Ready to rumble? This smorgasbord of tantrums has something for everyone: apoplectic Karens, humiliating hissy fits, and rampaging lunatics, but some of the most satisfying stories are when the major meltdowns are skillfully and hilariously defused by skilled retail heroes. Take heed and take a deep breath, these Redditors’ experiences are so shameful that you’ll be blushing as you read them.
1. A Tale As Old As Time
Despite the fact that the mother of my daughters told me she didn’t want to be a wife and mother anymore and abandoned us, she still flipped out in court when the judge granted me sole custody. She shrieked and tore at her clothes like an insane person, and then she called in four bikers to menacingly approach the judge’s bench.
Since everyone was expecting this display, there were several sheriff’s deputies on hand, each burly and cheerfully capable of restraining the leather-jacketed string beans. The judge had them all removed from the courtroom. It was beautiful. But karma wasn't done with her yet. Shortly afterward she hooked up with her biker ex-boyfriend.
One night, after an intense argument in a roadhouse, her boyfriend drove off in his truck. She followed him on foot into the subzero Montana winter—but was found six weeks later frozen solid in a ditch. Bummer.
2. Concession Stand
Movie theater worker here. I was working on Christmas Day one time and the lines were extremely long. This mom and her kids came up to my line and things were going smoothly. She paid and I handed her the food and wished her a Merry Christmas, but then she asked if I could fill up a few extra popcorn containers that she had brought along.
Normally my company has no problem doing this if they had ordered large popcorn, but we were so busy that I just didn't have the time to fill the containers for her. I politely told her no. This is where it gets bad. In front of everybody, she immediately starts to cuss me out in front of at least 30 people including her daughter.
This woman then took one of her bags of popcorn and dumped it all onto the counter (it was buttered). Her six-ish-year-old daughter started to pick it up for us, but the mom told her not to. The mom said that he (referring to me) can pick it up. Amazingly this woman then proceeded to ask me to fill her popcorn back up, and wouldn't leave until I did it.
So, I, who was just a 19-year-old kid, almost wanted to cry. I didn’t know what to do, so I just filled it up for her to make her go away. After that, she gave me a smug smile and said, “Now that wasn’t so hard was it”?
3. Modern Problems Require Modern Solutions
I worked at Toys “R” Us for a bit and, as you can imagine, you see all sorts of tantrums there. Well, this one time I witnessed a man and his five-year-old daughter walk by a display of Cabbage Patch Kids. The daughter excitedly picked one up, shoved it into her dad’s arms, and screamed, “Please daddy please”?! The father sadly looked down at the floor.
“I’m sorry, honey”, he said. “I don’t have enough money for the doll today”. The girl dropped to the floor and immediately started screaming at the top of her lungs and kicking and thrashing. Her father looked baffled. I stood there and watched as his expression turned to horror. Onlookers were starting to come over to see what all the commotion was about.
Now, some people would sling that kid over their shoulder and take her out of the store. Some people would try to bargain with her by getting her a smaller, cheaper toy. Others might even just walk away, pretending that the whole ordeal wasn’t happening. But not this man. I could see an idea suddenly form in his desperate mind.
This father dropped to the floor, laid down next to his daughter, and just screamed at the top of his lungs: “YOU CAN’T HAVE IT! YOU CAN’T HAVE IT”! He was kicking, squirming, and throwing the biggest tantrum. The little girl immediately jumped up, wiped her eyes, held out her hand, and said, “I’m sorry, Daddy. I’ll be good”.
The father got up, dusted himself off, and said, “That’s better. That feels better doesn’t it”? They both proceeded to walk calmly out of the store. It was glorious.
4. Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor, Your Enraged
A long time ago, I visited my sister and her husband when they lived on Long Island. One Saturday, we all took a ride into the city to go see the Statue of Liberty. The parking lot was packed, of course, so my brother-in-law started driving around looking for somewhere to park. That's when my sister lost it. Incredibly impatient, she began throwing a massive tantrum in the front seat.
She then demanded that her husband find a parking spot IMMEDIATELY and started pounding her fist on the dashboard. Her husband very calmly told her that he was trying to find somewhere to park. My sister’s rage escalated to the point where she ordered her husband to pull over and let her out of the car. I finally spoke up and told him to let her out, but he didn’t.
I have never seen a grown person have a meltdown like that. On the other hand, though, I do remember her losing her mind like that when she was a toddler. I guess some people never grow up.
5. Pointing Fingers
One time, I was in a fairly empty office supply store and this lady started freaking out about someone taking her purse from her cart. She was berating the employees and calling them all thieves. She was completely hysterical…cursing, screaming, you name it. Finally, an employee walked up to her and pointed to her cart.
There in her cart, buried under a ton of merchandise, was her purse. She must have just thrown all of the things she was going to buy on top of her purse and then forgotten it was under there. For some reason, she then went nuts on the employee who found it. Finally, a manager approached her and told her to “Get the heck out of my store”!
This whole situation lasted a solid three to four minutes, which is a long time for a grown woman to be yelling and freaking out. I was pretty stunned.
6. Party Pooper
When I was in high school, a friend and I went to a party at the home of a girl whose parents had recently moved to Florida. The parents had decided to keep this house as well as the new one until she finished high school. When my friend and I got there, we found out that her 23-year-old brother, who had just gotten out of prison, was also there.
So we were all hanging out, playing drinking games and cards, and just having a good time until her brother started causing problems. It started with him kicking people off the ping-pong table, and then he started calling people out and trying to start something. My friend and I decided to get out of there since nobody was having a good time.
Unfortunately, our car was blocked in, so we had to wait for someone to move theirs first. When the girl’s brother heard that we were leaving, he went into a fit of rage. He started screaming, knocking stuff off counters, and throwing things at the TV. We finally got my car unblocked and started driving away, but this psycho had other plans.
He started running alongside my car and just whaling on the windows like something from a horror movie. It was terrifying. When I was finally able to lose him, I stopped and checked for damage, but there wasn’t any so we quickly took off. Needless to say, I wasn’t surprised when he ended up back in prison less than three months later.
7. This One’s Almost Relatable
I work at a fast food restaurant and this incident happened on a hot summer day when our ice cream machine was broken (surprise!). This meant that I had to disappoint a lot of people. When I told them the machine was down, most customers responded with an “OK” and walked out all sad, but this one lady acted like a complete monster.
After she ordered ice cream, I told her that the machine was broken and apologized. However, that wasn’t good enough for her. She pointed to the soda fountain and said, “No it’s not! I just saw someone get some over there”! So I tried explaining to her, without laughing my head off, that that was not the ice cream machine.
I then showed her where the ice cream machine was, behind our front counter. She suddenly made a break for it, ran over to the machine, and pulled the lever. Ice cream exploded all over her. This sent her into a meltdown and she started to demand that we buy her new clothes and give her free food. When I told her “no”, she stomped out of the place screaming her head off.
8. Emotional Dumping
At my old job, my boss wanted me to find an adapter to connect two cables together. Well, since we had just completely reorganized the storage room I thought that finding it would be super easy. After an hour of fruitless searching, my boss lost his mind. He took all of the boxes that had just been carefully organized by cable type and adapter type and dumped them all out on the floor in a giant pile.
To top it all off, he then told me that I’d have an easier time finding it. I didn’t find it because we didn’t have it.
9. Facepalm Moment, Sir
I will never forget my Sergeant Major from our JROTC program during high school. I was in charge of issuing new uniforms, but all orders would go through him first, and he thought he had them memorized. He told me to go and get the new cadet trousers. So I went with our Security Officer who was helping out because it was the first day and several dozen cadets needed uniforms.
We both looked for this one kid’s pants for 15 to 20 minutes. I knew then that going back to inform the Sergeant Major that we didn’t have them would end badly for me, because even when he is wrong, he is right in his own mind. He yelled at me for a solid five minutes in front of the 40+ people in the platoon as I just stood calm and kept answering his redundant questions.
“YOU DIDN’T FIND THE PANTS”? “No, Sergeant Major". Finally, he stopped yelling at me. Turns out he had forgotten to order the pants in the first place.
10. Love Thy Rager?
When my significant other and I lived in a duplex, we had next-door neighbors who were in their 40s, so they were a little older than us, but acted like they were in their teens. On most nights they would get totally smashed and start blasting music. On one such night, the noise was so unbearable that we had to resort to calling in a complaint.
This was after the lady of the house screamed at my partner for politely asking them to turn down the music. This woman literally yelled, “Call the authorities! I dare you”! After they showed up, made the couple turn down the music, and left, the real fun began. The woman started turning the music up to extreme levels, then dropping it down to almost nothing.
But that’s not all she was doing. When the music was low, she would run along our shared wall, banging and screaming at the top of her lungs and swearing at us for calling the authorities. She’d then turn the volume back up and repeat the process over and over. She was shrieking in such a way that other neighbors were coming outside to see who was in such peril.
We had to call the authorities a second time, but by the time they arrived, she had worn herself out and all was quiet. I do have a recording of her banging on the walls and screaming, though, and I do listen to it whenever I need a good laugh.
11. The Happiest Time Of The Year
When I was in high school, I worked in a computer store at the mall. Christmas is a busy time of the year, so on all receipts, we put a note that there would be no returns, refunds, or exchanges during the last week of December. The post-Christmas sales are chaos, especially in a mall. To make up for that, we extended all returns by a week. We can all see where this is going, right?
A customer came in on December 26th—the single busiest day of the year because of the sales. This man received two of the same product for Christmas and wanted to return one of them. Fine, that makes sense. He’s got the gift receipt, but when my coworker told him that we’re not doing any returns or exchanges at the moment, this dude flipped his lid.
He went on a solid five-minute rant about how we’re screwing him over and taking money from his pocket (keep in mind he’s already said it was a gift). The store is absolutely PACKED, so he’s pretty much just going into meltdown mode to ensure we give him what he wants and then send him on his way.
My manager came out of his office in the back to see what the all commotion was about. My coworker explained the situation and the manager then asked the customer if he’d like an exchange or a refund. The customer’s body language softened and he took a deep breath to calm himself and said, “Yes, I’d like a refund”.
My manager then told him, “Come back next week and we’ll give it to you. Now, if you’re done screaming at my employee, then get the heck out of my store". The customer then turned the Meltdown Meter up to 11 and fully freaked out. Mall security had to come and he was barred from the mall for six months. I guess he never got his refund...
12. Live, Laugh, Rage
My mom has always thrown tantrums when she doesn’t get her way, but her tantrum during Thanksgiving of 2012 definitely takes the cake. She always makes plans at the last minute and then freaks out when things don’t go her way. For the two weeks leading up to Thanksgiving, I had been asking her what the plans with her family were going to be.
I needed to know ahead of time because her family lives over an hour away, so sometimes it’s hard to fit them in. Whenever I asked my mom, she kept saying that she hadn’t made any plans. I finally told her that I was just going to do my own thing, and I made plans to go to Thanksgiving dinner at my cousin’s house at 3:00 pm.
My cousin had just bought his first house and wanted to host dinner that year. He asked that everyone bring a dish. The NIGHT BEFORE Thanksgiving, my mom said, “Oh, we’re going to my dad’s at 2:00 pm tomorrow. You can just ride with me”. I never ride in a car with her because she refuses to take me back to my car or to other places that I need to be.
I said, “I won’t be able to do that. I have to go to Rickey’s at 3:00”. She replied, “Well, get Rickey to change it”. I told her that I couldn’t ask him to do that because there are a lot of people going and everyone had made plans in advance. She said, “Well, go late”. I told her I couldn’t do that either because I am taking food.
She then tried to say that I could go to her dad’s and still make it to Rickey’s on time. I said, “No, I can’t. It’s over an hour away. Sorry, but I’ll just see y’all at Linda’s [my stepdad’s mom] in the evening”. My mom sat there quietly for a moment. Then she got up and walked out of the room. About a minute later she came back into the room holding a vase. That's when the nightmare began.
She threw the vase at me and started swearing and screaming. “You ruin my life! I hate you! You ruin everything for me! You're such a selfish little jerk"! While she is yelling all of this, she is grabbing anything she can get her hands on and throwing it at me. She started pulling her hair while she was screeching. She then threw herself on the ground and started thrashing around.
She stood up and broke the folding door off the laundry closet and started kicking the dryer while still screaming. She was not forming any actual words by this point. She then took her pants off, flung herself back on the ground, rolled around, and screamed some more. I told her she needed to calm down before her blood pressure got too high as she has passed out during tantrums on multiple occasions.
She screamed, “I hate you"! one more time, threw a cup at me, and then went to her bedroom. I could hear her back there beating the walls and screaming. Her tantrum lasted for about 15 minutes. I called my boyfriend and said, “I know it’s late, but could I come and stay the night with you? My mom is having one of her tantrums”. He told me to pack a bag and come stay with him for a few days.
While I was packing, my stepdad came home, and my mom doesn’t dare act like that in front of him. She came out of her room, totally calm, and said, “You need to clean the mess you made”. I looked around at all the broken glass and stuff laying everywhere. “You mean the stuff that you threw at me because you weren’t getting your way”?
She said, “Well, you shouldn’t have made me mad”. I left the house and didn’t speak to her for several days. Shortly after that, I moved out.
13. That, Um, Special Bond
One time my sister and I had just got home from grocery shopping and I was putting away all the food, as usual, when she asked me to feed her cat because she really had to pee. I always feed her cat, but my mistake was simply asking, “Can’t you feed him after you pee? I’m putting away the groceries”. She threw a massive tantrum and stomped away.
I then fed her cat because he shouldn’t have to suffer due to her meltdown. About 10 minutes later, she passed me in the hall and said, “Night”. To which I said, “I fed your cat. You’re welcome”. She replied, “Well I cleaned his cat box, so YOU’RE welcome”. Like, whoa, cleaning up after your own animal!? THANK YOU, YOUR GRACE!
14. A Whole Foods Tantrum
I used to work at Whole Foods and this one time a customer started screaming at the cashier, who was a really friendly older lady. The manager came up and tried to calm this man down to no avail. This guy was hysterical. The manager eventually shooed him out of the store, telling him whatever he wanted to hear just to get him out. But he was just revving up.
The man kept screaming at the store—from the parking lot—even after the manager went back inside. Then, this guy, still fuming, got into his truck and started driving like a maniac. He proceeded to scrape the entire side of his truck on a parked forklift as he rounded a corner in the lot. He got out of his truck and started yelling at the manager who had come back out to see what was happening.
This time the guy was mad at the manager for being so stupid as to have parked the forklift where he wanted to drive. By now this customer was red and sweaty and had started screaming about lawsuits. As far as I know, no action was ever taken. The guy just messed up his truck (and his dignity) big time.
15. There Goes The Neighborhood
Near the beginning of December, I had a new neighbor move in. She was a 70-year-old woman who would turn out to be a nightmare in a flannel nightgown. During her first night in her new place, she booted her helpers out of her apartment in an onslaught of screeching and swearing. Then she proceeded to throw things around while shrieking, “I don’t have any forks”!
This woman gets in-home health care, wherein twice a day a nurse shows up to help her with her diabetes medication. Almost every visit ends with her screaming, swearing, and threatening to end her own life by taking a double dose of her meds. Our landlord prefers that we keep the door to our shared porch locked at all times, but this lady likes to leave it unlocked.
If my boyfriend or I lock it when we’re coming or going, she’ll come out, unlock it, then screech at our door, “Leave the door unlocked! I’ll lock it myself”! However, the real cake-topper of temper tantrums was the day she stood out on the porch steps, yelling out into the empty street, “Hello! Hello! I just need someone to talk to! I don’t care if I freeze, I just need someone to talk to”!
Then, from across the street, there came a return yell. “Ain’t no one want to talk to you, you miserable old battleax”! The old guy across the street had come out onto his porch and was hollering back at her. From there the “conversation” devolved into her bellowing she didn’t want to talk to him, and he was shouting back that no one wants to talk to awful people like her.
I couldn’t stop laughing during this exchange, because the angrier she got, the giddier he got.
16. Rage Happens
One time during the summer, I was complaining to my wife about how nobody else in the family picks up the dog’s poo, and that I was sick of doing it. I needed to mow the lawn, though, so I grabbed our pooper scooper and went to go clean up the yard. About three droppings in, the scooper broke. I went into full-on tantrum mode.
I screamed at the top of my lungs, swung the scooper over my head, and shattered it on the sidewalk, sending plastic pieces flying every which way. I looked up and saw my wife standing there shaking her head. She then pointed as if to say, “Look behind you”. I turned and saw the neighbor’s realtor showing the house to a nice-looking older couple. It was gloriously embarrassing.
17. Not Lovin’ It
This took place one summer many years ago when my sister and I were back home from college. My mom had dinner going on the stove when my sister came downstairs. My sister said to my mom, “I want McDonald’s for dinner. Can you go get some”? To which my mom replied, “No, I’m already making dinner”. A cloud came across my sister’s face.
“But I don't want what you're making”, she screamed. “I want McDonald’s”! My mom restated her earlier position, at which point my sister literally collapsed to the ground in a heap and began sobbing hysterically and screaming at the top of her lungs. All through her hysterics, she continued screeching and begging for McDonald’s.
The whole situation was so absurd that my mom and I just sat there laughing at this college-aged woman behaving like a toddler, which of course only made my sister sob even more. She eventually got up off the ground and went upstairs without eating dinner that night out of protest.
18. Confession Time
I have to admit that I have thrown one tantrum. It happened the night before I had a 12-page essay due. I had technically finished the essay a week before, but I waited until the day before to turn it in so that I could reread it with fresh eyes. Well, that brilliant idea didn’t go to plan. When I went to reread it, the second half was gone!
I lost my mind. I started screaming and throwing everything in my room. My parents ended up checking on me to see what was going on. My bro, who works in IT, checked out my computer but he wasn’t able to find the other half of my paper. I decided to turn the paper in late and accept half the letter grade off. I ended up with an A-. I’m still pretty proud of that paper.
Oh, by the way, I’m a preschool teacher now, and I’ve learned to control my emotions much better.
19. Hello, It’s Karen Calling
I used to work in an office supply store where we sold cell phones and activated people’s cellular accounts, but other than that, we had absolutely nothing to do with anyone’s cell phone service. This should be obvious to everyone. Unfortunately, it isn’t. One time, we had this customer come in with a problem on her cell phone bill.
Her bill was a few hundred dollars because she’d gone over her data limit—significantly. I explained to her that we only sell the phones and she’d have to talk directly with the service provider. She didn’t care. She wanted a refund on the phone AND the bill. She started full-on raging at me, every other word being a swear word.
Now, I LOVE ragers. LOVE ’EM. For nearly 20 years one lived in my house and I called him “Dad”, so I know exactly how to have fun with these kinds of people. Cue my “cool as a cucumber” mode. I reiterated that she should talk to the service provider and gave her their toll-free customer service number. She accused me of dismissing her and passing off her problem to someone else.
She then spent 15 minutes screaming at the poor call-center grunt on the other end who explained to her that her data package only covers X, which the woman was well in excess of. I know this because the rager had her phone on speaker for some unknown reason. At this point, my manager is standing off to the side waiting for me to give her the nod to intervene.
No dice. I’m having too much fun. I suggest to the customer that if she streams a lot of content there are a number of Internet providers in the area that are reasonably priced. I start suggesting wireless routers and laptops. At this point, she’s going thermonuclear, but keep in mind she also could’ve simply left the store.
I then suggest that if she gets a laptop, why not a scanner/fax/printer multi-unit too? Then I start explaining the BS extended warranty. By now she’s noticed that I’ve completely disregarded her entire complaint, which is pretty accurate, as I have. Even though she’s visibly shaking and has tears streaming down her face, she continues to scream at me.
She demands to speak to my manager, which is my cue to tap out. My work there was done. I gave the nod to my manager who walked over and told the woman that she won’t have ANY customer treat her staff like that and that if the woman doesn’t leave that instant, she’ll call the authorities. The customer left, so spun up that she screamed garbled gibberish as she walked out of the store.
20. The Lunatic Next Door
Our neighbor at our previous house would leave his windows open all the time. It was an odd thing to do in Florida, but I wouldn’t have even noticed had the man who lived there not been completely insane. Standing outside talking at a normal volume on a Saturday afternoon? He called the authorities to complain about the noise. Closed our wrought iron gate when we got home from work? Called them again. Barbecue in the mid-afternoon on a holiday? Yep, called them again.
When the authorities responded to the call about the barbecue, he told them that he was pretty sure my husband was in the country as an unlawful non-citizen. They laughed. I had tried going over and talking to this neighbor, but there was absolutely no way this man could live around other people. He even called the authorities once because I walked across the driveway in high heels.
Eventually, the authorities stopped responding, and that was the point when he completely blew a gasket. I was sitting on the patio while my dogs wandered around the yard, and suddenly he came storming out of his house swearing and screaming, “Put the dogs inside! I’m so sick of this”! over and over. I was surprised, even though I knew how insane this guy was.
I told him that the dogs weren’t barking and that I didn’t understand why he was upset. He started shouting that their tags were jingling and their nails were clicking on the concrete. He then started screaming over and over, “It isn’t fun living here” while punching a palm tree and shaking my fence. That time I called the authorities.
We moved shortly after that, largely because it was almost impossible to live there and enjoy our beautiful backyard without him going ballistic. I was also afraid of how far things would escalate after seeing him beat the life out of a tree. A couple of months later, our landlord called us asking us to make a statement about this man’s behavior.
The landlord apparently had to sue the guy because he started harassing the next tenants the same way. They said that they couldn’t live there like that, forfeited their deposit, and took off, leaving the house vacant.
21. Drama On The Slopes
Last year, when I was working at a ski resort as a lift operator, a very angry man ran up to me and told me to stop the lift and remove a guy who had just gotten on. I obviously didn’t do either of those things, but 15-year-old-me then asked him what was the matter. Apparently, someone on the lift had taken this man’s son’s ski poles.
Now, I knew the alleged thief because he also worked at the resort and was a pretty stand-up guy. I really couldn’t believe that he had taken this man’s son’s ski poles and run off with them. It made no sense to me. I tried to tell the man that my colleague most likely didn’t take the poles and probably just has the same model as his son.
This made the man become VERY aggressive. He gave me one of those “I’m bigger and stronger than you” nudges to my shoulder, and just as I was telling him not to touch me, the “thief” got to the bottom of the hill. I called him over and asked him if he took the kid’s poles. Of course, he said no. I was satisfied, but the dad, however, was not.
The dad said that his kid saw the guy take the poles from the rack and go up the lift. My coworker denied this, which really rubbed the dad the wrong way. The dad grabbed the guy by the coat and told him that if he didn’t give his kid the poles back, he would beat the daylights out of his worthless stoner body. My coworker and I told the man to let go, which he did not do.
Eventually, the “thief” made a swift move and broke the dad’s grip, popped his skis off, and shuffled backward while holding one of his skis in his hands. THIS is where it gets crazy. My coworker told the dad to back off. The man did leave but the son didn’t. I tried asking the son what was up with his dad. He just told me that we’d better find his poles or they would sue.
Just then the dad and my manager showed up. After I got my manager up to speed, he told me to go back to the lift. As I turned around, I felt a strong pull on my hood. It was the dad. He started screaming and swearing, saying over and over that we’re all just a bunch of lazy thieves and that we don’t care about the customers.
I broke his grip, moved back, and told him that I’d call the authorities if he touched anyone again. His response was to try and tackle me. I started to dial 911 and he just went crazy. He was screaming and threatening to sue, but then he started throwing snowballs at us and other customers. Finally, the authorities made the 30-minute drive and cuffed the guy.
After my shift, I went and found the kid’s poles, which were, in fact, the same model as my coworker’s.
22. Hulk Mode Activated
This tantrum was my own. It was embarrassing. It happened at work. I’ve always been a little on the immature side when it comes to dealing with stress and anger. I had a boss who I mostly corresponded with via phone and email since we worked in different offices. He knew all the ways to push my buttons and he would often yell at me over the phone.
After one particular conversation with him, I FLIPPED. I swore, threw my phone at the office door, which shattered it, and then I swatted at some soda cans that were on my desk. BIG MISTAKE. Unfortunately, one of the cans still had pop in it and it hit a coworker of mine. He got splashed, which made him extremely mad. I apologized and left the room.
I got in my car and headed over to Mark’s Work Wearhouse and bought a $50 gift card. I came back and gave it to my coworker so he could go buy a new shirt. To this day I still cringe about how I acted. I do still lash out sometimes, but NOTHING like that. My god, I should have been fired. No one said anything to my boss about it, though.
23. Not-So-Common Knowledge
Ooh, I have a story that happened a few days ago. I work at a CVS, so I’ll often have customers who come in wanting to return an item. No big deal, it’s a simple task. As long as the person has the receipt and the item, I can make a return. If they don’t have the receipt I can give them store credit. That’s pretty standard, right?
Well, it was about 40 minutes into my shift and there had been a steady flow of people, so, so far it was an average day. I was standing there waiting for the next customer to come in when I heard the doors open. In came a woman who all of the other employees have dealt with at least once, except for me. “Oh boy, it’s my turn”, I thought to myself.
I greeted this customer as she approached my register and slapped down three receipts. She started asking for a price adjustment on nine items and then asked about the battery promotion we had been running the week before. I told her that the batteries weren’t buy one, get one free anymore but they were half off. So, she stepped away to look for the sign.
I called my manager for some backup with the lineup. When this woman came back, I told her that there wasn’t anything I could do about the batteries since the receipt clearly said, “All batteries are buy one, get one half off”. Then she started asking about the items that were actually Christmas clearance items that she bought MONTHS ago.
My manager stepped in and explained that there was nothing we could do about it, which sent her into full-on rage mode. “I WAS TOLD I COULD GET AN ADJUSTMENT ON THESE ITEMS. WAS I LIED TO? WHY CAN’T YOU DO THIS”? Finally, she calmed down slightly and asked if she could still return the items since she has the receipts.
My manager told her that as long as she has the receipts, we can make a full return otherwise she will get store credit for the amount of the item’s current price. The customer didn’t understand. The two of them went back and forth until the customer finally turned back to me and asked if I understood what my manager was saying.
“Yes”, I said. “As long as you have the receipt and the item with you we can make a full return”. Then she said, “Oh, you mean I have to have the item with me? No one ever said that”! I told her that that was because it is common knowledge, which made her scream at us some more and then leave. Moral of the story? You must have the receipt and the item with you to make a return. Also, don't be a jerk to your cashier because I actually could have done something for her.
24. There Are Two I’s In Narcissist
Both of my parents are narcissists so I am trying to choose from many here. Probably the worst was the tantrum my dad threw when I told him, as a premed college sophomore, that I didn’t really want to be a doctor, I wanted to be a nurse. I’d laid out a path from RN to NP to graduate work, and had a solid list of reasons why nursing was a better fit.
His vicious screaming condemnation happened IN PUBLIC, in the parking lot in front of my dorm at my Expensive Private College. Among other things, he called me “damaged goods”, words that still cut to this day. He told me I was too good to take orders from people and refused to let me transfer to a school with a nursing program.
This whole humiliating tantrum happened in the early evening when people were out and voices carry. Of all his tantrums, that one’s definitely high on the worst list. By the way, I should mention that I graduated with my BSN, summa cum laude, in 2004. I work in cardiology and love my job (most days). The narcissists and I no longer speak.
25. Yo Quiero Taco Toy
When I worked at Taco Bell, I had a set of parents, who had apparently just given up on being decent humans, let their nine-ish-year-old kid berate me because I didn’t have the brand-new kids’ meal toy. They just stood there and let him rant with that “I've given up” look on their stupid faces. I had to do something to make this brat shut up.
I went to the back room and found the toy he wanted in a box that was not supposed to be given out yet because it was still three boxes away in the rotation. When I gave it to the kid, he screamed in victory and ran outside—directly into a rosebush. It took his parents 10 minutes to pull him out. I wasn’t able to take orders for a few minutes because I was laughing so hard.
26. Breaking Even
After Hurricane Sandy, we had to ration gas here in New Jersey—you know, because there wasn’t any. We even had to do the even/odd license plate system where plates ending in an odd number can buy on odd-numbered days and vice-versa. So on the day for the odd numbers, I was sitting in my odd-numbered car in line for gas.
The line went around the block, so I made the most of it by listening to 1970s music to get the full experience of gas rationing. I noticed that the SUV a few cars ahead of me had even-numbered plates. I chuckled, thinking, “Oh, this is gonna be good”. Finally, the woman in the SUV got all the way to the front of the line…
Of course, they refused to serve her because she had the wrong plates. She got out of her car and actually started jumping up and down at the pump screaming her fool head off. She was being discriminated against, it wasn’t fair, she’d spent all that time waiting in line, she needed gas, she had KIDS, yadda, yadda, yadda, blah, blah.
The attendants just stood there and watched her have a tantrum, and then they calmly guided the line around her car and continued filling up the cars of people who had the proper plates. This woman was dumbfounded. You could tell she had fully expected her tantrum to work. Instead, she was put into a time-out and ignored. She had absolutely no idea what to do.
So, she stood there quietly for a moment with her arms dangling and a stupid look on her stupid face. Then she got into her SUV and puttered away. I have no idea if she managed to get gas the next day.
27. Gotta Catch ’Em All
So, I have epilepsy. At the time of this story, I was 23 and I worked at a retail store as the supervisor in the shoe department. One of my employees was a cocky 17-year-old who had to get the job because his mother made him. I hated that this kid worked for me and I tried to trade him off to other departments, but no mercy was shown.
Well, one night his mother came in to visit her son while he was on the clock. No big deal. Except that she couldn’t find him, and when she asked someone to look for him, he was caught sleeping in the stockroom. His excuse floored me. He claimed that he caught my epilepsy. Yes, he said that I specifically infected him with epilepsy as if it were contagious.
He didn’t get fired for that, but he did get a severe warning. I guess he had been sleeping a lot at home and was blaming his new “epilepsy” on me. One day shortly after that, his mother came into the store right when it opened, she had been waiting at the door, and found me working in my department. She was super mad.
“You infected my son with your disgusting disease”, she yelled. “We can’t trust him alone anymore. We have to constantly watch him” and so on. She had me pinned in a corner so I couldn’t escape without physical contact. Did I mention she’s 400+ pounds? I was surprised at first because she didn’t introduce herself as his mom—she just started yelling so it took me a moment to connect the dots.
By the time I figured out who she was, she had started making threats of lawsuits against me and the store. She was saying that I should be required to wear a shirt or a suit to identify my condition. I said, “So I have to wear a scarlet letter because you don’t know how seizures work”? The reference made her pause for a second as her left arm was still waving in the air, arm fat flapping and all.
I smirked a little bit at the look of confusion on her face and that just revved her up even more. Before she could start a new tongue-lashing, the store manager walked past and instructed me to go to the stockroom because we had received a big shipment that I had a lot to unload. The manager then proceeded to walk this lady right out of the store.
Apparently, the kid’s mom had called the store the night before and gave the same kind of speech to the person in customer service. The mom looked like such an idiot being escorted through a two-story department store screaming about how seizures are contagious and if she catches them from her angel she’ll be back, etc. It was a great day.
28. Ready To Rock And Rolex
I used to work at a ski lift. There was another lift very close to mine that took skiers to a different part of the mountain. At closing time we would walk to the end of the corral, look up the mountain, and, if no one was coming, we would close both lifts at the same time: 4:00.
This was the last Friday of the season and, at the end of the day, the other liftie and I went out and looked up at the mountain. We could see a couple of people near the top. We checked the clock and since it was already 4:00, I started walking back to my lift to shut it down. A few minutes later, I heard someone cussing up a storm.
The people who were up the mountain were now down and a man was having a massive tantrum because we were closed. He approached me screaming that we had closed too early. I told him that we didn’t, and he started calling us liars, saying that he knows it isn’t 4:00 yet because he “has a Rolex”. He goes on to make this point three times—and he even pulled back his glove to show us.
My coworker was able to get him almost calmed down by telling him that another nearby lift will get him back to the base lodge. He is OK with this until he realized that he wasn’t going to the top of the mountain, just down a short hill. He exploded again, but there was nothing we could do. We had already started our closing procedures. The lift was stopped and the all-clear signal had been sounded.
My coworker told him (again) that he couldn’t go to the top. The man then berated us some more and said, “I’m going to go file a complaint”. I finally lost it and told him to go F himself. This guy didn’t even blink, so I think he’s probably been told this before. This whole time I was thinking, “How could this guy be smart enough to make enough money to buy this watch, but dumb enough to think that the two people who were standing there holding shovels actually cared?
29. Showdown At The Clearance Store
I worked at a clearance store once. For those who don’t know how those work, the company buys some product that didn’t sell at another store for whatever reason, adds a cost increase, and tries to sell it. Thus, whenever someone asks, “Are you getting more of X in stock”? The answer is always and without exception “no”.
I worked at this store as a kid and there was this one customer who would always come in with our flyer and demand that I produce some product that had already sold out. When I told her we didn’t have any left, she would scream and scream that I was withholding it from her. She knew me and would always start with the screeching the moment she saw me.
Anyway, I once left the ladder in my aisle by mistake because I was trying to avoid one of her scream sessions, so I moved to the next aisle over. She attempted to climb the ladder because she was convinced that I was hiding some $4 wooden bird feeders from her. That's when she did the unthinkable. After falling off the ladder TWICE, she saw a rabbi walking through the aisle and grabbed him by the arm.
She demanded that the rabbi climb the ladder to find her bird feeder. He suggested that it might be a good idea to ask an employee for help instead. She then started in on a rant about how as a religious man he had to help her because I was deliberately withholding her items out of spite. As she started breaking down into tears, some teenage customer overheard it all.
The teen climbed the ladder and started looking on the shelves to find her item. Of course, he didn’t find it. So, when he got down (I was watching from the next aisle over, peeking between two boxes), I casually walked up and grabbed the ladder away. After I did that, she went and gave my manager a piece of her mind—for the next 40 minutes.
I remember when I got home that night, I told the story to my family. One of my relatives started yelling at me about how I should be nicer to the elderly since they live on a fixed income. I suggested they might want to spend less money on bird feeders if that was the case. I hope I never turn old and crazy enough to lose all my dignity as that woman did.
30. Credit Where It’s Due
When I was maybe about seven years old or so, my mother had an argument with my father about money. During the argument, she proceeded to take all of her credit cards out of her wallet and cut them up into small pieces, leaving the pile on the kitchen table. She then yelled for my younger brother and sister to come into the room.
She lined us up, showed us the cut-up credit cards, and told us that she was never going to buy us anything ever again and that if we ever needed anything we’d have to ask our dad for it. When I was still upset a few hours later, she told me that I shouldn’t worry because she could get all her credit cards replaced—as if that was the real issue for me at seven years old.
31. This Makes Total Sense
I was at a restaurant with my uncle and cousins who were visiting from far away. It was my first time seeing them in many years. At the end of the dinner, one of my cousins snuck off and paid for everyone’s meal as a nice gesture. This made my uncle irate. He started yelling and complaining that he wanted to pay his share. But wait until you hear why…
I kid you not, he demanded to pay because he has a movie ticket points Visa card and he was close to getting a free movie. He argued, screamed, and swore at our cousin in the restaurant over a few free movie points. He would not drop the issue until he managed to get our cousin to apologize to him for costing him movie points. I don’t think those cousins are going to fly down to visit again anytime soon.
32. Finger Lickin’ Mad
My coworker and I went to KFC for lunch a few years ago and there was a guy ahead of us in line. Other than that, this KFC was empty and the drive-thru was also empty. The guy ordered a chicken meal and the lady at the counter replied they are currently out of that kind of chicken and it would be about a 20-minute wait.
The guy said OK and ordered a different meal. The cashier asked if he wanted original or crispy. He said original and she replied they are out of that and it would also be 20 minutes for that. At this point, he is obviously upset, but he said, “Fine. Crispy then”. To which the lady at the counter responded they were also out of crispy and it would be 20 minutes.
Well, that just set this guy off in a hilarious fashion. “Why did you even ask me then? This is a K…F…C...: KENTUCKY FRIED CHICKEN! How can you not have any chicken? What do you sell, bread”?! He went on for about five minutes. We finally had to leave because we were laughing so hard. Normally, I would feel bad for the worker, but, really, it is a KFC.
33. Have It Your Way
I used to work at a cafe in an upscale health club some years ago. Among other items, we sold a cheeseburger cooked to order (that is to say rare or medium or what have you). As I was working, a girl of about 12 came up and ordered. When I asked her how she wanted the burger done, she responded, “Medium-rare”. OK, cool.
She handed me a set of keys to pay (club members were encouraged to load money onto little keychain dongles so that they could leave their wallets in lockers while working out or swimming). I scanned the keys, her dad’s picture came up, and she was good to go. I told her it would be a few minutes and to take a seat.
A few minutes later, the burger came up and I served her. At some point, her dad had wandered in and sat down with her. Not two minutes after I dropped off the food, her dad was up at the counter screaming at me about how we were trying to poison his daughter. He was in such a rage that he stormed into the kitchen and threw the burger at one of our cooks.
If you trust your daughter to buy a $12 burger on her own, you should not be shocked when she orders it the way she likes it.
34. King-Sized Karen
I was working in a department store at the return desk, the day after Christmas, which was the busiest time of the year for us. This one customer wanted to exchange a queen-size comforter set for a king size. Any normal person would realize that the size difference between the two means that they will need to pay the difference, which, in this case, ended up being about $15. Seems reasonable, right? Wrong.
Upon hearing that she would have to pay money, this customer instantly went thermonuclear. This was not a gradual, building rage—it went from “Yes, I was hoping I can exchange this item for a bigger size, my good man” to “Don’t give me that excuse, you bleeping bloody bleeper”! I didn’t even have time to react before she was verbally bombarding me with every known curse word in her sailor’s dictionary.
All I could do was stand there dumbfounded, and apparently, she took offense to this. She threw a punch that narrowly missed my face. Finally, my fight or flight reflexes kicked in and I jumped back behind the counter so she couldn't reach me. I picked up the phone to call security, but they arrived before I could complete the call. She was still yelling obscenities while the guards were tackling her to the ground.
35. The Only Disability Is A Bad Attitude
My dad’s a quadriplegic and when I was in high school he finally got an electric wheelchair after having used a manual chair for more than 20 years. I’ve tried out both of his chairs and the electric one is much different. You barely tap the stick and you’re speeding away. Needless to say, it took Dad some time to get used to this crazy new chair.
He accidentally ran into a few things around the house and put a couple of holes in the kitchen cabinets. Cue Mom three sheets to the wind and charging through the house with a hammer, banging on the walls and doors, swearing and screaming, “IF YOU CAN PUT HOLES IN THIS HOUSE I CAN TOO”! She smashed holes in the laundry room, the hallway, and in Dad’s bedroom door.
Mom and Dad don’t speak anymore.
36. No Shirts, Big Problems
My wife and I used to live in a little cluster of rental houses that were all grouped in threes. A rather large, mean couple moved in across from us and they had two Dalmatians whose nasty personalities matched their owners’. This couple would let their dogs wander around off leash all the time. Shortly after the pair moved in, the wife brought a female friend to live there too.
We soon learned that this couple had become a rather unattractive trio. As could be imagined, this arrangement soon caused some strife in the household. Night after night—for months—we could hear the three of them getting into huge screaming and crying matches. These were so easy to hear because they didn’t have their arguments like normal people…
They would sit outside, shirtless, yes, all of them, on our shared sidewalk and scream and cry. They wouldn’t even move to let people walk on the sidewalk, so anyone who wanted to pass had to walk in the dog-poop-covered grass instead. Everything came to a head when the two lady friends took off on a cruise without the husband.
While they were away, a repo man came and removed all of their electronics. Then the hairy obese husband (still shirtless, always shirtless) packed up his belongings and left. The confused women came back to a very empty house. Shortly afterward, the landlord offered them an easy out of their contract and they left ASAP taking their gross dogs with them.
37. Cut Off At The Genius Bar
One time I saw this couple at the Apple Store arrive at their Genius Bar appointment 25 minutes late. The woman threw a huge fit when they couldn’t be seen right away. She loudly demanded to be served NOW because they had driven over an hour to get there. She yelled and swore at the person checking them in and just made a total scene.
Finally, a manager came over to try to pacify her and told the couple something like, “I’ll take a look at the phone now, but if there’s a real issue I will have to make another appointment for you”. So, I watched them describe how during phone calls their iPhone would sound all garbled and quiet, and everyone told them that they sounded like they were in a tunnel.
The manager asked, “Does this happen all the time”? To which she replied, “Yes, and it’s brand new”! The manager took another look at the phone, pulled the packing tape off, and made a call. He then handed the phone to the woman and said, “Does this sound better”? I’ve never seen someone turn so red so fast. Watching the woman sheepishly take the phone back from the manager was priceless.
38. USB = U So Beserk
This happened at work recently. This one customer kept complaining that he didn’t understand technology but wanted a smartwatch/fitness tracker. He originally picked out a Garmin and when we went to set it up, he entered his email and saw that he already had an account. I asked if he owned a Garmin product, and he said no, someone must be using his email without his permission.
I asked if he was sure and he angrily said, “You know this is just like when you people set up my GPS. Since you set it up, YOU should have the password. He started making a scene by moving his hands around and shouting at me about how stupid I am and how he was currently on vacation and can’t reset his password until he gets back to his office, which was in another state. I wondered who goes on vacation in Boise, Idaho, but kept that to myself.
So, I returned the device to the shelf and he chose a different watch. Fitbit. I set it up, got all his info entered, and explained that I wasn’t sure why the calculator already says he burnt 900 calories. I have never seen one of these past the setup stage. Will it do that every day? No clue. Whatever. His rage is starting to build up again and I just want him gone.
I tell him the charger is in the bag and he goes on his way. Five minutes later, he came back and, even though I was with a customer, he interrupted me mid-sentence by slamming his bag on a nearby table and screaming, “You didn’t show me how to charge it! I explain that it’s a USB charger and it plugs from the back of the watch into a computer or any USB slot.
He just stares at me and my customer with the dumbest face. I tell him I’ll be with him in a second. My customer turns to him and explains what a USB is and what it looks like. The angry man says, “So I have to take my laptop with me everywhere if I want to charge my watch?” Again, I tell him I’ll help him in a second.
He didn’t like that because he proceeded to pull the plastic Fitbit box out of the bag and straight up hulked the poor thing into about eight pieces and kicked one of the pieces across the floor. He then showed me the charger—again with a dumb look on his face—and then just stormed out.
39. But Was It Heart-Shaped?
I work in a hotel and a husband and wife walked into my lobby, looking for a room. She was plastered out of her mind, and he looked rather miserable. He asked for a room and the rates. As I’m giving him the rates, she sloppily interrupts with: “What about the Jacuzzi room”? I obliged by telling them the price of the Jacuzzi room. The husband doesn’t seem interested.
She, however, demands the suite. He doesn’t want to pay that much. She tells him something along the lines of “Stop being such a wuss. Get me the Jacuzzi room or we’re so done”. The guy didn’t even reply, he just walked out of the lobby, leaving her there. She broke into tears, stomped her feet, and screamed after him.
She turned to me and slurred, “Screw that. I’ll get it anyway and he can pay”. But then it dawned on her. She didn’t have the credit cards. He does, and he’s gone. She called him, in tears, still screaming, as I tried to pretend that I can’t hear. I had to struggle to keep a straight face when she said, “I’m sorry for embarrassing you. Look, just come back here—WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU’RE ALREADY OUT OF TOWN”?!
40. If You Can Make It There…
This happened when I was working at a tech repair shop in New York City. Without looking up at the waiting crowd of customers, I called for the next customer. It ended up being this girl who was a camper at the summer camp I worked at the previous summer. She was there with her mom. This was awkward enough, but I clenched my teeth and figured soon it would be over. Hah.
Well, her mom ended up being a raging Karen. This woman brought in a basically new computer that she assumed was broken. It wasn’t installing some piece of software, so she was demanding a totally new machine. I told her I’d look into it for her, and brought the computer to the back. It turns out she just didn’t know what she was doing.
So within a few minutes, we successfully installed the software and got her back up and running again. Relieved that this was about to be over, I came out grinning and gave her the good news. She refused to take it. I glanced down at the camper’s face and she gave me a subtle knowing glance tinged with silent dejection.
I calmly explained to her mother that I wasn’t sure what had happened (which is code for “You messed this up somehow”), but it has been taken care of. I happily told her that we wouldn’t charge her for it. This was not good enough. She refused to accept that she didn’t know what she was doing, and she still demanded a new computer.
I tried to assure her that everything was fine: “Look, it’s working”! I said, desperation creeping into my voice. She replied, “Look, I don’t CARE. That’s NOT WHAT I WANT. I TOLD you I want a NEW COMPUTER”! I was a bit speechless at how quickly this had escalated, so I went to the manager on duty and explained what was going on.
The manager went out and tried to talk her down, but she kept throwing out the same phrase: “NO! That’s NOT WHAT I WANT”! She was like a child who had already made up her mind. I don't want you to fix my toy, I’ve already decided that it is broken and I WANT A NEW ONE. Sadly, the manager eventually relented to avoid making more of a scene.
This Karen ended up getting a whole new computer. It wasn’t a total loss since the first one was fully functional and all we had to do was wipe the data and resell it as an open box, but we did have to eat the cost of the software. I finished up the transaction and took one more glance at the camper whose face said, “I’m sorry”. Truthfully, I think I felt more sorry for her. She had to live with the woman.
41. Maybe She Should Stick To The Bus
Some lady in her mid-30s was waiting to make a left turn and get back onto the main road that I was driving on, but just at that time, another car was backing out of a parking strip on my right side, which I promptly turned into because it was the only parking spot open. When I went into the store to pick up my bus pass, I didn’t know what would be waiting for me outside.
When I came out, the left-turn lady was walking up the sidewalk toward me. As soon as she saw me, she started cussing up a storm, calling me every nasty name in the book, and screaming that she had been waiting for the spot I took. Things got worse when a couple of guys who were walking nearby came over and asked her what the problem was.
She proceeded to tell them that I took her parking spot. I guess she knew one of them because he gave me a dirty look and asked if he needed to kick my butt. I shrugged and said I had the right of way and had no way of knowing what her intentions were. I kept walking to my car and she kept screaming all the way up the block and over into the next.
42. One Knuckle Sandwich, S’il Vous Plait
When we were dating, I took my future wife to a chic little French restaurant in Lake Worth, Florida, figuring I could score a few points. Dinner was great—but then the whole night went south. An old man at a table of six septuagenarians next to us jumped up and grabbed one of the waiters by the collar, put his face in the guy’s grill, and yelled, “I don’t like your attitude”!
It turned out that a different waiter had upset him earlier and he had the wrong guy. He realized that, muttered something, and sat down, whereupon his wife pulled back and punched him in the face—hard. He got up and stormed out. After that everybody else wrapped things up and left as quickly as possible. We tried not to laugh, but it wasn’t easy. Good times.
43. How To Wreck Christmas
My mother-in-law has a lot of tantrums, but this one happened on Christmas Day of this year. My two-year-old nephew got two train sets for Christmas. The one from my mother-in-law was age appropriate and the one from an uncle who has never had children was for ages 5+ because of smaller parts. The boy’s parents said “thank you” for both gifts.
As the boy started unwrapping the rest, my MIL lost it on the uncle who bought the 5+ train. “How dare you buy a gift that is not age-appropriate? You should know better”! Then she started dragging me into it and saying that he should learn from us about how to buy age-appropriate gifts. She even threatened to return the inappropriate train set.
So now the parents of the boy started playing with the train that my MIL bought just to make her happy. The two-year-old doesn’t play with it on the tracks, he just wants to roll the train on the carpet. This causes my MIL to freak out about how he doesn’t even know how to play properly. Poor kid! She also had several other issues that day, but that was definitely the worst.
44. Caren vs. Male Karen
I worked at the front desk of a family resort in the Poconos for some time before the place eventually shut down. If you’ve never been to the Poconos, you’re better off. We had one employee at the front desk named Caren. Caren was in her late 60s, retired, and the epitome of a nice older woman. Now here’s where the tantrum happens.
It was the week of Christmas, which is the last few months of the resort’s operation, so we’re busy—to put it mildly. This 40-something man and wife are checking in with Caren and he says, “I’d like to check in, and I’d like to get into my room immediately”. Now, I should mention that check-in time is 4:00 pm and it is only 11:00 am.
Caren gets his name and says, “I’m sorry, Sir. We are unable to get you into your room until 4:00 pm, but you are more than welcome to use all the facilities until then”. This sets the man off. “Do you know who I am? I drove for hours just to get here and wait in a line for over an hour just to be told I can’t access my room for another five hours? This is ridiculous”!
Caren attempted to respond by saying, “Sir, I’m very sorry, but check-in is at 4:00 and we’re so busy”. But the customer cut her off. “I don’t care what time check-in is, I want to get to my room, and I want to get to my room now! What is so hard to understand about that? If you can’t get me what I want, the next words out of your mouth better be ‘I’ll get someone who can’”!
Caren tries to respond, but can only get out a few stutters. “S-s-sir, I-I-I can’t do anything, these other guests are all waiting just like you”. The guy loses it. “I don’t give a hoot about any of these people. My family and I came here to have Christmas vacation and you’re stopping that from happening. You’re ruining our holiday. I demand to speak with a manager”!
By now the hubbub of the lobby has gone silent. All eyes are on this grown man who is demanding things and yelling like a child who has been told he couldn’t play with mommy’s phone. It was not a good look.
45. Comedy = Tragedy + Time
So I work in housekeeping at a resort and we have a policy that whenever a housekeeper finishes with a room, whether it is occupied or the guest is checking out, we set the in-room thermostat to 23 C (74 F) to conserve energy and show that we’re environmentally conscious. Most housekeepers don’t actually do this in occupied rooms, though, because guests hate it.
However, it was only my third week of working there and I didn’t want a manager upset with me that early on. So, after I finished the room, I raised the thermostat. As I was going down the hall to get to my next room, I heard the other guests come back and start complaining about the heat. Suddenly, the mother stormed out of the room toward me.
She screamed, “Did you turn up the thermostat”?! Me, being rather meek, just quietly replied, “It’s policy”. That response got me a glorious reply that at the time scared me, but now just makes me laugh. “Well, policy ends today,” she screeched. “I pay for air conditioning, and I deserve it”! I was mortified at the time, but it’s kind of hilarious to me now.
46. Terror At The Cracker Barrel
This happened when I was working at a job that was a few hours away from my wife. On one of the weekends that I could hang out, she, her parents, her sister, and her sister’s boyfriend all showed up to take me out to a nice dinner. It was an amazing surprise. I should mention that I live in a state that has a few college football powerhouses and my sister-in-law, her boyfriend, and I all have degrees from the same one.
Anyway, we went to Cracker Barrel and waited in the area that has all the merchandise for sale. The boyfriend-in-law and I were looking at some hats that had our alma mater’s logo on them. Just then, a worker came up and made fun of our alma mater because she got her degree from our main rival university. We retorted, thinking that it was all in good fun, but she became very upset.
She looked at me with icy cold shark eyes and said that I shouldn’t insult the people who make my food. I still thought she was joking. As I continued to banter, she went to an 11 on the rage scale. What she said next wiped the smile off my face. She then told me point blank to “enjoy the extras in my food”. At this point, I realized she wasn’t kidding. I started to feel very uncomfortable and I decided to tell the manager.
He comped the entire meal and made sure that I got an entirely new plate of food. Within 10 minutes, the manager fired this waitress. As we were eating, she stormed into the dining area and threatened me and my family. I was a college athlete and a bouncer on the weekends for extra money—I know how to handle myself. I told her that she is about to step into something serious. As this was happening, my wife called the authorities.
This caused the waitress to take off. When the officers got there, they took a statement, and before they left, they told us that they have a case for harassment and disturbing the peace. We thought that was the end of it, but we were so wrong. As we got into our cars, the waitress, who is now in her truck, jumped a curb and blocked us into our spots. She started revving her engine and lurching at us.
I happen to have a baseball bat and glove in my car, so I asked her if this was really going to happen. She looked at me like this was the first time someone has called her out. I played for a relatively famous coach, so I can take all sorts of verbal intimidation. I also know how to respond to threats in a calm, detached way that makes insane people even crazier.
It was time for a showdown. The waitress in her truck and me with my Louisville slugger (just protecting my wife and family, of course). She ended up taking off when the authorities came roaring up from around a corner. I filled out another statement for harassment. Our family went home and laughed about it for a long time. We still joke about it.
47. Crazy Girlfriends Be Like
A friend of mine took up with a young lady who had some psychological quirks. I was talking to him on the phone one time when suddenly I heard his girlfriend screaming in the background. “Who are you calling?! You’re calling some woman that you’re cheating on me with! I know it”! He said a few calming sorts of things to her, but her rage kept intensifying.
She got to the point where she was shrieking about how she was going to end her life. She even went so far as to announce that she was heading to the bridge now so that she could jump off. Then there was a big noisy slam and then silence. I was still on the phone with my friend, but we were both too embarrassed to talk.
Suddenly, I could hear a big commotion in the background—she was back. And get this: She was demanding that he drive her to the bridge. Because it was raining. Thank goodness that he finally got away from that relationship, but it was an expensive accomplishment. And, yes, she was very pretty.
48. Repeat Offender
I've always wanted to tell this story. It happened on my third day at my new job. It was at a cell phone store, and I already felt pretty comfortable working without any help. All of a sudden, this customer walked in, ignored the other customers who were waiting to be helped, and slammed her phone on the counter in front of me.
She said she had just bought this phone and then started talking about how it was not a really Galaxy S3. She was convinced it was fake. At first, I thought maybe she was trying to swindle us by swapping it or something, but when I determined she was just spewing nonsense, I apologized and told her there was nothing we could do.
She was not happy, so I checked in with the assistant manager who told me to give her the runaround because it was more than 14 days after she had purchased it. When I told her that we could not give her a refund, her horrifying reaction only intensified. She pounded her fist on the counter over and over again, screaming while she did it. After a few more pounds, she bellowed, GIVE ME MY MONEY”!
She then continued to scream and pound both of her fists like hammers as if she were Donkey Kong. I calmly explained that we could not give her a refund, but we were more than happy to exchange it without a restocking fee. She didn’t think that was good enough, though, so she started to act like Donkey Kong again, but this time she stomped her feet as well.
She then started telling me that she has three kids in her car right now, and she can’t take care of them with this garbage phone. She said she needed her money back so she could feed them. I told her our policy once again, and she grabbed the phone, screeched, and pushed the door as hard as she could. I thought it was over, but…
She left the store, still screaming at the top of her lungs. She then sped out of the parking lot and, instead of backing up out of her spot, she drove over the cement parking divider and floored it, spinning her wheels across the grass in front of the store. Alas, that was not the last of her. I encountered her again a few months later.
She was buying another Galaxy S3 because her son broke the other one. Then, three weeks later, she came in saying that the phone was “defective”. Since she couldn’t prove that it was faulty, we went through the same Donkey Kong routine again. This time, however, she wouldn't leave. She kept stomping her feet and screaming at customers about how we were ripping everyone off.
Eventually, it got to the point where the stomping was getting a bit scary, so I told her that she was making our customers uncomfortable and threatened to call the authorities. Just as I pretended to dial, she rushed out of there. I later learned more about her from another customer of mine who is her best friend. Apparently this maniac has also been banned from Walmart and several restaurants in the area.
49. The Wedding Wrecker
My mom has always thrown tantrums when my sister was getting more attention than her, but the worst time was on the day of my sister’s wedding. My mom wouldn’t even get out of bed that morning. These tantrums form like hurricanes, sucking everyone in our family into their exhausting vortex until we become shells of our former selves.
Mom’s tantrum meant that I had to pack all of the sweets that she was in charge of, in addition to packing the trellis I had made as my low-budget wedding gift. I was also late for my tux appointment because I was pleading with her to get out of bed—all while my dad cried and ignored getting any of his stuff organized.
From her bed, she said all of the meanest things she could think of. She told us we hated her and said we should just go to the wedding without her. We were supposed to be on the road at 10:00, but she didn’t even get out of bed until 11:00. I was so distraught from trying to get her going that I left many of my tools and the reinforcement wire behind.
Without those items, the trellis blew over and broke, which meant my hours of picking flowers and wrapping them were for nothing. Once we arrived, blurry-eyed and exhausted, she pulled a 180 and was laughing and joking around with everyone, while dad and I were on the brink of a nervous breakdown. I actually slipped out during the reception to nap in my truck and ended up missing most of the fun.
50. Be A Baby, B-E, A Baby, B-E A B-A-B-Y!
For some reason, I accepted a job stage managing a recital for a dance company that was owned by an ex-NBA cheerleader who I had been warned about. Apparently, she could not handle stress and had thrown an actual rolling-on-the-floor tantrum the previous year. My experience was just as cringe-worthy…
It was time to program the lighting cues for her show but since we “had all done this last year” we wouldn’t need to do it again. This was a bit of a headscratcher since her dances were totally different this time. Anyway, she broke down in a massive crying fit when things didn’t go smoothly. This was full-on embarrassing, toddler-esque blubbering—a super ugly cry.
Anyway, I didn't throw water on her like her mother did last year, but I did open the mic on my wireless headset so the rest of the crew could all have a good laugh at her weeping and wailing and carrying on.