These people were mistaken for employees when they were most definitely not working, and ended up in jaw-dropping altercations with some infuriatingly entitled jerks. Their pleas that “I don’t work here” fell on deaf ears—but at least they got these ridiculous stories out of it.
1. The Student Becomes The Teacher—Literally
This happened a few days ago. I work as a substitute teacher at various local high schools. I am 24 but I guess I look younger! I was walking through the hall at a school when this angry teacher approached me. He yelled: "Why aren't you in uniform? And no phones during school!" I thought he was talking to a student, so I ignored him.
Then he goes, "Excuse me, don't ignore me." I couldn’t believe what happened next. He snatched my phone out of my hand! I said, “What the heck! Give that back, I’m not a student.” He tells me: "That’s detention for swearing at a teacher. You will get your phone back at the end of the day, but for now you will have to come down to the office and tell the principal about how disrespectful you are being."
I knew exactly what to do. I just thought it would be way funnier to let him complain to the principal, who I play netball with, and watch his reaction. This teacher was raging. Saying I deserved to be suspended and that students always had their phones out, yadda yadda yadda. The principal and I were just trying not to laugh—before she told him I was a teacher too.
Then I got to say: "Now give me my phone back. Don't you have a class to teach? Because I do." I have never seen anyone go so red.
2. Lost And Found
So I work late and just about every night for the last few weeks at least, I stop by Walmart to get something for dinner. I usually get off around midnight and stop by on my way home. Every time I'm at Walmart, barely anyone is there except for the night crew. Stocking up the store and doing their own thing. Now from what I have noticed, they don't have much of a uniform.
Many of them are in hoodies or jackets of different colors. Just to add some context. I showed up last night and I'm wearing a hoodie. I begin to walk up and down the aisles trying to figure out what I want for dinner. I'm thinking pasta and walk past a few guys who are loading the shelves. All of a sudden, I start hearing this guy yelling.
This voice gets louder. "HEY! HEYYYY! Are you listening?" I turn to look to see what is going on and this guy approaches me. "You're late again. Don't think I haven't noticed you walking in the door after 12." I begin to laugh, thinking this guy is joking around. Before I can even say anything he jumps on me. "You think this is funny? Your job must not be important to you. I want you to follow me to the office."
Now, I'm completely confused and start looking around like I'm on some hidden camera show. He starts to walk off and I turn around and go back to shopping for my meal. He comes back a minute later and starts to yell. "You want to be fired? Because if you don't come with me now, I will fire you!" I knew exactly what to say.
I start to laugh even harder, then ask him, "What's my name?" He gives me this puzzled look, so I asked him again, "What's my name? Do you even know who I am?" He looks at the other guys in the aisle, who have stopped stocking the shelves at this point to watch this event unfold. He then looks back at me, trying to figure out what exactly to say back to me before his head explodes.
"Good luck filing the paperwork to fire me, when you don't even know my name!" I continue to laugh at this whole stupid charade. I pick up some ingredients for spaghetti, trying to give this guy a clue. He storms off and I look at the other guys in the aisle. "I'm sure he will figure out eventually. I don't work here."
They start laughing and I go on. I can't believe I lost the job I just found out I had in the same night!
3. A Bad Apple Spoils The Bunch
So I went to Aldi today on my lunch break from work. I was shopping for ingredients to make hard apple cider. I found the only apple juice Aldi sold without preservatives and loaded up my cart with a dozen half-gallon bottles and kept them in their cardboard boxes so they would be easier to transport. There were a few other items I needed to pick up so I pushed my cart through the store shopping for them.
A woman noticed the boxes of apple juice in my cart and asked where I had found them. I had nothing better to do, so I walked her over to the apple juice display where she thanked me. Another woman immediately came up to me and asked, "You used to have these candy apples in the store but I can't find them. Where are they?"
I had no idea where they were so I said, "I'm sorry, I don't know—I don't work here." Her eyes narrowed and she responded, "What do you mean you don't work here? I just saw you help that other person." Now, I am in a t-shirt and corduroy pants and don't look at all as if I would be working at this store. I could tell that this was not going to go well no matter what I said, but I attempted to be polite.
I said, "I'm sorry, ma'am. She asked me where I had found this apple juice so I showed her. I don't actually work here." Once again, she replied, "What do you mean you don't work here?!" I repeated, "I don't work here. I am a customer, like you." She said, "Just tell me where the candy apples are!" At this point, it was getting weird. "I really don't know where the candy apples are. I don't work here."
"You don't know where anything is in this store?!" I said, "I know where the apple juice is." She yells, "WHERE ARE THE CANDY APPLES?!" I repeat, "Ma'am, I'm sorry I can't help you. I really don't work here." She keeps yelling, "WHAT IS THAT SUPPOSED TO MEAN?!" I’m really losing it but I say, "It means that I don't work at this store. I don't know where the candy apples are. I am a customer like you."
"THEN WHY ARE YOU STOCKING THE SHELVES?!" She indicated the boxes in my cart filled with apple juice. I say, "I am shopping, I am going to buy what is in my cart..." Nope. She yells, "NOBODY NEEDS THAT MUCH JUICE! YOU WORK HERE AND YOU NEED TO TELL ME WHERE THE CANDY APPLES ARE!" At this point everyone around us had stopped and were staring.
An Aldi shelf stocker came over and said, "Ma'am, the candy apples were a seasonal item and I'm afraid we are sold out." For a moment, I just stood there in fear. The woman glared at the Aldi employee, and then me and said, indicating me, "WHY DIDN'T HE TELL ME THAT?!" He says, "He doesn't work here, Ma'am." The woman then roared in exasperation, pushed her cart into an aisle display of canned food, knocking it over and screamed, "WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE!!! I AM NEVER COMING BACK!"
She stormed out of the store, fuming. The employee gave me wide-eyed look, which I returned, then I proceeded to checkout. I loaded the juice into the trunk of my car and hopped in the driver seat. I checked my mirrors before backing out. I couldn’t believe my eyes. I noticed that the candy apple lady was in the SUV to my left, sitting in her driver seat, sobbing.
I rolled down my window and waved to get her attention. She noticed me, waited about 15 seconds, then rolled down her window. "Are you OK, ma'am?" I asked. Through sobs and tears she told me, "I said I would bring candy apples to my grandson's party." I asked her when the party was supposed to take place and she told me that night. I told her that I had seen kits to make candy apples over at Safeway, and that if she made them now they should be ready by the time of the party.
Her eyes lit up and she looked at me and said, "Thank you." I said, "You're welcome." Then, I went back to work.
4. You Have The Right To Remain Confused
So I work as an armed guard for armed truck service. For those of you who don’t know, we are responsible for picking up money and checks from other businesses. (i.e. banks, stores, restaurants, etc.) As part of my job is handling large amounts of cash I carry a sidearm in order to protect myself and the money. Where I live, you have to have what’s called a concealed carry permit to carry around such a firearm outside of work hours, which I have.
So I am on my way home and have to stop at the store to pick up dinner for myself. The store I go to has employees that wear a blue polo and tan pants. My uniform is black pants and a red polo with the company’s name on it. And as I had just gotten off work, I still have my name badge on and side arm in its holster on my hip.
Cue crazy lady. I’m browsing the freezer aisle and she stops me and starts to ask where such-and-such product is. She stops in her tracks as she sees my sidearm in it holster. Just stops talking and fast walks out of the aisle. I just assume she realized I don’t work there and left to find someone who does. I go about my business and proceed up to the cashier line.
As I’m waiting to get up to check out, in comes a swarm of about eight law enforcement officers. They come straight to me with crazy lady behind shouting, “That’s him, that’s the guy with the gun.” They point theirs at me and order my hands up. I drop what I have and comply. I state that I work for such-and-such company and that I have a permit for my sidearm.
They lower and holster their own after the commotion and apologize for the confusion but said they got a call about a guy walking around the store waving a piece around. I say I’m sorry but since I have been here my sidearm has been holstered. Never left the holster. They turn to the lady and ask if it’s true that I never took it out of the holster.
She yells that I’m lying and that I can’t have it in the store anyway. They of course go and check the security footage and see that I did nothing wrong and let me go on about my business and apologize again for the misunderstanding. But it’s what happened next that made the story truly unforgettable. They then turn around and handcuff the lady who called and told her she is being detained for misusing the 9-1-1 system and inciting panic.
5. Come On And Take A Free Ride
This took place way back in 2007, when I was in my early twenties, working full time at an auto parts store. I drove a white 1982 Nissan Pulsar. It was ancient but no complaints. Relevant, I promise. It's 7 am, I'm driving to work one morning and pull up at a crosswalk to allow a dog walker to pass me. Without warning, my passenger door opens and a gentleman hops in next to me, nods, says a friendly hello and buckles his seatbelt.
He was a sweet-faced, white-haired senior wearing a sweater and brown pants. Definitely in his 80s. I stared in shock and stumbled my words, totally bewildered by what was happening. He saw my expression and said "Oh! I'm sorry! The train station, please!" That's when I saw the taxi stand near the crosswalk. Taxis here are white but definitely not hatchbacks, like my car was.
He had a big cheery smile and, still puzzled, I realized that the local train station was two streets away from where I worked. I was heading past there anyway. And he didn't seem like an axe murderer so, why not? I relaxed a little, shrugged and said "Uh, sure thing." We drove off together and he peered out the window, smiling.
He said "You taxis are much quicker these days! Ah it's a beautiful day for a train ride, don't you think?" He looked at me, still with this big smile and said: "I'm Jerry, lovely to meet you. I'm meeting my friend for breakfast today! I'm so excited. I haven't been on the train in years. All my friends have passed on and I don't really need to go out of town. Well, not until I made a new friend recently. It's funny how life goes isn't it? An old codger like me with a breakfast date! Can you imagine."
I said, "Oh well that sounds lovely, Jerry. Where are you off to?" He cheerily described the town he was visiting (an hour away by train) and described the store he wanted to visit while he was there. We chatted the whole way and I was so taken by how upbeat and cheerful he was. We pulled into the offloading zone outside the train station and he pulled out his wallet.
I jumped in, saying "Oh, no charge mate, I don't have my meter working yet." Telling a lie was better than deflating his happy spirit with an embarrassing situation. He was chuffed. It was a chilly morning. I walked him to the ticket office, where there was a heated waiting room he could sit in until his train arrived. He thanked me, smiled, and said "It's a beautiful day for a train ride. You take care now." "Take care, Jerry." It's been 11 years and I often find myself smiling when I remember him.
6. Revenge Of The Hut
It used to be that we had a phone number that was very similar to a Pizza Hut, their number was (555)455-5575 and ours was (555)455-5515. Now, these two numbers are commonly mixed up for obvious reasons. This was back before the days of cellphones and everyone having their own personal number, and we actually had to get a caller ID because of this.
For years we had this Pizza Hut’s client base call our house and order pizzas. The thing is. people WILL NOT LISTEN when you tell them "Sorry wrong number," we would have belligerent people call back 4-5 times and then begin screaming into the phone "I KNOW THIS IS A PIZZA HUT YOU JERK!" or "GIVE ME THE NUMBER OR I'LL COME OVER THERE."
This was pretty normal, and the Pizza Hut was even aware of this and profusely apologized when we would call them. It wasn’t so bad—but then our worst nightmare came true. Pizza Hut Corporate then pays for an advertisement on paper, billboards, and in the phone book. And guess what? They botched the number. They put OUR number on the things as one of the locations in our town for Pizza Hut.
The phone blows up. It goes from like 3-5 phone calls a day to like 100-200. Initially, we were directing people with a message that simply said "THIS IS NOT PIZZA HUT! THEIR NUMBER IS XXXXXXXX" But it didn't end. We would get calls with people screaming into the voice recording with all kinds of profanity. I cannot tell you how many times I've been told to off myself for trying to direct someone to the correct place, and for some reason no one EVER listens.
So, my dad calls into the Pizza Hut and says "Look, all we want is to not have to change our number. If you guys will PLEASE change yours, or pay for ours to be changed, we will stop getting your stupid phone calls." The manager swore at my Dad, who had him on speaker phone, calling him a ton of names and for "getting him bad reviews," as well as losing customers to his branch, which is locally owned.
What a joke. It’s costing their business a solid 10 grand EASY over a phone number—why not JUST CHANGE IT? My Dad looks at the phone, hangs up, and says "Ok, you want to be like that about it?" That’s when our whole lives turned into one gigantic revenge plot. My dad instructs my 17-year-old self and my sister to take all calls from now on.
If it rings, pick it up, take the order, and say "Okay your pizza should be there in (1.5 hours)" Then, when they call back, tell them, "Sorry, the driver just left." If they call back a third time, say, "Well I can get you on the phone with my manager but he’s probably going to beat you up if you keep complaining." Then, switch the phone with someone else and have them say "Listen here loser, you aren't getting your pizza and we are keeping your money, get over it."
Two weeks pass, and my Dad tries to get said Pizza Hut to change our number for free. Never pointing out that they messed up their ad, as apparently they were completely oblivious to this fact. Again, the manager screams at my dad, saying, "I don't have the money to change your number!" We even tried calling OTHER Pizza Huts to get the issue resolved, and their corporate with no real luck.
Fair enough, its game time now. Why? For two reasons 1. My dad got a phone with a transfer button and 2. Because summer was rolling around, and me and my sister loved messing with people over this. It was a really bad influence on us, actually. We fielded phone calls every day all day long, we had friends come over and they loved partaking in the same thing.
We had a general plan. Every other call would get a pizza "delivery," like we’d already done. On the other calls, we would get them really agitated by talking smack to them and saying, "Okay, do you want to speak with my manager now?" Then, we’d just cold transfer them to the Pizza Hut. Finally, we got some results. It took six weeks of us doing this and wham! The Pizza Hut closed.
A few weeks before they closed, we got a phone call from corporate, who more or less threatened us with a cease and desist sounded like they didn't really understand what was actually happening, as it accused us of "stealing their phone calls." Hilarious. We called their corporate and explained what was going on, and even played our recordings of talking with them before about the issue and ignoring us.
All they said is "You had better stop! This is AGAINST THE LAW!" over and over. It wasn’t. We didn't stop. They were aware of what was going on and didn't want to do anything about it. A few weeks after the owner lost his job, he called our house and was trying to argue with my Dad about how "bad of a person he was because I lost money, and got my behind beat several times."
Apparently, we had ticked a few people off so bad they actually went in and attacked him. To this day, it cracks me up that a company can be so oblivious. Anyone in this position who has any brains would instantly change the number, but not a corporation who has money to sue, and not a middle manager who has an ego problem.
7. Harpy 0, Karen 1
I work at a hospital as an ER nurse, which means when I start at 7 am, by 9 am all the patience I possess is gone, and by the end of my 12.5 hour shift I’m pretty much just done with people in general. So after a rather grueling shift, I stopped by the grocery store for dinner. I’m tired, and feeling super lazy at this point so even though I’m only grabbing a couple of things I use a regular cart—coz, you know, I can lean on it.
I do my shopping, pay for my goods and head out to my truck. Just to inform, no khakis were involved here. Store employees wear dark brown slacks, white collared shirts and ties. I was wearing an Incredibles scrub top—yes the animated movie, no you can’t judge me—and bright blue scrub pants. After loading my groceries, I, of course, return my wheeled crutch (ahem, shopping cart) to the corral.
I get back to my truck when a harpy with a resting witch face that would make Lois from Malcolm in the Middle proud screams across the lot. She yells, “Boy! I’m done you can take my cart now!” I’m like, “Huh?” I know I look young but, really? Boy? She continues, “Come over here and take my cart!” I say, “Yeah I don’t work here, sorry.”
She replies, “Just do your freaking job and take my cart!” I shoot back, “That’s gonna be a hard no from me, sorry.” I start (again) back towards my truck. The harpy, at this point, decides to thrust her cart towards me. It rolls (as carts with wheels are wont to do) and to me, it’s like a train wreck. I want to look away but I can’t. I’m mesmerized by the free range movement of this cart as it runs right into a Jaguar...a nice clean one...with dealer plaques still on where the license plates should be.
A woman who totally looks like a Karen (you know the type) is just getting out of it. The Karen obviously starts screaming and hollering, as only a Karen can. Harpy is trying to blame me for not running out to catch the cart. I’m trying very hard not to start laughing. I finally get back to my truck as Harpy is screaming at me to stop, because this is my fault because I should have collected her cart in the first place.
The last thing I heard before closing my door and driving off was the Karen screaming at Harpy about how, “He’s wearing scrubs! How could any idiot think he works here?” I think this was the first time I’ve ever rooted for a Karen.
8. The Whole Truth
In college, I lived with a bunch of guys. We rented a beat-up old house in town next to a daycare. The problem was the parents picking up and dropping off always parked in our driveway. We argued with the owner of the daycare every day. She didn’t care. So one day, I began parking behind the parents who were parked in my driveway.
This infuriated the daycare owner. We go back and forth and usually I went out and moved my car so the parents could get their car out. One day, though, I've just had it. I worked most of the night, had early morning classes, and I had 20 minutes to shave, shower, and get ready for my second job. I get home and sure enough, parents are in our driveway...again.
So, I park behind them and go inside. I get in the shower and when I get out, the daycare owner is beating on the door loud enough to shake the wall. I went downstairs wrapped in a towel and opened the door. She burst into the middle of the living room and screamed at me. While she was screaming, I took the towel off and calmly dried my hair.
I am totally undressed. She stops screaming long enough to realize she's standing next to an undressed college student, screams something about calling law enforcement, and bolts for the door. Not so fast. It doesn't open. In her haste to leave, she's locked the door instead of unlocking it. Now she's stuck with me. I tell her I have to have the key (true) to unlock the door and the key is upstairs on my dresser.
I leave her looking like she's about to have a heart attack. I take the longest time to go upstairs and get dressed and get the key. When I come back to the living room she's white as a ghost. I unlock the door and say, "It sucks to be stuck and not able to leave, right?" Fast forward about 20 minutes. When I'm leaving, an officer is parked in front of the house. I chat with them through the car window.
I explain the situation and they chuckle. "Did you invite her in?" No, I tell them, she barged into my house. "Well, it's not against the law to be undressed in your own house. Her problem for violating your privacy." I'd love to say this rectified the situation, but it didn't. We never found a way to stop parents from parking in our driveway. But it was fun for a few minutes to freak out a stuck-up mean middle-aged woman.
9. The Joke Wrote Itself
I do stand-up comedy sometimes. I was performing at a bar/restaurant deal and was sitting in the back taking care of some emails waiting for my set time. I went to the bar to get a drink, had a chat with the bartender for a few minutes, then got the signal I had five minutes til show, so went back. When I got to the back room I realized I’d left my phone on the bar so ran out again to collect it.
Enter Karen (not her real name, of course). At a table just left of center facing the stage. Right by the back entrance I’d been popping in and out of all night. In a big group of six or seven people but even in my brief forays out, I could hear her shrill voice dominating their conversation. I guess here is as good a place as any to mention I was wearing a yellow sweatshirt and cargo shorts, the servers there wear all black.
She goes, “Sir, Sir, excuse me, sir!” Me: “What’s up?” Karen: “Can you check on our food please? All we ordered were some wings and it’s been like half an hour already.” Me: “Your server can help you with that, I’m not a waiter.” Karen: “What? Oh, dish boy, line cook, whatever. You work here, so just when you go back there ask about my food.”
Me: “Oh, no, you see I’m—" Karen: “No I get it. You aren’t a waiter. But do you work here?” Me: “Kind of. Let me explain.” Someone in her party: “I don’t think he’s a waiter—" Karen: “Shut it, ok, I’ve got this. You work here. You can bring me my food. Just a quick lil...you know...trot trot trot, carry carry...boom. Done.”
Me: “I can’t do that.” Karen, in an ungodly shriek/grunt/shrunt, says: “Whyyyy nootttt?” Others in her party try to get her to quiet down. They tried to wave me away. I was weighing in my mind whether walking away had the higher chance of getting me fired from future gigs there or staying and getting into it with her did. I was just going down the “stay and get into it with her track” when the emcee gets up there and goes “Now, a special treat for our patrons tonight, local comedian....”
I knew just what to do. I stop myself, lock eyes with Karen, walk backward to the stage, unflinching. I grab the microphone, her table is cracking up realizing what’s happened. And I say, “Well I’d hoped to do a show for you tonight folks but looks like that won’t be possible, apparently I’ve been reassigned.” I start riffing about people who think you work there when you don’t and accuse you of lying and how absurd a concept that is.
But then it’s too perfect. The waitress is coming out with wings and headed straight for her table. I know the waitress, I’ve performed here before. So I transition and I’m just like, “You caught me lady. Can’t hide anymore.” And I grab the wings from the waitress and I’m like, “Ooooh, Donna, I see you trying to hone in on my section, can’t you see this is my table?”
And all throughout the rest of the bit I would go over and fill their water glasses, bus their plates. Whenever I hit a dry spot I was like, “Alright hold on, got to check in with my customers. Can I interest you in any dessert? How we doing over here? Speak into the mic please.” Karen hated it, but the others at her table were laughing hysterically and would even sometimes flag me down for water or appetizers.
The set ends and Karen goes to file a complaint, her friends or coworkers whoever, try to stop her from doing so and some leave the venue because of her. A couple stay back to try and defend me and I told them not to worry because the manager and I were cool. But they got to see for themselves. The manager is an old school Armenian guy and he has no tolerance for this garbage. This particular venue was a biker bar before the area got gentrified, so he’s used to dealing with way rowdier customers than Karen.
So she’s going off about mistreatment at the hands of his employee and how I’m probably not licensed to be a food server—haha—and that she wanted something done. The manager plays dumb just to see her get worked up and goes “Who? This guy?” Even though the entire floor saw me give her a hard time. shrunting “YYYEESSSSSSSSSSS” Manager: “He doesn’t work for me.”
Karen: ‘What the heck are you talking about?” Manager: “It’s 11:30PM. He worked for me from 10:00pm until 11:00pm. That’s what I paid him for as a freelancer. That’s over. Now he’s just some guy.” Karen: “Well when he was working for you he was rude and abstinent!” Me: “What? On stage? Of course I was abstinent, it’s not that kind of show.” Karen (grunting): “YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN. See? He’s making fun of how I talk!”
Manager: “He’s a comedian, that’s what I paid for.” Karen: “I was a customer treated poorly in your establishment! He was acting as a server here when he served me and I want a refund on my meal or at the very least (turning dramatically to me, Gollum voice) an apology.” Me: “Alright, I might have been a little rude towards the end there, but in my defense, she didn’t tip.”
Manager: “Is that true? Did you not tip?” Karen: “Why would I have tipped the comedian?!” The manager’s reply was legendary. He said: “I thought you said he was acting as a server?” Karen was a little tipsy at this point so somehow logic convinced her smashing a glass would get her point across. All it did was get the manager to have her bounced.
10. Missed The Target
I worked at Target and there was a Hobby Lobby across the street. I ran over to Hobby Lobby after a shift to grab something and I was still wearing my red shirt with the Target symbols all over it. A 20-something girl comes up to me and says "Do you know where I can find a glue stick?" I paused and just kind of looked at my shirt and I said, "...you mean at this store? Or...like...at Target?"
Her reaction was unforgettable. She just stared at my name tag for a long time, sighed a heavy sigh, and quietly said: "Sorry, I don't know where I am."
11. Like Taking Candy From A Baby
For a little backstory, I'm in my junior year (grade 11) and I'm taking an education course, which basically teaches you how to be a teacher. We have to have "field experience" or practical work. We basically get sent to a school and put into a classroom to help the teacher. It’s a great way to see if teaching is right for you. Well, the classroom I’m currently stationed in is a pretty good one.
I know the teacher pretty well because she was my teacher and my brother's teacher when we were younger. This means she trusts me to do a lot more than other teachers probably would. Her class was having a back to school party and the teacher asked if I would mind getting some sodas the night before and she would pay me back for them. Of course, I agree.
I go to our local store and grab three 12 packs of sodas. I decided to also get a few small gifts like candy or small toys, as they were cheap. By the time I finished, my cart was pretty full but I was obviously shopping and not working. As I'm walking to the till, I decide to go ahead and grab some cheap things for me to have for dinner than night as well.
I stop my cart and start reaching up on the shelf to grab things. While I'm turned around a women starts digging around in my cart. I quickly stop her and ask, "What are you doing?" She says, "Well aren't you stocking shelves? I'm just taking some of the candy." Now, to be fair, I was still wearing my school uniform which is pretty similar to the store's. Both are khaki pants and blue polos, but the store's shirts have the store name on the back.
I decide to give her the benefit of the doubt and just say, "No, I’m shopping. I need this candy for school, please put it back" She starts getting huffy and says, "You're wearing the uniform. Stop lying or I'll have you fired. My husband is the manager." Now, I know she's lying. I know, because my cousin is the manager. My cousin is married, but definitely not to her.
He's gay. I say, "I know that isn’t true, just give me my candy." I take it back from her and head to the till. As I’m checking out, I see her complaining to none other than my cousin. I pay and decide to let her know that I knew she was full of garbage. I go and give my cousin a hug and ask him how his husband was doing. Her face went red and she hurried off.
12. Sassing, Harassing, And Trespassing
So basically, I live in a small apartment above a bar that has a really good kitchen. Over time I've become friends with the owners, who are really great people. This past weekend, there was lots of noise coming from the bar at about midnight, so I came to complain. They said they couldn't do much about the noise (it was a crowd watching a game) but if I came in at some point this week, they'd give me dinner for free as an apology.
That brings us to yesterday. I'd gotten off work late and didn't feel like cooking, so decided to cash in that aforementioned free dinner. As I'm eating things start to get really loud and busy again, so I ask for my meal to be put into a to-go container. The owner said I could just take the plate upstairs, as long as I return it later that night or the next day.
As I'm leaving, still shoveling fries into my mouth, I notice a woman trying to flag me down from her table. I assumed she was looking at a server behind me, so I took no notice and walk outside, carrying my dinner. I put down the plate to open my door, and while I'm rooting through my pocket I feel a sharp tap on the shoulder.
Lady: “Don't just ignore me like that! I ordered almost 40 minutes ago and I've not got my food! This is unacceptable!” This can't be true, considering even when it's packed I've never waited longer then 30. Lady: “What do you mean OK?! What are you going to do about it? I want my meal discounted for this!” Me: “Oh! I don't work there, you'll need to speak to someone who does about doing that!”
Lady: “Don't lie to me!” (Looks past me, up the stairs) “I know you guys are just hiding up there instead of working! I'd like to speak to the owner!” Me: “Lady, this is my apartment, please leave me alone.” I’m holding door open while I bend over to pick up my meal. The lady pushes past me and charges up the stairs, screaming as she goes: “YOU GUYS BETTER GET BACK TO WORK - THERE ARE PEOPLE WAITING TO BE SERVED DOWN HERE!”
At this point she's reached the top of the stairs and is now looking around my room, realising the only person she was yelling to was my fish, who I'm sure wasn't in any mood to serve her anything after that. Me: “See!? Get the heck out of my apartment!” I’m angry, tired and fantasizing about the burger on the plate in my hand.
Lady: “Well, it doesn't change the fact that I've been waiting ages for my food and that's unacceptable. Clearly (looks at my plate) you know the owners so I think you should still talk to them for me!” Me: “What the heck? Get out!” I'm out of patience at this point, and begin to walk towards her and try to usher her back down the stairs. Lady: “DONT TOUCH ME! IF YOU DON'T CARE I'LL FIND SOMEONE WHO DOES!”
She ran back down the stairs and slammed the door on the way out, however not before kicking a pair of my shoes into the street, which I then had to go out and collect. I saw the owner today when I gave the plate back, and he said the lady had come back down and caused a scene in the bar. Eventually the bouncer removed her.
I couldn't believe she still tried to act like she was right, even after she realised she was standing in my apartment, not a restaurant.
13. Don’t Talk To Me Before I’ve Had My Coffee—Or After
I work as a management consultant at a firm where we travel to companies and businesses to improve their organization in certain areas. I have been observing at this company for about a week, meeting with the management team to gather information in order to start analyzing potential risk areas. Note the building that we are in has about a hundred plus employees, all for the same company.
I have just finished an entire morning with my team and some of the company's managers/directors/VPs, so I decided to take a short break to grab a coffee at the cafeteria downstairs. On my way to the elevator, a lady in her mid-40s called in my direction, and it went like this. She says, “Hey, you, come here!” I completely ignored her as I didn’t think she was trying to get my attention, so I kept on walking towards the elevator.
Now in my peripheral vision, I see the lady speed walking towards me and immediately got into my personal space in seconds. “Hey junior, I’m talking to you! How dare you ignore me?!” Note that I am in my late 20s, but thanks to my Asian gene, I look like I’m 18 to 20. Which is probably why bouncers at bars always triple check my ID. My visitor pass is also clipped to my belt.
I’m thinking I misheard that she cussed at me, so I say, “I’m sorry, what did you say?” She replies: “Are you as incompetent as you are deaf? Go to IT and let them know my computer is having issues with printing, and while you are at it, grab me some supplies from downstairs.” I say, “Sorry miss, but I don’t work for you, I’m just trying to get a coffee.”
She loses it. She says, “So freaking what?? As an intern, you should be listening orders from all senior level people. Also, you shouldn’t be on coffee break when everybody else are working!! I’m like, “Wait what? No, you don’t understand, I-” but she immediately cuts me off. “Listen kid, you get that stuff done right now or I’m gonna report you to your manager for poor teamwork and ignoring me.”
I say: “First, you need to talk calmly and politely, then you need to understand that I don’t–” but then she cuts me off again. “I’m the MANAGER, you are NOT! Now, I don’t want to hear your lazy excuses, just get it done ASAP, I have an important meeting in the afternoon.” She storms off right after. Guess who that important meeting was with?
I shrugged it off and got my warm caffeinated beverage. Also, I know one issue to bring up as to why the company is losing young talents so quickly. The afternoon meeting starts again, and we are to meet with a new set of managers from other departments. Lo and behold, CL enters the room muttering something with a director or VP I can’t remember.
She looked at me and immediately said, “Yeah, that’s the kid who didn’t get my stuff fixed, so I don’t have all the files ready. Why the heck is he here?” I guess the moment she said that, something clicked in her head and she realized I’m not with the company, but rather the people they pay a hefty bill rate for. She sat through the meeting without really saying a single word unless we asked her questions directly regarding her department.
I am certain that she got in a ton of trouble with HR and her supervisors as I didn’t see her for the remaining three weeks I was there.
14. Fashion Victim
I made the mistake of wearing khakis and a red shirt into Target once. I got asked SO many questions, but just laughed it off. One lady though...I was looking at makeup and this lady with her small child came running up to me. She asked where the bathrooms were and I told her I had no idea. She went from O to 100 and started screaming her child was about to have an accident, so I better get on my radio and figure it out.
I said, "I don't work here and frankly I don't give a darn about your kid." She went stomping off, so I went to grab groceries. As I'm wheeling up to pay, the lady taps on my shoulder and says gleefully, "Remember me? YOU'RE GETTING FIRED!" I look over to the manager who looks at me and says "I don't recognize you. Do you work here?"
When I said no, he looked really exhausted and said, "I'm sorry ma'am, enjoy your day." The crazy lady was still insisting he "fire" me as I was leaving. Poor guy. I've never made that fashion mistake again.
15. Above The Law
This happened over 18 years ago, but I remember it like yesterday. I had worked for a law firm in a clerical role for about three years. Though not a lawyer, I ended up doing a lot of work that lawyers normally handled, but not for lawyer pay. Anyway, I’d landed my dream job in another field (more interesting, better hours, better benefits, double the pay... I hit the jackpot) and was on my second to last day at the firm.
I had respectfully given and honored my two weeks’ notice. As it happened, I needed to take an extended lunch break one day to handle some business related to my pending new job. I arranged it ahead of time and even came in two hours early to make sure all my work was completed on time. Darn, I was too conscientious.
Anyway, my lunch business took me longer than expected and I returned about an hour later than planned. No big deal, right? I had very little left to do and only two more days at that job anyway. Nope. The HR manager found me as I got to my desk, called me to her office and fired me on the spot. I managed not to smile and thank her, because I was thrilled to have an extra couple of days off before heading to my new position.
I had a little spring in my step as I walked to my desk to pack up my stuff. I can neither confirm nor deny that I was whistling a happy tune. In truth, there was only one thing I still had needed to do on my final two days. Though not a lawyer, I essentially took care of all the estate planning clients (wills, advance medical directives and such.) I’d take all the info from the clients, generate all the forms, check for compliance with all the laws and hand it to the attorney.
He’d skim it, sign it and bill his hourly rate for the hours I worked. It was a cash cow for the firm, because I made next to nothing. Anyway, though I was good at the work, the files were rather a mess. Let’s just say my system worked for me, but it was eclectic. As I was packing my desk, I left them piled in a box on the floor. Moments before I was preparing to walk out of there for the last time, the young attorney (yes, attorney) who had been assigned to take over that part of my work came up to my desk.
He said, “The HR manager told me to come find you and have you show me the estate planning files. She said you’d show me what I need to do.” I had the incredible pleasure of being able to look at him and say, with the most sincere and innocent tone, “I’m sorry. I don’t work here.” Then I pointed at the pile of files and suggested the HR manager would have to help him.
Then I picked up my box of personal effects and walked away. And, just as sweet as could be, poked my head in to the HR Manager’s office on my way out to assure her that there were no hard feeling and to let her know the new guy was probably going to be looking for her.
16. Virtual Insanity
I was at Walmart the other day looking at Christmas decorations, which are displayed in a main aisle right across from the Electronics department, where I used to work. I haven’t worked there in about three years, but occasionally I’ll get recognized. I’m guessing this is one of those times because I was dressed in all black, nothing even remotely blue.
Anyway, I hear a sharp female voice right behind me. I turn around and there’s Karen, 478 Millionth of Her Name, Seller of LuLaRoe, Self-Styled “Entrepreneur,” and Drinker of Vodka from Water Bottles at Her Darling Jaxtyn’s Soccer Games. Karen says: “Where are the kitchen utensils?” Me: “In the Homelines area. It’s up front by the pharmacy.”
I said this out of pure reflex—I was so used to customers asking me where things were that I think I’ll always respond immediately by telling them exactly where to look. Karen: “I know that. I was just up there and couldn’t find them.” Me: “Well, that’s where they are. Excuse me.” I moved to get past her, which was difficult because she maneuvered her cart so that it was pretty much blocking all foot traffic in the busiest part of the store.
To my surprise, she actually moved. She had a strange look on her face though. Kind of a deer in the headlights, with a lot of rapid blinking. When I walked past, I noticed her taking out her phone and dipping down a side aisle, and Miss Thing was hustling. Oh, Lord. I wasn’t sure what was about to happen but I knew it was going to be loud.
I was walking down another aisle when she bursts out in front of me, slightly out of breath and holding her phone out in front of her, like she was talking on speaker with who I assumed was the Customer Service line. She was like Kyle Fuller with hot flashes and an iPhone. Karen: “- at Walmart. Oh look! Here she is. Come here.” She points and beckons at me.
Me: “No?” I was honestly confused at what was happening. I owed this woman exactly none of my time. She comes up to me instead. Karen: “Say hi to Facebook. What’s your name?” She said this with the slightly manic, slightly smug look of someone who has very clearly just found the hill she is willing to die on. This witch was recording me in a Facebook Live video.
Me: “Hi Facebook. Why are you friends with her?” Karen: “Oooh, she’s got a sense of humor. She won’t tell me her name. This is the [city] Walmart. Today is December 17, 2018 at 10:30 PM.” (I don’t remember the exact day or time but that sounds right.) Then she ended the video. Karen: “I have you on video. I will be sharing this with the [city] Walmart’s Facebook page. Have a good dayyyyy.”
She drew out the last word in a singsongy voice with this creepy smile. It’s now two days later and as far as I know Walmart doesn’t really conduct investigations through Facebook so I think I’m safe, guys.
17. Grand Theft Garden
We moved into a new house a few years ago. Two days after we get settled in, it’s a gorgeous day so I’m out tending the garden. If you live in Louisiana you’ll realize that nice days are few and far in between. It’s hot and muggy. About 30 minutes after I start, this woman walks beside the house. She compliments my garden and asks how much my services cost.
So I told her, ma’am, I don’t do any services. About this time my husband walks out and puts something into the car. So all is perfectly fine right? No. This woman decides to call the authorities and tell them we are robbing the place. I don’t know if her watching my husband caused that, thinking he was pulling stuff out of the house and putting it into the vehicle or whatnot.
We were new neighbors, moved in like a few days prior so you’d think she would have seen us moving. Three officers show up a few minutes after she left. We didn’t know she called them. They pull up while both of us are wondering what the heck happened. Maybe someone we knew passed on or our kid got pulled over. Neither.
They said we were called in as an active burglar. We had to prove it was ours. She didn’t even talk to us about it. Although I guess in the moment she just lost it. People are crazy here.
18. Ceci N’est Pas Mon Job
So me and my girlfriend took a trip to Disneyland Paris a few years ago as our first holiday together. We were having an awesome time in the parks etc., but one day was incredibly busy so we decided instead of queueing hours for rides we would do some souvenir shopping instead for a bit. We are in a store in Disneyland browsing various mugs, fridge magnets, plush toys, you know, the general overpriced stuff.
This is when a very sweet English woman asked me if I could help her across the store as I'm a tall guy. I said, "Yeah, that's fine" I get it at home in the supermarkets all the time so no biggie. It turns out her daughter wanted a specific Winnie the Pooh toy that was at the top of a huge pile of plush toys.
I gladly grabbed it down for her and gave it to the little girl who was over the moon. This is where things got strange. A fairly young French lady moved over to me chatting in French and gesturing at a shelf with some glasses on it. I speak a tiny bit of French, but definitely not enough to know what she wanted, so I politely told her that I speak English and I'm not an employee.
I was wearing jeans and a wine colored hoodie which is not even remotely close to Disney cast members’ uniforms. The French lady stormed off and I thought that was that. I went and found my girlfriend and we were looking at some gift ideas for our families. From right behind me I heard a woman say, "This is him," in English, but with a French accent.
I turned around to see the aforementioned French lady who had dragged an actual employee over to me to give me a scolding. Her accent was very heavy but she said something along the lines of "He helped someone else but not me, workers should be trained better." The actual Disney employee immediately could see I was a guest at the park, apologized and lead the woman away.
All we could hear from the other side of the store was the French lady shouting and getting very irate. I assume she was removed from the store. Anyway me and my girlfriend took a couple of Minnie and Mickey Mouse mugs to the register to pay for, and the employee who sorted the situation was on the next register she said, "Please wait there."
She toddled off and came back a couple minutes later with a stuffed Luke Skywalker Mickey Mouse plush and a Stuffed Princess Leia Minnie Mouse for my girlfriend. "These are for you as way of an apology." I said, "It's not necessary, was just a misunderstanding," but she insisted, so we got some pretty cool free souvenirs. Thanks, angry French lady.
19. The Big Book Of Blockheads
I’m an author on a book tour. I’m in a big chain bookstore, sitting at a table with a stack of my books in front of me and beside a seven foot tall reproduction of my book cover. I’m chatting with someone while signing their book, and there are three people in line behind them—it’s my first book, so three people in line is huge for me, I’m enjoying the heck out of it and I’m working my hardest to make sure everyone is having a great time. And they mostly are. Mostly.
I start to pick up an impatient vibe from the man at the end of the line. He’s kind of huffy, looking around a lot, and keeps trying to make eye contact with me as I’m writing a somewhat lengthy dedication for the person at the front. The front person asks if we can take a photo together, I say OF COURSE because I am so not used to anyone wanting to take a picture with me and I’m totally an attention hog. This really sets Grumpy Man off.
“Really?!” he barks. I’m trying my best to not be mad at Grumpy Man, because he’s in a line to buy my book. Maybe he’s had an awful day. Maybe he’s late for dinner. Maybe his parking meter ran out five minutes ago and he has so many parking tickets that they’ll tow his car. Who knows? So I ask the other people in line if it’s ok for this gentleman to jump ahead since he seems to be pressed for time, and everyone is cool with it.
I motion for him to come on up. He plops a bag down on the signing table, pulls out three copies of Geddy Lee’s Big Book of Bass, and says “I need to return these.” Oh. Oh no. I put on my best apologetic smile. “I’m so sorry for the confusion,” I say, gesturing at my stack of books and the giant sign beside me, “I’m the author of this book and I’m here to sign copies of it today.”
“DO I LOOK LIKE I CARE, I NEED TO RETURN THESE,” he shouts. “For sure, I get that,” I say, “I just don’t know how I can help you. I don’t work here, I’m just visiting this store to sign my book.” I point towards the cash desk about 20 feet away and say, “I’m sure that the awesome people who work at this store will be happy to help you.”
“I stood in THIS line. I need YOU to help me,” he snaps. I’m pretty convinced that he’s not listening to me. “I’m so sorry about that confusion. It makes sense, there was a line of people, you figured it was a line for the cash, and you stood in it. But it turns out it was a line to get my autograph. The good news is that there’s no line at the cash.”
I point again towards the actual cash. The other people in line are having a great time watching this show. And a few people have come creeping over from the coffee shop attached to the bookstore to get a better view. “Cut out this AUTHOR GARBAGE,” shouts Grumpy Man, “and get me your manager!” I stand up very slowly. I pick up a copy of my book from the stack and flip to the About The Author page.
I hold it up beside my face and make the same smirking grin that I’m wearing in the headshot printed in the book. This visual aid seems to have worked, because Grumpy Man grabbed his three copies of Geddy Lee’s Big Book of Bass and toddler-stomped his way over to the actual cash.
20. She Got Lost On Her Way To Smashing The Glass Ceiling
My best friend and roommate works for a small independent print shop as a graphic designer. We live in the burbs and the shop is located downtown about half an hour from our house. Oftentimes I will be downtown for an appointment of some kind, and will ride home with her rather than take the train. Usually by 4PM, the only people left in the shop are her and a specific coworker, so I will just hang out in the front area of the shop with my laptop.
At 5PM they lock the door, and then both of them gather their things up over the next 15-20 minutes before actually leaving. They are often out of sight, packing up in the back. Last Friday was one such day. At around 5:10 a lady came up to the door of the shop—a glass door. She saw me sitting there and started tapping on the door.
I looked up and mouthed, "The shop is closed!" She yelled back, "I have a question!" I pointed at my wrist and said loudly, "I'm sorry, the shop closes at 5 and I don't work here!" She grabbed the handle on the door and started shaking it as if she could magically make the door open, and then started pounding on the door again. So, I set down my laptop and walked over to the door.
She screamed, "I only have one question, can you let me in so I can talk to you?" At this point screaming was really not necessary as we were only separated by a glass door. I said, "Ma'am, I don't work here, and the door is locked from the inside by a key I don't have. I can't let you in!" She screamed, "Why are you being such a jerk? I know you're closed, but it's ONE QUESTION!"
Then, to emphasize her point, she slammed her open palm on the glass door. Which absolutely shattered. Honestly I've never seen anything like it. It's not like it cracked and spider-webbed out, it just went to shards and fell to the ground. Fortunately I had stepped back. The lady blinked in shock and then started to speed-walk away.
Fortunately, we are in a massive metropolitan city, and I was able to follow her only half a block before I saw an officer standing on the street. The officer walked us both back to the shop with the woman ranting about how it wasn't her fault and if I had just let her in, blah blah blah. She called for backup and two more officers arrived, and by this time my friend and her coworker had come up front.
They took another officer back to look at the security footage which is digitally captured, and that was pretty much that. Lady got detained on the spot and I had to give a statement, and I'm told I'll probably have to testify in court on behalf of the shop owner to get a civil penalty added onto the other charges and help them avoid small claims. Which I'll gladly do!
21. Schooled Her
A few years ago, I was a sweet summer child freshly out of college with zero idea what I wanted to do with my life. I became a homeowner after maternal unit moved overseas and gave the house to me, and I decided to work for a house painting company for one summer while I got my metaphorical ducks in a row. The next summer, I was out of the painting business and working as an EMT, which meant sometimes I would have a full day or two off.
I noticed my house was in some need of paint touch ups, so I decided to do them myself. I had brushes, paint, nothing to do, and a sixer, so I went at it one Tuesday afternoon. So I’m working on the frame of the front door, dressed in old painter whites and a T-shirt with the sleeves cut off, and I sit down to let the primer dry and have a cold one.
I’m happily perched on the front step when I notice a can-I-speak-to-your-manager haircut with a face that looks like she just ate 12 lemons staring at me from the sidewalk. My front lawn is decently long and slopes down a hill, but I could see an artery pulsing in her neck from my spot. She had a dog next to her, so I just wave and say, “Cute dog!”
I guess my words broke the floodgates, and she unleashed upon me a verbal attack of which I understood about 30%. The gist: “HOW DARE YOU DRINK ON THE JOB ON THIS NICE PROPERTY. YOU DON’T DESERVE TO SIT THERE AND WASTE THE HARD EARNED MONEY OF THE WELL-EDUCATED PERSON THAT OWNS THIS PLACE.”
While I’m pondering this, she’s still spewing frothing condescension at me, which culminated in: “UNEDUCATED, LAZY, MENIAL, FREELOADING, IMMIGRANT DRINKERS LIKE YOU ARE WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS COUNTRY.” Well, aside from the many problems in that sentence, I’m white. Like, really white. Blond hair, green eyes. Born and raised in the good old US of A. Specifically, in this house.
Perhaps I look like some sort of insidious immigrant from far away, so I stand up and make my way down to her, but not before cracking open another cold one. She’s positively quivering with anger and indignation, her dog is pulling at the leash to say hi to me, and so I bend down to say hello back, when she says “WELL, WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO SAY FOR YOURSELF?”
I raise myself to my full 6’2” height, which towers over her little 5’ nothing self. She doesn’t back down, and the following conversation ensues. Me: “Hello ma’am, what seems to be the problem?” Her: scoffs “YOU. Sitting there wasting the homeowner’s money so you can get paid to be a lazy idiot.” Me: “Oh, I’m being paid? Seems odd, I didn’t feel the need to pay myself for this, but I suppose that could be fun to try.”
Her, gears turning: “Pay yourself? Don’t make me laugh, some deadbeat like you couldn’t afford this house. You need an education for a real job.” I’m wondering what her education fixation is all about, but not caring all that much, I just want to entertain her conversation enough to really get her mad. Maybe her head will explode.
Me: “Well, I didn’t buy this house, my mother did, but she left it to me when she moved overseas after I graduated from college.” Her, smirking: “Oh, did you go to local community college, known for not being that great? Only someone working as a painter would go there.” Me: “Actually, if you look at my shirt, you’ll see it says ‘Ivy League School Athletics’, which is where I attended school and played a sport. I am in good shape because of that, so I figured I would keep that up by working on improving my own home while having a few cold boys to cool off in this heat. Did you attend community college? Because if so, I can see how you might not be able to understand that.”
Disclaimer: nothing wrong with that CC. Just wanted to watch her boil, and oh boy, did she. Her eyes widen bigger than I thought possible, and her mouth starts working like elderly folks’ do when they’ve lost a lot of teeth, lots of lip twisting. This culminates in her rearing her ugly head back, and spitting on the front of my shirt. “You probably took that from someone, you ungrateful piece of trash.”
Okay, wow, not sure what I’m ungrateful for, and ew germs, so I tell her that’s it’s been fun but I’m going to continue working and turn to walk back up the lawn. She grabs the back of my shirt and attempts to pull me backward. It doesn’t work, so I spin around and smack her hand off me. She flops like a Premier League soccer player, flinging herself all over my lawn, howling like she’s been shot.
She’s let go of the dog’s leash, so he comes over to me for pets, happy as a clam. Her yodeling has brought some neighbors out of their homes, including my cool next door ones. They come over and I give them the story, and ask for their phone to call law enforcement. Mine was inside charging. They laugh and hand it over. I let the officers know that some maniac is gyrating loudly on my lawn, could they please come remove her.
I return to my work, my cool neighbors probably have started making popcorn. A little while later, I hear the officers arrive. Maniac is still singing her messed-up opera, and starts screaming at the authorities a story of a belligerent squatter (who’s painting said site of squatting??) who chased her with a baseball bat and broke her arm in multiple places.
Her talons point to me, so I come down and tell the boys the whole story. They crack up, apparently they know the nutcase by name, and so they tell her to call her husband to get the dog “again,” and cuff her for trespassing and disorderly conduct. Dog hung out with me until the husband, apologizing profusely, came and got him.
He also informed me that they are in divorce proceedings, so that may have made her “crazier than usual.” Never saw the lady again, thank god, but have developed a neighborly friendship with her ex and the pup. All’s well that ends well.
22. Who’s The Turkey Now?
This happened a couple of months ago. Back story, I'm a youth worker and part of my job involves taking clients to a bowling alley. I do this a few times a week, sometimes more than once a day, and usually at odd times, so the place is basically my second office and we have a good relationship with the proprietors. During the quiet hours, they only have two staff working; one in the office/front-desk/cafe and one behind the scenes.
It means that often there's a bit of standing around waiting when the front of house staff member is in a different area. Myself and the other weekday regulars (mostly senior bowlers) are used to it. It actually works well for me because part of what I'm doing there is teaching my clients social skills and coping strategies, so having to occupy yourself and be patient and polite is a good teaching moment.
My client and I have finished bowling, and we're sitting at the cafe eating and talking quietly when a man approaches the unattended cafe and immediately starts huffing and pacing restlessly. I side-eye him, but keep talking to the kid. A minute later he comes and looms over our table and says "EXCUSE ME" in an aggressive tone.
Now I've got my calm neutral face on but inside I've started gibbering because the kids can get pretty protective of us, and they are fighters. "Yes?" I enquired politely, keeping one eye on the kid, one hand on my phone, and a vapid smile on my face. "How 'bout you do your job?" He leaned down over the table. His breath was as unpleasant as the rest of him.
I was surprised, because sitting at a bowling alley eating curly fries with a 15-year-old at 10 am on a Tuesday WAS my job, and I was doing it well, thank you very much! I was also alarmed because said 15-year-old has become very still and very tense. Not good. I moved back in my seat and resumed the vapid smiling. "Oh, sorry, I don't work here. Sometimes you have to wait a minute for someone to see you and come over, but otherwise maybe try the front desk?"
"Well you're dressed like you work 'ere!" He leaned over more and jabbed (JABBED! HE JABBED ME!) my chest. The staff at this bowling alley wear black trousers and violently orange polo shirts, that match the violently orange walls. Awful. I was wearing baggy hippy pants, my purple tee, and a sparkly sequinned backpack. And a lanyard with the word "staff" printed on it.
I held up the company ID card at the end of the lanyard, which identified me as an employee of the non-profit I work for. "No, sorry, I work for [company name]. We're customers here. Now if you don't mind, you're being very rude." [me, trying to role model, terrified] I smiled my best 'everything is fine' smile to the kid eyeing the cutlery bucket.
"Don't talk to me like that you little witch! I want three cold ones and some freaking wings." He actually smacked the table with his hand. I looked over to the main area. Oh goody, he has friends. I leaned back as far as I could (the wall was behind me, tables either side, and him blocking my exit). The kid stood up. Bad. Staff member spotted us and started rushing over. Good.
We had a time for a few rounds of "I want to speak to your manager" "I don't work here though, please let me out" before the actual manager of the bowling alley reached us. He pulled the guy away so I could get up, but dude wants to speak to my manager and won't let up. Manager says "I am the manager here." Dude: "You're her manager?" Manager:"...no, she doesn't work here..."
Dude, to me: "I want to speak to your manager NOW" At this point I figured, why not, handed him one of our company business cards, and said, "Ask for [my manager's name]". He turned away to dial the number and I grabbed the kid and whispered "now watch him make an idiot of himself". Kid laughs and relaxes a bit and the three of us stand in a row and watch this dummy call my actual manager and complain that I wouldn't serve him chicken wings.
My manager actually took the complaint on an official form and made me sign it when I got back to the office as a joke. Meanwhile, dude is banned, the bowling alley gave the kid a huge pile of free arcade tokens in apology, and I was able to get him to give me back the knife he took before I dropped him home. Wins all round.
23. See Much Evil
I am a 18-year-old male, born completely deaf and mute. Also, I am partially blind in my left eye. I live with my sister, who had been taking care of me since our parents passed on. Recently, she got married and went on her honeymoon. So I was on my own for a few weeks. This happened yesterday. Usually, whenever I go out I am accompanied by my sister due to my disability.
But now, since she is away on her honeymoon, I had to go out alone. There was a new supermarket open in our area, and I needed some items, so decided to go there and grab them. My bad for wearing a red-colored shirt almost similar to the employee uniform. But if you look closely, you could see that it was not the uniform.
I was at the electronics section looking for some batteries, when I see an old man struggling to get some DVDs at the top shelf. Since I am tall, I helped him. He thanked me—I can do lip reading—and went on his way. Then I began looking for the batteries. That's when I felt someone grab my left wrist. I couldn’t believe what happened next. I turned around and a women in her late 40s slapped me.
She was speaking something, but I couldn't follow her lips as she spoke too fast. However, I was able to catch some words like 'you', 'ignore', 'job', etc. So, I signed to her that I am deaf. Apparently, this was a wrong move, because she became more irate toward my signs. Again, she was yelling something but I couldn't catch anything.
So, I took my notebook and started writing that I am deaf and mute. Before I could finish, she grabbed my notebook and pen and threw them away. Then she slapped me again and pushed me to the ground. Luckily, by this time a store employee came to see what the commotion was about. He saw me on the ground and helped me up. Then he asked me what happened.
Before I can sign to him, Karen starts to yell at the employee. I don't know that she said as she was not facing me. After she finished, I sign to employee that I cannot hear or speak. Fortunately, he understood and explained this to the lady. But she is still not convinced. She tries to attack me again, but I moved away.
Then I wrote a note and showed it to the employee. It said to call the authorities on her. The employee nodded and called them. Karen tried to run away, but the security caught her. They arrived in about 10 minutes. They first talked to the employee who explained the situation, about how Karen attacked me because she mistook me for a store employee.
One officer comes and speaks to me. I understood that he wanted my version of events, so I wrote everything down and showed it to the officer. Then they went to check the CCTV footage. Then came back and asked me if I wanted to press charges. I gladly said yes. Karen was then placed in handcuffs and given a free ride at the back of a cruiser.
The manager then explained to me that Karen thought I worked there and she became angry that I ignored her. She had been standing on my left side, so obviously I couldn't see her. The store manager then offered me a 50% discount on the products. That’s not the best part. I texted my sister about the events that happened and she was livid. Oh, did I mention that my sister is a lawyer? She told me that she will be making sure she’s involved in the case and would see to it that Karen would get the maximum time.
24. Clean Up Your Act
I'm a small Chinese woman living in a predominately white neighbourhood. Our house have a large front yard, and we like to do the gardening ourselves. I don't speak with an accent, and I usually use a very English name for easy communication. I called for a free estimate from a local duct-cleaning service, and scheduled it on a Saturday.
My mom and I were in the front yard planting flowers and weeding, chatting family stuff in our own language while enjoying the nice weather outside. We were in full gardening gear complete with straw hats and rain boots with face masks on. A white truck with a trailer drove up and a mid-aged man jumped out. The guy, waving me down, says, “Hey! Where is the owner of the house?”
I say, “Oh, you must be the duct-cleaning service, please come in with me.” The, guy, annoyed, says “No, I need to speak with the landlord.” I say, “I am the landlord. Do you need to come in the house for the esti—.” The guy cuts me off, saying, “No, I need to speak to the person who made the call!” I pull out my phone and say, “Ok, hold on.” I dial the company number, and the guy in front of me pulls out his phone and says: “See? The landlord is calling me.”
Over the phone, I say “Hi, I'm [english name]. I'm standing right in front of you. I don't think I will be needing your services today. Goodbye.” The guy stood there dumbstruck for a moment, then sulkily walked back to his truck and left. My mom looked at me confused and asked in Chinese, "What was that?" I shrugged and answered, "looks like we need to call another duct-cleaning company".
25. Fight Fire With Fire
This happened yesterday, I was in Canadian Tire, for all of you non-Canadians It's like a mix between a Walmart, a home depot, a bass pro shops, and an auto shop. I was wearing jeans and an old red polo shirt. The employees there wear black pants and a red polo with a triangle and maple leaf logo on the chest. I was getting wipers for my car.
They have this touch screen thing there where you select the vehicle and it tells you the specific sizes you need for each wiper and brand. I was fiddling with the screen and going through the different sizes and makes of wipers and reading reviews on each one. I research everything before I buy it, drives my wife crazy. I hear someone behind me say excuse me.
I think she wants to use the screen to figure out what wiper to buy, so I move to the section that has the wiper brand I'm interested in and start looking for the size I need. My assumption was wrong. She followed me to where I was now poking through the very badly stocked wipers. She says, "Why did you walk away from me, that's very rude."
I didn't even know she was talking to me at this point. So I kept looking at wipers. She goes: "This is unbelievable! I'm talking to you." I finally click in that I'm the one she's talking to. So I stupidly turn to face her while gripping a 28-inch wiper like a toddler holds a crayon. I ask her: "You talking to me?" She says: "Yeah you. I need to know what size wiper to get for my Mercedes."
I reply: "That's what the screen is for," as I gesture toward it with the wiper in my hand and go back to searching for the second elusive 28-incher that I need. Then she says: "You are terrible at your job, this isn't proper customer service." She was all huffy. I go: "Umm, I don't work here. I'm gonna go back to this now."
My ordeal wasn’t over yet. She tells me: "I want to speak to your manager right now. This isn't how you treat customers. Ignoring me and refusing to help me, it’s disgraceful." At this point she kind of stomps off, but only a few aisles away, and the aisles in the automotive department aren't full height ones, they are like chest-height so you can see right across the whole department.
She just does a few laps of the aisles around where I am, she's looking all over the place for a manager but not going far, I guess so she doesn't lose sight of me. I say: "Still don't work here. So going to be hard to find that manager...and you're not listening to me...ok... " I trail off as she's obviously not caring at all. I go back to my wipers.
While she's on her walk I find my wiper and start to head towards the check outs. She chases me down and gets in front of me, trying to stop my escape before a manager gets there. She goes: "No! You're not allowed to leave until I speak to your manager about you!" I've had enough of this buffoon. I pull out my phone and do the only thing I can. I call my manager.
I'm self-employed, so I call the one person in my life who could reasonably be called my manager. The wife. I say to the lady: "I'll call her for you, you aren't going to be able to find her here." I put it on speaker phone so the crazy lady can hear. As the phone rings she's giving me this superior smirk like I'm about to get my behind chewed out.
We make small talk. The crazy lady is getting really frustrated at this point, I'm obviously not getting to the me getting fired fast enough for her. My wife asks me why I’m calling when she’s at work and I say: "Got a lady here at Canadian Tire who wants to talk to my manager. I kind of thought you're the closest thing to that. Want to talk to her?"
She’s like, “Am I on speaker phone?” I reply: "Oh yeah, the crazy lady can hear you, how else is she supposed to talk to my manager? Say hi to the crazy lady." The crazy lady is finally starting to realize that I don't have a store logo on my shirt, and that maybe I'm not an employee. My wife says: "You're such a dummy. I'm sorry ma'am, my husband is an idiot. But he doesn't work there."
I start to laugh at this point. "It's cool hon, she seems kind of slow or something. She probably doesn't realize I'm laughing at her," I say through my laughter while the woman makes some kind of appalled noise from the back of her throat and stalks off. I managed to get my wipers and leave the store after that without any further incident.
My wife thinks I was mean to her. I say I was fighting stupidity with more stupidity.
26. Gladys Chose The Losing Team
Oh boy, I'm tired of being recognized. I live in a relatively small podunk college town, with three grocery stores, a terrible mall, and a slightly decent downtown. Because I work in one of those grocery stores, in the pharmacy, I'm often identified when I'm out and about, and for some reason, I just look like I work there, wherever this mythical there is.
I've just finished watching a movie at our local dying mall, having gone myself since I just wanted to get away for a while. As I'm exiting the theater, I hear that dreaded voice, the entitled call of the snooty customer. "HEY! HEY YOU!" I turn around, and see your average soccer mom, with bleach blond hair and a purse big enough to brain a camel, carrying a large collection of trash.
She's holding the trash with one hand, her struggling child with the other, and stares at me pointedly. I don't want to believe what's about to happen, but I steel myself. "Yes?" "Throw this away." No please, no asking, just a demand. I glance to a trash can that's only five feet from where she's standing. "Why?" Oh, you'd think I'd just offered to split her child in half in front of her with a broadsword.
"You work at (big box store), you're used to this!" Amazing. She knows I don't work there, but she still thinks I'm put on this earth to serve her. I just roll my eyes and turn away, scooting towards the bathroom. "Sorry ma'am, gotta pee." And I do just that, taking a quick leak and a long time washing my hands. By the time I exit, the woman and her kid are gone.
I figure that's all that's going to happen with this, just some entitled person who thinks that I work in retail she can just treat me like an indentured servant. Oh boy, was I wrong. Two days later I'm back at work, just doing my thing slinging pills at the pharmacy, when one of our most hated managers shows up. Let's call her Gladys. Passive-aggressive, snobby, and more than happy to toss her weight around.
"Would you come with me, please?" I am a bit shocked, since I've not been in trouble with this job for over five years, and my mind immediately starts spinning through anything I may have done in the past week or so. Gladys takes me back to the manager office, picks up some papers, and has a seat. "I had a complaint about you the other day from a customer."
I sink down, trying not to shake with panic. What have I done? "She says you were very rude to her at the movie theater the other day, and refused to help her." Silence. I just blink a few times at Gladys. "I'm sorry, what?" Gladys repeats the accusation. "When you work for this company, you represent us, even when you're not on the clock. Now, I'm only going to give you a coaching, but I want you to watch what you do in the future."
I tell her, "no." Gladys looks back at me in shock. Did I just say no to her? "What do you mean, no?" "I said, no. I'm not taking a coaching for something that happened off the clock." I lean forward, folding my hands in my lap and glaring at her. "Why are there no other managers here? Why's my pharmacy manager not here? Shouldn't he be here when I'm being coached by someone that's not even over my department?”
“Speaking of which, where's our department manager? Could you show me where in the code of conduct handbook it says I can't refuse to clean up after someone when I'm not on the clock? Doesn't it say in the training videos we watch when we start NOT to work off the clock?" Gladys is doing her best impression of a gaping fish by this point, eyes wide and staring back at me.
I don't think she was expecting the happy go lucky nerd in the pharmacy to take such a hard line and not just roll over to her casual bullying. I stood up and opened the door. "If you want to take it up with my manager, please do. But do know that if I hear anything about this, I'll take this all the way to the store manager, your boss. Corporate, if I have to."
I left, shaking with anger. I'd heard others in the store complain about this manager before and how she'd try to toss her weight around, but I'd never had it happen to me before. I don't know if the original customer was a friend of Gladys’s and she thought she'd get some revenge, but I never heard anything else on the matter. Two months later, Gladys was let go in a store re-structuring.
Every other manager was shifted or re-assigned, but she was the only one to be shown the door.
27. Trial By Fire
I am a fire investigator for insurance companies. A few days ago I was at a fire at a super common fast food restaurant helping another investigator process the scene and dig. All the fun parts of my job without any of the responsibility or report writing. I was in black coveralls and my black Carhart with a baseball hat and a regular N95 mask because fires and fast food restaurants are gross, you know?
I looked in no way like a restaurant employee. Even with the black clothes you could tell I was covered in soot and debris—and what restaurant employee wears an N95 that’s been stained black? I was standing outside in the parking lot with another investigator that was there and we were chatting, taking a break from being in the grossness from inside.
The parking lot has been filled with debris. On one end of the parking lot there’s a 9 foot tall pile of random burnt stuff. On the other end of the parking lot in front of the drive thru are all the roof ventilation systems that are half burnt and melted in a big pile along with a whole assortment of burnt stuff. There’s caution tape everywhere.
There is fire debris haphazardly strewn throughout the area. There’s a very visible hole burnt in the top of this building. There’s a fire engine parked at one entrance of the parking lot with their lights on blocking the entrance. There was no way to misunderstand what had happened at this building. Unless you’re the world’s biggest idiot.
A man in an old van drives by with his window down slowly staring at us. He has this inquisitive look on his face. He drives past the first entrance, then attempts to turn into the entrance blocked by the fire engine. He backs out, turns around, then turns back into the other entrance, headed right for us. I say us, but the other investigator wisely caught on to what was about to happen and whispered “good luck” and hauled his behind back inside, leaving me alone with van guy. Jerk.
Anyway, van guy drives around the big pile of ash and stops in front of me. He says, “Hey... what happened here?” I replied for what feels like the millionth time in my career, “There was a fire.” He says “Oh, what started it?” And for the millionth time I replied, "That’s what we’re here to find out.” He says “Oh ok. Well can I have a cheeseburger and a medium fry?”
Trying very hard to not say what I truly wanted to say which was some variation of “Do I look like a fast food worker?” I told him that no, there was a fire, you can’t have a cheeseburger. He then proceeded to ask “Well, can I have a large Coke then?” Again, no there was a fire, you can’t have a Coke. You know how you can see when someone has a moment where they have a moment and it finally clicks?
This guy had that. He looks at me and asks very intently if I work there. I say no, I’m here investigating the fire. He then asks another stupid question, and I’ll never forget it. “So they’re closed. But why?” Feeling like I’ve met the universe’s densest star, I replied because there was a fire. He finally just says, “Oh ok. Well bye.” And just drives away and out of my life. I’m still not sure he truly understood why he couldn’t have his food.
28. A Losing Bet
So I have a hobby-like job working for a casino party company. They get contracted by companies to come out and set up some casino tables so their employees can “fake” gamble just for fun, during their parties/events. Most of the time employees buy tickets (like 1 ticket for $50 and a ticket is worth $2000 in fake chips) and that’s how they play.
You can then turn in your chips for “Prize tickets” and go through a raffle to win prizes at the end. It’s a lot of fun, and easy money for someone in college, like yours truly. We had a gig last night at a nice hotel ballroom, for a really good company too, I won’t list the name. We’re required to dress in all black, with a button up shirt and slacks.
We look just like the actual staff of the hotel, but with a name tag with our “‘Owner’s’ Casino Parties” text on it. So I can sort of see why I’d be mistaken for the hotel staff. Cue in a really good night, having fun, good people, good table dealing. I swap out with someone to freely take a break, and walk about and grab a drink of water. Now here’s where it goes completely downhill.
A woman comes to me and asks for a refill on her drink. I say, “Sorry! I don’t work here, I’m one of the dealers at the tables. I can grab someone for you though!” There’s a bit of back and forth, she won’t believe me—you know the drill. I say I’ll grab someone who can help her, then she stepped on my foot as I stepped away. I took my foot back and now I was a little angry, because I’m wearing some nice shoes here, that I paid for, and I am proud of that because I’m poor.
That’s it, I’ve had it. I tell her to find someone else and not to step on their shoes. She now grabs the attention of an actual waitstaff member and asks her to grab the manager and she hesitantly does, and I was actually stunned. I say, “You do understand I DONT WORK HERE.” She says, “Keep saying that to me, you’ll regret it.” Then the manager comes.
She tells him I’m refusing to serve her. He looks at me and asked my name, and I pointed at my name tag and told him, and he immediately knew I didn’t work here. Manager says, “I’m sorry but he doesn’t work here, can I get your drink?” She FREAKS OUT at this. Like full blown SCREECHES. “This is stupid! I’m not an idiot!” She proceeds to GRAB my water and flings it at me and it gets all over me!!
The manager tells her to leave. She starts throwing what I can only say is a tantrum, and then gets escorted out by the security they had on site. The table she was at had 10 of her tickets. TEN. She also had redeemed some earlier too. That’s over $500 she spent. With no prizes. She waited until after the party was over to speak to MY manager (So about 2 hours, when we were breaking down the set up) and demanded a refund.
He denied her and said she can go on her merry way, and told her the exact reason she couldn’t was because she dumped water on his employee and he won’t stand for that. She stormed out after bickering for what seemed forever.
29. Two Can Play At This Game
Yesterday at about 2:30 I was shopping at my local smiley face box store. As I usually do, I stop and check their app to figure out what aisle stuff is on since they did a reset a few months ago, and I haven’t yet become accustomed to the layout. While standing in the aisle searching the app, I hear a very loud throat clearing sound. It was at that point I knew I had my opportunity to try a new tactic.
This lady didn’t look like the stereotype Karen, she had red highlights and curly hair. She goes: “Ahem! Excuse me! Hey!” Her hand was on her hip, and her head was tilted in that I’m about to go off on you way that Karens get before threatening a manager. I reply: “Yes?” She says: “I’ve been waiting over here for 10 minutes.” I cut her off mid-sentence. I felt a bit cheeky.
I say: “Oh my goodness. I’m sorry you had to wait. Why didn’t you get my attention sooner. Since you're here now, can you check the back for this Homedic foot spa? The app said you have one in stock, but the slot is empty.” Confused, she says: “I…uh…you’re supposed to be helping me.” Me: “I am? Well I guess I can go back with you to check. I’m not exactly sure how that would work, but I’m game.”
She says, “Excuse me? You’re the one who works here.” I reply: “Pretty sure I don’t. However, judging by your blue shirt, you’re the employee I requested 15 minutes ago. Do you have any idea what it’s like to wait that long for an employee? Then have them lie and say they don’t work here?” She still doesn’t get it. She says: “I don’t work here. What are you even talking about?”
Me: “Well then why would you come up to a customer who is obviously waiting for somebody and then tell them you had been waiting for their attention for 10 minutes?” She says: “I didn’t.” I reply: “Yes, you did. Now don’t lie to me twice. Do we need to get your manager up here?” At this point she lets out the loudest “hmmph” type of sound and walks out mouthing something under her breath.
I continued my shopping and ultimately checked out. Probably the most fun I’ve ever had diffusing a situation without the use of profanity, and without an actual employee getting involved.
30. Grand Theft Golf Cart
I work golf maintenance at a very fancy golf course during the summers while in college and I did it in high school too. I was working the driving range one day and getting stuff ready and this lady is hitting golf balls and decides to come over to me, red in the face, and say “Excuse me young man, you aren’t allowed to use that cart, didn’t your grandparents tell you?”
I say to her, “Ma’am, I work here, I’m most definitely allowed to use the cart.” She then looks like she is sucking a lemon and says, “Don’t lie to me, I know you’re staying with your grandparents for 4th of July and you took a cart from one of those Mexicans who actually work here trying to be cute.” I was floored. I had no idea what to say because I couldn’t believe she felt the need to not only be prejudiced towards my coworkers/friends but also condescending towards me.
I just go, “Alright ma’am, I need to get back to work.” She grabs my arm and says “No, you’re coming with me, I know the general manager and he will throw you out personally.” I grin and say, “Alright fine then I’ll come with you. We take her cart back to the clubhouse and go in to the general manager’s office. She goes through the whole rant saying how I took a cart and pretended to be an employee and got very loud.
Then, after she finished, she says, “What do you have to say for yourself?” I turn to the GM and say, “Well Dad, you see the thing is...” and she interjects “Wait, this is your son?? You let your son go and steal carts from the help?” My father just says, “Ma’am he works here, there is no problem.” She got extremely embarrassed and just left.
31. Me Tarzan, You Karen
So in the 90s, I rented a large workshop with two friends. I was a woodworker and the other two were metal workers. As a result, none of our work resembled the previous business, which had installed skylights, in any way. Well, in walks a customer of the previous business. I have condensed this, as the verbatim conversation went on for a very long time.
She arrives at my door and without saying hello she says: "I need repairs done to the skylights you installed." I reply: "Sorry, that business has moved and I don't know where they are now." She says: "No, I need you to send someone over NOW. The skylights are leaking." I reply, "As I said, that business has gone. We are a different company."
She’s not listening. She yells: "No, RIGHT NOW!" Repeat the above a half dozen times. At this point, I am realizing I am dealing with either a genuine looney or someone too entitled to listen to plain common sense. I try another tact—caveman speech. Who knows, it might get through. So I grunt: "Skylight business gone. New business come. You talking to new business now. Unnerstand?”
She’s stammering, so I yell: "Nooooo skylight here!!! Try look in the friggin’ phone book! You bugger off now!" She then leaves in a big huff. It's all about communication folks.
32. Hush, Little Baby(s)
My husband is a peaceful giant. He is 6’5” tall and can look quite imposing even though he really is a teddy bear. Never stressed or aggressive, never overreacting or raising his voice, just a peaceful giant. So here we are, at the grocery shop, with our six-month-old baby shopping for food and whatnot. It is winter in Canada (so, you know, cold) and we are both wearing our coats.
The kid is fussy and nothing really calms him except when we carry him in our arms. It is my turn and my husband is going back and forth gathering what we need and bringing the items to our cart when this banshee of a woman got in his face—a figure of speech, because she was like 5’2”—and started yelling at him. She says: “ARE YOU DONE? You've been helping her FOREVER and I NEED HELP! NOW!”
My husband, with his smooth everything-is-good kind of tone, says, “I'm so sorry, but I'm afraid I do not work here...” She yells: “LIAR! I just saw you help HER shopping. NOW, you help ME! AND YOU DO NOT TALK BACK TO ME!” He tried to interrupt her but she yells: “STOP! Don't talk to me unless it is to thank me. Are we clear?”
My husband sees me boiling and about to interfere but makes a sign that's says he is going to deal with it. He then calmly look at her with a smile. She says, “GOOD! Now, help me grab the last (item I don't remember, probably some king of condiment) on this high shelf. WHY do you people always put the stuff I need so high?! Now, chop-chop!” My husband grabs the item, but instead of giving it to her, he keeps it just a tiny bit out of her reach. He was about to teach her a lesson.
He looks at it and then at me. He grins and says, “Honey, do we need (condiment)?” I catch on and say, “Well, as a matter of fact, yes! We do!” The lady yells, “WHAT?! HOW DARE YOU GIVE HER MY STUFF! IT'S MY STUFF! GIVE IT TO ME!!!” Super slowly, my husband gets closer to the lady. He is so imposing that she calms down immediately.
With the biggest of smile and the most polite voice ever, he says to her: “Again, I do not work here...but thank you for showing me (condiment). We were about to forget it.” And with that, he puts the item in our cart, grabs the baby and together, we left. In the background, the lady howling some profanities. All three of us smiling. I love my husband.
33. A Particular Set Of Skills
In the UK there is a system for preserving ancient and important buildings. If a building has historical importance it is known as a "Listed building" and the rules about how it's developed/maintained/improved are VERY strict. I need to be vague about the work involved otherwise it's too easy to identify the parties involved.
My friend David is skilled in a very niche area of construction. He repairs and renovates buildings using a very old construction method that hasn't been common for several centuries. All his work is on conservation projects and "listed buildings." Work was required on a Grade 1 listed property. The overall building work was being done by the main contractor, ACC Ltd.
One part of the work is VERY specialized. The contractor’s managers didn't know anyone who did it so the architect gave them a list of qualified people. The contractors chose my friend because he had the earliest availability. Five days into the work, the owner of ACC Ltd., the main contractor company, arrived on site. This is when things started to go downhill very fast.
He was throwing his weight around and being a "noisy idiot" (David's words). David was just doing his job and ignored him. Noisy idiot told one of his carpenters to get him a coffee. The carpenter disappeared. Noisy idiot continued wandering and "gobbing off" about delays "costing him a fortune." 15 minutes after the carpenter had disappeared, the Noisy Idiot asked my friend a question.
Noisy Idiot : "Where is that bloody carpenter with my coffee?" David: "Don't know." Noisy Idiot: "Go and find out." David: "I'm only here for this job (pointing to the walls), I don't work for ACC Ltd." Noisy Idiot: "I don't care if you're an employee or a subcontractor, you still work for me. Now go and find my bloody coffee."
David: "Firstly, I don't appreciate being talked to like that and secondly, my contract with you is to do these walls, nothing more. I'm definitely not a gopher." Noisy Idiot: "Oh, you don't appreciate being talked to like that, do you? Which subcontractor do you work for?" David: "None. I'm self-employed. It's just me."
Noisy Idiot : "A bloody day laborer? And you've got the nerve to talk to like that? Do you know who I am?" David: "Yep." Noisy Idiot: "Well you're bloody fired. Get off the bloody site NOW!" David: "Okay, put it in writing." Noisy Idiot : "Oh please. Just get off the bloody site." David pulled his phone out and started recording.
David: "Okay, I'll go. I just want proof you told me to go." Noisy Idiot grabbed David's hand holding the phone and screamed into the phone. Noisy Idiot: "GET OFF THE SITE YOU BLOODY IDIOT. YOU'RE FIRED. IF YOU'RE STILL HERE IN 10 MINUTES I'LL HAVE YOU THROWN OUT." David: "Cool, no problem." He picked up all his kit and walked away.
As he was leaving, the site manager passed him (ironically, with a coffee for the boss) and with a smile said. Site Manager: "You leaving early Dave? Bloody part-timers (he was joking)." David: "No, your boss just fired me. Our contract is ended. Sorry mate." Site Manager: "Noooo. Noo, no. Let me sort this out. Wait, please. Please, wait." David left.
The Site Manager was losing his mind because he knew something that Noisy Idiot didn't. Only seven people in the UK are qualified to do the work. They all have a waiting list and David had been the only one available. By the time he was home he had 12 missed calls. That was Thursday. Two working days missed so far. He said he'll go back but only if he gets paid for the extra days and has a genuine apology in person from the boss.
I met my friend when he was getting a call from the Site Manager saying the boss apologizes but is "out of the country" so can't apologize face to face. The idiot boss really got what he deserved. David also told me he phoned the other specialists to warn them but they'd all been phoned on Friday begging them to do the job. Nobody took the work. They're all booked solid.
34. No Way Out
This happened about four years ago when I was looking for work. I got a second interview for a “marketing” position at a new firm. The interview went well and I was offered a trial shift the following Monday. On turning up, it became clear that this wasn't a marketing job, but a door-to-door sales job for what was basically a huge MLM.
The “service” was to sign people up for charities on monthly donations. To make matters worse, we were told to lie to consumers about our pay status. We weren't supposed to tell people that and had to tell them we were salaried. We weren't—I only found out during the trial that it was commission only. So far, not so good.
When they “offer” me the “job” I let them know I have another interview lined up the following day and tell them I'll let them know by the end of the week. The interview goes well, it's a real (albeit temporary role) and I'm offered the job. I inform the MLM of my decision. This is somehow a 30-minute call where he's still trying to convince me to work for him, with me saying I'm not interested at all.
Fast forward to the next Monday and I'm rudely awakened at 9:15 with a phone call. I answer because I hadn't saved this number. It’s a guy from the MLM yelling: “Where the heck are you?!?!?” I’m like, “Sorry? wh-“ MLM guy cuts me off, saying “You were meant to be here at 8:30. This isn't a good start to your first day, is it? Why are you so late?”
I’m still half-asleep so I ask: “Sorry but who is this?” MLM guy identifies himself—it’s not the guy I interviewed with. He says: “You know the company who YOU work for, it's too late now your team has left, you better be on time tomorrow.” I say, “Sorry there must've been a misunderstanding, I got offered a job elsewhere and accepted that role, sorry for this.”
He yells, “Well, you should have told us this, it's not professional to just not turn up and we would've hired someone else, now your team is short staffed...” I’m like “Not my problem, check with my interviewer, anyway I need to go, bye.” Hoping this is resolved, I get up and go about my day. Tuesday morning, I am again awakened to the same guy demanding reasons for me not turning up to work.
Apparently, not working for them isn't a valid excuse. This amazing sequence of calls continued until the following Monday, where I was “let go” for “unauthorized” absences. When I asked if this means he'll stop phoning me, he told me to grow up and be professional about it. Think I dodged a bullet there...
35. Brings A New Meaning To Customer “Service”
I used to be a service consultant at a Mercedes-Benz dealership. A guy in his 20s just bought an older car & comes in for the first time so I help him out. I get all his info & create a new customer profile in our database; this takes about five-ten minutes so I usually casually talk to the customer during the process. I notice he looks tired so I ask him if he worked third shift or something, since it was about 8:00 AM.
He mentions he’s been up all night as a “bodyguard” for his wife—then he hands me a camouflage business card with her cam girl name & web address all over it. He casually mentions, “If you ever get feeling a little lonely, give her a look online.” I put the card on my desk, he signs the repair order, I verify the phone number I’ll need to call later that day to get approval for repairs.
A few hours later after the technician has diagnosed the car’s problem, I call the number and a woman answers. I say, “Hey there, I’m calling from Mercedes.” The woman, in a quiet, bedroomy voice asks: “Did you send the picture?” Me: “I’m sorry, I’m not sure what you mean.” She says: “You’re supposed to send me a picture of yourself before we start playing, then maybe we’ll meet up.”
I say: “I apologize again but I don’t know what you’re talking about.” I started to wonder if I dialed the wrong number. Right here I realize this is the wife and she thinks I’m trying to party. So I say: “This is the Mercedes-Benz dealership. I’m calling about your Mercedes-Benz. Your car needs to be serviced, not me.” Her voice changes instantly and she starts talking normally. “Oh, so what’s going on with the car?”
After the call, I took the business card and ran back to the shop to tell all the techs what happened.
36. Let Me Upgrade You
I was in a dollar store trying to check out but delayed because Karen was busy complaining to the cashier about the quality of the products in the dollar store. To which I said, "Karen, if you don't like the quality here, then go somewhere more upscale like Walmart...or if you got the budget...Target." I was just trying to help, of course. She then asked for a manager, cause that's what Karens do.
The manager came and for the next solid two minutes she was complaining to the manager about how her staff was very rude and suggested she should shop at Walmart or Target how insane it is to hire staff that promotes the competition. The cashier is smirking, I'm smiling from ear to ear. Karen finishes off with, "If I was you, I'd fire such an employee!" to which the manager said "Which employee said that?"
Karen and the cashier all pointed at me, there standing with a my Coke and a bag of chips. To which the manager goes "Ma’am, he's not an employee." Karen goes, "Then why is he here?" Manager looks at me and looks at her and goes "…buying stuff?"
37. Mother Doesn’t Know Best
I had a rather terrible Memorial Day weekend, long and rather boring story short I had a seizure and face-planted my bedroom door. After a fun ride to the hospital on back board and neck brace a whole bunch of tests followed and I was admitted because as it turns out my auto-immune condition is quite being managed as well as I thought it was.
After the first couple days sleeping off the concussion and medication side effects I make it to the third day and feel well enough to walk around and even make a trip to the cafeteria downstairs to get something better than the standard hospital food. Now I didn’t really have much in the way of clothing—my wife brought my favorite hoodie and clean underthings, but forgot pants of all things—so a really nice nurse scrounged up a pair of the hospital’s blue scrub pants for me.
So, I was happily free of the IV cart for the next few hours and decided to get some chocolate milk and maybe a tasty snack to treat myself and lift my spirits a bit. But it ended up being a rather sad, frustrating affair before I could even make it onto the elevator. I’m pretty slow walking but I’m just content to not be confined to bed or tangled in tubes so I enjoy the sunlight and make friendly conversation with the day shift nurses as I pass by. Sometimes it’s the small things that make me happy. But all that happiness goes away in an instant.
I make it to the waiting area and elevator lobby when a 60-year-old woman with the sourest expression on her face steps off the elevator—like sucked on a whole barrel of lemons type of sour, lips puckered up tighter than a cat’s you-know-what sour. So I try to give her a wide berth but Pucker Face isn’t having it, she marches straight up to me and gets well into my personal space and starts demanding that I take her to her son’s room and give her an immediate run down of his medical ailments.
This is just how she started the conversation. She yells, “Finally, one of you lazy jerks is going to take me to my son’s hospital room and explain to me my baby boy’s condition. I’m his mother after all and that wife of his just hasn’t been taking care of him like she should be.” I basically was like…what? She started berating me and calling me names.
When I tell her I don’t work there, she points out my scrubs. I explain the situation, nope. I show her my patient bracelet with my allergies listed. Nope, she still doesn’t believe me. She tells me she’s going to get me fired. I point down the hall to the head nurse, and suggest that acting like a jerk to people, especially nurses, is a great way to get thrown out of the hospital.
By this time a couple nurses come over—all of them have clear name badges and credentials on display as well as these little communication devices that are like Star Trek Communicators but look and perform a lot less cool. The head nurse, who was so sweet just like all the ones I had during my stay, had taken on the scary resting face that would make me think twice, but it didn’t even scare crazy Pucker Face.
She barges right up to the nurse and demands to be taken to her son, spouting off his name and date of birth to basically everyone on the floor and then demands that I be fired. The head nurse deadpans with a chill game I’m rather envious of, saying, “She doesn’t work here and I’m going to have to ask you to refrain from yelling and harassing people. This is a hospital and people are trying to heal and rest.”
The woman says, “I understand, but this woman isn’t letting me see my son and he needs his mommy right now. She needs to be dealt with for being such a terrible, irresponsible nurse.” The head nurse explains I don’t work there. She still won’t believe it. She’s basically a broken record calling for me to get fired like she’s forgotten why she’s here in the first place.
Head Nurse is calm and has explained it as many different ways as she possibly can and is starting to rub her temples with what must be a nasty headache—finally after a couple seconds of silence, she turns to me. She says, “Hey, you’re fired okay?” Me: “…okay?...” The nurse says, “Go on now, get on your way.” I get on the elevator and head downstairs, incredibly grateful to be away from that monstrous woman and go to collect my well-deserved prize and text my wife about the whole thing—she’ll find it hilarious. What happened next was the perfect revenge.
It turns out when they look up information for her son—who happens to be two rooms down from mine—he specifically said his mother is on the list of people who absolutely under no circumstances could be allowed to visit. So, I watched her get dragged kicking, screaming, and biting through the hospital’s main lobby when I was returning from the cafeteria.
The chocolate milk and cookies were twice as tasty after that. The son turned up that evening to apologize for his mother since news of the crazy lady spread across the floor like wild fire. He and his family were really cool. Looks like we’re going to be physical therapy buddies now and we can swap crazy mom stories together.
38. I’m Only Human After All
I worked in Data Support (as fun as it sounds) for a company that was situated in the business district of my city. In that job it was extremely important to leave the building on your lunch, not doing so meant others assumed you were having a working lunch. On lunch, I would go into the shopping areas of the city and just look around, grab something to eat and ensure I was back in work at exactly the time I needed to be and no earlier.
This day I decided to go into Primark, which is a clothing store in the UK. I was casually browsing the shirts and completely in a world of my own. I must have been looking around the same area for a few minutes when I felt a presence to the right of me. Now, this isn't unusual, busy store, middle of lunch time and a fairly tight space between the clothes rails.
I get fed up of looking at the shirts, and turn to walk away, only to get the scare of a lifetime. This man yells "OH JESUS CHRIST!" right next to me. I turn to see the man with a look of sheer terror in his eyes, staring at me for a moment in disbelief. This confused me, a lot. I was about to ask if everything was okay and this guy’s terror turns to a relieved laugh.
Covering his face and turning quite red at the scene he'd just made in a busy store, he said: "I thought you were a mannequin."
39. Familiarity Breeds Contempt
My family moved to the south after I graduated high school, so my brother had two years left and they do block scheduling for classes. All that means is some days he'd get out of school earlier than when we normally had at our old HS. I go to pick him up from school—it’s a three hour bus ride or 15 minute drive if I pick him up—one day about 1 pm, and I'm waiting out in my car in the pickup area kinda near the doors.
Here comes the truancy officer. He says: “Excuse me, miss, but school isn't out yet, you should be in class.” I reply, “I graduated high school already. I'm here picking up my younger brother, he gets out around 1:15-1:30 pm...” He says: “I've seen you here before, you need to be in class. What's your name?” I show him my out of state ID.
He goes, “I know that last name, you DO go here! Come inside to the office.” I say, “Well obviously my brother and I would have the same last name, we're siblings...” I go in because 1) I don't want to keep having this issue every time I pick him up, 2) I do need to collect my brother, as we both have to go to work. We make our way to the office, where the truancy officer tells them to look up my name.
The office lady says: “We don't have a student by that name, we do have another student with same last name.” The officer replies, “That's her then, she just gave me the wrong name on purpose.” The office lady tells him, “The other student is male, sir. She doesn't go here.” I chime in: “That would be my brother, could you page him for me?”
The truancy officer argues, “No, I've seen her here before, she goes to school here.” The office lady says: “Sir, she doesn't go here; we have no record of any student with her name. Leave her be.” My brother arrives to the office, looking confused. He says: “Hey sis, you ready to go?” The truancy officer still doesn’t get it. He says: “See? She does go here! Why would she know students if she doesn't?”
My brother replies: “My sister is here to pick me up from school, she isn't in the system because She. Is. Not. A. Student.” Truancy officer: “But I see her every day outsi-“ My brother turns to the office lady and asks if we are okay to dip out; she says yes, so we skedaddle. As we're leaving we can hear the office lady trying to explain to the truancy officer that all current students are in the system and that if he brings in one more random person that he "sees outside everyday" claiming they're a student, she's gonna file a complaint on him.
My brother tells me, “I've only been going here for a month and I already know that guy is a moron.”
40. The Ice Breaker
My fiancé and I met at university, many many miles away from his home city. We were in some of the same classes, and romance blossomed. We’d been a couple for a few months when he said that his parents were coming to see him and wanted to meet me as well. The plan was for us to all go out for dinner together the evening they arrived, however my boyfriend had an unmissable meeting scheduled just before we were meant to be leaving.
We decided that I’d go ahead and meet them alone (and be interrogated…) and my boyfriend would try to hurry up the meeting and go straight to the restaurant from there. I caught the bus into town, however it was just my luck that it broke down halfway through the journey, meaning that I was about 15 minutes behind schedule.
I caught my boyfriend just before his meeting to tell him, and he passed on the message to his parents, who replied almost instantly saying that they were already in the restaurant, and gave the location of their table so I could just join them when I got there. This restaurant was fancy-ish—you’d definitely wear smart-casual clothing to dine there, and staff were all in similar dress of white shirt/blouse, pressed trousers and smart shoes.
I was wearing the smartest dress I had that which was a dark red, definitely not uniform. I get there 10ish-minutes late and a little bit sweaty and out of breath, and spotted my boyfriend’s parents (I’d seen pictures of them so I knew what they looked like) sitting on a table. I put on a “don’t let them know you’re nervous” smile and walked over there.
I say, “Hi there, sorry I’m late, it’s lovely to meet you.” My mother-in-law goes: “Oh, someone’s already taken our drinks order, we’ll be ready to order food when the rest of our party gets here.” I reply, “I’m not your waitress, I’m [my name], [fiancé’s name]’s girlfriend. Sorry for being late.” My poor future mother-in-law turned the colour of my red dress.
She apologized for a good two minutes while my future father in law had a fit of the giggles.
41. Blinded By The White
So me and my girlfriend were hanging out in this store that had a bit of everything, when she decides to look for some covers for her phone, I stayed in a corridor nearby looking at the tech stuff when suddenly, a lady comes up to me. I was wearing jeans and a red polo, I guess she mistook me for an employee even if they had a blue uniform.
Lady: “Hey you, can you tell me where I can get [item]?” I look around for a second before looking back at her and saying, “I don't know, I don't w-” She interrupted me before I could say the magic word "I don't work here." I couldn’t believe what came out of her mouth. She told me: “You brown people are all the same don't know how to treat customers, disgusting!”
I'm about to go to my girlfriend and tell her the story about this crazy lady, but before I could reach her, this lady comes back. I kid you not, she starts spraying those house deodorant sprays in my face, blinding me. Lady: “Serves you right for being lazy and [insert super inappropriate slur].” Me: “HELP!” My girlfriend heard me yelling and came.
Before I could say anything, I could hear my girlfriend calling the authorities. I guess staff didn't let her leave, because when I could see again after washing my eyes, she was crying and getting detained. Officers asked If I'd like to press charges. I said yes. Even if I was an employee there, that’s no way to treat people.
42. Ma’am This Is (Not) A Wendy’s
I’m at Walmart and a lady asks for help with a heavy item. I talked to her for a while then continued to do my shopping. I went through checkout and the lady was talking to the manager by the registers. She pointed at me and the manager smiled. I walked up to them as the manager explained that I actually work at Wendy’s.
The lady was slightly embarrassed but we walked out together. I loaded the stuff into the back seat and talked to her husband that was waiting for her. She kept saying “you know” just like my great-grandmother. The next day, my manager asked if I was the one that helped the lady at Walmart. So, I do a little nice thing and this lady goes out of her way to tell my manager about it—and I remember it for the rest of my life!
43. Eyewitness Account
This story is kinda different. So, I did work there, but I saw it happen to someone who didn’t. I was working in lawn and garden section, I see this autistic young man. I guessed he was autistic, as he seemed predominantly focused on his action and kinda had the actions of an autistic individual. This young man is sorting and moving potted flowers around putting them in a very specific order, matching colors, size of pots, and height of the flowers themselves—doing an amazing job at it too I may add.
He is bothering no one and most folks are just noticing him doing a bang-up job, But this one old crone of a woman sees him "working." She stands behind this young man arms folded and tapping her foot. At first, I was thinking maybe it was her son or someone she was shopping with, but the next thing she did told me that assumption was wrong.
She clears her throat in that dreaded fashion we all know, "Ahem...excuuuuuuuse me, you need to help me." The young man pays her no mind, continuing with his task. She doesn't like this, so she clears her voice and replies louder,” YOU ARE NOT LISTENING TO ME, YOU ARE GOING TO HELP ME NOW!!!” Before I can walk to her and ask her what she needs, she reaches out and grabs this young man by the right arm just above his elbow.
I guess the sudden action of this and the young man's condition caused him to spin around and jerk his arm away from this lady. The sudden movement startled the old woman causing her to step backward and lose her balance, causing her to sit down on her behind. It was like in slow motion watching her go from standing to sitting on the ground.
By the time I reached the young man to see if he was okay, his mother had shown up and was asking what had happened, before I could say anything the woman who had caused this was up and berating this young man. Saying he attacked her and she will have him fired and detained by the authorities, meanwhile this young man was almost crying and his mother was shocked.
I told the mom to take her son and calm him down, that he has done nothing wrong and just to make sure he is okay. The crazy old women didn't like that I took his side, she began to lie and tell me she was the victim and she didn't do anything, that the employee (young man) attacked her. Well, I wasn’t about to let her do any more damage than she already had.
I told her not so kindly that a. she was a liar and I had witnessed the whole incident and b. the young man she had forcibly grabbed does not work here and that she had attacked him. By then, a crowd had gathered, and the crazy woman had noticed that no one is believing her side of the story. She just puts her head down and walks quickly out the store.
When I turn to check on the young man and his mother, she was smiling at me and was thanking me for my help. She shops there regularly and the young man liked to arrange the flowers, it's calming to him. I express my regrets about the whole incident, and the young man walked over to me and patted my shoulder once and went back to the flowers.
The mom informed me that was basically the equivalent of a high five from him!
44. New Year, Old Job
Last holiday season I worked seasonally for Target. It was a disaster from the start. The managers had absolutely no organization whatsoever. I should have known when they scheduled me for my second interview and the manager didn’t even show up I was screwed. Towards the end of the holiday season after Christmas and before New Years, they offered me a non-seasonal part-time position.
I was going to accept but they wanted me to work a TON for part-time and being a college student, they were not willing to be flexible at all. So I said, “Nope, I am done after my last day on January 6.” Everything was good after I was done with that trainwreck and I was starting off my second semester. I had basically forgotten about my disastrous time there—until the phone rang.
It was January 20 at 5:00 PM, two weeks exactly since the last time I’d been there. The manager says: “Hey this is so-and-so, are you running a little late? You were supposed to work at 4:30.” I reply: “Ummm no. I quit over three weeks ago” The manager says: “Uhhh, well we are really short-staffed. Can you come in anyway?”
I tell him: “No. I do not work there anymore, I told you that, and I’m at school.” They won’t give up. He says: “Are you sure you can’t come in anyway?” Thank goodness I’m done with that disaster!
45. Thanks For The Shirt
My boss went to an outlet mall for Black Friday shopping, and told me this one today. Some random woman asks her: “Excuse me, do you have more of these?” My boss ignores her, continuing to look through the rack. The lady literally throws this sweater across the rack and into my boss’s face, yelling: “I asked you a question and you can answer me right now!” My boss’s reply was legendary.
She says “Thanks!” and decides to buy this sweater just to irritate this lady, and leave the store. After checking out, the crazy lady is screaming over the crowd, “Stop! Where the heck are you think you’re going with MY sweater!” She runs after my boss and grabs her bag, screaming like a madwoman. She’s slapping at my boss, calling her all sorts of things—and insisting she gets fired!
My boss just kept saying, “I don’t work here!” “GET AWAY!” etc. Security shows up to pull the lady away, and she SCRATCHED at their faces!! She gets restrained, falls to the floor and tries to fake a seizure saying, “You’re making me have a seizure,” ‘cause that’s how seizures work. She also yells, “Call 9-1-1!” Well, officers show up, and the madwoman is loaded into the back of the car, AND SHE SPITS ON THE WINDOW! My boss made her statement, and wore the sweater to work today. It’s her new favorite.
46. Jamie Lee Curtis, Eat Your Heart Out
One day, I was shopping at the local Walmart and had my headphones in. These headphones are incredibly nice and a gift from my parents. I had just gotten off work and was in business casual, khakis and a plain grey polo. No logo. Nothing to indicate that I worked at Walmart. I was looking in the freezer section for some ice cream for dessert that night when someone yanks my headphones off my head and they fall on the ground.
Cue Karen starting to yell at me. "I have been trying to get your attention for five minutes! You shouldn't be listening to music while you work! How can you help customers if you can't even hear them!?" She screeched at me. Now I am seeing red. If she damaged my headphones there was going to be a big problem. I lean down to pick up my headphones.
Then, I say to this crazy lady, "Don't you ever touch me you crazy witch. I don't work here you stupid idiot. Touch me again and I will scream so loud the whole store will hear." "Don't you talk to me like that! I am a customer!" She said as she grabbed my bicep to haul me to a manager like a child to be punished. So I let her have it.
I screamed the loudest scream I could possibly imagine. I actually lost my voice for the next day because of it. It startled her so bad that she let me go and dropped her purse. Not even 20 seconds later a manager comes running with the security guy. The manager demanded to be told what was going on. I told him this crazy witch attacked me.
She tore my headphones off my head and grabbed me. I feared for my life (a complete embellishment) so I screamed. By now we have an audience, and the manager takes us both and separates us. Luckily for me, a very nice woman was a little farther down the aisle and saw the whole thing and told the security guy what happened and backed up my story.
She got what was coming—and so did I. The manager asked if I wanted to press charges and I told him no. I just want my ice cream and to go home. He told me to take it. It was on him. As I was leaving I saw the crazy witch getting thrown out of Walmart by the security guy and being told to never set foot in the store again.
47. Some Assembly Required
This happened several years ago. I was the nighttime charge nurse over the ICU. I’d just finished a 12-hour shift at my hospital that had turned into a 14-hour shift. I was exhausted and had to return for a fourth shift in nine hours. All I wanted were some items to drop in the slow cooker so I’d have something to eat when I got up later that night.
I stopped at a well-known big box store that sells groceries, clothes, electronics.. the works. I’m wearing royal blue scrubs, a name badge with a big RN under it and forgot to take my stethoscope off so it’s hanging around my neck. The employees here...well...don’t wear that. As I’m walking towards the store I see an elderly couple struggling to load a large box in their SUV parked at the front of the store.
And I mean old. 90+ Shaky hands. Teetering around with limited mobility. No way would his hips take the weight without snapping...and I’ve worked enough tonight. I approach quickly and address the female half of the couple offering help. It was gladly accepted and I got their TV loaded with very little difficulty. It was more cumbersome than heavy.
I’m chatting with the woman who is explaining it’s a gift for their son and her husband hadn’t wanted to wait for help. I’d wondered why an employee wasn’t helping. That’s when it happened. This woman yells, “Hey! Hey!” at me. Startled, me and the nice lady stop our conversation and look over. It’s a lady in her 50s dressed in a cheap-looking beige pantsuit with a “get your manager” hairstyle standing about 15 feet away with a hand on her overly broad hip.
She says, “IF you are ABOUT done. I need help over here.” She then points to her cart with two boxes of bookshelves…some assembly required. I realize she thinks I work here. I start to say, “Oh sorry. I don’t work...” and she cuts me off, yelling: “You are already making me late! Just get it done! ...and DON’T scratch my paint up.”
The elderly lady and I exchange looks of disbelief and I try again. “I don’t work he—” but once again, she cuts me off and says, “Just get it done!” She then steps away from her cart to grab her purse grumbling about “stupid idiots” and is digging for her keys when disaster strikes. The cart rolls further away and one wheel goes off the curb.
The entire uneven load causes the cart to topple over. I instinctively jump forward to try to prevent everything from falling...I was unsuccessful. This awful woman, who has now turned to see her particle board bookshelves spilled out on the cement. Corners of the boxes crushed and one has torn open with a few pieces and packaging now exposed.
The awful woman completely loses her mind and begins raging. She’s swearing at me and yelling: “You moron! Pick them up! ARGH. I’m going to have you fired! You owe me new bookshelves! And I’m late!” At this point, I’m done. I yell: “Pick them up yourself! I DON’T WORK HERE!” I then turn to go inside when I feel her grab my sleeve and try to yank me around.
I jerk my sleeve out of out of grip and turn to face her now violently red face. She opens her mouth to start screaming again but I put my finger in her face and say: “No! Don’t touch me! Shut your mouth! I do not work here, and even if I did. I’d quit before I help you clean up your pile of garbage!” She stands there speechless.
Like a bottom-feeding fish, her mouth opening and closing. She is absolutely sputtering in shock that I’ve dared raise MY voice at HER. That’s when the manager and an employee come out. As this awful woman sees the manager and finds her voice. I couldn’t believe what she did next. She says: “Are you the manager? This man damaged my bookshelves and is refusing to pay for them.”
I just stare in shock. Seriously?! She’s finally realized that a man in bright blue scrubs with a stethoscope and a big RN badge really doesn’t work here. But instead of apologizing, she chooses to double down on the craziness and now accuses me of breaking her stuff. Before I can voice my denial, the elderly gentleman I’d helped earlier steps in and explains the situation to the manager.
The awful woman is still voicing complaints but the manager realizes the real situation and apologizes to me and the couple. I’m still standing by watching angrily as the manager deals with the woman and inspects the bookshelves. They are not damaged. He offers her two new boxes but she is now done with the whole situation. She says no.
She’s already too late because of me. Just glares over at me and says to the manager, “Just load them. I’m already late enough because of this!” The manager and employee then lift the boxes up and get them wedged into the woman’s car. As I shake my head and go to enter the store I’m stopped by the elderly lady I’d helped earlier.
She says: “Sir. Thank you so much for helping us with the TV. I’m so sorry some people are so rude.” She then reaches for my hand to shake. As she folds both her fragile hands around mine, I can feel something in her palm she’s giving me. She whispers: “Don’t look yet. Wait till she leaves.” I slide the package into my scrub pocket and the nice lady walks away.
The terrible woman then gets in her car and, without apologizing or thanking anyone, peels out and drives away. I finally enter the store to grab my food items. When I reached into my pocket and pulled out what she’d given me, I was utterly astonished. It was a plastic bag with a bunch of screws and hardware. I realize immediately that the sweet little old lady took advantage of the commotion to take the hardware out of the terrible woman’s ripped box.
I couldn’t believe it. I had the biggest grin on my face as I did my shopping. And I have a new petty revenge hero to idolize.
48. Every Office Needs An Otis
A while back I was working in an office that allowed dogs. It was an open floor plan and since customers never came into the office, we kept the dog food and water bowls right by the front door, just because it was the most convenient space and no one else would see them but us who worked there. Of the six of us who worked in the main office area, I was the only one who didn’t have a dog and I always felt horribly left out.
To make matters worse, across the way was a doggie daycare. One day, a very frantic woman came in and she had an absolutely massive Basset Hound with her. Usually, the only people who came into the office were associates who had appointments with someone working there, but it was rare they brought their dogs. She ran up to me and said, “Do you work here?”
I said, “Yes, how can I help you?” And she said, “I wasn’t sure if you took walk ins but I read online I could just drop him off? I tried to call but no answer.” I didn’t know what she was talking about at that point and I said, “Come again? Who did you call exactly?” Thinking if I could just saddle her off to whoever she came to see, I wouldn’t have to decipher her problem.
She said, “Well it doesn’t matter now. Look, something urgent has come up and I really need to leave him here. Here’s his food he likes and I’ll be back in a few hours and—" At this point I wasn’t thinking of the doggie daycare. I thought maybe she was a friend of someone here. I said, “Well alright, can I get your name please?” And she said her name and then asked if I needed her to sign anything.
I was so confused at this point I just said, “Why would I need you to sign something?” And she left almost immediately. So I took Otis (the dog) to the back and showed him to my coworkers and no one knew the woman or dog. I was worried she wouldn’t come back, but at the same time, my wish for an office dog had been granted! And Otis was supremely chill.
All he did all day was lie around and drool onto his own ears. I just freshened him up every now and then, took him out every couple hours, and he was happy as a clam on a big cushy dog bed we thankfully had an extra of. He just loved attention from anywhere he could get it. At the end of the day the woman, thank God, came back. She said, “Thanks, you’re a lifesaver. How was he?”
I said, “He was a champ.” And was about to say “But why is he here” when she said, “That’s a relief. Most kennels say he gets anxious around other dogs. I heard you operated at a much higher capacity, I was thrilled to see you had so few clients in the room at one time. So, how much do I owe?” It honestly took me this long to realize what had happened.
She thought we were the dog daycare. Now, I probably should’ve corrected her. But I loved my day with the office dog and I did want to get paid for supervising this strange dog all day. I just threw out the number that sounded fair and appropriate “That’ll be $20.” I said. She replied “Reaalllly?!” In this very high tone, and I couldn’t tell if I’d overshot or undershot.
But she paid me and left. My coworkers were laughing hysterically when they realized what had happened and we thought it would just be a good story for the future. Wrong. The next week...she came back! She said we were so much more affordable and less overcrowded than her other place, and that she was happy to use us. I was glad for the company so just took him.
I didn’t think there was any way she couldn’t have at least some idea we weren’t a dog daycare. The whole ordeal was so strange I just figured, “don’t question a good thing.” I was much younger and dumber then. Not long after, Otis started getting dropped off two, sometimes even three or four days a week. I was in heaven. He was such a love. And he made fast friends with the delivery guys and visitors.
One day, we took our office Christmas card photo and Otis was over that day, so we included him. In a Santa hat. It was pretty great. But it turns out Otis’ owner was friends with one of our clients who I guess happened to have the card out on her table or was kind enough to display it alongside her other holiday cards. Because one day, Otis’ owner came in holding the card and walked up to me and said, “I can’t even believe I’m asking this but... is that my dog in this photo? This isn’t a dog daycare at all. This is just an office, isn’t it.” I froze in my tracks.
She said it with a note of surprise, as though she was looking around and putting it all together for the first time. No coincidence that this was the first time she wasn’t in some crazy rush either. She was like, “Then who are all these other dogs?!” And I explained. I was terrified she was going to demand her money back, or worse, take some sort of action against us for misrepresenting ourselves as a dog care business, or complain to corporate.
Instead, she basically said, “Why didn’t you ever say anything!” And I explained we just really liked having Otis around. She stopped for a minute and seemed to be thinking and said, “Is that right?” And I said yes and told the story of how I was the only one in the office without a dog so loved the company. She seemed a little flummoxed or hesitant, understandably, because the whole thing was so weird.
She turned to my coworker and asked if I was telling the whole truth. I don’t know why she thought my coworker, also a stranger to her, was any more trustworthy than me, but hey. Strange times. Coworker backed me up. So she said, “Well, I wish you’d said something sooner. Could’ve saved me a lot of embarrassment with my friend back there. Alright, I have to get going. See you at 4:00.” And she left Otis!
I couldn’t believe it! I said, “So he can stay?!” And she replied, “Where else could I find someone to watch him one on one all day for $20?” And off she went. Otis stayed my office dog until his family moved away, luckily right around the same time I took a new job.
49. That’ll Teach Him A Lesson
My niece is from Bavaria, and I am from Baden-Wurttemberg. Her summer vacation started a whole week earlier than ours, and she came for a visit with my brother and her siblings. It was in the morning and we decided to take the dog for walk and go to the bakery on the other side of the street of a big school complex. I went in, while she stayed outside with dog. When I came out, my blood ran cold.
She was gone. I decided to call her on the cellphone, and she says “Thank god you’re calling.” Some guy in the background is yelling: “How dare you take a phone call while I am talking to you, you are in enough trouble for skipping class.” As I later found out, he ripped the phone out of her hand, and must have hung up.
I realized what must have happened, and went into the school to clear up this misunderstanding. I go right away to the principal’s office hoping my niece would either be there, or soon be brought in by a teacher. Outside, I can already hear him screaming at her. He’s saying: “Stop giving me a fake name and stop lying, you won´t get out of here until I have the truth! I promise you this will be mentioned in your permanent record!”
I did not bother knocking and went right in. He looked at me and yells, “Who are you? How dare you just come in here without knocking!” I say: “I am this girl’s uncle, what do you think you’re doing here? She doesn’t go to your school!” I couldn’t believe his reaction. He says, “Ah, I guess you where the one on the phone. Nice try, but you will not help her trick her way out of this. I will get to the bottom of this, and I will only release her to her parents. Now get out of my office or I will call the authorities and have you detained by the authorities for trespassing in a school!”
I say: “I will stay right here to protect my niece from you. Calling the authorities sounds like a really good idea—after all, you’ve abducted my niece.” So I made the call and told them my niece had been abducted and that a strange man was holding her at the principal’s office of the local school. This idiot still couldn’t wrap his head around the mistake he’d made.
He yells: “Do you really expect me to believe your fake phone call ?” Then he started to shout at my niece again, who at that point was in tears. I told him: “STOP SHOUTING AT MY NIECE, you will not address her till the authorities are here, or I WILL shut you up.” Then he says he’s calling the authorities to have me detained. So he called them, only to find out that my initial call to them was real.
Suddenly, he wasn’t so sure anymore, and you could tell the cogs in his head where finally start to turn. About five minutes later the authorities finally arrived, and they asked us separately. Here is roughly what my niece told them. She was waiting outside the bakery, when this random guy came at her, screaming like a banshee.
He yelled at her that he is really fed up with people skipping school the last week before vacation starts, and will make an example out of her. Before she could get a word in edgewise, he grabbed her by the arm really hard—hard enough she got a bad bruise for over a week—and that is what started to get him into real trouble.
The officers also took her data, and confirmed she is from Bavaria. They then asked us if we wanted to press charges. I just said throw the book at him. The guy heard the authorities sayíng stuff about pressing charges and suddenly realized he was in it real deep, so he came over. He starts going: “Hey, this is just a misunderstanding, you have to understand I have to be strict with people skipping school.”
I say to him, “If by being strict you mean attacking a 12-year-old so badly she has a handprint from you on her arm that will create a huge bruise, abducting her from my care, and wrongfully imprisoning her in your office while screaming at her and scaring the beejezus out of her, then no, I DO NOT HAVE TO UNDERSTAND THAT!”
He’s saying please, it’s blown out of proportion, he could get suspended or lose his job. I wasn’t having it. I said that anybody who treats a scared 12-year-old girl like that should not get to work with kids. In the end, he really did lose his job, and I am very glad he did. During the investigation, it turned out he was a sorry excuse for a teacher who belittled kids, who always took the teacher’s side no matter how wrong they were, and had even slapped kids on several occasions.
He went to court for assault and attempted abduction plus wrongful imprisonment, plus a few more bodily harms against students. He lost his job and pension, got two years on probation and 500 hours community service with the stipulation that it could be nothing that involved kids. He was also forbidden to ever work with kids again.
50. She’s Got The Look
I have experiences like this constantly. I think it might be due to having spent 17 years in the service industry. I just have that look. So, this time, my buddy was taking me out to a fancy French restaurant as a treat and I was pretty gussied up. I really enjoy getting dolled up and wearing a beautiful dress to enjoy a wonderful meal.
However, the city I live in (Portland, Oregon) has a reputation for diners dressing down, even in fine dining restaurants. I only mention this because the staff tends to be better dressed than the clientele. I was wearing all black with my hair in an elaborate up-do and chandelier earrings. I think the all black is what started everything.
This particular restaurant has a well-known (and frankly down-right foxy) chef who typically works at a station showing off and plating where everybody can see him. It’s also near the door to the only washroom and the server station. It’s a huge restaurant and with only the one washroom, there was a bit of a line. I waited and waited and at one point I think the chef and I exchanged a few pleasantries.
When I was next in line, a middle-aged man in a Portland-issue plaid button up and jeans got in line behind me. He had cranky energy and was shifting from foot-to-foot. It didn’t seem like he had to go badly, just that he was impatient. I had been waiting much, much longer than him and found his constant sighing and scoffing irritating. Well, it was downright pleasant compared to what happened next.
When it was my turn I reached for the door only to have this awful man push in front of me and nearly knock me over shoving himself into the open door. I was so taken aback I just sort of froze and said, “Excuse me, I was next.” Which is when he wheeled around started YELLING about how he wasn’t about to wait while, “some waitress changed her tampon.”
Then he yelled at the chef that he should have a staff bathroom, because it’s “disgusting” that the staff use the same bathroom as guests and implied he might not pay for his meal because of it. I stood there in absolute shock (and a full bladder) while this man took care of his business. Clearly taking his sweet time out of spite. Maybe. Something about his personality made me think he hadn’t taken a normal poop in years.
The chef apologized to me and a waiter who had been at the server station commiserated. I decided screw it. I DON’T work here, but even if I did there is no reason to be treated like I’m not a human. Seriously, dude. You’re wearing muddy Teva sandals and suddenly acting like we’re in Downton Abbey. When he came out I used my entire body to block his path out of the bathroom and gave him a stern, but quiet lecture.
I told him how a) I actually wasn’t an employee and b) there is nothing wrong with sharing the bathroom with the staff and told him that he had ruined what should have been a special night out. Again, this all happened in full view of the entire kitchen staff and several members of the wait staff. I hadn’t realized it at time, but this jerk was actually seated directly next to my friend on the banquet.
His female dining companion had been sitting next to me. I had been gone easily 20 minutes and my friend was confused and annoyed. I figured at that point I had nothing to lose, so I loudly explained what happened while gesturing to the awful man and making pointed eye contact with the woman. The man looked furious and the woman just silently glared at him. But that wasn’t the best part.
After a few minutes, the waiter wordlessly dropped their check. They were mid-meal and hadn’t been offered dessert. It was clearly a very pointed, but polite, “screw you, get out” from the staff after his rant. They paid without incident and as they got up to leave he tried to put his hand on her shoulder only to have her jerk away and say, “don’t touch me.”
My friend and I got a cheese plate and glasses of sparkling rose as a gift from the restaurant. Cheers!