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26 Servers Who Failed So Hard They Almost Won

Emily Pollock

For anyone who’s worked in the customer service industry, Customer Horror Stories are a conversational staple. But sometimes, the customer is actually right; sometimes, it’s the server inspiring the horror stories. These twenty six server horror stories, culled from Reddit threads and social media, might make even the most jaded service-industry lifer wince in sympathy.

‘”Hi, may I have a glass of water please?” “No.” Walks away, never gives me water.” (jzzsxm)

“A few years back I took my brother and parents out to dinner at a reasonable restaurant for my parents’ anniversary. It took the waiter 15 minutes to bother showing up to ask if we wanted a drink. We gave him both the drinks order and the food order since we’d all decided. Our food arrives at the collection window and sits there for around half an hour before our waiter collects, wanders off for a few minutes and then comes back to serve our now-cold food to us. I left exact change – not bothering with a tip; I just resolved never to go back. The waiter, however, had other ideas, and before I managed to get out of the restaurant he hurries up to us (hey, he can actually hurry) grabs me by the shoulder and shouts “HEY. ‘SERVICE NOT INCLUDED'”, waving the bill at me. I looked at him for a moment and said, “Yes, you demonstrated”. (LambastingFrog)

“I was at a fairly fancy restaurant. A waitress carrying a tray of drinks walked behind me, sloshing the drinks down my back. She paused, looked at me for about a second, then kept walking and never came back.” (buttermellow11)


“My waiter got arrested by the in-house cop at a Waffle House.” (SunriseThunderboy)

“I was 11 or 12, eating lunch at the Egg Platter with my grandpa. Our waitress explained to me that this was a very large sandwich and that I needed to grip it firmly so that it didn’t fall apart. She demonstrated by picking up my sandwich with her bare hands and taking a bite, then put it back on my plate. We ended up eating at the IHOP a few blocks away.” (cjk813)

“My wife and I asked our waitress three times for a refill of water. Ended up going up to the bar and getting the bartender to refill both water glasses. As we finished our dessert and were getting up to leave, our waitress brought one glass of water. No tip was given.” (icepigs)

“I found a part of a hairnet in my salad once at Applebees.” (deleted)

“My waiter just quit right after taking our drink orders. Like walked out, didn’t tell anyone. It was only noticed when we had to ask where our waiter was after we’d been ready to order for 30 minutes. I guess it’s not really bad service if there’s no server though.” (ShpadoinkleBeefoven)

“Our server’s boyfriend was there and they got into a playful argument that he could do her job better in front of us (rather than take our order). I guess she decided that this would be fun to let him try. Her tattooed boyfriend wearing only a wife beater, torn jeans and flip flops comes out of the kitchen, hands us our food and says “Will there be anything else?” My old man snaps and goes “Who’s bringing the check, the f*cking janitor?”’ (ENovi)

“Me: I’ll have X.
Waitress: Sorry, we’re out of X.
Me: Okay, I’ll order Y.
My date: And I’ll have Z.
She brings our food over and gives me Y but gives my date X. So not only did she get it wrong, but it turns out they did have X after all!” (SAMO1415)

“Colleagues and I once ate at a restaurant in the tiny town of Rundu in northern Namibia. We ordered food at 7:45 pm and it was served to us at 11:20 pm.” (freddled_gruntbuggly)

“Once at a Cheesecake Factory, I ate a piece of bread and it tasted like it was soaked in some sort of chemical. I had to spit it out. I informed the waitress that, “This bread tastes like Windex or something.” She responded, “We don’t use Windex here” and walked away.” (kds405)

“One of my friends told me that she used to work at Applebees but was fired after a week because she threw up on a customer…” (lyssmpls)

“While waiting for our food to arrive, water started pouring through the ceiling on top of our table. A waiter slammed a bucket on the table to catch the water and then walked away without saying anything. A few minutes later when the water stopped, they wiped the table down with a cloth and laid our food down without any cutlery. No one apologized for the water that had been gushing down on top of us. Someone had plugged up a toilet in the men’s washroom on the floor above us. It overflowed and sank through the floor and through the ceiling of the floor below. We’d been rained on by toilet water.” (Skycaster)


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