Most of the people we deal with in life are pleasant. But If you've ever worked in retail, you know that there are those people that make you crazy with their insane demands. These are a few of the craziest we've heard!
(Content has been edited for clarity.)
A Very High IQ
“This happened to a colleague and thought I would share it.
We work in a DIY retail store, and he’s one of my bosses. A call came in for some help on a drill he sold to a lady.
Lady: ‘This drill you sold me doesn’t have a chuck key!’ (this is a tool used to turn the chuck and clamp the drill bit in place).
Boss: ‘It doesn’t need one, you turn the base of the chuck to loosen and tighten it.’
Lady: ‘Oh, I’ll try that.’ Click
Bit rude to hang up without thanking but oh well, that’s the end of it.
Nope, the call came back.
Lady: ‘I’ve twisted it, but nothing is happening!’
Boss: ‘Are you sure you’re twisting it the right direction?’
Lady: ‘Look, I have a high IQ, that’s why I don’t work in a shop.’
Boss: ‘Wow, OK. I can’t think of any reason why it’s not tightening.’
Lady: ‘Well it isn’t!’
Boss: ‘Have you twisted it all the way around until it stops?’
Lady: ‘Oh, it’s working now.’
Boss: ‘That high IQ of yours wasn’t much help, was it?’ Click“
No Love For The Shoe Salesman
“So today I was working our shoe department at our store. I was there for the majority of the day by myself, AND on the day that soccer/baseball/football starts for a majority of the kids in my town.
So naturally, we are slammed with parents coming in at the last minute to get their kid’s cleats and shoes. I handled most the day very smoothly, although a lot of people were in a rush, majority of them were pleasant and understanding. Except when it came time for me to leave.
I stayed over a little bit to help two customers get shoes. I had just walked into the stockroom (climbed the very top of a ladder too) and then all the sudden I hear a lady yell into the stockroom: ‘HELLLLLOOOO!! IS ANYBODY EVEN IN HERE?!!’ So I get down and walk to the door and see this middle-aged suburban mom outside.
ME: ‘Yes ma’am. Were you calling for someone?’
LADY: (passive aggressively), ‘Yes I need these shoes in size eight. AND BY THE WAY, there’s nobody out here. You have a LOT of customers out here that need help too!’ [She points to exact customers I was already helping]
ME: (In the same tone of voice she used) ‘Yes ma’am, I’ll be more than happy to get these for you as soon as I am done getting THOSE CUSTOMERS’ shoes first. I was already helping them.’ (She stares in disbelief at me that I responded back, as I walk back in the stockroom, she opens the door and shouts towards me.)
LADY: ‘And what’s YOUR name again?!’
To be fair, I felt bad after I said that to her and was going to apologize when I came back out. But she was long gone by the time I brought out her shoes.”
One Last Moment Of Strength In The Face Of Rudeness
“After about eight months of working retail, I have finally found a full-time job in my field of study. Next Saturday is my last day at the department store discounter, but I seriously considered cussing out a customer last night and making my spectacular exit a few days early. Alas, I am, apparently, gutless.
I will preface this story by saying the store I work at does not have any paper to wrap fragile items. This is a little weird because we do sell home goods, but it’s also a big discount store, so you get what you pay for.
A woman came in last night to buy two decorative cardboard boxes, a small bath mat, and a little metal elephant statue. Typically what I would do in this situation is to wrap the small statue in the bath mat to cushion it and then place it in the box to keep it from bouncing around inside the bag. I begin to do so. The woman stops me.
Lady: ‘Don’t wrap that up in the mat! Don’t you have any paper?’
Me: ‘Unfortunately, no. I have some paper towels I can wrap this in, but–‘
Lady: ‘Just wrap it in a plastic bag!’
Me: ‘I can do that! However, I will have to charge you five cents for the bag.’
Lady: ‘WHAT? That’s ridiculous!’
Me: ‘Unfortunately, there’s a five-cent bag tax, and we are required to charge–‘
Lady: ‘I KNOW THAT! Do I LOOK like someone who doesn’t know what the law is?’
Me: ‘Sorry, many of our customers don’t live in [city name] and are unfamiliar—‘
Lady: ‘JUST WRAP IT IN THE PAPER TOWELS!’
I grab the paper towels from under the register and begin wrapping.
Lady: ‘Excuse me, were those on the GROUND?’
Me: ‘No ma’am, they were in the cubby under the counter.’
Lady: ‘This isn’t going to protect this at all! Rewrap it!’
I add more paper towels.
Lady: ‘I have NEVER had a cashier who couldn’t even wrap something right!’
At this point, I ignore her and put everything into bags and begin to finish the transaction. I consider and decide against doing anything that would get me fired, but I do spend the rest of the transaction talking in the especially sickly sweet, condescending tone that adults who hate children use to talk to children. This included describing step by step the instructions on how to use the card reader, even as she angrily screeched ‘I KNOW THAT!’ several times throughout the process.
Still kind of wish I had told her what I thought about her attitude. So glad I am leaving retail.”
Straight Up Snob
“I’ve been in the service business for a while, but that was my retail experience. In Sweden, we have sorts of ‘internships’ at school (I was around 15 years at this time) where we get a taste of working. This period I was at a national grocery store. This one was located in a smaller town (around 2,000 people live there), and I was stocking the shelves. Every Thursday at around noon the elder home lets the elderly out to do some grocery shopping.
I was stocking the shelves (taking my sweet time since I’m new) and I see an older woman going up and down the shelves trying to find something. Not sure on how to treat customers I simply asked:
Me: ‘Can I help you with anything?’
OldLady: ‘No, I don’t talk to servants.’
The fact that she said no wasn’t the issue, but the condescending tone and she called us servants. Just wondering how she gets through everyday life if service people are servants for her.”
She Hopes They All Go To Jail
“I work at a major retailer in the returns department. Processing a return goes in this order: 1. With the receipt 2. If no receipt, we can look it up with the card you used to purchase it 3. Without either of these, we can give you store credit on your ID with the lowest selling price of that item in the past 90 days.
One woman comes in to return a shirt, says it was a gift, and it’s too small. Alright, no problem. They didn’t give you a gift receipt? Cool, we can do it on your ID.
After processing the return:
Me: ‘Okay, so there’s $15 on this store credit card.’
Woman: ‘But the price tag on the shirt says $30.’
Me: ‘I know, but it looks like the shirt was on sale recently, and without any receipt we have no idea what your friend paid for it, if she bought it on sale or during a deal, so we always give the lowest selling price back.’
Woman: Does that blank stare and blink for a couple of seconds that customers do when they don’t automatically get what they want ‘That’s disgraceful, that should be illegal.’
Me: ‘I’m sorry you feel that way, but there’s absolutely no proof that this shirt was bought for $30 and that’s what happens when people lose their receipts or don’t give gift receipts.’
Woman: Yells ‘That’s disgusting, you all should be arrested!’ AS SHE’S WALKING AWAY WITH THE STORE CREDIT, INTO THE STORE CLEARLY TO GO SHOP
Me: Yelling back ‘I hope you have an incredible day!’
I had to take a five-minute cooldown break in the back after this.”
Legal Tender Is Legal Tender
“I worked at a small gas station that’s connected to a mechanic’s lot. We were the first gas station that you see going from upstate (the dense woods) down to the bigger city, so we were always pretty busy. We had our fair share of crazy customers, but this one lived a short walk up the street from the station and always came by asking for a dollar worth of gas in her huge gas guzzling truck or a small gas tank that she would walk over to us. She’s done a lot of crazy things to get on our nerves, but this one is the one that wins it all.
CR – (Crazy regular); JP – (me)
CR – ‘Hi, JP, gimmie a dollar in the tank.’
As I started filling up her small gas tank, I noticed she was rummaging her backpack cussing. Here we go.
CR – ‘I forgot my wallet at home, so when you finish, I’m going to go back and get it.’
JP – ‘Okay you can go back home quick I’ll keep the gas tank in the shop for when you get back.’
CR – ‘Let me just save myself the trip and take it with me.’ (See where this is going?)
JP – ‘CR you know I can’t let you do that, and if I were to let you I would need to write down your license info, and you would be billed to your house for a lot more than a dollar.’
CR – (Literally screaming like a 6-year-old who didn’t get her way) ‘FINE WHATEVER JP, I’LL BE BACK.’
So I wait about three hours, and I take my hour break. Usually, I lock myself in the break room type area we have, and as I return she’s sitting at the counter arguing with my co-worker about how she won’t give her money to him, and it must be me sigh
CR – ‘There you are here!’
She holds out her cupped hands, and I kid you not it was 100 pennies. I held out my hands to take her payment (because I can’t say no to any payment unless we don’t accept it in our system like cardless pay..) and she pulls her hands back and drops the pennies on the floor in front of my co-worker and me.
And with a disgusting smirk goes,
CR – ‘Oh I’m sooooo sorry JP. Do you have my gas?’
Note that 100 pennies won’t fit inside the drawer and I knew this all along.
JP – ‘I don’t know what gas you’re talking about. Get out of the shop, and honestly, I just wouldn’t come back because we’re not going to do business with you anymore.’
CR – (Again like a 6-year-old) ‘GIVE ME MY GAS! I PAID!’
JP – ‘Well your payment is on the floor and not in our register, so you didn’t pay. Leave.’
As she’s picking up the pennies, my co-worker is watching over her inside the shop picking up her pennies so we can put it in the register while cursing and yelling and all that such. As she finishes scraping up the pennies, I go inside after helping someone else at a pump and go to the register.
CR – ‘Here’s your money!’
So I open the register, look at her in her child-like fury and say:
JP – ‘All those pennies won’t fit inside the till. Do you have any other form of payment?’
CR threw the double fist full of pennies at me and continued with death threats, and we had to call the police to remove her from the station. She was arrested, and I haven’t seen CR again.”
In The Wrong Store At The Wrong Time
“So my first real job was at a grocery store as a cashier. At the time, I loved it, and I was proud of the fact that I got a name tag, uniform, etc. It was probably the first week I was working, and I decided I’d go to the local mall after work. I didn’t even think to take my name tag off. I decided to peruse the video and music store’s selections when I got there, and I had two different people ask me where something was. The man who asked me first was very nice and was apologetic when he realized I didn’t work there, but the lady who asked me afterward was a downright witch. We’ll refer to her as RL for ‘Rude Lady,’ and M for ‘myself.’
RL: ‘EXCUSE me!’
M: I’m sorry? Am I in your way?’
RL: ‘No, I want to know where [insert name of popular CD here] is. Where is it?’
M: ‘I’m sorry, I don’t work here, but I can help you look.’
RL: ‘You do so work here, you’re wearing a name tag!’
M: ‘Oh no, I work at [Grocery Store.] I just didn’t take off my name tag yet, I just came from work.’
RL: ‘Oh. Well, next time don’t wear your nametag out, it’s very confusing for others!’
After that, she huffed off to find her CD, and I took off my name tag and put it in my pocket. I ended up in line behind her, and she was a real witch to the cashier, too. I never forget to take my name tag off now, even though I’ve switched departments since then and now work in produce.”
“This is probably my most shameful story.
(This happened over four years ago, so the conversation isn’t word for word – but you’ll get the idea.)
I had just started working in a tile store; I was about two weeks on the job.
One evening a woman came in after close and purchased tiles – part of the order was mosaic tiles which she brought to the counter.
I put through her order, and she collected a few days later.
A few mornings after this lady had been and gone the telephone rang and I answered politely. It was the lady from several nights before, and she was NOT happy.
Lady: ‘Hello, I’d like to speak to [me].’
Me: ‘That’s me, what can I do for you?’
Lady: ‘YOU GAVE ME THE WRONG MOSAICS!’
I was immediately stunned by this woman shouting down the phone at me. She went from 0 to 90 real quick.
Me: ‘I’m sorry, what mosaics?’
Lady: ‘The ones I bought the other night! I brought them to the counter, and you still messed it up! Do you even wake up in the morning?’
Me: ‘Uh.. yes I do.. what mosaic did you receive?’
She describes the exact mosaic she brought to the counter – an important fact to note is that this lady was in so long after close that the lights had been dimmed and so she had mistaken the color of the mosaics she bought. Once she took them home and saw them in proper lighting, she didn’t recognize them.
Me: ‘Okay, looking at your docket I can see that is the mosaic you-‘
Lady: ‘NO IT IS NOT! I NEVER EVEN LOOKED AT THIS MOSAIC! ARE YOU STUPID?’
Me: ‘Ma’am if you’re unhappy with the mosaic, I apologize, and we’d be happy to swap them for you.’
Lady: ‘You are useless! How did you even get a job? If I were your manager, you would be fired! You shouldn’t even bother getting out of bed in the morning!’
I was so shocked at this woman’s tirade that I just stammered out another apology – I was shaking from head to toe, and I was furious… but being new to the job I didn’t want to act aggressively towards a customer so I just apologized over and over again until finally-
Lady: ‘I DON’T CARE THAT YOU’RE SORRY, YOU SHOULD JUST KILL YOURSELF YOU, USELESS IDIOT!’
After that, she hung up.
One of my biggest regrets is not standing up for myself to that woman. I’ll probably always remember that phone call, but now I take no crap from any customers because of it. So, I guess it helped me in a way.”
Just A Couple Employees, Minding Their Business
“I was chatting with my coworker behind the counter, and we were minding our own business. All of a sudden, I saw a lady throw down two bracelets on my coworker’s counter before running off almost as quickly as she came in. My coworker and I were a bit startled, as though we saw a ghost messing around with the merchandise
So I picked both the bracelets up and took them back. As I was putting them away, the Bracelet Lady approached me and screamed, ‘What are you doing?! I told you to hold those for me!’
I was confused because if she said anything, she didn’t even make eye contact with either of us or try to get our attention before doing that. I explained that the store’s policy states we cannot hold items for customers, but she was welcome to take a basket.
She stared at me wide-eyed for a moment, but then said, ‘Well, you should have told me I couldn’t hold any items when I put them on the counter! You are so, so rude!’
I blinked. I said okay, and I gave the bracelets back to her.
I went behind the register again and shrugged at my coworker. It was too rainy to put much thought into it. However, maybe ten seconds after I returned, the Bracelet Lady comes up to us again, and this time even goes back behind the counter with us. She jabs a finger at us and says, ‘You know… you two should have told me that I couldn’t hold items, okay? You two said nothing even as I walked away.’ She was trembling, and her voice was cracking (keep in mind these are cheapass rope bracelets, and there was like fifty of them).
I stared at her as though she was melting into the floor. My coworker realized that I wasn’t going to say anything to her, and smiled a Retail Smile and said she was sorry about our ‘behavior.’
Bracelet Lady didn’t like this response from either of us, so she went back to the store and ran over to the designer jewelry counter, where two of my other coworkers are chatting, also minding their own business. They told me later that Bracelet Lady asked if either of them were managers. Neither of them were part of the management team, but the customer service woman lied and said that she was, in fact, the manager and asked what the problem was. Bracelet Lady told them the whole story, and how rude my coworker and I were to her, and how we need to be disciplined.
However, the coworker behind the jewelry counter just blinked, and asked, ‘So… do you want to check out now, or…?’
That’s when Bracelet Lady snarled and screamed, ‘No, I’m not spending my money here!’ She threw down the two bracelets and then walked out of the store, not purchasing anything at all.
She should have told us she wasn’t going to buy anything.”
The Rudest Woman In The World
“So I’m working cashier, and this older gentleman is coming down the way, he’s the only one there, and he has a walker, so he’s slow, but he’s coming. Out of nowhere this blond woman comes from the aisle, straight to my register and says ‘I’m in a hurry old man.’
Now this gentleman almost stumbles back because this woman made him have to stop so abruptly. She sets her basket on the counter, and I say ‘I’m not going to serve you, you need to wait in line, he’s next.’ She claims to be in a hurry and that the old man will take too long and I shrug saying ‘that’s not my problem.’
She starts ranting and raving about how she’s a customer, and I have to serve her and blah blah blah and then she asks for my manager. I call my manager, and of course, she refuses to leave that spot.
The older gentleman is not saying anything, he looks exhausted and he’s shaking a little, so I help him sit down while we all wait for my manager.
My manager comes, and the woman says that I won’t serve her the manager looks to me and I tell her that this woman refused to wait in line and just went in front of this older gentleman.
My manager looks at me, looks at the older gentleman, then looks at the woman and says to the woman:
‘Get out of my store right now.’
This woman had the gall to look like she had done nothing wrong like she was surprised she was getting kicked out.
In the end, she leaves, and I serve the old man before helping him to his cab, he said that he was very grateful and told me to have a nice day…I felt pretty good.”
She’s Going To Tell ALL Her Friends
“I work in a shoe store where our return policy is 60 days, and the shoes can’t have been worn. However, if the shoe has a manufacturer’s defect, we allow exchanges and returns. After 60 days the return has to be put on a merchandise card (basically a gift card). Our managers are forced to be pushovers because if we get a complaint against our store, my GM has the call the Vice President of the company to explain why, so we will pretty much return any damaged shoe.
So a few days ago, this lady came in with some shoes that she had purchased on December 10th. They had obviously been worn, but there was a seam on the shoe that was tearing. I offered her an exchange, and she refused, so I told her that the return was going to be put on a merchandise card as it was past the 60 days.
Lady: ‘Why do you have to put it on a merchandise card? The shoes are obviously damaged and were only worn a couple of times. It’s not like I’m returning them because I just didn’t like them.’
At this point, I preemptively called my manager up because I could tell that that’s where it was going. I explained the situation to her, and she explained the return policy again.
Manager: ‘I’m sorry, the registers won’t even let us process it another way. You can do an exchange, but otherwise, it has to go on the merchandise credit.’
Lady: ‘So what you’re saying is after I spend this merchandise card I’m never coming back here again.’
Manager: ‘I’m sorry, ma’am.’
Lady: ‘No, it’s okay. I’ll just tell all of my friends about this and make sure they never come here either.’
We were all silent until she left with her merchandise card and then my manager and I rolled our eyes. What that lady doesn’t realize is we don’t want her nasty attitude in our store anyway.”
A Nasty Co-Worker
“So this happened a few months ago when I worked as a cashier in a large grocery store in a big city. We got all types there, but being a teenager at the time I never got put on the night shifts, so I apparently missed most of the crazy.
I guess the night shift people just forgot that daytime crazy exists.
A lady approaches my cash in the afternoon one day when it was incredibly busy, and I was working the express lane. I was new and was still working out the order in what to say things were, so I was slow. She was shifty, looking around like she was paranoid, but didn’t do anything too weird, so I brushed that off and finished ringing her up.
Rewards card? Yes, she’s got that, no problems. She’ll be paying with debit, all right then. Oh, and she has a colleague discount card.
The policy at my store at the time was that if the cashier didn’t recognize the person, (meaning they most likely worked at another branch of the store,), we had to ask them for ID, which was pretty standard. This was because we’d often have people giving their friends their discount or their kids, and the colleague had to be present at the time of the discount. I got a lot of flack for that when that policy was set.
I didn’t know her, and she wasn’t in the uniform, so I asked for ID. She flipped.
‘DO YOU BELIEVE THAT IN THE YEARS I’VE COME HERE, I HAVE NEVER BEEN ASKED FOR ID? WHAT, YOU DON’T TRUST ME? I LIKE TO THINK I’M A TRUSTWORTHY PERSON! SURELY YOU’RE KIDDING!’
At that point, I was scared and tried to say something about the policy.
‘WELL OBVIOUSLY I KNOW THE POLICY, I AM AN EMPLOYEE! GET ME YOUR MANAGER, HE’LL TALK SOME SENSE INTO YOU!’
I called the manager. She immediately entered the discount through and left, leaving me dumbstruck. I was salty about that until I quit.
I was told later by a coworker that the lady had been an employee, but that she hadn’t worked for the company in years. The managers knew her and would still let her through. She wasn’t even old – couldn’t have been older than thirty. I pray for her former colleagues.”