Category: Bad Behavior

Can’t Scrub That Look Off Of You

| IL, USA | Bad Behavior, Popular

(Something about the way I look often makes fellow customers confuse me for a store employee. I’m walking with my wife through a store whose employees wear red and khaki. I am wearing light blue medical scrubs… A woman sees my wife walk away from me, walks quickly up to me, and nudges my left side with most of her body weight to get me to stop. She holds a sales flyer up to my chest, and talks demandingly.)

Customer: “Can you tell me why these things are-”

Me: *with a slight touch of attitude, pointing at my veterinary hospital’s logo* “I don’t work here…?”

(She then takes a step back, looks up and down my body twice, huffs loudly and rolls her eyes, then scurries away without another sound.)

Wife: *laughing* “Even in scrubs?”

Me: *laughing* “Even in scrubs…”

An All-Consuming Customer

| NC, USA | Bad Behavior, Popular

(I work in the contact center for a window decor company. In my department, I only take calls from the retail associates at the big box home improvement stores that sell our blinds and shades. But every so often, a consumer (that being the person who actually buys the blinds and takes them home) sneaks into our queue, even though they have a separate line. We can answer general product questions for consumers, but per policy, anything more involved than that gets transferred to Consumer Services.)

Me: “Thanks for calling [Company]; what can I do for you today?”

Customer: “I’m trying to find my purchase order number.”

Me: *thinking I’m speaking to a retail associate* “Okay, take your time! And who do I have the pleasure of speaking with?”

Customer: “No, I need you to give me the PO number.”

Me: “Well, do you have a sales order number? I can find it with that.”

Customer: “I don’t have anything!”

Me: “That’s okay. I can wait here while you flag your manager down if you need to get your paperwork together. And I’m so sorry; I didn’t catch your name—“

Customer: “Manager?! What the h*** are you talking about? I’m at home!”

Me: *slowly realizing* “Are you calling about some blinds that you bought, ma’am?”

Customer: “YES. And I called earlier and you said I needed a PO, and I don’t have one!”

Me: “That’s no problem, ma’am. We should be able to see it on the label. Do you have the blinds down where you can look at the sticker inside the top rail?”

Customer: “What?!”

Me: *repeats myself*

Customer: “I don’t have the blinds yet! That’s why I called you! I want to pay for them!”

Me: “I see. And what’s your name, ma’am?”

Customer: “It’s [Customer]! I ALREADY TOLD YOU! ARE YOU STUPID?!”

Me: *smiling like a maniac* “Okay, [Customer], what I’m going to do is transfer you to our Consumer Services department. They’ll be happy to help you access your account and pay for your order.”

Customer: “NO!”

Me: *stunned silence*


Me: “I understand, [Customer], and I’m very sorry that you’ve had to wait, but the call volume over there is low and it won’t be a long wait. I’d do this for you myself, but this department only deals with contractors and retailers. Again, I do apologize for your trouble today. But if you’ll just bear with me—“

Customer: *abruptly hangs up*

Me: “—oooor you could just hang up. That’s fine with me, too.”

I Don’t Work Here, Does Not Work Here, Part 20

| IL, USA | Bad Behavior, Popular, Wild & Unruly

(My boyfriend and I are at a shoe store finding new sneakers for me. He is a police officer and is wearing one of his many shirts from the department.)

Me: “So anyway, what color looks better? The blue or the green?”

Boyfriend: “I like the blue.”

Customer: *seeming to randomly shout at us* “I NEED THESE IN A 7½!”

(We both look at a blonde-haired female pointing at the newest shoes.)

Boyfriend: “What?”

Customer: “Are you deaf? I WANT A 7½!”

Boyfriend: “What?”


Boyfriend: “Are you serious?”

Customer: “OH, MY GOD! ARE YOU A F****** DUMB A**? GET ME MY SHOES!”

Boyfriend: *pointing at his obviously police related shirt* “You seriously think I work here?”


Me: “Then why are you here?”

(By this point two sales associates have shown up and are trying to figure out what to say.)

Sales Associate: *wearing a very obviously different shirt than my boyfriend* “What’s the problem?”

Boyfriend: “She—“


Sales Associate: “He doesn’t even work here. Can I get something for you?”


Me: “We tried, but I didn’t think you were as stupid as you really are. Apparently their shirts don’t tell you SOMETHING?”

Customer: “This is the worst service I’ve ever f****** had! F*** you guys.”

(The customer storms out.)

Me: “Soooooo…”

Boyfriend: “So, yes, sir. I’d still like to buy these shoes for my girlfriend.”

I Don’t Work Here, Does Not Work Here, Part 19
I Don’t Work Here, Does Not Work Here, Part 18
I Don’t Work Here, Does Not Work Here, Part 17

Making A Big Deal Out Of No Deal

| NJ, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Popular

(A woman comes to me with a doll in her hand and asks me for a price check. I take the doll and scan the barcode and, as I’m waiting for the scanner to load, she peers over my shoulder in the most invasive way possible.)

Me: “Excuse me?”

Customer: “Oh, the doll is on sale for $4.99?” *referring to the inventory price*

Me: “No, that is the price the store has purchased it for; the doll is $19.49.”

Customer: “So I can’t buy it for $4.99?”

Me: “No, the store wouldn’t get any money. That’d be bad business.” *we both chuckle and she walks away*

Customer: “What a shame. $20 is very expensive for a doll.”

(About five minutes later I get a call from the register asking for the price of the doll. I tell my coworker it is $19.49. Turns out the customer I just talked to INSISTS that I said it was on sale. I am dragged over to the front and we spend three minutes explaining that no such deal exists. Now there is a line, there are three employees trying to explain to her that she cannot get it for $5, and an additional two employees from the back working the extra registers to deal with the huge line.)

Customer: “Get me your manager.”

(After another two minutes.)

Manager: “Yes, what is this issue?”

(This circus ride goes on for another three minutes until she realizes that the manager is not going to budge and trusts me.)

Customer: “If it wasn’t on sale, he should’ve said something. I misunderstood and caused a scene. Sorry, I don’t want the doll anymore.”

(15 minutes, five employees, and a congested line, and we didn’t even get the sale. This was my worst memory because she was not woefully ignorant; she knew exactly what she was doing trying to get that deal.)

Keep Digging A Bigger Hole For Themselves

| Israel | Bad Behavior, Family & Kids, Popular

(I am working as an archaeology student at an excavation on the Israeli coast. Our site is located on a kibbutz — something like a small village/self-sustaining community where tourists often stay to get a more ‘genuine’ Israeli vacation experience — just a few yards up on a hill near a popular beach, so we get a lot of tourists coming up to see what’s going on, and are typically happy to explain the process to them. Because the site is located on a steep cliff overlooking the Mediterranean, however, it is quite easy to fall and get badly wounded on the rocks below. In addition to the fact that the site itself is very sensitive and should not be disrupted, most of the area is ‘roped-off’ from the public during the summer. This happens during lunchtime while most of the archaeologists and volunteers, my supervisor included, have gone down to the kibbutz for a bite to eat. Only about three of us have stayed behind to work on a cluster of pottery and animal bones that we have been meticulously unearthing for the better part of a week. A British tourist and her three young children approach the site.)

Colleague: “Hi there! How are you folks doing today?”

Tourist: “Fine. What are you doing up here, anyway?”

Colleague: “We’re excavating an archaeological site. Right now we’re working on a layer of Persian artifacts. If you’d like, I’d be happy to give you a-”

(At that moment, two of her children duck under the ropes and come ambling down excitedly into the pit.)

Me: “Oh, no! I’m sorry, but I have to ask that you stay up behind the ropes. It’s very dangerous down here.”

Kid #1: “I just wanna see what you’re digging!”

Me: “I’m sorry, it’s just very dangerous. Please go back up to your mom, and we’ll be happy to explain everything about the site.”

Kid #1: “But we’re just looking!”

Tourist: “Let them look! It’s educational!”

Colleague: “Ma’am, please, it’s dangerous…”

Tourist: “They just want to learn!”

(At that moment, Kid #1 suddenly reaches down, grabs the handle of a piece of pottery we’re working on, and yanks it out of the soil. The handle breaks, of course, and he holds it up to show his mom. My colleagues and I are too shocked for a moment to speak. The mom is grinning.)

Kid #2: “Mum! Look what I found!”

Tourist: “Oh, hold it up so I can take a photo!”

Me: “Excuse me! Please, give that back! We’ve been working on that piece for a WEEK and you just broke it!”

Kid #1: “Does this mean I get to keep it?”

Colleague: “Absolutely not!”

Tourist: *angrily* “Oh? Why not? He found it; he should get to keep it! You don’t even sound Israeli. What makes you think that any of this is YOURS?”

Me: “The site belongs to the State of Israel. It is a protected site, and your child just destroyed an artifact after entering a dangerous, roped-off excavation site. He DOES NOT get to keep it.”

Colleague: *bluffing, but absolutely incensed at this point* “You’re lucky we don’t have you arrested for looting!”

(My colleague takes the broken pottery away from the kid, but as our attention is diverted, Kid #2 pulls a dog skull out of the soil a few yards away and holds that up, too.)

Kid #1: “Mum! I think I found a human skull!”

Tourist: “Oh, my! You two are naturals at this!” *to us* “Aren’t they naturals at this?”

(My colleague and I grab the dog skull and the piece of pottery, put them aside, and grab the kids to haul them back up out of the pit.)

Tourist: “Hey! Don’t you DARE touch my children!”

Colleague: “They’re trespassing, defacing an archaeological site, looting, and putting themselves in danger. If you don’t want to wrangle them, WE will.”

(As we haul the kids back up and move them under the ropes, another colleague, an Israeli ex-marine who works for the university, happens to come up the hill. She sees us arguing with the tourist and asks what happened. As soon as she realizes that the site has been damaged, she goes into a frenzy.)

Israeli Colleague: “They did WHAT?!” *to us* “And you LET them?!”

Me: “I’m sorry. We did try, but she refused to call them back.”

Israeli Colleague: *to the tourist* “Ma’am, do you realize how dangerous and irresponsible it is to let your children down there? Especially after you were TOLD to call them back? They could have fallen and been hurt, or worse. And they have damaged our site!”

Tourist: “They were just learning! And they found a pot handle and a skull! I think they’re better archaeologists than YOU lot!”

(At this point, the Israeli colleague, barely controlling her outrage, demanded that the woman and her children leave the site and not return. She warned them that if she saw them again, she would have them detained for looting an archaeological site. We explained the situation to our supervisor when she returned from lunch and got thoroughly chewed out for not responding more aggressively – which, arguably, we could have. As some small comfort, to those who do not know, many pieces of pottery found at excavations are already broken into many pieces and it’s possible that the pot handle would’ve broken anyway – which is likely the only reason that our supervisor didn’t skin us alive for letting it happen in the first place.)

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