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  • Had It Up To Their Neck With Bad Customers
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    My Unfair Lady

    | Pasadena, MD, USA | At The Checkout, Bigotry, Rude & Risque

    (I work in an adult-themed shop. A female customer has just walked up to make a purchase.)

    Me: “Hello. How are you today?”

    Customer: *grumbles*

    Me: “Okay… Did you find everything?”

    Customer: *grumbles*

    (I take this as my hint to stop trying to be helpful and just get this over with as soon as possible.)

    Me: “All right. Your total is [price].”

    Customer: *handing me money* “You really should be ashamed of yourself, you know.”

    Me: “I’m sorry?”

    Customer: “You must not be a proper lady, working in a place like this. Shameful!”

    Me: “You mean me working here, trying to make a living and keep my bills down, is shameful compared to you walking in my store to buy smut and hooker clothes, then acting very rude towards me?”

    (The customer turns bright red, pays, and leaves.)

    R-Word Is R-Rated

    | Los Angeles, CA, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Bigotry

    (My coworker also happens to be my very best friend. He is severely disfigured, but sweet and very talented at carving. However, because of his appearance, our manager keeps him working in the back room most of the time. One day our manager is out sick and has left me in charge. My best friend comes out of the back room to bring me some inventory. A customer sees him.)

    Customer: “Oh, dear!” *to me* “Bless you, dear.”

    Me: “Um, thank you?”

    Customer: “For hiring someone like that poor boy!”

    (She is speaking as though my friend isn’t standing right beside me. He looks hurt, and I try to hurry the customer along.)

    Me: “Is there anything else I can help you with, ma’am?”

    Customer: “People like you really are a blessing, dear. Even the retarded need jobs in this country. I would never employ one, but I certainly respect those who do.”

    Me: “Um, ma’am, could you please not say that word?”

    Customer: “What, retarded? But it’s what he is.”

    Me: “No, he isn’t. I’m going to have to ask you to leave, please.”

    Customer: “But look at him! He’s obviously retarded, dear. You don’t have to lie. He can’t understand you.”

    (At this point, I am very angry and my friend looks near tears.)

    Me: “Ma’am, he is not mentally impaired, and he understands every word that we’re exchanging. It’s not difficult to grasp that you’re an enormous bigot, either. Please leave the store.”

    (The customer starts to leave in a huff, but pauses to admire some hand-carved birds at the front of the store.)

    Me: “By the way, he made those.”

    (The customer glares at me and storms out.)

    Cut Cut-Throat

    | Fresno, CA, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Family & Kids

    (I am processing a layaway for a customer. She is a bit rude with me but I proceed with a smile. The customer has multiple items in her cart.)

    Me: “Hi. Were you thinking of putting in a layaway today, or were you going to place a final payment on a previous layaway?”

    Customer #1: *rudely* “I have about 20 items in my cart. Does it look like I am going to make a final payment?”

    Me: “Oh, I apologize. I was not sure if you were finished shopping.”

    Customer #1: “Well, I am.”

    Me: “Okay. Have you done a layaway with us before?”

    Customer #1: “Yes, I sure have.”

    Me: “May I have your number please?”

    Customer #1: *tells her number*

    (While she is telling her number, another customer comes up to the side.)

    Customer #2: “Hey, are my items still here?”

    Me: “Sure are. Just let me know when you are ready and I will come help you out.”

    Customer #1: “Excuse me, but I will have my layaway processed first. You do not have to be rude and cut in front of me like I am invisible!”

    Customer #2: “Oh, no. I am sorry. I was making sure my stuff was still there.”

    Customer #1: “Well, move!”

    (Customer #2 walks away in shock.)

    Customer #1: “Geez! Some people think they can just cut!”

    Me: “I am sorry, but that was my mother.”

    Not Being A Pawn In His Game

    | Halifax, NS, Canada | Liars & Scammers, Technology

    (A customer with a thick accent comes in and places a cell-phone on the counter, which immediately begins leaking water.)

    Customer: “I want new phone.”

    Me: “Oh?”

    Customer: “This one not working.”

    Me: “Why is it wet?”

    Customer: “I don’t know.”

    Me: “You don’t know?”

    Customer: “May have been dropped in toilet.”

    Me: “The warranty doesn’t cover water damage.”

    Customer: “I want new phone. This one not working.”

    Me: “I’m sorry, sir. I can’t replace your phone. If you look at the warranty details we gave you when you bought it, you’ll see that.”

    Customer: “I have large friend. Knows kickboxing!”

    Me: “Are you threatening me?”

    Customer: “No, no! I no threaten!”

    Me: “Well, I have a friend who plays chess. I don’t see how either is relevant to the conversation.”

    (The customer grabs his phone and storms out.)

    Losing Their Financial Puppy Fat

    | ME, USA | At The Checkout, Family & Kids, Pets & Animals

    (It should be noted that I’m a bleeding heart and I cry easily. It’s a really slow night, so I get pretty excited when I see a dad and his daughter, who looks to be about seven, approaching my line. The dad leans in close to me to whisper.)

    Dad: “She’s been saving her money up for a while to buy this stuff. Can you split the payment to do her $8.00 in cash and the rest on my card?”

    Me: “Of course I can! I have to do the cash first, though.”

    Dad: “Perfect. I also have some things to buy in a separate transaction.”

    (The girl starts emptying a small purse of money: a few dollar bills but mostly coins. I’m thinking the girl was saving for some toys and art supplies from our kids’ section but after she’s done emptying her purse, she places on the counter pet supplies: a collar, a leash, our most expensive dog bone, and shampoo.)

    Girl: “I love my puppy, so I’m buying him some presents!”

    Me: “Wow! Gosh, that’s really sweet of you! It must have taken a lot of hard work and dedication to save up this much!”

    Girl: *nodding* “I didn’t buy any candy or anything.”

    (Her father winks at me and nods toward the big stack of junk food he’s placed on the other end of the counter. I grin and start ringing the girl’s order up while she counts. She gets to $8, mostly in pennies, and scoops it all up to hand to me.)

    Girl: “Here, miss. I’d like to pay, please.”

    Me: “I think I can help with that! So that’s $8.”

    (Her dad pays for the rest of the order on his card and then I start ringing up the snacks.)

    Dad: “Thank you for being so patient.”

    Me: “Please, sir, it’s no trouble at all. It’s a really slow night, and I have a dog myself. She could have taken all the time in the world, if she’d wanted to!”

    (The girl giggles and hugs her bag close to her. Father and daughter both thank me, and after they leave my manager approaches me.)

    Manager: “Want to go take five to cry in the bathroom?”

    Me: *tearing up as she speaks* “Yeah, I’d really appreciate that. Thank you.”

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