"This lady with two kids comes into the store with the grandma.
The 4-year-old is sitting in the empty cart and the 7-year-old is running up and down the aisles pushing her. Neither adult is paying attention.
The cart flips over, and the lady drops a glass gallon jar of BBQ sauce that she was holding, screams, and runs to the cart. She picks up the 4-year-old, cradles her, starts wailing and crying, just rocking her on the floor back and forth, all while sitting in the BBQ sauce. The grandma starts letting the 7-year-old have it.
His back is up to a 7-foot tall display of a Ritz cracker I had built earlier that morning. The grandma insults him and shoves him into the display. The whole thing comes down on top of him. They pick up the 4-year-old and just leave the store. I help uncover the 7-year-old and he runs out the store, after the mom. Totally messed up!"
"A woman in the Target checkout lane kept telling her kid to sit down in the cart. He was standing in basket wanting to see the new baby I was holding.
She kept jerking the cart so he'd lose his balance and told him to sit before he got hurt. She got so angry that she picked him up and slammed him back down into the cart. His little leg hit the rim on the way down and he grabbed it and was bawling his eyes out. He kept saying his leg hurt. She said: 'I told you to sit or you'd get hurt.'
Then she grabbed her receipt and walked out. I saw that cute little boy being wheeled out while crying wondering what kind of garbage he deals with at home. That poor kid."
"I worked for a big box retailer. We were in a complex with a grocery store. We had a 'regular,' and there was clearly something wrong with her. She would come in about three times a week and buy a coffee maker and go home and try and make a cup of coffee. Then she would bring it back (hours later) hot, wet and full of coffee grounds.
One day, I was shopping and saw our regular at the grocery store. She had a shopping cart FULL of bags of frozen peas. I honestly think she had every bag of frozen peas in the store.
Since I was curious, I followed at a distance for a little bit. Eventually, she dumped the cart in a different area of the store and left. Within a minute, a worker grabbed the cart and started putting the peas back. He had the same resigned look on his face that we got when she brought back a coffee maker. I can only assume she visited them as often as us."
"While working at Walmart, I watched a woman grab a jar of organic peanut butter, smash the glass bottle on the ground, and use the shards to cut her face.
After slicing the heck out of her face, she ran up to me and asked to see a manager. I called somebody over and the manager rushed her into the office while asking me to call 911.
Apparently, she was an addict and was completely out of it. She figured the best thing to do was get hurt at Walmart so they would give her 'a million dollars for pain and suffering'. Shockingly enough, Walmart didn't pay out to the junkie that cut up her own face."
"I worked in a small, local, mini market.
There was an assistant manager there that none of us liked. He was incompetent but really snobby because his dad owned the company.
One day, a known shoplifter comes in (a Gypsy in her 60s) so he tracks her on the CCTV and sees her stash a bottle of expensive shampoo up her skirt. Delighted that he was going to catch her in the act, he immediately went to confront her. Before he got to her she had obviously felt something was up and put the shampoo back.
When he confronted her and said he knew she was hiding something, she whipped off her dress in one quick motion, and stood there stark naked and challenged him to find the shampoo on her person. He looked simultaneously devastated and disgusted, and told us afterward that he could hear us all laughing in the security office from the shop floor!"
"Working at a grocery store, as a meat cutter, I've definitely seen some interesting customers and incidents.
I was restocking the meat department just as the store opened, and a man (a very sketchy looking man) in his 60's, daintily gave small injections with a needle filled with clear liquid to a bunch of pork products. So since I thought it was odd, I confronted him. He dropped his empty basket and walked out laughing. We threw away over 300 pounds of meat that day.
Another time, while working in produce, I watched an elderly woman stick her fingers into every watermelon slice we had wrapped. I watched a wealthy looking woman in her 30s place a sizable booger into the olive bar. I mentioned it to the deli manager, and she said: 'Oh yeah, I know who you're talking about.'
One time a woman wrote: 'Screw you Smith's,' with a dirty diaper on the wall of the bathroom because we wouldn't let her buy certain drinks with food stamps.
Another time, we had a 'code ADAM' (missing boy in the store) and found him crying in the bathroom. The perpetrator had already got what he wanted.
A wasted lady tried to stab our store director because he wouldn't cash her fake 'winning' lottery ticket her husband gave her. We weren't even in a lottery state, but she thought we needed to 'cough up the money quick, or get sprayed up.' She went to jail. A long 16 years working in the grocery store, and those are just a few."
"I was a cashier at Kroger for a bit.
The employee restroom was in the back of the store so us front-end people would always use the public bathroom.
I had to pee one day and ran into the men's room. There was only one stall, which was massive because it was a handicap stall. Other than the stall, there was a urinal. I was at the urinal doing my business when I hear the door open behind me and hear someone literally run into the handicap stall and almost immediately start going number two. Just the worst most awful sounds you can imagine coming out of a human along with grunts and groans from the person. And the smell. The smell was atrocious.
I'm trying to finish peeing and I look down just to get a glimpse of this person's shoes so that I can see who this monster is when they come out of the bathroom (by identifying them by their shoes) and I realize I can't see any feet. In fact, I don't see anyone at all. I can see the bottom of the toilet and the floor, but no human being. I think, 'What the heck?' and move away from the urinal and over to the sink, which is in front of the door to the handicap stall.
Well, the door is wide open because the person didn't close it. Thanks to the wide open door I see that the person is crouched in the corner of the stall, opposite of the toilet, and just pooping directly on the bathroom floor. The guy realizes I'm looking at him, makes eye contact with me, and with a completely serious and blank face says: 'Oh. Sorry,' and pulls his pants up and moves right past me and out the door. He didn't wipe or anything. He just stood up and left, leaving a Triceratops sized pile of crap on the bathroom floor. I was so dumbfounded by all of this that I didn't even say anything to anyone. I just left the bathroom and went back to my check lane."
"This guy walks up to my counter with a full roast chicken. I glance at him and continue checking out the person in front of me.
When I look back, he's gone. My manager comes sprinting up the aisle, picks up the chicken, shakes the container angrily and yells, 'I KNEW IT. HE DID IT AGAIN!'
I pull the container over and the guy had just taken a single bite out of the top of the chicken and left it. I have no idea how many times he's done it but apparently enough for my manager to recognize him."
"This story takes place at approximately 1 a.m. It was the middle of winter, in a small town WalMart, in Southern Indiana.
I was in the hunting and fishing section when I saw a dude carrying around a premature baby.
I didn't even think it was alive at first because it was so tiny. I had to stare at it for a good 10 seconds to notice it was actually breathing.
He was walking around with a group of people (all wearing generic camo, in their early 20s) and none of them were acting like anything was wrong. They didn't have a stroller, blanket, bag, anything for this baby. And the dude wasn't even holding it right! He just had it resting on one arm. I was so scared he was going to trip and drop it, and I was going to see a baby die right in front of me. I honestly just turned around and walked off. I really hope that baby was okay!"
"I worked as a courtesy clerk (bagging and mop-up) in high school.
I saw many things (disgusting bathrooms and clothes) but the most memorable involved this woman and her kid that would come in regularly.
The kid was probably 4 or 5 years old and was a real terror. I got the feeling that the mom had a lot of problems and the child's behavior was the least of them. She let him run free and pretty much use the store as his playground. He would knock things down. He broke bottles all the time. He would open food and leave the wrappers. He would rummage through the dry goods as if he was a wild raccoon. I would've preferred he was a raccoon. In the worst instance, he was tearing through the bulk candy, maxing out his cheeks - chipmunk style and dropping candy everywhere. But then he decided to just take a full pee in his pants, mid-aisle.
I came around the corner, right at the conclusion of the peeing. He saw me, did like a woody woodpecker type laugh, and booked it, leaving a trail of urine footprints.
The mom never said anything about the messes, and we never said anything to her. She would buy what she came for and drag the kid out. Then everybody would look at me with the raised eyebrows look, that wordlessly says: 'Sucks to be you right now.' It was one of those character-building jobs."
"I used to work at a grocery store.
I once watched an extremely out of it woman walk into our bakery (which was closed) late at night. She tried to open up one of the ovens so she could sleep. I had to call the manager.
I had to help security one time because a lady tried to put new shoes on and walk out the door with them. They just wanted me to help surround her so she would be less likely to run off.
Then there was, 'The Day of the Big 3'. First, a wasted lady crashes her car into a snowbank in the parking lot. Then, a lady faints in our little cafe sitting area and is on the ground (I was first to respond on that one).
The final story from 'The Day of the Big 3', is the most screwed up one. This lady is searching the store for her husband. Can't find him. She didn't ask me, but people were talking about this lady who couldn't find her husband. Well, at some point during this, we find out that a guy died in the bathroom while on the toilet. Heart attacks are actually pretty common on the toilet, and it happened and no one found him until he was dead.
We put it all together hours later and figured that the guy who died was likely this woman's husband. She was searching for her husband for an hour. We had been talking about there being a dead guy in the bathroom while she was looking for him. No one had put it together until we started to get closer to closing."
"I was once at a supermarket on the last day of the month. We were actually going to have a party to close out the month at the office I was working at.
So an old guy walks in and looks like he's going to kill someone. I mean, he was just very angry looking. Then he got to the bread aisle and went up to this woman and starts screaming nonsense at her. He starts telling her husband: 'You! I'm going to get your wife. I'm going to find your wife.'
Obviously, the lady is freaked out and goes running. Then the old guy moves on to another aisle and starts telling people what he's going to do their wives.
Five minutes later he was out the door with a smile on his face. Why was he smiling? I am not sure. He was probably just crazy. Although it did look like he'd bought a small item."
"I worked at a pretty busy downtown grocery store while I was between jobs. I had way worse experiences working retail, but this one particularly stood out:
It was around May, and it was already super warm out for that time of year. It was a Friday, and I was working the closing shift.
I got a call from my till, and I answered only to have my shift lead tell me: 'We've been tailing a woman around the store who's stealing some products. Just ring up whatever she's bringing up. Security will get her before she walks out. Minimize your interaction as much as possible.'
She was not subtle. It was notably hot outside but this woman was in full winter gear. You know that episode of the Simpsons where Homer and Marge go to the candy expo and Marge steals a ton of candy and stores it in a winter coat? That was this woman. She literally had a ham pushing out of the front of her coat, along with other things. Her coat was ready to burst. She herself was not in good shape, either - she reeked and her eyes were twitchy, but she could barely keep herself upright. Like, walking in a daze (or the weight of her coat).
She put a single chocolate bar on the counter. Whatever. I don't care. It's 10:45 p.m., and I want to go home. As I'm putting through this chocolate bar, she suddenly wavers. I pause, tell her her total is $2.45, she pays. I tell her to have a nice night, and she suddenly passes right out. She smacks her head on the till and falls right to the floor. I just stand there and lean over. She's still breathing but a bunch of things exploded out of her coat.
Security drags her off and the others start cleaning up, and I'm told to close my till and go home."
"My dad worked at a grocery store so I spent a lot of time before school there.
This older lady named Mary was always hanging around. And honestly, she was nuts.
I was outside waiting for the bus, and a couple guys came up and started harassing her. She threatened to hit one of them with her purse and he laughed. But she actually did it! She grabbed her purse by the handle, reared back, and hit him in the head with it. The guys fell to the ground and were out cold. I looked at her, then she looked at me and smiled, then she casually pulled two bricks out of her bag."
"I had a crazy experience at the Santa Cruz Mission Street Safeway.
I went in to buy some normal stuff in a normal way: bread and eggs, some juice. I was at the checkout stand when I opened the carton and noticed an egg was cracked. The person working the register said to leave it, and grab a fresh carton. So they handed me the receipt, I picked up my fresh carton and exited the building.
Outside, two loss prevention guys accosted me, grabbed me aggressively, accused me of robbery, and pulled me through the store and into the back room. I told them I paid for all my groceries and handed them the receipt. The dude looks at it, drops it on the floor, and handcuffs me! I am detained there for over an hour until finally, the kind soul who checked me out, takes a break and is en route to the break room. He sees me, and tells the goon squad they are crazy and better let me go immediately. They gave me a $50 gift card which I did not use."
"I was shopping at Trader Joe's just before closing one night. There was almost nobody in the store, so I was zipping around in a hurry. I get to the egg rack and there is a tall man standing there. He was blocking the whole thing with an open egg box, just staring at it. He wasn't checking for broken eggs like I do, but just staring at the box. So I try to work my way around him. He is muttering to himself, and I decided it would be better to give him some space and get eggs another time.
Then as I'm going down the next aisle, I hear him starting to cluck and crow, soft at first, but then it gets much louder and then BAM! I see an egg hurled across the store and it splats on the wall above the meat rack. I'm thinking, 'time to bail,' at this point. Then I hear a request for a manager on the intercom and bells start dinging at the register - so I pull back and watch the drama.
The first manager comes up in a colorful Hawaiian shirt and instructs the crazy man to drop the eggs and please leave. He jumps back and starts yelling profanity and clucking. Then he throws more eggs at the wall and goes for another carton of eggs. Another worker confronts him and nervously says, 'We called the cops, it's time to go.' So I get to the front checkout with a shopping cart half full and decide it's just not worth it and leave the store."
"Both of my parents worked retail grocery. Growing up, my dad was the manager and my mom was the bookkeeper.
I would walk around the store before school and after school. Before school, I would walk around drinking chocolate milk and eat a doughnut. People just assumed that I was shoplifting. So those people would literally take stuff right in front of me.
When I would catch them all shoplifting, I just simply walked to the next aisle and picked up a phone. I would give a ring to my Dad's line and let him know who I saw.
The best one I ever saw was after school. I was eating an apple and drinking a soda when I saw an old man pick up some tomato sauce and break the jar on the floor then purposely cut his leg and roll around it and started screaming. He told me he'd buy me something nice if I said I saw him slip and fall into the mess.
The police told him who I was when he was at the hospital, and my parents refused to pay his medical bills. He still tried to sue, but he lost."
"I was working in the floral department of the supermarket.
A large old woman in a motorized cart asked if I could honor her expired coupon. I told her I didn't have a register in my department and pointed out customer service at the front of the store. Also, we didn't even have the product the coupon was for.
She purposely backed into a display of potted plants, but couldn't knock them over to make her point. So she made a sharp turn and pushed over a few plants that were on the floor. She looked at me triumphantly, with the expectation that my day would be ruined. RUINED.
But alas, I shrugged my shoulders and continued with my corsage making. She rolled away, dejected to go torture the people in customer service. I didn't get paid enough to care and made sure to wait to clean it up to deny her the satisfaction of seeing me pick up her mess."