The WORST Customers

September 16, 2022 | Sammy Tran

The WORST Customers


If you want to know what kind of person someone is, watch how they treat customer service people. Because I don’t care how nice the people in the stories below are day to day—they are the WORST customers ever.


1. A Giggling Fit

It was getting near closing time and I was cleaning the self-checkout machines while my manager was topping up the coins and receipt paper. This woman, just shy of 50, came up to the checkout and just stood there with her mostly empty cart. I was waiting to see if she would walk up to the actual register for service, but no; she just stood there.

I finally asked her, "Do you need help?" She replied, "No," and kept standing there. Then, she started giggling loudly to herself in a way that made other people around her uncomfortable. I just kept cleaning and my manager continued filling the machines, all of which were devoid of customers. Finally, the woman spoke loudly, to no one in particular, saying the rudest thing ever: “Do you want to work or not?”

I let out a long breath, then dropped my cloth and spray bottle down. Suddenly, my manager stepped in and replied loudly, "She does have work! She's cleaning right now." Then she motioned for me to keep cleaning. Well, the woman giggled again, really loudly and snottily this time, and said, "I want a checkout." My manager replied, "You had your chance. She asked you if you wanted help. You said no. And now, you're going to have to check yourself out."

The lady started freaking out and demanded to see the manager. My manager destroyed her with one sentence: "You're looking at her." The woman sheepishly checked her own items out while we both watched her. And then my manager giggled loudly, just like the woman had done. It was glorious.

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2. A Lucky Gamble

This just happened. A guy walked in and asked me, "What's the $8 lottery package that my wife always gets?" I looked at him, but I couldn't place him. In fact, he didn't look remotely familiar to me. He was not wearing his mask, mind you, but so far, I'd been pretty good at recognizing the people I've only ever seen with masks on since we bought the store.

However, I had no clue who this is. So I asked, "Sir, did you just ask me, a complete stranger, what your wife's preferences are?" He reiterated, "Well, she always gets an $8 package." I told him, "The lottery doesn't have an $8 package." Then, he asked, "Well, what are the standard games?" So, I rattled off all the games until we figured it out.

I handed him his purchase and said, "OK, here you go, sir, and may I highly encourage you not to tell your wife that you asked a complete stranger what her preferences were." I thought that would nip it in the bud, but he just wouldn't quit. He still seemed to think there was nothing amiss and replied, "Well, she's in here all the time." I still said, "But she's not here now, and I don't know who she is."

So, he clarified, "Well, I come in with her sometimes." To end the situation, I said, "OHHH! Well, I have a pretty bad memory so that must be it.” What was unsaid was, “It couldn't be that I see a few hundred people a day and you're all just faceless blobs in my memory if you don't come in here pretty much every day and actually have meaningful conversations!” Sheesh.

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3. Three Strikes

Some years ago, I worked an extra part-time job in the evenings at a small national retail chain in the U.S. that specializes in woodworking tools, supplies and machinery. The vast majority of our customers were great, but every so often we would get one that was a real peach. On the night in question, it was 15 or 20 minutes before closing.

I was at the front counter where the registers are, doing busy work to fill the time before I locked the doors. The sales floor was completely empty, except for me. I heard the doors open and looked up to see a customer walking in. "Hi! Welcome to our store!" I said to him in a genuinely friendly tone. Fish-eyed, he turned his head to glance at me.

He made momentary eye contact before walking past without saying a word. Strike one. A few minutes later, I saw him walking up to the counter, so I asked, "Hey there! Did you find what you were looking for?" Again, without a saying a word, he tossed a few packs of euro hinges on the counter. Strike two. Then, I asked, "OK! Have you shopped with us before?"

I needed to know as it was part of my job to enter our customers' information in our computer system if they'll let us, and if they're in our system, then we ring them up under their account. Rather than answer me, he tossed a postcard-sized piece of paper onto the counter. Strike three. Ding! Ding! Ding!

Now, if someone's in our system, and they give us the month of their birthday, we send them a birthday coupon every year, good for 10% off of everything in a single purchase. There are a few exclusions and conditions clearly printed on the coupon. I picked up the piece of paper he'd thrown in front of me, and it was indeed his birthday coupon.

I used the information on it to pull up his account, noted a key piece of information on the account, and gleefully told him, "OK, sir. I see your birthday isn't until next month, and unfortunately, the birthday coupon is only good for a single purchase during the month of your birth." As I said this, I was holding the coupon up and pointing to the text I was referring to.

I am 90% certain I had my best customer service smile on my face at that point. After standing there and staring at me for a few seconds, he let out a snort of what I presume was disgust, then he turned on his heel, and started heading for the door. "Wait!" I called after him. "You forgot your birthday coupon!" Without stopping or turning, he made a dismissive wave of his hand, went through the door, and disappeared into the night.

Adios and good riddance. At this store, our manager was a super-cool guy who encouraged us to bend over backward to help customers, which I gladly did. Customers came in all the time trying to use their birthday coupons early, and it was never a problem. We'd happily give them the discount anyway, with a friendly reminder that it was supposed to be used during their birth month.

But hey, Ihe wanted to act like that. He couldn't be bothered to show me even common courtesy, nor would he speak even one word to me. That was his choice.

Worst Ways They’ve Been Dumped FactsShutterstock

4. A Watery Chuckle

I work in a large airport at a small convenience store on one of the busiest concourses. I hear it all, especially about our prices. Although we try to keep our margins as low as possible, we still have to pay our rent as a business, and it's about $14k a month. One day, I had an older woman come in and set down an expensive brand of water that was priced around $5.15 after tax.

I knew that she was going to say something about it, so I prepared myself mentally. Indeed, she did say something, and it threw me for a loop. She asked me, “Wanna know something funny?” I said that I did. She said, “This same water in another airport is $2.50.” I stared blankly at her for a solid 10 seconds. Finally, I said, “I think I missed the joke.”

She then proceeded to insult me, but she still purchased the water before leaving in a huff. Best day I've had in a while.

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5. A Customized Experience

A customer showed me a ring and asked me about it. I told her that it was a sterling silver lotus ring. The customer then proceeded to show me that it did not fit her. As she wedged it halfway down her finger, she said, “But it does not fit me, see?” Did I look like a jeweler who could resize rings on the spot? No. So I explained to her that we had only one piece of that design left.

A while later, the same lady asked if the artist was local. I said that I wasn't certain that she was from the city, but that all the artists represented in the shop were American. That meant that if she wasn't from our state, then she was from another state. Then the lady said, "Well, duh. If she's not from here then she's from somewhere else." Sigh.

I wanted to eye roll since that was my standard response whenever someone asked about local artists, and I had never gotten such a sour reply before. Most people just wanted to confirm that the thing was at least made in America if not locally. And then she asked me which way her husband had left, so I just pointed to the only exit and said, "That's the only way out."

Cranky Customers FactsShutterstock

6. They Are All This Together

I work for a grocery store that only sells all-natural foods. That means no artificial preservatives, sweeteners, flavors, and such, as well as any items with certain ingredients like high-fructose corn syrup. We have an internal list of ingredients that products cannot contain and even have had to cease carrying some top-selling products after reformulation introduces one or more of them.

Being the type of store that we are, we get people from all over the political spectrum and quite a few on the extreme fringes. This is about a guy who came to our store multiple times. I will refer to him as Mr. Q since I do not even know his name. Mr. Q was a semi-regular customer since before my employment. My first experience with him was indirect.

I was overseeing the front-end and placing some orders with vendors. He went through the line of one of my cashiers, Melissa. Unfortunately for her, Melissa did not have anyone else in her line, so the guy stood there yakking her ear off. Then I heard that chilling phrase. I do not recall what the full sentence was, but he said the magic words: "QAnon."

This immediately made my ears perk up. He could have been someone more on the left, making fun of the QAnon thing or he could be a believer. Once I knew that he was spouting off right-wing conspiracy theories, I told one of the other managers that I was going to go rescue Melissa who was just smiling and nodding.

This involved getting myself to a phone out of sight and then paging the staff member to the loading dock so they could hide for a few minutes. This particular incident happened pre-pandemic, so the store's general manager was still there. As I used the phone right outside his office, I got an odd look from him, until I told him, "Crazy at her lane." He does not suffer fools, so he just chuckled.

This visit was done with. Then, after the pandemic started, my store adopted the policy of "masks must be worn, but if you claim a 'condition,' then you don't have to wear one." This annoyed us because we had so many liars. Mr. Q, of course, was one of those. He was relatively quiet until he checked out. At the exit door, he stopped and turned around.

Then, he started loudly proclaiming how the whole pandemic was a hoax because otherwise "people would be dropped like flies in the streets!" We just rolled our eyes at him and he left quietly, thus, ending that visit. Then came the third and final visit. This happened after our store had decided to go to a "mask-mandatory" policy without the medical exemption.

We got battle-hardened by this since we had to fend off people screaming about how it was against the law and how they were going to sue us, etc. That's when Mr. Q came in, and things started to get interesting. One of the other managers, Aaron, spotted him but he was occupied with a customer, so he alerted me. He also said, "That guy is a fool, so good luck."

Our strategy for dealing with people without masks was to just grab the box of the complimentary ones we offered, approach the person, and ask them if they needed a mask. Most of the time, by then, it was people who simply forgot to put one on...but that wasn't the case with Mr. Q. Our conversation went like this:

I asked him, “Hi! Did you need a mask today?” He simply replied, “I have a medical condition.” I clarified, “Sorry, but we still need you to wear a mask to be inside the store. We do offer curbside shopping though. But, since you have a list, we would be more than happy to shop for you and then take payment and bring the bags out to your car.”

He, of course, became annoyed and said, “Are you aware of the United States Constitution? Do you know you are violating my rights?” I stood my ground and said, “Sorry, sir, but this is private property and we do require a mask.” By this time, Aaron had finished with his customer, so he came over to back me up and said, “Yes. We are not a government entity.”

That's when Mr. Q did the unthinkable—he proceeded to dramatically say that he felt sick, then he fake coughed on Aaron and me. So, of course, All semblance of "customer service" and "courtesy" went out the window at that point, and Aaron said, “You need to leave now. You are no longer welcome here.” Mr. Q took that as an invitation to go on a random rant about his rights.

So, Aaron told me to call the authorities. Mr. Q then went on another tangent and said, “You guys are poisoning people with the products you sell! What do you have to say for yourselves! I know my rights!” In the meantime, I went over to the phone and started dialing. By that point, we had called them so many times that we knew half the department by name.

Now, Mr. Q realized what I was doing, so he wisely abandoned his cart and left the store. Aaron pulled out his phone, started filming, and followed the guy out. Mr. Q then spent the next five minutes pacing our parking lot, screaming at Aaron. It was truly unhinged. His rants alternated between us poisoning people and targeting Michelle Obama.

Aaron repeated to Mr. Q that he needed to leave and that he was now banned from the store. Then, when he saw Aaron was filming him, he started yelling about how Aaron must be like Michelle Obama too. Thankfully, he just kept pacing. I joined Aaron outside after calling the authorities and getting one of the back-end managers to come up front to watch over the cashiers.

Unfortunately, he left before the authorities arrived. And since he did not buy anything, we did not have his full name to give to them. After showing the general manager the video, we got the verdict that Mr. Q was banned from thereon. That means that the next time he shows up, we call the cops immediately and then tell the guy he is banned, in front of them.

This would allow them to arrest him on subsequent visits. He wisely has not shown up since then.

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7. A Red Flag

We have one of those self-serve lottery machines. Do you play numbers? Mega Millions? Scratch-Offs? You can do it all here at this machine. Except this one grown woman who, I swear, was deliberately just not listening despite saying repeatedly that she did not know what she was doing. I still persevered and tried to explain the process to her.

I said, "OK, so right in the middle of the screen are three big blue boxes. Touch the middle one." The lady touched the Powerball button, which was on the far left, on a row of four boxes. I tried to correct her by saying, "No—that's Powerball. You need to hit the red rectangle at the top right of that window where it says ‘Close’ to close this."

She proceeded to touch the little tiny red button by the quantity bar. I repeated that she had to touch the box with the word 'Close' in it, but she was not listening. Of course, stared intently at the bottom of the screen where there was literally no red at all. This back and forth went on for a good twenty minutes. Somebody just end my misery for me.

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8. Sunshine On A Rainy Day

This sweet old man made my day! His name is Samuel, and I’m not sure of any medical issues he has, but every time he comes in, he’s sweating buckets and his hands shake pretty bad. The first time that he came in while I was working, we just started talking since he always gets food to go for him and his mom.

He asked me if I had any pets and I told him that my childhood dog Max had passed about a week ago prior, so I just have a cat. He proceeded to tell me the nicest thing a customer has ever said: that my dog was waiting in heaven for me, and that he made it over the rainbow bridge. I cried like a baby after he left.

The third time that he came in, he asked me what college I went to, and how I was amazing for working and going to school full time. I was failing a class at the time and having someone who didn’t know me tell me that I was doing amazing just warmed my heart. When he came in for the fourth time, we continued our discussion.

I told him that I only had a couple of classes left at my community college and that I would be able to start my bachelor's in business. He did not hesitate to gasp and tells me how proud he was of me, and how I will go on to do great things. He then told me that God had blessed me because my hair was so pretty, even though at the time it was unwashed and in a not-so-cute messy bun.

I think that dude is my retail guardian angel. He always shows up when I’m having a rough time, and he makes the day brighter and better.

Cranky Customers FactsShutterstock

9. A Ban Challenge

Today, a guy bought something at my checkout. After paying, he went, "Actually, I am banned here. What do we do now?" I stared at him for a solid second, my brain probably making the Windows XP shutdown sound. I was shocked by his audacity, to not only come again after being banned but also telling me about it, after buying something.

I asked my supervisor, who sighed, saying that he got lucky in that case and that I should tell him to take his things and leave. But that wasn't enough for him. He started provoking me, saying, "And what about the next time, huh?" I explained that I wasn't authorized to decide about the duration of his ban and that, in case of doubt, he just shouldn't come again.

He still went on, now outright harassing me, "Yeah, what do you want to do? Do you want to call the authorities? Huh? Huh?" At this point, I was about to cry, because he just kept harassing me and I didn't know what else to tell him. Then a lady in line stood up for me, telling him to leave me alone because he was making me nervous.

"Yeah, I can see you're shaking. I wonder why," he blurted out. I was, in fact, shaking because it took all my strength not to cry in front of everyone. After telling the lady to mind her business and being rude to her too for a bit, he finally left. My heart goes out to the lady, who was third in line, and told me, "Honey, don't ever let a man talk you down like that! Always remember: Big ego equals small elsewhere!" That really lifted my spirits!

Cranky Customers FactsShutterstock

10. Like Money In Your Pocket

I used to work for Kohls. While there, I had one customer come to the service desk with her receipt, saying that the cashier did not take off her 30% coupon. Usually, this is an easy enough fix, but when I looked at her receipt, the total was $0.00. She had already used Kohl's cash to cover the whole thing. I told her the computer system takes the dollar off coupons first.

It is only afterward that it will then take the percentage off. This is how it works, irrespective of the order in which you scan them. Since her Kohl's cash took care of the total, I told her that the system couldn't take 30% off of $0.00. Apparently, she didn't like that...not one bit. She then started yelling at me and telling me that I was stealing money from her.

I explained to her that Kohl's cash is just a coupon we give to customers and not actual money. She then told me that she wouldn't be shopping at Kohl's again, and she threw her 30% coupon at me before leaving.

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11. For Love Nor Money

Greg. Freaking Greg. So I work at Pizza Hut as a delivery driver, and we have this one customer who everyone hates to go to because he always pays in exact change. No tip. Ever. If the driver doesn’t have the change he wants, he will call the store and demand the driver brings him back his 50¢. He has done this multiple times. Let me also mention that Greg is very well off.

He lives in a half-million-dollar house and drives a $50,000 truck. This happened during a blizzard. Of course. And Greg orders a pizza. Nothing special, but his total was $15.11 and I draw the short straw and have to take it to him. There is about three inches or so of snow and it’s still snowing. I get to his house and ring the bell. At this point, I take his pizza out of the insulated bag.

I wanted it to get cold, but everything turned out so much better than I had anticipated. He takes forever to get to the door. When he finally gets there, he hands me $13 in cash and a handful of change. In the process, he drops a dime. I count everything up and I have $15.01. 10¢ short. At first, he asks if I can just cover it for him. I say "No, I am not going to pay 10¢ out of my pocket for your pizza."

If it were any other customer, I probably would have. It's only 10¢. But not for Greg. He starts blaming me for dropping the dime. (He dropped it). Again, I say no and that he will have to find the dime or get another. At this point, the pizza is already getting cold. It was well below freezing out there. He starts kicking around the snow on his porch looking for the dime.

I spotted the dime right away but kept quiet. All the while, he is muttering about how I dropped it and I should pay for it. I'm trying my best to hide my grin. About 3-5 minutes later, I'm starting to get cold and the pizza might as well have just came out of the fridge. I tell him I am timed on these orders (I am) and that he should go inside and get money.

He, of course, claims he has no more money and starts his sob story about him not having money. So I give him back his money and leave. I told him that if he finds his dime to just call the store and we will bring him his pizza. I know he has money, so I just pull around the corner and call the store to tell my manager what happened.

During the call, Greg calls the store saying he has his money. I get back to the house, pull the pizza out again, and go back to his door. He hands me all the money and I make sure to count it, slowly. It's all there. I ask him if he found it in the snow and he said, "No, I just got it from the house." He got cold pizza and I got paid. He hasn't ordered since. Freaking Greg.

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12. Expensive Tastes

A woman was unreasonably upset that we stopped carrying a certain type of hummus at our expensive grocery store. Attempting to be helpful, I told her that Target had started carrying the same kind and, while I wished we still carried it for her, perhaps that could be a good replacement. I never expected her ridiculous reaction.

She literally stopped writing her check and looked at me with the most definite What-the-heck-is-wrong-with-you face and said, "What makes you think I would ever buy food from a Target? That is disgusting." I get the feeling she wouldn't even let me bag her groceries if she saw all the Great Value boxes in my cabinet. Sorry to offend you, lady.

Lori Loughlin factsShutterstock

13. What A Gas

I was working at a gas station in a very rich part of town. During a nice summer day, a prime example of the douchebag variety of the human species drove his super-expensive Lamborghini in and, in that haughty, I'm-rich-so-you-must-do-what-I-say voice, demanded that it be filled with premium. Which the attendant started to do, only the guy immediately snatched the nozzle from him and screamed that "you're too stupid to do this on your own."

We're in Oregon, by the way, where you can't pump your own gas because of state fire laws. Well, being that he's a douchebag and an idiot, gas spills out from the nozzle all over his sparkly douche-mobile. At this point, he truly flips out. He storms into the store, where I'm working as the cashier and de facto manager. He immediately demands to speak to the owner, and that we are going to pay to have his car repainted AND he's not going to be paying for his gas.

I try my best to calm the situation, but he's got a good rage going and doesn't want to be calmed down. While he's spewing forth, I notice that an officer from the local department is about to come into the store to get snacks or a drink or some such. This gives me a nice idea. "Sir, I'm afraid that the gas is in your tank and you pumped it yourself, so you are going to have to pay."

Cutscene of an explosion. Douchebag then asks, "So what, exactly, do you think you can do if I just go and get in my car and leave?" Thank you, good Lord, for timing. He says this, at full bellow, right as the officer walks through the door. My response? "Well, personally I can't do much, but the nice officer standing behind you will probably be able to do something.”

Douchebag turns around to see the officer, with a very predatory smile on his face, nodding vigorously. Yeah, he shut up, paid, and we never saw him again.

Customer Service Gotcha FactsShutterstock

14. Nickle And Diming

I used to work for a grocery store in high school as a cashier. One busy Saturday, an older lady came through my long line with about $150 worth of groceries. Among her items was a prepackaged piece of meat from our deli department that is normally priced by weight. Her meat did not have a printed sticker on the package and I would've needed to find a bag boy or manager to run to the deli to get it priced.

Because we were super busy, I decided to wing it, and set it on my scale. "Looks like it's almost a pound, so...let's say...$2.77? Does that sound fair?" I began to ring it as a miscellaneous item. Her answer sent a shiver through my spine. "No it does NOT sound fair!" she yelled in a screeching voice. "You need to get that priced!" Groans from the line began behind her, as I found a bag boy to run to get the price sticker.

A manager came by to see what the commotion was about and the lady explained the situation. I explained why I had made the decision I made. The manager of course stuck up for the lady (which we laughed about later) and she accepted the apology. We then waited for what seemed like an eternity of eye-contact avoidance and thumb twiddling.

The bag boy came back and handed me the pork. I smirked and showed her the price. "$2.78. Huh, I would've saved you a penny!" The man behind her chortled. Never saw her again.

Customer Service Gotcha FactsShutterstock

15. Tipping His Hand

More than a few decades ago, I worked at a Denny's. I had two male customers who decided to dine and dash. Got their license plate number and reported it to the authorities, and then jokingly mentioned that they didn't even tip! Later that night, they got pulled over for something else, but officers recognized the license plate number from the report.

They brought them both back to the restaurant and forced them to pay the bill. After they were done paying, the officer just stood there and looked at them and said, well? The guy sheepishly handed me my tip.

Customer Service FactsShutterstock

16. Listening In

I have been working throughout COVID in a supermarket. A few months ago, I found out that I have permanent hearing damage and hearing loss from an illness I had from January to February. I am currently in the early stages of an audiology referral and my employer has been really helpful. They are making sure that I can still work in the same roles as before with the same level of confidence.

One day, a customer arrived at the till who, for some reason, misinterpreted one of the offers that we run. Essentially, she wanted the discount but did not want one of the items required for the discount to go through. She did not realize that I have to scan everything and, therefore, charge her for the extra item in question so that she could get the discount.

I processed the transaction in this way but not without her raising her voice and attempting to grab the item that she didn't want out of my hands. At that point, I was quite confused. I could hear parts of this customer's sentences, but she was speaking very quickly and I did not understand why she was getting so incredibly agitated over some frozen peas. Around this time, she also started to badmouth all of my colleagues and myself, saying that we "shouldn't work here if we don't know what offers are on in the store."

She also said that the staff members "know nothing," implying that I was the one who should lose my job because of her adamant misreading of an offer. Through this, I finally understood why exactly she was so angry. So, I asked one of my colleagues to come to the tills in order to assist the customer.

She did not want to engage with me, nor was she capable of having a civilized conversation at that point. My colleague arrived and I began to serve the other customers waiting while the woman went on to my colleague about how I was "incompetent" and "useless." But that's not the worst thing she said—she repeatedly stated that I "wasn't listening" to her, even though I had given her my full attention.

The repeated emphasis this woman put on me not "listening" really hit a nerve. The last thing that I wanted after going through the wringer with various illnesses for the past seven months was to be told that I was losing my hearing. It was permanent, and it was not something that could be fixed in the same way as the previous illnesses.

I have to work a lot harder on the tills due to the aforementioned hearing loss and as much as I try to not care and ignore it, this was just too much for me to handle at the moment. I started to cry in the middle of a transaction while this woman thoroughly berated me for something that I had absolutely no control over.

Somehow, I managed to pass it off as hay fever which I don't think anyone believed. Eventually, it clicked into place for the customer that she was incorrect, and she very quickly went on her way after realizing that she had just completely humiliated herself in a store full of people. There was no apology made to any of my colleagues, or to myself and the other customers in the store.

I had been debating whether or not I needed to get a lanyard clearly stating I have a hearing loss, but it is still very early into the investigation process and I didn't want to buy one before I had any thorough tests done on my ears. But this was the event that cemented that I absolutely needed to get one as soon as possible.

Regardless of my hearing loss, that kind of behavior is absolutely unacceptable and a completely different kind of demeaning. It was the most insulting reaction I have ever seen, and over a bag of frozen peas, no less. If she didn't want them, we had a perfectly acceptable food bank to which they could be donated.

Cranky Customers FactsShutterstock

17. A Short Wick

I work at a candle store and this happened yesterday. An older woman came in—she was probably in her 80's but still seemed to have her wits about her. Anyway, she was going on and on about needing a small gift for a guy who did some work in the building she lived in. I told her that we carried a line of skincare and bath products for men.

She scoffed and says that would be weird. So, I said, "How about a candle?" This was because, you know, I work at a candle store. Her response made me curl a fist. She basically said, in an angry voice, "I can't give him a candle. He's not gay!" I was trying very hard to bite my tongue and remind her that we have tons of male customers and even my straight boyfriend likes our candles.

She then had the nerve to say, "That's good for him, but I cannot give the man a candle because he's not gay!" At that point, I  was over it and I walked away. My manager then stepped in because she has a lot more patience for ignorance than I do. After she left and we vented about her, my manager told me that the woman ended up buying a notebook that says, "Slay the day."

Cranky Customers FactsPxfuel

18. Sole Cost

I no longer work retail, but I used to work at an extremely discounted store, something like Marshalls, TJ Maxx, etc. This incident actually happened a few nights before my last day. We were about to close, and this lady came up to my register to check out. She handed me a pair of Michael Kors baby shoes and asked me how much they are.

I told her the price—$27—and she flipped! She retorted that the price could not be correct. I calmly said, “They are $27, ma’am. Did you still want them?” She replied, “I want them but not for that price.” She clearly wanted a discount. I had to clarify: “I’m sorry, ma’am, we don’t do discounts. We’re already an extremely discounted store.”

She said in disbelief, “$27 for baby shoes?! That’s crazy.” So, seeing her reluctance to pay that much, I assumed that she did not want to buy them anymore. Thus, I offered to put them back for her. She stopped me angrily, saying, “Uh hello? I said that I want them!” I acceded to that but firmly maintained my stance by saying, “OK, ma’am. They’re still going to be $27 though.”

She refused to believe me and asked me to check again. So, I flipped the computer screen around and showed her the price. At that moment, she did not know what to do because she was wrong, so she snapped at me to get my manager. The said manager came, confirmed the price, then left.

I thought that was the end of it, but no. Karen then said, “I just don’t understand why they are so much?” I tried to make her understand by saying, “Well, these are Michael Kors, one of the more expensive brands we carry here. If you were to buy these anywhere else then they’d be at least $100. You’re actually getting a pretty good deal.”

She still refused to budge and said, “I just don’t believe you. That’s not the real price. And you should know, I work for the Attorney General, and it would be a shame if you lost your job because you’re making up prices.” Still trying to maintain my cool, I replied, “There’s no benefit for me to lie to you.” She finally became quiet.

What was she thinking? Consider this, lady. I get paid $9 an hour to scan items. What on earth makes you think I make commission? If you want Michael Kors goods then you have to pay Michael Kors prices, even though this was already a bargain.

Cranky Customers FactsShutterstock

19. Limits Are For Other People

This happened around the time when Walmart had just announced its pickup service. We had no sort of "do your shopping for you" or personal shopper positions, so I should have seen the immediate red flag when my customer service manager (CSM) approached a coworker and asked if I wanted to be a personal shopper.

I was mid-transaction, and the coworker was chanting to herself, "Please say yes, please say yes, please say yes." But I was 19 and naive and still believed cranky last-minute Christmas shoppers were the only problem creatures. I also wanted to make my co-worker happy, so I said, "Uh, sure." My CSM briefed me on the woman who had only $85.

I was told to make sure that she stayed around $85, and that was the only introduction or warning I got before I was sent off with the lady, who I never learned the name of, but I will call Audrey, as she was just as cartoonishly whiny as the little girl from the old Little Audrey cartoons. The first red flag that I saw was that she immediately walked over to the garden center to see the Christmas clearance items.

I had just met Audrey, so I assumed she was certainly old enough to know her limits. She was probably around 65 if I had to guess. So, I followed her. But boy, oh, boy, was I entirely wrong. We walked around the garden center and she took notice of the special perfume and cologne sets that companies get specifically as Christmas gift ideas.

She grabbed one and said that it looked really nice and that she would love to try it out. She then placed it in her cart and proceeded to pick out sets for various family members—some nice slippers with vibrators in them to massage your feet, and not one, not two, but three Christmas yard decorations with lights.

I politely informed her that she already had easily over $150 worth of stuff in her cart, and she asked me whether I was sure. So, I totaled up the price of all the stuff in her cart and then added on sales tax. She reluctantly put back several of the perfume sets and two of the lawn decorations, and we departed for the next area of the store.

Since she was old-fashioned, she still used a landline phone and informed me that she needed AA batteries for it. She said that she wanted to get rechargeable ones, to save money, and I agreed that may be a good idea...until she picked out $30 batteries. We spent a lot of time there because she specifically wanted batteries that indicated on the package that they were good for phones.

I got her to put back two more Christmas items, but some of her more expensive items remained in the cart. Then I asked her if she was ready to check out—she informed me that she still had to get her groceries. I had easily spent 45 minutes with this lady but I was long overdue for my break...my stomach sank so far that I had to scoop it up off the floor.

But I followed her as she picked out her groceries, all the while reminding her that she had a limited amount of money. At that point, I fully understood why my CSM would lie about this. Once again, I informed her that she had over $150 in her cart so she put a few items back; though, she did not believe me when I still insisted that she was over budget.

Instead, she insisted that we head to the checkout to confirm. Maybe she was one of those people who had to see her total to believe it, or maybe she was just being dumb, but I was too mentally exhausted to deal with it, so I just followed her to a checkout lane and unloaded her cart of items for her. When he recognized her, the cashier looked at me and nodded.

He then asked, "How long did it take?" To that, I indicated that it had been over an hour and he rolled his eyes, saying that sounded about right. But my ordeal was far from over—the cashier rang up all of her stuff with me there to bear witness, and he did not know her limit this time.

So, he did not say anything when we passed it. We made it to something like $193, and Audrey looked at her total and said, "Oh..." She took off a few slabs of meat, which brought it down around $20, and then handed the cashier a flavored drink enhancer and stared at him expectantly. The total was still $172, and she passed him another flavored drink enhancer.

I informed her that we might have to take off one of her more expensive items, like her perfume set or her slippers. She insisted on the slippers but decided the perfume could go. Great! That brought it down to $161, which was still progress. She inched the total down a few items at a time, all the while insisting certain items were off-limits.

I thought she put back the batteries and replaced them with regular batteries since those were much cheaper. The guy had since turned off his light but he still had a line. With his replacement cashier now present and the light still off, we were all trying to talk the lady down from everything she still insisted was necessary.

When we got her down to $120, she started asking us if she could just have some of her items The cashier seemed to know where this was going and told her she could have them if she paid for them. We tried several times to pry more items out of her transaction, but she insisted she needed everything that was left in the cart. It was a nightmare.

She started asking the replacement cashier if she could help her afford the items, to which the cashier told her no. She could literally lose her job for trying to do that. She then turned to the man behind her and asked for money, and he was about to offer to pay the remaining cost until the cashier gave him a look and requested that he please not do that. Clearly, this woman had done this before.

She then told the lady that she was not allowed to solicit at our store and that she was going to have to put some stuff back. Defying the advice, the nice customer behind us gave her $10. The lady put back another frozen item and was at $115. All she would need to do is to put back her cheap plastic lawn ornament...but she continued to whine about how she really needed it and how it would make her yard look so much nicer.

At that point, I sighed and decided to just take the item off her transaction, pay for it myself, and give it to the lady. I was done with it entirely. The cashier, however, told me that I could not do that and that I could lose my job for it. But I took the item to punch out for my break, grabbed my wallet from the back, then purchased the item and gave it to the lady.

I told her that I did not even have a yard and I just wanted it to be over with. The CSM later decided to just ban the lady from the store. I was also allowed to take it easy for the rest of the day. A very stressful ordeal, but the closest thing I could have gotten to a happy ending. And no, I didn't get in trouble, much to my relief.

Cranky Customers FactsShutterstock

20. On The Edge

A lady demanded that I call her a manager today. She wanted to complain about how some items did not have a price on them while others did. She started interrogating me about pricing protocol, but I was on SCO duty today. Though, since I'd never seen her in the store before, I lied and said that I had nothing to do with stocking.

The manager arrived and Queen Karen launched into a full-fledged rant. Then, while she was at the counter complaining, she added a very hand-flailing, gestured complaint that the counter edges were too rough and sharp. She went as far as to say she was lucky that she did not injure herself, otherwise she would have called the health board. I wipe that counter down probably 200 times every day.

I assure you, there is nothing sharp about it because I would be among the first to raise a concern about it if there was. The employees where I work are very aware of how something small like a sharp edge on a cart can end up with a potential lawsuit in this crazy economic and opportunistic climate in which we live right now.

My manager handled it well, but the other associates and I couldn't stop laughing about it all shift. Their loud proclamations about how such-and-such—mostly random things like the color scheme, etc.—could have been fatal for us were just absurd.

Weird Flex Kids FactsShutterstock

21. Make Way

So, I work at a grocery store chain and Tuesdays are what we refer to as "Specials Day." Basically, it's my job to change out last week's special with the current week's special. It is a long and painful project that I volunteered for when I got promoted because I like doing projects that other people do not.

That day, I was doing my thing in the specials aisle. I started getting gradually more and more annoyed since the whole process would be three times faster if they just let me do it when the store was closed, but, for some baffling reason, they wanted the customers to interact with me as I was occupied with 10 pallets of random things.

Near the end of my ninth pallet, I had myself basically pinned into a corner of the aisle. This was a strong nonverbal language that should have signaled to the customers, "Hey, maybe don't walk this way. I'll have to step around my pallet, move my pallet jack, and reset myself if you do." But lo and behold, trouble was headed my way—a lady came walking down the aisle, approaching me at the end.

I am a chill guy, but I don't really talk much to the customers because my store is in an upper-class area and the wealthy folks don't like getting spoken to by some sweaty dude in a uniform. So, when she kept walking towards me, I realized that she was going to try and walk around my pallet or, God forbid, walk on it.

I quickly moved my jack and the pallet and looked up at the ceiling, questioning God for creating oblivious customers. Apparently, that look at the ceiling really truly infuriated her. At first, as she walked through the suddenly clear path, she apologized half-heartedly in that way only some types of customers can pull off.

But her apology read more like "Oh, I am sorry wage person. I sure hope I didn't inconvenience you with my presence." I nodded my head at her "apology" and turned back to move my jack and pallet back to where I was working. Apparently, not only did she expect me to move, but she also really expected me to graciously tell her it was no problem that she made me move my entire working station so she could save 15 steps.

Between not accepting her apology and looking at the ceiling for about three milliseconds, she decided right then and there that I was a menace and needed a talking to. She started with the basic criticism of me being a retail grunt who didn't have a big fake grin on my face the entire day. She topped it off with the classic line that always gets my blood boiling: “I do not think you should be working here if that is going to be your attitude.”

She said that while looking at me like I was an animal in a zoo exhibit. I did not reply and just kept working. “What's the worst that can happen?” I thought. I cannot please everyone. Then she got in line. Now, the line to the checkout is situated about 10 feet from where I was working. At that point, the villain, in her mind, had her walkway obstructed.

She went out of her way to loudly criticize me and complain about how I should not be allowed to work at the store. Now, I will be honest with you, I should have just let her have her moment. If I had let her just screech and complain, it probably would have ended there. Maybe a phone call or strongly worded email to corporate. No biggie. I should have just smiled and kept working.

But there was a part of me that needed her to know that yelling at customers about how terrible I am is not how we did things at our store. So, I told her, calm as I could, that she needed to stop making a scene. And when I say something snapped in this woman, it was like someone hit a light switch. Immediately, her phone was recording me and everything got a lot more dangerous.

She was asking leading questions like, "Did you just tell me I can't talk to other customers?" and "Do you think you have the right to break my first amendment?" and "Who's the manager here?" Now, there are two things you can do when someone gets their phones out and records you. You can walk away, potentially get followed, and then you can ask them to stop recording.

Or you can be a fool like me and ask them to stop recording you right away. The latter method, naturally, led to her screaming even louder and accusing me of being a terrible person. She randomly started threatening me, saying that she could have me fired whenever she wanted. At that point, I was just trying to get her to leave.

She had made the scene worse by recording and trying to be the next viral "look at how bad I was treated" internet star, and it was clear that she just wanted to capture my angry reaction on film. I am glad to report that I did not get angry with her. I did not raise my voice at all. I just stood there and let her scream at me. As she finally finished paying for her groceries, I asked her again to please leave if she was going to continue making a scene.

This led to her sitting behind the cashiers and between the doors and waiting for me to walk away so that she could leave. I informed her that I needed to see her leave. She said that she was not leaving until I was out of her sight. I stood my ground and told her that she needed to leave or I would be forced to call the authorities.

Oh, God. She had the wrong reaction to that statement. Most of the time, if someone says, "Hey, this might need to become an official matter," the natural human reaction is to reevaluate what they are doing and decide if they want to continue. For reasons only God knows, this customer's reaction was "Good, call them. I want them here."

Here's the thing. I was not ever going to call them. It was a bottomless threat. What was I going to say to them? "There is a lady screaming at me and recording me?" Worst case scenario, this woman makes the whole situation into some kind of bigger issue and I end up on the news. So, my bluff having been called, I walked into the office and called my direct manager.

I told her what had happened and she basically told me to get back out there and deescalate the situation. I went back to the registers and I actually decided that the best course of action was to tuck tail and just apologize. So, I did. I said to her, "I'm really sorry you had a bad experience today. I hope you can come back and shop here. I understand what went wrong and I will gladly give you corporate's information." And then I told her to have a good day, indicating the door as I said that.

She sort of accepted my apology. Of course, she still went on  about how I was terrible and how I should not work there, but at least she calmed down a little...until she mentioned she was an "investigator." Not seeing a uniform or a badge, I asked her what I thought to be a natural and reasonable question.

I asked, "An investigator for who?" Her exact reply was, "Do not play stupid. You know what kind of investigator.” Then she went on to say that she was going to call corporate, let them know that I was only harassing her because she was an immigrant (which was ironic since I am an immigrant too) and that I should expect not to have a job in the next 24 hours.

I just sat there and took it. There was nothing else I could do, really. Sometimes you just have to let them screech so they will leave. As she finally turned to leave, she noticed that I was watching her. So, she came back and said that I could not watch her leave because I was "going to attack" her outside.

I clammed up even more at that comment. As a final shot, she told me that she had "the means to retaliate" in her car and that she'd "gladly use it" if I come outside. She finally left and I called my boss, breaking down in tears of pure frustration, telling her how the de-escalation went. My boss assured me that she was just a crazy lady and that she, my boss, would have my back if this turned into a bigger deal.

Cranky Customers FactsShutterstock

22. Showering The Troubles Away

I am a shift manager two days a week and a cashier for three at a truck stop and rest area. We have fast-food restaurants, showers, parking for big rigs, and passenger vehicles. Today's troubles, like most of the trouble I encounter, revolved around showers. A driver came down, plopped his wet towels on the counter (even after my cashier directed him to a towel bin), and then threw his key onto the pile.

The cashier asked him, again, to place the towels in the bin. He finally grabbed them and said, "Oh, so you guys do not have to touch them." I replied, "Yes, policies have changed some due to the pandemic." In truth, that has been the policy for at least the three years I have worked there, but this seemed to be the quickest way to resolve the matter.

My cashier asked him what shower he was in, and instead of speaking, he held up the numbered key. Though, his finger was blocking the number, so we could not see what it was. When my cashier reached for it, he raised it higher so he had to stretch to get it. At that point, I was starting to get really irritated. His behavior was just so unnecessary.

I told the driver, "Way to make it complicated." This man lost his mind. He got right into my face and said he would slap me hard. I told him to leave, and he started flexing like he was actually going to throw a punch but said, "I'm not going to go for you. But want to know what I will do? I will find your family and mess them up.”

I pulled my cellphone out and started recording. The store manager then arrived at the building and heard the tail end of our shouting match with each other. He stepped in between us when the driver came too close. The driver started shouting at him, " Don't get involved, bro. You don't want none of this." My boss replied, "This is my property."

The driver calmed down very quickly, and they stepped outside. My boss told him exactly the same things I had; that he was not to return, etc. The end. Fast forward to the end of my shift—we had yet another driver issue. So, the policy for our showers is that we hold onto something as collateral until we get the shower key and the towels back. 99% of the time, it's a non-issue.

The other 1% of the time, it's a mess. This time, a driver came down, and since my cashier had a few people in line, I thought to ask the driver if he had brought the towels down. The driver said that he had not because he had not been told to do so. The cashier clarified that they had, in fact, told him. The driver just shrugged and said, “I don't care, man. I have a Lyft outside waiting. Give me my keys.”

He had left his personal keys as collateral, but since we did not get our items back, I told him he would have to get the towels. He became belligerent to both me and my cashier. At that point, the overnight manager was in, so he got some too. This went on for a few moments; then, in what I thought was a bluff, he said he was calling the authorities.

Spoiler alert, it was not a bluff. Like the guy at the start of my shift, I started recording on my phone. And this guy actually threatened me. After about seven minutes or so, a couple of officers arrived. The guy was belligerent with them too, and he pushed the cashier to the point where they told him he needed to back up and calm down.

One of the troopers came to the back desk where we dealt with the showers. The driver, at that point, looked like he was about to break down in tears. The trooper asked about our policy, and it was explained. The driver told him what he told us, "I am here for a shower. In and out. I do not have time for this. I have a Lyft outside. I just want my keys."

In what I thought would be the best moment of my day, the trooper escorted him upstairs to the showers and made him get the towels. We gave him his keys and receipt for the shower, but I added that after today, we did not want him back on the property. The trooper and the driver walked away, but the trooper made sure that he acknowledged what he had been told.

He asked him, "Did you hear what the manager said? You're not welcome here anymore. If you return, you will be charged with trespassing." I left a note for my boss about what had happened and went home. If the driver had simply said, "Oh sorry, guys. I forgot," or if he just didn't act the way he did, then we would have just given his things back. But he wanted to be petty about it.

I am better at the petty game. My takeaway from today is that my boss is pretty awesome. He had my back, stepped between me and a guy who audibly threatened to harm me and others. He probably will not appreciate that I let the second incident go as far as it ended up going but it is what it is. Sometimes, in retail, you just have to defend yourself.

Cranky Customers FactsUnsplash

23. Smoke Signals

We had a new employee start yesterday. She seemed to be a very sweet girl in her late teens and had a great sense of humor. I took a liking to her instantly. She had never been in charge of a register before, so I was put in charge of training her. I showed her the ropes and let her take over, staying close by in case she needed me.

When it was quiet, I taught her what the procedure was when it came to smokes. She asked me if she had to ID everyone and I told her that she would have to use her judgment. If a person seemed younger than 21 to her, then she should go for it. If they looked older, then it wouldn't be necessary. She seemed to understand, and she was getting the hang of the register quickly.

I figured that I could stop shadowing her and let her do her thing. I told her that I was going to do some stocking, but that I would be close by if she needed anything. In fact, I would be no more than an aisle over. She smiled and said OK. About 10 minutes went by, and I heard somebody yelling. All I could hear the girl say was: “I am sorry, sir,” in the most terrified tone.

I came over to find this old man screaming at her. She was hunched over and looked like she was about ready to cry. Apparently, he had told her that he wanted a particular brand of smokes. She gave him the wrong ones twice and was slow to find the right ones, and then she asked him for his date of birth when she rang it up.

He was yelling about how he was in a rush and needed to go. He saw me and said, "Hey, can you ring me up? This woman does not know anything." I looked at her and saw the tears rolling down her face. That was not OK. I told him to not talk to my coworker that way and informed him that it was her first day. He said, “I see that, but I have to go.”

I told him that he obviously did not because if he did, then he would not be screaming at her. He replied with a threat, saying that if I said one more thing, he would never come back to support our store. That was fine with me. I did not want customers who disrespect employees in the store anyway. In the cheeriest tone I can muster, I told him to have a fantastic day.

He stormed out muttering and I consoled the new girl. She was full-on sobbing at this point. What a horrible first day that had to have been. All because some mean person could not show a little empathy.

Nightmare SiblingsShutterstock

24. Behind The Doors

I just finished working the weekend and, boy, reopening after a lockdown has really brought out the geniuses, huh? Yes, please take your sweet time, ignore the store hours since they are clearly just a suggestion. It is not like we have lives or would like to get home before it starts pouring out. Keeping in line with the genius parade, on Friday, some dude waltzed in 10 minutes before closing.

I greeted him and asked if I could help him find what he was looking for since we were closing soon. He didn't really answer. Fast forward nine and a half minutes—I caught him talking to my coworker for the greater part of his visit, and I knew immediately that he would be trouble. He was mostly about random topics, but clearly, she did not care. Unfortunately,  she was too nice to cut the guy off and say that she was busy.

I start the closing ritual for the store, which involved turning off the open sign, flipping the sign by the door, closing the doors, etc. I also tried to make more noise than usual so that the guy noticed what I was doing. Of course, he did not, since he was too far into his story about wanting to be a hairdresser or something.

I waited about 30 seconds before I abruptly interrupted. I asked my coworker if she was ready to close her register. That tipped the dude off and he finally left...he did not even buy anything. We have had more people like this, all just waiting for the store to close. Then, we have those who are the other way round. We had a woman who was standing at the doors for a while waiting for us to open, and then got into her car and left as I was walking to unlock the doors. This has happened quite a few times and I cannot really wrap my head around that logic.

Black Friday FactsPixabay

25. Karen Finally Gets The Manager

This is a tale from one of my jobs in customer service. I work for a moving company that also offers storage services. I specifically work in the claims and disputes department, far enough up the food chain that if you are talking to me, you are most likely going to have a bad day by the time we are through. Roughly 90% of the customers I deal with have their cases sent to me because they are terrorizing the people that work on my team.

So July of 2020, in the middle of our busiest summer ever, this case comes across my desk. So I call this Karen about her pricing dispute that got forwarded to me two and half weeks prior, I see on her account that she has been calling our regular customer service line daily demanding to speak to the CEO or CFO of the company. Why they think they will actually get them is still a mystery to me.

I also see from the agent's notes that she is claiming there is a difference in the price from what the document we sent to her was and what was being billed, odd but not impossible errors happen, but when the agent couldn't resolve her issue immediately the exact way she wanted, out came the swear words and demands to speak to their manager’s manager.

Wonderful. As if my day wasn't hard enough already. She picks up her phone. Karen: “Hello”? Me: “Hi this is (me) with X Moving company calling you on a monitored and recorded line about (insert reference number here) for your billing”. Karen: “It is about time you called me, you guys are so incompetent, literally all you do is take people’s money, my god I was about to file a complaint with the BBB”.

Me: “My apologies, unfortunately due to current events there has been an unprecedented number of people moving which has caused delays in every department, which is why I am calling you today, I see that you have spoken to (insert other agents name here) and you weren't able to reach a resolution so this was escalated to me. I'm reaching out so we can try to get a resolution on this matter as soon as possible”.

Karen: “Oh good finally someone with sense in your company, so you're calling to credit me back for everything I've spent with your company”? Me stopping, hoping I hear her wrong: “Excuse me”? Karen: “That's what my dispute was for, everything I have spent with your company for the last three years, I was originally going to do it with my bank but my banker explained that a claim that large would mean having to close out then reopen my entire account and it would be so much easier of I handled it through your company since you were the one billing me”.

I am floored by this. This woman stored with us for almost three years before having all of her stuff shipped almost four thousand miles away from her starting area. We are talking billing in the range of about 15 thousand dollars. We are definitely not one of the cheap services in this field, and people usually pay the extra because of the reputation we have.

Me: “Ummm, no, I am calling you about the specifics of your dispute, I see you didn't give them to the customer service agent when you spoke to them or the other claims agent, what part of this isn’t correct, because from what we can see all of your billing matches up with the order documents we have been sending to your online account as you requested”.

You know when people talk about someone going from 0 to 60 at the drop of a pin? Yeah, she got on her high horse and did 0 to 120 in half that time. I legitimately had to take my headset off, holding it at arm’s length and I could still hear her screaming every obscenity in the book at me. After several minutes of this, she seemed to run out of breath (or hot air) and I was able to finally get a word in edge-wise.

Me: “Ma'am it's my job to find the discrepancy in the billing and the documents provided to you, and IF there is a discrepancy in your favor, then credit you back for it, now which parts of this are you showing a different amount charged vs what shows on your bill”? This starts her in on another rant, all be it a much shorter one where she throws a mess of numbers at me.

This is rather confusing to me, as I am not seeing any of the numbers she is giving me on her account. Then it suddenly hits me: Me: “Is the difference you are seeing on the long distance move this dollar amount”? Karen: “That's what I've been saying, god you people need to learn how to listen”. Me: “And is the difference you are seeing on these charges this”? Karen: “Yes”.

Me: “Oh I see what the problem is, the document you have been referring to must be a quote, because the difference in all of your billing is the taxes. You see quotes don't include the taxes, if you look at the top of the quote it says that in bold”.

Karen: “So credit me back the taxes, you never said how much they were or that you were taking them”. Me: “I apologize but I can’t do that, when you booked your order, the official document with all taxes, fees, and discounts was presented to you at that time, you have been charged the correct amount”. Karen: “Then get me someone who can because I want my money back, you guys are nothing but a bunch of (insert slur) and thieves”.

Me: “Ma'am there is no need for the kind of language you have been using on this call, now I regret to inform you of this but nobody in this company can issue you a refund for this matter as it is not a company policy or charge but rather charges that originate at the state and federal levels. I hate paying taxes as much as the next person does, but if you have an issue with those charges, that is something I recommend you reach out to your state senator and discuss it with them”.

Karen: “That is unacceptable and unprofessional, I demand to speak to your manager”. Me: “Yeah, that's not going to happen, see I am the highest-level person in this company that talks to customers period full stop. There are exactly four people in this company that are above me, none of them talk to customers ever and I have final say on any account or dispute in the company that gets escalated. Basically, I am the manager you have been asking for, and I am telling you no, we will not be issuing a refund on your account”.

Karen: “This is unacceptable. I am going to write bad reviews for your company everywhere and report you to the BBB”! Me: “Go ahead, but so you know, any dispute filed to the BBB or social media case opened about this will come across my desk in about two weeks as I am the one closing this dispute and we both know exactly how far that will get you, in addition since all of our calls are recorded, any bad-mouthing you do on social media can and will be removed as there is proof we have been more than accommodating with you in your frivolous demands”.

Karen: “Fine, I'm just going to dispute everything with my bank, they will stand with me, they have been my bank for years”. Me: “Best of luck with that and have a nice day”. Karen hangs up and I get busy notating everything about our exchange on her account as well as her dispute, close her dispute as denied, then send emails to our accounting department and social media departments flagging her name and account, listing the details of what happened.

Now this wouldn't be as satisfying without the follow-up I got later. After my lovely conversation with this Karen in July, in early September I got an email from our accounting department with a note saying she had tried disputing it with her bank and when they had reached out to us about the matter we provided them with all of the documentation for her billing, including the quote she had based everything off of that had the disclaimer about taxes in bold on top.

Needless to say, she didn't win that, so all of her accounts had to be closed then reopened for no reason. But wait, it gets better. Later that month, I get an email from my social media team, she had tried filing a complaint with the BBB which was dismissed when we sent them a transcript of her call with me. Then she tried bashing the company on social media.

This was also very short-lived as the social media team responded to her saying something along the lines that taxes weren't something to make numerous slurs about an individual for. They had sent me a screenshot of the responses other people were making on her post that were just tearing her a new one before she eventually deleted it.

I haven't heard anything else about this Karen but with her antics across multiple departments, she did get blacklisted by our company so I am happy in the thought that I will never have to deal with this particular woman ever again.

Entitled peopleShutterstock

26. With A Smile

One day, I had an old guy come through my register with lumber. I said hello to him and instead of greeting me back, he immediately told me had eight pieces of the stack of lumber on the left. I proceeded to count them and he snapped at me, saying, "I said eight!" I told him that we were supposed to count them. I completed counting and rang up those eight pieces.

He then told me that there were 10 pieces of lumber on the right side of his cart. Once again, I counted them. He said to me, "What school did you go to?" I was so confused by his question that I did not even know what to say. What was interesting is that, despite how cranky he was, he kept smiling at me as if his rude remarks weren't uncalled for.

He was also wearing his mask with his nose hanging out. Once he finished paying and I gave him his receipt, he left the store without saying thank you or anything to me. That guy is definitely up there as one of the worst customers I've ever had. Absolutely no manners and I am still disgusted by his behavior to this day.

Animals’ Biggest Power Moves FactsShutterstock

27. Meal Ticket

A customer ordered last night. It was a medium pizza with 10+ toppings, not too unusual since we're running a half-off special this week so people order weird stuff for cheap. I made the pizza; it was the only order for the last hour, and I made it about 15 minutes before closing time. The customer calls and adds four ranch cups, ok.

Delivery was running a bit late, and the driver says they were asleep and he had to wait about five minutes. $4 tip, cool. Today I get called. The opening driver didn't show up and my manager needs help. Okay, game face on—let's serve those customers, baby. This customer then calls from a different number and says they got a pepperoni only. What? I pull up the order, see it's the 10+ topping, and I call them out.

Me: “That's impossible you only got a pepperoni, I made that pizza myself. Do you have pictures of the pizza and box?” C: “Well, I ate it all and threw it away right before I called you, but I got a pepperoni. You must have mixed up the boxes.” Me: “Yours was the only order the last hour of the night, so there's no way that would have happened.”

C: “Well I'm gonna need a refund or I'm not ordering there ever again.” Me: “You will not receive a refund for this order since I know you're lying, so nice try.” C: “You can't talk to me like that, I'm a valuable customer.” Me: “No you're not. Have a nice day though.”

Pizza guysPexels

28. Just the Ticket

This guy comes into our store and is being a complete jerk. Not wanting to show ID to buy tall cans even though he looked 20 at the oldest, constantly yelling and swearing. He also had parked in the handicap spot despite not having handicap tags or plates on his car. One of my regular customers, who is a sheriff's deputy, was also in the store. He came up with an ingenious plan.

He saw how the guy was acting. Saw where he was parked. Went out, got his ticket book, and wrote the guy a ticket. Guy realized he wasn't getting his cans, went outside...to find he was getting ticketed. I could not stop laughing.

Customer Service FactsShutterstock

29. It’s Not-a Me, Mario

I was standing at the counter of the pizza place I work at. This lady storms in and slams a pizza down on the counter. "This isn't the freaking pizza I ordered, what the heck are you going to do about it?" She asked. I look at the pizza, then over at my buddy Nick, who’s grinning at this point, and turn back to her and say, "Nothing."

She then goes on a long rant, saying how we are going to be fired, how stupid and incompetent we were. She actually told me I must be developmentally delayed, then asked why the heck we weren't going to do anything? I said, "Because that pizza came from the pizza shop across the street." I think she actually managed to shrink in size and slink out.

Customer Service FactsShutterstock

30. Take A Picture, It’ll Last Longer

I worked at a photo printing lab, and we got people in all the time who claimed we were stupid and had messed up their pictures. One woman had us print 800 vacation pictures. They were bad quality, dark, and out of focus. Basically a nightmare to work with. But that wasn’t all. When she came to pick them up, she insisted that we had ruined them, that they were perfect in her camera, and that she had a very expensive camera and so there was no way the pictures could be dark or out of focus.

We finally gave her her money back, even though we had done nothing wrong and were out a lot of time and paper. She called us 30 minutes later and told us she was at a store across town, and they had reprinted all of her pictures and they were beautiful, in focus, and nice and bright. I had to tell her that the same person who owned our store also owned the store across town, and that not only would it have taken that store several hours to reprint 800 pictures, but their printer was down that day, so they couldn't have printed anything. She hung up on me.

My Life Is Over FactsShutterstock

31. Owning It

I used to work at a restaurant chain that started about 15 or 20 years back and has about 15 stores in total. People all the time would complain and release their vague threat "I know Tommy! (The owner, guy who started the chain) Do I have to call him to get some good service?" It came from so many people, but we had to put up with it because that's what you do in the restaurant business.

But one time when this happened, Tommy was actually in the restaurant. He would come in once every couple months or so and just act like a regular customer, just to kinda evaluate how things were running from a non-owner perspective (of course everything magically went smoother for him than any other customer, imagine that). Anyway, this lady (that had been a total witch the entire night) starts complaining, talking about how her meal was cold or bad or whatever, even though she had powered through 4/5ths of it.

She wants her money back for this atrocity! And then she drops the bombshell.I know Tommy! He wouldn’t stand for this!” The only thing was, Tommy was sitting almost directly behind her, and pretty obviously didn’t know her, and she didn’t recognize him. After getting a bit of the old discreet “Go ahead” nod from him, I just said, “Ma’am, Tommy is in the restaurant right now. If you could just point him out I’d be glad to let him know what you think of his restaurants.”

She stammered, gave the, "No he's not, I would've seen him!" until the owner stood up and said hello. He put on the kind of sickly sweet personality, where you're ever so polite but a total dick at the same time. She shut up and paid pretty quickly after that.

Valentine's DayShutterstock

32. Milking It For All It’s Worth

I worked at a concession stand for a children's baseball park. It's a large park (nine or so fields) and we get lots and lots of customers. Having lots of customers, we have to make things in large quantities and the quality isn't especially swell. But hey, it's a concession stand, not a restaurant. Anyhow, it's about 20 degrees out and people are ordering hot chocolate by about five cups at a time.

Only two of us are working. The process for making hot chocolate is putting an extremely large container of water in our extremely large microwave, and then stirring in an extremely large amount of cocoa powder. It's nothing fancy, but it tasted pretty good all things considered. Late in the day, I was working the register, and my co-worker is running around making everything.

A lady came up to the side window, screaming at my co-worker about how he's ruining the hot chocolate. My co-worker can't hear her, seeing as how she's yelling through a window. At a guy working around a lot of refrigerator fans, among other things. She finally comes to the front counter and tells me he's ruining it. "Why" I asked. Her: "He's going to ruin the milk! He's going to ruin it in the microwave!"

Me: "There is no..." Her: "HES GOING TO RUIN IT!" Me: "Peter!" Co-Worker: "Yeah?" Me (pretending to get super angry) "DON'T RUIN THAT MILK!" Her: *stares at me* Co-Worker: "What milk?" Me (still yelling): "THE HOT CHOCOLATE MILK!" Co-Worker (comes up to the front looking VERY confused): "There is no milk!" Me (to the lady): "Hmm. I suppose we don't use any milk." She left looking very scared to talk to us ever again.

Customer Service Gotcha FactsPexels

33. This Comes Right From The Top

I used to work in an old family-owned gas station/garage in a small town in the middle of nowhere. Since it was family owned, about 90% of the business came from regulars who had either business accounts or got their families’ cars fixed at the shop (and had for generations on both sides). As such, the random passers-by getting gas on their way to and from cities on either side of the town made up a mostly negligible amount of business.

The gas station side of the business made up maybe 2% of the business, and of that maybe .5% was non-regulars. So my boss couldn't care less about some of the annoying customers who came in. One day we got a particularly witchy soccer mom. This was during the summer a few years ago, so the gas was very high compared to the rest of the year.

She was convinced that our pumps were purposely calibrated incorrectly so that less gas was pumped. Her proof was that she always got $XX.XX in gas and it always went to XX% full. Well we had just had our equipment recalibrated for the year and knew it was all good. She kept complaining to me about it, and being a high schooler I didn't care, either.

But I kept up appearances and was polite, kept telling her that we had just had our pumps calibrated. She didn't care and kept complaining. Eventually she asked for the manager. But I knew something she didn’t. The office was right behind the counter, and my boss was in there listening the whole time. As soon as she asked for him, he simply yelled out “SCREW OFF!” And that was about it.

I just shrugged at her, and she left. My boss was awesome with jerk customers.

Random Acts Of Kindness factsShutterstock

34. Stop, Drop, And Roll

A customer was smoking in a supermarket, and a staff member asked them to stop. They refuse to stop. Customer escalates to me, as customer service manager at the time. I grabbed a fire extinguisher (large, CO2), walked up to the customer, and said "If you don't put that out now, I will be forced to assume you're on fire and act accordingly." Customer dropped the smoke, stamped it out with her foot, and left the store.

High School Incidents FactsPixnio

35. Sticky Fingers

Used to work in a pawnshop. We got lots of jewelry in and a lot of times the person bringing in the jewelry would have no idea that some of their stuff was fake. Nine times out of ten they would get angry and leave their stuff with us to be thrown out. My co-worker accidentally left a really gawdy but fake gold chain out on the desk one day. A customer came in, noticed the chain, and told us that we'd better put it away before someone took it.

I was about to. Then I realized I could have some fun. We ended up leaving the chain on the desk and would casually watch people as they came in to do business. Indeed, we caught a number of people trying to lift the chain. One guy in particular was talking us up and gradually pulling the chain off the counter. When he had successfully pocketed it and left the store, my co-worker and I began to crack up.

Sure enough, about a week later the guy came back in with the chain and tried to sell it to us. When I refused to buy it, he got angry. Then we showed him the security cam footage of him taking it. We weren’t even mad. Someone that dumb deserves to live his life that way until he walks out in front of a bus or into a wood chipper.

Customer Service Gotcha FactsShutterstock

36. The Truth Hurts

A customer wanted to return a computer that was about a year old when I worked in retail. I asked him what was wrong. "It just don't work." I powered it on, it gets into Windows, connects to the wireless network, goes online. I open Office, everything seems to be working properly. I show it to him, ask him what's wrong. "It just don't work." I asked him what was actually wrong with the machine (let alone why would you return a computer a year later).

"It just don't work. Are you saying if a car don't start, it works fine?" At this point I had enough of the guy: "No sir, I'm saying if there was a car and everyone could start it except one person, I wouldn't blame the car."

Meet The Parents FactsShutterstock

37. You Get What You Pay For

I was eating at a Taco Bell once, and I was waiting to ask for some sauce while another customer was yelling at a kitchen employee. She had pulled apart her burrito and was complaining that there wasn't enough stuff in it. I shut her up with one sentence. I leaned over and said, "looks like 89 cents worth of food to me!" She stormed out.

Customer Service Gotcha FactsFlickr, Mike Mozart

38. Lady In Shining Armor

I worked at a Walgreen's photo lab right after high school, and it was my first job. There was a really nice lady who used to come by every now and then to have her pictures developed, and whenever they came out we would chat about them because I thought they were great. One day while we were talking, another customer arrived. When I asked her how I could help her, she started yelling at me because she didn't like the way her photos came out.

She threw them on the counter and was really angry with me and wanted to speak to my manager. I called for my manager and she came over and tried to calm the angry lady down. The angry lady started pointing at me and said that I messed up her photos, and blah, blah, blah, threats, better business bureau, yak, yak, yak. I don't know what to tell her other than I'm sorry and that I didn't know what was wrong.

I told her I processed them like I was supposed to and that most of the work was done by the machine, to which she immediately replied "then what good are you?" Suddenly, the nice lady with the cool pictures pipes up in this authoritative tone: "How dare you? How dare you say that to him and accuse him of ruining your pictures? He already said he was sorry. Do you realize that what you said is going to cost him his job? Shame on you."

The angry lady just got quiet, realized how she was acting, and left. I thanked the nice lady, and it made me tear up a bit afterwards because having someone stand up for you feels good.

Ghost Stories FactsUnsplash

39. Powered Up

On one Saturday afternoon, we had a power surge followed by an outage. It affected all of downtown, but the store was not notified. Now, you would think that people would be understanding...but there was not one empathetic soul in our store that day. People started complaining that we did not have a backup generator. This was, in their eyes, totally the employees’ fault too.

We had one register that could still ring, but the card reader was down, so it was cash only. And the belts would not move. All of this should be obvious, but no. We got questions like, “You mean I can't use my bank card?” despite the fact that we had been repeating that for the last 20 minutes. Add to the mix this one lovely man who kept shouting, "Time to get out the pencils and paper!" because we most definitely know the price of every item in the store.

We finally got everyone out, locked the doors, and put stuff away to enjoy 30 minutes of bliss. The instant the power went back on, people were beating on the door. My manager told them everything had to reboot but, of course, they wanted to shop during that time instead of waiting five more minutes.

Random Acts Of Kindness factsShutterstock

40. Here We Go Around The Counter

I had a customer who was standing at the cash with items all over the counter, just staring at me. So, I sidled up and cashed them out. All of sudden, the customer left and started browsing the store some more. When he moseyed back up to the counter just moments later, I asked him if he was all set. He said nothing and went off again to look at something else.

Then, after some time, the customer stood impatiently before the register, proclaiming sourly, "Can I get some help over here? I'm ready to cash out." It took everything in me to not give a bratty reaction. As I was ringing him up, I also got hit with the old, "No, I always get 10% off," even though our item rewards system has literally been only 5% off for the past 10 years.

But no, this guy said he always gets a deal here. I had never seen the guy before in my life, but okay. Needless to say, they did not get the claimed discount.

Random Acts Of Kindness factsShutterstock

41. Not A Know-it-all

This customer came in 10 minutes before closing. She was looking at jeans up until closing with the help of one of our newer staff members. He had been hired six months ago for the holiday season but received only one shift weekly. At closing, I told my coworker that we were closed, so he told the customer that he would have to bring the items to be cashed out.

The customer continued looking anyway. My coworker took me aside and spilled the truth about the situation—he told me that the guy was being aggressive and almost yelling at him to help. When he came up to the cash, he complained about not being able to find the jeans that he was looking for and said that my coworker should not have been hired because he did not know anything at all.

Bear in mind that my coworker normally works in our shoe department, so he does not know much about casual wear. He then wanted us to call another store in order to look for his size. It was five minutes after closing,  so obviously, no one picked up. The cashier told him that, and he decided to ask for the manager as if that was going to do anything.

Since I am the shift leader, I was the acting manager. I turned around and asked him what he needed, and he started going on about how I needed to hire people with more experience. First of all, I don't even hire people. Secondly, this was the kid's first job—he was barely 16, and he was one of the nicest, most eager-to-please employees that we have.

I almost lost it at that customer. I told him not to talk about my employees like that. I do not even remember what else I said before my cashier jumped in to de-escalate the situation. Maybe I overreacted, but my coworker feels like the little brother at our store.

Sofia Vergara FactsShutterstock

42. Selective Vision

Today, I had two unrelated customers really get under my skin. Most of the time, I shrug off mean customers. I let them complain and then reply with "Sorry, company policy" or some other non-response to shut them up. But not today. And the first one was a doozy. This customer was an older lady who had bought four packages of hot dogs.

We currently have a sale for hot dogs: buy two and they are 99 cents each while their normal price is $2.99 each. The limit is one, so it's a pretty good deal; you save $4 overall. However, this lady was angry that only two of her hot dogs had gone for the sale price. I was called up and asked to fix it. The lady claimed that there was no limit mentioned on the sale sign.

So, I got out a sales flier, and before I had even opened it, she claimed that she doesn't read the fliers. That made me instantly angry. I set up a refund and went to get the on-shelf sale tag. And wouldn't you know it, in big bold capital letters the tag read: "Limit offer one per customer." I grabbed the sign and started to go up front to show the customer.

She saw me coming and immediately took off because the cashier had run the refund before I had a chance to get the tag. It irks me that customers can read the sale sign, but selectively ignore parts of it.

Cranky Customers FactsUnsplash

43. Needing An Explanation

I had never ever encountered anyone really going off on me at work...Until yesterday. This encounter at my workplace—a burger place—involved a rude customer named Darren, his young daughter, my coworker named Karen, my manager named Bernard, and me.

At my workplace, we organize orders numerically. Once your order is finished, we call out the number and the customer comes to pick up their order at a hand-out area. Now, I am currently training for a new role, so I was close to the handout table, but not working it. I noticed a man, whom I came to know as Darren, standing in front of the table with a receipt in his hand and a burger in the other.

Obviously, I knew he had a complaint. I just didn't expect that it would go like this. I asked him if something was wrong with his order. He said that he had gotten the wrong burger. He was actually calm at this point and he sounded only a slight bit irritated, but there was nothing alarming. I apologized and asked what kind of burger he was missing.

That's when Karen, who was taking orders next to us, jumped in and said, "Oh, I think his daughter grabbed the wrong order. His order is in the back." I later told her that it was not necessary to tell the customers their mistakes in that manner because either way, we were going to fix it for them. It was faster to just fix it rather than play the blame game.

Plus, no one was going to blame her and go on some witch hunt. I just wanted to do my job. At the time, I just said that the food in the back was already cold, so I just needed to know which burger he needed." Instead of answering me, Darren said, "Wait. My daughter grabbed the wrong food though?" Karen said that was what she thought had happened.

So, Darren replied, "Well, can you tell her that? Because I do not want to start a fight if I tell her." At that point, Karen and I looked at each other confused and uncomfortable. He then waved his daughter over. They were a tall duo, but I guessed that she was around 12. I tried to avoid the situation and reiterated, “Really, I can just get the correct burger for you. It's not a big deal at all."

Darren insisted that she needed to “learn this.” I then said, "OK. Well, I did not hand out the food, so I cannot say if she grabbed the wrong order. Karen can help with that." Karen quickly washed her hands of the situation by saying, "I can't. I am in the middle of taking orders." That annoyed me and I thought, “Why were you listening to us in the first place then? Why put in your 2 cents when I was already fixing it and we had no issues?”

But my concern, at that point, was Darren, who suddenly really wanted me to do it. His tone made the situation really uncomfortable. Even his daughter started to look extremely uncomfortable. As he started getting irate, more condescending, and loud, I started to just look for a way out. He continued to insist that he wanted to talk to me and know what had happened.

I, once again, expressed my helplessness. "Yes, sir. But unfortunately, I do not know what happened. I was not here handing out the food." He kept cutting me off, so I finally said, "I am going to get my manager for you because I cannot help you any more with this." As I turned to step away, he started screaming at the top of his lungs.

He shouted, "No, don't walk away from me! Ma'am, I do not want your manager! I am not trying to create a scene here!" Everyone was staring as he was going off and I yelled out Bernard's name. Bernard came over and that is when Darren went back to his calm voice. He told Bernard that he just wanted to know what happened with his order.

I was still standing there and Bernard said, "He wants to talk to you." Darren had a condescending voice when he was talking to me. He gave a half-truth and then asked, "Is that not what happened?" So, I stood quietly, and after he asked again, I said, "Well, I mean, my manager is here. So, yes, I am agreeing that that is what happened."

I also refused to look at him because when I get angry, I cry. I was trying so hard not to let the tears out. Also, because he was bending down to my level, I wanted to punch him. Darren started saying stuff like, "Will you look at me? Why does it feel like you don't want to be talking to me? Do you even want to be here talking to me?"

When he didn't stop his aggression, I absolutely lost it. So, I said, "No, I don't. Bernard, I'm not doing this. I can't do this." And I walked away. I went to the back where three or four different coworkers checked up on me. One even offered to let me punch him to take out my anger. I did not take him up on his offer, but I love that kid.

At that point, I only had like 10 to 15 minutes left on my shift, so I got to go home. Bernard apologized to me and said he didn't expect him to speak to me that way. On one hand, I understand because Darren could come across as a normal calm customer. But on the other hand, this guy was literally just screaming at me. And he was at least 6'3 (192 cms) while I am 4'11 (125 cms).

Even his daughter was taller than me. I told Bernard that it felt a little biased because he was not as condescending with him as he was with me. But Bernard said that he felt it was more to do with height since he was just as tall and built similarly to the customer. Either way, he said that there was something off about that guy anyway, and I agree.

Made Teachers Cry FactsPxfuel

44. Too Good To Be True

To preface, it needs to be said that my store does not have coupons. We never have, and we probably never will. On this day, I had a woman come in saying that she wanted to get decor for her new house. I offered to show her what we had available. She then mentioned that she was so excited that she was going to get such a good deal.

I assumed that was because everything she was picking out was 40% off. Spoiler alert: it was not. She proceeded to spend over an hour picking out everything and having us put it behind the counter for her. That was when she finally mentioned, “Oh yes, I was so happy to get a coupon for half off of everything here,” which was the major red flag.

I then asked her if I could see it while also explaining that we did not carry in-store coupons. She proceeded to spend another 30 minutes looking for the supposed coupon. I finally got a glance at her phone and it all made sense—she had pulled up one of those websites that claim to give out coupon codes, but they usually don't work.

It even said in a big text that they uncertified codes. She was perfectly polite the entire time but explaining to her that she couldn't use any of that in-store was exhausting. I know the older generation can have trouble with stuff like that, but it was like she just could not believe that she could not use her coupons. And, of course, she had us put half of it back.

History's Greatest Acts Of Kindness factsShutterstock

45. An Apple A Day

I had a customer yesterday bring in the clearance item that he bought, which was a MacBook. He came up to the register to return it. That was no problem. For reference, I'm five feet tall and he was a big guy. I followed protocol and opened it. I then checked to see if the laptop was up and running to turn off his iCloud accounts.

When the screen turned on, it was stuck on some weird screen with a mysterious folder labeled with a question mark. That's all it displayed. I didn't give it much thought. As I was processing the return, I noticed on the receipt that the form of payment was a $43 gift card, and the rest of the $1,057 was charged to his card.

Returns work by giving back the money in the same form of payment. So, I was telling him that he would get $43 back to a gift card. He immediately got upset and tried telling me that the last guy who helped him return an item of his but not to his card, but to a gift card. So, he wanted the whole $1,100 to his card.

Normally, I would let the customer know this kind of thing, and they would be OK with it. I was a little overwhelmed, so I called my super. She was held up with something and a minute into waiting, this guy started getting aggravated. He told me, "I don't have all day! C’mon." At that point, I was begging my super on the radio, “Please, I need you here.”

She came and checked out the situation. She also investigated the MacBook. I didn't know if the guy didn't disconnect it from his iPhone yet, but his accounts were still attached to his laptop. So, he started getting even more aggravated. Eventually, I called a floor manager up. They were letting him know that there was nothing we could do on our end.

This was because he did something like wipe his system. So, he had to call Apple to disable his accounts or find out why it was not working. He was sitting there, calling Apple, and I guess he was trying to use voice commands because he kept shouting something. Then he started to argue with the floor manager again, so I just walked away to compose myself

In the end, the guy got all his money back to his card and he was still able to return the item, claiming that he'll never buy clearance items from us again.

Apple factsPixabay

46. Always On Clock

I finished a shift at my work and I was on my way home when I realized that I needed to do some shopping. I could not be bothered to go all the way back to my store, so I went to another shop on the way home. Mind you, I was in my work uniform and it was too hot to wear a coat over it. I was going to be in and out so thought it was no big deal.

How wrong was I?! Well, two minutes in, an elderly couple came up to me and ask, “Excuse me, do you know where the food storage bags are kept? I replied, “I am sorry but I do not work here I'm afraid. They just say, “Oh, right!” They stormed off and, although taken aback, I thought little of it. Instead, I got on with my shopping and headed to the self-service tills.

Just as I was about to finish, the couple came back and they had a manager with them! They told the manager, “This employee of yours refused to help us find our items.” The manager looked at me, then said, “I am afraid that this man does not work for us.” He pointed to my uniform saying, “He works for another company.”

The couple stared at me and said, “We thought he was making that up!” I'd never had a complaint from a customer while shopping in another store before! Well, there is always a first time.

Cranky Customers FactsShutterstock

47. Cost Per Spray

I work at a thrift store, and due to COVID, there needs to be a door greeter who greets customers coming in and sprays their hands with hand sanitizer. This was what I was doing when an elderly woman came in. As I sprayed her hands, she started coughing dramatically as though this was the first time anyone had ever done that.

Then, she said, “You sprayed too much. It got into my mouth.” I immediately felt bad when she said that, but then she lost me when she said that it had gotten into her mouth. She was clearly wearing a mask. To top it off, as she walked away, she muttered something. It sounded like, “This is going to affect the amount of money I spend today.” I don’t get how that affects me, but okay.

Cranky Customers FactsPexels

48. Hear Ye Hear Ye

So we have this guy who is one of those regulars you don’t want. Rounds DOWN change, and gets upset when we insist he pays for the entire tab. Calls and cancels about 10 minutes before the scheduled delivery time. NEVER TIPS. Oh, I got him good last night. I ended up being the “lucky” one with his order. I walk into his place of business, and they were packed.

So I walk up to this lovely non-tipper and start the handoff. The exchange went a little something like this: Me: “I have your order here, can I get you to fill out and sign this slip?” Him: grabs pen and scribbles his name. Me: “I need you to fill out all three spots, not just sign it.” Him: “Why? The original total is correct.” Me: (Rather loudly) “If you are going to stiff your driver, I’m gonna make you own it.”

This got a lot of dirty looks in his direction from not only his co-workers, but all of the customers. Let’s hope he never orders again.

Pizza guysUnspalsh

49. In The Know

This happened this past weekend at my shop. The customers were one of those annoying couples who'd regularly come in and ask questions every time. They would ask things like where the bin bags were or where the rice was as if they weren’t here literally all the time. One day, this couple came up to my till and I start scanning through the items.

Suddenly, the man said, “Can you press subtotal at the end?” I said that I would. This was because, obviously, I was going to have to do it anyway. I thought he was just particular or did not really understand how it worked. Anyway, the total came to around $55 and they were not very happy. They started asking me how much every item cost and to void out other items, which of course I did without a problem.

When they came to scan their voucher, the pop-up appeared as expected, telling me to get a supervisor to authorize the void. I told them, “Because you have removed some products, I have to get someone over to authorize them. They shouldn’t be too long.” The man looked at me with confusion and said, “I thought pressing subtotal would make it OK.”

This deeply puzzled me. Did he think that of all the people who ever worked my shop— till staff, supervisors, and management—that no one had ever considered or worked this out before? Did he think he, a completely random man, knew more about our till systems? That he knew more than the staff who are on them all day? Strange!

Retail Workers Disturbing Moments FactsShutterstock

50. Time Is Money

I’ve worked in customer service for two years and the amount of stuff I’ve had to deal with is enough to blast God to the 16th dimension. One time, a customer wanted something way high up on the shelves, in the depressing fluorescent lights territory. I told her that I should be back within 10 minutes because I needed to get a ladder. She said that was fine.

Now, I don't even weigh heavy enough to donate blood. I’m a petite little ballerina of a rodent with Campbell soup noodle arms. None of the other workers were around to help as they were dealing with their own stuff, so I dragged this ginormous ladder from the break room all the way across the store to get back to the lady and the merchandise.

Well, I headed back to the desolate ghost town of an aisle and find that the lady decided to take a first-class ticket to Employees’ Time Is Meaningless-Ville. She was nowhere to be seen. Okay, time is money, and people have got things to do and places to be and all that. But don’t act like your time is more valuable than mine, because it's not.

Cranky Customers FactsUnsplash

51. Adventure Time

I currently work at a mall, in a candy store close to the food court. In the food court, there is a play area for kids with different structures to climb and play on. This play area has a no-shoes policy, meaning that to play there, kids have to take their shoes off. Now, kids are attracted to candy and have been known to wander in.

We can tell that they are from the play area because they lack shoes and, usually, we have an employee walk them back. These kids are usually really young, so it scares us a bit when they do not have an adult nearby watching them. Well, today there were three kids, probably siblings, all five years old or younger, that wandered in.

We took note of their lack of shoes and asked them to show us where their parents were; a common tactic to get them to walk back to the playpen and to their adult. Well, this five-year-old was kind of sassy and said, "I am five years old. I don’t need my parents since I walked here on my own." His younger siblings agreed with him.

We then told him that he couldn’t buy anything because he did not have any money. Honestly, though, we will not sell to kids without shoes regardless of whether they have money or not. He and his siblings ran out of the store and we watched them run to the play area. We figured that they went to their parents and moved on.

15 minutes later, they were back with an unexpected vengeance. They all grabbed a bunch of stuff and tried to run out with it, but we stopped them. This time around, my manager walked back to the playpen with them. Later, when she came back, she said that when she got there, the other parents did not want to allow them back in since they had been disruptive and had pushed some of the other kids.

So, she had returned with them in tow and we had to call security to pick up the kids and make an announcement over the PA system. A security guard later said that a woman had picked the children up and was mad at them since she had told them to stay in the playpen while she shopped. Later, I told my friend, who works at one of the restaurants at the food court what had happened and she said that she had spotted them running around the backs of the restaurants.

She had to kick them out from there since it was dangerous for the kids to be there. My only question is, “Who lets their young kids alone in a busy mall while they shop?” Just get a sitter!

Cranky Customers FactsShutterstock

52. Grabbing Luck With Both Hands

Our store has a lottery kiosk. Yesterday, this lady was buying tickets and she ordered me to tell her good luck. She didn't mean to wish her luck, either. She specifically said, "You should say good luck to me when I'm getting lottery tickets." I just told her I grew up doing theatre and I was conditioned not to say good luck. This is sort of true, but I mostly do not say it because I just cannot be bothered by these people.

Happy Endings FactsShutterstock

53. A Question Of Receiving

I had a woman say that she didn’t want her receipt. Then, when I threw it out, she yelled and said that I should give her a receipt. So, I went to print a new one and she immediately said, “No, I want my original receipt.” So, I pulled it out of my trash can, which only had receipt paper in it, and she goes, “It’s that one!”

I wondered, “Lady, how would you know? They’re all the same.” However, I held my tongue and just say, “No, this is for a smaller purchase. You got a bigger size.” I found hers and she huffed off. Fast forward a few days—I looked through the customer feedback box and I was shocked. We get a bad review saying that I was rude, threw out her receipt when she asked for it, and did not print her a new one.

It went on to claim that I just pulled a receipt out of the garbage and didn’t even give her the right receipt. Corporate gave her a gift card. I was done after that.

Genius Criminals FactsShutterstock

54. Putting Him In His Place

Recently I put a customer in place in Best Buy. I went to do an exchange at Best Buy. Guy walks up behind me, starts complaining about the wait to pick up a .com order, and I tell him to get in the line with the giant hanging "BestBuy.com orders here" sign. He then complains to a manager about how lazy his staff is, and how he has been there for 30 minutes to pick up a Monster Cable...hilarious as that purchase is.

I called him out, and the guy turns red from embarrassment and anger, then storms off. Then I debriefed the manager on how he was there for less than five minutes before being helped and the staff was doing a great job. The manager gave me a $20 Gift Card for calling the guy a douche to his face. I just didn't want the Customer Service guys to get in any trouble for this guy's slander.

Quit On The Spot factsFlickr, Random Retail

55. Speaking In Tongues

I worked at a drug store in high school. I had a German couple check out at my register, and they were incredibly rude. They were complaining in German about the customers behind them in line, using vulgar language and whatnot. Apparently, I wasn't moving fast enough for their liking, and the woman called me a name in German. But she didn’t know one thing.

She was obviously not aware that that was the terribly impractical language that I took in high school. When I finished their order, I stared her in the eye and said thank you in her native tongue, and they both looked shocked and embarrassed. It felt good, man.

Bilingual Awkward FactsShutterstock

56. Do It Yourself

I work at Jimmy John's. At JJ's, if you've never been, it's mostly self-service; you get your napkins, and if you need a bag, you get them yourself. Our sandwiches are wrapped in a way that you generally don't need one, and everything is made "to go." A lady came in one day and ordered like 4 or 5 sandwiches. As always, I redirect them to the end of the bar to pick up their sandwiches and grab whatever napkins and bags they want.

Now, if someone asks us to bag something FOR them, we will. People generally don't (unless they're really old in which case we'll do it for them regardless) but nobody minds if they do. This lady never asked once for someone to bag her food. She stood at the bar, quiet, bagging all of her sandwiches up and then left. 15 or 20 minutes go by. Then the other shoe drops.

Her husband calls the store and asks to speak to a manager, AKA me. I pick up the phone and the conversation goes like this, mostly verbatim: ME: Hi, how can I help you? GUY: shouting Yeah, since when is it ya'lls policy for people to bag their own food? My wife just came from there and told me she had to bag everything herself! ME: I'm sorry sir, but it's technically always been our policy. Everything is self-service here at Jimmy John's. We certainly would have -- cuts me off GUY: WELL I'M GOING TO BE SURE TO TELL EVERYONE I KNOW ABOUT THE KIND OF SERVICE YOU GUYS OFFER OVER THERE.

ME: Okay, well, thanks, I guess? I mean, it isn't any sort of secret. hangs up

Customer Service Gotcha FactsShutterstock

57. Up And Down

I stopped to get gas today, and while talking with the cashier I mentioned that she was probably tired of people yelling at her about the price of gas—but that since she is the one standing there she probably gets it a lot. She said that every day someone complains to her, like she can do something about it. A guy then came in and demanded, "Why the heck is gas $3.76 a gallon?'

Without missing a beat, she said, "Because it went down 10 cents this morning." He just looked at her, paid and left.

Customer Service Gotcha FactsShutterstock

58. Phoning It In

This just happened today. I got a delivery to a home for the elderly, so the address should have the physical address as well as a room number. The receipt said to “CALL WHEN ARRIVED,” which isn’t very unusual in and of itself. The order was a medium hand-tossed cheese, which is super basic, but again, not weird in and of itself.

I figured that they wanted me to call because it was past the time that the house would’ve been unlocked, and maybe they would meet me at the door. I thought this was confirmed when there was no specific room number on it. My manager texted me when I was on the way to the address that the person called again and asked to call when I arrived.

Again, I figured that I would call, we’d meet at the door, and I’d be on my way, easy. I get to the address and dial the number on the receipt. A man with a stern voice answered, speaking in a demanding tone. He said, “Listen to me. You will knock on [insert name on the receipt] door, and give them the pizza.” I told him that without the room number, I wouldn’t know where to go.

He once again repeated the phrase. He told me that he ordered it for her, and she would pay in cash (it was a cash order). I started to get red flags. This was getting sketchy. I still tried justifying it to myself, thinking that maybe it was her grandson ordering for her, as it was an old lady who maybe didn’t know how to order. It got weirder when he wanted me to keep him on the phone, but I did.

I knocked, and someone was close by, so they let me in. I asked what room so and so was in, and they told me. I went there and knocked. An older lady answered the door, looking confused. The first thing that she said was, “I didn’t order pizza.” I began to realize what was happening. He asked me to hand her my phone, so I just put it on speaker.

He started with, “I’ve been looking for you [first name, last name]. Why have you been ignoring me babe.” She was confused and started asking who this was. He told her that she knew. She once again confirmed that she had no idea who he was. He demanded that she give him her cell phone number. I shook my head no, and she said, “Why would I give you my number, when I don’t even know who this is?”

He then sneered, “I am coming for you baby. I will find you.” I hung up the phone. The number was likely blocked, as he called on private when he called our store. He then proceeded to call me five times (all with “Private Caller” as the ID) with me ignoring every single one. I finally answered and told him that if he called this number again, I would be calling the authorities.

That was the last time he called. When we were off the phone, I told the woman to contact a loved one, as well as the authorities. I told her I could blacklist her address, as she never orders from our pizza place. This is the second time a stalker scenario has happened with me driving. Yikes.

Pizza guysPexels

59. Turning the Other Cheek

Not me but a friend of mine. Went out to dinner with a group of friends, and their waitress was rude, snappy, and all around unpleasant. At the end of the meal, a few people in the group wanted to leave no tip, but my friend said, "No, let's not do that. There is nothing wrong with us; we're wonderful people. She's the one who's got a problem and we're not going to act that way."

Instead, they left her a generous tip along with a note: "Sorry you're having a bad day. Hope things get better." They then sneaked away to watch her reaction from a distance. She read the note, sat down in the booth, and cried. I guess you never do know.

Customer Service FactsShutterstock

60. In the Dog House

Warehouse worker here. Customers have to show a card to shop, and even though we're not technically a grocery store, we don't allow pets. One dude tried to power walk past the employee at the entrance door holding a big pit bull puppy on a leash. We stopped him and told him he couldn’t bring his dog inside...and he LOST IT.

He said he's our best customer and he's here five times a week and he owns stock, all that. He demanded to know why we don't allow dogs. We explained how it's a food safety issue, especially with an untrained puppy. At this point, our manager came over and just waved him through because he has no backbone and “the customer’s always right.”

Well, not even 5 minutes later, this dog squats in the middle of the main aisle and pees, followed by a poop. The man turned so red and dragged the dog towards the exit, abandoning his groceries. We stopped him and asked him nicely to please clean up after his pup. "That's the reason we don't allow them, sir."

Customer Service FactsPikist

61. Playing Games

I worked in electronics at Target. Over at Guest Service one day, I saw a woman with her teenage daughter heatedly speaking to the guy at the counter. After a few moments, he pointed over at me in electronics. The woman's head whirled round, dragon like, toward me. The rest of her body realigned with her head and she stomped in my direction.

When she reached the counter I pleasantly asked, "How can I help you?" She slammed a receipt and PS3 controller on the counter, "I paid 55 dollars for this and I can only return it for 40!" I asked, "May I see your receipt?" She nodded and I picked it up, "See, 55 dollars!" "Yep, I see that," I said, "You bought this last week when the store gave away a 15 dollar gift certificate with the controller."

"So what!" "You would shop at Target again, right?" I asked. "Not if this isn't resolved!" she spat. Her daughter next to her was embarrassed. "Hypothetically, if there wasn't an issue, I'm guessing you would and you would use that 15 dollar gift card on your future purchase. If we let you return this controller for 55 dollars then you would have a free 15 dollars. That is why the return price is 15 dollars less...I can do the return for you over here if you don't want to go back to Guest Service."

"I didn't want to return it, I just wanted to know why the return price was so much less," she said. She picked up her controller and receipt and began to walk off. Her daughter, clearly ashamed of her mother, thanked me and followed her mother out.

Customer Service Gotcha FactsShutterstock

62. Citizen’s Shaming

My boss once had a customer snag her shirt on the register counter. She went ballistic in ten seconds flat. She began shrieking about us replacing her shirt, that our counters were unsafe, and that she wanted compensation for her shirt. My boss is a very, very calm man. He apologizes, says he'll have someone from maintenance fix the counter, but the woman isn't satisfied.

She's holding up the entire line and refusing to complete her purchase, and the other customers seem pretty annoyed at her. The woman wouldn't give up, and finally the guy behind her in line has had it. He gets his wallet out, hands her a $20 bill, asks her if this makes her happy, then tells her to please shut up and leave the nice man (my boss) alone.

The woman made some terrible noise, left her items on the counter, and stomped off. The line applauded the man with the $20 (who still had it, the woman didn't take his money), and my boss gave him a hefty discount.

20 dollarsShutterstock

63. All Hands On Deck

I used to work at Tesco, in England, as a team leader. Basically doing a manager's job, on a bit more than checkout operator’s wage. I wonder why I gave that up to become a teacher...oh yeah. Anyway, at Christmastime, for some reason, we were quite busy. We had a good 35 checkouts in the store, and 35 of those 35 checkouts were open.

Yet there were still lines. Ultimately, if thousands of people decide to do their Christmas shopping terribly late, and you have every single till open, what can you do? Anyway, this woman comes over to complain that she had to wait. I explained that the checkouts were all in use, and we could do nothing. She asked why I wasn't on a checkout.

This was something often asked, with the simple answer being that if I'm the one who has to sort out any problem in case any of the 35 checkouts break, or needs something, or a customer can't walk the five paces to change their broken packet of biscuits—and I'm on a checkout—nothing would be done.  Anyway, this woman demanded that everyone should be on the checkouts.

Which they were. "I want to see the store manager!" she demanded, "You need to have more people working on the checkouts. Where can I see the store manager?" "Well," I replied, "He's currently sat on that checkout there, because we are so busy." She shut up. I really don't know what she wanted us to do.

Power tripsShutterstock

64. With All The Toppings

I used to work at an amusement park, and between department transfers, I started in food. My stand made funnel cakes and corndogs. The average wait time on a busy day could be upwards of 30 minutes in the sun, which I'll admit sucks. It's not any cooler in the stand standing over a 450 degree fryer. Anyhow...This guy comes up, orders four corndogs.

I ring him up and ask him if he wants any ketchup or mustard brushed on. He declines. I take his money and hand over four corndogs. His little girl bites into one and then tugs on daddy’s arm and says she wants mustard. I politely inform him that since she's already bitten out of her food, we can't brush it on; however if he'd head 50 steps to an adjacent building, he could skip the line and just grab some condiment packets.

Apparently this was unacceptable. Up until this point he was just a normal guy. Then suddenly he changed to a monster. "DO YOU KNOW WHO I WORK FOR?! DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM!?" I tell him no. He then half-chuckles to himself and points out his pregnant wife sitting at a nearby table and then begrudges the time he spent in line. I again reassure him they will give him some mustard packets if he walks next door.

He loses it.

"I'M THE GOSH-DARN REGIONAL REP FOR COKE IN THIS AREA, I WILL BUY AND SELL YOUR BUTT, KID." This self-aggrandizing and demeaning talk towards me lasted a full 60 seconds or so. Then I told him "we only carry Pepsi products.” He was flush with embarrassment and rage, and anyone within earshot is laughing at him. To spite me (really his little girl) he didn't go get mustard packets. He forever was known as MustardMan.

Customer Service Gotcha FactsPixabay

65. A Valuable Lesson

Yesterday was horrible. My relief wasn't on time, and because of our nonsensical late policy, I was technically working for free after my shift ended. So, I was a little cranky when my last customer asked to "just grab one thing really quickly." I said yes, but I was admittedly huffy. The customer decided to "teach me a lesson."

They waited to grab the item until the entire order was through. I cannot void an order over $10, so that wasn't an option. And today was the first of the month, so it was busy and I couldn't afford to have my time wasted. I just wanted to scream.

Still Mad About FactsShutterstock

66. Time For Change

What is up with the over 50 crowds being inconsiderate and generally just difficult to deal with? I had a retail customer come in at 9:30 am, right after I locked the door to go to the bank. He knocked, so of course, I opened the door and helped him. He got up to the register and paid with two $50 bills and two $1 bills for his $31.94 purchase because he wanted to break up his bills.

He then proceeded to dictate the exact denominations of change that he wanted, which I didn’t have since I hadn't gone to the bank yet. So, I flipped through the change in my cash bag. He saw the denominations that interested him, which happened to be the only change that I really had. He wanted them, but I hesitantly obliged because what else was I going to pay him with?

That was when another customer walked in and wanted to pay with—wait for it—CASH! I hate it here!!! I have also noticed that it’s always the same kind of people who do things like this. They call in two minutes before closing and ask you to stay, or show up 30 minutes before you open and bang on your doors, etc. I cannot finish my home inspection classes fast enough because I am fed up with how rude and seemingly clueless a lot of people can be in public.

Mistaken Identity FactsShutterstock

67. An Ill-fitting Argument

I work at Zara as a sales associate. Due to COVID, our dressing rooms are closed because they would be used as a shared space and, therefore, they'd require a wipe down, among other things, every time they would be used. We just do not have the staff to do that. So even though the pandemic is starting to die down, no dressing rooms.

Our return policy is pretty standard, though, so most people do not give us any grief and just buy their items and return or exchange them the next day if they do not fit. No big deal, right? Right. So, this happened while I was walking back and forth from our dressing room, which we are using as an extra stock room, filling up the shelves.

We were in the middle of a big sale, so I was trying to hustle and get everything out there as fast as I could. I was putting knitwear on racks, humming along to the song that was playing, and just generally having a grand old time. Then, approached me. The dreaded demon. Karen. She goes, "Excuuuuuuuuse me!" And I'm immediately on guard.

I turned around and immediately all my warning sensors were going off. She looked like a total Karen. Stringy blonde hair, thin lips, years of sunburn that has ruined her skin, not wearing a mask—but has one pulled down below her chin—and a girl behind her in her late teens that looked absolutely miserable being out with her.

Before I even fully processed it, my brain just said, “Oh boy.” I turned on my customer service smile and said, "Hi! How can I help you?" She was immediately in my face, not respecting social distancing at all. She demanded to know if we had a fitting room open, saying, "I was just by your fitting rooms and I saw your sign. Do you have any fitting rooms open?"

The sign clearly said that we did not, but I started with my little spiel. I said, "No, we do not have the fitting rooms open due to COVID, but our return policy still stands, even for the sale, so—" She interrupts me by saying, "But I need a fitting room." She also stepped closer to me so I stepped back. Clearly, she had no respect for our social distancing rules.

I tried to explain again that she couldn't use the fitting room, but she wouldn't have it. "I just saw someone in there." I replied, "I know, ma'am. That was my manager; she's pricing items." That apparently was not a good enough explanation for her, and she rebutted, "So she's back there and I can't be?" I just said "Yes." She still kept trying to get close to me and I kept taking steps back.

She had me quite literally backed into a corner. She proceeded to retort, "This policy is ridiculous. I can't believe this is still instituted, it's completely absurd." She then went on this entire rant about how stupid she thought the whole situation was. Apparently, she felt that she had to explain to me how stores work.

I replied, "Well, ma'am, we are still in the middle of a pandemic, and if we were to open the fitting rooms now, then we wouldn't have the staff to keep them clean and also run the store." She rolled her eyes and just started talking about how stupid and ridiculous it was that we couldn't accommodate her. At that point, I had enough.

I try to get her to stop attacking me for things I cannot control by putting it in perspective, "Ma'am, I'm just a sales associate and this policy comes from corporate. There's really nothing that I can do about this." This apparently enrages her, and she starts demanding that I change the policy right that second and get in touch with corporate to change the policy just for her.

At that moment, I had a divine moment of self-reflection. My third eye opened and I realized that throughout the whole conversation, I had been looking down. I am 5'3" (162 cm), so I don't get to look down at people very often. In arguments, I always feel stupid because I'm yelling up at whoever I am arguing with.

I am clearly not tall, but at that moment, I felt like an Amazonian goddess. I realized that I did not need to fear the Karen because the Karen would never have the dignity of talking down to me in an argument. She was still ranting and raving at this point, talking about how I needed to be the one who instituted the change because it's my job in danger.

I looked at her, gave her my best sales smile, and said, "Zara is an internationally successful company, ma'am. I am pretty confident in my job. You have a nice day, now." And I gave the polite gesture of "Get out of my way." She stormed off, and the daughter, who had been silent and miserable the entire time, whispered, "I am so sorry," and hurries after her mom.

I went to the fitting room and complained to my manager, who made a few choice comments about the Karens who don't take the pandemic seriously. I love that lady, truly. Also, when I got home, I searched for Zara's net worth out of curiosity. Seeing the results, I was relieved. Not worried about my job, not even a little bit.

Cranky Customers FactsShutterstock

68. Brand New

I work at a clothing store and our policy is that if the item has been worn, you cannot return or exchange it. So, this guy came in the other day and I was already getting a weird vibe. He was shuffling around and messing up all our displays, just muttering to himself. At that point, I was only walking through the children's department to get to our break room.

But he stopped me to ask a question. He pulled out this filthy pair of children's shoes—absolutely caked in mud—and demanded an exchange. He said, "The shoes have no sole." I took a look inside the shoe, and within seconds I could tell that the shoes had been worn for a long time already. There was absolutely no mistaking it.

In fact, they had been worn so much that the sole had been worn down completely. As in, there were still little chunks of sole at the edges, but they were completely gone at the center. So, I said, "Sir, unfortunately, due to store policy, we cannot return or exchange items that have already been worn." And he replied, "These have never been worn. I need an exchange. I just bought these the other day."

So, I looked around the kid's section for just a minute and I could see that the shoes weren't even out. I tried to explain that to him, but he adamantly kept saying, "No, I bought this the other day. They have never been worn. I need a return." I kept trying to explain to him that he could not return the shoes since they were caked in mud and worn out.

What he said next really flustered me. "I have been coming here for three years. I know the girl downstairs, and I need this return."  I obviously caught him in a lie, but he was not backing off. Fortunately, a lovely coworker of mine walked over and said, "Go take your break, honey. I got this." After my break, I  was walking down to my section of the floor and I could see the two of them, in the exact same spot, still arguing.

I heard him go, "This is downtown New York and I cannot even make a return? This is ridiculous. Just get me the girl downstairs." When my co-worker asked for a name, and he could not give one. I could tell she was getting annoyed and a few seconds later, she met up with me on our escalator and we both just rolled our eyes.

Pick-Up FailsShutterstock

69. Fishing For Trouble

I work at an aquatics store and I manage the freshwater aquariums. Whenever I work at the store, I usually ask people about their fish tanks to help them figure out any problems the tanks may have or recommend the best fish for them. Most of the time, I can help them prevent any beginner mistakes, or just stop their fish from expiring.

A few days ago, a lady came in a few minutes before closing. I was already behind on closing because of other customers, so I was kind of tired. This lady brought in dead fish and a water sample. The parameters looked good, but as a hobbyist myself, I suspected ammonia poisoning for her fish. We did not test for ammonia though.

Furthermore, this lady had done a full water change before her fish kicked it. So, I went through the usual—I explained the proper way to do a water change (25% every week) and also recommend products. She wanted a quick fix despite me explaining that her cycle was a mess and that there was no way that her fish would survive unless she started her cycle all over again.

Such is a process that can take weeks sometimes. Instead of listening, she made up an excuse about how she really needed to take some fish home because her kids want them. I still tried to guide her to a sensible decision. I recommended that she take only two fish so as to not shock the new cycle too much. All went well until she realized something that I had overlooked myself—the fish sale would end in a few days.

Then she insists that she absolutely must take the other fish too. I mentally say, “Alright. Fine. Take your fish.” Out loud I remind her that there is a good chance her fish are going to lose their lives unless she is very careful with her cycle. I, finally, send her on her way thirty minutes after closing because she would not listen to any advice that I gave her.

This was despite asking me what she could do and then not wanting to do it because she thought that it was too much work or she did not have time. I explained it later to the manager and she said that if she came back to return those same fish, I was to deny her the sale.

Drive Thru FactsPixnio

70. A Calculated Move

In one of my old jobs, I worked in a coffee shop. I really enjoyed it and the people who came in regularly were a dream. One time, the till had broken down, and we resorted to a pen-and-paper process to take people's orders. We also worked out their change correctly by punching it into the calculator. Everything was going well.

Or, it was going well..until this absolute demon of a customer came in. She started rattling off her order. I was hurriedly writing it down and double-checking the prices on the menu. She saw what I was doing and she tutted me as if she was disappointed. She also had the audacity to tap on the broken till and say, "Why aren't you using this? Surely it's easier?"

I pointed to the sign next to them and said as nicely as possible that we were using pen and paper, etc. Then, rolling her eyes, she said her order slowly but with a condescending tone. After taking her order, I took my time repeating it back to her, since she had asked for a lot. Apparently, that was too much for them.

She responded by saying, "I am in a hurry and you are taking too long." I apologized and explained that I simply wished to make sure that the order was correct. Then I proceeded to total up her order with the calculator, and I heard her sighing and huffing as I was typing away the figures. She said, "Why do you need a calculator? Clearly, someone did not finish math, or else you would not be working here."

That was the final straw. I balled up the piece of paper, threw it in the bin next to me, and said, "Another member of staff will be with you to help you shortly." I made my way to the staff area and told my manager what had happened. They told me to relax and said that they would sort it. Needless to say, I watched as my manager went out and made it very clear that the customer’s business was not welcome.

I just wish that I had the sense to throw that balled-up piece of paper in her face. I hate people like that.

Instant Karma FactsShutterstock

71. Delivering It In Style

I work at a shipping store. One day, I was asked to ship something to Iraq to who I assume was a military husband. Well, as a typical Karen, she gave lip and was upset about price and other small things. After a long process, we got the $20 of junk shipped. A few weeks later, she returned to the store, upset. She demanded to see my boss.

She began to chew him out about how I sent the package to the wrong place and how we charged her too much. Her problem was that she wanted to send it to a military base, which should have astronomically reduced the price. My boss took one look at her, and shut her up with a single sentence: "Ma’am, how does my employee know a random street address in Iraq unless you told him to send it there?"

Karen was dumbfounded and, after a few moments of being flabbergasted, she rambled back that she would call the local news. She never did that or the other things that she threatened to do. She didn't even write a bad message on Google.

Changed Opinion FactsShutterstock

72. A Steep Price

A man came in today to exchange a pair of pants. Unfortunately for him, he had bought a $70 pair and a $60 pair on a BOGO 50% sale, so the $60 pair was 50% off. He wanted to exchange the $70 pair for another $60 pair, but the system pairs up items when they're in a BOGO offer. On the receipt, it would've looked like he was returning both pairs and repurchasing the one he wasn't returning, in order to remove the BOGO offer.

After exchanging, he would have had to pay $11 since the BOGO offer was no longer available. He was not happy, as he would have had to pay even though he was returning a more expensive pair. I did him a solid and threw in 25% off. He would've gotten around $5 back, but he still was not happy with the offer. At that point, I knew he was going to be difficult.

He asked to speak to the manager, and as the shift leader, that was me. He wanted more of a discount, but I couldn't reasonably give it to him. He kept getting angry, so I told him to come back tomorrow, and maybe the store manager then would reach a different decision. He agreed and finally left after holding up the line for a little over five minutes.

Well, he never asked me to keep the pants on hold for him. It was our last pair, too, so I put them on my manager's desk, called her, and asked her for a favor. If he comes in tomorrow, she's going to tell him that we don't have them anymore. I also called my girlfriend—my manager's daughter—who works at the closest store to us and asked her to hide their only pair in the back room.

The closest available pair in that guy's size is now two cities over. He kept asking for more and now he will get nothing. It's not much, but it's a victory.

Retail Hell factsShutterstock

73. No Matter How You Slice It

I had this one customer one day ask me, "It's 50% off for bag mulch if it has got holes in it, right?" I told him that it was up to the cashier and how big the holes were. He said OK. My sketchiness radar went off, so I went to tell one of my coworkers to keep an eye on him. After a little while, the guy came back with four bags of soil. Each one had a huge slash on top.

They were clean slashes too and not holes from rough handling. He said, “50% each, right?” I had a small line, so I went ahead and rang them up (each bag was like, $4 originally). After I gave him his receipt, he said that he would like me to tape the holes shut. Again, I had a line and explained to him that I could only do that once the line is gone.

That's when he blew his top. He started making a scene, so I told the person behind him that I just needed a few minutes. It took me five minutes and a complaint from another customer for me to get them taped and sealed to his standards. A few days later, I was outside with a new coworker and he asked her, "Do you give a discount on rocks?"

I told her that it would depend on how bad the situation is. At first, I did not recognize him as the same guy—I thought that he said rakes, not rocks. So, he showed up with a few bags totaling roughly $90. He was demanding half off on each, so the coworker asked me what to do. We were only allowed a $50 markdown without any assistance. When I look at his bags, I almost lost it.

Once again, there were clean cuts. I told him that they were just open and none were missing, so we couldn't do the full 50% off. Instead, I helped my coworker take $20 off. He did not like that and kept demanding we give him 50% off, saying that someone ruined his bags. I told my coworker to just mark them down so he could finally leave and we could get our lines moving.

Customer Service FactsShutterstock

74. Schadenfreude

I work in the produce section at a Trader Joe's clone. It's a hyper-corrupt corporate structure, but for once, I can't blame what happened yesterday on corporate. Here's what went down. So, yesterday, I was nearing the end of my shift and was bringing a few dozen plastic packages of cut fruit out to our cut fruit fridge. At the time I was exhausted.

I didn't think about how I was balancing these packages on my work truck, and they all fell onto the floor—berries and grapes were just flying everywhere. Obviously, this was not a big deal, but this happened right in the center of the store, where our four departments and the doors to the back room converged. The store was also well over capacity with customers doing their Saturday afternoon shopping.

This incident had created a traffic jam of sorts. My manager and I were scrambling to pick everything up, and I was down on my knees trying to pick up the grapes. What infuriated me were the glib jokes and quips that customers felt they needed to make and the fact that even though there was plenty of space for them to get around us, they still grazed their carts within an inch or two of where I was squatting.

I was embarrassed enough, but it just got worse for me. I started hyperventilating and got tunnel vision, and had a panic attack. Even if, from an outsider's perspective, the situation was somewhat comedic, from my perspective, it was exceedingly humiliating and dehumanizing, to be treated as an object. Customers were weaving around me like I didn't exist and provided unnecessary commentary that nobody else cared to hear.

It was the most embarrassed that I've ever been at this job.  In my state, the customers seemed like cackling buzzards swooping around, narrowing in on the prey. We, somehow, managed to clear up the path and get out of the way of the buzzards.

Patients Wouldn't Admit FactsShutterstock

75. Discounting It

A doctor came into the store a few days ago with a bag of clothes. She asked if we had discounts for health care workers, to which we said that we did not. The discounts were only for military personnel and teachers or students. Immediately after hearing this, she got upset and said that doctors worked much harder and deserved it more than teachers.

In my eyes, it was rude and ignorant to expect that a well-paid doctor should get a discount over teachers who are severely underpaid. If she could come to our store and blow $300 on clothes and also have other shopping bags on her, I seriously doubt she needed a discount. But it only got worse. She had the audacity to say, "Well, who was working hard during the pandemic? Yeah, doctors! That’s right."

It's true in some ways, but she was also very well paid. Teachers, on the other hand, do so much to teach the younger generation, including future doctors, but they are not paid nearly enough, which is why they often get discounts. It just blew my mind how she sat there bashing teachers for getting a discount as if it was something the employees decided on.

Cranky Customers FactsShutterstock

76. Holier Than Thou

The main guy of this Pentecostal church group comes into our store every Sunday and Wednesday. He told one of our servers that she was going to suffer and that she couldn’t serve him because she has tattoos on her arms. He would never wear a mask even at the height of the pandemic. He'd constantly complain about the service and how no one at my restaurant was a good server. But that's not the worse thing he's done.

He also told one of our servers that he was going to call CPS on her because her kids shouldn’t have a mom who has tattoos and piercings. I would love to knock the religious superiority right out of his body through a punch right to the ear.

 

Customers Asked To Speak To A Manager factsShutterstock

77. Rules Are For Others

My store is currently closed for in-store shopping and we don’t have a proper click-and-collect set up yet. The system we have basically sends us an email, then we call the customer to confirm. Well, someone called about 30 minutes to close on Saturday and I squeezed her order in at the last minute.

She yelled, "Ugh, whatever," and hung up on my manager. We got back to her within an hour and placed her order. When she came to pick up both on Saturday, she disregarded all our COVID policy signs saying to call the store for pick-ups. Instead, she climbed over the barriers to knock on the store’s door. I was on the phone with a customer when she did this, and my coworker was completely out of sight.

When she did it again today, I gestured for her to call us. She called, and then when I collected her order and opened the door, she laid into me about how rude I was being. I countered, "I think it was rather rude of you to ignore all our signs and barriers and knock on the door." She got very upset and yelled at me about how she was never coming back. "You'll be lucky to have a job tomorrow," she threatened.

Cranky Customers FactsShutterstock

78. Half-baked Notion

I work in a bakery in a grocery store, and we have plexiglass in front of us and in front of our artisan bread for obvious reasons...Or maybe, not-so-obvious reasons to some people. Today, I had a lady reach over the glass, over my case full of cakes, to grab the cake from the top of my pile. She had to struggle to reach it.

Not only that, but all throughout COVID, we had to put all our bread in bags instead of leaving them out in the open. The glass is literally two feet tall. All I could think was, “If you have to struggle to reach over the glass, it probably means you are not supposed to be doing the thing you are doing!” This phenomenon has actually been happening even more since COVID and I'm really just over it.

Cranky Customers FactsUnsplash

79. The Fountain Runneth Dry

I run a convenience store inside a mall. Just outside our store is a lovely fountain, only it's drained. It has been that way since before we got the store last year. One day, I was sitting around, enjoying the cool air on my face. Our store is located on a kind of odd angle, where one wall is shorter than the other, and you can see people walking by through the glass windows.

I sat around watching mall traffic while keeping an eye on my game, always alert for trouble. At one point, my idyllic view was interrupted by the sight of a man, clearly with a purpose, striding directly toward me. I didn't even have time to give my usual chipper, "How you doin’ today?" line.  The angry man asked me a question that threw me off-guard: “When are they going to turn on the fountain?”

I apologetically replied that I have no idea. A moment passed and the man’s brow furrowed. It appeared as though he was not sure how to process the fact that I didn't have an answer. Then he said, apparently to make the situation clear to me, “They drained all the fountains!” It was my turn to be confused. Clearly, they drained all the fountains...I'd been looking at the empty fountain all day long, so I would know.

I don't know why he thought I didn't notice...Did he think it was my fault? Maybe he didn't know that the mall makes its own decisions. So, I told him, “You'd have to ask the mall management. We're just a convenience store.” He firmly told me, “I will!" And with his sense of duty now apparently locked onto a new target, he stomped on out of the store with the same clear sense of purpose.

Are You Serious? factsShutterstock

80. Dog Days

Several years ago, I used to work as a dog trainer at a very well-known pet supply store. While I was a dog trainer, it was still retail, so of course, I had to do 100 things outside of my job description. As a result, I was working the cash register, stocking, and yes, helping our loyal customers. The store I worked at was an absolute disaster with Karens, too.

Big, white suburban neighborhoods were situated around this store, so they came in like hordes. Well, on this particular day, it was vet day. Basically, a local vet service partnered with the store to offer quick walk-in vet checkups for things like vaccinations. Of course, put "cheap" and "Karens" together and you get the worst workday of your week.

This week, the store was packed. The line went all the way to the front, and we were the biggest store in the area. People were asking me questions left and right, dogs were relieving themselves everywhere, and kids were playing with the dog toys. It was the whole shebang. I was already like a headless chicken, having to juggle five tasks while also prepping for a dog training class. Yay.

But as I was making my way from the vet station helping another customer, I saw her, and she definitely looked like trouble. She had a dark tan, shoulder-length straight hair, sunglasses, and she was dragging a couple of kids down the aisle toward me. She looked like she was wanting to turn into the Hulk and was ready to fight. I prepped myself before I started to say, "How can I help—"

She stopped me in the middle of my sentence by saying one loud word, "Dogs!" She had a crazy gleam in her eyes. I tried to decipher her cryptic message and asked, "Dog...toys? Dog...food?" She then said, “Where are your dogs?” It took a second for my brain to catch up with her shrieks; to understand that she was hoping that we sold dogs.

Now, luckily, big box stores like this one tend to not sell dogs directly. Otherwise, they would get them from puppy mills. But now, unfortunately, I had to inform this lady that we were not that kind of store. I geared myself up for a battle, then said: "I am sorry, ma’am, but we do not sell dogs he—" She cursed and shrieked, then immediately spun around, pulling her kids like ragdolls the entire time.

She then stomped out the door again. It felt like I got hit and run over by words. This interaction was less than 30 seconds, so it was like a new record.  It was then that I decided it would be best if I took my break before doing my next class.

Leonard Nimoy FactsShutterstock

81. Taking A Bow

Several years back, I was working at a small beauty supply store in the southern part of the US. Among other things, we sold little clip-in hairpieces. A family of four had come in and the mom and dad were discussing products in the first aisle while the two little girls were running unsupervised through the store, being loud and making messes.

It was truck day, and I had been stocking shelves out of a shopping cart, referred to as a buggy by many people in that area. It was chock full to the brim. I had gone to the stock room and when I came back 30 seconds later, I saw one of the little girls pushing my cart around the corner of the opposite end of the aisle.

She was standing on her tiptoes and still could not see over the handle. I heard her say something to her mother and her mother told her, "Put that back where you found it." By that time, I had nearly caught up with the kid, who had turned the basket around. She pushed the cart up to me and said proudly, "Ma'am, are you lookin' for yer buggy?"

I replied, "You do not need to be messing with that." That's when the mom's Karen came out. She came roaring around the corner saying how I should not speak directly to her child and that if I had something to say, then I should say it to her. Never mind the fact that the kid had run into a shelf, slipped a bit on the tile floors, and almost turned the basket over on herself on the opposite side of the store from her mother's location.

I did not bother to argue about safety concerns and instead went back to stocking shelves. A little while later, the mother asked me to help her match the color of her hair to the hairpieces. I helped her pick one out, then heard her confirm to her husband that it was the one she wanted. I then went up to the register, while she rounded up her kids.

When she got to the checkout, the hairpiece that she put on the counter was a different one than what I had seen her discussing. I asked her about it and she indicated that the other one was more than she could afford, but she planned to come back for it. I rang her out and they left. The next day, I got to work and the opening clerk said, "I got one of your customers today."

I said, "Oh yeah?" I didn't get customer complaints often, but that particular week, I had someone else come in, while I was off, saying that I was rude. They had been unhappy that I had prevented them from shoplifting but they gave some other bogus reason to complain. When my coworker confirmed this, it was in a tone that made it clear I was in for a ride a bit later.

So, I asked, "Have you ever seen me be rude to a customer?" "No," she answered. "It always seems like you're sweet, but to hear them tell it, you're big and bad." About that time, the door opened, and in walked the hairpiece woman and her kids. It was about to go down. She started laying into me about how she had come to return the hairpiece that she got yesterday.

We did not take returns on hairpieces in the first place. However, she said that in the process of trying to return it with my co-worker, they had found a discrepancy between the item that she was trying to return and the one I had rang up. So, my coworker had asked her to come back during my shift so I could assist with the return.

This woman pulled the product that she wanted to return out and it was a different product than the one she purchased from me—in fact, it was the one that I had heard her tell her husband she wanted...and it was in a different product box. I told her as much, and she started screaming, saying that I better not be calling her a liar.

She also started making thinly veiled physical threats. In the meantime, one of her darling kids had come back around the sales counter where I was standing and she was trying to get my attention to get in on the action. I was ignoring the girl, but she kept tapping me on the hip. I whirled around and curtly said, "Don't touch me."

Then, remembering the scene from the day before, I snapped my head back to the mom and smiled sweetly. Through gritted teeth, but with the most upbeat voice, I said, "I am sorry, could you please tell your child not to touch me and remove her from behind the counter. It's not safe for her to be back here." She snarled, "That's better."

She barked a command at her kid, then made it clear that she would be back in an hour to continue her reign of terror. Shortly after she left, our store manager arrived unexpectedly early for the closing shift. We brought her up to speed on what had been going on. When the lady came back, I happened to be in the stock room.

My manager closed the stock room door and told me in the sternest voice ever: "Do NOT come out." I could only hear snippets through the door, so I don't know exactly what happened. I got the picture that we must have given her some money back as a one-time thing, probably because the other option was to refer to corporate, who would have given her money back.

But then I very clearly heard the woman's voice ring across the store, "Go get her and bring her out here. I am going to snatch her up and…" "You will not lay a hand on my employee," my manager emphatically interrupted. I did not hear any of the exchange after that, because I was so shocked at my sweet, proper manager's firm retort.

My coworker, apparently, was similarly surprised. The consensus among the employees after that was that we were pretty proud of how tough our manager could be if needed. They also decided that if I was being rude to a "customer," it was probably someone stealing.

Cranky Customers FactsShutterstock

82. A Helping Hand

I used to work at a video store, and after a while I got pretty desensitized to people throwing little hissy fits about late fees. One day a gentleman tried to rent a movie and I had to let him know he had accumulated some late fees on his account. Cue standard rant about having returned them on time, blah blah blah, "...and I'm just going to cut up my membership card when I get home!!"

I reached under the counter and grabbed a pair of scissors, held them out to him and said, "Well, you can do that here if you like." He gave me a venomous look and left the store in a huff. And it felt so good.

Customer Service Gotcha FactsShutterstock

83. I’ve Got A Package For You

Working at a shipping store, a customer tried to drop off a package to be shipped back to Clearwire (an internet company). He had the box wrapped in shipping paper and twine. Instead of a prepaid shipping label, he had printed out the directions on how to obtain the shipping label. I tried to explain to him that he needed to go back to his email, click on the link, and print the shipping label.

He was adamant that he did everything correctly and kept saying he was going to leave the package there and that it was our problem. My boss, hearing this, comes from the back and explains that if the customer leaves the package, my boss will throw it out the door. The guy turns around, leaves the package, and says again, "Not my problem." He got exactly what he asked for, and then some.

My boss, true to his word, follows him and throws the package towards the customer. The package bounces a few times on the sidewalk right past the customer and the guy keeps on walking. The package stayed outside for 15 minutes in heavy rain before my boss relents and took the package inside. The package was still under a counter four months later when I left the job.

Customer Service Gotcha FactsUnsplash

84. That Took A Turn

I used to be a low level manager in a call centre, it paid the bills…anyway, a customer had called us and been perfectly pleasant, giving us his account details, and business got underway. At the end of the call, he asked for one more thing that we couldn't have done, and was informed of this. He immediately got extremely aggressive with my member of staff.

At this point her hand shot up in the air (cue me) and she handed over the headset and chair so I could view the details. I was called a bunch of names, and then we got down to the grand finale. The threat. I'm paraphrasing but here's how it went: Him: “Listen, I can see your company's address on your website, I'm going to come down there and mess you up.”

Me: “Good, you gave my colleague your name and address details first then, I'll make sure to hand them over to the authorities somewhere in the few hours it's going to take you to drive down here. We'll be waiting.” Dial tone

Scariest ExperiencesShutterstock

85. Paying The Price

We had a building where I ran a family sewing factory with a small store attached, which my mom ran. One day a guy comes in to deliver some rolls of fabric and this woman decides to park in the middle of the lot. Not even in a parking spot...she just turned off her car wherever and got out. Then she went shopping elsewhere. The trucker had to leave, so I had the car towed so he could get out and back on the road.

The next day I hear a very loud voice demanding to see a manager. He shoves a ticket in my office manager's face and says, "You're paying for this." I walk in and ask what the problem is (I'm 6'6"). He tries to get all up in my face and asks sarcastically, "Who's paying this ticket?" I got loud and replied, "You mean where I had to tow a car because they were too cheap to put a quarter in a parking meter on the street and parked in the middle of my lot?”

I was a good 10" bigger than he was...he left. Then I called the authorities and made a complaint against him for threatening behavior to my employees, just in case he tried anything funny.

Customer Service FactsShutterstock

86. Checking It Twice

I was working in food service at a cash register. A customer came up and placed an order, I rang it up, and she wasn't happy with how much it cost. She started whining and being a real witch. My co-worker came up and stood next to me, looked over what I did, and just kind of stood there polishing a counter. She squawked, "Get me your manager!" I say, "Ok sure, but ma'am this is the correct price."

Co-worker standing next to me is actually the manager. He looks at the woman and goes, "Yup," and continues polishing the counter. "Buh... wha... uh... ok fine!" shouts the woman and walks away. The two of us crack up laughing.

Entitled Parents FactsShutterstock

87. A Case Of Mistaken Identity

I used to work in the main office for a large chain of furniture stores in the UK. I worked in the evenings, phoning customers to let them know their furniture was in, and arranging a delivery date. One night I phoned and asked for Mr. or Mrs. Jones. The guy on the phone starts ranting to me about people phoning up his elderly parents trying to sell things.

He went on and on and on and wouldn't let me get a word in edgewise. I think he may have even used the toilet while he was ranting at me. When he finally wound down, I said, "Are you finished now sir? This is ---- Furniture and I'm phoning to arrange a delivery date for your parents’ new three-piece suite." Yup, that one shut him up completely.

Haunting Embarrassing Moments factsShutterstock

88. The Best Man For The Job

I was working at CompUSA a few years before they closed. A well-to-do looking gentleman and his high school-age son approached the counter and ask to return a 2.5" hard drive enclosure. I overhear him telling the girl that the enclosure was defective because his drive will not fit in it. She says that sounds unusual because we sell a lot of them and hadn't seen any returned.

Upon hearing this, he tells her in a very condescending tone that he "is an engineer and his son attends (insert expensive private school) and they could not get it to work so it must be defective." The customer service girl calls me over since she didn't really know much about computers and would rather have an "expert" look at it.

When I come over he has the drive enclosure and his hard drive sitting on the counter. I immediately notice that he never removed the OEM bracket from the original drive and that was why it wouldn't fit. I say, "I think I know what the problem is and just need to grab a screw driver." To which he responds, "If neither me or my son can figure it out, I doubt you'll be able to."

I proceed to take the bracket off and slide the drive into the enclosure in about 10 seconds all with a grin on my face. He picked it up and hurried out without saying anything or making eye contact.

Mistaken Identity FactsShutterstock

89. Too Good To Be True

A well-dressed business passenger bought a plane ticket on Continental from Indianapolis to Manchester. There are no direct flights, so he would have to connect in Newark, New Jersey. After arriving, he strolls over to the Manchester gate and sees a small 50 pax regional jet parked outside. He thinks nothing of it and boards the airplane a while later.

After taking his seat, and just prior to the boarding door being closed, the flight attendant makes an announcement: "Welcome aboard flight #### service to Manchester, NEW HAMPSHIRE!" This guy goes completely wild. He starts scrambling to get his things and get off the plane, all the while yelling at the flight attendant, gate agent, pilots, and other passengers.

He was trying to go to Manchester in the UK (airport code of MAN) and he bought a ticket for MHT. The gate agent was getting completely verbally harassed by the guy at the podium as she tried to rebook him to the proper destination. She took it all in stride and was really trying to help the guy even though he was being a complete jerk and going on and on about how it was a mistake in the computer.

And then she saw how much he paid for the ticket. Her exact words were: "You only paid 300 dollars for your ticket and you really thought that was going to get you to England?" He was quiet after that.

Strangest Interactions factsShutterstock

90. Ironing Out The Details

I work at Ikea in Customer Service. On a daily basis, we have customers come in with items that have been used, broken, old, without their receipt, some even not Ikea products, and they are DEMANDING a refund. But the couple that really takes the cake tried to return to me a broken and rusty ironing board. It was obviously used and without a receipt I'm limited with my options.

We can only offer store credit if the item can be returned to stock in original packaging. Obviously, it wasn't. With a receipt you have 90 days to return your item in any condition. After I refused the return, they asked for my manager. My manager offered to look up their receipt, couldn't find it so we couldn't take it back. They then asked for her manager.

Every time they got a “no” they asked for the manager above. Eventually it got to our store manager. They quickly found out they’d messed with the wrong guy. This manager is a BOSSS, 6'5", hulk-like, and Swedish; he started as a cashier and made his way up literally from the bottom to owning the store. He came on down to the belligerent couple who were causing a scene because our customer service was apparently SOOOO poor.

After inspecting the item and removing their iron cover (which none of us did before, the item was that appalling we really didn't want to touch it) he finds the date stamp. It was from 2002. The couple got real silent because the entire time they said they've had it for less than three months. Our store manager said in the calmest voice I have ever heard in my life, "I think it's about time you leave my store."

Absurd FactsWikimedia Commons

91. Too Big For His Britches

I worked at the local CVS for a summer back in college. I was at the register one night when a lanky teenager came up carrying four different boxes of condoms. He put them on the counter, produced a receipt, and asked for a refund. I noticed that each of the boxes had been opened. I told him we couldn't refund the items given that he had opened them.

He looked me straight in the eyes and said seriously that he had tried one condom from each of the boxes and that none of them fit because they were too big. I didn't know what to say to that except that we definitely could not give him a refund. Without any embarrassment he scooped up the boxes and left. They were all "XXL," "magnum," and "plus-size" brands of condoms.

Creepy peopleShutterstock

92. Shifting The Focus

I work at a large chain grocery store in a well-to-do area. While many of our customers may look like typical Karens, most are actually really nice and amazing people. That being said, I was racking carts and I hear this lady on the phone behind me muttering: "I don’t know why they come to this country, they can barely even speak the language. I’m behind on right now who's probably a terrorist”!

I look in the window’s reflection and I can see that she's walking behind a young woman in a hijab who has a small child. The young woman just put her son in a cart and I can see that she looks like she's about to cry. So I decide, forget it…I'll take the hit for her. I spin around to Karen and shout: "Oi! I take bloody exception to that! Just because I’m Irish does NOT mean I am or ever was in the IRA”!

I look at both Karen and the young woman. Both were speechless and all Karen does is point at the young woman. So I continue, this time speaking to the young woman: "You saw that, didn’t you?! This lady just called me a bloody terrorist! I might speak Gaelige and wear a Catholic cross! I might even be from Ireland! And darn it I’m bloody proud! But I AM NOT A TERRORIST”!

At this point my manager walks over to see what all the fuss is about. I say: "This lady just called me a terrorist”! I turned to the young woman and asked: "You heard her call me that too, right"? My manager looks at the young woman and instantly catches on. He tells Karen that that kind of conduct is not okay in our store, no matter who it's directed at or why, and that she needs to leave.

Karen, still completely speechless, just turns around and walks out. I turn to the young woman and tell her: "I do apologize about the yelling ma'am, but I’m proud of who I am! If you need anything while you're shopping, just let me or one of my coworkers know”. The woman thanks me and pushes her cart away while sporting the biggest grin.

My manager then makes the comment "Entertainment tonight: $0. Teaching Karen a lesson about discrimination: $0. Seeing that young woman walking away sporting a grin like the Cheshire cat: priceless".

Entitled peopleShutterstock

93. Giving Them A Taste Of The Local Hospitality

A few years ago I had a side hustle on my days off. My job had a rotational schedule where I worked two weeks then got two weeks off. I made plenty of money at my job, but it didn't hurt to make a little extra cash. I was in essence a tour guide. But for the region I lived in. I didn't have any planned tours but usually just took people to see neat places that they would not know about or think to go to.

I was adamant about getting paid up front. And customers signed an agreement saying that made guarantees to protect my truck from messes or damage. Never had any issues fortunately, and people always enjoyed the places I showed them. Except for one family. They seemed friendly enough when I was having them sign a contract and collecting my fee. I should mention my fee was $15/hour + $75 ($35 if it was a half day).

This covered a tank of fuel, plus paid for my time shuttling you around. I also kept a cooler with free water and some limited snacks. You were paying for my knowledge of the region, plus knowledge about the area’s history and such. Plenty of times I had customers tell me, "I've never seen so much cool stuff in one day". You could maybe find something cheaper, but I didn't care.

Once money changed hands with this family, the attitude changed. They began treating me like I was a second class citizen. But I had their money, so I didn't care. I drove them around to some of the most beautiful scenery you can find. It’s rare people are left speechless by these places and never have I seen someone not be impressed. Until now. Every place I showed them they just seemed disappointed.

One of the places was a ski town popular with a lot of celebrities (not Aspen), and they were just like "Eh, it's ok". I can't deny I was a little offended by their indifference but whatever. They were never outright rude during the day, but were surprised when I didn't buy lunch for them. As I said, you’re paying for my time, food is on you.

But when I got back to town and dropped them off at their hotel, it got interesting. The wife says, "You can just park in the back and leave the keys at the desk. Tell them they are for the Smith family”. Me: "I'm sorry, what”? Wife: "This truck, just park it in the back. We might use it later”. Me: "This is my truck. I'm not leaving it here, that’s not part of the deal"

Wife: "Oh please, there is no way you can own a vehicle like this. It obviously belongs to your company”. Me: "I do this job by myself, on my days off from my regular job. I assure you, this is my truck. I can show you my name on the title". Wife: "Young man (I had just turned 30) If you don't do as your told I will be forced to call your boss". Me: "You mean me? I am my boss".

Wife: "Okay smarty-pants, get your boss on the phone, right now”! I thought about just driving off, but then had a better idea. I called my supervisor at my real job. We'll call him Dan. Dan has been in the oilfield for 14 years and could have quite the potty mouth. Good supervisor, he knew what I did on my days off and even sent people my way a few times.

He answered and I just said, "One of my clients is demanding to speak with my boss, so here she is" and handed her my phone. The wife, sounding smug, said "I tried to tell your driver to leave the truck here so we could use it but he lied and said he owns it”. I could hear him yelling "ARE YOU (BLEEPING) STUPID”? I didn't discern anything else but I know he gave her a good thrashing.

She just walked to the window, handed me my phone, and said, "He wants to talk to you" then walked away. Boss: "That fix your problem”? Me: "Yea, thanks Dan". Boss: "Anytime brother".

Entitled peopleShutterstock

94. Greasing The Parts

At the time, I was the front desk receptionist at a car dealership that had an attached service and parts department. I dealt with all kinds of people, but this one customer particularly left me dumbfounded. It was around 7 pm, about an hour after the service and parts department had closed. The sales department was open until 8 pm, so I was just going about my business as usual.

A woman walked up to my desk and slammed a 19-liter jug of motor oil down on the counter. That scared me since I was looking away at the time. She immediately demanded that I sell her the oil. I was confused and just kind of...looked at her for a moment. There was no checkout counter at my desk as we were in an entirely different part of the building.

Also, where did she get that? The parts department was closed and the window into the storeroom was locked with a fold-down metal cage. I finally got myself together and told her that the parts department was closed and that I would be unable to sell anything. Her reaction was priceless. She immediately got angry, blowing her top while gesturing to the closest window demanding that I give her the oil.

I suggested for her to go to another shop nearby, as they were open until 9 pm. Surely, she could get oil there. She didn't like that answer and scoffed at me. "I need Kia brand oil, for my Kia brand car." She said it incredibly matter-of-factly and stared at me like I was the dumbest person on the planet. That again caught me off guard.

I have pretty bad anxiety, so I was still mentally and physically reeling from her slamming the bottle down and I was not getting very collected thoughts. I tried to explain that any brand of oil would do and that I'd be happy to help her figure out what would work best so she could pick it up there...but she just kept shaking her head at me.

Finally, she shouted out that she would just come back the following day, that I had been absolutely no help, and stormed out. I noticed then that she had a kid with her. What a great example she set for her children. I did figure out that she had pulled the oil jug down off of a display case in the service department. That was extra amusing to me, imagining someone taking something off of a clearly not-for-sale display shelf because she was mad.

Cranky Customers FactsShutterstock

95. The All-Seeing Pie

Several years ago I was running pies for the Hut. We had a particularly nice house that I always seemed to get. It was a nice couple with three kids and a big house. They had money and always had large orders and tipped well. One day, I get routed to their address but I notice the order is very different than normal. It’s about double what they order and the name on the order is not the father’s name.

Interesting, so I take the order to their house. The house is literally bumping. Mom and dad’s car is nowhere in sight. I get their oldest daughter, roughly 15, to answer the door. Now mind you, I don’t care at all if the kids are having a good time, but she made an enemy of me that day. She proceeds to complain that I took forever in a condescending tone, make fun of my uniform, and stiff me on a $100+ order.

I didn’t say anything at the time, but I got my revenge. About two weeks later the house orders again. Normal order, normal name. And I magically get their order. When I arrive, her father is at the door and I can’t help myself. I ask him if they had a good time at the party. He’s clearly confused, so I remind him of the great party they had two weeks prior.

He sits and thinks for a minute. Then he hands me a freaking $50 tip and says, “Thank you very much, I’m sure we enjoyed the party a lot.” After he closes the door, all I hear is him yell “Brooooookk get your butt down here right now.” It was a jerk move sure, but nah, be nice to your driver—and tip them.

Pizza guysWikimedia.Commons

96. 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.

I don't work herePexels

97. Typical Karen

When I was a server I would always record my tables' orders. Even though my memory is good, my handwriting is bad so I didn’t want to take the risk of getting something wrong. My manager said it was ok and he even put a sign up stating that some of the staff may record your order for accuracy purposes. Seems normal, right?

At the beginning, I ask each person for their name before I take any drinks or food orders. One of the people at the table orders a steak well done, which is gross but whatever. Food comes and she said her steak was not medium rare like she wanted and I apologized and told her that she did order it well done. Here we go...

This sparked a big rant, lots of cussing, a call for the manager, etc. Again, I apologize and say let’s go to the tape. The look on her face when I played back the recording of “And Karen how would you like your steak?” was priceless. She tried to play off that it wasn’t her but nobody else ordered a steak at her table. Her friends just laughed at her.

Acts Of Kindness FactsShutterstock

98. Sir, I’m Afraid You Are Mistaken!

At our local Red Lobster, someone once grabbed the "manager" to tell him that his shrimp was cold and that he wanted a free drink as compensation. He even went as far as to exclaim that he could get better fish by fishing. This "manager" was actually just my dad, who was there to pick me up from work, but apparently looked like an authority figure since he had a tie on.

My dad replied, "That's cocktail shrimp, you moron"!

Customers Asked To Speak To A Manager factsShutterstock

99. She Got A Doggone Sweet Surprise

I used to clean a local gymnastics facility on the weekends. The owner would rent out the place for birthday parties, and one of the coaches was always present for them. One weekend, I saw a car pull up about an hour before the party was to start. I was finishing cleaning the lobby, and we had no power as our lights were being replaced.

This woman came in and headed upstairs. About ten seconds later, she came STORMING down the stairs, got in my face, and started yelling, "WHY is there no power?! I'm supposed to set up for this party. HOW am I supposed to do that WHEN I CAN'T SEE WHAT I'M DOING?!" I was a little stunned and told her that, per the owner's policy, she couldn’t be in the building until the coach arrived.

Her face went purple. She yelled, "HOW DARE YOU TELL ME WHAT I CAN AND CAN NOT DO! THE OWNER SAID I COULD BE HERE WHENEVER I WANTED. I WON'T TAKE THIS GARBAGE FROM SOME STUPID KID!" I said, "Fine, but your power won't be on for another 45 minutes. You might as well go wait in your car until the coach gets here."

She stomped off, tried to slam the door, and proceeded to try and call the owner. When the coach finally arrived, I told her what had happened and how she acted towards me. I also left a note for the owner and called her to inform her. I left the gym and went home for the night. The following day, I went in to get paid. The owner pulled me aside and told me I did everything right in that situation. Then I found out the whole story. 

I found out that not only was that lady completely nasty to the coach as well, but that she didn't pay for the party, and she stayed a full hour longer than what was rented. Then, I got the best news possible. When the parents were all inside, her dog had gotten into the cake that was in her car and ate about half of it. Her reaction was deranged.

She then said, "Oh, we can still use it. We'll just cut around the parts the dog ate." 40 minutes later, she came running back into the gym, grabbed a bunch of paper towels, and returned to her car. Within the time that she brought the cake inside to the time she went back out, her dog had pooped and puked EVERYWHERE in her car—on the seats, floors, armrests, even the dashboard. This car was COVERED in poo and vomit.

KarmaPexels

100. Check Out This Piece Of Work

This happened a couple of times over many years when I was a cashier. Every time, I would scan her 1,000 items and hit total, then she decides to start digging in her purse to find her checkbook. After a few minutes, she finds it, and then starts to slowly fill it out. Of course, a line has built and people looked like their life was slowly draining out of them. I felt it too.

I ran the check through the register (it scanned it or whatever) then put it in the bottom of the cash drawer. I hand her the receipt then she held her hand back out. I am not entirely sure why, because I wanted her to go, not give me a high five. She just went ahem at me and said "Where is my check"? I looked at her confused, "In the drawer, where I just put it after the transaction".

"I want my check back," she yelled. "Ma'am we have to keep the check in to deposit in the bank, in case there are any transaction errors". She was shaking her head no the entire time, "No, I have to get it back, otherwise somebody could steal my identity”. I tried to assure her that from the register we put it in the safe at night, then in the morning, and the armed guard takes it to the bank for deposit.

She would not accept it and said that if she could not get it back then she would return her purchase and get it back to buy things elsewhere. This must have been a power play for her, but she messed up. You see I was on my last week at that job. I asked for her receipt, which I got, pulled up her transaction, and hit void previous transaction.

I grabbed her check, the receipt, and the void receipt, then handed it to her, "There, I have voided the transaction and returned your check. Good luck at the next store”. I then started removing her items from the bags and making a stack beside me on the floor. She looked dumbfounded, jaw dropped. "NO, I purchased those, those are mine”.

I kindly, with the most customer service voice I could muster replied, "You told me that if you could not have your check back, you would buy things elsewhere, and I had already told you we were not able to give it back, so I voided your purchase and now you have your check back. " I looked at the next person in line, "I can help the next person".

That beautiful customer stepped forward, right next to the lady, and started a conversation about some cereal she bought. By that time the manager had come over, and the lady began yelling at him. He ended up ringing her items back up in the aisle next to mine and she paid by check but was again unable to keep the check. I could hear it all well, in fact, half the aisle was watching their show of an interaction.

The BEST part was when she was demanding her check back (again) he asked if she wanted him to void it out so she could go elsewhere. She nearly exploded, ripped the receipt out of his hand, threw the bags in her cart, and breaking things by the sound, and stormed out yelling. The cherry on top was that on her way out she turned back to yell more at us and ran into the door frame with her cart.

Laughter erupted from a few kids nearby. What a great day.

Entitled peopleShutterstock

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9


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