"As a 16-year-old, I worked as a hostess at IHOP in a nice little suburb. We had many, many less than reputable guys working in the kitchen at the time. As a hostess, one of my jobs was to answer phones and cheerfully brown-nose whoever called.
One morning, I got a call asking to speak to one of our cooks. I checked, he wasn't in, I reported back to the caller. She seemed mad about this, but hung up without further incident.
Over the next three hours, I got calls from the same woman, each one getting progressively more threatening. Finally I got, 'If you don't put him on the phone, you little tramp, I will come down there with a tire iron and beat your face in.' The manager had happened to pick up the phone before this declaration, and gave the woman a stern talking to.
I never did find out why she was so insistent that I was hiding him from her, but I did spend the day looking over my shoulder for some crazy witch with a tire iron."
"I worked at a Burger King when I was 16 where we got crazy amounts of buses. Could tell a hundred stories, but only got threatened once, though. We had this special for Lent where you could get two fish sandwiches for $3, but you had to get the two. If you got one, or one and a meal, it was $2.20 for the odd sandwich out.
Anyways, this lard butt on a Greyhound bus came in and was whining about EVERYTHING. She wanted mustard and tartar sauce on her sandwiches (I tried it later, blech), and she told me like a bazillion times to make sure I got it right because 'none of you lazy idiots ever gets them right.' She ordered three of these mustard-and-tartar sauce monstrosities, and I told her that the odd one would be $2.20 and she told me she didn't care. So after getting her order, she came up and started screaming that I cheated her. I told her I had not and offered to ask the store manager (who was my cousin) to deal with the problem.
She told me that 'the customer is always right,' and if I didn't give her money back, she'd 'jump over the counter and mess me up.' Being 16, I told her to go ahead and try it. So she actually did. Only she was so fat, she couldn't really jump, so she threw her water bottle at me. Then she sort of rolled over the counter and put up her dukes.
At this point, I was laughing my butt off. My cousin told someone else to call the cops, told me to take a break in the back and get some food if I wanted, then told lardface exactly what would happen if I sued her for assault since I was a minor, and my cousin could prove that I did nothing actionable. Even better, everyone on the bus had to wait for the cops to get there because the bus driver had to stay to report to the cops what had gone down. It took about an hour for Greyhound to get another bus there to pick up the other passengers, so needless to say, there were plenty of volunteers to tell the cops about lardface's stupidity."
"I'll always remember the miserable old lady coming through the checkout line at the grocery where I was a bagger. She told me that if I packaged the eggs or bread in such a way that they were damaged, she would call the cops on me for the destruction of her property. And she wrote my name down in a little notebook."
"Oh, the stories I have from working in a supermarket...
The best happened when I was working the seafood counter one night. The guy who was working in the meat department (both departments were connected) came up to me because a customer was looking through the stock in the back. He didn't want to deal with it so he made me do it (the dude was 45 years old or so, and lazy as heck, he didn't last long). I went up to the woman:
Me: 'Can I help you?"'
Lady: 'I need lamb chops.'
Me: 'Well, I can get some for you, but you cannot be back here.'
Lady: 'Yes I can.'
Me: 'No you can't, it's for your own safety. We're cleaning and we have a number of saws and knives all over the place.'
Lady: 'Oh, yes I can.'
Me: 'No you can't, either get out or I'm calling security.'
She was growing a bit more flustered, and a bit more belligerent. I looked over and saw another employee from a separate department back there so I said, 'Get her out of here, I'm calling security.'
He luckily got her out of the back room, but she began screeching in this high pitched banshee wail, 'You can't do this to me! My husband is one of New York's finest!' Keep in mind, we don't live anywhere near New York. She kept yelling it, though, so loud that the people in the front end of the store could hear her perfectly. It was then she told the other employee that she was going to kick my butt.
The woman then came back to the seafood counter, and of course, I was there. She asked for some fish, but since I was still feeling a bit smug and still waiting for the manager to come kick her out, I replied, 'Well ma'am, I don't think I should help you since you're being incredibly rude and are not listening to us. It's all for your own safety.'
Her: 'YOU CAN'T DO THIS TO ME! MY HUSBAND IS ONE OF NEW YORK'S FINEST! DO YOU KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS! I CAN DO WHATEVER I WANT!'
By this time, the manager came with security and escorted her out of the store. While she was leaving, she was constantly going off about how she was going to 'kick my butt' and stuff like that. Oh yeah, we also found out she was on something as well, she was absolutely sky high."
"An old lady with Alzheimer's would come in with her daughter every Sunday. Sometimes she was nice, sometimes a total witch.
One day she came in and said I don't smile enough. That used to always get my goat when I was younger, so I asked her to please just order. She flipped out, so I went into the back.
My coworker went out to bus tables outside and she called him over and said, 'You tell that young man I don't like him. I'm going to put a curse on him, and I know how to do it too!'
She actually looked like a crazy old gypsy, so who knows."
"A few years back, I was working at a movie theater. I was stocking the counters for the next rush with some fellow co-workers. A little kid, age 10 or so, came up with a drink and asked for a refill of Sprite. I took his drink and asked him, 'More ice?'
To which he replied, 'No, Sprite.'
'Sure. Would you like more ice?'
'Uhh, Sprite please.' This went on for a little bit, none of us really sure what the other was saying. A simple misunderstanding, the theater was loud and I'm half deaf to begin with. We finally came to an agreement that he wanted both ice and Sprite. I filled his drink and he went on his way. I turned to my co-worker and explained the little misunderstanding to her. Apparently, the dad was right around the corner and heard a bit of what I'd said. He rushed up to me screaming, 'How dare you make fun of my kid like that, I outta talk to your manager and get you fired, you imbecile.'
'My manager is right there, sir.' He rushed over to her, started yelling at her. She replied by summoning the cops to escort him out.
Before they could get to him, he came up to the counter and said straight to me, 'I will effing cut you next time I see you.' He was then grabbed by the cops and led outside. His son came up to the counter and said he was sorry for his 'meanie' dad.
Three years later, and he still hasn't cut me, despite coming every weekend to see a movie."
"So I was an assistant manager of a Taco Bell in a small midwestern town almost 20 years ago. It was Thanksgiving day and I didn't even know why we bothered to open. By 1 pm, we still hadn't had a single customer. It was just me and a 17-year-old girl, Kristi, who ran the front cash register. We just sat around talking all day when out of the blue, the drive-thru beeper went off, our first customer of the day!
Some background info, I could run drive-thru like a boss. I actually opened half a dozen Taco Bells in the area and I would take orders and money, which is usually a two person job when a new store opens. At the end of a long shift, my drawer would always be dead on down to the penny. We're talking hundreds of transactions and thousands of dollars per shift when a new store opened. It's probably the reason they promoted an 18-year-old kid to assistant manager.
Back to the story. It was a long order, so I carefully repeated it back and the customer confirmed it. I then proceeded to make the entire order myself, bag it, and ring up the transaction. In other words, I handled the entire order myself, start to finish.
A few minutes later, the phone rang. It was the father of the girl who just came through. He started rattling off a list of items I forgot on the order. After he finished, I informed him that I personally took care of everything, so I knew that all of the food that was ordered and paid for was in the bags. However, I explained, I could have any additional food ready for them by the time they got here if he wanted to place an additional order over the phone.
He demanded that he get the food he's already paid for. I explained, again, that I personally handled the entire order and everything that was paid for was in the bag. Now he asked, 'Are you calling me a liar!?'
'Certainly not, sir. I think there was just a miscommunication in the order. I did repeat it back, but it was a large order so perhaps the girl that placed the order didn't realize she forgot to order a few items,' I replied.
'Now you're calling my daughter a liar!?' he screamed into the phone.
'Not at all. There's just been a miscommunication, let me go print another receipt and I'll read you the items and you tell me which items you didn't receive.'
He told me not to bother. We went back and forth a bit on the phone and eventually I just told him that I could see that he was very upset, but if he would just tell me the items he wanted, I'd make them and have them ready, free of charge. I told him that customer satisfaction was my primary concern. He told me to go screw myself, he didn't want my charity, he just wanted the food he paid for. I told him, again, 'Just tell me what to make and I'll make it and have it ready.'
At this point, he lost it, 'That's it! I'm tired of you calling me a liar! Calling my daughter a liar. I'm 280 pounds of mean, ticked off mother trucker and I'm heading down there right now! You can call the cops if you want, but don't think I'm worried about going to jail, I've been there before and I'll go again.' SLAM! He hung up.
At this point, I was a bit shaken, but I figured he was just saying that because he was ticked that I wouldn't acquiesce to his scam.
About 10 minutes later, I heard the door chime and looked up to see 280 pounds of mean, ticked off mother trucker hurdling the rails of the queue and leaning across the front counter, spouting incoherent obscenities the entire way, spittle flying in all directions.
I just happened to be making a fresh batch of ground beef, so I had a meat rake in my hands - think giant potato masher about 2 and a half feet long. I'm genuinely frightened at this point, and I told myself that if he makes the slightest motion of coming over the counter, I was going to plant the meat rake in his head with every bit of strength I can muster.
He shouted crap for a minute or two, I barely remember what he said as I was probably in a state of shock, but I do remember him going on about how he and his family spend a lot of money here and we'd have to try to make due without it in the future. He then stomped out the door and tried in vain to slam the door behind him.
When I looked over at Kristi, her face was completely white, wide-eyed, and slack-jawed at least a full minute after he'd already left."
Lisa F. Young/Shutterstock
"I was threatened by a 130lb woman because the grocery store I worked at was closed. We'd been closed for over an hour and had no cashiers or anyone in the cash office to process her sale. She looked me right in the face and said, 'I will kill you.' I was 6'4 and 270lbs at the time, and if I fell on her, she'd have had a difficult time getting out from under me.
I sometimes want to get another job in retail and tell customers how the world actually works. Sure, I'll get fired in less than a week, but what a glorious week."
"While working as a bartender, I dealt with my fair share of unruly customers. One night, a woman in her late twenties had been alternately buying her own drinks with her friends and having drinks bought for her by a regular I happened to know in passing. Her friends order a round of drinks, which I mistakenly made wrong. My bad, but it happens.
A few minutes later, the woman informed me of this, and I could smell the difference, so I apologized and said I'd make them again, no charge. She'd had a few and she insisted that I comp their bill for the night (a substantial sum) for my mistake.
When I told her I couldn't, she replied with something along the lines of, 'Fine, I'm going to tell my boyfriend to stop buying us drinks then, and you won't get any more tips,' gesturing to the regular she'd been flirting with all night.
I looked over her shoulder at the guy, pointed at her, and motioned that I was cutting her off while raising my eyebrows apologetically. He nodded, gave me a thumbs up, and walked away. Very enjoyable, laughed about it with him the next day."
"I was 16 and working at McDonald's. We were grossly understaffed and extremely busy on a beautiful sunny day. A woman pulled up to the drive-thru, and I greeted her and asked what she'd like.
She asked for a moment. I told her, 'Take your time!' and started to wait. And wait. And wait.
Finally, a good few minutes later, she started to tell me this really simple order. I was confused about what took so long. However, I soon found out when she came around the building to the window.
Immediately, I got, 'THE SUN IS ON THE EFFING SCREEN OUT THERE AND I CAN'T SEE IT AND YOU SHOULD BE RESPONSIBLE AND YOU SHOULD GO OUT THERE AND FIX IT SO THE SUN DOESN'T SHINE THERE AND I WANT MY FOOD FREE BECAUSE OF IT!'
She THREW her credit card in my face. I was already miffed because she'd messed my time up so much (meaning I'd be yelled at later by a manager), but throwing the card in my face ticked me off more. I swiped it, it got approved, I threw it back into her car (not at her, into the window of the car, I'm not that mean) and told her, 'So sorry I can't change the rotation of the earth to suit your needs,' and slammed window closed.
A few minutes later, one of the employees came back from frontline laughing. Apparently, she tried to jump through the front window, and threatened to 'kick my tail.'"
"I was a waitress at a local dive bar. The place stayed open serving drinks 'til 2 am, but switched to a limited menu around 11 pm or so. The limited menu basically consisted of fried foods so that the grill could be shut down and cleaned.
Well, one fateful St. Patrick's day, a middle-aged woman and her three friends showed up after the grills had been shut down, and asked for menus. I gave them the menus and let them know what was available.
One of the ladies claimed that she was diabetic and couldn't eat any of the food that was available. I explained to her that there's not much I could do since the grills had been shut down for over an hour. She threatened to sue us under the Americans with Disabilities Act since I couldn't give her a cheeseburger.
I eventually had to get my manager to talk to her. Luckily, her friends apologized for her insanity. They seemed pretty embarrassed."
"I am a cashier at a supermarket chain. A man and a woman come through my line. The man is unkempt with a sourpuss look on his face. The woman looks mentally handicapped. Her hair is stringy, it's all in her face, and her mouth is permanently gaping open with drool dripping down her chin. Really, a pitiful sight. As they are taking groceries out of their cart and putting them on the belt, he starts berating her. She has two different types of shampoos and matching conditioners. He says things like, 'What do you need two for? You don't need these!' and would lean forward, hand the rejects to me, and make the universal crazy sign, spinning finger next to the head.
The insults get worse. He starts insulting her clothes, her hair, how useless she was. There was a problem with his food stamp card and he gets even more irate. At one point, he turns to her and says, 'Stop looking at me like that, you effing moron.' My mouth dropped open. I was on the clock and I couldn't:
1) Deck the guy or
2) Call him out on his nonsense. When he saw my face, he said, 'Don't worry, I wasn't talking about YOU.'
In the coldest, venomous, most accusatory way I could muster I said, 'Oh, I know you weren't talking about me,' and my eyes flitted over to the woman, who was still drooling and her eyes out of focus, pointing in different directions.
He didn't like the way I spoke to him and PITCHED A FIT. He started yelling that he was going to kick my butt. I'm a very tiny girl, and this prick looked like an ogre. I just coldly stared at him. My supervisor, a really cool lady, heard the commotion and said, 'EXCUSE ME WHAT DID YOU JUST SAY?!' The man pointed to the woman, pointed to me, and said he didn't have to take this crap, he had a hard day, he was diabetic (ok?) and everyone around him were idiots.
As he was rung out, the security guard stayed at my register for my own protection. I kindly handed the woman her change and receipt (since the food stamps can't cover everything) and gave the man the biggest 'Screw you,' look I could muster."
"I used to manage a grocery store. One afternoon, I got called to the phone to speak to a customer. That always meant that the customer was agitated enough my staff couldn't handle them.
A young man told me he purchased a gallon of milk the day before that was out of date. I knew none of the milk had been out of date, but I always told them to come back in and we would give them another gallon of milk. He said that I didn't understand, the milk he had bought was two years out of date. I answered that was impossible, we sold a lot of milk. He kept insisting. I offered a refund or exchange. He threatened to report me to the health department. I offered to give him the phone number. He accused me of trying to kill his whole family with out of date milk. Apparently, they had drank most of it. I asked him what he thought 2-year-old milk might look like? He hung up.
I don't miss retail."
Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock
"My first job was at Subway in Eureka Springs, AR, where most people are chill and pretty cool. I was about 18 at the time and was with a coworker, who was 19. Anyway, this lady came in and wanted a seafood sub. We made it and rang it up. The lady got mad that the sandwich wasn't $5. We informed her that the tuna was, but not the seafood. She didn't understand because people have done it for her in the past and she was obviously getting pretty unhappy about it. We apologized but said we couldn't do it because that's not the price. She left and, naturally, me and my coworker began chit-chatting about it behind the line while cleaning up a little. Her (I'm assuming) husband came in and said that he can see us in the shop window 'raising Hell' about the situation and asked if we want to come outside - over a $5 sandwich."
"I worked in a grocery store and had a recurring issue with people coming into the store and trying to take advantage of Michigan's 'Bounty Law.'
Here's how it works: if a customer is charged MORE than the store's price sticker on the item, the customer is entitled to five times the difference or five dollars, whichever is less. Grocery stores run on thin profit margins per item, so even five bucks is enough to make them cringe and a law like this is supposed to keep them from pulling anything really deceptive.
Unfortunately, every ignorant jerk in the universe gravitated to my store and tried to get a bounty when they weren't entitled to it. Most of the time, it was because the item was advertised at a sale price if you had a store card. Generally, if someone wasn't rude about it, cashiers would run a dummy card, but typically in this situation, you can't get a bounty, though that never stopped people from arguing the case with me.
The best, though, was when I spotted a mislabeled item as I was ringing it up and corrected it before billing the customer -- and she STILL tried to get the money. I attempted to explain this to her repeatedly, but she kept arguing and insisted that I call a manager over. I explained that he was going to say the same thing and that we shouldn't waste everybody's time with this, but still wound up calling him over.
He told her exactly the same thing I told her, and she said that she's going to call the store manager on us. We both laughed since he was just going to tell her to jump over a rope over this one. She saw us laughing and said, 'I'm going to call the BBB on you!'
Which might matter, if we had been a member."