Every once in a while, you get a customer who's so completely out of touch with reality that you have to ask: "How did you even manage to figure out how to open the door...let alone get up the escalator?" These Redditors came together to share the stories of the dumbest customers they've ever had to deal with—and we're not sure whether to laugh or cry.
1. A Splash Of Stupidity
I used to sell paint. A woman came in saying she wanted to paint her fence. I gave her advice and explained to her how to prepare the surface. Then, she asked, "Do I need anything to apply the paint?" I told her she needed a roller or a brush. Her response left me in disbelief. "Oh, I can’t just splash the paint on the fence?" She was completely serious.
2. Can You Repeat The Question?
I was working in the back of an ambulance on a patient who seriously needed nitroglycerin to lower their blood pressure. I told him: "Before I give this medication to you, I need to triple-check that you have not taken any ED meds in the last 72 hours like Viagra or Cialis. If you have and I give you this nitroglycerin, your blood pressure could drop dangerously low".
I then asked him, "Have you taken any of these meds?" The tone in his reply made me suspicious. "Oh no, never". I asked him again to confirm, to which he replied, "Oh yes, of course, I am". I ran through the list of potentially harmful side effects again. Again, he said, "No, never". I was annoyed, but I carried on with it, "OK, hold this pill under your tongue". Then he asked, "Does generic Viagra count?"
3. A Startling Lack Of Human Emotion
Our parent company said that a portion of every purchase goes towards the So The World May Hear Foundation which helps poor kids get hearing aids. This one customer had an outrageous request—he wanted that portion of his purchase refunded to him. I told him that the parent company had every right to do what they wanted with the profits they made from every purchase.
I told him some more information about the charity and I said that most people were happy that instead of making 100% profit, the company made a donation. He didn't care. He was mad that his money was helping kids that he didn’t know.
4. It’s Only For A Moment
I work for a popular roadside assistance company. I had a guy call in wanting to get roadside assistance for his daughter who was stranded. His daughter was not on his membership and there was no room to add her because he already had his wife added. So I suggested he remove his wife temporarily and add his daughter so she can get roadside assistance.
It would be absolutely no effort to switch them back afterward. Apparently, this was the most outrageous suggestion. His reaction was absolutely absurd—he went and told my supervisor that I was making him choose his daughter over his wife and no father should have to make that kind of decision.
5. I Want To Pay What I Want To Pay
I was working at OfficeMax during the back-to-school season. This woman came up to my register with a few things and I started scanning them in. She noticed that one item rang up less than she was expecting. She then gave me an attitude because we hadn't had a chance to print new shelf tags for that aisle yet. I told her I could wait for her if she wanted to get more.
She declined and continued complaining to me about it, so I decided to get petty. "Well, I can override the price to what the shelf label said". She politely declined that as well, paid with her card, and rushed out the door with her things.
6. And That's "Fax"
I used to work at a call center for a large bank. A customer phoned in while he was in one of the branches and said the queue was too long, so he wanted me to help him. I asked what his query was and his response caught me off-guard. He said the ATM was broken and he had to withdraw cash. I asked him how I could possibly help him withdraw some money from the bank over the phone, and he said, "Why can't you just fax it to me"?
7. Where Is The Holiday Spirit?
During the Christmas season, I was working in a Target photo studio. There were customers scheduled every 10 minutes. Every day, we were opening an hour earlier and staying open an hour later. This was the kind of season where you could make $1,000 paychecks working an $8 an hour job. One day, the worst thing happened.
The FedEx truck carrying our delivery of Christmas cards, framed portraits, and photo orders caught on fire. Everything turned up, but it all smelled of smoke. I had to call everyone and tell them that their orders might be late and not ready in time for Christmas. We were giving them some extras for free and expediting reorders as much as we could. Luckily, the expedited orders made it in on time.
They even made it before the original date they were all supposed to be picked up. Most of the customers were pleased — they took their extras and went on their way. But this one guy... He was the absolute worst. He demanded his $300 framed enlargement photo for free. He also wanted the cards for free. He was just livid.
He couldn’t understand why we wouldn’t give him hundreds of dollars of merchandise for free for the inconvenience…that is, the inconvenience of getting all his stuff earlier than expected.
8. He Was Missing More Than Just His Toppings
I worked at a Subway. We were out of lettuce, which was a problem for this one guy whose entire enjoyment of his sandwich revolved around lettuce. I told him we didn't have any, so he asked if I could go in the back and cut more up. I told him we don't cut it up and that it comes already shredded and packaged and reiterated that we had no lettuce anywhere in the store.
That's when his face turned red. He gave me an annoyed blank look and asked, "How can you open your store if you don't have all your product"? He couldn’t understand that we ran out of items because people like him came to eat the food and that we weren’t about to close the store over a missing topping.
9. Lacking Brilliance
I used to work at a fine jewelry kiosk in a mall. Our jewelry included gold bracelets and necklaces bonded to sterling silver, sterling silver rings with cubic zirconia gems, gold engagement rings with diamond chips clustered together rather than one large diamond, etc. I had a lot of regulars, and this one particular woman would come in often.
Every time for every item that she was interested in, she would ask the same blood-boiling question: "Is this real?" I explained what "bonded" meant and how we didn’t sell diamond rings for $25, but that the rings were indeed certified sterling silver with synthetic gems. I gave her information like this repeatedly, day after day, and she would follow up every explanation with, "Okay, but...is it real?"
10. A Dream Of Electric Milk
I worked in an electronics store to put myself through college. I worked in the computer department, but I was sitting at the loss prevention desk up front to cover while the supervisor took a quick lunch break. An old lady came in, asked where the dairy section was, and then demanded that I help her find the milk. I told her, kindly, that we weren't in a grocery store.
She looks confused, then she left. A couple of minutes later, her son walked in, and I knew it was about to go down. He started chewing me out because I wouldn't help her find the milk. When he was done yelling, I slowly waved my arm across the store and asked him which one of the aisles looked like it might have groceries in them. He stared for a good few seconds.
Then he started yelling at me all over again, saying that I was being difficult and that he wanted to see a manager. So I paged the loss prevention supervisor up to the front. The supervisor invited the guy to never come back to the store.
11. Startling Expectations
The store manager was walking by my register as a customer was waiting to check out. My manager said I had to take my break in 15 minutes, to which I said, "Okay". The customer overheard and she gave a totally unexpected response—she complained that it was unprofessional for the manager to speak to me and that I was unprofessional to respond when a customer was approaching the register.
12. Counting Chickens
I used to work at a grocery store deli. We had one customer who left me totally speechless. She asked me: "The eight-piece chicken...how many pieces are in it"? I said, "How many pieces are in the eight-piece chicken? Um. There are eight pieces in the eight-piece chicken". She was very polite and replied, "OK, I'll have that, please"! So, I packaged it up, and she went away happy.
13. Recreational Catnip
I worked at an independent pet store. We mainly sold dog supplies, but there was a small section of cat toys, catnip, etc. A newer, pretty gimmicky item we brought in was a line of catnip that was packaged to look like an illicit plant. It had "prescription" bottles and pre-rolls". People usually knew these were catnip products.
However, on many occasions, I had many people ask the same hilarious question: "How does the cat take tokes on it"? Or, even better yet, "How can they even hold the lighter? They've got paws"? I never do quite know how to reply besides muddled laughter.
14. An Expert In The Italian Language
I worked at a coffee shop that wasn’t Starbucks, which is an important distinction here. Frappuccino is a trademarked word for Starbucks-blended coffee drinks. When customers would ask for Frappuccinos, we would just put in the order and let them know the name for it at our store so they can recognize it when the barista calls it out.
I once had a woman get so upset that she was screaming, all over the word Frappuccino. Her logic was totally absurd—she claimed it was the traditional Italian word for a blended coffee drink (it’s not) and we obviously thought she was too stupid to tell her otherwise. I tried to calm her down and just say we called them something else but she only got more offensive.
I didn’t even correct her about the rest. She continued to flip out and literally called our corporate customer service line in front of us, holding up the rest of the line, just to have them tell her the same thing. She then started screeching to demand to talk to the president of our company and started knocking stuff off our countertop.
That’s when we called security to lead her out of our store.
15. Pushing The Limit
I have a small retail business with my mom that's strictly brick and mortar. Normally, our return policy is within 21 days for store credit. During the holidays, we extend it so that anything purchased between Black Friday and December 24th can be returned up until the end of January. A few years ago, this guy came in around the end of April trying to return Christmas gifts.
But I was in for quite a surprise—He brought the clothes in on DRY CLEANING HANGERS. When I told him I wouldn't take it back, even for store credit, he blew up on me and cussed me out in front of other customers in the store. He then proceeded to leave a 1-star review and bash the store saying how he's never been treated like that before. What was he even trying to accomplish?
16. At Least They Tried
I once had a customer come in with a garden table. It had bent legs and a big hole in the top that looked like someone got tipsy and jumped on it, destroying it. Coincidentally, he looked really, really off—it was as if he was tipsy at that very moment and he stank of drink. The store I work in has a 30-day return policy on anything that isn't electrical.
However, this table was brought in five months after the date on the receipt. We also never sold that table in our store and the other stores took it off sale years prior. The table he brought it in was not the one on the receipt. I denied the return and he demanded I ask my supervisor. I called my supervisor to the private line and he said he'd come out immediately.
He came out and ignored me when I tried asking him to take a look at the table, so I called the private line again and the store manager picked up. I explained the situation and her response shook me to my core—she just snapped, saying that I know how to do returns and to just do it. She essentially told me to quit complaining and then she hung up. I took the return, as I was told.
When I arrived at my next shift, the supervisor pulled me into the office demanding to know the situation with the store manager sitting in the background. I explained everything that happened and the store manager kept interrupting me with excuses. After all that, she still tried to shift the blame onto me. We both stopped talking to each other at work after that.
17. The Combo Guy
I worked at Wendy's through high school and part of college. One day, a man in his 50s, wearing a bright magenta suit, walked in and ordered a burger. I asked him, "Do you want a combo or just the sandwich"? He asked me, "What is a combo"? I explained to him that it was a sandwich with fries and a drink, but somehow he didn't understand. He looked at me blankly, I started to get annoyed.
He said, "I want fries and a drink, but what is the combo"? We went back and forth on this for almost FIVE MINUTES. I don't even remember if he ever figured out what a combo was or if he ended up getting it. However, I remember seeing him two weeks later in a different city at my other job training political canvassers. He was wearing the same magenta suit.
I was in such shock that I just stared at him, saying nothing, thinking, "It's the combo guy".
18. A Total Guessing Game
I worked at a gas station that sold more than just gas. This man came up to the register and said, "Twenty outside". I asked, "Which pump," to which he responded the one on the right. There was a left and right on each pump, so I asked which car, and he pointed to a truck. The next question he asked was, "Can I have a slice of pizza"?
I responded, "Sure, what kind"? His response left me dazed and confused. "Pizza," he said. We had at least three kinds of pizza, sometimes four. I had no clue about his likes and dislikes, so I said, "Which kind? I wouldn't wanna give you something you don't like". He told me, "Whatever is fine," so I gave him a random piece. Of course, he asked, "Can I have a different kind"? At that point, I almost lost it.
19. The Magic Blueberry
I work at a bakery and we sell pigs in a blanket for breakfast. A few years ago, one of the varieties we had was a spicy blueberry sausage. One day, some lady got one (knowing it was a blueberry sausage link), bit into it, and noticed some dark-looking things inside (surprise, it was a blueberry).
For whatever reason, she thought that a flake of black gunk from inside our oven somehow managed to get inside the sausage link, even though the link was rolled in a croissant. Her next move got me heated—she called the health department on us and tried to get $50 of free food. My boss asked her what she ordered, and he brought out a link of the sausage to show her.
She immediately shut up and left the store. Unfortunately, we stopped selling that flavor to avoid further issues in the future, which is sad because they were pretty good.
20. You Have No Power Here
I used to work at a small print shop. One Saturday afternoon, a customer came up to me saying they were having trouble with the laminator. I walked over to guide him on the correct process and when I looked at his materials, my jaw dropped. This guy just had pages upon pages of adult images sitting on the counter. As politely as I could, I informed him that unfortunately, his material could not be printed as per company policy.
I told him he would have to remove it from the store. I pointed to kits that he could purchase to laminate his stuff at home, but that just set him off...big time. He started yelling at me, saying how "this is a free country" and that he's a paying customer so he could do whatever he wanted. Unfortunately for him, I was the only person on staff and the manager who gave us the freedom to deny service wherever we saw fit.
I just unplugged the whole machine, telling him "it's a free country" and that he could either leave now with his things or when the authorities arrived. The dude was gone before I got back from putting the laminator away.
21. Turn Up The Volume!
One of my roles was as an IT rep for the department I worked in. Someone approached me saying their computer speakers were broken. My first question was, "Are you sure you tried turning the volume up?" They rolled their eyes at my ludicrous question and replied, "Yes, of course". So, I walked across the office to where their computer was with them by my side. When I got there, I was livid.
I took one look and turned the volume up. That was the day I gave up.
22. Just A Wii Bit Dense
I used to be a manager at GameStop while in college. A guy called and told me the preowned Wii U he bought for his son stopped working. His son dropped it. I told him that we could give him another one, but since he didn’t buy the insurance, I could only replace it if the thing "just stopped working". So, I said to him, "Well, maybe it stopped working before your son dropped it, and you can come in, and I’ll give you another one".
I was trying to get this guy a free Wii U cause stuff happens, and I didn’t care. I would end up regretting being so kind. The guy proceeded to argue with me that it stopped working because of his son, saying, "No, I saw my son drop it, and then it stopped working. I’m positive". Again, I said, "Oh, alright, well, maybe it wasn’t because of the drop. It probably just stopped working. I can’t exchange it if it broke because he dropped it, so I’m sure it was just defective. Bring it in, and I’ll swap it out".
Again the guy insisted, "Nah, it definitely stopped working because he dropped it". The dude came in an hour later and bought another one full price. The District Manager was in the store with me at the time, so I couldn’t say it outright, but I was shocked that this dude didn’t get what I was trying to do for him. I basically spelled it out.
23. Going In Circles
A full-grown woman asked me how big our pizzas were. I stuck out my fingers, eyeballed about a foot, and said, "Around this big". She paused for a moment and finally said, "Oh, length-wise?" I thought perhaps she didn’t know that our pizzas were round, so I told her that our pizzas were circular; therefore, any point across was length-wise.
I went back to tell the other co-worker what I had just experienced. Right after I told her the punchline, "..any point across is length-wise," she stared at me with this confused look on her face. Her response had me baffled. She smiled and finally said, "Okay, not all of us are Mr. Engineer over here!" I just walked away. I didn’t know how to handle it. I didn’t think I was a genius for knowing about the geometry of a circle.
24. Checkout Time
I worked at a coffee shop where we sold two sizes, small and large. I was working the register, ringing up a girl. I asked her what kind of coffee she got, which was fine. However, when I asked her if she got small or large, she responded with a suspicious tone. "Why do you need to know?" I had to explain to her that one was a larger quantity than the other, and you had to pay for that extra amount.
She scoffed and grudgingly told me, "Do you think I’m tricking you?"
25. Always Use Protection
I owned a computer business for a few years. The one that always got me was this one chick who brought in her computer slammed with spyware and other issues. It was so bad it wouldn’t boot up. I got it all fixed up and she picked it up. She brought it back the very next day with the same problem. I asked her what sites she visited since she picked it up.
Her response gave me shivers and not the good kind. "Oh, my boyfriend and I are on adult websites all the time". I told her I would go ahead and clean it again for free, but if she visited those sites again, I couldn’t do it the next time without charging her. She picked it up the same day, then came back the next like clockwork. I asked her if she had gone back to the same websites and she replied in the affirmative.
I could not make her understand why this kept happening, so I just asked her to go somewhere else.
26. Not An Information Desk
I work at a vet’s office part-time and during every shift, someone calls in asking about some random medication or for the contact information of another vet clinic when we are insanely busy (we see roughly 40 to 50 pets a day, for reference). Sometimes, they even demand that I look up phone numbers and pricing for other clinics. People act like smartphones and the internet aren’t at their disposal.
The best example of this was when this one lady called because she found a wild rabbit. She wanted us to give it an exam, but I explained to her that she should put the rabbit back outside as it could have a number of diseases. Generally, it’s not safe to keep a wild animal in the house. I also informed her that we didn’t treat any animals other than cats and dogs. Her next move hit a nerve with me.
She basically demanded that I look up a vet's office that did take wild animals. So I told her, "Ma’am, we are very busy and you aren’t a client. I will not do research for you. Have a great day". She then left us a one-star Yelp review and tried to write a complaint to the Better Business Bureau.
27. Houston, We Have A Problem
While showing Apollo 13 to my astronomy class, I had a student ask me the dumbest question I have ever heard as a teacher. During the "Houston, we have a problem" scene, this one student raised their hand in the back of the room. His friend next to him told him to put his hand down, saying that it was "a stupid question".
I went back and asked them what his question was, and his response was absolutely golden. He said, "Are all of the guys there named Houston?" I have taught for nearly ten years, and that one is still the winner.
28. Hitting Below The Belt
I used to teach karate, and one day, a lady came in looking to do a birthday party at her own home. She wanted to buy some black belts from us for her kid and their friends. I would have no problem selling her belts for home use, except we didn’t stock any of that stuff except for when we needed them for tests and promotions.
I kindly declined and explained to her she could go and find them on a specific website online if she wanted them. I also explained that most schools won’t sell them because of the hard work and dedication students put into obtaining them. I thought she would leave after that, but she just wouldn't quit. She pointed at my belt, which was grimy and worn out, and said, "Well, what about yours? Can I just buy that one?"
As if I was going to give her the thing I had been using every day for ten years.
29. Don’t Mess With Small Towns
I was at a little hole-in-the-wall, family-owned, drive-in fast food place. The location is known locally by everyone in the small town, and this particular small town had a reputation for being comprised of a lot of rough and tough farmers, hunters, welders, and even smiths and miners. No joke. They did a lot of hard artisan work here.
They were also very sarcastic people by nature. Friendly at first. but touch the wrong buttons and you will be in a world of hurt. Nothing phases these people. Well, they get a lot of travelers heading to resorts some miles off. I frequent the family business regularly and they locally source all the produce for their food, so it's incredibly good.
That also means their prices are a bit higher. One day, a lady made a huge mistake. She was freaking out that her food had come to the whopping price of 10 dollars and 65 cents. She hadn't even paid yet, of course. Lyra, the employee who had the misfortune of dealing with this nonsense, was staring this woman down".
The prices..". she said (and I swear I could hear her jaw cracking from how gritted her teeth were), "...are the prices. Now pay up or I'm eating your food for my lunch". The woman was affronted by this and shouted back, "I demand to see the manager"! Lyra raised her voice, responding: "This isn't a charity service. It's a restaurant".
She continued, "Now pay up or drive 150 miles back to the city and go to the soup kitchen in the city if you're so desperate for a hand-out".
30. Blanket Boycott
A lady ordered a sandwich and then canceled her order because she thought it took too long. Someone else from the party she was having called and made an order. We made it and delivered it without issue. The same lady called back and she was absolutely APPALLED—she said it was audacious that we would allow one of her guests to order from us after she made it very clear that she wanted to cancel her own order.
It's not my business if other people at her party want to order food and I had no idea it was her party anyway. I told her it was very common for multiple deliveries to go to the same house party, so why wouldn't we make them sandwiches? She then told me I would obviously never amount to anything in life and that she was going to make a formal complaint against me.
It was such a weird complaint. This was probably 10 years ago, but it still bugs me sometimes.
31. Testing My Patience
I used to work at a restaurant that was quite popular with the organic/healthy lifestyle crowd. This particular lady asked me if we tested our water for ionizing radiation, making it clear that if we didn't, she would leave. Out of sinister curiosity, I told her, "Of course, we do. In fact, I'll test it right in front of you; just let me get my Geiger counter from the back".
My plan was brilliant—I downloaded a mock Geiger counter app and tested one glass of tap water in front of her. She completely bought it and proceeded to order a fruit salad and a water bottle. I told the manager, and we had a good laugh. I still can't believe I got away with it.
32. She Wasn’t Plugged Into Reality
I worked for Apple for five years at the Genius Bar. One day, a woman came in with a brand new Apple TV and said, "It's not working". She handed me the Apple TV, and I placed it on the bar. Before asking basic troubleshooting questions, I simply wanted to know if she had brought her HDMI and power cords with her; otherwise, I would have to get ours to plug it in.
I asked, "Did you bring your cables"? Her response had me dying of laughter inside. "What are you talking about? It's wireless". She thought the TV literally had no wires and thus didn't plug in the power cable or HDMI.
33. The Erratic Schedule
This person worked for a company that travels around the country to trade conventions to sell their products. They had sent their products and displays to our local convention center but didn't make sure the label was correctly placed on the box and it fell off. I ended up getting a call about it and happened to find it in our warehouse.
I went out of my way to try and fix it because I know how time-sensitive and urgent these things are. The lady was frantic but didn't want to talk over the phone because she was too busy. She wanted me to e-mail her instead. She also informed me she was leaving our city and landing in another one the following day.
Then she told me to have her stuff forwarded there. I did this, but she chewed me out in the email because she was just temporarily staying there. Now, she wanted all her stuff sent to her next location. So I had to contact the station and have them fix the situation. When her stuff finally got to the new location, guess what—she'd moved on to another city on the other coast. Her next emails were blood boiling.
She proceeded to email me five times that night. She then complained that I was ignoring her. I was very clear in what I was doing the whole time, yet she threw me under the bus in the email chain and included everyone in her company, trying to get me in trouble. However, in these emails, it was obvious I was asking questions and trying to help.
I finally got her stuff fixed again and it ended up getting delivered. Still, she tried to get me in trouble with my higher-ups and wanted my manager to follow up because I was so unprofessional. The best part was it ended with a Senior Executive responding, basically giving me praise for trying to help her.
34. Queen Of Stubbornness
Since the pandemic, I have been assigned to a position where I count people in the store. As I was counting people in, I noticed at the front entrance that there was this one woman sitting on the chair with her mask fully down. Keep in mind this is right in the walkway where she is essentially breathing on everyone who's leaving the store.
I had very politely asked her to lift her mask up, as it was completely below her chin and not covering anything at all. She refused to do so, and I once again informed her of the dangers, reminding her that we were still in a pandemic. She took issue with that even though we were about a year into the mandates at this point.
I asked her again to either fix her mask or leave the entryway. She did NOT like hearing that—Apparently, this was the rudest thing anyone had ever said to her in the history of human existence. She started screaming at me, the other customers, and even God himself. Eventually, security came over and told her she would be banned from the store if she didn’t leave immediately.
That kind of helped. The woman left the store but then stood in front of it to continue her rant.
35. Personal Issues
I was running a register at the grocery store when this couple got in my line. I could tell they were together because of the way they were interacting with each other. However, they had two different baskets and left a small gap between their respective items without placing them down the divide, so I wasn’t sure if they were paying for everything all together or separately.
I politely asked them, "Together or separate"? The lady gave me a mean glare. She said, "Why on Earth does it matter"? I gave her a blank stare and slowly said, "So that I know whether to keep ringing you up or cash out the order before starting the next one". They must have been having some relationship problems because she jumped right to that.
36. In Need Of An Upgrade
I used to work for an authorized Apple retailer. One day, this old woman, probably in her late 70s or 80s, came in to ask why her phone was acting up. It was a 4 GB iPhone 4 that had no storage left. She did not understand her smartphone and the upgrades that would be required. I did my best to explain that she would need to upgrade to a device with more storage so it would work the way she wanted.
I told her she could keep all of the pictures of her family; all she would have to do was transfer them through the iCloud system over the internet. That’s when she asked the golden question: "What’s the internet?" At that moment, she had tears running down her face as she genuinely did not understand a thing I had explained.
I had to take my lunch break, so I handed her off to my store manager to take over. When I clocked back in, she was still in the store. This time, at the checkout counter, with her brand new phone that my manager had sold her to meet a monthly sales quota. I’m sure he never told her what the internet was.
37. Sitting This One Out
I worked at an outdoor ski shop. In the summer, it was obviously slower, so they pushed tents, chairs, and general camping and hiking gear. We usually had some chairs on display outside the store as well as extra chairs inside for people to grab. One customer saw a chair, saw the same one inside, then came up to us and asked, "Do you have any of these in stock"?
It took us a few seconds to answer because we weren't sure if we heard right, and that was apparently too long for her. Her next move made our jaws drop. She stormed out of the shop, saying, "You people are OBVIOUSLY not good at your job. You should find something else to do with your lives!"! She even emailed and complained to head office, who asked us what happened.
We sent in the security footage, and they banned her from the store. She was someone who came in often but didn't spend much. One colleague went up to her once, smiled, and asked if she needed any help. She snapped, saying, "Yes, you can help me by leaving me alone," and stormed out of the store, leaving my colleague dumbstruck.
38. Who Has Time For That?
When I was working in car sales, I had to deal with stupid people on a very regular basis. The worst of them was this very well-off middle-aged man who was known in the area because he owned several fast-food restaurants. He came in twice a week for over a year to complain that we were lying about the prices we had advertised.
He was convinced that we were terrible people who were ripping people off on their new cars. On the 13th month of the same behavior, he came in saying he could get a new 2017 Corolla for less than our 2018 Civic Touring. I mean, yes, he probably could—it was an older car and the one he was looking at was a base model rather than ours which had a few features installed. But that argument aside, I was just fed up with it at that point.
So I decided to put an end to it. I walked into my manager's office, closed the door, and asked if I could have the use of my one immediate customer veto for the quarter. He looked at me and said that it was my call. I walked out and told the guy that he could either buy a car from me today or he was invited to leave immediately and not come back.
I was done dealing with constant complaints and having my time taken up when I could be dealing with real qualified customers whose purchases would earn me a commission. Surprisingly, he bought a car from me that afternoon.
39. The Price Is Sanity
A woman came up to my register and asked for the price of a protein bar. Every item in the store had a physical price tag because we didn't have scanners at the register. I took it from her, flipped it over, and let her know it was $2.49 before tax. She asked me how much the case would be. Normally we did discounts for cases, but they had to be ordered ahead of time.
I started explaining we couldn't do a discount unless she had ordered it. She cut me off aggressively and hissed, "I didn't ask for a discount". So I typed in $2.49 x 12, added tax, and told her the final price. She stared me down for a few minutes before asking me to get my manager. Once my manager arrived, she became fully unhinged. She spent literally 10 minutes tearing into me.
She described me as the least helpful person ever and started talking about my bad attitude, complaining about how awful and rude I was. I was working nearly full time commuting to a school over an hour away four days a week. I was stressed and tired and this lady took the time out of her day to break me down. All I could do was cry.
40. Wait Your Turn
When I was 18, I was working at a gas station. It was a busy day—I was the only one there and I had a huge line. A woman came in, skipped the line, threw $20 at me, and said, "$5 on pump 2". Since she acted like that, I chose to make her wait to have money put on the pump. When it would have been her turn in line, I put the $20 onto the pump.
About five minutes later, she came back in complaining that the entire $20 was pumped. I told her straight up that it was not my responsibility to keep track of her money, and I placed $20 on the pump for a record of the funds. If she hadn't walked away from the pump or had waited in line, she could have completed her transaction like everyone else. Her next move was so uncalled for.
She tried calling the authorities because I refused to give her a refund. When the cop got there and heard the story, he told her to grow up and be responsible for herself.
41. A Losing Game
I worked part-time at a video game store. One day, a soccer mom came in with her demon spawn and gave me grief for not having "that Sonic game" available. When I asked her which game she was talking about, as I wasn’t quite sure, she replied, "The one where you go fast! My child wants it, and you will not disappoint him".
I told her if she was talking about Sonic Forces, it was available for pre-order, but it hadn’t been released yet. I said, "If that's the game you're talking about, you can pre-order it now and receive it at release". But she wouldn't have ANY of it. She said, "My son wants it now. Look, I'll slip you a tenner if you get it for me; nobody has to know".
She just didn’t get it. I told her again, "I'm sorry, ma'am, but we don't have any copies of the game. Even if we did, I would not be allowed to break the street date for the game. Once again, if your child wants the game, you can pre-order it now, and you'll receive it on the day the game is scheduled for release".. She then asked to speak to my manager and kept trying to get him to break street date for a game we didn't even have copies of.
42. Cable Confusion
I have had DOZENS of clients over my 10 years of web development call my company because their internet was down. First, they would tell me that their website doesn't work. So I'd ask them to go to a different website, and they would say to me something along the lines of, "Oh, actually, no websites are loading, and our email is down too".
I'd tell them that it sounds like their internet is down. Their usual response is infuriating: "Can't you fix that for me"? or "Yes, that is why I called you guys". I then have to explain to them that they pay a company such as Time Warner or AT&T to get their internet and that we neither supply internet nor did we do the installation at their company for any internet services.
43. Lacking Book Smarts
I used to work in a school library. We would open it for students during lunch, then close the doors and put out a large closed sign when it got full. The sign was on a wheeled easel that the students could read from both ways down the hallway and they had to walk around as it took up half the space. But here's the frustrating part—students would often walk past the sign that said "LIBRARY CLOSED" through double closed doors and then try to walk in.
My favorite response was, "Did you read the sign"? They would often say, "No," to which I would reply, "Oh, well, if you can't read, you shouldn't be in a library. Goodbye"!
44. Creating Problems From Nothing
When I worked in a second-hand charity shop in the UK, there was this old Russian couple who used to come in about once a week, just before closing and waste everyone's time browsing and grumbling about prices. The worst part is that they rarely ever bought anything. One evening, the old woman actually did buy something, but she had a massive rant about it. Her statements made me roll my eyes, HARD.
She claimed that it was blatant profiteering for our company, a reputable charity, to ask for money for a plastic bag (as per the law, intended to discourage people from using them for environmental reasons). The kicker: she was buying a small handbag. You don't even need a carrier bag for it, it's got handles.
The mother of a girl I went to school with came into the shop where I work at 5:58 pm. We closed at 6 pm. The lights were half off, the front door was closed, and the roller door was half down, but this lady just walked in cheerfully and said, "Hi! I'm just running in to grab a few things"! Before I could tell her not to, she'd already gone into the aisles.
My manager came over and said, "What are you doing? We have to be done by six"! He went to find her, and she'd already got a basket full of things. My manager is literally the nicest guy ever and agreed to ring up her items as long as she paid with a card, as the cash was all packed into the safe. Her response was chilling: "No that's ridiculous, I only have cash".
She then turned to me and said, "Honey, can you tell him I only have cash"? So I told her the exact same thing...that we literally couldn't access the cash once the safe was closed for the day. She replied, "Oh. Well, can you just pay for it on your card and I'll get my daughter to pay you back"? I told her I couldn't do that either. That's when she started shouting.
She went on about how unprofessional we were, saying that the shop was awful because half the items are gone (WE WERE CLOSED) and that she was "never coming back". I honestly feel sorry for her daughter.
46. Leave Us All Alone
A few years ago, I was the cashier at a retail store. A pregnant woman came up to me and said that she was trying to leave but couldn't get into her car because a truck was parked very close to her. I paged the driver of the truck up to the cash desk. The truck driver, a middle-aged woman, came up, and she and the pregnant woman got into an argument.
The truck lady didn't want to leave her shopping to go move her truck. I didn't get involved and continued to cash out customers, but eventually, the truck lady moved her car so the pregnant lady could go home. Later, as I was cashing out the truck lady, I was blindsided by her next move—she asked to speak to my manager. Afterward, my manager told me that she was complaining about me.
At some point, she said it looked like I nodded, which must have meant I was clearly siding with the pregnant lady. My manager said, "I told her I'd talk to you about it, so here I am talking to you about it", and just left it at that.
47. It Doesn’t Matter Whose Fault It Is
I work for a relatively small floral company in a rather wealthy area of Illinois. We have a regular customer who has us pick up her orchids and rearrange them to look better. We do this every two weeks without error or complaint. Well, she called us, so I assumed she wanted us to pick up her plants. But her reaction completely threw me off—she started giving us heck fos moving her massive cement decoration in her front yard.
I double-checked with dispatch, and the driver we sent over there to deliver her orchids is 83 years old, therefore absolutely incapable of moving a 300-pound cement cherub. One long-winded conversation later, we sent four drivers to move this thing the way she wanted it, which turned out to be no more than a foot from where it was.
A week later, she called again, this time saying it was her lawn service that moved the decoration and not us. Yeah, I knew that. She didn’t call to say sorry though. She called to tell us that we need to be extra careful not to move her lawn ornaments.
48. Rolling In Laughter
I worked at a Japanese restaurant for a while when I was in college, and we had this thing called a Volcano roll. It cost $7.25. A California roll there cost $3.75. The Volcano roll was a California roll cut into the shape of a triangle and topped with spicy mayo that had been heated up with about $0.10 worth of fish; literally just a few bits.
You were much better off ordering a California roll and paying $0.50 extra for spicy mayo on the side and asking us to heat it up. I had one guy come in and order a couple of regular rolls along with a Volcano roll. When served in the restaurant, we would put the sauce on top unless they asked us, so it looked like a Volcano roll.
When I brought that roll to him, he looked at the plate with utter confusion. "Oh, I didn't know you guys put the sauce on, I've only gotten it for pick up, and the sauce is always on the side. I don't really like it. Could you bring me one without it"? I tried not to laugh and said sure. I went back, and the sushi chef asked what was wrong. I told him that he didn't like the sauce and wanted one without it.
He laughed and said alright, so he took a California roll, cut it up, and put it on the plate. I brought it back to the guy, and he was super pumped. The guy paid $7.25 for a roll that would have cost him $3.75, and the sushi chef and I got to split a free volcano roll. Usually, I would have just told him about it, but the dude was being pretty arrogant the entire time trying to impress the girl he was with.
49. Cut It Out
A woman was trying to buy fabric to cover tables but didn’t have measurements of the tables. After I explained a lack of size standards since tables come in all sorts of sizes and shapes, she immediately said the first table was standard size. We were off to a great start. We finally figured out how much she needed for the first one and cut it for her. Then we moved on to the second one—and things went downhill.
I rolled some fabric off the bolt and went to straighten it out, only for her to grab the material and start moving it. She opened it and asked the width, which I read off the bolt, and she paused. She thought for a moment and said, "That’s just not big enough. If I cut it, will that make it bigger?" It took all my willpower to tell her, "Unfortunately, no, making it smaller will not make it bigger," with a professional tone.
50. Frozen Fool
I worked in the seafood department for a large supermarket chain. One day, a woman came and asked to buy some frozen shrimp from the pre-packaged bag. However, she didn't want the entire bag, just half of it. I was ready to open the bag when she made an outrageous request—she said that she wanted me to remove the weight and cost of the ice crystals on the shrimp.
I just looked at her and asked if she wanted me to wash it off, to which she said no because she wanted it to stay frozen. The ice probably weighed less than the plastic bag we used. Needless to say, she turned away when I said I wasn’t able to do that for her. I still think that was the most ridiculous interaction I have ever had with a customer.
51. Get Dressed, Then Make The Call
I started in a new company, got trained, then manned the phones, no big deal. It was my job to field customer complaints, which were reasonable for the most part. The first call of the day came from a man who purchased an industrial heater from us. He spent about $60 on it. It was the type of heater you would put in your garage to take the chill out of the air.
He called to complain because he was using it in his bathroom after his shower. His vision was that this heater would wind dry his body dry after the shower; kind of like those fancy heat bulbs at a hotel. Well, I tried to explain to him that was not the intended use of the heater...but he was not having any of it.
He literally put the phone up to the heater so I could hear the lack of forced air that was coming out of the heater. I ended up refunding his money, but I still laugh to this day thinking about this cold, undressed 70-year-old man's first-world problem.
52. Beyond Used
I was working retail one afternoon and this middle-aged woman came in with a return. At first glance, it was no big deal; she said she was just coming in to return a shirt. She walked up to the register, handed me the receipt to start processing it, and we exchanged a pleasant greeting. I took the shirt out of the bag to examine it and it was beyond disgusting.
There were brown sweat stains all over it, from the pits to the stomach to the shoulder. It looked like whoever wore it rolled in mud or some nonsense. I proceeded to tell the woman that I could return the product because it had clearly been used and only unused or resalable items could be returned for any sort of refund.
Well, the customer threw a fit. She started screaming at me and accusing me of calling her a liar and whatnot. I held up the shirt and pointed to the brown pit stains, saying, "Can’t you see this stain". Man, did that make it worse...She continued making a huge scene and demanded to see the manager. News flash, I was the manager and I did not plan on budging.
After 20 or so minutes of complaining, she finally left the store, saying she’d be complaining to corporate. Fast forward a few days—another guy walked into the store, looked for the first store associate he could find, and immediately asked for me by name. Uh-oh, here we go again. Anyway, my associate brought the guy over to where I was standing.
I politely greeted him. The guy spent the next 10 minutes apologizing for his wife verbally accosting me a few days prior. Apparently, the guy went to the beach and did some type of CrossFit training class IN THE SAND. His wife knows all of this; she was at the class with him! The guy ended up not liking the shirt for some reason and his wife thought she could pull a fast one on us by making a scene.
53. Operating On A Whole Other Frequency
I worked at Best Buy customer service for two years in a college town. There were generally technologically smart kids, but the surrounding area was full of country bumpkins. One customer came in to return two HDMI cables, both male to male ends. One package was for a 3-foot cable, the other package was a 6-foot cable. When he started explaining his situation, all I could do was shake my head.
The gentleman was upset that he had purchased these cables, and he wanted a refund so he could switch them out. The cables weren't working and he said that it must be because the frequencies are different. According to the packaging, the 3-foot cable operated on a 1M frequency, and the 6-foot cable operated on a 2M frequency.
According to the customer, it was because they just weren’t talking to each other. I said nothing, apologized for the issue, processed his return, and told him they might be able to help him back in the home theater section. In retrospect, I could have quietly taught him what a meter is, or that you can’t daisy-chain male-male plugs, but he was so sure of his own explanation he made my brain turn off.
54. Here Comes The Sun
I had a potential client ask me to completely block out the sun. It was for an experiential pop-up that coincided with the big eclipse we were going to have. He had sold the idea that it could be done to his client. He was surprised to hear our response...which was that we would have to launch something the size of the moon into orbit to actually achieve what he was asking for.
55. When A Karen Calls
In college, I worked for one of those overpriced playground equipment companies. The kind that sells 100% California redwood, strong enough to hold an entire football team, has probably 10 or 20 different base models, and is totally modular. You can buy accessories and upgrade them as your kids get older. It wasn’t a great job, but I learned a lot about people.
This one woman was the absolute worst helicopter mom I had ever encountered in my life. As her kids were walking around the showroom, she would gasp as if ghosts were popping out of the walls if they got within two feet of the playsets—if they paused, GASP! If they stumbled, GASP! I'm not even sure how we managed to sell her a $5K–$8K playset.
Her behavior got even worse after it got delivered. She called us and raised a stink, demanding to know how the kids were supposed to go down the slides. The structural arm rail was there, so I was confused. She SWORE, gasping every two seconds, that they had to lay down and cross their arms like a water slide. I made my boss deal with that one. At 19 years old, I didn't know how to tell someone how to use a slide.
56. Open And Shut
I used to work in the returns department of a large computer shop. I once got a laptop return from a seriously irate customer complaining that the CD drawer was not opening. The customer was swearing at me up and down on the phone. His words were intentionally sharp and laced: "Get it sorted. It’s unacceptable for a brand new laptop, etc".
When I got around to having a look at it, I noticed that the CD drawer wouldn't open because–GET THIS—it didn't have a drawer. It was a slot drive. The customer could have taken a second to look and realize this instead of going through the three-week return process. I took great pleasure in writing a Return To Sender report stating just that very bluntly.
57. It Kind Of Does
I was a pump attendant at a gas station in high school, and let me just say—if some of these people can’t handle getting gas, I can’t even imagine what they are like when given an actual task. We had to put pylons at one of the pumps to block it off when the fuel truck came to deliver fuel because cars were still passing through, hindering the fuel truck guy.
Once, I had a lady come up to me and ask why it was blocked off, so I told her. What she did next made my blood boil—she got out of her car, went over to the fuel truck guy, and started yelling at him, saying things like "The world doesn’t revolve around you". Little did she know, it kind of did because nobody was going to get gas if he couldn’t make his delivery.
58. The Unwilling Accomplice
My dad is an actual nightmare when it comes to complaining for stupid reasons, usually in restaurants. The other day, he sent me this message about how he had to go talk to IKEA customer service and he needed a ride to the store. He was complaining about how there were too many digits in his customer loyalty number and that it was hard for him to remember.
For whatever reason, he seemed so proud of himself for standing up for his rights or something, but all I can think about is how it was a waste of everyone's time and such a stupid thing to get worked up about. When we arrived at the customer service desk, my dad started up his nonsense. After seeing his behavior, I immediately regretted going with him.
He said, "Hello, I recently purchased a lot of kitchen stuff and decided it would be a good idea to join IKEA Family beforehand. The membership number issued is 19 numbers long. I would like to point out that the estimated world population is around 7.8 billion people. Written in longhand, 7.8 billion is 10 numbers in length".
He continued, "So my question is, why do you need to create a membership number which has approximately eight hundred and two million, five hundred and seventy-six thousand, five hundred and seventy-six more variations than would be necessary for the whole world population"? The service representative just stared wide-eyed.
She then slowly explained that she, a minimum-wage worker who was hired four months ago, has absolutely no say in any aspect of the customer loyalty program. I could see my dad was going to ramp up into a long speech so I just had to walk away.
59. It’s A Basic Concept
I’ve worked at a few call centers, and at one of them, I could see the customer reviews. I was already on the phone with this lady for a long time—she was having trouble using a coupon. It was downright baffling. She had to have a minimum of $20 in her cart to use it, but she wanted to use it without buying $20 worth of stuff first.
She was being a huge problem already, but I was keeping my cool until I misheard what she said. "Sorry, could you repeat that"? I asked her. She then started railing against me for not speaking English (I was born and raised in central Florida and English is my native tongue). At that point, I sort of half-jokingly offered to switch to Spanish if she’d be more comfortable with that.
It ended up with my supervisor being the one to calm her down and hang up, and her review said, "Representatives don’t speak English! Disgusting!!!!!". The worst part is it still counted against me even though it was a flagrantly nonsense review. The lady still ended up getting her way in the end, just for being unnecessarily mean.
60. Zip It
I worked at a retail store. A lady was trying on a boot, and I watched her keep shoving her foot in the side of the boot where there was a small zipper. Her reaction was priceless—she kept yelling that the boot didn't fit her calf and that it fit funny. I walked over and told her her foot goes through the top of the boot, and the zipper was there to give her room as she pulled the boot up.
I don't remember what she said, but she was genuinely confused. I just set the boot down and walked away slowly.
61. Disney Dunce
I used to work at Disneyland in the outdoor vending department. I sold balloons, ice cream, etc. I would get a lot of dumb questions, but one took the cake. I was working on Main Street at a cart in between Adventureland and Frontierland. A woman came up with her family, and she asked me the most baffling question ever: "Are we in the castle?" I was a little confused because the castle was in plain view on our left.
I just said, "No, it’s right there," and I pointed. She asked me one more time. She thought when you entered Disneyland, you were automatically inside a castle. Even her younger daughter said, "See, I told you we weren’t in the castle yet". It completely blew my mind.
My job had 50% off sales fairly regularly. I had one particular customer who stood out. This woman was middle-aged, dressed very well, and looked like she either had done very well for herself or married into money. For the better part of an hour, she proceeded to ask how much 50% off would come for each and every item she looked at.
"What is half of $20? What would half of $50 be? How much is $24.50 after the sale? Could you check to see what half of $60 is? How much is this?" The worst part? She did this for every item she touched. I was getting a little frustrated and began giving her short answers. After checking out, her total was about $180. She asked how much she had saved. I calmly told her, "About as much as you paid".
63. That’s A Rap!
I used to work in a recording studio as an engineer. One day, I got a call from an aspiring local rapper who wanted to work on vocals for a few tracks. I was happy to take on the project as it would be a day of relatively easy and fun work. He would cut the beats elsewhere, and I asked him to bring the files along. The guy showed up at the studio where I had the vocal room set up—and I was in for quite a surprise.
I said, "OK! This is going to be great. Let me have a listen to your beats so we can record you over them". He looked at me, puzzled, and said, "They're on his YouTube page". He didn’t understand that we couldn’t record vocals in the studio directly onto YouTube.
64. A Little Common Sense Goes A Long Way
I used to drive a taxi and I knew the city like the back of my hand. In my line of work, more trips equal more money, but every dummy thinks we rip them off with purposely longer trips. The stupidest thing people would tell me to do is take the freeway instead of the direct route because they didn't want to get ripped off.
The freeway takes just as long because it's 3 am, not rush hour, so the direct route means clear streets and easy lights. And sure, you can drive faster on the freeway; but that means the trips now cover 120% of the distance and it will cost more. But hey, the customer is always right...
65. That’s Not How Any Of This Works
I worked for a wireless ISP, meaning point-to-point wireless with a big antenna on your roof pointed to our tower. A lady called in and complained that her PC could not get online. After talking to her, we realized that she had no router and no WiFi adapter. But she figured that since it was 'wireless', it should work.
The next day, she had her daughter call in to say they bought the 'WiFi' device and installed it on the PC, but the internet still wasn’t working. I asked some troubleshooting questions and it turned out they bought a PCI Wireless card (something you put into older computers so that they can hook up to the WiFi). But that's not even the craziest part—they screwed it into the case without mounting it on the PCI slot at all, and again, they assumed it should work because it was "wireless".
66. He Made His Bed
I work for a company that sells Powertrain products. A guy from AutoZone called in looking for the estimated delivery of a unit he ordered. It got delayed in transit but it was going to be delivered the next day, which was still faster than the original estimate we gave them. Now, remember this guy works for an auto parts store, so he himself is in customer service.
The dude told me that was unacceptable, which blew me away because again, it was being delivered the next day and was ahead of schedule. I asked if he was joking. He proceeded to yell at me. Finally, I asked him if he wanted me to call his customer, something I had offered to do before but was rarely taken up on. I ended up calling the customer. That's when I discovered something fishy.
He told me the AutoZone employee told him he was going to see it a week ago. So I was honest and said, "Oh, no idea why he lied to you that was never the case". Usually, I would let the customer be mad at us instead of the place where they buy their parts from, but since the AZ employee yelled at me and never said he was in a jam because he gave bad information, I refused to be helpful.
67. Total Eclipse
I used to volunteer at the science museum in the town I grew up in. We had somewhat of a big event to celebrate the solar eclipse and had a viewing event for the city. A small group of people led by a woman in her late 30s came up and she made a ridiculous request—she asked that we push back the main event a few hours for their families to get off work. They wanted us to reschedule the eclipse.
68. Granny’s Garden Romp
A woman in her late sixties or seventies, sitting on a scooter, rolled up to the closed door on the corner of the garden center. She sat there for about two minutes, staring at the door. About a dozen customers were passing her by as they made their way to the actual entrance. Eventually, she looked at me, a bit miffed, and asked when the garden center was going to open.
Here's the hilarious part—there were about two hundred carts full of plants arranged in a corral that highlighted the pathway to the entrance, and people were briskly walking by with carts full of plants in and out of the open doors. I told her it was open, and the door was twenty feet to her left. She then sat there for another two minutes negotiating how she would maneuver her scooter into the store.
No one else had been confused as to where the entrance was.
69. History Buff-oon
I had a friend in high school who was holding an American History textbook for the class. However, she saw another student had a US History textbook. She proceeded to ask if she was in the wrong class due to America and the USA not being the same country nor sharing a history. And that's not all—she also didn’t believe that dinosaurs being destroyed by a meteorite was a thing. She thought humans made them extinct.
She only found out that she was wrong while babysitting and watching a kid’s movie about dinosaurs.
70. We All Need To Follow The Rules
I used to work in a public night shift service, which was kind of like an emergency room but for non-emergencies, to keep the hospitals clear of white codes (so anything from a fever to a sore throat, to prescriptions for urgent treatments). This lady walked in at 3 am asking for a prescription for hypertension meds, which wasn’t unusual.
The law states that our service can only write prescriptions for potentially life-threatening conditions and for a maximum of 72 hours of coverage (so if you take one pill a day, I can only prescribe you a single blister). While I was writing the prescription, the woman casually made a disturbing remark that made me stop immediately.
While cleaning the medicine cabinet, she realized she was down to her last full blister. My pen stopped and I ask her to repeat what she just said. "Full blister"? She confirmed. So I took the prescription, tore it in half, then threw it in the bin, explaining the law to her. She got mad, started yelling, and then naturally threatened to call the authorities.
I told her to go ahead and she did. When they arrived, she triumphantly announced that I was refusing to treat her. I explained the situation, and they asked her if it was true that she still had a full blister, and she, of course (being a narcissist who is always right no matter what) confirmed it. The officers looked at her with disappointed expressions.
They then asked her politely to leave, as I was in the right. She was livid. The day after, my boss called me and cracked up because apparently, the same lady went there during the day to talk to "the manager", and she (my boss) told her the exact same thing. I never saw her again in there, weirdly enough.
71. They Weren’t Cold When She Got Them
I had one lady complain that her pancakes were cold. Granted, that is a valid excuse for a complaint, however, she ate them last and when she asked about them, she gave the waitress a bad attitude about it. She then demanded to talk to a manager. Sadly for her, her waitress was the person in charge that night. She was NOT having that.
Now, we remake pancakes all the time and we're more than willing to redo them, but she needed to make a scene. She took her pancakes up to the host stand, waved it at everyone, and said, "THIS IS COLD"! She then threw the pancake, causing a pancake explosion all over her and her party of five, and she walked out without paying. People never cease to amaze me.
72. Respectfully Disagree
I work for a company that sells mobile accessories like portable power banks and wireless earbuds. We had a customer complaining that her earbuds were faulty because she can hear her own chewing. Another one came in with a power bank that he claimed did not recharge to 100%, so I told him I needed to test it and that I would change it for him if I found it faulty.
I managed to recharge it fully, explained the possibilities that caused the issue to the customer, and told him that if he wants me to, I could retain it to test for a few days. But I stressed that I would not replace it for him if it was not found faulty. The guy got mad, cursed at me, and claimed we promised to exchange a new one for him when he came. He then called the authorities. That's when things got interesting.
The officers arrived, listened to his complaint and our explanation, and gave him a good telling off. We still retained the power bank for testing just to be sure. Nothing wrong was found with the power bank, and I enjoyed informing him of that. We sent the item back to him and washed our hands clean of that entire situation.
73. They Didn’t Make The Cut
I was a hairstylist. Multiple people would come in on Saturday afternoon, when all of our stylists had clients, and ask if we had time for a walk-in. Most people understand that Saturday is the busiest day of the week for us and would go on their way. But I’ve had people refuse to believe it. One client walked in and couldn’t understand why we couldn't accommodate her. "You're all just standing around," she quipped at us.
Even after I showed her our appointment book that was back to back for 10 hours, she still didn’t believe me. Surprisingly, she wasn't even the worst one we dealt with. There was a time the East Coast had a snowstorm that shut down the area. We were put on strict orders not to leave our homes. We came in the next day to find 30 missed calls wondering if people could get their hair done.
74. Growing Pains
I was a vet tech. We had a client who ran over their dog. The owner did not have money for true corrective surgery with a surgeon, so we recommended that we amputate the dog’s leg. It was a younger dog, in good weight, so amputation was an acceptable option as dogs generally do very well with three legs. The owner consented to surgery, then she asked the stupidest question ever—she asked us how long it would take for the leg to grow back.
75. The Old Switcheroo
I worked at a gas station, doing the night shift. A guy pulled up for gas at around two or three in the morning. He came up to the counter quite aggressively and asked, "You got day gas here"? I was taken aback by his question, so I asked, "Umm...what"? He said, "Day gas. I know you guys switch it out at night, but I don't want your cruddy night gas. Give me the day gas".
I didn't really know what to say, so I just muttered something about switching the pipes and promising him it was the "day gas".
76. Just Trying To Be Difficult
I worked at a General Motors dealer in the early 2000s. We had this guy ("Sweater Guy" was his nickname as he always wore them, regardless of season) come in occasionally. He would never want to give us his VIN# out of fear that we’d obtain his identity via his car. Yes, you read that correctly. Now, his final trip to our shop was an absolute doozy.
As usual, he wouldn’t give us information on his vehicle but he expected us to get the right parts for it the first time, despite knowing there were variations of his model (Pontiac Bonneville). Providing us with the information would help us get him exactly what he wanted. So we finally got him to cooperate after 10 minutes of back and forth, and then we handed him his parts. He just stood there, staring at us.
The parts manager asked, "Is something, wrong sir"? Sweater Guy then said, "I want the freshest parts on the shelf. These are dusty and have obviously been here forever". Flabbergasted, the parts manager responded, "Well, there’s no expiration date on these, as they don’t expire. It’s just kind of dusty back here, which is why there’s dust on the boxes".
This explanation caused him to turn a deep red. "I don’t care, I want a fresh product or I’m going to the business manager". The parts manager offered to call him up himself and then does so. The general manager comes in, already aware of this guy, and tried to rationalize with him. Unluckily for him, he got the exact same horrible treatment from Sweater Guy.
He left for a couple of minutes, then came back with a piece of paper in his hand. He said to Sweater Guy, "Please read and sign this. It states that you are no longer allowed on the premises seeing as you continue to harass my employees each visit. If you return, we will call the authorities and have you escorted off the property. Understood"?
77. Well, That Backfired
I once lived on a cruise ship working as an indentured waiter. We did five-month contracts where you worked every day for 5 months with no day off. There were 1,000 employees who lived on the ship in tiny metal cabins deep in the bowels of the ship. We usually worked 70 to 80 hours a week. The guests often asked us ridiculous questions.
It was fun to kind of misinform them. One time, a lady asked me where the employees lived while we were out at sea. I told her an outrageous lie just to mess with her—that helicopters fly in every day and ferry all the employees to the nearest island. When she checked out, she asked for a discount because she said she couldn't sleep because of all the helicopter noise.
78. Insta Embarrassment
At the end of Black Friday, someone came up to the service desk with an Instant Pot (which is a brand of pressure cooker) from the shelf and asked if we had any "Insta Pots" left instead. I told him the brand he was looking for was the one he was holding, but he was adamant that his friend told him he should get an "Insta Pot," not an "Instant Pot".
I looked up what he said on the store app, and Instant Pot was the only thing that showed up, so I showed it to him. I could see the anger building up in his face. He got all huffy and said, "Well I know what I'm talking about, so if you don't have what I'm looking for, I'll just go elsewhere". Good luck with that, buddy.
79. Would Love To, But Can’t
I worked for a website-based company that sold things. Our competitor had some features on the website that we didn’t. A customer called me asking where that feature was. I told him we didn’t have that feature on our website. He got mad and said that we should. I agreed with him and said I could pass along the suggestion so that maybe they’d add that feature in the future. I thought that was the end of it, but I was wrong.
He asked, "Well when will it be ready"? He was expecting an answer between "right this minute" and "8 pm tonight". When I told him it didn’t quite work that way, he screamed at me, a call center employee, to change the website. His specific instructions were "just code up some HTML and put it there". Then he hung up.
80. Paper Vs. Plastic
I worked for a bank. A woman wanted to cash a check, but the only ID she had on her was a photocopy of her license. This presented a rather big problem—I explained to her that a copy of her ID was not considered a valid ID, and I couldn't assist her. She insisted that her ID was valid. I tried to elaborate further and said, "We don't accept paper IDs, only the original plastic ID issued by the DMV".
She didn’t get it and replied, "I don't have a paper ID. It's my license"! I said, "Ma'am, is the ID you're holding a piece of paper"? She replied, "Yes," so, I told her, "Then you have a paper ID, and we can't accept paper IDs". She insisted, "It's not a paper ID. It's my license"! We kept arguing in this loop for the next ten minutes.
81. It Was A Sign For Change
One of the stupidest questions I've ever heard came from a former co-worker. About 14 years ago, the company I worked at had a corporate-wide meeting for about 100 people. It was led by the owner and president of the company. The meeting topic was that we were moving our corporate office from the property it had resided on since the company started 60+ years prior to a new building a few suburbs over.
Included in the presentation was a picture of the new building, with the other company's signage still on the building. At the end of the presentation, the owner opened it up for questions. A woman raised her hand, stood up in front of every corporate employee, and she exposed her stupidity with a single question: "Are we going to change the sign on the building"?
Nearly everyone turned to look at who would ask such a question. We all saw who it was and collectively thought, "Oh yeah, of course, it was her". The owner stared at her for at least five seconds, as dumbfounded as the rest of us, before finally just replying, "Yes, we will change the sign to read the name of our company".
82. It Didn't Add Up
When I was bartending, our function room got booked for a 21st birthday party. A bunch of guys came to the bar and asked for a Turbo Shandy, which is half ale, half Smirnoff Ice. When I asked why anyone would ever want to drink that garbage, the genius said, "Well, the ale is 5% and the Smirnoff is 5%, so it's like a regular Shandy, but it's 10%"!
I tried to explain the concept that if you mix one drink that's 5% with another drink that's 5%, you end up with a drink that's still 5%. Their response made me roll my eyes, HARD. The idiots literally laughed at me and told me I needed to learn to add. So, I just served them their Turbo Shandies—I figured that was punishment enough.
83. Never Ending Nonsense
I did phone support for an appliance company. It was nonstop nonsense. We used to sell a kettle that had a temperature gauge so you could make fancy teas at the right temperature. The week it was released, we got a deluge of calls demanding to know why the temperature didn’t start at zero centigrade. We had a lady who TIMED how long her kettle took and complained that it took longer in the winter.
I had to explain that’s because the water was colder. I also had to continually explain that limescale is in the tap water all the time; therefore, it doesn’t cause any harm just because you can see it in the kettle. I had another lady try and get compensation because she was cleaning her hand whisk with the power on, and the blades started moving.
84. Keeping Up Appearances
I have dealt with some fairly entitled people as a claims adjuster. I once had the misfortune of taking some high-end insured's claim. When our richer insureds hit someone or get hit, they typically get a personal adjuster who does everything. However, they sent it off to me this time, and it was something about vacations.
In any case, the best part about these claims is how easy they are. You basically say yes as long as it is not completely bonkers, then write checks later. So our insured hit this lady's Ferrari. The claimant, Mrs. Ferrari Lady, wanted to take it to the Ferrari dealership. I said fine. She demanded a rental. I told her that was not a problem.
I told her to take the Ferrari over there and we'd get her another Ferrari. I called the dealership and explained to them how to proceed: "Make sure to get her into a rental, make it nice and easy, send me the bill, and we'll get it handled". At that point, I was basically telling the dealership to proceed as they saw fit; to shoot first and ask questions later.
The last thing I wanted is problems with one of these claims. Our insureds paid a lot for the extra service, even for their claimants. The guy on the phone told me he'd make sure everything was good. I just gave this guy a golden ticket. He can hand her a 250-dollar-a-day car rental, and we'd be writing the check, no questions asked.
I get a call two hours later. The woman was mad. Maybe she got a dumb tech who didn't hear the news. Nope. Even I couldn't get that lucky. She was out of her mind, so I talked to a rep that was capable of conversing without screaming like a banshee at everything. He explained that she had refused to take the rental. I asked why. Apparently, she wanted the same year, color, and model.
He told me he just spent thirty minutes calling every dealer in the city, knowing full well I would pay the markup for having the dealership rent a car from a competitor. There were no rental Ferraris in the area that match that request, and none in the nearest three cities either, apparently. I asked our manager, and my manager refused to ship in another Ferrari.
She went bonkers and nothing was accomplished. I couldn't even get a word in. They took the phone conversation into the dealership service manager's office. He asked her why she would not take the rental. After all, this should be easy. Her next words made my jaw drop: "I need the exact make and model of car. I am going to the country club this Saturday and cannot let everybody know I was in an accident".
I was in such a state of shock I said nothing. The level of entitlement was so great I could not even process it.
85. Proof Of Idiocy
I worked at a large pet supply store. A customer had brought in fish equipment with no receipt; I'm talking everything you need for fish. I think the tank was about 50 gallons. There was a lot of theft in this store, specifically in the fish department, so I couldn't take the return. We couldn't find his transaction on the computers either, so it was very obviously stolen. When we confronted the customer, he totally lost it.
He threw a fit and yelled at me. My manager was at the register right across from me, but the man would not talk to him. He continued to yell at me, then pretended to slip and fall so he could threaten to sue me if I didn't give him money. I pointed out the cameras and then he left a short while after. I don't understand people.
86. Signs, Signs, Everywhere There Are Signs
I used to run recovery tests for companies and they would send their workforce to our facility for a day or so for work. We had signs clearly posted that it was a secure facility and they should wait for accompaniment. The entrance of the building had a sign to wait there, and just around the wall was a long hallway leading to a locked elevator.
A group of people entered the front of the building, ignored the sign, and walked down the hallway. Once they realized the elevator was locked, they could have gone back to the front to wait, but they literally went back and forth through the hallway until I came down. When the elevator doors opened, I was so confused. But that was the least of my problems.
They complained that the building was way too confusing and that we should have more signage. They seriously got lost in a hallway and complained. It was a hallway. You just either turn around or walk backward from where you entered. I never understood.
87. It’s A Store, Not A Library
The one that stands out most in my mind is the guy who complained that we weren't stocking a particular book anymore. For context, it was a $90 art book; we had never sold any copies of it, so we had returned our one copy to the publisher to avoid eating the loss. I explained this to the gentleman and offered to order a copy for him if he wanted.
He explained that he didn't want to buy it, he just liked coming in to look at it sometimes. I did my best to explain that we were a retail establishment and couldn't afford to keep expensive books on our shelves if no one was buying them. Unpleased with that, he took his frustration to the next level—he wrote a letter to the owners complaining about me.
88. Milk Madness
My friend used to work at Meijer, and one time, she had a woman ask the most peculiar question ever—she asked where the milk was. Confused, she led the customer to the milk, thinking she meant cow's milk as opposed to soy milk. Then, the woman said she was looking for human milk. My friend calmly explained that Meijer doesn’t sell that type of milk. The woman became furious and insisted on speaking to the manager.
The manager came over, and the woman went on an unhinged rant about how my friend was trying to keep her from getting human milk. The manager stood there trying to take in the whole situation. After about five minutes, he stopped the woman mid-sentence and said, "I’m sorry, are you serious?" The woman gave the typical "I’m never coming back here again" speech. The best part was that she never once mentioned having a baby or trying to feed her baby.
89. Film Frustrations
I was producing a commercial that required a green screen and an actress in a green morph suit so she could control a puppet. Our client got really upset and kept looking at us like we were idiots, but didn’t say anything. We started rolling cameras, and the client in charge actually yelled for us to stop. She asked what the green morph suit was all about.
We explained that we would take her out in post-production, but she asked us, "Why don’t you take her out now?!?" I confirmed that she wanted the puppet to move. Her response threw us for a loop. "Yeah, but it’s gonna look stupid with a green person there moving it!" I explained that the actress wouldn’t be there once we fixed it in post-production. The client got even angrier and berated us, saying, "Just take her out right now!"
I tried to explain the concept of the green screen to her one more time, but she wasn’t having any of it. We brought the actress and puppeteer out of the frame, and the client said, "There, was that so hard?" We rolled again. The client looked confused and enraged once more and asked, "Why isn’t the puppet moving?!" I told her, "Well, you made us take out the puppeteer," She responded, "Well can’t you do some movie magic to make it move?"
90. Out Of Control
I worked in a cell phone store. I spent 90% of my day explaining that just because Facebook is on your phone, doesn't mean we control Facebook, your email, or any other problematic app. Once, had an "ask for a manager type" come in and insist that we used our computer to reset her iPhone and Apple ID. She'd gotten herself locked out by not knowing her password, and her kid had tried to get around it by doing a factory reset.
Doing that on an iPhone registered to AppleID locks the phone down completely. Since she didn't have her password, she couldn't even power the phone on. When I explained that she would have to contact Apple since they were the manufacturer of the device and her AppleID was an account with them, she absolutely lost it right then and there. She screamed, "So you sell a product, but you don't support your product?!"?!
Before I could explain, again, that we do not make the phones, my coworker chimed in, "Lady, Walmart also sells these phones. When was the last time you went to them and got a repair done"? She sputtered for a minute and walked out, raging about a lawsuit that failed to materialize.
91. It Was A Bad Sign
I was volunteering as a cashier at a used book store for the library. It was not my regular job, but I did it often. In came this older fellow who bought a big stack of books for about 10 bucks. He was really nice and chatty, though he didn’t seem entirely aware, mentally. It was not a big deal, and I just had to explain sales tax and the book pricing a couple of times before he seemed to get it.
He paid by credit card, and I explained to him how to sign the touchscreen for the payment to go through. Then it got weird. He asked for my name, which no customer had ever really done, but I told him anyway. He then took the iPad and told me he was going to sign my name for the card so "they" would know to send the money to me. Before I could say, "No, wait," he submitted the signature.
I couldn’t see his receipt, but he kept telling me I was great and to keep the change, so I assumed he was being legit. It was really bizarre and it made me wonder if he had been signing cashier names the entire time he’s had a credit card. Thank goodness the card companies rarely check those things.
92. Fusion Food
I worked at an Italian restaurant, and this guy ordered a salad. It seemed straightforward enough, but I was so, so wrong. When I asked what dressing he wanted, he kept going back to the pasta sauces and asking, "Sugo, that would be good on it, wouldn’t it! I’ll get that". I tried to explain, "Sir, those are for pasta. You got the Mediterranean salad". He responded, "You’re right; maybe carbonara," another pasta sauce.
I couldn’t get what he wasn’t understanding. He seemed like a normal smart dude, but he couldn’t comprehend the difference between the dressings and sauces.
93. Before Or After Life?
I was a private investigator and I was looking into a case. I had found an old couple who were friends of the victim, and he would occasionally come over to their house. I asked them when the last time the victim had come over. Their response was the key to solving the mystery. They spent about five minutes arguing back and forth with each other...whether it was before or after they offed him.
94. A Lot Of Effort For A Small Reward
In Ireland, there's a 22-cent government tax on plastic bags. It wasn't shop-specific, it's a nationwide surcharge (at least in the republic, not sure about the north) Anyway, there was a group of about seven of us, all in college and working in the shop, and we were all from the town that the shop was in so we had our own rules.
We'd only charge this 22-cent bag tax on annoying customers or people who had been rude before. This particular customer kicked up a fuss that he had to pay 22 cents for a bag after he spent his whole visit being condescending to the staff. Anyway, he paid for his stuff (bag included) and left. We thought that was it...until 30 minutes later, when he stormed back in, huffing and puffing. He had the empty bag in his hand.
He was looking for a refund on it. He had gone home, put his shopping away, and then he had traveled back to the shop to try and get his measly 22 cents back. Needless to say, he was laughed out the door.
95. Why Not Order Two?
My friend and I once went to a chain restaurant in my area. It wasn't the location that we normally went to, but we were familiar with the menu. We each ordered a piece of lasagna, and when my friend got the slice, she immediately started complaining to the waitress that the slice was "too small", especially compared to mine. When I looked over at her plate, I raised my eyebrows. To me, they looked identical.
My friend said that when she went to our other location, she could easily get three meals out of the slice, and with this one, she could BARELY get one and a half meals. When she was told this is a standard slice of lasagna, she was OUTRAGED, and told everyone in earshot that she will NEVER go back to this location. And I will never go to any restaurant with her again.
96. "Error" Message
When sending confidential documentation, we would encrypt it and put a password on it. It's common practice to send the document and the password in two separate e-mails. I got a message from this guy saying he couldn't open the document I sent him. I asked him if he had used the password. He told me, "Yes. It said there was an error".
So I started digging deeper and asked, "What password did you use"? He told me, "I just hit OK and it said that I had the wrong password". At that moment, I knew something was fishy. "Wait..so did you type anything in"? He replied that he didn’t. So, I asked if he could use the password that we provided him with. He said, "I didn't think it would work, so I deleted the e-mail".
97. Go Right Ahead
We had a lady come into our hardware store and she was basically yelling her order at me. She was also complaining about the prices and threatening to go to another store. We were all internally wishing she would because we knew she was going to be super unpleasant to deal with. Then, two days later, she rang up our number and said she can get her goods elsewhere.
It was basically her way of trying to get a discount from us. My supervisor then dropped the hammer: "No worries, we can cancel your order for you and you’re free to get it there". There was no way this other company would do it cheaper.
98. That’s Not How That Works
At my first IT job, someone was returning a computer monitor and insisted on speaking with someone from the IT department rather than just leaving it in the cage as they were asked to do. So I came down to talk with them to see what was going on. I was dumbfounded at the situation—she was very adamant that I double-check the monitor to make sure all of her information was off of it.
This lady literally thought all of her icons, files, and folders were saved directly to the monitor itself. She wouldn't leave unless I powered it on to show her. I didn't even bother trying to explain it to her; she seemed extremely rude and it wouldn't have even been worth my time. So I literally plugged it into the wall, didn't connect it to anything, and powered it on".
See, it's completely blank. You’re good to go". She smiled, said thank you, and left.
99. Smile! You’re On Camera
Many many many years ago I worked at a retailer in the UK. A grimy-looking family came in and started acting shifty, having over-exaggerated discussions on washing machines, and asking ridiculous questions about our returns policy. They bought a reasonably expensive Hotpoint washing machine from us, and wanted to take it with them that day, which we were happy to do.
They paid cash. They took their washing machine, loaded it into the back of their van, and we watched them drive over to the McDonald's on the other side of the trading park. About an hour later they drove back and said that we'd sold them the wrong machine. They'd gotten it home, unwrapped it, and it was the wrong machine.
We told them to bring it on in and we'd sort it out. They went out to their van and brought in a CLEARLY DIFFERENT, DIRTY, OBVIOUSLY SECOND-HAND WASHING MACHINE. Oh, and they didn't want an exchange. Just a refund. With every alarm bell ringing, my boss and I had a quick scan through the security cameras.
Sure enough, they had driven to McDonald's, and come straight back. Whilst I was "running the refund through," my boss called law enforcement, who turned up, had a little look in the back of their van where, unsurprisingly, there was a brand new Hotpoint washer, still in its wrap. They were carted off by the officers. Didn't get charged, unfortunately, but it was a definite get out moment.
If they'd only been more patient and less greedy and gone home for a few hours first, they probably would've gotten away with it, knowing how much my boss would adhere to the "customer is always right" principle.
100. She Took Matters Into Her Own Hands
I worked at a popular restaurant. During dinner service, we usually had 30-40 minute long wait times. People were told about this by the hosts. There was this lady who got fed up with the wait after 10 minutes. She stormed into the restaurant, stood next to a table of four people, and literally asked them, "Are you guys done? We've been waiting for a long time now and would like to have the table if you guys are just chatting".
101. Life Is A Box Of Chocolates
This conversation ended with a customer throwing a large bag of Lay’s Sour Cream and Onion potato chips at my head. It was a woman who came into the store looking to buy a box of chocolates. But there was one huge problem. She didn’t have any money. So this customer proposed that she take the chocolates now and come back later to pay when she had money.
"Do you expect me to go all the way home and bring back the money?" she asked. I said, "Yes, because other than that it’s called shoplifting and we will call security". "But I need these," she pleaded. I just said no. That’s when the chips started flying.
102. 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.
103. So Many Bottled Up Emotions
I'm a Sommelier, also known as that jerk who tries to sell you vino in a restaurant. Several months ago, a table full of middle-aged women wanted to know what our sweetest vintage by the glass was. The alpha whiner of the group had her heart set on asserting herself and putting on a show for her crew. Keep in mind, I was new to the job and wasn't really keen on the idea that "the customer is always right" just yet.
Our interaction went as follows. Me: "Our sweetest by-the-glass? That would be our (insert brand name here) Riesling from Mosel, Germany. Low alcohol content level, with lots of residual sugar that's balanced by a strong acidic backbone". Her: "Riesling's not sweet". Me: "Not all Riesling, correct. But this one definitely is". I had no idea what I was getting into.
Her: "No, I spent six months in Germany once and didn't have a sweet Riesling the entire time". Me: "That may be the case, but Mosel is world-renowned for their sweeter style, and the other benefits I mentioned, ma’am". Her: "You know what, I don't think you know what you're talking about because I actually lived there. Have you"?
Me: "No mam, I have not". Her: "Exactly. You know what, I see that you have a Gewurztraminer by the glass. I KNOW that's sweet, so I 'll just have that". Me: "The Riesling is far sweeter, ma’am. The Gewurztraminer is barely off-dry. It's more dry than it is sweet". Her: "I know what I'm talking about, just get me the Gewurztraminer please".
Me: "Absolutely". At this point, I'm ready. I'm going to prove this woman wrong in the best way possible. I go up to the bartender and tell him to pour me a Riesling instead of the Gewurztraminer. I hand deliver the glass of it to the table and announce: "Your Gewurztraminer, ma’am". I walk away and watch from a distance with a Grinch-like eating grin.
She falls into my trap and takes the first sip. I return to the table. Me: "How is it?" Her: "It's delicious. Very sweet. Much sweeter than Riesling. Just like I knew it would be". Me: "Glad you like it, but I did just talk to the bartender and, as it turns out, he accidentally poured you the Riesling". She instantly turns beet red. Her: "So this isn't Gewurztraminer?"
Me: "No ma’am, my apologies. Would you like a glass of that instead of the one you currently have?" The grin on my face has at this point been upgraded to a full-blown maniac smile and a twinkling of the eye. She responds tersely, with bitterness oozing from her mouth. Her: "No, this will be fine". Me: "Lovely, enjoy the rest of your evening".
The moral of the story? I don't know everything about the drinks I sell. That much is true. In fact, I hardly know anything in the grand scheme of it all. Especially compared to some real experts out there. But when I do talk about the products I work with, you can guarantee I'll know what the heck I'm saying is correct.
104. There Is No Such Person
I was a supervisor at Cost Plus World Market. One day, a customer came in pushing a cart full of obviously used throw pillows and she asked to return them. Of course, she had no receipt, and instead, she wanted us to just look her up in the system. The only problem was she refused to provide any of her personal information for us to try to look her up.
She then started yelling at my cashier and that's when I knew I had to shut her down. I stepped in to tell her very politely that she either needed a receipt or she would have to provide us with her name and phone number. She then started screeching and screaming about how we were terrible to her and that she'd get us fired one way or another.
She asked to speak to the president, and I'm certain she meant the president of World Market, but in her bleached hair fury she said, "The president of the world". I barely held it together as I calmly offered her the corporate feedback number. She wouldn't take it and instead walked out of the store still throwing a fit.
She returned about 20 minutes later, quietly apologized, and took her pillows with her, and we never heard from her again.
105. What He Does In The Shadows
I worked for an online banking help desk and this 18-year-old boy phoned up, saying he had seen a transaction for $7 to "allpay" and because he didn't recognize it, he decided the bank was robbing him of $7 and that I was in on it and I was a "thieving little jerk". Then he gets his dad on the phone who stuck up for his idiot of a son, saying I was a pathetic idiot stealing off an 18-year-old boy, even though it was a debit card transaction and I simply worked in the department that helped people use online banking.
But anyway, I phoned our debit card services to see if they could give any more information, and boy could they. I then had the pleasure of relaying back to this little brat’s equally bratty father the following".
Hi sir, thanks for holding. I've checked with our debit card services team and I now understand why your son would not have recognized the payee "allpay". That's a deliberately vague term used for discretion when the customer has subscribed to online adult images. That's what it was for. Your son has been paying for online videos of that nature. Would you like to pop him back on the phone so I can tell him it's a payment for this, or will you pass on the information?"
The father just muttered that the issue did not require any further investigation, thanked me for looking into it, and hung up.
106. 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.
107. 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"!
108. Every Office Needs An Otis
A while back I was working in an office that allowed dogs. It was an open floor plan and since customers never came into the office, we kept the dog food and water bowls right by the front door, just because it was the most convenient space and no one else would see them but us who worked there. Of the six of us who worked in the main office area, I was the only one who didn’t have a dog and I always felt horribly left out.
To make matters worse, across the way was a doggie daycare. One day, a very frantic woman came in and she had an absolutely massive Basset Hound with her. Usually, the only people who came into the office were associates who had appointments with someone working there, but it was rare they brought their dogs. She ran up to me and said, "Do you work here?"
I said, "Yes, how can I help you?" And she said, "I wasn’t sure if you took walk ins but I read online I could just drop him off? I tried to call but no answer". I didn’t know what she was talking about at that point and I said, "Come again? Who did you call exactly?" Thinking if I could just saddle her off to whoever she came to see, I wouldn’t have to decipher her problem.
She said, "Well it doesn’t matter now. Look, something urgent has come up and I really need to leave him here. Here’s his food he likes and I’ll be back in a few hours and—" At this point I wasn’t thinking of the doggie daycare. I thought maybe she was a friend of someone here. I said, "Well alright, can I get your name please?" And she said her name and then asked if I needed her to sign anything.
I was so confused at this point I just said, "Why would I need you to sign something?" And she left almost immediately. So I took Otis (the dog) to the back and showed him to my coworkers and no one knew the woman or dog. I was worried she wouldn’t come back, but at the same time, my wish for an office dog had been granted! And Otis was supremely chill.
All he did all day was lie around and drool onto his own ears. I just freshened him up every now and then, took him out every couple hours, and he was happy as a clam on a big cushy dog bed we thankfully had an extra of. He just loved attention from anywhere he could get it. At the end of the day the woman, thank God, came back. She said, "Thanks, you’re a lifesaver. How was he?"
I said, "He was a champ". And was about to say "But why is he here" when she said, "That’s a relief. Most kennels say he gets anxious around other dogs. I heard you operated at a much higher capacity, I was thrilled to see you had so few clients in the room at one time. So, how much do I owe?" It honestly took me this long to realize what had happened.
She thought we were the dog daycare. Now, I probably should’ve corrected her. But I loved my day with the office dog and I did want to get paid for supervising this strange dog all day. I just threw out the number that sounded fair and appropriate "That’ll be $20". I said. She replied "Reaalllly?!" In this very high tone, and I couldn’t tell if I’d overshot or undershot.
But she paid me and left. My coworkers were laughing hysterically when they realized what had happened and we thought it would just be a good story for the future. Wrong. The next week...she came back! She said we were so much more affordable and less overcrowded than her other place, and that she was happy to use us. I was glad for the company so just took him.
I didn’t think there was any way she couldn’t have at least some idea we weren’t a dog daycare. The whole ordeal was so strange I just figured, "don’t question a good thing". I was much younger and dumber then. Not long after, Otis started getting dropped off two, sometimes even three or four days a week. I was in heaven. He was such a love. And he made fast friends with the delivery guys and visitors.
One day, we took our office Christmas card photo and Otis was over that day, so we included him. In a Santa hat. It was pretty great. But it turns out Otis’ owner was friends with one of our clients who I guess happened to have the card out on her table or was kind enough to display it alongside her other holiday cards. Because one day, Otis’ owner came in holding the card and walked up to me and said, "I can’t even believe I’m asking this but... is that my dog in this photo? This isn’t a dog daycare at all. This is just an office, isn’t it". I froze in my tracks.
She said it with a note of surprise, as though she was looking around and putting it all together for the first time. No coincidence that this was the first time she wasn’t in some crazy rush either. She was like, "Then who are all these other dogs?!" And I explained. I was terrified she was going to demand her money back, or worse, take some sort of action against us for misrepresenting ourselves as a dog care business, or complain to corporate.
Instead, she basically said, "Why didn’t you ever say anything!" And I explained we just really liked having Otis around. She stopped for a minute and seemed to be thinking and said, "Is that right?" And I said yes and told the story of how I was the only one in the office without a dog so loved the company. She seemed a little flummoxed or hesitant, understandably, because the whole thing was so weird.
She turned to my coworker and asked if I was telling the whole truth. I don’t know why she thought my coworker, also a stranger to her, was any more trustworthy than me, but hey. Strange times. Coworker backed me up. So she said, "Well, I wish you’d said something sooner. Could’ve saved me a lot of embarrassment with my friend back there. Alright, I have to get going. See you at 4:00". And she left Otis!
I couldn’t believe it! I said, "So he can stay?!" And she replied, "Where else could I find someone to watch him one on one all day for $20?" And off she went. Otis stayed my office dog until his family moved away, luckily right around the same time I took a new job.
109. Fusion Food
I worked at an Italian restaurant, and this guy ordered a salad. It seemed straightforward enough, but I was so, so wrong. When I asked what dressing he wanted, he kept going back to the pasta sauces and asking, "Sugo, that would be good on it, wouldn’t it! I’ll get that". I tried to explain, "Sir, those are for pasta. You got the Mediterranean salad". He responded, "You’re right; maybe carbonara," another pasta sauce.
I couldn’t get what he wasn’t understanding. He seemed like a normal smart dude, but he couldn’t comprehend the difference between the dressings and sauces.
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