The old slogan says, "the customer is always right." After some research, it has been confirmed that this is not true. However, in most instances, the customer thinks they're right, which can lead to some estranged relationships with the employees they deal with. These employees were able to make it through the adversity of dealing with these entitled customers that yelled at them for the strangest reasons. Content has been edited for clarity.
"My first job was in the produce department of a local grocery store. One morning, a middle aged woman came in and asked me if we have any organic pears in the back room because the ones up front didn't look great. I explained to her we would be getting our shipment in the following morning and she could come back then to pick some organic ones up, or we have regular pears available in the next row.
She did not like this.
Aside from getting yelled at, she requested to speak to my manager who also had to get an earful of complaints. This isn't anything super out of the ordinary and I was kind of used to the occasional upset customer, but what killed me though is as she is about to walk away, she turns and says, 'I'll be back tomorrow to get the pears, but I don't know what my bird is going to eat today. HE HAS TO EAT ORGANIC.'"
"So a few years ago, I was working as a cashier and it was my job to watch over the self-checkout machines and help anyone who was having trouble. So middle of the day, I see this guy having trouble with one. He didn't understand that you need to scan the item and place it on the scale before scanning the next one, so I walk over and ask him if he needs any help. He nearly jumps out of his skin and starts yelling at me because apparently I 'snuck up' on him. He demands to see my manager and I'm just flabbergasted that not only would someone be so situationally unaware that they couldn't see me walking up beside them, but that they would be so angry that they would want to see my manager over it.
I go and get my manager and he comes over. This guy says that I snuck up on him and was also very rude and laughed at him, which was a lie and another customer who saw the whole thing even called him out on that. Eventually the manager tells him to leave with his stuff and that he'll 'talk to me,' and seemingly the guy was satisfied. My manager just says, 'Uh, don't sneak up on people or anything.'
I simply respond, 'Sure,' and got back to work. That was the only time a customer ever got angry at me."
"I'm a vet and a had a client whose poodle got a grass seed stuck in his foot twice in one year. She shouted at me that as vets, we really should do something about it, as this was so unfair.
She was angry at me that I couldn't stop grass from existing. She recommended I contact the local council to see if we could 'stop grass.'
FYI, shaving their feet prevents the issue generally, because the seeds only tend to get embedded when they get tangled in hair and can't get out. But she didn't want to shave her dog's feet because 'she'd look ludicrous.'"
"A woman and her high school daughter walked up to me while I was working in Bath and Body Works. Here's how the convo went:
Mom: 'We don't know what they are called, but you know those things you can wear around your neck and you clip keys or badges to them? Do you sell those here?'
Me: 'Oh, do you mean lanyards?'
Mom: 'WHAT DID YOU CALL ME?!
Me: 'Nothing, you said you didn't know what those things are called, they are called lanyards. Unfortunately we do not sell them here. Maybe check Hot Topic?'
Mom: 'Whatever, thanks for wasting my time.'
As they turned to leave, the daughter turned behind her moms back and mouthed, 'I'm sorry,' to me. Poor girl, that mom was nuts."
"I worked at a Burger King in high school. A guy came in one day complaining that he put in money to get a newspaper in the machine outside, and it wasn't this Sunday's paper. He wanted a refund. I told him we didn't own that machine and we weren't able to give him his money back. I also mentioned to him it was actually...Saturday, not Sunday. He flew into a rage, threw last week's Sunday edition of the paper all around the restaurant and behind the counter. My manager came out and threatened to call the cops.
Dude leaves screaming about how we ripped him off. Sometimes you can't fix stupid."
"I was a department manager in a 'health and beauty' section (next to the pharmacy) of a grocery store. A guy came in and asked for an anti-fungal called Miconozole that the doctor suggested for an infection on his face.
Now, as some of you may know, Miconozole is very commonly used for yeast infections in a woman's private parts, so it is sold by the feminine hygiene products - pads, tampons, etc. I took him over there, pointed out the Miconozole and showed him that we carried a generic store brand as a cheaper alternative.
Dude was absolutely ticked off that I suggested he put 'coochie cream' on his face and demanded to speak to a manager. I told him that I was the department manager and he argued, saying there's no way a chick is in charge of men and left. Or so I thought. Apparently, he had wandered the department and found the nearest male employee, who then brought the customer to his manager (me) when he had no idea where or what Miconozole was. The customer refused again to listen to me, so I told the stocker to bring him to the pharmacist (also a woman, ha!) to discuss his needs.
Next thing I heard was him screaming at the pharmacist, demanding to talk to someone who knew what they were talking about. He was asked to leave and eventually security was called to walk him out when he continued to rant and rave about women who know nothing about his medical needs."
"I worked in a concession stand for a local youth baseball league.
One time, a little girl (maybe five or six years old) came up to the window and ordered a soda. Nothing at all out of the norm. I took her cash, filled her soda, and gave it to her.
Probably thirty minutes later, this woman comes up to the window absolutely ticked off.
Lady: 'What the heck is this?!'
Me: 'A soda?'
Lady: 'Our family does not believe in carbonated drinks.' (As though carbonation is like Santa Claus?) 'How dare you give my daughter a soda!'
Me: 'She ordered it.'
Lady: 'No, she didn’t. She has never ordered a soda in her life, and would never order a soda! This is your fault. Replace this with something uncarbonated. RIGHT. NOW!'
It was as if it never occurred to her that an unsupervised six year old surrounded by other six year olds enjoying refreshing sodas on a hot summer day might be tempted to see what all the fuss is about.
I like to think that kid is a rebellious teenager now, chugging all the carbonated beverages her heart desires!"
"I used to deliver pizza. I had someone get irate and refuse the delivery because they'd ordered it to be delivered at 7 pm and I got there at 6:55. They wanted a new pizza because they said the one I brought would be cold by 7 when they wanted to eat. I told them we'd have to bake a new pizza then and it'd be late. They opted for late. I ran a few more deliveries with their pizza in my back seat and went back around 7:30 with the exact same pizza but told them it was a new one. They opened it to make sure it was hot and were happy with it. Then they called to complain about the experience. Then we had to update our order policy that if you specify a delivery time we can only guarantee a time range and not a specific minute."
"About 6 years ago, I ran the reservations for a busy Friday lunch at the restaurant I work at. This was Easter weekend. We take all large party reservations up to 30 days in advance for any day and any host can take down reservations, except for the big holidays which are only handled by our Event Coordinator and certain 'senior' members of the host staff.
With only two days to go, we were of course being flooded with phone calls for people who are trying to make their reservations last minute. Some are understanding that it's their mistake in waiting, some plead even though we don't have the space, a few escalate to management who just reiterate that last point, and a few do get angry with us but realize they still aren't getting that reservation.
Oddly this was over a reservation I knew we actually had. There was a last minute cancellation for an 8 top and our event coordinator updated us. During the lunch rush, I got a phone call for a party of 8 for our Easter brunch. I happily told the gentleman we'd had a cancellation and if he'd hold one moment, I could transfer him over to our coordinator to have his reservation taken.
Then, just before I can put him on hold, there is a brief pause before he calls me a prick.
I take a breath and say, 'Sir, you know you're still on the line with me?'
He replies, 'And you're still a prick.'
I hung up the phone. He can tell his family why he didn't get them their reservation. Waiting in front of me to check in was a businessman who overheard much of the exchange. He told me to breathe, I started to laugh, and then told one of my runners to give him whatever table he wanted.
I've been yelled at countless times over seating, reservations, food prices, menu availability, bad servers, and the like. Some of those things are par for the course and sometimes we can fix the issue and sometimes we can't. I've never been insulted/yelled at for giving customer exactly what he was asking for."
"We didn't have any Bibles that were:
-and contained the full text of the Bible.
Now, we had large-print Bibles and we had pocket-sized Bibles, all containing the full text you'd expect. We even had a large-print, pocket-sized 'words of Jesus' compendium. But this customer wanted a Bible that was all three. All the words, printed larger, yet somehow smaller when it was all put together. I tried to tell her that this was impossible, but she wasn't having it.
I also had a customer that wanted a Bible that was in English ... but somehow not a translation? He kept saying 'the original,' he wanted the original Bible. But he didn't want the New Testament Greek one we had. He wanted the original, but in English. Well, every translation in English thinks they're capturing something of the original, I said, they do all this scholarship— 'I don't care about scholarship,' he interrupted me. 'I just want the original.'
I ended up leaving him in the King James Version section and told him, 'Let me know if there's anything else I can do!' while walking away quickly enough to not hear anything back.
All of this was at a regular Borders, by the way, not a Bible store."
"I had dark nail polish on and a lady told me that I was 'promoting satanism' and because of that, I 'shouldn't be allowed in places that allow kids' and then she told my manager, who was nearby and heard the entire exchange, that I deserved to be fired an blacklisted from ever working again.
I didn't get reprimanded, mostly because:
a) the woman was clearly crazy and
b) I'm about the most clean cut human being you can be and am clearly not promoting satanism and
c) I was one of the best cashiers at that grocery store and he wasn't about to fire me because a lady doesn't like dark nail polish."
"This customer ordered a dish that always comes with french fries. He got mad when he got his french fries because he wanted bread. No big deal - I apologized (although I did nothing wrong) and brought him some bread immediately. Problem solved, you'd think, but he then started yelling at me because apparently the restaurant 'always serves this with bread.' I should've just agreed with him, but I foolishly didn't. He told me I was wrong. I told him I had worked there for 5 years, that I knew I wasn't wrong, and I advised him to tell staff that he wanted bread when ordering next time. At this point, he got red in the face and screamed that he knew better because he'd been a customer for 10 years, which is rich, since the restaurant hadn't even been open that long.
Long story short, the owner came over to his table, she supported me, the guy ate his food that must've been cold by then and never came back.
I'll never forget his poor wife, quietly trying to calm him down and to get him to let it go. She was incredibly embarrassed but I doubt he even noticed."
"I had a customer storm upstairs to customer services to make a complaint. His complaint was that we'd moved menswear upstairs and he couldn't get upstairs because of his knees. So he went...upstairs, to make the complaint.
About all I could do was call the support desk and apologize for what they were about to receive.
We had an elevator, but he was also claustrophobic, apparently."
"I was working at everyone's favorite bullseye retail store in the electronics department one morning when an irate gentlemen comes back and starts yelling at me for selling a movie that isn't in English. The movie in question was Pan's Labyrinth, and for those unfamiliar, the audio is Spanish with English subtitles.
After a few minutes, I manage to explain to this guy that the movie is in Spanish, and point out where it says that on the box, and that it also has English subtitles.
The guy finally calms down and admits to me that he can't read and so stood no chance of ever figuring out this information on his own. He felt really foolish about yelling at the people at customer service and at me and apologized to me, and after doing a lap around the store to regain his composure, he apologized the person at the front as well."
"She found out our call center was in Canada instead of the US. She just totally freaked out on us. I'd taken this call as an escalation after she made a front line rep cry.
I let her rant on for a while, until she made some specific crack about Canada as a country. I just immediately went silent, said nothing for a full minute, and then, in a low tone, advised her how upset I was that she would insult my country in that way.
Boom, 100% turn around, she's suddenly apologizing about everything under the sun. Dropped all of the unreasonable demands she'd had and basically slinked away with her tail between her legs.
Was I really insulted by what she said? Heck no, I didn't give a darn what she really thought - but I correctly guessed how big a deal her own patriotism was to her, and used it against her. That was a good day in call center purgatory."
"I was working at a bank that no longer exists back in 2005 as an operations supervisor for the teller line. I was working as a teller and it was a pretty busy day, maybe the 1st or 3rd of the month, so the line was out the door with people. There was a customer who was coming up to my window and he was very irate and frustrated with the line. Makes sense - we had all the tellers on the line and it was still a log jam. He'd probably waited like 40 minutes. He gets up to the window and he THROW HIS CHECKBOOK at me through the little slot in a huff and tells me he wants to withdrawal some money.
I looked down at the checkbook, and unfortunately for my new buddy, this was for his Wells Fargo account, but we are - unfortunately - a Washington Mutual.
I tell him as such and he starts raising a ruckus, calling me this and that and that I 'have an attitude.' Now, people get seriously mad over money so I've experienced a lot of hostility. I felt objectively bad for the guy but also shocked that he'd get so mad.
He eventually called my manager over to complain about me. We apologized for my behavior and he eventually left.
Some people seriously lash out when they mess up."
"This lady at Walmart once got really ticked off at me because we didn’t sell pasteurized eggs. And this wasn’t the loud, screaming kind of ticked off. She just looked at me very intensely and spoke at a low volume, over-enunciating every syllable, and said, 'Tell. Your. Managers. To. Order. Pasteurized. Eggs.'
This other lady grabbed my arm one time and started pulling on me, telling me that the fact that we shut down our sewing department felt like we had killed her child. Also stating that less and less people were going to come to Walmart because of stuff like that and that we would have to close down."
"I was working at a coffee bar when I had a man scream at me because he ordered 'The Regular' and I didn't know what he wanted.
It was my first time meeting him which, catastrophically, aligned with the first time I was left to take care of the register alone. I couldn't get away from the yelling ('Where the heck do you think you're going?!') in order to ask the people in the back what he wanted.
His 'Regular' got written out, laminated, and pinned to the cash register after that.
He kept screaming, 'Do you know who I am?' over and over, which - no sir, I do not know who you are, this is the first time we met. Also it turns out he wasn't anybody important, he was just a narcissistic loser."
"I have two examples.
One, I was a teller for almost 4 years when I was in college, and I remember getting yelled at and customers growing angry with ME because they were low on money or had checks bounce or a plethora of other reasons due to them lacking funds. How the heck is that my fault?
Also, in high school I worked at Toys R Us for a while and I caught a lady trying to shoplift. She flipped out and started calling me names, the GM came over and asked her to empty her bag if there was nothing to be found. Sure enough, there was a few pairs of baby shoes from the Baby's R Us side of the store and a small toy. She threw the items on the ground and stormed off and intentionally knocked over one of our kiosk things. We reported it but nothing ever happened to her."
"Working at FedEx Office was always interesting. A woman called the store and demanded to know why a shipping and printing center charges to print stuff. It sort of caught me off guard and we were 20 minutes to closing, so I kindly explained to her that our printing is a service we provide and that we need to charge for maintenance and toner for the printers. Probably not my best way of explaining it. She then asks me, 'So if I want to print something from your store, I have to pay for it?!' I told her yes. She flipped her lid and started screaming at me through the phone, 'That doesn't make sense, why the heck do I have to pay to print something?!'
I just told her, 'I apologize for the inconvenience.' She continues to just scream at me and eventually when she's done, I just say, 'Yeah, sorry.' And she just hangs up. I wasn't even mad, just confused."
"This one is about my mom. She once took both of our matcha teas from Starbucks and marched inside demanding they make her ones that are MORE GREEN. They weren’t GREEN ENOUGH. Not that they weren’t made sweet enough or incorrectly. No, she literally just wanted them more green. I was so embarrassed.
I felt so bad for the employee she got frazzled with."
"This lady walked into my office, asking for one of my colleagues. I explained to her that he actually works out of a different office, which is listed in his e-mail signature and our website. She was upset, as she had documents to drop off to him. I explained to her that his office is only 3 minutes down the street if she wanted to make the drive, or I could scan her documents and e-mail them to him. She refused. So I said she can leave them here with me and I can ask the guy to come pick them up tomorrow. She again said no, because she didn't trust me. I explained that I am the director of operations for the company, basically my colleague's (the guy she was looking for) boss. She then yells that she doesn't know me and this is extremely sensitive information and storms out. One minute later, she comes in and asks for my business card to prove I am who I say I am. I give her one, and she leaves her stuff with me and storms off again."
"I was working at McDonald’s. A customer complained that there was not a tomato on her Big Mac. I explained to her that Big Macs do not come with tomatoes unless special ordered. She then proceeded to full on SING the Big Mac song to me in front of a lobby full of customers, adding the word TOMATO into the song lyrics in an attempt to prove her point."