There is a movie out right now called Waiting about waiters getting even with rude and annoying customers that frequently demand too much of waiters and fail to tip properly. I haven't seen the movie, but a lesser known movie with a similar premise came out a few years ago. I waited tables for a year before I became a school teacher, and I actually liked it a lot. I've even thought about waiting tables during my summers or other off time. With that said, I completely relate to the woes of a waiter making $2.13 and having to depend tips, which is basically a gamble.
As a waiter the rude or overly sensitive customers got on my nerves, but after I got better as a waiter and I made less mistakes those issues became less frequent. They still happened but fewer and farther between than before. I think waiting tables is definitely a job that requires a lot of patience and people skills, and much like teaching, takes a while to get good at.
There were However two moments as a waiter that could have gotten me fired had it not been that my wife was a hostess and kept me from doing anything.
The first instance that sticks out was a couple who were nice enough throughout the dinner, the guy was kind of a jerk, they paid in a large bill and I gave them change. They left me a two dollar tip on a $30 check. On one of the dollar bills, face up was was written in large crayon (it was Macaroni Grill, lots of crayons) were the words "F*@K OFF!" I'm not usually overly sensitive, but this came out of nowhere and really bothered me, even besides the horrible tip. It's sad what some people feel they can get away with just because you won't be seen again.
The other table that stands out was a large table of rednecks who were drinking and having a good time. Now, I grew up in Texas and so Rednecks don't bother me, or rather I can deal with them. These people seemed alright until I carded one of them when he ordered a beer. It turns out he was under age and they asked if I would just serve him because everyone else was drinking and he wouldn't be paying for it. I said that I was sorry, but no. Well, they proceeded to order drinks for the kid from the bar and then bring it over. I decided not to make an issue, if they wanted to risk breaking the law, I'd covered my butt. But, after that things got worse, complaining about everything from a small water spot on a fork to not liking their lasagna. Finally, when the temperamental pantry chef took forever to make their deserts they got mad and ended up tipping me $3 on a $180 check. Did I mention they had been taking up my entire section for over 2 hours. My lovely wife kept me from storming out into the parking lot and getting my self fired, or possibly killed (This is Texas, and in Texas, people carry guns...Legally.)