Most people hope to be in and out during their visit to the market. However, some people seem to go there hoping someone challenges their “authority.” This often results in ill-mannered displays of dominance that have nothing to do with anything and exemplifies their terrible outlooks on life. In these stories, people recall the most snobbish patrons they’ve ever encountered at the grocery store.
All stories have been edited for clarity.
A Road Trip To Remember
“I was on a road trip and stopped at a convenience store for snacks.
While I was casually strolling up and down the aisles, I heard a loud angry voice at the front of the store. Out of curiosity, I made my way to the front where I saw an older woman at the register unloading a string of profanities at the girl behind the register. For what? I wasn’t quite sure.
Every time the cashier tried to say something, the woman cut her off with snarky comments loud enough to wake the dead. This went on for several minutes.
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a guy in the checkout line glaring at the woman and shaking his head. Finally, he left the line and went to the drinks aisle. When he returned, the man had two half gallons of fruit juice in his hands.
The man walked past the line right up to the register and gave the angry woman a little shove with his hips.
He then said to the girl at the register, ‘These are two for six dollars, right? Well here’s a twenty.’ The man slapped a twenty-dollar bill on the counter.
‘Sorry for the mess-” The man said before calmly opening the jugs of juice. He then proceeded to dump them on the woman’s head.
The woman shouted in protest but the man continued dumping the contents of the jugs all over the woman. Once they were empty, the man stormed out and never looked back.
There were a dozen people watching the drama. Everyone gave the man a round of applause. The rude old woman stood there sputtering obscenities and dripping juice on the floor.
We laughed for the next two hundred miles of the road trip.”
No Discount For You!
‘I was the customer service manager for a small grocery store.
The store I worked at had a ‘Senior Discount Day’ that fell on every Tuesday. In the policy, a ten percent discount was available to all shoppers over age fifty.
Many younger cashiers were not comfortable asking customers their age because they felt that it was rude and disrespectful. Honestly, I agreed with them. I couldn’t change the policy, but I did change the way cashiers got the information without seeming too forward.
Over time, I trained all of the cashiers to ask: ‘Are you shopping for a customer who is eligible for our Senior Discount program?’
The cashiers felt better about this question and it was well received by the customers.
Until one Tuesday, an incredibly obnoxious, socially inappropriate, and insane customer visited the store. When she got in line, she was sent to the lane with a new cashier who had just completed training.
The cashier tried to make small talk but the woman didn’t seem interested. Each question received a sharp so the cashier moved quickly to ring up her items. Once she finished scanning everything, the cashier asked: ‘Are you shopping for anyone over the age of 50 today?’
The old woman’s eyes widened before she screamed: ‘HOW DARE YOU ASK HOW OLD I AM!‘
The new cashier jumped before stammering, ‘Ma’am that’s not what I asked-‘
‘You have no right to ask me that! What’s wrong with you!?’ the old woman yelled curses at the poor cashier. Her colorful language lit up the store. The cashier was reduced to tears as she stood there helplessly. I rushed over to take on the customer while the sixteen-year-old cashier was comforted by another cashier.
‘I am NOT old! Who does she think she is?!’ The old woman spat again.
I looked right at her and said, ‘That cashier wanted to know if you were eligible for a 10% discount. She wasn’t prying. She was not being rude. She wanted to save you up to $10 on this transaction. If you don’t WANT to save money you don’t have to…no one is going to force you to save money.’
I gave the irate woman her total and asked if she would be paying with cash or a card.
The woman then accused me of not giving her the discount that she was due. I reminded her that she never answered the question and since I wasn’t a mind reader, I was not inclined to give her the discount.
The old woman threatened to have me fired and announced she was going to call corporate because the ‘customer is always right.’
From that day to this, we call that customer ‘dragon lady.'”
Count It Out
“It was five-thirty in the evening. The grocery store was packed as people piled in after getting off work to grab things on their way home.
I had five items and was several carts back at the ‘fifteen items or less’ checkout line. The first two people left a space in the line so other shoppers could get to the aisles.
Suddenly, a middle-aged woman pushed her cart into the opening and forced her way through as she made a place for herself in line. The woman behind her told her that it was a ‘fifteen items or less’ line, but the woman with the overflowing cart completely ignored her.
There was a lot of grumbling from other folks in the line, but the woman refused to move. The cashier looked up, saw what had happened, but said nothing.
Everyone standing in line was very disappointed.
The woman behind the ‘line crasher’ tried one more time, to get the woman to listen and go to a different line, but the middle-aged shopper snapped, ‘Those other lines take too long, and I’m in a hurry.’
The first two shoppers that were closest to the register got through shortly after that. The woman with the cart full of items was next. We all watched with rage as the woman strutted to the register.
Then the cashier smiled and said, ‘Which fifteen items would you like to buy?’
Everyone standing in line laughed out loud. It caused quite a stir at the nearby checkout lanes as well. The woman abandoned her cart and fled the store without a word.”
None Of Your Business
“A mom and her young daughter were in front of me in line at the grocery store.
Their buggy was filled to the brim with basic food supplies. It took a moment for the grocer to ring everything up, but as soon as they finished paying, the mother and daughter left.
I thought nothing of it as I was starting to unload my groceries from my buggy. The cashier looked like your average grandmother. She had a kind face and short gray hair. I smiled at her as I finished my task. She smiled back, but what she said next made me cringe.
‘Can you believe that? Over four hundred bucks worth of groceries using food stamps. I can’t afford four hundred dollars worth of groceries and I work!’
I was taken aback. I didn’t even know what to say, but the older woman was obviously waiting for my reply.
I thought for a moment before I looked at her. My smile was completely gone. I took a deep breath and said, ‘I don’t believe what she buys or how she buys it is any of my business.’
The cashier flinched before she snapped her mouth shut and rang my groceries up without another word.
I reported her behavior after I left because frankly, her actions as an employee of that store are simply unacceptable.”
Back Of The Line
“This happened in Toronto years ago when my daughter was thirteen.
We did a late-night run to the pharmacy to grab some medication because my daughter had a cold. I know I didn’t look my best because I was dressed in sweats and lounging around before we left.
When we got there, the pharmacy was packed. Several checkout lines were swamped with people waiting to pay.
When we finally got to the cashier after waiting about ten minutes in line, a random man rushed ahead of me and forcefully dropped his stuff on the counter cutting me off. I guess he thought his time was more valuable than mine!
The cashier was a young teenager that was about nineteen years old. She saw what happened but shot me an empathetic look as if she didn’t know what to do.
Then something switched in her eyes before she raised both hands in the air, implying both surrender and refusal to serve the man who cut the line. She was having none of it! The cashier remained silent. I could tell she was afraid of getting into a verbal altercation with a customer.
I don’t know what possessed me to say this, but I calmly turned to the man and said, ‘Oh, I’m sorry, I didn’t realize you need to be better than everyone else to get served first.’
The store fell quiet. Everyone turned and looked in our direction to see what would happen next.
Well, the man stood there for a sec, and then grabbed his stuff and slinked off. I paid for the medication, and my daughter and I walked out.
I was very concerned that I may have embarrassed my daughter in public, so I turned to her and said, ‘I’m very sorry if I embarrassed you in there.’
To my surprise, my daughter turned to me and said, ‘Embarrassed? Mom, you were amazing. You rock!'”
You Have Options
“I was in line at a dollar store. On that particular day, only one cashier was on duty. She was young and doing her best to ring up the customers, but the line had gotten backed up.
Nearly everyone in front of me had carts full of items, so it was taking a long time for the line to move along. A man behind me kept sighing loudly. He then started grumbling rude comments under his breath. I was doing my best to ignore his petty mumbling, but his complaints grew louder. Soon, he began outright bashing the cashier loud enough for everyone to hear.
The poor girl behind the counter was distraught. I could see she was dreading this man who was acting abusive. I was upset that the man couldn’t be patient. His behavior grew worse as the line slowly moved. I found myself worried he was going to lose control. No one else in the line was calling attention to his ignorance even though you could see people were uncomfortable with the situation.
I finally decided to attempt to break the tension. I turned to him and said, ‘It’s a shame the manager doesn’t have more people manning the registers. I guess we’ll just need to be a little patient.’
As soon as I said that, the angry man looked at me with a look of annoyance. He quickly realized I was trying to placate him. This only added more fuel to the fire. As he began to yell at me, I looked down and saw that he didn’t have a cart. The man had a single pack of crackers to purchase.
Again, I tried to talk some sense to the man and said, ‘Mister, there are three convenience stores within a one-block radius. Why don’t you just go buy those crackers somewhere else if you’re in such a hurry?’
The man looked like he was going to explode but he didn’t say anything more as he continued to wait in line. Still, no one backed me up or said anything to the guy.
When it was my turn at the register I told the cashier she was doing a great job. I whispered that she didn’t need to worry because I was going to wait around until the guy left.
I could see the cashier was a little relieved that someone was trying to help. So after I was done checking out, I waited at the end of the register until the man paid and left the store.
All that drama for a lousy pack of crackers.”
The Price Is Not Right
“This happened during the Thanksgiving season of 2018.
The grocery store I went to was selling three brands of frozen turkeys. A week before Thanksgiving, one brand was listed as one dollar and ninety-eight cents per pound, a different brand was one dollar and twenty-eight cents per pound, and the third brand was on sale for sixty-eight cents per pound but had a limit of two.
Now, all the brands were in clearly marked sections within a long, rectangular cooler. It was downright impossible, to miss.
I came to the store because I had to pick up some items for dinner. I got in line where there was a man, who was maybe in his middle fifties, ahead of me. In his cart, he had two turkeys that were listed for one dollar and ninety-eight cents per pound.
Once the man made it to the front of the line, he slung the turkeys on the belt. The cashier rang them up without saying a word. The two, fifteen-pound turkeys at one ninety-eight per pound came out to around sixty bucks with tax.
The man exploded. An ugly, aggressive, snarly look took over his face. The man began to spit out unkind words to the cashier. ‘You’ve rung that up wrong. Those are sixty-eight cents per pound.’
The cashier politely explained that the brand he was referring to was the one for sixty-eight cents with a limit of two. She then reiterated the price difference by pointing out that the brand of turkeys he brought to the counter was different.
‘You’re wrong,’ the man snapped back. The cashier pulled out a copy of the store’s sales flyer and showed him the ad.
The man crossed his arms. ‘I don’t care about your ad. Your signs are wrong. This brand is marked for sixty-eight cents per pound.’
Then the cashier offered to have someone check. The man stuck his chest out and informed her that there was no need to check.
‘Don’t you get it? I am telling you that your signs are wrong. These turkeys are marked as sixty-eight cents per pound. What don’t you understand? Are you calling me a liar?’ With each word, the man’s voice got louder and nastier.
The cashier held her composure and calmly explained that she had to have someone check.
‘I can’t give you the cheaper price without confirmation,’ the cashier pointed out.
The man begrudgingly said, ‘Fine.’
A young man came back and confirmed that all signs were correct and that the irate man grabbed the wrong brand. The customer then implied that the signs had been changed while he had been going back and forth with the register.
That’s when the cashier offered to call the manager. As soon as he heard that a manager would be involved, the man backed down.
The cashier then asked if he wanted the more expensive turkeys she had rung up or if he would like to get two of the sales brand.
The man blew up again, ‘No I don’t want these turkeys. This store is a ripoff. You cheat customers!’ He then slammed the cart out of his way and stormed out of the store.
And, those expensive turkeys he so desperately wanted? The week before, they had been on sale for seventy-eight cents per pound. The one I got was delicious.”
Wasn’t Talking To You
“While I was in the checkout line, a young woman came up behind me with a small handful of items to buy. I had a cartful of items. Out of kindness, I invited her to go ahead of me.
The young woman thanked me as she walked ahead of me and completed her purchase. Once she finished, I started placing my items on the belt when an older woman came up and literally pushed me into the belt table. She proceeded to empty her handbasket.
Stunned, I asked, ‘What are you doing?’
‘Going in front like you let the other woman,’ the older woman retorted.
Dumbfounded, I shook my head. ‘Excuse me but no, I’m next in line.’
‘Oh, I see,’ the old woman scoffed. ‘You let her in front because she was pretty.’
I rolled my eyes. The older woman looked at me expectantly so I said, ‘Looks had nothing to do with it. Now please move out of my way.’
The woman pushed past me. She bumped into me hard before she whispered, ‘Bastard.’ She glared at me as I continued putting my things on the conveyor belt.
I smiled and winked at the cashier, who was trying hard to hide a smirk.”
“We went to a Costco in California where one of the more popular items was freshly made roasted chickens. They sold out faster than they could be prepared. This meant there was sometimes a line of people that waited by the deli in line to get them as soon as they come straight out of the roasters.
On this day as we were all standing patiently for the next batch of roasted chickens, a random woman approached the counter and snatched two of the roasted chickens.
‘Um,’ I called after her. ‘There’s a line for the chicken you know.’
There were five people in line that also protested the actions of the woman. The woman turned to face everyone else gawking at her before she said, ‘Oh, I don’t do lines,’ before she sashayed away with two chickens.
A person behind me in line stepped forward. He was a rather large guy with a pregnant wife who looked just as angry. The man pursued the woman who took the chickens. I don’t know why or how, but the man returned a few minutes later holding one of the chickens that the arrogant woman took. I never did find out what became of the other chicken, but the man looked proud as he came back with his.
As we were pulling out of the parking lot, the woman and her husband were walking through the parking lot. Their faces said it all. I watched as the two of them hopped in their truck and sped off.”