Being a waitress is easily the most fun job I've had so far. I've worked at a few different restaurants and have made so many friendships, ones that I've maintained even after I stopped working. While it's super fun, on the other hand, it's also extremely stressful at times. My mom is a social worker who has dealt with some pretty intense situations, but she claims that her days of being a waitress were even more stressful. Why? As a server, your job is to make sure everyone is happy, while at the same time knowing that it's a nearly impossible feat. 

As a waitress trying to make everyone happy, I've witnessed some pretty disturbing things — mostly customer-based. I swear, the best way to judge someone's character is based on how they treat the service industry. People change when someone accidentally brings them a Coke instead of Pepsi. Based off of my own and other Spooners' experiences, here are the rude, inappropriate and downright bizarre things we've witnessed while being a waitress. 

1. The freezer fiasco

beer, tea, coffee, cake
Smita Jain

One lady really pushed it when I had to be the bearer of bad news. I told her, "We're out of grits, but we can offer you a full refund or a replacement side." Then she yelled at me for 5 minutes straight. Naturally, I started crying. Luckily, my boss backed me up and even suggested I go stand in the walk-in freezer to cool off and collect myself. Surprisingly, it actually did work.

2. When the customer is not always right 

juice, sweet, cocktail, orange juice, smoothie, ice, milk, orange squash
Jocelyn Hsu

One time a few minutes after bringing some girls their food I went to check on them to make sure everything was Gucci. One of the girls asked if she could have a refill of her orange juice, so I very politely told her of course, but refills are not free. She then proceeded to rip a piece of her own hair out of her head and place it in the near-empty glass so that we couldn't charge her due to "sanitary issues." 

3. The minor incident

tea, beer, coffee, wine, cheers, glasses, drunk, happy hour
Jaime Wilson

It thought it was really uncomfortable having to deny people's IDs when they were very obviously fake, especially when I had classes with some of them. Once, a girl stormed out after I denied her and cursed at me on the way out — it was intense. 

4. The guy with no boundaries

I brought a guy his food one time and as I pivoted away from the table, he stuffed a few dollars in my back pocket and copped a feel. It was totally gross and awkward, and whether someone's into it or not, it's totally not OK. He shot me a dirty look on his way out because I didn't say thank you or flirt back — I didn't owe him anything. My job as a waiter is to bring food to table and that should be without any unwarranted sexual advances.

So as you can imagine, I'm not the only Spooner who's worked at a restaurant. Let's hear what some other folks have to say.

5. The Anderson Cooper catastrophe

"One time a woman left a book about Anderson Cooper in the tampon disposal box in the ladies room. She then called and asked me to retrieve it for her and to hold it at the front desk until she could find time to come back and get it." Molly Catherine Walsh, University of Alabama Spoon's managing editor

6. The diaper dilemma

"One time a lady left a dirty diaper on her plate for me to throw away when I bussed the table." - Abigail Dismuke, University of Alabama Spoon photographer

7. The stiffing situation

sweet, money, coins, cash, us dollars, currency
Anna Arteaga

"I once had a table stiff me because I had five other tables and didn't bring their beers fast enough. They even went ahead and detailed what I did wrong on the receipt in bullet points right next to the "$0," just to rub it in, I guess." Kristen Kornbluth, College of Charleston Spoon's editorial director

8. The catering case

cake, tea, birthday cake
Emma Devlin

"As a wedding caterer I saw an entire platter dropped on the floor and was instructed to put all the food back on the platter and serve it." - Katherine Baker, Spoon HQ writer

9. The drunken dispute

wine, alcohol, liquor, ice, red wine, juice, cocktail
Alex Frank

"Late one night when I was on until close, a couple got pretty wine drunk. After the first few hours of their meal, the conversation turned real — they were getting a divorce and she was outlining exactly why their kids hated him. He got sick of it (but only after about 45 minutes), slapped their hotel key down and left. She ordered another glass of wine." - Sarah Reynolds, College of Charleston writer

I guess the moral of the story is be nice to your waiters and waitresses — they work super hard (usually for the minimum bucks) and really, they're the gateway to a great meal.