Category: Food & Drink

Baking Up A Storm

| TX, USA | At The Checkout, Employees, Food & Drink

(It is the early 80s, back in the day when food assistance was an actual booklet of vouchers, and the cashiers manually ring in what goes on the vouchers and what doesn’t. We are at the store with our next door neighbor, who is buying, among other things, the ingredients for a birthday cake for her son.)

Cashier: *moves aside the baking soda* “You can’t put that on your food stamps.”

Neighbor: *moves it back* “Uh, yes, I can.”

Cashier: *moves it aside again* “No, you can’t. That’s not food.”

Neighbor: “Yes, it is. I need it for my son’s birthday cake.”

Cashier: “No, it goes in the fridge to control smells. You can’t put that on food stamps!”

Neighbor: “Lady, it says BAKING soda right on it and there are recipes on it. It’s food!”

Cashier: “No, it isn’t!”

(Our neighbor finally had the cashier call for a manager who told her that yes, you can cook with baking soda, and to allow it to go on the food vouchers.)

A Hot Slice Of Justice Is Required

| CA, USA | Bad Behavior, Bosses & Owners, Food & Drink, Liars/Scammers, Non-Dialogue

Years ago I worked at a popular chain coffee shop. I was born and raised and still live in one of the most expensive areas in the country. At the time I have gone back to college full-time, so I work full-time as well to try to keep up with my bills. Most of my coworkers are teenagers who live with their parents, with two other exceptions besides me. The company launches a new promotional program for a paid incentive card and offers a competition of sorts to try to sell memberships with cash prizes for the stores that sell the most in the district at the end of the introductory period.

To motivate us the store manager says if we win anything, the staff members will split any cash prize the store earns. My fellow rent-paying coworkers and I knew that money would go far for us, so we all hustled like crazy and sold memberships to as many customers as we could. Our store ends up coming in first in the district.. And then our manager says he has changed his mind about splitting the prize and will use the money to throw a staff pizza party instead.

The three of us who were counting on the cash were understandably pissed off, but given how we were all hand-to-mouth we weren’t about to turn down the free food. We weren’t any less pissed off when a few weeks later, the coworker who picked up the food told us what it had cost. Which made us realize that the manager had not in fact spent even close to the whole prize total on the ‘celebration,’ but pocketed almost half of it for himself.

Wasn’t Planning To Feed An Army Today

| USA | Food & Drink

(I am at a drive-thru where you can see the order on a screen. I am distracted for some reason and not paying close attention to the order listed.)

Me: “Hi! I would like a [Meal] with a [Drink] and an [Ice Cream].”

Worker: “Um… okay…”

(Muffled whispering in background.)

Me: “Is something wrong?”

Worker: “No, ma’am… Could you please read over your order to make sure it is correct?”

Me: *confused* “Sure…?”

(I read over the list and immediately realize the error: the machine reads that I have ordered 999 Meals, 58 Drinks, and 500 Meals I Didn’t Order!)

Me: *laughing* “OH! Oh, no, my order is [Order]!”

Worker: *laughing* “All right, then, your total is [Price]. Have a great day!”

Intolerant Of Your Gluten-Tolerance

| Italy | Employees, Food & Drink, Ignoring & Inattentive

(I’m ten, and have been diagnosed celiac for two years. The first gluten-free certified pizza place has opened in my city, and as an Italian, it’s quite a big deal for me to be able to eat non-frozen pizza again. I’m still afraid it won’t taste any good so my father order a gluten- free pizza too, to keep me company. The waitress has taken our food orders, and is asking about the drinks.)

Dad: “I’ll have a medium blonde beer.”

Waitress: “I’m sorry, sir, but we don’t serve any gluten free beers.”

Dad: “Oh, it’s not a problem; I didn’t want one. I’ll have a normal one.”

Waitress: “It has gluten in it. It’s harmful for you.”

Dad: “Ah, no, I’m not celiac.” *he points at me* “She is. I just want to know how her pizza taste like.”

Waitress: *raises an eyebrow, clearly not believing him* “Sorry, sir, but I can’t serve you a beer! You can’t drink it!”

Dad: *in a very sarcastic voice* “Okay, not a problem. I’ll drink nothing, however my wife will have a Radler AND a medium blonde beer.”


(The pizza was very good, but surprisingly we didn’t come back!)

That Conversation Went South

| Phoenix, AZ, USA | Bigotry, Food & Drink

(After being hired I’m sent to a two-week training in another city with other new hires from the surrounding region. During introductions we say where we are from since most of us are transplants. I am from Oklahoma and am a 21-year-old white female (relevant) and another new hire is a middle-aged (black) man who relocated to Los Angeles from New Orleans after Katrina. Once we are done the trainer stands up.)

Trainer: “Okay, apparently I need to make this clear now since we have people from the South. This is the Southwest. We don’t tolerate people saying ‘ma’am’ or ‘sir’. We aren’t formal like that. We wear flip flops to meetings! So don’t go dressing up too nice!”

(We had been given a very clear outline of expected dress code — eg. slacks, button-ups, etc.)

Trainer: “Just remember; this isn’t the South and we don’t DO things like you think is okay.”

(Coworker and I exchange uncomfortable glances at being singled out but don’t say anything. Throughout the week whenever she calls on me she will then interrupt me and declare she can’t understand what I said because of my ‘accent’. I don’t think anything much about it until a few days later when we are on break again and the gentleman from LA and I are having a passionate conversation about food and who has the best BBQ between our home states.)

Trainer: *to me* “Excuse me! You shouldn’t say that to him! He lost his home in a terrible flood, and you are bragging that your food is better than his! You can’t be talking like that to someone who has overcome so much as a black man! It is that kind of insensitivity that I can’t stand from you Southerners! It’s so racist!”

Coworker: “No.”

Trainer: “What?”

Coworker: “No, it isn’t racist to talk about food. BBQ in the South is almost a religion, I’m sitting here having a normal conversation with this young lady about something we both care about and she’s the first person I’ve talked to since moving here who actually knows what they are talking about. And I don’t care to have my business about why I moved or the ‘tragedy’—” *he made the finger quotes* “—of losing my home a subject of discussion!”

Trainer: “Well, I think it’s a conversation that isn’t appropriate and it is making people uncomfortable…”

Coworker #2: *also a black man* “Well, it doesn’t make me uncomfortable. You’ve got a class with two black men, an Asian, and a Muslim, and not one of us is uncomfortable about a conversation about BBQ!”

(The trainer then cut the break short and returned to class but didn’t say a word to me about my accent the rest of the time. Later Coworker #2 stopped me when we were leaving and let me know that both he and Coworker #1 had spoken to the trainer’s supervisor and that they didn’t think I would be bothered again. I wasn’t and neither were they. I was very grateful to both gentlemen; a combination of youth, inexperience, and social anxiety had left me speechless during all of it which made me feel like an idiot. I brought doughnuts the next day as a thank you and drinks later that night where we all called each other ‘sir’ and ‘ma’am’ with each toast!)