Some say that working in customer service is easy. NOPE. From entitled Karens to creepy guests, these hospitality heroes have served the worst of the worst. At the end of the day, it takes a refined skill set to deal with the uglier sides of humanity. Buckle up, because these brave souls have some shocking stories to share.
1. A Big Splash
I worked at a McDonald's in my sophomore year of high school. Some lady went through the drive-thru at about 1 AM and someone accidentally gave her Diet Coke instead of regular. In her rage, she threw the drink back through the window—but that wasn’t what it made it memorable. It was where the drink landed. The drink splashed right into the hot frying oil and it began to sizzle and splatter—and then, it splashed all over one of our co-workers.
The lady drove away pretty fast, but the manager got her license plate number off the cameras. She was sued for that incident.
2. Just Being Neighborly
One of my favorite stories from my brief time in customer service was when a man who called up the night after a minor hurricane started screaming that his service didn't work. He said that he had complained multiple times and this was the last straw. Clearly our service sucked, and it was our fault his cable was out. He kept cutting me off and calling me rude names. But I had the perfect response.
Finally, I just interjected: Sir, your cable isn't out because of an issue with our service, your cable is out because a tree branch fell across the cable line. What's that? How do I know? Because I saw the branch fall. I'm the one who went out in the rain last night to get the branch out of the street. In fact, I know you know it's a branch, because I could see you looking out your window at me moving the branch that fell on your property.
Not only that, but when I was done, I went inside and called into work on my day off to arrange a bucket truck to come out and rerun the cable so you could beat the rush of calls that came in all across the island due to the storm. You didn't even have to call. A truck is already on route. Well, that shut him up.
3. What A Gas
I was working at a gas station in a very rich part of town. During a nice summer day, a prime example of the douchebag variety of the human species drove his super-expensive Lamborghini in and, in that haughty, I'm-rich-so-you-must-do-what-I-say voice, demanded that it be filled with premium. Which the attendant started to do, only the guy immediately snatched the nozzle from him and screamed that "you're too stupid to do this on your own."
We're in Oregon, by the way, where you can't pump your own gas because of state fire laws. Well, being that he's a douchebag and an idiot, gas spills out from the nozzle all over his sparkly douche-mobile. At this point, he truly flips out. He storms into the store, where I'm working as the cashier and de facto manager. He immediately demands to speak to the owner, and that we are going to pay to have his car repainted AND he's not going to be paying for his gas.
I try my best to calm the situation, but he's got a good rage going and doesn't want to be calmed down. While he's spewing forth, I notice that an officer from the local department is about to come into the store to get snacks or a drink or some such. This gives me a nice idea. "Sir, I'm afraid that the gas is in your tank and you pumped it yourself, so you are going to have to pay."
Cutscene of an explosion. Douchebag then asks, "So what, exactly, do you think you can do if I just go and get in my car and leave?" Thank you, good Lord, for timing. He says this, at full bellow, right as the officer walks through the door. My response? "Well, personally I can't do much, but the nice officer standing behind you will probably be able to do something.”
Douchebag turns around to see the officer, with a very predatory smile on his face, nodding vigorously. Yeah, he shut up, paid, and we never saw him again.
4. Her Own Worst Enemy
I work as a wedding server. As soon as someone says “Bridezilla.” I think of this one story where the manager of our hotel had to shut down the wedding halfway through. This was the Bridezilla of all the Bridezillas I've ever seen. There were a lot of little things leading up that were casual Bridezilla—until the wedding took a dark turn.
At one point, she accused the wedding server staff of taking her veil...then the manager found it in her room and also showed her the card swipes to her room proving only she had been in the room that day. About 20 minutes later, she was screaming at some poor front desk employee accusing her of taking her wedding boots.
The manager intervened again, and after a long talk the photographer told them he had a photo of the boots on the staircase of the church, and asked if she had worn them since...When she said no, she told our place it was our job to have picked them up and made sure she had them, even though the church was not related to our place at all.
THEN shortly after she started opening the wedding gifts frantically inside the ballroom and screaming at anyone and everyone, guests included, saying someone took her wedding certificate. After that, our manager gathered the wedding staff and told us to take off our uniform jackets, empty them in front of him, then to clock out and go home.
Which we all did. None of us took anything. We heard next day that the maid of honor had the certificate and after we left the wedding was shut down completely.
5. Nickle And Diming
I used to work for a grocery store in high school as a cashier. One busy Saturday, an older lady came through my long line with about $150 worth of groceries. Among her items was a prepackaged piece of meat from our deli department that is normally priced by weight. Her meat did not have a printed sticker on the package and I would've needed to find a bag boy or manager to run to the deli to get it priced.
Because we were super busy, I decided to wing it, and set it on my scale. "Looks like it's almost a pound, so...let's say...$2.77? Does that sound fair?" I began to ring it as a miscellaneous item. Her answer sent a shiver through my spine. "No it does NOT sound fair!" she yelled in a screeching voice. "You need to get that priced!" Groans from the line began behind her, as I found a bag boy to run to get the price sticker.
A manager came by to see what the commotion was about and the lady explained the situation. I explained why I had made the decision I made. The manager of course stuck up for the lady (which we laughed about later) and she accepted the apology. We then waited for what seemed like an eternity of eye-contact avoidance and thumb twiddling.
The bag boy came back and handed me the pork. I smirked and showed her the price. "$2.78. Huh, I would've saved you a penny!" The man behind her chortled. Never saw her again.
6. Food Not Picture Perfect
I went on a date with a Karen once. It started out alright, but then when her food arrived, it didn’t look like the picture, so she demanded it be sent back. I’m pretty polite, so I waited to eat. I swear they sent the exact plate back. She lost it and demanded to see the manager. At that point, I started eating.
The manager came over, and the whole restaurant was looking like “what’s going on." She just laid into him. I placed a twenty on the table to cover mine and slipped the waitress a ten while mouthing an apology. I left right after that, and I never did find out what happened. I drove to the restaurant too, so I have no idea how she got home. I blocked her number as I left.
7. Take A Picture, It’ll Last Longer
I worked at a photo printing lab, and we got people in all the time who claimed we were stupid and had messed up their pictures. One woman had us print 800 vacation pictures. They were bad quality, dark, and out of focus. Basically a nightmare to work with. But that wasn’t all. When she came to pick them up, she insisted that we had ruined them, that they were perfect in her camera, and that she had a very expensive camera and so there was no way the pictures could be dark or out of focus.
We finally gave her her money back, even though we had done nothing wrong and were out a lot of time and paper. She called us 30 minutes later and told us she was at a store across town, and they had reprinted all of her pictures and they were beautiful, in focus, and nice and bright. I had to tell her that the same person who owned our store also owned the store across town, and that not only would it have taken that store several hours to reprint 800 pictures, but their printer was down that day, so they couldn't have printed anything. She hung up on me.
8. Right Back Atcha
I have a McDonald's story. I was out in the car park taking care of bins when a big, bulky family car that had just been through the drive-thru started circling and revving profusely. It caught my attention because it wasn't like it was a sports car. I didn't get why he was revving. I soon found out it was because his kid had gotten the wrong topping on his ice cream.
The man yelled through the window at me when I got back inside. His kid also threw the ice cream at me, ruining my uniform. I was pretty ticked off, so I picked it back up and threw it back at the car. As it was sailing its creamy way toward the car again, it suddenly dawned on me that this guy might get out and get me fired, so I froze. Luckily, it landed on the roof cream side down and the guy hadn't noticed!
So he drove off in his car wearing a little waffle hat. I wish I'd been there to see his face later on. I quit about a week later when an angry customer smeared her excrement on the walls of the washroom.
9. Owning It
I used to work at a restaurant chain that started about 15 or 20 years back and has about 15 stores in total. People all the time would complain and release their vague threat "I know Tommy! (The owner, guy who started the chain) Do I have to call him to get some good service?" It came from so many people, but we had to put up with it because that's what you do in the restaurant business.
But one time when this happened, Tommy was actually in the restaurant. He would come in once every couple months or so and just act like a regular customer, just to kinda evaluate how things were running from a non-owner perspective (of course everything magically went smoother for him than any other customer, imagine that). Anyway, this lady (that had been a total witch the entire night) starts complaining, talking about how her meal was cold or bad or whatever, even though she had powered through 4/5ths of it.
She wants her money back for this atrocity! And then she drops the bombshell. “I know Tommy! He wouldn’t stand for this!” The only thing was, Tommy was sitting almost directly behind her, and pretty obviously didn’t know her, and she didn’t recognize him. After getting a bit of the old discreet “Go ahead” nod from him, I just said, “Ma’am, Tommy is in the restaurant right now. If you could just point him out I’d be glad to let him know what you think of his restaurants.”
She stammered, gave the, "No he's not, I would've seen him!" until the owner stood up and said hello. He put on the kind of sickly sweet personality, where you're ever so polite but a total dick at the same time. She shut up and paid pretty quickly after that.
10. One Bad Date
I’m a full-time student getting my PhD at age 30 and I work full time as a server. I’ve been working at this Greek bistro for the greatest people for almost 15 years now. I started bussing at almost 16 and I’m now a manager. So a few months ago, it’s around six, and one of our regulars—I’ll call him Andy—comes into the store.
Andy works at a mattress store and always comes in for lunch. He’s an awesome guy, and he’s a big guy at close to 400 pounds. Anyway, Andy shows up after work with a woman. She’s maybe a good 10 or so years older than him, but it’s obvious they’re on a date. So we make a fuss over him. The owner’s wife gets him our best table and we bring them a complimentary glass of champagne.
He orders our platter of meat and she orders a vegetarian platter. They are eating, and suddenly I hear her gasp. Andy’s face is blue and his hands are over his throat. I go over and I give him the Heimlich while the owner calls 9-1-1. I’m giving him back blows when his date whacks me with her purse. “You’re hurting him, I took first aid and that’s not right!!”
She’s screaming in my face. He’s still choking, so the owner pulls her away from me and she’s screaming still. Andy’s piece of steak goes flying, and he’s then able to breathe. By now, the paramedics are there and—get this—his date is telling them I hurt him. On the contrary, the paramedics told her that I saved his life.
Anyway, they end up taking Andy in because he was wheezing a bit. She throws me a dirty look and follows them out. Two days later, Andy comes in for lunch with his co-worker and thanks me over and over. Then he tells me that was the first and last date with that woman. He brought his newest girlfriend in yesterday. She loved the restaurant and best of all, she’s nice.
11. Early Morning Karen
I once worked at Dunkin Donuts for a few months. Once, we had a lovely woman pull up at the drive-thru 20 minutes before it opened. Naturally, my co-worker and I ignored her while we hurried to set up because without the headset on, we had no idea she was even there. And there was no way I was putting that thing on a minute earlier than I had to.
Eventually, she pulled up to the window with an evil-looking face. We gestured to tell her "Sorry, we're not open yet," but apparently, she took it personally. She then started banging on the glass. When we opened the window to explain that we couldn't serve her yet, she began cursing and squeezed her fat self out of the car.
She leaned into the window spewing off insults. We just stared in awe. I think we told her the authorities were coming or something and she left.
12. Milking It For All It’s Worth
I worked at a concession stand for a children's baseball park. It's a large park (nine or so fields) and we get lots and lots of customers. Having lots of customers, we have to make things in large quantities and the quality isn't especially swell. But hey, it's a concession stand, not a restaurant. Anyhow, it's about 20 degrees out and people are ordering hot chocolate by about five cups at a time.
Only two of us are working. The process for making hot chocolate is putting an extremely large container of water in our extremely large microwave, and then stirring in an extremely large amount of cocoa powder. It's nothing fancy, but it tasted pretty good all things considered. Late in the day, I was working the register, and my co-worker is running around making everything.
A lady came up to the side window, screaming at my co-worker about how he's ruining the hot chocolate. My co-worker can't hear her, seeing as how she's yelling through a window. At a guy working around a lot of refrigerator fans, among other things. She finally comes to the front counter and tells me he's ruining it. "Why" I asked. Her: "He's going to ruin the milk! He's going to ruin it in the microwave!"
Me: "There is no..." Her: "HES GOING TO RUIN IT!" Me: "Peter!" Co-Worker: "Yeah?" Me (pretending to get super angry) "DON'T RUIN THAT MILK!" Her: *stares at me* Co-Worker: "What milk?" Me (still yelling): "THE HOT CHOCOLATE MILK!" Co-Worker (comes up to the front looking VERY confused): "There is no milk!" Me (to the lady): "Hmm. I suppose we don't use any milk." She left looking very scared to talk to us ever again.
13. This Comes Right From The Top
I used to work in an old family-owned gas station/garage in a small town in the middle of nowhere. Since it was family owned, about 90% of the business came from regulars who had either business accounts or got their families’ cars fixed at the shop (and had for generations on both sides). As such, the random passers-by getting gas on their way to and from cities on either side of the town made up a mostly negligible amount of business.
The gas station side of the business made up maybe 2% of the business, and of that maybe .5% was non-regulars. So my boss couldn't care less about some of the annoying customers who came in. One day we got a particularly witchy soccer mom. This was during the summer a few years ago, so the gas was very high compared to the rest of the year.
She was convinced that our pumps were purposely calibrated incorrectly so that less gas was pumped. Her proof was that she always got $XX.XX in gas and it always went to XX% full. Well we had just had our equipment recalibrated for the year and knew it was all good. She kept complaining to me about it, and being a high schooler I didn't care, either.
But I kept up appearances and was polite, kept telling her that we had just had our pumps calibrated. She didn't care and kept complaining. Eventually she asked for the manager. But I knew something she didn’t. The office was right behind the counter, and my boss was in there listening the whole time. As soon as she asked for him, he simply yelled out “SCREW OFF!” And that was about it.
I just shrugged at her, and she left. My boss was awesome with jerk customers.
14. Power Couple
Bartender here. This girl walks into my bar and I walk over as usual place a napkin in front of her. Then I ask her, “Hey! How are you? What can I get you today?” “Cosmo,” she says. “Alright coming right up—that’s a really cool dress, by the way,” I say. It was like one of those expensive skin-tight Kim Kardashian dresses.
It also had these metal panels going through it that lit up when she moved—I don’t know, it was cool so I just mentioned it. It was a very quick off-the-cuff comment. Not hitting on her or anything. Her response chilled me to the bone. She then gives me this “ew” look and goes, “One. I have a boyfriend. Two. I don’t date gay men. Three, hurry up with my drink before I decide you don’t get to work here.”
I suddenly stop, slightly shocked. A flood of thoughts quickly go through my head. Like was she joking…? Would someone think that was humorous? Nope. Witch was SO serious. My Turn: “In what universe do you think you can walk into a bar—insult the bartender—and actually expect him to make you drinks???? Silence. “Nah witch, you’re dismissed.” But it wasn’t over.
This girl comes back the next day with her boyfriend and she points at me as if saying “that’s him.” He goes, “Yo, I heard you insulted my girl. Do you know what happens when guys talk like that to my girl?” Ugh, here we go with one of those jerk guys who wants to put on a macho performance for his girl. These specimens are the dumbest of the dumb.
I go, “Do you know what actually happened?” He goes, “I don’t care what happened! You disrespected my girl.” At this point, he actually jumped over the bar and I jumped over the bar as well to HIS side. Then this guy jumped BACK over the bar to the guests’ side, at which point one of the bouncers tackled his dumb butt to the ground.
If my girlfriend acted like that to a bartender and they got mad, I’d be like “Yeah—that was a rude thing to say.” God, I hope those two don’t procreate.
15. Stop, Drop, And Roll
A customer was smoking in a supermarket, and a staff member asked them to stop. They refuse to stop. Customer escalates to me, as customer service manager at the time. I grabbed a fire extinguisher (large, CO2), walked up to the customer, and said "If you don't put that out now, I will be forced to assume you're on fire and act accordingly." Customer dropped the smoke, stamped it out with her foot, and left the store.
16. Sticky Fingers
Used to work in a pawnshop. We got lots of jewelry in and a lot of times the person bringing in the jewelry would have no idea that some of their stuff was fake. Nine times out of ten they would get angry and leave their stuff with us to be thrown out. My co-worker accidentally left a really gawdy but fake gold chain out on the desk one day. A customer came in, noticed the chain, and told us that we'd better put it away before someone took it.
I was about to. Then I realized I could have some fun. We ended up leaving the chain on the desk and would casually watch people as they came in to do business. Indeed, we caught a number of people trying to lift the chain. One guy in particular was talking us up and gradually pulling the chain off the counter. When he had successfully pocketed it and left the store, my co-worker and I began to crack up.
Sure enough, about a week later the guy came back in with the chain and tried to sell it to us. When I refused to buy it, he got angry. Then we showed him the security cam footage of him taking it. We weren’t even mad. Someone that dumb deserves to live his life that way until he walks out in front of a bus or into a wood chipper.
17. Careful What You Wish For
When I was in high school, I worked at a burger joint. At first, they'd always put me on the fryer, and that really sucked. The guy who supervised me was Joe. Joe was pretty much a jerk, and he was always yelling at me for something. Anyway, one day, they took me off the fryer and put me on the window. I started my shift, and things were going well.
Then, near the end of the night, this one guy rolled back around the drive-thru. I opened the window and he looks me dead in the eye, saying: "My tots aren't freaking done you stupid piece of garbage." He then THREW THE BAG at me. Guess who was on the fryer? JOE. So, we cooked the guy some more tots and Joe somehow blamed the mix-up on me.
I worked there for like five more months after that. I did not have much fun. Good shakes though.
18. Bad Vibes
I work at an upscale restaurant. We have two floors, and last night I was serving upstairs. We only have hosts downstairs. When we are on a wait, the hosts will see when there are open tables upstairs, page the guests and send them up. A server then greets them, sees where the host had pre-planned for them in our system, and we seat them.
Now that you know how that works, I’ll also just add in here that I am one of the top servers in my restaurant, consistently selling the most every week, and I’m a trainer. So my managers all love and appreciate me and mostly have my back. Okay, so the Karen family, is paged that their table is ready. They walk upstairs and stand by the host stand while I finish at my table and make my way over to them.
I said, “Hey guys, how’s it going” They just stared at me. Finally, the wife goes, “Do we just seat ourselves?” I, holding a paper cocktail menu and silverware, after walking over to them and feeling like I had made it clear I was about to seat them, said, “Nope that’s my job! You guys can follow me this way.” They follow to the table for six and they all take their seats.
I slide the silverware I was holding down to everyone individually instead of just setting six silverware on the end of the table for them to hand out. I said, “Our menu is all virtual, and there is a link on your table. I’ll be right back!” I come back and ask if they have any questions or if they’d like to get some drinks started. Again, silence.
I just pick someone and say, “Okay, can I grab you something to drink sir?” We don’t have what he asks for, but I suggest something similar and he says okay. The wife asks what we have on tap. I said, “We have a lot, what do you like to drink?” She said “I don’t know, that’s why I’m asking YOU.” I say, “Alright, we have 27 kinds on draft plus 19 that are bottles, so if you tell me what you’re usually into, I can guide you through what will work for you.”
She goes “Jesus Christ, I’ll just have a Bud Light since you can’t sell a drink.” I, looking stunned, laugh and say okay. Her husband then turns his attention to me and says, “Are you having a bad night?” To which I say, “No sir, are you?” and he said, “No, we are just trying to have a nice family night and you’re rude. You’ve been rude the whole time and you threw our silverware at us.”
I’m stunned so I just say, “I definitely did not throw it at you guys I was trying to slide it down the table for all of you, sorry if it came off that way. I’m not having a bad night and I haven’t had an attitude.” The wife jumps in and says, “It all started up front when you said, ‘THAT’S MY JOB’ (she changes the entire tone I said this in, of course) and now you’ve just been rude to all of us this whole experience.”
For what it’s worth, we’re like five minutes in from them walking up the stairs at this point. Then she yells, so loudly that all my other co-workers hear, “YOUR AURA IS UGLY AND WE DONT APPRECIATE THAT, JUST SEND US A NEW SERVER.” It took everything I had, like I mean, everything, not to say anything rude back to her.
I just said, “I’m happy to grab you a new server, and I’ll just grab my manager for you too while I’m at it.” My manager goes over, knowing everything from my side already, and they tell him I was rude by seating them and making that comment about how they could not seat themselves, when “there was no host at the stand so we just assumed it was pick your own table.”
They also mention throwing their silverware, and “my attitude and aura are just plain ugly.” My manager stuck up for me and said I’m actually one of their best, but they still insisted on another server. Imagine being one of the three other servers having already heard and seen this go down, and now it’s your table. That server made $3 on $80, by the way.
Screw you guys, my aura is shiny.
19. The Truth Hurts
A customer wanted to return a computer that was about a year old when I worked in retail. I asked him what was wrong. "It just don't work." I powered it on, it gets into Windows, connects to the wireless network, goes online. I open Office, everything seems to be working properly. I show it to him, ask him what's wrong. "It just don't work." I asked him what was actually wrong with the machine (let alone why would you return a computer a year later).
"It just don't work. Are you saying if a car don't start, it works fine?" At this point I had enough of the guy: "No sir, I'm saying if there was a car and everyone could start it except one person, I wouldn't blame the car."
20. You Get What You Pay For
I was eating at a Taco Bell once, and I was waiting to ask for some sauce while another customer was yelling at a kitchen employee. She had pulled apart her burrito and was complaining that there wasn't enough stuff in it. I shut her up with one sentence. I leaned over and said, "looks like 89 cents worth of food to me!" She stormed out.
21. No Top, No Service
I previously worked in room service at a historic downtown hotel in a metropolitan city. During my time there, the general manager announced his retirement and the corporate overlords sent in an interim general manager from out of state. Since he didn’t own a home here, they allowed him and his wife to stay in the hotel under the premise that he would shortly take over the role and purchase a home.
His wife was either retired or out of work for his opportunity, so she spent a lot of time in the hotel—mainly at the bar. She would run up a large tab and stumble to bed several nights a week. But then it escalated. On more than one occasion she was found, by staff outside of their room, butt naked. One time, she was headed toward the lobby with no top on.
It became such a problem and embarrassment for the GM that they moved from the hotel earlier than planned. So I guess in this case the management didn’t want people to know about his wife.
22. Spoke Too Soon
I worked at a Starbucks throughout high school. One time, a couple came through in a big pickup truck. I asked them how their day was, and the female responded with: "I was just released from the hospital." I replied, "Good to hear you are all better!" She then proceeded to tell me that she was in a car accident and was paralyzed from the waist down.
My jaw hit the floor and I was speechless. I handed them their drinks, wished them off, and watched as the wheelchair sped off in the back of the truck. I'll never forget that encounter. That made me feel like a piece of garbage.
23. Lady In Shining Armor
I worked at a Walgreen's photo lab right after high school, and it was my first job. There was a really nice lady who used to come by every now and then to have her pictures developed, and whenever they came out we would chat about them because I thought they were great. One day while we were talking, another customer arrived. When I asked her how I could help her, she started yelling at me because she didn't like the way her photos came out.
She threw them on the counter and was really angry with me and wanted to speak to my manager. I called for my manager and she came over and tried to calm the angry lady down. The angry lady started pointing at me and said that I messed up her photos, and blah, blah, blah, threats, better business bureau, yak, yak, yak. I don't know what to tell her other than I'm sorry and that I didn't know what was wrong.
I told her I processed them like I was supposed to and that most of the work was done by the machine, to which she immediately replied "then what good are you?" Suddenly, the nice lady with the cool pictures pipes up in this authoritative tone: "How dare you? How dare you say that to him and accuse him of ruining your pictures? He already said he was sorry. Do you realize that what you said is going to cost him his job? Shame on you."
The angry lady just got quiet, realized how she was acting, and left. I thanked the nice lady, and it made me tear up a bit afterwards because having someone stand up for you feels good.
24. Get It To Go
My friend was in line at KFC when a woman began rattling off a long order. I'm talking two family buckets of extra crispy, sides of biscuits, bowls of gravy, you name it. At the end of the order the female cashier asks the large woman, "For here or to go?" The woman blows a gasket and screams, “GIRL, I CAN'T EAT THAT MUCH!" To which the cashier replies, without the slightest bit of hesitancy, "GIIIRRRRLLLL, I DON'T KNOW YOUR WORLD." It was the most boss thing that has ever occurred in a KFC...to my knowledge.
25. All The Way To The Top
About a year ago, I was running a small video game tournament in the small company I owned. The waitlist had a full list of 16 people, and it was fine, until one entitled parent ruined it for everyone. So we were starting up the games when a dad ran into the store with his son. Dad: We’re here for the tournament. Me: Oh sorry, but the list is full. Dad: Well then, make some room. Me: I can’t do tha—
Dad: Listen, I can get you fired with the push of a button. Me: How? Dad: I have been friends with the CEO of this company for a long time. Me: Then call him. I watch him make a fake phone call then hang up. Because I know something he doesn’t know. Dad: He says you’re fired. Me: That's funny, considering I am the CEO. His look of shock still makes me laugh to this day.
26. Not In My Rented Room
I worked in a hostel in Miami. I've learned to deal with a lot of different people. Some are eccentric, some are reserved, and some are just plain stupid. I've had a guest the past few nights who is obviously gay and sometimes tries to flirt with me. I personally have nothing against this—I actually find it flattering that he's attracted to me.
But I do find it a little odd that he knows I'm straight and he still finds the need to flirt with me. I am a 6'1" straight male and happily engaged to the love of my life. I am comfortable enough with myself and my own sexuality to not be at all bothered by this...but this other guest clearly struggles with that. At one point, the gay man came by and complimented my beard before heading into the guest-area kitchen.
Soon after, a man with a Scottish accent came to me with a complaint: "What the heck was that, mate? That queer just got all feely on you and you don't have a problem?" I responded, "I'm sorry, sir, but how is that your business?" He said angrily, "Because a man like yourself shouldn't have to be flirted with like you’re a pixie, mate."
I stood back a bit, then told him, "I'm sorry that that bothers you, sir, but that is none of your concern. Please, enjoy the rest of your night." That's when things got really heated. "Oh, so you ARE gay," he blurted out loudly. At that point, I just give him the ultimatum. "Sir, here we tolerate people of all backgrounds and sexualities. If you do not respect that, then you are welcome to find other accommodations for your stay here in Miami."
He proceeded to flip me the bird and walk away to the guest area. Moments later, the man who was being a flirt came out and said that the guest came to the kitchen and called him and his friends' names before he went to his room. I went after the guest to kick his dumb butt out, and he told me: "It's fine, you queer-lover. I’m leaving anyway. This place doesn't deserve my money."
I proceeded to get his passport photo from our system and uploaded it to the group chat I was in with the other night auditors in the area. My new gay friend bought me some pizza and wings, so that was cool. After that, the rude guest tried to check into other hostels in the proximity and got rejected.
27. Putting Him In His Place
Recently I put a customer in place in Best Buy. I went to do an exchange at Best Buy. Guy walks up behind me, starts complaining about the wait to pick up a .com order, and I tell him to get in the line with the giant hanging "BestBuy.com orders here" sign. He then complains to a manager about how lazy his staff is, and how he has been there for 30 minutes to pick up a Monster Cable...hilarious as that purchase is.
I called him out, and the guy turns red from embarrassment and anger, then storms off. Then I debriefed the manager on how he was there for less than five minutes before being helped and the staff was doing a great job. The manager gave me a $20 Gift Card for calling the guy a douche to his face. I just didn't want the Customer Service guys to get in any trouble for this guy's slander.
28. Speaking In Tongues
I worked at a drug store in high school. I had a German couple check out at my register, and they were incredibly rude. They were complaining in German about the customers behind them in line, using vulgar language and whatnot. Apparently, I wasn't moving fast enough for their liking, and the woman called me a name in German. But she didn’t know one thing.
She was obviously not aware that that was the terribly impractical language that I took in high school. When I finished their order, I stared her in the eye and said thank you in her native tongue, and they both looked shocked and embarrassed. It felt good, man.
29. 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!
30. Wait And See
So last night was probably the busiest night we’ve had for the last week. I’m a waitress at an upscale steakhouse restaurant. The hostesses up front put us at an hour-long wait for walk-ins because of so many booked reservations, which is the usual protocol from the general manager. Well, this particular couple had me FUMING beyond belief.
The front lobby is packed with guests waiting for a table while reservations are seated as soon as possible. The hostesses have a system on an iPad to let all the managers know which guest is seated where, how long they’ve stayed, etc. I’m bussing a table at my section when I overhear one of the hostesses try to speak to a pair of people at my section a booth over.
This couple walked into the restaurant, saw the number of people waiting for a table, and decided to seat themselves with NO reservation. They also sat at a dirty table, and here I’m thinking, “Are these people for real?” This is what I got between the hostess and the older man sitting down with his wife: “Excuse me, sir? You didn’t come up to the host stand in order for us to find out what reservation you had?”
“We don’t have reservations. Someone needs to clean this up.” Here, he points to the messy table. “I’m sorry sir, but if you don’t have a reservation the wait is going to be an hour long. Someone has already requested this booth by the fireplace and they need to be seated.” “We don’t care about reservations. We’re hungry and we’re going to eat. Get someone to clean our table! I’m not asking a third time!”
After that failure, the hostess looked at me, and she was pretty shaken up. She had never dealt with any guests THAT rude and upfront before, so it was understandable. With my Latina blood boiling, I went over to the jerks and gave them a piece of my mind. “This is my section, and after hearing that conversation, you both have no right to be served. There’s a family waiting for this table, and I’m going to ask you to leave. Unless you want me to get a manager to escort you out.”
The couple squawked at me, demanding I get them drinks, while I went straight to my manager, who saw what had already happened with the hostess. They were escorted out and were told they weren’t welcome back. Ever. This is the type of stuff I don’t think I’ll ever get used to. If you have to wait an hour-long for a table like everyone else, then you do it. If not, go to another restaurant.
31. Giving New Meaning To “Food Fight”
I can finally air my uncensored frustration about the night my engagement was single-handedly corrupted by my entitled mother-in-law. Let’s call her “Ellen.” Ok, so my girlfriend and I were really engaged to be engaged. We’d both agreed we wanted to get married, but I hadn’t done the formal proposal yet because we wanted to meet each other’s families first, since neither lived nearby.
I always thought the old trope about meeting the in-laws being a big fiasco was a myth, both because I was younger and more naive then, and because I’m lucky to have easy parents. My girlfriend met my parents for a few hours. Once we were alone just me and them, I told them my intentions and my mom asked, “Does she have any kids already?”
My dad asked, “Does she have a good solid job?” And they both asked, “You really love her?” And that was that, I had their full support for the marriage. I thought meeting her parents would be the same. Some grilling was to be expected, but as long as I was honest and respectful, it would all be fine. I have never been more wrong in my entire life.
Relevant fact, my girlfriend’s parents had her when they were teenagers, by surprise, so they later had a “do-over daughter” (their words, not mine!!) who was just six years old. My girlfriend and I made the trip up to their city and I met them for the first time over dinner at a steak house. It was pretty upscale, and we’d scheduled the dinner for 8:00 pm, so I was surprised to see they’d brought the kid along with them.
I met everyone at once and the initial awkwardness settled once we’d sat down. We were making great small talk when the six-year-old said she was thirsty. No big deal right? Well, all of a sudden, my girlfriend’s mother Ellen starts screaming. “Water? Water! WATER?!” A waiter came rushing over to see what the commotion was and, without even making eye contact with the poor guy, Ellen went, “We’ve been here forever and no one’s even gotten us any water. My daughter’s been asking.”
We had been sitting for about 15 or 20 minutes without service, it was true, but they were visibly behind, and there were no circumstances that would’ve warranted that shouting. I should’ve realized from how unfazed everyone else at the table was that I should be bracing myself for a long night, but I couldn’t imagine what was to come at that point.
The waiter rushed over with water and apologized for the delay, explaining a few very large parties had arrived all at once. The guy was seemed sincere, and quite affable, so I thought the water would just be an anomaly in an otherwise pleasant night. Then Ellen kicked into full gear. “We’ll need a kid’s menu.” She informed the waiter.
He said that they didn’t have a kid’s menu, but that the chef could simplify most dishes. “What do you mean you don’t have a kid’s menu?” Ellen replied in total disbelief, as though he’d said they didn’t have a fire exit. He explained they didn’t get too many child visitors and that there were enough plain foods on the menu that no separate menu had ever been necessary.
Ellen sighed dramatically and waved him away. Literally, without saying a word, waved him off from the table. I tried to give him an apologetic glance but, understandably, he didn’t look back our way. I was so glad the poor guy left and didn’t have to be subjected to her anymore. Meanwhile, she turned her attention on me, and I almost wished he’d come back.
At least he was getting paid to be here. She was like, “So you’re a screenwriter?” And I explained, “Well, yes and no. I want to be, but it’s hard to get a job in that field that you can support yourself on, so I’m working at a non-profit right now. There’s a screenwriting component to the job though, so I’m really happy there.”
Ellen turned to her six-year-old and went “Hear that? You want to be sure to snag a man who works for profit. Learn from this. It’s not too late for you.” I couldn’t tell if she was trying to be funny or not. So, I just let it pass, looking over to my girlfriend to see if she was even considering speaking up on my behalf. Nope. The waiter came back, visibly nervous.
That hurt, because he was so relaxed and personable at the start of the meal. He asked if we’d like to hear the specials before we ordered and Ellen said sure. Here’s how that went. Waiter: First we have a lightly seared strip stea— Ellen: Next! Waiter: Oh... uh, ok. Then we have a broiled leg of grass fed— Ellen: Next! Waiter: Uh, we, uh, we have a pasta primavera mixed with—
Ellen: NEEEEXXXXTTTTTTUHHH And on and on until he’d gone through all seven or 10 specials, even though she ultimately ordered off the menu, a plain rib eye, well done. She tried to order her daughter the same, but the kid said she just wanted plain mashed potatoes, so Ellen let her get mashed potatoes alone for dinner. Then...she sent the waiter away! The rest of us hadn’t even ordered yet!
And everyone else just sat there like it was entirely normal! I waited for someone to say something, thinking it was more her older daughter (my girlfriend’s) place or her husband’s, but when no one did I couldn’t help myself. “I, uh, was the one steak and potatoes going to be for all of us, or?” My girlfriend explained, in the tone you’d use for a tourist violating a sacred local taboo, “My mom always has the waiter put the kid’s food in first, so it can get started right away. We’ll order once the kitchen has hers.”
I thought she was joking, since Ellen didn’t just order her kid’s food, she also ordered her own dinner, too. So I laughed. “Something funny?” Ellen asked. Then I realized she was serious, and I shut up. Thankfully, her dad at least recognized that what was normal for them might not be as regular to me, and tried to lighten the mood with a change of topic.
But not even 10 minutes after she and her daughter had ordered, Ellen started in again. Another table, that had been there long before we were, got a side order of mashed potatoes with their meal. Ellen threw a total conniption. She was sputtering so inaudibly that none of us could figure out what was wrong at first. Finally, she managed to flag down some busboy who barely spoke English and began laying into him like he’d just side-swiped her on the freeway.
He kept trying to explain he wasn’t a server and he could go get one, but she wouldn’t stop to breathe long enough for him to find someone who could actually help. All the while, I kept looking at my girlfriend for signs of embarrassment, or at the very least irritation, but you wouldn’t have known if she was even hearing any of this.
Our waiter came over, somehow still feigning a smile despite knowing what he was walking into, and Ellen actually goes, “Why did that table get mashed potatoes and ours haven’t come yet?” The waiter kindly but concisely explained, “Well Ma’am, those people ordered potatoes before your party had placed their order.” Ellen looks this man in the eye (finally) and says, “Well it doesn’t matter when they ordered it. My daughter is the youngest one here! Her food should come out first.”
You could tell the waiter was working hard to restrain himself at this point. He explained it was a first come, first served, policy and age didn’t help one way or the other. He offered to go check on the potatoes, Ellen agreed, or more specifically she said, “Yah, you better!” but I was clocking him and he went right back to his server station…because we had only just ordered a few minutes ago.
Three or five more minutes passed, during which we could have no other discussion at the table except how awful this restaurant was, how hungry the poor baby was (who hadn’t said a word about being hungry this whole time and was contently playing her loud iPad game, without headphones, disturbing all the other diners around us), and how America has lost all respect for motherhood because it’s just a “me, me, me” culture now.
I chimed in, “I’m with you on that last part.” And to my utter shock, instead of laughing at my joke, my girlfriend seemed annoyed with me! So after a few minutes, the waiter comes back and says the potatoes will be out very soon. Ellen then goes and does something that, again, I thought was just a myth. She took three singles and a five out of her wallet and put them on the table in full view of the waiter.
Then she took one single away and said “Every table I see getting potatoes before us is a bill gone.” I was absolutely mortified. The waiter, to his unending credit, just took a deep breath and said, “I don’t have control over the order in which the kitchen fires tickets, but what I can tell you is it should be out any minute.” And he left without saying anything disparaging.
I had been holding my tongue all night as well, in the name of my relationship, but once the tip hit the table (the $8 tip for a $100+ bill, on top of everything else) I figured if my girlfriend was half the woman I thought she was, then she wouldn’t mind my speaking up at this point. If anything, she’d be supportive, right? So I scooted my chair back a bit.
Then I said, “Listen I know what you’re doing with the cash on the table, but that kind of thing makes me really uncomfortable, and it’s just not called for. Please put the money away or we can just continue this some other time.” My girlfriend’s dad spits back, “What? How cheap do you have to be to not believe in tipping service workers?”
Before I could process whether he was serious or yanking my chain, Ellen shocked me with, “No, you know what, you’re right, this isn’t necessary.” I should’ve known better than to be relieved. I still can’t believe what she did next. She folded the bills back into her wallet, patiently waited for the next plate of mashed potatoes to be carried out, and when it wasn’t delivered to us, (it was a very common side dish at this place, a steak house) she went right up to a stranger’s table and picked it up off their table.
She half explained something about her daughter “starving” as she was walking away with the stranger’s food, but unsurprisingly, that wasn’t convincing enough for them. The old lady she took it from followed her right over to our table and tried to take it back. I was already searching for my coat tag in preparation to go, but a shoving match was beginning to unfold between Ellen and an elderly woman with a tennis ball walker, and far be it from me to sit through all that had happened only to leave just as the night was getting interesting.
The elderly woman was like, “Give me back my potatoes!! Who are you??” And the poor little girl was like, “Mommy, it’s ok, don’t take someone else’s potatoes...” But it all fell on deaf ears. Ellen yelled at the old lady, “How could you sit there and eat these when my daughter hasn’t even been served yet? She’s sitting here hungry, just a little girl, and you’re over there stuffing your face? Come on, other potatoes will be out any minute.”
And the old lady, got to love her, was like, “Great, if they’ll be out any minute, then what’s the [bleeping] problem?!” To which Ellen still found holier than thou ground, gasping, “Language, please!” Finally the waiter, and this time someone higher up as well, I think the manager, thank God, came over to separate them, as they had begun to raise their voices and cause a disturbance.
Now, staff had already asked Ellen to turn down her daughter’s iPad multiple times without heed, and I’m guessing the waiter informed management about the “tip on the table,” stunt she pulled, because this was their final straw. They told us we were going to have to leave the restaurant. “But we don’t even have our food yet!” Ellen complained at the guy.
This was clearly not the manager’s first rodeo. “You can take the food that’s already been served free of charge, everything else will be canceled. Please leave immediately.” The old lady didn’t miss her chance to knock the potatoes right onto the floor so we couldn’t try to take them with us. Nothing else had been served yet, so we had to leave without any food. But the worst was yet to come.
When my girlfriend and I were finally alone in our car she said, “Can you believe that?” And I said, “Not at all. And I really can’t believe you didn’t warn me!” And she went, “How could I have known about any of that?” Confused, I asked, “Is she not usually like that?” Even more confused than me, my girlfriend asked, “Who?” “Your mom!” “What’s my mom got to do with the terrible service at that place?”
That was the beginning of the end of our relationship. The fact that she didn’t see anything wrong with her mom’s behavior, and that I’d be marrying into that situation, shook me too deep. We both dodged a bullet in more ways than one. In hindsight, we weren’t right for each other, regardless of who her family was. Her mom saved us both a lot of time and heartache, helping me realize in one night what would’ve probably taken us years otherwise.
Within a month we’d moved into separate apartments and gone on a “break” that ended up lasting forever. I’m not sorry I won’t see you again, Ellen. I am sorry any wait staff ever will, though.
32. Do It Yourself
I work at Jimmy John's. At JJ's, if you've never been, it's mostly self-service; you get your napkins, and if you need a bag, you get them yourself. Our sandwiches are wrapped in a way that you generally don't need one, and everything is made "to go." A lady came in one day and ordered like 4 or 5 sandwiches. As always, I redirect them to the end of the bar to pick up their sandwiches and grab whatever napkins and bags they want.
Now, if someone asks us to bag something FOR them, we will. People generally don't (unless they're really old in which case we'll do it for them regardless) but nobody minds if they do. This lady never asked once for someone to bag her food. She stood at the bar, quiet, bagging all of her sandwiches up and then left. 15 or 20 minutes go by. Then the other shoe drops.
Her husband calls the store and asks to speak to a manager, AKA me. I pick up the phone and the conversation goes like this, mostly verbatim: ME: Hi, how can I help you? GUY: shouting Yeah, since when is it ya'lls policy for people to bag their own food? My wife just came from there and told me she had to bag everything herself! ME: I'm sorry sir, but it's technically always been our policy. Everything is self-service here at Jimmy John's. We certainly would have -- cuts me off GUY: WELL I'M GOING TO BE SURE TO TELL EVERYONE I KNOW ABOUT THE KIND OF SERVICE YOU GUYS OFFER OVER THERE.
ME: Okay, well, thanks, I guess? I mean, it isn't any sort of secret. hangs up
33. Up And Down
I stopped to get gas today, and while talking with the cashier I mentioned that she was probably tired of people yelling at her about the price of gas—but that since she is the one standing there she probably gets it a lot. She said that every day someone complains to her, like she can do something about it. A guy then came in and demanded, "Why the heck is gas $3.76 a gallon?'
Without missing a beat, she said, "Because it went down 10 cents this morning." He just looked at her, paid and left.
34. A Room For Two...I Mean Three
The hotel where I work doesn’t want you to know that the people who stayed in the room before you were nasty. Sadly, housekeeping gets the brunt of it. I’ve seen them carry out bags of used adult toys, peel used condoms off of every surface, and scrub excrement—actual human excrement—off of places there’s no reason for it to be. But there’s one clean-up I’ll sadly never forget.
It was the couple that wanted a home birth but not, you know, at home—because, eww gross. We had to deal with that hazmat situation. We messed them as hard as we could with penalties and fees, though.
35. Mother Knows Best
I was working as night manager at a large hotel. We had four overnight staff: me, a cleaner, the night auditor, and a security guard. The guard's duty is to continuously walk the 10 floors and listen for noise incidents. Our hotel is very close to a plaza that is FILLED with bars, including a very sketchy country bar that is known for over-serving and not checking IDs.
We saw three or four ladies in their late 40s and a younger girl leave shortly after 11, clearly dressed for the country bar. I thought it was a little weird to go clubbing with your mom and her friends, but whatever. Just before 1 am, the younger girl and one of the older ladies returned.
It was pretty obvious that the younger girl was quite out of it, but they were being quiet, so I didn't hassle them on their way to the elevators. 20 minutes later, the older lady was heading back out to continue the party with her friends. Then, 20 minutes after that, we got a call from the security guard that a woman was passed out on the floor in the hallway.
I headed up to the floor in question and sure enough, slumped against a room door was the young lady from earlier. She was unresponsive to our verbal commands until she started throwing up. We rolled her into the recovery position and called an ambulance. While waiting for the ambulance, the mother and her friends returned to their rooms.
We informed the mother that we called an ambulance for her unconscious, unresponsive daughter, who was throwing up. Her reply was wild. She started SCREAMING! "How DARE you call an ambulance? What are they going to think? My husband is a first responder and will find out!"
Now, the cleaner arrived with the EMTs, who started making sure the young woman could breathe. They loaded her onto a stretcher to take her to the hospital. One of them did in fact know the mother and that is when we found out the daughter was only 16!!!! The mother then walked off with the ambulance crew, crying.
That was, by far, the weirdest and most stressful night I'd ever worked.
36. Playing Games
I worked in electronics at Target. Over at Guest Service one day, I saw a woman with her teenage daughter heatedly speaking to the guy at the counter. After a few moments, he pointed over at me in electronics. The woman's head whirled round, dragon like, toward me. The rest of her body realigned with her head and she stomped in my direction.
When she reached the counter I pleasantly asked, "How can I help you?" She slammed a receipt and PS3 controller on the counter, "I paid 55 dollars for this and I can only return it for 40!" I asked, "May I see your receipt?" She nodded and I picked it up, "See, 55 dollars!" "Yep, I see that," I said, "You bought this last week when the store gave away a 15 dollar gift certificate with the controller."
"So what!" "You would shop at Target again, right?" I asked. "Not if this isn't resolved!" she spat. Her daughter next to her was embarrassed. "Hypothetically, if there wasn't an issue, I'm guessing you would and you would use that 15 dollar gift card on your future purchase. If we let you return this controller for 55 dollars then you would have a free 15 dollars. That is why the return price is 15 dollars less...I can do the return for you over here if you don't want to go back to Guest Service."
"I didn't want to return it, I just wanted to know why the return price was so much less," she said. She picked up her controller and receipt and began to walk off. Her daughter, clearly ashamed of her mother, thanked me and followed her mother out.
37. Citizen’s Shaming
My boss once had a customer snag her shirt on the register counter. She went ballistic in ten seconds flat. She began shrieking about us replacing her shirt, that our counters were unsafe, and that she wanted compensation for her shirt. My boss is a very, very calm man. He apologizes, says he'll have someone from maintenance fix the counter, but the woman isn't satisfied.
She's holding up the entire line and refusing to complete her purchase, and the other customers seem pretty annoyed at her. The woman wouldn't give up, and finally the guy behind her in line has had it. He gets his wallet out, hands her a $20 bill, asks her if this makes her happy, then tells her to please shut up and leave the nice man (my boss) alone.
The woman made some terrible noise, left her items on the counter, and stomped off. The line applauded the man with the $20 (who still had it, the woman didn't take his money), and my boss gave him a hefty discount.
38. Cinnamon Fiend
My first real job in high school was at a very loosely-managed Taco Bell where one of the supervisors had been fired recently. While I was working the overnight shift, he came through the drive-thru, pointed a pistol at me, and robbed me of all of my Cinnamon Twists. He took the whole pan of Cinnamon Twists right through his car window. We later cooked a new batch and didn't even call the authorities. The night shift is weird.
39. DIY Karen
When I worked at the Home Depot, a Karen told me that she didn't want any Black men to install her flooring. I was in charge of arranging her order, so I told her that we don't select which individuals exactly will install her floor and that she'll get who she gets. She proceeded to have a fit about it. She started yelling at me, asking me for my manager.
And I'm so glad she did because guess what: my manager's name was Dwayne and he was a real big Black dude. Turns out she didn't want to speak to the manager after all.
40. All Hands On Deck
I used to work at Tesco, in England, as a team leader. Basically doing a manager's job, on a bit more than checkout operator’s wage. I wonder why I gave that up to become a teacher...oh yeah. Anyway, at Christmastime, for some reason, we were quite busy. We had a good 35 checkouts in the store, and 35 of those 35 checkouts were open.
Yet there were still lines. Ultimately, if thousands of people decide to do their Christmas shopping terribly late, and you have every single till open, what can you do? Anyway, this woman comes over to complain that she had to wait. I explained that the checkouts were all in use, and we could do nothing. She asked why I wasn't on a checkout.
This was something often asked, with the simple answer being that if I'm the one who has to sort out any problem in case any of the 35 checkouts break, or needs something, or a customer can't walk the five paces to change their broken packet of biscuits—and I'm on a checkout—nothing would be done. Anyway, this woman demanded that everyone should be on the checkouts.
Which they were. "I want to see the store manager!" she demanded, "You need to have more people working on the checkouts. Where can I see the store manager?" "Well," I replied, "He's currently sat on that checkout there, because we are so busy." She shut up. I really don't know what she wanted us to do.
41. With All The Toppings
I used to work at an amusement park, and between department transfers, I started in food. My stand made funnel cakes and corndogs. The average wait time on a busy day could be upwards of 30 minutes in the sun, which I'll admit sucks. It's not any cooler in the stand standing over a 450 degree fryer. Anyhow...This guy comes up, orders four corndogs.
I ring him up and ask him if he wants any ketchup or mustard brushed on. He declines. I take his money and hand over four corndogs. His little girl bites into one and then tugs on daddy’s arm and says she wants mustard. I politely inform him that since she's already bitten out of her food, we can't brush it on; however if he'd head 50 steps to an adjacent building, he could skip the line and just grab some condiment packets.
Apparently this was unacceptable. Up until this point he was just a normal guy. Then suddenly he changed to a monster. "DO YOU KNOW WHO I WORK FOR?! DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM!?" I tell him no. He then half-chuckles to himself and points out his pregnant wife sitting at a nearby table and then begrudges the time he spent in line. I again reassure him they will give him some mustard packets if he walks next door.
He loses it.
"I'M THE GOSH-DARN REGIONAL REP FOR COKE IN THIS AREA, I WILL BUY AND SELL YOUR BUTT, KID." This self-aggrandizing and demeaning talk towards me lasted a full 60 seconds or so. Then I told him "we only carry Pepsi products.” He was flush with embarrassment and rage, and anyone within earshot is laughing at him. To spite me (really his little girl) he didn't go get mustard packets. He forever was known as MustardMan.
42. It's The Little Things
Some old guy asked me while I was handing him his coffee if I had stuck my finger in it. I was like, "...No sir, it's hot coffee. I'd get burned," thinking he thought I was messing with his coffee. He just replied by saying, "What a shame, I was hoping it would be sweet like you."
43. Keep Em Coming
Last night I worked a table of 14. They were all terrible people, the douchiest people I have ever come in contact with. The royal family of Worthless Jerk Land. One guy sits down and orders a pint. He says, “Every time you come to the table I want you to have a pint for me.” I thought he was probably just joking, so I leave and come back.
He says, “Where is my pint? Did you really forget what I told you like two minutes ago? Wow.” So I said, “OH! I am so sorry, it won’t happen again.” So, for the next two hours, no matter what, EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. I approached the table I left a pint. After about 45 minutes, the drinks began to pile up. I just didn’t ever stop.
Every time I put a drink down, he said nothing. If he would have acknowledged my presence and told me to stop, I would have. He said nothing. I started to feel bad, for a couple of minutes…and then he yelled at me like a dog to get the food out faster. THAT IS WHAT HE WANTED. I just want to reiterate that. HE ASKED FOR IT.
Also, I was watching him drink. If at any point his behavior or consumption increased, I would have stopped. He walked out the exact same way he walked in. Like a jerk. Anyway, it got so bad that the pints were SURROUNDING HIS SEATING AREA. Just glasses and glasses and glasses. It was incredible. I make my own drinks where I work, as we don’t have a typical bar, just a large server station.
A friend of King Doucherbottom even tried to take one that I put down, but I grabbed it. Then I said, “Sorry sir, this is your friend’s drink. I would be happy to get one for you if you like.” Long story short, he ended up buying 25 drinks at eight dollars a pop with a 20% mandatory auto-gratuity on the table. He maybe drank four.
I have never felt so good in my life. It doesn’t pay to be an arrogant jerk, folks! This was a crowning achievement in my seven years of serving. I work at a place where some people come in and treat me like a piece of stew meat, and I have learned to play the game in order to make money. I love my job and the people I meet, but I get stepped on a lot. It’s nice to win one for once.
No bartender was involved. I can’t deny the illegality of it, but I do not regret it! The bussers enjoyed the undisturbed drinks after he left, too. I felt so good bringing them back in a bus tub of ice. It was like seeing the excitement of children on Christmas morning. My manager saw the bill and was angry, but no reports of anything we would be liable for as of yet! And there was a sweet twist at the end.
They split the bill seven ways, and they did not even look at the charges. I put down the bill and the cards went on top. Their total bill was about $1,200 with everything included. This not common for a table of 14 where I work, but not surprising. I came out making around $240 before tip out. So all in all, a very good evening for me.
44. Good Parenting 101
I worked as a lifeguard for my first "real" job. One night, at the indoor water park, a child came up to me. He asked me very quickly where the bathroom was. I pointed him in the right direction and he quickly said, "No I need one closer!" I swore in my head as he pooped himself in front of me, poop running down his leg. I radioed him into first aid and we took him in and paged his parents.
Eventually his dad came in and we chit chatted about his son, no big deal (it happens more often than you think). His dad told us to change and clean him, though, and me and my manager refused. The dad was furious and yelled why not. We replied he's not our son. That shut him up.
45. A Helping Hand
I used to work at a video store, and after a while I got pretty desensitized to people throwing little hissy fits about late fees. One day a gentleman tried to rent a movie and I had to let him know he had accumulated some late fees on his account. Cue standard rant about having returned them on time, blah blah blah, "...and I'm just going to cut up my membership card when I get home!!"
I reached under the counter and grabbed a pair of scissors, held them out to him and said, "Well, you can do that here if you like." He gave me a venomous look and left the store in a huff. And it felt so good.
46. Well, That's Awkward
I work at McDonald's and was manning the drive-thru one night. An older couple came by and ordered a Happy Meal; I assumed it was for a kid. They pulled up to the window and I told them their total. The man in the passenger seat then asked me what toys we had, and I responded with, "Uh, Pokémon toys." He said he wanted Spider-Man toys and I explained that we discontinued them. His reaction was seriously disturbing.
He then went on to say, "What if I show you my wife's rack for a Spider-Man toy?" Shocked, I just said, "That doesn't help your case in getting a toy since we have none." It was really freaking weird. There was no kid in the backseat...
47. Back Of The Line
I dearly wish I could claim this was me, or even a relative, so I could claim this degree of clever was in my genes. But it was not. It was a bouncer at a small-town club, and when he made the comment there weren’t even the expected, cinematic ‘OOOOOHHH!” Or ‘WHAAAAT!” reactions one would expect. Just an echoing silence from about 40 onlookers.
So, this mother and daughter pair was trying to get into the club late in the evening. The daughter was clearly young, and actually reasonably attractive in quite a nice, fashionable outfit. The mother was not obese, but certainly overweight, and had shoehorned her corpulence into hot pants and a tank top that would have been trashy on a supermodel, and friends...she was no supermodel.
Badly dyed stringy hair, cheap bulky jewelry, spray-on orange skin, all the trailer-trimmings. I didn’t hear how the exchange started, but clearly these two were trying to cut ahead of the line. The bouncer, this massive, action figure of a Black man with an oddly babyish face and the patience of Job, had denied this effort. Hilarity ensued.
The daughter threw a few verbal jabs but seemed to be just mildly irritated. The sideshow of a mother lost her bloody mind. Shrieking prejudiced epithets that would curl the ear-hair of a bystander, and every horrific name you care (or do not care) to imagine. Interspersed with the expected “Do you know who I am,” and “Get me the owner,” etc.
The bouncer just stood there and didn’t react with anything but polite direction. Downright heroic. After a few minutes of this vile screeching, the daughter is now embarrassed as heck and trying to pull the mother away. People are gathering to watch and the whole thing has become a spectator sport. The bouncer just kept politely saying “You will need to go to the back of the line like anyone else ma’am” or variations on that theme.
By now the woman wasn’t even trying to argue the point, just squealing the revolting, and at this point quite repetitive, insults. Then she screamed that he was an awful bouncer and would get fired that night. Then she tried to slap the bouncer. She missed, quite badly, at which point the bouncer took a single step forward as she fell back with a shriek.
He then said quite loudly: “Ma’am, at any point tonight have I ever told you how to get off flabby obese old men in an alley? Clearly baffled, she said nothing but sputtered... he continued: “No, Ma’am, I have never said anything like that. Not once. I don’t tell you how to do your job, so don’t tell me how to do MINE.” Silence. Like, 40 people in the street, not a sound.
She yelled a couple more things, then scuttled away with her daughter dragging her by the arm. It’s been over a decade, but I still want to go find that bouncer and buy him a drink.
48. I’ve Got A Package For You
Working at a shipping store, a customer tried to drop off a package to be shipped back to Clearwire (an internet company). He had the box wrapped in shipping paper and twine. Instead of a prepaid shipping label, he had printed out the directions on how to obtain the shipping label. I tried to explain to him that he needed to go back to his email, click on the link, and print the shipping label.
He was adamant that he did everything correctly and kept saying he was going to leave the package there and that it was our problem. My boss, hearing this, comes from the back and explains that if the customer leaves the package, my boss will throw it out the door. The guy turns around, leaves the package, and says again, "Not my problem." He got exactly what he asked for, and then some.
My boss, true to his word, follows him and throws the package towards the customer. The package bounces a few times on the sidewalk right past the customer and the guy keeps on walking. The package stayed outside for 15 minutes in heavy rain before my boss relents and took the package inside. The package was still under a counter four months later when I left the job.
49. Paying The Price
We had a building where I ran a family sewing factory with a small store attached, which my mom ran. One day a guy comes in to deliver some rolls of fabric and this woman decides to park in the middle of the lot. Not even in a parking spot...she just turned off her car wherever and got out. Then she went shopping elsewhere. The trucker had to leave, so I had the car towed so he could get out and back on the road.
The next day I hear a very loud voice demanding to see a manager. He shoves a ticket in my office manager's face and says, "You're paying for this." I walk in and ask what the problem is (I'm 6'6"). He tries to get all up in my face and asks sarcastically, "Who's paying this ticket?" I got loud and replied, "You mean where I had to tow a car because they were too cheap to put a quarter in a parking meter on the street and parked in the middle of my lot?”
I was a good 10" bigger than he was...he left. Then I called the authorities and made a complaint against him for threatening behavior to my employees, just in case he tried anything funny.
50. Musical Chairs
Today I’ve had probably the worst/best thing happen when bringing a group of 32 people to their table. I work in an all-you-can-eat restaurant where the people can pick out the food themselves and take it to their table. This means you need to walk back and forward once in a while to grab new food. Because of this, we don’t have rows of tables that exceed five people, so when you stand up there’s not a lot of people to walk past.
Otherwise, it’s like sitting in the middle of a row in a full cinema, having to go to the bathroom, and passing like 10 people in the process. So for this group of 32 people, we had three tables of 11 with five on each side and one at the head of the table. However, the woman who made the reservation HAD to have everyone sit attached to the same table, rather than having two small gaps in between each of the three tables so it’s easier to get up.
I tried explaining to this woman that this is very difficult as the seating will be less comfortable, but she kept on yelling and yelling that it HAD to happen. So I agreed and moved the tables against each other. What followed was probably the best five minutes of my life. Just watching 16 people struggle to get on the couch located next to the table.
After enjoying the view, I once again offered to the woman that I could move the tables slightly apart so it’s easier to stand up, but once again she started yelling that it had to be like this and she would complain to my manager if I offered again. They dined for 2.5 hours, and every time someone stood up, I watched seven other people having to move off the couch to the side of the table so one person could get their food, turning a five-second task into a five-minute task every single time.
This woman yelled at me, ignored friendly advice, and threatened to go to my manager, but in the end, she got a nice dose of karma.
51. Right In The Face
I was a bridesmaid for a family member’s wedding. We hired a super talented makeup artist to come in and make her look really good for her big day. This makeup artist, who was the quietest, shortest lady I’ve ever met in my whole life, starts doing her makeup. Once she finished it looked REALLY GOOD. I was just like “diddly dang, she’ll love this.” BOY was I wrong.
The bridezilla looked in the mirror and went absolutely BONKERS. She screeched, “It looks awful! YOU KNOW WHAT I WANTED!” She was crying, and her eye makeup was streaming down her face. We all rushed to calm her down. This poor makeup artist looks like she’s about to pee. So the makeup artist fixes her up despite her outburst and does basically the same thing but adds a little more eyeliner.
Suddenly the bridezilla LOVES IT.
52. I Know You Are But What Am I
My roommates and I decided to go grab some subway before we went out one Friday night. One of them is half-Ecuadorian, and the Subway employees were both Hispanic. While I was in the process of ordering my sandwich, the two workers were speaking to each other in Spanish. When it was my friend’s turn, he ordered in Spanish, which I thought was simply a gesture.
I couldn't figure out why both employees looked like ghosts and stammered their way through the entire ordering process. When I got back in the car, my friend told me the real story. He said that the two workers said, "Look at this pretty boy, pretending to be cultured. What a loser, he doesn't even know the language." At which point my friend decided to place his entire order in Spanish, and thank them at the end of the transaction.
53. Checking It Twice
I was working in food service at a cash register. A customer came up and placed an order, I rang it up, and she wasn't happy with how much it cost. She started whining and being a real witch. My co-worker came up and stood next to me, looked over what I did, and just kind of stood there polishing a counter. She squawked, "Get me your manager!" I say, "Ok sure, but ma'am this is the correct price."
Co-worker standing next to me is actually the manager. He looks at the woman and goes, "Yup," and continues polishing the counter. "Buh... wha... uh... ok fine!" shouts the woman and walks away. The two of us crack up laughing.
54. There's A Time And Place...
One night when I was working, a man came through in his bathrobe. I didn't really think too much about it. When I was getting the man his sauces, I kept hearing moans coming from the car. Apparently, the man was on the phone with an adult hotline and he had the call hooked up through his car, so it was really loud. I handed him his food while a woman was talking dirty to him.
The scariest part was he seemed so relaxed. He acted like it was a very normal thing to do.
55. Blonde Boomerang
I worked for a big chain grocery store as bagger and cart wrangler. There was this one overweight blond woman who would come in all time and cause chaos to no end. One example of her ridiculous and unnecessary nonsense included buying a 15-pound turkey and complaining that it tasted bad and wanting to return it.
She presented a platter with an empty carcass except for one piece of meat on one bone. Another time, she bought a $37 plant, did not water it, showed up a year and a half later with the plant dead as a doornail, and demanded a refund. Then she bought a grill, used 10 gallons of gasoline as fuel, caused an understandable fire/explosion, came back with receipt and charred grill, and demanded a refund. I could go on.
This would be a weekly, if not bi-weekly, happening. It got to the point where many cashiers would see her enter the store, turn off their light, and leave. Now, when I say she made a fuss, I'm not talking about your normal "I want to speak to your manager" type deal. Oh no, she went beyond that and went even further.
She would rant and rave, throw herself on the floor, roll around, throw things, call the authorities, which I witnessed and kept count at 87 times, and pull out her cell phone filming herself being "victimized" to report us to the media. She was eventually banned from the store after years of this. I heard stories that she began terrorizing our neighbor branch 7 blocks down the road.
56. The Writing On The Wall
In college, I worked for a floral shop that shared a space with a bakery. We had the space for both businesses to operate and it naturally was a good partnership. This story takes place near the end of my senior year. I was six weeks shy of graduating with two degrees. Although I cared about the stores and wanted them to do well, my nonsense-tolerance had dropped significantly.
One day, a woman came to me for balloons for her son's 2nd birthday party. She had already picked up her cake. Woman (grumpily tossing her balloon choices at me): Ugh, I can't believe the bakery. Me: Oh, is there something wrong? Woman: Yes! LOOK at this cake! She opens the box. It's a nice-looking cake, decorated with icing and trains.
A scrolling script says: "Happy 2nd Birthday Jackson!" Me: ... Woman: DON'T YOU SEE IT?! Me: I think it's a lovely ca-" Woman: IT'S IN CURSIVE! WHY THE HECK WOULD THEY PUT IT IN CURSIVE? HE'S TWO! Me: Oh...well, it'll take me a couple of minutes to fill these balloons. I bet you could take it back, and they could scrape off the old lettering, re-frost the blank space, and rewrite it for you.
Woman (clearly hasn't heard a word I said): I CAN'T BELIEVE SOMEONE IS SO STUPID TO THINK THIS IS OKAY! Me (yelling above her): CAN YOUR SON EVEN READ?! She immediately fell silent, blushed a deep purple, and was silent while I filled her balloons. She paid without a word.
57. A Case Of Mistaken Identity
I used to work in the main office for a large chain of furniture stores in the UK. I worked in the evenings, phoning customers to let them know their furniture was in, and arranging a delivery date. One night I phoned and asked for Mr. or Mrs. Jones. The guy on the phone starts ranting to me about people phoning up his elderly parents trying to sell things.
He went on and on and on and wouldn't let me get a word in edgewise. I think he may have even used the toilet while he was ranting at me. When he finally wound down, I said, "Are you finished now sir? This is ---- Furniture and I'm phoning to arrange a delivery date for your parents’ new three-piece suite." Yup, that one shut him up completely.
58. The Best Man For The Job
I was working at CompUSA a few years before they closed. A well-to-do looking gentleman and his high school-age son approached the counter and ask to return a 2.5" hard drive enclosure. I overhear him telling the girl that the enclosure was defective because his drive will not fit in it. She says that sounds unusual because we sell a lot of them and hadn't seen any returned.
Upon hearing this, he tells her in a very condescending tone that he "is an engineer and his son attends (insert expensive private school) and they could not get it to work so it must be defective." The customer service girl calls me over since she didn't really know much about computers and would rather have an "expert" look at it.
When I come over he has the drive enclosure and his hard drive sitting on the counter. I immediately notice that he never removed the OEM bracket from the original drive and that was why it wouldn't fit. I say, "I think I know what the problem is and just need to grab a screw driver." To which he responds, "If neither me or my son can figure it out, I doubt you'll be able to."
I proceed to take the bracket off and slide the drive into the enclosure in about 10 seconds all with a grin on my face. He picked it up and hurried out without saying anything or making eye contact.
59. Caught Slipping
My first job was at a Taco Bell in high school. I worked at the drive-thru and I didn't care how the tacos came out. One guy rolled up and took 10 to 15 minutes to order, giving me a nice break. He finally decided on some insane number of tacos and bean burritos. He pulled up and I found out why—this guy was definitely under the influence of something.
He handed me a wad of cash that turned out to be way more than enough, so I only took what was needed and handed him back his change. That's when I made a gruesome realization. I noticed that his private parts were hanging out of his pants. As I handed him his change, I told him: "Chicken's out of the barn, check yourself before you wreck yourself, bro." Then, he replied, "I didn't order chicken...".
Realizing it didn't process, I told him flat out: "Your little guy is hanging out of your pants, tuck it back in, bub." He let out a slow laugh, then looked down and said, "Oops!" He scrambled to tuck his third leg back into his britches and I handed him his four sacks of diarrhea-waiting-to-happen. That's about it really.
60. Putting Her In Her Place
I waited tables during college, and this is one of the best memories I have of my manager handling a rude guest. One of my tables was a gay couple at a booth. They were holding hands across the table basically the whole time they were at the restaurant. At one point, a lady with two small children flags me down from across the dining room.
Her table wasn’t in my section so I assumed she just wanted me to go find her server. I go over and ask her what I can do for her, and she says, “What the HECK is wrong with you? How can you possibly allow THEM in here? I’ve been coming here for 20 years and I’m appalled that they’d let a couple of those types eat here. Do me a favor and move those queers to a different table so my kids don’t have to see that sort of disgusting behavior.”
Literally, all they were doing was holding hands. Get over yourself lady. I wanted to tell her off for being such an intolerant witch, but instead just said, “One moment ma’am and I’ll get a manager for you.” I went and told my manager what was going on and he promptly went over to her table and told her that if she had an issue with other guests minding their own business and eating their food, then maybe she’d be better off not eating out at all.
She grabbed her kids and left without ordering. I always had a ton of respect for him for not putting up with horrible people’s issues.
61. Too Good To Be True
A well-dressed business passenger bought a plane ticket on Continental from Indianapolis to Manchester. There are no direct flights, so he would have to connect in Newark, New Jersey. After arriving, he strolls over to the Manchester gate and sees a small 50 pax regional jet parked outside. He thinks nothing of it and boards the airplane a while later.
After taking his seat, and just prior to the boarding door being closed, the flight attendant makes an announcement: "Welcome aboard flight #### service to Manchester, NEW HAMPSHIRE!" This guy goes completely wild. He starts scrambling to get his things and get off the plane, all the while yelling at the flight attendant, gate agent, pilots, and other passengers.
He was trying to go to Manchester in the UK (airport code of MAN) and he bought a ticket for MHT. The gate agent was getting completely verbally harassed by the guy at the podium as she tried to rebook him to the proper destination. She took it all in stride and was really trying to help the guy even though he was being a complete jerk and going on and on about how it was a mistake in the computer.
And then she saw how much he paid for the ticket. Her exact words were: "You only paid 300 dollars for your ticket and you really thought that was going to get you to England?" He was quiet after that.
62. Ironing Out The Details
I work at Ikea in Customer Service. On a daily basis, we have customers come in with items that have been used, broken, old, without their receipt, some even not Ikea products, and they are DEMANDING a refund. But the couple that really takes the cake tried to return to me a broken and rusty ironing board. It was obviously used and without a receipt I'm limited with my options.
We can only offer store credit if the item can be returned to stock in original packaging. Obviously, it wasn't. With a receipt you have 90 days to return your item in any condition. After I refused the return, they asked for my manager. My manager offered to look up their receipt, couldn't find it so we couldn't take it back. They then asked for her manager.
Every time they got a “no” they asked for the manager above. Eventually it got to our store manager. They quickly found out they’d messed with the wrong guy. This manager is a BOSSS, 6'5", hulk-like, and Swedish; he started as a cashier and made his way up literally from the bottom to owning the store. He came on down to the belligerent couple who were causing a scene because our customer service was apparently SOOOO poor.
After inspecting the item and removing their iron cover (which none of us did before, the item was that appalling we really didn't want to touch it) he finds the date stamp. It was from 2002. The couple got real silent because the entire time they said they've had it for less than three months. Our store manager said in the calmest voice I have ever heard in my life, "I think it's about time you leave my store."
63. Watch Your Manners
I used to do cellphone customer service for a call centre in Canada, though it was an American cellphone company. Got a call from a right-angry Texan who had been passed around from agent to agent with no one really listening to him, making him even more angry (and understandably so). So, he gets to me and he's just a whirlwind of yelling and swearing.
I can barely make out what he's saying. In my sternest Person-In-Charge voice I say, "Sir, that's no way to talk to a lady!" Right away he calms down and goes: "Yes, ma'am. Sorry, ma'am." And we resolved his issue within a couple of minutes. Oh, Texas. I love your old-school gentlemen when they're not drowned out by your extreme fundamentalists.
64. The Early Bird Special
I work at a two-star family hotel. In the winter, we close only for Christmas, which is when we get our three-week paid leave. During the colder months, there are times when there are local events, and since the surrounding islands have no good infrastructure, many guests book at city center hotels like ours.
It was almost November when this happened—we had no rooms available on one particular night, but a guest came in. For the sake of the post, let's call him Greg. A thin, tall, businessman type of guy with a mafia mustache and glasses. He looked to be in his mid-50s with grey hair. From the way he spoke, I could tell he was very educated. He walked in just half an hour before my shift ended.
Greg: "Good evening, I have a room booked for me and I know I'm early but I can wait." Me: "Not at all, the check-in desk is 24/7." Greg: "Magnificent, I can check in now then?" Me: "Of course, your name please?" Greg: "Greg McGregor." Me: "Hmmm, I can't seem to find your name..." Greg: "Oh, it's there for sure, I booked just an hour ago while I was waiting at the bus terminal at the airport."
At that point, I vaguely remembered the fax that was sent in. Me: "Oh of course, but your reservation is for... tomorrow?" Greg: "That's correct, that's why I asked if I could check in now." Me: "I'm afraid you cannot check-in now, as the reservation is for tomorrow, and I don't have any rooms for tonight to extend your reservation." Greg: "It doesn't matter, I can wait a few hours until it's ready then! Can you point me to an outlet so I can plug in my laptop while I wait?"
Me: "Sir... the check-in time is after 2 o’clock of the day you have reserved. Not midnight the day before." Greg: "I respectfully disagree. I am taking the room at 1:01 am just like you promised me." At the time, I did not fathom what he was trying to say. I have had guests that believed they were entitled to the room at midnight…but why 1:01 am?
After much thought, I decided to check his reservation form directly. The request was auto-approved as we have configured auto-approvals for non-chargeable check-in or check-out times, but they are strictly for checking-in after midnight of the next day, not the previous.
Me: "This is an auto-approval message. It clearly states here and here that it's for the next day, not the previous." Greg: "No problem, I can check in at 2:01 am then." Me: "I'm not sure you understand what I mean." This is when he started getting spicy. Greg: "You think that you're the manager here?" Me: "Actually, I am." Greg: "I will post a negative review then for not keeping your word."
Me: "Please exit the hotel now or I will call the authorities." Greg: "Well, okay...I'm afraid you lost ONE MORE GUEST NOW. You may cancel my reservation for tomorrow." He left as if he thought that all was well. Well, needless to say, he is not getting a refund. Don’t tick off the front desk, people.
65. Too Big For His Britches
I worked at the local CVS for a summer back in college. I was at the register one night when a lanky teenager came up carrying four different boxes of condoms. He put them on the counter, produced a receipt, and asked for a refund. I noticed that each of the boxes had been opened. I told him we couldn't refund the items given that he had opened them.
He looked me straight in the eyes and said seriously that he had tried one condom from each of the boxes and that none of them fit because they were too big. I didn't know what to say to that except that we definitely could not give him a refund. Without any embarrassment he scooped up the boxes and left. They were all "XXL," "magnum," and "plus-size" brands of condoms.
66. That Took A Turn
I used to be a low level manager in a call centre, it paid the bills…anyway, a customer had called us and been perfectly pleasant, giving us his account details, and business got underway. At the end of the call, he asked for one more thing that we couldn't have done, and was informed of this. He immediately got extremely aggressive with my member of staff.
At this point her hand shot up in the air (cue me) and she handed over the headset and chair so I could view the details. I was called a bunch of names, and then we got down to the grand finale. The threat. I'm paraphrasing but here's how it went: Him: “Listen, I can see your company's address on your website, I'm going to come down there and mess you up.”
Me: “Good, you gave my colleague your name and address details first then, I'll make sure to hand them over to the authorities somewhere in the few hours it's going to take you to drive down here. We'll be waiting.” Dial tone
67. Tone Deaf
Each Sunday, the hotel hosts an afternoon tea for the grey set. This started after my shift ended. All was well when I left, but when I came in the next day, I heard about an older lady who had a heart attack and passed at the afternoon tea. My manager called me into her office, I assume to ask if I was okay, etc. Nope, screw that.
She actually said, with all seriousness, "Why did you leave so early yesterday? We could have used your help with the medical emergency. The other manager struggled to cope." I was SHOCKED. I bluntly said, "Are you serious? How was I to know someone was planning on having a heart attack and passing an hour after my shift ended?!"
She responded, "Well, you could try and make a habit of staying back a little in case we need help..." I noped out of that and walked out. I finished my shift exactly on time that day.
68. Getting To Know You
My folks used to own a Tastee Freez in South Carolina and I worked in it most summers as a teenager. Since it was a small town, everyone knew each other and most went to the same church. One Sunday night, one of the ladies from church called in at about five minutes after 10:00 and tried to order a 20 piece chicken nugget, and when I informed her that we closed at 10:00 and the grill and fryers were already cleaned and closed for the night, she got irate with me.
She started yelling in my ear about how she knew the owners of the place and she was going to get me fired and did she know who I was talking to. I calmly replied that yes, Mrs. Greene, I knew exactly who I was talking to, since my parents and I lived right across the street from her and she had asked us in church that morning what time we closed for the night.
We were never on speaking terms again.
69. The Honey Trap
I used to work in a Deli restaurant, and this lady comes in and rudely orders her food. I told her that everything should come out all right and that I will double check for her to make sure her order would be correct. She insisted on getting LOTS of honey mustard on her sandwich. I typed in extra honey mustard on the ticket. Sure enough her order comes out and there seemed to be plenty of honey mustard there.
But when I deliver it she yells at me for not having the extra honey mustard I promised her and told me to "get a ton more honey mustard" for her. I go to the back of the store, get an entire new gallon jug of honey mustard, and plop it on her table. Her friends were laughing and she was steaming mad. She complained to the manager, who thought it was hilarious and actually laughed in her face.
70. Eyewitness Account
This story is kinda different. So, I did work there, but I saw it happen to someone who didn’t. I was working in lawn and garden section, I see this autistic young man. I guessed he was autistic, as he seemed predominantly focused on his action and kinda had the actions of an autistic individual. This young man is sorting and moving potted flowers around putting them in a very specific order, matching colors, size of pots, and height of the flowers themselves—doing an amazing job at it too I may add.
He is bothering no one and most folks are just noticing him doing a bang-up job, But this one old crone of a woman sees him "working." She stands behind this young man arms folded and tapping her foot. At first, I was thinking maybe it was her son or someone she was shopping with, but the next thing she did told me that assumption was wrong.
She clears her throat in that dreaded fashion we all know, "Ahem...excuuuuuuuse me, you need to help me." The young man pays her no mind, continuing with his task. She doesn't like this, so she clears her voice and replies louder,” YOU ARE NOT LISTENING TO ME, YOU ARE GOING TO HELP ME NOW!!!” Before I can walk to her and ask her what she needs, she reaches out and grabs this young man by the right arm just above his elbow.
I guess the sudden action of this and the young man's condition caused him to spin around and jerk his arm away from this lady. The sudden movement startled the old woman causing her to step backward and lose her balance, causing her to sit down on her behind. It was like in slow motion watching her go from standing to sitting on the ground.
By the time I reached the young man to see if he was okay, his mother had shown up and was asking what had happened, before I could say anything the woman who had caused this was up and berating this young man. Saying he attacked her and she will have him fired and detained by the authorities, meanwhile this young man was almost crying and his mother was shocked.
I told the mom to take her son and calm him down, that he has done nothing wrong and just to make sure he is okay. The crazy old women didn't like that I took his side, she began to lie and tell me she was the victim and she didn't do anything, that the employee (young man) attacked her. Well, I wasn’t about to let her do any more damage than she already had.
I told her not so kindly that a. she was a liar and I had witnessed the whole incident and b. the young man she had forcibly grabbed does not work here and that she had attacked him. By then, a crowd had gathered, and the crazy woman had noticed that no one is believing her side of the story. She just puts her head down and walks quickly out the store.
When I turn to check on the young man and his mother, she was smiling at me and was thanking me for my help. She shops there regularly and the young man liked to arrange the flowers, it's calming to him. I express my regrets about the whole incident, and the young man walked over to me and patted my shoulder once and went back to the flowers.
The mom informed me that was basically the equivalent of a high five from him!
71. A Card-Carrying Fool
I was serving a family. The parents were clearly in their 50s/60s, while their kids were in their mid-20s. When ordering drinks, I carded the kids but not the parents. The mom pipes up with the whole, "Heyyy I don't look that old, why didn't you card meeeeeeeee?????????" I respond with, "Okay, let me see your ID, then." It all went so wrong.
As it turns out, mommy dearest left her wallet at home. I inform her that, unfortunately, once requested, I am legally not allowed to serve her drinks unless she produces a valid ID. Obviously, she’s FURIOUS about this, so I send the manager over to confirm with her that I am not allowed to serve her. It almost goes without saying that I didn't receive a tip, but hopefully, this idiot learned something today.
72. The Human Touch
I used to work as a croupier at clubs, and during a shift change my colleague accidentally made a wrong payment to a playing customer. Gamblers being what they are, the complaining that ensued was pretty awkward and no matter how much my colleague said he was sorry, the customer kept on wining. Finally, I just had to take over the situation with the perfect reply.
I said: "Sir, people make mistakes, we are not robots. If you want to play with machines, there are slot machines in the other bar." He shut up and the other players seemed relieved.
73. They Grow Up So Fast
I worked in electronics at Target at the time, although it wasn't the customer who suddenly shut up, it was me. This was around 2004, when GTA: San Andreas just came out. An older woman walks up to the electronics desk and addresses me. Customer: “I’d like to buy Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.” Me: “Is this a gift for someone?” Customer: “Yes, this is for my 4-year-old grandson.”
Me: “Well, ma’am, just to let you know, this game has been rated ‘M’ for Mature, and has a lot of violence, profanity, drug use, and other adult content.” Customer: “That’s okay, he’s already been exposed to all that…”
74. From Zero To 100
Oh boy, do I have a doozy. One time, about 15 minutes before close, we had a guy drive up and ask for 30 Mama Burgers. I cringed at the amount of extra work that was just given, but whatever—we were still open, so we had to do it. I asked him if he wanted cheese on the burgers and his response was "I don't freaking care."
My supervisor, the only other dude up at the front with me, decided that now would be a good time to run and help the back-staff with making burgers, leaving me all alone to deal with what was surely about to be a very angry individual. But what actually happened is not what I expected at all. I took the guy's money and tried to hide around the milkshake machine out of sight.
When I peeked over to check on him, I was shocked—he started BEATING THE HECK out of his own car. I'm not kidding. He was throwing punches to his windshield as hard as he could. Then, I heard him start throwing stuff out of his window and onto the ground. Obviously, I wasn't close enough to see what it was he was throwing out, but after he got his food and drove off, we looked outside to see that it was car parts that he had smashed.
There were parts of the handle on his shifter, the vents, a volume knob, and various other bits and pieces all over the road. I get so confused just thinking about it. The dude had to have been on something. That is the only way I can reconcile car-smashing and buying 30 hamburgers in one short period of time.
75. Out Of Pocket
I worked at a pharmacy as a technician. This patient brings in a prescription for a very expensive, name brand only drug, but has good insurance. I fill it and the patient causes a scene at the cash register because the copayment is 30 dollars instead of the usual 10 that the patient pays for generic drugs. The patient whines and moans about the "broken healthcare system" and “those insurance companies."
I inform the patient that, without insurance, the drug would cost her thousands of dollars every year out of pocket. Patient then proceeds to shut up.
76. A Taste Of Their Own Medicine
Once upon a time, I worked at a Kinko's, which is famous for having irate customers. But we had a secret weapon to deal with jerks. We had a guy on our shift with honest to goodness Tourette's where he would tic and swear loudly, then continue the conversation. We found that if we told the irate customer that he'd have to "talk to the supervisor," then send up Mr. Tourette, they'd be shut up by having someone swear in their face.
I think it just shocked them out of their panties-in-a-bunch state. Worked great.
77. Category Is: Entitled Karen
So, I manage a plus size women’s clothing store. We actually get a surprising amount of non-traditional customers. Guys who need a dress for a charity show, cross dressers, gender-fluid people, transgender women, and drag queens aren't unheard of. So, a drag queen comes into the store to pick up some shoes they ordered online.
They must have been either coming from or going to a show because they were still in full makeup. I get their name, and during our conversation another customer walks in. I call out a greeting and say something like, "I'll be right with you." I go to the back room, and it takes a minute to go through all the web orders.
I find the one I need and am on my way back to the counter when the new customer throws her arm out to stop me from passing. She then says, "I am a new customer and I've been here for 20 minutes and no one has spoken to me.” First, I greeted her when she came in, and second, she had only been in the store for 5 minutes at that point.
I resigned myself to groveling, but before I could say anything, the drag queen stomps over, glares at the customer, and says, "Honey, she said hello to you." Complete with sassy finger snaps. The Queen then made a big show of thanking me for getting her package, and gave me a big sparkly kiss on the cheek before she left.
The other customer sheepishly paid for her Spanx and didn't make eye contact when I told her to have a good day.
78. Silence Is Golden
I waited tables and tended bar for years before switching to my current career. One day, this table comes in, eats, drinks, pays cash. I tell them to have a great day and walk away. While taking a drink order at a new table, I notice the lady standing there angrily, and I make eye contact with her husband and he looks really embarrassed.
I finish taking the drink order and go over to them. "Yes? Is there a problem?" She tells me I gave her the wrong change and was really nasty about it. I can't remember exactly what it was, but I had intended to round up to avoid pennies. You heard me right...pennies. Like, their change was supposed to be $3.78 and I intended to give them $3.80.
Well, I guess I made a mistake this time and gave them $3.75. Either way, she was really rude. She showed me the receipt, and I apologized and admitted my error. But then came the best part. Looking at it, I pointed out that I had forgotten to ring up her coffee, and that I would be right back with an updated check. She was angry that she ended up paying more than if she'd just kept her mouth shut.
79. Don’t Keep Me Hanging
I worked at a hotel front desk in a ski resort in Lake Tahoe. People would call (with disturbing frequency) several MONTHS in advance of their reservation to ask: "Is it going to be SNOWING the day I drive up on April 5th?" The best solution was to say, "Hold on, let me check" and then the staff would take cockfight-style bets on how long the customer would sit on hold before they gave up. Sometimes it would be like 15 minutes.
80. Sticker Shock
I work at CVS. Items are usually marked up higher than places like Target or any supermarket. One customer comes in and buys some useless item. When she sees that it's $10.99 or something similar, she goes off at me. "YOU CAN'T LIE TO ME ABOUT THAT PRICE. THAT IS $6.99 AT TARGET THERE'S NO WAY YOU CAN TELL ME THAT'S $10.99!" All I could say was, "Well if you really want to pay $6.99 for it, then go to Target." She got the heck out of there.
81. That's Not Nice
One time, I was working at the drive-thru at McDonald's. At the time, we were selling the Mighty Wings, which were only sold for a limited time with a special habanero sauce. A man drove up and asked for the wings, but we sold out, so I told him to try the nuggets instead. He got the nuggets and wanted the habanero sauce, which was also out of stock.
Naturally, he got mad, then said, "Fine, I'll just get a barbecue then." As he pulled up to the pay window, he looked at me straight in the eyes and said, "You are a failure." I know that it wasn't my fault that we ran out of stuff, but it still hurt pretty bad.
82. Dog Eat Dog World
Nothing grinds my gears more than when people try to exploit the service dogs loophole. This lady came in and wouldn’t answer the two legal questions we are required to ask them about their service dogs. She kept mouthing off that it was wrong to ask, which was a major red flag. She kept going off about how much trouble I was going to be in. Little did she know the tables would be turned...
Sure lady. So I went ahead and printed out the rules about them. She refused to read them even though I highlighted the parts where it says I am allowed to ask these questions. She kept saying "I have papers, here read them." Finally, she let it slip that it was a “comfort” thing. I was being respectful the whole time, but also stern.
“But I got let inside a courthouse before. I have a vest and certificate to show. I paid $40 dollars for it!” This was another red flag since training for a service dog is expensive! Yes, ma’am, you got let in because you purposely misidentified your dog as a service dog. She then said she forgot her charger in the car and never came back. People like her ruin it for real service dogs.
83. Crossing A Line
I work at Best Buy in the warehouse, and we cover breaks for the guys working the cameras up front. A co-worker was covering a break when this guy came up to one of the front lane registers. There was a bit of a line and we only had two lanes open. One of the front lane guys is handicapped. It doesn't affect his job, it just takes him longer to walk around.
The customer finally made his way to the front of the line and paid with a credit card. The front lane rep needed to see the last 4 digits of the credit card and asked to see his card "real quick." The customer FLIPPED OUT. He said, "Oh NOW you want to do something real quick." Then he muttered just loud enough for everyone to hear: "I should have known not to get in the short bus line."
My co-worker who was observing the cameras saw everything and was not very happy. He walked up to the customer, grabbed all his merchandise, and said, "Nope, you're not buying anything today. You can leave." Never been so proud of him.
84. Can’t Defy Physics
I work at Toys R Us. That should be bad enough. But for a specific story, I worked the back of house. Those are the guys who bring down bicycles, power wheels, and other large items that are purchased from the back of the store up front to the customer. This one time, this man purchased a large power wheel (Barbie Jammin' Jeep '08 model I believe).
When I brought it out, I see the customer standing next to his car. A small, two-door Nissan. I immediately inform the man that the box will not fit in his car, and that we can hold it for him if he wished to come back later with a larger vehicle. He said that wouldn't work; he had to get the jeep now because he's been searching for weeks for it. I again tell him how the box is larger than his car and it will not fit.
He tells me that's bull and has me attempt to load the car into the trunk, then the front seat. After 20 failed minutes, I tell the man I can no longer spend time on this. I tell him I can write down his information, put the jeep on hold, and wait for him to return with a different car. He says he's going to continue to try and put it in his car. I leave him be and resume my work.
About a half hour later, I get a call from the customer service desk that I have to bring a returned jeep back to the storage area.
85. Dishing It Out
Boy oh boy, some people. This happened yesterday. I'll keep this short and not bore anyone with unnecessary back-story about the type of restaurant I work in, or anything about the set up. All you need to know is that: First, it's fairly small, so I work alone with one chef; second, it's family-friendly; and finally, we have a wide menu, with options ranging from $7.00 dishes to our most expensive $17.50 dish.
Not very pricy at all. One day, I received a phone call asking specifically about our $17.50 dish—our seafood paella. It's made fresh to order, and takes about 15-20 minutes to make. Not to mention that seafood is expensive. So, the price is justified. The person I was speaking to asked if we were a buffet. We are not. I told them we are table service, and can do the paella any time.
I asked if they wanted to make a reservation because of the time it takes to prepare the paella. They said no, and hung up. So I went about my day. A few hours later, a family of four comes in. They sit down, glance at the menus, and then wave me over with a snap of the father's fingers (gotta love that). The dad then says, “Show me the paella.”
I direct him to the back of the menu, where it's listed very clearly and shows the ingredients and the price. Him: “I want that.” I write it down. The mother then says she wants a paella, followed by the two kids saying the same. So I confirm. Me: "So that's four paellas? You don't want to share?" Dad: "No. We'll all have paella."
So I put the order in after reminding him it'll take about 15 minutes. I offered them drinks, but they just wanted water. I started getting the cheap vibe, but they ordered FOUR paellas, so how cheap could they be? Food comes out. They love it. Dad asks if he could get one to go. I put the order in so it would be ready when they finish.
We're at five paellas now, and almost $90, before tax. I let the chef/owner know my concerns that the family may object to this price despite having made it clear to them. He gave me the okay to give them a 10% discount right off the bat. He's a good guy. The time comes to bring the bill, and the man's eyes go super wide.
I wrote out the bill so that every paella has $17.50 next to it. I watch as realization hits. He opens his mouth to object, and I immediately say, "The owner said to give you a discount because you ordered five of our most expensive dish and he wanted to thank you. He was happy to hear that you enjoyed it enough to order another to take home." That shut him up. I then watch as he scans every last line of the bill and then settles on the tax, which was nearly $11.
Him: "You added a tip for yourself?" He was angry. Me: "No sir." Him: "What's this then?!" Me: "...The tax." Honestly, I wasn't expecting a tip at that point, but he did leave me 10%. So basically the discount we had given him. They said the food was excellent, but I highly doubt they'll be back. For some reason, they thought ordering the same dish would equal just the price of one dish.
86. A Little Sunday Shopping
I used to work at Home Depot over the summer as a cashier. The very best was the woman who came up to my line with a cart that had only a single small box of nails. Odd, I thought, but maybe she just didn't find what she needed the cart for. So I ring her up and she says, "Well what about the rest of my order? I need 800 lbs of Quickcrete, 50 10' 2x4s, ten 8' 4x4s...”
She starts reading off all of the ingredients she needs to make a massive deck, or a dock, or something. She then asks me sweetly if I'll help her get them while she waits in line, holding up the 10 people behind her while I pull an entire back yard's worth of lumber and concrete out for her. I told her we couldn't do that, and gave her the number to call to have her order pulled.
She freaked out. Spent about 20 minutes screaming at me, even after I called the head cashier and had him handle her. See, she would run over to my lane while I was with other customers to tell me how "unprofessional" I was being, and that this is why everyone goes to Lowe's nowadays, because there they care about the customer.
87. Dedicated To The Game
I was working in an indie model/wargame/TCG shop. A group of kids around 13 years old turn up after school to play Yu-Gi-Oh inside. As their game drags on, one kid asks us where the toilets are. We direct him to the bus station, but he complains about the 30-second walk. He remains playing. Suddenly, we hear laughter from this kid and a pool of moisture forming down his trouser leg and onto our carpet.
My boss and I stare in utter disbelief as this kid shakes his leg, and remains playing his card game. Boss goes crazy and forces the kid to clean the carpet before banning him for a week. Kid returns next week to the nickname Wazzers.
88. By Any Other Name
I'm a server. A guest walks into brunch and orders our smoked salmon plate. The only dairy in this particular dish is a ramekin of cream cheese that is served on the side. A couple of minutes later, I’m in the kitchen getting coffee for another table. I turn around and the smoked salmon lady has followed me to the kitchen. When I turn around and see her, I ask, “Is there something you need?”
She says, “I forgot I’m not eating dairy, so can I change my order to the buttermilk pancakes?” Confused at what I just heard, I ask, “The buttermilk pancakes? There is dairy in the pancakes...” “Well, as long as it’s not a lot it’s ok.” Lady.....it’s like the main ingredient. It’s in the name. BUTTERMILK pancakes. Do people really listen to the stupidity that comes out of their face holes??? I can’t.
89. Thirsting For More
Wedding coordinator here! I've found the moms are usually worse than the brides. I worked a wedding this past summer with a ridiculous Momzilla. During the rehearsal, she handed me the box of decorations and said, "Don't you dare make this look tacky." On the day of the wedding, she arrived and came up to ask me where the wedding programs were.
I told her there weren't any programs in any of the boxes and she proceeded scream at me for losing them and then decided that I took them. She also asked that we build a water station for the guests, but instructed us that she didn't want the guests to have access to it until after the ceremony. It was 90 degrees that day and the ceremony was outside, so that did not go over well.
And when the guests complained that they were thirsty and we weren't letting them go to the water station, she told them how horrible we were and made a big deal of opening the water station early, like she was the hero. Thank God they only booked the venue for the ceremony, so she was only my problem for about an hour. But that wasn’t the end of the story.
The next day, my boss handed me an email the Momzilla sent her. She wrote about how I lost the programs, but then in the same sentence said she found the programs in her hotel room later that night and made a comment about how I should've gone to her hotel and gotten them. She also complained about how I wouldn't give her guests water and how the photographer was the worst person she's ever worked with.
She actually wrote, "Don't bother remembering her name, she'll never work in his town again" about the photographer, like she was a Hollywood producer. Her letter ended with her complimenting the venue space—and then came the line I’ll never forget. "I think I would be a great addition to your team of event coordinators! Let me know when I can start!"
Yep, this witch was blatantly trying to take my job. The worst part, though, is that my boss actually hired her. Needless to say, I quit working at that venue.
90. Extra, Extra, Read All About It
During high school, I worked at a Burger King. There was this one woman who would always come into drive thru during the afternoon and ask for a Whopper Jr with extra onions. And I mean, a LOT of extra onions. And no matter how many we put in, she always came into the store and complained that there weren't enough. Still, this was in the middle of the afternoon, so we didn't care.
However, one day, we had four buses full of US Army enlistees at the store at the same time. Convoys of chartered buses would go by periodically, and they usually stopped at our store because the bus drivers knew my boss. Now, these people were always the nicest, most respectful people you can possibly imagine, which was a welcome change after dealing with jerks the whole day.
They also always ordered a ton of food—all king-size, tons of double and triple whoppers, the whole nine yards. My boss would always have me give them the "senior discount" (15% off), and they enjoyed that immensely, because it said that they were getting a senior discount on their receipts. Anyways, nice as they were, they strained our store to the limit because they ordered so much food.
So we were almost literally going hammer and tongs to keep up, and then the worst happens. Onion woman comes into drive thru. My boss told me to just grab two handfuls of onions and put them on the sandwich, because she didn't need a scene when we were as far behind as we were. I could barely close the burger because of the onions, but I managed it and we gave it to her.
Now remember, the store is completely full of US Army enlistees. They probably have not had fast food for weeks (I think they were going from boot camp to get their first assignments). And the line was out the door. So onion woman pushes her way past all of these people, rudely shoving them out of her way, and comes up to the counter screaming that she didn't have enough onions.
My boss is angry, so she takes the sandwich, hands it to me, and tells me to do whatever I want with it. I knew just what to do. I dumped the ENTIRE TUB of onions on this (probably about 1.5 LITERS of onions), and wrapped it up really, REALLY tight, and taped it shut (Note that the wrappers were somewhat elastic...). My boss hands it to the woman, and she opens it right on the counter to "make sure we have enough" even though it's like six times bigger than normal.
The thing EXPLODED ALL OVER. SO freaking awesome. All the guys trying not to laugh. One of their officers (a quite young 1st Lt.) was waiting by the counter for his food, and finally he just gave up and started laughing his butt off. The men took this as a cue, and she had about 250 men dying laughing at her.
One of the best days of my high school life. She didn't come back for a month, and she never, EVER complained about not having enough onions.
91. Wet And Wild
I used to work in Best Buy services. It was sort of like Geek Squad before Geek Squad and it dealt with everything like TVs and VCRs and junk. One day we had a guy come in and complain about his little video camera not working. I agree to take a look at it even though there's not much I can do but send it back to the manufacturer for him.
It will take some time, but that was 90% of the problem people had with services. Naturally, this guy wants a new one on the spot and he starts getting REALLY loud about it. So I call the manager. While I'm waiting for them to come up, I'm still tinkering with the camera in the back. I get some tools out and, hey, look I got the thing open for the guy. When I saw what was on it, I knew we had him.
A minute or so later I come back out when the manager gets there. The manager is talking to the guy as I move a computer up to the counter. I jump in and say, "Hey, I don't think we should give this guy a new unit." The guy gives me dagger eyes and the manager is like, "Oh? why's that?" Then I play the footage of what is unmistakably someone running around a pool, dropping the camera, which tumbles into the pool.
He had taken out the tape but it was recorded to the memory stick. Guy takes his camera and quietly leaves the store.
92. If The Shoe Doesn’t Fit…
I work in a shoe shop. One of the services we supply is to check how well school shoes fit on our younger customers. Once a staff member has signed to say they are a good fit, the customer is able to bring them back if there are any problems. This one time, a mother came back in with her son a week after being fitted with a pair, loudly mouthing off that the shoes were too tight and causing blisters.
Even though she was being a psycho about it, we offered to get her a new pair. Once back in the kids department, she spotted the girl who fitted the original shoes and went crazy at her, demanding that the girl should be there while a better pair was fitted so she wouldn't make the same mistake again. Despite the mom saying some pretty degrading stuff about her, the girl agreed to sit in on the re-fit in an attempt to help out.
She remembered the customer, even to the point of remembering the child’s name, and was visibly upset about doing a bad job. Returning to the till, the fitter offered to put the exchange through as a final gesture of goodwill. She then froze, realization dawning on her. "These aren't your sons shoes" she said to the customer. They have a name tag inside saying Tommy, and your son’s name is Billy.
Turns out the kid had swapped his shoes with another boy in his class. Laughed that witch out of the shop.
93. Hotel Havoc
I used to work as a front desk agent at a boutique hotel. A guy who was obviously very full of himself came in with an online reservation that he had booked at a shockingly cheap nightly rate. He proceeded to give me a hard time about EVERYTHING, from telling me he shouldn't have to give me his credit card info since he had prepaid his reservation, to telling me "Um yeah, I'm pretty sure I can find the elevators, I'm not stupid."
He was just being an all-around jerk. About 10 minutes after checking him in, he came down and demanded that we give him a bigger room with a king bed and a view, even though he had booked a standard queen bed online. I complied, as we had extra king beds available. 10 minutes later, he came down again to complain about the size of the room.
He told me, "I'm only going to give you one more chance to make me happy," and asked for the general manager. After much arguing between him and my manager, we ended up giving him our nicest suite AND free parking since we had "Given him trouble." He got all this for a way cheaper rate, like $40 per night! Oh, but he outdid himself.
Get this: He informed us shortly after the ordeal, while on his way out to dinner, that he was not even going to be in the room for the majority of his stay, as he was visiting friends and would be staying at their home. What the heck! So I made it my personal mission to make his life a living nightmare from that point on.
I reset his room keys every time I saw him leave the hotel—which was quite frequently, 3-4 times a day. It was particularly funny when he came back tired from a night out and had to come all the way down to the front desk to get his keys fixed. Needless to say, he was very frustrated by the end of his stay. I doubt he'll be staying with us again.
94. Dog Day Afternoon
My vet has been after me to take my dog to get his teeth cleaned. I made an online appointment to drop him off and received a confirmation email of my appointment time being 9 am. A couple of days before the appointment, I received another reminder email with 9 am. I arrive to the clinic at 8:45 am and check in with the receptionist. They ask me to have a seat and they’ll come get my dog quickly to take him back.
About 30 minutes later, after no one had come, I asked the receptionist if there was a delay and she responded, “Well, you should have been here at 7 am. So since you’re late it’s taking longer.” I replied that the appointment time I received and confirmed was for 9 am. She refused to accept my answer and continued to say that it was 7 am and it doesn’t matter what I received.
I politely sat back down to wait again instead of engaging in an argument. Shortly after, they came to take my dog back to clean his teeth. I spoke with the vet tech and they said that the reason for the 7 am arrival was for blood work but it wasn’t a big deal and they’d get it done still. Before leaving, I looked up the email on my phone and of course, it said 9 am. I proceeded to try to show the email to the receptionist, who didn’t even look at the email and instead said, “I don’t have control over the emails sent. That’s corporate.”
I responded that she may not be responsible for sending the emails but she works for the company that does and should be able to provide the feedback. She smirked at me and kept to her story, that it wasn’t her problem and it was my fault I wasn’t informed of the early arrival. The smirking is what sent me over the top. She began to act as if she wanted to physically fight, which was fine with me, but the lead tech came out to defuse the situation.
Eventually, I left to do a few errands while they completed the teeth cleaning. But it was far from over. 3 pm rolls around and I began to get worried that I hadn’t heard from the vet since 9 am. I attempted to call with no answer. After a few tries, someone answered. I asked about my dog and they simply responded with, “He’s doing good. He’s been out to pee and they should be calling you soon.” We hung up. 4:30 pm comes and I’m starting to get more and more upset that I have no idea what’s going on.
I tried calling and despite numerous calls, I couldn’t get through. I called corporate, who also was having trouble getting through. Corporate told me the only way to truly speak with someone was to GO THERE. I tell the guy on the phone he better hope he gets a hold of them before I get there to warn them I’m coming, because it won’t be pretty. I drive 30 minutes with corporate still trying to get a hold of them.
I park, get out of the car, walk up to the front desk and wait for the receptionist. Corporate comes back on the phone saying they still can’t get a hold of them. I tell the guy “I know. I’m right here waiting for the receptionist to stop ignoring me and I’m watching them ignore your phone calls.” At the vet, I ask about my dog. THEY HADN’T EVEN COMPLETED THE TEETH CLEANING. MY DOG HAD BEEN KENNELED FOR 8 HOURS FOR NOTHING.
At this point, my voice is raised and I’m not holding anything back. The same lead vet tech comes out to discuss with me and while I’m explaining that just that morning the receptionist (who wasn’t there anymore) had argued with me about needing to be there at 7 am FOR NOTHING. That it wouldn’t have mattered whether I got there at 7 am or camped out in the parking lot, they wouldn’t have completed my dog’s cleaning anyway.
I also pointed out the fact that NO ONE communicated with me about them not being able to get to my dog. Then I got sent over the edge. What does this vet tech do? SHE SMIRKS AT ME. I couldn’t even contain the rage anymore. I started lecturing her about the smirking and the fact that the SAME behavior is what set me off with the morning receptionist.
She swore she wasn’t smirking and apologized but it was too late. I told her if they don’t bring me my dog I will go back there myself and get him. An employee in the store (the vet clinic is inside a pet store) who was leaving stopped in his tracks and began watching the altercation between me and the lead vet tech. He stood there for about five minutes, holding an empty water jug, about 15-20 feet away.
After I finished giving the vet tech a lecture I turned to the employee and said “Can I help you? You can keep it moving. This isn’t a show.” His response was to turn around and walk back into the grooming salon that was right next to the vet and point at me as he gossiped to his coworkers. Me? I waved! I yelled: “Where’s YOUR manager?” He came back out and told me HE was the manager and he was worried about the vet tech’s safety.
I turned to the vet tech and asked her if she felt threatened and she replied no. I pointed out to him that he wasn’t needed and if he was soooooo worried about her safety he should have been much closer than 20 feet away for so long and shouldn’t have retreated to his grooming salon until I called him out for gossiping. As I’m talking to him, a woman appears and asks what’s going on. It got real interesting.
Guess what? SHE was the manager. I tell her that homeboy wanted to be an onlooker and then go and gossip to other employees. She tells me he wouldn’t do that. I tell her at this point all I want is to leave. All I want is my dog and I’m gone. They bring my dog out while the manager, grooming employee, and lead vet tech are there. Homeboy tries to pet my dog!
As I’m trying to leave, the lady who runs the clinic comes out and tells me she wants to talk. I respond that I’m done talking and they’ve lost my dog as a patient. She continues to try to get me to speak with her so finally, I give in. I don’t wanna be rude to an older lady. As I’m describing everything I’ve been through, the incorrect time on the email, the receptionist with the attitude, my dog being contained for 8 hours for no reason, the lead vet tech’s smirking, the employee who couldn’t mind his business...she proceeds to tell me that they KNEW when I dropped him off that they wouldn’t be able to get to him because of another emergency.
SAY WHAT?! She also tells me they’re having a lot of trouble with the employees at the clinic and she’s upset at my experience and wants the opportunity to do better. She offers to clean my dog’s teeth if I bring him in again, to which I replied absolutely not. I’ve got problems with at least two of your employees and you want me to trust your team to take good care of my dog?
You’re crazy. I left and vowed never to shop at the pet store nor use the clinic or grooming salon ever again. Good riddance!
95. Anything Can Happen
I’d been having a really busy night, non-stop back and forth, without any time to even pause and go to the bathroom. I’d been so busy that I wasn’t even thinking about bathroom breaks. But we were also going through a bit of a heatwave in our area, so I’d been drinking copious amounts of water. All of a sudden as I was driving to this particular delivery, the urge to go hit me.
Like, things went from 0 to 60 in an instant. Thankfully I was close to the customer so could get this one over with quickly. Or so I thought. I pulled up to the house, and it was an area I’d delivered in before, so I could immediately see that something wasn’t right. All the lights were off in the house, not even the glow of a television or anything.
It was extra apparent because the streetlight closest to the door happened to be out of order. And on top of it all, the block was super quiet. This is a big university area, and obviously there aren’t many student renters in July, but there had to be at least one person, because someone ordered this pizza. Maybe they just liked sitting in the dark or they were out back in the yard, whatever.
I just didn’t want to get out of my car and knock on a quiet house in the middle of the night (around 9:30pm) without first checking that I had the correct address and the customer was inside. It was scorching that night, even after sundown. My car’s A/C is a joke, and the piping hot pizzas don’t help things much, so I have to try and open the car door as infrequently as possible to keep any cool air in.
I called the number the customer provided and the voice on the other end said, kind of brusquely and out of breath, “Yah?” I just tried to keep it clear and concise, “Hey, it’s your pizza out front but there doesn’t appear to be anybody home?” And the customer replied, still gasping for air, “Yah, I’m not home." I had to pee so badly by that point that I was much less patient than I’d otherwise be with a customer right out of the gate.
“Well, then we’re going to have to terminate the order, because I’ve arrived in the stated delivery window and you were supposed to pay in cash, so, I don’t know what to tell you. Plan ahead next time.” I instantly regretted letting my bladder do the talking for me as the voice on the other end came through more clearly as a young, bubbly, and very distraught girl who couldn’t have been older than 20 or 25.
“Oh my gosh, I’m so sorry I was running down the street so I could barely hear you!” She cried, “I just switched you out of my Air Pods. Is that better? Sorry, I completely lost track of time at work, but I knew you were coming, that’s why I’m literally running home right now. Please don’t leave, I’m starving and I don’t have a car. Seriously, please don’t leave. Five minutes tops, ok?”
I know what it’s like to be hungry, and running late, and have no car but not live near any restaurants. Plus when I heard her voice I began to remember more specifically having delivered to this place a couple times before, and she’d always been perfectly nice. Now I felt bad for snapping at her. I tried to walk it back, while simultaneously looking out my window for potential spots to pee.
“No, no, my bad, I’m letting the heat get to me and it’s not your fault. No need to rush. See you when you get here.” I hung up and, while watching the street, was starting to think I was really out of luck. All the other houses had people in them, and were close together, so there were no clumps of trees or out of the way patches of land or anything.
Of course, I had just tossed my empty water bottle at the last delivery, because I’m an idiot. I had to resort to drastic measures. Finally, I decided it was escalating to the point of an emergency, and the safest bet was to use a bush in front of the woman’s house. She wasn’t home, after all. The streetlight was out so no one would see me.
The people who were home were inside. My car was parked across the street and we’re a small shop who don’t wear uniforms, so if someone did spot me, they’d have no way to connect me to my employer. Animals pee outside all the time, humans are animals...this is fine. I scurried over to the tallest bush in her front yard. She didn’t really have much of a yard, more just a walkway lined with bushes and flowers that ran adjacent to her front door.
The biggest cluster of bushes, the only one where I could be sure there would be no visible splatter on the side of the house, was about four feet from her door. I looked both ways, unzipped, and let fly. After the initial millisecond of relief, I noticed the sound was way off, more like pissing on something solid than something leafy. I started panicking.
I was thinking I’d aimed wrong. But once I start, I can’t stop mid-stream, so I kept squinting into the darkness to see if maybe I was hitting a key rock or something and could just move a few inches over. Instead, all of a sudden, I heard a way more concerning noise. A deep voice exclaiming, “What the heck?” And before I could turn around, assuming I’d been caught by a neighbor, a man came leaping out of the bushes.
He blew by me, brushing my golden shower off him as did. He spit pretty emphatically on the ground, so I think I might’ve beaned him right in the face. I didn’t see where he went after a few paces but, though this next part is kind of a blur, I do think I remember hearing a car screech out from a bit further away after a minute.
I’d gotten some night vision by that point so I was able to make out his height, build, and outfit, but only the most general details of each. I was in such shock that I didn’t even pull my pants up. I just stood there trying to figure out what had happened. The reality was so terrifying that my mind refused to accept it. Instead, I impulsively searched for a reasonable explanation that could make everything okay.
I thought, “Could these bushes lead to some backyard area and just looked like they were against the house? Could they have been obscuring an open window?” My inner voice was desperately screaming, “Bruh that man was wearing a hoodie in 90-degree weather. That was a bad man. You’re in a bad situation.” But the very idea that I was within inches of a guy who would be hiding in bushes at all, let alone in front of a young woman’s house at night, just wasn’t something I was ready to grapple with yet.
I was coping by not coping. My fight or flight response totally failed me at that point, because my dumb brain did the absolute last thing I should have done, and I approached the bushes to try and validate this “There must have been a good reason for a man in a hoodie to be behind these bushes in the middle of the night” theory. So I walked over to the side, turned on my phone flashlight, and tried to peer around the line of shrubbery.
Pro tip: As scary as things may look in the dark, seeing them with a single beam of your flashlight can sometimes make it even worse. That’s when I saw the bag. There was a tattered drawstring bag sitting behind the bushes, slightly splashed with pee. But I was in such a moronic daze from shock that I groped around for it thinking, “See? This is it, this will explain why he was back here.” Oh, it explained it.
Once I maneuvered it over and pulled it open, I saw a sharp knife, a roll of duct tape, and a bottle of pills. The delusions officially broke at that point and all the adrenaline, endorphins, and self-preservation instincts that had been suppressed kicked in ten times over. I became whatever the opposite of dazed is. More laser-focused than I have ever been in my life, with one singular goal: “Get back to my car.”
I dropped the bag, booked it across the street, got in my car, and slammed the pedal to the floor before the door was even all the way closed. I went as far as I could as fast as I could until I hit a red signal, then I pulled off to the side and realized I shouldn’t be driving anymore than necessary in the condition I was in. I pulled into the parking lot of a 24-hour drug store and took a breath.
I was finally calm and coherent enough to zip up. Then I formulated a plan of action. My first lucid thought was, “Who do I call first, the authorities or the girl whose house that was?” I thought about it for what couldn’t have really been more than 10 seconds, but felt like an hour, and decided “Ok. I am in my locked car with the engine running. If trouble starts, I can drive away. I know something’s up, she might not, and she needs to know not to keep walking in that direction.”
But as I was dialing her number, a more disturbing thought occurred to me. “What if there was no girl?” I thought I remembered delivering to that house before, but what if I was wrong? What if the girl on the phone was just a decoy to get me there to rob me, or worse? Every pizza guy on the planet has seen the Evil Genius documentary by now, so I thought, “She called me all out of breath. She wasn’t home. The whole thing was off, can’t risk it, I’ll start with the authorities.
I called 9-1-1. The operator was very helpful in keeping me calm, because I was a complete wreck by this point. He kept assuring me that someone would be there soon. I kept telling them they had to get there before the girl did, but I was trying to express three thoughts at once, and really damaging my own credibility by the end of it.
It came out more as: “You’ve got to save this girl because he wasn’t after me I was just delivering a pizza. Unless they were after me, in which case there might not be a girl, but I talked to one on the phone, so then you should find that girl because they used her to lure me there. But if she’s real she doesn’t know about the guy, who was also real, and there could be more guys if there’s actually a girl, and you know what? Even if there isn’t a girl there might actually be more guys. I only checked one part of the bushes so I don’t actually know. But we’ll know which guy is the one I saw because I peed all over him, you know. I didn’t mean to, this was back when I thought the girl was real but not home, but she might be real so you really need to find her if she is because the guy was real—”
Finally they basically just asked me to stop talking and stay on the line. But that was when I saw an incoming call from the customer. I couldn’t answer it without disrupting my 9-1-1, so I just ignored it. My problems just got worse. Then she sent me this text like, “Hey I’m here, don’t see you?” I told 9-1-1 she was there and they said officers were only minutes away.
But who knows how long that meant? Especially after I’d given such a scattered account of the events in my panic. I just felt overwhelmed with guilt. Because my rational mind said the odds of her being a decoy girl for some large scam targeting pizza guys were low and the odds of her being the intended victim of a predator were high.
So I put my 9-1-1 call on mute (where I can hear them but they can’t hear me) and turned back, heart absolutely pounding out of my chest. Then I took 9-1-1 off mute and told them I had returned to look for the girl. They weren’t happy about that, but I saw her meandering past the parked cars in the street looking to see if one was mine, and I waved her down, flashing my brights.
She bounced on over to the window of my car, happy-go-lucky. I figured that was a good sign that she wasn’t in on whatever this was. But I was just so scared to be back in the general area and to not know what had just happened or what was going to happen. I kept whispering “Get in. Get in!” And she was like, “Get it? Huh? Oh! You want me to get the pizza from the back?”
I didn’t want to make the same mistake with her that I had made with 9-1-1, so instead of trying to tell the whole story, I stuck to the bare basic facts. “There was a man in your bushes. I’m on the phone with the authorities. I don’t know where he is right now. Please get in the car so we can lock the doors.” I was barely able to get even those sentences out, and I was shaking like I’d had 10 cups of black coffee.
I held up my phone with 9-1-1 on the call screen to verify it for her. I thought that was why she got in the car with no further explanation, but it turns out that wasn’t entirely it. “You still there? Is she with you? Are you safe? Is anyone else there?” 9-1-1 kept checking in, not knowing who the third party I was talking to was. I reassured them, and we drove, more cautiously this time, to a location 9-1-1 instructed us to wait at to speak with officers after they cleared the area.
I didn’t actually have to do much after that. The officers came pretty soon after, a car met us, I gave a statement telling them everything I observed, and she went to go speak to more officers in more detail than they needed me for. It turns out the reason she got right into a strange pizza guy’s car without probing any deeper into my story is because she knew who the man was right away from my description.
She had an ex-boyfriend who was apparently psychotic enough that he immediately came to mind from hearing “There’s a guy in your bushes.” She later called us to thank me and insist on leaving a huge tip. I wasn’t there when the call came in so the kid who answered didn’t know to refuse the money. But the manager already promised the next time we see her we can load her up with enough “one free pie” cards to last a lifetime.
Easily the scariest thing that has ever happened to me, on the job or off. I don’t get the chance to tell the story much, because I try to avoid sharing it with anyone who could possibly know the girl or know of the event. But I’m still not the same since. Even though I know he didn’t even have anything to do with me directly, this truly shook me to my core. Be safe out there guys. Anything can happen.
96. Smile! You’re on Camera
Many many many years ago I worked at a retailer in the UK. A grimy looking family came in and started acting shifty, having over exaggerated discussions on washing machines, asking ridiculous questions about our returns policy. They bought a reasonably expensive Hotpoint washing machine from us, and wanted to take it with them that day, which we were happy to do.
They paid cash. They took their washing machine, loaded it into the back of their van, and we watched them drive over to the McDonald's on the other side of the trading park. About an hour later they drove back and said that we'd sold them the wrong machine. They'd gotten it home, unwrapped it, and it was the wrong machine.
We told them to bring it on in and we'd sort it out. They went out to their van and brought in a CLEARLY DIFFERENT, DIRTY, OBVIOUSLY SECOND-HAND WASHING MACHINE. Oh, and they didn't want an exchange. Just a refund. With every alarm bell ringing, my boss and I had a quick scan through the security cameras.
Sure enough, they had driven to McDonald's, and come straight back. Whilst I was "running the refund through," my boss called the police, who turned up, had a little look in the back of their van where, unsurprisingly, there was a brand new Hotpoint washer, still in its wrap. They were carted off by the cops. Didn't get charged, unfortunately, but it was a definite get out moment.
If they'd only been more patient and less greedy and gone home for a few hours first, they probably would've gotten away with it, knowing how much my boss would adhere to the “customer is always right” principle.
97. Blond Boomerang
I worked for a big chain grocery store as bagger and cart wrangler. There was this one overweight blond woman who would come in all time and cause chaos to no end. One example of her ridiculous and unnecessary nonsense included buying a 15-pound turkey and complaining that it tasted bad and wanting to return it.
She presented a platter with an empty carcass except for one piece of meat on one bone. Another time, she bought a $37 plant, did not water it, showed up a year and a half later with the plant dead as a doornail, and demanded a refund. Then she bought a grill, used 10 gallons of gasoline as fuel, caused an understandable fire/explosion, came back with receipt and charred grill, and demanded a refund. I could go on.
This would be a weekly, if not bi-weekly, happening. It got to the point where many cashiers would see her enter the store, turn off their light, and leave. Now, when I say she made a fuss, I'm not talking about your normal "I want to speak to your manager" type deal. Oh no, she went beyond that and went even further.
She would rant and rave, throw herself on the floor, roll around, throw things, call the police, which I witnessed and kept count at 87 times, and pull out her cell phone filming herself being "victimized" to report us to the media. She was eventually banned from the store after years of this. I heard stories that she began terrorizing our neighbor branch 7 blocks down the road.
98. Tell The Truth
I was in a chain beauty store that has a hair salon in the back. I was looking at a display that happened to be right next to the salon, and I overheard the woman in the chair finishing up with the stylist. I was there for a few minutes, so I heard a decent portion of their conversation. A little while later, I got in line to pay and recognized the woman in front of me as the woman from the salon.
There was only one cashier working, and she was currently helping someone else. When they finished and the cashier called her over, the woman dropped her items on the counter and handed the cashier a coupon. Cashier (C): “I’m sorry ma’am, but this coupon can’t be applied to the items you’re purchasing.” Salon Lady (SL): “What do you mean?”
C: “There are some restrictions to what this coupon can be used towards. They’re listed down at the bottom of the coupon here,” and she attempted to show her. SL: “That’s absolutely ridiculous. I’ve used coupons on these items before. I buy them all the time.” C: “I’m sorry ma’am. The previous coupons you used may have had different restrictions, however, this one specifically states that it cannot be used on these items. The coupon actually mentions this brand by name in the restrictions.”
SL then began screaming at the cashier about her horrible customer service and the fact that last month they wouldn’t give her a free birthday gift even though she’s been a rewards member for over 10 years just because she tried to redeem it two months after her birthday. She demanded the number for corporate and the cashier’s name. The cashier started to write down the number.
SL: “No, tell it to me right now. I’m going to call them right now to make sure you aren’t lying to me!” She pulled out her phone and the cashier told her the number and her name. SL proceeded to dial and stand at the register. C: “Ma’am, if you could just step to the side so I can ring up the other customers...” SL: “NO! YOU WILL FINISH MY TRANSACTION! I AM GOING TO TELL CORPORATE HOW HORRIBLY YOU’RE TREATING ME AND THEY WILL COMmAND YOU TO HONOR MY COUPON AND GIVE ME MY BIRTHDAY GIFT!”
The cashier attempted to flag down another employee and drew even more screams from SL for “attempting to leave.” By this time, the manager had overheard the yelling and come over, but SL refused to speak to her, refused to let the cashier open another register, and refused to move from where she was standing. She stood at the register fake crying to the rep on the phone.
It was total lies, all about how she came in to get a haircut and it turned out horribly and the stylist refused to fix it and how her mother was dying in the hospital and she just wanted to see her one last time and now she looks awful and the employees in the store were treating her horribly and she couldn’t believe how such a loyal customer was being mistreated and publicly humiliated “all over a free birthday gift.”
The manager, having no other option, opened up another register to try to move through the massive line that had backed up and called me over. At the end of my transaction, I said, “Thank you. I would also like the number to corporate, your name, and that employee’s name, so that I can tell them how calmly and politely you attempted to deal with this completely irrational woman. I was here for the whole thing, including when she told the stylist she liked her hair and her mother had been released from the hospital last week. Hopefully I can counteract whatever damage she may be doing.”
The manager thanked me and gave me the number and their names. I got in my car and called, telling the rep who answered the entire story and insisting that the cashier and manager did nothing wrong and that the woman was lying to get what she wanted. She thanked me and said she would make sure that my message got to where it needed to go. I sure hope it did.
99. Every Office Needs An Otis
A while back I was working in an office that allowed dogs. It was an open floor plan and since customers never came into the office, we kept the dog food and water bowls right by the front door, just because it was the most convenient space and no one else would see them but us who worked there. Of the six of us who worked in the main office area, I was the only one who didn’t have a dog and I always felt horribly left out.
To make matters worse, across the way was a doggie daycare. One day, a very frantic woman came in and she had an absolutely massive Basset Hound with her. Usually, the only people who came into the office were associates who had appointments with someone working there, but it was rare they brought their dogs. She ran up to me and said, “Do you work here?”
I said, “Yes, how can I help you?” And she said, “I wasn’t sure if you took walk ins but I read online I could just drop him off? I tried to call but no answer.” I didn’t know what she was talking about at that point and I said, “Come again? Who did you call exactly?” Thinking if I could just saddle her off to whoever she came to see, I wouldn’t have to decipher her problem.
She said, “Well it doesn’t matter now. Look, something urgent has come up and I really need to leave him here. Here’s his food he likes and I’ll be back in a few hours and—" At this point I wasn’t thinking of the doggie daycare. I thought maybe she was a friend of someone here. I said, “Well alright, can I get your name please?” And she said her name and then asked if I needed her to sign anything.
I was so confused at this point I just said, “Why would I need you to sign something?” And she left almost immediately. So I took Otis (the dog) to the back and showed him to my coworkers and no one knew the woman or dog. I was worried she wouldn’t come back, but at the same time, my wish for an office dog had been granted! And Otis was supremely chill.
All he did all day was lie around and drool onto his own ears. I just freshened him up every now and then, took him out every couple hours, and he was happy as a clam on a big cushy dog bed we thankfully had an extra of. He just loved attention from anywhere he could get it. At the end of the day the woman, thank God, came back. She said, “Thanks, you’re a lifesaver. How was he?”
I said, “He was a champ.” And was about to say “But why is he here” when she said, “That’s a relief. Most kennels say he gets anxious around other dogs. I heard you operated at a much higher capacity, I was thrilled to see you had so few clients in the room at one time. So, how much do I owe?” It honestly took me this long to realize what had happened.
She thought we were the dog daycare. Now, I probably should’ve corrected her. But I loved my day with the office dog and I did want to get paid for supervising this strange dog all day. I just threw out the number that sounded fair and appropriate “That’ll be $20.” I said. She replied “Reaalllly?!” In this very high tone, and I couldn’t tell if I’d overshot or undershot.
But she paid me and left. My coworkers were laughing hysterically when they realized what had happened and we thought it would just be a good story for the future. Wrong. The next week...she came back! She said we were so much more affordable and less overcrowded than her other place, and that she was happy to use us. I was glad for the company so just took him.
I didn’t think there was any way she couldn’t have at least some idea we weren’t a dog daycare. The whole ordeal was so strange I just figured, “don’t question a good thing.” I was much younger and dumber then. Not long after, Otis started getting dropped off two, sometimes even three or four days a week. I was in heaven. He was such a love. And he made fast friends with the delivery guys and visitors.
One day, we took our office Christmas card photo and Otis was over that day, so we included him. In a Santa hat. It was pretty great. But it turns out Otis’ owner was friends with one of our clients who I guess happened to have the card out on her table or was kind enough to display it alongside her other holiday cards. Because one day, Otis’ owner came in holding the card and walked up to me and said, “I can’t even believe I’m asking this but... is that my dog in this photo? This isn’t a dog daycare at all. This is just an office, isn’t it.” I froze in my tracks.
She said it with a note of surprise, as though she was looking around and putting it all together for the first time. No coincidence that this was the first time she wasn’t in some crazy rush either. She was like, “Then who are all these other dogs?!” And I explained. I was terrified she was going to demand her money back, or worse, take some sort of action against us for misrepresenting ourselves as a dog care business, or complain to corporate.
Instead, she basically said, “Why didn’t you ever say anything!” And I explained we just really liked having Otis around. She stopped for a minute and seemed to be thinking and said, “Is that right?” And I said yes and told the story of how I was the only one in the office without a dog so loved the company. She seemed a little flummoxed or hesitant, understandably, because the whole thing was so weird.
She turned to my coworker and asked if I was telling the whole truth. I don’t know why she thought my coworker, also a stranger to her, was any more trustworthy than me, but hey. Strange times. Coworker backed me up. So she said, “Well, I wish you’d said something sooner. Could’ve saved me a lot of embarrassment with my friend back there. Alright, I have to get going. See you at 4:00.” And she left Otis!
I couldn’t believe it! I said, “So he can stay?!” And she replied, “Where else could I find someone to watch him one on one all day for $20?” And off she went. Otis stayed my office dog until his family moved away, luckily right around the same time I took a new job.
100. Need For Speed
My friend was visiting a northerly city for a job interview, and he got a rental car from a typical car rental chain. He was waiting in line for 5+ minutes while the lone worker at the desk deals with someone on the phone. He’s only really hearing one side of the conversation, but basically, the guy on the other end is demanding that they have a BMW M7 available and that they will have it waiting for him.
The guy is also nickel-and-diming the worker the whole way through, haggling the price and asking for upgrades and perks for no better reason than that he was demanding them. Doing it all with a threatening tone and numerous profanities. The worker finally cuts the conversation short with, “Look, sir, if the car is here you can have it but I have other customers waiting!” and hangs up abruptly.
Wishing to break the tension, my friend steps to the desk and playfully says, “What was that? Some people can be jerks!” The worker agrees and they make small talk for a minute to lighten the mood. The worker regains his cool and they proceed with the car rental as per usual. Halfway through the transaction, the worker just stops typing and looks up at my friend with this mischievous smile. He had the most incredible idea.
W: Hey man, can I interest you in an upgrade? We’ve still got a few luxury cars on the lot, and you qualify if you’re interested. F: Oh, I can’t. I’m kind of on a budget for this trip. Thanks though. W: Oh, it’s not expensive. Actually (looks down and starts furiously typing)…it looks like I just got you a free upgrade. F: Uh…ok thanks.
W: Alright, so we have upgraded you from a compact to a luxury rental, and it looks like we will be putting you in a BMW M7. F: ...(confused) W: There’s only one M7 left on the lot, and I’m giving it to you. So now when the jerk on the phone comes to get it, I get to see the look on his face when I tell him it just got rented. So my friend got to cruise around the city all weekend in a borderline supercar for $24/day, all because the worker at a car rental desk wanted to spite some entitled jerk. Beautiful.