"I had a customer come through my line during the rush hour at the grocery store. Being that it was so busy, two different baggers got called away from my register to take care of some issue for other customers. Seeing that I needed a bagger, my assistant manager jumped in, only to be called away for some sort of managerial duty. Up until this point, my customer had said nothing. Then he went, 'Is there something wrong with my groceries?'
Unsure as to what he's talking about, and assuming he was joking, I smiled back and said, 'Um...no they look just fine to me. Is there something else you need?'
He then went on an endless rant about why my baggers kept leaving instead of serving him. And what the heck was wrong with his groceries that cause them to keep leaving. He demanded to speak to my manager and scream at them about how he is entitled to have a bagger, blah blah blah, just absolutely losing his mind before he stormed out."
"I used to work for Starbucks. I once had a woman scream at me for not bringing her her sandwich that was still cooking. I told her I'd bring it to her as soon as it was done, and we were slow at the time, so I was physically waiting at the oven for it. She was screaming over the bar about how incompetent I was and she actually said the words, 'I didn't ask if it was cooking, I told you to bring it to me.' At this point, I asked if she had wanted it cooked at all and offered to immediately replace it with an uncooked sandwich. This was apparently the wrong response because she began shrieking louder that she'd have me fired for being a smart mouth. At this point, I had no clue what was happening and was willing to bet I was being pranked. She asked for my manager, and I was the manager on duty. Upon learning that I was the highest ranking person in the store she called me a liar and a hussy (yes, a hussy). Her sandwich was done by then, so she left with a threat to call corporate and have me fired for being so rude and terrible at my job. In her defense as a crazy person, she made good on her threat and called corporate. However, I did not get fired.
My crime that started it all, apparently? When I made her drink I called it out, smiled, and set it on the counter in front of her. She wanted me to hand it to her instead of setting it where she could reach it."
"I worked at a Wendy's for a few years during college. The meltdown of legend was when a little-league mom came in with the whole team of kids and ordered food for all of them and some of the parents. She then began to grow increasingly frustrated/visibly upset at the amount of time it took to prepare such a large volume of food. She began to pointedly ask why her food was taking so long, over and over, each time her voice getting a little higher. After a few minutes she started saying, 'This is simply unacceptable,' and asking for a refund despite the fact that she could see the poor sandwich maker was standing right next to me, working frantically to put all her cheeseburgers together.
I said, 'Okay, let me just get the manager.' She then started screeching that she wanted the refund NOW and threw her carrier tray of Frosties onto the floor, got down on her hands and knees, and I kid you not, started grinding the spilled Frosty into the carpet with her bare hands, all the while shrieking as if her child had been run over in the drive-thru."
"I worked at a grocery store on Boylston St. during the Boston Marathon Bombings.
The store was closed for an entire week, as the street was considered a crime scene.
The day before we reopened, we were then (and only, finally then) allowed to enter the store to get rid of the thousands and thousands of dollars of spoiled food, due to the store being shut and the power being cut.
We had hardly ANY perishable food: we got some things from another store, I believe, because, ya know, crime scene.
Cue woman FREAKING OUT for FAR too long about us not having the salad she wanted, a pre-made, crap salad, yelling about us having poor customer service, about how we can't do our jobs, that we're obviously being overpaid for our lack of effort at our jobs. She told someone to go back to school.
Cue my manager basically saying, 'There were BOMBINGS a week ago. People DIED. Your salad is irrelevant.'
The woman went red, obviously forgetting she was on the street of the crime scene and we had a more than reasonable excuse for lack of products. Shamefully, the woman left and the other customers cheered."
"I'm an ex-barista, used to work for all kinds of stores, but my best tales come from Starbucks. The top tier crazy one is as follows:
I had just transferred to a much higher-volume store than I was used to, and was still relatively new. I was on register during a rush like I'd never dealt with before, and must have forgotten to mark someone's cup. I was overwhelmed by the number of customers and had no idea what was going on until a customer barged back into line to confront me.
This woman looked hysterical. Mascara-laced tears streaming down her face and dripping from her chin, entire body shaking like a feverish chihuahua, well-manicured hands curled into tiny fists of rage. I was completely thrown when she raised a trembling, accusatory finger in my face.
'YOU. FORGOT. TO MARK. MY. CUPS!' she ground out from between tightly-clenched teeth.
I was so startled that I took a step back from the register, eyes wide. 'I'm sorr--' I began, but she stormed off again. I glanced nervously at my bar partner, who shrugged and pointed to the two unmarked cups in front of her -- she'd apparently already started making them.
I thought this was the end, but oh dear no, this wouldn't be much of a story if that was it. In the middle of our crazy morning rush, this customer grabbed my manager on duty and chewed him out. He came for me, voiding her transaction on my register and grabbing a literal HANDFUL of recovery cards (the old ones that are good for any free drink, not just $4 worth). He looked at me knowingly and said, 'Come with me. She wants you to apologize.'
I was floored but went along meekly. What else was I going to do? When I got to her, she was still trembling with impotent rage, face covered in wet trails, jaw clamped so tight I was worried she was going to crack a tooth. With my heart pounding in my ears, I began to apologize with more vehemence than I've ever had in my life. 'I'm SO sorry! It wasn't intentional! I just started last week, I'm so sorry you had to wait for your drinks, I'll do better next time, I'm sorry...' I kept saying, 'I'm sorry' over and over again, waiting for her to say anything at all, but she just glared as though she were trying to make my head explode. I slowly dwindled before her, my multitudinous apologies fading away into nothing.
An awkward, terrified pause ensued. She sucked in a great breath as though she were the big bad wolf about to blow my house down, and boy, did she.
'I'M A LOYAL CUSTOMER! I COME HERE ALL THE TIME AND SPEND SO MUCH MONEY HERE AND THIS IS HOW YOU TREAT ME?!' She shrieked with the fury of a woman scorned, 'YOU ALWAYS FORGET ME! YOU ALWAYS MESS UP MY DRINKS! HOW DARE YOU TARGET ME LIKE THIS!' And on and on in a similar vein, laying into me at the top of her lungs. Customers and baristas alike were staring.
I'd never seen her before in my life. The few times I saw her again afterward, she was unironically and enthusiastically glad to see me, as though we were best friends and she'd never had a single bad interaction with me.
Oh, and my manager let her vent her wrath on me as long as she wanted until she was done before he apologized MORE and gave her a solid 10-20 free drink cards. Spineless twit."
"So, I'd just started my shift at McDonalds, it was 8 am, so we weren't serving any lunch. This lady came in and tried to order chicken nuggets. I told her we did not have chicken nuggets until 10:30. She looked frustrated, but accepted this news and left.
So 10:30 rolled around, we were switching everything to lunch, and about 15 mins later the same lady comes in and orders 30 Chicken nuggets. Okay cool, I put in the order, put her food on the tray and proceeded to give her the nuggets. Now we give two sauces per 10 nuggets, and my boss was a stickler about this rule.
Well, she wanted like 15 sauces. I gave her more than I should have already and told her, 'I can't give you any more sauces.'
She flipped out, started yelling at me, calling me every name in the book, so I walked away and got my manager. My manager came and the woman had opened all the sauces and nuggets and flipped the tray over at my boss, covering her in sauce.
Now my boss was an older Mexican lady, and she didn't take crap from people. So she started going off on the customer, told her to get out, and that the cops were on the way, though no one called yet.
The lady left, and came back with a taser, no joke, and started to come around the counter. My boss got a broom and they got into a standoff at the entrance into the employee area.
Now the cops were called and, since we are pretty close to the station, they got there in about five, maybe ten minutes. The whole time, the lady was trying to get over the counter and my boss was just waiting to smack her with the broom.
Finally she heard the sirens and tried to bolt. By then, it was too late, and she got arrested."
"I had just landed a job as a cashier/frontman at a Thai restaurant. On my second day, this older Asian lady came in, and she was very happy and friendly, until I told her fish was out of stock. Immediately, her smile collapsed, followed by, 'You never, EVER, have fish here!" She begrudgingly ordered a chicken dish, and scowled and grumbled at me as she paid.
Fast forward several months. I had landed another job, and on my second-last day, she came back. I thought great, you again, but again, she seemed happy and friendly.
As I was handing her her receipt, her eyes narrowed, she pointed one of her long, bony talons at me and said, 'Last time I come here, I say 'mild'. And it spicy!' I told her no problem, we'll make this meal un-spiced, but, 'No no no, I want mild,' (Points at register) 'You...YOU make spicy. I want mild.' I politely explained to her that mild will still have a little heat, she probably won't like it, but, 'No no no no no! I want mild. Mild. MILD!'
At this point, she was leaning in, and her breath smelled absolutely foul, like a bait shop on a hot day (I guess she got her fish), and a line of customers was forming behind her, so I said alright, mild it is. She smiled and waddled over to the pick-up area.
As I was taking another woman's order, I could see Fish Lady sit down and take one bite of her meal. I looked down to put the order in, and when I looked back up, Crazy Fish Lady was charging back up to the front, fists and teeth clenched, face twisted in rage.
She then shoulder-checked the customer who was ordering, knocking her off balance, then shoved her aside and turned to me, slammed her gnarly talons on the counter, and roared, 'IT TOO SPICY!' at us, projecting a wave of her foul breath into the kitchen.
As she was perched over the counter, shuddering in rage and breathing heavily through her crooked, rotten, clenched teeth, I forgot all about 'The customer is always right' schtick, and told her that I warned her this would happen, and of course, we'll make her another one, now get in the stupid line.
And just like that, her angry murder face dissolved into a wide, toothy grin, and she shuffled over to the pickup area. When she got her new meal, she went back to the table where her 'spicy' meal was and swiped it to the floor, then sat down and ate her other meal like nothing had happened.
The janitor was not a happy camper."
"I used to work at an adult beverage store in the state of Georgia. In our specific county, we are not legally allowed to have a public restroom (our type of stores only).
We get a lot of customers in that ask if we have a restroom, but we have to turn them away. No big deal, most of the customers understand and quickly head to the pharmacy next door to use the restroom. Except for this one terrible lady. When she asked to use our restroom, I gave her the normal, 'Sorry, but it is against state county law to have a public restroom,' expecting her to be a civil human being. Wrong. She proceeded to scream at me, using a bunch of racial slurs (I'm not white, though I am born and raised in the US), and intentionally broke a bottle in front of the register. Then she stormed out.
After cleaning up the mess she made, I noticed a new post on the store's Facebook page. It is from this same lady saying that she will never shop at the store again, was treated horribly, etc.
I'll always remember that meltdown because it was the first time I was made to feel like a lesser human simply because of my race."
"The government of my state raised the sales tax by a percentage point one year after a push by the governor. At the convenience store I worked at, that meant that the price of all coffee went up by one cent. A lot of regulars in the morning come by the counter with their money ready to go. They show me the cup, put the money down, walk out.
'Just letting you know that it's going to up go up one cent tomorrow,' I said to one of the regulars.
He slammed his coffee down, went digging into his pocket muttering something, pulled out a penny and then threw it at me, 'YOU TELL THAT GOVERNOR TO TAKE THIS TAX AND SHOVE IT UP HIS FLIPPING BUTT!' before storming out, leaving half a spilled coffee on the counter."
"I work in a fairly popular bakery. Every Wednesday, we have a Crazy Sale, meaning one of our more popular items will be on a very nice sale. This Wednesday happened to be cookies. We were selling them for 75 cents and, as you can imagine, they sold very fast. Our bakers prepare for this, usually having five extra trays of cookies to sell. One of our most popular cookies sold out, but we couldn't make more because we ran out of supplies for that kind. Most people were very understanding and just picked another cookie. Enter the crazy lady. She saw that slot for cookies was empty, so she asked if we had any more. I kindly said that no, we were out, but the bakers just went off to get the supplies to make them and they should be ready within the hour. She went insane. She started screaming about how she needed them because she wanted to impress her friends. I suppose she was telling them she made them or something, I don't know. She actually grabbed the cookie display and tipped it over, ruining our stock for the afternoon. She stomped on them all, saying how if she couldn't get her cookies, no one could. She is now banned from the store and we keep the cookies behind the counter where only we can reach them."
"I used to work for a coffee shop that was ALWAYS busy. I mean, like there was a constant line out the door. I had a man completely skip the line of about 10-12 people waiting, grab a juice out of our fridge and come up to me single handedly ringing everyone through. He cut off the next person and put the drink down and started pulling money out of his wallet, and I told him I wouldn't ring him through without standing in line first, there's a queue. Use it.
He went from a general jerk, smug expression to enraged, red faced, screaming at me telling me that he was just buying a freaking juice, not a coffee, to stop being such a freaking stupid bimbo and to just ring him through, berated me for being a barista even though if I wasn't there, he wouldn't be getting any service. He went on to say that if I was even remotely smart, I wouldn't be working here, so to just do my job like a good girl and ring him through. And then he threw money at me.
I didn't even remotely change my expression the whole time, his bills all fell on the floor in front of him, I pushed his juice aside and then motioned to the next person in line to order.
He got so angry that he looked like a dummy in front of so many people and didn't affect me, that he grabbed a one lb bag of coffee beans off of our counter and threw it across the store, grabbed his bills off the floor and walked away, telling me that he would never come back and our business would fail.
"I used to work at a grocery store. I once watched a lady go into a screaming, swearing fit because we wouldn't let her into the meat department to buy sausages...because that section had been blocked off by the fire department. There were three or four firefighters there, in plain view of the woman, in turnouts, tearing apart one of our refrigerator units because the motor had started smoldering. You could see and smell the smoke. Lady screamed at my supervisor for five minutes before one of the firefighters came over and literally told the woman to screw off, which absolutely made my day.
Our store manager sent the fire station a giant gift basket afterward."
"A guy, his wife, and their baby came into the restaurant I was working in. They ordered two Don Julio drinks. Okay, no problem boss. They order two more. Their server had to leave for the day, so they transferred the table to another server and at that point, the table started ordering the $1 special drinks. Sure.
Check time came, and they claimed they never ordered the Don Julio ones. Their server informed me before she left for the day that they kind of rubbed her the wrong way and to keep an eye on them. That's server speak for, 'This guy's gonna be a problem, giving you a heads up.' I called her and asked her how he ordered the drinks. She confirmed he specified Don Julio.
So I told the guy he had to pay for them. I was the bartender and the manager on duty. He didn't like that, so he threw down a $100 bill and I walked away to get his change. When I came back, he was cussing me out, called me a bimbo, yelled to the entire restaurant that we were ripping him off. His wife picked up the baby and called me a bimbo, too. He called me a prison guard and I told them to please leave the premises.
He called back later and said I was rude, cursed him out, that he was a doctor, and that he was going to sue me. Still waiting to get called into court on that one."
"I used to work at a pizza place with an arcade in it and if we had a problem with a machine, there were a few of us who had been trained in general repairs.
During a birthday party, a kid came into the restaurant portion of the building and asked for a manager to help him with one of the machines and, since I wasn't currently cooking, I went over to the next room to help him. I asked him to take me to whichever game was broken and he informed me that it wasn't really broken and pointed to the row of skee ball machines. One of the children had been trying to cheat at the game and he'd tried to crawl up under the plastic shielding that prevents you from doing just that and gotten himself stuck.
I attempted to talk him through wiggling himself out for a minute or two before I said screw it and attempted to just pull the kid out - which I confirmed with the kid was an okay thing to do, as he was starting to panic and just wanted out. As I'm finally managing to pull the little twerp free from his skee ball cage, his mother finally shows up to start parenting and instantly begins yelling at me. Not because I'm viciously yanking on her kid's ankles, but because he'd gotten himself wedged into the machine in the first place.
After a heated exchange in which she tried to rest the blame on me for not keeping an eye on the kids despite the fact that I've got a restaurant to run and I'm trying to reflect it back on her for being a crap parent and not watching her own offspring/teaching him not to jam himself into spaces too small for him, she did my favorite thing in the world. She tossed back her god awful PTA mom hair, slammed her hands onto her hips, and said, 'I want to speak to the manager.'
Nothing in the world is as satisfying as telling the person who wants to see the manager that you are the manager and watching the light drain from their eyes."