Dumb Question #525,600

Sadly, I was not at work when someone asked the most stupid question I have ever heard a customer ask. I understand that sometimes people may not understand everything on the menu or perhaps there is an ingredient that may be unfamiliar, but when I was told this, I had to question if the customer was either a four-year old child, new to this country or just plain stupid. The question:

“This chips and salsa…what is salsa?

What is salsa? Salsa? Has this person never come out from the rock that she must be living under? How does someone not know what salsa is? I guess if it had just said “salsa” on the menu without the prerequisite “chips” it could possibly throw someone off, but I think “chips and salsa” is pretty clear. I suppose my co-worker answered with some vague description like “it’s a tomato based dip with chunks of fresh tomatoes and cilantro and peppers that is usually served with corn tortilla chips.” How does one even describe salsa? It’s like trying to say what water is. Try to describe water as if someone had never heard of it. It’s impossible. Since I wasn’t at work when this happened, I can only imagine what it would have been like if they would have asked me that question:

CUSTOMER: What is salsa?
ME: What?
CUSTOMER: This salsa stuff, what is it?
ME: You’re kidding, right?
CUSTOMER: No, I’ve never heard of it. Do tell, please.
ME: I am I on fucking Candid Camera? Is this Punk’d? Are you Ashton Kutcher?
CUSTOMER: Excuse me, I would just like to know what salsa is.
ME: Salsa is a type of dance.
CUSTOMER: Oh, I see. And what does it come with?
ME: It comes with tortilla chips. I put them in a basket and then I have to put on a this kind of Flamenco outfit. And then as I serve the chips, I jump up on to your table and dance the salsa. You may have seen it performed on So You Think You Can Dance, but they didn’t do it with chips. Just another person. Would you like the chips and salsa, because if you do I need to hurry so I have time to iron the costume.
CUSTOMER: Are there a lot of chips?
ME: There are a fair amount of chips, but way more salsa. I highly recommend it, but it might be better if you order it from Tom. He’s better at the dance and the costume fits him quite nicely. Would you like Tom to bring you the chips and salsa?
CUSTOMER: That sounds lovely, yes. Thank you.
ME: Tom, table #3 wants chips and salsa. You better stretch and warm up.
TOM: What?
ME: Nothing, but would you please take an order of chips and salsa to table #3? Thanks, dear.

81 thoughts on “Dumb Question #525,600

  1. Laura

    Browsing the various protein options to add to her lunch, a middle-aged woman drops my jaw with , “Oooo…a beef patty (pause)… What’s that? “

  2. Maggie H

    It wasn’t a customer, it was a co-worker (yes, she had a job)

    T “Do we have a sandwich with lettuce, tomato and bacon in it?”

    Me “uh, yes? It is called a BLT”

    T “Sounds really boring. Who would want to eat that?”

    Me “it’s practically the national sandwich of America and most people eat it”

    T. “Well, I never heard of it”

    3 minutes later

    T “where is that sandwich in the computer? I can’t find it”

    Me ” try looking under the sandwich key”

    She worked there for over 6 months. She also had never seen a cantelope and could only identify ranch dressing (the blue cheese was referred to as chunky ranch).

  3. Dani

    Working in a bierhall, “How big are your sausages?”

    I liked to respond with either
    “Sausage sized”
    “Average… about 8 inches.”
    The latter got some eyebrow raises.

  4. Camila

    I had a lady ask me once what Penne alla Vodka was. Thankfully her friend was just as shocked as me and explained it to her lol

  5. Ryan Reeves

    How much Alaskan King crab comes in the half pound?
    I’ll go with a half pound ,Alex for 300
    Is your house salad good?
    Do you like lettuce. Oh you do. You’ll love it

  6. Adam Skiles

    I worked in a chicken fast food establishment that has drive thru. I had a guest drive thru and ask,, “Do you serve cheeseburgers?” I replied, “No we only serve chicken.” The next question, “So what about hamburgers?” “Uuuuhhhh, no, no hamburgers either.” The guest left the speaker and pulled off.

  7. Amanda Nachtergaele

    I had a customer once ask me what ricotta is, which to some extent I can see how you might not know that if you don’t have much of a sophisticated palette, but then she proceeded to ask me what veal was…

  8. Mindy

    I have always helped my parents at their Thai restaurant. I’ll never forget when a customer, in dead seriousness, asked me if fried rice was a soup…

    Weven have a giant light up sign saying “Thai Restaurant”. We also have another giant sign on the side of the building that says so as well. That one has spot lights on it. We also have “Thai food” in huge letters on the window. And of course the menu also says “Thai” as well. Yet somehow people come in after staking at the signs/menu and asking me “What kind of food do yall have?”. Or they ask if we’re an Indian or Vietnamese restaurant…

    1. Yvonne

      people always ask at an italian restaurant if they serve horchata drink ,chicken noodles soup or apple pie…

  9. Jas

    I once asked a customer of they wanted their sandwich toasted. Their reply, ” If I have it toasted will it be hot or cold?”
    I also once had a woman ask for a BLT with no bacon. When she recieved it she was rally pissed off that all it had on it was lettuce and tomato. I finally managed to get her to tell me what she had expected when she ordered and she said, ” I thought you would replace the bacon with a beef paddy. ” I asked if she had requested a substitute when she ordered and she said, “No, but what kind of moron would order just tomato and Lettuce? ”
    Ummmm, apparently your kind of moron lady.

  10. tendtil2

    The manager on the hotel side had to have the topper for me. Front desk sent a call at 9:20p we closed at 9. Physically walks over to ask why nobody answered the phone. Told her we closed 20 mins ago and just about ready to walk out the door. “Oh so there is no customer service after we are closed?” I couldn’t even answer cause if I opened my mouth I am not sure what would have came out!! And this from upper mgmnt lord help us all.

  11. chris

    Used to work at a restaurant with a big patio and a limited amount of indoor seating. People would walk up to the outdoor hostess stand without EVER having to go indoors from the time they left their car until the time they reached the hostess stand. At least once a week we would ask someone whether they wanted to sit inside or out, only to get the reply of “What’s it like outside?”…

    It’s like this… like right now… you’re in it… You idiot.

  12. Arly

    “What floor is your rooftop on?”
    “The top one, please jump off it.”

    Mid-40s male: “What is cabbage?”
    ::blank stare:: I think I just walked away on that one.

    “Would you like a 1/2 dozen or a dozen?”
    “I’ll do half and half.”

    “I didn’t know branzino was a fish, I thought it was rice.”
    I can’t help you.

  13. Deana

    I work in a Greek restaurant and just last weekend an elderly couple asked me “what is lamb?”
    Another time a young woman asked if we could take out the chicken in the chicken soup….

  14. Marisa

    My all time favorite stupid question, which I could reply with a truthful answer that would make the guest look like an idiot every time… “What’s the difference between the 5 oz tenderloin and the 8 oz tenderloin?”
    My reply, “About 3 ounces.”
    The guest would usually either chuckle, or become embarrassed by the stupidity if their own question!

  15. Jenipher

    Just over an hour ago a lady ordered 2 steak/shrimp combos and 2 side orders of chicken for herself and her son. I confirmed the order, gave it to the hibachi chef, he confirmed the order, they ate everything, and then proceeded to argue for 10 minutes that they only wanted 1 extra side of chicken. She just kept asking “why do I have to pay for 2 sides when i only wanted 1?” Finally my patience wore thin and i said “you ordered 2 sides of chicken. 2 separate people confirmed that your order was correct before it was cooked. We cooked it, you ate it, you have to pay for it.” Some people should not be allowed out in public. Good thing she was part of a large group and gratuity was included.

  16. Hannah

    Had a lady order salmon and when it got to her table she was upset because it smelled like fish and she’s allergic to seafood…

    1. Francessca

      That happened to me a couple wks ago. Except it was.shrimp and scallops! Complained that it tasted fishy!

  17. Hannah

    Was asked if a 1/3 rack of ribs was bigger than a 1/2 rack. I kind of stared at her dumbfounded just wishing I could send her back to 3rd grade math.

  18. Mistie

    I swear this is the dumbest thing I’ve heard. Not from my customer but from a fellow Co worker who moved from back of the house expo to front of the house to serve. “Do we charge for every new beer we take out to the table” like no sweetie, they go into the POS automatically. And on Wednesday and Thursday nights we run a buy one get one small draft beer. “Are the large drafts included in the BOGO” can you read at a first grade level?

  19. Karen

    I get, “what is pork roll/Taylor Ham.” In NJ, it is a common question. We DO understand, but it is difficult to explain…I just give them a free sample. I did have some one ask what chicken noodle soup was…I was like..chicken…noodles…chicken broth, celery, carrots and onion….with a pre-school tone in my voice

  20. Sam

    They make you chargeee for soda?! ….yes and it’s extra ridiculous since we get it for free from the Pepsi Co fairy….

  21. David Cowling

    Mine was…customer-may I have a JWB and Coke. Me (bartender)- No you may not. Cust-why? Me-I am not going to sully a good scotch by adding coke cust- I didn’t know it was that bad. Me-it’s a crime against nature and Scotland and should be illegal. But I’m going to give you a JWB on the rocks and a side of coke. So sully away. He drank, paid, tipped and hopefully left wiser.

  22. Alexis

    “What shape are the cheese sticks” ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚ I just held up my pointer finger and said “about like this”

  23. Amanda

    Customer orders grapefruit juice. Doesn’t like it because “it doesn’t taste like grapes.” True story.

  24. Maria

    As a bartender for 30 years, tou can imagine I’ve had dozens of stupid questions throughout my carreer. I’ve of the all time great ones was, “Do you serve draught beer here?”….
    As he was standing at the taps….and I was pulling a beer….

  25. Kaitlyn

    Worked in an Italian restaurant. When someone would order pasta, I would ask, “Would you like meat sauce or marinara sauce on that?”
    And I soul either get one of two responses. “Yes.” Or “What’s meat sauce?”

    1. Kerensa

      Haha I work in an Italian restaurant and get asked the same thing 10 times a night!! And when you recite the sides that come with an entree and the next person asks the same question! The one that makes me either want to pull my hair out or stab the person is ” you only have one dressing? I’ll take ranch”. No that’s not a choice. (And no I don’t work at Olive Garden) and then everyone at the table asks for a different dressing!!๐Ÿ˜ฃ

    2. Nicole

      When I worked at Olive Garden, I had a table ask me, in total seriousness, what tomato sauce was. Luckily, her friend called her an idiot before I could respond.

  26. cathy miller

    I have been a waitress for 35yrz now and yes people certainly are funny I could write a book! I was just asked this last Fridayโ˜บ my customer says to me in all seriousness does the clam chowder have clams in it or is it just potato? I looked at her and smiled and said well wouldn’t that make it potato soup? She said oh okay just make sure then you take them out of the shells????? While I am on subject NO ONE SERVES RED CLAM CHOWDER IN MICHIGAN!!!!!!! In 35 yrs.of serving I have never seen red clam chowder I also eat out never seen it on anyone’s menu????? Please stop asking it’s white!!!!!

    1. Karen

      Asking if it is red( Manhattan) or white (NewEngland), is acceptable. If you leave Michigan , you would know it is NOT adumb question. Asking about shells, dumb.

  27. Laurie

    How long is the cocktail hour?

    Passing a tray of stuffed mushrooms and coconut shrimp. Guest: Which ones are the shrimp? Me: I’m guessing they are the crescent shaped with the tails.

  28. Rita

    I worked in an Italian restaurant and was asked “What is marinara?” And “What is spaghetti and meatballs?”. I also love “Do you have a restroom?”. Nope built this whole place and forgot the restroom. The stupid questions I’ve been asked in the last 13 years are endless.
    .when you think you have heard/ seen it all another idiot surprises me.

  29. Kirsty

    I work in an Italian restaurant and once had a guy who asked my what lasagna was. I nicely explained that it was layers of pasta with tomato sauce and cheese. The guy then proceeded to ask me “What’s pasta?” How the heck do not know what pasta is?? Seriously??

  30. Amanda

    I had a customer ask me what sourdough bread is. From a 40 year old man, who gets the BLT frequently, which COMES on sourdough. Have you ever tried to describe sourdough bread? It's bread that tastes sour… It's white…

  31. FrontDeskGirl

    I work at a hotel, and I think the dumbest question I've ever been asked was where the hook-up for the wireless internet was. Luckily, the guest called down from his room, so he couldn't see my face as I was talking to him.Guest: "So, the wireless network…"Me: "Yes?"Guest: "How does that work?"Me: "You just open up the wireless networks on your computer and connect to it, there's no password or anything."Guest: "Okay. So where is that located?"Me: "Where is what located?"Guest: "The wireless network. Like near the desk?"Me: "Umm, it's on your computer."Guest: "Right, but where it is located? By the desk, right?"Me: "Ummm…"

  32. KWB

    We run a skydiving place and we get quite alot of stupid questions. The most frequently asked one is "When will it stop raining?" "Well, I"m not sure. Let me phone up God and ask him an ETA of said rain stoppage."Here's your sign.

  33. Merlott

    "Do the sides come with anything?" No, they are side dishes meant to accompany an entree. "so if I just order a side of potatoes I don't get a salad or anything else with them?" I can add a small house salad if you like. "but I have to pay extra for that?" I wish I were kidding.

  34. Anonymous

    My office is rather hard to locate, as it's inside a building with no signs outside it to indicate that we're hiding inside. So I get a phone call, and the lady asks, "Are you in one of those buildings with the numbers on it?"I just stayed quiet until she realized the idiocy of what she had asked.

  35. Practical Parsimony

    When I was in graduate school, I happened to be in the student center/office building of the university when people came in to ask directions. They had been given direction to a museum–8th Ave N. The person behind the desk told them this was 8th Ave S. The person needing directions asked, "What is the difference between 8th Ave S and 8 Ave N. The person manning the desk, three young students and I all answered in unison, as though we planned it, "16 blocks."

  36. J.Day

    From my days in a pet store:Moron – "What is the difference between fresh and salt water fish?"Me – "One lives in rivers or lakes and the other lives in the ocean."Moron – "So, what is the difference?"Me – "About $500."Moron – "Hmmm. I guess I will take the cheap one. Is this bright yellow a freshwater?"Me – (trying not to kill) "No. As you see, it's under the SALT WATER sign."

  37. Min

    HA! i have a small restaurant down in atlanta. one of my best sellers is a Philly cheesesteak. i had someone come in and ask me "whats a philly cheesesteak? im not from around here"my response: "not from around here as in like Earth? or America?" i own the establishment and enjoy i get to say what i really want. if i upset them, too fucking bad moron!!!!

    1. Katherine

      I grew up in Texas, travelled around the world with the military, and never ever saw a Philly cheesesteak until I flew through Philadelphia. I had to ask what it was. The server should have said “Delicious is what it is.”

    2. Elsehwere1010

      Sure, why sell a sandwich to a customer and make money when you can attempt to embarrass them, showing the customer what a big guy you are.

      You big ole sales whiz, you.

      1. Overit

        Didn’t happen to me, but a customer ask who the designed the stones lying in the mountain creek that flowed under the restaurant. Gatlinburg tourist, you are a special breed….

    3. Tori

      I have lived in America my whole life, and I only know what a Cheesesteak is because I have a friend from Philly. I’ve never actually seen or taste.

    4. Yvonne

      well ,no need to be an ass if the customer warned you he wasn’t around there,maybe a tourist…in this case you were posing in a moron because other countries doesn’t fuck eat philly cheesesteaks like you thought they did!

  38. flourchild

    The other day I got asked what cheesesticks were….I wasn't even sure how to respond without sounding like a smartass. The woman then proceeded to order cheesesticks, call me back over after I had already put the order in, and asked if they cost extra. When did we start giving away anything for free? Especially with the big sign that says "CHEESESTICKS $3.95" Wtf, people. Wtf.

    1. Sasha Seifert

      Some of my favorite stupid questions are from employees. While we did one get, “what kind of cheese is in the mozzarella sticks” from a customer, an ex-employee asked, “how do you know when the pan is empty?”

  39. AbbeM

    I used to manage a movie theater. We had the same movie playing on two screens, one starting at 7:00 and the other at 8:00. A customer came to the ticket window at 7:35pm and asked if the 8:00 show had started yet. I had to turn around and leave before I said something I would regret.

  40. Noelle

    I had someone ask the sex of our lobster. Probably a fine question if you live in Maine. We just serve the tail. Batter fried or broiled. In the middle of America. dumb.

  41. A

    oh god…and I thought the phone call I got from a guest was bad (I work in an italian restaurant and they asked if we had any spaghetti dishes)…is there any way that we can just ship all these dumb people to an uninhabited island?

    1. Adrian

      I had a customer ask me, “is the spicy tuna burger, tuna?” WTF????? No sir , it’s chicken we just like to call it tuna. WHYYYYYYY?????


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