It’s those six dreaded words that no one ever wants to hear (or utter themselves): “Let me speak to a manager.” Whether you’re the employee who has to hear it, the manager who has to deal with the customer, the customer who has just borne witness to some heinous service, or just a witness to the action, it’s always going to be a mess when the manager gets called in. The users of Reddit have shared their wildest stories of these interactions, here for you to peruse and enjoy—but mostly for you to cringe at.
1. You’ve Got Female
I once had a super old guy come into my shoe store to buy a pair of shoes, but he refused to let my employee help him because she was a female. Now, this employee has lots of tattoos and piercings, so I thought that she may have been overexaggerating and perhaps the guy was just offended by her appearance. He asked to speak to the manager, and then I came out to talk to him.
I’m also a female. Needless to say, he didn’t buy any shoes.
2. The Meme Lords Will Know About It
My mother ranting to all and sundry that she was going to get the brand-new Wal-Mart Supercenter in our town shut down because a cashier closed her register as we were walking up. Apparently, she could do this because she “knew people on the internet.” It was 1998. 14-year-old-me was mortified.
3. Breaking a New Glass Ceiling
I found a bunch of glass shards in a cake I ordered at a Sizzler’s restaurant in Parramatta. I called the manager over, and he said that I was probably just trying to scam a free meal off of them. Please note that I had never said anything about any free meal; I had just told him that I had found glass inside of my cake. It looked like it was probably part of a glass mixing bowl or some other kitchen utensil of theirs.
I was not a fan…
4. Mooving On
Customer to manager: “This bacon is so raw, I can still hear it mooing!” First, It was pre-cooked bacon. Second? I know for a fact that his bacon never mooed.
5. Cut and Run
At used clothing stores, my mother would cut tags to get discounts, since the cashiers would basically make up whatever price they thought it would be on the spot. If they high-balled it, she would get a manager involved, and I hated that.
6. Hit the Road, Jack!
I once went to Denny’s and got seated by a waitress. My friend and I chatted for about 45 minutes while waiting for the waitress to come over and bring us our menus. When she finally showed up, the first thing she said was “If you guys aren’t going to order anything, then you need to leave.”
Umm, excuse me?? I definitely did not let that one slide.
7. Show Me the Money
A sign was accidentally left up in our shop from earlier in the week advertising men’s Levi’s as “Buy one, Get one half off”—so for two pairs, it would be roughly $90. The current sale was to get two pairs for $70. I had a lady pitch an absolute fit over the fact that we weren’t ringing her pants up as “buy one, get one half off.”
She claimed that we were ripping her off, even though she was paying less this way. The cashier tried and tried to explain to her that we had accidentally missed a sign, but that she was actually getting a better deal at the current price. She wouldn’t have any of it. She demanded to speak to the manager. The store leader comes out and tells her the exact same thing, but the lady still will not listen and is adamant about getting them at the price on the sign.
The store leader finally gives up and tells me to just go ahead and do a price override, and charge her the extra money. The lady leaves smugly, like she thinks she’s just worked us over big time, and makes some stupid comment on her way out about how I need to learn to listen to customers in the future.
8. Take a Nap, Nanna
When I was around 10 years old, my grandmother went out and got us (her, my brother, and me) McDonald’s. We got home and we didn’t have napkins in the bags. No big deal, right? We have paper towels and napkins in the house. Also, me and my brother are pretty good with not making any messes while we eat. Nope. Grandmother got us in the car, drove back to McDonald’s, demanded a manager, and screeched about how upset she was that we didn’t get any napkins.
I wanted to just melt into the floor and disappear. It’s just napkins, Nanny…
9. Get Pumped
I’m the manager at a gas station. A woman once asked to speak to me because she had somehow managed to spill gasoline all over herself at the pump, and wanted us to pay for new clothing.
10. Unwarranted Behavior
Many years ago, I bought a new laptop. I was also suckered into buying an extended warranty for it. The laptop ended up breaking down after only about a year. No problem—it was still covered by the extended warranty, right? So, I took it in to be fixed. The people in the store just hummed and hawed, and told me that my laptop was still perfectly fine.
They said that I just had to hold down the power button for a few minutes to “drain the capacitors” before using it. Well, that didn’t do the trick; so when it broke down again, I brought it right back in. This time, they held onto it at the store for a few days before calling me to say that it was fixed. Then it broke down yet again.
This time, I asked to speak to a manager when I brought it back into the store. All the manager did was offer to sell me a new one. I told him to get bent. Eventually, on the fifth try, they finally agreed to honor my extended warranty and to just give me a new computer to replace my broken one—albeit reluctantly.
The same manager from earlier had to come down to sign the final paperwork and, as he handed me that new laptop, he said to me through gritted teeth, “Well, you’ve been awfully persistent in this matter, haven’t you?” Yes, I have. Now give me my damn laptop, you little sneak. I never went back there again, and the place is now out of business.
11. Front of the Line, Back of the Class
I was with my parents on vacation, and the hotel put charges on the bill by accident. My mom marched to the front desk and demanded to see the manager. There was a long line, but she cut right in front of it. The manager wasn’t very helpful, probably because she was rude. So, my mom went to all the other customers in line and told them that the hotel was a scam and they were ripping us off with fake charges.
But that wasn’t even the most embarrassing part. She made such a scene that the hotel called the police and we were escorted off the premises by actual cops. I died inside.
12. Some Food for Thought
I was at a restaurant once and the staff just completely forgot about my order. I didn’t have time to wait around for it, so I asked for a refund. The guy refused to grant one to me, even though he was the person who had taken my order and messed up in the first place. He was also a complete jerk. I asked to speak to the manager, and the manager turned out to be an even bigger jerk.
I went home without a refund. I then called corporate and was able to get a refund, fortunately. I’m not the kind to want to speak to the manager, but the guy was a huge jerk when I asked for the refund—and considering that both he and the manager were both jerks, I’m never going back there again.
13. Screaming For Ice Cream
I once had a woman call up to tell me that she had spent the wrong amount on an ice cream cone. We had a special the day before that was something like two scoops in a waffle cone for five bucks, and for some reason, she had only gotten one scoop and said she didn’t know about the special (despite there being signs all over the shop about it). She claimed that my worker didn’t offer it to her.
I apologized to her, but I also said, “What exactly do you want me to do about it? This happened yesterday, so I’m assuming you already ate the ice cream and can’t return it.” She wanted a refund anyway for the inconvenience. I asked if she had a receipt, and she said that she didn’t. I said that there was nothing I could do without a receipt. She said she wasn’t given one at checkout.
I explained to her that in my state, we’re not required by law to give a receipt for cash purchased food service items—so if she didn’t ask for one, it’s tough luck, unfortunately. She still kept pressing. She demanded to speak to the manager. I explained that I was the manager. She then asked if there was another manager she could speak to. I told her that no, I was the end of the line and no one else was going to tell her anything different.
She huffed and puffed, and told me that she would be by shortly to “discuss it in person.” She never came in.
14. This Time, Mom Is Grounded
When I was a young child on a long-distance flight, my mother let me and my brother sleep on the floor. For safety reasons, the flight attendants told my mother that we were not allowed to sleep on the floor. She started to argue with the flight attendants, who then turned to the pilots. The pilots threatened to turn the plane around unless we got up from the floor.
It didn’t even matter. My mother just continued to argue. The pilots then announced that they were about to turn around because of my mother, so all the passengers got pissed at her and basically had a mutiny. Eventually, she caved in when she had all passengers and flight crew on a Boeing 747 against her…
15. A Bad Reception
I had a Gold’s Gym membership that I needed to cancel since I was moving. First and foremost, why in the world do they require the customer to demonstrate proof that they are moving in order to allow a membership cancellation? But regardless of the reason, they do—so here’s what happened when I tried to cancel mine.
I called up and canceled at the end of May. They, by contract, require you to still pay for the first month after you cancel, so I paid for May and then June and didn’t complain, even though I thought it was a stupid policy. Then July comes around and I am charged AGAIN. I call the gym and the guy on the phone tries to argue with me that the charge is correct because you are charged the month after you cancel.
I try to explain to him that June comes before July and that I was already charged my “punishment for leaving the gym” fee in June. He was getting nasty with me on the phone, so I finally asked for the manager. He said, “Fine, but she is going to say the same thing I did!” He got the manager on the phone, and I explained to her that I should not have been charged for July. She agreed and reversed the charge in like a 30-second conversation.
Screw you, random gym receptionist!
16. Not the End of the World
I used to be a manager at a fast food chain, so I dealt with a lot of nonsense. However, nothing was worse than the guy who yelled and threatened me because some high school kid making his burger put mayo on it by accident.
Get over yourself and be respectful.
17. Not in the Business of Learning
My mom came to my school because she thought I was lying about what I got on my SATs. She didn’t think I was that smart. No one in my school would give her that information because they didn’t have to. She got to my principal and said, “I want to speak to your manager” in front of me. He refused and they argued for a while.
The principal knew I was an okay guy and the score I told my mother was legitimate.. It was really embarrassing though.
18. Lettuce Get to the Bottom of This
I went to this sandwich shop and the wrap that they gave me was 95% lettuce, no exaggeration. It was supposed to be turkey, avocado, and BLT. It had half a slice of turkey, one small slice of bacon, one tomato slice, and about one tablespoon of some old, brown disgusting avocado “spread.” It was almost as if they had realized that they didn’t have enough ingredients left to make my wrap, but instead of just telling me to order something else, they decided to stuff it full of iceberg lettuce and hope that I somehow wouldn’t notice.
I brought it back and showed it to the manager, who suddenly couldn’t speak English anymore—even though just 10 minutes prior, he had been speaking it perfectly to his employees. I just left in the end because I had to go back to work.
19. This Little Banker Went to Market
I work at a bank that is located inside a grocery store. A customer once got very upset and asked to speak to our manager because we wouldn’t let them pay for their toilet paper and Doritos at the teller window.
20. Not Fit for a King
Ugh, my dad. He can be such a prick if you get his order wrong. It could be fast food or a nice sit-down restaurant. He often yells at wait staff if they “undercook” his steak. It has to be well done, or he claims to have lost his appetite. One time, we went to Burger King when I was younger and we sat down to eat.
He took one bite of his burger, spit it out, and immediately started screaming about it being under-cooked. He cut in front of everyone in line to yell at the cashier, then he asked who the cook was. When the cook appeared, he launched his burger, hitting the poor kid directly in the face with a lidless burger. He’s now banned for life from Burger King.
21. No Reservations
The only time I ever asked to speak to a manager was when my family and I had a reservation at a restaurant and were supposed to be seated at 4:30, yet it took almost two hours because our name was skipped on the list. It really made me angry because I was super hungry!
22. That Didn’t End Well!
I worked in a nice little geek shop that sold used books, games, memorabilia, and guitars. One time, these two kids were shopping in the books section and I overheard one of them say, “I wonder what the wall is made of!” So I jokingly said “The Wall? It’s made of people! The wall is made of people!” They both laughed since they either got the Soylent Green reference or at least thought it was a funny thing to say.
Well, their grandma didn’t like my comment one bit and after they paid and left, she came back in furious—demanding to speak to the manager about the guy who “gave away the ending of the book.” I came over to see what the problem was, and she shouted, “If I find out that you spoiled the ending of that book, I will have you fired!” I apologized and explained that I was making a silly joke and didn’t know the first thing about whatever book the kids had been buying.
The incident was never brought up again, and those kids looked SUPER embarrassed.
23. Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire
My dad just loved to argue, and he loved a deal. We were shopping in a department store, and I found a pair of pants I was mildly interested in. The pants were tagged at (let’s say) $40, and the sign on the rack was “All pants $25.” I was mildly interested, I asked the sales clerk if they had them in my size, the clerk said, “Those aren’t supposed to be on that rack.”
My dad lost his mind and insisted on getting the pants for $25, and started asking for a courtesy discount on top of that. Escalated to the floor manager and then the store manager. Meanwhile, I didn’t want the pants. They were ok pants I guess, nothing awesome, I just didn’t care very much about them. I was more than happy to move on.
I told my dad I didn’t want the pants, but by then he didn’t care about what I wanted. He wanted the pants at the better price. Eventually, after like an hour of arguing, the store manager said, “We’re not giving you the pants at that price. Take them or leave them at $40.” So we left them. Which suited me just fine, because I didn’t want the pants.
24. Spit and Shout
I asked to speak to a manager at a club once when a bouncer had screamed in my ear with such vigor that he spat in my eye. He mistakenly thought that I had brought in my own booze when, in reality, it had been left there by the previous occupants of the table.
25. Endless Theft
I used to be a waiter at Red Lobster. A lady once said to me: “I am about to feed my child with endless shrimp. Now, you may think that you are going to charge me, but don’t bother. If you charge me, I will just call corporate, make up something to complain about, get a bunch of free gift cards, and come back to eat again.” I responded, confirming that we would be charging her—and informing her that my manager would be right over to speak to her about this.
All I know is that we did indeed charge her. No idea if her little scheme ended up working afterward, but either way I lost a lot of respect for humanity that day.
26. An Odyssey of Errors
The grocery store had this sign up that said if an item rang up higher than an advertised price, it was free. It was the 80s, and stores did stupid stuff like this that I never see in stores today. My mom was buying a box of Little Debbie cakes, and they rang up for $2.85 instead of the advertised $2.50. So now mom wants her free cakes.
The cashier doesn’t know what to do, so she summons a manager. The manager tells her to ring up the sale otherwise, and he’ll be right back. He comes back and hands my mother 35 cents cheerfully and says, “There you go!” My mother points out the sign behind him and he says, “Oh, the last manager put that up, it doesn’t make any sense. I’m the new manager and I just haven’t had the sign removed yet” (it was a printed plastic sign that was screwed into the wall).
Mom insists they honor their sign, he says nah. Now, up to this point, I, as an adult looking back, am totally on board with mom’s actions. But that changed very quickly. My mom gathers her things, decides against taking the Little Debbies on principle, and we get in the car. She then wordlessly drives downtown to the main store of this 3-5 store chain, knowing the office is next door.
We walk into this perfectly 80s wood-paneled office where my mother asks the secretary to speak to the owner of the store, and is permitted to do so. This is a family-owned business, and their “corporate office” is smaller than the row of cubicles my staff now occupy at work. This was the beginning of the end.
Here, my mother unleashes a tirade about how she has lost faith in his brand and how his word is meaningless since they will not honor the sign, etc. This guy stands up, profusely apologizes, validates her anger, and then pulls out his wallet and hands her a $5 bill along with a promise that he will speak to the manager and the sign will either be honored or removed.
We get home and find that the ice cream we bought melted in the trunk.
27. Ay Caramba!
In seventh grade, I was waiting on my order at a Taco Bell in a mall food court. I watched the guy making the tacos wipe the sweat off of his face and then immediately handle my tortillas with the same hand. So I saw sweat go directly from this guy’s head, onto a tortilla, into a bag, and into my hands. I asked for the manager and said, “Sir, is it normal to do that with the tortillas?”
He remade my order for me.
28. Who Cut the Cheese?
I once worked at a grocery store, and oftentimes at the customer service counter, which typically handles refunds, exchanges, complaints, and other odds and ends (like cigarettes and lottery tickets). This man once came up to me openly brandishing a big block of cheese, still in its package. I asked how I could be of assistance to him.
Our ensuing conversation went something like this. He asked where the manager was, and I said that I was the manager that day. He told me he had the wrong cheese, so I offered an exchange or refund. He said, “I don’t want it,” which I took to mean he wanted a refund. When I gave him back his money, he said: “What’s this for? Where’s my cheese? I don’t want a refund!”
I asked if he wanted the cheese back and he said yes, so I rang it in with the cash in my hand. Then he asked for his money. I told him I was a bit lost, and he said, “But, it’s the wrong kind of cheese.” I asked him what he wanted, and he said , “No. I don’t want to bother with it. I’m just telling you it’s the wrong kind.” He took the cheese and left. I am still perplexed about that exchange to this day.
29. No Reservations About Acting up
Not me, but my sister-in-law. Her stepdad and mom took the family out to eat at a Red Lobster. They get there and it is super busy. So, the stepdad walks up to the host and says, “Yes, we have a reservation.” The problem is Red Lobster (or at least that one) doesn’t take reservations. The host explains this, and says it is going to be 20-minute wait for seating.
Her stepdad FLIPPED out and started screaming that he had called three hours beforehand and made a reservation. The host politely told him this was not possible, as they do not take reservations (again). He continues to scream at the guy, and says he wants to talk to a manager. So, the manager comes out and she tells him the same thing.
They don’t take reservations, so it’s not possible that he had made one. He continues to cause a scene, and people started leaving just to get away from this toxic guy. Finally, the manager says, “Fine, we will put you ahead of everyone else that has been patiently waiting their turn.” He says, “Thank you.” They get seated.
Once they get to the table and the waitress walks away, he slyly winks and says to my brother and the rest of the family, “THAT is how you get things done. I wasn’t going to wait 20 minutes.” My brother refused to eat or order for fear of getting food that had been spit on.
30. Rumor Has It
When I was a kid, Blizzard decided to charge me for a month that I had already paid for by using a two-month subscription card, locking me out of my account until they received the cash. I emailed them letting them know that the balance was incorrect and that they should have a two-month credit on my account. I was given one of those automatic responses that didn’t even relate to what my message was, basically saying that the balance due must be paid in cash.
I remembered reading a rumor somewhere online that if you email them requesting to speak to a manager three times, their system automatically flags your message and puts it under review by their escalations department. So, I emailed them back saying I felt like they didn’t even read my concern and that I wanted to speak to a manager. I reworded this statement three times, always reiterating the word manager of course.
It worked. I quickly got a response back from the same person who had sent me the robotic reply. This time, they said they were sorry and that they would remove the balance—plus throw in an extra two months free. I came out feeling quite satisfied!
31. Raindrops Keep Falling On My Plants
I work at a garden center. Someone once asked to speak to our manager because “Some of your plants are wet.” I guess she has never heard of rain…
32. Don’t Have the Heart to Tell Them
We traveled a lot when we were younger, and would skip lines at the airport since we were kids. But now we were all in our early teens, and my mom faked having a heart condition to skip the long line to get on the airplane. The flight attendant would have none of it, and told us to go back to the end of the line. I still remember the smiles and looks of everyone there.
33. Changing the Subject
I was once at a restaurant with my seven-year-old daughter. The food took forever to arrive. The waitress messed up the kid’s order (badly), and it took over 30 more minutes in the middle of the afternoon in an almost empty dining room to get the replacement. When we asked for drink refills and whether my daughter’s chicken tenders & fries were on the way, the waitress just went off on me about how I should be grateful that I wasn’t Terri Schiavo, and then left in a huff.
I flagged down another server and asked for the manager. I told him that if his server was that upset about the Schiavo situation, then maybe she shouldn’t be on the floor…
34. When It All Came Crashing Down
I was running a coffee shop by myself one day when this dude walks in and orders an egg sandwich. No big deal, right? I start making his sandwich and, in the meantime, the next customer asks for a BLT. I start warming the bacon on the skillet next to first customer’s egg. The first guy says nothing as I cook the two meals beside one another right in front of him.
Then, once the sandwich is made and I ask him to pay, he suddenly starts to freak out. He now suddenly tells me that he needed his food to be halal, meaning that it should not have come into contact with the bacon. He is demanding that he not have to pay because of this. Now, he never mentioned anything to me beforehand about ensuring that his food didn’t mix with bacon, nor did he stop me from preparing it that way as I was doing so right in front of him.
I found it very suspicious that this suddenly became an issue for him the second I asked him to pay. I told him that we could not give him the sandwich for free, and he started to scream his head off at me. He demanded to speak to the manager. Unfortunately for him, I was the manager. I told him that I would call the owner of the establishment up and see what she had to say about this matter.
As I’m beginning to dial, the guy grabs my phone right out of my hands, throws it to the floor, and runs out the door.
35. Mother in Unlawful Rudeness
My mother-in-law is truly a Karen. Going out to eat with her is always a nightmare. Her orders have 14 special requests, but she’s not at all kind about it, she is defensive from the get-go, like you’re an idiot who’s already screwed the order up. “Nooo dressing. Not on the side. Nothing. Completely dry. Do you understand? I will send it back!”
The one I will never forget, though, was dinner at Joe’s Crab Shack. In case you’ve never been, it’s one of those places that every so often plays a song that the entire staff is required to drop everything and do a little synchronized dance to. It’s quick, everyone gets a little kick out of it. It’s part of the fun. Now my MIL Karen knew this, it’s not like she’d never been here.
But apparently, she was not willing to wait two extra minutes for her dry salad, so she starts going off as soon as the dancing starts. She gets a manager, who clearly knows Karen well and offers a quick apology (for doing their job), a discount, and her dry salad. But Karen’s not completely satisfied. She tells us that even though dinner for our party of 8 is on her, she’s not tipping the waitress one penny.
She proceeds to whine…loudly…throughout the rest of the meal and antagonizes our waitress over petty stuff. I worked too many years in customer service, and you know, I’m a decent human being. I made sure to get my bill separate so I could tip for the entire table. I wrote a quick note on the receipt, something along the lines of “Way to stay positive even when the customer’s a jerk.”
I was a little afraid of the wrath of Karen, it was one of my first interactions with her too, but when the waitress came and hugged me, Karen and I locked eyes. She knew. I didn’t care. Don’t be a jerk, Karen.
36. Full of Surprises
I bought my truck used and it only came with one key. I went to the dealership to get a new key and two fobs made up. I called to check the price before I came in, and they agreed that it could be done for around $250 total—including parts and labor. I showed up and handed over my one gray key. Little did I know that this was the valet key, and that the other keys and fob could not be programmed with this key.
They would have to do a master reprogram. The service writer that took my key did not mention this to me, nor did they say anything about it for 45 minutes while I waited. At the end of this 45 minutes, they called me in and showed me a new black master key, already cut but not programmed, and the fobs which had not been programmed yet. They told me it was going to be an extra 200 dollars to finish the job.
I told them that I could not afford an extra 200 dollars and that I wasn’t going to be able to pay for these extra services. They said that was fine, but I would still have to pay for the part they had already started doing. I was not having it, as they should have asked me if I wanted to continue after noticing that it was going to require extra work. They wouldn’t budge.
I asked for the manager, who also wouldn’t budge. Finally, I asked to talk to his boss, the dealership owner. I told him that this was ridiculous and that they were not going to force me to pay for extra work that wasn’t quoted to me and that I never agreed to. He agreed with me, acknowledged their screwup, and offered to either do everything for the original quoted price or let me walk without paying anything.
I had them finish the job and I went on my way.
37. Pumped Up
I used to be the manager at a gas station. A customer once came in, red-faced, and stood at the counter. I greeted him, and he starts spouting off a tirade about how we had “cheated him” on the price of gas. Since he didn’t come in and pay cash, I assumed he had paid credit. I explained to him that credit is a few cents more than cash.
“YOU CAN’T DO THAT! THERE’S NOTHING SAYING THAT ANYWHERE!” I gently explained that the LED sign has “cash” written next to the price, as well as a sign on top of the gas pump itself breaking down the cash/credit prices. It’s a fairly large display. He adamantly refused to believe that the signage was out there. So, I left the counter, walked him out to his car, and pointed to the sign above the pump.
I couldn’t believe what he yelled next. “THAT WASN’T THERE BEFORE! YOU’RE TRICKING ME!” He then threatened to call the police and report me for fraud. Uh, sure, go ahead sir. I’ll be inside. The police came, dutifully listened, wrote a report, and then sent him on his way. Obviously, nothing came of it, but…wow. He was so angry.
38. Cheaper Than Therapy
About once a month, my dad gets drunk and calls various customer service centers demanding stuff. Once he finally gets off the phone (frequently 45+ minutes later), he spends the next few days telling us all about how he slew the customer service dragon, and boy, people sure don’t appreciate their customers nowadays blah blah blah.
No duh, dad, you’re being a jerk. No one appreciates that. If you’ve worked for DirecTV customer service any time since 1996, I apologize on behalf of my dad.
39. Cleaning Up
I bought a Dyson vacuum from Target for $500. Literally the very next day, it went on sale for $400. On Target’s website, it specifically states that they will grant you a refund for the difference on any item that goes on sale within seven days of your purchase. I went back to the store the day after buying the vacuum, and the person working customer service didn’t want to give me a refund.
I had to ask for the manager, who also didn’t know about the policy. I had to pull out my phone and show it to them on their own website. I eventually got my refund, but holy hell was that an annoying experience!
40. Telephone Tag
I’ve had unhappy customers call up and ask for the owner of my company by name because they Googled it. I explain to them that that person is technically an owner, but has nothing to do with the business on a day to day basis and doesn’t even live in the same state. I then go on to tell them that I’m the manager, and I try and solve their problem with whatever authority I have.
Meanwhile, I am actually that owner of the company they were looking for. Never show all your cards when negotiating.
41. Penny for Your Thoughts?
One time, I was in a record store with my dad. He bought a record that was 19,99 euros. He paid using a 20-euro bill. The clerk took the money, put it in the register, and gave my dad the CD in a plastic bag. I started walking off when I noticed my dad wasn’t moving. As I turn around, I hear him say to the record store clerk, “You still have to give me my cent back.”
The clerk replies that they don’t return one or two cents because they don’t accept them and as such don’t have them in the store. My dad replies by saying that is “judicially impossible” and asks for the manager. To make a long story short: one of the clerks gave my dad a cent from his own wallet.
42. In Working Condition
I was at a restaurant with my girlfriend and our server was hammered drunk. He could barely stand up straight, and he was slurring his words so bad that I couldn’t even understand what he was saying. Instead of taking our orders, he just stood there staring down my girlfriend’s shirt. When he finally went off to ring in our order, he had to come back to the table three times to double-check what the order was. The order ended up being completely messed up.
I complained to the manager and our entire bill was free. The manager himself even waited on us for the rest of the meal to ensure that nothing else went wrong.
I was busy around Christmastime at an old job sorting out wrapping paper and things like that. The lineup at checkout was getting large, so I jumped on the till. A customer approached me and complained about having to pay five pounds for a plastic bag. She said that she wasn’t going to pay, so I charged her for the rest of her bill and asked for the next customer.
She moaned that she wouldn’t be able to carry everything without a bag. I asked for five pounds. She asked to speak to my supervisor. I said I would go get him. I left the tills, turned a corner, waited a few seconds, and then reappeared, informing her that I was in charge. The look on her face was priceless.
44. Happy Birthday to None
I had this awful, annoying, and terrible neighbor who, because I’m a giant sucker, I used to be nice to. She once asked me to come with her to dinner because it was her birthday, and I knew I was the only person on the planet who would go with her and goshdarnit, it was her flippin’ birthday. How could I possibly say no?
So, she and I went and we brought our kids (all girls, one mine, two hers). She makes her oldest do her math homework right there at the table. When the child asks her for help (mind you this is like third-grade math), the mom says it’s too hard. I end up helping. The waiter is just fine. He comes by and takes our orders.
She is already acting weird, but she always acted weird so I didn’t think much of it. Waiter comes by again and asks if we need anything. She dismisses him, waves him off, and tells him no. Then like 30 seconds later, she turns to me and is like, “Can you believe how awful the waiter is? He won’t even refill my drink!” and just goes on about all these “issues” that literally don’t exist.
I’m like “He just asked if you needed anything…” she cuts me off “I’m going to talk to the manager.” She talks to the manager like this is the worst experience she’s ever had in the history of her miserable existence. I’m in shock. Her kids have their heads down. Mine is oblivious. The manager gives her like half off the meal. Oh, and the kicker?
“That’s my half so you only need to pay the rest!” OH, GEE THANKS!! I left a big tip and a note on my receipt telling them the waiter was great and apologizing for the complaints that were totally not warranted.
45. A One-Man Show
I was eating at a restaurant one time. My food came 45 minutes after I ordered and my drink refill came another 15 minutes after that. Nevertheless, the waiter was very kind and had kept his cool even as others throughout the restaurant were clearly complaining. Then, at one point, I suddenly realized that I hadn’t seen any other server but him the entire time I had been there. He was the only guy working in a packed restaurant.
I told him that I wanted to speak to his manager. I could see him panic a little, so I told him, “Don’t worry, it’s nothing bad.” He brings over his manager and I explain what an amazing job this guy has done, and how he has been extremely kind and courteous to everyone all afternoon. The guy looked very grateful. I told him that he had a great work ethic and that he should be proud of the work he does.
46. Unlucky Strike
I worked at a bowling alley. A little girl of about seven years old had $20 tucked into her sock, and she somehow managed to lose it. Her dad was RAGING and asked for the manager. He demanded that we reimburse her…for the random sock money that she managed to lose…
47. Where You Are, I Was
I don’t like going to restaurants with my mom. She thinks that because she worked as a waitress for a year 35 years ago, it gives her the right to act like a complete jerk to them. She also thinks not tipping them will encourage them to “get their act together.” Joke’s on you mom, I always find our server after we are seated, give them a $20.00, and apologize in advance for your poor behavior.
She also knows what I think of it. She doesn’t care. She believes she’s sticking to her principles, and that tipping poor service (read: never had “good service,” as something will always be wrong), will encourage their laziness. It’s not going to stop. If you wait on her, I am very sorry. She waited tables at a Pizza Hut when she was 20.
She looks back at her time through rose-colored glasses. “I worked hard, went above and beyond to get my tips,” then she yells at the waitress for trying to refill her drinks: “Excuse me! Did I ask for a refill?” Obviously, logic and empathy are not her strong points.
48. Better Luck Next Time
Comcast had been screwing me over. They gave me incorrect equipment, followed by incorrect advice which caused me to waste an entire day troubleshooting the problems which they themselves had caused. They offered to credit me for the prorated portion of my bill, covering the internet portion only for the length of the outage they caused and nothing else. I asked to be escalated to speak to a manager.
The joke was on me, they just never called me back and credited nothing! I switched providers in the end and will never use their services again.
49. Sounds Like Someone Has Had Too Much Caffeine
I used to work at a nice little coffee shop in Seattle. The worst incident there was when a woman came in and asked for a macchiato. So, I made her a macchiato. It was not what she was expecting it to be, and she FREAKING LOST HER MIND!! Apparently, she thought that a macchiato was basically the same as a caramel vanilla latte.
She was so pissed that I genuinely thought she was going to hit me. I grabbed my manager and the woman was quickly escorted out of the shop.
50. Never too Old for Intolerance
My grandmother wasn’t only a “let me talk to your manager” type, she was a racist, and advancing dementia completely turned off her filter for that. I’ve blocked out all the context behind it other than I took her to buy yarn and something went wrong. I think maybe they shorted her a couple of bucks or wouldn’t honor a coupon or something.
Whatever it was ended in a “let me talk to your manager” followed by a tirade to the manager about how they shouldn’t be hiring Mexicans. I just remember having to talk over her and say, “Oh my god you can’t talk to her like that. Nothing you just said is okay,” followed by me trying to push her wheelchair out of the store as fast as possible with her digging her feet into the ground, trying to get me to stop so she could go back to trying to ruin someone’s day.
I got her into the car and then went back in and apologized until I was blue in the face. I wish I could say it was an isolated incident, but it definitely wasn’t. If by any cosmic chance any sales clerks or phone reps that had to deal with my grandmother read this, I am so incredibly sorry. I apologize on behalf of my whole family and I’d give you a hug if I could.
As an interesting side effect of caring for her, I have a tendency to wander off and pretend to look at things when we get to the register if I’m with someone and I’m not the one paying. I think she gave me an honest to God phobia.
51. Please Be Seated
I once watched some Lowe’s employees speak rudely to a little old man who was having trouble remaining standing while trying to shop. I went and got him a lawn chair—and the manager.
52. A Costly Mistake
I am a 21-year-old female, and I was 19 at the time when this story happened. I used to work at a popular fast-food chain and was once listening to one of my crew members interacting with a customer at the drive-thru. The customer was asking a lot of questions about prices on meals with and without drinks, but wasn’t really listening and was starting to ask the same questions over and over again.
My crew member, I’ll admit, definitely had a sassy attitude, but part of the reason I was listening in on them was that she was being so patient with this customer for once! At one point, my crew member accidentally said the wrong price. You know how often you jumble up words when you’re speaking off the top of your head!
The customer then gets really quiet, before aggressively saying, “You think I don’t know you’re lying to me right now?!” She proceeds to start screaming into our drive-thru speaker, asking to speak to the manager. Out I came to see what I could do. I took over on the headset and tried to explain to her that my crew member had accidentally said the wrong word and that her meal without the drink would indeed be cheaper as she had hoped.
She wasn’t having it. She cut us off and came closer to the window, still going off. She asked me, “What the hell is wrong with you?” I had ZERO idea what she was so angry about, so I asked her “What do you mean?” She says, “I MEEEEAN, what the HELL is wrong with you?!” This process repeated several times before everyone behind her started honking and she just gave up, threatening to call corporate on us as she drove away.
When the next car pulled up to the window, the customer in the driver seat immediately said, “Damn, that woman was crazy!” That made the whole thing worth it.
53. Webster’s Definition of “Extra”
I wasn’t there for this (THANK GOD) but my mom once had a LENGTHY email argument of complaints to a hotel’s restaurant because their smothered chicken wasn’t “smothered enough.” One such email included the dictionary definition of smothered.
54. Target Audience
A jerk in front of me at Target was yelling and screaming at the poor cashier about having to pay 10 cents for a plastic bag. He left her in tears, and the last thing he said was “I’m going to get you fired!” I asked her to call her manager while she rang me up, and I told the manager about the interaction I had just seen.
I also asked him why, even though he was standing in the vicinity, did he not stop that man from verbally assaulting his employee. Then, I asked for the district manager’s information so that I could tell them about how the cashier had been lovely, and about the manager failing to step in.
55. Why Is Everyone Always Talking About Me?
I was working in a restaurant a few years ago. It was pretty late after closing one day, and I was waiting for the last table to finish eating so I could clean up. In the meantime, I was doing some other closing work on the other side of the restaurant, talking to a coworker, and glancing occasionally over my shoulder to see if they had left yet.
The lady at the table comes up to me, demanding to see the manager. I say okay, not really grasping how angry she was. I went to go get him. When he arrives, she begins to rant about how my coworker and I were laughing about how she and her friends were “dogs.” I was stunned. In actual fact, my coworker and I had been talking about how he was looking after another coworker’s pets while they were out of town.
In the empty restaurant, they had overheard a few random words, and pieced together their own little false puzzle, believing that my coworker and I had nothing better to do than talk smack about them as they were eating. It says volumes about their self-image, I suppose. She unloads on our manager, who doesn’t believe for a second that my coworker and I would even think, much less say, anything like that about these women.
Knowing that there has obviously been some misunderstanding, he calls us over. I proceed to explain how we were having a conversation about a coworker’s pets. I swear I saw a look of utter embarrassment flash over her eyes, but yet she still continued flipping out. My coworker and I left the scene so that the manager could cool her down, but after calling us rude names for the better part of five minutes she eventually just walked out without paying.
Her friends followed her out a minute or two later, saying that they weren’t paying for her meal, but that we’ll “probably just force it through” on one of their credit cards anyways. That whole thing was probably more embarrassing for her than out and out dumb I suppose, but as far as stupid customer complaints go, that one was pretty over the top.
56. Don’t Pork With Me
One time, my Grandad got a sausage roll at a football match during half time. When he got back to his seat, he found it was overdone, and the pastry was quite burned. The man was irate. He didn’t take it back straight away as the second half was about to start, but he spent much of the second half angrily lamenting his savory snack letdown.
So, he takes it home, calls the customer service number on the back (I assume he had a few choice words for the poor soul on the other end, but I wasn’t present for this), and keeps the remainder of the sausage roll in the freezer for the next couple of weeks. Skip ahead to the next match day, my Grandad tells me we’re heading out early so he can have his sausage roll replaced.
The customer service line told him to go to Kiosk 3 at the front of the grounds next to the ticket office. When we arrive, however, the shutters are down at the food place. The old man looks around, growling and turning red in the face, and stamps right over to window number 3 of the ticket office, slamming his frozen burned sausage roll down like a freaking flaky gauntlet.
At this point I’m trying to convince him the ticket office was a completely different department to the catering concession, but my Grandad was having none of it. The lady working the ticket window continually attempted in vain to convince him the same, that they sell match tickets and not hot snacks, but this just got him angrier and angrier.
Across comes a colleague behind the glass, now there are just two people to rage at. Then a head steward comes to attempt to defuse the situation, and my Grandad begins to wave the burnt sausage roll in this man’s face. I was actually surprised he didn’t whack him with it. At this point, I’m mortified by the whole affair and wishing I had stayed back at the house until nearer to kick off.
Eventually, after an hour or so, the shutters come up on the food concession. Fella at the counter goes “You must be Mr. Alaginge” and calmly resolves the situation, dispatching a freshly baked sausage roll with the steady hands of a surgeon. My Grandad is completely satisfied with the result of his hour of insolent rage. As we’re walking away, he turns to me and says “that’s how you get these things sorted.”
57. Something Fishy…
Just a few weeks ago, my son won the geography bee for his school. To celebrate his victory, we took him out for dinner. He chose a sushi restaurant. By the end of our meal, I made sure to ask for our waitress’ name, so that I knew who to reference when speaking to the manager. I decided to wait and call after we got home.
It was about 7:30 by then, and I knew that calling during the dinner rush probably wasn’t the best idea, but I called anyway. Because of my extreme shyness, I was a little exasperated, out of breath, and nervous. A young man answered the phone and, when I asked to speak to the manager, there was a slight pause before he asked me to please hold in his best customer service voice. He said that she would be right with me.
When the manager answered, I apologized for calling during dinner rush and assured her that I would be quick. I named our waitress and brought up how the kitchen had handled a very serious food allergy. See, my son loves salmon. Meanwhile, I am absolutely very allergic to it. I started with how our waitress took the time to explain each step to me that the sushi chef takes to prepare his work surface and to ensure health and safety. I thanked her for that.
I then told the manager how wonderful our waitress was and how the whole meal was a great experience because of her. Let me tell you, this sweet lady thanked me for calling and actually kept me on the phone for much longer than just my quick recap and thanks! I thanked her for telling me that she appreciated it and, despite my raging anxiety over “talking to the manager,” I’m really glad that I did!
58. Scenes From an Italian Restaurant
I used to work at a fancy Italian restaurant and my manager once received a complaint that we didn’t have a burger and fries option on the menu.
59. Antiques Roadshow: Extra Edition
About the only thing my dad and I have in common is we like to go thrifting. Garage sales, estate sales, antique stores, and charity thrift shops. Thing is, we do it for different reasons. I do it for the fun of finding something unusual and offbeat. My dad does it because he likes to find bargains, to be one-up on the suckers who didn’t know what they had.
So I was mortified when dad went to the charity shop checkout and whined for 10 minutes about being overcharged 50 cents. Left him in the store alone. When he finally came out, I went in and dropped 5 bucks in the donation jar and apologized for my jerk father.
60. Above and Beyond
I didn’t ask for the manager, but I was the manager on duty. I work for O’Reilly Auto Parts. We had a disabled customer come in and need a battery replaced in her truck. I had already spoken to her on the phone but was busy with another customer, so one of my guys got her the battery, and a chair for her to sit in. He started to take her old one out, but couldn’t get it off because it was so corroded that the terminal was stuck.
Before I could get outside to help, another employee who was off that day came in to buy some things to clean his truck. He saw our other coworker struggling with the battery. He spent his own money on battery cleaner, went outside, and sprayed the terminal. He stayed until it had soaked long enough to come off, and even helped install the new battery.
The woman was incredibly grateful for their help and insisted that they take a tip, but per company policy neither would. She asked to speak with me because she was so happy, but also upset that they couldn’t take her money. I passed along her praise to the store manager, and she actually called a few days later to speak with the store manager because she didn’t want their actions to go unnoticed.
She now refuses to shop at any other auto part stores because everyone else treated her disability like a burden on them, and some would even try to refuse her service dog entry into the store.
61. One Minor Problem
I am the manager at a swim school. A lady asked me, “Why won’t you let my child swim in the deep end?” I answered: “Because your child can’t swim!”
62. A Little Decency
My mom needed to return some shirts at the mall because they didn’t fit right. It was past the allotted time that she had to return them, so the employee said that there wasn’t anything she could do. My mom started SCREAMING at this girl who was probably about 16 or 17. Calling her names and demanding to speak to the manager.
When the manager told my mom that they couldn’t do anything and that the return policy was on the receipt, my mom threw a fit and knocked over a display that was next to the register, and then she stormed out of the store. I was probably 6 or 7 at the time, and I was mortified. I apologized for her behavior and picked up what I could before she started calling for me to follow her.
The manager was super sweet to me, though, and told me that I was a good kid and to stick up to my mom while I could get away with it.
63. Rock a Bye Baby
I was eating at a bar/restaurant in Atlanta with a friend. At the same time, both of us noticed a good-sized cockroach crawling along a wall. Several other diners noticed this as well and quickly notified the staff. A manager finally came out of the kitchen and did something that made my blood run cold. He smashed the roach with the side of his bare fist, and said, “Don’t worry, everyone! That was just a baby roach!”
64. Mistaken Identity on All Sides
I used to manage a liquor store in a nearby college town. People would always ask to speak to a manager because we wouldn’t sell them alcohol without a proper ID. They would often try to show me a school ID, as if that would mean anything to me. I also got some social security cards, birth certificates, or other forms of irrelevant pieces of paper like a picture or photocopy of their ID.
The best, though, was when I would work up at the front registers to help out and people would ask me to go get a manager. I would take about two steps, do a 360, then say, “Hi, now get out!”
65. Turn off the Waterworks
Not me, but one that I witnessed: I was at a cell phone store a few years ago. This was when phones first started to become water resistant. A kid had apparently gone swimming with his phone all day, and the phone had some discoloration to the screen and the touch screen wasn’t working correctly.
The kid obviously knew he screwed up, and he kept asking the mom if they could just leave. He said that the phone still worked, and he would survive. The mom didn’t even try to be civil. She came in, and immediately started to be an abusive customer. I remember she laughed as she said, “Oh, you’re gonna hate me. You should just get your manager now.”
66. Unidentified Floating Object
I once found a weird metal orb-shaped object in my soup. After speaking to the manager, it turned out that the bowl of the ladle had fallen off in the kitchen and none of the staff had been able to find it. Free dessert!
67. Getting Down and Dirty
When I was still a young 19-year-old girl, I was the manager at a poorly run restaurant in a strip mall. Two doors down, there was construction going on. One of the construction workers came into my restaurant one day for food. He was slimy-looking and obnoxious. I took his order and started to prepare it. He then asked me for WiFi access.
I told him that unfortunately, our restaurant didn’t have any WiFi access available. He then said that that was too bad because he had wanted to use it to watch “dirty videos” while watching me work. I was horrified and asked him to leave. Not only did he not leave, but he asked to speak to the manager and claimed that I was lying about not having WiFi. I told him that I was the manager and that he had to leave right away.
A few weeks later, he returned. I quit shortly after that.
68. Nailed It
I was young, and my mom and step-dad took us to McDonald’s. Somehow, a nail or something got stuck in the tire and caused a flat. I’m not sure if it happened in the lot or not, but they were convinced it did. They went to talk to the manager. I don’t remember exactly what their demands were, but they didn’t get whatever it was they wanted.
So they literally went into the street waving people away, saying that they were closed, all because they were mad. It just seemed like a ridiculously excessive thing to do.
69. Too Much Tuna, But the Opposite
My mom ordered a tuna sub from Quiznos. When we sat down to eat, her sub had no tuna on it. When she told the employee that her sub was wrong, the employee said, “You ordered a tuna sub with no tuna, no refunds!” Right away, she demanded to speak to the manager. It turns out the guy regularly comes in stoned to work, and this has happened before. She got her tuna.
70. Throwing Shade
I was the assistant manager at a retail store. We were relatively small and our actual manager bounced between our location and another one, so she wasn’t around every day. If she wasn’t around, all “Can I see the manager?” questions went to the acting manager—i.e. yours truly. Most of the time, conflicts were easily resolved and we didn’t need to call our actual manager.
One day, our young employee, Jen, was on the floor and I was the acting manager. This angry woman came in demanding a new pair of high-end sunglasses because the screw had come undone on her pair, causing the lens to pop out. This happened while she was in a parking lot, so when the glass lens fell out, it shattered.
Her one year warranty was up, so we could only offer her 20% or so off of a new pair, or she could contact the manufacturer directly to see if there had been a faulty part. She was not happy about these options, so she went off on poor Jen. She then asked to see the manager. When I came out and asked her what the problem was, she was fuming.
She didn’t believe that I was the manager, and called me a bunch of names. She asked if Jen was actually the manager, and had only said that I was to get out of dealing with the situation. I kept repeating the options to her, and she just continued to scream. Finally, she left—but only after throwing her $300 sunglasses on the ground as she walked out.
They were definitely beyond repair or warranty now.
71. Not Worth the Slip
My mom used to be really into couponing. Like, extreme couponing where the store would pay her after shopping visits. We used to have to wait around for like 20 minutes just to check out so the cashier could scan every coupon. Usually one or two wouldn’t work, so of course, this calls for a manager. Another 10 minutes goes by, just waiting for the manager to come and fix it.
At this point, the cashier starts telling people to get in another line because we’re taking too long (but not in a mean way). It used to take at least a solid half-hour to check out at the store. 9-year-old me hated that. My mom isn’t nearly as extreme as before, though. Usually just a couple coupons, but occasionally there will be a problem and I’ll have flashbacks.
72. That Sinking Feeling
An employee in a nice French Quarter restaurant once took a dump in the men’s room, and then walked out without washing his hands. Moments later, another employee took a pee and also walked out without washing. I didn’t have to ask for the manager, because I had spotted her and discreetly told her what I had seen as she was passing by.
Really makes me wonder about places where employees don’t use the same restroom as customers!
73. I Think She Was Told There Would Be Sandwiches…
I used to work at a concession stand at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center. We had snacks like potato chips and candy, as well as pre-made sandwiches from a local sandwich shop. We only got a certain number of sandwiches for each day, so when we ran out, that was it. This one lady, who was in a wheelchair, came through my line, telling me how she was diabetic and needed to eat a meal.
I showed her that we had trail mix, candy, and chips, but she absolutely COULD NOT eat any of that because she was diabetic—it HAD to be a sandwich and nothing else. I told her that we literally did not have any sandwiches left, but she just kept repeating about how she was diabetic and WAS TOLD THERE WOULD BE SANDWICHES. She was being incredibly rude to me and was making a scene. She said “I was told there would be sandwiches!” about ten times.
By this point, there was a long line forming behind her, watching this scene play out. She asked for the manager, so I told her she could step out of line and wait for the manager, but she wouldn’t budge. The manager came over and told her the exact same thing that I had said. She eventually calmed down, moved out of the line, and agreed to have the chips and candy (for free.)
I don’t know who the hell told her about our sandwiches, but I want to slap them.
74. Look on the Dark Side
I once watched my father lose his lid over those liners for hanging baskets as a teenager. You know the ones that are made of coconut pulp? Anyway, we went to Home Depot and I went with him to buy herb plants. I check out, no big deal. He checks out, and they ring up more expensive than he thought, and he complains.
They were on sale for like 30% off or something. She points out that that was just the smaller ones, not the big ones like he got. He immediately starts screaming about how freaking stupid the people that work there are for “mislabeling” something. Just chews this poor teenage girl out for 10 minutes and then storms right off.
I’m standing there, she’s standing there near tears, and her manager is standing there. I apologize to this girl profusely and call him a jerk. She says “Hey, at least I don’t have to go home with him like you do.” There’s a reason I moved several thousand miles away from him.
I was that guy when I was buying my new car. I happen to love Subaru. I live in the Northeast and it’s fantastic for the snow. It’s also zippy and fun to drive. I was in a local dealer getting what was now going to be my third. I was trading in my second and putting it towards a new 2018. The model that I wanted wasn’t going to be available until September, and it was now only July. No issue at all.
They told me not to put too many more miles on my car in the meantime so that they could still be able to honor the trade-in. I made sure to get everything they said in writing, and even put in a down payment so I could have a physical receipt with the trade-in value posted. Fast forward to September. I call and ask when I can pick up my car.
“Oh, we never said September!” said the receptionist, who refused to let me speak to the salesman I had been with. “It’s due in the first week of December.” This is where alarm bells started going off in my head, but there was not much I could do. Fast forward to the first week of December. “Oh, I never said the first week!” the receptionist says.
After a couple more rounds of this nonsense, I emailed the CEO of the dealership. I listed out all of the runarounds, the lying, and the overall lousy experience that I had received from his employees. A week later, the car magically showed up and they honored their original price. All in all, not a bad result.
76. Fool Me Thrice, Shame On Me
A guy once complained and asked to speak to my manager, accusing me of harassing him—because I kicked him out of the store after the third time he had tried to steal from us.
My manager then called the cops…
77. No Age Limit on Being Rude
Oh God, just the other day my dad got super snippy with the cashier at Trader Joe’s because he thought she was going too slow and chatting too much with the customer ahead of us. This doesn’t really sound like much of a horror story, except that he’s in his 80s and I’m in my 50s, and you’d think by now I’d have gotten past the point where he could make me want the ground to open up and swallow me…but nope. It never ends.
78. Inconvenient Store
I was in a small convenience store one evening. While coming down the last aisle looking for a bar of soap, I saw at least four employees gossiping about how another employee had called off on Thursday AGAIN, and how this time she was going to get fired for it. I didn’t really care one way or another, so I walked up to the checkout lanes to pay for my groceries.
There was only one young lady working the checkout. No biggie, except for the fact that there were five of us in line waiting patiently. The person currently checking out had a whole cart full of stuff and it was taking a while. Now, I have worked in customer service for over 12 years, so I have a lot of patience—but at this point it was late and I was not amused.
This young lady at checkout then very politely asked one of the four gossiping women if someone could please come up and help her check everyone out. Smart move. If you need help, you ask for it! One of the gossiping women starts to walk up, then turns around like she forgot something and just goes back to talking! Now is when I really got upset. Not at the young lady, of course—she was doing her best. But at these lazy women who she had to work with.
Eventually, I walk back there and politely say, “Your fellow employee just asked for help and you have several customers waiting in line—can someone please come and assist her?” One of them begrudgingly did so. It was at that point that I was next in line and decided to ask for the manager. The girl who came up informed me sheepishly that SHE was the one left in charge because there was no manager that night.
I proceeded to explain how poorly she had handled the situation—leaving her fellow co-worker hanging with a lineup full of customers just so that she could hang out with her friends. I emphasized how unprofessional she was overall and how she would never move up in the world acting like a lazy, entitled child. She apologized profusely and rattled off excuses, but I could see the beaming glee on the young lady’s face at the other register as she was still checking out other customers.
It made me realize that this probably wasn’t the first time she was treated that way.
79. Behaving Like an Animal
I work in the admissions department at a zoo. We work closely with the membership department and are really friendly with each other. When people purchase a membership, they get a card that says their name, how many adults, how many children, if they are allowed to bring in guests, etc. The card says clearly that you must show ID for each person on the card, though sometimes we are friendly and/or lazy and only ask to see one ID for the whole group.
Well, a week ago, some guy didn’t have his ID. I don’t know how he drove to the zoo, since you need a form of ID on you to drive. We told him that without an ID, we could not let him in. The guy got mad and started screaming at us, before demanding to see a manager. Our manager came out and explained to the guy that without a piece of ID, we could not let him in. She also showed him on the card, where it explains this policy clearly.
The guy then screamed at her and demanded to be put in touch with someone higher up. So, she gave him our corporate number and he drove off. Good luck with that, buddy!
80. One Way to Get Your Vegetables
We went through the drive-thru at Taco Bell. I asked for 3 soft tacos, no lettuce. When my mom saw my tacos with lettuce on them, she made a U-turn and went back. She walked inside and threw an unwrapped taco in the cashier’s face. “These were supposed to be without lettuce. What does this look like to you!?” SMACK.
81. Folk Tail
Here’s how a conversation that I once had with a male cashier went: Cashier: “Is that all you’re getting today?” Me: “Yep, just trying to stay warm!” Cashier: “Can I ask you a question?” Me: “Sure.” Cashier: “Can I pull your ponytail?” Me: “Umm, no. You cannot.” [Proceeds to insert card in chip reader, looking around nervously] Cashier: “I just love ponytails.” Me: “I’ll take the receipt please.”
I didn’t call the manager at first, but I finally did when he wouldn’t stop repeating his request. That behavior was so uncalled for.
82. What an Incredible Statement
I work in the investor relations department of my company. I once had a shareholder complain and ask to speak to a manager because he had only been getting his quarterly statement every three months.
83. Fourteen and Not Ready to Fight
I remember we went out for dinner for my 14th birthday. My mom was not happy about the speed of the service (we did have to wait a long time for both our order to be taken and food to arrive). When the food came, there was some problem with one of the meals. I think it might’ve been mine, but I can’t remember exactly what it was—probably I’d asked for it without something and they’d forgotten, but it was the sort of thing that you could easily let slide.
Instead, my mom complained to the poor waitress and escalated it to the manager. She made quite a scene and dragged me in, as it was my birthday. I sat there in silence, looking at my feet, wishing the world would swallow me up.
84. Short Term Memory Loss
I once literally paid for my order at a drive-thru, and the kid working there refused to give it to me because he was so high that he forgot how the whole process worked. I refused to move my car until I received my food, so this little idiot just let 8-10 cars pile up in line behind me before finally grabbing a manager.
The manager literally looks at him, grabs the food which was sitting in a bag right next to him, and hands it to me. Too little, too late. I insisted upon a refund as well. I think at least 15 cars packed in behind me before the situation was finally resolved. I felt like the world’s biggest jerk, and am never going back there again.
85. Dog Days
I am the manager of a pet service company. We offer a few free services to fancy apartment buildings in exchange for them marketing for us. We do dog walking, pet sitting, training, that sort of stuff. One of our free services is a dog playgroup. Lots of our customers get walks and enjoy the group, but then there are some people who just come for the free stuff.
That’s fine, we expect that. But some people take the free stuff and also use a different dog walking/doggy daycare company. It was playgroup day and this customer said she wanted her dog to come to the free service, but his regular walker was coming at noon—so we MUST have him ready for pickup at noon. We took him to play and then made an effort to get the dog ready right on time.
Our employee saw his other walker coming into the building, so she brought the dog up to the front to wait. Apparently, that dog is normally crated while waiting to be picked up, but our employee didn’t know that. The regular walker called the owner later and told her that the dog wasn’t crated. The owner FLIPPED. She called me up saying that her dog “could have died.”
Umm, unless this woman regularly leaves poison on her floor, the chances of that are zero. So, in her fury, she asks to be taken off our client list and wants nothing to do with us. But when the time comes a week or so later for another free service that she sees her neighbors getting, she’s furious that her dog didn’t get one.
86. Dine or Die?
Not my parents, but I remember going on vacation with a friend and only then realizing that her parents treated waitstaff like trash. In one dinner, the mother reamed the waiter out because there was a hair on her MENU, and later accused him of trying to kill her diabetic husband because their iced tea was pre-sweetened (even though the menu obviously listed that Lipton raspberry iced tea that comes from a soda fountain).
87. Let’s Lock the Door and Throw Away the Key
I was once locked in an Italian restaurant in Amsterdam after trying to leave, about 50 minutes after ordering a pizza. About 10 people came in after us, ordered, and were served, while we waited and waited and waited. Eventually, I decided that I’d had enough, and made a move to leave. At that moment, a crazy old Italian woman (who turned out to be the manager) charged at me, blocking the path to the door, which she then locked.
She began to scream at me, about two inches from my face. The other diners were horrified. Three of her huge sons then appeared from the kitchen, all very menacing. She threatened to call the police, which I insisted that she did. She didn’t, instead choosing to berate me with a series of progressively aggressive, um, cultural statements. I dug my heels in, refused to pay for the pizza that we had never been given, and, after about 15 minutes, made a firm move back towards the door, which I managed to now unlock. We were free.
This was definitely the worst outcome to a bad case of the munchies that I’ve ever had…
88. A Steak in the Matter
I was a waiter at a small restaurant for a number of years. Our worst incident involved a group of six to eight guys, all in their late teens or early twenties. They went all out, ordering expensive drinks and cocktails. Everyone ordered steak as their entree. One guy, who had seemed suspicious to me right from the start, ordered his steak medium well, with every sauce available.
They stayed for over two hours, racking up the bar tab after they had cleaned off their plates. Some of them were even literally licking their plates at one point. Well, they eventually called for the bill and I dutifully brought it over to their table. The suspicious guy pulled me aside and informed me that he would not be paying for his steak.
Intrigued, I asked him to explain. Apparently, in his opinion, the garlic butter was frozen, rendering the steak that he had happily wolfed down “completely inedible.” I looked him dead in the eye and said, “Dude, the garlic butter doesn’t even stay in the freezer, there’s no way it could’ve been frozen.” The guy took offense to this and demanded to see my manager.
I went to the back office and explained the situation to him. As we were going through the kitchen, he stopped and asked if their plates were still in the unwashed stack. They were, and every plate was empty. The manager and I walked back out to the table. He asked what seemed to be the problem. The guy pointed at me, saying that I had an attitude problem.
He demanded that his inedible steak be taken off the bill. The guy then explained that he goes to some of the best steakhouses in the city, and knows a lousy steak when he sees one. The manager then looks at our customer, looks over at me, turns back to the customer, and plainly says: “What kind of freaking moron orders all three sauces on one steak?”
A screaming match ensued, with the entire table telling the manager that he was an idiot. The manager told them to get the hell out of his restaurant.
89. Slow and Steady Wins the Petty Race
When me and my sister were younger, we got drive-thru from McDonald’s and they screwed up our orders. So Granny spent two and a half hours on the phone, going up the chain of command and reading the riot act to whoever picked up. Something you ought to know about Granny is that she talks a lot, and she talks very slowly, to the point where it’s frustrating even when she’s not tearing you a new one.
I can only imagine how unpleasant the experience was for those on the other end.
90. I Don’t Give a Hoot
I was at Hooters once watching a UFC event. I ordered 20 wings and a pretzel with a beer. After 30 minutes, I had received nothing—not even the beer. An hour after originally ordering, still nothing. I ended up asking the manager if my order had gotten lost or something. He apologized and said that my order was now first priority.
Another 30 minutes pass, and still no food. The manager then walked past me and jokingly asked if I had finished it all that fast. I told him that actually, it had still never even come. The guy got angry, went into the kitchen, and made it himself. He brought it all out within 15 minutes and told me that the whole meal was now on the house and that anything else I wanted would be free.
91. Proof of Purchase
This guy yesterday asked for my manager because he couldn’t wrap his head around the fact that we can’t print out a store receipt for an order from our website.
92. Tolerance Is Only For Those He Likes
I’d just come out to my parents. They’d never shown an ounce of homophobia before in their lives. We go for dinner at a nice restaurant and the restaurant accidentally put two steaks on our bill instead of one. My dad pointed this out to the waiter (who I’d gone to school with), and the waiter immediately apologized and fixed it.
Well, this just wasn’t good enough for my dad. He started shouting at the poor waiter about how terrible it was and how the restaurant was deliberately trying to rip us off, and then he demanded a discount. When the waiter apologized again and said he couldn’t do a discount, my dad asked to speak to the manager.
The manager came out, was berated by my dad as he said how incompetent the waiter was and how terrible the service had been (it was fine), and how the waiter was trying to rip us off. The (gay) manager told him that the problem had been promptly fixed, the extra steak was purely an accident, and he didn’t feel we deserved a discount.
That set my dad off into nuclear mode. He started screaming obscenities and phobic slurs at the manager, threw the money down on the table without a tip, and stormed out. I was so embarrassed, I wished the ground would open up and swallow me whole. I quietly apologized as I left, but I couldn’t be too loud or long, because if my dad had heard me, he’d have turned his wrath on me.
93. Getting Cheesy
My parents stopped to get some fast food during a long car trip down to the beach. I ordered a hamburger and requested it to be without cheese. They managed to screw this request up. No big deal, my mom just politely hands the burger back and asks for a new one. The cashier turns around, trying to conceal her actions with her body, then takes the burger out of the wrapper and scraped the patty against the edge of the counter to remove the cheese.
She then tries to hand it back to my mom as if nothing had happened. We asked to speak to the manager.
94. Baby, Baby, Baby, Ouch!
I used to work at a sandwich and wing place several years ago. I once had a woman order hot wings for delivery. After they were delivered, she called the restaurant enraged that “those hot wings made [her] baby cry!” The manager politely offered to send her mild ones instead, and didn’t bother to comment on the stupidity of feeding spicy chicken wings to a baby…
95. Thank Goodness for Paul Blart
My dad got escorted out of a mall by security and banned from the entire mall for making a sales assistant cry after shouting at her for about 30 minutes because they wouldn’t fix my water-damaged phone. He’s a jerk who thinks rules and policies don’t apply to him, and that being aggressive and demanding will get him what he wants. I cut off contact with him a few years ago.
96. What the Fork??
I went to a restaurant, waited an hour and a half for food, never got forks, asked for forks, got 20 forks dumped on our table (for a party of four). We tried to complain to the manager. He did nothing but try to make sure that we would still be paying for the meal. We finally just got up and left.
97. Taxation Without Representation
I used to work at the front desk of a hotel. I once had a woman throw a complete temper tantrum because the state that we were in charged a six percent room tax. She absolutely DEMANDED that I remove the tax from her bill. I told her that we had no control whatsoever over taxes. She still wouldn’t accept the reality of taxes, so I printed off the contact information for her state representative and told her to direct her complaints to them.
She did not like that at all. She started screaming at me, so I got my manager. My manager basically repeated what I had already said. The woman grabbed the bowl of mints on our counter, threw it at my head, and stormed out. We had her credit card on file and charged her for the full amount.
98. The Cat’s Out of the Bag
I’ve done this once, kind of. I was wearing my glasses, yoga pants, and a loose t-shirt while out grocery shopping. Usually, I bag my own groceries, but the store’s bagger was already standing there, so I let him do it. He started kind of chatting me up while bagging. Whatever, right? Then he says: “I love those glasses on you, they make you look really sexy! Have you considered doing adult films? I think you should, I’d love to watch that!”
I’m in SHOCK. I don’t even know what to say. I look over at the cashier, who is about as wide-eyed and stunned as I am. The cashier immediately gets on the intercom and calls for a manager, and basically screams that’s it’s urgent. The cashier then moves the bag boy away from me, and even acts as a barrier between the two of us.
The manager sprints up, and the cashier tells the story to the manager. The bag boy does not even seem to realize that what he said was not appropriate. I get my groceries for free, along with a store credit, and the bagger was fired on the spot and escorted out. Some other employees also escorted me out to my car to help me put my groceries away and to make sure that I felt safe, after the bag boy was gone so that he couldn’t see what kind of car I drove or what my license plate number was.
99. With a Little Help From a Stranger
This past week, a customer service rep on the phone went above and beyond, and I asked to speak to their supervisor so I could tell them how great of a job they did. They said that they were the supervisor, but appreciated the kind words. I left another note in the email survey, but that probably won’t do anything. She really did something they didn’t have to do and that I didn’t ask her to do.
It was weird having a customer service rep actually taking a personal stake in my issue when they could have just brushed it off as a routine “nope.”
100. Calling Out His Racism
I used to work in a call center doing tech support for a home broadband company. One member of my team, Victor, was a lovely fella. He was absolutely one of the nicest people I’ve ever met. He was also from Niger and had the thickest West African accent you’ve ever heard. Anyways, he was helping this one customer who just wasn’t having it.
The guy was flipping out left, right and center. He asked to speak to a manager, so I got pulled in. I asked what the issue was, and he said that the guy he’d been talking to refused to fix his broadband. I replied, “Well, sir, Victor has just told me about the issue, and it seems that you will need an engineer to come and take care of it in person.”
Then he said, “AND ANOTHER THING, why am I speaking to an Indian?” I asked him to repeat himself. He did. I explained that I was English, and he said, “Not you, the idiot before! He was Indian!” I was stunned. I said, “Well, not that it’s important, but Victor is actually African.” Then he said something that made my blood run cold. He went: “Pfft, they’re all the same color anyway!”
It was at that point that I hung up and forwarded the call to our legal department. Screw that guy!
101. You’re Coming With Me
I was at an Applebee’s with my grandma on like my 12th birthday. She and my aunt were just non-stop complaining about how cold their salads were and how it was taking ridiculously long. She ended up pounding on the table, DEMANDING she speak to somebody like she was freaking two. This was in a busy, crowded restaurant, and some poor girl who was already busy had to stop all she was doing to speak with my grandma.
She then started saying how the salad was so crummy and made a big scene. She couldn’t get a new salad for some reason I can’t remember, so then she yanked my arm, and as everyone stared at us, she said, “Come with Grandma! We’re gonna go to a place that has better service.” I was ssoooooooo embarrassed.
102. My Chemical Bread
Once at a Cheesecake Factory, I ate a piece of bread that tasted like it was soaked in some sort of chemical. I had to spit it out. I informed the waitress that, “This bread tastes like Windex or something.” She responded, “We don’t use Windex here!” and just walked away. No way was I letting that one go without calling a manager!
103. Oh, Man!
Several years ago, I worked as a supervisor at a call center. It’s important to note that I’m a woman. This jerk of a customer was once referred to me because he wasn’t happy with the answer he was given by one of my workers. He asked me for the “manager” again. I told him that I was the manager. He said: “I said I wanted the manager. M – A – N, manager! Now give me somebody with short hair and a tie!”
I hung up immediately. Then I secretly died of laughter.
104. Read It or Weep
My mom REFUSES to show people at Walmart her receipt when we are leaving. It is annoying that they ask, like all of our stuff is bagged, c’mon. But she will fight them over it. She says she hates being treated like a criminal when she has clearly paid, and I get that I guess. But come on, just show the darn thing and we can leave. But she’d rather stay and argue until they admit defeat.
105. Movin’ Out
I moved states back in December. My new employer offered to reimburse me up to $3,000 for help in relocating. I got a quote from a company to move my stuff for me totaling $2,000, so I put down a $400 deposit to lock in my spot. It’s the day of the move. I’m already at my new job a state over, so my partner is handling things back home.
The movers show up, take a quick glance around the place, and tell him that the estimate has to go up because there’s more stuff there than what was listed and it all looks bigger than expected. This was impossible as I had given them a clear list of our belongings, including dimensions—but because I’m at work, I don’t have an opportunity to tell my partner about this or speak with the movers on the phone.
My partner asks what the cost will increase to and the guy tells him we will owe $4,000. But oh! They will be nice and give us a discount, to cut it down to $3,100. Neither my partner nor I have the time to move at a later date and we already put down $400 towards the nonrefundable deposit, so we begrudgingly agree to the 50% price increase.
When he finally got to our new place, my partner confessed that the whole thing felt like a scam—especially in that the guys didn’t even take a full look around our place at all the furniture, so they couldn’t have known what an increased estimate would entail. I called up the company and actually got pretty high up there in terms of the managers I was speaking to.
My new employer was threatening legal action, but none of it went anywhere because I had unwittingly signed a waiver allowing them to do what they did. It’s an incredibly scummy business practice and I let the highers-up know that, but I’m sure it still won’t change anything. Some research post-move revealed that the Better Business Bureau has received an increase in reports regarding this very issue within the past 12 months.
I will never use or recommend this company again.
106. Sick of Seeing Her
I was once managing two stores while one of our other managers was on maternity leave. That day, I had a terrible cold and there was nobody available to replace me. So, I went to the store, opened it up, and went to take a nap in the back, leaving everything in the hands of my salespeople. That same day, this one woman showed up who always seemed to be returning whatever she had last bought, whether or not there was anything wrong with it.
Lo and behold, that was the reason she had come in this time too—she wanted to return some clothes. She walked in and immediately demanded to speak to the manager, screaming about how the salespeople could not be trusted. That was a big mistake. Imagine my face, red with fever, not wearing any makeup, and hair undone. I was scary looking.
I took back the clothing from her, then escorted her out of the store saying that I never wanted to see her again. I angrily informed her that she was a waste of my time and that our store no longer cared about satisfying her feelings by taking back her unwanted clothing. A couple of weeks later, I was at the other store—and guess who I saw? Yup, that woman.
She took one look at me from outside the door and immediately started walking away. Don’t mess with me when I’m sick.
107. Not a Frisbee
My dad’s always been a bad influence on well…everyone, but one day when I was 13 my Minecraft disc got scratched and was unreadable. So, we went to GameStop with the express purpose of just getting the copy returned, except we were over the warranty by four days. My dad threw the disc at the cashier and stormed out (without getting me a new copy, I may add).
Yeah, there’s a reason I’ve booked a one-way flight 6,600 miles away from that guy.
108. Telephone Tag
Someone at my doctor’s office messed up. They changed my medical insurance but put the wrong date in, which put me in the hook for the full cost of my preventive care. I tried explaining to them that there was no way it was my fault—since according to the records, the date of my visit occurred months before my new insurance even existed. “Sorry, nothing we can do about it” was their only reply. Yeah, right!
Paying that amount of money would literally have destroyed my life, so I kept calling both the office and the insurance company, collecting information and escalating things with both of them. Finally, I asked to speak to a manager. The manager at the insurance company turned out to be an amazing woman, and she said, “Just give me the phone number of your doctor’s office and I will deal with this for you.”
I did that. Then, she called me back about 10 minutes later to let me know that everything was all set and that I no longer had to worry about any problems. I really wish I could have listened in on that conversation!
109. She’s Got it in the Bag
While working in retail, a woman came in demanding to speak to a manager. She was furious that we had not bagged one of the items she had paid for the day before. She claimed to have paid for four sets of boxers, but only found 3 in the bag. We looked up her receipt on our register and saw that we had only charged her for three. We even looked back at the security tape to see that she had only brought three to the register.
After giving her a call back saying that she had only purchased and paid for three, she blew up. Racial slurs, profanities, and threats were made about how we were all scamming her. 20 minutes later, she showed up at the store with her receipt to prove that she had paid for four. We counted together. One, two, and three.
Instead of accepting the obvious facts, she ripped up the receipt and reiterated that she had paid for four. She started knocking down clothes on our racks and then stormed out. The owner asked her not to come back again.
110. Maybe the Real Horror Show Was Your Dad
Oh god. This all reminds me of my attempt at seeing Shaun of the Dead with friends in theaters. I was over 18, but didn’t have ID, my friends were 17 or so, also without ID. Theater policy was you need ID to both purchase and enter the theater for R-rated movies. My dad bought the tickets and left, but then we couldn’t get in because we had no IDs.
When my dad got back to the theater, he went freaking BERSERK and ranted at a frankly astonishing, window-rattling max volume about how this isn’t Nazi Germany, and we don’t need to show our papers every ten feet. He bought the tickets, that should be enough rah rah rah. It’s a bit of a nonsense policy, but it doesn’t deserve that kind of reaction, you know?
It was the most horrifying and embarrassing thing ever. I was trying to get the indignant rage beast to leave the theater and stop making a scene. It’s one of the many reasons I do not visit him.
111. Breaking Bread
I was in a Panera Bread, and the woman ahead of me was asking for help with finding another restaurant where she was supposed to be meeting a friend. She was older and obviously a little confused. The employee spent at least 10 minutes with her, helping her find the restaurant on her phone, calling the other restaurant to confirm their location, and going over the directions to get there with her a few times.
She was very flustered, which made it even harder for her to process everything, yet the entire time, he was patient and kind. She eventually left without buying anything. Afterward, I spoke with the manager to tell her what an awesome job he did and how impressed I was. People tend only to complain about what goes wrong, and I really wanted them to hear about everything he did right!
112. Anything You Can Do, She Can Do Better
I’m a female and I work in a video game store. One time, some guy walked right up to the counter and asked if there was a male around that he could speak to. At first, I thought that he had said manager, so I went to get my male manager. The guy’s mother then explained to me that he just didn’t think that a girl would know what to do about his problem.
He refused to tell me the problem for over 10 minutes, as our manager was busy with something else and not ready to see him yet. When he finally gave in and described the problem, I was able to immediately tell him what was wrong straight up. He refused to believe me and insisted on waiting for the manager to come out. Finally, our manager came out a few minutes later, the guy explained the problem again, and our manager said the exact same thing that I had just said.
It was nothing short of pure bliss seeing this customer’s face register the fact that I knew more about his freakin’ Xbox than he did!
113. Maternal Lockdown
I was 13 when this happened. My mom had made a reservation at a hotel for a trip, but when she got there the lady said there was some error with the reservation and that my mom’s payment didn’t go through, so the lady offered us a double bed room for a discount. Rather than just taking the room, thanking the lady, and leaving, my mom decided the best course of action would be to scream, in the middle of a hotel lobby, “NOBODY IS GOING ANYWHERE TIL I GET MY FREAKING ROOM!”
She then proceeded to pester the lady, who clearly couldn’t do anything about it, until eventually, she called the police on my mom for public disturbance. Mortifying.
114. Lending a Hand
I once had a pizza delivery guy ask me if I lived alone while putting my change into my hand—and then holding it. It really freaked me out, given that he was so much bigger than me, that it was late at night, and that I did indeed live alone. I said no, slammed the door on him, and called the pizza place after he left to tell his manager that his behavior was not acceptable.
I definitely double-checked the locks that night…
115. Connecting the Dots
One of the heads of a radiology department was infuriated when there was a network outage in his area. He stormed up into our support area, screaming for a manager. That manager turned out to be me. I listened to him rant and rave for a bit, then finally decided to take a walk down there to see what I could actually do to help. I started looking around and found a bunch of $10 network hubs splitting one PC connection to 8 PCs.
I started laughing and asked who put these hubs in. He said, “I did, what’s so funny?” I explained that he was the source of his own problem. I started disconnecting the hubs and, guess what? The network came back up right away! I confiscated about seven hubs from him and told him that if he ever needs more connections, he has to contact engineering and have them run more lines on his behalf.
He was not amused.
116. Ready, Aim, Fire
The number of cashiers who my father demanded the manager fire because they were too slow, rang us up wrong, etc., including one they actually did. I’ll never forget that girl taking her Home Depot apron off and walking away sobbing. To his credit (I guess?), my dad seemed surprised that it actually worked. He must have felt at least some level of guilt, and never did it again.
117. Checking People Out
I was at a grocery store once when I was about 19 years old. There was a young girl alone in front of me buying some groceries. She couldn’t have been older than 12. The guy working the register was at least in his 60s. The register guy asks her if the guy behind her (as in me) is her boyfriend. This gets my attention. She says no.
He then asks if she has a boyfriend. She says no. He then makes some creepy comment, and asks, “Did you get a ride here?” She says no, she had walked. A creepy smile comes across his face and he says, “Well, it’s about to rain and I’m getting off of work in a few minutes, why don’t you just sit over at that bench and I’ll give you a lift home when I finish up here?”
I don’t remember exactly how she responded, but I recognized that she did not actually want a ride from him but was too young and/or shy to say no to an adult. She paid and sat down on the bench. He began to ring my groceries up. I was the last in line before the register closed. I must have been making a disgusted face because, in a cold tone, he suddenly asked, “Do you have a problem here?”
I was caught completely off guard, so I just put on a smile and said, “Nope!” I’m was never the type to normally confront someone, especially not when I was younger. But he kept looking me in the eye and it was the creepiest thing. Alarm bells were sounding off in my head. Despite being a little nervous, I asked if he knew that girl. He paused, coldly looked at me, and said, “Now, that’s my business. You’d best just pay and walk on.”
I can’t really describe why, but I felt really nervous. I’m not a nervous person, so it was this odd, surreal feeling I was experiencing. I paid and began to leave, approaching the girl who was just watching me. I felt the guy also watching me from the register, but I still stopped at the bench where the girl was sitting.
I asked her if she knew him, and she said no. I told her that she shouldn’t take rides from strangers. Then, hypocritical as it was, I asked if she wanted me to give her a ride home instead. She paused, looked at the register, then said no. I turned and saw the guy giving me the look of death. I was so uncomfortable.
So, I walked over to the counter at the end of the store where they sold cigarettes and those things, keeping an eye on the girl the entire time. I asked to see the manager. The next 20 minutes were awkward as hell. The manager (a woman) came and asked me to describe what had happened. Being that most of it was my gut feeling, it was hard to describe, but she took it all very seriously.
Part of me kept asking myself what if I was wrong here and he didn’t do anything bad? I was having an internal battle in my head. The guy put a grandpa-like spin on everything he had said, then claimed that he has given dozens of people rides home when it’s raining. It’s just a kind thing to do, he argued. He kept trying to say that I was up to trouble and just trying to make a creep out of him—100% playing the victim. No hint of his serious or intimidating persona was there anymore.
The manager ended up driving the girl home herself. She then called me to say that the girl was home safely and that she was implementing a new policy forbidding workers from driving customers home. The guy didn’t get in trouble. I saw him on and off there for years, but I never went to his line again. To this day, I don’t know if I overreacted, but I only got that alarm feeling two other times in my life, and those were both clear and apparent dangers.
So, I’m going with my gut on this one and saying that I probably did that girl a great service.
118. Having Your Chocolate and Eating It Too
I worked at an independent chocolate shop that sold various flavors of truffles, brownies, and drinks. We also had non-dairy options, vegan options, and nut free options available. A woman demanded to speak to the manager because we did not have a “dairy free, nut free, sugar-free, vegan” option. Luckily, the owner literally just laughed and said, “We do have one, it’s called water.”
I have never seen such entitled rage in my life!
119. Never Too Old to Learn
My mom used to run restaurants. My stepfather used to be a chef in high-end restaurants, and is the kind of guy who expects to be treated better than he is currently being treated, regardless of whatever that treatment is. They are not fun to go out to eat with. The “most embarrassing experience” is actually their most embarrassing experience: one where I embarrassed them.
My wife and I pride ourselves on being a “relief” table when we go out to eat. Both of us have been servers, and there’s always the counterpoint to the difficult table. That’s us. Barring horrible service or bad food, we are super easy customers, tip well, and try to have a good time with our server. Furthermore, we just treat people nicely.
So, you can imagine our disdain when my parents act like they’re freaking royalty at a dinner service. One day, my wife and I went out to dinner with them. They were being particularly tough. My mom was acting like she was Gordon Ramsay, analyzing the business, critiquing everything down to the amount of bubbles in her seltzer (“looks like it’s time to change the CO2”).
My stepdad was getting more and more heated over stupid things like the amount of ice in his drink and how the waitress didn’t top off his water (that he was barely sipping on) fast enough. It came to a head when my stepfather ordered a steak medium well, it came back medium well, and for some reason, he changed his mind and said he wanted it medium rare while it was cooking. They jumped really quickly to demanding free stuff.
I’m an adult, and this may be the first time they realized this. I interrupted them in front of the server and said something like, “really? This is what you’re doing. That’s what you ordered…” I turned to the server and said, “We do not need anything comped.” I then pulled out my wallet and handed her my card and said, “This is for the bill. We’ll happily wrap up with what we have here. I’m very sorry for their behavior, you’re doing great.” Then came the line that stung them so deeply, they still bring it up years later.
“I was taught to treat people nicely, a lesson that seems to have been forgotten. Thank you.” They turned red, the server walked away, I looked down, cut my steak, and didn’t say a word. They were so flabbergasted that the meal was virtually silent except me asking my stepfather how his steak was a few minutes later. I signed the check, gave a big tip, and we walked out and said goodbyes. They’ve been nicer to servers each time that we’ve gone out since.
I went through the drive-thru at my local Whataburger at about 11:00 one night. The woman working the window was about middle-aged, extremely obese (this matters), and in tears. Several of her younger coworkers were saying really mean things to her. They were saying them so loudly that I could hear them clearly, even through the window and over my engine and radio.
They were saying things like “You are such a fat loser, you should be hunted like an elephant!” and telling her that she should kill herself. They were absolutely vile. She was doing her best to hold it together, but she was crying. I got my food, tried to say something kind to her, then told my husband that we were not leaving yet.
I parked the car, walked in, and asked for a manager. When he came to the front, I told him everything I had heard, pointed out which of the little idiots I could identify, repeated their specific taunts, and then told him that the woman had handled herself very professionally and deserved a raise. I then turned and asked those guys what the hell their payoff was from picking on a woman who they deemed less valuable than themselves? I pulled the classic old lady move and told them that their mothers should be ashamed that they raised such hateful sons.
The manager was extremely apologetic and offered to refund my money, but I told him I did not care about anything like that. I came in because it was BS that his employees thought they could get away with treating another person that way. If he wanted to make it right, he would have to actually handle the situation and ensure a safe work environment, because that behavior was unacceptable.
I don’t know what happened, but she still works there. I hope she’s okay.
121. If It Clucks Like a Chicken…
I once brought out an order of chicken parmesan to a lady at the restaurant I work at. The lady took one bite, called me over, and asked if there was really chicken in the chicken parmesan. I told her that of course there was. She immediately broke down crying because she is a vegetarian, and asked to speak to a manager.
122. You’re F-F-Fired!
I was at a McDonald’s drive-thru one time, and I have a mild stutter. I usually get through most daily tasks without issue, but ordering food is my nemesis for some reason. I went to the first window to place my order, and the girl working there said, “If you don’t stop talking like that I’m not taking your order.”
I said, “Excuse me?! I’ve had this problem since I was four years old, what makes you think I can just s-s-stop it?!” She responds, “STOP IT!!!” I asked for her manager, who did nothing but say “yea, I’ll talk to her.” I phoned corporate because I hadn’t been ridiculed like that since elementary school. Corporate said they’d get back to me. That was about nine years ago. I’m still waiting.
123. You’re Fired
I was 19 shopping with a friend. She was (still is) a smaller person than myself. She was trying on a shirt and needed a size up so i took it back out to find a bigger size. I couldn’t locate it so I ask a salesgirl if she could help me find a bigger size. She takes the shirt in a gruff way. I ignore it. She comes back with a hat and hands it to me. I say, “Um what’s this?”
She said, “This is the only thing in this store that will fit you”, contempt dripping from her lips. I’m like, oh I see. I go to the dressing room, tell my friend we need to leave now. She gets dressed. Tries to clean her mess, I tell her to leave it. We walk out, I go to the register with the hat, it’s busy. My friend asks what’s up with the hat.
I say loudly, “According to that girl this is the only thing in the store that fits me.” My friend, shocked, lost her mind. Because her parents owned the store. That’s how I got a girl fired because I was feeling petty. Saw that girl later that week where I worked. I smiled and showed her what customer service should be.
124. Love, Money, or Mother?
I worked at Best Buy. I stopped in with my mom one day because she wanted to buy me the Star Wars DVD box set for my birthday. I had a huge, HUGE crush on the girl who was working the customer service counter. Well, the DVD set rang up $10 more than it was priced, and my mom deliberately didn’t say anything until after the transaction.
Why? Well, so she could claim the freaking $5 Michigan Scan Law bounty. My crush didn’t know how to process it and the manager was busy, so my mom tore into her about how it was her job and how she should understand how to do things. At my job. To a girl I liked. My life was misery for a while afterward.
125. In the Garden of Pettiness
I grew up in a smaller town right on the cusp of its big growth boom. We knew our town had finally made it when we got an Olive Garden. We used to eat there 2-3 times a month. My mom and I would always split an entree, and my dad would get his own. We knew the rule: if you’re splitting an entree and you get more than one of the family-style bowls of salad, you’ll get charged an extra $4 for the extra person.
Welllll one day, my dad decides he wanted more salad. Only he wants the additional salad, but the waitress said if she refills the bowl, we’ll be charged the extra $4. Lo and behold, my parents’ threw the biggest tantrum because only HE wanted the additional salad. They demanded to speak to a manager, and the manager explained the rule (which we knew), but offered to comp the extra salad just to get my parents to stop yelling…and they did.
When our bill came, the manager comped my dad’s entree and the additional salad fee. Well, my mom got up. Interrupted the manager while he was talking to other guests, threw the check in his face, and asked, “What’s this?!?!” She was furious that he comped my dad’s meal. He ate the meal, therefore we would like to pay for it.
She wouldn’t stop raising her voice until she was allowed to pay for the meal (but not the salad). The manager was confused but obliged…when they brought the change, the manager slipped a few free appetizer coupons. It was a huge mistake. My mom ripped them up and threw them on the ground as she left. Safe to say, I didn’t eat out with them for at least a month and I still refuse to go to Olive Garden with them.
126. Sir, I’m Afraid You Are Mistaken!
At our local Red Lobster, someone once grabbed the “manager” to tell him that his shrimp was cold and that he wanted a free beer as compensation. He even went as far as to exclaim that he could get better fish by fishing. This “manager” was actually just my dad, who was there to pick me up from work, but apparently looked like an authority figure since he had a tie on.
My dad replied, “That’s cocktail shrimp, you moron!”
127. I Threw It on the Ground!
A couple of years ago my phone broke, and my dad was taking me to Walmart to get a new one. Got there, and it turns out their phone section had been bought out by a company or something, and that it wouldn’t be reopened for another couple of months. Whatever, no big deal to me, we could just go to a phone store in the mall.
NOPE. My dad throws my broken phone on the floor and starts stomping on it, telling these people what a “crock of manure” their store is, and that they should have it very clearly advertised that their phone department was closed. He demanded to talk to a manager about it. As I was walking away in pure embarrassment, he yells. “OY, WHERE YOU GOING?” I died a little that day.