"This continued for a few rounds of back and forth: customer asked question, I calmly responded, he then acted as though my co-worker had responded and continued interacting only with the co-worker. It was as though he thought my co-worker was a ventriloquist and I a very lifelike puppet. Finally, I just offered him our list, because we had over 100 whiskeys, so maybe it could help him remember which bourbon was the one he 'had that one time, it was like, caramel-y.' Spoken like a true bourbon master, indeed.
"The good news was, he finally acknowledged that I was the one talking to him. The bad news is that the acknowledgement I got was a sneer and an 'I don't need your little cheat sheet, I know what the f*** I'm talking about.'
"I was silently enraged, but kept my composure. I calmly recommended a certain new whiskey that I had just gotten in, pulling it down and letting him smell the bottle (bourbon nerds LOVE this). He responded by thanking my co-worker (who at this point was just staring at the situation, mouth gaping open) for his suggestion. Then douche-bro turned again to me, acted like he had just noticed me, and asked in a mock-sweet voice, 'Oh! Hello sweetie! Are you taking the orders for him?' As if bars generally have extra staff who just take the orders for the actual bartender?
"That was when I finally snapped. Knowing full well it could go very terribly for me if he complained to management, I looked back at him and responded in the exact same mock-sweet tone, 'Nope! I'm back here building a f***ing canoe! Bye!' and walked back down the bar. He stood there stunned for a few seconds, then remembered he was a fancy man with fancy needs who still hadn't ordered his fancy drink. He was, however, smart enough to leave me alone, and waited for my co-worker to be available.
"My co-worker wound up taking the order (Old Fashioned with extra cherries, with the stupidly expensive bourbon I suggested that he wouldn't be able to taste over all the cherries). My co-worker just nodded and stepped back, then made eye contact with me. In one of those ESP moments, we both knew what I was about to do. My fellow bartender then watched as I slowly and deliberately made this man's cocktail, right in front of him, so that he knew a woman made it.
"He ordered like three more, so clearly it was terrible." -- Rachel Morgan
Your health is very important to us
"Back in undergrad I spent a year working at a trendy coffee shop in a nice area of town. The new-money part of town, that is, where roughly half the clientele honestly thought that 'I haven't had my coffee yet' was a perfectly acceptable excuse to behave like a total asshole to the people taking your order.
"I opened a few days a week before my first class at 10am, meaning that three out of five days I would have a full class load and several hours of homework before a four-hour nap (if I was lucky) so that I could get to the shop by 6 to open up. On this particular day, there were two of us working, and the restaurant was empty when my co-worker went to stock the bagged coffee while I was in the back cutting bread for sandwiches. The girl who was working with me slipped off to the bathroom, forgetting to tell me because we had literally just opened and we were dead. I happened to peek out from the back and noticed that there was a middle-aged woman standing at the register and my buddy was nowhere to be found. I immediately dropped what I was doing and walked over, putting on my very best 7am cheerful face.
"'Hi! Can I help you?' I asked.
"She just stared at me for a moment before replying, 'No. I'm standing here for my health.'
"My reply? 'OK, then. Have fun!' At which point I turned my happy ass around and went right back to slicing bread. Apoplectic, she was unable to form a response until I was well away.
"I ended up making her drink after my co-worker came back. I put on a super-sweet smile and pretended the whole thing never happened. She had the good sense not to mess with me while I was making her drink. After I handed it to her, though, she started going off on how rude I had been to her, so I put on my very best confused expression and said, 'I'm so sorry, I really thought you just needed to stand there. For your health.'" -- Linda Catalino
Just the check then, asshole?
"My sister spent her college summers working as a waitress/hostess at a local restaurant and would come home regularly with great stories about crazy customers and crazy staff.
"My favorite tale of hers happened during her last night of waitressing before returning to school. One of her tables was a couple on a date. The gentleman was trying to assert his status as Alpha Male by loudly complaining about the meal at every given opportunity: stronger drinks, better-cooked steaks, faster service, etc.
"The meal was finally winding down -- coffee drunk, desserts eaten. My sister went up to the table and asked the gentleman, 'Will there be anything else, sir?'
"The gentleman wheeled around and said, 'Yeah, you can stop calling me 'sir.' It's f****ing annoying.'
"Without missing a beat, my sister said, 'Just the check then, asshole?'" -- Jana Kyle