Category: Bad Behavior

No Point Crying Over Stepped-Over Milk

| Chicago, IL, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Crazy Requests

(I’m picking up exactly three items at the grocery store, and when I go to get in line, there’s a jug of milk sitting on the floor in the middle of the cashier’s lane, so I step around it and get into line. A few seconds later, a man with a very full cart comes up behind me.)

Customer: “You cut me!”

Me: “What? No, I didn’t. You weren’t in line.”

Customer: “I was totally in line! What did you think the milk was for?!”

Me: “That’s not being in line. That’s putting a jug of milk on the floor. That doesn’t count.”

Customer: “You cut me, and I demand you let me go first!”

Me: “No. You weren’t in line. Besides, I have three items; I’ll be done in two minutes.”

Customer: “How do you know how long it’ll take?! You lying jerk. I’m going to report you to the manager!”

Me: “That’s nice, but I’m not getting out of line.”

Customer: “You a**-hole! That just ain’t Christian!”

Me: *laughing* “Don’t worry; I’m not either of those.”

(I was done checking out by this point, so I collected my bag and headed out the door. I wonder what the manager made of that complaint!)

A Nice Big Karma Sandwich

| Cape Cod, MA, USA | Bad Behavior, Time

(We close at 9 pm most nights, but on Sunday, we close at 8 pm due to there not being much business. At 7:45, a group of customers comes in and orders their meals to eat in, which we aren’t allowed to say no to. The line team gets their order out in record time and they sit down to eat. At 8 pm, I lock the doors, but I usually give customers a 10-15 minute cushion to finish up before I ask them to leave. It is required, however, that I inform them that we are closed, as they will need one of us to let them out.)

Me: “Hi, how is your meal so far? I just wanted to let you know that we are now closed. When you are ready to leave, please ask one of my coworkers to let you out. But please, do not feel rushed to leave if you haven’t finished your meal yet.”

Customer #1: “I thought you closed at 9 pm?”

Me: “Monday through Saturday, yes, but the company decided to close the store early on Sunday because we normally don’t make any sales.”

Customer #1: “Can I talk to your manager?”

Me: *pointing at my “supervisor” name tag* “I am the manager on duty right now. Is there a problem?”

Customer #1: “Well, I come in this store four times per week, and I have never heard anyone here be as rude to me as you have been just now.”

Me: “…I’m sorry?”

Customer #2: “[Customer #1], leave the poor girl alone. She doesn’t make the rules. She—”

Customer #1: “NO! You listen to me! This is terrible service. The food took so long, and now you’re kicking us out when you aren’t even closed yet? I want your corporate number right now!”

Me: “Sir, I’m sorry if I have upset you somehow, but I am not ‘kicking you out.’ I told you that we were closed because the doors are locked and you will need someone to let you out, but I also let you know that you are welcome to take a few minutes to finish your meal.”

Customer #3: “[Customer #1], you heard the lady. Just finish your sandwich.”

Customer #1: “That’s not what you said to me! I demand a refund and I want your corporate manager on the phone in the next five minutes or you will be sorry!”

(I sigh and get the corporate number. I hand the man the phone. He slams it down.)


Me: “I don’t see much point in someone at corporate answering the phones at 8:15 when we close at 8. I can write down the phone number for you to try again tomorrow, if you would like?”

Customer #1: *turning red* “WHO AM I SUPPOSED TO COMPLAIN TO RIGHT NOW?”

Me: “I’m the manager on duty right now, sir.”

(The man threw his hands up, screamed expletives at me and my coworkers, headed for the door and slammed right into it when it didn’t open. I unlocked the door for him while his friends laughed and packed the remainder of his sandwich into a box. Sometimes karma strikes back at the right moment!)

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Those Customers Lost The Waiting Game

| MI, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior

(The store I work at prides itself on being modern but our register/computer system is as old as dirt. It’s slow, crashes and messes up a lot, and when we start running chipped credit cards, it all gets even worse. I’ve been able to identify what things cause the most problems and try my best to avoid them, but customers don’t listen.)

Me: “Looks like you have a chip card. The reader will let you know when to insert; just give it a moment.”

(It takes maybe five seconds tops for the reader to prompt the card. The customer waits for about two seconds before she gets impatient and shoves her card in. I sigh.)

Customer’s Mom: *laughing* “Oh, looks like you didn’t need to wait after all!”

Customer: *laughs smugly*

(I see the tell-tale signs that there’s some problem between the pin pad and the computer, as is what nearly always happens when people put their cards in too early.)

Me: “Actually, yeah, it’s going to take a few minutes now. When the card gets put in too early, it causes a miscommunication between the pin pad and the register computer and now we have to wait it out.”

(I start folding clothes on our back counter because there is literally nothing I can do to the register short of turning the computer off for the solid three minutes it takes to time itself out. The customer and her mom are seemingly getting more and more impatient, sighing loudly and staring at me.)

Customer’s Mom: *talking to [Customer], but looking at me* “Maybe we could just cancel it and start over. That wouldn’t take as long.”

Me: “Ah, yeah, sorry, there’s nothing I can do now. I can’t cancel it. We just have to wait. It does this when the chips get inserted too early.”

(It finally timed out and I was able to continue the transaction. The two of them wouldn’t look at me the whole time and left without so much as a “thank you” or “bye.” Pro tip: when an employee tells you to do something, there’s a reason! Don’t ignore them just because you think you can do what you want. It might mean it takes you five times as long to check out your one shirt!)

A Problem Customer

| USA | Bad Behavior, Language & Words

(A customer is trying things on in the fitting room while I refold items to go back to the floor.)

Customer: “The large is a little too big on me. Can you get a size medium for me?”

Me: “Oh, that’s no problem at all! I actually have a size medium in the same dress on the rack right here.”

(I go to hand her the dress, but she has a sour look on her face, and demands to see my manager. I page the manager, not knowing why.)

Customer: *to Manager* “I asked her for another size and she said it’s ‘no problem’! She implied it was a PROBLEM to do her job. I demand she be fired! There was no problem; she just had to do her job.”

Me: *to Manager* “I just meant that it was especially easy to help her because I already had the dress at hand. That’s all.”

Manager: “Okay, sounds like this was just a difference in language…”

Customer: “No! I’m not going to be insulted like this! Doing your job is not a PROBLEM! You are ALL spoiled and rude! This is your job! Not a PROBLEM. Your corporate office will hear about this! You will ALL be fired!”

(She dumps a stack of freshly folded shirts on the floor on the way out. While I am picking them up, I overhear my manager on the phone with our district manager.)

Manager: “I just wanted to forewarn you that you may get a phone call from a PROBLEM customer…”

Whack Friday

| Juanita, WA, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior

(I work for a popular chain of craft stores. A few weeks before Black Friday, we will hire a number of seasonal cashiers. The girl in this story is sixteen, and this is her first job, so she is somewhat nervous. As she’s ringing up a customer with an overstuffed cart, the customer is complaining away, until it turned into outright abuse.)

Customer #1: “This is taking too long. Why do you need her—” *gesturing to me* “—to come help you every five seconds? Are you stupid?”

(I was the Front End Supervisor, and the registers required my key to punch in a large number of the same item, rather than making the cashier have to ring them up one by one.)

Me: “I’m sorry for the delay, ma’am, but there are eight registers and only two supervisors.”

Customer #1: “Did I ask you? I don’t think so. This girl is an idiot. She has no business manning a register.”

(She continues on like this, until I can tell the poor cashier is almost ready to cry. Behind her are a group of young women who have been waiting patiently. Finally, one turns to another. Both speak very loudly, intending to be overheard.)

Customer #2: “I guess you win the bet.”

Customer #3: “Which one?”

Customer #2: “That we’d get stuck behind a whiny a**-hole before six in the morning.”

Customer #3: “I know, right? It’s like she’s never shopped on f****** Black Friday before.”

Customer #4: “Somebody needs a binky and a nap.”

Customer #2: “Or the stick pulled out of her a**.”

(By this point, I’m about two breaths away from cracking up entirely. Customer #1 has gone very quiet, and is completely red-faced. She pays and scurries out with her cart. I reassure the poor cashier and send her on an early break, taking over the register for her.)

Me: “Thank you for that. That was everything I wished I could say. I can’t actually throw people out unless they start swearing.”

Customer #2: “No problem. I hate people like that. Tell that poor girl we thought she was doing a great job.”

(I later did, and the relief on the girl’s face was a wonderful thing to see.)

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