Public-Facing Employees Share The Silent Ways They Get Back At Rude Customers

If you’ve ever worked a job where you work with the public – where part of your job, and maybe even your income, is to be friendly and helpful – you know two things.

  1. People will invariably choose violence when you’re just doing your best and
  2. You’re not allowed to yell back at them, say something smart, or do something gross and awful like spit in their food.

There should be a 3, though, because once you’ve worked somewhere long enough you also know there are several options when it comes to petty-but-effective revenge.

If you’re looking for options yourself, let these 7 employees tell you what they do when this ugly but inevitable moment arises.

This is so subtle but brilliant.

“I used to be a barista (at a certain very well-known coffee chain).

We had a drive-thru, and if a customer was rude to me and they ordered a drink that needed a straw, I would discreetly break the straw before handing it to them.

Nothing too horrible, just incredibly annoying and inconvenient for them once they wanted to start drinking their beverage.”


Ooh dang.

“As a server, I always gave the senior discount to women — usually in their 40s or 50s — who were being rude.

They couldn’t complain because they wanted the discount, but you could see in their eyes that I just ruined their day.”


That will ruin a trip to the movies.

“We would give them the stale popcorn.” —jentevanwingerden


“I work at Subway. I have been known to sneak a jalapeño or two into a rude customer’s sub. It must have dropped into the lettuce.”


This does not surprise me.

“I used to be a baggage handler at the airport. I often got called up to the terminal for gate bag checks.

One time, the traveler was swearing at the gate agent, who was visibly holding back tears.

I took the bag, gave the asshole a big smile, then took his bag to a different airline and put it on a cart for a flight going to Japan.”


Called him right out.

“I work as a cook. Sometimes I help bring food out. I can’t help but get really annoyed at this smug obnoxious couple. The guy all of a sudden starts whistling and snapping his fingers to get the attention of the staff.

I saw no other option than to go to the kitchen, take a bowl, fill it with water, and place it at his feet. He looks at me like I’m a giant idiot and asks me what my problem is and what the hell the water is for.

I told him it’s for his dog, so that when it finally responds to his whistling and snapping, it can have a drink of water on the house.

He got pretty mad. I had a good laugh.”


So many ways to ruin your burrito.

“I work at Chipotle, so there’s a lot of stuff for rude customers.

When someone is nice, I give them a little bit of extra meat with no charge, I’ll make sure not to forget anything you asked, be as fast as possible making your food, and even might give you large chips if you ask for regular.

When you’re rude, you get more juice than beans, the smallest bit of meat, the brown, older guac, and the lightest chip bag with the littlest amount of chips.

Ah, and I won’t fill your guac/queso container to the top.”


People are so creative when they want/need to be, right?

If you work in customer service, share your own nefarious deeds with us in the comments!