The Price Was A Steal

| OH, USA | At The Checkout, Criminal/Illegal

(I’m watching the register for a coworker on his break. A young man enters the store and sets a paper bag on the counter.)

Customer: “I need to do a return.” *empties contents of bag onto the counter*

(I pick up the two gas fittings: one has a tag, the other is completely stripped and destroyed. I look at the receipt and the one with the tag isn’t on it.)

Me: “Sir, this fitting isn’t on this receipt. Did you have another receipt for it?”

Customer: “No. I don’t have a receipt for it because I didn’t pay for it.”

Me: *stunned* “Wh-what? Did… did you just take it then?”

Customer: “Yeah, I was going to pay for it and I realized I didn’t have enough money to buy it, so I just took it home. But it didn’t fit, either. So my buddy came out and fixed the problem for me and I don’t need it anymore. Sorry.”

Me: “Oh, um, well… okay. I’m just going to keep this one, then.”

(I take the stolen fitting and place it in the return box, but then I look at the other fitting.)

Me: “You really did a number on this one, though.”

Customer: “Yeah, it was the wrong thread, I think. I tried to twist it on but I ended up stripping it.”

Me: “Well, I can’t return this it since you destroyed it. It’s yours for life now.”

(I hand him back his receipt and the broken fitting.)

Customer: “Well, I thought I’d try anyway. Thank you.” *leaves*

(The next customer in line is just as stunned as I am. He sets his things on the counter and watches the young man leave.)

Customer: “Did he just return something he stole and apologized for it because it was the wrong size?”

(I nod.)

Customer: “Man, makes you wonder what he would have done if he actually stole the right part!”

Christmas Jeer

| Seattle, WA, USA | Holidays, Theme Of The Month

(The store I work at is normally open 24/7, but we are closing on Christmas Eve and won’t reopen until the morning of December 26th. As we get ready to close, we are asking the last customers to make sure the door closes firmly behind them so that more people can’t get in.)

Me: “Thanks for coming in today; have a great holiday! If you don’t mind, could you please make sure the door shuts all the way when you leave? We’re actually closed now.”

Customer: “But you guys are open 24 hours right?”

Me: “Normally we are, but we’re closing for the holiday so our employees can spend it with their families.”

Customer: “Well, that’s just stupid!”

Venting About Ventis

| Tucson, AZ, USA | Crazy Requests, Food & Drink

(I’m a semi-regular patron of a local coffee shop. I witness this exchange taking place.)

Customer: “I’ll take a venti caramel machiatto, a venti iced peppermint mocha, and a venti butterscotch latte.”

Cashier: “Ma’am, we don’t offer any of those flavors apart from the peppermint mocha.”

Customer: “Well, of course you offer those. I was just looking at your online menu.”

Cashier: “Ma’am, we have never offered venti sizing. We just call it large. And we have never offered caramel machiatto or butterscotch lattes. I’m not sure any coffee shop offers butterscotch lattes.”

Customer: “I want a f***ing caramel machiatto and a butterscotch latte!”

Cashier: “If you’ll look at the menu, we do offer a salted caramel.”

Customer: “I don’t want a f***ing salted caramel. I can’t have salt; I’m on a no-salt diet. Let me speak to your manager.”

(The manager is called, and repeats the same thing the cashier has been saying.)

Customer: “I don’t understand why you won’t just f***ing make me my f***ing coffee order. It isn’t that difficult! Three venti coffees, one a caramel machiatto, one an iced peppermint mocha, and one a butterscotch latte. For f***’s sake, I order the same thing every day!”

Manager: “That isn’t possible, as we don’t offer two of those drinks. I think you want the [popular coffee chain] down the road.”

Customer: “No, I always come here and get those three drinks! I want my f***ing coffee and I’m not leaving until I get it.”

(Finally, I’ve had enough, and I speak up.)

Me: “Ma’am, they’ve told numerous times that they don’t offer those drinks. You don’t seem to get it, so I’m going to explain it again. This shop does not offer caramel machiattos or butterscotch lattes. They do not refer to their larges as ‘venti’. I’m sure they would be happy to make you a large iced peppermint mocha, but they cannot make you the other drinks. You would have to go somewhere else for them.”

Customer: “I’m not leaving until I get my f***ing drinks!”

Me: “Then you’ll be waiting an awfully long time. Meanwhile, there is a line behind you, and I’m now twenty minutes late for class, so if you would kindly get out of the way so I can order?”

(The customer mutters about the quality of service and swears not to come back, but leaves.)

Manager: *to me* “Whatever you’re getting, it’s on the house for getting rid of her. Just don’t try to order a venti.”

When Toxic Personalities Become Intoxicated

| Nashville, TN, USA | Awesome Customers, Bad Behavior, School, Top, Wild & Unruly

(I am bartending at a neighborhood dive that caters mostly to a set of regulars who were minimum wage or blue collar workers, but occasionally some of the kids from an expensive nearby university would wander in. I am talking to a female regular at the bar who happens to be seated next to a young guy from the college.)

Me: “Hey, did you check out that show I told you about?”

Regular: “Yeah, thanks, it was really funny!”

(We are discussing episodes, when a college kid joins in.)

College Guy: “Hey, I love that show! What season are you up to?”

(For a few minutes, we all engage in friendly conversation until, suddenly, a spoiled and VERY intoxicated college girl in a miniskirt and six-inch heels proceeds to shove my female regular in the back.)

College Girl: “Hey, b****!”

Regular: *calmly turns on her barstool to look at the girl*

College Girl: “Quit talking to my boyfriend, you stupid w****!”

Regular: “Miss, we were just having a polite conversation.”

College Girl: “You think you can steal my boyfriend, you ugly b****?” *she shoves the regular’s shoulder for emphasis* “Stupid f***ing s***! You wanna try and steal my boyfriend?”

Regular: “Miss, I’m afraid you’ve misunderstood. I have a boyfriend of my own.” *untucks a set of dog-tags from her shirt as proof* “I wasn’t hitting on your boyfriend; we were just having a nice chat. Please calm down.”

College Girl: “You think you can just hit on my boyfriend, you f***ing s***? F*** you, you fat ugly b****!”

(She shoves the regular again, and by now I am furiously trying to flag down the bouncer. The bar has gone quiet, and the girls’ friends have nervously gathered behind her to watch the spectacle.)

Regular: “Miss, please do not touch me again.”

College Girl: “You wanna start something, b****? You wanna start something with me? Come on, you stupid w****!”

(Another shove, and this time the regular stands from her stool.)

Regular: “Miss, I’ve asked you nicely, but now I’m telling you. Do. Not. Touch. Me. Again.”

College Girl: “Let’s go, w****! I’ll f*** you up!”

(Mid-sentence, she tries to shove my regular again, but this time the regular catches the college girl’s arm and delivers a powerful right cross to her face, knocking her out cold. The regular watches the drunk college girl drop to the floor like a sack of potatoes, then sits back down on her barstool and turns back to the bar. The college girl’s friends proceed to pick the woozy girl up off the ground in time for bouncer to escort them all to the parking lot.)

Regular: *to the bouncer* “Me, too?”

Bouncer: “H***, no! I saw the whole thing, girl! You sit your a** back on that stool and order a beer on me.”

(The regular and I exchange smiles as I pull her usual up from the cooler. It’s at this point that we both notice that the college guy who was the cause of the whole mess looking at the regular with his jaw on the floor.)

Regular: “Hey, man, sorry about your girlfriend, but I did warn her.”

College Guy: “Okay, let me stop you right there. That was not my girlfriend. I had never even met that girl before tonight. I have no idea what the h*** she was talking about. And that was one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen. So the bouncer can get the next round, but that one’s on me.”

(One of the girl’s friends ended up coming back in and apologizing for her pal’s erratic behavior, and offered to buy a round for my regular, too. After that night, every regular in the place usually bought one for ‘One-Punch’ whenever she came in, until she moved away to marry her soldier boyfriend!)

Christmas Housing Crisis

| Vancouver Island, BC, Canada | Bigotry, Holidays, Theme Of The Month, Wild & Unruly

(For Christmas, the bakery I work at makes elaborate gingerbread houses, complete with some reindeer, Santa, and a few trees. Understandably, the whole thing is rather fragile, and pricey, and we wrap them carefully and display them on top of the pastry case with signs requesting that customers seek help before handling them. A customer walks in and wanders up to the display case and starts to examine the gingerbread houses. As Christmas is busy, my coworkers and I are not paying attention, she ends up breaking the reindeer and some trees in one of the gingerbread houses when she handled it.)

Customer: “Excuse me!”

(There’s a line of ten people in front of her, so we politely but quickly ask her to step in line. She shakes the very fragile gingerbread house at us.)

Customer: “Excuse me! I want to buy a gingerbread house! This one is broken!”

(As the most senior front end employee, I end up walking to the front and helping her.)

Me: “I’m terribly sorry. We have others.”

(I start to reach for an intact one, but she shakes the one she’s holding, breaking it further.)

Customer: “No! Those ones are probably just as stale as this one. That’s why it broke! You shouldn’t be selling your customers such cheap product.”

Me: “No, ma’am, it broke because you’ve been shaking it. I can assure you that they were all put together yesterday.”

Customer: “Real gingerbread doesn’t break like that! I want to speak to your manager!”

Me: “I’m the worker in charge tonight, ma’am, and I can assure you that, when shaken, gingerbread breaks like most other pastries.”

(She fumes and reached for another one. I quickly intercept and, after a few bitter words, she allows me to take down the gingerbread house she wants. Before letting her touch it, though, I turned it carefully so she could see that it was all intact. I then ring her in, charging double, which she was quick to jump on.)

Customer: “What? They’re $45 dollars! I will not pay $100 for a gingerbread house!”

Me: “No, ma’am, the broken ones are $45. Some people prefer them in bite size pieces. The intact ones take much longer to prepare, so we have to charge extra.”

Customer: “This f***ing store is a godd*** disgrace! Owned by an Arab!” she’s referring to the head pastry chef who is Filipino* “-and a f***ing c****!” *referring to me, as I’m half-Chinese*

(She throws a $100 bill on the counter and storms off, almost knocking an elderly man to the ground when she opens the door to leave. I ended up using the extra $50 to buy the other customers hot drinks, and passed out the broken gingerbread to accompany the beverages. Needless to say, we got some pretty amazing tips that night. The customer came back to complain later when the owners were around, but the head chef’s husband gave her a proper telling off when he heard her refer to his wife as an Arab.)

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