give me your worst service stories of all time…please

Me taming a stuffed animal eagle back when I was the worst employee

My daughter needs space to play, and playmates are always a plus, and I need somewhere to write and work. More often than not we’re at a boring, grown up café. She entertains herself admirably, and I try to be understanding when she’s reached her limit and wants a change of scenery. It does eventually happen.

However, if I want to please her and NEED to finish something on deadline, we go to a chain fast food place, whose name I won’t mention. We go there, and I don’t feel remotely guilty. It’s the best bad option to get work done when we’re on the road. To their credit, they’ve not run out of coffee. Not yet, anyway.

All of this is a prelude to my story of possibly the worst employee I’ve ever encountered. It was at said fast food chain, but to be fair? She could’ve been working anywhere. I’m a difficult employee, so you’ll immediately see why this exchange was so humorous to me. The more I replay our conversation in my head, the more admiration I have for dear Maria.

My point, though? If you’re miserable in your job, just leave. Truly. This woman was doing neither herself nor her employer any favours. To be fair, she might’ve been simply having a bad day or week. I try to give people room if they’re going through a rough patch, but this woman appears to have been going through a bad life. Hold onto your hats, dear readers. This one’s a doozy:

Maria might be working in food service here, but I’d argue with her bad attitude she’s unquestionably management material. After arriving and ordering our food, we sat down at the table nearest the electricity outlets. As I plugged in all my devices, I noticed full trays of leftover food scattered round us. My daughter went to play with her newly acquired friends, and I worked while waiting for our food.

After scarfing down our food, my daughter went back to the playground and I collected all of the empty wrapping and detritus and took my tray to the rack where conscientious customers do what’s required. It was at this point I noticed two equally baffling things. First of all, the rack was full of similarly full trays and secondly, there was our hero Maria. I took a deep breath and smiled before asking politely where I should deposit our tray filled with wrappers and empty drink cups.

She let out the biggest sigh, exasperatedly tried to shove trays out of the way and then gruffly took mine and growled, ‘Give it to me,’ in heavily accented German. Poor lady, right?

Well, I never let such a curious situation pass me by without engaging, so I had to ask her. Perhaps my first mistake, I know.

You seem both miserable and equally bad at your job. What’s the deal?

Having assumed she might be offended at my question, I steeled myself for her wrath. However, I got nothing of the sort. She asked me point blank, ‘Would you be happy about doing this job?

Nope. I certainly wouldn’t. It got me thinking and I kept badgering her with my questions. To her credit? She kept answering.

Why don’t you go work somewhere else?’ I queried.

She sighed again, and answered with the ennui of a dock worker, ‘Where else can I do so little and still get paid?’ Good point, Maria. I see you and respect your moxie. Doesn’t make me want to go there anymore, which is somehow the point of good service or management. Right?

You’ve probably got more questions than I did, at this point. I’ll turn it around to my readers and ask you for your worst service experience.

Airlines? Restaurants or bars? Hotels? Courtrooms or police departments?

Give me your sob stories and don’t be surprised if they end up in an article I’m working on. It’s crowd sourcing my content, please and thank you.

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