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Karens Behaving Badly: Customer Service Horrors

Violet Newbury

People who work in the service industry deal with a lot of nonsense, but disgruntled customers are probably their biggest problem. These ‘Karens’ throw temper tantrums in front of everyone, complain about menial things, and stiff hardworking staff out of their tips. Oftentimes, they act out for reasons that the employees have no control over. Below are some customer service horror stories that will make one think twice before letting out steam on these helpless souls.


1. All Choked Up

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I was waiting on a couple at the steak restaurant where I worked. Suddenly, the man stood up and held his throat. He was obviously choking. He started turning different colors and was in need of help. I began giving him the Heimlich maneuver, and after several tries, some steak popped out and the man could breathe again.

It was a big spectacle. The customers and wait staff were shaken for a couple of minutes. Without even saying thank you, the wife of the choking man asked me to box up the uneaten portion of their meals. But it gets worse—there was a crust of Texas toast left on the plate that I didn’t remember to include in their to-go box. The woman yelled at me for not including it and did not leave a tip.

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2. She’s Got Some Wires Crossed

I used to fix computers for faculty members at my local university. One day, I went to the Women’s Studies department to fix some minor hardware issues. The female professor I encountered actually asked me, “Is there maybe a guy that can come instead? Nothing personal; they’re just wired better for this kind of work.” I returned to my office and sent the least competent guy that we had.

kesi

3. She Needed To Pipe Down

I was around 18 years old and working in the lumber department at a home improvement chain. I was on the second story rack, standing on the forklift forks and trying to handle a solid-core front door, which was extremely heavy, out of the shelf to bring down to the floor for a customer. I had it halfway out of the rack, precariously maneuvering it onto the forks when a little old lady walked up.

She asked sweetly, “Excuse me, sir! Can you point me to the plumbing section?” I replied, grunting, because the door was heavy, “One moment, ma’am. Let me get this door down, and I’ll show you.” Her response took me by complete surprise: “You idiots never have a product labeled right! I’m tired of this store’s garbage! Way too expensive, too!” I froze, staring at her with my mouth agape.

The original customer I was helping actually put his hands over his son’s ears. She was Jekyll and Hyde personified. Luckily, right when the old biddy started her rant, my manager happened to walk by. He stopped, walked right up to the lady, and said, “I don’t care who you are, but no one deserves to be talked to like that. Leave the store NOW.” It was perfect timing.

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4. Put Out To Dry

The cash register where we entered the food orders was situated about ten feet away from the bathroom. As I was entering someone’s order, this dude walked out of the bathroom, came up to me, and he did the most disgusting thing—he started wiping his hands on my arm. “You’re out of paper towels,” he said and walked out of the restaurant. I was so shocked I couldn’t even say anything before he was gone.

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5. Suited For Trouble

I was the sales manager at an electronics retail store. I was helping out on the sales floor when a young couple came in. The guy was probably about 6’5” and built. They were looking for a new computer, so we started talking about what they were going to use it for. The guy excused himself to use the restroom, and I kept talking to his wife.

Then, a young guy in a business suit came up behind me while I was still talking, grabbed my shoulder, and said, “Excuse me, I need your help. Do you have ‘Software X’ in stock?” I told him that I didn’t think we did, but that I was in the middle of helping another customer and that he could go check upfront if he was in a hurry.

I turned back and continued speaking with the lady I was helping. About two minutes later, I felt a shock through my body. I felt someone grab my arm from behind me, twist it and start pulling me backward. The lady I was helping had a horrified look on her face as I got dragged away. I finally spun myself around and realized it was the guy in the business suit dragging me over.

He then grabbed the back of my neck, pushed it forward, and said, “See? You have the software in stock, and it’s right there. I want your manager and I want you fired.” I was too dumbfounded to speak for a second. Meanwhile, I saw the husband of the lady I had been helping return from the bathroom.

He dashed towards me and the customer who had me by the back of the neck. He grabbed the guy in the business suit by both arms and whipped him around and against the wall. He put one of his massive hands on the guy’s shoulder and pinned him against the wall so he couldn’t move, and with his other hand, he pulled out his badge. It was pretty awesome.

smithysmitherson

6. Practice What You Preach

I owned a bed and breakfast in a little southern town. It was a small business— just three rooms in an old farmhouse that was built in 1835. During the off-season, which was late fall through mid-spring, we would give away three-day packages for charity events, such as auctions. We were never in charge of the money that was collected.

A man and his wife booked for a weekend in late March. They showed up on Friday afternoon with their gift certificate from the charity auction, which we gladly accepted. I greeted them as Mr. and Mrs., to which the guy responded, “It’s PASTOR.”  I proceeded to show them their room, inform them of our policies, and explain that there was going to be another couple arriving that evening.

The next morning, I served both couples breakfast, and after the other couple left, the pastor said to me, “I don’t think it’s a good idea to have more than one couple here at a time. Why did you schedule us both?” I told him that we were just like a hotel and it couldn’t be expected that we should only take one room at a time. He didn’t like that answer, not one bit.

He said he found out the other couple was not married, and he was bothered by the idea that we would promote “immorality.” It got worse. We had a huge farm with wonderful little gardens and nice spots to sit and enjoy the country. I walked out to the grounds and found the pastor, sitting on a plastic folding chair, right in front of the entrance to the farmhouse.

I wondered about it, but I didn’t say anything. Later that night, the lady of the other couple came to my door and told me that they were leaving because the pastor had blocked their entrance to the house and began to preach to them about being immoral. I apologized and offered her almost everything I could think of to have her stay.

She was lovely and told me that she knew it wasn’t my fault, but that their weekend was ruined. The following day, I was getting breakfast ready, and I saw the pastor putting his luggage in their car. They had another night left, so I was kind of confused. I walked out the driveway, and I said, “I think maybe there is a miscommunication; you have another night.”

He said, “Your air conditioning is broken, so we are leaving.”  I told him that I could check on it since it might just not have been on. It was still cool out, and, in fact, the heat might have been on. He looked at me and said, “No, it was too hot last night, and YOU should have known that. I want my money back!” For SOME reason, I was still trying to keep the whole thing friendly.

I explained to him that I didn’t receive any money from him, that the certificate he used was from a charity auction, so I am not even sure what he paid, to which he responded, “Well, I paid $110, and I didn’t pay that to sleep in a hot room next to sinners, so you better write a check.” I told him that I would not be issuing a check since ONE night at our regular rate is $100.

Therefore, his nightly rate was less than a third of that, and I didn’t receive any of that money. I walked back inside and began to shut down, making breakfast. About five minutes later, he came back to the door and he caught me completely off-guard. He said, “We’ll be taking our breakfast and my check now.” I explained that I would be happy to put his breakfast in a box, but I was not giving him any money.

They left, and there was a letter in his room to me, telling me that he was going to call his lawyer. Two weeks later, I got a package in the mail with their name on the return address. I was both scared and intrigued to open it. It was a letter from his wife, whom I didn’t hear more than two words from during their trip.

She apologized for her husband’s behavior. She told me she knew I had not done anything wrong, that the room was charming, there was no issue with the heat. She said that since her husband had become a born-again Christian and an online minister, he had become a complete terror. She included $200 in cash and asked that I not contact her since she was trying to get officially separated from him.

papillon24

7. Tag Session Showdown

I worked at a laser tag center in an indoor amusement park. If we weren’t busy, customers could start a 15-minute session right away. But if we were busy, customers would have to leave their names on a list, and I would tell them when their session would start. I would call it on the loudspeaker five minutes before it would be scheduled.

It was a Saturday mid-day, and the place was packed. A woman had a day-care group of at least 20 kids, and she was the only one watching them. She put her party’s name on the list. I told her when their session would start. The time came, and she and only about five of the kids showed up. She told me to wait for the rest of the kids to get there. This put me in an awkward situation.

Twenty minutes passed, and the next group was waiting to play. Another ten minutes passed, and there were fewer of the woman’s children there than there were before. I let the next group in and told her that her group would be the first ones in once they were all together. My manager interrupted the game I was attending to send me home. The woman screamed at me, saying I was discriminating against her. I quit after that.

squidwalk

8. His Stunt Made Zero Sense

An older man came in by himself and ordered dinner and a drink for a total of $30. A table of college kids also came in and sat a few tables away, and they ordered dinner and appetizers for a total of $150. My service to the old guy was sharp. I was professional and attentive—all was well. When I asked him how everything was, he was very curt and didn’t even look at me.

He ordered another martini, stopped me, and said, “I want you to add those kids’ bills to mine anonymously, and I want you to tell them not to pay you or tip you. And I want to hear you say it to them.”  His demeanor was still terse and cold, but no problem. I had been doing this for a decade and I was cool with whatever.

The other table was about five feet away, across an aisle. I told them the news, and they were psyched. The guy asked for his check, and I brought it. The total bill for both tables was about $185. He handed me a credit card, and I rang him up. I placed the check holder in front of him, thanked him for coming, and began to walk away, at which point he said, “Wait. I want you to see this.”

He made a big show out of signing a big ZERO on the tip line. He looked at me square in the face, stone-cold, like someone daring you to say something smart. It had been clear that this guy was weird from the start, so I said in a sincere tone and with proper courtesy, “Have a nice evening, sir,” just as I would have if he had tipped me appropriately.

He stared me in the eye for a fraction of a second, which felt much longer. He reached into his breast pocket, pulled out a fifty, and said, “That’s for you.” I thanked him. He got up, put on his cowboy hat, and walked out—not a word to the kids whose dinner he’d just bought, not another word to me.

PopMagruder

9. Mean-Spirited Mamma

In high school, I worked as a waitress at a pizza place. The manager would hire mentally challenged people to wash dishes and bus tables during the weekends. One weekend, we were swamped, and things were getting a bit crazy. A woman with four or five kids was sitting close to the waitress station. It wasn’t my table, but I could tell she looked angry.

One of the mentally challenged workers was busing tables and walked by her. The woman grabbed the worker’s arm and swung her around. She yelled at her for not bringing out the appetizer or something. I walked over to the woman, told her that the woman was not one of the wait staff members, and asked what I could get for her. Her reaction shocked me.

She then got out of her chair, called the worker a name, and walked off. I was speechless. I felt horrible. I don’t think the woman knew what she had just said. Then one of the woman’s children told me, “Sorry about my mommy. She is mean.” I told her, “It’s not your fault,” and patted her on the head. The woman came back, grabbed her kids and coat, and left. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to tell the woman that her daughter was more grown-up than she was.

lindseymoo

10. A Big McPain

I was working at McDonald’s, and during one of my first days there, an old man and his granddaughter came through my line. He wanted a Big Mac without this and with extra that. I was just learning the register, so I had him repeat the order several times. I apologized constantly and I could feel the sweat gathering at my brow.

He started mumbling, “Idiot,” and, “What a bunch of morons they have working here,” as I fumbled for the right keys. He finally got his sandwich, and they went to eat. A while later, the granddaughter appeared in my line, and my heart skipped a beat because I thought I would have to deal with her grandpa again. She said, “I wanted to apologize for my grandpa’s behavior.” It makes me mad that she felt responsible for the old man’s bad manners.

scuppie

11. Bodyguard Bodyslam

I was working as a valet and bellman for a lower-end hotel. One night, LL Cool J was playing at the club down the street and staying at the hotel for a night. I was working the mid-shift when he and his entourage returned in a limo. One of the women from his group came up to me and explained that her husband was wasted.

She told me that he would probably come down sometime later and try to drive. LL’s group had left, so I asked for her last name so I would know who he was if he came down. She told me her last name and said that her husband was one of LL’s bodyguards. I said okay, figuring he wouldn’t come down. A few hours passed and I had nearly forgotten about it when the biggest man I had ever seen came stumbling through the lobby.

As soon as he opened the front doors, he screamed, “HEY, VALET.” He stumbled over and shoved his ticket in my face. He exclaimed he really needed his car, but I looked at his ticket to confirm that it was the right guy. Not wanting to risk getting stomped into the ground by telling him that he was too trashed to drive, I took his keys and ran towards the parking lot. That’s when things started to get heated.

I looped back around through the bushes to a house phone on the side of the hotel and called security. I could see him through the bushes getting angry that it was taking so long. He started walking toward the valet lot, screaming,  “VAAALET, HEY VAAALET!” I looped back around and met him. I apologized and told him that I thought his car was in the other lot. He cursed at me and told me to give him the keys.

I told him to wait and that I would have it right up. He was having none of it and he came after me, missing my shirt by only a few inches and almost falling on his face. I ran toward the valet desk while he gave chase. Luckily, I was able to make it around the other side of the desk. We then proceeded to play ring around the Rosie while he swatted at me across the desk with his five-foot-long arms.

Finally, the head of security showed up alone, and his eyes popped out of his head when he saw what was going on. He passed some code on the radio to call the authorities and managed to calm the guy down a little bit. The guy argued with security for a few minutes while lunging at me for his keys every so often. Law enforcement finally came screaming in, and the guy bolted for the door and the elevators.

The two officers were no match for the guy. He threw one of them to the ground while they tried to cuff him. While the one man was down, the elevator door opened, and he got in while the other officer drew his taser. Four more officers showed up while the one with the taser yelled something at the guy in the elevator. He then lit him up, and then I heard a thud.

I saw the guy’s feet kicking out the end of the elevator. All the officers stormed in, cuffed him, and dragged him out. They struggled to carry him. While carried out to the cruiser, he saw me sitting at the valet desk with his keys still in hand and cursed at me as he was stuffed into the back seat. I just smiled at him until they drove away.

reir

12. Beachside Brawler

I was a thin, young woman working at a small beach restaurant when I was in college. I had a customer punch me in the chest because the restaurant was crowded. He said his dinner took too long to get to him. I went down like a ton of bricks, dropped the tray of food I was carrying, and wiped out a whole table that some other family was sitting at. It happened so fast I didn’t know what was going on. It was bad, but he got what he deserved back—several male customers charged the guy and threw him against a wall. He was taken into custody.

DIGGYRULES

13. Misogynistic Mayhem

A family of four came in, and the dad started slamming drinks. He probably had four or five before they got their appetizers. The couple was a little rough around the edges in general—loud, blunt, and without good manners. The two daughters, who were about eight and ten, were quiet, though…and I could quickly see why.

As the dad got more and more intoxicated, he was really touchy with the girls. He made them sit on his lap, etc. They were visibly uncomfortable. I felt so terrible for them. I brought out one of the appetizer dishes, but the other one took a little longer to cook. I had alerted them of that when they ordered. The dad got angry, saying that the appetizers needed to come out together.

The dad started yelling at me, pointing at me, and calling me a terrible server while the daughters and their mom stared at their laps. He asked to see my manager, so I went to get her. She came out to talk to the guy.  He was furious that there wasn’t a “male boss” available. He was spewing gems like, “Are you kidding? I need to speak with a man about this. You’re telling me that the only manager here is her?” I had never dealt with such an insulting, crude person before.

schmyd

14. Bible Brunchers

I worked in a restaurant. On multiple occasions, I served a Sunday post-church brunch crowd and they told me the most peculiar thing—apparently, I was going to rot in heck for working on a Sunday. The funny thing was that it never occurred to them that I wouldn’t HAVE to work on Sunday if not for them coming in to eat. Not only that, but they would proceed to leave me Bible tracts instead of money as tips.

Wadka

15. A Frosty Reception

I had a family come in for their daughter’s birthday with a handful of her friends. They ordered a round of drinks that I promptly brought to the table. When I gave the father his pint, he requested that I bring his drink back in a frosted mug, not a frosted pint glass. I informed him we didn’t have any mugs in the house, which sent him into a rage.

He called me a liar, flipped the table—breaking several of the gifts, and punched the wall on the way out. This left me, the family, and all of the patrons in a state of shock. The daughter started to cry, and the mother apologized profusely. She said they would pay for the drinks and leave. I tried to be as graceful as possible and suggested they stay as it was still the daughter’s birthday.

I got someone to bring fresh drinks, got help cleaning up the mess, and took their orders. I told the kitchen and management what happened, and everybody pitched in to make the evening better. Their meals were comped, and I made a dessert bonanza for the daughter. By the end of the meal, it was as if the father was never there.

jesuisnapoleon

16. She Thought The Service Was Subpar

I was working at a sub sandwich shop with my manager. We had just finished cleaning everything up, and my manager had his hand on the door lock when a woman desperately came running to the door screaming, “WAIT! WAAAAAAAAAIT!”  My manager gave me the most “Oh God, I’m SO sorry” look and let her in. We proceeded to unwrap ALL of the sandwich-making material.

This involved pulling plastic wrap off of EVERYTHING, re-filling sanitation sinks to wash any dishes we dirty, and basically having to completely re-do all of our closing procedures. The woman ordered somewhere in the neighborhood of 10 sandwiches for ten different people. It sounded as if it was for a party because for each separate sandwich, she had to talk to a different person.

She was shouting into her cell phone and breaking into random bits of other conversation while my manager and I were sitting there trying to get information from her on what to put on the sandwiches. We got her sandwiches done about 25 minutes later and waited for another 10 minutes for her to finish her phone call and come up to the register to pay. But it gets even worse.

She only had a $100 bill, for which we didn’t have proper change. She became exasperated, flustered that she had to use her credit card. Finally, we got everything sorted out, and she gathered up her sandwiches, looked at the clock overhead, and said in the most condescending voice I’ve ever heard, “Don’t you think you guys could have made my sandwiches a bit quicker?

“Now I’ve missed 10 minutes of my TV show! No tip for you!” She then walked out the door. It took us another 20 minutes or so to re-do all of our closing procedures. My manager felt so bad about being the one who let her in that he gave me the full share of the evening’s tip, which was usually split 50/50. Still, people like that lady make me SO GLAD I don’t work in food service anymore.

jangleberry112

17. I Wanted To Pan This Nini

I worked in a cafe on the Jersey Shore during the summer.  A nice-looking woman, who was obviously one of the “summer people,” came in and asked me about our sandwiches. She wanted to know if they were paninis. I told her that we press them on a panini grill, but the bread is just sub bread, not the kind generally used for a panini.

She asked, “So, it’s like a panini?” I said yes…but when she got her sandwich, she surprised me with her next move. She opened it up and threw it at me. She started screaming to speak to a manager. When he came out, she told him that I had lied to her and told her it was a panini, and she refused to pay and wanted me fired. The manager just quietly told her to get out of his store.

MelissaOfTroy

18. Fed Up

I used to work at an ice cream shop that gave away free samples on little spoons. I would usually scoop a little of the desired flavor and hand the spoon to the customer. Some freaks, however, took it to another level—they would eat the ice cream off the spoon while I was still holding it. It was as if they were babies and I was feeding it to them! It didn’t bother me when kids would do it, but when grown men would, it was just awkward.

Andxr

19. She Thought Her Comment Would Be Lost In Translation

I was working at the box office at a rock show at my college. Many customers were frustrated at how expensive the promoters made the tickets for our venue. The promoters were trying to get us to tell ticket buyers that the cheaper seats were sold out to force people into the near-empty orchestra, which was expensive.

We refused to comply, and the aftermath was ridiculous—we got a whole mess of very angry people. Some lady turned to her husband and called me a crazy thief for how pricey the tickets were, thinking I wouldn’t understand the language she was speaking, but I did. I rattled back, “I’m not crazy; go speak to the promoter!” The look of shock was priceless.

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20. Soup Or Salad?

I used to work at a cafe that had this spinach salad with a hot bacon dressing. The dressing was repulsive. It came in a giant tub, and it looked like a spicy, greasy gel that we put in the microwave for about two minutes until it had a nice film on top. Then we would give it to the customer in this side monkey bowl, and they would pour it on their salad.

One day, this HUGE GUY came in and sat at one of my tables. He ordered three cokes off the bat and the spinach salad with hot bacon dressing. I was pretty busy with other tables, so I tried to economize my time by running his dressing over a minute before the cook put his salad in the window. When I swung back to drop off the salad, I noticed the dressing bowl was empty.

I just put the salad down and didn’t say anything. As I was walking away, his face turned tomato red. He screamed out loud to me in full volume, “Waitress, where is my dressing?!” I walked back over to him, and I just said, “Sir, you ate it.” He retorted, “I thought that was my soup!!” I told him he didn’t order any soup.

He was so angry he was turning red. He screamed, “Well, bring me extra for my salad.” I brought it out and later saw him drinking it like soup again.

bigpony

21. What A Nut!

I used to work at a roadhouse grill in Texas, and we kept full buckets of peanuts on the tables. One night, a family came in five minutes after closing, and my manager sat them in my section. I was okay with it, but I had already swept up the peanuts and cleaned my tables. So, I told them, “I hope y’all don’t mind, but I’ve already swept the peanuts.”

The guy flipped out and yelled, “What do you mean we ain’t getting no darn peanuts? Why do you think we come to this hole?” To avoid confrontation, I said, “It’s not a big deal,” but he’d make me soon regret it. He then replied angrily, “You’re darn right it’s not.” As I walked away, he said, “And bring some of them darn buttered rolls while you’re at it.”

The night went on like this until he paid but not before he went off on a tangent about what a terrible server I was. He even went as far as to call me a name. On his way out, he dumped the bucket on the floor, scraped the peanuts over the floor with his feet, cursed at me, and said, “Have fun cleaning that up.” Easily the worst guest I ever served.

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22. Church Chump

A well-dressed older man and his family came in for lunch on a Sunday morning. It was evident that they had just gotten out of the church. I heard yelling, and I asked if I could help since I was both the cook and the manager. He said, “I want to speak to your manager!” I told him, “You’re looking at him. What can I do for you?”

He pointed to the waitress and said, “This hussy here is giving me lip and COLD FRIES. I want to speak to your MANAGER!” Apparently, I was too young-looking to be anyone important, so he just blew his top and threatened me. He told me, “I’m going to make you wish you’d never been born. You’d better watch your back!” I had my waitress call the authorities and throw him out.

rabidkillercow

23. Take Two

I was working at Wendy’s during lunch hour. Usually, I would be on grill or fry duty, but I was on sandwiches this time, which was not my strong suit. An aggressive young businesswoman ordered a junior burger with onions, pickles, and mustard. I made it and was about to put it in the bag when she told me I had made it wrong.

I repeated what she ordered and told her that was what I had made. She told me that I had made something different. I was about to argue with her when my supervisor walked by and stopped me in my tracks. He tossed my sandwich in the trash and rapidly made an identical sandwich. The lady was now finally satisfied.

turtlesallthewaydown

24. I Got Shaken Up

I was called into work one day because they were busy and needed help, so I went in the clothes I was wearing at home. When I arrived, they handed me a fistful of tickets for people who needed drinks and ice cream. I immediately started drilling through the list, getting everything as fast as possible so I could return home.

I took a set of shakes out to a family, and upon giving one customer the shake she asked for, she threw a fit and totally raged. She pulled the lid off the cup and threw the shake all over me. I had caramel, hot fudge, milk, and ice cream all over me. I never did food service ever again after that.

snake0721

25. Award Winning Wiseguy

I managed an upscale steakhouse in a resort town. This couple, who had been there before and always caused trouble, walked in. We sat them at a table, but no one wanted to wait on them. I put up an offer to my staff to try and entice them, and my best waiter took the deal. The meal seemed to go without a hitch. The waiter dropped the check, picked up the credit card, and a few minutes later ran it. The couple signed off and left.

The waiter showed me the credit card receipt. Above the signature line, where it says, “Tip”, the guy wrote a rather rude statement, and it was completely uncalled for. “YO MAMA!” I congratulated him on doing such a good job with such a lousy customer. I took a copy of the receipt, framed it, and hung it on the office door with a note that said, “Congrats, Steven! You win the Biggest Idiotic Customer Award!”

A week later, the couple came back. They put their name on the list and had a seat at the bar. The bartender, who was a BIG guy, came back and informed me of their presence. I told him to let them know that they were not welcome at our restaurant in no uncertain terms and to get their butts out now. I watched as he told them. The guy turned two shades lighter while his wife got a look of shock on her face. They walked out and were never seen again.

disgustipated

26. I Wanted To Throw The Book At Her

When I was in high school, I worked in the children’s room of my local library. The library had an amnesty month every year. People could return overdue books for one month with no fines or fees. Of course, on the last day of amnesty month, the library was packed. People were coming in and returning bags and boxes full of books. It was an absolute mess.

I was scanning books when the phone rang. A woman called and asked if I could renew her books over the phone.  If the library wasn’t crowded, I would’ve been able to. However, the library was packed, and people just kept dumping books on the counter, so I didn’t have time to renew her books over the phone. At the time, the computer system wasn’t capable of renewing a bunch of books all at once.

Therefore, if you didn’t have the physical book, you had to manually enter each book’s title, author, or ISBN number. I told the woman that I just didn’t have time to return her books over the phone. She started yelling about how it was amnesty month, how she couldn’t afford to pay her fines, and how I had to renew the books for her because she couldn’t come in.

I was getting frustrated but tried to remain calm and polite. She kept yelling and cursing at me and finally said, “If you don’t renew my books, I’m never coming back! You’ll lose a valued customer!” To which I replied in the most epic way possible: “You’re not a paying customer. The library is free. If you want your books renewed, you have to come in yourself.” And then I hung up. Later, I got yelled at by my supervisor, but it was worth it.

Onefortheisland

27.  Motherboard Mangler

I worked for a company that made computer gaming cases and accessories. A guy claimed that one of the internal fans in one of our cases caused his motherboard to explode. He shouted at me, demanding a refund for all the components he purchased. I was cool-headed and didn’t yell back. I tried to understand his situation as best I could with his bad temper.

He called himself a “computer god” and said he knew our fan somehow caused it to explode. After about half an hour of putting up with his excessive shouting, he yelled at me that he was coming to our office since he lived nearby. We thought he was joking, but we were so, so wrong. A half-hour later, he stormed into our lobby and slammed his burnt-up computer on our receptionist’s desk.

We noticed that it was not our computer case or fan, there were pencil shards inside the power supply, and the PCI-E power cord was jammed into the motherboard’s four-pin power port. There was also goop seeping into a few of the pin ports. We attempted to explain to him that what he brought in was not one of our products.

However, he was stubborn and insisted that it was. We even pointed out the manufacturer’s website that matched the logo on his case and fan, but he still refused to believe it. After an hour or so of him shouting nonsense, we had to call the authorities. When officers arrived, the guy quieted down. They took him outside to question him about the situation, and things took another turn.

The guy immediately became furious again and started shouting complaints to the officer. After five minutes of questioning, we showed the officer that this wasn’t our product. The officer already knew the guy wasn’t exactly “stable,” so he warned him to go away and not bother us anymore. The guy shouted threats and eventually drove off.

Permalink

28.  I Got Tipped Off

When I was in college, I worked at an Italian restaurant. A family of five came in and ordered appetizers, some drinks, and food. When I brought out the bill, the wife took it and paid in cash, leaving me a tip of $3 and some change on an $80 bill. The service was good, so I was pretty angry about the tip. A minute later, I noticed the husband and kids standing by the front door.

They were waiting for the wife to use the restroom. I walked up to the man, said, “Excuse me, sir, you forgot your change,” and held out the $3. The husband looked at me and took me by surprise. He said, “Is that all that woman left you?” He then reached in his pocket, pulled out $30, and said, “There you go, sorry about that.”

chet_lemon_party

29. He Was Bad Till The Last Drop

I went to clear a guy’s glass that had about seven atoms of booze left in it. I grabbed the glass and he called me a slur and screamed. I had already moved past him when he bellowed at me again. As I began to turn around and return the drink to him, he was glaring, his face red, and he was clenching and unclenching his fist.

As I always do in this situation, I returned the glass to him and watched him pretend to “drain” it into his mouth even though there was nothing more than a microscopic patina of fluid left within it. When he held up the glass, having “finished” it, I pointedly turned away from him without taking it. That’s when things immediately escalated—the glass clipped my shoulder and smashed into the wall in front of me.

The guy had just hurled the glass at me, full strength, for having the audacity not to grovel in response to his rudeness. The glass shattered with incredible force against the wall in front of me, and shards of glass went everywhere. It was a crowded balcony, and it was an absolute miracle that no one even got a minor cut. Security wrestled him out.

Phyllic

30. I Checked Out After This

I worked at a home improvement store. One night I found myself with a line of five or six customers, each with a sizable order. There were no more available cashiers. I was busting my butt to get everyone checked out quickly. When I got to the last person in line, I relaxed slightly and proceeded to scan all of their items.

When the lady tried to pay, she wrote out a check that had obviously been printed at home. It wasn’t necessarily fake, but we had a policy not to accept computer-printed checks. I told the lady such, and she threw a fit. She started yelling at me. She told me that she had to leave because she was already 30 minutes late to pick her children up in a town that was 30 minutes away.

She accused me of deliberately slowing down and scanning her items as slowly as possible. I tried to calm her down. She didn’t. She was absolutely raging. She said, “Don’t you know who I am? You’ll never work in this town again!”  She yelled at me to get my manager because I still wouldn’t accept her check. The newer assistant manager came up and told me to go ahead and take the check.

I tried to remind her of the store’s policy. She then talked to the lady in front of the store for another five minutes or so. After that, the manager came back, gave me a look, and went back to her office. She promptly came back with a slip telling me that she had written me up. I quit not long after.

slothman608

31. Girls Gone Wild

Back in high school, I was delivering pizza. I got this delivery about an hour before closing. I pulled up to this house, and four girls answered the door. They were about 14 to 16 years old, and I had just turned 18 at the time. They started flirting with me. I was pretty shy back then, so I just smiled, handed them their pizza, and waited for them to get their money.

They came back with a check but no tip.  One of the girls said, “Wait, let us get your tip.” They came back with a huge jar of change, and what they did next completely disgusted me. Three of the girls took out a handful of change; the fourth one grabbed my belt and started to pull me in the door while the other three put change into my pockets and down my shorts.

I broke loose from the one holding my belt, and they just started grabbing at my shorts. They were all giggling, change was going everywhere, and I heard a man’s voice say, “What are you girls doing?” One of them said, “Nothing, daddy.” I freaked out, ripped their hands off of me, and ran back to my car. However, my shorts started falling off due to the weight of the change.

I got in my car when I saw the dad was walking towards my car. I got out of there ASAP. On the way back I called my manager, to warn him about what had just happened. He ended up having to give these people free pizza due to my supposed harassment of the girls. He also had to tell the guy I would be fired.

hakzorz

32. He Sang The Wrong Tune

I worked at a small electronics retail store when I was in high school. A guy had come in asking me to give him a quote for a couple of different karaoke players. One was $249, and the other was $374. I gave him both a printed and verbal price quote. He came in the next day with his family and talked to one of my co-workers, who proceeded to tell him the same thing I told him the day before.

His eyes widened, and he blew into this raging fit. I was stocking CDs when he pointed at me and shouted, “HE SAID IT WAS $249 and $274 YESTERDAY! HOW CAN YOU FORGET THE DARN PRICE! IT’S NOT LIKE YOU SELL MANY THINGS IN THIS DARN STORE. I WORK AT COMCAST, AND I GET MY PRICES RIGHT ALL THE TIME! IT’S NOT RIGHT!”  My manager knew I could not have made such a stupid mistake, and the written quote proved it.

She still told the guy that “people make mistakes” and “maybe one of us misheard each other.” The guy kept going on about how staff should be properly trained in a store with such little inventory.  At that point, his wife was mouthing apologies to my manager.  My manager quietly told him to take his business elsewhere, and he stormed out.

fenixconnektion

33. She Was No Bed of Roses

I worked at a small, family-owned pizza place in the suburbs that was fairly popular. For some reason, Mother’s Day was a BIG day for this place, and as a thank you to the moms, we were supposed to give every mother, grandmother, or special woman a rose with their dinner. One Mother’s Day, I opened the restaurant with only one other server, two cooks, and no highchairs or tablecloths because a sister restaurant had borrowed them.

I hadn’t had a food break, so by the end of my seven-hour shift, I was pretty beat. I had a table of two adults, who seemed totally pleasant and lovely…until I brought them their check. The woman looked at me and asked why so many people had roses. I explained the whole Mother’s Day thing, and she got a look of total rage on her face. Her response was totally unexpected: “How rude of you to assume we don’t have kids!”

It had honestly slipped my mind to ask.  She continued, “I can’t believe you would be so horrible! I want to talk to your manager.” At that point, she started yelling loudly, and people were staring. I apologized to her and got my manager. He tried to appease her, but she started yelling how she wanted their meal comped.

My boss wouldn’t comp anyone’s meal short of it coming out on fire or something extreme, so he politely refused. He offered to comp their drinks, but that’s it since I had apologized and didn’t mean to be so thoughtless. I brought her a rose and apologized again, but she just wouldn’t let go of her hatred. She proceeded to throw it back at me and declared she didn’t want it. She said that they were leaving and never coming back.

She stormed out, leaving her husband behind to pay the bill. He paid it and left me no tip, pointedly telling me that I had completely ruined Mother’s Day for his wife. He said he hoped I was happy being a worthless person and that he would call the owner and tell him just what a horrible waitress I was. I spent the rest of my shift crying in the back hallway between serving tables, convinced I was going to be fired.

lizzybees

34.  Petty Princesses

Three girls came in a few hours before our dining area was about to close. They were all in their 20s and they looked prissy. Even though I had just finished a long day, I toiled for a good two hours, getting them food and drinks. I was kind to them, tried to crack a few jokes, and made them feel at home. It was rearing down to the last half hour, so I let them know that our dining area was closed, but they could feel free to move to the bar.

A half an hour later, I realized that they had no intention of doing so, so as the cook left and the lights were dimmed, it was just me watching these girls and bringing them drinks. At this point, it was about 11:30 pm, and I was tired. However, we are expected to stay and serve until the last group lets out. The three girls were joined by their two friends, who promptly ordered drinks even though we had already closed the dining area.

They finally called me over to let me know they were ready to pay. This is when they really got on my nerves. Their bill was over $50, and they paid with a credit card. When I got the receipt back from them, next to the tip was written $0.45. I was so furious I wanted to smack them all. I expect that kind of behavior from kids who only have a few quarters in their pockets, but not from five 20-somethings with credit cards and designer purses.

Permalink

35. Their Attitudes Were Out Of Focus

I used to work at a camera store. I had customers who would come in, listen to my assessment of their camera’s problems, and then ask to speak to a male salesperson instead. The men would then tell them exactly the same thing I said. I guess it’s just easier to believe a man knows how cameras work than a silly little woman.

poubelle

36. What’s Wrong With My Money-Eh?

I was working the register during a fairly normal Sunday morning. After ringing up this guy’s subs, he tried to pay with Canadian money, while the shop we were in was in the United States. I refused the foreign currency, and the guy threw a hissy fit. I tried to calm him down, and he started ranting about everything that could be ranted about. He knocked over the cookie rack and left. The other customer in the line left me a few dollars as a tip and made sure to tell me it was the correct currency.

ReMO451

37. This Customer Got Served

I worked as a supervisor for a company that sold party stuff and costumes. A lady called in, and the call escalated to me.  While I was on the phone with her, she told her kids to get a good education so they wouldn’t end up working in customer service. I handled this in the pettiest way I knew how to—by conducting the entire rest of the conversation using the highest vocabulary level I was capable of. She wasn’t exceptionally bright and could not understand what I was saying.

It wasn’t too extreme. Probably the most complicated term I used was “fiduciary capacity.” She explained that she was confused by the words I was using.  So, I suddenly went from being extremely patronizing and asked her. “Is perhaps someone there that might be better able to understand the nuances of returning an order, like perhaps your husband or a parent? Do you have any neighbors that might be able to explain things to you, or perhaps a social worker?” She was mortified.

Permalink

38.  She Was Half-Baked

When I was in high school, I worked at a supermarket bakery. A woman came in and started looking at the pastry case. I came over and asked if she needed help, and she looked at me and smiled.  Then her smile changed to a look of pure horror. I got scared that maybe there was a spider on my face or something and asked, “What?”

She demanded that someone else help her. I thought, fine; she is just kooky, and I’ll get someone else. After she got her pastries, she walked right over to the store manager, and I could see her pointing at me. After a few minutes, she left, and the manager came over to me. I knew I was in trouble. He said the woman had told her that I walked right up to her and said, “What do you want?” in an angry tone.

She also said that I refused to help her and insulted her children and her parenting skills. The manager let me know that he knew I hadn’t done that because SHE DIDN’T HAVE KIDS WITH HER. Of course, she had demanded I be fired, and when the manager said he wouldn’t fire me, he had to appease her with free merchandise and coupons.

MelissaOfTroy

39. No Cents In Figuring This Out

I was serving a table with two people—one was a woman, and the other was a person whose gender I couldn’t quite determine. I took the woman’s order and turned to the person of indeterminate gender, and they said nothing. Not a word. I asked, “And what can I get for you?” I waited, but there was no answer. I figured I had a 50/50 shot, so I said, “Sir?”

That was a huge mistake on my part—it was a woman, and now she was angry. She proceeded to tell me just how awful a person I was. They stayed for the whole meal, saying terrible things to me the entire time. They tipped me six cents—in pennies. The girl I was working with that night had been into Wal-Mart and told me that the same woman worked there in the women’s clothing section. So, we went, took clothes off the hangers, and put the six pennies she left me on her fitting room desk.

emmster

40. The Calm Before The Storm

I was a cashier at Walmart, working the late shift. It was around midnight, and the store was pretty empty. An Amish family came through my line. They bought a lot of groceries, and the total was well over $200. When it was time to pay, his credit card was rejected. Upset, he asked me to try it again, so I did. No dice. At that point, he started taking out his frustration…on me. the guy started yelling at me, telling me that I must be doing something wrong.

My manager, who had been watching the whole thing unfold, stepped over to the man and tried to calm him down. The guy wasn’t having any of it, and I just stood there helplessly as I watched him get angrier.  He was in my manager’s face screaming at him and calling us all idiots. The next thing I knew, this Amish dude punched my manager right in the face.

They started brawling, and his wife and daughters were horrified, screaming at their dad to stop, one of them began crying. My manager’s glasses flew off his face at one point. Finally, security came and broke it up. They held down the guy until he was tired of fighting. The authorities showed up not too long after. A stocker had to come and put all of those groceries away.

sinfinity

41. In-Flight Meal

I used to work at a Papa John’s Pizza. One day, this crazy lady came in and ordered a pizza. When asked if she wanted another one for half price, she flat out refused, paid, and left to go to the shop next door.  I thought that was the end of it, but I was wrong—Ten minutes later, she was back, moaning that she didn’t get a second pizza. She said that she had ordered one, which she hadn’t. I was chopping a pizza on the table when a pizza box came flying through the air. It opened up mid-flight, and I got a whole scalding hot pizza down my front.

RupturedSpleen

42. This Woman Needs To Get Carted Out

When I was a kid, I worked at a local grocery store. I had to bag groceries and help people take them to their cars. This notoriously rude woman would always come into our store and treat everyone like trash. One day, I had to help her take out her groceries. It was pouring rain out, so she ran to her car, jumped inside, and popped her trunk without saying a word to me.

So, I loaded up her car while getting soaking wet, and I brought the buggy back to the lock-up. I figured she had left by that point, so I pocketed the quarter from the cart like I always did. As I walked back into the store, I heard a car horn BLARING behind me. I turned around and saw the woman still parked there, honking her horn and flashing her lights.

Once she had my attention, she stuck her hand out her car window with her palm facing the sky, wanting her quarterback. So I took the quarter out of my pocket and tossed it as hard as I could right at her windshield, and went back inside. I was shocked she didn’t come back inside to chew me out. She had made a few cashiers cry in the past.

madstar

43. Can’t Touch This

I used to work the late shift at a bar on Friday and Saturday nights. I had several tattoos, one being on my chest. This guy came in with his girlfriend. I walked up to the table to get their drink orders, and he noticed the tattoo on my chest. He asked me what it was, but before I could even say anything, he did the most abhorrent thing—he sat up and proceeded to try and rip my shirt open!

I jumped back and told him if he touched me again, he would be out of there. I stood about five feet back from that table for the rest of the night.

Permalink

44. Blockbuster Blowout

I worked at a small Blockbuster Video, so we knew the regulars pretty well. One busy night, we had a large group of thug-looking guys show up who I had never seen before. Luckily, as the manager, I had to deal with them. They were incredibly loud and obnoxious. They were the type of customer you knew would be a problem before they even utter a sound.

They cut to the front of the line to say they wanted to rent a bunch of movies. Fine. The account wasn’t in any of their names, but we could work around that. None of them had any sort of ID. I informed them that to rent, especially on an account that is not theirs, they have to have some kind of valid ID. I told them that I would hold their movies for them if they wanted to grab some ID.

They freaked out and puffed out their chests, looking for a fight. As luck would have it, the salesperson next to me was letting an old lady rent on her daughter’s account without the old lady having any ID. The guys picked up on this, and it set them off even more. They began yelling and screaming at all of us, telling us how discriminatory we were.

I informed them that the sales rep had made a mistake and should not have rented to the lady, but it was too late, and I would not let them rent. After threatening to call the authorities, they left the store. Minutes later, as the same sales rep was pulling movies out of the dropbox, the plate glass in the front of the store by the dropbox shattered.

Glass flew all over the checkout desk. The sales rep got cut up to the point where his hands were bleeding steadily. We looked out the window and saw the guys piling into a truck and leaving the parking lot. At this point, I began a search and saw that nothing had entered the store, so whatever broke the window was still outside.

After getting things settled, we closed the store and waited for the authorities. While waiting, I looked outside. There was a well-kept lawn with no rocks or loose objects. The shape of the hole in the glass made it look like something hit it straight on, leading me to think that the guy who broke the glass more than likely did it with his fist.

crossinguard

Customer Isn’t Always Right facts

45. She Was A Whiner

I worked a 13-hour shift catering to more than 6,000 people—all bankers and their families. Towards the end of my shift, I was going around collecting all the glasses from the tables. I reached forward and picked up the glass sitting in front of an unhappy-looking granny figure. Her head snapped up, and she started shouting that she hadn’t finished her drink.

When I offered it back to her, she claimed that I had touched it with my fingers,  so I offered to get her another glass of red. She agreed. So I brought it over and set it down in front of her, smiling amicably. But no smile could appease her—she started shouting again, this time that I had taken too long to get her drink and that she wanted to talk to my supervisor.

I walked around to look for one, but they were all busy working. Hence, I came back and told her that they would come and see her as soon as they could. Without a word of warning, the old woman threw the contents of her glass at me.

Permalink

46. He Was A Dog-Gone Pain

I used to work at an office that had an obnoxious guy come in. We openly advertise that we offer free water and coffee/tea to our customers, as we have a huge fridge at the reception and a coffee machine just behind it. He walked in demanding to speak with the most senior person. Unfortunately, that was me. He sat down, and I came over to introduce myself.

He straightaway handed me his coat to hang up without even saying anything. That was his first strike. Then, as I went to go behind the reception desk to hang up his jacket, I heard a whistle. I didn’t think too much of it as I was trying to make room for his coat. Then I heard it again, along with a click of his fingers.

I turned around and saw this guy beckoning me over, and now he had my attention. He said, “Oh, and I wouldn’t mind a cappuccino while you’re up.” I stormed over, gave him back his coat, and ushered him out the front door. He demanded to know what was going on, so I told him, “If you are looking for your dog, you ain’t gonna find it here.”

The look on his face was priceless. The complaint that came in afterward was hilarious, and my telling him off was completely worth it.

tatdiddymac

47. This Was Not A Barrel Of Laughs

There were two gay guys who worked at a Cracker Barrel in the deep South with me. None of the staff had any problem with them; they were just ordinary guys who happened to be attracted to other men. The managers were sort of prejudiced, though, and didn’t like them. One day, two regulars came in to eat.

These regulars were notorious for requesting a million things before the meal even got there. They were annoying, but at least they tipped decently. One of the gay guys accidentally told the regulars something about his boyfriend. They went ballistic and asked him if he was gay. He told them he was. Then, one of the two regulars grabbed his hand and forced him to sit at the table. They then crossed the line—they proceeded to lecture him for about a half-hour about how he was going to the underworld for eternity.

I was watching this from another dining room and could not help him out because we were swamped. So, I got my girlfriend to help cover his tables because every time he told them he had to go, the man would grab his arm and physically force him to stay put. I finally got the manager, who simply said,  “Well, he needs to hear this stuff anyway.” and refused to do anything about it.

Eventually, after about a half-hour, once the regulars realized they couldn’t convince him to give up his “sinful” ways, they said, “Well, we’re going to need back every tip we ever gave you. It’s okay if you can’t remember exactly how much; just give us back an approximate amount. I think $200 should cover it. We can’t be supporting the gays.”

thenitpicker

48. He Was A Regular Creep

I had a repeat customer who started watching me for hours at a time as I worked. He walked over to me one day, told me how beautiful I was, and asked about my love life. I decided to transfer to another store when he started asking me to come over to his place for the weekend because he would be alone. When he found out I was leaving, he did something I’ll never forget—he grabbed my hair and started to cry.

mmenomena

49. What A Hot Head

I was working at a restaurant when a nice-looking family of four came in. The parents ordered a sizzling fajita plate for two. When I brought out the fajitas on the skillet, they were sizzling like they are supposed to be. That wasn’t hot enough for them. They asked me to go back and make them hotter. So, I took it back to the kitchen where the kitchen manager decided to pull out a blow torch.

He heated the iron skillet up to burning red, then threw the fajitas back on the skillet and sent me back out with them to the table. The father at the table was not very pleased with the profuse amounts of smoke billowing from the plate, and his next move was absolutely appalling—he decided to throw the thing at me. Luckily he had bad aim and missed me. He just broke a window. The manager got his information, told him to get out, and we would be contacting him about replacing the window he broke.

crooks23

50. Prime Prejudice

I was waiting tables at a popular steakhouse when I got a party of six seated in my section. There was an older couple, who sat nearest me, and two younger couples. The older gentleman requested an eight oz. prime rib. I asked him how he would like it cooked, and he gave the most shocking reply: “I want it your color.” His wife gleefully laughed as if it was the joke of the century, but I was taken aback.

My immediate response was, “So you don’t want any pink on it?” I informed my manager of this offensive remark, and he asked if I wanted to kick them all out. I told him that I would bite the bullet this time, but I wasn’t too happy to serve anyone who would think that was an acceptable answer. I believe they knew they offended me because they ended up leaving me a 30% tip. I guess taking the high road was the best road in this case.

DeepRoot

Sources: 1, 2.

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