If there’s one lesson you learn real quick when you start your first retail or service job, it’s that they’ll turn on you in an instant, and for no reason at all. These Redditors came together to share their stories of the worst customers they ever had to deal with—and they’re absolutely diabolical.
1. Revenge Is A Dish Best Served Cold
In high school, I worked at a car wash. While I was wiping rail dust out of a guy's rims he swung the door open and hit me square on the top of the head and dropped me like a stone.
He then proceeded to berate me for being stupid and slow for not getting the soap film off of his rocker panels…the soap film that I couldn't see because I was A: on the other side of the door, and B: trying to regain my senses.
I stood up and handed my towels to the floor manager, said "Call me when you're done with him," and I walked out the back of the garage. Fast forward six years. I am bartending at a local family establishment. I look at the door and I can’t believe my eyes. The same jerk comes in with his wife.
From the first minute, he's complaining about stuff. I'm pleasant, but brief with them. Eventually, they decide they'd like to eat in the bar and ask for menus. I get them their menus and after serving a few more patrons, I walk over with a pad and pen and ask to take their order.
The jerk says, "You're gonna take our order? I thought I'd get one of these hot blonde waitresses". His wife was visibly uncomfortable so I shot back and said, "Your wife called ahead and asked for a young stud bartender". After their meal she slid me five bucks under her plate while he was bitching about the food.
About a month later in the same restaurant, he totally unloaded on a waitress for no reason. I knew it was time for me to finally get my vengeance. I was bartending and I kicked him out. He lost his mind, screaming about how he knew the owner his whole life and how I was done working there.
I pulled out the owner's business card, handed it to him and said, "Bob gets in at 9:00, that's his number". 11:00 the next morning the owner called me and said, "I heard you kicked out Tyson last night". I said "Yes I did," and proceeded to explain the scenario.
He paused for a few seconds and said: "You did the right thing, he's a jerk. When you are on that side of my bar it's your bar, and they're your staff. Keep it up".
2. The Moment Of Truth
While I worked at the Best Buy camera department, a Chinese family consisting of a mom, dad, guy, and a girl came in looking at my display of point and shoot cameras. They had pretty thick Chinese accents so I assume they were either tourists or new immigrants or something.
I did my job asking the usual questions trying to help them, but sure enough their only reply was, "We are just looking". They continued conversing amongst themselves in Cantonese. I myself am 100% Chinese, and speak Cantonese quite well. Plus, being a first generation Canadian, I barely have an accent.
This is a translation of the conversation between the guy and girl.
Chinese Guy: "HMMM what you think of this Camera?"
Chinese Girl: "I dunno anything, why don't you ask the employee?"
Chinese Guy: "That guy? Forget him, he's just gonna lie to us".
Now keep in mind this is all said literally to my face. They were hovering over some cameras only 2 feet from me and starring straight at me when they talked about "the employee". They must've thought I didn't understand them or something. I don't exactly know what the heck was going on with them.
Maybe it's because I didn't have an accent when I spoke to them in English, or they thought I was some other sort of Asian. They kept going too!
Guy: "This one looks cool. I wonder how fast it is. Do you know".
Girl: "I really don’t know. Just ask the employee".
Guy: "I already said forget that jerk. He's just gonna lie anyways".
I just stood there, shocked, thinking to myself, "Holy smokes, they have no idea that I know what they’re saying".
Their conversation almost had a pattern or something and next bit went something like this:
Guy: "How many megapixels is this camera?"
Girl: "I really don't know anything about cameras. Ask the employee".
At this point, I snapped outta my shock and decided I had had enough. The moment of truth arrived and I replied, in perfect Cantonese, "That camera has 5 megapixels. It says so right on the card".
Their faces went blank and they fell silent. The whole family. They must've been really embarrassed because they thanked me only to run away right after.
3. Playing Chicken
My very first job was at a Chick-Fil-A in a mall food court. Working during the Christmas season was the worst and we got a constant stream of some of the most irritable, irate, and unreasonable customers ever. There was one incident in particular that stands out though.
A mother with five out-of-control children comes up and orders a huge amount of food. I wish I could remember the exact order because it was massive.
It's crazy busy with lines of 10 people or more at each of the five registers, all waiting for their food, and this mother, and all five of her children are literally yelling, "Where’s my food??" and "Hellooo??" the entire time they are waiting, with other customers staring at them and wondering what their problem was.
Finally they get their huge order which was two very large bags full of food, which was what was holding everything up to begin with, and go off to one of the tables in the food court to eat. But my nightmare wasn’t over yet.
About 10 minutes later the woman comes back, with all five of her children by her side, holding her receipt and yelling that she didn't get the food that she ordered. We ask her what she feels she is missing from the order and she says, "All of it! All you gave me was 3 bags of waffle fries and a package of chicken nuggets that was already chewed!"
That's right, she said the nuggets were "already chewed". She throws a nugget box on the counter at me with what was definitely chewed up chicken nuggets put back into the container in it.
First off, we obviously did not give her "already chewed" nuggets, and the entire kitchen staff had just madly scrambled to complete everything in her large order, and we handed her two huge bags of food with everything in it. She starts making a gigantic scene, yelling that we ripped her off and demanding the food that we already gave her.
Then she starts threatening to call the authorities. There are gigantic lines of really angry people waiting behind her at this point, as it's crazy busy. While she's threatening to call someone, some random guy comes walking up and taps her on the shoulder to try and get her attention. I’ll never forget what happened next.
She turns and he says, "Miss, you left your bag of food under the table when you left," and hands her a huge bag of food. The very food she is in the middle of accusing us of not giving her. At this same time one of her children yells, "Those chicken nuggets tasted funny, I hate them!" To this she looks at the kid, yells "Shut up,” and goes to hit them.
So, now that her plot has been hilariously foiled, all of us employees are just staring at her awaiting her response to this. Her response was to say, "I don't have to take this," while she grabbed another customers drink that was on the counter and threw it behind the register.
She then tried to storm off, with her five children running everywhere and holding her up—but the story doesn’t end there. As it turns out, one of the folks waiting in line just behind her is a local law enforcement officer who is on lunch…with his girlfriend, who is a social services worker.
The cop, after seeing this, detains the woman, and the social services worker copies down her info and tells her she will be reporting her for hitting her children and exposing them to attempted theft.
4. There’s No Arguing With Stupid
I work tech support for a cable company. This customer calls in wondering why his television wasn't working. It takes me a minute, but I figured out that the customer’s television wasn't working because his electricity was turned off.
He then argued with me for an hour about how it shouldn't matter, that he is paying for a service and we need to guarantee it no matter what. Even if he has no power.
The customer was certain that we were the only company that still required televisions to be connected to utility power and then went on about how it must be because the service is not digital, like our competitors.
5. The Tipping Point
I'm a American-born Chinese girl that works at a Chinese restaurant. My bosses, an immigrant couple, speak enough English, but not very well, and they have trouble understanding English if you speak too quickly. I work customer service for the most part because of this.
This woman comes in to order, and as I take her order, she asks, "Do you speak English?!" I reply, in unaccented English, that I do. She exclaims that she can't understand a word that I'm saying and demands to speak to my manager. I smugly get my boss, informing him of the situation.
He laughs and goes to talk to her in his broken English. She gets really frustrated, and I just stand there laughing to myself. Another customer, having witnessed this, hands me $5 for my poise in having dealt with an imbecile like that.
6. Don’t Bring A Knife To A Gun Fight
So back in the 70s, my dad worked as a bouncer at some college bar in a very laid-back college town. He wasn't exactly big-muscled or anything, probably just average, but he was in shape at least. The bar had some kind of dress code that you couldn't wear T-shirts.
Well, a guy comes in and is wearing a T-shirt. My dad tells him about the dress code, and then offers to let him borrow an extra shirt my dad had brought. The guy obliges, puts on the shirt, enters the bar and everything seems good.
About 30 minutes later, my dad makes a blood-boiling discovery. He notices that right on the dance floor was his shirt on the ground being trampled on by people. He finds the guy, who is now wearing his T-shirt again, and is like, "What the heck mate?" The guy makes some excuse. My dad asks him to leave, and then, all chaos broke loose.
I just wanted to preface that this guy was apparently like 5'6” and skinny. The guy suddenly pulls out a switchblade and starts cursing out my dad, calling him a tool and stuff. My dad is just like, "Whoa buddy. calm down. no need for anyone to get hurt".
There was another bouncer who worked at the bar. He was on the Clemson football team. He was a very tall and large dude that my dad said could be quite intimidating. Anyway, my dad is trying to calm the guy down. The jerk never saw it coming.
All of a sudden the other bouncer comes up and just pushes my dad out of the way. The football player was easily 1 foot taller than the skinny dude and his legs were like the size of the dude's torso. So the football player just stares at the guy and says, "Boy, if you don't get out of here right now, I'm going to take that and stick it where the sun don’t shine".
The guy mumbled something, and left immediately.
7. This Is My Last Resort
I used to have a gig doing on-site computer repair for homes and businesses. Nothing fancy; I'd usually just swap out a part, prove functionality, document the call on my Blackberry, and be on my way. So I get a call and head on over. The building is not in the best of shape, but not exceedingly sketchy.
I get buzzed up to the customer's unit and meet him at the door. He's on crutches, has the worst teeth I've ever seen, and just kind of looks scummy. Amusingly, he was actually very polite, but—and here’s where things go south—he lets me in to possibly the most heinous living arrangement I've ever seen.
His girlfriend is just sitting among piles of stacked newspapers staring at me open-mouthed. Garbage bags filled with who-knows-what are scattered about. And everywhere, EVERYWHERE, are roaches. They're crawling up the walls. Over the sink. On the chair. In-between the keys on the keyboard. It was amazing.
But, well, I had a job to do, so I set to it, all the while making polite conversation and ignoring the vileness that surrounded me. Guy tells me his story—hit by a car, among other things, hence the crutches—and is nice enough: "Can I get you something to drink?" "Oh, no that's quite all right.".
Meanwhile I can see the ripples in the water bowl for the cats where the roaches are swimming. It must be like their holiday resort or something. To add insult to injury, the hard drive I was to install had not been properly preloaded at the depot so I had to wait there while Windows reloaded.
I felt bad for the guy as he was telling me that I was the nicest person he'd encountered and that usually people run away and don't help him. I finished the job, entered in the completion notes on my Blackberry and got the heck out of there. At the next job, a roach fell out of my pocket. Lovely.
A few weeks later, my Blackberry goes off. I eyeball the address and it gives me the willies, so I call dispatch to inquire if I'd ever been there before. The dispatcher takes a minute and then starts laughing. I asked why, to which he replied, "It's your completion notes. They read: “OH GOD ROACHES EVERYWHERE".
I had to fight my boss to not make me go there again—even the roaches in the clothes wasn't sufficient grounds. Oh joy.
8. No One Outpizzas The Hut
I had a guy at Pizza Hut once that came in irate about something wrong with his pizzas that had been delivered. He was screaming at my cashier who came and got me because she was afraid. I was the only manager on staff at the time, so I'm sitting here trying to talk sense into him.
He is demanding that I give him back the merchant copy of the credit card receipt because "I don't want you having anything with my signature on it!" I tried explaining to him 3 times that we are not legally allowed to hand it over. I went so far as to pick up the cash register's monitor and show him that, in the system, his transaction was canceled.
He insisted that I hand it over. That was my last straw. I finally tell him "Look, I'm not going to hand it over no matter how much you keep yelling. You can either leave now or I will call the authorities. Keep in mind that I have your name, phone number, address, and a CC video of you screaming at me and my cashier".
At this point, he lunges at me and snatches for the receipt. He tears off the top half and storms out of the store. He only got the top part of the receipt showing his order and left behind the signature and tip line. By the way...this entire escapade was because he wanted to make sure the driver didn't get the $3 tip that he signed for.
9. Dinner And A Show
The worst customer I ever had was when I was a graduate student. The life of a grad student (doctoral) can be pretty hard at times, especially because I paid for it all myself. As such, I not only worked as a tutor and part time lecturer, but also had some shifts at KFC.
Anyway, there was this one customer who used to be annoying. He'd drive up to the drive in and would ask super inappropriate questions to any females who were working. It was downright seedy. Our manager wouldn't do anything about it, because the jerk customer would always get a bucket of chicken.
Anyway, one time “Romeo” comes into the front counter and stands in my queue. He's wearing some sort of muumuu-like garment, grinning at me SO creepily. The queue is moving pretty slowly, and he starts yelling about how he is the chosen one and how I'm inhibiting him from his duty (to eat fried chicken?).
This actually works out for "Romeo," because half of the customers leave the store. To tell you the truth, I wanted to leave the store, but I was shell shocked by the satanic vision in front of me. He comes up to the counter and says, "Ugh, give me twenty pieces of chicken, 4 coleslaws... and, uhhhh anything else you want to show me?" He then winks.
I look at him like he's the filth of humanity, and enter in his order. He stands there grinning stupidly, while I ring his order up. So, I get his order, and bill him. He looks at me and says, “I wanted something more than that".
I looked at him and said with all of the sweetness of an angel "I'm sorry sir, there’s nothing more I can give you at this KFC. Please leave the store before I phone the authorities". What happens next still defies belief. His face kind of went purple. I don't mean "I had to walk up a flight of stairs" red. I mean, deep, deep, purple built from endless rage.
Then, after what seemed like an eternity, his mouth opened and this massive howl emanated from his soul. As I took a large step back from the counter, “Romeo” ripped his muumuu from his body. He had nothing on under that muumuu, and it was a sight I pray I will never see again.
He charged at the counter and tried to grab me, but missed me by a good meter or so. He screamed “I'll make you sorry!" And then, suddenly out of nowhere, he gurgled, fell from the counter, and started crying. It was at this point I said "Forget this," and proceeded to flee.
An hour or two later, I texted my manager telling him that I quit. They gave me 4 weeks’ severance for my trouble.
10. The Squeaky Wheel Gets The Grease
I work at a quick-lube place in town and once we had a regular couple come in and just grease the fittings on their car. I tell them we can take care of it and tell the guy who's working underneath what the deal is. A couple of minutes later the guy tells me the car doesn't have any fittings to grease.
I go down to verify that he's right and tell the customers that they don't have to worry about greasing them because they are sealed. His reaction was deranged. The customer begins to tell me that I'm taking advantage of him because he's handicapped—the customer is blind and his wife was driving the car.
I tell the guy there's nothing in it for me to lie to him about this. I wasn't going to charge him anything to do this but even if I was he's not paying anything at all anyway. To this he replies that all kids today care about is "money and illicit substances" and threatens to have his brother-in-law come and "have a chat with me".
I told him to send him down and that I'd tell him the same thing because I don't understand what the problem is. After about 10 more minutes of arguing with them, they leave dissatisfied. Fast forward to a couple of hours later and this big guy walks in saying that his brother-in-law called saying I was trying to take advantage of him.
I tell him the story and he tells me that his brother went to another shop who also told him that he didn't have anything to grease. His answer was astonishing. I asked him why he was there then and he said he wanted to make sure I wasn't taking advantage of the handicapped.
I asked him how he thought I was taking advantage of anyone, to which he told me to just not do it and left. What's worse is that this couple still comes in all the time and neither one has ever complimented me for staying off “money and illicit substances”.
11. Escape Plan
Many years ago I used to pick up TVs for repair from customers' homes. I arrived at this house and an elderly woman answered the door and showed me in. She turned on her very old TV to show me the problem; I could see that it was a blown tube and likely beyond economic repair, and told her so.
She said, "No! You fix it now!" I explained that I couldn't do that, and that her best option was to buy a replacement, either new or used. As I was telling her this, a figure appeared from the doorway behind her, moaning and staggering into the room.
It was an elderly man in gaping pajamas with a long strand of thick drool hanging from his lower lip. The woman said, "Ignore him, my husband has Alzheimer's, fix the TV!"
I began explaining again that I couldn't do that, but while I was doing so the woman started just yelling over and over again, "Fix it!" and the husband kept staggering toward me, moaning louder and louder and getting more agitated, with his strand of drool getting longer and longer and swaying below chin level as he kept advancing.
I said "I'm sorry, but I'll have to go back to the shop now," at which the woman screamed "NO!" and ran to the door that led to hallway, slammed it shut, and stood in front of it with her arms outstretched to block my escape.
The husband kept advancing with his drool getting longer and his moaning rising in pitch to a kind of wailing as I backed up until I was pinned between them both, all the time I kept saying to the woman, "I have to leave," and her screaming "No! Fix it!"
The husband was within a couple of inches of me, and his swinging drool was nearly touching my arm, and I was pressed against the woman, when I turned and as gently as possible pushed her out of the way, pulled the door open and ran out of the room and out the front door to my van.
As I started the engine up and pulled away, the woman was standing outside her front door screaming awful things at me and her husband was staggering about in the front yard; an image forever burned into my brain.
12. Cookie Monster
I worked at a discount brokerage in the late 1990s as a tech and was called down to the front desk by the receptionist. I get there and there's this older couple with the woman berating the girl at our front desk. I ask what seems to be the problem and the uptight older woman starts giving me the business—and the reason why was hilarious.
She said it was because our website tracks cookies using the phrase "How dare you track my finances" and she wants to remove every penny from us and go to our main competitor. A representative from the competitor told them repeatedly that they did not do that.
My wife happened to work for the competitor and I had an account there as well, so at the front desk computer—the older couple could see the screen while I did this—I go into the settings and set the cookie option to ask before passing the cookie. I then sign in to the competitor and lo and behold it asks for a cookie.
This older woman was a class "A" jerk to the receptionist so I looked at the lady and said, "They track cookies too. Looks like he lied to you. Do you still want us to transfer everything?" As I hand them the transfer forms. The old guy rolls his eyes at his wife. Saying nothing, but FUMING, she takes the forms and walks out.
13. The Lunatics Are Running The Asylum
I used to work at Old Navy a few years back. It was a regular retail job and was going pretty well. One day, I am working the changing area and this dude comes in and tries on pants or something and then comes out. He starts doing the ol pat down of his stuff to make sure he’s got everything, and then he just freezes.
He whips around, looks straight at me and goes, "YOU STOLE MY KEYS!" Now this whole time, I was never in possession of his pants or property at any point. So I calmly tell him that I do not have them and they are probably in the changing area.
He checks, doesn't find them, comes back out and starts screaming at me to give him back his keys. Finally, he wants to see the manager. So the manager comes over and tries to comprehend the situation. She was like, I doubt he took your things sir, trying to defuse the situation calmly.
So the dude starts cursing her out and calls the authorities. I was speechless. The officers show up 5-10 minutes later, take down all the information and my manager tells me to go to the backroom and take a break while it gets sorted out.
In the back, I can still hear this dude just freaking out because the keys belonged to a mental institution and that I might "try and sneak the weirdos out!" After another 5 minutes, my manager comes to the back and tells me that the dude did not check his back pocket and that was wear the keys were.
She made him apologize to me and told him to leave. I was so confused at the time…but it’s funny looking back.
14. Prevention Is The Best Cure
I was working in a general store while in high school, and we had a decent hardware section that sold cheap tools. One day, just before closing, a guy and his friends come in. They're your standard trashy dudes, so I'm on alert. Because it's closing time the supervisor is around, so she does the covert follow-them-around-the-store thing while I stay where I am.
Eventually, they come up to the counter and one of them puts down some cheap box cutters and nothing else while the others mill around the door. My supervisor's behind them and I decide that this isn't right. So I ask them for ID. I don't know why I thought this was going to stop them.
The guy was mid-20s, I must have been 18 or so. "I'm probably older than you," he says. I wasn't really checking for age, I was just trying to stall them for some reason. I guess I decided that if they were buying these for an attack or something that they wouldn't want to be identified. I might have been right, I suppose, because he refused.
This went back and forth for a bit, him getting angrier and angrier, until finally he slapped down a piece of paper on the counter, telling me that was his ID. When I looked at it, I was horrified. It was a court summons for assault.
It could have got worse from there, but they left after I asked them to, so there's not any awesome story for triumph after that or anything. Still, a group of guys tried to buy a pack of blades at 6pm…and tried to prove they were okay to be sold by proving they were suspected of a wrongdoing and implicitly threatening me.
15. Stop Pulling My Leg
I work in a major theme park in Orlando, so I've got hundreds of hilarious anecdotes. However, my very worst guest experience is one of the very few incidents that wasn't amusing in the slightest.
I work at a high speed, inverted roller coaster. It's one where your feet dangle. Because there is no floor to our coaster, if you have a prosthetic leg, you are required to remove it prior to riding. If you can't remove it, we unfortunately have to take you off of the attraction for your safety, and the safety of the guests in the park.
I was the lead for the day, which means I was in charge of the attraction, and if there were any issues or guest complaints, it would be up to me to take care of them. I got called by my control booth, who asked me to head to loading station to speak with a guest pertaining a loose article issue.
I handle those situations all the time, so it wasn't a big deal. Or so I thought. When I arrived, my team members directed me to a guest who was seated in the front row. She looked like she was in her early 40s, she was fit and pretty and blonde, she didn't have any sort of a bag or loose article on her person, and she looked furious.
That's when one of my team members decided to tell me she had a prosthetic leg. She was wearing long jeans, so it wasn't obvious, but once it was pointed out, it was impossible to miss. I approached the woman, and very quietly explained our prosthetic limb policy. I was trying to be as discreet as possible.
She very loudly and defensively told me that the leg was screwed in place and was impossible to remove, and that she would absolutely be riding today. I don't think I've ever felt as uncomfortable then as I ever had in my life. I had to again explain to her that it was for her safety, unless she would be able to remove the prosthetic limb, she would not be able to safely ride the coaster.
I also told her that, as one of our safety rules, there could be no exceptions. At this point, she was belligerently angry, and was shouting all sorts of arguments at me. I think what was so awful about this guest, for me at least, is that for ONCE I had a guest who was upset for a valid reason.
It's easy to laugh when you just had a parent scream at you because you made their child remove the melting ice cream sandwiches from his shoe, thus making him not meet the height requirement. But a guest with a severe disability who went in to an experience not even realizing that there could be any chance of them being treated differently? A woman who just wanted to ride a friggin’ coaster and couldn't because she had dared to show up with a titanium leg? Let me tell you, I felt about 2 feet tall.
So she's screaming at me, and at this point, we haven't cycled a train in about 5 minutes which in the theme park world is a HUGE amount of time. Since she decided to argue with me at the top of her lungs, the guests waiting in the gates knew exactly why they were being held up.
So they started heckling her, and yelling for her to get off already. And of course she's glaring at me as if it's my fault everyone knows she has a prosthetic leg. She finally gets off the train, and everyone starts cheering which was absolutely horrible.
This woman is so infuriated and (I'm guessing) humiliated that she decided to take the heat off of herself by shouting about what a nasty fat person I was, and how at least she could fit in to some rides. I'm a big girl, but I'm not that big. I am, however, horribly self-conscious.
And this woman basically jabbed at my Achilles heel right in front of all of my employees, which was horrible. But the worst part was, I still felt bad for the woman and I even understood that she was humiliating me as a defense tactic, so I just took it. It was awful. I've never had a guest situation leave such a bad taste in my mouth. It was horrid.
16. The Customer Isn’t Always Right
I worked for Kohl's right out of high school mostly as a customer service associate doing returns and such. Kohl's policy (at least how it was interpreted in my store) was to pretty much take back anything that a customer would like to return...ANYTHING.
There had even been times where we were instructed to return items from competing department stores when a customer had put up a fuss. So by the time this woman came in, I had pretty much given up on denying any returns and just let management deal with it on the back end.
She was in her mid-20s and had a "diva" attitude. She tossed the bag on the counter with the item she wanted to return—not bothering to take it out like most people—and handed me the receipt.
I pulled out the item to see it was a black teddy (as in women's lingerie) and began to inspect it to see if it had the original tags or had been washed. That’s when I made a disturbing discovery. Being a black piece of fabric, the long white crusty stain became apparent very quickly. There wasn't any doubt what it was and the look on her face confirmed it.
All I said was, "Really? Really..." and gave her a shameful look. I then picked up two plastic hangers and used them as tongs to pick up the teddy, walk it over to the trash, and very dramatically releasing it into the trash, all the while giving her a look. I then without saying anything went over and returned the item and gave her back her money.
I hoped my embarrassing scene caused her to think twice before doing it again. Retail has single-handedly destroyed my faith in humanity.
17. Karmic Victory
I was the sales manager in a business to business type operation, we manufactured components that other manufacturers used in their products. Most of my customers were great and even though I left that company 8 years ago, some are still good friends.
I once had the president of one of our medium-sized customers call me up, cursing up a storm because the parts he wanted today were not sitting on the shelf and it would take about two weeks to make them. I told him if he would stop cursing at me that I might be able to help him and, if not I was going to hang up on him.
He kept cursing, I hung up and my boss was entirely supportive even though we never got an order from them again. Another time I was out on a sales call with a customer that had some issue I don't remember, but I knew I was right about it and he was wrong.
When I tried to explain to him what really happened and why, he told me, "If you're calling me a liar, you can leave". I got up and left, didn't even say a word, didn't have to. Never got another order from him either.
Both of the above mentioned customer companies went out of business during the time I built my side of the business from $6M to almost $15M/year in sales.
18. No Good Deed Goes Unpunished
A few weeks ago, one of my fellow techs recovered a customer's entire drive which he had formatted SEVERAL times. The tech also reloaded Windows onto his laptop, and then when that was finished, put the recovered data back into a folder with a shortcut to the desktop.
He didn't even charge the customer fully for all the work done, because the guy had some story about family pics being lost and he took pity. It was a young guy in his early 20s. We were closing the store today when the guy walks in. I still can’t believe how awful he was.
Customer: You people said you were going to fix my computer, but there are all these files and stuff in this one folder here; you said it would be like new.
Tech: I reloaded your OS and then put all the stuff I saved in that folder for you. It's a brand new install.
Customer: Well, I want my pictures back.
Tech: They are in this folder, with all the stuff we were able to save.
Customer: Yeah, but there's all this other stuff there too. I just wanted my pictures.
Tech: Oh, well you can feel free to just delete anything you don't need in there.
Customer: Well that's not what I asked for. I'm never coming back here again!
At this point, I step in to make sure what I think I'm hearing is actually happening. "Sir, we saved all your information, and we just want you to be satisfied, what seems to be the problem?"
Customer: I want my pictures back.
Me: Sir, your pictures are right there. We back up everything we find in case you remember important documents or files you need later.
Customer: Well, I don't want any of that stuff, I just want my pictures.
Me: That's perfectly fine, sir. Just delete anything you don't want to keep.
Customer: You guys ripped me off!
And then he left in a huff.
19. Give Me Some Credit
This happened about a year and a half ago. I worked on the night shift as a shift manager at McDonalds. I showed up around 8ish and left at 6 in the morning. I come into work that night to see that our credit machine connected to the front POS machine was broken, so no credit or debit in the lobby.
About an hour in, a couple and their son come into the lobby ready to order. I inform them that we were not able to accept credit or debit. The father seems a little disturbed by this fact and said that was all he had. Now, I was taught to help the customer in any way possible.
My solution was to let one of the employees take the order on paper then ring it up in the drive-through and pay for it with that machine. All goes as planned, they receive their food and go and sit and eat. This is the bad part. About 10 minutes pass and the father come up to me and pulled me aside.
First thing he says to me is that I "was a real piece of work”. As you could probably see, I was floored. I go out of my way to make sure he could get his food. He proceeds to call me out as a liar for saying the front machine could not be broken because the one in the back was working fine.
He even tells me that I made him look like a fool in front of his family for making him look poor. He keeps calling me out and I can't say anything back. I needed this job. All I can say was that I was sorry for the inconvenience. After they leave, everyone working keeps asking me what happened. I truthfully told them that I had no idea.
Now, thinking that that was done, I could get back to work. Nope. About 10 minutes later we receive a phone call. Turns out it's the same guy calling to ream me out again. Yet again, can't do anything but apologize. To this day, I still have no idea what enraged him so much to curse me out not once, but twice.
20. The Call Is Coming From Inside The House
In the IT section I work in, all our customers are internal company staff. This doesn't stop them from being bad customers. On one occasion we were requested to upload a new template. This should have been easy. The owner of the template does all of the updates, gives it to IT, we check it to make sure it will work with the macros and then upload it.
This time, however, the owner of the template was asked to make the changes by the marketing department as they had ordered some new paper and the template needed to be changed to fit it. This started a massive fight between the 2 departments due to neither side listening to the other.
We found out that the owner of the template had demanded that the marketing department take over ownership because "we give up" and therefore the request to IT came from marketing. Our templates are delivered through Word and we were therefore surprised to receive the template in PDF format. Cue a second fight.
We explained that it was impossible to deliver the template in PDF format via Word and if they wanted it in PDF format it would be better delivered via the intranet. No, they wanted it to open in Word but in PDF format so the text couldn't be changed. I began to see what the original owner of the template meant.
Cut to 3 months later when, after upper management involvement (from 3 departments), the new template was delivered in Word format and uploaded. Two weeks later, a Helpdesk ticket was logged—and the reason why was bizarre. Apparently, if you print multiple copies at a time on the new paper, the paper catches fire.
We were then asked to urgently rollback to the old version.
21. Lost & Found
I work at the front desk of a hotel, so I have tons of stories. But my absolute favorite would have to be a couple who, like most other bad customers, had zero patience. Apparently they assumed checking in was simply a matter of "Here's your key” when the check-in process takes about 5 minutes or so.
They were both extremely rude to everyone at the counter and others waiting to check in kept giving them the "what the heck" look. Well, a few hours after they checked out that Sunday, housekeeping called down requesting a manager to get up there.
It turns out they left a ginormous "toy" in the room. The best part? They called back about it. She would only refer to it as "an item". It was so great messing with her over the phone…"I'm so sorry, could you perhaps name or describe the item for me?"
22. What’s The Beef?
I used to work in a butcher and a guy came in to order some obscure amount—I think it was 6 and 1/8 kg—of beef mince. He demanded that I make up 3 different bags of completely different weights, because he was having friends over and wanted to pay for them to pay for the exact amount of beef they ate.
I was new at the time and had little experience with the complicated and ancient till, so this was incredibly stressful and time consuming. After finally making up the bags, he decided it was wrong and demanded I do it again. The other customers were getting very impatient, and I was beginning to get extremely anxious.
I politely suggested I give him one bag and that he and his friends split the bill evenly later, but he took extreme offense to that idea and told me to go off myself, threw the bags on the floor spilling meat everywhere, and stormed off swearing. This upset a few of the other customers, and they left too. The manager watched the whole thing.
As a result, I wasn't paid for my work that day, and I was demoted back to cleaning.
23. Make Like A Banana And Split
My worst customer was actually one my co-worker was attending to. I used to work at a Coldstone Creamery and this was during a rather busy night. The place was small and the line was long and going out the door so a lot of people get irritated in line.
The lady my friend was helping seemed to be pretty peeved before she placed her order. She complained about the prices—which the 17-year-olds working there had no control over—and was just being really fussy. She eventually asked for a sundae for her and her daughter, which were really expensive, interestingly enough.
To make a sundae, we cut a banana in half and then put both pieces at the bottom of the cup and then all the other stuff goes on top of it. Customers automatically assume there's no banana because of this and this woman was no different. She gives the lady the cups and the lady immediately says, "Excuse me, you forgot the banana!"
My friend told her that it was at the bottom to which lady just huffed at. Her daughter told her to calm down but she just shrugged her off. My co-worker came over to me and said, "Man, I hate when they can't see the banana". The woman must not have heard what she said or something because she just blew up.
Started screaming about us not respecting customers and demanded to see the manager, who wasn't there. She called my co-worker a selfish brat. Her daughter was slowly stepping out of the store during all of this. People in line were calling to the woman to calm down, but she just yelled back, "I deserve RESPECT!"
One of the guys who had worked there for about four years made sure she paid for the sundaes, though. She stormed out after this, but then came back to get napkins from the broken dispenser, which pretty much collapsed when she snatched the napkins from it.
My friend burst into tears ringing someone else up so I pulled her into the back and finished up their order. A lot of people who had witnessed what happened were pretty generous with tips and didn't even ask us to sing, which was the best part.
24. Notary Public Scene
I was a cashier at Barnes and Noble and a customer came it demanding that I notarize some stuff for him. Seeing how cashiers are not public notaries there was little I could do besides calmly repeat the fact that I was A: not qualified to do that and B: That Barnes and Noble has NEVER notarized stuff.
He continued to yell at me and then a manager for about 15 minutes before the manager eventually threatened to call security if he didn't leave.
25. My Evil Twin
I was living in a pretty ritzy part of the Bay Area and I had transferred from my original Starbucks to work at one in town. Around this time, I was still rocking a big mohawk that I put up with glue and hairspray and stuff like that.
I had one old lady who would come in every morning around 5:30 and give me guff for how I looked, suggesting homeless shelters for me to go to to take showers. When I politely reminded her that I not only had a home but took a shower every day, she would suggest that I go off myself and storm out.
One morning she came in, saw me and mean-mugged me before storming out. Later, an officer showed up during the morning rush and bought a coffee. A few minutes after that, he came up to me and told me that he hadn't really come for the coffee and needed to talk to me outside.
When we went outside, he told me that someone had called the authorities on me—and what they said was seriously twisted. They claimed that I had been reported as an escaped convict from up north and wanted me thrown behind bars.
He took down my information but told me that judging from my response, I probably wasn't an escaped convict. He came back later and told me he needed to talk to me again. He confirmed that I wasn't the escaped convict but now I had a new problem.
There was apparently an arrest warrant out for me in the next county over and that I was lucky, because if I was across the street and over the county line, I'd be detained.
I didn't understand what the charges were for, so I called that county's superior court and when I suggested I hadn't heard that I was being charged with anything, they told me that I would have to "turn myself in and face the consequences for my actions," and that I would have to spend the weekend behind bars before being allowed to show up to court on Monday to prove my innocence.
I said forget that and went down to the superior court and got a copy of the warrant. When the kid brought it out to me, I took a look at it and said, "This isn't me". The name on the warrant did have my name in it, but it also had some other names at the end. That’s when I made a hilarious discovery.
It turns out that this dude, who had a similar name to me, also had the same birthday, was the same height and weight, and had the same eye/hair color. He also apparently vandalized his ex-girlfriend's car with a golf club and never bothered to show up to court, hence the warrants.
The issue with the warrant was something to do with the way that the name was written on it that was causing an issue where any officer in the county would have to arrest me, so I went to the town that had issued the warrant and was able to talk to a detective about not getting detained.
All because of some crotchety old customer.
26. A Blowout For A Blowout Sale
A few years ago I was working at a Borders that was closing. We had most of our clearance marked way down, but just about everything else was not discounted because we were just going to box it up and send it to another store.
Most of our regulars were understandable and sad about the store closing, and worried about all of us losing our jobs. Then there were the people who really didn't seem to care that much about it, and then there was one woman who was a little bit unhinged.
She started out by buying quite a few items from the clearance section and then returning a few hours later to try and return them for full price. We explained to her that without a receipt we could only give her back the lowest price in the last 6 months.
She started raising her voice to the cashier that was helping her about how she had "paid $20 for each of these books and how dare we try and rip her off!" when there were stickers on the books that clearly stated the price for each one (max of something like $8 or $9 each). We pointed this out to her.
She started screaming at us about how we were stealing from her. The head manager at this point had made it up to the front of the store and was trying to calm her down and said something to the effect of "Ma'am, if you could please calm down we can work out a solution to this issue".
This woman looked at her, and screamed at a level that told just about everyone there that this was so much more than the regular level of upset customer, this was clearly a level of something was off with her.
She yelled something along the line of "I'm Jewish, how dare you tell me that you'll get a final solution, I'm going to get the authorities here for a hate crime!" as she raged and ended up throwing herself on the ground in a hissy-fit before leaving the store.
27. Tattoo You
I work at a shoe store that has many locations in the area. We get a phone call today from someone who sounds pretty pleasant and normal, requesting our corporate phone number. She wants to complain because she felt discriminated against at another of our nearby locations.
I don't have the number immediately on hand, so while I search for it she starts telling me exactly what she wants to complain about. It seems, upon her arrival in the store, the associate working there was initially very friendly and helpful.
Then, in the customer's own words, "The girl working eventually noticed the confederate flag tattoos I have on my arms. Afterward, she became very cold and was no longer friendly to me. I felt discriminated against". I am flabbergasted at first. I ask if the associate made any comments, or refused to serve her.
"No, but after she saw my tattoos, she was no longer acting friendly towards me. That's discrimination, and it's very unprofessional". I honestly was dumbfounded. I could see her claim of unprofessionalism if the associate had refused to serve her or had said something about it to her face.
But we have no obligation in our job description to act friendly towards people who have the stupidity to tattoo symbols of hate multiple times on their forearms. And for her to have the nerve to actually use the words in her complaint: "I felt discriminated against for expressing who I am, and that's just wrong".
One of the most perplexing and infuriating phone calls I've ever received at this job.
28. Wild Card
When I was a head cashier at a hardware store, a gentleman and his wife came through a checkout, and I was called over to assist with an issue. We had recently implemented an ID check with our rebate system and the person using the rebate had to be there to use it. They had two checks, but apparently the wife didn't have ID on her.
Per the new policy, my manager informed me over my radio that they couldn't use it. The whole process was making him angrier and angrier. It seemed like he wouldn't let his wife speak for herself.
When I asked her again if she had anything at all on her (ie an insurance card or something else with her name on it), he said, "Are you deaf? She doesn't have anything". Then he lunged forward and ripped my ear piece out. It scared the bejeesus out of my small 5'2" tall self.
I think I had to go on break and cry in the cash room for a minute. He ended up leaving without buying anything.
29. Repeat Offender
There is this one guy who gives me problems every time he is in the store.
The first I can remember was last winter when there was a coupon in one of the local newspapers for $4 on a razor that made it free. I was walking down the aisle putting something back and he asks me where the coupon is and that he can't find it in the sales ad. I point to where it says on the sign that it is in one of the newspapers.
He starts shaking the ad at me and shoves it at me telling me to find it. I tell him again that you have to buy a newspaper. He asks me if I'm serious, and I tell him yes. At this point, I'm done arguing and walk away.
Fast forward to sometime this fall. I'm on the first express register which is cash only. He puts his stuff down and asks if he can pay with a credit card. I tell him no and that it's cash only at this register, and at this time the register behind me has no customers.
He turns red and tells me that it's stupid that I have a credit card machine and won't let him use it. I say "Forget it" under my breath and tell him I'll take him this time but don't try coming through here again with a credit card. Then last week, I was working the self-checkouts. I see him walk over to the display of NFL Snuggies.
He calls me over, and I'm already thinking how much I hate this guy. He asks where the Steelers Snuggies are, and I tell him whatever we have is out. I start to walk away because I have a couple customers waiting for help at the self-checkouts. He tells me to open a couple unopened boxes that have more Snuggies in them.
I take a closer look at the sign hanging on the display and it says choose from Snuggies for like 5 other teams, the Steelers weren't one of the teams. I show him this and tell him that I have to go help the other customers. Apparently he didn't like this because he stands there telling me we have to have some Steeler Snuggies somewhere.
At this point, I'm done with this guy so I walk away, but he keeps going ,"What do you mean you don't have any for the Steelers?" I told him that it means we don't sell Steelers Snuggies, and that I have nothing to do with what my store carries. Then I ignored him as he continued to go through the display.
Like I said, I've definitely had customers that have yelled and berated me more than this guy, but he gets to be one of my worst customers due to the fact that it seems like he gives me problems every single time he is in the store.
30. The Unhappiest Place On Earth
A while ago I worked at the Walt Disney World Resort, in the FastPass department at Epcot. FastPass is sort of a ride reservation system that's free for all guests to use. You put your park ticket in a turnstile at the attraction you'd like to ride and it spits out a ticket with a time stamped on it for you to come and ride.
If you come back after your time, we put you in a separate queue and you get on the ride right away, usually in less than five minutes. The FastPass department is also responsible for the accommodation of guests with disabilities, since we're the gatekeepers for the short lines.
I'm standing at the FastPass entrance (to the short queue) at Test Track, the busiest attraction at Epcot, on a moderately busy day. The wait time at my attraction for standby guests (with no FastPass) is 45 minutes.
There’s me, your friendly Epcot Cast Member, a woman in a wheelchair, her husband, and two kids. The woman rolls up to FastPass entrance in a park-rented wheelchair with family in tow, and hands me her "Guest Assistance Pass," a card issued by Guest Relations detailing what special assistance she requires.
Card says: "Please allow this guest and his or her party to use the FastPass entrance for your attraction". I looked and it was expired. She snapped back, “It’s not expired!” I reply: “Well, you see it says right here that this card expired...two and a half months ago? In fact, it's so expired that I'm not allowed to give it back to you".
She whines, “But that's the day they gave it to me”.
I say, “No, ma'am, the date they gave it to you is stamped right here (points), two weeks before it expires. Guest Relations will only issue this card for two weeks at a time”.
I thought that was the end of it—but it was just the start of my nightmare.
She sighs to her husband: “Well, give him the other one then.”
I was so confused.
He goes: “Here you go, how's this?”
The card says: "Please allow this guest and his or her party to use the wheelchair accessible entrance for your attraction".
I smiled and said: “Well, this seems to be in order, ma'am. This is a current card, not expired, made out correctly, that says that I should let you use the wheelchair accessible entrance for this attraction. We just finished a remodel that makes all of our entrances wheelchair accessible, so unless you have a FastPass, the standby entrance is right over there. The wait is about 45 minutes”.
She says: “But I can't wait that long! I'm in a wheelchair!”
I reply: “Well, ma'am, you will be sitting down the whole time".
She blinks, “This in unacceptable! I want to see a manager!”
I say: “Ma'am, my manager is unavailable at the moment, but I would be happy to call a coordinator (grabs radio) to come out and tell you the same thing I have".
She says: “No, you're right, I'm just going to report you to Guest Relations!” and then she went off totally in the wrong direction.
I call out, “Ma'am, you're going the wrong way! Here, I'll tell you what: I'm going to the Tipboard in the middle of the park anyway; why don't you let me lead you to Guest Relations, and then you won't have to wait in line there?”
She was confused but she said sure. So I walk them out in the direction of Guest Relations, gesturing to a co-worker to cover me. I make conversation with her kids.
She says: “Hey, you all stop talking to the mean man".
Finally, we arrive at Guest Relations. I spot a co-worker friend who lives in my apartment building. I say: “Hello, Alison. Could you help these guests for me, please? They seem to have misplaced their Guest Assistance Pass, and have come to complain about me”.
I leave the guests behind and head out to the Tipboard, in clear view of the Guest Relations entrance, and between them and the attraction. Now, when I took the guests over there I knew full well that they would give her exactly what she wanted, because they're not going to ask personal questions about the specific nature of her disability, or lack thereof.
About 30 minutes later, they exit Guest Relations, all smiles. I wave, and being a good sport about the whole thing, gesture for them to come over and talk to me.
I say: “Hello, everything work out for you all right?”
The woman said: “It sure did, that lady in the vest fixed you good. She gave me a card that says I can ride anything I want without having to wait. So we're going to go ride the Test Track right now, without waiting in line; isn't that right, kids?”
The kids yell “Yeah!!" That’s when I let karma do its job.
I bent down and said, “Well, I'm afraid ma'am, by my watch right here, you've been waiting for about 40 minutes to ride this attraction, just like everyone else”.
The woman was completely mortified. Her husband busts a gut laughing; totally cracks up. I probably would’ve gotten in trouble, too, if he didn't think it was so funny. As she made her way to the attraction I called out: “Have a Disney day!”
31. Sink Or Swim
I used to be a lifeguard at a small, semi-private pool, which was used by residents of the surrounding townhouses, but they could bring guests when they wanted to. Anyway, if somebody came in and we hadn't seen them before, we would ask for proof of address to ensure they lived in the condos.
So one day, an older gentleman comes in with his two granddaughters; I had never seen any of these people before. So I went and asked him if he was a resident of the condos; he said no, but his son (who was a resident) would be coming by soon, so I said alright and let it slide.
A few minutes later, the aforementioned man jumped in the pool and sat on the lane rope while he called for his granddaughters to come swim as well. I asked him if he could not sit on the rope as it would stretch it out, and either way it was written on the rule board.
Now, this is a small pool, and it was a quiet day. So for the next few minutes, I didn't have to deal with any rule breakers. I was then informed by one of the regulars that the older man was having a smoke over in the eating area; once again, against the rules and it was written as such on the board. So I went and asked him to smoke outside the fence, at which point he lost it.
He started screaming at me—in front of his granddaughters, classy—said I had a grudge against him, etc. I told him that I wasn't "picking on him". Nobody else had done anything which required my attention. He asked to talk to the manager. I told him he already was. He stormed out of the pool. He came back a few minutes later asking for my resignation. I asked him to leave.
32. First Impression, Worst Impression
I worked at Best Buy over the summer of 2008. I worked in Home Theater, and it was literally my first day on the job. I didn't even have a proper uniform yet; just a name tag. Some agitated looking dude came up and asked me if I knew where the RCA couplers were. I looked around for a minute, having no idea what an RCA coupler was.
I was about to go get my manager, when he finds what he's looking for. What does he do? Yells, "WHAT THE HECK?! WHAT KIND OF TRAINING DID THEY GIVE YOU?" I go get my manager, and he starts yelling at my manager about how terrible of an employee I was. "TRAIN THEM OUT BACK BEFORE YOU PUT THEM ON THE FLOOR." Then he stormed out.
Apparently he was a Best Buy manager from Oregon.
33. Wined & Declined
I'm a bagger at a grocery store. A rich mom comes up to the register with four bottles of wine and sets them down. She sets every bottle standing up on the moving conveyor belt. As most people could guess, when the conveyor moves, a bottle will fall over.
This lady being the blonde she is, sets one on the edge and lo and behold, it falls off the belt—pretty much exploding, with wine going everywhere. Long story short, after cleaning it all up from under the register and candy shelf, she finds one little spot on her $250 Ugg boot.
She went to customer service and demanded the store pay for her boots. My manager pretty much gave her a polite get out and that was that. Sure enough I saw her in the parking lot in her massive Hummer H2 with some 22" rims. People these days...
34. No Takebacks
A lady once threw a teaspoon at me because she wanted me to refill her iced tea. However, she didn't notice I had already filled her glass when I walked past her table. She must have been too busy horking down a veal parmesan the size of a hubcap in front of her.
When I walked up and asked her why she felt the need to throw a hard, metal object at me to get my attention, she said: "I need you to fill my..." (looks down) "...oh. You must ha-- ... huh... nevermind". As I was walking away, I heard her hiss at her husband, "No, I'm not going to apologize to A WAITER!"
35. Not All Heroes Wear Capes
I worked in a vitamin store and a lady came tearing in and stomped to the counter. She cuts the entire line to make a return. It's like she completely ignored the other people. She was angry that one of our sales people sold her a product and she later saw on Dr Oz that it really didn't help much.
I told her to please wait in line and we will get this sorted for you. She was insistent that she be helped now. She said her doctor said it wouldn't help her and so I asked if her doctor was Dr Oz. She got so angry and started to act like a child—but I didn’t have to put her in her place, because someone else did.
The guy behind her was my hero that day. He just calmly said, "Calm down lady and wait your turn". It's customers like that guy that make my day as a retail employee.
36. Patience Is A Virtue
I was waiting on an elderly lady when she fainted and hit her head on the counter on the way down. Everyone went over to help her, talked to her as she regained consciousness, pressed a paper towel to her bleeding head, kept her calm as we waited for the ambulance, etc.
Another lady stepped over her prone body to the counter, and demanded to be rung up, as she was in a hurry.
37. Timing Is Everything
My first job was at a locally-owned video store, and 10 years ago when I worked there, it would get really busy—you know, before Netflix was really a widespread thing yet.
One busy day, there was a lineup of people all the way to the door. A customer gets to the counter, saying the DVDs he bought were unplayable and he wanted to return them and get a refund. I apologize, no problem, ask to have a look; knowing full well that we don’t sell DVDs with scratches on them. I was in for an unpleasant surprise.
The movies were basically destroyed, like he went to town on them with a box cutter and then got his cats to play with them, I don’t know. I tell him I’m sorry but we can’t resell these in the state they’re in. Buddy LOSES it.
He starts raising his voice about what do I know, I wasn’t the one who sold them to him—I was, he just didn’t remember—pointing his finger in my face; keep in mind here I was a small 15-year-old girl and he was a 50-something-year-old man. I keep stuttering out apologies for five minutes until he finally leaves.
Next customer comes to the counter, after seeing the whole scene, and casually goes, “Miss, could you tell me where I might find the movie The Jerk?” Even if it was a coincidence, bless you, friendly customer. You restored my faith in people for brief moment.
38. I Screamed, She Screamed, We All Screamed For Ice Cream
I worked in a store which serves ice-cream. Now, a lady came up to me, and asked to purchase a family-sized tub. This cost like $5 or something and had 9 scoops of ice-cream in it. She paid, and I went over to the ice cream counter. The lady hemmed and hawed looking at the selection of about nine or so flavours.
Then she said, “I don’t like any of these, is it possible that you have anything fruity?” I said that I wasn’t sure, but I shall have a look in the back freezer and see if there was something that perhaps was not put out. So off I went, leaving my workmate to continue serving customers with shopping. It wasn’t too busy so he was fine by himself.
I returned with two flavours, Strawberry and Raspberry Ruffle. I showed the lady and she said that she’d have a little bit of both if that’s okay. I said certainly, and I gave her a small warning. I told her that since this was just out of the freezer, it’ll be rock hard and extremely difficult to get through, and that she would have to wait a little bit whilst I did it.
She said that it was fine and thus began the most strenuous exercise my right arm had ever done. Anyway, eventually a queue started to form and my workmate asked for a hand, I excused myself from the lady stating that there was a qeue and it would give the ice-cream time to soften. She said that was fine, and off I went.
About 5 minutes of putting customers through, this lady STORMS over with a face as red as a beetroot. “I HAVE BEEN WAITING 20 MINUTES FOR MY ICE CREAM!! WHY SHOULD I HAVE TO WAIT SO LONG?!" Myself, and the customer I was serving, was taken aback by this.
I responded that “I apologize, however, as I said previously, I had gotten the ice I cream from the freezer, and it is rock solid, and—“. She cuts me off. Then, she uttered a phrase that, simply put, almost got me fired, slapped by her, or whatever other bad thing could possibly happen at that moment.
She asked me, “WELL WHY IS IT IN THE FREEZER, THEN”?! I looked at her. Then at the other customer, who was a regular that I was friendly with. The customer I was serving screwed up her face, trying not to laugh. I couldn’t hold it. I laughed. I laughed and I laughed. I couldn’t help myself.
She stormed out and that was the last I saw of her. I still giggle when I think about it.
39. When Duty Calls…
I used to work as a Slot Attendant in a casino. The job was basically paying out jackpots to slot players, light maintenance on the machines, and refilling the coins when the machine ran out.
I was helping another customer with a coin jam in a machine, and an old man started screaming at me: "HEY! HEY! SIR GET OVER HERE! GET OVER HERE NOW!!!"
I said excuse me to the customer that I was helping and went over. The old man yelled, "WATCH MY MACHINE!!!" And he ran for the bathroom clutching his behind…apparently he was about to have an accident.
40. Cracking Up
I used to work at a Wendy's when I was in high school, and we had our fair share of crazies, but this guy took the cake. There was this guy who would come through the drive-thru almost every single day, sometimes multiple times a day. He drove this shabby old Cutlass with faded paint and rusted out rims on the tires.
He was this big, 30-something guy, but the thing that made him memorable was his HAIR. He had this sort of bowl-cut/dreadlock hybrid, but his hair was only in dreadlock form because he clearly did not wash it, ever.
Anyway, this guy would come through the drive-thru and order a triple-cheeseburger with extra pickle, and a large chili, NO CRACKERS—this was emphasized. If you know Wendy's food, they don't put crackers in the chili, they are in a separate package and you add them yourself if you want.
Well one day, one of the kids working there decides to play a prank. He thinks it would be funny to just put a ton of cracker packets in this guy’s bag. He rumbles up in his Cutlass, takes the bag, and starts to drive off. A few seconds later, we hear this screech from the parking lot, and it’s THAT GUY.
He apparently noticed the crackers in his bag, and was not pleased. He comes storming into the restaurant, and TRIES TO JUST GO STRAIGHT BEHIND THE COUNTER. Seriously, he just goes right for the door and tries to barge his way into the back of the restaurant.
Luckily, one of the cashiers was a rather large man, so he stopped the man from coming in any further. This is where things got weird. He went out into the dining room, shouting a bunch of nonsense—he never even mentioned the crackers during his rants, which I found very odd—and then he started just flipping chairs over and knocking things off of tables.
He then picked up this salt shaker and POURED THE WHOLE THING IN HIS MOUTH. Then he started yelling and shaking his head back and forth, flinging these disgusting salt-saliva balls everywhere. He also at some point became shirtless.
After about five minutes of this madness, the authorities finally show up, and he ended up getting tased and carried away. They towed away his Cutlass, and we didn't see him after that. That guy was nuts.
41. They’re Going On The Naughty List
Decades ago, I was a manager at Toys R Us. I was probably 25 years old. It was Christmas Eve, so we were closing at 6 pm or thereabouts. This was after running 100 hour weeks since Halloween.
At about 5:30 pm, I get a call to come to the front customer service desk. There, I am "greeted" by three adults, all of whom have obviously been drinking, and who share 8 or 9 teeth between them.
Granny proceeds to explain with much sputtering and spitting that they are upset that the season's three hottest toys are not available and wants me to find them for her: "And we ain't leavin' 'til you do!"
20 minutes later, after raised voices, various threats, and several displays knocked over (and merchandise broken) as these three tried to make their point, I was asked by the officer on duty if I wanted to press charges and have them thrown behind bars. He was really eager!
I opted to give them a Christmas present of my own as I told them, "You have two options: 1 is to leave the store now, and ‘yes’ that means you have to explain to the kids why waiting until the last minute does not result in getting the hottest toys, or 2 you can end up behind bars and explain THAT to the kids".
After a few seconds of blissed silence and shocked recognition, the three elected to leave on their own, of course, cursing me all the way out of the store.
42. Black Coffee For A Black Cloud
This woman came in and we could all tell she was in a bad mood. She parked like an idiot, slammed doors on the way in, no smile on face, etc. She orders a large hot black coffee. Easy enough, make it, give it to her and she takes one sip and asks if I put cream and sugar in her coffee. Well no, I thought you said "black".
She explains that she did say black, but wanted cream and sugar and was talking about a "black" roast of coffee. I calmly explain to her that's she's mistaken and she cusses me out and says I need to be trained better before I work a shift and it's not my fault I got it wrong and the owner should be embarrassed for letting me work.
I am the owner.
43. All For Nothing
I hadn't been working this job long, and after we had closed, there was a family still shopping. I mentioned to them we were closed and the older lady blew up and spent the entire time checking out yelling at me how "We were coming to the register! You're being rude and ignorant!"
Note, this was a dollar store and we counted things by hand rather than scan them. I had to count over 100 items while being yelled at. The cherry on top? Our machine didn't accept the family's card so we had to put everything back.
44. More Than Meets The Eye
I work in a grocery store bakery as a cake decorator and people really freak out over their cakes. I took this one lady’s cake order and she wanted a Transformers cake for her son’s birthday but she didn't like the two options we had. She could either get the cake decorated with the toy on top or the cake with an edible photo of the Transformers on the cake.
She kept showing me photos of other cakes on her phone and I had to keep telling her no because we are working under strict copyright laws and can only decorate what we have been given permission to decorate. So she orders the kit, or so I thought. The husband picks up the cake says it looks fine and takes it.
She calls the store saying she wanted the image, the cake was ugly, and her 6-year-old son was crying. She then rounds off the whole experience with, "I just want to come in there and smash the cake in that girl's face!"
I had never in my 10 years of retail been threatened before—and for that threat, she did not get any sort of refund and even got chewed out for making threats.
45. Steaming Mad
I'm in college and used to wait tables part-time before it became too much for me. I once had a customer who initially seemed really nice, she came in alone and knew her order right away. Apparently her food was too hot and she became insanely angry when I apologized and told her everything comes out fresh from the oven/grill. Her reaction was diabolical.
She grabbed my hand and stuck it into her very hot food and yelled, "DON'T YOU THINK IT'S TOO HOT DEAR" in the angriest, most condescending voice. It was really hot to be fair, but I had literally just brought it out to her. I was shocked and just started stuttering out an apology. My co-worker saw it happen and immediately asked her to leave.
I ended up crying in the back for a while. I don't miss that job. I'm definitely too shy and introverted to stand up for myself when needed. Just treat employees like humans, people!
46. First Day, First Scammers
This was my first day on the job at a buffet—not one of those cheap ones—and my first customers. They were a group of elderly people. They first asked if they could just "look at" what food the buffet had. I said that was fine, and that I was waiting to seat them if they liked what they saw. I was the hostess.
Instead of coming back, they just started piling food on plates and then started seating themselves. I was supposed to seat them in specific sections, so they kind of messed up the seating plan. Then they called me over and one old guy said, "I'm dying soon, I want half off". I had no idea what to say to that...so I said I'd ask the manager.
The manager came out, and told them they don't do that, but in this case, they would make an exception and only charge for a child’s plate. Then the other old people started complaining and saying they were also dying in a couple years and it wasn't fair, and they all wanted to pay less.
Because they were so annoying, the manager relented, because they were already eating the food. They were really loud, messy, and of course, didn't leave any tips. But when I'm that old, I'll probably be that weird too, I guess.
47. A Bald-Faced Lie
Back when I worked at Tim Horton's, a lady came in and demanded that we give her a refund for a cup of coffee she bought. She claimed that she had found a hair in it, but could not produce the hair. "Well obviously I don't have it anymore, but it was definitely the same color as the girl who poured it!"
I assumed she meant it matched the girl's hair color. Unfortunately for everybody, the girl who had been pouring all the coffee for the last two and a half hours was at the tail end of an aggressive course of chemotherapy and had not had any hair at all for over a month.
We pointed this out to the now-mortally embarrassed customer, who left without saying a word.
48. Where’s The Mute Button
I used to work at an audio store and frequently we would have customers come in with their own CDs to test out different speakers and equipment. No big deal. In fact, we encouraged people to come back with their own music if they desired.
So one day, this rather large, older gentleman comes hobbling into the store with a cane and a handful of CDs. As soon as I walked up to him, I had to concentrate very hard on not retching from his terrible body odor.
Because some people have terrible hygiene/body odor and working retail exposes you to many people, this was not unheard of and I was able to remain professional. He offered me his CDs to play and I thumbed through them quickly to see if there was anything I might recognize. No dice.
I put the first disc on and he instructs me to play a particular track. It's a nice bluegrass melody, which normally isn't my cup of tea, but I deal with that frequently as well. While the intro to the song plays, I take a look at the back cover and notice the song names. I was in for the surprise of my life.
The song titles included: "The White Revolution" and "America: Take It Back"—and those are just the ones that I’m comfortable repeating. At this point, I run over to the door of the listening room and slam it shut just as the lyrics began.
I don't remember them word for word, but they were amongst the most vile, prejudiced things I've ever heard in my life. All I wanted to do was get that guy out of my store without causing a scene, but the guy kept wanting to listen to one more track.
I ended up playing 6 or 7 songs for him after which he decided that he didn't particularly like the sound of any of the speakers, collected his CDs, and left. Relieved, I go back to the stack of amplifiers and start resetting them for the next demonstration when I look at the chair the jerk had been sitting in.
The cloth was dark and damp and I didn't need to get any closer to know that that guy had soiled himself all over our beautiful, innocent chair. I stormed out of that room and broke bristles from one of the brooms in the back and my coworkers and I drew straws to see who would have to clean it.
I had some other really awful customers, but this guy was the absolute worst.
49. Breaking The Bank
I worked at a bank in San Francisco for several years as a merchant teller. One day, about fifteen minutes before closing, I noticed a nervous, sweaty-looking guy enter the bank. He stood out because he had a large duffle bag with him that he seemed to be holding/dragging very closely.
As I saw him getting closer and closer to the registers, my pulse started racing. He appeared to get more and more nervous as well. He kept telling other customers to go ahead of him as well. I remember thinking “Everything about this is off, we are about to get robbed and there is nothing I can do about it.”
By the time he reached the end of the line most of the employees were well aware of this man’s presence. We had officially closed the bank and had a door guard (not a real guard just a teller) helping customers out and keeping new ones from coming in.
“Oh no, something is in his bag,” I remember thinking as he sheepishly approached my counter. He said: "I'm really sorry about this, but I can't bring this home". He lifts the duffle bag and places it on the counter and opens it. I couldn’t believe my eyes. There, sitting in the bag, is nearly half a million dollars in beer-soaked bar money.
See, it was the Bay to Breakers weekend—a big race that brings out an even bigger party crowd—and this guy owned a local bar. His bar’s safe was completely full and he was too scared to take the money home as he had been burglarized in the past. It was a Friday and we would not be open until Monday.
The reason I mention this story in this topic is not necessarily the customer himself, but the ordeal that followed. The issue was all the money came from his bar's "street cart" that he had set up for the runners, and as such was soaked with various drinks.
Normally when you go to the bank they have those handy little machines that count your money, well apparently those machines don't care for wet bills. None of the money could be ran through the machines so we had to hand count all of it. We closed the bank and sent everyone but me and two managers home.
We stayed late and counted money for nearly 4 hours…disgusting fermenting money. Then when we were finally certain our count was accurate we discovered we did not have the room in our vault to store the cash—it was like 1/3 in ones—so we had to call another branch manager late at night and get him to open his bank which had one of those huge walk in vaults.
Which, in turn, involved him having to go through a bunch of hoops just to get the permission to do that. Luckily once my drawer was counted down I got to go home. The managers were still dealing with this issue well after midnight.
50. Splish Splash
I worked at a local pizza restaurant for two years and had my fair share of crazy people to deal with. The worst customer I ever had to deal with came in the week before I was leaving for school and was training my replacement.
This guy comes in to the front counter and orders a large pizza. I tell him it’s going to take 20 to 25 minutes as that is our standard time. He pays and sits down to wait for his pizza. Then about 5 minutes later, he comes up. He grumbled and asks how much longer it's going to take as it seems like he has waited ages already.
I checked his order and told him it had only been 5 minutes and to sit back down. Then he came up again about 2 minutes later and asked me why it was taking so long. I said it hadn't been long and that this was the normal amount of time for the pizza to be made. He started yelling at me, but finally sat back down.
A guy walked in who had placed his order via phone and I handed him his pizza as he paid. This made the guy who was waiting furious. He walked up to the counter again, now probably being about 10 minutes since he had placed his order, and screamed at me.
He was asking how that guy got pizza got ahead of his and that orders placed after his had to be later in the pizza line. He kept telling me that I had set this up and made sure his pizza was going to be last. I told him that the customer had placed his order via phone before he had and even tried to explain that next time if he’s in such a hurry, he could do the same.
I tried to tell him that there was not some crazy pizza line conspiracy against him, but it usually takes 25 minutes for a large pizza to be made. He finally sat down again but this time at the seats right next to the counter. I walked to the back and told my manager that this guy was acting strange so he walked back to the counter with me.
Another customer walked in who had also ordered via phone previously to this guy and bought his pizza. The guy sitting in the chairs started "whispering" to this customer but because he was right next to us we could hear him. He started pointing at me and telling the guy in line that I was a jerk and an idiot who hadn't given him his pizza yet.
It had now been around 15 minutes but we told the kitchen to put this guy’s pizza in the oven first so we could just get him the heck out of the store. The guy in line was confused and my manager finally stepped in. He told the guy in a calm manner that his pizza would be out very soon.
The guy stood up and started yelling at me, telling me I was a jerk and all sorts of other rude stuff. This was all inside a family restaurant. Right when this happened, the guy’s pizza came up. I took it from the back and handed it to my manager, who then slammed it into the guys chest and told him to get out of the restaurant right now or else he was calling the authorities.
He walked out—but of course this wasn't the end. I was flustered and my manager told me to take a break outside for a few minutes. I walked into the back alley where our deliver drivers were supposed to park.
I was talking to a few drivers about how crazy this guy was, and suddenly there he appears in his car in the back alley. In this back alley is a huge puddle that is filled with gross disgusting water. He proceeds to drive back forth through the puddle to get all of us covered in the water and then leaves still screaming at me.
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