"I worked at Sam's Club, in the dairy cooler (awesome job, for the most part).
I was inside the walk-in cooler, stocking cottage cheese, when someone opened the display door, looked down on me, and asked, 'Do you have Cabot Cheese?'
I said, 'Sorry, no, we're out. Truck comes in tomorrow.' Perfectly true response and I knew my inventory like nobody's business.
Customer sneered, said, 'You could at least look.' Then they hawked up a loogie and spit on my face.
I spent the next four hours in the cooler like any other shift, stocking stuff and organizing things, with an added side of reevaluating my worth as a human being. Useful experience, in the end."
"I worked at a Chipotle over the summer. This lady came in and ordered a burrito. This is how our conversation went:
Me: 'White or brown rice?'
Lady: 'Brown rice.'
Me: 'It's gonna be a three minute wait on brown rice, is that ok?'
Lady: Scoffing, 'Fine.'
Then she got on her phone,and as I was helping the next customer, I heard her say, 'This black idiot doesn't have any rice for me...none of them have any idea how to cook, I bet.'
I am half-black, but I was fully offended. So I finished helping my current customer, and then went to tell my manager. He came out and said something like, 'We don't serve racists, especially ones with attitude like you. Get out of my restaurant.'
So she started going off on him, me, and anyone who told her to calm down. My manager threatened to call the police and she finally left.
That's the only time I've been given a racially-charged insult, and it stung."
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"I was working the front cash register at my fast food job. Working that register meant I couldn't even see the drive-thru and, in general, meant I wasn't making sandwiches for either side. I was standing in position, taking an order, when someone pushed to the front of the line, interrupting the order I was taking. 'This is wrong,' she shouted, thrusting a bag at me and slamming a drink on the counter.
'I'm sorry about that. What was it supposed to be?'
I looked into the bag to see what was inside in the hopes of being able to look it up. It's a sandwich and fries. The fries were hot and the sandwich looked normal when I opened it, so I assumed she either got someone else's sandwich, or else had ordered something special on her sandwich. But I had no way of figuring out what was wrong with it without asking her. 'What was it supposed to be? I'll make you a new one,' I asked, looking up at her.
'I already told you what it was supposed to be when you took my order. If you don't know how to make an effing sandwich, you shouldn't have a job, tramp.' Then she opened up her cup of soda and threw the open cup at me. I ran to the back, got the manager, and hid there until my manager came to tell me she was gone."
"I used to be a cashier at Kroger. I once got cursed out and had a complaint filed against me by a customer who blamed me for not reminding her to give me her coupons.
As if I knew she had coupons...
Needless to say, my manager thought it was ridiculous and he shredded the complaint form without writing me up.
Another time, a woman threw a complete fit when I reminded her to scan her Kroger card after I scanned all her groceries. It doesn't matter when you scan the card, it applies all the discounts at the end. Despite me explaining this, she shouted for a manager and demanded that I re-scan all her groceries 'correctly.' We were very busy at the moment and the manager wasn't going to allow her to waste their time by making them void her order and un-bag all of her groceries all so I could scan them again. She threatened to sue and they said she was welcome to. She spent 45 minutes by the exit reading her receipt and glaring at me.
I was once working as a bagger and a woman tried to buy a package of fresh hamburger buns that didn't have a barcode on them. I ran to do a price-check and simply picked up another identical package of buns, handing the unlabeled pack back to the bakery so they could put a barcode on it. When I returned, she was very upset that I had gotten a different package of (identical) buns and insisted that they were smashed. I offered to go back and get her the original pack, but she refused. On her way out, she grumbled at me, 'I'll think of you when I eat my smashed buns.'"
"I used to work at a grocery store as a cashier. There a few special needs people working there, but they do a good job and are in no way an inconvenience. One of them, Kyle, has Downs Syndrome, but he was a really hard worker and a super nice kid. This lady came through my checkout lane and I forget what item it was, but it was damaged, so I had to send Kyle to go get a new one. She still had a lot of items in her cart, so it wasn't like we had to wait on him or anything. I could see that she was visibly upset, though. Maybe 20 seconds passed and I heard her mumble something like, 'Maybe you shouldn't have sent one of the special ones.' I blew up on her. I've never snapped like that in my entire life. She ended up turning really red and decided to just leave her crap and get the heck out of the store. My manager called me into the office and told me I wasn't in trouble, but that it had to look like I was getting reprimanded for the customer's sake. Two weeks later, I got promoted to a stocking job."
"I was a cashier at Meijer (a big grocery/department store) during college. One time, an old man and his maybe 9-year-old grandson came through my line. They checked out. I moved on to the next customer and the old man came back. He yelled, 'Where did you put my grandson!?' and slammed his fists on the bagging carousel. I was so confused, I just stared. Everyone looked at me. I turned bright red...he found the kid by the claw machine on his way out.
Another time, an old man came through my line and was very nice, but after he checked out, he sat on the ledge against a window and stared at me for 20 minutes as I worked. I was creeped out, but not terrified. It wasn't until security came and escorted him away that I realized he was touching himself.
Last one. When produce is marked down, the department is supposed to tape a reduced price barcode over the original so when a cashier is quickly scanning, the old price won't accidentally read. A lady came through with strawberries that had been marked down 5 cents (which was dumb, but whatever). I scanned the barcode, but the old one wasn't covered well and it rang the wrong price. I totaled the lady out and she paid. About five minutes later, she walked up to me while I was assisting another customer and she was irate. Yelling, screaming, slamming things on the counter, shoving the other customers out of her way, all the while demanding I give her back her money. Unfortunately, at least when I worked there, Meijer didn't have 'at-register' returns. I told her how sorry I was, but she would have to go to customer service. She refused. She wouldn't move. I tried to call a manager and she yelled and said a manager would take too long and that I had to fix it. I was silent and embarrassed, but she wouldn't stop screaming. Then the name-calling started. When she finally called me a 'made-up tramp and you've obviously been around the block a few times,' I put my hand up in her face, reached into my pocket, and shoved a dollar bill into her hand. I turned off my light, ran into the bathroom, and cried like a child."
"I worked for a catering company in college as a work-study program. After a few years, I was able to move up to a manager position. One day, we were hosting an alumni event. The college department that ordered the food, however, greatly underestimated the number of guests there were going to receive. They ordered food for 200 people, but about 400 showed up. So, obviously, halfway through the event, we ran out of food, but since they refused to order more food, there was nothing we could do.
At one point, a 30-something-year-old man approaches one of my staff in the back room and started cussing her out for there being no food left. I then approached him as he was talking to another guest and asked if I could speak with him about the incident. He pretended like he had no idea what I was talking about and continued his conversation. Fine, I thought it was over and I told my staff to send him my way if he ever tried to talk to them again. Later on, he approached me, again when no other guests could see him, and yelled at me, saying, 'How dare you approach me as I'm trying to network with other alumni!' I explained that if he had a problem with the event to come to me as I could explain the situation and any problems were my responsibility, not my staff's. He stopped, stared at me, and said, 'You see this suit? It's a $1,000 suit. You don't make that much in a month.' Then he walked away.
At that point, I snapped. He wasn't wearing a name tag, so I approached the head of the event and asked for his name and explained the situation. She looked appalled and said she would talk to him about the incident. As we were cleaning up later, after the women spoke with him, he cornered me as I was exiting the bathroom. He told me he would make me pay for embarrassing him and that I was 'a worthless piece of crap.' I laughed, told my boss about it, and moved on. He still didn't realize I had his name.
The next day, the guy called my supervisor to try and get me fired. My supervisor backed me but asked for the guy's name. He said his name was 'Joe Frazer' (obviously it wasn't) and that if my boss didn't handle the situation, he would come personally take care of me. My boss laughed, hung up, got this guy's name from me and called the police. Turns out, the guy's business just went under in the economic crisis, he was at the event to 'network,' aka looking for a job. He'll probably be selling his amazing $1,000 suit soon to cover bills. He didn't find work and is now banned from the campus as well. Justice."
"I work at Kroger. Oh God, the stories.
My personal worst is the one time I was working in the customer service desk and some guy came up to complain that his fuel points 'disappeared.' I explained that they had to have been used at some point or expired at the beginning of a month as the rollover period ended.
The guy insisted that he hadn't used them and they just 'magically disappeared.' I called Kroger Plus for him (despite explaining they could only tell me when they were used) and explained that the points had been used the week prior, at our store's fuel station.
This dude just went absolutely ballistic on me. He slammed his hand on our customer service desk. He started yelling at me and screaming about talking to a manager, then said that he's 'next door neighbors' with Dave Dillon, the CEO. I called my manager; the manager heard this exact story from the customer's point of view, which basically painted me as lying to him about what the Kroger Plus call said. The customer tried to pull the Dave Dillon card. My manager told him, 'Go ahead and call Dave, then. He'll agree with me,' and walked away."
"Some twit at an upscale wedding I was bartending cut a huge line of people. I saw her do it and thus decided to pay her no mind, no matter how long/loudly she tried to get my attention. She then mentioned to one of the people she'd cut, 'Oh, I'll get his attention, I have to deal with the mentally challenged all the time,' then she chuckled.
A few people in line kind of gasped/rolled eyes/etc, but I just laughed at her and said, 'You would have to be wasted to be that rude to a stranger, so I'm going to go ahead and radio the other bars and make sure you don't get service. You know, for fear of over serving you.'
She went and got my boss, but a few of the nicer customers backed me up, so the lady got upset and left. Not only was it nice finally winning one, but a lot of the people that heard her and saw her being as rude as she was decided to leave really nice tips. It was a good night."
"I worked at Starbucks throughout my college career, including summers when my internship schedule allowed. One day, as I was going down the line taking orders, I heard somebody say, 'But I have many miles to go before I sleep.' I knew he was quoting 'Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening' by Robert Frost, so I commented that I liked the poem as well. The customer just looked at me all confused and asked, 'Well then what are you doing here?' Apparently, in this guy's mind, if you're working in retail, you have to be a complete idiot, not a college student at NYU or anything."
"It was only my third day as a waitress in an insanely popular restaurant and we were absolutely slammed during lunch. I had a ton of tables and thought I was on top of all of them, but wouldn't you know it, there was one two-top where every server thought another server had taken the order. So these people were sitting there, being ignored, for like 15 minutes.
When I found out they were mine, I went right over apologizing profusely and saying I'd rush their order through right away. I get why they'd be upset, but they were NASTY. I don't remember most of the specifics, but they were extremely mean and kept telling me how awful I was and how it was entirely my fault. They got up to leave, the wife still slinging insults my way. At this point, the whole restaurant was watching this go down. As a last ditch effort to explain, I said, 'I'm so sorry, but I'm new at this!' That witch looked at me and yelled, 'Yeah, well you SUCK at it.'
I tried to keep my cool and go back to work, but I hadn't developed a very thick skin at that point (that would change after several different waitressing jobs) and broke down in tears trying to take my next drink order. Luckily the women at that table were super nice, agreed that the other people had been way out of line, and told me to take 5."
"When I was about 16 and working in the store alone, a middle-aged man came in and told me all about how he just bought a farm with plenty of space but had no wife or kids to help out with things. He then proceeded to ask if I wanted to 'go out the back for a quickie,' as I had an 'ideal figure' and looked the type to do 'that sort of thing.'
This conversation went for about an hour until my manager came in and the guy finally left the store."
"This didn't happen to me but it's one of the rudest things I've ever seen. I was ordering some coffee at Tim Horton's and it was a bit busy. This customer was standing around the cash register, looking ticked. He kept pestering the cashier and asking him when his order was going to be ready. I understood he had ordered something before and the order was wrong (according to him) and he wanted something else. The cashier was trying his best to help this guy and serve other customers. The cashier asked his manager something about it, the manger said to wait just a moment as he was busy as well. The guy started yelling at the cashier then crumpled a bag and threw it in the cashier's face. I was still waiting for my coffee and I was going to say something to the guy, but he ran out. I told the cashier I was really sorry for what happened and not to worry about jerks like that. What's wrong with some people?"
"I started waiting tables at 15, and one of the first tables I waited on was a group of five men in their mid-twenties. Three of them ordered chili and two ordered chicken noodle soup to precede their entrees. I wrote the order down incorrectly and accidentally brought them two cups of chili and three cups of chicken noodle. It was such a small mistake and it would have taken only a minute for me to go back into the kitchen to get the extra cup of chili, but one of the men decided he needed to give me a dressing-down. 'You're so dumb! This job isn't that hard, and you can't even do it right!' He said it with such disdain, too. I got so upset; I had just started waiting tables and was really insecure about my skills. I cried for a few minutes behind the counter where he couldn't see me.
It's amazing how often customers assume you're stupid when you're working in a minimum-wage customer service position. I work at the front desk of a library on my university campus now and the patrons are so much more respectful than the customers were when I was a waitress or a gas station attendant. Only a minority of customers would talk down to me when I was working in retail, but it was a significant minority; here, no one talks down to me or acts like I'm a ditz when I drop a book or make some minor mistake."
"I am a cashier at a mini mart. This normal looking couple came in and proceeded to look around. The woman even started engaging in conversation with me and seemed very nice, pleasant even.
Then it came time to ring everything up.
I did the whole cash register business and rang up the guy. Everything was fine. Then I rang the girl up. Her total came to $4.17 and she handed me her card. I told her that store policy was that there needed to be a $5.00 minimum to use a card. She then threw this temper tantrum (that a little girl might give) and started complaining that she didn't have any money on her. At this point, I was just stunned at her complete change in personality. Basically from Dr. Jekyll to Mr. Hyde. Even as she was giving me this attitude, I kept my composure and continued to be polite. I told her that there was nothing I could do since my boss would flip on me if I didn't follow the rules. She grabbed a bag of chips to add on to her total and slammed it on the counter. I asked her, 'Credit or debit?'
She then gave me the snarkiest, 'Whatever,' and her boyfriend just laughed.
This woman was too old to be throwing a temper tantrum and all her boyfriend did was further promote this behavior."
"I used to work at a local grocery store in my hometown when I was a teen. One day, just a week before Christmas, a woman came in and I rang her groceries through. Everything was going as usual. She wasn't very talkative, but that's just the way some customers are, which I don't particularly mind. I proceeded to total her order and she paid in cash. I handed back her change, smiled, and said, 'Happy Holidays!'
She stared at her change for a second, glared at me, and said in the most condescending tone possible, 'I'm not leaving until you count my change back to me.'
I paused for a moment, shocked, and replied, 'I'm sorry ma'am, I have never learned how to count back change.' She sneered and shoved the change back into my hand, trying to force me to count the change back to her. I just stood there and didn't know what to do. At this point, I was the only cashier working and a large lineup was forming behind this woman. My manager noticed that something was wrong and came up to the till. The woman complained to him that I had not counted the change back, blah blah blah, we're not taught anything in school these days. So my manager helped me count back the change and did not say a word to the woman the entire time. He looked like he might have lost his mind on her if he would have said anything.
Finally, the woman left and the woman behind her in line said, 'Merry Christmas to you, too,' in a sarcastic way as the woman walked out the door. The next woman in line told me that I handled the situation well and I was doing a great job. She commented on my friendly personality and the customers behind her nodded in agreement."
"I had someone come up behind me while I was stocking shelves and grab me really, really abruptly by the arm.
It scared the crap out of me because the only other person I was working with was in the back room. I thought I was about to be carried out of the store over someone's shoulder and sold into slavery.
It was just some middle-aged woman who proceeded to start making small jabs in the form of questions at the fact that I have a few tattoos on my arms. I lightly jerked my arm back and asked her as politely as I could to at least ask if she really feels the need to touch me. She also exaggerated her facial expressions to make sure I knew just how much she disapproved of what I had done to myself."