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  • Had It Up To Their Neck With Bad Customers
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    | Washington, DC, USA | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Math & Science

    (I work as a courtesy clerk and bag boy at a grocery store. My state has recently started charging people for store-provided paper or plastic bags. Whenever possible, I try to fit all the customers’ items into the reusable bags that they give me. In this case, the customer only hands me one reusable canvas bag. I have just finished packing it as full as it will go, when the customer’s wife joins us at the register.)

    Customer’s Wife: “Oh, that bag is way too heavy. Neither of us will be able to lift it.”

    Me: “I’m sorry about that. Would you like me to get another bag and re-pack these items for you?”

    Customer’s Wife: “Yes, please.”

    (The customer’s wife hands me another reusable canvas bag. I finish bagging their groceries, distributing the items as evenly as I can between the two bags. I then put the bags into their shopping cart, to make room on the counter so that I can start bagging the next person’s items.)

    Customer’s Wife: “Oh, no. These bags are still too heavy. We still won’t be able to lift them.”

    Me: “I’m so sorry about that. I can get you some of the paper bags that the store provides, and help you re-bag your items again.”

    Customer’s Wife: “No, no. I don’t think we need any more bags. We just need these bags to be less heavy!”

    Misery In A Can

    | FL, USA | Bad Behavior, Family & Kids, Food & Drink

    (I’ve just finished stocking an end-cap of soup cans. It has taken me about 20 minutes to get them all lined up properly. As I’m walking away, a little boy of about six or seven comes charging up. He kicks the cans on the bottom shelf over, sending them flying everywhere. Then he grabs two and throws them, one hitting another customer in the shin and the other smashing right through a glass bottle of cheap wine.)

    Me: “HEY! What the heck are you doing, kid?!”

    Boy: “My mommy said I should go make someone else miserable for once!”

    Lack of Register Does Not Register, Part 3

    | Edmonton, AB, Canada | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests

    (The store is small and only has four cash registers. Three are open, and I am at the fourth doing a return for a customer, Customer #1.)

    Me: “…and here’s your change. Sorry that the bread was bad.”

    Customer #1: “No worries, these things happen.”

    (Suddenly, another customer, Customer #2, with a full cart appears and starts unloading onto the till conveyer belt. Note that my light is off and there’s a ‘Closed’ sign on the belt.)

    Me: “Oh, I’m sorry sir, but my till is closed.”

    Customer #2: “Too f***ing bad.”

    Me: “…Beg pardon?”

    Customer #2: “Just put me the f*** through so I can go home!”

    (I look at the other tills. All are open, with no other customers at any of them.)

    Me: “I’m not actually a cashier; I’m just the closing manager. I have other things to do, so I really do need you to go to another till.”

    Customer #2: *still unloading* “Listen, you little s***! I’ll f***ing choose the godd*** till I f***ing want!”

    (I’m totally speechless at Customer #2′s behavior, but thankfully Customer #1 intervenes.)

    Customer #1: “Excuse me, but what the h*** is your problem? He’s given you a good reason why he can’t put you through this till, and you’re blatantly ignoring it while being incredibly rude.”

    Customer #2: “All those other tills are too far away!”

    Me: “The next till is three feet over…”

    (Thankfully, in the end he did move.)

    Related:
    Lack of Register Does Not Register, Part 2
    Lack of Register Does Not Register

    The Engendered Confusion, Part 2

    | St. Paul, MN, USA | Bigotry, Family & Kids, Wild & Unruly

    (I’m in my hometown, babysitting my three-month-old nephew while my brother gets some much-needed sleep. I live on campus nearby, but because I look much younger than I am people tend to assume I’m still in high school. I’m picking up some groceries with my nephew when an older woman grabs my arm.)

    Older Woman: “You ought be be ashamed of yourself! How dare you!”

    Me: “I’m sorry?”

    Older Woman: “Parading your little b*****d around like it’s no big deal to get pregnant and drop out!”

    Me: “Ma’am, I didn’t drop out. I—”

    Older Woman: “Don’t you lie to me, you stupid b****! I’ll have you thrown out of the store!”

    (My nephew begins to cry.)

    Older Woman: “See, look at what an incompetent mother you are! You’re just letting him cry without—”

    Me: “Listen, lady: I don’t know what your problem is, but making my nephew cry because you’re screaming at me is not okay. Even if he was my kid, do you really think it’s okay to yell at a stranger because they may or may not have made a choice you disagree with?”

    (As I say this, I can see the store manager, a close family friend, approach to see what the fuss is about.)

    Older Woman: “I can’t believe you! I’m going to get the manager and he’s going to teach you about respecting your elders, and maybe he’ll teach you to keep your legs closed!”

    Manager: “Don’t bother. You…” *points at her* “…get out of my store, NOW.”

    Older Woman: “I am a paying customer! You cannot—”

    Manager: “I can and I will, and unless you want the police to get involved, you’ll leave now.”

    Older Woman: “This little b****—”

    Manager: “—first of all, is a GUY, and second of all, is on the honor roll at [University], and third, is my son’s best friend and grandson’s babysitter.”

    (At this, the older woman turns red and leaves without buying anything. My nephew stops crying almost immediately.)

    Me: “Thanks, Mr. [Name].”

    Manager: “No problem, kiddo.” *grins* “It was kinda fun getting to yell at her. I’ve just got one question.”

    Me: “Yeah?”

    Manager: “Did she seriously think you were a teenage mother?”

    Me: *shrugs* “Some people…”

    Related:
    The Engendered Confusion

    A Man Needs His Nectar

    | Finland | At The Checkout, Awesome Customers, Food & Drink, Health & Body, Top

    (I go to my local store after a game of soccer, still wearing my full goalkeeper kit. The cashier and I have met several times but don’t actually know each other at all. I am buying beer.)

    Cashier: “[My Name], you can’t buy beer!”

    Me: “Why not?”

    Cashier: “You come here looking so sporty and I thought you’d buy something healthy or nice, and you buy beer!”

    Me: “Okay, I’ll buy something nice.”

    (I turn around, grab a bunch of flowers, pay for them, and give them to her.)

    Me: “There you go!”

    Cashier: “What? For me?”

    Me: “Yes.”

    Cashier: “But… but why? No one has ever bought me flowers before.”

    Me: “Well, you told me to buy something nice, and as you looked tired and a bit down I thought that it would be nice to buy you flowers.”

    Cashier: “Thank you! This was so nice of you!”

    Me: “May I now drink beer tonight?”

    Cashier: “With both hands, if you like!”


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