Many people hate when others complain and make a big deal out of things at places like restaurants and retailers, especially those who have worked in the industry. Although the person complaining isn't typically embarrassed by their behavior, the people with them can be. Here are some stories from those people. Children of these "Let Me Talk To The Manager" parents give us their accounts of some of their most horrifying experience of their parents complaining. Some stories are edited for clarification purposes.
“When I was around 10 years old, my grandmother went out and got us (her, my brother, and me) McDonald’s. We got home and we didn’t have napkins in the bags. No big deal, right? We have paper towels and napkins in the house, also me and my brother are pretty good with not making any messes while we eat.
Nope. Grandmother got us in the car, drove back to McDonald’s, demanded a manager, and screeched about how upset she was that we didn’t get any napkins. I wanted to just melt into the floor and disappear. ‘It’s just napkins, Nanny,’ I said, but that didn’t matter.
It was horrible. I pleaded for her not to go, and especially not to make US go with her, but she wasn’t having it. It was so embarrassing! Not to mention that we had left our food at home and it was cold by the time we got back. McDonald’s fries just aren’t the same cold…”
The Hostile Hostel
“I was 13 when this happened. My mom had made a reservation at a hotel for a trip, but when she got there, the lady said there was some error with the reservation and that my mom’s payment didn’t go through, so the lady offered us a double bedroom for a discount.
Rather than just taking the room, thanking the lady, and leaving, my mom decided the best course of action would be to scream, in the middle of a hotel lobby, ‘NOBODY IS GOING ANYWHERE TIL I GET MY EFFING ROOM!’
She then proceeded to pester the lady, who clearly couldn’t do anything about it, until eventually she called the police on my mom for public disturbance. Mortifying.
We ended up driving to a different hotel a couple miles away because the hotel staff didn’t want a crazy narc lady staying at their hotel.”
The Savory Snack Letdown
“One time my Grandad got a sausage roll at a football match during half time, when he got back to his seat, he found it was overdone, the pastry was quite burnt. The man was irate. He didn’t take it back straight away as the second half was about to start, but he spent much of the second half angrily lamenting his savory snack letdown. So he takes it home, calls the customer service number on the back (I assume he had a few choice words for the poor soul on the other end but I wasn’t present for this), and keeps the remainder of the sausage roll in the freezer for the next couple of weeks.
Skip ahead to the next match day, my Grandad tells me we’re heading out early so he can have his sausage roll replaced. The customer service line told him to go to Kiosk 3 at the front of the ground next to the ticket office. When we arrive, however, the shutters are down at the food place. The old man looks around growling and turning red in the face, stamps right over to window number 3 of the ticket office and slams his frozen, burned sausage roll down like a flaky gauntlet. At this point, I’m trying to convince him the ticket office was a completely different department to the catering concession but my Grandad was having none of it. The lady working the ticket window continually attempted in vain to convince him the same, they sell match tickets not hot snacks, but this just got him angrier and angrier. Along comes a colleague behind the glass, now there’s just two people to rage at. Then a head steward comes to attempt to diffuse the situation and my Grandad begins to wave the burnt sausage roll in this man’s face, I was actually surprised he didn’t whack him with it. At this point I’m mortified by the whole affair, wishing I’d have stayed back at the house until nearer kick off.
Eventually, after an hour or so, the shutters come up on the food concession. The fella at the counter goes ‘You must be Mr. Alaginge’ and calmly resolves the situation, dispatching a freshly baked sausage roll with the steady hands of a surgeon. My Grandad is completely satisfied with the result of his hour of insolent rage. As we’re walking away he turns to me and says, ‘That’s how you get these things sorted.’ It was honestly so childish of him.”
Banned For Life
“Ugh, my dad. He can be such a prick if you get his order wrong, it could be fast food or a nice sit down restaurant. He often yells at wait staff if they ‘undercook’ his steak. It has to be well done or he claims to have lost his appetite.
One time we went to Burger King when I was younger and we sat down to eat. He took one bite of his burger, spit it out and immediately started yelling and complaining about it being under cooked. He cut in front of everyone in line to yell at the cashier, then he asked who was the cook. When the cook appeared, he launched his burger, hitting the poor kid directly in the face with a lidless burger. He’s now banned for life from Burger King.”
“I am in LAX with my younger brother and my dad, waiting for a flight. It begins to board, and my dad starts getting argumentative with the lady at the gate because she won’t let him board first with the elderly, veterans, injured veterans, people with very small kids, people with disabilities, etc.
My dad was literally none of those things, but proceeds to lose his mind anyway. He starts yelling, shouts that he has a ‘bad back and is sick of this nonsense’ and is ‘traveling with kids’ (points to us, his two teenage sons who have walked away from the line and are sitting down out of sheer embarrassment) and when he is told to stop – by a man carrying an actual small child in a baby Bjorne or whatever – screams at him, and says something meant to call attention to the hypocrisy he was experiencing, and his unjust plight as a result, but instead it gets him grabbed by security and pulled from the line.
Which everyone else loved. Like, they were thrilled this nut was getting taken out of line. Security talks to him and the lady working the gate as people continue onto the plane and so my dad becomes irate once more, this time because they’re forcing him to get onto the plane later than he would have had he not sought special privileges and this is therefore overly punitive.
And then we were on a plane with all of the people from the line. For the next 8 hours. And my dad yelled at a flight attendant because he believed she was ignoring him due to what happened at the gate. So now there was a plane wide conspiracy to mess up his life. By the time we landed, he’d been in verbal confrontations with all local row-members, other flight attendants, and sporadic outliers from other sections.
Have you ever been blood related to the most disliked human being on an airplane? Let me tell you, it freaking sucks.”
“My Life Was A Misery”
“I worked at Best Buy. I stopped in with my mom one day because she wanted to buy me the Star Wars DVD box set for my birthday.
I had a huge, HUGE crush on the girl that was working the customer service counter. Well, the DVD set rang up $10 more than it was priced, and my mom deliberately didn’t say anything until after the transaction so she could claim the effing $5 Michigan Scam Law bounty.
My crush didn’t know how to process it and the manager was busy, so my mom tore into her about how it was her job and how she should understand how to do things.
At my job.
To a girl I liked.
My life was a misery for a while afterward.”
The Salad Situation
“I grew up in a smaller town right on the cusp of its big growth boom. We knew our town had finally made it when we got an Olive Garden. We used to eat there 2-3 times a month. My mom and I would always split an entree and my dad would get his own. We knew the rule, if you’re splitting an entree and you get more than one of the family style bowls of salad, then you’ll get charged an extra $4 for the extra person. Which is fair, 2 entrees come with 2 unlimited salads.
Well, one day my dad decides he wanted more salad. Only he wants the additional salad, but the waitress said if she refills the bowl, that we will be charged the extra $4. Lo’ and behold my parents threw the biggest tantrum because only HE wanted the additional salad. They demanded to speak to a manager and the manager explained the rule (which we knew) but offered to comp the extra salad just to get my parents to stop yelling….and they did. When our bill came the manager comped my dad’s entree and the additional salad fee.
Well my mom got up. Interrupted the manager while he was talking to other guests and threw the check in his face and asked ‘What’s this?!?!’ She was furious that he comped my dad’s meal. He ate the meal therefore we would like to pay for it. She wouldn’t stop raising her voice until she was allowed to pay for the meal (but not the salad).
The manager was confused but obliged…when they brought the change the manager slipped a few free appetizer coupons. My mom ripped them up and threw them on the ground as she left. Safe to say, I didn’t eat out with them for at least a month and I still refuse to go to Olive Garden with them.”
Her Mom Went To The Corporate Office
“The grocery store had this sign up that said if an item rang up higher than an advertised price, it was free. It was the 80’s and stores did stupid stuff like this that I have never see in stores today.
My mom was buying a box of Little Debbie cakes and they rang up for $2.85 instead of the advertised $2.50. So now mom wants her free cakes. Cashier doesn’t know what to do, summons a manager. Manager tells her to ring up the sale otherwise and he’ll be right back.
Comes back and hands my mother 35 cents cheerfully and says ‘There you go!’ My mother points out the sign behind him and he says, ‘Oh, the last manager put that up, it doesn’t make any sense. I’m the new manager and I just haven’t had the sign removed yet.’ It was a printed plastic sign that was nailed into the wall.
Mom insists they honor their sign, he says nah. Now, up to this point, I as an adult looking back am totally on board with mom’s actions.
Mom gathers her things, decides against taking the Little Debbies on principle, and we get in the car. Mom wordlessly drives downtown to the main store of this 3-5 store chain, knowing the office is next door. We walk into this perfectly 80’s wood paneled office where my mother asks the secretary to speak to the owner of the store and is permitted to do so since this is a family owned business and their ‘corporate office’ is smaller than the row of cubicles my staff occupy at work.
My mother then unleashes a tirade about how she has lost faith in his brand and how his word is meaningless since they will not honor the sign etc. This guy stands up, profusely apologizes, validates her anger and then pulls out his wallet and hands her a $5 bill along with a promise that he will speak to the manager and the sign will either be honored or removed.
We get home and find that the ice cream we bought melted in the trunk because summer and ruined the cereal and the bread.”
“Are You On Crack?”
“Oh god, I have so many. My personal favorite is the Dairy Queen drive-thru incident. My mom thought she was being overcharged 12 cents and freaked out at the poor Dairy Queen drive-thru dude. He was probably in high school and here’s my ‘adult’ mom screaming at him for overcharging her like 12 cents.
Some of her exact words were: ‘Are you on crack?? What the frick is wrong with you?? I can’t BELIEVE this is happening right now. You’re wasting my time.’ Etc etc, the usual flip out. Also, she mentioned her work; she loves bringing up that she works at a certain big business, as if that gives her more authority to be rude to people.
But the Dairy Queen incident was special because just before going to get ice cream, my best friend and I had spent some quarters on giant fuzzy mustache stickers. So there we are in the backseat, rubbing our giant fake mustaches and staring at this kid getting screamed at by my mom. Dairy Queen dude was holding in laughter the entire time. I hope our mustaches made the raging mom incident less terrifying for him.
Oh and she did demand the manager who just shrugged her off and didn’t care.
I wonder how much spit in food we have ate because of her…”
“My Mother In Law Is Truly A Karen”
“My mother in law is truly a Karen. Going out to eat with her is always a nightmare. Her orders have 14 special requests, but she’s not at all kind about it, she is defensive from the get go like you’re an idiot who’s already messed the order up. ‘No dressing! Not on the side. Nothing. Completely dry. Do you understand? I will send it back!’
The one I will never forget though was dinner at Joe’s Crab shack. In case you’ve never been, it’s one of those places that every so often plays a song that the entire staff is required to drop everything and do a little synchronized dance to. It’s quick, everyone gets a little kick out of it, it’s part of the fun. Now my mother in law Karen knew this, it’s not like she’d never been here. But apparently she was not willing to wait two extra minutes for her dry salad, so she starts going off as soon as the dancing starts. She gets a manager, who clearly knows Karen well and offers a quick apology (for doing their job) and a discount on her dry salad. But Karen’s not completely satisfied. She tells us that even though dinner for our party of 8 is on her, she’s not tipping the waitress 1 penny. She proceeds to complain …loudly… the rest of the meal and antagonized our waitress over the most petty things.
I worked too many years in customer service and, ya know, I’m a decent human being. I made sure to get my bill separate so I could tip for the entire table. I wrote a quick note on the receipt, something along the lines of ‘Way to stay positive even when the customer’s awful.’ I was a little afraid of the wrath of Karen, it was one of my first interactions with her too, but when the waitress came and hugged me, Karen and I locked eyes. She knew. I didn’t care. Don’t be an entitled nuisance, Karen.”
A1 Since Day 1
“When I was 6, my mom took my brothers and I out to Golden Corral for dinner. She went up to the buffet, got a steak, and came back to the table. She’s an avid A1 steak sauce fan and cannot, I repeat, CANNOT eat steak without it.
She poured out the A1 onto her plate, tasted it, and was instantly horrified. She proceeded to pour out the Golden Corral Steak Sauce right next to the A1 and it matched perfectly.
Outraged, she called over a waitress and eventually the manager showing them her little experiment and how she exposed the Great Steak Sauce Fraud of ’06.
My brothers and I were scarred for the rest of our lives. I still have nightmares about it.”
“Nothing Was Going To Stop Me Getting Her Out Of That Store”
“My grandmother wasn’t only a ‘let me talk to your manager’ type, she was prejudiced as well. Her advancing dementia completely turned off her filter for that. I’ve blocked out all the context behind it other than I took her to buy yarn and something went wrong.
I think maybe they shorted her a couple bucks or wouldn’t honor a coupon or something. Whatever it was ended in a ‘let me talk to your manager’ followed by a tirade to the manager about how they shouldn’t be hiring Mexicans. I just remember having to talk over her and say, ‘Oh my god you can’t talk to her like that. Nothing you just said is ok,’ followed by me trying to push her wheelchair out of the store as fast as possible with her digging her feet into the ground trying to get me to stop so she could go back to trying to ruin someone’s day, leaving me wondering if I’d go to jail for elder abuse if her ankles snapped in the process because nothing was going to stop me getting her out of that store.
I got her into the car and then went back in and apologized till I was blue in the face. I wish I could say it was an isolated incident but it definitely wasn’t.
If by any cosmic chance any sales clerks or phone reps that had to deal with my grandmother read this, I am so so incredibly sorry, I apologize on behalf of my whole family and I’d give you a hug if I could.
As an interesting side effect of caring for her, I have a tendency to wander off and pretend to look at things when we get to the register if I’m with someone and I’m not the one paying. I think she gave me an honest to god phobia.”
If The Shirt Fits…
“My mom needed to return some shirts at the mall because they didn’t fit right. It was past the allotted time that she had to return them, so the employee said that there wasn’t anything she could do. My mom started SCREAMING at this girl who was probably about 16 or 17, calling her names and demanding to speak to the manager.
When the manager told my mom that they couldn’t do anything and that the return policy was on the receipt, my mom threw a fit and knocked over a display that was next to the register and stormed out of the store. I was probably 6 or 7 at the time and I was mortified. I apologized for her behavior and picked up what I could before she started calling for me to follow her. The manager was super sweet to me, though, and told me that I was a good kid and to stick up to my mom when I could get away with it.”
“He Felt Backed Into A Corner”
“Okay, so we were going to a theme park in DC. I must have been around 19, which makes my one sister 16, and the youngest around 9. My dad had been planning this for a year, and we were psyched to go.
After you go into this place, you see a huge lake, and on each side there are several shops. A restaurant there, a souvenir shop there. And also, there is a Build-A-Bear shop. This shop is NOT a part of the park itself, but it does have an entrance from the park.
Anyway, my dad didn’t have custody of my sister at the time, and only saw her very sporadically. This was by his own choice, since his anxiety meant he couldn’t care for her properly. She lived with a foster family. This was one of maybe three times a year he got to actually take her somewhere, so this trip was a BIG deal.
He told her she could have ONE thing from the park, whatever she wanted he would pay for it. And, being a 9-year old girl, she said she wanted a Build-A-Bear.
My dad was unfamiliar with the concept of Build-A-Bear, so he didn’t know that the price of the bear isn’t the total price. On top of it comes the clothes, the shoes etc. So the shop person takes my sister through the whole thing. You know, stuffing, putting the heart in etc, and rings up the total.
My dad totally lost it. Like, red in the head, screaming at this poor girl in the shop lost it. And I felt SO embarrassed. Firstly, this girl didn’t make the prices. Secondly, this was THE trip of the year, it was all four of us for the first time in forever. And thirdly, you don’t yell at people like that.
I get that he was angry, since he didn’t know the process, and felt cheated. And also, he felt backed into a corner, since he had promised my sister that she could have anything. But you don’t do that. Ever.
Luckily, the rest of the trip went by without a hitch, and my youngest sister doesn’t remember this happening. She has two Build-A-Bears now, and she named each of them after one of her sisters.”
Empty Chairs And Empty Tables
“This is my favorite example of my mom being an absolute whacko. We are from New York and I met her in Los Angeles, where she was vacationing for a few days. There is a restaurant we had been to before and really wanted to visit again, I guess you could say it’s a ‘hot spot.’ This is lunch time, no reservation.
We arrive at the restaurant and there are a bunch of open tables, it’s early, probably before noon. My mom asks for a table and they say, ‘We’re so sorry but if you don’t have a reservation, we unfortunately do not have any tables for you. If you’d like, you can leave your phone number and we can call you if we have any cancellations.’ My mom starts huffing and puffing, pointing at all the tables, which are of course reserved for 12:00 and 12:30 reservations but are currently empty. She’s making a whole scene and just storms out of the restaurant.
I try to explain to her the way restaurants work, that there are empty tables because other people are going to be coming in later with reservations. She is storming down the block just ranting, ‘NO! You don’t get it! I’ve worked in restaurants my whole life. This is what they do. It’s LA. It’s like a nightclub. They don’t like the way we look. This is RIDICULOUS.’ While she’s ranting, the hostess comes running down the block. They had a cancellation and they could seat us immediately. I was humiliated, I didn’t even want to eat there anymore. I hope they didn’t spit in our food.”