Etiquette Hell = Where the ill-mannered deserve to go


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I had been cold-calling places, looking for a job all that morning and finally got hold of this place. After speaking with a couple of receptionists for a few minutes they eventually transferred me to the office manager. He had been so impressed with my phone manner and experience that I had been told to come in as soon as possible for an interview. I told him to expect me after lunch, around 1:30 and he said that would be fine and we said our good byes.

When I arrived for the interview I was greeted by the ladies I had spoken with and promptly sent into the manager's office. We talked about my experience and availability and it was agreed that I would start the following Monday for **$10.00/hr.**

Monday came and I began my new job.. It went well at first, as I am fairly good with clients and with agents and by Wednesday of that week I knew most of the agents by name. by Thursday I felt I had things under control enough to be given "more things to do" as the phones weren't always, "ringing off the hooks", Which was when I was told to just stare at the phones until they ring. I am a fairly active guy and I'm defiantly not built to "stare at phones until they ring"! but I did it, I was getting paid either way so it wasn't "my" time being used non-constructively. And I proceeded to do this for the rest of the day.

The next day (Friday) I was called into the Manager's office where he informed me I wouldn't be needed anymore after today. I could finish the day and come in to get my check the following Thursday. I was a little surprised, thinking I had been working out rather well and asked why, and was told, "they hadn't had the workload that they had thought!"

Skipping to that Thursday;

When I finally got my check I was shocked to find that it had been cut for $9/hr. I called to find out if there had been a mistake and the manager denied saying 10 dollars, but said to call back in "an hour" and he would check his notes. When I called back he still denied the agreement and he also got rude and at one point began yelling!

I couldn't believe that someone in such a respectable position would be so sneaky and dishonest. It was only about $40 dollars (10/hr * 40 hrs) that he owed me but it was the principal of the whole thing that shook me.

A few months later a friend was looking at buying a house and I was able to help him in two ways. I sent him to a great real estate agent AND steered him *away* from a dishonest real estate company! ;)


I work as an estimator for a small contracting firm (we install millwork). It's fairly standard practice to hire a general contractor or a construction manager to handle the job, and they in turn "sub" out all the portions of the job, take and evaluate bids, and award contracts to the lowest qualified bidder in each category.

The bid form for this project, a new church and the attached school, took me a little bit aback. It has the standard lines to fill in what category  you plan to bid, a line to fill in the dollar amount in both words and numbers for the categories, a line to fill in the cost for "bonds" for the job, AND a line titled "Donation in Kind (to be deducted from bid amount)".

I find it a bit crass to solicit anyone who is bidding on this job (who may or may not even agree with the religion of the owner of the project!) for charity, and I also find it a bit crass that they're asking specifically for the donation to be written on the form (i.e. this could very well lead to whichever contractor gives the most "in kind" to be awarded the job, since it isn't linked to public funds).


My mother and I decided to take my 9 year old nephew and 4 year old niece on a trip to Disney World. It was just the four of us, and mom hired a limo to pick us up from the airport and drive us to the resort. The first sign (literally) that things would get interesting was when the driver met us at the baggage claim with a sign that said "Paul Molgum." My mom's name is Paula Molstel. 

He led us to the car and didn't help with the bags or help with the children. My mom and I had our hands full. He opened the trunk, mom threw in her bags, then he shut it before I could put my things away. I just kept it with me. My mom asked him if he had a car seat for my niece and he said not to worry, she didn't need one, the seatbelt was good enough. It raised a concern but she didn't say anything more. Since the limo was actually a Lincoln, I had to sit in the front seat. 

As we were cruising on the highway I looked at the speedometer and saw he was going 90 mph. Just then, we heard sirens so the driver pulled over. The cop came running up to the car, to my side, and the driver rolled down the window. The cop began SCREAMING at him about how fast he was going and asking why wasn't the little girl in the back-seat in a car seat? The driver then began to argue back, and tell him he was only going 65 mph. The cop asked for license and registration, and our limo driver wouldn't give it to him. The cop then put his hand on his gun (no kidding, I was right next to him) and that forced our driver to give him the info. He disappeared back to his car for about fifteen minutes, and the driver kept telling my mom he was only going 65 mph, so he didn't know why he was picking on him. I knew that was a lie but I kept my mouth shut. 

When the cop came back he had our driver get out of the car and I could hear them yelling at each other. I thought he was going to be arrested and we would be stranded. Thankfully, he came back and the drive to our hotel was then uneventful. No one talked much. When he dropped us off, he again did not help with the luggage. He told my mom the total was $195. She had been quoted a price of $185. When she argued with him he got very rude and told her she had to pay it. We were tired, a little scared, our arms were full and the kids were cranky, so she just gave it to him. After all, this guy would be picking us up in a few days and taking us back to the airport. We should've made other arrangements, but now we'd paid for the round trip! 

When he came back to take us to the airport, everything went fine until we pulled up to the gate. Again, no help with the bags. As we were leaving he put his hand out for his tip and told her (I'm not kidding) that he expected a twenty percent tip. She just looked at him and gave him a ten dollar bill (this was after careful consideration, we didn't want to give him anything but we were afraid he'd make a scene). He looked at her and laughed and said "that's all?" She said yes and he goes "Maybe next time." Yeah, I don't think so. She promptly complained to the company via email and never heard another word. What kind of guy would let two women with two small children carry a ton of bags and a stroller and refuse to help, then endanger their lives and lie to their face about it? And expect a 40 dollar tip? Some nerve....I wish I could name the place.


Once my boyfriend and I had dinner at a well known casual restaurant chain. We ordered soup with our meals and when the waiter was bringing them out he set them on a table (in full view of us and other customers), proceeded to sneeze into his hands, and then pick our soups right back up and bring them over to us. Yuck! I still cringe thinking about it. He then proceeded to serve them to us and joke about it. "Oh, don't worry, I didn't get any into the soup, ha ha.." In case you're wondering, no, we didn't eat it.



This is about friends and relatives taking advantage of someone else's employee discount. I was not sure about posting this tale, but after I attended yet another family event where this person BRAGGED about her rude behavior, I decided to share.

I am a manager for a major retailer and get a generous discount, afforded only to the employee and immediate family. The company is (rightfully) very clear about this, and has fired employees in the past for fraud when they get discounts for friends, boyfriends and girlfriends, etc. I have a relative I will call Joan who has been badgering me to use my discount for her and I repeatedly refuse. Joan is not a close enough relative to legitimately qualify for the discount. I feel it is unethical, a poor example to my staff, and do not wish to risk being fired over Joan saving $50. Besides, I got to hear about Joan in action using her friend's discount:

Joan has a friend who works for a hotel chain. When Joan went on vacation, she arranged to book a room under her friend's name to get over a 50% discount on the hotel room. The friend did not go along on the vacation, it was only Joan posing as her friend, in other words, pretending to be an employee of the hotel from another city. 

Joan's room was not yet cleaned when she arrived early to the hotel, and they accidentally let her in the room when the sheets were not changed or the bathroom cleaned yet. Joan raised holy heck, even making a fuss about the quality of the brand of toilet paper the hotel used. She later disliked the quality of the food in the hotel restaurant and took her server to task on that. She complained so much about the hotel, I have never heard her say anything at all about the city she went to visit on vacation.

Joan talks to anyone who will listen about how "bad" the hotel was and how they called her friend's "home" hotel to find out why this person (who they thought was an employee) was creating such a fuss. Joan brags that the "home" hotel told the vacation property that there might be a problem with the housekeeping department.

Joan never thought about how she was risking her friend's career and she certainly never thanked the hotel chain for the discount (that she was never entitled to in the first place) or for putting up with her rotten behavior. I wonder about her relationship with the friend involved.

I used to work in the travel industry myself, and always felt there was a reason they called the discounts "accommodations" and not "entitlements". When I traveled, I made a point to be polite to my fellow employees who were, in essence, working for me during my hotel stay.

After two years, Joan is still complaining about something nice her friend did for her, and degrading the friend's employer besides. Joan still wonders why I won't buy a computer for her at my company.



I was standing on-line in a music store a few years ago, waiting to be rung up.  An employee walked up and said, "I'm assuming you're next to be waited on," and I answered in the affirmative.  Then, a customer comes charging in and tell this employee he needs help finding double A batteries, and this clerk wanders off to help him w/no word of explanation to me.  The clerk should have immediately gotten someone else to help one of us or, at the very least, if the company's policy is that customers who need help looking for something always come before customers needing to be rung up, no matter how long the customers needing to be rung up have been waiting (which I doubt, but it's possible, I guess), the clerk should have told me that before just waltzing off and failing to get someone else over to help me.  

Then, after I continued to wait at the registers for a while to be rung up,  I saw another employee go over to the Ticketmaster terminal, which was near the bank of registers I was waiting at, and he began using the Ticketmaster terminal there.  I figured this clerk had to have seen me waiting, yet he wasn't waiting on a customer at the Ticketmaster machine, nor was he speaking to a customer on the phone while using the Tickesmaster computer, so I did wonder what in the world he was doing on that machine that was SO important that he couldn't drop it to come ring me up.  But I kept my mouth shut, because it crossed my mind that maybe he wasn't assigned to a register, and wasn't allowed to use someone else's (but if that was the case, he should've told me that, and gone to get someone else who was on a register).  

Finally, after a few minutes, the clerk turned to me, and said, "Oh, are you waiting to check out?"  Like he hadn't noticed me there at first, or thought I was just standing there for fun.  Several months later, I wound up getting an entry-level job at this very store, and I worked there for 10 months.  Out of all the paid and volunteer jobs I've had, I think it was probably my least favorite to work for that company. 



My boyfriend, brother, sister-in-law, 2 year old nephew, and I went to XXXX  Restaurant in PA for lunch.  Everything in the beginning was fine.  The service was very good.  The waitress, Dawn was very accommodating.  The food was ok.  She brought us the check at the end of the meal.  The total bill came to $80.35.  I left $92.35, which I felt was a normal tip ($12), the customary 15%.  

Apparently Dawn did not think so.  First, it became very apparent at the end of the meal that she was very anxious for us to pay the check, as she came by a few times to see if we had it ready.  Finally, I handed her the cash and thanked her.  She came back to our table a few minutes later and had a very displeased look on her face.  She asked us if we were satisfied with the service.  We said yes.  She gave me a dirty look and walked away.  About 15 seconds later, a gentleman came to our table and asked us the same question.  Again, we said yes.  I was very puzzled and frankly, I was very insulted that I would be treated this way at a restaurant and embarrassed like that in front of my family.  I gave her a $12 tip.  What was she expecting?  Before we were getting ready to leave my sister-in-law used the ladies room and passed Dawn along the way.  Dawn did not say anything to her and looked the other way.  Normally after I eat at a restaurant and on my way out, the waitress says thank you for coming, have a nice day, or something to that effect.  I have never been so insulted in my life and will never go back to that restaurant.  I will be telling all of my friends and family not to go there either.



When I was 17 I got a job at a small shop that sold cigarettes, candy, lottery tickets and cigarettes, it was part of a supermarket and all we had was a counter and a wall for our magazines. Still business was good as it was a busy supermarket and I was a good employee if I do say so myself. All was well until one day I wanted to go in an ask a coworker of mine something, but when I came in our entire store was gone. The counter was completely cleared out save for an empty cash register and the phone which I used to call my boss. I left him a message asking him what happened and he called me back later with some made up story about how an old business partner of his ran off with all the money and that was why we went bankrupt. The store had been cleared out the previous night and he knew it was coming, yet he didn't take the effort to tell any of his 80+ employees (he owned several stores). Considering the fact I had moved into a new house a week prior to that day, I was pretty screwed.


I work at the front desk at a hotel in a tourist community.  We are close to a very popular national park, but 12 miles from the nearest town.  When people stay at our hotel they generally eat at the restaurant next door. (The building is owned by the same owners but the restaurant is leased and ran separately.)  For the past two years, the exact amount of time I have worked there, I have been told horror stories about the service at the restaurant.      

Last year a couple called Frank and Lisa ran the restaurant.  Lisa cooked and stayed behind the scene, and Frank worked the dining room.  The dining area is never truly busy, as no locals will eat there and any guest who has won't go back a second time.  Frank, however, had his own theory of busy and if more than 3 tables were occupied became surly.  One story that was told to me follows.  A family (hubby, wife, and 2 kids) went in for dinner.  There were only 3 other tables occupied at the time.  Frank walked up to them as they came in and told them very rudely, "Stay if you want, but you won't get anything for at least an hour."  The family did stay and told me that it was at least an hour before they were given so much as a drink of water.      

The woman who leased the restaurant this year makes Frank look like a paragon of etiquette.  Betty has a rather exotic menu with high prices.  She offers a 10 percent discount to hotel guests, but if they don't show her their room key before they order she WILL NOT give them the discount.  She won't hire any workers and she and her family are there from 6 am to 11 pm.  They nap when business is slow, which it often is, so diners are subjected to an unmade military cot that is in the DINING ROOM.   She won't let any person not eating there to use the restrooms.  

On one occasion a British couple that were staying in the hotel asked if they could sit outside and read the menu.  She was very suspicious of them and told them that they couldn't take it out of the building. (Nothing but a black and white photo copy made on MY copier)  They told her they weren't going to steal it, and they were just going to sit on the chairs right outside the door.  She did let them and while they were out there a couple who were driving by with their 3 year old stopped because the little girl had to use the restroom.  She would NOT let them because they didn't have 2 dollars to pay her.  The British couple told the family that they could go to their room and use the toilet. At that point Betty started yelling at the British couple.  She told them that, " You are in America and that is not the way things are run in America."  The British man told her that in most of the places he has been in people treated each other with kindness and courtesy.  The argument escalated until she was screaming at him, "When I tell the lady at the front desk she is going to kick you out of the hotel"  MEANING ME!!  He said, "I will go tell her myself."  He immediately came over and told me the story, I guess expecting to be thrown out for letting a 3 year old use his hotel room bathroom.  I listened to his story in amazement, it lasted almost 15 minutes, and I think my exact words were, "You could have let them take a shower and sleep in your bed and I wouldn't care."     

My absolute favorite story though happened just the other night.  A really nice couple who were from Georgia were staying in the hotel and went over there for dinner.  When their table was set, Betty gave them 2 forks and 1 spoon.  When their food was brought, they asked for a second spoon.  Betty told them that they could SHARE.  When they said no, they wanted their own utensils, she argued with them!!  Before you ask me why I just don't tell people not to go there, I was told by the owner of the 2 properties that we should encourage people to eat there.  I tell people, however, that the food is good and the service is horrible.


Page Last Updated May 18, 2007