merc67/Getty Images

"A customer in the drive-thru demanded that all her chicken nuggets be 'circle-shaped.'"

Maria Yagoda
April 10, 2018

Working in hospitality poses its share of difficulties—long hours, bad tips, rude customers—but there is something about working in a chain restaurant, whether as a cook, server, or busser, that can feel uniquely challenging.

In a new AskReddit thread, former employees of chain restaurants shared the exact moment they realized they had to quit their jobs. Here are the incidents that broke them—from the petty to the horrifying. 

1. "I was in the mouse suit taking pictures for three separate birthday parties. I passed out in the suit on top of the children. Kids were crying and screaming, 'Chuckie's dead!!!!!'"

2. "I was terrorized by the cook, who used to display his crush on me by dangling raw gizzards threateningly over my face. The floor of the kitchen was always lathered thickly with grease, and a couple of times I slipped and nearly put my hand in the fryer by accident."

3. "A customer couldn't wait for her Bloomin' Onion to cool down and burned her mouth. She threw it in my face. The manager got mad at me and told me if I didn't shape up I'd be fired. I saved him the trouble, and I walked out."

4. "They hired a newly minted 23-year-old MBA manager who acted like a guard at a prison camp."

5. "They would drastically cut my hours when they hired a new host, and then suddenly work me until i was exhausted because the newbie quit. This was an every other week thing. My paychecks would go from $30 to $250, and eventually I left after I pulled a double shift when a newbie quit, and then got no hours for four days."

6. "I worked at a chain in college for three months. They gave me 39.5 hours a week so they wouldn't have to give me benefits. Eventually quit when they scheduled a shift during one of my college courses and the bossman told me I had better get my life priorities straight. I was like, 'You're right,' and quit on the spot."

7. "They were severely understaffed, so I was trained with a quick five-minute explanation of the cashier system and then expected to function on my own for the rest of the day. Every time I'd ask for help, the manager would be annoyed and not understand why I couldn't just get it. On top of that, I was required to clean, refill ice, and man the register all at once when the line was clearly poppin' at all times. If I couldn't refill napkins in time because I was ringing people up, it was a huge deal that I was incapable of being in two places at once. I called in before my fourth shift and quit."

8. "An older lady stormed the counter when I was ringing up a customer and screaming that we were out of hard-boiled eggs and she wanted one. Despite telling her to tell the guys working the buffet line, she insisted I had power over it. I didn't come back after that. I called in and didn't say, 'I quit,' but that I cannot work there any longer."

9. "I got called in on a Saturday because the bus boy didn't show up that morning. They had been stacking bus trays for several hours. I got started on the 19 bus trays. I had about seven done when the manager told me to go clean the glass on the front doors. More bus trays are stacking up. I got back to the bus trays and knocked out another eight or so and the manager told me to go police the parking lot to pick up trash. I walked out in the parking lot and kept on walking until I got home."

10. "A woman complained that her (perfectly cooked) pork chops 'smell too much like pork.' I comped the dish and offered to make her something else, an entrée, maybe a dessert instead? Nope, her entire appetite was ruined because of the 'pork smell.'"

11. "A customer in the drive thru demanded that all her chicken nuggets be 'circle-shaped.'"

12. "This lady had maybe three crumbs of lettuce and a crputon left of her salad and asked for a box. I brought her a small box, and she had a mental breakdown because it wasnt a large box."

13. "A cook friend of mine decided to quit with me one night after me getting almost nothing in tips. The cook made tons of food and snuck it out to my car. What I didn't know is that he had also taken some beers and a live lobster. I found out about the lobster when he held it out my window singing 'A Whole New World' while we were driving to the birthday party we made the food for. He killed the things all the time ('cause it was his job) so he didn't care about it. But I made him put it in the bathtub when we got to the party. No regrets about the stolen food and beer, but I still feel bad for the lobster."

All posts have been edited for length and clarity.