"The Customer Is Always Right." Everyone who's worked in the service industry is taught that...and also knows that it's completely bogus. More often than not, the customer is actually very, very wrong. The following stories are of Karens who threw respect out the window and made an innocent employee's life a nightmare, just because they felt like it. From shocking public tantrums to inexcusably rude behavior, these tales are sure to get your blood boiling.
1. Flying Footlong
A seven-year-old girl came into my store to get the sandwich with a note listing the ingredients she wanted on it. At the cash, I rang in the sandwich, and the little girl passed me one filled-out Sub-Club card, which used to be good for a 6" sandwich with a purchase of a 28 oz drink. I cleared the cash and rang it in again, discounting half the sub.
I told the girl how much she owed me and she just stood there, looking at me. I asked her what was wrong and she said that her mom never gave her any money. I asked if her mom was outside and if she could go get her. This is where the nightmare started. The girl left and came back in crying, getting towed behind a raging mammoth of a woman who was demanding to talk to my manager about how she was being disrespected.
I explained to her the usage of the card and pointed out where the details were printed. She screamed, reached over the counter, grabbed the sandwich, and then threw it at my head. My manager later saw the security footage and called me laughing his butt off about it.
2. Fast Food PTSD
I went through a McDonald's drive-thru once and the place was slammed inside and out. After ordering, I was asked to park next to the curb and someone would bring my order to me as soon as possible. A girl walked up to my car visibly shaken and as she handed me my food, she said something that made my heart sink: "Please don't slap me." I said, "What?" Apparently, the last lady she delivered food to yelled at her and slapped her across the face because it took so long.
3. From Hero To Zero
I was working at a gas station a few years back on the graveyard shift. It was around 1 am when a really heavy guy walked into the store with a brown bag on his head. He came up to the counter and showed me the brick he had in his hand. He said that if I didn't give him the money in the register, he would beat me with it. Now, I am a pretty big dude, so I just smiled at him.
This set him off and he chucked the brick at me, but it flew right past me to the side. He then ran out of the store. I called the authorities and my manager. I told him what happened, and his response floored me. I ended up getting fired for not giving him the money...Apparently, it was policy to just give robbers whatever they ask for. I was a liability because I didn't follow the procedure. What made it worse was that my son was just born and I was the only one working in my family at the time.
4. You've Been Framed
I used to work at an Applebee's. One of my tables was an elderly couple and what I assumed was their granddaughter. They ordered their food (steak, salad, and chicken fingers). In the kitchen, a random server, let's call him Matt, was running people's food because everyone was busy. Well, the table next to mine belonged to a server named Ashley.
Matt accidentally ran Ashley's food to my table. He asked the elderly couple if they were at the table that had ordered a chicken penne pasta, onion rings, and a chocolate dessert, all of which were completely different than what they had ordered. They said yes, then. proceeded to yell at the manager about how their food was wrong and how bad of a server I was.
I hate people.
5. When In Doubt, Smile
I worked in retail for a bit during my senior year of high school and sometime after. I once had a customer rudely ask me if I had gone to high school. She even had the audacity to say that I was probably a dropout towards the end of a transaction. I was so stunned, I didn't know how to react...then I just gave her an exaggerated shrug, a big, dumb smile, and I crossed my eyes as I handed her her bag.
6. The Hair Scare
I was a hairstylist at a salon when this lady in her late 60s came in. She said she wanted to go a shade darker than she had, so I picked out a medium blonde. When she left, she was happy. That was around 3 pm. Then, around 6 pm she called us and said she didn't like the color...She wanted to know if she could come back in at 8 pm to get it fixed. I told her she could come in first thing in the morning since we closed at 8:30 pm.
So the next day, at 8 am, she came in...but she was totally tipsy. Yet it was even worse than I could have imagined. While I was finishing up her highlights, she started screaming at me, telling me I made her look like "a freaking dog" and that her husband told her she couldn't come home until she got her hair fixed. The latter part was weird because she told me earlier that her husband was blind...
Anyway, I was seven months pregnant at the time and she pushed me up against the wall, telling me I better fix her hair or her son-in-law, who is a well-known lawyer in Houston, was going to sue me. She was acting so crazy that the other stylist was freaking out. The guy that was in her chair even got up and told her to screw off or he was going to call the authorities.
She got in his face and started yelling at him, and then she went over to my client and told her that her hair color was beautiful and that she wanted her to be the same color. My client's hair was actually darker than the lady's, and it was still blonde. Anyway, I ended up fixing her hair and she thanked me at the end of the night. I sat in my car crying for an hour.
I regret not calling the police on that witch. I also wish I was able to thank the guy who stood up to her for me.
7. In Her Defense
I was in a McDonald's during the lunch rush. This old guy in front of me started harassing the girl at the register who was obviously fairly new. He asked her where she was from and then asked her if everyone from her town was as dumb as she was. He turned to me after saying this and was just like, "Am I right?" I flat out told him right then and there that she was doing her best (during the busiest part of her shift, mind you) and that his jerk behavior wasn't making things any better or easier.
When I got up to the counter, I told her I was sorry she had to deal with pricks like that at her work.
8. Out Of Change
I worked at Chick-Fil-A when I was 16. I was a cashier working the counter during breakfast. The manager hadn't come back from the bank, so I didn't have a lot of change left in my drawer. I had a line of a few people in front of me and so did the other girl next to me. I let the guy know that unfortunately, I wouldn't be able to take his order at my register because I didn't have any coins to give him as change.
I told him that the girl next to me would have to take him. Apparently, that was the wrong thing to say. He got super upset and started screaming at me, telling me how horrible and stupid I was. Apparently, I ruined his entire morning. He totally created a scene in front of everyone. On top of this, I was super emotional and I burst into tears. The owner came out and asked the guy to leave, telling him he wasn't welcome at that Chick-Fil-A anymore.
I moved over to the end of the counter and started portioning out cheesecake while trying to compose myself and a few ladies came up to me to tell me I was doing a great job. That kind of restored my faith in humanity.
9. Let Me Downgrade You
A young woman walked into the cinema I worked at, and as always, I was at the ticket office. I sold her tickets to the show she wanted to see. She then proceeded to the 'Candy Bar' and ordered a cup of coffee—black, not too hot—and I offered to take it into her theater for her, to which she said, "That would be great!" Before I took it in, I decided to upgrade her cup to a mug, which was the larger of the two containers we offered, as we were pretty much out of cups.
I made her coffee and headed up the theater stairs to give it to her. I handed it over to her and she stared at me as if I'd just ended her firstborn. She shrieked in the packed theater, yelling: "DID I NOT ORDER A CUP?" I was shocked, but I rolled with it and said pleasantly, "I upgraded your coffee for free," to which she replied, "I ORDERED A CUP AND IT'S WHAT I BETTER GET, MAKE ANOTHER ONE!"
So I grudgingly made her another coffee and brought it back to her. She then offered a snide remark: "Looks like you finally did it right!" Now, I know she ordered the cup and I was obliged to carry out her order for her, but for heck's sake, isn't a free upgrade a GOOD THING?
10. Sketchy Parenting
I worked at a local sports bar and I had two men come in with their dates...and their children. The eldest child was running around the restaurant picking food off of people's plates, while the middle child was changing the TV stations in the middle of baseball playoffs. The youngest child was sleeping on the table while the adults proceeded to drink margaritas.
I served them their food and as soon as the youngest child woke up to take a bite, he proceeded to vomit, covering the table completely. I attempted to be a hospitable server and I cleaned it up, expecting that the customers would be appreciative. Nope. They simply ordered more margaritas. At that point, I refused to serve them anymore (they each had two margaritas) because they were extremely disrespectful and I was not comfortable serving drinks to people who are responsible for getting children home safely.
That's where everything hit the fan. These women proceeded to stand up and scream at me from across the table, saying, "You don't know me, you want some?" Thankfully, I had my manager come over and kick them out. The kicker? Before they left, they poured out two full ketchup bottles underneath the table and left no tip.
11. Fighting Back
One time, I had a customer come into my workplace complaining that her breadsticks were cold. After putting up with about five minutes of vicious verbal attacks (she called me every terrible name under the sun), I finally told her that she couldn't talk to me that way. She responded with this absolute gem: "I can talk to you however I want, you're just a pizza girl". Well, snap. I lost it.
I was paying my way through university and I was holding down two jobs at the same time. I was tired and stressed. I didn't know until that point that "seeing red" was an actual thing. I literally saw red (I think it was probably my blood pressure). I proceeded to tell her that she was a small, spiteful, stupid woman, who would never amount to anything in life I also explained to her that work is work, and the act of trying to support myself was honorable in itself.
She ran away and sent her husband in. He threw the bread at me and a napkin holder off one of the tables. The security guard saw this, and he grabbed him while the manager called the authorities. He got taken to the station, but he was released later because I decided not to press charges. It just wasn't worth the stress. I'd never been so angry in my entire life.
12. With A Side Of Sass
When I was 17, I worked in a fast-food restaurant. An elderly man came up and placed his order which included french fries. We needed to drop some more in the fryer and it was going to be about a two-minute wait. When I informed him of this, he called me an offensive slur, then took the rest of his order and sat at a booth in the restaurant. I was stunned, to say the least.
When the fries were done, I walked them over to his table and just said, "Here," semi-slamming the food on his table before walking back to the counter. He sat there and ate his food for about a half-hour, then he got up and left. The real shocker came when I went to go clean his booth. This crotchety old jerk had smeared his food all over the booth and left a handwritten note on the back of a placemat that read: "Since you can't get your orders right, I won't be coming back to this horrible place!"
Well, good riddance. The only thing that makes me smile about the whole incident now is that I can take comfort in the fact that he's lifeless and rotting.
13. Grandma Gone Wild
Where I used to work, a grandmother came in with her granddaughter to purchase a bathing suit. They came up with a green, stripey swimsuit the young girl had on. The price was $18.99. The grandmother swore it was on sale, so I had an employee check the price on the other suits just in case that suit had gotten missed in the markdown. It was not on sale. When I told the lady this, she flipped her lid.
She paid for it anyway because her granddaughter was already wearing it and I wasn't about to be nice. As she was leaving, she stopped, turned around, looked at me, and said, "I do not wish you well in life." I was completely and utterly baffled that someone would go so far as to say something so cruel over a $19 bathing suit for a grandchild.
14. A Bad Example
The worst I've ever had was a customer telling me he was going "tear this freaking store apart" if he didn't get his way. I looked him in the eyes, looked down at his grandson standing by his pant leg who couldn't have been older than four, then looked back in his eyes. He ran a hand through his hair and calmed down enough to finish the transaction and get the heck out of my store.
15. Pizza Frizbee
My brother and I were working at Pizza Hut in high school. A lady rolled up to our drive-thru to pick up an order. He passed her the pizza, and when she looked into the box, she apparently wasn't satisfied with her order (I can't remember the specific problem). She passed it back through the window to my brother. While she was doing this, she told him she was going to get him fired.
That did NOT fly with my brother. He launched the pizza box back through her car window and told her to get the heck out of here. She bobbled the box trying to catch it and it careened off into the passenger seat. Now she was shaking like freezing a puppy. She started to yell, but she was not really sure what to say; just babbling really. She slammed the gas and peeled out of the parking lot.
She called later to complain to the manager, who apologized to her. Then he told my brother not to worry about it: "She's a witch anyway".
16. Zero Tolerance
A lady walked in with a phone in hand and slammed it hard on the table in front of me and my manager. We asked her, "How can we help you?" She yelled, "You can fix this dang phone. I have been in here three times and this piece of garbage still doesn't work thanks to you idiots!" He pointed at the door and just said, "Leave." Her face dropped. "What?" "Leave, and never come back." "I pay my phone bill here." "
Not anymore you don't. Leave or I'll call security." We ended up having to call security on her. They came and told her she wasn't welcome in our store anymore. She sat outside of our store for nearly an hour talking to a security guard. She's not been in the store since.
17. Exchange Of Fists
I used to work in the bakery department at Kroger. There was this one guy who was trying to order a steamed plate lunch. He wanted a certain piece of chicken and I kept getting it wrong every time I picked up a piece. He got mad after my second attempt to help him. I even grabbed a pen and paper so he could write down exactly what he wanted, but he declined. He then came behind the counter and hit me in the shoulder.
Let me tell you, he had this special strength. His punch sent me back a few steps, and right before I was about to take a swing back at him, security tackled him.
18. The Wrong Crowd
In high school, I was heavily involved in a local church youth group. We gathered together for bible study every Thursday night. After service, a large group of us would drive to a nearby restaurant. They specialized in making anything that was greasy or grilled and could fit in a plastic basket. Well, one night, our group was larger than normal, so we split into two groups and for some reason, we chose tables on separate ends of the restaurant from each other.
We got our food, good times were had, and we stayed until closing time. The people at my table cleared our trash and left through the front door to the parking lot. I didn't really think about the other group standing around their table—they were in a corner, and in hindsight, they were acting suspiciously. After a few minutes, they joined us in the parking lot and we all started making plans to go to someone's house to watch a movie.
Suddenly, one of the employees burst out of the door extremely upset. The group from the other table ran to their cars and drove away. The employee walked the rest of us back into the restaurant. My jerk friends had filled up several paper condiment cups with ketchup and placed them face down on the table, so when you picked them up, the ketchup went everywhere.
They also littered napkins all about the floor and table, and as a coup de grace, they unscrewed the light bulbs just enough to make the lights go out. We offered to help clean up, but the employee was so angry she just told us to leave and never come back. I returned a week later and apologized again, but the manager was there and said that he had told his entire staff to call the authorities if we ever showed up again.
19. Just Leave Him
I used to work for my parents in a cafe they ran in our extremely tiny town. Since it was so small, everyone knew everyone. This one guy came in with his wife, who a few years earlier had been in a car accident, so she could hardly walk or talk. It was strange because I had known her for a long time previously and she was the nicest lady, but it was hard to even recognize her afterward.
Anyway, everyone in town, including his wife, was aware that this jerk had been cheating on her since the accident, but he still tried to keep up appearances for whatever reason and she couldn't do anything about it because he had control of her assets. So they came into the cafe for dinner one night and I waited on them. I took his order first, as he insisted, then I turned to his wife to take her order.
I asked her if she wanted the special that evening because I knew she had gotten it before and liked it. Before I could finish my sentence, this jerk exploded: "WHY DO YOU EVEN BOTHER ASKING HER, DO YOU THINK SHE KNOWS WHAT SHE WANTS? SHE CAN'T EVEN PUT HER OWN CLOTHES ON, JUST BRING HER A SALAD, SHE WON'T EVEN KNOW THE DIFFERENCE!"
Keep in mind that nothing was wrong with her mentally—she could understand everything anyone said—she just couldn't really respond. So I calmly told him that the week before she wanted the special and we had it again, and I asked her if that's what she wanted. She nodded, and this really ticked him off. He said once again to "just bring her a salad".
When I brought the food out, I did not have a salad, and instead, I served her exactly what she wanted. He was furious. He picked up her very hot plate and threw it at both of us. She started to cry and I began picking up the food that was now all over the floor. At that point, my mom came out and told him to leave and that he was not allowed to come back, so he stormed out the door, leaving his wife behind.
She had to sit there for about an hour while we tried to get another member of her family to come to pick her up. I have never in my life been so angry. The worst part is, after that, he started having his new girlfriend spend the night at his house...with his wife in the other room.
20. A Horde Of Karens
I delivered an EXCHANGE pizza since the first pizza had the wrong toppings. I gave them the correct order and asked for the incorrect one back. The whole family came out to the front yard and started yelling at me about how they deserved to keep the first, incorrect pizza, as compensation. THEN, they brought out two Pitbulls and threatened to send the dogs after me.
I told them to go screw themselves, then I got in my car and called the authorities. I now keep a lead pipe in my car, even though I don't deliver pizzas anymore.
21. Learn To Read
A customer came up complaining about the shoes that were supposed to be on sale for $29.99. I walked over to the fixture and showed him the sign which said the jeans were on sale, not the shoes. I then said, "Sometimes you have to read the whole sign." My coworker had to turn around and walk off so he wouldn't hear her laughing. I am really surprised I didn't get talked to about that.
22. Your Problem, Not Mine
I was on a call with a customer who was complaining and being absolutely ridiculous. I had only been on the job for a few weeks and I was becoming flustered. There was literally nothing I could do to calm this person down or get him to accept my answers. I was finally about to get him off the line when he made a sarcastic comment to the extent of "Wow thanks, you've been such a great help."
In my rush to say "No problem" or "You're welcome," I ended up saying "Your problem" and then hanging up. He called several times after that and I just ignored the calls because I was so exhausted.
23. I Owe You Nothing
I used to work in the H&M call center and this woman's package didn't arrive on the day our website said it would. By the way, this was an order for H&M basic items which came to about $50. She said that because she had to take a day off work, we now owed her lost wages which amounted to $850. I said to her, "So...you took a day off work where you would have earned $850 to wait at home for a package that is worth $50. Do you seriously expect me to believe that?"
Long story short, she hung up when I saw through the obvious lie.
24. I Don't Make The Prices, Lady
A woman got mad at me after I didn’t tell her that one of the items I rang up was full price. I told her, “Well, I can’t read your mind, can I?” She was so mad, like actually livid. But I wasn't about to act like I knew her budget or how much she wanted to spend. The screen was right there, and it showed her all the prices. And I would have been glad to take something off if she didn’t want it.
Anyway, I just quit my job in retail after five years yesterday, so cheers to that.
25. That's NOT Okay
My girlfriend used to work at Dunkin Donuts in Miami and as you can imagine, she had to deal with many jerks. The customer that takes the cake is the guy who was unsatisfied with his coffee. When he got his coffee, it wasn't sweet enough, so instead of putting more sugar in it as a normal human being would, he opened it up and threw the boiling hot coffee at my girlfriend's shirt.
The guy then left and drove off. Her burns weren't too bad, but all she got out of it was the day off.
26. A Family Affair
I once worked at a gas station that served pizza. That night, I was the one making the pizza. It was only me and the person upfront working that night, so when it got busy, I was on my own. I got a bunch of calls for like 20 pizzas all within a half-hour. I got to making them, and after a while, people came to pick them up. But since there were so many in such a short time, and only so much oven space, not all of them were done on time.
One lady had her son come and get their pizzas, and when I told them it was going to be another five minutes, she CUSSED me out, saying: "Why are you such an idiot?" I politely told her that the sooner I could get off the phone with her, the sooner I could box her pizza up and get it to her son. Anyway, I boxed it up, went out to find him, and he was gone. So I set it up in the oven to keep it warm.
About 15 minutes later, I got another call from the same lady, yelling at me again! When I found out why, I wanted to SCREAM. Because her daughter, who I had never even seen, had been waiting to get the pizza. She was walking around the store and didn't tell me or anyone else she was there for pizza.
27. Piercing Comments
When I was still at my old job, I was a cashier. I remember one shift when it was rush hour and VERY busy. I was ringing a man through and he didn't pay much attention to me until I told him the total that he owed. He glanced over and immediately made a horrified face. I had a fair amount of piercings on my face, but nothing over the top. He just screamed at me: "WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU? WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT TO YOUR FACE?'
And he just kept going and going and going. I just stood there, staring at him. He finally paid and left. I was about ready to cry.
28. The Dollar Dilemma
I used to be a shift manager at McDonald's. I was standing at the front counter and I watched a girl walk into the restaurant with a large cup, fill it with tea, and head towards the door, without buying anything. I called out to her and told her that it would be $1.07 for the tea she just got. First, she acted like she was just leaving, until the other manager working at the time got on the phone and called the authorities (it was just a dollar, but it was still stealing).
The girl walked out to a car, came back inside, and held her hand upside down over the counter. As soon as I got my hand under hers to take the money, she flung the $1.07 (in dimes and pennies) at my face. I almost threw my job away to get my revenge, but a crew member I was pretty close with was standing behind me saying, "She's not worth it; she's not worth your job". So I really couldn't do much but wish her a good day.
29. Changeroom Trauma
My friend was working in the changing rooms in Target. This cranky old lady came in to try on some outfits and my friend informed her that the maximum amount of items she could try on at a time was six. The woman flew into a rage, threw all of her clothes at my friend, and screamed, "WHAT THE HECK DID YOU SAY?" My friend was shocked and just repeated herself.
The woman said coolly, "That's what I thought you said, you dirty witch." Then she continued trying on clothes. My friend did not report her. The woman had already left the store before she could really act on it.
30. Serving Up Stupid
I used to be a barista at a coffee shop. I was working the register when a middle-aged man came through. He asked for a cup of decaf coffee, which we didn't have because company policy was to stop brewing anything but our light roast after a certain time in the afternoon (kind of ridiculous, but I just follow directions like the good little employee). He went ballistic on me, angrily asking if we were "in a kitchen," and if "I was serving up stupid".
I'm a really passive person who likes to avoid confrontation, and I even took his laced words in stride with a smile and apologized for something that really wasn't my fault. I then proceeded to patiently give him all the decaf options. No matter how much of a jerk this guy was, I wasn't ready to stoop to his level. The other barista on duty served him his drink at the bar (the irate customer begrudgingly settled for a decaf Americano) and winked at me when the guy made off with his drink.
I later learned he made him a heavily caffeinated drink with like six shots of definitely not decaf espresso. I actually got upset and told off my coworker it doesn't matter how much of a jerk someone is, it's just childish and petty to try and get revenge. And what if the guy had some condition that made him unable to have caffeine in his system? Not cool. There's no way that guy slept that night.
31. I Scream For Ice Cream
A rather large woman told me I was stupid and would never amount anything because I didn't make her large ice cream cone big enough, even though I followed our store's guidelines. I reacted by giving her a huge ice cream cone because you know, the customer is always right. I assume if she does that everywhere, she'll die of obesity soon enough.
32. When Push Comes To Shove
I work in a waterpark. We have a minimum height requirement for many of our slides, and most of the time, the parents get a little annoyed if their child isn't allowed on, but they generally accept it and move on. Just not this one time.
The dad came up with his son wanting to ride our biggest slide, and his son was short by about two inches. He went into a rage when I told him that his son wasn't tall enough, and talked about all the money he spent to get in there, etc. At that point, I blew the signal for the supervisor on my whistle. The dad continued his rant and then started insulting me, saying that I was going nowhere in my life and that I'd be working there my entire life.
For the record, I was a 17-year-old girl, and I was working that job to save up for university. He kept puffing his chest out like a teenager and moving forwards, so eventually, my back was to the slide with only a couple of inches of ground left. Just as my supervisor rounded the last flight of stairs, the man decided it would be good to give me a shove. I lost my balance and fall backward headfirst into the slide. Then everything went black.
I hit the slide with my head so hard that I totally blacked out, and only woke up about ten seconds later when I hit the water at the bottom. I was obviously very disoriented and the guard at the bottom jumped in for me and grabbed me. The staff was concerned about my neck, so I got the fun experience of being put onto the spinal board and having an ambulance come to pick me up. I had a concussion but nothing worse than that, thank God.
The man was apprehended by officers for assault, and he tried to countersue the waterpark. He lost. I didn't get any money, but I did get a nice promotion. I still work there, but not at the slides anymore. Now I'm just a lifeguard.
33. Right Back Atcha
I used to work at a fast-food joint called Culvers. It's pretty much only around in the midwest. On my last day, I started my shift at the drive-thru. The customer was waiting at the window for a quart of ice cream with her order, which I made before she got her food because the food always takes a lot longer to make. I opened the window and tried to hand her the quart which she refused to take. She then started to yell at me.
"What are you doing? What are you, stupid? It's hot out! You can't just hand me my ice cream now, it'll melt by the time I get my food. Did your parents drop you on your head repeatedly when you were born?" Note: it was only around 80 degrees out. Seeing as this was my last day, I proceeded to say "Screw it" and I whipped out my thick southern accent. It was time to teach her a lesson.
"Why yes, I was, ma'am! How did you know? But ya see here ma'am, this here pint of custard comes in these handy dandy refrigerated bags, so they don't melt when it's blistering hot out or when it gets stuck in your rolls of fat, where your love life must have disappeared into". By this time, her food had been prepared and I threw her entire order into the passenger seat.
"Well, would ya look at that, yer grub is already here. Now ma'am, you can screw off and have yourself a wonderful day". She stared at me dumbfounded and drove off. It felt so good.
34. Do You Know Who I Am?
I was working in the clothing section of my campus store in college. An alumna came in with her band of seven children and asked me to find clothes for all of them. Of course, everyone wanted something different and specific. So I started helping, and all of the kids started running around, pulling clothing off hangers and racks, causing a lot of totally unnecessary chaos and destruction.
I asked the mom to keep her kids close to her and to ask them to put stuff back or at least stop touching stuff. Boy oh boy, this woman totally lost it. She started swearing at me, then she stormed out of my section with a huge amount of clothes, threatening to tell my manager about my attitude. She then proceeded to say, "Do you know who I am? I could buy and sell you! Don't make me take my business elsewhere." Shocked, I started to clean up my section.
An hour later, I was finishing up and found a piece of notebook paper folded in half with my name on the outside. She had gotten one of her kids to write "You can die" in crayon and leave it for me to find. And that's the meanest thing a customer has ever done to me.
35. Picky Packer
I worked as a cashier for Wegmans. It was about 10 at night when this lady came through my line. I was express, so I could only ring up seven items, but she had about 10. I took her anyway. She had one of those burlap bags with her, and some frozen goods. Now, being a good cashier, I asked if she wanted the frozen goods in plastic. She said yes.
I made the mistake of putting her ice cream with frozen peas. She FLIPPED OUT! She started calling me nasty names and she reached over to fix the bag. I was so scared I didn't know what to do! I had to call my manager over to finish.
36. Veggie Confusion
I used to work at my parents' Japanese take-out restaurant. Some women ordered hibachi and thought the zucchini was cucumber. She walked up to the counter and started complaining about how she doesn't eat cucumber. I proceeded to tell her four times that it was zucchini, not cucumber, but she persisted. Finally, to end the argument once and for all, she tasted the 'cucumber' and found out it was zucchini...in front of 20 people who were staring at her.
They all gave her nasty looks. Instant karma, witch.
37. Not My Problem
I used to be a cashier at a department store. It seemed that whenever a customer was in a bad mood, he or she felt entitled to dump on the poor girl at the checkout. At one point, our store decided to add some reserved parking spaces for pregnant women, and one crabby male customer was checking out at my register. He snarled, "First you have handicapped parking, and now you add parking for pregnant women? What's next?"
I had the PERFECT response: "Parking for jerks. You can be the first one." I was so happy to leave that job.
38. The Quarter Lady
I worked at a grocery store for my first job. On one of my first few days on the job, a co-worker came over to me and said, "The Quarter Lady is here—make sure you count the quarters when she comes to your line." I didn't have much time to react as apparently she was already in the store for a while. She had a cartload of groceries and was coming to my line.
I proceeded to check her groceries and bag them (we had to do both) and I gave her her total (it was around $60 or $70 if I remember correctly). Then, my eyes got huge, as I couldn't believe what she was doing. She proceeded to lay out all her quarters onto the belt, counting them out quietly to herself. After she counted them out, she said, "Here you go" and then started walking away.
I replied, "I need to count this before you leave and get a receipt". Cue her temper tantrum. She got upset and proceeded to chew me out for not "trusting" her counting. Once again, I told her I needed to count her coins and give her a receipt, otherwise I would keep the groceries. Needless to say, I took my sweet time counting every quarter and putting them into piles.
My co-worker told me she would often come in, get quarters from the desk, rip them open, pay short, then leave without paying the full amount. She would apparently try this with every new employee and then rotate between the rest if she doesn't pull it off.
39. Last-Minute Altercation
I had to close my lane back when I worked at Target. This was when I was 16, and labor laws didn't allow me to work past 10 pm. So I rang up a lady even though my light was off and I checked my watch only to notice it was slightly more than a minute until 10 pm. As I turned away, a man dropped his electric razor on the conveyor belt. I turned around to give a polite "I'm sorry sir, but I have to punch out." Then I saw the large box fly past my head.
40. Officer, It Was That One
I work at a Baskin Robbins. We had this "usual" customer who was never devastatingly mean, but definitely most unwanted every time she came in. She was an old woman who quite frankly looked like Dolores Umbridge. She always ordered the same thing and would make snide comments about how her daughter would never work at our store because "that's where poor people work" (her daughter actually worked at a Pizza Hut).
One day, she ordered her usual shake. Jamoca almond fudge with Oreos blended in. she didn't like it, so I made it again. She didn't like it that time, either. I made it a third time, and after she took a sip, she looked me in the eye, tilted it, and poured it on the ground without breaking eye contact. She then threw the cup at me, calling me dumb for not being able to make a simple shake.
She did this while there was a line of people waiting behind her, and I was the only employee there as it was the early day shift. Luckily, one of the people behind her was an officer, so it was handled pretty well.
41. Woozy On Wool
I had a shop selling luxury menswear. One day, a customer came in and bought four suits with shirts and ties. This was fairly normal since most lawyers and businessmen need to look good. Anyway, he was really pleasant until he came back a month later, clearly upset. He opened a shopping bag, took out a suit he bought in my store and demanded a full refund.
I asked him what the problem is and he says the trousers are ripped at the groin, the fabric wrinkles so much that was and it looked as though he had been sleeping in it. The jacket was impossible to iron. First, 100% pure virgin wool is not something you just iron, especially if the thread count is above 160... I had been doing this for 20 years, so I knew what to look for.
The suit had clearly been worn, if not every day, then at least three to four times a week. Nothing suggested it had ever been dry cleaned or even pressed. I pointed to his attention the enormous wrinkles everywhere, saying that they were made from him, not the fabric. I just happened to be wearing the exact same suit that day and I showed him the difference.
He wasn't having any of that. I then went on to the groin area, where the trousers were in fact ripped. However, I also noticed that he had cut the area a lot larger—the incisions were clearly made with scissors and on the back of the jacket, he had tried to make the wrinkles bigger. I refused to give his money back to him, mainly because he was blatantly lying to me, but also because he bought the suit on sale.
Store policy is never to refund a sale item, and I even gave him a huge discount on the suit. He reacted like a child. He stormed out of the store and screamed at me on the street while pointing toward me, yelling at me and the store. I then proceeded to the doors, closed them, and walked away; at which point he then smashed open the doors, yelling at me not to close the doors in his face (he was standing a good ten feet away when I did).
42. Don't Try It
I work at a Moe's Southwest Grill, which is a lot like Chipotle. If you don't know what that is, it's essentially a burrito version of Subway. Anyway, a customer was getting rather angry about the way his burrito was being made and he said, "You work for me, you make the burrito the way I want it, no questions asked". My very critical manager was on site and later on, said he saw nothing wrong with the way the burrito was being made.
Anyway, my co-worker was working on the line with me. When the customer gave him sass, he said this: "This ain't no Burger King, you saying you want it your way? I'm going to hop over this counter and smack the heck out of you". Then he casually fist-bumped me and waited to see what the guy would do. He left.
43. A Parting Gift
I work at Walmart. On my first week there, some lady went #1 in the dressing room. Then, she took the clothes she was trying on, put them on the fitting room desk, and walked to the register to check out everything else she bought. She also left her soaked undergarments in there as a gift. I should've just quit right there because it should have been a warning for the other crazy stuff that was going to happen there within the next month...
But that's for another time.
44. Just Got Canned
I was working at McDonald's back in high school. A guy came through the drive-thru and started yelling at me and throwing trash from his car into the window, without provocation or reason. I noticed that he was drinking an open can in his car, and I knew there were some state troopers eating in the lobby, so I closed the window and let them know what was up.
As he pulled up to the food pick-up window, he was put in handcuffs on open-container charges.
49. Thank You, Next
After the standard customer temper tantrum, which ended with "And I am never shopping here again!" I gave her a smile and said, "Thank you, we sure would appreciate that." She stood there with her mouth open while I moved on to the next customer.
50. Poor Connection
Someone threw a PHONE at my brother when he worked for Sprint. Luckily, it didn't...connect. *puts on sunglasses*
2. Decked Out
I worked the front desk at a hotel on the beach, and we had to close the pool at night due to the lack of a 24-hour lifeguard. So if you rented a poolside room, you had to stay off the pool deck after dark. Night swimming could get the hotel fined. Well, this middle-aged woman was in a group that rented a poolside room. When night fell, I went around the pool deck, locking things up.
She was on the deck, so I told her the deck was closed and that she needed to leave. She asked if she could finish her smoke and I said sure—I just made sure to close the deck in a way that it would be locked up behind her. Well, about an hour later, I got a noise complaint. People were apparently being loud on the pool deck, which no one should have been on at that time.
I went out and the woman had propped open the door to the deck. She was joined by the rest of her group and they had a stereo going while they smoked and drank. I told them the decks were closed and that they had to leave in the most polite but firm way. It was unlawful for them to be out there, so I was just looking out for them.
That's where the woman absolutely lost it. She wanted to smoke, but she rented a nonsmoking room, and if I didn't let her smoke on the pool deck, she told me she was going to smoke in her room. I told her that if she wanted to smoke in her room, I wouldn't be able to stop her, but the hotel would charge her a $200 dollar cleaning fee if she did.
She did not like that, so she said she was going to stay put on the pool deck. I then told her I'd have to call the authorities. She eventually gave in and went into her room. I thought that would be the end of it. Foolish me. About an hour later, she stormed up to the front desk, obviously tipsy. She was yelling and screaming at me for violating her right to smoke.
She claimed the cleaning fee was unlawful and she had called the authorities on me. She started banging on the front desk, claiming I was being prejudiced against females and "getting off on spraying my testosterone all over the place". Keep in mind that I was the only staff member in the building at this point. I started getting noise complaints from people that could hear her from their rooms.
Her friends came out and cheered her on; two or three guys, with open beers in their hands, encouraging her. This went on for most of an hour. Then the officers showed up. She actually did call the authorities. She started yelling at them to cuff me for some unclear reason. The officers were cool, but they had no idea what they'd just walked in on. They tried to calm her down to figure out what she wanted.
I couldn't explain anything because whenever I tried, she started yelling at me. Things were starting to get even more heated. The officers tried to get my side of the story, and they asked the woman to hush for a minute. And that's where she messed up. In her tipsy stupor, she decided that it was a good idea to scream "pig" at an armed and obviously frustrated cop.
And then she slapped him...fast enough to make his head spin. She was subdued, handcuffed, and stuffed in a squad car. We didn't see her ever again.
3. Fire In The Hole
I was working the drive-thru one day when a woman ordered a large orange Hi-C. She got to the window and I saw three other people in the car with her laughing pretty hard. I took her money, gave her the drink, and about two seconds later, I suddenly heard someone say "FIRE IN THE HOLE." As I was turning back to the register to take the order of a car that had just gotten to the speaker, I saw the drink flying at me, and I reached out with my left arm to redirect the drink back out the window and into her car.
The lid came off and it exploded everywhere. She even had the nerve to ask my manager for her money back. Needless to say, she didn't get her money back and was told less-than-kindly to leave.
4. Midnight Madness
McDonald's always seems to bring out the worst in people. I used to be a manager at one right off the interstate. This was before they went to 24 hours or open late, so we closed at midnight. Around 11:45 pm, we had a family come in—three adults and one child that looked to be about seven or eight years old. When we saw them come in, we were all naturally dismayed (as we had already started cleaning everything for closing), but we still served them because, well, it was our job and we were still technically open. Turns out, I'd made a horrible mistake.
When I handed them their food, I already had it bagged up (so they'd take the hint that we were about to close) but they just took the bags of food to a booth, sat down, and started eating. Okay...no problem...maybe they'd been driving a good bit of the day and just needed a few minutes to relax. That was understandable. Midnight came around and I went to lock the doors.
As I went to the ones nearest to them, I told them as politely as possible that the store was closed and that we needed them to finish their meal as soon as they could so we could finish our closing routine. 12:10 pm rolls around and they were still eating. At that point, I really needed them to leave because I could get into trouble if one of my bosses or the owner decided to drive by (they were weird like that).
12:20 pm rolled around. Most nights, we were out of there by then, yet these people were still taking their sweet time. It seems as if they were doing it just to be jerks, and I was starting to lose patience. I went up to them, explained why I needed them to leave, and asked them as nicely as I could to get going. I can't remember what they exactly said, but the gist of it was "Screw you, we're customers, we'll leave when we want".
I took a deep breath, counted to 5, and calmly informed them that if they were not gone within five minutes, I'd have to call the authorities. They instantly went nuts—they started cussing at me, saying "Call em, we don't care" and so on. I felt bad for the little girl there, as you could see it in her eyes that she was scared and her parents were acting horribly.
So while they were in mid-rant, I turned around, walked back behind the counter, and waited for five minutes. Right at five minutes, that poor little girl came up to the counter and said, "Please don't call the authorities, we're leaving". My heart went out to her, but I could see that her family was finally leaving.
24. Polar Opposites
Just last week, at the restaurant where I work, I was serving a table of three people; two girls and one guy. I had already taken out the food to the girls, and I was bringing out the curry dish that the guy had ordered when I slipped. My shoes are flats that have next to no grip, and when one slid on the floor, I stumbled. His food was on the floor.
Of course, I apologized right away and said the chef would make him another immediately. The dish he'd ordered was also one of the easiest things on the menu to prepare, and I knew the chef would have another one ready in about two minutes. The guy said that was fine, and that he understood accidents happen. I was thanking my good luck that I'd gotten a friendly customer. I was so, so wrong.
But then, one of the girls said that if we were re-making his food, we'd have to re-make all of theirs because they weren't going to sit around "for half an hour" and let their food get cold while they waited for us to make another dish for the guy. I started explaining that the new dish would only take two minutes, and the guy started saying that they could go ahead and start eating without him.
That's when the two girls flung their ceramic plates loaded with hot noodles and sauce at me. One missed and shattered the glass cover on the table next to them, the other struck me in the forehead. I have a bruise from the plate now, mild burns on my face and chest from the hot food, and my nicest, most expensive white work shirt was ruined from being hit with a full serving of noodles.
The guy got furious with them. He was also nice enough to shout for my boss right away, call an ambulance, help me up, and make sure I wasn't seriously injured. He even offered to pay for all the damage that the two girls had done. My boss refused that offer after listening to what happened, insisting that the guy had done nothing wrong and that the girl was the one who would have to pay, not him.
Those girls got banned from the restaurant and had to pay a fair bit for all the damage they did. They're also paying my salary during this week off for recovery. The guy got his replacement meal free, and my boss told him to come back any time (without the girls) and we'd give him a nice discount on future meals.