Category: Bad Behavior


In Line And Out Of Line, Part 14

| USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Popular

(I am at a store with my father. We are standing in the line for a self-checkout. It’s a five person line and all the machines are in use. One opens up and the first customer, a young woman, moves to the checkout. The second customer, an old man who hadn’t been in the line, steps in front of her and goes to check out his groceries.)

Father: “Hey, the line starts right here.”

(He motions to the spot behind us.)

Customer #2: “I have to check out my groceries.”

Customer #1: “So do the rest of us, and none of us skipped past the line.”

Customer #2: “My groceries are more important!”

Me: “By what standards?”

Customer #2: *to Father* “Didn’t you teach your kid to respect his elders?!”

Father: “Not when they’re being a**holes.”

In Line And Out Of Line, Part 13
In Line And Out Of Line, Part 12
In Line And Out Of Line, Part 11


Welcome To The Entitlement Circus

MI, USA | Bad Behavior

(Back in 2000-2001, I worked in a well-known retail store in the electronics department, stocking and helping out customers. I am straightening the aisles when a customer comes up to me with a sales ad.)

Customer: “Do you have this DVD player with the VCR in stock?”

Me: “I don’t have it in stock; would you like a rain check?”

Customer: “How do you know? You haven’t looked.”

Me: “I sold the last one four hours ago. There aren’t any more on the shelf or in the back.”

Customer: “Could you check again?”

(I take the customer with me to the empty shelf where the DVD player should be.)

Me: “Ma’am, the shelf is empty. I’m sorry but we don’t have anymore.”

Customer: “Could you look in the back?”

Me: “I looked in the back for the previous customers that have already asked and there wasn’t any in the back stockroom.”

Customer: “Could you check again?”

(Without arguing, I agree to check in the back. I walk in the back stockroom knowing I am wasting both our times looking so I do the old “check the back stockroom” trick where I go in the back room and sit down for a few minutes and come back out.)

Me: “Sorry, ma’am, I don’t have any.”

Customer: “I want to speak to your manager.”

Me: “Okay.”

(I go the phone and dial the manager’s number. He comes over to my department.)

Manager: “What seems to be the problem, miss?”

Me: “Your stock boy doesn’t know how to look hard enough. I want this DVD player and he told me there isn’t any on the shelf or in the back.”

Manager: *to me* “Is this true? There’s not any in stock?”

Me: “Yes, sir. I sold the last one four hours ago.”

Manager: “Ma’am, I could offer you a rain check.”

Customer: “That’s not good enough. I want it now.”


(The manager leaves and walks away.)

Customer: *with a smirk* “I hope you learn your lesson.”

(She walks away. I finish straightening the aisle and seek out the manager. He isn’t on the floor so I go to his office in the back. When I see him in his office, he looks at me.)

Me: “Sir, you wanted to see me after straightening the aisles?”

Manager: *smiling* “You actually thought I was going to write you up?”

Me: “That is what you said.”

Manager: “Why? You made a sale.”

Me: *confused* “We didn’t sell anything to her. She walked out with nothing.”

Manager: “Yes, you did. Sometimes it’s the intangible items that sell. You may have not sold her a DVD player, but you sold her satisfaction knowing she was in control and could have people reprimanded at will.”

Me: *not happy* “Sir, with all due respect, I work in retail not a circus show. If she wanted entertainment, tell her to go to the movies.”

Manager: “I won’t put you though that next time.”


Not A Skinny Woman

| CO, USA | Bad Behavior, Pets & Animals

(I’m looking around in a renaissance festival shop that specializes in real animal furs. A woman in a rockin’ outfit walks up to the employee that’s helping me right now.)

Woman: “Excuse me!”

Employee: “Yes?”

Woman: “Your store is a sick madman’s shop! I don’t understand what the h*** is wrong with you! These poor animals all died for this?! You’re a monster!”

(She storms off angrily, flipping off the shop owner.)

Me: “Should I tell her that leather’s made from cows?”

(That rockin’ outfit was made of full leather!)


When Sugary Doesn’t Mean Sweet, Part 2

| Philadelphia, PA, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior

Customer: “I’ll take a vanilla ice cream on a waffle cone, please.”

Me: *walks over and grabs a waffle cone*

Customer: “No, not that cone. A WAFFLE Cone.”

Me: *goes and grabs a wafer cone*

Customer: “No, a WAFFLE CONE.”

Me: *grabs a sugar cone*

Customer: “Yes, that one.”

Me: “A sugar cone.”

(A few minutes later, the same customer comes up…)

Customer: “Watermelon on a waffle cone.”

Me: *goes straight for the sugar cone*

Customer: “Yes, finally you got it right.”

When Sugary Doesn’t Mean Sweet


Hold For An Hourly Rate

| St. Louis, MO, USA | Awesome Workers, Bad Behavior, Money, Popular

(I work for a third-party seller/distributor of cellular phone service. It is the late 1990s, when cell phone service is just starting to transition from analog to digital in most states. Because a credit check and a contract is required to activate service, some customers are surprised when the credit check comes back that we require a monthly billing to their credit card, or worse, a $700 deposit. I take a call from a customer. After I run the credit check, I get the alert that he will need to pay a deposit or set up automatic payments.)

Customer: “What do you mean? My credit’s fine! Check it again!”

Me: *calmly* “I could check it again, sir, but it’s going to come back with the same result.”

Customer: *getting angry* “Well, it shouldn’t!”

Me: *still calm* “I’m sorry you feel that way, sir, but that’s what always happens when we get a report like this. In order for me to activate a line for you, I’ll either need to take down a deposit, or set up payments using a credit card.”

Customer: “I want to speak to your supervisor!”

Me: “I am one of the supervisors.”

Customer: “Then let me speak to somebody else!”

Me: “Sir, if I get you on the line with someone, they’re only going to tell you the exact same thing that I am.”

Customer: *yelling* “I DON’T CARE! Get me on the line with your supervisor!”

Me: *still calm* “All right, sir, no problem. Would you mind holding for just a minute?”

(We were always forced to ask permission to put people on hold, never tell them we were putting them on hold.)

Customer: *now irate* “I DON’T WANT TO BE PUT ON HOLD!”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but in order for me to get you on the line with someone else, I need to place you on hold.”

Customer: “I’ve been waiting long enough, and I don’t want to wait anymore! I want to talk with someone else RIGHT NOW!”

Me: “I understand, sir. Let me place you on hold—”

Customer: “NO, D*** IT! Don’t you DARE place me on hold! This is a waste of my time! Do you know how much I make an hour?”

Me: *rolling my eyes* “No, sir, I don’t.”

Customer: “$350.00. I charge $350.00 per hour, and in the time I’m talking to you, I could be making money. You’re wasting my time, and I’m losing money!”

Me: *matter-of-factly* “Sir, do you want to know how much I make an hour?”

Customer: “No!”

Me: *taking authority on the line* “Too bad, sir. I make $9.00 an hour. And I’m telling you this to give you some perspective. Between the two of us, the only one that can help you get your service turned on IS ME. Frankly, I don’t care how much you make, and it doesn’t motivate me to give you better service than anyone else. So you can either let me place you on hold so I can get a supervisor, or I’ll be glad to end the call, and you can go to a local [Company] store and do this all over again with them.”

Customer: *silence*

Me: “I’m going to place you on hold now, okay?”

Customer: “Fine.”

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