"When I was 18 years old, I worked at a Toys R Us, and a lot of people thought that it was a fun job because we're surrounded by toys. It wasn't.
People get crazy about their toys and games for their brat kids. But one guy always stands out. I was working the customer service desk which entailed returns, checkouts, and answering phones. One day, I was working the desk and there was a long line of people. Everyone was being very patient with me answering phones and helping everyone check out, but this one guy had an attitude right away. He kept mumbling loudly about how horribly rude I was, and that I wasn't working fast enough. He bought his crap and walked away.
I thought it was over, but he quickly came back into the store and cut the entire line. He started telling me to find him a pair of scissors so he could open his purchase. I calmly explained that I didn't have a pair of scissors (and I really didn't). He then proceeded to come around the desk, physically push me out of the way and started opening all of the draws. My manager witnessed the whole thing, came over and told him to get out of the store. The guy then screamed at my manager to call the police and see if he cared. We didn't have to call the police because there was an off-duty officer in line, and he quickly explained to the man that he was being detained until police arrived. He quickly shut the heck up and was subsequently arrested for disorderly conduct and harassment. Enjoy your freaking toys, jerk."
"I have small accessories I sell for one of our product lines. One of them costs $20, and the cost of shipping and handling via the mail was $4. Perfectly reasonable. This guy went off the rails because I would not give him any deal (we have no margins on that kind of stuff, so I'm most certainly not going to cut any big deals). He threatened he would post his sordid tale on all the popular forums that pertained to the industry. I pretty much told him to go ahead and didn't think much about it.
I come back in after the weekend, the guy went ahead and posted a bunch of new threads on all the major forums, and e-mailed me all the links. I checked them all, and the forum community members pretty much all told him to stop being such a cheapskate. I felt pretty smug about it after that."
"I used to work at a photo lab in high school (back in 2005) at a big chain grocery store.
One guy came to get his son's disposable camera film developed. Our policy is to throw away the disposable camera after we develop the film. We don't give them back. It looked like one of those cheap cameras you would get as a prize in a cereal box since it had Toucan Sam plastered all over it.
So the guy comes to pick up the film, and sometimes if the film is bad on a disposable camera, we don't charge them anything for it. We just show them the blank pictures and that's that.
This guy is adamant that I screwed it up while developing and now his son has lost his precious pictures. I apologized (in a manner that is retail code for 'Go off and die, because you're being a jerk'), gritting my teeth trying to NOT lose my temper because he was creating a scene. And he also wanted the camera back. Low and behold, the camera had left in the trash that morning already, and I told him he couldn't get it back.
He asked to speak to my manager. I went to the back - unaware he was watching my every move. As I was telling my manager what was going on, I rolled my eyes and took a big sigh at the end of my explanation. The customer saw my 'cruddy' attitude, so he stormed into the back of the lab and yelled at me and chased me around the lab. I wish I was kidding. I started screaming and crying. My manager had to wrestle him down while I called security."
"This lady comes into the store, yelling about how her son's Xbox points aren't working. She had only just bought them in the last hour or so. She didn't give us a chance to say anything. She comes into the store and said, 'And I better not have to go home and bring that code here or I'm going to be ticked off.' And I was going to tell her that, no, you really need to bring that code back. I can't just give away free codes. My coworker took over the conversation and ended up just giving her the code. Before she left, she turned around and said, 'And you have an attitude problem,' while pointing at me.
I really, really wish I had told her something else, something cooler, and with more effect. But I just stopped what I was doing and yelled, 'Jesus Christ!' and then she started saying how she was going to tell my boss I was swearing at customers, and I was like, 'Do it, I won't be here in a week,' and then she told me I wouldn't get a reference then. Yeah, because I was stupid enough to quit my job before actually getting another.
I've never yelled at a customer before. But holy crap, she was the worst person I've ever met. And her son was in the store all the time and was a totally great kid.
Oh yeah, the best part of the story? She came back in another half hour, dropped the second code we gave her on the counter and said, 'He got it working.' I'm surprised she didn't just keep it. The shame itself in going back would have stopped me."
"I work at a popular shop in a public market. Often, on the weekends, it's perpetually busy the entire day, with especially large rushes of people around the lunch hour.
One day I was working in the back and my coworker, a high-school junior, was trying her best to quickly serve a rush of about 10 to 15 people all waiting in line. At this point, unbeknownst to my coworker, a kid, who must've been about 8 or 9 years old, was standing up against the counter behind the register, which is a blind spot considering his height. He was presumably waiting to be served, but he'd completely ignored the line.
So as my coworker was serving the last two groups of people, a woman shoved her way in front of everyone and just started flipping out and hurling all sorts of abuse at this poor girl who was just trying frantically to get the line down. The woman started yelling about how we'd purposely ignored her son and that she, the cashier, should feel ashamed. On the verge of tears, my coworker, now noticing the boy, calmly explained that he was standing in the blind spot and he wasn't in line. The woman continued with her irate ranting. Just as I was about to step out front to give her a piece of my mind, she stormed off. The two groups of people left reassured my coworker that she was in the right and some people are just the worst. I made sure she was alright and returned to the back.
Not two minutes later, the woman was back with her husband, who was two times as loud and vulgar. He was threatening to have the girl fired and the like. I'd had enough of this at this point. I went out front, and calmly told the guy, 'Look, your son ignored the line and was out of sight. It is not our responsibility to make sure you can see the obvious line that's formed this way. Now kindly stand in line if you want to be served or please leave.' Now, of course, this just made him more enraged, but I calmly stood by my phrase of, 'Then please leave, sir,' as a rebuttal and eventually he stormed off.
"In 2003, I was working at Blockbuster, when a customer came up to the register chatting on their phone, which was held between their tilted head and their shoulder, and holding a baby in their arms.
It's always been frustrating to help people out when they're talking on their phones, but I held my tongue because she was holding a kid and clearly busy. Anyways, she seated the kid right on top of the counter and, immediately, I asked her to continue holding her child or put him on the ground, because the counter isn't a seat.
She scoffed because I obviously have no idea how rude it is to interrupt her phone call, and acted like she didn't even hear me. Then I sternly told her, 'Ma'am, please take your child off of the counter, it's not a seat.'
'Listen, mister, I do this all the time, he'll be fi-'
The kid fell right off of the counter and hit the floor with a loud thump (a thump that is CLEARLY the sound of his head/skull making contact with the tile floor.) The whole place suddenly got completely quiet, and the woman told the person on the phone, 'I have to go,' and put the phone down.
The weird part is that the kid was just totally silent, laying there on the ground. He was still moving, but completely quiet. You'd expect crying or something. It was eerie.
She picked the kid up like nothing happened, and continued trying to check out. Meanwhile, the entire store was still embraced by silence, and everyone was looking on with what I'd best describe as concern/horror. I was kind of in shock at the whole thing that just happened, and the lady started clearing her throat at me, implying that I needed to check out her items so she could be on her way. Like I was just supposed to completely ignore the fact that her infant child just smashed his head on the tile, and that there are more important things to be taking care of.
Suddenly, the kid just started projectile vomiting pure black all over the place. All over his mom's shirt, the floor, the counter, etc. I jumped back and said, 'You need to take him to the hospital.' Everyone is gasping and speechless and the sight they are beholding. Loudly, I proclaimed, 'Right now!'
She started scurrying to pick up all of her movies, and I yelled, 'Hospital! Leave right now!' so she just ditched her movies, and ran out the door to her car.
Over the span of the entire interaction, everyone in the building, including my manager, had stopped what they were doing to turn their focus to the lady, her child, and myself. I remember telling my manager that I wasn't going to be cleaning that up, and she closed the store early and let us go home for the night.
The memory of that night is still burned into my mind. I always wonder what happened to that kid."
"I was just about to start work at a nightclub, so it must have been around midnight. I was standing at the side of the bar, talking things over with a girl Becca, who was out of sight in the office. Becca was about to open the upstairs bar for me when this girl who'd apparently started the party early, shoved her way up to me and exclaimed, 'Get the manager for me! Now!'
I took a second to assess the situation because this girl looked a little out of place in the club, and she had clearly been drinking heavily and could be in some sort of trouble. I placed my water on the bar and started to ask her if something had happened when she butted in with, 'It's midnight and you haven't opened upstairs yet. You're standing here, chatting up barmaids and ruining my night!'
'Okay...' I thought to myself. Out loud, 'By my watch, it's 11:55 p.m. and I'm heading upstairs now, so if you can bear with me for-'
I was cut off again, 'Don't you know who I am?! My uncle is the owner and you are out of a job, mate!'
I couldn't help but grin at this last statement. 'See her?' I asked the girl, as Becca emerged from the office. 'Her father owns this place, and you two don't look very related, now, do you?'
The girl, clearly outraged at this point, decided to take a swing at me. Becca responded by wrenching the girl's arm behind her back, jabbing her keys into the girl's side and running the now squealing girl out the front door and onto the cold, wet pavement.
Turns out the girl was one of Becca's little sister's friends, who was out celebrating her 18th birthday and thought she could get special treatment if she dropped the owner's name every five minutes (they'd already let her in the club for free). This morning, I found out she ended up getting banned from half the clubs in the city center for four weeks. Instant karma!"
"I'm a former valet from Ohio. I've seen a lot. People jumping behind our cars trying to get an easy payout, etc. For some reason, the holidays brought out the worst in people.
I was managing the valets at an upscale shopping mall at Thanksgiving, our busiest time of year (thank you Black Friday). Even worse than Christmas. It was raining, and we had a line of cars about 30 long and growing, despite having a lot of valets running. Well, one guy in a crappy Saturn had enough of waiting and just pulled up under the awning in the handicap drop-off zone, blocked all traffic (including non-valet traffic), and started screaming at my valets.
I was running cars so I wasn't there immediately, but I'm told it was something to the effect of 'I have an upset baby in this car and I need you to help me first,' only with more of an attitude.
As I came running back up, he was in a screaming match with my lead valet, so I told the lead to take a car down, and I'd handle this. The guy said to me, 'If I had more time, I'd make sure that guy was fired. I'm not paying for your crappy service, you'd better just park my car,' as he shoves the keys in my hand, took his baby, and walks away without paying or taking a ticket.
Well, since he didn't take a ticket, he was entitled to exactly none of the protections that our valet service offers. So I took his car, parked it on the other side of the mall, had another valet pick me up, and threw his keys out the window on the way back to the front.
I was fired very soon after that, but it led to a much better job."
"The one time I worked in retail, I found a loophole. You see, as a server, you can't be rude to your customers or they won't tip you. You lose money. But in retail, if you do it right, you still get your $8.50 or whatever at the end of the day.
So, I was working at Bloomingdale's on Christmas Eve. Obviously, the place was a madhouse. The floor manager had JUST come by to tell us that we were out of gift boxes and if a customer requested one, just to send them down to the gift wrapping station and they would have plenty. Then, this lady walked up and as I was checking out her things, she asked for a gift box. 'I'm so sorry,' I said politely, genuinely upset at her misfortune, 'but we have run out up here. You can just pop downstairs to the gift wrapping center and pick some up.'
She went nuts on me and started yelling like it was my fault. I just ignored her and continued ringing her up. Then she said, 'I just had knee surgery, you expect me to go all the way downstairs for boxes?!'
I'm thinking, what the heck, if you just had knee surgery, maybe you shouldn't be walking around on Christmas even buying ugly socks for $15 a pair. It's Christmas Eve, and I'm here in your lovely company missing my family dinner. So, without looking at her, I pointed behind my back and said, 'Elevators are back that way to the right.'
So she threw down the rest of the socks and stormed off, saying something like, 'Whatever, I don't need these anyway.'
And as she was walking away, I cheerfully called out, 'Merry Christmas!' The lady behind her looked at me apologetically and I continued on my way.
The loophole here is, technically I didn't do anything wrong. I was short with her yes, but I said all the things I was supposed to say. I can't get in trouble for that. Unless my manager was a jerk (which he wasn't) and if he was, I would've just told them to screw off.
The sad part is, if she hadn't have been such a jerk about it, I probably would have told her to wait until my line went down and run and gotten her some."
"The other day, a lady came in and asked about our return policy. I told her that we can only do store credit or an even exchange and that we can not do any form of money back. I added that shoes, jewelry, swimsuits, and underwear were all final sale. She slammed her hand on the counter and went, 'Excuse me? Are you disrespecting me?' I apologized profusely, saying that if it came across that I was, I certainly did not mean it. She smiled and flounced away to browse throughout the store.
She came back a few minutes later and asked about our return policy for jewelry, even though I'd already told her. I repeated, 'It's final sale only. We cannot return or exchange it.' Again, she did a hair flip and asked, 'You got a tone with me?' I apologized yet again, saying that I'd had a long day, and I was sorry if my tired tone of voice came out as rude. She nodded once and then went over to browse some more.
She stayed in the store for a bit and then came back, dumping a bag on the counter. She told me she wanted to return it for money, and when I opened the bag, it was full of underwear. I explained to her that we could not accept it, that I explained that to her before, and then showed her on her receipt where it was circled that underwear sales are final. She flipped out.
She called me all the names in the book. She walked around the store, shoving clothes onto the floor, knocking displays over, and my manager called security. They took their time getting to us and she was still just shoving stuff over.
Security came and talked to her, told her that she was behaving disrespectfully, and she needed to apologize. She reared back and one of the security guys grabbed onto her arm. Her purse fell onto the floor and revealed a ton of stolen merchandise from our store. Security informed her that she needed to be taken down to their office.
All over, right? No. Just as she's about to leave, I sneezed. My manager said, 'Bless you,' and the woman flipped out again.
She went, 'No, no, no! She works in retail, she doesn't have feelings! She doesn't think, she doesn't want your blessings.'
And then security took her."
"I work in parking garages so I see all kinds of overreactions.
I had an elderly woman who once refused to pay the $39 for parking (I don't set the prices, shoot someone else). I went down willing to cure her slack and charge her the validated rate at $20 if she'd let me keep a copy of her receipt.
I'd just rounded the corner when the old lady rushed over to me, screaming, with a terrified child next to her, ranting about how 'My father fought in the war and what you're doing to me isn't right.' She went on to compare what I was doing to what the Germans did in World War 2 and that if she wasn't allowed to leave the garage for free, she would stay in the garage and starve herself.
I, of course, did what any young and aspiring manager would do. I laughed at her.
Then she spat on me.
I once had a guy who claimed to be an FBI agent threatened to have me deported while I was speaking to him over the intercom. I went down to speak to him in person and being that I'm not from another country, his deportation threat had been taken away. The dude went on an absolute crazy rant about how the foreigners were taking over the country and how the fat cat corporations were making all the money while the normal men lost their jobs.
I asked him to see his badge to which he gave me all kinds of crap about not carrying when he's out of state.
He then got out of the car and called the local police department who came down to which he made no mention of being an FBI agent.
The cops informed him that he would, indeed, need to pay his bill before exiting and that he was on the hook for the $39.
In all cases, I go into these situations looking to give someone a break. I understand that after a day in the mall with your family, you sometimes forget to get your ticket validated. Most garage managers have the ability to overwrite the fee on your ticket, and if they say they aren't they are lying to you."
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