The customer is always right?


Alena Flynn

Kuyper answering a phone call at work

Sidney Kuyper

“No ****. Thanks for the help you stupid ******* *****!” 

   This was the response I received after I repeatedly told a customer he was calling our restaurant’s only location. Regardless, he insisted that he was at the same restaurant in a neighboring town, and I was wrong. 

   As a sixteen year old girl working at a small, locally owned restaurant, all I could do was remember our policy: the customer is always right, even if they are wrong. How would I know? It’s not like I had been working there for over six months. 

   The mistreatment of employees in the food industry is a rampant problem occurring every day, and I’m not the only person to experience it.

   Customers continue to verbally harass workers, and yes, sometimes the anger is caused by a real problem, but not one in control by the workers. 


Jr. Emma Defries

“It was a busy Saturday night and a lady put in a to go order online and she came in and yelled at us because the Beachwood mushrooms didn’t pop up for her on the restaurant website as just a side. She continued to complain about it but I proceeded to tell her it’s out of my control and I am not in charge of the website.”

Sr. Connor Wooley

“I had a customer storm down the street and cuss me out for giving him a table in the sun after telling me he wanted shade multiple times. The table was under an awning and had plenty of shade. It was also the middle of the day in July, so I don’t know what he really expected.”


   However, businesses are not only exposed to customers like these, but to customers who utterly disprove “the customer is always right” policy.


Jr. Danielle Kyes

“One time at work a lady wouldn’t stop arguing with me about the prices and asking why it said on the window it was a certain price but then it was like 50 cents more. She was looking at the wrong size. But she just wouldn’t stop until our manager had to get involved.” 

Jr. Carson Morley

“A lady came into my work TWO WEEKS after we messed up her takeout order to yell at us and cuss out our manager.”


   The problem is not about the situation, but about how the people are reacting. Simple mistakes can cause people to go off the rails. Even mistakes that aren’t the fault of the workers, like reading a sign wrong, or choosing to wait weeks after a mess up to get angry.

   But it doesn’t stop with this. People are disregarding the fact that workers are people too, saying dehumanizing and just blatantly rude comments for absolutely no reason.


Anonymous Senior

 “I once went into work on a Saturday night, a shift from 4-11pm. A lady walked in claiming she called and reserved a table for twelve people, but we don’t take reservations, (only through Yelp in which we cannot save you a spot until you are checked in.) I tried explaining this to her the best way possible. She said I was trash, just how the restaurant was trashy for being ‘inconsiderate’ of bigger families. I was told to ‘**** off’ and to find a better job. This lady not only caused a scene, but caused a part of me to feel as if working as a teen wasn’t enough. She later came in and not only tried to record me and my coworkers, but she went outside the restaurant and tried to stop people from coming in.”

Jr. Calin Nichols

“I was outside with my coworker in the drive through and we asked a guest to move forward. When we asked him he asked us if we were joking. We asked him to move again and started yelling at us out of nowhere. He got out of his car while screaming at us and started yelling about how God will never love us and we’re going to hell and that we’re the worst people and some other really not cool things. He mentioned something about us being racist even though we only asked him if he could pull his car forward. He screamed that he needed our manager then screamed at our manager, got in his car, and drove off.”


   Every person in these examples is between the ages of 16-18. High school students – kids who work after going to school for seven hours every day on top of the various extracurricular activities they are also juggling. 

   The people complaining? Adults – people who should be setting a good example for the young working class. 

   Telling someone they are “trashy” and should “go to hell” in response to a high school student just trying to do their job and help a customer is not okay, and is so much more normalized than it should be. 

   The treatment is out of hand, and the bar is below the bare minimum. The solution: be nice.