10/29/09

bizarre complaints

I've had my fair share of "weird" complaints from customers and two in particular stick out in my mind.

The first one is a rather short encounter because I fought the urge to argue with this imbecile for very long. For a time, on Thursday nights we had a blue beer. And, yes, I'm talking bright neon blue. And we called it shocker, even classier, I know. It was only one dollar for a draft, though. I understood why people were a little taken aback by its colorful nature. And I even explained to them that it was just food coloring and it tasted like coors light. (wherein it was actually keystone dyed blue.. but that we were NOT allowed to say).

Eventually, I got a little fed up.. I mean customers were toting around the blue beers and most had been drinking them all night. So when someone decided to complain I just let them know that everyone else had been drinking them and they were just fine.

So here comes the imbecile. I'm busily serving the drunks that are now swarming the bar, as it is late into the night. People are waving dollars bills in my face like they are trying to wave down a taxi cab that is speeding past them. As I'm serving one guest, I feel a grab on my arm.. that was his first mistake. "Don't touch me, I'll be with you in a minute".. I say without even looking in his direction. "But hey.. I have a problem with my drink." (Second mistake because now I label him as a diva customer.) "OK! Well, too bad wait your turn".

I finish up with my guest and head in the arm grabber's direction. "Ok, how can I help you?" "Well I got this.." he says pointing to his blue beer.. "But there's nothing in it." "Um.. sir"... clearly baffled by his comment. "That's beer." "Yeah, but no.. there's nothing in it". To which I tell him "look it's BEER. I can't even hate you enough to not pour alcohol into that because it's pre-made. All I do is pour it." "Yeah well it tastes like there is nothing in it." "Well that's impossible because it's BEER." "Well, I don't like it." "Well, that sucks." And I walk away to another guest. I can feel his stare on me the entire time I make my way around the bar. Finally I get back to his group and ask if they need anything. He then drops his blue "not" beer into the trash and says "bud lite". Fine. I hope he tastes the beer in this one.

Next I have a similar story. I can not fathom how a person has the nerve to walk up to the bartender and say there is not any alcohol in a drink. One, it makes you look like an alcoholic because I (and you) know that there is alcohol in there. Two, you are accusing me of stealing from you and that pisses me off. If you think that I poured you a Pepsi and then charged you for the liquor that's not in it, then that means you think I stole from you. Third if you think that you're going to get a third shot in your drink for no price at all, you're out of your mind. I put the same amount of liquor in everyone's drink. Our boss doesn't even trust us, so he took away our free pourers and I use pourers that measure the shots. So there is no way for me to not put enough alcohol in your drink.

So I'm serving the cocktail waitresses one night and she brings up this customer with her. The fact that she brought him up to me and not to the manager is her fault because I'm not on damage control, I'm just the bartender. He apparently wanted to watch me pour his drink because he didn't think there was enough in it. Rightly, I was angry at him for accusing me of not doing my job well.. and for coming up and "watching" me. So I scoop his ice in his cup and I tell him "are you ready?.. So here I pour the whiskey... see that TWO SHOTS. Ok now here comes the gun. See now this is the Pepsi button. And now I'm pushing that and .. WOW! There's you're drink". As you can tell, I was a bit over the top in my performance.

Now since I showed him this like I would show a kindergartner how I tied their shoe.. I figured he got it, silly me. Now he decides to throw out the most ludicrous complaint I have ever heard and probably will ever hear. He tells me "this still doesn't taste like there is any alcohol in it." Ok. "Well, clearly your taste buds suck. But you saw me pour it in there so you can't argue with that." "Well, yea I saw you pour that bottle into the cup.. but that doesn't mean there is alcohol in there." "So you think that I filled up that bottle of alcohol with something that looks alot like whiskey because I knew you were going to come up here and complain that you couldn't taste it and I wanted to get back at you." He looks at me and firmly says "yupp". So now aside from bartender, I'm also a thief, a psychic, and a magacian.

If you have a better more deranged complaint than that I'd love to hear it. As for now my paranoid, alcholic jerkward takes first place in that department.

After that I told him to not come up to the bar anymore. And he did. Of course. The weird thing about him was that throughout our whole conversation he had this pleased look on his face. Like the more insane he sounded, the madder I got, and the happier that made him. And then he kept coming up to the bar and yelling my name and then waving and smiling when he caught my eye. Clearly, mocking me. (And don't get me started on how he learned my name.. isn't it like a cemented rule that when a customer.. especially one who is going to complain .. asks for the name of a co-worker .. you as the worker would either tell the customer you don't know or some fake name??? I always did that for my fellow co-workers). Anyway, I was just shocked by his happiness in someone else's misery. I couldn't fathom how he got pleasure out of insulting, undermining, and ridiculing me. And then I realized he was a sociopath.

22 comments:

Kristin said...

DUDE. You poor thing. I cocktailed for years before and after college and the way some people treat hospitality works FLOORS me. Arse clowns.

BB said...

Kristin-
First, I wanted to thank you for reading the blog and taking the time to comment!

Second, You're totally right some people are hugeee jerks! (Although "arse clowns" suits them better). I've been working in this industry for three years (through and after college as well).. although I JUST started this blog, I have years worth of horror stories.

This is a disclaimer of sorts:

Third, I do want to point out that while I bitch alot about my customers on this blog, most of them are really great. it just turns out they are less funny to write about. The beauty in getting a rude customer is that I get to release my anomosity/get revenge by writing these stories at their expense.

brit said...

oh my god you poor thing. what an asshole.

liz said...

I find it hilarious that a guy who complains about his beer not tasting like anything goes on to order a Bud Light!

BB said...

Thanks for the comments!

And lol liz good point!

CC Peniston! said...

I fully agree with you here. And I am a most humble, patient and kind tipper/patron b/c so many friends tended bar and I like to not piss of people esp, since I like to return to the same places. BUT. I went to one place, only ONCE. The bartender was some uber trendy dude who was the kind who hated you if he didn't know you at all. I just moved to town and *would* have become a regular if I had a good experience. Anyway, he looked at me like I was some dolt tourist (Austin has plenty) and he seriously poured the weakest drinks I ever had. By the third one (I let the first 2 slide...thinking maybe he was slammed, busy and made an honest mistake) I was pissed. Even THEN I wouldn't have said a word but his attitude is what sent me back to the bar. I smiled at him, was friendly, and he not only didn't respond (again, maybe he was slammed or having an off night.. it happens) but didn't even look at me. Serious chip on the shoulder. So I asked him to put some back into it basically and if he could either give me my money back or add some to the third drink. I had several friends with me sip to make sure it wasn't in my head. I have never done anything like it before or since either. But the occasional bar tender happens just like the bad customer, etc. I'm an accomplished drinker (ha!) and have been to a lot of places so I consider one time to be a good track record.

Since I couldn't leave the shithole as friends were with me I ordered my next drink from the other bar tender on duty. As for this guy you handled- his waving and seeming amusement- now THAT is foul. Weird too. Maybe he is a hen pecked man whose wife nags him, or a middle manager who sucks at life, or any number of things. Too many people take delight in inflicting misery on people who cannot retaliate (i.e. service industry people who want to keep their jobs, or anyone else out in public they encounter) and that's pandemic lately. I know for a fact I would do something in that situation that would have gotten me fired. So congratulations for being the better person and getting a good blog out of it. And I assure you that miserable black hole of a human being will piss off the wrong person down the line, lol.

BB said...

CC- Thanks for reading my blog and taking the time to leave your story! I'm sorry that you had a bad experience. I can assure you that most of us are not plotting to make our customers miserable.. because then we would never make any money.

And I wanted so badly to throw that whiskey coke in his face. However, I wanted to keep my job much more. I hope you're right and he does mess with the wrong service worker some day (although I pity any server who comes into contact with him).

Anonymous said...

When I left school one of the first jobs I had was in a mail room for a large company, one of my jobs was to deliver packages to desks in the building and get them to sign for them.
This one woman refused to sign for the package until I told her what it was, I tried to explain to her that I didnt send you the box do how do know what was inside it?, so anyway she wouldnt sign for it so I wouldnt give her the box, simple right?

well she made a complaint about me and I got a warning.... glad I dont work with the public anymore

BB said...

Anon- thanks for stoppingby and leaving a comment!

That sounds horrible. I hate when people make complaints just to justify their attitudes. And if you would have looked to see what it was.. wouldn't that have been a federal crime.. tampering with mail and all.

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