In the world of customer service, retail workers often find themselves at the forefront of challenging interactions. Verbal tirades? Check. Disturbing altercations? Check. Retail workers have truly seen it all! Ranging from hilarious to downright unhinged, these employees recall the most ridiculous threats made by customers. All content has been edited for clarity purposes.
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1. “I’ll Jump Over The Counter And Mess You Up”
“When I was 16 years old, I worked at Burger King. At my location, we got a crazy amount of buses. At this time, we ran a special where you could get two fish sandwiches for $3. The only stipulation? You HAD to get the two sandwiches. If you only got one or ordered a meal, it was around $2.20 a sandwich. Trust me, I never heard the end of it from customers.
Anyway, some lady came in off a bus and complained about everything. She wanted mustard AND tartar sauce on her fish sandwich, which in my opinion, was plain nasty.
The lady said a million times, ‘Make sure you get it right. None of you lazy workers EVER get my order right.’
She ordered three of the mustard and tartar sauce monstrosities, and I explained, ‘The total for your third sandwich will be $2.20.’
‘I don’t care, I just want my food!’ she exclaimed.
So, after receiving her order, the lady came up and started screaming about how I ‘cheated’ her.
‘No, I didn’t,’ I sighed and replied, ‘Do you want the manager to come out and speak with you?’
‘No, I want to speak to you!’ she screamed, ‘If you don’t give me my money back, I’ll jump over the counter and mess you up!’
Being young, I replied, ‘I’d like to see you try it.’
To my surprise, she did. The only thing was, she couldn’t jump over the counter. She tried multiple times, but couldn’t make it over. So, she threw her empty water bottle at me and missed, even though she was only a few feet away. Then she sort of rolled over the counter and put up her fists.
At this point, I couldn’t stop laughing because she was embarrassing herself. The manager told someone to call the cops and took me back to the break room. Even better, everyone on the bus had to wait for the cops to arrive, because the bus driver had to file a report.
It took about an hour for another bus to arrive and pick up the other passengers. So, needless to say, there were plenty of volunteers to tell the cops about the woman’s stupidity.”
2. The Office Supply Showdown
“A few years ago, I worked at an office supply store. A woman called in and began SCREAMING obscenities at one of my associates.
She yelled, ‘You are all horrible people! I am going to SUE you! I was in the store yesterday, and I bought a pack of highlighters. I fell asleep for only 10 minutes, and my dog ATE them! This is all your fault. My dog is dying now, all because of you!’
According to the woman, her dog was now ‘half brain dead,’ and all it was doing is running in circles because of the highlighter debacle. The associate was eventually able to transfer the woman to a manager, but she just continued yelling and threatening to sue.
My manager picked up the phone and countered with, ‘First of all, there is nothing you can sue the store or the employees for. We didn’t MAKE the highlighters, nor did we feed them to your dog. Secondly, if your dog is sick or dying, you need to take him to the vet. Not call and complain to us!’
The woman, of course, thought nothing of this. Instead, she continued to threaten to sue. But first, the woman said she was going to bring her dog into the store so we could personally see what we had done to him.
‘I want you to feel the guilt of your sin!’ the woman screamed.
She ended her tirade by threatening to throw her dog at our manager if it died before she got to the store. Needless to say, I was slightly disappointed when she never showed up.”
3. “It Wasn’t For The Faint Of Heart”
“A while back, I worked at Bath & Body Works. Fragrances always came and went, that’s just how the store worked. We couldn’t keep every fragrance around forever! However, we usually sold the same fragrances online all of the time. A lot of times, customers didn’t understand why certain fragrances were no longer in stores, and they would become extremely upset.
One time, a woman came in and demanded a fragrance we didn’t carry in stores anymore.
I politely explained, ‘I’m sorry, but we don’t have it in-store anymore. You can still find it online, though!’
A scowl swept across the woman’s face as she replied, ‘All of you employees are SO incompetent! I should be able to buy it in-store, too!’
The entire time the woman was yelling, I couldn’t help but think how ridiculous it was that she was mad over the scent of a lotion.
‘Here, take this,’ I said as I handed the woman a customer service card, ‘This will get you 20% off your next purchase. I’m sorry we don’t have the fragrance in store anymore.’
‘I don’t want a stupid coupon!’ she screamed, ‘I want you to give me the money for shipping!’
‘Ma’am, I can’t just take money from the store and give it to you,’ I replied.
‘You’re not understanding me!’ she yelled, ‘I don’t want the store’s money, I want YOUR money!’
This woman wanted me to hand her money from my pocket to cover her shipping.
‘I don’t think this is an unreasonable request,’ the woman said.
I just stared at her. I didn’t know what else to do. She ended the conversation by telling me she’d be coming back, and I’ll be reconsidering her request.
Thankfully, she never came back. Working in retail wasn’t for the faint of heart.”
4. “He Was Ready To Throw Down”
“Many years ago, I worked at Starbucks as a barista. One afternoon, a businessman who was around 45 years old walked in.
I smiled and asked, ‘Hey, how’s it going today?’
The man’s face contorted as he replied, ‘How’s it GOING? This isn’t a freaking McDonald’s, okay? You will address me as a professional, and take my order as a professional. Do you understand me?’
I held back a giggle as I sarcastically replied, ‘Good day to you sir. Welcome to Starbucks Coffee Corporation, where we aim to…’’
At this point, the man cut me off and climbed behind the counter. He got in my face and was ready to throw down. I laughed hysterically, and my manager had to grab the man and walk him out of the door. Unlike most expelled customers, he never showed up again.