In any profession that requires you to directly interact with customers, you're all but guaranteed to get a fair share of people who are crazy, entitled, rude, or some combination of the three. However, some stand out more than others in both their ability to leave a lasting impression and their level of obnoxiousness. Workers wouldn't wish these people upon anyone, but their clownery does make for some entertaining stories!
Whether it's a lady losing her mind about keyboard cleaners or a horrible little boy spouting hate speech at other customers, these people really need a lesson in how to act like civilized members of society. Here are some of Reddit workers' wildest, most absurd stories about the worst customers they've ever had. Content edited for clarity.
"When I was manager at a handbag store, having women use a $500 bag and try to return it was fairly common, but this one woman swore up and down that she had NEVER used the bag and only kept it for 5 months because she never got around to giving it away as a gift. This bag was torn to bits: damaged leather, torn lining, ink stains, the whole nine yards. I obviously refused the return.
After arguing in circles for a few minutes, she wanted to call corporate. No big deal, I've had plenty of customers do this in front of me. No, this witch wanted ME to call corporate for her. She was screaming so loud I figured I would do it to appease her. Big mistake. After navigating the phone tree and being put on hold, this woman screaming all the while, I finally got through to a live person.
After explaining the situation to the person on the other end with screaming in the background, the corporate higher-up decided I should do the return because of the customer service issue at hand. With my blood boiling, I thanked the person on the other end of the phone and returned over $500 to the woman for a handbag that she had destroyed.
The story doesn't end there. Apparently, the person from corporate I ended up speaking to was the CEO's assistant, so I received a rather longwinded e-mail explaining my customer service issues and spent the rest of the month having to kiss butt to the store manager to make up for it. Retail management blows, and I don't wish it on anyone."
"I waitressed in high school and this happened when I was about 16 or 17. A guy came in to eat with his family, a little girl and his pregnant wife. They were really friendly and at first I thought it was a great table.
Then the wife went to the bathroom and the guy asked for the check, and on the check he wrote his phone number in the tip area along with, 'Call me, baby.' I ran the payment, waited until his wife came back, then brought over the guy's card and his receipt. I handed the receipt to the pregnant woman and told her something was wrong with the tip. She got SUPER upset and I got in a lot of trouble with my managers for stirring crap.
In retrospect, I probably didn't handle it the best way, but at the same time I was furious that some guy would come to eat with his PREGNANT WIFE and try to hit on a girl half his age. If he's doing that stuff so brazenly, God only knows what else he's doing behind his wife's back."
"I come from a family of jewelers and we design and handmake our own stuff. Many years back, we had a lovely mall store with these tall, narrow glass showcases inset into the walls. The glass fronted to the mall aisle, there was a stand inside that we would put our best items on, and there was a 2' wide, 10' tall glass door on the backside. We kept these scrupulously clean, as any respectable business would do.
Well, one day some loud, rude jerkbag came strolling in with his trophy girlfriend. He started yelling around the store, asking for some designer from New Mexico (this was in Arizona), so we politely told him that he could find that specific line in New Mexico. However, he cut us off shouting (everything he said was shouted) that this guy made the best jewelry and he would only buy from him, blah blah.
We tried to ignore him, but then he started asking about something else that was trendy at the time, just trying to show his knowledge off. I got stuck waiting on him as this scared 16-year-old kid just trying to make a buck for the family, so I didn't know what to do. Then the guy started wondering why we didn't carry any 18k gold, yelling about how it was better, and you couldn't answer him because he'd just cut you off and ask another question.
He headed over to one of the narrow showcases, pointing at some large designer piece in the window that he was sure he'd seen it somewhere before, yammering about his New Mexico designer again. He was moving kinda fast and for some reason didn't see the huge brass door handle on the case and must have thought it was just open in the back.
He hit that thick glass so hard that it made a harmonic 'thwang!' and wobbled. He fell back a little dazed, rubbed his forehead, and left in silence. The woman that he was with just lost it and was laughing so hard that she couldn't stand upright. We left his forehead print on the glass for a few weeks, it was so satisfying."
"I used to work at Kmart, and they have these Rewards Cards where 1% of every purchase you make goes onto the card. Then after they accumulate, you can use the money on the card to pay for future purchases at either Kmart or Sears (owned by same company).
One day this lady came in with a bunch of groceries and after I rang them all up she handed me the card and said she wanted to use everything on it. I scanned it and double checked with her, 'You have $5.40, you'd like to use all of it?'
She went on a rant, saying there should be much more loaded onto the card, and then explained how so much was on it. Her explanation made me facepalm inside my brain, I couldn't believe how foolish her argument was.