Welcome back to Behind Closed Ovens, where we take a look at the best and strangest stories from inside the food industry. This week, we bring you customers whose behavior was skeevy/horrifying as hell. As always, these are real e-mails from real readers.
"I was 18 and working my first waitressing job at a local breakfast/diner joint. We closed at 3:30 p.m. and from one until close it was usually just me, the cooks, and my manager in back. That day the restaurant was empty and I was doing my closing activities when a man walked in. He was short, overweight and probably in his mid-50's. He sat down at the counter and I took his order.
This place had an open kitchen, and rather than ring a bell the cooks would yell your name when the food was ready. I continued my closing sidework, and when the food came up one of the cooks yelled at me to bring the gentleman his food. Doing so, I rolled my eyes and said to the man, jokingly, "they're so mean to me!" He didn't say much after that, although I did notice him eyeing me. I was skeeved out, but he paid and left without incident.
Not thirty minutes later, the phone rang and my boss came out with a confused look. "It's for you."
It was the man from before. He said he felt so bad about the way those cooks were so mean to me, would I like to go on a date? "Ummm...I have a boyfriend. And I'm 18."
"Oh okay," he said, seemingly nonplussed, "I just have a question for you...are you Jewish?"
Flabbergasted and angry, I replied "No. Roman Catholic," and hung up the phone."
"I worked at a sports bar through college. One I had this group of guys who had made a mess, dropped napkins, chips all over the floor. As I was bringing them another round, I reached down and picked up some of the trash. One of the guys said, "I know something else you can do while you're down there." Being used to sexual harassment from drunk men, I just blew it off with a grossed-out face and and an "ew" and went about my business.
When it came time to pay out, their bill was 99 dollars and change. They gave me a big stack of cash and took off. I counted it, exactly 100 dollars. On the very last dollar bill, one of them had drawn a hand flipping the middle finger in permanent marker along with the words "FUCK YOU."
Kinja user Smashtag Hashbrowns (this is the greatest Kinja name that has ever existed — sorry, every Deadspin commenter, you had a good run, but this wins):
"I was 17 and working at a small, mildly successful bistro. I was closing this particular night, and I was the only person in the front of house. The kitchen was closed, but a 40-50ish year old man came in to order a extra large Mr. Pibb to go. (This should have tipped me off that something was wrong. What kind of person PREFERS Mr. Pibb??) (Editor's Note: I totally prefer Mr. Pibb. Whoops) As I was filling the cup, he stared at me and started standing on his tippy-toes. Apparently, he had noticed that I was tall.
Man: "Wow, you're really tall. I would have to wear high heels to go out with you."
Me: Uncomfortable grunt.
Man: "How tall are you?"
Me: "I'm 6 feet tall"
Man: "Really? Is that how tall you are naked?"
Me: "Excuse me??"
Man: "I mean, is that how tall you are without shoes..?"
Me: "Yes...I'm 6 feet tall without shoes."
I gave him the best stone-faced glare I could make at that age. He then made sure I knew that he was leaving a WHOPPING 1 DOLLAR TIP and I couldn't help but think that he just paid me a dollar to picture me naked. I still don't know if it was an extreme Freudian slip or just a run-of-the-mill creeper."
Do you have a crazy restaurant story you'd like to see appear in Behind Closed Ovens? Please e-mail WilyUbertrout@gmail.com with "Behind Closed Ovens" in the subject line. Submissions are always welcome! Seriously, don't be shy, I can always use as many submissions as possible.
Image via Katherine Welles/Shutterstock.