Category: Bad Behavior

The Non-Joke’s On You

| USA | Bad Behavior, Bizarre

(I’m in the produce section, having just finished sweeping up stray bits of skin around our displays of onions and fresh garlic. It’s something that we find pretty regularly since the outer layers on both items tend to flake off whenever a customer picks up a piece up.)

Customer: “Heh, looks like you missed a spot.”

(I pause and look at him, then at the floor as there may very well be another piece of peel or dirt I didn’t get the first time around. However, I find nothing around the display.)

Customer: “I said, ‘looks like you missed a spot.’”

(I look at him in confusion, and then give the display another look over. Again I see nothing.)

Me: “I’m sorry, could I ask you to point out where you’re seeing this spot?”

Customer: “Gah, what are you r*******? I was making a joke! You’re supposed to laugh!”

Me: “…that was a joke?”

(The customer huffed and walked off. Later on I was told he complained about me apparently having a ‘terrible attitude.’)

I Scream For More Ice Cream

| USA | Bad Behavior, Food & Drink

(I work as a server for the elderly residents.)

Resident: “What sort of ice cream is there?”

Me: “Vanilla, strawberry, and peach.”

Resident: “Chocolate?”

Me: “No chocolate.”

Resident: “You said chocolate!”

Me: “No, I said vanilla, strawberry, and peach.”

(She rolls her eyes and grudgingly orders vanilla. When I bring it out, she looks disgusted and asks the manager to come here.)

Manager: “What’s the problem?”

Resident: “This is too little ice cream! I wanted more!”

Manager: *to me* “You must bring more ice cream to her next time.”

Me: “Okay. I was under the impression that she only wanted a bit, but okay.”

(The manager helps me scoop out more ice cream for her, and I resume my duties. Guess what I saw when I went to clear the resident’s plates after she left? A full bowl of untouched vanilla ice cream! Crotchety old bat.)

Not Just The Milk That Has Soured

| England, UK | Bad Behavior, Food & Drink

(I’m working as a bailiff at a crown court and have the responsibility of overseeing potential jurors while on jury service. It can be a rather stressful time, and it’s not uncommon to meet people who are irritable about the whole process. This particular gentleman has been waiting to be put on a jury for the past week, and his mood has been in steady decline. This is my one and only instance with him (with the exception of the register each morning) prior to going on holiday. Breakfast is being served and I can hear an argument between the gentleman and the cashier in the canteen. This is the first time I’ve seen him anywhere near the canteen.)

Cashier: “Sir, all I’m trying to ask is which milk would you like?”

Gentleman: “And all I’m telling you is to give me some damn milk! Why can’t you understand? I want plain average ordinary MILK!”

Me: “What’s the problem?”

Gentleman: “FINALLY! Can you get me someone who speaks English? This b***h doesn’t know what I’m saying.”

Me: “Please do not swear, sir. What are you needing?”

Gentleman: “MILK! Just MILK!”

(I look at the cashier and she just shrugs. I ask the gentleman to wait and I pull the cashier aside. She explains to me what to problem is and I agree to handle it. I go to the fridge and take three bottles of milk out. I then put them on the counter in front of the gentleman.)

Gentleman: “What’s this? I don’t need that much!”

Me: “Of course. I just want to be certain which of the three options you would prefer, as many people are quite specific when it comes to their milk.”

(The gentleman stares at them without responding.)

Me: “Well, sir?” *while pointing at the lid on each bottle* “Red, green, or blue?”

Gentleman: “Oh, that’s easy. Blue!”

Me: “That’s called whole milk or full fat, or you could just say blue and anyone in the UK would know exactly what you’re asking for.”

Gentleman: “Well, she should’ve known…”

(He gets his breakfast, but about five minutes later…)

Gentleman: *shouting* “THIS IS FULL FAT! I WANTED SEMI-SKIMMED!”

(He went into onto a jury that morning and I didn’t see him again as I had a half day and left for my holiday the morning after. When I got back I heard he was caught discussing the trial outside the court, which can land you with a fine and prison sentence.)


| Atlanta, GA, USA | Bad Behavior, Bigotry

(As with most call centers, we are required to use phonics when spelling names. Especially if we have difficulty in understanding the caller. This is one such time:)

Operator: “I’m sorry, ma’am, I’m having difficulty understanding the letter you are using. Is that ‘M,’ as in ‘Mike’ or ‘N,’ as in ‘November?'”

Caller: “Excuse me?”

Operator: “Are you saying ‘M,’ as in ‘Mother’ or ‘N,’ as in ‘Newspaper?'”

Caller: “Do not make me say it. Do NOT make me say it.”

Operator: “I apologize for this inconvenience, but I need to make sure the spelling is proper. ‘M,’ as in ‘Microwave’ or ‘N,’ as in ‘Necktie?'”

Caller: “FINE! It’s ‘N’ as in ‘[common racial slur beginning with the letter ‘N’]’! I hope you are happy with yourself. What kind of bigoted company do you work for? We are ALL brothers and sisters and shouldn’t be divided by such hatred.”

(The caller continued for an additional few minutes, raging about how the operator forced her to use a racial slur.)

Wish You Could See “The Back” Of This Customer

| MI, USA | Bad Behavior

(I am an assistant manager for a large drugstore that sells lots of items but we are a small independent chain, and frequently the owner can only afford skeleton shifts. At such a time, I am on my own doing all the managerial stuff plus running the liquor counter, which is easily as busy as the pharmacy part of the store. I have no floor help. I’m ringing up a line of about five people when I hear someone yelling from the back of the line:)

Customer: “I need help in the back!”

Me: “What do you need in the back?”

Customer: “I need HELP in the BACK!”

Me: “Okay, as soon as I am finished with these customers I will help you.”

(I keep ringing up customers but she keeps yelling at me.)

Customer: “Why can’t you just call a stock-boy over to help me?”

Me: “I don’t have a stock-boy for this shift. We are short-handed.”

Customer: “What do you mean, you have no stock-boy? I need help in the back!”

Me: *thinking perhaps the pharmacy is less busy and the technician might be able to help her* “Ma’am, if you go to the pharmacy counter—” *which is all of five feet away* “—if they aren’t as busy perhaps the tech can help you.”

(The customer wanders over there, but returns seconds later. I only have two people left in line by now. Even they are rolling their eyes.)


Me: “What exactly do you need from the back?”

(I gather that instead of telling the tech WHAT she needed, she just demanded some vague help in the back, so of course the tech sent her back to the manager.)

Customer: “I TOLD you, I need HELP in the BACK!”

(I finish my last customer and finally, FINALLY, I hope to glean what exactly she needs from the back. I walk towards the back with her and ask her for the 50th time, what exactly she needs.)

Customer: “I want to know if you have any [Soda]!”

(I could have told her, 15 minutes ago, that we had no Soda in the back but decide I’d better make a show of checking. She is yelling the entire time about how she has been here for half an hour (not) and how it is unacceptable that we don’t have stock-boys on the premises at all times. I take several deep breaths and come back out to inform her that no, we do not have any more Soda.)

Customer: “WHAT! How can you NOT have any [Soda]? IT IS IN YOUR SALE PAPER!”

Me: “We must have run out. I can give you a rain check—”

Customer: “I don’t want a rain check!! I want to know why it took me SO LONG to get help, and WHY you DON’T have an item that’s ON SALE!”

(Incidentally, no one but her ever bought a two-liter bottle of Soda. If we order a product and have to return the same product expired, repeatedly, we cannot always get that product back.)

Me: “I told you earlier, we are short-handed. I cannot help if we ran out of stock on a certain product. I would be happy to call our sister store five minutes down the road from here to see if they have any.”

Customer: “That’s UNACCEPTABLE! Where’s your manager?”

Me: “I am the manager.”

Customer: “Well, give me the phone number of someone over your head! This is unacceptable! You people NEVER have any help! You NEVER have the products in your ad!”

(I am tired and red-faced and shaking at this point. If she would have shut the h*** up twenty minutes ago I could have been on the phone trying to call some extra help in, because it was an unusually busy day.)

Me: “There is a customer service number posted on a sheet on the wall by the front counter—”


(I did know my phone number, and the store’s phone number, and the number of the two closest stores, and the main office, and certain higher-ups I need to call occasionally for certain issues I am not authorized to handle, but I have yet to memorize the customer service number. Why she thought calling our store number, which I would answer, would help, I cannot fathom. She walked away cussing and yelling about what a horrible store it is and how stupid I must be. Yep. I am stupid… to be working in retail.)

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