While it might be an innocent mistake in most cases, unfortunately, there are many who mess with a customer's order on purpose.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on October 7, 2021. It has since been updated.
A diabetic TikTok user made rounds on the platform after posting a video urging Taco Bell to "train [its] employees not to murder diabetic people." In the video, @tempestuo claimed she'd been given a regular Baja Blast despite asking an employee to triple-check that it was diet and not regular. "I'm not blaming Taco Bell as a company, and I know it's not 'murder,' but this has happened before and my BG was 560 before I noticed," the TikTok user wrote in a comment. "I'd rather not have to be vomiting and hallucinating because somebody lied. This is why I test."
Me going to taco bell: I just want a baja blast zero and a dorito taco please!— Phantom| bIM✊🏽 (@PhantomAquarius) September 14, 2020
Taco bell employee: OOH sorry sir, we are out of baja blast zero. Would you like the regular baja blast instead?
Me, a defeated diabetic: pic.twitter.com/wk8W1aWtFQ
The issue highlighted by the video is a widespread flaw in the food service industry that affects customers across the world. While it might be an innocent mistake in most cases, unfortunately, there are many who mess with a customer's order on purpose. A Tumblr thread that was posted on Reddit discusses this topic in detail while reminding servers that allergies and diseases are no joke and urging them to make the food and drinks exactly how people order them. "Maybe he's ordering a decaf because he has a heart condition, and you're about to give him a heart attack and send him to the hospital," wrote Tumblr user programaticallydelicious. "Or maybe he's just ordering a decaf."
"Maybe she's ordering sugar-free because she's diabetic, and you're about to put her six feet under. Or maybe she's just ordering sugar-free," they continued. "Maybe they're ordering dairy-free because they're intolerant, and you're about to ruin their day. Maybe they're allergic, and you're about to sponsor an all-black event in an open field. Or maybe they're just ordering non-dairy. Maybe they ordered gluten-free because they can't process it, and you're about to destroy their digestive tract. Or maybe they're just ordering gluten-free."
"Maybe they're ordering this way just because they don't want the food, for whatever reason. But are you willing to bet their life on it?" they asked. Chiming in on the conversation, another user named desolator-thedragon wrote: "Also, please remember that some people with sensitivities may get sick hours to days later. Just because they don't have an immediate reaction, doesn't mean they are 'exaggerating' or 'lying.' Whether illness or personal preference — just make their dang food the way they ask!!!"
A Tumblr user named beaniebaneenie also weighed in on the discussion with insights from their personal experience of working in coffee shops. "Every coffee shop I have EVER worked in had at least one barista who would regularly change orders without the customers' knowledge or permission for reasons like: 'she doesn't need to be dieting,' 'ugh, non-dairy milk is so hard to steam, and drinking soy is a fad anyway,' 'life is short, eat the damn cheese bi**h, it won't kill you,' 'I'd have to go open another bag of the gluten-free, and I don't wanna walk all the way to the backroom to go get it.'"
"At least once, I caught it maybe three seconds from disaster," they revealed, sharing one particular close-call. "Someone with a life-threatening dairy allergy had ordered a soy latte. She told me at the register that it was a deadly allergy. I even wrote on the cup 'ALLERGY - NO DAIRY.' I caught the barista in question rolling her eyes and saying under her breath, 'skinny bit**es and their fake allergies, trying to get s**t for free. (This particular coffee shop had a policy where a dairy allergy meant you didn't pay the extra fee for non-dairy milk.) I saw the barista rinsing the dairy pitcher and put 2+2 together," they wrote.
"[I] yelled out to the customer to stop her. She hadn't started drinking yet, but she did lick the drips on the lid - she still needed her EPI-Pen and to go to the hospital. Suffice to say that barista was fired on the spot," they revealed. "But there are many more people like that. Far too many. Make the food/drinks people order, the way they fu**ing order them. Even if she had been trying to save the 50 cents... so what? Don't bet people's lives on your decisions."