If you’ve ever worked in a customer-facing role, you know just how demanding some people can be. There are times you get talked down to, bossed around, and treated like you’re sub-human just because you’re the employee and they’re the one spending the cash.

On the flip-side, as a customer, you expect to be treated respectfully and get what you pay for. Most of the time there’s a fairly even balance—interaction between customer and employee goes smoothly, both parties are polite and respectful, and all’s well that ends well. But sometimes that balance can be upset, and things can get way out of hand. Like what happened at this ramen restaurant in Japan’s Hyogo Prefecture, when an argument turned into a three-hour sit-in that ended with local police making an arrest…

It all started around 4am on November 8 when an office worker from Akashi City stumbled into a ramen shop, looking to fill his rumbling belly (or perhaps fulfill his post-drinking cravings, as ramen is popular for). He ordered a bowl of ramen and a plate of gyoza—a salty, oily match made in fast food heaven—but requested the gyoza to be brought out first.

When the noodles arrived first, however, things turned sour. Cross words were exchanged and a full-blown argument ensued, and when the shop owner requested that the man leave, he refused to do so. Instead, the man remained in his seat…for a full three hours.

ID-10089866Image: FreeDigitalPhotos/imagerymajestic

Finally, at around 7am, the police were called. They tried to persuade the disgruntled diner to leave but he still refused, so in the end he was taken away in handcuffs.

The case still begs many questions: why was the ramen brought out first? Is the customer justified? What was he hoping to achieve by remaining in his seat for so long? Japanese netizens have, of course, chimed in with their thoughts:

“This sort of thing happens a lot. Gyoza aren’t fried until they’re ordered, so they usually take longer to prepare than ramen, which is just something that has to be dealt with, even though you feel like you’ve lost.”

“That’s why the guy went out of his way to request it, isn’t it?” (To the comment above)

“All he had to was order the ramen when he had been served his plate of gyoza.”

“He could have just waited for the gyoza without eating the ramen.”

“He probably planned to enjoy his gyoza with a beer, then once he was feeling good finish it off with a bowl of ramen. He got mad when that balance was upset. I understand how he feels.”

“I’ve never thought about the order before.”

“I loled.”

It’s highly unlikely that either party is completely innocent. Stress, fatigue, hunger, a lack of judgement, and pride all could have played a role in escalating the argument the way it did.

At the end of the day, though, everyone knows that you’re supposed to eat ramen quickly—if your gyoza arrive after the ramen then you’re left with a tough decision to make: do you allow the dumplings to cool down and lose crispiness while you eat your noodles, or do you risk eating the gyoza while your noodles go all soft and gross? There’s a science to this stuff, you know…

Sources: Kobe Shimbun Next, Kinisoku
Top images: RocketNews24