Unbelievably Entitled Karens
The world is full of people who think everything revolves around them. All we can hope is that when karma comes for them, it holds nothing back. Be they women, men, or children, entitled Karens may never learn, but at least we can still laugh at them.
1. She Was Whining For No Reason
A lady and her husband came in. Before sitting down, they told us that she was highly allergic to white wine, saying, “If you feed me white wine, I will die”. So I ran around double- and triple-checking recipes, ensuring the kitchen was ready so that her food would be safe when she ordered. Her husband ordered the special.
I made sure to tell her not to eat any of his meal because it was dressed with a beurre blanc sauce that was made with white wine, and I would like her to survive her dining experience. I brought out their food, and the first thing she did shocked me—she took a big ol’ forkful of her hubby’s special. I cried out in dismay as she shoved it in her mouth.
While chewing, she said, “Oh, one bite won’t hurt”. She also single-handedly weeded every server on the floor by forcing them into inane, inappropriate conversations while they were trying to take care of their busy sections. She also cornered another guest in the tiny corridor leading to the bathrooms to aggressively tell him that he was being too loud.
2. Enough, Mom
My mom was a Karen. Every time we would go out to dinner with her, it would be an absolute nightmare. She would complain about everything—her fork was bent, her dish wasn’t as spicy last time, the waitress didn’t address her first, her food was cold, it’s been too long since we’ve seen our server even though we don’t actually need anything.
The list went on. She would voice each of her complaints arrogantly at the server and would follow it up with, “I was a waitress, and we never had these issues”. She was a part-time waitress in the early 90s at a pizza joint. I can’t eye-roll hard enough.
3. Tossed Out Of Target
When I had just graduated college, I did a stint at Starbucks as a manager. We made this woman’s iced tea wrong. It was a silly mistake and it would have taken all of thirty seconds to remake it. Instead, she reacted in the most appalling way. She threw it back across the counter, turned to her daughter, and said in the nastiest, never-worked-a-day-in-her-life, soccer mom, “trophy” wife voice: “See, this is why we finish high school”.
Being the manager, I refused her any further service. She thought she had me by the hair when she went to get the Target store manager. She didn’t know that the Starbucks I was working in was inside the Target I had previously worked in. A number of other customers backed up my story, and she was removed from the store altogether.
4. She Was A Mutton For Punishment
I waited tables at a country club. I had a couple come in once, and as they were sitting down before I had even introduced myself, the woman was already complaining that they had to wait five minutes while we reset their table. She started off by telling me every time she gets the filet mignon, it is awful and cooked wrong. I suggested she try something else, but she declined and ordered it again.
I gave the kitchen a heads up to make sure it was perfect, as to save us all a headache. Her steak came up, and it seemed fine. I dropped her plate in front of her, and I could see she had a smirk on her face indicating she was not amused. She grabbed her butter knife and hit the top of the steak with the flat part three times. At that point, I knew she was about to go off…big time.
She hadn’t even cut into it or tasted it before saying, “This is disgusting”. She had me take it back and bring her a new one. So, of course, we did, and she got her new one. She ate half of it and took the rest home. Before leaving, she wanted to talk to a manager. She complained profusely and got her whole meal free, along with a dessert, and left me a garbage tip.
5. First-Class Pain In The Butt
We were on a flight from Miami to Bolivia as a family of five with three kids under 12. We’re getting on the flight, sitting down, when this entitled woman and her husband come up to my row. I’m sitting in the same row as my brother and sister. They say: “Excuse us, you’re in our seats”. All three of us have all been well versed in child travel by this time so we pull out our individual boarding passes and show her that we’re also assigned these seats.
They insist that we’re wrong and demand to see the passes. We don’t give them over. My dad comes over to see why strangers are talking to his children: “Excuse me, why are you talking to my kids”? “They’re in our seats, look”. My dad says: “That’s their assigned seat, they know how to read a boarding pass”. By this time, we have attracted the attention of the flight attendant.
She confirms that indeed, those seats had been double-booked. The couple are irate, demanding their assigned seats. The flight attendant leaves to go “see what I can do for you”. This whole time, the woman is making a big show of trying to store her bag in front of ours in the overhead bins and complaining loudly. The attendant returns and says: “Thank you so much for your patience. It was double booked, but it looks like we have enough seats in first-class available for your party. If you could please follow me”?
They sigh, relieved that finally SOMEONE will see reason. Well, the joke was on them. The flight attendant holds up her hand. “No sir, not you. If you three (looking at me and my siblings) will please join us up in first class, we’ll make sure you’re taken care of”. The lemon-sucking look on the woman’s face as we politely grabbed our bags and moved to the coziest laps of luxury our young selves had the fortune of lucking out on was unforgettable.
I remember the meal making me have a headache, but the reclining seats, warm blankets, and sleep masks sure helped with all that suffering.
6. Film Freak Out
Back in the mid-90s, my mom rented Clerks for the family at the rental store inside the Kroger’s we used to shop at. Meanwhile, she had no idea how raunchy the movie was. She was so offended by it that, the next day, she went back to the store, seeking vengeance. She started screaming at the manager, saying how outrageous it was that they would carry such an offensive movie at a family rental store.
She then demanded that they permanently take it off the shelf. Here’s the crazy thing. They actually obliged her. They never carried the movie Clerks at that location again.
7. Clinging To The Vine
I worked at a vineyard where we got the occasional limo full of sloshed people. We do not allow them in because we are not a bar and do not serve trashed people. Occasionally, the manager is away from the door, and that is when these people will attempt to sneak in. I had to approach one of them and tell them politely that their party had too much to drink and had to leave.
Well, turns out she was the Karen of all Karens. Her answer made me clench my fist: “I’m not going anywhere”. I assured her that my staff would not serve her, so it was pointless to insist on staying. I told her if she didn’t leave within five minutes, she would be escorted out by an officer. She didn’t believe me, so I called the local officer we have on-call right in front of her.
I said, “He is on his way. I suggest you leave if you want to save yourself the embarrassment”. As I was going out the side door to get the number off the limo’s plate, she followed me into the back office. Her next move had me livid. She pushed me into a filing cabinet and said, “WE AREN’T LEAVING”. Then, her group came back, grabbed her, and they sped off in their limo.
The officer arrived a minute later, and I gave him the plate number to give them a little scare. All this for a glass of vino. It happens at least three to five times a year.
8. Border Brouhaha
My mother is a Karen who also happens to be totally fluent in Spanish. We were at the Mexico City airport flying to Juarez. We were bringing back a bunch of plates and stuff my mom got while we were there. They were in this huge box. When we got to the check-in counter, the guy said she needed to have the box wrapped. My mother became deeply offended by that.
She yelled, “WELL, I’VE NEVER HAD TO DO THAT BEFORE!! I BRING STUFF FROM MEXICO CITY ALL THE TIME, AND I’VE NEVER HAD TO DO THAT”! Her screaming caused some bewildered stares in her direction. This was a very white woman arguing angrily in absolutely flawless Spanish. That in itself was intriguing enough.
The guy again demanded that she needed to go get the box wrapped with tape, and that would be an extra charge of about 200 pesos (around $10). Instead of doing that, she stormed off, leaving a massive, unidentified box completely unattended—just what airport announcements always tell you NEVER TO DO. My dad and I had already checked in and made it through security while this was unfolding.
My mom joined us at the gate in a huff, regaling us about this slight against her honor. Just as she finished, karma came for her. Five security officers walked up to her—AR-15s at their sides—and asked her to confirm her name. When she did, they yanked her up and started dragging her away. My dad—an attorney—had a “holy cow” moment.
We went running after her. My dad did his lawyer thing; she didn’t get taken in for terroristic threats, and we somehow made our flight. We also managed to get that box of plates back home as well. I make fun of her every time we use them.
9. Play Stupid Games, Win Stupid Prizes
When I was a kid I never cut my hair, no matter what I never cut my hair, so I had very long blonde hair. And as a kid, a lot of people would ask to touch it. And I was fine with it, as long as they had my permission. So when I was six, my mom took me to a grocery store to buy some things for dinner that night. We got to the store and my mom got the stuff she needed, but was missing the bread from the other side of the store.
She sent me to go get it since I was fast and small. When I got to the bread, I picked out the brand we would usually buy, and at the time I really liked baguettes and other types of bread. So when I saw the baguettes, I totally forgot that my mom was waiting for me and grabbed a loaf(?) and headed back to my mom. When I was heading back to my mom from the bread aisle, I felt someone pull on my hair. Not gently, no, they yanked it.
They pulled so hard I thought my hair what going to come out. And I cried so hard my mom heard me across the store. I turned around in shock. It turns out it was a kid about my age who wanted to touch my hair, so his MOM, and I say his 40-YEAR-OLD MOTHER, pulled my hair so her friggin’ kid could touch it. My mom rushed over and told the lady to let go of me.
The conversation then went like this: “Let my daughter go”! “My child just wanted to touch her hair, she has very pretty hair”. Me: “She pulled on my hair, it hurts”! My mom: “You could’ve just asked! You can’t just pull a kid’s hair, I can call 9-1-1 for assault”! Her: “You are harassing me, all I did was let my son touch her hair! I can call the authorities on you for harassing me and my child”!
My mom: “Firstly, I am not harassing you, you grabbed my child. And secondly, you can call the authorities. You will only be making things worse for yourself”. She was absolutely right. As it turns out, the entitled mom DID call the authorities and they took both our statements. The entitled mother had given an over-exaggerated and dramatic report, telling the officers, as we would find out later, that I had given consent for her kid to touch my hair and my mom had come out of nowhere and started harassing the entitled mother.
My mother had given the officers the actual report from her side. I had been asked to give a report, but I was too scared and tired from the experience to say much. They checked the security footage and saw what actually happened. In the end, she got what was coming to her. My mom decided to press charges and sued the entitled mom for assault.
She was sent away for six months and fined for providing a false report as the cherry on top!
10. All The Way To The Top
About a year ago, I was running a small video game tournament in the small company I owned. The waitlist had a full list of 16 people, and it was fine, until one entitled parent ruined it for everyone. So we were starting up the games when a dad ran into the store with his son. Dad: We’re here for the tournament. Me: Oh sorry, but the list is full. Dad: Well then, make some room. Me: I can’t do tha—
Dad: Listen, I can get you fired with the push of a button. Me: How? Dad: I have been friends with the CEO of this company for a long time. Me: Then call him. I watch him make a fake phone call then hang up. Because I know something he doesn’t know. Dad: He says you’re fired. Me: That’s funny, considering I am the CEO. His look of shock still makes me laugh to this day.
11. Karens Gonna Karen
My wife needed a few things from the grocery store and on this particular day I happened to be available and I offered to go for her. She works hard and does a lot, so I definitely felt it was necessary to do something for her so she could just relax for the day. I took my stepson with me so she could rest up and just take it easy. I thought it would give me time to spend with him for some bonding—but instead, we both got an afternoon we’ll never forget.
We completed all of the errands, which went smoothly, and then headed to the grocery store to finish up our day. My son, being a typical four-year-old, was full of energy running ahead of me laughing and speaking to everyone he comes across, which I generally don’t mind as long as he doesn’t hit anyone and stays within eye view. As I’m making my way down an aisle looking for canned corn, my son jogs to the end of it when an older lady is entering at the other end.
My son, being the sweet social butterfly he is, approached and exclaims an excited “Hi! Me four and me Ryan”! Bless his little heart. The lady looked down and says “Well hello there. You shouldn’t be running around unattended, let’s go find your parents”. I didn’t think anything of her statement because I assumed she just hadn’t seen me.
“Ryan! Come back here bud, please”! He excitedly runs back toward me and starts turning in circles because you know, he’s four lol. I’m still searching the shelves as the lady walks past me and stops behind me. Again I think nothing of it because it’s a grocery store and you have to share the aisles. I turn my basket around and start to walk toward the front cash registers when this lady literally blocks my path.
I say excuse me and try to walk around her and she moves her cart in front of me again. I honestly thought she was just getting confused and said excuse me once again and tried one more time to go around and she just blocks my path. The following conversation ensues. Me: “Um, sorry about that, we’ll get out of your way”. Lady: “Oh, I don’t think so! You’re not going anywhere with that child”!
Me: “You mean my son”? Lady: “That’s not your child! He’s white! And you’re Mexican. You probably didn’t even know his name until he said it to me”! Me: “Sure, whatever lady, can you just move? My wife is at home and anxiously awaiting for us”. Then, she upped the ante. She said: “Stop your lies. You’re not taking him anywhere, you pervert”!
This whole time my son is standing close to me holding my leg because he was honestly getting scared. I was getting angry because I hadn’t had much sleep and I have a short fuse anyway. Me: “As you can see he’s standing close to me because he trusts me and you’re scaring him so how about you buzz off”? Lady: “No! He’s scared because of you! He just doesn’t know how to express it yet”.
She looks at my son. Lady: “Come on now sweetie, I’m here to rescue you. Come with me”. Thankfully my son was able to communicate to her he wasn’t going anywhere with her. But she was having NONE of it. I still get mad when I think of what she did next. She literally grabbed my son and began to run. It caught me off guard because I honestly could not fathom what was actually happening.
My son starts screaming loudly because he was so scared and this lady is just like “Don’t worry sweetie he won’t hurt you I promise”! Suddenly I snap back into reality and I begin to chase after this crazy witch. While running through the store, I yell for people to stop her and that she’s kidnapping my son and thankfully a worker stops her before she makes the exit.
Lady: “Why are you stopping me? This Mexican here is trying to take my grandson”! My son literally is bawling his eyes out and extending his arms out calling for me. This lady was relentless and would not let go until my son even after he slapped her face multiple times. I laughed a little, not gonna lie. At this point, a manager shows up and asks what’s going on.
The lady spoke before me, saying: “This (pointing at me) pervert is kidnapping my grandson and I was just trying to escape”! I said: “That’s my son you freaking psycho. Now let him go”. The manager didn’t know what to believe. I don’t blame him, he was caught in a weird situation. So I pulled out my phone and showed him pictures of me and my son that dated a year or so back as proof. Her response was infuriating.
This lady still would not give up and accused me of faking them. Like how would you do that exactly? I’ll never know, but whatever. Sadly, there were two other ladies there taking the psycho’s side and said I was attempting to take my own son because there was no way we were family because of our different skin tones. One even called the authorities, which I was actually happy about because I knew they’d be able to review the security cameras.
Even still, I called my wife to see if she could come to the store to get this situation cleared up quicker. As soon I told her what was going on, she zoomed to the store. She got there about the same time as the officers. The crazy ladies were giving their statement to the officers when my wife walked in. As soon as she walked in, my son goes “Mama help”! My wife is a true mama bear and she immediately flew into a rage when she saw this lady holding my son.
She yelled: “Let him go NOW”! The lady said, “Sorry sweetie, I was just trying to protect him from this pervert over here”. Another one piped up, “Yeah we saw him kidnapping him but this lady saved him”! The cop looks at the lady and is confused. He asks: “I thought this was your grandson”? My wife said: “I have no idea who that lady is”.
She takes out her phone and shows the officer a picture of my mother-in-law. Finally, the lady fesses up. “Okay, I’m sorry he’s not my grandson but I was only trying to protect him from this dirty pervert over here”! The other lady said, “Yeah I witnessed the whole thing, he snatched that child and tried to run away with him but this lady stopped it”!
As if that wasn’t bad enough, there was another one. She said: “Yes I saw it too. He needs to be taken away. And you (pointing to my wife) should be thankful that this lady was here to save your son because you obviously just let him loose wherever”! My wife says: “Who are you talking about again”? All three crazy ladies pointed at me. My wife replies: “Oh you mean my husband”?!
The ladies were shocked. They said “Husband?!”?! My wife said, “Yeah who do you think called me and got me here so fast”?! I presented my ID to the officer and the manager and my wife did the same. We also each showed pictures of us on our phones to prove we were really a family. The cop nodded in approval and handed us our phones back and jotted down a few notes.
The three ladies for some reason still kept trying to say this was all fake and my wife was in on the kidnapping and said we needed to be detained. My wife lost it at this point and let off some colorful words I won’t repeat here but she definitely got her point across. Then the nail in the coffin came for the psycho trio. The office turned to the manager and asks: “Sir, do the cameras work here”? The manager says yes, and the officer asks to review them.
The three ladies’ faces went pale. Like ghostly pale. The officer reviewed the outside camera as I pulled into the parking lot and saw me take my son out of my car and then as I went up and down the aisles and most importantly the instance the woman snatched up my son and began to run. Upon his return, he asks “Would you like to press charges”? The lady pipes up: “Yes I would”!
The officer’s reaction was brutal. He looked at her and said: “Why would I be asking you that question? Shut your mouth and sit down”. He turns to me and repeats the question. I said absolutely. Lady one was charged with attempted kidnapping, false imprisonment, providing a false report, and child endangerment. The other two were also charged with providing a false report as well.
To make matters worse for the first lady, my son bruises easily and she left some terrible spots on him from where she was grasping him—but he’s fine! This added a charge of child abuse to her rap sheet. The officer will be following up with me in a few weeks.
12. A Customized Experience
A customer showed me a ring and asked me about it. I told her that it was a sterling silver lotus ring. The customer then proceeded to show me that it did not fit her. As she wedged it halfway down her finger, she said, “But it does not fit me, see?” Did I look like a jeweler who could resize rings on the spot? No. So I explained to her that we had only one piece of that design left.
A while later, the same lady asked if the artist was local. I said that I wasn’t certain that she was from the city, but that all the artists represented in the shop were American. That meant that if she wasn’t from our state, then she was from another state. Then the lady said, “Well, duh. If she’s not from here then she’s from somewhere else.” Sigh.
I wanted to eye roll since that was my standard response whenever someone asked about local artists, and I had never gotten such a sour reply before. Most people just wanted to confirm that the thing was at least made in America if not locally. And then she asked me which way her husband had left, so I just pointed to the only exit and said, “That’s the only way out.”
13. Everybody’s Got A Story
This encounter happened about seven months ago. About a year ago, I was diagnosed with cancer of the nasal cavity (stage 2). The tumor was quite large, but thankfully hadn’t spread. To get it removed, I first had to undergo aggressive chemotherapy to make it smaller. Thanks to the chemo, I had severe alopecia (hair loss), which made most of my hair and even eyebrows and eyelashes fall out.
At some point, I had to go bald, but I wore a wig, because I didn’t want to look scary. I’m 6’4″ and pretty muscular, so I thought people would assume wrong things about me. So once, after a long chemo session in the hospital, I took the bus home. There’s only one bus that goes from the hospital to where I live, so I took that one, only to see it was absolutely packed.
I felt like garbage thanks to the chemo, so I asked a middle-aged dude to let me sit. He was very understanding and gave me his spot without complaining. Two stops later, enter entitled mom, a lovely whale with an “I demand a meeting with the CEO” haircut and a 12-year old kid. It took her roughly five seconds to see the bus was packed.
At this point, she started looking for a free seat, spotted me, and started marching to me. When I saw her, I knew I was screwed. She then stood next to me and decided to talk to me. This is the conversation that followed: Her Hey, could you let my kid sit down? Me: You mean me? Her: Who else? Me: Oh, I’m sorry, but I’m on my way from the hospital and—
Her: (cutting me off) So are we (nonsense, the stop was a few kilometers away from the hospital), my boy just broke his leg and we’re coming straight from the ER. Let it be noted, her kid was standing next to her, without any support, clearly embarrassed. Me: He’s standing next to you, completely fine Her: Look here, my kid DESERVES to sit down
Me: Look madam, I’m sorry, but I just got back from a chemo session in the hospital and I need to sit down and rest (I then moved my wig a bit to let her see my bald head). At this point, she then straight up started yelling in my face Her: STOP MAKING EXCUSES AND GET OFF THE SEAT YOU PIECE OF GARBAGE. At this point, I was baffled. I didn’t know what to say. The kid was trying to make his mother stop and we had the attention of the whole bus. But she was nowhere near done.
She then grabbed me and tried to yank me from my seat. I held on tight and thankfully didn’t fall off. Now, enter my savior. The middle-aged man nearby stood up and started defending me. Him: WILL YOU SHUT UP YOU DUMB COW?!? Her: WHO DO YOU THINK YOU’RE TALKING TO?!? Him: (with ice-cold voice) Stop assaulting other passengers or I will be forced to step in. Also, every dumb moron could see that the dude has cancer.
Her: NO, HE’S JUST A GANGSTER. Him: He’s got NO EYEBROWS, YOU MORON. Seems like that REALLY offended her, because she spun around on the spot and threw a falcon punch in the guy’s face. I was shocked and in disbelief. The whole bus was flabbergasted, and the kid probably wished he’d never been born. The man then said something unbelievable and a golden karmic moment followed.
Him: Ok, that does it. Harassing passengers on the bus, physical assault against a passenger, and now assaulting an officer. You’re in deep trouble lady. She then pulled out a badge and told her to stay where she was. Then he pulled out his phone, called someone, and told her she was being detained. I couldn’t believe it, he was a bloody police officer.
At this point, she was as white as a wall. The bus had just come to a stop, so she decided she’d make a run for it, but other passengers blocked her way. She then also got charged with resisting thanks to this. Three stops later, a patrol car was waiting for her. The kid told me he was sorry for his mother’s behavior and I felt really sorry for him.
He wasn’t a bad child, but his mother was a demon. The officer then talked to me and asked me if I wanted to press charges, to which I gladly said yes. He took a statement and thankfully was kind enough to let me solve everything on the phone, so I didn’t have to come to the station for questioning. In the end, she got some time behind bars, I think it was a few months and some community service.
I, in return, got a good story to tell and the sweet taste of instant karma. Right now, I’m riding the same bus home, as I just got back home from the hospital after a check-up, which reminded me of this. I should also note that the surgery went well, and I was declared cancer-free in November. My hair is slowly returning. Also, I don’t need to wear a wig anymore.
14. A Short Wick
I work at a candle store and this happened yesterday. An older woman came in—she was probably in her 80’s but still seemed to have her wits about her. Anyway, she was going on and on about needing a small gift for a guy who did some work in the building she lived in. I told her that we carried a line of skincare and bath products for men.
She scoffed and says that would be weird. So, I said, “How about a candle?” This was because, you know, I work at a candle store. Her response made me curl a fist. She basically said, in an angry voice, “I can’t give him a candle. He’s not gay!” I was trying very hard to bite my tongue and remind her that we have tons of male customers and even my straight boyfriend likes our candles.
She then had the nerve to say, “That’s good for him, but I cannot give the man a candle because he’s not gay!” At that point, I was over it and I walked away. My manager then stepped in because she has a lot more patience for ignorance than I do. After she left and we vented about her, my manager told me that the woman ended up buying a notebook that says, “Slay the day.”
15. Sole Cost
I no longer work retail, but I used to work at an extremely discounted store, something like Marshalls, TJ Maxx, etc. This incident actually happened a few nights before my last day. We were about to close, and this lady came up to my register to check out. She handed me a pair of Michael Kors baby shoes and asked me how much they are.
I told her the price—$27—and she flipped! She retorted that the price could not be correct. I calmly said, “They are $27, ma’am. Did you still want them?” She replied, “I want them but not for that price.” She clearly wanted a discount. I had to clarify: “I’m sorry, ma’am, we don’t do discounts. We’re already an extremely discounted store.”
She said in disbelief, “$27 for baby shoes?! That’s crazy.” So, seeing her reluctance to pay that much, I assumed that she did not want to buy them anymore. Thus, I offered to put them back for her. She stopped me angrily, saying, “Uh hello? I said that I want them!” I acceded to that but firmly maintained my stance by saying, “OK, ma’am. They’re still going to be $27 though.”
She refused to believe me and asked me to check again. So, I flipped the computer screen around and showed her the price. At that moment, she did not know what to do because she was wrong, so she snapped at me to get my manager. The said manager came, confirmed the price, then left.
I thought that was the end of it, but no. Karen then said, “I just don’t understand why they are so much?” I tried to make her understand by saying, “Well, these are Michael Kors, one of the more expensive brands we carry here. If you were to buy these anywhere else then they’d be at least $100. You’re actually getting a pretty good deal.”
She still refused to budge and said, “I just don’t believe you. That’s not the real price. And you should know, I work for the Attorney General, and it would be a shame if you lost your job because you’re making up prices.” Still trying to maintain my cool, I replied, “There’s no benefit for me to lie to you.” She finally became quiet.
What was she thinking? Consider this, lady. I get paid $9 an hour to scan items. What on earth makes you think I make commission? If you want Michael Kors goods then you have to pay Michael Kors prices, even though this was already a bargain.
16. A Giggling Fit
It was getting near closing time and I was cleaning the self-checkout machines while my manager was topping up the coins and receipt paper. This woman, just shy of 50, came up to the checkout and just stood there with her mostly empty cart. I was waiting to see if she would walk up to the actual register for service, but no; she just stood there.
I finally asked her, “Do you need help?” She replied, “No,” and kept standing there. Then, she started giggling loudly to herself in a way that made other people around her uncomfortable. I just kept cleaning and my manager continued filling the machines, all of which were devoid of customers. Finally, the woman spoke loudly, to no one in particular, saying the rudest thing ever: “Do you want to work or not?”
I let out a long breath, then dropped my cloth and spray bottle down. Suddenly, my manager stepped in and replied loudly, “She does have work! She’s cleaning right now.” Then she motioned for me to keep cleaning. Well, the woman giggled again, really loudly and snottily this time, and said, “I want a checkout.” My manager replied, “You had your chance. She asked you if you wanted help. You said no. And now, you’re going to have to check yourself out.”
The lady started freaking out and demanded to see the manager. My manager destroyed her with one sentence: “You’re looking at her.” The woman sheepishly checked her own items out while we both watched her. And then my manager giggled loudly, just like the woman had done. It was glorious.
17. Schooled Her
A few years ago, I was a sweet summer child freshly out of college with zero idea what I wanted to do with my life. I became a homeowner after maternal unit moved overseas and gave the house to me, and I decided to work for a house painting company for one summer while I got my metaphorical ducks in a row. The next summer, I was out of the painting business and working as an EMT, which meant sometimes I would have a full day or two off.
I noticed my house was in some need of paint touch ups, so I decided to do them myself. I had brushes, paint, nothing to do, and a sixer, so I went at it one Tuesday afternoon. So I’m working on the frame of the front door, dressed in old painter whites and a T-shirt with the sleeves cut off, and I sit down to let the primer dry and have a cold one.
I’m happily perched on the front step when I notice a can-I-speak-to-your-manager haircut with a face that looks like she just ate 12 lemons staring at me from the sidewalk. My front lawn is decently long and slopes down a hill, but I could see an artery pulsing in her neck from my spot. She had a dog next to her, so I just wave and say, “Cute dog!”
I guess my words broke the floodgates, and she unleashed upon me a verbal attack of which I understood about 30%. The gist: “HOW DARE YOU DRINK ON THE JOB ON THIS NICE PROPERTY. YOU DON’T DESERVE TO SIT THERE AND WASTE THE HARD EARNED MONEY OF THE WELL-EDUCATED PERSON THAT OWNS THIS PLACE.”
While I’m pondering this, she’s still spewing frothing condescension at me, which culminated in: “UNEDUCATED, LAZY, MENIAL, FREELOADING, IMMIGRANT DRINKERS LIKE YOU ARE WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS COUNTRY.” Well, aside from the many problems in that sentence, I’m white. Like, really white. Blond hair, green eyes. Born and raised in the good old US of A. Specifically, in this house.
Perhaps I look like some sort of insidious immigrant from far away, so I stand up and make my way down to her, but not before cracking open another cold one. She’s positively quivering with anger and indignation, her dog is pulling at the leash to say hi to me, and so I bend down to say hello back, when she says “WELL, WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO SAY FOR YOURSELF?”
I raise myself to my full 6’2” height, which towers over her little 5’ nothing self. She doesn’t back down, and the following conversation ensues. Me: “Hello ma’am, what seems to be the problem?” Her: scoffs “YOU. Sitting there wasting the homeowner’s money so you can get paid to be a lazy idiot.” Me: “Oh, I’m being paid? Seems odd, I didn’t feel the need to pay myself for this, but I suppose that could be fun to try.”
Her, gears turning: “Pay yourself? Don’t make me laugh, some deadbeat like you couldn’t afford this house. You need an education for a real job.” I’m wondering what her education fixation is all about, but not caring all that much, I just want to entertain her conversation enough to really get her mad. Maybe her head will explode.
Me: “Well, I didn’t buy this house, my mother did, but she left it to me when she moved overseas after I graduated from college.” Her, smirking: “Oh, did you go to local community college, known for not being that great? Only someone working as a painter would go there.” Me: “Actually, if you look at my shirt, you’ll see it says ‘Ivy League School Athletics’, which is where I attended school and played a sport. I am in good shape because of that, so I figured I would keep that up by working on improving my own home while having a few cold boys to cool off in this heat. Did you attend community college? Because if so, I can see how you might not be able to understand that.”
Disclaimer: nothing wrong with that CC. Just wanted to watch her boil, and oh boy, did she. Her eyes widen bigger than I thought possible, and her mouth starts working like elderly folks’ do when they’ve lost a lot of teeth, lots of lip twisting. This culminates in her rearing her ugly head back, and spitting on the front of my shirt. “You probably took that from someone, you ungrateful piece of trash.”
Okay, wow, not sure what I’m ungrateful for, and ew germs, so I tell her that’s it’s been fun but I’m going to continue working and turn to walk back up the lawn. She grabs the back of my shirt and attempts to pull me backward. It doesn’t work, so I spin around and smack her hand off me. She flops like a Premier League soccer player, flinging herself all over my lawn, howling like she’s been shot.
She’s let go of the dog’s leash, so he comes over to me for pets, happy as a clam. Her yodeling has brought some neighbors out of their homes, including my cool next door ones. They come over and I give them the story, and ask for their phone to call law enforcement. Mine was inside charging. They laugh and hand it over. I let the officers know that some maniac is gyrating loudly on my lawn, could they please come remove her.
I return to my work, my cool neighbors probably have started making popcorn. A little while later, I hear the officers arrive. Maniac is still singing her messed-up opera, and starts screaming at the authorities a story of a belligerent squatter (who’s painting said site of squatting??) who chased her with a baseball bat and broke her arm in multiple places.
Her talons point to me, so I come down and tell the boys the whole story. They crack up, apparently they know the nutcase by name, and so they tell her to call her husband to get the dog “again,” and cuff her for trespassing and disorderly conduct. Dog hung out with me until the husband, apologizing profusely, came and got him.
He also informed me that they are in divorce proceedings, so that may have made her “crazier than usual.” Never saw the lady again, thank god, but have developed a neighborly friendship with her ex and the pup. All’s well that ends well.
18. In a Rude Mood Tonight
I was lining up for 20 minutes for a gig at a nightclub with my girls. This random girl comes up and pretends to know one of my friends so she can step in line with us. No big deal, it’s night time, and it’s cold, solidarity etc. BUT! She was so rude! She didn’t introduce herself to anyone else and ignored all my attempts at conversation. Then she slowly starts to push me slightly out of the line with her body language so I can no longer talk comfortably to my friends.
When the bouncer says two people can go in, we tell him we’re a group and want to stay together. But this girl! She steps in front of us, flashes her ID, and gets in. We were waiting outside for another 15 minutes in the cold. I could not describe my feelings when my friend tells me that was the first time this girl had ever acknowledged or said anything to her.
19. One Per Person
I was recently on a Megabus from DC to NY, and a family with several young children was trying to find the last untaken seats. There was clearly a seat open, but when they asked the girl, she was like, “Sorry I want to leave this seat open so I can sleep.” For a second, they were totally speechless. The family was like, “Uh, no, that’s not how it works.” They had to go get the bus driver and bring him to the back.
The lady said the same thing to the bus driver. And the bus driver was like, “Uh, no, that’s not how this works.” So, the kid ended up sitting next to this girl. How did she think this was going to slide?
20. Not-So-Hot Mom
In the summer of 2008, I was visiting Chicago for orientation. It was a particularly hot day, bright, cloudless, and humid. Due to my mom’s physical situation at the time, as soon as we found out there was a secondary line for people with strollers and physical disabilities to move out of the sun sooner, we went around the building to find it.
There was a long line wrapping around the area by this fountain, which was notable to me at the time mostly because of how surreal it is. Man hugs giant fish, which spits water endlessly—well, alright. My attention was caught by the weird, skipping, mincing, steps of a kid who looked too young to stand on their own as they “stood” on the black stone ring around the fountain, being held up by one arm as their mom talked on her phone.
The sun was blazing that day. Anything lighter than a gray had a painful glare to it, and you could see heat shimmering off of everything. The child whining and crying quietly, was barefoot, and looked just too young to be able to say the words “Too hot!” Whenever the child began to whine or cry too loudly, the mother would give her a short shake of the arm, shush her, and continue talking.
People immediately around her were giving her dirty looks as she used her cellphone, oblivious to her child’s pain. “Really?” I thought. “No one has said anything?” I was still several yards off, but we were at a standstill, and I wasn’t going to wait until we got closer. I quickly walked over to the fountain, trying to act like I was just checking it out, then bent over a bit to put my hand on the stone.
“Ah! Oh my goodness, it’s so hot!!” I cried. I had barely touched it, but I had made sure to stand directly next to the woman who instinctively swept her baby up when I shouted. Looking confused, she bent to touch the stone quickly yanking her hand back. I remember her murmuring something along the lines of “Oh my god,” as if amazed that, yes, rocks do indeed get hot on bright summer days. I quickly resumed my place in line with my parents, and that was it.
21. All Decked Out
My dad moved into a new townhouse. It was a foreclosure property, as the previous tenants were kicked out for not paying their mortgage and for not paying their HOA dues. They gave everyone in the HOA new patios and decks the summer prior. It was required, and the tenants had to pay for them in monthly installments over the next three years, along with their HOA dues.
There was a rule in place when they got the decks: You couldn’t move out without paying off your deck first. Since the property was foreclosed on, he was told by HOA that he would not have to pay off the deck as he was not responsible for doing so. He thought, “Sweet, free deck,” and signed off on the matter. Big mistake.
He moved in and then started getting assessments from the HOA for the deck, even though he wasn’t supposed to be paying for it. He fought it with the board. Even with the signed document saying we didn’t have to pay for the deck, the board went against him. He ended up having to pay off the remaining balance.
22. Pool Pigs
My father-in-law’s condo corp had a shared pool. The old folks didn’t like to share, so they had all kinds of silly rules—no more than one guest per resident, residents only times alternating every hour, etc. My father-in-law couldn’t even take his own two grandkids for a swim because he would exceed the number of allowed guests.
There were so many rules, yet the pool was usually empty. Because the residents were breaking the rules, they passed a new one stating that if any resident was caught breaking the pool rules, they would close the pool to everyone for a week, post the offender’s name and reason for the closure on the community bulletin board.
23. They Tried To Rock The Boat
When we moved in, someone stopped by to say hi, but more like to tell us our boat couldn’t be parked on our lot. My wife told her well, we read all of the rules, and it didn’t say that. She replied, “Well, I wrote the rules, so I should know.” My wife told her to go read them again. We didn’t hear anything for months. I thought it was over, but I was so wrong. When we got our annual dues packet, there was a newsletter saying our lot was in breach and that we had stated plans to modify our garage to fit the boat, which we never said.
They suggested setting a deadline for us and setting a vote to add boats to the list they already had, which included campers, fifth wheels, motor homes, and travel trailers. We bought the house, intending to build a detached garage. However, to comply with the design rules, it would cost us $90K. My neighbor had been there longer than we were, and they had a boat in their driveway as well.
24. A Watery Chuckle
I work in a large airport at a small convenience store on one of the busiest concourses. I hear it all, especially about our prices. Although we try to keep our margins as low as possible, we still have to pay our rent as a business, and it’s about $14k a month. One day, I had an older woman come in and set down an expensive brand of water that was priced around $5.15 after tax.
I knew that she was going to say something about it, so I prepared myself mentally. Indeed, she did say something, and it threw me for a loop. She asked me, “Wanna know something funny?” I said that I did. She said, “This same water in another airport is $2.50.” I stared blankly at her for a solid 10 seconds. Finally, I said, “I think I missed the joke.”
She then proceeded to insult me, but she still purchased the water before leaving in a huff. Best day I’ve had in a while.
25. Not Quite Black Or White
I had just moved into my house a few months prior when I got a letter. My HOA head threatened to fine me $200, stating that my mailbox wasn’t black. I thought surely they had the wrong house because my mailbox was, in fact, black. So, I contacted the HOA, and they gave me the runaround, arguing that it wasn’t. I told them to come and look.
Of course, they said it was on me to prove to them it was black. So, I snapped a photo and emailed it to them. I heard nothing back for well over a month, then got another letter giving me a “courtesy” week extension before I would be fined. At that point, I was livid. I contacted the HOA again, asking for an explanation of what the problem was.
I was finally told that my “neighbors” felt my mailbox was rather worn and needed to be painted or replaced. It wasn’t black enough for them. So I painted it. A few months later, I learned that the HOA would replace the mailbox. I called them to ask why they threatened to fine me when they were the ones who should replace it if it was not up to standard. They stated it was because they had no open work orders for my mailbox and that it was my responsibility to notify them if it needed maintenance, not theirs.
26. Queen Of The Karens
Long ago, I worked for one of those bulk warehouse club stores. My trade was simple: I was a wrangler of the silver buffalo, and dutifully retrieve the ol’ shopping carts I did. The job in and of itself wasn’t the worst I’d ever had; I got plenty of exercise, got to be outside, and generally didn’t have to interact with the “members” (calling them customers was taboo) for the most part.
For the most part. The thing about this job is that the company I worked for had a reputation for being cheap. Thusly, more often than not, I was on my own out in the parking lot. “Big whoop,” you might say. “You gathered carts? You should see how hard MY job is!” Yeah, well… Shut up. This is my story, jerk-o. I digress.
The reason that being alone sucked is that this store didn’t have just one kind of cart. Heck, they didn’t even just have TWO kinds of carts. You had your classic garden variety cart, the kiddie-cart with the plastic facade to make it resemble a car, the electric scooters (which weren’t supposed to leave the store, but did so with alarming frequency), and finally, the bulky, hard-to-control flatbeds.
On top of that, whenever someone needed help loading their haul into their minivans, I was the guy they called. You know, because the greeters, cashiers, and managers were all busy. As you might expect, one man cannot be in multiple places at once, and as a result, on some of our busier days, it became incredibly difficult to keep enough carts in the vestibule. Our story begins on one of these days…
So there I was, chugging along like a good worker drone, struggling to keep up with the sheer volume of people coming in to buy cheap bulk goods. Sure enough, I get a call on the radio: Manager – “[sktchh] We need you to help some members load their purchases. [sktchh]” Me – “Uh, I’d love to, but I’m barely able to keep up out here as is…”
Manager – “[sktchh] Just do it. You can afford to stop gathering carts for two minutes. [sktchh]” *Ron Howard voice* – “He couldn’t.” However, I didn’t want to push my luck, so I complied. After spending 20 minutes loading people’s purchases because when one person needs it, suddenly they ALL need it, I came back to find my vestibule a near-ghost town, save for a single line of carts that was half-gone, and…the Karen.
I won’t waste time describing this specimen. She was the prototype. You know what she looked like. There she stood, menacing, tapping her foot with such speed that it could make any metal drummer green with envy. You could collect the contempt in her gaze in a jar. Karen – “Where are the big flat ones?” I blanked for a moment. Me – “I’m sorry?”
Karen – “Ugh. Mexicans…” For the record, I’m very much white. Karen – “WHERE. ARE. THE. FLAT ONES.” Me – “Oh, you mean the flatbeds. I’m sorry, I was just helping some other members load their merchandise and haven’t had a chance to—” Karen – “OH MY GOD, I don’t care about your excuses, you have ONE JOB, and a TRAINED. MONKEY. Could do it!”
I just want this lady out of my face, so I don’t fight it. Me – “Sorry ma’am. I’ll grab one from the parking lot for you…” Karen – “You’d better…” So I go back out to the lot and find a whole line of flatbeds sticking out of a corral blocking several parking spaces. I push them all into the vestibule where she waits, huffing about how I’m wasting her valuable time.
I separate one from the rest and bring it to her. Me – “I’m terribly sorry about the wait, ma’am.” She leers at me with utter malice. Karen – “Hmmph. Unbelievable…” And with that, she dismisses herself into the store, where she will be someone else’s problem. I shake my head and return to doing what I’m paid to do. I wish I’d never seen her again…but I did.
About 15 minutes later, I’m returning a line of carts when I see her pushing her flatbed to her Miata and jawing about “stupid people” (most certainly referring to me) on her cell phone. You know what she had bought? What she had insisted on having a flatbed for? A cake. This wasn’t even like, a big cake. It was one of those little circular numbers.
Anyways, I witness as she continues to yammer on about how I nearly ruined—RUINED I TELL YOU—her precious baby’s birthday party, when the most glorious thing happened. Still clutching her phone with those jai-alai scoop claws of hers, she attempts to pick up the cake with one hand, the plastic topper pops off, and she spills the cake all over her undoubtedly expensive designer outfit.
Seething with white-hot rage, she locks eyes with me. Karen – “YOU! GET ME ANOTHER CAKE! NOW!” Me – “Terribly sorry ma’am. I’ve got one job, and these carts won’t gather themselves.” I walked away, grin plastered on my face as her shrieks faded into the distance behind me. I’ve had my share of nasty customer interactions before, but this one…Really took the cake.
27. A Light At The End Of The Tunnel
I am a 28-year-old woman who just recently went fully blind. When I was a teenager, I volunteered with my local youth group to help rebuild Mississippi after hurricane Katrina, and while down there I picked up a fungal parasite called Histoplasmosis that, over a decade, migrated to my eyes and slowly caused blindness. I’ve been totally blind for about a year now, so I’m pretty new to it.
When I first went blind, I barely left the house and was afraid to go in public. I felt like everyone was staring at me and in all honesty, I barely knew what I was doing. The transition had been difficult and I didn’t have any support group to teach me. One day my husband asks if I can take an Uber down to the bank and deposit a rent check and I reluctantly agree.
While out, he messages again and reminds me that we’re out of a few crucial groceries. There was a Wal-Mart grocery literally across the street from the bank, so I figure everything in life is an experience and I’ll have to learn how to shop alone eventually, so why not. Everything was fine at first and I was only grabbing a few things so I didn’t need a cart.
I was using my cane and what little echolocation skills I had at the time to get around, but was still bumping into things as we blind tend to do sometimes. My cane suddenly hit something a bit softer and I figure maybe I had whacked someone’s leg and apologize. Cue Entitled Kid (EK) and Entitled Mother (EM). Me: Shoot, I’m sorry—
EM: Hey! You just hit my son!! Me: I’m so sorry, ma’am, I didn’t see him there. EM begins yelling: HOW COULD YOU NOT SEE HIM, HE’S CLEARLY RIGHT HERE!! Now, again, I’m fully blind, but I don’t wear sunglasses. Mostly because I can’t afford a good UV blocking pair, but also I’m not ever looking for pity or to ”play the part” of a generic blind person.
I just want to be treated like a normal person, but I do understand her confusion as blindness is a spectrum, so I try to calmly explain. Me: Ma’am, I’m blind, I can’t see anything, let alone your son. That’s why I have to use the cane, so I can get around without— She cuts me off: If you’re blind, why aren’t you wearing big sunglasses?
As a blind person, I get a lot of stupid questions, but I understand a lot of them are just people who don’t know better, so I try to happily answer as many as I can. Me: Those are really expensive (around $200 for a good pair), and I really don’t need any inside. Here is where my blood starts to boil. EM: You’re not blind, you’re faking it!
I can’t think of any reason someone would want to pretend to be blind, and nothing makes me angrier more than when someone calls me a liar when I’m not. Just as I’m about to respond, I feel a tug and before I blink, I realize this little demon spawn has snatched my $100 cane from my hands. For those of you who don’t understand, that’s like if you’re shopping and suddenly the power goes out and you can’t see a single light.
Without my cane, I can barely move at all without crashing into anything. My voice gets shaky as I begin to panic: Please give that back! I REALLY DO NEED IT!! EM: No you don’t, you liar. My son deserves to play with this more than you! I hear her shuffle away and my expensive cane cracking into metal displays and such as they leave.
I start crying and waving my arms in front of me to grab onto something, anything, and end up crashing and falling into a center aisle display, making a loud scene. I somewhat curl into a ball and cry. I’m alone in public, in the dark, and I had no idea what to do. Suddenly I feel a hand on my shoulder and a man’s voice. We’ll call him AG for awesome guy.
He asks if I’m okay and to stay right here. I do, but begin to at least sit up and listen. This man must have been tall and built like a tank because his footsteps sounded like a giant and I felt a suction of wind when he took off. Maybe about 30 or 40 feet away, I hear this loud bellowing like an angry lion and a loud crash, then before I know it the man is back and helping me to my feet.
He takes my hand and puts my cane into my palm and helps me pick up the items I dropped when I fell into the display. Me wiping tears from my cheeks: Thank you, thank you so much, I didn’t know how to handle that. AG: Don’t worry about it, some people are just monsters. This guy restored my faith in humanity and even helped me finish shopping and helped me out of the store.
As we’re leaving, I can hear the familiar screeching of EM, something about AG grabbing the cane and pulling hard, flinging her little devil child into a shopping cart. I don’t know if she was exaggerating or not but it would explain the crash I heard. It’s easy to feel alone in a world without sight, but even through the sheer terror of being stripped of my cane, at least I know now that there are people willing to stand up for me when I need it.
28. Season For Change
The HOA sent us a series of nasty notices to remove the dead tree in our front yard. The tree had lost all of its leaves, and it was unsightly, apparently. The catch was that they sent us the notice in November—you know, FALL, when perfectly healthy trees lose their leaves. We pretended we didn’t understand which tree they were talking about until spring when the tree magically came back to life.
29. Cool It!
When I was a kid, I lived in one of the two front rooms of the house, which were the hottest in the summer and the coldest in the winter. My dad didn’t like to use the AC, so we all just had fans. One summer, it got so unbearably hot in my room that fans weren’t cutting it. I was miserable, so my dad put an AC unit in my window. Unfortunately, my relief was short-lived.
The HOA told us to take it down because it was an “eyesore.” My parents told them it was for their child, but they didn’t care, so my parents had to take it down. The kicker was that, just down the street, a guy who had the exact same model house as us had an AC unit installed in the same exact window as the one we had it in. The HOA never said a word to him.
30. They Are All This Together
I work for a grocery store that only sells all-natural foods. That means no artificial preservatives, sweeteners, flavors, and such, as well as any items with certain ingredients like high-fructose corn syrup. We have an internal list of ingredients that products cannot contain and even have had to cease carrying some top-selling products after reformulation introduces one or more of them.
Being the type of store that we are, we get people from all over the political spectrum and quite a few on the extreme fringes. This is about a guy who came to our store multiple times. I will refer to him as Mr. Q since I do not even know his name. Mr. Q was a semi-regular customer since before my employment. My first experience with him was indirect.
I was overseeing the front-end and placing some orders with vendors. He went through the line of one of my cashiers, Melissa. Unfortunately for her, Melissa did not have anyone else in her line, so the guy stood there yakking her ear off. Then I heard that chilling phrase. I do not recall what the full sentence was, but he said the magic words: “QAnon.”
This immediately made my ears perk up. He could have been someone more on the left, making fun of the QAnon thing or he could be a believer. Once I knew that he was spouting off right-wing conspiracy theories, I told one of the other managers that I was going to go rescue Melissa who was just smiling and nodding.
This involved getting myself to a phone out of sight and then paging the staff member to the loading dock so they could hide for a few minutes. This particular incident happened pre-pandemic, so the store’s general manager was still there. As I used the phone right outside his office, I got an odd look from him, until I told him, “Crazy at her lane.” He does not suffer fools, so he just chuckled.
This visit was done with. Then, after the pandemic started, my store adopted the policy of “masks must be worn, but if you claim a ‘condition,’ then you don’t have to wear one.” This annoyed us because we had so many liars. Mr. Q, of course, was one of those. He was relatively quiet until he checked out. At the exit door, he stopped and turned around.
Then, he started loudly proclaiming how the whole pandemic was a hoax because otherwise “people would be dropped like flies in the streets!” We just rolled our eyes at him and he left quietly, thus, ending that visit. Then came the third and final visit. This happened after our store had decided to go to a “mask-mandatory” policy without the medical exemption.
We got battle-hardened by this since we had to fend off people screaming about how it was against the law and how they were going to sue us, etc. That’s when Mr. Q came in, and things started to get interesting. One of the other managers, Aaron, spotted him but he was occupied with a customer, so he alerted me. He also said, “That guy is a fool, so good luck.”
Our strategy for dealing with people without masks was to just grab the box of the complimentary ones we offered, approach the person, and ask them if they needed a mask. Most of the time, by then, it was people who simply forgot to put one on…but that wasn’t the case with Mr. Q. Our conversation went like this:
I asked him, “Hi! Did you need a mask today?” He simply replied, “I have a medical condition.” I clarified, “Sorry, but we still need you to wear a mask to be inside the store. We do offer curbside shopping though. But, since you have a list, we would be more than happy to shop for you and then take payment and bring the bags out to your car.”
He, of course, became annoyed and said, “Are you aware of the United States Constitution? Do you know you are violating my rights?” I stood my ground and said, “Sorry, sir, but this is private property and we do require a mask.” By this time, Aaron had finished with his customer, so he came over to back me up and said, “Yes. We are not a government entity.”
That’s when Mr. Q did the unthinkable—he proceeded to dramatically say that he felt sick, then he fake coughed on Aaron and me. So, of course, All semblance of “customer service” and “courtesy” went out the window at that point, and Aaron said, “You need to leave now. You are no longer welcome here.” Mr. Q took that as an invitation to go on a random rant about his rights.
So, Aaron told me to call the authorities. Mr. Q then went on another tangent and said, “You guys are poisoning people with the products you sell! What do you have to say for yourselves! I know my rights!” In the meantime, I went over to the phone and started dialing. By that point, we had called them so many times that we knew half the department by name.
Now, Mr. Q realized what I was doing, so he wisely abandoned his cart and left the store. Aaron pulled out his phone, started filming, and followed the guy out. Mr. Q then spent the next five minutes pacing our parking lot, screaming at Aaron. It was truly unhinged. His rants alternated between us poisoning people and targeting Michelle Obama.
Aaron repeated to Mr. Q that he needed to leave and that he was now banned from the store. Then, when he saw Aaron was filming him, he started yelling about how Aaron must be like Michelle Obama too. Thankfully, he just kept pacing. I joined Aaron outside after calling the authorities and getting one of the back-end managers to come up front to watch over the cashiers.
Unfortunately, he left before the authorities arrived. And since he did not buy anything, we did not have his full name to give to them. After showing the general manager the video, we got the verdict that Mr. Q was banned from thereon. That means that the next time he shows up, we call the cops immediately and then tell the guy he is banned, in front of them.
This would allow them to arrest him on subsequent visits. He wisely has not shown up since then.
31. Misplaced Anger
Yesterday afternoon, I got a call from my older brother and he told me that my mom had a miscarriage. This is hardly surprising, as she’s in her 40s. But I have a dark confession. I actually felt a huge wave of relief wash over me—because this way, my siblings’ lives would not be worsened by my parents’ insistence on adding another mouth to feed on an already tight budget.
My sister would not be asked to give up her inheritance so they could have money for their new baby. My brother told me my mom had been crying and while I did feel bad for her, I was still glad to hear about the miscarriage. I feel like we all dodged a huge bullet. My brother asked me to move back in for a while, to help comfort my mom.
I told him I wasn’t going to move in because first, my college would reopen in a few days, and two, I’m done with all the family drama. However, I did agree to come to visit my mom, if only out of courtesy. In the evening, I went over to my parents’ place. I took chocolate chip muffins for my mom, which I know she likes. My sister greeted me at the door and told me mom had been in bed all day.
After greeting my dad, I went into their bedroom. Mom was sitting up on the bed. I told her I was sorry about what happened and placed the muffins on the bedside table. Her reaction floored me. She looked at me angrily, then threw the muffins at me. She screamed at me that she had “lost her baby” because of me. She said I had caused her stress and it’s what caused her to miscarry.
She said I was probably glad her baby was gone (which is true, but of course I didn’t point that out). She called me a witch and said I had wished this upon her. She was screaming so loudly, all my siblings and my dad came rushing to the bedroom. She yelled at me to get out. I did. I hugged my older brother and sister. Before I left, my dad told me my mom was right, that my “cruelty” caused her to miscarry.
I told him that was a grossly unfair accusation and reminded him that at mom’s age, it was quite common to miscarry. Then I walked out. I’m so done with my parents and their stupidity. I can only hope they won’t try for another kid.
32. Ride On!
My parents lived in a neighborhood with several local physicians. One had around six kids, and the youngest had profound autism and was non-verbal. He was about five or six at the time and loved riding his little tricycle in their driveway, which was pretty large. He would do it for hours. His mom stayed home with him for the most part, and she and her husband became concerned that he would drive into the road if they happened to look away.
So, they got some orange construction netting that they would just put across the end of the driveway while he was out there and would take it down when they went back inside. I always thought that it was a good idea to keep him safe. Several of the families in the neighborhood were not pleased with this and said it was an “eyesore,” so a meeting was called. Then things went off the rails.
It turned into an onslaught on how they were taking care of their son and how it made the neighborhood look “ignorant” to have that netting up. Needless to say, no one offered any other options, and this family was so irate that they packed up and moved within a month. They moved out to the country somewhere, where the son could ride his bike for hours on end.
33. The Covenant
When we first moved in, I asked the neighbor across the street how “serious” the HOA was. He said, “Bad,” and then told me he got a notice about his recycling bin being left on the street for too long along with a photo. The photo was of him walking the recycling bin back to his garage. I needed the HOA to come out to “approve” a fence I was going to install.
The lady at the HOA office was very nice and said my plans were within the covenant by-laws and that we just need to have the “inspector” check it out himself to sign off on it. When the “inspector” got to my house, he said he didn’t understand what I wanted to do. I explained the type of fence I wanted to install, and he said that, to his knowledge, it wasn’t allowed.
I walked him out to the street, pointed two houses down, and said, “That house right there has the fence I want to install.” He scoffed, walked down to look, and sure enough, it was EXACTLY as I described it. He told me, “Well, we don’t like to have a bunch of different types of fences in the neighborhood.” I replied, “I don’t care what you prefer.”
“The covenant says I can have that fence, and that’s what I’m going to install because it’s within the specifications of the covenant.” The old fella didn’t have much to say after that. I got a letter the next week saying I was “approved for fence install.”
34. Limits Are For Other People
This happened around the time when Walmart had just announced its pickup service. We had no sort of “do your shopping for you” or personal shopper positions, so I should have seen the immediate red flag when my customer service manager (CSM) approached a coworker and asked if I wanted to be a personal shopper.
I was mid-transaction, and the coworker was chanting to herself, “Please say yes, please say yes, please say yes.” But I was 19 and naive and still believed cranky last-minute Christmas shoppers were the only problem creatures. I also wanted to make my co-worker happy, so I said, “Uh, sure.” My CSM briefed me on the woman who had only $85.
I was told to make sure that she stayed around $85, and that was the only introduction or warning I got before I was sent off with the lady, who I never learned the name of, but I will call Audrey, as she was just as cartoonishly whiny as the little girl from the old Little Audrey cartoons. The first red flag that I saw was that she immediately walked over to the garden center to see the Christmas clearance items.
I had just met Audrey, so I assumed she was certainly old enough to know her limits. She was probably around 65 if I had to guess. So, I followed her. But boy, oh, boy, was I entirely wrong. We walked around the garden center and she took notice of the special perfume and cologne sets that companies get specifically as Christmas gift ideas.
She grabbed one and said that it looked really nice and that she would love to try it out. She then placed it in her cart and proceeded to pick out sets for various family members—some nice slippers with vibrators in them to massage your feet, and not one, not two, but three Christmas yard decorations with lights.
I politely informed her that she already had easily over $150 worth of stuff in her cart, and she asked me whether I was sure. So, I totaled up the price of all the stuff in her cart and then added on sales tax. She reluctantly put back several of the perfume sets and two of the lawn decorations, and we departed for the next area of the store.
Since she was old-fashioned, she still used a landline phone and informed me that she needed AA batteries for it. She said that she wanted to get rechargeable ones, to save money, and I agreed that may be a good idea…until she picked out $30 batteries. We spent a lot of time there because she specifically wanted batteries that indicated on the package that they were good for phones.
I got her to put back two more Christmas items, but some of her more expensive items remained in the cart. Then I asked her if she was ready to check out—she informed me that she still had to get her groceries. I had easily spent 45 minutes with this lady but I was long overdue for my break…my stomach sank so far that I had to scoop it up off the floor.
But I followed her as she picked out her groceries, all the while reminding her that she had a limited amount of money. At that point, I fully understood why my CSM would lie about this. Once again, I informed her that she had over $150 in her cart so she put a few items back; though, she did not believe me when I still insisted that she was over budget.
Instead, she insisted that we head to the checkout to confirm. Maybe she was one of those people who had to see her total to believe it, or maybe she was just being dumb, but I was too mentally exhausted to deal with it, so I just followed her to a checkout lane and unloaded her cart of items for her. When he recognized her, the cashier looked at me and nodded.
He then asked, “How long did it take?” To that, I indicated that it had been over an hour and he rolled his eyes, saying that sounded about right. But my ordeal was far from over—the cashier rang up all of her stuff with me there to bear witness, and he did not know her limit this time.
So, he did not say anything when we passed it. We made it to something like $193, and Audrey looked at her total and said, “Oh…” She took off a few slabs of meat, which brought it down around $20, and then handed the cashier a flavored drink enhancer and stared at him expectantly. The total was still $172, and she passed him another flavored drink enhancer.
I informed her that we might have to take off one of her more expensive items, like her perfume set or her slippers. She insisted on the slippers but decided the perfume could go. Great! That brought it down to $161, which was still progress. She inched the total down a few items at a time, all the while insisting certain items were off-limits.
I thought she put back the batteries and replaced them with regular batteries since those were much cheaper. The guy had since turned off his light but he still had a line. With his replacement cashier now present and the light still off, we were all trying to talk the lady down from everything she still insisted was necessary.
When we got her down to $120, she started asking us if she could just have some of her items The cashier seemed to know where this was going and told her she could have them if she paid for them. We tried several times to pry more items out of her transaction, but she insisted she needed everything that was left in the cart. It was a nightmare.
She started asking the replacement cashier if she could help her afford the items, to which the cashier told her no. She could literally lose her job for trying to do that. She then turned to the man behind her and asked for money, and he was about to offer to pay the remaining cost until the cashier gave him a look and requested that he please not do that. Clearly, this woman had done this before.
She then told the lady that she was not allowed to solicit at our store and that she was going to have to put some stuff back. Defying the advice, the nice customer behind us gave her $10. The lady put back another frozen item and was at $115. All she would need to do is to put back her cheap plastic lawn ornament…but she continued to whine about how she really needed it and how it would make her yard look so much nicer.
At that point, I sighed and decided to just take the item off her transaction, pay for it myself, and give it to the lady. I was done with it entirely. The cashier, however, told me that I could not do that and that I could lose my job for it. But I took the item to punch out for my break, grabbed my wallet from the back, then purchased the item and gave it to the lady.
I told her that I did not even have a yard and I just wanted it to be over with. The CSM later decided to just ban the lady from the store. I was also allowed to take it easy for the rest of the day. A very stressful ordeal, but the closest thing I could have gotten to a happy ending. And no, I didn’t get in trouble, much to my relief.
35. Child’s Play
My company sets up a booth at a carnival and we engaged several part-timers to assist at the carnival. The part-timers are required to go around the grounds to distribute flyers, share information, and direct visitors to our booth. On the day of the carnival, after setting up, I met up with the part-timers to prepare them for the day.
Out of all the part-timers, only this one woman was late. She mentioned she would be 15 minutes late, but it was closer to an hour. As we couldn’t wait, I briefed the others and deployed them for the day. When she arrived, she had her kid in tow, who was about five or six years old. Due to the nature of the job, we can’t have her lugging her kid while working. She knew this.
Her: My husband couldn’t handle the kid, so I had to bring her along. Me: I can’t have you working with your kid. Her: It’s not my problem. If you don’t like it, get someone to watch over him. My colleague who was watching this unfold offered to watch over her kid. He was only required to help out during the start and end of the carnival, so was entirely free during the event.
I thought alright, since he was free. Colleague: I can watch over her, get her some food, watch some shows, play some games. But you’ll need to pay me. Me: Whatever. But I’m not paying you for your time, only for the kid. Colleague (grinning): Sure. I was flabbergasted, but he told me not to worry—because he had an ingenious plan.
Once the woman started working, my colleague brought her kid systematically through every single booth throughout the entire carnival. It was the kid’s dream come true and, I believe, her best day ever. Whatever she wanted to eat, my colleague bought. She saw a lot of the shows and won many prizes. Since my colleague had a staff pass, he didn’t need to pay for the shows, only for the kid.
At the end of the carnival, when we were clocking the hours worked, the mother had the nerve to insist to be paid full even though she was late for almost an hour. She said that because of various reasons (mainly due to her kid), she would have been early. She was ranting and I didn’t really pay any attention, but it was about how I will never understand as I don’t have kids and how she deserves it because she was a mother.
My manager nearby winked at me and took over. He said he was very pleased with the day’s sales and how we are very supportive of her and we should give kids the best. He told her not to worry about the hours she worked and she will be paid in full. After hearing this, not even a single thanks from this woman, she declared in a loud voice: “At least someone understands.”
She had this condescending and victorious look on her face. Thankfully, It didn’t last long. The sucker punch for her was that her kid spent roughly $100, and with her pay at $15/hr for 8 hrs, she made a whopping $20 for the whole day. My colleague made it a point to keep track of the expenses (receipts, tickets, stubs, etc.) and took tons of photos.
Of course, she threw a fit, but with the amount of evidence and her daughter vouching for all the fun she had, it was tough to have a leg to stand on. She had no case except to yell “I’M NOT PAYING FOR THIS!!” and then she grabbed her daughter and stormed off. We look forward to payday when we issue her a cheque for $20 for her time.
36. Fun For The Whole Family
This took place a couple of years ago, when I was 17 and I used to spend part of my summers helping out in my grandpa’s restaurant. The restaurant was located on the bottom floor of our family house in a little village (30 inhabitants) and my maternal great-grandparents lived on the upper floor. In the restaurant, my great-grandmother and my grandma were in charge of cooking and my great-grandpa and granddad were in charge of attending the tables.
It was kind of small, as it had like eight tables of four on the inside, and we could set another two outside if the weather was good. As the restaurant also served as a bar, it was filled with locals. Since many of them were retired, they used to spend the whole day playing cards and drinking, so although it was a small location, in summer usually it was full of people.
Also, my great-grandparents founded this restaurant in the year 1941, therefore it was well-known and had a good reputation among the locals. I’m also proud to say that my great-grandparents were very loved in their community as they really were great people. Although it was a quite remote place, in summer we used to get like four or five groups of tourists per week.
The rule was that my brother and I were in charge of serving their tables as we were the only ones who knew any other language than Spanish, our native tongue. Our opening hours at the time were from 12:00 to 22:30 but the kitchen was only open from 13:00 to 15:00 and from 19:30 to 21:00. We only served one menu, composed of a starter, two main dishes, dessert, and cider or water.
So now the story. It was around 16:00, therefore most of the customers had finished eating and were chatting over a cup of coffee or some pints. My grandparents and great-grandparents were still eating as they waited until everyone was finished. Meanwhile, my brother and I were in charge of serving the tables just in case anyone wanted something else to drink.
Suddenly we hear a car outside, and I can hear a woman loudly speaking in English. As soon as they enter, this happens. Her: We would like to have a table, X from the Y Hotel told us this was a great place to eat. Me: I’m sorry ma’am, but the kitchen is already closed as it’s kind of late. Her: Yes, it’s late because we got lost in these stupid roads! Is it so difficult to put proper signals? Also, we have a little kid who is hungry.
Me: Oh, I’m sorry to hear that, let me check If I can do something for you. I then went inside and explained the situation to my grandma, who told me to attend them as everything was already prepared and it would be just heating the food. Her: Well, are you going to give us a table or not? If the kitchen is closed, how is it that those people are eating.
At this point, she pointed at my grandpas. At the moment, I thought she was behaving like that because she was kind of hungry. I wasn’t really used to dealing with rude people, as the majority of tourists used to be really respectful. Me: Well those are the owners, so they can eat whenever they want. (I said this while laughing a bit). Anyway, I have just asked them and you will be able to eat too, so please follow me to your table.
They follow me to the table and I explain to them that there is only one menu. They give me a strange look but they seem OK with that. I serve them the bread and I put a bottle of water on the table. They start devouring the bread so my “They were a bit rude cause they were hungry” theory seemed to be confirmed. I was so, so wrong.
As soon as I bring the starter, the dad demands to have the Wi-Fi password. Him: Hey, we see that there is a Wi-Fi network, what’s is the password? Me: Yes, there is one. However, the Wi-Fi is for the staff’s personal use. (We had a measured and reeeeally slow connection that my grandpa used for checking some newspapers and my brother and I used for sending Whatsapps to our friends). Him: That’s ridiculous! We are paying customers and we deserve to have access to your Wi-Fi!
Mom: Yes, our little angel wants to watch some videos. We don’t have any kind of internet access here! Me: Sorry, but as I have said it’s for personal use. Mom: That’s not right, this would be unacceptable in America. Me: Well, I’m sorry to inform you that we are not in America. The mom tells something to the kid and he starts running around the restaurant, stomping his feet and shouting
My great-grandpa comes to me and asks me what is happening, I explain the whole situation to him and he asks me to please translate what he is going to say. Him: Please lady control your child, or I will have to ask you three to leave. Her: DON’T YOU DARE TELL ME HOW TO RAISE MY CHILD YOU DINOSAUR! Father: DON’T GET CLOSE TO MY CHILD YOU OLD CREEP! By this point, everyone is of course looking with disbelief to these morons.
I hesitate for a second, but translate all of this to my great-grandpa, expecting a not really nice reaction. Instead of saying anything, he slowly turns around and asks two men who are sitting at a table to take the whole family out of his restaurant. I proceed to explain to the family that if they don’t get out, those two men, who also happened to be police officers, would be taking them out.
They don’t seem to believe that those two men were officers and they refused to leave until we served them. Finally, both men stood up, showed their plaques, and asked them (in their best English) to leave. They finally stand up and leave. However, as they were leaving the officers realized that they had parked in front of our garage, blocking it.
At that point, they decided to ask for their rental car papers while taking a couple of photos and giving them a fine for blocking a private property garage.
37. Something’s Fishy
I’m allergic to fish/seafood. It’s not the anaphylactic type of allergy, thank goodness, so I’m not going to die if I eat some, but I do throw up, have a stomach ache, and a massive headache for a few hours. Enough fish/seafood and I break out in small red hives over my arms. My mother didn’t believe it and as a child, I couldn’t stand up to her properly.
She’d force me to eat stuff with seafood or fish in it to “prove” I wasn’t allergic, then ignore me as I was sick. One day, she held a dinner party. I was dressed up beautifully and trotted out to parade before the guests. At the time, I was about nine, precocious for my age, and absolutely fed up with my mother making me sick from food.
When she held out a fish cutlet (fish cooked with vegetables, rolled into a ball, covered in batter and fried) for me to eat, I saw my chance. Me, loudly: “I can’t eat that, I’m allergic to fish.” Mother: “No, you’re not. Eat it.” Me: “I am allergic! I’ll throw up!” No Asian mother will back down in front of guests for fear of looking like she can’t discipline her child.
So my mother grabbed the fish cutlet, shoved it to my mouth, and said in her most firm voice of command, “EAT.” So I ate it. Cut to about ten minutes later. I go up to my mother and tug on her sari to get attention. Me: “I don’t feel well—” BARF. I vomited on her, on the expensive carpet, and in full view of all the guests. My mother has a reputation for being a kind, generous, charitable, and very religious woman, so in front of all the guests, she couldn’t do anything except act sympathetic and send me off to bed to recover.
She never made me eat fish or seafood again.
38. Adults Only
I attended an adult-only wedding for a co-worker a few days ago. The actual ceremony was in a very small church, so it was mostly family and close friends but the reception was for roughly 250 people. The reception was at a very elegant hotel ballroom. Not child-friendly in any way. Crystal stemware, expensive linens on the table, etc.
About 1/2 hour into the reception, a commotion started that made everyone stare. This entitled mother is arguing with the wedding planner loudly. Me being the nosy broad that I am, I inched closer to hear. It turns out this woman brought her four young children to the reception even though the invitations clearly stated Adults Only.
The entitled mother insisted that her kids—the oldest one looked eight and the youngest was under a year old—were super well-behaved so it was fine. Now keep in mind this was around 7:30 pm. The planner was having none of it. She insisted that children were not allowed and she had to leave. In a last ditch effort to get admitted, the mother shouted at the bride.
The bride went over and listened to her for a moment, and then said in a syrupy sweet voice, “Of course you can come in, but your children cannot.” Then she turned on her heel and went back to her new husband. The mother flipped a nut, yelling about how she was invited, couldn’t find a babysitter, etc. Three of the groomsmen took her and her kids to the door.
39. Our HOA President Was Trash
We had left our garbage can out because we were out of town. Our neighbor was to move it back for us but forgot. We got a nasty letter from the HOA president. However, we had almost instant karma just one week later. We were walking our dog around the complex when the same president was passed out behind the wheel of his running car in front of his garage. Of course, we didn’t want him to croak of possible carbon monoxide poisoning, so we called the authorities, who gave him a DUI.
40. The Grass Is Always Greener
During a major drought, with watering prohibited by law, the HOA decided it simply had to take drastic measures against any grass turning anything other than bright green. So, they hired a company that spraypaints your grass to make it look healthier than it is. The way this was being rolled out was that the HOA was hiring the company, and we were being required to all chip in for the shared cost separate from our regular maintenance fee.
This alone had a ton of people up in arms, but it got so much worse. There was also the very real concern that this wouldn’t be healthy for our pets and kids. The spinsters on our HOA board didn’t care about anything other than power tripping and cats. After repeated assurances that it was totally safe for dogs and kids alike, the first family got their lawn treated.
They were handed a list of dos and don’ts, such as making absolutely no contact with the lawn for 48 hours, taking your kids to the hospital if they put the grass in their mouth, etc. The family threw a fit and promptly called everyone else, including physically going to their neighbor as the guy was preparing to do the next lawn. Everyone in the HOA told the guy he was not allowed to treat their lawns.
The guy then insisted that his being hired by the HOA trumped anyone’s right to turn him away. The HOA threw an absolute fit and threatened to fine nearly everyone with some ridiculously excessive amount upwards of $10,000 for failure to comply with this mandatory lawn greening. The board was able to get away with so much for so long because they held their meetings during the workday because they were retirees.
But at the next meeting, people showed up in force. The HOA board told them that it didn’t matter, they were the board, and everyone could suck it. However, everyone under the age of 90 in my HOA was a young professional, including nearly a dozen lawyers of various specialties. It took about a minute for someone to point out that our bylaws allowed for the recall and election of a new board if a special quorum was reached.
The HOA needed a quorum of something four to conduct business, but if more than 40% of the residents were at a meeting, they could force a vote to recall the board and elect new officers. We did. They were all recalled, and new officers were elected. The HOA meetings were moved to weekends. We also amended the bylaws to make everyone in the HOA a member of a committee that gave everyone more of a say in these things.
41. Hardly A Stroke Of Genius
My HOA decided that my trim needed to be painted RIGHT NOW. They threatened me with a $100 a month fine if it wasn’t. The trouble was that it was January, and I lived near Chicago. As I was buying the paint, the salesperson kept telling me that the paint won’t dry. It will just freeze and fall off within six months. I was selling in the spring anyway, so I didn’t care. I painted the trim at a temperature of 7°F.
42. Flooded With Complaints
I went away for a long weekend and left after work on a Thursday. Late Friday afternoon, my water heater burst and flooded my entire townhouse. When my neighbor got home from work, he saw gallons of water running from underneath my garage door. When he realized I wasn’t home, he tried to find my phone number, and when he couldn’t, he called the HOA to notify me.
The lady that answered said that since it was “after business hours—it was 5:01 at that point— the matter would have to wait until Monday.” My wonderful neighbor ended up calling the non-emergency line, and they came and shut my water off from the street. When I got home Sunday morning, I couldn’t believe my eyes. My entire house was damaged, and I could see my attic from my basement.
After severe panic and a frantic call to my insurance company, we started the process of repairs. I needed to have a dumpster placed in my driveway and a moving pod to remove what was left of my furniture while they began drying out the house. I got a visit from the HOA. They didn’t like how “unsightly” my home had become and wanted these items removed from my driveway.
I essentially told them that they could take their complaints and shove ’em. I was able to get a little revenge as well because I stopped paying their fees. They couldn’t fine me before six months had passed and I was moving in less than five. I’ll never own another home with an HOA ever again.
43. Get A Whiff Of This
When we moved in, we got permission to build a fence. They said cedar-treated pine was fine. Well, a neighbor didn’t like that and called the HOA. We got an email shortly after that from the HOA president that there were some concerns about our wood. So, he came by real quick to give it a good sniff to see if it was, in fact, not cedar.
44. Micro-Managing Morons
Our HOA hired a management company to run the day-to-day business. That meant that a guy would ride around taking pictures of petty stuff and mailing offenses to homeowners. I had so many quarrels over nothing. The HOA didn’t have any teeth behind the infringements since the bylaws didn’t allow fines. Somebody came up with the bright idea to start imposing fines to ensure compliance.
That was when I ran for and won the vice presidency of the board. Another gentleman who was fed up with this nonsense ran and won as well. We didn’t have the power to dissolve the HOA, but we decided the next best thing was to paralyze it. Without us in attendance, the board could never reach a quorum to conduct business, and they never did.
45. Newlywed Nightmare
My husband and I were getting our first apartment. It was the beginning of August in South Florida. On the day we moved in, we saw a letter posted for the HOA stating that someone had to be present in our unit while the workers would be there to work on the central cooling unit. It was no big deal, as I had the ability to work from home sometimes, so I did.
At the end of those two days, we were told that the project “was bigger than expected” and found out exactly what was happening. They were replacing the piping of all 22 units in our complex. Our bedroom closet had one of the two access points to the roof. That roof access was utilized 24 days out of August, anywhere from 1–14 hours a day. We spent the entire first month of our marriage alongside repairmen.
46. A Case Of Mistaken Identity
When we were privately renting in a townhome community, the dumpster had video surveillance so that the HOA could fine anyone breaking the rules as far as what we were allowed to dump. One day, my significant other and I got a call from our property manager alerting us that the HOA had fined us $250 for unlawful dumping.
After racking our brains about what we could have possibly thrown out that wasn’t allowed, we decided to call up the HOA to see if we could see the video. They would either transfer us to someone else that would hang up, their hours would change to where no one would answer the phone, or they’d promise to get the video to us the next day, etc.
This went on for about two weeks. Finally, my significant other got to see the video while I was at work. I texted him to find out what was on it, and he said the video was of a middle-aged Asian lady throwing out a bunch of furniture. It was the stupid property owner’s freaking wife.
47. Burn Baby, Burn
I wanted to tear out a bunch of evergreen bushes that ran alongside my house. We tore them out and were debating on whether to burn them on-site or put them in a burn pile that I knew about 10 miles or so away. I opted just to burn them right there. I had an open area next to my house that was about the size of a single lot.
We put the bushes in the open and ran a garden hose out to the area in case it spread. Then, I decided that I should get a burn permit. So I printed one and took it to my fire station to be signed. I came back and put the burn permit on my steps and set the fire. The bushes were fairly green, so they didn’t want to burn aside from the initial flame up. I needed some accelerant.
I ran to the store and grabbed some cheap lighter fluid. I returned, and my buddy told me that some HOA person came by and told us that we couldn’t burn things. He said that he didn’t care and was calling the fire department. About then, I heard the fire trucks getting closer. The HOA guy pulled up to see what transpired. The fire truck pulled up and saw us doing everything right. They turned off the lights and sirens and waved at us. The HOA guy peeled out and left.
48. It Was A Matter Of Record
My family was in the service, so we moved around every four years and lived primarily in base housing until we moved from Georgia to Michigan. My parents moved into a nice subdivision that was an offshoot of an even nicer subdivision. There were no signs for our subdivision, but with the lot size and general attitude of neighbors and their own lawns, you could tell the difference.
After graduating high school, my parents decided to move around the corner to the nicer subdivision. This is where the trouble began. That subdivision had a lake, so you were either a lake person or not. The board for the subdivision had a clear plan, creating a park-like atmosphere, and had recently begun implementing decisions based on aesthetics and some newish bylaws they had enacted.
The problem was that these bylaws affected my parents’ plan to put a fence and pool in their backyard. The bigger problem was that they enacted the bylaws incorrectly and never recorded them. By then, my mother had gotten her law degree. So, when they posted a cease and desist notice for our backyard renovations, my mom called them on it. The HOA declared they would tear down our fence, but my parents weren’t having any of it.
This board was simply being implacable. In Michigan, you have to have a fence if you want a pool. It’s a safety thing. The people with lake houses didn’t need fences and thought they were offensive and against their park aesthetic. So, my parents offered to put up a really nice fence, but they still refused. Other people had similar issues with the board, offering many solutions only to be denied.
It was clear this power-tripping board just didn’t want fences and thought they had the power to decide. It got so bad that another homeowner lost a sale of their house because a new buyer with small children couldn’t get approval for any kind of fence for their wooded lot. After hearing other’s horror stories and seeing the pushback from the board, my parents decided on the nuclear approach.
Construction on an expensive white vinyl fence began, finished, and the pool equipment was on the way when we received the stop order notice. They even went and hired an attorney to “put a stop to us.” This attorney invited everyone to a sit-down. They rented out a boardroom at a local eatery. My dad said he didn’t want anything to do with this and asked that I go with my mom to provide backup.
Not realizing what I was about to witness, I blithely agreed and showed up in my polo and cargo pants. Everyone else was in suits and ties. The full board of old angry dudes was sitting there waiting for us when we arrived. My mom sat down. They start talking about costs and how they had to hire a lawyer, and how she would have to pay for that because she created the problem.
My mother just cut them off and said, “What makes you think you have any right to impose this rule?” They all turned to their attorney, who replied, “Um, Miss, Ma’am, we had a vote.” Then my mom took out the recorded bylaws and flopped them on the table, and said, “Really? Because it’s not in here.” There was an awkward moment of silence as they searched through their papers.
My mom, seeing the opportunity, pounced: “See, what I think happened is you had a vote, but it was wrong. These bylaws require a majority of the lots to vote in favor of a change to be made. You had a majority of the votes cast, not a majority of the total lots. So what you really had was a plurality, and that vote never passed. You can see the rules for voting here,” and she pointed to the page.
But she wasn’t finished. “And you can see that the rule was never changed in the official bylaws either. Probably because it never passed. And now, NONE of you have bothered to even read or follow the bylaws, and you’re trying to impose them on me. Well, I can tell you THAT’S not gonna happen. Thank you, gentleman. I will not be paying a dime for any of this or your attorney, have a good day.”
Then she got up, looked at me to get up, and we marched out. They actually had the gall to try to hand her an invoice for the lawyer as she walked out, and she just waved it off. That was the day I knew I wanted to be a lawyer. Serving fools like that, my mom showed me what it was to stand up to those who had let power go to their head.
49. On The Edge
A lady demanded that I call her a manager today. She wanted to complain about how some items did not have a price on them while others did. She started interrogating me about pricing protocol, but I was on SCO duty today. Though, since I’d never seen her in the store before, I lied and said that I had nothing to do with stocking.
The manager arrived and Queen Karen launched into a full-fledged rant. Then, while she was at the counter complaining, she added a very hand-flailing, gestured complaint that the counter edges were too rough and sharp. She went as far as to say she was lucky that she did not injure herself, otherwise she would have called the health board. I wipe that counter down probably 200 times every day.
I assure you, there is nothing sharp about it because I would be among the first to raise a concern about it if there was. The employees where I work are very aware of how something small like a sharp edge on a cart can end up with a potential lawsuit in this crazy economic and opportunistic climate in which we live right now.
My manager handled it well, but the other associates and I couldn’t stop laughing about it all shift. Their loud proclamations about how such-and-such—mostly random things like the color scheme, etc.—could have been fatal for us were just absurd.
50. Make Way
So, I work at a grocery store chain and Tuesdays are what we refer to as “Specials Day.” Basically, it’s my job to change out last week’s special with the current week’s special. It is a long and painful project that I volunteered for when I got promoted because I like doing projects that other people do not.
That day, I was doing my thing in the specials aisle. I started getting gradually more and more annoyed since the whole process would be three times faster if they just let me do it when the store was closed, but, for some baffling reason, they wanted the customers to interact with me as I was occupied with 10 pallets of random things.
Near the end of my ninth pallet, I had myself basically pinned into a corner of the aisle. This was a strong nonverbal language that should have signaled to the customers, “Hey, maybe don’t walk this way. I’ll have to step around my pallet, move my pallet jack, and reset myself if you do.” But lo and behold, trouble was headed my way—a lady came walking down the aisle, approaching me at the end.
I am a chill guy, but I don’t really talk much to the customers because my store is in an upper-class area and the wealthy folks don’t like getting spoken to by some sweaty dude in a uniform. So, when she kept walking towards me, I realized that she was going to try and walk around my pallet or, God forbid, walk on it.
I quickly moved my jack and the pallet and looked up at the ceiling, questioning God for creating oblivious customers. Apparently, that look at the ceiling really truly infuriated her. At first, as she walked through the suddenly clear path, she apologized half-heartedly in that way only some types of customers can pull off.
But her apology read more like “Oh, I am sorry wage person. I sure hope I didn’t inconvenience you with my presence.” I nodded my head at her “apology” and turned back to move my jack and pallet back to where I was working. Apparently, not only did she expect me to move, but she also really expected me to graciously tell her it was no problem that she made me move my entire working station so she could save 15 steps.
Between not accepting her apology and looking at the ceiling for about three milliseconds, she decided right then and there that I was a menace and needed a talking to. She started with the basic criticism of me being a retail grunt who didn’t have a big fake grin on my face the entire day. She topped it off with the classic line that always gets my blood boiling: “I do not think you should be working here if that is going to be your attitude.”
She said that while looking at me like I was an animal in a zoo exhibit. I did not reply and just kept working. “What’s the worst that can happen?” I thought. I cannot please everyone. Then she got in line. Now, the line to the checkout is situated about 10 feet from where I was working. At that point, the villain, in her mind, had her walkway obstructed.
She went out of her way to loudly criticize me and complain about how I should not be allowed to work at the store. Now, I will be honest with you, I should have just let her have her moment. If I had let her just screech and complain, it probably would have ended there. Maybe a phone call or strongly worded email to corporate. No biggie. I should have just smiled and kept working.
But there was a part of me that needed her to know that yelling at customers about how terrible I am is not how we did things at our store. So, I told her, calm as I could, that she needed to stop making a scene. And when I say something snapped in this woman, it was like someone hit a light switch. Immediately, her phone was recording me and everything got a lot more dangerous.
She was asking leading questions like, “Did you just tell me I can’t talk to other customers?” and “Do you think you have the right to break my first amendment?” and “Who’s the manager here?” Now, there are two things you can do when someone gets their phones out and records you. You can walk away, potentially get followed, and then you can ask them to stop recording.
Or you can be a fool like me and ask them to stop recording you right away. The latter method, naturally, led to her screaming even louder and accusing me of being a terrible person. She randomly started threatening me, saying that she could have me fired whenever she wanted. At that point, I was just trying to get her to leave.
She had made the scene worse by recording and trying to be the next viral “look at how bad I was treated” internet star, and it was clear that she just wanted to capture my angry reaction on film. I am glad to report that I did not get angry with her. I did not raise my voice at all. I just stood there and let her scream at me. As she finally finished paying for her groceries, I asked her again to please leave if she was going to continue making a scene.
This led to her sitting behind the cashiers and between the doors and waiting for me to walk away so that she could leave. I informed her that I needed to see her leave. She said that she was not leaving until I was out of her sight. I stood my ground and told her that she needed to leave or I would be forced to call the authorities.
Oh, God. She had the wrong reaction to that statement. Most of the time, if someone says, “Hey, this might need to become an official matter,” the natural human reaction is to reevaluate what they are doing and decide if they want to continue. For reasons only God knows, this customer’s reaction was “Good, call them. I want them here.”
Here’s the thing. I was not ever going to call them. It was a bottomless threat. What was I going to say to them? “There is a lady screaming at me and recording me?” Worst case scenario, this woman makes the whole situation into some kind of bigger issue and I end up on the news. So, my bluff having been called, I walked into the office and called my direct manager.
I told her what had happened and she basically told me to get back out there and deescalate the situation. I went back to the registers and I actually decided that the best course of action was to tuck tail and just apologize. So, I did. I said to her, “I’m really sorry you had a bad experience today. I hope you can come back and shop here. I understand what went wrong and I will gladly give you corporate’s information.” And then I told her to have a good day, indicating the door as I said that.
She sort of accepted my apology. Of course, she still went on about how I was terrible and how I should not work there, but at least she calmed down a little…until she mentioned she was an “investigator.” Not seeing a uniform or a badge, I asked her what I thought to be a natural and reasonable question.
I asked, “An investigator for who?” Her exact reply was, “Do not play stupid. You know what kind of investigator.” Then she went on to say that she was going to call corporate, let them know that I was only harassing her because she was an immigrant (which was ironic since I am an immigrant too) and that I should expect not to have a job in the next 24 hours.
I just sat there and took it. There was nothing else I could do, really. Sometimes you just have to let them screech so they will leave. As she finally turned to leave, she noticed that I was watching her. So, she came back and said that I could not watch her leave because I was “going to attack” her outside.
I clammed up even more at that comment. As a final shot, she told me that she had “the means to retaliate” in her car and that she’d “gladly use it” if I come outside. She finally left and I called my boss, breaking down in tears of pure frustration, telling her how the de-escalation went. My boss assured me that she was just a crazy lady and that she, my boss, would have my back if this turned into a bigger deal.
51. Showering The Troubles Away
I am a shift manager two days a week and a cashier for three at a truck stop and rest area. We have fast-food restaurants, showers, parking for big rigs, and passenger vehicles. Today’s troubles, like most of the trouble I encounter, revolved around showers. A driver came down, plopped his wet towels on the counter (even after my cashier directed him to a towel bin), and then threw his key onto the pile.
The cashier asked him, again, to place the towels in the bin. He finally grabbed them and said, “Oh, so you guys do not have to touch them.” I replied, “Yes, policies have changed some due to the pandemic.” In truth, that has been the policy for at least the three years I have worked there, but this seemed to be the quickest way to resolve the matter.
My cashier asked him what shower he was in, and instead of speaking, he held up the numbered key. Though, his finger was blocking the number, so we could not see what it was. When my cashier reached for it, he raised it higher so he had to stretch to get it. At that point, I was starting to get really irritated. His behavior was just so unnecessary.
I told the driver, “Way to make it complicated.” This man lost his mind. He got right into my face and said he would slap me hard. I told him to leave, and he started flexing like he was actually going to throw a punch but said, “I’m not going to go for you. But want to know what I will do? I will find your family and mess them up.”
I pulled my cellphone out and started recording. The store manager then arrived at the building and heard the tail end of our shouting match with each other. He stepped in between us when the driver came too close. The driver started shouting at him, ” Don’t get involved, bro. You don’t want none of this.” My boss replied, “This is my property.”
The driver calmed down very quickly, and they stepped outside. My boss told him exactly the same things I had; that he was not to return, etc. The end. Fast forward to the end of my shift—we had yet another driver issue. So, the policy for our showers is that we hold onto something as collateral until we get the shower key and the towels back. 99% of the time, it’s a non-issue.
The other 1% of the time, it’s a mess. This time, a driver came down, and since my cashier had a few people in line, I thought to ask the driver if he had brought the towels down. The driver said that he had not because he had not been told to do so. The cashier clarified that they had, in fact, told him. The driver just shrugged and said, “I don’t care, man. I have a Lyft outside waiting. Give me my keys.”
He had left his personal keys as collateral, but since we did not get our items back, I told him he would have to get the towels. He became belligerent to both me and my cashier. At that point, the overnight manager was in, so he got some too. This went on for a few moments; then, in what I thought was a bluff, he said he was calling the authorities.
Spoiler alert, it was not a bluff. Like the guy at the start of my shift, I started recording on my phone. And this guy actually threatened me. After about seven minutes or so, a couple of officers arrived. The guy was belligerent with them too, and he pushed the cashier to the point where they told him he needed to back up and calm down.
One of the troopers came to the back desk where we dealt with the showers. The driver, at that point, looked like he was about to break down in tears. The trooper asked about our policy, and it was explained. The driver told him what he told us, “I am here for a shower. In and out. I do not have time for this. I have a Lyft outside. I just want my keys.”
In what I thought would be the best moment of my day, the trooper escorted him upstairs to the showers and made him get the towels. We gave him his keys and receipt for the shower, but I added that after today, we did not want him back on the property. The trooper and the driver walked away, but the trooper made sure that he acknowledged what he had been told.
He asked him, “Did you hear what the manager said? You’re not welcome here anymore. If you return, you will be charged with trespassing.” I left a note for my boss about what had happened and went home. If the driver had simply said, “Oh sorry, guys. I forgot,” or if he just didn’t act the way he did, then we would have just given his things back. But he wanted to be petty about it.
I am better at the petty game. My takeaway from today is that my boss is pretty awesome. He had my back, stepped between me and a guy who audibly threatened to harm me and others. He probably will not appreciate that I let the second incident go as far as it ended up going but it is what it is. Sometimes, in retail, you just have to defend yourself.
52. Hung Out To Dry
My friend’s HOA was insane. They actually used rented surveying equipment to determine that his clothesline was one inch taller than his fence and fined him several hundred dollars for breaking the “structure beyond the fence” rule they had. The same HOA had someone walking around actually measuring the length of the grass with a ruler and issuing warnings for mowing.
53. Lawn Jerk
When I was a kid, my dad’s appendix ruptured, and he was in the hospital for almost a month. My mom was with him most of the time, and my siblings and I bounced around between my grandparents’ and friends’ houses. About a week and a half into his hospital stay, we got a notice from the HOA that our lawn was overgrown and that we would be fined if it wasn’t mowed ASAP. My mom called the president to explain the situation, and her response was, “There are plenty of lawn care companies in the area that you can hire if you are unable to make time to take care of it yourself.”
54. Grand Theft Grandma
I am currently pregnant with my first child, and both my mom and stepdad have been terrible to me and my partner the entire time. They told us we would be unfit parents because we aren’t married yet, and legitimately screamed at my partner for “knocking up their little girl” even though we planned the pregnancy. They would call him every day and harass him, and even show up to his work.
They try to convince him to leave me so I would have no choice but to move back in with them. It got worse as time went on, and I finally decided to cut contact with them. Having a child can already be a stressful time, and having them around to make it worse was not something I was okay with. My partner and I have gone through a lot with family drama the past couple of years and having this baby has been one of the most exciting things for us.
If my parents can’t be nice to my partner, then they don’t get to see our baby. One day I sent my mom a very detailed email of why she is not allowed to be a part of my life anymore and will not be seeing her grandchild. To make things even better, I also noted that we will be moving across the country shortly after she is born to be closer to other family members.
So not only is she cut off, but we are literally moving far away and never coming back. Her reply chilled me to the bone. She responds by showing up at our house at 11 pm, screaming outside our door about how it is her baby and she deserves to be there for it. I tell her to screw off and eventually, she leaves. Months go by and she will text me randomly asking about technical problems with her Wi-Fi router or something.
Little things like that don’t mean much to me, so I sent her the info she needed. My cousin also had a virtual baby shower and sent my invitation to my mom’s house accidentally, so my mom came by to give it to me. Things slowly came to a point that we were fairly amicable with each other, but I still stood my ground about our boundaries and nothing else had changed.
She knew this. Then she sends me a video today that blew my mind. She redecorated her entire guest room to be a nursery. Crib, changing table, $400-worth of newborn clothes, toy chest, stroller, a car seat for her car, and the list goes on. In the video, she is in tears saying “I can’t believe my baby is going to be here soon, this is where she will sleep, where I will change her little diapers, these will be her toys.”
Is she psychotic!? HER baby?? Sleeping and living at HER house?? What!? So I call her up immediately and I reiterate that we are still moving across the country soon and that she will have no contact with the baby before that. Her response? “Oh okay, we will see about that!” Genuinely confused. What part of “you will have no contact with this baby” does she not understand or thinks will change in the next few weeks when she is born?
Is she planning on taking her from us? I am at a loss for words.
55. If You Know, You Know
I’m home from college, and my parents require me to have a summer job. I’m blessed enough that I get to keep all the money I earn, my parents just like me to work to gain experience. This will be relevant later, but I’m not a skinny girl. I wouldn’t consider myself large either, I’m 5’6” tall and weigh about 140-145 lbs. right now and carry most of it in my hips and thighs.
The freshman 15 did hit me hard though, as I used to be 120ish. So today after finishing my last online final, my dad called me. He told me that one of his friends who runs a company texted him that they were looking for girls to work in the office, answering phones and stuff. I got excited because that’s exactly what I wanted, so I put on a dress, printed a copy of my résumé, and drove down.
The ladies inside were super nice and asked me to fill out an application, so I sat down to do so. We’re in the South which might be relevant, because typically for jobs like this they’re looking for a “pretty face” to sit behind the counter and talk to customers. This is unspoken, though. Yes, it’s awful but hey, I needed a job. So, as I’m filling out an application, this entitled mom enters with her teenage daughter.
She announces that she’s here about the opening and her daughter would like to apply. The one receptionist explains that she’ll need to fill out an application and hands her one and a pen. They come to sit in the lobby, right beside me, which I thought was weird but I didn’t say anything. Mom (to me): “Are you here for the job as well?” Me: “Yes ma’am.” Mom: “Hmph.” You know, that little cocky sound people make? I ignored her and went up to ask the receptionist a question about the application.
When I returned and sat back down, the mother walked up to the desk. Mom: “Does my daughter even really need to fill this out?” Receptionist: “It’s protocol. The boss will look at all the applications and decide who to call for an interview.” Mom: “Is he here? I’m sure if he could see my daughter, he’d know who he wanted to call, ha!”
Receptionist: “He is, but he isn’t seeing visitors right now.” Mom: “How will he know who to hire if he doesn’t know what the girls look like?” Receptionist: “Well, he will need to see their references and will make a few calls before he—” Mom: “No. My daughter is an aspiring model. She won [insert local pageant] in 2019. He needs to see her to know she’s the face he wants to see behind the counter interacting with customers.”
Receptionist: “I’m not sure what you mean? This isn’t a modeling job, looks don’t really matter…” Mom: “Oh I know, but they do. And let’s face it, your boss isn’t going to want” —at this point, she leans in closer— “a chubby girl up here, is he?” This whole time, the daughter is smirking at me in glances as she fills out her application.
This caught the attention of the second receptionist as well as me, and we both looked up at this point. Other receptionist: “Ma’am, I’m not sure I know what you mean.” Mom: “Oh, no disrespect, I just know the boss personally and know he’d prefer a new pretty face around the office. Maybe I’m a little biased, but I think there’s no question between my daughter and, well, this young lady for example. No offense honey, just trying to save you some time.”
At this point, I’m in tears. I don’t know if it was rage or the sting of her insult, but either way, I was NOT going to let her see me cry, so I quickly got up and handed my application to the first receptionist before trying to leave. Second receptionist (who is a plus-sized woman): “Sweetie, wait.” (talking to me) (turning to the mom) “You say you know the boss personally, right?”
Mom: “Oh, yes, we went to high school together.” Second receptionist: “And you know him so well that you know he’d prefer a skinny woman behind this desk?” Mom: “Well, I didn’t say that, but I’d assume so.” This is when the hammer dropped down. Second receptionist: “Great. Well, I’m his wife and I’ve worked behind this desk for almost 15 years now, and as you can see I could probably drop a few, and I take personal offense to what you’re saying about my husband and this young lady, so I’d like you to wait in the car while your daughter fills out her application.”
Both the mom and the daughter stormed out at that point, with the daughter taking her application, so I don’t know if she’ll apply or not. But, both women behind the counter told me that the mom was a witch and they’d vouch for me with the boss, so I’m hopeful that I got the job!
56. In The Dog House
So I’m a 20-year-old woman and I work as a dog groomer. I’ve been one for four, almost five years. The big thing in dog grooming is reputation, quality, and time management. Yesterday, we were expecting a girl to come in at 10:00 to try out as a dog groomer. She was promising, 23 or 25 years old, and had worked as a dog groomer at other places.
She didn’t show till 4:30. No call. No nothing. She apparently had a hair appointment and friends from out of town came in so they got their nails done. She asked if she could groom now. I said no, I don’t think so. When she pressed, I said (and I might be a jerk for saying this): “We don’t want or need you. There’s no need to reschedule your try-out.”
I went back to get my last two dogs done. Apparently, she cried and I was starting to feel bad. Then came the entitled mother. Her mom came in this morning demanding we give her a second chance. I told her, “Your daughter was six and a half hours late. That’s not something that works in dog grooming.” The mom replied, “She was with friends. I’d think someone your age would understand that.”
Me: “Not when there’s a job interview. She didn’t call or anything.” At this point, I was ticked and over it. I have five dogs to get done. She said, “Well, there was no reason to make her cry!” I said I disagree and got back to work. Apparently, she stayed up there and demanded we give her another shot. As head dog groomer I said, not gonna happen. She left eventually, saying her daughter was too good for us.
57. Holy Roller
I’m in a DnD group with a couple of friends from nearby, and one of the members of the group was a kid who was about 15 years old. He’s a really sweet kid, likes helping other people out, and he’s a BIG fan of Dungeons and Dragons. He also has cancer in both of his lungs. He’s from a religious family that basically forces him to act pure while he’s in their sight.
The mom is practically rabid, while the dad is just a sensible person who just tries to get him to be a good kid. When he’s out of sight of his parents, he just does normal teen stuff. Because of his mom, the only books he was allowed to own were Christian books and bibles. He joined our group mainly as a way to escape his home life and his mom.
A couple of weeks ago, the cancer in his lungs started to get to him, so he was taken to a hospital by his parents. He contacted me about this a day after he was taken to the hospital, stating that he wanted a Monster Manual as his last wish, and saying that he was tired of reading the same things. I bought him the book from Barnes and Noble, but considering that he’s a dying teen, I got him Volo’s Guide to Monsters and Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes stacked on top of that.
The next day, which was his birthday, he was still in the hospital, so I brought him the books as a gift. After he blew out the candles, we had cake and he started opening gifts. Mine was the first to be opened. Seeing what they were, he immediately got this humongous grin on his face and hugged me. Meanwhile, his mom stared down at the books with a look of pure disgust, with her husband staring at her with this wary look in his eyes.
She picks up one of the books, relights one of the candles, and HOLDS THE BOOK over it to try and set it on fire. I manage to stop her and demand “What are you doing?! He asked me to get those books and I’m not going to let you take them away!” His mom simply stared me down and said something along the lines of the books being “sinful,” “satanic,” and full of evil and that her son had no business with them.
I retort and say that her son can read what he wants and that she shouldn’t have to force him to be Christian. She starts getting red in the face and yelling at me about essentially forcing children to believe in God from a young age. I state that I’m a Baptist (which I actually am) and say that faith in God is a matter between God and the individual.
She turns red all over and actively starts to try and destroy the books again, with me, my friend, and her husband trying to stop her. At one point, I shouted “WOULD GOD WANT YOU TO DO THIS? TO RESTRICT YOUR DYING SON’S FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION?!” right in her face. This just sets her ablaze. She tosses the books aside and starts trying to STRANGLE her son.
Her husband calls security immediately when she does this. Security gets there within about a minute of the two of us trying to pry her off of her son and drag her away, with her shouting that we’re all “catamites to the devil.” Both her husband and my friend charge her with assault and attempted murder. The trial’s still going.
58. The Fake HOA
The fake HOA in our neighborhood started off as a neighborly gesture. Dues were cheap, and the money was spent on clearing the roads, some spring dumpsters, and a Summer BBQ. Then the bored housewife who had nothing better to do became president of the HOA. That’s when things went south. They started holding elections and meetings and, of course, raised the HOA fee by 200%.
She talked about new street signs, new roads, and gates into the neighborhood entrance. Our home was the original property back in the 1940s. There were no common areas, no neighborhood pool, park, or trails—NOTHING. I refused to pay or be any part of the little HOA club. So, she called me as I was “past due” on my HOA fees.
I politely told her that there was no HOA in our area, and that was why we bought the home. She asked if we used the roads, and I said, “Yes, of course.” Her response was, “ Well, you need to pay to use my roads.” I told her, “I do. It’s called property tax,” and I asked her NEVER to contact me again.
59. Powered Up
On one Saturday afternoon, we had a power surge followed by an outage. It affected all of downtown, but the store was not notified. Now, you would think that people would be understanding…but there was not one empathetic soul in our store that day. People started complaining that we did not have a backup generator. This was, in their eyes, totally the employees’ fault too.
We had one register that could still ring, but the card reader was down, so it was cash only. And the belts would not move. All of this should be obvious, but no. We got questions like, “You mean I can’t use my bank card?” despite the fact that we had been repeating that for the last 20 minutes. Add to the mix this one lovely man who kept shouting, “Time to get out the pencils and paper!” because we most definitely know the price of every item in the store.
We finally got everyone out, locked the doors, and put stuff away to enjoy 30 minutes of bliss. The instant the power went back on, people were beating on the door. My manager told them everything had to reboot but, of course, they wanted to shop during that time instead of waiting five more minutes.
60. Here We Go Around The Counter
I had a customer who was standing at the cash with items all over the counter, just staring at me. So, I sidled up and cashed them out. All of sudden, the customer left and started browsing the store some more. When he moseyed back up to the counter just moments later, I asked him if he was all set. He said nothing and went off again to look at something else.
Then, after some time, the customer stood impatiently before the register, proclaiming sourly, “Can I get some help over here? I’m ready to cash out.” It took everything in me to not give a bratty reaction. As I was ringing him up, I also got hit with the old, “No, I always get 10% off,” even though our item rewards system has literally been only 5% off for the past 10 years.
But no, this guy said he always gets a deal here. I had never seen the guy before in my life, but okay. Needless to say, they did not get the claimed discount.
61. Not A Know-it-all
This customer came in 10 minutes before closing. She was looking at jeans up until closing with the help of one of our newer staff members. He had been hired six months ago for the holiday season but received only one shift weekly. At closing, I told my coworker that we were closed, so he told the customer that he would have to bring the items to be cashed out.
The customer continued looking anyway. My coworker took me aside and spilled the truth about the situation—he told me that the guy was being aggressive and almost yelling at him to help. When he came up to the cash, he complained about not being able to find the jeans that he was looking for and said that my coworker should not have been hired because he did not know anything at all.
Bear in mind that my coworker normally works in our shoe department, so he does not know much about casual wear. He then wanted us to call another store in order to look for his size. It was five minutes after closing, so obviously, no one picked up. The cashier told him that, and he decided to ask for the manager as if that was going to do anything.
Since I am the shift leader, I was the acting manager. I turned around and asked him what he needed, and he started going on about how I needed to hire people with more experience. First of all, I don’t even hire people. Secondly, this was the kid’s first job—he was barely 16, and he was one of the nicest, most eager-to-please employees that we have.
I almost lost it at that customer. I told him not to talk about my employees like that. I do not even remember what else I said before my cashier jumped in to de-escalate the situation. Maybe I overreacted, but my coworker feels like the little brother at our store.
62. Meet Ugly
So for some context. I’m a 17-year-old male and I work at a Segway tour company. It’s actually really fun, I get to ride Segways around the city and talk to people, and get paid to do it. So anyway, there was a tour booked a couple of days ago and I came in about 20 minutes early to answer emails and get everything ready. The group shows up, mother and daughter, and that’s when things get interesting.
I check them in. ME: Alright I have some waivers for you to sign. Daughter, how old are you? D: Uh, 16. ME: Ok, then you don’t need to sign a waiver. I ask this because if kids are younger than 18, their parents sign the waivers for them, but the mom only heard me say the first part, not when I said the girl didn’t need to sign a waiver, so she thought I was just asking her daughter how old she was.
This was probably what started it all. We go on the tour, and while I’m giving my spiel, the mom keeps interrupting me to tell me stuff about the daughter and find out if we are compatible. ME: …and so this non-profit organization opened in— MOM: Are you in college? ME: No, I’m a junior in high school. I’m usually pretty free with information about myself on tours because it helps keep people relaxed and initiates conversations during lulls in the tour.
Plus it helps with tipping. MOM: Oh, my daughter is also a junior, she is an artist. Stuff like this keeps happening throughout the tour, and every time, the daughter gets redder and redder. My mom does this too where she just tells random mall attendants about me, so I know what the girl is going through and I feel her pain. At the end of the tour, I tell the two of them that they have 15 minutes to go around the town, and then they can meet me back at the Segway place.
I get back and start getting things set up for their return. They roll in (pardon the pun) and I take their Segways to start charging them. MOM: So what do you think of my daughter? ME: Pardon me, what? MOM: I saw you checking her out during the tour, are you gonna ask her out? D: Mom, stop! ME: Um, ma’am I just recently got out of a relationship and I’m really not looking for anything right now.
MOM: What!?!? ME: Huh? MOM: Is my daughter not good enough for you!? ME: No, that’s not it, I just said that I just got out of a relationship. Then it all took a very wild turn. MOM: You are going to date my daughter and that’s final! ME: You can’t tell me what to do. I’m not your kid, and if I don’t want to date your daughter, I don’t have to! Besides, you haven’t even asked her if she wants to date me.
D: Yeah, I don’t want to date him. ME: SEE?!? MOM: I’m going to call your boss and tell him about your terrible customer service! You’re never going to work here again! ME: (pulling out my phone) Alright, you want to call him and explain this situation? How you’re trying to force me to date your daughter and get me fired for saying no?
Then I guess the absurdity of the situation finally sunk in, and her face transitioned from pure rage to slight confusion. MOM: Wait, maybe I don’t want to— ME: No, let’s call him. (Start to go through my contacts, and press my boss’s name). Let’s have this conversation. MOM: I don’t think that’s a good idea— (Phone starts ringing)
MOM: Daughter, let’s go! She runs out the door, and the daughter turns to me and says “I’m sorry,” and then follows her mom. I hang up the phone before my boss answers and start cleaning the Segways.
63. Surf’s Up
I’m a surf instructor at a surf school on the beach. It was the end of the day, and I had just finished my final class. I’d done five hour-long classes in a row and I was covered in water and wet sand. Basically, I just wanted to get the thing off me and maybe go for a swim before I left the beach. I was in the surf shack we’re based in with three co-workers, who I’ll call Sam, Joe, and Mick.
Names changed but Sam in real life has an equally gender-neutral name. I texted my boyfriend, who confirmed he was five minutes away. I’d already finished my part of the closing up process, so while Sam put the closed sign on the door and locked up the filing cabinet and Joe and Mick sorted out the wetsuits and put the boards back in their holders, I left the boys to finish up and went to the changing area to strip off my wetsuit.
I’d gotten down to my tankini when I heard a loud, nasally, American-accented voice. EXCUSE ME? HELLO? SERVICE PLEASE? Seeing the boys were occupied, I pulled on my skirt and went to the door. This woman did not look like a stereotypical Karen. Long hair, tan, wearing a bikini with a big floppy beach hat and a sarong around her waist.
Her daughter was with her, looked around 10-12 years old, and like her mom’s Mini-Me, but she didn’t speak once during this encounter so I don’t know if she’s entitled or not. Me: Hi can I help you? Woman: You could start by putting some clothes on. My tankini is covering about the same amount of skin as a one-piece would, aside from a strip of exposed skin by my waist.
I’ll admit that the neckline is kind of low, but this woman is literally wearing a bikini, with way more exposed skin than me. And we’re in a surf shack. Me (customer service mode activated): I am very sorry, miss. Sam? Can you grab me my shirt, please? (he throws my tank top at me and I pull it on) Better? Woman: Not really. Is there anyone else who can take care of us?
Me: Sorry, my co-workers are a little busy right now, we’re closing up. Woman: Fine, I want to sign my daughter up for classes tomorrow. I start to talk her through the availability slots, when we can fit her kid in, prices and requirements. While I do this, I’m gesturing with my hands and leaning over the counter to point out some stuff on the sign-up sheet.
Woman (interrupting me): I’m sorry, don’t you have a sweatshirt or something? Keep in mind, it’s the middle of summer, in a heatwave, on a beach. Me (clinging to my customer service smile because I’m still technically on the clock): I’m sorry, no, I don’t. Would you like me to carry on? Woman: Is there no one else I could speak to? You’re making my daughter feel self-conscious.
Me (giving up on being polite): You’re making me feel self-conscious. It’s summer, it’s a beach, and it’s a heatwave. I do not have another shirt. Everything that needs to be covered is covered, and with all due respect, you’re wearing less than I am. Sam, wearing a t-shirt and denim shorts, hears all this and recognizes my tone as my “I’m about to snap” tone, so he looks at me, I nod at him, and he jumps in.
Sam: I’d be happy to help you, miss. My name is Sam. Why don’t you go— Woman: Sam is a guy? Sam: Last I checked. Woman: I thought you were a girl. Sam: Sorry to disappoint. Woman (to me): Do you think it’s appropriate to wander around like that when there’s a young man nearby? (to Sam) You should report her to HR. Sam: It’s a beach. People walk round in less all the time.
Woman (repeating): It’s inappropriate. Sam: You’re wearing a bikini. Woman: I’m not working, she is. Me: You do know this is a surf school? Meanwhile, Mick and Joe hear the noise. She hasn’t raised her voice or yelled or anything, but they can hear the tone of the conversation and decide they should step in just in case. Mick and Joe are both wearing board shorts and flip flops, and no shirts.
Mick (coming up behind me): Is there a problem here? Joe (at Mick’s side): Anything we can help with? Her eyes go wide. She looks between me and the three boys in shock and horror. Woman (recovering herself): I was just saying tha— Me: She was just telling me to put some clothes on. Mick: You know this is a beach, right? If anything, she’s overdressed.
The woman can see she’s not going to persuade me to magically summon more clothing to wear, and you can tell from her eyes she knows the boys won’t agree with her. Then a thought hits her like a brick to her hollow head. Woman: Just WHAT were you four doing back there? Joe: Closing up. Woman: I’m not stupid (I beg to differ).
Woman: You’re telling me she answered the door practically undressed and y’all are wearing barely anything, but nothing’s going on here. Mick (jokingly to me): Now, we’ve told you not to answer the door without clothes. I laugh. Woman: Don’t you laugh at me, you little chit! I know what’s going on here you…perverts! Sam, who is gay, is in all-out, doubled over, peals of laughter.
The woman’s daughter looks really embarrassed and is now bright red with her face in her hands. Sam: You—You think that (trails off mid-sentence in favor of more laughing) Woman: Oh, sure, everyone protects the office skank! (Joe literally falls to the floor clutching his stomach laughing) Mick: Yeah, now if you don’t mind we’re in the middle of it, so get in or get out.
It’s just then that my boyfriend shows up. Boyfriend (sees me, Joe, Sam, and Mick beside ourselves laughing, the woman looking homicidal and the daughter bright red with her face in her hands): Everything okay here? My boyfriend comes over and gives me a hug, and I get the frankly genius idea to pull him in for a kiss in full view of the woman.
She screeches, some demonic noise that only dogs can hear, and stomps off, her poor daughter in tow, and that’s the last we ever heard from her.
64. A Blessing And A Curse
I’m a 19-year-old girl, and I’m my parents’ second child. I have three brothers who are 21, 13, and 7, plus a sister, who is 16. We grew up poor and our parents were often dependent on financial help from relatives, friends, etc. for raising us. This is because even though my dad has a mediocre job and my mom doesn’t work, they just kept on popping out one kid after another.
My parents are very religious and believe that children are a gift from God. Personally, I think that’s total garbage. My parents’ reproductive choices wouldn’t bother me…if it hadn’t caused mine and my siblings’ lives to turn into a nightmare. While growing up, we never had new clothes or toys, we had to accept handouts from family members who were better off.
We never went out or did anything fun. To top it off, we were well aware that the rest of the family looked down on us for constantly asking for handouts. Now, my older brother and I have managed to get into good colleges and are looking forward to a future that would be better than our parents’ lives. He and I were staying at our parents’ place for a while.
One morning, my parents called all five of us into the living room. Mom said she had great news. The smile that was forming on my face instantly fell when she said, “We’re pregnant!” I lost my temper. I asked them how they could be so stupid and irresponsible. Do they not have enough financial troubles already that they have to bring in another mouth to feed?
My older brother tried to calm me down, but I was livid. After a lifetime of scarcity because of my parents’ stupidity, they still hadn’t learned their lesson. I asked them how they planned to provide for the kid. My dad told me I would have to give up the money our great uncle had left me. He had left all five of us some money which only we could access when we turned 18.
I said “Heck no!” That money would help pay for my college expenses. He called me selfish for not being there for my family. I told them if they couldn’t provide for the kid, they should get an abortion. My mom started crying and called me a heartless monster. Dad told me he was disgusted with me. I told them there was no way I was going to pay for their stupidity and the ONLY thing I would be willing to pay for is a termination.
What I was really worried about was my siblings’ lives getting even worse. My older brother and I have escaped our parents’ clutches but the others, especially my younger sister, WILL be expected to help take care of this baby. No teenager deserves to have their adolescence ruined by diapers and a screaming baby. I know what it’s like, as I had to go through that.
It was expected of me to be an unpaid nanny to my younger brothers and sister. My older brother could go out with his friends and have fun, but I had to stay home and help give baths and feed the toddlers. I decided to get some family members involved so they could talk some sense into my parents. I called my mom’s maternal cousin, who’s one of my favorite people and who is basically my aunt.
When I told her that mom and dad were having another kid, she reacted with “WHAT? AGAIN??” I told her everything and how they expected me to hand over my inheritance, and she said she was going to speak to my parents and told me not to sign over anything. I promised her I wouldn’t (of course I won’t). I also called two of my first cousins, one of whom is an accountant, so she could explain to my parents how much of a financial liability this baby is going to be and try to convince them to either abort or give it up for adoption.
I moved out of my parents’ home a few days ago. I just can’t bear to listen to my mom’s nagging about how “this baby is a blessing” and that I “want to kill it.” I’ve moved into a friend’s house for minimal rent. My mom’s cousin paid them a visit about a week ago and tried to tell them they weren’t doing this child any favors by bringing it into a life of poverty.
My mom was very rude to my aunt and told her that “a woman who chose to remain barren will never understand a mother’s love.” My aunt never wanted kids nor had any, which is one of the reasons she’s my favorite. My dad told her to get out. My aunt told me there was nothing she could do, but she did try. I didn’t blame her.
The cousin tried to explain the economic impact this kid would have and my mom cried about how “everyone was trying to take away her baby.” The “intervention” didn’t do anything. So now I’ve decided to cut contact with my parents, since I just can’t watch my family slide further and further into a hole. I’ll be maintaining contact with my sister (16) just to make sure my parents can’t brainwash her.
My older brother is going to stay in touch with all of them, which is a good thing as he can act as a link between me and the other siblings if my parents ever forbid them from talking to me. Otherwise, I’m done with these people.
65. Selective Vision
Today, I had two unrelated customers really get under my skin. Most of the time, I shrug off mean customers. I let them complain and then reply with “Sorry, company policy” or some other non-response to shut them up. But not today. And the first one was a doozy. This customer was an older lady who had bought four packages of hot dogs.
We currently have a sale for hot dogs: buy two and they are 99 cents each while their normal price is $2.99 each. The limit is one, so it’s a pretty good deal; you save $4 overall. However, this lady was angry that only two of her hot dogs had gone for the sale price. I was called up and asked to fix it. The lady claimed that there was no limit mentioned on the sale sign.
So, I got out a sales flier, and before I had even opened it, she claimed that she doesn’t read the fliers. That made me instantly angry. I set up a refund and went to get the on-shelf sale tag. And wouldn’t you know it, in big bold capital letters the tag read: “Limit offer one per customer.” I grabbed the sign and started to go up front to show the customer.
She saw me coming and immediately took off because the cashier had run the refund before I had a chance to get the tag. It irks me that customers can read the sale sign, but selectively ignore parts of it.
66. Needing An Explanation
I had never ever encountered anyone really going off on me at work…Until yesterday. This encounter at my workplace—a burger place—involved a rude customer named Darren, his young daughter, my coworker named Karen, my manager named Bernard, and me.
At my workplace, we organize orders numerically. Once your order is finished, we call out the number and the customer comes to pick up their order at a hand-out area. Now, I am currently training for a new role, so I was close to the handout table, but not working it. I noticed a man, whom I came to know as Darren, standing in front of the table with a receipt in his hand and a burger in the other.
Obviously, I knew he had a complaint. I just didn’t expect that it would go like this. I asked him if something was wrong with his order. He said that he had gotten the wrong burger. He was actually calm at this point and he sounded only a slight bit irritated, but there was nothing alarming. I apologized and asked what kind of burger he was missing.
That’s when Karen, who was taking orders next to us, jumped in and said, “Oh, I think his daughter grabbed the wrong order. His order is in the back.” I later told her that it was not necessary to tell the customers their mistakes in that manner because either way, we were going to fix it for them. It was faster to just fix it rather than play the blame game.
Plus, no one was going to blame her and go on some witch hunt. I just wanted to do my job. At the time, I just said that the food in the back was already cold, so I just needed to know which burger he needed.” Instead of answering me, Darren said, “Wait. My daughter grabbed the wrong food though?” Karen said that was what she thought had happened.
So, Darren replied, “Well, can you tell her that? Because I do not want to start a fight if I tell her.” At that point, Karen and I looked at each other confused and uncomfortable. He then waved his daughter over. They were a tall duo, but I guessed that she was around 12. I tried to avoid the situation and reiterated, “Really, I can just get the correct burger for you. It’s not a big deal at all.”
Darren insisted that she needed to “learn this.” I then said, “OK. Well, I did not hand out the food, so I cannot say if she grabbed the wrong order. Karen can help with that.” Karen quickly washed her hands of the situation by saying, “I can’t. I am in the middle of taking orders.” That annoyed me and I thought, “Why were you listening to us in the first place then? Why put in your 2 cents when I was already fixing it and we had no issues?”
But my concern, at that point, was Darren, who suddenly really wanted me to do it. His tone made the situation really uncomfortable. Even his daughter started to look extremely uncomfortable. As he started getting irate, more condescending, and loud, I started to just look for a way out. He continued to insist that he wanted to talk to me and know what had happened.
I, once again, expressed my helplessness. “Yes, sir. But unfortunately, I do not know what happened. I was not here handing out the food.” He kept cutting me off, so I finally said, “I am going to get my manager for you because I cannot help you any more with this.” As I turned to step away, he started screaming at the top of his lungs.
He shouted, “No, don’t walk away from me! Ma’am, I do not want your manager! I am not trying to create a scene here!” Everyone was staring as he was going off and I yelled out Bernard’s name. Bernard came over and that is when Darren went back to his calm voice. He told Bernard that he just wanted to know what happened with his order.
I was still standing there and Bernard said, “He wants to talk to you.” Darren had a condescending voice when he was talking to me. He gave a half-truth and then asked, “Is that not what happened?” So, I stood quietly, and after he asked again, I said, “Well, I mean, my manager is here. So, yes, I am agreeing that that is what happened.”
I also refused to look at him because when I get angry, I cry. I was trying so hard not to let the tears out. Also, because he was bending down to my level, I wanted to punch him. Darren started saying stuff like, “Will you look at me? Why does it feel like you don’t want to be talking to me? Do you even want to be here talking to me?”
When he didn’t stop his aggression, I absolutely lost it. So, I said, “No, I don’t. Bernard, I’m not doing this. I can’t do this.” And I walked away. I went to the back where three or four different coworkers checked up on me. One even offered to let me punch him to take out my anger. I did not take him up on his offer, but I love that kid.
At that point, I only had like 10 to 15 minutes left on my shift, so I got to go home. Bernard apologized to me and said he didn’t expect him to speak to me that way. On one hand, I understand because Darren could come across as a normal calm customer. But on the other hand, this guy was literally just screaming at me. And he was at least 6’3 (192 cms) while I am 4’11 (125 cms).
Even his daughter was taller than me. I told Bernard that it felt a little biased because he was not as condescending with him as he was with me. But Bernard said that he felt it was more to do with height since he was just as tall and built similarly to the customer. Either way, he said that there was something off about that guy anyway, and I agree.
67. Too Good To Be True
To preface, it needs to be said that my store does not have coupons. We never have, and we probably never will. On this day, I had a woman come in saying that she wanted to get decor for her new house. I offered to show her what we had available. She then mentioned that she was so excited that she was going to get such a good deal.
I assumed that was because everything she was picking out was 40% off. Spoiler alert: it was not. She proceeded to spend over an hour picking out everything and having us put it behind the counter for her. That was when she finally mentioned, “Oh yes, I was so happy to get a coupon for half off of everything here,” which was the major red flag.
I then asked her if I could see it while also explaining that we did not carry in-store coupons. She proceeded to spend another 30 minutes looking for the supposed coupon. I finally got a glance at her phone and it all made sense—she had pulled up one of those websites that claim to give out coupon codes, but they usually don’t work.
It even said in a big text that they uncertified codes. She was perfectly polite the entire time but explaining to her that she couldn’t use any of that in-store was exhausting. I know the older generation can have trouble with stuff like that, but it was like she just could not believe that she could not use her coupons. And, of course, she had us put half of it back.
68. An Apple A Day
I had a customer yesterday bring in the clearance item that he bought, which was a MacBook. He came up to the register to return it. That was no problem. For reference, I’m five feet tall and he was a big guy. I followed protocol and opened it. I then checked to see if the laptop was up and running to turn off his iCloud accounts.
When the screen turned on, it was stuck on some weird screen with a mysterious folder labeled with a question mark. That’s all it displayed. I didn’t give it much thought. As I was processing the return, I noticed on the receipt that the form of payment was a $43 gift card, and the rest of the $1,057 was charged to his card.
Returns work by giving back the money in the same form of payment. So, I was telling him that he would get $43 back to a gift card. He immediately got upset and tried telling me that the last guy who helped him return an item of his but not to his card, but to a gift card. So, he wanted the whole $1,100 to his card.
Normally, I would let the customer know this kind of thing, and they would be OK with it. I was a little overwhelmed, so I called my super. She was held up with something and a minute into waiting, this guy started getting aggravated. He told me, “I don’t have all day! C’mon.” At that point, I was begging my super on the radio, “Please, I need you here.”
She came and checked out the situation. She also investigated the MacBook. I didn’t know if the guy didn’t disconnect it from his iPhone yet, but his accounts were still attached to his laptop. So, he started getting even more aggravated. Eventually, I called a floor manager up. They were letting him know that there was nothing we could do on our end.
This was because he did something like wipe his system. So, he had to call Apple to disable his accounts or find out why it was not working. He was sitting there, calling Apple, and I guess he was trying to use voice commands because he kept shouting something. Then he started to argue with the floor manager again, so I just walked away to compose myself
In the end, the guy got all his money back to his card and he was still able to return the item, claiming that he’ll never buy clearance items from us again.
69. A Lucky Gamble
This just happened. A guy walked in and asked me, “What’s the $8 lottery package that my wife always gets?” I looked at him, but I couldn’t place him. In fact, he didn’t look remotely familiar to me. He was not wearing his mask, mind you, but so far, I’d been pretty good at recognizing the people I’ve only ever seen with masks on since we bought the store.
However, I had no clue who this is. So I asked, “Sir, did you just ask me, a complete stranger, what your wife’s preferences are?” He reiterated, “Well, she always gets an $8 package.” I told him, “The lottery doesn’t have an $8 package.” Then, he asked, “Well, what are the standard games?” So, I rattled off all the games until we figured it out.
I handed him his purchase and said, “OK, here you go, sir, and may I highly encourage you not to tell your wife that you asked a complete stranger what her preferences were.” I thought that would nip it in the bud, but he just wouldn’t quit. He still seemed to think there was nothing amiss and replied, “Well, she’s in here all the time.” I still said, “But she’s not here now, and I don’t know who she is.”
So, he clarified, “Well, I come in with her sometimes.” To end the situation, I said, “OHHH! Well, I have a pretty bad memory so that must be it.” What was unsaid was, “It couldn’t be that I see a few hundred people a day and you’re all just faceless blobs in my memory if you don’t come in here pretty much every day and actually have meaningful conversations!” Sheesh.
70. Three Strikes
Some years ago, I worked an extra part-time job in the evenings at a small national retail chain in the U.S. that specializes in woodworking tools, supplies and machinery. The vast majority of our customers were great, but every so often we would get one that was a real peach. On the night in question, it was 15 or 20 minutes before closing.
I was at the front counter where the registers are, doing busy work to fill the time before I locked the doors. The sales floor was completely empty, except for me. I heard the doors open and looked up to see a customer walking in. “Hi! Welcome to our store!” I said to him in a genuinely friendly tone. Fish-eyed, he turned his head to glance at me.
He made momentary eye contact before walking past without saying a word. Strike one. A few minutes later, I saw him walking up to the counter, so I asked, “Hey there! Did you find what you were looking for?” Again, without a saying a word, he tossed a few packs of euro hinges on the counter. Strike two. Then, I asked, “OK! Have you shopped with us before?”
I needed to know as it was part of my job to enter our customers’ information in our computer system if they’ll let us, and if they’re in our system, then we ring them up under their account. Rather than answer me, he tossed a postcard-sized piece of paper onto the counter. Strike three. Ding! Ding! Ding!
Now, if someone’s in our system, and they give us the month of their birthday, we send them a birthday coupon every year, good for 10% off of everything in a single purchase. There are a few exclusions and conditions clearly printed on the coupon. I picked up the piece of paper he’d thrown in front of me, and it was indeed his birthday coupon.
I used the information on it to pull up his account, noted a key piece of information on the account, and gleefully told him, “OK, sir. I see your birthday isn’t until next month, and unfortunately, the birthday coupon is only good for a single purchase during the month of your birth.” As I said this, I was holding the coupon up and pointing to the text I was referring to.
I am 90% certain I had my best customer service smile on my face at that point. After standing there and staring at me for a few seconds, he let out a snort of what I presume was disgust, then he turned on his heel, and started heading for the door. “Wait!” I called after him. “You forgot your birthday coupon!” Without stopping or turning, he made a dismissive wave of his hand, went through the door, and disappeared into the night.
Adios and good riddance. At this store, our manager was a super-cool guy who encouraged us to bend over backward to help customers, which I gladly did. Customers came in all the time trying to use their birthday coupons early, and it was never a problem. We’d happily give them the discount anyway, with a friendly reminder that it was supposed to be used during their birth month.
But hey, he wanted to act like that. He couldn’t be bothered to show me even common courtesy, nor would he speak even one word to me. That was his choice.
71. Not Stuck, Just Stuck Up
The place I work has two diesel pumps with one on each side of the pump island thing. There was a guy with a diesel truck and trailer attached pumping $130 of diesel and another truck waiting after him. This lady comes in screaming that she’s blocked in and can’t leave because the second truck is blocking her, and he won’t move.
At this point, his only option to move would be to back up into one of the exits and into the main road. Not happening at 9 AM when everyone is rushing to get to work. The lady kept screaming at me telling me to make him move because she, “DOESN’T HAVE TIME TO WAIT!” Blah, blah, blah, we go through 10 minutes of me telling her he is NOT blocking her or anyone else because traffic is clearly moving through the parking lot.
I finally have to get another manager to say, “Ma’am, if you turn your vehicle left instead of right, you can use the left exit. If you back up four feet, you can go out the exit you claim is blocked. I’m sorry you cannot use the four feet of road you want, but short of me physically picking up his truck, there is NOTHING we can do.” So, the lady is calling corporate on us both.
72. Chicken Heads Will Roll
I recently bought a few chickens. The second day they were here, the usual neighbor kids come over to play. I sit down and feed the baby, and about 10 minutes in, I have to get up because I hear kids screaming and chickens losing it. I walk out back to a DOZEN children I do not know, four of which have busted my hen run and are in with the chickens. One kid has a hen by her wing and when she flaps, he let’s go, and then he kicks her!
Needless to say, I was upset. Without leaving my porch, I said, “Get out! All of you! I don’t know what makes you think it is appropriate to hit someone else’s animal. I don’t know what would make you think it is okay to do that to any animal in general, but it is in no uncertain terms not okay. I don’t know who you are, but get off my property.”
I tell my kids and the neighbor kids they were playing with that no one is allowed in the back yard. I go back inside to feed the baby. I am not even sat down yet, and I hear the fridge open. I say, “[Toddler’s name], no snacks right now.” Guess what? It wasn’t my toddler. Some neighbor kid I don’t know just walks in and opens my fridge.
Now he wasn’t the brat that kicked my chicken, but he was in the run. I kick the kid out. As I open the door to escort the fridge raider from my home, chicken kicker shows up with his mommy who starts to scream, “You witch think you are sooooo much better than my son! How dare you tell him what to do? I am going to call the cops on you.”
I tell her, calmly, that I probably could have not sworn at her son, but he can’t just go around kicking animals. She leaves to call 9-1-1. She comes back 15 minutes later, and says she wants to settle this like adults and will consider $100 to cover mental anguish from my yelling at her son. I tell her to just call the cops and have them deal with it.
73. The HOA Was Paved With Pain
When we rented, the HOA would report to our property manager, and then the property manager would call us to let us know what we had done wrong. We were notified of so many things that had nothing to do with us. We got a call that we couldn’t have a grill on our front porch—we didn’t even own a grill. We were told that we are only permitted one car parked on the street and that our other two vehicles need to be parked in the garage.
We only owned one car at that time. We got a call that neighbors were complaining that our dogs were barking at all hours of the night, but we didn’t have dogs. The weirdest one was when our property manager called and said, “You need to move the doormat that you have leaning against your house.” My husband went outside and found a doormat leaning against the neighbor’s house.
As homeowners in a different neighborhood, we were written up for not taking Christmas lights down in a timely manner. It was mid-January, and we had been gone for my grandpa’s funeral. So, we took them down right away as soon as we got the write-up. We received no warnings, as was procedure, just a straight write-up. When I alerted them that the lights were removed, they got back to me saying we didn’t remove all decorations.
I had a snowman on the door that said, “Let it Snow,” and snowflakes in the window. They were winter decorations, not Christmas. They were extremely snotty about it until I pointed out they had broken their own procedures by not giving us warnings and that we felt targeted. They dropped it. Then, one year, we decided to redo our landscaping.
The landscaper had pavers sitting in the front of our house, so it was obvious something was up. We got a letter in the mail telling us to cease and desist as we hadn’t gotten HOA approval to landscape our backyard. The letter included a photo. The angle of the photo clearly showed that whoever had taken it had gone into our backyard to take it, which they are not allowed to do. I emailed them, pointing this out. They dropped it. It just shows what a pain an HOA can be.
74. Swinging Seniors
The average age of the HOA was about 60 years old. At the time, I was 16. We had a community pool, and my mom got HOA infringement letters because I wore a bikini to a swimming pool. I thought this was odd, so I wore a one-piece. We received another letter saying my bathing suit was risque. They dropped it when my mom told them it was our high school swim team uniform and to please explain how it was provocative.
The next summer, they had new rules that made it basically impossible for any kids to enjoy the pool. It soon became an old folks’ pool. But the truth was even more twisted than that. The authorities did an undercover sting operation, and half the HOA were taken in for using it as a launching platform with their swingers club. They were imprisoned for lewd and lascivious actions in a swimming pool.
Karma was lovely that year. The pool rules were rescinded, and we got to use the pool again. As I got older, I learned a valuable lesson—never buy a home that has an HOA. Most of the time, it’s run by old people with a superiority complex issue.
75. They Weren’t Playing Around
My family moved to a new neighborhood when I was in kindergarten. My dad had built an amazing playhouse for my siblings and me. It had miniature windows, a small door, working lights, and even AC. It was a tiny house before tiny houses were a thing. It was beautiful. He had built it on cinderblocks so that we could move it to the backyard of our new house once we moved.
The homeowner’s association refused to let us bring it, citing that the neighborhood doesn’t allow “toolsheds” because apparently, they are an eyesore. Backyard playgrounds were fine, but somehow our playhouse didn’t qualify as a playground. My younger sisters and I were devastated. I remember crying and crying because I couldn’t keep the playhouse that my dad worked so hard on.
76. Smoke Signals
We had a new employee start yesterday. She seemed to be a very sweet girl in her late teens and had a great sense of humor. I took a liking to her instantly. She had never been in charge of a register before, so I was put in charge of training her. I showed her the ropes and let her take over, staying close by in case she needed me.
When it was quiet, I taught her what the procedure was when it came to smokes. She asked me if she had to ID everyone and I told her that she would have to use her judgment. If a person seemed younger than 21 to her, then she should go for it. If they looked older, then it wouldn’t be necessary. She seemed to understand, and she was getting the hang of the register quickly.
I figured that I could stop shadowing her and let her do her thing. I told her that I was going to do some stocking, but that I would be close by if she needed anything. In fact, I would be no more than an aisle over. She smiled and said OK. About 10 minutes went by, and I heard somebody yelling. All I could hear the girl say was: “I am sorry, sir,” in the most terrified tone.
I came over to find this old man screaming at her. She was hunched over and looked like she was about ready to cry. Apparently, he had told her that he wanted a particular brand of smokes. She gave him the wrong ones twice and was slow to find the right ones, and then she asked him for his date of birth when she rang it up.
He was yelling about how he was in a rush and needed to go. He saw me and said, “Hey, can you ring me up? This woman does not know anything.” I looked at her and saw the tears rolling down her face. That was not OK. I told him to not talk to my coworker that way and informed him that it was her first day. He said, “I see that, but I have to go.”
I told him that he obviously did not because if he did, then he would not be screaming at her. He replied with a threat, saying that if I said one more thing, he would never come back to support our store. That was fine with me. I did not want customers who disrespect employees in the store anyway. In the cheeriest tone I can muster, I told him to have a fantastic day.
He stormed out muttering and I consoled the new girl. She was full-on sobbing at this point. What a horrible first day that had to have been. All because some mean person could not show a little empathy.
77. Behind The Doors
I just finished working the weekend and, boy, reopening after a lockdown has really brought out the geniuses, huh? Yes, please take your sweet time, ignore the store hours since they are clearly just a suggestion. It is not like we have lives or would like to get home before it starts pouring out. Keeping in line with the genius parade, on Friday, some dude waltzed in 10 minutes before closing.
I greeted him and asked if I could help him find what he was looking for since we were closing soon. He didn’t really answer. Fast forward nine and a half minutes—I caught him talking to my coworker for the greater part of his visit, and I knew immediately that he would be trouble. He was mostly about random topics, but clearly, she did not care. Unfortunately, she was too nice to cut the guy off and say that she was busy.
I start the closing ritual for the store, which involved turning off the open sign, flipping the sign by the door, closing the doors, etc. I also tried to make more noise than usual so that the guy noticed what I was doing. Of course, he did not, since he was too far into his story about wanting to be a hairdresser or something.
I waited about 30 seconds before I abruptly interrupted. I asked my coworker if she was ready to close her register. That tipped the dude off and he finally left…he did not even buy anything. We have had more people like this, all just waiting for the store to close. Then, we have those who are the other way round. We had a woman who was standing at the doors for a while waiting for us to open, and then got into her car and left as I was walking to unlock the doors. This has happened quite a few times and I cannot really wrap my head around that logic.
78. With A Smile
One day, I had an old guy come through my register with lumber. I said hello to him and instead of greeting me back, he immediately told me had eight pieces of the stack of lumber on the left. I proceeded to count them and he snapped at me, saying, “I said eight!” I told him that we were supposed to count them. I completed counting and rang up those eight pieces.
He then told me that there were 10 pieces of lumber on the right side of his cart. Once again, I counted them. He said to me, “What school did you go to?” I was so confused by his question that I did not even know what to say. What was interesting is that, despite how cranky he was, he kept smiling at me as if his rude remarks weren’t uncalled for.
He was also wearing his mask with his nose hanging out. Once he finished paying and I gave him his receipt, he left the store without saying thank you or anything to me. That guy is definitely up there as one of the worst customers I’ve ever had. Absolutely no manners and I am still disgusted by his behavior to this day.
79. Taking Me For A Ride
I’m a single parent, and I have a beautiful girl who is turning five in August. The past year I have been fighting with the ex that tried to keep my kid away from me. Lawyers aren’t cheap, and being single doesn’t exactly help with my finances. A couple of months ago, I won the lawsuit and I finally got to have my kid at my home again.
For the past few weeks she was saying she wanted a bicycle, but as I was still recovering from the lawsuit bills, I wasn’t able to afford it. This past week, I got my summer bonus which finally gave me the financial boost I needed. So yesterday I finally was able to buy my little girl her bike she wanted so badly. I enjoyed my time with her riding our bikes, but then it was getting time for dinner, which I still had to make.
So we head back home and park the bikes in the backyard. We go inside and I start making dinner. After about 10 minutes, I spot movement in the corner of my eye through the kitchen window—and my heart dropped. I see this kid just casually strolling by with the brand new bike I just got today. I ran to the front door, hoping I’d catch him before he rides away.
I was lucky I did. I yanked the bike out of his hands, and freaked out to him, saying it was mine and he had no right to just walk into other people’s back yards to take things. I was so mad. I forced him to get off my property, and set the bike inside my front hallway, thinking it’s over. Boy, was I wrong. After comforting my little girl, I return to the kitchen to continue making dinner.
15 minutes later, the doorbell rings. It’s the kid and his Evil Mother. EM: You give my boy this bike back! He found it! It’s his! Me: He “found” it in MY backyard! I got it for my MY kid today! You should try teaching your kid some manners, he shouldn’t trespass on other people’s property to take their things. EM: Don’t tell me how to raise my kid! Give me the bike back or I’m calling the authorities!
Me: (laughs) Call them! And I slam the door in her face. By this point, my kid is crying her eyes out, and I get to comfort her again, as she’s thinking she’s losing her brand new bike. Her sobbing finally over, I try continuing to make dinner, yet again. Preparation’s done, I’m about to put it all on the stove, doorbell. I flip out, storm to the door, violently open it, and get ready to just explode into her face.
Guess what, she actually called the authorities. I instantly calm down when I see it’s them and invite one of the two officers inside while the other stays with the evil woman. I explain the situation and show him the box the bike came in, along with the receipt that has my name on it. He shrugs and apologized for the inconvenience, and assured me I won’t be bothered again.
I let him out and close the door with a smug smile on my face. I check the front window to see what’s happening, and I see her go into a full tantrum. It ends with her in handcuffs and in the backseat of the patrol car. Bye Felicia! Don’t know what happened to her, and I don’t care. I finally finished dinner, and my kid still has her bike. That’s all that matters to me.
80. No Means No
This all happened around 10 years ago and takes place over the course of the absolute worst months of my life. I had just turned 18 at the time, and thanks to my mom’s gambling addiction we lost the house that I had lived in my entire life. Almost right after we lost the house, a family friend offered to let us stay at her house with her family, since she and her husband had a few extra rooms.
We move into their very large house, and at first, things were great. The family consisted of the parents and their kid, who was the same age as me. All of them were understanding and nice at first, offering to let me and my mom stay for as long as it would take for us to get back on our feet. The mom even got me my first job working as a volunteer at a bingo hall.
It was all under the table kind of money, but I didn’t care since it was money in my pocket that my mom couldn’t/wouldn’t provide me. The parents had been family friends for a very long time and were absolutely enamored with the idea of me and their son getting together, and have been ever since we were little. They constantly made comments like “look at the beautiful couple,” “you two look so great together,” or “we’ll give you lovebirds some privacy” whenever we were in the same place together.
Despite me stating several times that I didn’t like him in that way, they were determined to try to get us to work, like some kind of arranged marriage. I think that really fed into the boy’s ego, because about a month into my stay there is when the first incident happened. We were walking down the hall when he smacks my butt from out of nowhere.
I really freaked out and went off on him, yelling, cursing, and giving him a few shoves. Our parents came upstairs to see what all the yelling was about and we end up getting separated. I tell my mom what happened, and she responds by telling me “it wasn’t a big deal” and to “not rock the boat” while we were living there. The boy eventually gives some half-baked apology to me at dinner.
His dad made some joke about how he’s relieved that he’s finally taking an interest in girls since they were starting to think he was gay. Things escalate from there. Any chance he got, he would make lewd comments or find some way to grope me. Every time I went to his parents it was always hand-waved away as “boys will be boys” or “he probably didn’t mean it that way.”
They said that he was a really sweet guy deep down and I should get to know him better. On one occasion, the dad told me that I “should be flattered.” My mom was content to not do anything, enjoying the freeloading that got to feed her addiction too much, and telling me to “stop playing hard to get.” One day, he puts a hand down my shirt as I’m sitting on the couch.
I started yelling at him about how I’m sick of him doing stuff like this and to never do it again. His reaction was chilling. He gave me the most terrifying glare and told me “Shut up! You live in MY house.” After that, I was so terrified of being alone with him that I would stay after school for as long as I could until l was asked to leave, and if I ever had to go back to the house for any reason, I would just hide in my room with the door locked and wouldn’t come out until I knew other people were around.
I just didn’t know if one day he was just going to force himself on me. Fast forward a few months and I’m told, not asked, that I’m going with him as his date to his senior prom, which is in a week. The parents are super excited and tell me that we’ll have the whole house to ourselves that night after we come back from the dance. I very quickly shut that down.
I tell them that I’m not going because of how he treats me, and they spend the rest of the day doing everything they can to compel me. First, they try telling me money isn’t an issue, how they’ll pay for my dress and ticket. When that doesn’t work, they try to guilt-trip me, telling me how they ask me for so little, and how this is the least I can do, and how much he would love it.
Finally, my mom eventually hears about it after she comes home from the casino, and she’s angry. She tells me how I need to go, how it’s such a big opportunity for the both of us, and how I need to tell them that I changed my mind. I refuse, and the day after the prom is over, the parents sit me and my mom down for a talk. They start implementing new rules.
They are all about how they now expect us to pitch in for all the amenities, how we’re expected to buy our own food, and how they’re going to start charging us for rent. Before all this, they were very adamant about us not paying for anything, wanting us to save money to get back on our feet. Even without my mom spending half or all of her checks at the casino, there was no way for us to afford what they were asking. It all went downhill from there.
They subsequently gave us a month to find our own place and move out. We ended up moving out to live in a sketchy neighborhood with some guy my mom was dating, who she’d met at the casino. My mom blamed me for the entire thing, saying I “blew a golden opportunity for both of us.” How I basically threw away a great future that was all laid out for me because I “wouldn’t dance and put out.”
That cut me pretty deeply, and I still get angry thinking about it to this day. A few months later I graduated, but my mom didn’t show up to the ceremony. I come back to the house and I make a horrifying discovery. All my stuff is sitting on the curb next to the trash and had been thoroughly picked through. I found out my key doesn’t work anymore, and nobody is picking up their phone.
I end up waiting till about 3 in the morning for them to come back from the casino, and my mom tells me in so many words that I’m on my own now. Nothing I say changes her mind, and I eventually pack what little of my stuff is left into my car. I spent the next month or two couch-surfing or sleeping in my car, while trying to pick up as many days as I could at work.
Eventually, I managed to save up enough to move into my first apartment with a roommate. I haven’t spoken to my mom or those parents since then, but recently my mom left me a voicemail asking if we could talk, since she didn’t like the way we left things. Since then, she’s been blowing up my phone every day. I don’t plan on ever taking her call.
81. The Fountain Runneth Dry
I run a convenience store inside a mall. Just outside our store is a lovely fountain, only it’s drained. It has been that way since before we got the store last year. One day, I was sitting around, enjoying the cool air on my face. Our store is located on a kind of odd angle, where one wall is shorter than the other, and you can see people walking by through the glass windows.
I sat around watching mall traffic while keeping an eye on my game, always alert for trouble. At one point, my idyllic view was interrupted by the sight of a man, clearly with a purpose, striding directly toward me. I didn’t even have time to give my usual chipper, “How you doin’ today?” line. The angry man asked me a question that threw me off-guard: “When are they going to turn on the fountain?”
I apologetically replied that I have no idea. A moment passed and the man’s brow furrowed. It appeared as though he was not sure how to process the fact that I didn’t have an answer. Then he said, apparently to make the situation clear to me, “They drained all the fountains!” It was my turn to be confused. Clearly, they drained all the fountains…I’d been looking at the empty fountain all day long, so I would know.
I don’t know why he thought I didn’t notice…Did he think it was my fault? Maybe he didn’t know that the mall makes its own decisions. So, I told him, “You’d have to ask the mall management. We’re just a convenience store.” He firmly told me, “I will!” And with his sense of duty now apparently locked onto a new target, he stomped on out of the store with the same clear sense of purpose.
82. No Sign of Weakness
My mother is in a wheelchair now, and I take her to the store or mall to get her out of the house. What frustrates me the most is that she’s fully capable of moving herself, but people will push her out of the way unless I’m right behind her. It’s happened a few times. What I notice is when you have a disabled person in a wheelchair, they suddenly become invisible.
I remember once I was pulling her wheelchair from my trunk, and this other woman pulled into the spot next to me on my mom’s side and got so close, she nor my mother could open the door all the way. I asked for her to move. She ignored me, and I ended up having to park elsewhere. I love the times the parents got upset with me asking that their children not play on her chair while she was using the bathroom. People, all the time as I’m pushing her, will suddenly stop without warning, and I’ve run my poor mother into people because of it, and they look at us like we’re the ones in the wrong.
83. Nowhere Safe
I am currently in custody of my two little sisters. Amy is 17 years old and Liza is eight, while I am a 29-year-old male and we live in Australia. This is the story of how my family felt they were entitled to both of my sisters’ bodies and I wouldn’t stand for that. The main part of the story takes place about a year ago. I’d moved out six years ago at the time and moved to another state for work and study.
I was honestly really slack with keeping in contact with my family, which is probably why this went on so long. When I do think back to the time before I moved out, I didn’t treat Amy the best and if I hadn’t moved out and had so little contact with my family, I may have turned out just as entitled as the rest of my family and just as much of a horrible person.
I came back to visit for a grandparent’s birthday. After spending so long away I spent the morning catching up with aunts, uncles, cousins, my parents of course, and Liza. Now, this was actually the first time I’d really realized the oddities of my family. Perhaps it was the change in environment, but it was the first time I’d noticed how quiet the little girls of my family were.
I guess I’d always just thought of Amy as shy and quiet, but my little cousins were so much the same—polite, shy, quiet, and obedient, though at the time I brushed this off. After a few hours, I realized that Amy was nowhere to be seen all day. The party was at my parents’ house so this confused me, and I slipped inside to see if she was cooped up in her room like a lot of 16-year-olds would be, talking to friends or doing homework. What I found is a memory that will haunt me forever.
My oldest uncle on my father’s side, laying over my sister who was quite clearly in a lot of pain and struggling not to cry as he pinned her beneath him. I completely lost it as any brother would, shouting at him to get off her and out of her room. I scared the heck out of both of them but in that moment, I was honestly ready to completely ruin my uncle.
Amy was pretty messed up in the head when I tried consoling her. She was covered in scars, had a rash that I later found out was an allergic reaction, she didn’t speak and looked at me as if she expected me to hurt her too. Her room was dimly lit, the blinds taped closed to her wall, all the things she’d had when I left were gone, leaving her bedroom feeling cold and empty.
To add insult to injury, she was a month pregnant. When I demanded an explanation from my parents, I wanted to vomit when I heard their answer. They said that it was my uncle’s right. I stormed off back to Amy’s room, quietly packed her a bag of necessities, and managed to sneak her out of the house and into my car before doing the same with Liza.
Part of me wanted to get all my cousins out too, but my main focus was on Amy right now, who sat trembling in the back of my car. I drove them both to the closest police station to report what was happening. I’ll skip most the details of the court battle that ensued, but my family did not take kindly to being outed for what they were doing.
Apparently, it was a tradition that spanned generations, and “there shouldn’t be anything wrong with tradition.” Amy and Liza were put into temporary foster care, and Amy was wreck. To her, everyone could and would hurt her, and I got reports every few hours that she was having a panic attack. Three of my uncles went behind bars for a very long time.
I got a fair bit of money out of a range of family members, full custody of both Amy and Liza (no enforced visitation to their parents), and my parents had to pay for any therapy costs, medication, and medical needs for both of them. My family was torn in two by this, with many of my aunts leaving their husbands with their children after finally having the courage to follow me.
Uncles who had married into the family took their wives and cut off ties. I still keep in contact with these members of my family and I’m grateful for their support and glad that my cousins are safer now. Even some of the older guys who had been brought up thinking it was okay to treat women that way took themselves into counseling once they realized just how messed up it was.
Now I do believe some part of the ruling protected the younger men of the family provided they seek some form of mental health help, as they grew up thinking that this was all normal. No one is sure who fathered Amy’s child, but she had her pregnancy terminated as we were told her physical and mental health would not cope with carrying a baby she ultimately would unlikely care for.
She did consent at the time and it was brought up by her psychologist once she was doing better and she confirmed that it was what she wanted. Liza, for the most part, was okay, but Amy had completely shut down. It took two months before I could even get her to speak. She trusts me now and we often sit down, and I let her talk and open up about whatever she feels comfortable about.
I did get Amy a service dog a few months ago, tailored towards the emotional support she needs on a regular basis. Lickity Split honestly is the goodest of good doggos. She knows exactly when she’s needed and is a massive help when it comes to calming Amy’s anxiety, especially in public. We’ve had more than one encounter with unrelated entitled parents thinking they or their kid deserves her dog more than her.
But anyone who does think that can honestly fight me, no one deserves her dog more than her. On one occasion, one of my aunts tried taking Lickity Split because “their money paid for her.” I told her if she ever comes near my property again, I would call the authorities as there was a restraining order against her towards both my sisters.
Later she came back and tried to poison Lickity Split with tainted meat, but one of my lovely neighbors caught her and chased her off. Officers were called, and she is now behind bars too after having to pay a fine and some money to me because at this point, I’m pretty well acquainted in the court system and sued her. My family still tried to get my sisters out of my care, too.
They would report me for everything from animal mistreatment to trafficking. I’ve actually become pretty chummy with the local officers who have to inspect their claims, but they know I’d never do anything to endanger my custody over the girls, they mean the world to me. But recently, everything came to a terrible head once more.
A few weeks ago, my mother contacted me saying she wanted to talk. I was hesitant, but agreed and we met up in the next town over. My mother explained how she was in the process of divorcing my father and she wanted to have a relationship with me and my sisters, with emphasis on mending her bond with Amy who had not called her mom in years.
She explained how she was pressured into the marriage after she had gotten pregnant with me and never wanted that life for her daughters. I flat out told her no, as she could have done literally anything to support Amy emotionally while it was happening—done anything to make her feel better or more secure, but instead she was shunned and isolated except for when she was needed to cook, clean, or provide some sort of service to the family.
Amy was well past her breaking point when I took her. People I’ve talked to have convinced me that when Amy is in a better place mentally and Liza is older, I bring it up with them about their mom, and leave the decision in their hands. This story doesn’t have a slam dunk ending. I have my sisters and they’re in a safe environment where they’ll get to grow up as kids. Amy is getting the help she needs and is slowly making her way out of the tower she built to protect herself in the only way she could, but she knows there isn’t a rush to come out.
I’ll work with her at the pace she sets. She’s still discovering her own interests but quite likes just reading a book with a form of fruity tea. She also has a small collection of stuffed animals (mostly build-a-bear) that she adores and takes one with her everywhere—she’s sensitive to texture so the feeling is a comfort for her—and once a week we sit down to try to find older bears she likes.
Honestly, I’ve loved helping Amy discover herself. Watching her find her favorite book genre or her favorite types of music is a great feeling, knowing how far she’s come.
84. A Hairy Situation
My parents had a strict clean-shave policy when I was growing up, but now I am an adult and live on my own. I had grown a kind of long beard and was visiting my family. My parents are intense Islamophobes and they were horrified seeing my “Muslim” beard. They asked me to shave it because people might think I have converted to Islam and it’s going to tarnish my family’s reputation.
I basically told them to screw off and mind about their own hair rather than my beard. I thought it was over—I was so wrong. Today I was sleeping on the couch and my mom cut my beard off. Now it’s an ugly mess and I have no option but to shave it off.
85. A Steep Price
A man came in today to exchange a pair of pants. Unfortunately for him, he had bought a $70 pair and a $60 pair on a BOGO 50% sale, so the $60 pair was 50% off. He wanted to exchange the $70 pair for another $60 pair, but the system pairs up items when they’re in a BOGO offer. On the receipt, it would’ve looked like he was returning both pairs and repurchasing the one he wasn’t returning, in order to remove the BOGO offer.
After exchanging, he would have had to pay $11 since the BOGO offer was no longer available. He was not happy, as he would have had to pay even though he was returning a more expensive pair. I did him a solid and threw in 25% off. He would’ve gotten around $5 back, but he still was not happy with the offer. At that point, I knew he was going to be difficult.
He asked to speak to the manager, and as the shift leader, that was me. He wanted more of a discount, but I couldn’t reasonably give it to him. He kept getting angry, so I told him to come back tomorrow, and maybe the store manager then would reach a different decision. He agreed and finally left after holding up the line for a little over five minutes.
Well, he never asked me to keep the pants on hold for him. It was our last pair, too, so I put them on my manager’s desk, called her, and asked her for a favor. If he comes in tomorrow, she’s going to tell him that we don’t have them anymore. I also called my girlfriend—my manager’s daughter—who works at the closest store to us and asked her to hide their only pair in the back room.
The closest available pair in that guy’s size is now two cities over. He kept asking for more and now he will get nothing. It’s not much, but it’s a victory.
86. No Matter How You Slice It
I had this one customer one day ask me, “It’s 50% off for bag mulch if it has got holes in it, right?” I told him that it was up to the cashier and how big the holes were. He said OK. My sketchiness radar went off, so I went to tell one of my coworkers to keep an eye on him. After a little while, the guy came back with four bags of soil. Each one had a huge slash on top.
They were clean slashes too and not holes from rough handling. He said, “50% each, right?” I had a small line, so I went ahead and rang them up (each bag was like, $4 originally). After I gave him his receipt, he said that he would like me to tape the holes shut. Again, I had a line and explained to him that I could only do that once the line is gone.
That’s when he blew his top. He started making a scene, so I told the person behind him that I just needed a few minutes. It took me five minutes and a complaint from another customer for me to get them taped and sealed to his standards. A few days later, I was outside with a new coworker and he asked her, “Do you give a discount on rocks?”
I told her that it would depend on how bad the situation is. At first, I did not recognize him as the same guy—I thought that he said rakes, not rocks. So, he showed up with a few bags totaling roughly $90. He was demanding half off on each, so the coworker asked me what to do. We were only allowed a $50 markdown without any assistance. When I look at his bags, I almost lost it.
Once again, there were clean cuts. I told him that they were just open and none were missing, so we couldn’t do the full 50% off. Instead, I helped my coworker take $20 off. He did not like that and kept demanding we give him 50% off, saying that someone ruined his bags. I told my coworker to just mark them down so he could finally leave and we could get our lines moving.
I work in the produce section at a Trader Joe’s clone. It’s a hyper-corrupt corporate structure, but for once, I can’t blame what happened yesterday on corporate. Here’s what went down. So, yesterday, I was nearing the end of my shift and was bringing a few dozen plastic packages of cut fruit out to our cut fruit fridge. At the time I was exhausted.
I didn’t think about how I was balancing these packages on my work truck, and they all fell onto the floor—berries and grapes were just flying everywhere. Obviously, this was not a big deal, but this happened right in the center of the store, where our four departments and the doors to the back room converged. The store was also well over capacity with customers doing their Saturday afternoon shopping.
This incident had created a traffic jam of sorts. My manager and I were scrambling to pick everything up, and I was down on my knees trying to pick up the grapes. What infuriated me were the glib jokes and quips that customers felt they needed to make and the fact that even though there was plenty of space for them to get around us, they still grazed their carts within an inch or two of where I was squatting.
I was embarrassed enough, but it just got worse for me. I started hyperventilating and got tunnel vision, and had a panic attack. Even if, from an outsider’s perspective, the situation was somewhat comedic, from my perspective, it was exceedingly humiliating and dehumanizing, to be treated as an object. Customers were weaving around me like I didn’t exist and provided unnecessary commentary that nobody else cared to hear.
It was the most embarrassed that I’ve ever been at this job. In my state, the customers seemed like cackling buzzards swooping around, narrowing in on the prey. We, somehow, managed to clear up the path and get out of the way of the buzzards.
88. Discounting It
A doctor came into the store a few days ago with a bag of clothes. She asked if we had discounts for health care workers, to which we said that we did not. The discounts were only for military personnel and teachers or students. Immediately after hearing this, she got upset and said that doctors worked much harder and deserved it more than teachers.
In my eyes, it was rude and ignorant to expect that a well-paid doctor should get a discount over teachers who are severely underpaid. If she could come to our store and blow $300 on clothes and also have other shopping bags on her, I seriously doubt she needed a discount. But it only got worse. She had the audacity to say, “Well, who was working hard during the pandemic? Yeah, doctors! That’s right.”
It’s true in some ways, but she was also very well paid. Teachers, on the other hand, do so much to teach the younger generation, including future doctors, but they are not paid nearly enough, which is why they often get discounts. It just blew my mind how she sat there bashing teachers for getting a discount as if it was something the employees decided on.
89. Holier Than Thou
The main guy of this Pentecostal church group comes into our store every Sunday and Wednesday. He told one of our servers that she was going to suffer and that she couldn’t serve him because she has tattoos on her arms. He would never wear a mask even at the height of the pandemic. He’d constantly complain about the service and how no one at my restaurant was a good server. But that’s not the worse thing he’s done.
He also told one of our servers that he was going to call CPS on her because her kids shouldn’t have a mom who has tattoos and piercings. I would love to knock the religious superiority right out of his body through a punch right to the ear.
90. Same Difference
This happened a couple of weeks ago. It was the day of my grandmother’s funeral. She passed in a hospital, and I was outside talking to the owner of the funeral home. This dude was also my godfather, and I had a very good relationship with him. It might sound weird that my godfather is the owner of a funeral home, but to me, it’s not.
He’s known me since I was a baby and he treated me like I was his son. Also, to me, his job is just like any other job, and it even has its benefits. Anyway, we were just outside the hospital, talking to each other. Parked in front of us were all the company vehicles, including the one you are all thinking about: The hearse. All of a sudden, this Entitled Mother approached us.
EM: Hello. Me: Uh….hello. She had her kid just next to her and he was holding a drink. EM: I was wondering if my son could take a ride on the limousine. She then pointed her finger to the hearse. It took me a while to respond for two reasons. The first one was because that day, I had so many thoughts going through my head, and a stranger coming to me out of nowhere caught me by surprise.
I am a very introverted person, and I find it difficult to talk to people I don’t know. The second reason was because I was holding in my laugh. She legitimately thought that the hearse was a limousine. Me: I’m sorry to say this, but that’s not— EM: Are you going to say no to a little child? At this point, I don’t know what to say. Me: Miss, believe me. You don’t want your son to go in that thing.
EM: Ugh…Why are you so stingy? Even if he spills his drink in the limousine, it won’t be a problem. You have enough money to buy a limousine, so you’ll surely have enough to clean it. This is when my godfather comes in. GF: Excuse me, miss. What do you want to do? EM: I want my son to ride the limousine! My godfather then said the most epic thing I have ever heard.
GF: thinks for a bit Well, sure he can ride the limousine. But only if he has a coffin to be in. The mom is a bit confused about this response. Then she takes a good second look at the “limousine,” and realized her mistake. I have no idea how she confused a hearse for a limousine, perhaps the company logo was out of her view or something.
However, when it dawned on her, her skin got pale and she just walked away as fast as she could with her kid. My godfather and me just look at each other and start laughing.
91. Playing Favorites
My fiancé and I have been together for eight years and engaged for three. I was doing my PhD program and was juggling planning the wedding. My fiancé took much of that work, but it was perfect because our dream venue was booked until after my graduation, so what we did is book our dream venue three years in advance.
It is really a beautiful venue, and the only slot we got was September of this year. My sister got engaged a few months ago to her fiancé. They were planning on having a spring wedding next year. They had no venue lined up, but had a few vendors lined up as well as a set date. Yesterday, our parents invited us and our significant others to a family BBQ, where my sister announced to our extended family that she is expecting.
Everyone was so happy for her and my brother-in-law, who is a great guy. My Nan asked my sister if the wedding was still on the set date or if they were going to wait. because of the baby. She said no, that she hoped to move it to September. No big deal for us. We don’t have many out-of-town guests, so they could attend both weddings no problem.
Nan was happy and asked my sister if she needed help planning such a short notice wedding. This is where the horror started dawning on me. My sister then turns around and says, “That’s what I wanted to talk to you about. I was really, really hoping we could kinda, like, take your venue? I really cannot stress myself too much with planning a wedding while going to maternity classes. And I think it is so beautiful! It would really mean a lot to me.”
It went silent, but everyone was looking at me expecting me to say, “Yes of course everything for my little sister!” My brother-in-law looked very uncomfortable and told her that they had talked about this and that it was not okay to put me on the spot. But my sister just said, “Don’t be like that! My sister wants to do what’s best for me, so it’s no big deal right?”
I just said “Well, it kind of is. I don’t know. I have my heart really set on the venue.” Cue the crying. She stormed off. My family’s reaction infuriated me even more. Nan told me that I was being selfish because she needed the venue more than I did. I tried to defend myself and my mother said, “You waited three years already. Would it have hurt you to wait a few more months? When has your sister ever asked you for something?” A few comments later, my fiancé got really mad and we left.
Later, my sister called me crying and said that it was unfair that I always get what I want and that I could have done this one thing for her. Dad said it is just a venue and what matters is the person who you are marrying. He is kind of right…but we have been planning for so long. My fiancé is furious with my family and doesn’t even want my sister to come. Now my family is threatening not to come because I am being selfish and my sister needs it more than me because having a baby is too stressful.
My brother-in-law called me and apologized for the inconvenience. He told me he had discussed it with my sister and she had told him she would not ask. He is properly mad with her now and warned me that my sister is blaming me for “potentially ruining her marriage.” My father has sent me about five texts along the lines of, “I hope you are happy. Your sister hasn’t stopped crying since yesterday” and so on and so on.
My fiancé and I have decided to boot my sister from the bridal party and replace her with my aunt, who is the only family member that took my side. We have not decided whether or not we will invite my family as a whole. Furthermore, my mom took it upon her to tell on us. She called my fiancé’s parents and told them that it would be best if my sister gets it because she is pregnant.
My future father-in-law told them to screw off and basically ripped my mom a new one for expecting something so ridiculous. He said they were going to lose me if they kept playing favorites. So my mom is now crying too and saying that my father-in-law is a jerk. This is just getting so pathetic. It seems straight out of a bad soap opera. And then it practically became a soap opera.
Sometime after this, and after hearing I was upset about her selfishness and posted this story on the Internet, my sister started contacting me again and saying I was being unfair. That she is family and that she asked it nicely because she loves me. She also underlined the fact that the opinion of internet strangers doesn’t count because family is more important and I should focus on making my family happy.
The only text I sent back was this. I am sorry that you perceived it that way. I did not in any matter distort what happened. As you might notice I didn’t describe your tone nor exaggerated anything. Perhaps you have that night different in your mind than I do, but I digress. I am sick and tired of bending to your will. My whole life I have been your servant and your doormat.
Remember all the birthdays I had to share with you because you would throw a tantrum because you didn’t get presents? Or when you cried so that I would fill out job applications for you? But the thing that has hurt me most till now is when you ruined my graduation. I am done. I admit that I also spoiled you but I will not any longer.
If you want to marry so bad before your baby is born, then you could look at [hotel x] that offers last-minute weddings. I have spent too much time planning MY wedding to gift it to you. And if you want to ruin our relationship over this, then go ahead. I will sleep sound and safe knowing that it wasn’t my fault. She only sent me a “Wow…You must love me so very much.”
And blocked me. She unblocked me this morning to send me a supposed message from MY wedding planner talking about rebooking the venue. Throughout this, my parents haven’t actually written me since the thing with my father-in-law. My older brother contacted me and wanted to know what happened because he got a weird story from mom and dad.
Mom had told him that previous to the BBQ, I had offered to give up the venue to my sister and that I humiliated her on the day—my brother wasn’t at the BBQ. I told him what really happened and he had no problem believing me. We talked a lot about our parents’ behavior and he confessed that his moving far away was partly due to our parents being jerks to us.
He told me that mom was mad at me for betraying my family. I haven’t written my parents because I have to come to terms with the fact that they love my sister more than me, if they love me at all. Anyway, we continued with OUR wedding. We put passwords with the majority of our vendors and also with the venue directly. We didn’t talk to our planner yet, which is why my sister’s text worries me so much.
Also, we canceled the catering that my parents paid for. So short-term, we won’t be able to get full catering like we wanted to. But all our friends and my fiancé’s family will help us prepare a buffet, and everyone is going to chip in. That will be our bachelor party. As we will have to spend more on our food now, we canceled our bachelor parties and will have a family and friends cooking session.
We called my planner and she was actually really horrified. She told me she never had as much as talked to my mother or sister since the day we went to book the venue. She assured me that even if they were to call and say that I wanted to give it to my sister, I had to be present to make any changes. So we informed everyone that will work for us on our wedding and they offered to hire security for that day at a reduced price.
I am finally realizing just how toxic my family is. I will try to sort it out. If they apologize from the bottom of their hearts, they will be allowed into my wedding, but if not…Then well…I still have my brother, who will be walking me down the aisle, and my aunt.
92. Giving New Meaning To “Food Fight”
I can finally air my uncensored frustration about the night my engagement was single-handedly corrupted by my entitled mother-in-law. Let’s call her “Ellen.” Ok, so my girlfriend and I were really engaged to be engaged. We’d both agreed we wanted to get married, but I hadn’t done the formal proposal yet because we wanted to meet each other’s families first, since neither lived nearby.
I always thought the old trope about meeting the in-laws being a big fiasco was a myth, both because I was younger and more naive then, and because I’m lucky to have easy parents. My girlfriend met my parents for a few hours. Once we were alone just me and them, I told them my intentions and my mom asked, “Does she have any kids already?”
My dad asked, “Does she have a good solid job?” And they both asked, “You really love her?” And that was that, I had their full support for the marriage. I thought meeting her parents would be the same. Some grilling was to be expected, but as long as I was honest and respectful, it would all be fine. I have never been more wrong in my entire life.
Relevant fact, my girlfriend’s parents had her when they were teenagers, by surprise, so they later had a “do-over daughter” (their words, not mine!!) who was just six years old. My girlfriend and I made the trip up to their city and I met them for the first time over dinner at a steak house. It was pretty upscale, and we’d scheduled the dinner for 8:00 pm, so I was surprised to see they’d brought the kid along with them.
I met everyone at once and the initial awkwardness settled once we’d sat down. We were making great small talk when the six-year-old said she was thirsty. No big deal right? Well, all of a sudden, my girlfriend’s mother Ellen starts screaming. “Water? Water! WATER?!” A waiter came rushing over to see what the commotion was and, without even making eye contact with the poor guy, Ellen went, “We’ve been here forever and no one’s even gotten us any water. My daughter’s been asking.”
We had been sitting for about 15 or 20 minutes without service, it was true, but they were visibly behind, and there were no circumstances that would’ve warranted that shouting. I should’ve realized from how unfazed everyone else at the table was that I should be bracing myself for a long night, but I couldn’t imagine what was to come at that point.
The waiter rushed over with water and apologized for the delay, explaining a few very large parties had arrived all at once. The guy was seemed sincere, and quite affable, so I thought the water would just be an anomaly in an otherwise pleasant night. Then Ellen kicked into full gear. “We’ll need a kid’s menu.” She informed the waiter.
He said that they didn’t have a kid’s menu, but that the chef could simplify most dishes. “What do you mean you don’t have a kid’s menu?” Ellen replied in total disbelief, as though he’d said they didn’t have a fire exit. He explained they didn’t get too many child visitors and that there were enough plain foods on the menu that no separate menu had ever been necessary.
Ellen sighed dramatically and waved him away. Literally, without saying a word, waved him off from the table. I tried to give him an apologetic glance but, understandably, he didn’t look back our way. I was so glad the poor guy left and didn’t have to be subjected to her anymore. Meanwhile, she turned her attention on me, and I almost wished he’d come back.
At least he was getting paid to be here. She was like, “So you’re a screenwriter?” And I explained, “Well, yes and no. I want to be, but it’s hard to get a job in that field that you can support yourself on, so I’m working at a non-profit right now. There’s a screenwriting component to the job though, so I’m really happy there.”
Ellen turned to her six-year-old and went “Hear that? You want to be sure to snag a man who works for profit. Learn from this. It’s not too late for you.” I couldn’t tell if she was trying to be funny or not. So, I just let it pass, looking over to my girlfriend to see if she was even considering speaking up on my behalf. Nope. The waiter came back, visibly nervous.
That hurt, because he was so relaxed and personable at the start of the meal. He asked if we’d like to hear the specials before we ordered and Ellen said sure. Here’s how that went. Waiter: First we have a lightly seared strip stea— Ellen: Next! Waiter: Oh… uh, ok. Then we have a broiled leg of grass fed— Ellen: Next! Waiter: Uh, we, uh, we have a pasta primavera mixed with—
Ellen: NEEEEXXXXTTTTTTUHHH And on and on until he’d gone through all seven or 10 specials, even though she ultimately ordered off the menu, a plain rib eye, well done. She tried to order her daughter the same, but the kid said she just wanted plain mashed potatoes, so Ellen let her get mashed potatoes alone for dinner. Then…she sent the waiter away! The rest of us hadn’t even ordered yet!
And everyone else just sat there like it was entirely normal! I waited for someone to say something, thinking it was more her older daughter (my girlfriend’s) place or her husband’s, but when no one did I couldn’t help myself. “I, uh, was the one steak and potatoes going to be for all of us, or?” My girlfriend explained, in the tone you’d use for a tourist violating a sacred local taboo, “My mom always has the waiter put the kid’s food in first, so it can get started right away. We’ll order once the kitchen has hers.”
I thought she was joking, since Ellen didn’t just order her kid’s food, she also ordered her own dinner, too. So I laughed. “Something funny?” Ellen asked. Then I realized she was serious, and I shut up. Thankfully, her dad at least recognized that what was normal for them might not be as regular to me, and tried to lighten the mood with a change of topic.
But not even 10 minutes after she and her daughter had ordered, Ellen started in again. Another table, that had been there long before we were, got a side order of mashed potatoes with their meal. Ellen threw a total conniption. She was sputtering so inaudibly that none of us could figure out what was wrong at first. Finally, she managed to flag down some busboy who barely spoke English and began laying into him like he’d just side-swiped her on the freeway.
He kept trying to explain he wasn’t a server and he could go get one, but she wouldn’t stop to breathe long enough for him to find someone who could actually help. All the while, I kept looking at my girlfriend for signs of embarrassment, or at the very least irritation, but you wouldn’t have known if she was even hearing any of this.
Our waiter came over, somehow still feigning a smile despite knowing what he was walking into, and Ellen actually goes, “Why did that table get mashed potatoes and ours haven’t come yet?” The waiter kindly but concisely explained, “Well Ma’am, those people ordered potatoes before your party had placed their order.” Ellen looks this man in the eye (finally) and says, “Well it doesn’t matter when they ordered it. My daughter is the youngest one here! Her food should come out first.”
You could tell the waiter was working hard to restrain himself at this point. He explained it was a first come, first served, policy and age didn’t help one way or the other. He offered to go check on the potatoes, Ellen agreed, or more specifically she said, “Yah, you better!” but I was clocking him and he went right back to his server station…because we had only just ordered a few minutes ago.
Three or five more minutes passed, during which we could have no other discussion at the table except how awful this restaurant was, how hungry the poor baby was (who hadn’t said a word about being hungry this whole time and was contently playing her loud iPad game, without headphones, disturbing all the other diners around us), and how America has lost all respect for motherhood because it’s just a “me, me, me” culture now.
I chimed in, “I’m with you on that last part.” And to my utter shock, instead of laughing at my joke, my girlfriend seemed annoyed with me! So after a few minutes, the waiter comes back and says the potatoes will be out very soon. Ellen then goes and does something that, again, I thought was just a myth. She took three singles and a five out of her wallet and put them on the table in full view of the waiter.
Then she took one single away and said “Every table I see getting potatoes before us is a bill gone.” I was absolutely mortified. The waiter, to his unending credit, just took a deep breath and said, “I don’t have control over the order in which the kitchen fires tickets, but what I can tell you is it should be out any minute.” And he left without saying anything disparaging.
I had been holding my tongue all night as well, in the name of my relationship, but once the tip hit the table (the $8 tip for a $100+ bill, on top of everything else) I figured if my girlfriend was half the woman I thought she was, then she wouldn’t mind my speaking up at this point. If anything, she’d be supportive, right? So I scooted my chair back a bit.
Then I said, “Listen I know what you’re doing with the cash on the table, but that kind of thing makes me really uncomfortable, and it’s just not called for. Please put the money away or we can just continue this some other time.” My girlfriend’s dad spits back, “What? How cheap do you have to be to not believe in tipping service workers?”
Before I could process whether he was serious or yanking my chain, Ellen shocked me with, “No, you know what, you’re right, this isn’t necessary.” I should’ve known better than to be relieved. I still can’t believe what she did next. She folded the bills back into her wallet, patiently waited for the next plate of mashed potatoes to be carried out, and when it wasn’t delivered to us, (it was a very common side dish at this place, a steak house) she went right up to a stranger’s table and picked it up off their table.
She half explained something about her daughter “starving” as she was walking away with the stranger’s food, but unsurprisingly, that wasn’t convincing enough for them. The old lady she took it from followed her right over to our table and tried to take it back. I was already searching for my coat tag in preparation to go, but a shoving match was beginning to unfold between Ellen and an elderly woman with a tennis ball walker, and far be it from me to sit through all that had happened only to leave just as the night was getting interesting.
The elderly woman was like, “Give me back my potatoes!! Who are you??” And the poor little girl was like, “Mommy, it’s ok, don’t take someone else’s potatoes…” But it all fell on deaf ears. Ellen yelled at the old lady, “How could you sit there and eat these when my daughter hasn’t even been served yet? She’s sitting here hungry, just a little girl, and you’re over there stuffing your face? Come on, other potatoes will be out any minute.”
And the old lady, got to love her, was like, “Great, if they’ll be out any minute, then what’s the [bleeping] problem?!” To which Ellen still found holier than thou ground, gasping, “Language, please!” Finally the waiter, and this time someone higher up as well, I think the manager, thank God, came over to separate them, as they had begun to raise their voices and cause a disturbance.
Now, staff had already asked Ellen to turn down her daughter’s iPad multiple times without heed, and I’m guessing the waiter informed management about the “tip on the table,” stunt she pulled, because this was their final straw. They told us we were going to have to leave the restaurant. “But we don’t even have our food yet!” Ellen complained at the guy.
This was clearly not the manager’s first rodeo. “You can take the food that’s already been served free of charge, everything else will be canceled. Please leave immediately.” The old lady didn’t miss her chance to knock the potatoes right onto the floor so we couldn’t try to take them with us. Nothing else had been served yet, so we had to leave without any food. But the worst was yet to come.
When my girlfriend and I were finally alone in our car she said, “Can you believe that?” And I said, “Not at all. And I really can’t believe you didn’t warn me!” And she went, “How could I have known about any of that?” Confused, I asked, “Is she not usually like that?” Even more confused than me, my girlfriend asked, “Who?” “Your mom!” “What’s my mom got to do with the terrible service at that place?”
That was the beginning of the end of our relationship. The fact that she didn’t see anything wrong with her mom’s behavior, and that I’d be marrying into that situation, shook me too deep. We both dodged a bullet in more ways than one. In hindsight, we weren’t right for each other, regardless of who her family was. Her mom saved us both a lot of time and heartache, helping me realize in one night what would’ve probably taken us years otherwise.
Within a month we’d moved into separate apartments and gone on a “break” that ended up lasting forever. I’m not sorry I won’t see you again, Ellen. I am sorry any wait staff ever will, though.
93. Here’s To You
Now, for a bit of context, last weekend was liberation day in Holland, and many cities were having festivals to celebrate. Most of these festivals have free entrance, so they tend to crack down on people bringing their own food and drinks, to increase profits from beverage sales. A friend of mine lives within the area where the festival is taking place though, so usually we drop our booze at his place and retrieve it during the festival.
Since it didn’t seem like a terrific idea to walk around with a bottle of JD, I mixed it into a 1L Coca Cola Vanilla bottle with just enough coke that it looked like coke, and went onto the festival grounds. While walking around with the bottle of “coke,” I feel a tap on my shoulder. Festival etiquette is to move over to the side to let somebody pass, after which I move along.
I suddenly feel a hand grabbing my shoulder and trying to pull me back, so I turn around, and I’m faced with a typical Karen. Her: Where’d you get that? pointing at the bottle Me: Brought it from home. Her: Can my kid have some? Me, not wanting everybody to know I had booze on me: They sell coke over there, you can buy your kid a fresh, cold one. Her: They don’t sell vanilla coke there, and he doesn’t like the regular one. He wants yours. holds out hand
Me: If he doesn’t like the regular one, I’m pretty sure he won’t like this any better… Meanwhile, the kid has started squealing about how he’s thirsty and “wants THAT one,” and the mother starts giving me a demanding stare. Me: …Okay lady, I’m going to be honest with you. Half of this bottle is Jack Daniels, and I don’t think it’s a good idea to give it to the kid. Her response made me want to scream.
Her: You’re lying! You just made that up so you wouldn’t have to share with my baby! Now give it to me! While I turn away in an attempt to disappear into the crowd, the kid grabs the bottle with both hands, wrenches it from my hand, and makes a run for it, his mom in tow. I follow them, and I find them just in time to see the kid take a few massive swigs from the bottle.
After, this he starts violently throwing up almost immediately. Figuring the best move for me would be to not further pursue the now vomit-covered bottle of Jack and coke, I decided to head over to my friend’s and mix a new one. In passing, I throw the mom a “Told you” and make my way into the crowds. Within seconds, she charges me and starts attempting to take a swing at me.
“YOU POISONED MY BABY!!! SECURITY!!!” We’re separated by bystanders, and a stallholder gets security, who questions both me and the woman. Her: He gave my baby this bottle of poison and told him it was coke! I want him detained. Guard: Sir, what’s in this bottle? Me: A premixed JD and coke, somewhat on the generous side with the JD.
Guard: And why did you give that to a kid? Me: I didn’t, sir. I was mostly planning on getting smashed myself, to be fair. They thought it was coke, wouldn’t believe me when I told them it was booze and snatched the bottle from me. What you’re seeing here is just the result of the kid taking a drink before I was able to stop him.
At this point, a bystander chimed in, confirming that he saw the kid snatch the bottle from my hand, although he hadn’t heard the conversation. Security tells the mom to not pull that ridiculous stuff again and to take her still crying kid to the first-aid post. He then instructs me to be more careful with the next batch I’m “inevitably about to make.”
94. Taking A Bow
Several years back, I was working at a small beauty supply store in the southern part of the US. Among other things, we sold little clip-in hairpieces. A family of four had come in and the mom and dad were discussing products in the first aisle while the two little girls were running unsupervised through the store, being loud and making messes.
It was truck day, and I had been stocking shelves out of a shopping cart, referred to as a buggy by many people in that area. It was chock full to the brim. I had gone to the stock room and when I came back 30 seconds later, I saw one of the little girls pushing my cart around the corner of the opposite end of the aisle.
She was standing on her tiptoes and still could not see over the handle. I heard her say something to her mother and her mother told her, “Put that back where you found it.” By that time, I had nearly caught up with the kid, who had turned the basket around. She pushed the cart up to me and said proudly, “Ma’am, are you lookin’ for yer buggy?”
I replied, “You do not need to be messing with that.” That’s when the mom’s Karen came out. She came roaring around the corner saying how I should not speak directly to her child and that if I had something to say, then I should say it to her. Never mind the fact that the kid had run into a shelf, slipped a bit on the tile floors, and almost turned the basket over on herself on the opposite side of the store from her mother’s location.
I did not bother to argue about safety concerns and instead went back to stocking shelves. A little while later, the mother asked me to help her match the color of her hair to the hairpieces. I helped her pick one out, then heard her confirm to her husband that it was the one she wanted. I then went up to the register, while she rounded up her kids.
When she got to the checkout, the hairpiece that she put on the counter was a different one than what I had seen her discussing. I asked her about it and she indicated that the other one was more than she could afford, but she planned to come back for it. I rang her out and they left. The next day, I got to work and the opening clerk said, “I got one of your customers today.”
I said, “Oh yeah?” I didn’t get customer complaints often, but that particular week, I had someone else come in, while I was off, saying that I was rude. They had been unhappy that I had prevented them from shoplifting but they gave some other bogus reason to complain. When my coworker confirmed this, it was in a tone that made it clear I was in for a ride a bit later.
So, I asked, “Have you ever seen me be rude to a customer?” “No,” she answered. “It always seems like you’re sweet, but to hear them tell it, you’re big and bad.” About that time, the door opened, and in walked the hairpiece woman and her kids. It was about to go down. She started laying into me about how she had come to return the hairpiece that she got yesterday.
We did not take returns on hairpieces in the first place. However, she said that in the process of trying to return it with my co-worker, they had found a discrepancy between the item that she was trying to return and the one I had rang up. So, my coworker had asked her to come back during my shift so I could assist with the return.
This woman pulled the product that she wanted to return out and it was a different product than the one she purchased from me—in fact, it was the one that I had heard her tell her husband she wanted…and it was in a different product box. I told her as much, and she started screaming, saying that I better not be calling her a liar.
She also started making thinly veiled physical threats. In the meantime, one of her darling kids had come back around the sales counter where I was standing and she was trying to get my attention to get in on the action. I was ignoring the girl, but she kept tapping me on the hip. I whirled around and curtly said, “Don’t touch me.”
Then, remembering the scene from the day before, I snapped my head back to the mom and smiled sweetly. Through gritted teeth, but with the most upbeat voice, I said, “I am sorry, could you please tell your child not to touch me and remove her from behind the counter. It’s not safe for her to be back here.” She snarled, “That’s better.”
She barked a command at her kid, then made it clear that she would be back in an hour to continue her reign of terror. Shortly after she left, our store manager arrived unexpectedly early for the closing shift. We brought her up to speed on what had been going on. When the lady came back, I happened to be in the stock room.
My manager closed the stock room door and told me in the sternest voice ever: “Do NOT come out.” I could only hear snippets through the door, so I don’t know exactly what happened. I got the picture that we must have given her some money back as a one-time thing, probably because the other option was to refer to corporate, who would have given her money back.
But then I very clearly heard the woman’s voice ring across the store, “Go get her and bring her out here. I am going to snatch her up and…” “You will not lay a hand on my employee,” my manager emphatically interrupted. I did not hear any of the exchange after that, because I was so shocked at my sweet, proper manager’s firm retort.
My coworker, apparently, was similarly surprised. The consensus among the employees after that was that we were pretty proud of how tough our manager could be if needed. They also decided that if I was being rude to a “customer,” it was probably someone stealing.
95. No Shame
One of my neighbors was expecting their first baby. The wife had passed out and went unresponsive at home while an elderly relative was visiting. The baby was born at the hospital, and the wife’s condition rapidly deteriorated. Only the baby came home. The husband was understandably overwhelmed when all this happened. The poor guy didn’t leave the hospital until his wife passed a few days later.
Their townhome only had two parking spots. Our HOA had recently changed the rules for our overflow parking. Residents had been allowed to park no more than four days a month in those spaces. Then it went to 90 minutes a month which became effective two days after the wife went to the hospital. The wife’s car was in the overflow parking lot when the elderly relative was there visiting.
The wife’s mom came to care for the baby and help with funeral arrangements. She flew in, took a taxi to her daughter’s home, and got the extra car keys from the house. She went to the overflow parking, and her daughter’s car was gone. The HOA towed it. The husband came home with the baby and got all the mail that had accumulated in his absence. What he found was truly awful.
There were multiple fines from the HOA, from the towed car to trash cans being out past 4:30 PM and on non-trash days, to some weeds that had sprouted in the driveway. There was also a bill from the HOA president, who “impounded” the trash cans and recycling bins with a $30/day “storage fee” per item. The HOA president lived on their street.
He was aware that an ambulance had come and that no one had been at the house for days. He would not dismiss the fines because the husband was still physically capable of going back to the house. The situation ended up on the news, but, unfortunately, you just can’t shame some people. But it wasn’t all bad. One of our other neighbors realized there was nothing in the HOA rulebook about needing HOA permits for rummage sales.
So, they organized a giant neighborhood rummage sale to raise money for the fines. The look on the HOA president’s face was priceless when he tried to shut it down, and multiple people came out with our 300-page by-laws book to show it was within the rules. The rummage sale was also reported as an update on the news.
We were able to raise a few thousand to help our neighbor out. I eventually moved away and will never buy another property with an HOA because of the petty nonsense HOAs bring out. The husband ended up moving back to where their families were from, partly due to not wanting to deal with the HOA.
96. Dog Days
Several years ago, I used to work as a dog trainer at a very well-known pet supply store. While I was a dog trainer, it was still retail, so of course, I had to do 100 things outside of my job description. As a result, I was working the cash register, stocking, and yes, helping our loyal customers. The store I worked at was an absolute disaster with Karens, too.
Big, white suburban neighborhoods were situated around this store, so they came in like hordes. Well, on this particular day, it was vet day. Basically, a local vet service partnered with the store to offer quick walk-in vet checkups for things like vaccinations. Of course, put “cheap” and “Karens” together and you get the worst workday of your week.
This week, the store was packed. The line went all the way to the front, and we were the biggest store in the area. People were asking me questions left and right, dogs were relieving themselves everywhere, and kids were playing with the dog toys. It was the whole shebang. I was already like a headless chicken, having to juggle five tasks while also prepping for a dog training class. Yay.
But as I was making my way from the vet station helping another customer, I saw her, and she definitely looked like trouble. She had a dark tan, shoulder-length straight hair, sunglasses, and she was dragging a couple of kids down the aisle toward me. She looked like she was wanting to turn into the Hulk and was ready to fight. I prepped myself before I started to say, “How can I help—”
She stopped me in the middle of my sentence by saying one loud word, “Dogs!” She had a crazy gleam in her eyes. I tried to decipher her cryptic message and asked, “Dog…toys? Dog…food?” She then said, “Where are your dogs?” It took a second for my brain to catch up with her shrieks; to understand that she was hoping that we sold dogs.
Now, luckily, big box stores like this one tend to not sell dogs directly. Otherwise, they would get them from puppy mills. But now, unfortunately, I had to inform this lady that we were not that kind of store. I geared myself up for a battle, then said: “I am sorry, ma’am, but we do not sell dogs he—” She cursed and shrieked, then immediately spun around, pulling her kids like ragdolls the entire time.
She then stomped out the door again. It felt like I got hit and run over by words. This interaction was less than 30 seconds, so it was like a new record. It was then that I decided it would be best if I took my break before doing my next class.
97. She Got A Doggone Sweet Surprise
I used to clean a local gymnastics facility on the weekends. The owner would rent out the place for birthday parties, and one of the coaches was always present for them. One weekend, I saw a car pull up about an hour before the party was to start. I was finishing cleaning the lobby, and we had no power as our lights were being replaced.
This woman came in and headed upstairs. About ten seconds later, she came STORMING down the stairs, got in my face, and started yelling, “WHY is there no power?! I’m supposed to set up for this party. HOW am I supposed to do that WHEN I CAN’T SEE WHAT I’M DOING?!” I was a little stunned and told her that, per the owner’s policy, she couldn’t be in the building until the coach arrived.
Her face went purple. She yelled, “HOW DARE YOU TELL ME WHAT I CAN AND CAN NOT DO! THE OWNER SAID I COULD BE HERE WHENEVER I WANTED. I WON’T TAKE THIS GARBAGE FROM SOME STUPID KID!” I said, “Fine, but your power won’t be on for another 45 minutes. You might as well go wait in your car until the coach gets here.”
She stomped off, tried to slam the door, and proceeded to try and call the owner. When the coach finally arrived, I told her what had happened and how she acted towards me. I also left a note for the owner and called her to inform her. I left the gym and went home for the night. The following day, I went in to get paid. The owner pulled me aside and told me I did everything right in that situation. Then I found out the whole story.
I found out that not only was that lady completely nasty to the coach as well, but that she didn’t pay for the party, and she stayed a full hour longer than what was rented. Then, I got the best news possible. When the parents were all inside, her dog had gotten into the cake that was in her car and ate about half of it. Her reaction was deranged.
She then said, “Oh, we can still use it. We’ll just cut around the parts the dog ate.” 40 minutes later, she came running back into the gym, grabbed a bunch of paper towels, and returned to her car. Within the time that she brought the cake inside to the time she went back out, her dog had pooped and puked EVERYWHERE in her car—on the seats, floors, armrests, even the dashboard. This car was COVERED in poo and vomit.
98. 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.
99. No Connection
A very grumpy high-society woman came to the store saying her brand new 3,000-dollar Microsoft surface bought by her husband was defective because she could not get internet when she was on the move. I quickly realized she was talking about Wi-Fi, so I tried explaining to her how Wi-Fi actually works. Boy, was that a mistake!
I told her that she could not use her Wi-Fi outside her house, but that she could share her smartphone internet connection. She would have none of it. She said I was lying to her and making fun of her. She even asked to speak to my manager, who then proceeded to tell her the exact same thing, almost to the word. She left screaming.
100. Hotel Havoc
I used to work as a front desk agent at a boutique hotel. A guy who was obviously very full of himself came in with an online reservation that he had booked at a shockingly cheap nightly rate. He proceeded to give me a hard time about EVERYTHING, from telling me he shouldn’t have to give me his credit card info since he had prepaid his reservation, to telling me “Um yeah, I’m pretty sure I can find the elevators, I’m not stupid.”
He was just being an all-around jerk. About 10 minutes after checking him in, he came down and demanded that we give him a bigger room with a king bed and a view, even though he had booked a standard queen bed online. I complied, as we had extra king beds available. 10 minutes later, he came down again to complain about the size of the room.
He told me, “I’m only going to give you one more chance to make me happy,” and asked for the general manager. After much arguing between him and my manager, we ended up giving him our nicest suite AND free parking since we had “Given him trouble.” He got all this for a way cheaper rate, like $40 per night! Oh, but he outdid himself.
Get this: He informed us shortly after the ordeal, while on his way out to dinner, that he was not even going to be in the room for the majority of his stay, as he was visiting friends and would be staying at their home. What the heck! So I made it my personal mission to make his life a living nightmare from that point on.
I reset his room keys every time I saw him leave the hotel—which was quite frequently, 3-4 times a day. It was particularly funny when he came back tired from a night out and had to come all the way down to the front desk to get his keys fixed. Needless to say, he was very frustrated by the end of his stay. I doubt he’ll be staying with us again.
101. Leave It Well Enough Alone
For the past few months, I’ve suspected that my upstairs neighbor has been taking some of my mail. I buy a lot of things online like books and craft supplies and every now and then there’s been small things that were meant to arrive on a certain day that never did. One day, I caught her wandering around my front door. When I asked her what she was doing she said “Oh, I was looking for something I think I dropped into your yard”.
I got surveillance cameras installed a while ago, which were not noticeable to my neighbors. The camera that’s pointed at my front door isn’t visible from the driveway. So here comes the trap. I purchased a few postage boxes to set up for her. The first one was a glitter bomb. I set up the box to make sure she would get glitter to the face as soon as she opened it.
I packed it to make it look like a postage parcel, then sat it at my front door. 20 minutes later I saw her walking to my front door. She looked around then picked up the box and walked away. My only regret is that I didn’t get to see her reaction when she got a face full of glitter. I haven’t noticed any other mail going missing after that, but she will regret it if she does it again.
102. That’s What Big Brothers Are For
When I was in the fifth grade, a lady grabbed my brother who was in the third grade by the neck. She picked him up and threw him three to four feet against the lockers. She was mad because he had pushed her child out of the way when her kid cut in line in front of him at the water fountain. I couldn’t believe it. I just started going off on her.
I was calling her every name I could think of while following her out the door. I wasn’t using your standard fifth-grade insults. My dad was a Marine, and I was saying all the stuff I wasn’t supposed to have heard from him that I amassed over the years. I followed her and her kid out the front door and got to the circle where buses pulled in to pick up the kids.
Then, she turned around and came at me like she was trying to destroy me. There were no teachers around. They were all inside, trying to find out what was going on. It was just her and me, and I could see in her eyes that she was really going to hurt me. She grabbed me by the shoulders, picked me up, and shook me as hard as she could the whole time I was screaming.
Then I heard car breaks, and my mom football tackled her and beat the bejesus out of her. My mom had layers upon layers of that lady’s skin caked under her nails and bruised knuckles from punching her so hard. That night, I got ice cream for trying to protect my brother and was sent to bed early for saying the words I shouldn’t have.
Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
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