People who work in the service industry deal with a lot of nonsense, but disgruntled customers are probably their biggest problem. These Karens and Kevins throw temper tantrums in front of everyone, complain about menial things, and stiff hardworking staff out of their tips.
1. All Choked Up
One night as I was serving a couple at the steakhouse where I work, a crisis erupted. The man abruptly stood up, clutching his throat. It was clear he was choking. When he turned blue, I realized he couldn't breathe. Without hesitation, I dashed over and started performing the Heimlich maneuver on him.
After a string of attempts, a chunk of steak shot out and the man was finally able to draw breath again. The whole scene had naturally drawn attention, leaving our customers and fellow staff in a state of shock.
However, I didn't even a word of thanks from the man's wife. Instead, she requested I pack up the remains of their meal for them to take home. But the troubles did not end there—there was a piece of Texas toast on the plate, which I forgot to include in their doggy bag. She berated me for this oversight, and to add insult to injury, left no tip.
2. She’s Got Some Wires Crossed
In the past, I had a job repairing computers for the professors at my nearby college. Once, I had to go over to the Women's Studies department to sort out some small hardware problems.
The woman professor I ran into there asked me, "Would it be possible to get a man to do this instead? No offense meant, but men just seem to have a knack for this sort of thing". I knew exactly what I had to do. I went back to my office and sent over the guy on our team who was the least skilled.
3. She Needed To Pipe Down
When I was about 18, I took up a job in the wood section of a popular DIY supplies store. I often found myself high above the ground on the second-tier shelf, precariously balanced on the prongs of a forklift. On this occasion, I was trying to handle a hefty, solid-core front door for a customer.
The door was already half out of the shelf, and I was carefully maneuvering it onto the forklift when a elderly woman approached. In a sugar-sweet voice, she asked, "Young man, could you show me where the plumbing supplies are?"
Barely managing to respond between grunts of effort, I answered, "Hold on, ma'am. I'll assist you as soon as I'm done with this door". Her reaction caught me off guard. She snapped, "You people are all the same! You never label anything properly! I'm fed up with this overpriced place!"
I was rendered speechless, my mouth hanging open in shock. The customer I was helping quickly covered his little boy's ears. It was a classic Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde moment. Fortunately, my manager was passing by exactly when the woman began her little tantrum.
He paused, approached her, and stated firmly, "It's not acceptable to talk to anyone like that, no matter who you are. I'm going to have to ask you to leave immediately". His intervention couldn't have come at a better time.
4. Put Out To Dry
The spot where we punched in our food orders at the cash register was roughly ten feet from the restroom. I was in the middle of processing a customer's order when this guy stepped out of the bathroom and approached me. What he did next was utterly gross—he started drying his hands on my arm.
"You're fresh out of paper towels," he casually mentioned before exiting the restaurant. The shock left me speechless and I couldn't react before he had disappeared.
5. Suited For Trouble
I used to be a sales manager at an electronics store. One day, while assisting customers on the floor, a tall, well-built fellow and his wife walked in. They wanted a new computer, so we started discussing their requirements. Mid-conversation, the man excused himself for a restroom break and I continued the chat with his wife.
Out of the blue, a man in a business suit approached us, tapped my shoulder and asked, "Can you help me find 'Software X'?" I let him know we might not have it, but he could check the front of the store if he didn't want to wait. After that, I resumed the conversation with the lady.
However, after a couple of minutes, I was taken aback when someone gripped my arm, twisted it behind my back and began pulling me away. The woman looked shocked as I was suddenly wrenched away from her. Turning around, I recognized the impatient business-suited customer who was now steering me towards the software section.
This assertive individual then pushed my neck forward, pointed out the location of 'Software X' and demanded to speak to a manager about my supposed firing. I was too shocked to respond when suddenly, the towering husband returned from his break.
Without wasting a moment, he rushed over and took control of the situation. He grabbed the disruptive customer by the arms and pinned him against the wall, immobilizing him with a strong hand. With his other hand, he dramatically revealed his badge. It was a sight to behold.
6. Practice What You Preach
In late March, a man and his wife made a booking for a weekend, showing up on a Friday afternoon with a gift certificate they had won at a charity auction, which we accepted with pleasure. Upon their arrival, I greeted them formally as Mr and Mrs, only to be corrected by the man—"It's PASTOR," he emphasized.
After showing them to their room and explaining our policy, inclusive of the fact that another couple would be checking in later that day, I got an inkling that this weekend might be different from most. I decided to stay out of it until later that evening when the woman from the other couple came to talk to me, teary-eyed.
She told me they were leaving because the pastor had obstructed their way into the residence, spouting sermons about their "immorality". Horrified, I offered my sincerest apologies and tried to convince them to stay, but their weekend had been spoilt.
In all the chaos, the next day I spy the pastor loading up his car, even though their booking was for one more night. I went to clarify, reminding him of his remaining night. But he simply shot back, saying their room had no AC and it was too hot for his liking. He demanded a refund.
I attempted to explain that I hadn't received any payments from him as their stay was tied to a charity auction. But he insisted that I give him back his $110, for he did not pay to spend a hot night "next to sinners". But according to my calculations, even a single night was $100, so I declined his payout request.
Not long after, he reappeared demanding breakfast and a check, which put me in a tight spot. I calmly explained that I was only going to provide breakfast, and not a penny more. In due course, they left, but he left behind a letter threatening legal action. Two weeks on, I got a package with their names on it; it contained a letter from his wife.
She apologized for her husband's behavior and empathized with me. She revealed her difficult circumstances—her husband was now a born-again Christian and an online minister and had been terrorizing her. She enclosed $200 and requested I refrain from contacting her as she was planning to separate from her domineering husband.
7. Tag Session Showdown
I used to work at an indoor amusement park, specifically the laser tag section. Usually, if it was a slow day, we could get customers right in for a 15-minute laser tag fun-fest. But on busy days, they needed to jot down their names on a list and wait for their turn. I’d then announce the start of their session on the loudspeaker a few minutes beforehand.
On one particularly busy Saturday midday, a lady strode in with a day-care group of some 20 kids—yep, she was the only one in charge of them. She added her group's name to the waiting list. I informed her about their session time. When the time arrived, she showed up with just a handful of the kids.
She asked me to hold on while the rest of her brood caught up, putting me in a pickle. As time ticked on, twenty minutes later, the next eager bevy of laser-tag warriors was ready for action. Ten minutes more, and, ironically, her group's numbers had dwindled. I had to make a decision.
I let the next group into the arena and explained to her that her group would be up next as soon as they were all assembled. Just then, my boss came in to relieve me of my duties. The woman was less than happy. She yelled at me, accusing me of discrimination.
That's when I decided to hang up my laser tag hat, or well, walk the "squidwalk," as we used to call it.
8. His Stunt Made Zero Sense
A seasoned gentleman walked in alone and ordered himself dinner and a drink, all amounting to $30. Not too far away, a group of college students came in as well and ordered dinner and starters worth $150. I served the older man diligently and professionally—everything was smooth.
However, when I inquired about his meal, he responded quite briskly, avoiding eye contact. He requested another martini, then suddenly instructed me to consolidate his bill with the young group's bill and to do so anonymously. He sternly told me to inform them that they shouldn't pay or leave a tip.
His tone remained short and unaccommodating, but hey, it was OK. I was a seasoned professional with a decade of experience—I could handle anything. The students were dining just across the aisle, only about five feet away. I delivered them the surprising news, and they were thrilled.
The man then asked for his bill, which consisted of both his and the students' orders, totaling approximately $185. He paid with a credit card, I processed the payment, handed him the receipt, thanked him for dining with us and started to walk away when he stopped me, "Wait. I want you to see this".
With flair, he marked a bold "ZERO" on the tip line. Then, he locked eyes with me, holding my gaze with a stone-cold expression, almost daring me to react. Having already sensed the man's peculiar behavior, I simply responded with utmost politeness, "Have a pleasant evening, sir," as I would do for any tip-laying patron.
For what felt like an eternity, but barely a second, he just looked at me before he reached into his pocket and pulled out a fifty-dollar bill. "This is for you," he said. I expressed my gratitude. He then stood up, donned his cowboy hat, and left the restaurant without uttering a word to the students he had just treated or a second word to me.
9. Mean-Spirited Mamma
During my high school years, I had a job serving pizzas at a restaurant. Our manager used to employ individuals with mental challenges for tasks like dishwashing and clearing tables on weekends. One particularly hectic weekend, a visibly upset woman and her four or five youngsters were seated near my service station.
Though she was not under my care, it was clear she was irate. A worker from our squad who was responsible for tidying up the tables passed by her, and to my surprise, the woman yanked the worker's arm and twirled her around, berating her for a delayed appetizer or something similar.
I approached the woman, explained that the worker she was lambasting wasn't a server, and offered to help her out instead. Her reaction was startling. She left her seat abruptly, insulted the worker, and stormed off. I was left utterly dumbfounded and felt dreadful. I didn't think the woman was aware of the gravity of her words.
Then, one of the woman's children apologized for their mother's behavior, describing her as "mean". I reassured the little one, telling her, "It's not your fault," and gently patting her head for comfort. The woman returned, hastily gathered her children and jacket, and stormed out.
Regrettably, I never got the chance to tell her that her daughter displayed far more maturity than she did.
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10. A Big McPain
During one of my earliest shifts at McDonald's, a grandfather and his granddaughter visited my counter. He requested for a Big Mac with several adjustments, which made it rather tricky for me. As a new employee, I was still getting the hang of the cash register so I had to ask him to repeat the order a few times.
Throughout this, I repeatedly said sorry and I could feel anxiety-induced sweat forming on my forehead. The old man began to grumble, using derogatory terms like "idiot" and expressing frustration about us, McDonald's employees, while I was struggling to get his order right. Eventually, I managed to get him his sandwich and they went off to eat.
After a while, his granddaughter returned to my counter. Anxious, as I thought I'd have to confront her grumpy grandad again, I was relieved when she started speaking. She said, "I wanted to apologize for my grandpa's behavior". The fact that she felt compelled to take responsibility for her grandfather's ill manners left me feeling quite upset.
11. Bodyguard Bodyslam
I was earning my keep as a valet and bellhop at a budget-friendly hotel. On one particular evening, the famous LL Cool J had a performance at a nearby club and was staying at our hotel overnight. During my shift, he and his team came back in a limousine. One of his entourage, a lady, approached me, explaining her husband was fairly plastered.
She informed me that her husband might attempt to drive later on. Once LL's group had departed, I asked for her surname to identify him if he indeed showed up. She provided me with their family name and added that her husband was one of LL's security personnel. I agreed, although guessed he wouldn't be an issue.
Hours later, having almost forgotten about it, a gigantic guy swayed through the entrance. Opening the front doors, he hollered, “HEY, VALET!” Fumbling over, he aggressively waved the parking ticket. He insisted on getting his car immediately, but I quickly scanned his ticket to ensure it was the correct individual.
Afraid of an altercation, I grabbed his keys and raced off to get the car, triggering a tumultuous situation. Stealthily, I snuck back via the shrubbery to the hotel's side phone and dialed security. Through the shrubs, I spotted him getting angrier as he impatiently waited.
He began strolling towards the parking area, shouting, “VAAALET, HEY VAAALET!” Doubling back, I met him and apologized, saying I thought his car was in another lot. He spewed insults, demanding his car keys. I asked for his patience, promising to bring his car shortly.
He was dismissive, lunged after me, barely missing grabbing my shirt, and nearly fell over in the process. Sprinting towards the valet stand, he chased after me. Reaching the desk, we launched a comical game of tag, his giant arms trying to swipe at me across it.
Just then, the security head arrived solo, visibly shocked by the scene. He passed a coded message on his radio, presumably calling the authorities, and managed to dial down the mayhem slightly. Officers arrived shortly after, forcing the man to sprint towards the door and the elevators.
The two initial officers were no match for him. He tossed one aside during their attempt to detain him. As that officer hit the ground, the elevator door opened, and the man hopped in while the other officer took out his taser. More officers arrived, and the one with the taser shouted a warning to the man in the elevator before discharging his taser, followed by a loud thud.
His feet could be seen sticking out of the elevator, followed by the officers rushing in cuffing him and dragging him out. They struggled to carry him out to the squad car. As he was being forcibly loaded into the back seat, he spotted me at the valet desk, still with his keys. He shot a string of curses in my direction.
All I did was flash him a smile as they drove off.
12. Beachside Brawler
Back in my college days, I worked at a quaint beachside eatery. One time, amidst the usual bustle, a customer took issue with the speed of our service. Robert, for that was his name, struck me in the chest because his meal was not ready fast enough to his liking.
The blow sent me sprawling, I lost grip of my laden tray, which flew in the air and ended up crashing onto a neighbouring family's table. The whole episode left me befuddled, it all happened so quickly. Despite this unpleasant turn of events, a sense of justice prevailed.
A group of burly, indignant patrons didn't take long to swoop in. They briskly cornered Robert, pinning him against a wall to prevent further havoc. Subsequently, he was apprehended.
13. Misogynistic Mayhem
A family of four walked in and the father almost instantaneously started downing drinks—seriously, he had about four or five before they even had their starters. The parents were a bit rough around the edges as a whole—always making some noise, being too straightforward, and downright lacking in basic etiquette.
The two girls, who were around eight and ten, were quite the opposite—extremely reserved… And it wasn't hard to figure out why. As the father became increasingly tipsy, he kept behaving inappropriately with the girls. He was constantly pulling them onto his lap and such. You could clearly see they were feeling awkward.
My heart just went out to them. When their starters were served, one of the dishes arrived a little later because it required more time to cook. I had already informed them about it when they placed the order. But the dad lost his cool, arguing that both the starters should've been served simultaneously.
Suddenly, the father raised his voice at me, pointing fingers and bad-mouthing me for being a horrible server—all while the terrified girls and their mother stared silently at their laps. He demanded to meet my manager, so I went to fetch her. Despite trying to handle the situation calmly, he became outraged learning there wasn’t a "male boss" available.
He threw out derogatory remarks like, "Are you joking? I need to discuss this with a man. Are you telling me the only manager here is her?" It was my first encounter with a person so disrespectful and offensive.
14. Bible Brunchers
I used to clock in at a restaurant. Frequently, I catered to the Sunday after-church brunch folk, and their comments often left me stumped—they would tell me that I was doomed to suffer in the underworld for working on the Sabbath.
What struck me as funny was that they never realized the irony; I wouldn't NEED to work on Sundays if they didn't show up hungry. On top of that, in lieu of money tips, they would often leave me religious pamphlets.
15. A Frosty Reception
A family visited us to celebrate their daughter's birthday along with a few of her friends. They started by ordering some drinks which I quickly delivered to their table. However, when I handed the father his pint, he asked if I could serve his drink in a frosted mug rather than in a frosted pint glass.
When I explained that we did not have mugs available, his reaction was surprisingly aggressive. He accused me of lying, knocked over the table—damaging several birthday presents, and even punched a wall on his way out. This abrupt act left everyone in the room, including me, the family, and our other guests, completely stunned.
The daughter burst into tears while the mother started to apologize on his behalf. They offered to pay for their drinks and leave but I hoped to salvage the situation and suggested they stay to continue the birthday celebration. I acted swiftly by arranging for replacement drinks, rallied help to clean up the mess, and went ahead to take their food orders.
I informed the rest of the staff and our management about what had transpired, and everyone stepped up to help to turn around their evening. We comped their meals and I put together a delicious dessert feast for the birthday girl. By the time dinner ended, it felt as though the earlier incident with the father had never even occurred.
16. She Thought The Service Was Subpar
I used to work at a sub shop, and one night as my boss and I finished tidying up, a woman bolted toward the shop, shouting, "WAIT! WAAAAAAAAAIT!" My boss shot me an apologetic look and let her in. We then rolled up our sleeves and unpacked all of our sandwich-making materials again.
This was quite a task, as it entailed removing the protective plastic from everything, refilling the sinks to wash any dishes we used, and essentially repeating all of our closing duties. This woman wanted to order around 10 sandwiches, each for a different person.
Judging by her phone conversations in-between her instructions to us, these sandwiches seemed to be for a party. Trying to extract the details of each order while she chitchatted away on her phone was a trial.
We managed to finish her sandwiches about 25 minutes later, then hung around for another 10 minutes waiting for her to wrap up her call and pay at the counter. However, the ordeal wasn't over yet. She tried to pay with a $100 bill, but we didn't have enough change. Obviously annoyed, she reluctantly used her credit card.
Once everything was settled, she collected her sandwiches, glanced at the clock and said in a patronizing tone, "Couldn't you guys have made my sandwiches quicker? You've made me miss 10 minutes of my TV show! No tip for you!" And with that, she left. Cleaning up after her cost us another 20 minutes.
Feeling guilty for letting her in, my boss gave me all of the day's tips, which usually we split in half. As challenging as it was, encounters like these made me really appreciate my decision to move on from the food service industry.
17. I Wanted To Pan This Nini
One summer, I snagged a job at a café located along the famous Jersey Shore. One day, a stylish woman, noticeably a seasonal visitor, stopped by and inquired about our sandwiches. Her main question was if they were paninis.
I informed her that although we utilized a panini grill, the bread we used was simply submarine bread, not the traditional bread typically applied in crafting a panini. She then asked, "So, its nature is akin to a panini?" To which I replied affirmatively...however, her response after receiving her sandwich was fairly unpredictable.
She dramatically unwrapped it and, to my shock, hurled it at me. She immediately erupted in a rage, demanding to meet the manager. When he appeared on the scene, she accused me of deceiving her into believing it was a panini, and unreservedly refused to pay. She even went as far as clamoring for my termination.
Maintaining an air of composed authority, the manager merely requested that she vacate his premises.
18. Fed Up
Back in the day, I had a job at an ice cream parlor where we'd offer complimentary tastes on tiny spoons. Typically, I'd grab a smidge of whatever flavor the customer requested and extended the spoon their way. Yet, some people took this routine to an eccentric place—they actually devoured the ice cream directly from the spoon while it was still in my grip.
It felt comparable to feeding a baby. I didn't mind it when children did this, but when it was adult men, things got a tad uncomfortable.
19. She Thought Her Comment Would Be Lost In Translation
I once held a job at my college's ticket counter for a rock concert. Many concert-goers weren't too pleased with the high ticket prices set by the event organizers for our venue.
The organizers were pushing us to mislead the customers by telling them that the less expensive seats were all taken up, hoping to drive the customers to the nearly vacant, but pricier, orchestra section. We declined to follow this dishonest directive, and what followed was utter chaos, with a wave of incredibly irate people.
One woman turned to her husband and branded me a mad swindler because of the steep ticket prices, assuming I couldn't comprehend her language—only, I did. I quickly responded, "I'm not mad, you should take it up with the event organizer!" The astonished expression on her face was utterly unforgettable.
20. Soup Or Salad?
In my previous job, I would serve at a café known for its spinach salad, paired with a hot bacon dressing that was, quite frankly, unappetizing. The way it first looked was a spicy, oily jelly-like substance. Microwaving it for a couple of minutes transformed it into something with an uncomfortably slick texture on top.
Despite its appearance, customers seemed to like it with their salad, served in a petite, monkey-themed bowl. One particular day, a rather large fellow came in and occupied one of my tables. His very first order was three cans of coke and that spinach salad with bacon dressing.
As it was a hectic day with numerous patrons, I tried to manage my time effectively. So, I delivered his bacon dressing a minute prior to the arrival of his salad. But shockingly, when I returned with his meal, the dressing bowl was completely empty. In bewilderment, I placed the salad on the table and said nothing.
As I turned to leave, the guy's face became beet-red, he cried out with a piercing, "Waitress, where's my dressing?!" Surprised, I walked back to him and stated, "Sir, you've just eaten it". Incensed, he responded, "I thought that was my soup!!" I informed him that he never ordered any soup.
His anger intensified and he demanded extra dressing for his salad. Dutifully, I brought him the requested dressing. To my astonishment, I saw him guzzling down the boiled bacon dressing as if it were soup once again.
21. What A Nut!
I once worked at a barbeque joint in Texas where we’d leave buckets full of peanuts on the tables for customers. One evening, a family showed up five minutes after we’d closed. Despite this, my manager guided them to my section. I didn't have a problem with it, although I had already cleared away the peanuts and tidied up the tables for the night.
Trying to be considerate, I said, "I hope you all don't mind, but I've already cleaned up the peanuts". The father got extremely upset and shouted, "What do you mean we're not getting any peanuts? Why do you think we come to this place?" Trying to keep things peaceful, I replied, "It's not a big issue," but it turned out to be a decision I'd soon regret.
He fired back at me, saying, "You're absolutely right, it's not". As I turned to leave, he added, "And bring some of those butter rolls while you're at it". The rest of the night continued in a similar manner until he settled the bill, but not before berating me over my serving skills. He even resorted to name-calling.
Just as he was about to leave, he tipped the bucket over, scattering peanuts all over the cleaned floor, hurled insults at me, and said, "Enjoy cleaning that up!" He was really one of the worst customers I ever had to deal with.
22. Church Chump
On a fine Sunday morning, a sophisticated elderly man and his family strolled in for lunch. Clearly, they had just attended church services. Suddenly, a commotion ensued and as the cook/manager, it was my duty to step in. He demanded, "I demand to speak to your manager!" I responded calmly, "You're speaking to him. How may I assist you?"
He gestured towards the waitress and fumed, "This cheeky lady here is serving me lousy responses and COLD FRIES. I demand your MANAGER!" Apparently, my youthful appearance didn't align with his perception of a person in charge, making him even more agitated.
He then threatened me, "I'll make you regret the day you were born. Be wary of your surroundings!" I promptly instructed my waitress to alert the authorities and have him escorted out.
23. Take Two
During a busy lunch rush at Wendy's, I found myself not manning the grill or fry station but assembling sandwiches, which isn't exactly my forte. In stormed an assertive businesswoman who asked for a junior burger, layered with onions, pickles, and mustard. I diligently made her order and was just about to pack it up, when she claimed I got it all wrong.
Puzzled, I reviewed her order aloud, mentioning all the ingredients, insisting that was exactly what I had prepared. She, however, was adamant that I had created something altogether different. I felt inclined to argue, but got intercepted by my supervisor passing by, just in the nick of time.
He pretty much chucked my sandwich into the garbage, and speedily put together another one, identical to my version. This seemed to pacify the lady and she finally seemed content.
24. I Got Shaken Up
One busy day, my workplace called me in for some extra help, so I showed up in my usual home clothes. Once I got there, they handed me a bunch of tickets for customers waiting on drinks and ice cream. I dove right in and started making these orders as quickly as I could, hoping I could get back home soon.
I carried a tray of shakes to a family and handed a customer her requested shake. All of a sudden, she became irate. She yanked the lid off the cup and flung the whole shake at me, drenching me from head to toe in a sticky mess of caramel, hot fudge, milk, and ice cream. That day was my last in the foodservice industry.
25. Award Winning Wiseguy
I was managing a high-end steakhouse in a vacation town when I had an encounter with a troublesome couple. They were known for causing disturbances, so the staff was hesitant to serve them. To motivate my team, I offered an incentive. My top server, thanks to the offer, agreed to attend to them.
Despite our worries, the dinner proceeded smoothly. The check was delivered, a card was charged, and the couple left. When I saw the credit card slip, I found a discourteous comment there where the tip amount was supposed to be. The man had written, "YO MAMA!"
Much to my surprise, my waiter kept his composure brilliantly despite dealing with such an ill-mannered customer. I made a copy of the receipt, put it in a frame, and hung it up on the office door. Below it, I placed a note saying, "A round of applause for Steven! He wins our Biggest Idiotic Customer Award!"
The following week, the very same couple returned. They put their name down for a table and settled down at the bar to wait. Our bartender, who's quite a built fellow, came over to let me know. I told him to send them packing straight away, making it clear that we did not appreciate their presence.
The bartender went back, delivered the message, and much to our satisfaction, the couple did indeed leave, the man visibly paler and his wife looking astounded. They never dared to step foot in our restaurant again.
26. I Wanted To Throw The Book At Her
Back in high school, I used to help out in the children's section of our local library. Every year, our library had a month of amnesty where people could return overdue books with no fines. Naturally, on the amnesty month's final day, the place was a hubbub. People lined up to return their overdue books with bags and boxes heaped high—it was chaotic.
Here I was, scanning the flood of returned books when the library phone rang. A lady called in, wondering if I could renew her library books via the phone. Had it been a quieter day, I could've accommodated her request, but with the library teeming with people and more books than I could count being dumped at the counter, I just couldn't.
Our computer system, being old-fashioned, also compounded the problem. It wasn't designed to renew multiple books simultaneously. The catch was that if you didn't have the physical book, each one's title, author, or ISBN number needed to be entered individually.
I explained to the lady that amid the chaos, I couldn't renew her books through the phone call. She didn't take it well. She shouted about the amnesty month, her inability to pay fines and insisted I renew her books as she couldn't visit the library personally.
Although I was feeling flustered, I tried to keep cool and polite. But she only intensified her rant, and after accusing me of losing a valuable customer if I didn't renew her books, she blurted, "If you don't renew my books, I'm never coming back!"
To this, I responded in perhaps the most epic way I could: "You're not actually a paying customer. The library services are free. For renewing your books, you'll need to come in personally". And with that, I ended the call. Later, my supervisor gave me an earful, but it was worth it.
27. Motherboard Mangler
I was employed at a company that manufactured gaming computer cases and related products. We had a customer who accused us of causing his motherboard to malfuntion because of an internal fan in the case he'd bought from us. He was very irate, constantly shouting and demanding his money back for all his purchased items.
I remained calm and tried my utmost to comprehend his predicament, although he was quite heated. He styled himself a "PC ace," blaming our fan for making his motherboard explode. After around thirty minutes of tolerating his relentless yelling, he warned me he was heading to our office as he lived close by.
We initially thought he was bluffing, but we soon found out we were mistaken. About half an hour later, he burst into our reception area, leaving his charred computer on our receptionist's desk with a bang. Upon inspection, we made a hilarious discovery. We realized that the damaged components weren't ours.
His power supply had pencil fragments inside, and the PCI-E power cable was stuck in the motherboard's four-pin connector. Plus, there was an unknown sticky substance in a few of the pin slots. We tried to convince him that the damaged items were not manufactured by us. But he was unyielding, objecting strongly.
We even directed him to the manufacturer's website that coincided with the logo on his case and fan, but he was adamant. After enduring about another hour of his ranting, we had no choice but to call the authorities. The man became silent when the officers came, and they led him outside to question him further. But things took a different direction once again.
Immediately, he was incensed and started complaining loudly to the officers. After their five-minute interrogation, we demonstrated that the disputed product wasn't ours. The officer, who had already figured out the man's mental instability, warned him to stay clear of us. Even then, the man issued threats but eventually left.
28. I Got Tipped Off
While I was attending university, I took up a job at an Italian eatery. A group of five, presumably a family, walked in and ordered some starters, several beverages, and main courses. As I served them the check, the mother of the family settled it in cash, only to leave a $3 and some cents tip on an $80 tab.
Despite the quality service I'd provided, the tip was minuscule, which left me rather frustrated. Shortly after, I spotted the man of the family and his children lingering by the entrance. They appeared to be waiting for their mother/wife, who seemed to have gone to the washroom.
Heading towards the man, I politely mentioned, "Sir, I believe you left your change behind," as I extended the $3 towards him. His response caught me off guard, "Is that all she left you?" he queried. Following this, he reached in his pocket, retrieved $30, and handed it to me saying, "Here you go, my apologies about all this".
29. He Was Bad Till The Last Drop
Just as I was picking up a nearly empty drink from a customer, who had barely a thimbleful of a drink left in his glass, he unleashed some indecent language and began shouting at me. At this point, I had already moved on, and yet he chose to raise his voice once again.
As I whirled around to return his almost empty drink, I noticed he was staring daggers at me, his face was red as a beetroot, and his fist was opening and closing repeatedly. As is my usual response to such behavior, I handed back his glass. Observing him pretentiously gulp down the scarcely visible residue of his drink was such a sight.
When he brandished the emptied glass, expecting me to grab it, I deliberately shifted my gaze away, refusing to indulge him. At that moment, the situation took a nasty turn—the glass grazed my shoulder and violently crashed into the wall in front of me.
When the audacious man saw that I wouldn't kowtow to his discourteous behavior, he threw the glass at me with all the might he could muster. The glass met the wall with such a force that it splintered into hundreds of tiny pieces, scattering all around. It was simply beyond belief that no one got hurt.
Before he could cause any further ruckus, security promptly guided him out.
30. I Checked Out After This
I used to work at a store specializing in home improvement. It was during a busy night when I found myself at checkout with around five or six people, each with significant purchases. I was the only cashier on duty and I was scrambling to check out everyone as quickly as possible.
When I finally reached the last customer, I felt a small sense of relief and began scanning her items. This lady attempted to pay with a check that appeared to be printed from her own computer. While it wasn't necessarily fake, our store had a strict policy against accepting such checks.
I gently informed her about our policy, and she reacted furiously. She began to shout at me, accusing me of intentionally being slow with her checkout process. According to her, she was already late picking up her children from a location half an hour away. Despite my attempts to soothe her, she continued to fume.
She even pulled the "Do you know who I am?" card and threatened to ruin my employment opportunities in the town. She demanded to speak to my manager because of my refusal to accept her check. The assistant manager, who was relatively new, approached us and instructed me to disregard the policy and accept her check.
When I tried to remind my manager about our store's stance on such issues, she ignored me and engaged in a discussion with the angry woman at the front of the store. About five minutes later, the manager returned, shot me a look, then retreated to her office. Shortly afterward, she emerged with a disciplinary note for me.
I decided to leave the job not long after that.
31. Girls Gone Wild
When I was in high school, I had a job delivering pizzas. There's this one night, about an hour before closing, when I had a delivery to a house where four girls, aged between 14 to 16, answered the door. I had just turned 18.
They started flirting with me and being the shy person that I was back then, I kindly gave them the pizza and waited for them to get the money. They returned with a check, but not a tip. One of the girls said, "Hold on, we'll get your tip". They reemerged with a huge jar of coins. I was completely taken aback by their next move.
Three of the girls reached into the jar and began stuffing coins into my pockets and down my shorts, while the fourth girl was tugging at my belt, trying to pull me inside. I managed to break free from the girl holding my belt, but they continued their inappropriate behavior by yanking at my shorts, laughing giddily all the while.
Out of nowhere, I heard a male voice asking, "What are you girls doing?" One of them replied, “Nothing, daddy". That freaked me out even more, so I wriggled free from them and dashed back to my car. My shorts, weighed down by the coins, started to slip down.
As I scrambled into my car, I saw that the girls' father was headed in my direction. I sped off immediately. On the journey back, I called my boss to alert him about the unsettling incident. Unfortunately, it turned out that he had to appease the girls' father by offering them free pizza because of my alleged harassment, and even went so far as to assure him that I would be fired.
32. He Sang The Wrong Tune
Back when I was in high school, I used to work in a compact electronics store. One day, a guy strolled in, asking for price information on a couple of karaoke devices. One was valued at $249, while the other was priced at $374. I provided him with both a hard copy and a spoken summary of the costs.
The following day, he returned with family in tow and spoke with one of my coworkers, who echoed the same pricing information I had given him. Suddenly, the man's eyes bulged, and he launched into a furious rant.
At that moment, I was filling shelves with CDs when he singled me out, proclaiming, "HE QUOTED $249 and $274 YESTERDAY! HOW CAN YOU MIX UP THE BLOODY PRICES! YOU DON'T EVEN HAVE THAT MANY ITEMS IN THIS LITTLE SHOP. I WORK FOR COMCAST, AND I ALWAYS GET MY PRICING RIGHT! THIS IS UNFAIR!"
My manager was certain I hadn't made such a glaring error, and the paper quote was evidence of this. Nonetheless, my manager calmly told the man, "mistakes can happen" and "one of us may have misheard". Despite this, the man continued harping on about how shops with limited inventory should have highly trained staff.
By now, his wife was subtly making apologetic gestures towards my manager. My manager gently suggested that he look for his electronics needs elsewhere, which prompted the guy to storm off in a huff.
33. She Was No Bed of Roses
My job was at a quaint, suburban, family-run pizzeria that was quite a hotspot. For reasons unknown, Mother's Day was a huge occasion for us and every mom, grandma, or significant lady was to receive a rose with their meal as a token of appreciation.
On one particular Mother’s Day, our team was small—just two servers, including myself and two cooks, plus we were missing highchairs and tablecloths since another sister-owned restaurant had borrowed them. As my seven-hour shift ended without a food break, fatigue was setting in.
Among my customers were a seemingly nice couple. But things took a turn for the worse when I laid their bill on the table. The lady, upon noticing that a majority had received roses, questioned me about it. I explained our Mother's Day tradition to her, which provoked apparent anger in her.
Without mincing words, she yelled, "How disrespectful of you to assume we are not parents!" Regrettably, I had failed to ask. Fuming, she rebuked me, "I can't believe you could be so terrible! I want to speak to your manager". Soon, her outburst gathered the attention of all patrons.
Feeling genuinely sorry, I fetched my manager who attempted to pacify her. But she insisted on getting their meal for free. Our manager barely agreed to comp meals unless there were extreme circumstances. So he courteously declined, offering to void their drinks instead. After all, it was a simple oversight on my part, and I had apologized.
Although I gave her the rose with another apology, her anger was far from quelled. She flung it back at me, stating that they were not returning to this place. With a huff, she stormed out, leaving her husband to settle the bill. Without a tip, he paid and, quite ruthlessly, pointed out that I had utterly ruined his wife's Mother's Day.
He spared no opportunity to call me worthless and threatened to report my abhorrent service to the owner. The remainder of my shift was spent weeping in the back hallway, waiting tables in-between, scared of losing my job.
34. Petty Princesses
Three young women walked in just a couple hours before our eatery was scheduled to shut down for the day. They were all around their mid-twenties and had a rather snobbish appearance. Despite wrapping up a pretty exhausting day, I cheerfully served them for around two hours, handling their food and beverage needs.
I made a point of being pleasant, attempting some light humor, and making them feel welcomed. With under half an hour left for closing, I informed them of the end of our dining service but gave them the option of moving towards the bar area. Thirty minutes later, it was clear they had no plans of relocating.
As our chef clocked out for the day and we turned the lights down, I was left keeping an eye on these girls while supplying them with more drinks. By this time, it was close to 11:30 pm and I was starting to feel fatigued. However, my job obligated me to stick around and cater to the needs of the customers until they decide to leave.
Adding to the situation, two more friends of the girls joined in and immediately ordered more drinks, regardless of the fact that our dining section was technically closed. When they finally signaled me to settle their accounts, that's when they truly irritated me. They had racked up a bill exceeding $50, which they paid using a credit card.
When I retrieved the signed receipt, I was dumbfounded to see a meager 45-cent tip written in the tip section. My blood boiled at their audacity. One might expect such behavior from youngsters lacking in financial resources, but certainly not from a group of young adults in possession of credit cards and flashy designer handbags.
35. Their Attitudes Were Out Of Focus
Back when I worked at a camera shop, I dealt with a unique set of customers. They'd come in, hear my diagnosis of their camera problems, but they'd still insist on speaking to a male sales rep. Funnily enough, those guys would just echo my diagnosis, word for word. Perhaps, in their minds, it's more plausible that a guy understands the technicalities of cameras than a woman.
36. What’s Wrong With My Money-Eh?
On a regular Sunday morning, I was manning the cash register. After totalling this man's sandwiches, he attempted to pay using Canadian currency, even though our shop was located in the United States. I declined his foreign money, which caused him to lose his cool.
I did my best to soothe his temper, but he burst into a rant about every imaginable topic. He ended his outburst by knocking over our cookie display before storming out. The other patron in line kindly left me a small tip and reassured me it was in the right currency.
37. This Customer Got Served
I once held a managing position at a company that sold party supplies and costumes. One day, I received a call from a woman that got redirected to me. While she was on the line, she advised her kids to get a solid education to avoid winding up in a customer service career.
My response to her condescending attitude was to converse with her using the most sophisticated vocabulary I could muster. She wasn't particularly intelligent and had a hard time grasping my words. I promise, I didn't go overboard. The most complex term I used was "fiduciary capacity".
She said she was baffled by my language so, in my most patronizing tone, I suggested she finds someone more capable of comprehending the subtleties of returning an order. Perhaps her husband or a parent, a neighbor, or even a social worker could explain things better to her? She was utterly embarrassed.
38. She Was Half-Baked
During my high school years, I had a part-time job in a grocery store bakery. One day, a lady came in and began browsing our selection of pastries. Observing this, I strolled over and kindly inquired if she needed assistance. In response, her face, initially beaming with a pleasant smile, suddenly morphed into an expression of absolute terror.
This frightened me, and thinking maybe there was a spider on my face or some peculiar sight, I asked, "What's wrong?" She then insisted that I call another employee to assist her. I thought, well, she's a bit odd, but okay, I'll fetch someone else. After completing her purchase, she didn't leave immediately.
Instead, she marched straight to the store manager, all the while pointing directly at me. After a brief exchange, she left, leaving me to face the manager, and I knew instantly that I was in for an admonishment. Apparently, the lady had accused me of approaching her rudely, asking her, "What do you want?" in a hostile tone.
She further alleged that not only had I denied her assistance, but I'd also berated her children and criticized her skill as a parent. However, the manager revealed her deception quickly as there wasn't any child accompanying her in the store.
Despite her demands for my dismissal, the manager denied her—but to pacify her, he compensated her with free goods and discount coupons.
39. No Cents In Figuring This Out
I was waiting on a table with two customers—one was clearly a woman, while the other's gender wasn't clear to me. I took down the woman's order and then turned to the second customer, but they didn't say anything at all. I wondered, "What would they like to eat?" I stayed patient, but no answer came.
Left with no other options, I decided to take a guess, and I said, "Sir?" That was a wrong guess, and the customer turned out to be a woman. She was upset with me, and explained how poor my behavior had been. They finished their entire meal while continuing to say unkind things to me. At the end of it, they left me a tip—six pennies.
Later, a female coworker who had been to Wal-Mart revealed that the same woman worked there in the women's clothing department. So, we paid a visit, removed some clothes from their hangers, and left the six pennies she had tipped me on her fitting room desk.
40. The Calm Before The Storm
I used to work as a cashier for Walmart, during the night shift. Close to midnight on a fairly quiet night, an Amish family came to my register. Their shopping contained quite a bit of groceries, with the bill exceeding a hefty $200. The moment of payment arrived, and his credit card was declined.
This caused some distress, and with a worried expression, he requested me to attempt the transaction one more time. Sadly, it was unsuccessful again. He then started venting his frustration on me, raising his voice, implying that I was at fault. Throughout this outburst, my supervisor kept a close eye on us.
Deciding to intervene, he moved towards the agitated gentleman in an effort to soothe the rising tension. Unfortunately, his attempt to pacify the situation only fueled the man's anger. I could only watch in disbelief as the scene unfolded, with the irate customer escalating his outrage, openly berating us as fools and ending up physically hurting my manager.
This unexpected act of aggression spiraled into a full-blown brawl. The wife and daughters of the man were visibly shocked, screaming for him to cease his behavior, reducing one of the girls to tears. Amid the chaos, my manager's glasses were knocked off his face.
Finally, the security guards arrived in time to restrain and finally subdue the man. The ordeal ended with the arrival of the authorities. Subsequently, one of the store's stockers was burdened with the task of restocking the large amount of groceries.
41. In-Flight Meal
There was a time when I had a job at Papa John's Pizza. One day, this astonishingly unpredictable woman walked in and ordered a pizza. We offered her a deal to get another pizza for half the price, but she flatly turned us down. After paying for her order, she exited our store, only to walk into the store next to ours.
I figured that was the last I'd see of her that day, however, I couldn't have been more mistaken. In a matter of ten minutes, she was back, complaining about not receiving a second pizza she believed she had ordered—even though she didn't make that order at all.
Amidst all of this, I was slicing a pizza at the table when, unexpectedly, a pizza box came skyrocketing towards me. It burst open mid-flight, resulting in a piping hot pizza landing all over me.
42. This Woman Needs To Get Carted Out
Back when I was younger, I worked at a neighborhood grocery store. My duties included bagging groceries and assisting customers by carrying them to their vehicles. We had a regular customer that was quite infamous for her rudeness.
During one such encounter with her, I was helping load groceries into her car in heavy rain. Without uttering a single word, she dashed to her car, jumped in and flung open the car's trunk. After loading her purchases and getting thoroughly drenched in the process, I returned the shopping cart to the cart corral.
Assuming she had already driven off, I pocketed the usual quarter left in the cart. As I was reentering the store, a loud car horn startled me. I turned to see the woman, still parked, honking loudly and flashing her car lights. Once she successfully grabbed my attention, she reached her hand out of the car window, palm up.
It was clear that she wanted her quarter back. Without hesitation, I retrieved the coin from my pocket and forcefully tossed it at her windshield before returning inside. I was genuinely surprised she didn't storm back into the store to express her anger. She was known for making many cashiers break down and cry in previous incidents.
43. Can’t Touch This
I used to pull the evening shift at a pub every Friday and Saturday. I have a few tattoos, including one on my chest. One evening, this guy and his girlfriend walked in. When I approached their table for their drink orders, he spotted my chest tattoo. He inquired about it.
However, before I could even respond, he did the unthinkable—he suddenly leaned forward and tried to tear my shirt open. I quickly stepped back and issued a strong warning—if he laid his hands on me once more, he'd be out in a flash. For the remainder of the night, I stayed a safe distance, about five feet, from their table.
44. Blockbuster Blowout
I used to manage a small Blockbuster Video and had a good rapport with our regular patrons. But one hectic night, a group of tough-looking characters, who I had never encountered before, walked in. Being in charge, it fell on me to attend to them.
They were extremely loud and unruly—the sort of patrons you can predict will cause trouble before they ever open their mouths. They barged their way to the front of the queue, declaring they wanted to rent several movies. Okay. None of the accounts were registered to them, but we could deal with that.
The issue was, none of them had any form of identification. I explained that for rentals, especially those tied to accounts not under their name, they needed to provide some form of valid ID. I suggested that I could reserve their movies if they chose to fetch an ID. Their reaction was explosive.
They puffed up like roosters, clearly itching for a confrontation. As fate would have it, the associate next to me was processing a rental for an older lady who didn't have an ID but was using her daughter's account. The guys noticed this discrepancy and went ballistic, accusing us of discriminatory behaviour.
I swiftly advised them that the associate had made a misjudgment in authorizing the elderly lady's rental. However, it was now too late to reverse it, and I still couldn't allow them to rent movies. After I warned them that I'd call the authorities, they stormed out of the shop.
Mere minutes later, as the same associate was retrieving movies from the dropbox, the entire front store window by the drop box exploded into shards. Glass rained all over the checkout counter causing minor injuries to the associate, whose hands were steadily bleeding.
Looking out of the shattered window, we saw the group of men hastily scrambling into a truck and fleeing the scene. I undertook a swift inspection inside the store and, finding no foreign object, deduced the cause of the window destruction was still outside.
After settling the situation, we closed up shop and anxiously awaited the arrival of the authorities. In the interim, I stepped outside and observed the well-maintained lawn free of any possible missile-like objects. The penetration pattern in the shattered glass suggested a direct impact, leading me to conclude that the aggressor had most likely punched the window.
45. She Was A Whiner
I had a long 13-hour day serving over 6,000 banquet guests, who were all bankers and their families. As my shift was nearing its end, I was responsible for gathering up the empty glasses from the tables. I extended my hand to take a glass that was in front of a grumpy-looking older woman.
Suddenly, she looked up and started to yell, insisting that she hadn't finished her drink yet. Trying to resolve the situation, I offered her the glass back. But she protested, saying my fingers had touched it. I then suggested I could bring her a fresh glass of red, and she agreed.
I fetched her a new glass and delivered it to her with a friendly smile. Yet, no amount of positivity could soothe her; she began to yell again, this time complaining about the length of time it took to get her drink. She demanded to meet with my supervisor.
I started to look around for a supervisor, but they were all tied up with tasks. Therefore, I returned to the woman and informed her that a supervisor would attend to her as soon as possible. Out of nowhere, she flung her glass at me, with absolutely no warning.
46. He Was A Dog-Gone Pain
I once had a job in an office where an ill-mannered man walked in one day. We proudly offer complimentary water and coffee or tea to our guests courtesy of our imposing fridge positioned at the reception, with a coffee machine directly behind it. This man showed up with a demand to speak with the highest-ranking individual in the office.
Unfortunately for me, that was me. He took a seat and I approached him to formally introduce myself. Without uttering a word, he handed me his jacket to hang up—his initial rude move. As I attempted to navigate behind the reception desk to hang his jacket, I heard a whistle.
I dismissed it, focusing on making space for his coat. But then came another whistle, accompanied by the snapping of his fingers. I spun around to see this man gesturing me over, at this point he had my full attention. He nonchalantly said, “Oh, and I wouldn't be averse to a cappuccino while you're on your feet".
Furious, I marched back, handed him his coat, and directed him towards the exit. He was taken aback and demanded an explanation. I retorted, “If you're here to find your dog, you're looking in the wrong place". His stunned facial expression was absolutely unforgettable. And the complaint he later sent in was downright funny.
In the end, giving him a piece of my mind was absolutely satisfying.
47. This Was Not A Barrel Of Laughs
At the Cracker Barrel where I worked in the deep South, there were two gay guys on staff. To all of us, they were just regular guys—just ones who happened to be attracted to men. The management, however, showed signs of prejudice and were uncomfortable around them.
Then, one day, two regular customers, notorious for being high maintenance, came in. These customers made numerous demands before their meal arrived. They were quite a headache, but at least they tipped reasonably well. During one such visit, one of the gay staff members unintentionally disclosed something about his boyfriend to them.
They were taken aback and confronted him about his orientation. When he acknowledged that he was gay, a regular seized his hand and insistently made him sit down at their table. What followed was simply unacceptable—a relentless 30-minute sermon on how he was doomed to eternal damnation.
I helplessly witnessed this unsavory spectacle from another dining room, unable to step in due to the restaurant being exceedingly busy. To help him out, I asked my girlfriend to look after his tables. Each time he attempted to leave, the customer would physically restrain him and demand his attention.
The manager, when informed of this, had a disturbing response, "Well, he needs to hear this stuff anyway," and did nothing to intervene. When the customers realized their efforts to persuade him away from his supposed "immoral" lifestyle were futile, they shocked everyone yet again.
They asked him to refund every tip they had ever given him, stating that they could not "support gay people". "Just an approximate amount is fine if you can't remember exactly," they said, nonchalantly suggesting $200 as a starting point. Their prejudice had reached a whole new level.
48. He Was A Regular Creep
Once, I had a regular client who would observe me for prolonged periods as I performed my duties. One day, he approached me, complimented my attractiveness, and showed curiosity about my romantic status. I opted to relocate to a different branch when his inquiries escalated to inviting me to his home over the weekend as he would be by himself.
When he discovered I was moving, his reaction was unforgettable—he held onto my hair and began crying.
49. What A Hot Head
While I was serving at a restaurant, a lovely family of four walked in. The parents decided on a two-person fajita platter. The dish, as expected, was served piping hot on the skillet. But for the parents, it just wasn't piping hot enough. They requested me to return the dish to the kitchen for some extra heat.
Back in the kitchen, the manager came up with the novel idea of using a blow torch. He amped up the iron skillet to a fiery red temperature, then quickly reheated the fajitas before sending me back to the table with the steaming dish.
The dad wasn't quite thrilled with all the smoke billowing from his meal, and took a step that stunned us all—he flung the scorching skillet in my direction. Luckily, his aim was off and I wasn't hit. The skillet went for a window instead, which shattered.
After the manager obtained his details, he had him leave the premises and promised to contact him regarding compensation for the broken window.
50. Prime Prejudice
I recall one particular night when I was serving tables at a busy steakhouse and was alerted to a group of six guests assigned to my section. In the group, there was an older pair seated closest to me and two younger couples. The senior man in the group placed an order for an eight-ounce prime rib.
When I asked how he'd want it prepared, I received a surprising reply from him: "I want it your color". His wife chuckled as if it was the funniest thing she'd heard all day, but I was quite taken aback. Swiftly, I responded with, "So you're saying you don't want any pink in it?"
I later informed my supervisor about the insensitive comment, and he offered me the choice to ask the entire group to leave. I decided to let it pass for the moment, despite my discomfort serving anyone who believed such a response to be appropriate.
I guess they realized they had upset me because they eventually left a tip equating to 30% of the bill. It appeared that taking the high ground proved beneficial in this instance.
Sources: Reddit, .