Being a waiter or waitress at any type of restaurant is a stressful job. You are constantly multitasking to perform the duties of your position while also ensuring each of your patrons is taken care of. There’s also the added pressure that comes with knowing that, if you do your job well enough, you just might receive a tip at the end of their meal… but it’s not always guaranteed.
Even though the experience can often be distressing, one of the best parts of the job is, by far, being able to listen in on the unusual conversations that sometimes take place at your tables.
Thanks to a Reddit thread, here are 10 very odd—and slightly disturbing—things that have been overheard by servers while they were on the job. Get ready to cringe at some of these…
1. One Reddit user wrote: “I was delivering food to a large table that looked like they were on a family reunion vacation when I overheard a grandpa asking one of the younger (12 or 13?) grandchildren if they had fun that day. The kid responded with ‘Screw you grandpa, I can’t wait until you die.’ I almost dropped all the plates in shock.”
minkey8885 / Flickr
2. This Reddit user chimed in: “I was working in a restaurant called Witherspoons, and there was a slight lull in the Friday night noise and a buddy and I overheard a girl say, ‘Well technically he isn’t my brother, so I was intimate with him,’ to which her friend replied, ‘But you have the same Dad.'” Uh-oh, the next family reunion might get awkward.
3. One overly nosy server wrote: “I overheard a customer talking about someone ‘coming and being so much fun.’ I assumed she was pregnant because she seemed to be showing a bit. I decided mid-way through the dinner to congratulate her on being pregnant. To my horror, she said, ‘I am not pregnant.’ I felt horrible. I told my manager who comped their meals and I hid in the back for the rest of their dinner. Push comes to shove she refused to let the manager comp her meal and left me a $20 tip with a note that said ‘I was kidding, I’m due in July.'” Well played customer. Well played.
Marc Majcher / Flickr
4. One Redditor wrote in: “Had a guy confess to sleeping with his significant other’s sister when I brought their drinks to them. It was an anniversary. I guess he thought it would be the least likely place for her to cause a scene. She caused a scene.”
5. Another Reddit user added: “When I was a waiter, people often pretended that I wasn’t there. The stories they told were crazy and personal. One woman at a table of six lunching ladies told the story of how her husband was recently prescribed Viagra. ‘He took it like a vitamin—one pill every morning. He kept having ‘issues’ at work and didn’t understand why.'”
6. Another server said: “I overheard a guy on a date, at the table next to ours, trying to impress the girl by saying that he loved swing dancing, and that maybe they should check out that ‘Swinging Richards’ place sometime. Their waitress was in earshot and quickly explained to him that Swinging Richards was not that kind of dance club… (it’s of the male nudity variety).” Maybe an Applebee’s is more appropriate for the next date.
Mike Mozart / Flickr
7. One Redditor was privy to a joke from a nice elderly patron. They wrote: “I am a server at a small hall that runs a restaurant/bar out of the basement in a small, rural community. One night, after almost all of the patrons had left, an old man shuffles up to the serving area, looks left and right, leans in and says, ‘All old people have AIDS.’ He pauses, then says, ‘Hearing aids, Band-aids, and Roll-aids!’ He cackles, then shuffles away.”
mike krzeszak / Flickr
8. This Reddit user had quite the eventful experience. They wrote: “I used to be a manager at a Pizza Hut. Big extended redneck family comes in, with parents and kids. Standard visit, and they stood up to leave when two of the guys started yelling at each other. Their wives/girlfriends got in on it and turned it up a notch by getting in a vicious slap-fight. Best part? Both of the women were holding babies at the time.”
Daniel Oines / Flickr
9. One Redditor had a somber experience with an elderly customer. They said: “I used to wait tables at a waffle house. One morning, around 6 a.m., I had an older gentleman come in and sit. I came up to take his drink order, like usual, asking how he was and such, his response was, with tear-filled eyes, ‘I just buried my wife.’ I had to pause for a second to collect myself, because it kinda hit me hard.”
Eric.Ray / Flickr
10. This server probably won’t forget how shallow one particular customer was. They wrote: “I was waiting a table a couple days ago for a group of older ladies. While I was walking back to the kitchen, I overheard one of them say, ‘You don’t know what it’s like to be married to such a disgustingly ugly man,’ and then said something about waiting for him to die so she’ll gain his money. It shook me up inside.” Yikes!
401(K) 2012 / Flickr
If you’ve ever been a server, then you can probably relate to some of these wild experiences. Even if you haven’t, they’re all still pretty shocking to read!
Share these crazy serving stories with your friends below!