Customer service workers encounter interesting people all day long. The people described in these stories made an extremely negative impact by being rude. People discuss times when customers were out of line. Content has been edited for clarity.
“I am not going to say the supermarket’s name but I can say it was a horrible experience. One of the instances that stuck out in my memory was when the management made the mistake of putting me at the front desk to help a customer. Before I was just a bag boy, so I barely had to talk to people beyond asking if they needed help out with their car.
Now one of the things that irked me was how the return policy was to accept anything and everything and offer a full refund regardless of the condition of said product, where it was originally bought, and whether they have the receipt or not. One could imagine how badly people abused this.
It was probably my first week at the front desk. Being the anti-people person I am, it took me a very long time to adjust to having to even try to act like I care enough to make small talk while I complete transactions. I saw this woman walk into the line with two rotisserie chicken bags on one arm, and two fried chicken bags on the other. She was at the end of the line happily munching away from all of them leaving breading, chicken skin, and grease every time she moved up the line. I had seen her a few times as a bag boy, but since I never saw her go through a lane to pay for anything, I never knew what was going on until today.
Then this greasy mess of a human dropped all four bags in front of me, all of them half to three-quarters of them eaten, and went, ‘Well? Just give me my dang refund.’
Needless to say, I raised an eyebrow in confusion at what just transpired. This woman just ate the chicken in front of my eyes, and she wanted me to give her money for it?
I went to what I was told to do in this situation and said, ‘I would love to, ma’am, but I would need a receipt before I’d be able to do so.’
This only served to infuriate her at the mere mention that I would ask her for proof that she bought the chicken before I could consider giving her the money for it.
She garbled, ‘Your store has a return policy if I’m unsatisfied with the product! The chicken was horrible and I want my money back immediately!’
So I said, ‘Ma’am, I saw you eating the chicken in the line. There’s stuff all over the floor behind you as evidence. We even have it on camera. I find it difficult to consider the chicken was that bad for you to eat so much before thinking about returning it. Also, I would need to see the receipt before I could offer a refund.’
Now she was livid. She clenched the desk with her fingers and glared at me with the heat of a 475-degree oven cooking a turkey and wheezed, ‘Where is your manager? I have never been treated so horribly in all my life! I demand you bring him immediately because you have no right to work in this place!’
All she got from me was a bemused smirk.
I waved a hand at her and said, ‘A’right, gimme a sec. Be right back.’
I darted into the back office to speak to the manager who was the one who started the process of losing the store money by refunding everything regardless. I informed him of the woman demanding her refund and cited all security footage of her not only not paying for the chicken and demanding a refund, but also how she had been doing this for quite some time. He nodded, stood up, and told me to sit down. He said he would speak to me in a moment, headed to the desk, and gave her a full refund.
Shortly after this, I was given a citation for refusing to comply with a customer’s request. My request was to go to a different department so I wouldn’t have to work with customers in such a way.
After getting moved to the deli department, I saw the same woman come in every single day, grab the same number of chickens, head to the front desk, and pull this same stunt over and over again. She did this for over two years until the customer service manager changed hands to an awesome woman who didn’t put up with that kind of nonsense.”
Make It Right
“In high school, I worked at a Dunkin Donuts, and iced coffee was brewed in large five-gallon containers; similar to what they are brewed in now, but they were larger and sans plastic bags. Anyways, it was busy at both the drive-thru and front counter, and the only other person on my shift with me was a new hire who didn’t know anything.
A lady was unhappy with the iced coffee my co-worker made, so I made it for her again. Apparently, it wasn’t made right, so she threw the full cup on the floor. Then she walked over to where the counter barrier was, reached over it, pushed a freshly brewed five-gallon container of coffee off the countertop, and then walked out.
The other was also in high school, I worked at a pharmacy as a clerk and ran the one-hour photo machine. A lady came in all fire and brimstone, insisting that I ruined her photos because they were in black and white. I apologized and offered to re-print them immediately.
I discovered she had taken the pictures on black and white film. There was nothing I could do. I could not print color pictures taken on black and white film (with the machine we had in the store, anyway). I tried to explain this to her, but she had none of it. I even gave her the name of a specialty photo store right around the corner that might be able to help, be she was still not having it.
She got her husband involved, my supervisor, and my manager, and eventually threatened to call the corporate office if we didn’t fix her pictures. The whole time, she was insisting that she used color film.
Well, as it turned out, she was wrong because she called back about an hour later saying she found the package the film came from. It was black and white. But she was still going to report us to corporate for ‘not helping her.'”
“Anyone who has ever worked in a restaurant knows how crazy it can get and how horrible people can be. One particular incident sticks out for me, though. I will attempt to be brief.
I was waiting tables during a lunch shift at a busy chain restaurant. It got a lot of business people and senior citizens during weekdays. Back then, the particular section I always got was near the entrance, so I mostly waited on old folks. Some servers don’t like the elderly because they complain when their soup or coffee isn’t boiling, and they are also usually bad tippers. I didn’t care as much because they eat slowly, and you can wait on a bunch of them at once.
Anyway, there was a group of four old ladies who had lunch together every Tuesday or Wednesday. Three of them were super nice old ladies. One was a vile, mean-spirited woman. She was a rotten tipper, too. One time, her bill was like 13 bucks or something. She gave me 15 bucks, asked for change, took the dollar, and left the coins. But I got used to her after a while.
One day, the nasty old lady complained that her pasta was cold. I asked if she wanted it quickly reheated or if she wanted an entirely new one. She kept saying it was cold, over and over. I told her I knew and repeated the options on how to fix it. She won’t give me an answer and won’t let me leave.
At that point, she did something that I never dreamed anyone would ever actually do. She had asked me to feel how cold the pasta was. I declined. She proceeded to take my wrist and dunk my freaking hand into her pasta. I was speechless. I couldn’t react for a second.
After the moment passed, I told her I was getting her a brand new one and walked away. I was beyond mad. It felt like steam was going to come out of my ears. I went in the back and punched some cardboard boxes while the dishwashers stared at me, amused.
I told my manager, and they had fresh pasta out to her in five minutes. The rest of the time, I didn’t acknowledge the old bag. Bill time came. They always had separate checks, which I passed out without incident. A nasty old lady hands me a gift card that her son gave to her as an early Christmas present. I got an idea.
My restaurant sold numerous gift cards during the holiday season, so there were usually stacks of non-activated ones at every terminal for convenience. I decided to pull the old switcheroo, just to mess with her and get some kind of retribution that wouldn’t get me fired. Instead of using her 25-buck gift card to pay her bill I grab a non-activated one and ran it through.
A slip popped out that says the card was never activated. I show the lady. She was livid and asks for the manager. He swiped through the card. Nothing. He called the gift card hotline. They said it was never activated. The lady didn’t have a receipt, so she was in a pickle.
She was looking at me like I was somehow behind this, but she couldn’t figure out a way to accuse me. I gave her back her original card and told her that her son was scammed by whoever sold him the card. The best part is that she didn’t have any other funds on her. She had to borrow from the other three ladies. She had the sourest look on her face when she left.
The next time she came in, she let me know she had called the number on the back of the card, and it did indeed have 25 bucks on it. I said she must have gotten confused and given me a different gift card last time. I probably waited on the ladies for another year after that, a year during which I also secretly gave senior citizen discounts to the three nice ladies but not to the old crone.”
It’s My Pizza And I Want It Now
“I worked at a high-end pizza place. Each pizza was 25 to 38 bucks. Worth every penny. Also, they were baked in an old brick oven. Friday nights, you could wait up to an hour for your pie. Still, the place was always packed.
Anyway, this business bro came in and ordered an extra large take-out pizza for a party he was throwing. I told him the wait would be about 45 minutes, maybe an hour. It was 6:30 on a Friday night, after all. He said okay and paid, and then walked away, as everyone does.
About 20 minutes later, he came back to check on his pizza. It wasn’t even in the oven yet, so I told him it would be at least another half hour. Over the next 15 minutes or so, he checked back a few times. He was getting agitated.
Finally, about five minutes after the cooks put the pie in the oven, he started yelling at me, cussing me out, and pounding the counter saying, ‘I want my pizza right freakin’ now!’
I told the cooks to pull it out, cut it up, and box it. It was nowhere near cooked, but I was tired of his shenanigans. There were kids there freaking out over this guy pounding the counters and cussing.
An hour later, he came back even angrier. He lived a half hour away and didn’t discover the pizza was raw until he served it to his guests.
The manager came out and he was a bit ticked off at me. I explained that the customer had demanded his pizza right freakin’ then, so I gave it to him. At that point, the manager understood, and I could tell he was amused. The guy demanded a new pizza. He got the order, then calmly told the guy that it would be 38 bucks.
The guy was furious. My manager smiled and told him he got exactly what he ordered, exactly when he wanted it. We would make him a new pizza, and if he was willing to pay, and wait, it would even be cooked.
The guy paid.
My manager and I went out back and toked and laughed so hard. I miss those days.”
Give Me My Dollar
“One of my favorites was a recent one. One of my delivery drivers took a run to this women’s house. She was supposed to get like 17.61 in change. She wanted to tip a buck 61, but since my driver had taken an order previously, he didn’t have 16 bucks, he had 15 bucks. Needless to say, she was furious.
He got back to the store and asked, ‘Has that lady from ‘address’ called yet?’
To which I replied, ‘No…should I be worried?’
She screamed at him for five minutes about how it was outrageous he didn’t have that other dollar, and how terrible he was for trying to steal from her.
Even after he told her, ‘I have no intention of taking your money from you, I just need to go get changed, and I will be right back with your dollar.’
So, five minutes later, she called the store and yelled, ‘I need to speak to the manager.’
Uh, oh. Here we go again.
I answered and said, ‘This is Hopsiah, how can I help you?’
She said, ‘Your driver didn’t have the change for this order!’
I listened patiently, apologized, and tried to calm the situation down.
However, when she said, ‘I don’t think it’s right, your driver can go around not having the right amount of change so he forces customers to tip more,’
I almost freaking lost it.
I said, ‘Ma’am, I’m sorry he didn’t have the change for you, but he wasn’t trying to steal from you or rip you off, he just nee-.’
She interrupted me and said, ‘I never said he was ripping me off!’
To which I replied, ‘Yes, you did… You just said it.’
At this point, it was a lost cause.
I said, ‘Well, I’m sorry everything was so terrible for you. He’s bringing your dollar to you, please don’t ever order from us again.’
I made a note on the computer under her address and phone number to that effect. I will do whatever I can to make an order right or keep the customer happy. Sometimes people just can’t be reasoned with though. Cut your losses and move on at that point.”
“I worked at a pharmacy during the summer. The pharmacist was one of the nicest people I’ve ever met. He took pride in his job and made sure patients understand their medications well. In his spare time, he’s always reading about new medicines and staying up to date on his career.
We had a 30-something-year-old woman come in, and she started to talk to the pharmacist nicely and was joking around. The pharmacist talked to her for about 10 minutes and asked if she had a prescription. Then her real motive showed.
She said she was in a lot of pain, and the doctor wouldn’t write a prescription. She wondered if the pharmacist could give her 20 prescription medicines of a strong type. He said he couldn’t, but he was nice and gave her suggestions to consider.
She flipped out and called him dumb and said he was only a medicine counter who couldn’t get a hard-working job.
She continued to rant before he said, ‘I think you should go.’
She left and knocked a bunch of items off the shelf. I felt awful for the pharmacist because I knew how much pride he took in his work. He was still the same friendly person, but it was clear the woman’s words took a toll on him.”
“I used to work at Kohl’s department store.
The bane of my existence was Kohl’s Cash. For anyone unfamiliar, some weeks, Kohl’s would give 10 bucks Kohl’s Cash to customers for every 50 bucks they spent.
Unfortunately, for some months Kohl’s Cash would overlap. This meant a customer could use their Kohl’s Cash, have 10 bucks taken off their totals, and if the total was still more than 50 bucks, they would receive another 10 bucks to be used at another date. However, Kohl’s Cash was still considered a coupon, not a form of payment. So, hypothetically, if a customer were to use their Kohl’s Cash and the total dropped below 50 bucks, they wouldn’t receive more.
I would get screamed at for this five-seven times weekly. One insistence, a woman began to call me ‘incompetent,’ a ‘little witch,’ and every other name in the book because the Kohl’s Cash took her total down to 42 bucks, and another Kohl’s Cash didn’t print for her. The computer does it automatically, not me. She then proceeded to take her change (just the coins) and whipped them at my face. I mean whipped them. At that point, I began to cry (coins freaking hurt.) and my manager got involved.
My manager printed her 10 bucks Kohl’s Cash.”
“I was working at Circuit City as a computer tech.
The mother of this child let the demon run rampant in the store. She had no control over her kid. After browsing the iPod section, seeing as she had properly cared for her child and deserved a reward, I see her grab the kid and hurry off to the restroom.
I walked over to where she was to make sure she didn’t steal anything, and there was her child’s gift to me; a pile of feces all over. No one wanted to volunteer to clean it, so we gathered some cleaning spray/etc, and a quick round of ‘rock, paper, clean up the surprise. It was decided that I had to clean it up.
Midway through the cleanup, Mother of the Year came walking out. I was thinking she would apologize, offer to clean it up, etcetera. Oh no. She was carrying the child, scolding it about what it had done, pointed to me, and told the kid off on how this ‘poor man has to clean up after you.’ She then bailed out the front door never to be seen again.
A girl goes to the back to inspect the bathroom, where the baby changing station was also covered in feces. I got out of cleaning that at least.”
Burger King VS McDonald’s
“There are so many. My favorite, though, has to be when I worked at McDonald’s in high school. It was about 10 minutes before close, and our drive-thru was packed. At the close, there were usually only two or three people working. So we were on the run.
A guy about mid-way in the line got to the window. I’m a nice person and a human, so I understand waiting sucks. I apologized to the guy about the line and asked him what I could get him. He wanted something that had a wait. Chicken probably.
I very apologetically explained there was a four-minute wait on that and would he like to order something else or pull forward. He just laid into me as I ran over his puppy or something.
He then quipped, ‘I should just go to Burger King!’
I said, ‘I understand your frustration. If you make a left out of here, it’s about a mile down the road on the left side. Have a nice night.’
I shut the window on his stupid face. My manager came over, asked what happened, then high-fived me, and the guy peeled out. It was so validating in the face of his utter rudeness to a 15-year-old girl.”
Creepy Hardware Store Shoppers
“I used to work at a hardware store that would load heavier items into the back of a customer’s car (like 50-pound bags of sand, for example). I was the only girl who worked in the loading area, and there were just endless lines of creepy customers who would come through. One of the customers kept asking if I was going to drop the bag of sand I was carrying since I was a girl, obviously because it must be too heavy for me. I was really tempted to drop it on his foot and say, ‘oops, guess it was too heavy…’ Other customers would make really awkward/disgusting advances. There are two instances I can think of off the top of my head.
One guy tried to get me to not only load the truck he was driving, but to go with him to unload it once he got home (all while talking in what I assume was supposed to be some sort of ‘seductive’ voice). Um, no thank you, figure that ish out yourself, creep. I feel I should mention he was younger and able-bodied, he was not asking because he couldn’t physically unload his car, he was asking to be a creeper.
The other one was when I was working at the register of this store, and a couple of guys came through my line purchasing duct tape, rope, some pliers, and other things you probably don’t want to be buying while asking a girl if she’d like to go to a party later that night. Needless to say, I did not attend.
Luckily the guys I worked with were cool and would usually try and get the really weird customers to back off.”
She’s Just An Old Lady!
“There was an elderly lady at the checkouts. She was pretty old, so she couldn’t move any part of her body that fast. I did my best trying to help her pack, and she was nice enough. She wasn’t the problem. The problem was the self-entitled woman behind her. This horrid woman was unhappy that it was taking a few seconds more to serve this customer.
So she started berating the old woman saying the rudest things. Whatever, the old woman didn’t care. I serve this woman, and I noticed how she was becoming even more irritated. Which was odd because she had no frickin’ reason to be.
I finished serving her, and all of a sudden, she starts screaming stuff like, ‘I’m going to kick the heck out of you freaking old woman’ to the old lady who was leaving.
Again, the old lady didn’t even care. Then this woman started making a run for it, out of the shop to get this woman.
Our door guard took care of her and made sure the old lady was able to get to her car.
I hated being a cashier.”