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  • September Theme Of The Month: Overheard!

    Category: Criminal/Illegal

    How To Spot A Smoking Gun

    | Shrewsbury, PA, USA | At The Checkout, Criminal/Illegal, Family & Kids

    (I manage a tobacco store and the law says we cannot sell any tobacco products to anyone under 18 and MUST card if customer looks under 30. A young girl and older woman enter store and at the door the young girl hands cash to older woman. Right away I know that she is underage and older woman is buying for her which is illegal. I know I cannot sell at this point but let them come in to see how it goes down.)

    Me: “Hello, how are you? What can I get for you today?”

    (Both stand there staring intently at the cigarette display without speaking. After a solid minute I ask the older woman:)

    Me: “What brand do you normally smoke?”

    (She turns to young girl and says:)

    Woman: “Well? What do you smoke?”

    (I immediately address the young girl and ask for I.D.)

    Woman: *very rudely* “I’m buying them, not her!”

    (I state that now I know she is buying for a minor I legally cannot sell either one cigarettes.)

    Girl: *starts screaming at woman* “Grandma! WHY DID YOU ASK ME THAT? Now I can’t get my smokes!”

    Vexed, Lies & Videotape

    | Tallahassee, FL, USA | Bad Behavior, Criminal/Illegal, Wild & Unruly

    (I am sitting down with my friends at a cafe when some rather loud customers come in. I think they’ve been partying or something, because they won’t stop talking rather loudly and giggling.)

    Cashier: “What can I get you ladies?”

    Customer #1: “Well, you could stop dressing like a f****** emo for one.”

    (The cashier simply has dyed black hair and nails.)

    Cashier: “Please stop being rude.”

    Customer #2: “Err, no! It’s a free country. We can say what we like, you dumb b****!”

    Cashier: “Just stop this.”

    Customer #1: “No, get us [order] and get snappy about it, b****, or I’ll tell the manager you hit me!”

    Me: “That won’t work! We’ve been watching you!”

    Customer #2: “And what the h*** are you gonna do about it, b****? *walks up to me and throws my food on the floor* “Oh, look, you can’t do anything.”

    Me: “I can. I know there are cameras here.”

    Customer #2: “As. If. You. Slut.”

    Cashier: “I’m getting my manager. Hopefully he can sort you out and ban you from here.”

    Customer #3: “Oh, come on! We’re paying customers. You can’t throw us out.”

    Cashier: “It doesn’t matter; you’re causing a scene and you need to pay for that young woman’s food.”

    Customer #1: “As. F***.”

    (The manager comes from a back room and looks exhausted anyway so I don’t think he’ll even try to make the girls leave. I get up and go over just in case he needs help.)

    Customer #2: “Yeah, your cashier spat in my face, so I think we need a free meal.

    Manager: “The only thing you’re getting for free around here is a one-way ticket out of here. I’ve had a really hard time with lots of people are coming in for Christmas. I’ve been up all night and I really just don’t want any hassle.”

    Customer #3: “Well, don’t and don’t throw us out.”

    (The manager looks almost tired enough to give in. The cashier looks at him horrified as I take my turn.)

    Me: “The video cameras have enough footage of you insulting and being violent so I can just call the police right now and have them arrest you.”

    (The customers look truly scared. They begin to run, with the cashier and I trying to stop them getting out the door but they throw things from the tables at us, including dishes, vinegar and even chairs. I get a gash on my shoulder and the cashier is struck in the face but they get out.)

    Manager: “Don’t worry, I saw their licence.”

    (I saw later that they were arrested.)

    No Gratitude Attitude

    | UK | Bad Behavior, Criminal/Illegal, Technology

    (I work at a sporting goods store. I go and check the changing rooms when I notice a smartphone sitting on the bench. I pick up the phone, figuring someone had set it down and forgotten it, and take it into the manager’s office. Ten minutes later, a customer comes up to me whilst I’m at the till.)

    Customer: “I left my phone in the changing room just now and I went back in and it’s gone. Have you seen anyone walk out with it?”

    (I know straight away the phone he’s on about, but need to play dumb so that he can identify it before I hand it to him.)

    Me: “I’ll check with the manager and see if it’s been left with us, sir. Would you be able to describe it to me so I know what to look for?”

    Customer: “It’s a white [Smartphone] and it’s in a green case. If you press the menu button the lock screen shows a Star Wars background.”

    (I go back into the office and pick up the phone, checking the background and sure enough, it’s a Star Wars one. I take it back out to the customer who snatches it from my hand.)

    Customer: “So you were planning on stealing it, then?”

    Me: *taken aback* “Steal it? No, sir, I found it in the changing room earlier and no-one was in the immediate area. I took it to the manager’s office to make sure no-one else picked it up and took it.”

    Customer: “I saw you go in there just after I came out and put it in your pocket. You were going to steal it and sell it, weren’t you?”

    Me: “Actually, sir, I’m quite offended by that. I would never consider stealing another’s property. I put it in my pocket so no-one else would try to collar me for it and claim it as theirs on my way to the office.”

    Customer: “I don’t believe you. I’d like to speak to your manager, please.”

    (I phone the manager who saw the whole thing on the office CCTV. She comes out to the till area.)

    Customer: “I think you need to reconsider who you hire to work in your store. This boy here just tried to steal my phone from the changing rooms. Lord knows what else he’s stolen from under your nose whilst he’s been here.”

    Manager: “Actually, sir, I saw the whole thing on the CCTV monitor I have in my office. He was routinely checking the changing rooms when he noticed your phone, unguarded, on the bench, and bought it straight to me to ensure no-one else would have the opportunity to take it instead. I also saw you leave the changing room a good ten minutes beforehand; you’re lucky the phone wasn’t taken by someone else in that time.”

    (The customer turns to me one last time before he leaves.)

    Customer: “If I find so much as ONE SCRATCH on this phone, you’re paying to have it repaired.”

    (The customer storms off and out of the store.)

    Manager: “I love the gratitude we get in retail when we help people who forget their stuff and make sure it isn’t stolen. You’re due your break anyway. Go and kick a bin or something whilst you’re at it.”

    Have A Hunch About Why They Want To Munch

    , | MI, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Criminal/Illegal

    (Our fries take almost four minutes to cook and a customer has just ordered four large fresh fries. Two people have already told her there will be a wait on them. I notice a strong smell coming from her vehicle when she comes to my window.)

    Me: “Okay, ma’am, here are you drinks and your fries will be done in about three minutes. If you just pull forward a bit I’ll bring your order right out to you—”

    Customer: “Oh, h***, no! I ain’t waiting for my d*** food! Give me my food now!”

    Me: “I’m afraid your fries aren’t done-”

    Customer: “I don’t care! GIVE ME MY FOOD!”

    Me: “You ordered four large fresh fries-”

    Customer: “I WANT YOUR MANAGER!”

    Me: “Our fries take four minutes to cook. Two of my coworkers have already told you that you will be waiting on them. I apologize—”

    Customer: *still yelling* “I SAID GET ME YOUR-”

    Me: *yelling over her* “EITHER PULL FORWARD OR I’LL CALL THE COPS ABOUT THE STENCH OF MARIJUANA COMING FROM YOUR CAR.”

    Customer: *suddenly meek* “Uh… I’ll… I’ll just pull forward.”

    (I turn around to see my manager staring at me.)

    Manager: “I hope to God she doesn’t complain about you because I’d hate to write you up for that.”

    Laptop Flop, Part 7

    | Sacramento, CA USA | Criminal/Illegal, Liars & Scammers, Technology

    (Because we are an office supply store, many identity thieves and money launderers try to buy laptops from us because they assume we’ll be less vigilant than some other, more popular electronics stores. On this day, a customer we’ve seen many times before, who always uses questionable payment methods – like cards with important info scratched off, expiration dates that don’t match, etc. – comes in. Somehow he thinks we won’t recognize him, despite the fact that he comes in every two weeks. As always, he heads straight for the cooler, to buy an orange soda – which is the same thing he’s always done every time he’s come in. According to policy, we can’t refuse a customer service even if we know he’s been trying to scam us.)

    Coworker: “Oh, hey, [Customer]! Good to see you again!”

    Customer: “Hey! I— what? I’ve never been in here before!”

    Me: “You really like that orange soda, don’t you? You get one every time you’re here! I have to admit, it IS pretty good.”

    (The customer grabs a bag of chips, too, you know, because that will throw us off!)

    Me: “What brings you in today?”

    Customer: “I wanna buy a laptop. Just give me the cheapest laptop you have.”

    (Honest customers browse the selection, ask questions about features, and pick a laptop that will work for the tasks they have planned for it. Not this guy! But I decide I’m not going to play the game of pulling a laptop from lockup, dealing with this guy’s fraudulent card, or watch him try to make a grab for the items we’re keeping behind the counter.)

    Me: “Oh, I’m sorry. We’re out of that one. It’s on sale this week, so it’s pretty popular.”

    Customer: “Well, then how about the next cheapest one?”

    Me: “Let me check.”

    (I wander around the store for a minute, and then come back up.)

    Me: “Well, we had one of those, but it got returned because it’s damaged. I can’t sell it.”

    Customer: “Well… how about [Brand]? Just give me any laptop you have! I don’t care what it is. Just give me one. It’s for my little brother for school.”

    Me: “Yeah, you know? All these models are being cleared out for next year’s models. It doesn’t look like we have ANY in stock! But, hey! I’m pretty sure by the time you come back next week, we’ll have some. Did you want to leave us your name and phone so we can call you when we have more in stock?”

    Customer: “Err, no. I’ll go somewhere else.”

    (He tried to play it cool and leave the store, but we saw he had someone idling in the parking lot right outside the door. We were able to get a license plate number, make, and model, to report to the police. We bet he was going to try to make a grab for the laptop and run with it. But once he realized we all knew his face, he stopped coming in. Thank goodness!)

    Related:
    Laptop Flop, Part 6
    Laptop Flop, Part 5
    Laptop Flop, Part 4

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