Anyone who has ever been to a Wal-Mart knows that it attracts some interesting characters. People are drawn to it for so many reasons. The endless selection, the low prices, and interestingly enough, because they can get away with just about anything. This has caused people to classify those individuals breaking socials norms as the "People of Walmart." No one knows the characteristics of these people better than the first-hand viewers at the store itself. Whether they're the workers, regulars, or people who went there once and never again, they have a couple of stories to tell.
We wanted to see what they thought the most obscure Walmart scene ever was, so we went through Reddit and found the craziest stories they had to share. This content was edited for clarity.
It Was Literally A Free For All
“I used to work for a cell phone carrier at a little folding table near the front door of Wal-Mart. This was 15-20 years ago when Wal-Mart themselves did not sell phones, way back before phones went digital, and in most parts of the country, there were only two carriers to choose from. Anyway, this particular day I was stationed at a Wal-mart in a very ghetto part of town. One of those places where loss prevention had loads of staff and stuff was still getting stolen all the time. Junkies drifting around all the time and just tons of run for the door petty theft and fast hands ‘make change’ scams. It was a lively place to be.
As it happened, a tropical storm was rolling into town. It was 2-3 pm in the afternoon, overcast and a bit dark outside and the power went out. Now, these days there would be immediate battery backup lights that kick on, but back then there was a generator, and it took a good two minutes before it self-started and the lights came back on. The other thing worth mentioning is this was an older store, built in the ’80’s. So there were lower ceilings than the modern ones, and back before they put skylights everywhere. The point is, it was PITCH BLACK in that building for a good couple of minutes. Aside from the handful of emergency exit signs, there were no lights.
Now, you remember back in grade school when the power would go out and everyone in the class would just start screaming because they could? Well, it was like that. I was about 20 yards into the building sitting at a little card table just past the little hot dog stand/restaurant place. The roar of noise was deafening and immediate. And then, after about 20 seconds, people seemed to realize that the lights were not going to come right back on, and there was opportunity afoot. Then, it happened. Seemingly all at once, nearly every customer in the building grabbed a handful of whatever they were standing next to and made a run for the door. It was and still is one of the craziest things I have ever seen. I was sitting next to a little half height wall that surrounded the seating for the hot dog place and close enough to the door that I was not in total darkness, so everyone was running past me and not into me. I literally had front row seating for this whole thing. For 30 seconds, it was just streams of people, dragging all kinds of stuff along with them, while the two security guys who worked the front door were frantically trying to stop them and grabbing at whatever they were carrying. Someone grabbed two of the display model phones off my little table as he went past but they were empty shells with a weight inside so no real loss.
Two minutes later, the lights all kicked back on, and it was just me, the employees, and a few retirees who were all looking a bit dazed by the whole thing. And all the clothes racks had been knocked over, stuff was EVERYWHERE. Some prick had managed to pull the whole rack of bicycles off the wall in the toy section. It looked like a bomb had hit. It took them near a week to get it all back to normal. They closed the store for a day just to get it cleaned up enough to let people back in and they had a few places roped off for a few days while they fixed broken racks and stuff.
It was kind of incredible.”
Usually People Forget Keys Or A Purse At The Store, Not THIS
“A few years ago, a young woman walked into my local Walmart, went straight to the bathroom, then about five minutes later walked out of the store. Turned out she had given birth in one of the toilets!
She left the baby there in the toilet! It was still alive!”
Well That’s Disappointing
“When I worked at Walmart, a man came in with a pin that said, ‘I saw George W Bush do blow, ask me about it.’
I did and it wasn’t an interesting story.”
These Walmart Employees Taught Her A Thing Or Two!
“I was checking out in a Walmart when the cashier started getting chatty, telling me she mostly worked at Walmart for the insurance, but her main source of income was as a naughty phone operator. She told me how much money she made and straight-up told me she bet I’d be great at it, too. I’m practically phobic of awkward conversations, so I just mumbled something about not having a good ‘voice’ for that, at which point she said, ‘Oh, you never use your real voice; you make up characters!’ Then she proceeded to give me a demo of all of her ‘characters.’ I didn’t go back to that Walmart for years.
The next awkward scenario was all on me. In a different local Walmart, there was one greeter who was super nice and friendly, and I always stopped to chat with him a few minutes but always just about boring stuff like the weather, nothing personal. For a couple of years, this went on. In my defense, I had only ever seen two types of people working as Walmart greeters: the elderly and the disabled (physical or mental). This guy was not old and had no apparent physical disabilities, so I just kind of assumed he had a mental impairment of some sort (the fact he was cheerful about being a Walmart greeter added to this assumption). Nope. Turned out he only worked at Walmart for insurance for himself and his kids, but his ‘real’ job was owning a long-standing karate school and he, himself, was a multi-level black belt. He never knew I’d originally assumed he was mentally disabled, and I learned a very valuable and lasting lesson about assumptions and judging people by job or appearance.”
That’s One Way To Test Out The Product
“This was back in the late ’90s. I was working at Wal-Mart as my first job as a teenager. I was floated to the garden department one day and there was a guy looking at lawn fertilizer. I walked over and asked if he needed help, he said, ‘Not now, just looking at the different kinds you have.’
Pretty standard reply from the guy, so I said, ‘Okay, let me know.’ I walked away and then swung back about 5 minutes later. The same guy has proceeded to rip open about 10 different kinds of the fertilizer all over the ground and was rolling around in the stuff. He also taste sampled the stuff. I called my manger because I did not want to deal with it.
Security walked the guy out the store and called an ambulance in case the ingestion of the fertilizer hurt him.”
A Different Type Of Road Rage…
“One time as my mom and I were leaving Walmart, there was a small jam of cars trying to come into the parking lot as we were waiting to leave. We were sitting in the car waiting for the light to turn so we could get on to the main road when a car coming in slowly because of the back-up getting into the parking lot. In this car was a family of four mom, dad son, and daughter, where the son looked like he was probably 28 or so and the daughter was about 10 and the parents looked to be older, maybe in their late 50’s. The son from the back seat was smacking his father in the face with a closed fist; he was really wailing on his dad. The mom was trying to calm things down while the dad was taking it like a champ and the daughter was full on crying. Next thing I know, the son got out of the car and stood in front of it like he was trying to stop the dad from driving anywhere. The dad, however, was trying to run him over because he was trying to get away.
The son did not like that so he jumped up on the hood of the car and started yelling obscenities then, out of nowhere, he jumped up and slammed himself on to the front windshield WWE style with his elbow out and everything, completely shattering the front windshield.”
When Small Talk Gets Odd
“This has perplexed me since it happened and it’s been at least five years since that day.
I had to get a money order and I worked near a Walmart, so I decided to stop in on my lunch break. I got in the money services line up at the front and it was a bit of a long line, but I was fine with that.
A man got in line behind me and I can only describe this guy (in appearance, stature, and facial expression) as what a caveman would look like if he was warped to 2012 and given a button-up Hawaiian shirt and a pair of white khaki shorts. I didn’t think much of it at that moment because although he looks ridiculous, I’m used to that in a Walmart.
Caveman: ‘You got a bike?’
It took me a second to register that he was talking to me, but I realized I was holding my motorcycle helmet so he must be. I turned around and said yeah and then there was just sort of a silence while I waited for an inevitable follow-up about my bike (normally people ask what model it is). Instead, there was a long enough pause that I turned back to the line again and about a minute later, he completely jumped to a new subject.
Caveman: ‘Yeah, I was out there earlier and some guy was asking me for pills.’
Me, trying my best to give short answers to leave this conversation: ‘Oh. Weird.’
Caveman: ‘Yeah, but he didn’t have any money.’
Me: ‘That’s unfortunate.’
Caveman: ‘He asked for some anyway but I was like, no way man.’
Me: ‘Yeah, makes sense.’
Now, I turned forward again, away from him, and there’s a long pause. I thought to myself that maybe he was just really trying to sell pills so he was not-so-subtly telling me he had some and was willing to sell, maybe he’s the worst dealer ever. I was not sure, and not interested either way.
The long pause was broken, though, by this:
Caveman: ‘I mean, maybe if he let me suck him off, sure.’
I didn’t turn around for at least 20 seconds. It felt like an eternity. Did I mishear him? No. I was certain I just heard him say that. Why would you want someone to pay you by letting you blow them? And on top of that, why is he telling me this?
Me, finally turning back: ‘Uhh…yeah man.’
Caveman: ‘…cause if he let me go down, then maybe I could see… [unintelligible].’
THIS DUDE IS DOUBLING DOWN. WHAT THE HECK DOES THIS MEAN?!
Fortunately, the conversation ended there. I looked forward and the next pause was long enough that I got to the front of the line and went up to get my money order, shaken but alive.
He said bye to me on the way out in legitimately the most terrifying way.
Caveman: ‘Maybe I’ll see you out there…’
Me: ‘Yeah, maybe.’
I then ran as soon as I was out of sight, back to my bike, and got the heck out of there. I have never been back to that Walmart.”
A Roll Tide Moment
“During a dark time in my life many years ago, I stocked a Walmart when I was working overnights. Now, daytime Walmart is weird enough, but nighttime Walmart might as well be the freaking Twilight zone.
There’s a lot of stories, but one that stands out was one night around 3 am, I was helping stock the health and beauty aisles. If you ever shop a Walmart you also know this is where the KY, rubbers, pregnancy tests, and more are kept.
I was rounding the corner to move into this aisle when I heard hushed but slightly panicked voices. Now, this isle is a high-theft area, so I listened in, thinking someone was trying to jack some pregnancy tests. What I heard went beyond normal Walmart nonsense.
The last thing I heard before coming into view was, ‘You better not be, Mom and Dad will kill both of us!’ I came around to see a male and female teenager stop dead and look at me white as ghosts. They had similar hair color and skin complexions and given what was said between them, it’s fair to assume they were brother and sister, and in the sister’s hands were several boxes of pregnancy tests. They just walked away silently after seeing me.
Yep, total Roll Tide moment at Wal-Mart.”
Walmart Fashion Is A Whole Different Ballpark
“Once there was a woman who had her pants pulled up just a little over her waist, but her long, flat chest was tucked in them so her pants were also like a tube top. She didn’t have a shirt on or bra, it was just pants.
It was very disturbing.”
The Most Nonchalant Thief Ever
“Once I had a redneck with a mullet try and steal a comforter by just walking out with it, not even from the check out lanes…just blatantly walking out. When I asked If I could see his receipt, he handed me a receipt from 7/11 for a drink. I told him it was a 7/11 receipt.
He looked at me and with the biggest smile he went, ‘AYYYYEEEEEE’ and handed me the comforter and walked out as if nothing happened. I was so confused.”
He Saw Too Much In His 4 Years
“I worked at the service desk, so I dealt with/saw some of the most epic people of Walmart stuff imaginable.
I had a couple attempt to return a half empty and exceptionally sticky bottle of KY because they said it didn’t work and it still hurt when he put it in her butt. I stood there for a solid thirty seconds holding a half used bottle of KY that was bought and used to shove something up this woman’s butt before I regretfully informed them that I couldn’t possibly process this return. I handed them their KY back and then went to the bathroom to dry heave and wash my hands.
Another time, I had a middle-aged guy come in an ask for a paper job application because for whatever reason, he didn’t feel comfortable using the online kiosk. Ok, whatever, it’s a slow night and I don’t have anything to do. I scrounged up a paper application and he started to fill it out at the desk. We shot the breeze while he was filling it out; he was funny and we had the same taste in books. Once he got to the question ‘Have you ever been convicted of a felony?’ he paused and asked me if he should answer that honestly. I told him yes, because if HR ran his name and found something then he would be ineligible for hire since he lied. He then proceeded to tell me he had been convicted of a felony. I shrugged, whatever dude. Welcome to the Walmart freak family, homie. Then he mentioned it was a child assault crime. Then he said it was multiple crimes. At this point, I took a step back. Then he said not to worry because he only took advantage of boys so I was fine. Then he calmly went back to filling out his application as my eyebrows met my hairline.
I went to HR the next day since I was good friends with the HR manager and we ran his name through CaseNet. He was not trolling, I am sad to say. That wasn’t uncommon at my Walmart though, we had a lot of convicted felons at my store. 99% of them were really nice, served their time and were trying really hard to walk the straight and narrow. HR really only refused to hire children assault offenders. They had to change that policy when one of the managers got herself on the offender list. She got on it because she was having an affair with a married man. So in order to make it kinkier, they would go from our town to Town B and get a hotel room for a day or two. Now apparently they were into…exhibitionism, we shall say. And for whatever reason, they decided to get their thrills by banging it out on the grounds of the hotel. Like, in the bushes, not in their room. And whilst they were getting their Discovery Channel on, a family with children happened to walked by on their way to check in. Two unclothed adults fornicating in public in front of children, BAM. Offender list.
We had this customer who we called Huffy because she would come in and huff the aerosol dust remover that people used to clean their keyboards, get high, and then pass out in the bathroom for a few hours. I should also tell you that at the end of our parking lot was a small grassy median, and on the other side of the median is a Burger King. Remember this note.
Well, management and loss prevention got tired of ole Huffy coming in and stealing dust remover and taking up valuable bathroom space. So the next time she came in, a manager and a loss prevention associate were on her like flies on dung. Somehow, that wily ole Huffy was able to partake in a few cans of dust remover before the two associates moved in. Once Huffy saw two employees walking towards her, she took off with Walmart’s best-giving chase. I’m not sure why they chased her, honestly. It was probably a slow day for them. The electronics worker who saw this all go down got on his walkie and radioed us up at the front and said she was going down and was moving towards us.
I didn’t have anybody at the desk so I moved out on the floor just in time to see Huffy and the two associates streak through the doors. I ran to the door because I am not one to miss a show. I saw Huffy get in her car and make a break out of the parking lot, clipping two cars as she made her escape, leaving two winded Walmart workers watching her drive off into the sunset. I was rooting for her. In my mind, anybody who’s willing to go that far for a couple cans of dust remover deserves to have them.
Now believe it or not, but someone who has just huffed two cans of dust remover isn’t the best driver. I watched the car start to swerve halfway down the parking lot, then straighten out as Huffy floored it. She jumped the median and slammed her car through the back wall of the Burger King, coming to the stop in the vicinity of the kitchen. Hands down one of the better attempts to escape the long arm of the Walmart law I’ve seen.
After working at Walmart, nothing surprises me anymore. I have a theory that every Walmart is the same universe with all the same scenarios just with different people. Because every Walmart worker has at least five stories that a worker in a different state can say, ‘Yup, that happened at my store, too.’ Walmart is a heck of a place. Mine especially during its golden age. Managers who steal, employees banging it out in the stock room, Walmart incest, more illegal substances than you could possibly imagine, an offender manager, Poop Man the Barbarian… it was the Wild West of retail. Some Walmart employees even chose to date/hook up with other employees. It’s a small enough pool that at some point, you’ve banged someone at least two other workers have.”
Being A Good Samaritan Made Him A Witness
“My best story was the time I was sitting at lunch outside and a car drove up the road super fast. It’s a straight roadway with few lights, it was like 2 am.
I saw car lights go up over the top of the hedge blocking the road and the hedge was a good 5 feet high. What followed very promptly was the most horrific grinding noise I’ve ever heard.
The driver flipped the car upside down, in the middle of the median going the wrong way. I ran over and there was a guy crawling out, threatening bystanders. There was also a dude unconscious inside the car flopping around held by his seatbelt and bleeding from his head.
I was middle of a call for an ambulance when I walked up. The driver saw me on the phone and full on sprinted toward me. He was screaming how he was going to kill me.
So I ran back into Walmart, gave them the heads up about the crazy guy, and they got me out. The crazy guy came in, looked around and ran for it. The cops came after the driver fled. The passenger was taken away and a manhunt ensued. Turned out the car was stolen and I had to identify the driver.
I went to court later and they only gave the dude a misdemeanor charge. All because I tried to call an ambulance for an injured guy.”