Sorry to Rant, but Working for the Public Sucks

Something happened today at work that really made my blood boil. I work in a sub shop, and even though we are technically not “fast food”, we do still have quite a bit to do when it comes to speedy service and convenience. We have a drive-thru, as well as a customer lobby, so when there are just three people working a night, we can tend to get a bit hectic.

Tonight, for some strange reason, the computers start messing up, so we are forced to improvise. Again, we only have three people, a whole line of customers in the lobby, and a line of cars in the drive thru. Obviously, we get a little backed up, and the lady at the window waits quite a while for her sandwiches. I apologize several times, and she is extremely nice about it. She says that she understands how busy we are and that it isn’t our fault that the computers aren’t doing their thing. Before she left, she checks her order and says that it is all there.

Around thirty minutes later, we’ve slowed down, the computers are up and running, and we figure we are good for the night. Then, this man comes in looking as if he is ready to blow a gasket. Before I could say a word to him, he shoves (literally shoves… He almost hit me because he was so forceful) some papers in my face. It turns out to be the order sheets and receipt from the food that was given out to the lady mentioned above.

He claims that we left out a six-inch, and as soon as he describes what is on it, I know I’ve made the sandwich, and I remember distinctly putting it in the bag with the others. (Mind you, I only made one sandwich out of the order – a coworker had made the other ones.) I ask him politely if he had ordered two of the same type of sandwich because I remember making one. I also mention that normally our boss doesn’t allow us to give a replacement unless we see proof that we made a mistake. (Like I said, all he has brought were the order papers and receipt. He has none of the sandwiches with him.) He suddenly gets defensive and just keeps repeating that we left it out and should make the sandwich.

I make the sandwich. It is mainly to shut him up, but I don’t say anything out of hand to him. I just make it, wrap it, and hand it to him. He snatches it away from me, and starts to stomp out. I begin making my way to the back, already so pissed that I am seeing red, but he suddenly turns around and basically yells across the store, asking who is in charge. Of course, our manager never works nights, so my co-worker (both of the people I was working with had come up from the back to make sure I was ok after hearing the way he was talking) tells him that she could give him the manager’s number if he needs it.

Instead of going with that, he immediately turns to me and jumps down my throat. I can’t remember all that he says, because I was so irate by now that I was focusing mainly on not exploding on him, but what I do remember involves how I am stupid, rude, and need to learn how to work in the public because I didn’t know how to apologize for a mistake that I obviously had made. He says something about how he has worked in the public for a lot longer than I have (Mind you, he was maybe ten years older than me at the most, so he couldn’t have THAT much more experience than I do) and how if he was my manager I would be fired on the spot.

At this point, I no longer have control of my mouth, and I tell him that I’ve been serving the public for seven years, and I know very well how to work with people. I also point out that he has no way of knowing if I was the one who messed his order up, since he wasn’t there when it was made, and that his wife had checked the order before she left and claimed that it was all correct. Obviously, he doesn’t like this, and he starts yelling about how I’ve called him a liar and a thief and a whole slew of stuff that I couldn’t even understand because he was talking too fast.

I interrupt him (I really didn’t mean to, but I had enough), telling him that I will call my manager right now and that he can talk to him if he wants to. He shuts up, glares at me, and says something about me being too scared to handle a problem on my own. He takes his sandwich and storms out. After a few seconds of me throwing things around and trying not to cry, both of my co-workers commend me for not completely blowing up on him, saying that they probably would have jumped the counter at him.

I don’t know if I handled it well or not, but either way, there is no reason anyone should treat a person who is serving you (food or otherwise) in such a manner. We get paid way too little to deal with way too much. People may think we are the lowest of the low, but we are the ones who keep your world going. If it wasn’t for us, you would be forced to go home and actually cook dinner for a change. (Oh, wait, most people don’t even know HOW to cook anymore.)  It would be one thing if I had started out being rude to the customer, but he was the one who came in with all guns blaring. I made his sandwich for him even though it could have gotten me in trouble with my boss for not having proof. My main goal is to keep the customer happy, but I also have to keep my boss from being scammed by the idiots of the world. Also, if the customers are already in a shitty mood to begin with, there isn’t much to work with there.

Anyway, I think I’m going to have to find a new job soon, before another person calls me stupid and I end up in jail for assault. (Seriously… The one thing anyone can do to me that will make me snap is call me stupid…)


(I’ve just realized how much I’ve typed trying to tell this story, and I’m not as pissed about it now that I have it all out…. I hate to rant, but I started this blog as a stress reliever…. Although it is sad that I can write this much when I’m angry, but when I’m in a good mood I have to really work for it!)