a manager! My pizza is messed up!'
Smiling, I say, 'Oh, I remember you sir. I took your order. I am the manager. What's the matter with your pizza?'
He yells back, 'I've got fish all over my pizza! What the heck is this?'
Struggling to not laugh, I calmly say into the receiver before hanging up, 'Were you surprised?'"
"About 15 years ago, I worked as a waiter at a neighborhood pub/restaurant in a relatively small town. Lots of regulars came here, mostly to drink, but families did also come in for dinner. Generally speaking, it was the same faces coming in and out the door daily. On Sunday evenings, the owners wouldn't come in, and myself and three or four long-time buddies would be the waiters on duty. Sundays were usually fairly slow, so we did a lot of prep work and a LOT of slacking off.
Now that the stage is set, I can tell you about our manager, who we'll call Gil because that is his name. Gil was a very sociable, funny, and incredibly sarcastic person who rarely served tables and outwardly made it clear he didn't particularly enjoy working at a restaurant. Well, one Sunday night Gil decided he would take one of the waiter's sections to try it out (we didn't mind, Sundays were a joke). Gil had three tables and was so deep in the weeds, it was hysterical. He was sweating and running around like a chicken with his head cut off.
One of his tables ordered a soup, and Gil placed a soup spoon beside the bowl. When the customer looked at it, they noticed it was dirty. So they - rightly - asked for another spoon. Gil rushed to the kitchen, got another spoon, shined it with a napkin to ensure it was clean, then put it down on the table. Again, the customer said the spoon was dirty, so Gil retorted, 'Well, it's the cleanest one we've got,' and stormed off to another table. When he walked by the table again, the customer was livid and asked to speak with the manager. Gil, without skipping a beat, said, 'Sure, one minute please,' then did an on-the-spot circle like he was an Olympic figure skater and said, 'Yes, how can I help you?'
Needless to say, we didn't see that customer again."
"For several years, I managed a Jimmy John's. Most of the time, the customers were pretty reasonable people, but Jimmy John's is notorious for having some unreasonable policies, specifically, no dressing on the side.
One day, a woman comes in with her teenage daughter and orders a Number 9, with the sauce on the side. I inform her, as I always do, that we cannot provide the sauce on the side. This woman flips out. She starts grabbing every size cup she can find and asking if we can use those, all the while shouting incoherently. Then she literally goes next door to get a cup from there so we can fill it. Meanwhile, her daughter is absolutely mortified.
After informing me that, 'My husband's a cop,' and threatening to call corporate and report me, she demanded to speak to the manager.
So I spun once in place, held out my hand, and said, 'Hi, I'm the manager. Anything I can help you with?'"
"I work as a manager at a 'fast casual' restaurant.
One day, a few months ago, we were short staffed, so I was running our drive-thru. There was a woman who couldn't decide what she wanted and spent over five minutes perusing the menu and asking me questions. She finally settled on buying the largest single menu item we had, a meal large enough to serve six.
When the woman reached my window, she started revising her order almost immediately. She wanted to get 8 individual sides in place of two family sides, all 8 of them being different. I tried to explain to her that we could not do that, that it was against our policy. She started getting visibly upset and claimed we do this for her all the time, and she demanded to speak to my manager. Said something about me having terrible customer service skills, and that I don't know how this menu works.
It was a pleasure telling her, 'Yes, ma'am, I understand. But I am the manager. And we cannot do that kind of substitution.'
She got all red-faced and drove off."
"I worked in a cafe for a while and was also in charge for the night. Some customers started complaining that the prices should be cheaper and wouldn't accept that I can't magically lower the prices. They say that they want to speak with my boss. I was like, 'Fine! Oh, wait. I'm the boss. Either get it standard price or get out!' The thing was, he still wouldn't listen. So finally, I went back and got one of the other guys, a big threatening looking dude (but super nice). After he came out, the customer immediately left.
Some people just can't accept that someone else is in charge, and always want it their way."