Not Always Legal: 25 Stories Of Customers Against The Law!

| | Right | September 2, 2016
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Rounded up for your reading pleasure: 25 stories of criminally-incompetent customers, picked from our archives.

#1: Cuffed Red-Handed

(I occasionally hire the 19-year-old niece of one of my friends to help me around the store during vacations. She’s quite frail and shy, but it isn’t too much of a problem since many of my customers are regulars and know (and like) her. One busy day, a peculiar lady whom I’ve never seen comes in and goes straight to the girl.)

Customer: “I want a double cheeseburger, a Coke, and a chocolate donut.”

Niece: “Um…I think we’re out of chocolate donuts. I’m going to check. Please wait a minute, ma’am.”

Customer: *bluntly* “Yeah, you do that.”

Niece: *runs to the back*

Customer: *whispering* “Useless b****.”

(When my niece comes back several minutes later, the customer gives her an icy stare.)

Niece: *nervously* “I’m very sorry, ma’am. It seems we’re out of stock. May I suggest you another dess—”

Customer: “You useless little s***! Every time I come here, I find what I want. Just admit you suck at your job.”

Niece: “B-but I—”

Customer: “Don’t interrupt me, you b****! Either get me my food now, or I’ll make sure your skinny little a** gets fired!”

Niece: *almost crying* “Ma’am, please—”

Customer: “You interrupted me again, you s***!”

(Before I can do anything, the customer PUNCHES my niece in the face, hard enough to make the girl fall on her back and hit her head on a cooler. However, two of my regulars, who are uniformed policemen, grab the customer.)

Customer: “What are you doing?!”

Regular #1: “Ma’am, what you just did is an aggravated assault. If this girl is seriously wounded, you face a fine and jail time. Please don’t resist.”

Customer: “Oh yeah?! Tough luck proving that without any police around, jacka**!”

Regular #2: *handcuffs the customer* “Ma’am, we are police officers.”

Customer: *almost faints*

(My friend’s niece ended up breaking her glasses and four of her teeth due to her fall. She refused to come back to work after that, which saddened both me and the regulars. At least she got a small measure of justice thanks to the police officers.)

 

#2: Not Quite The PIN-nacle of Intelligence

Me: “Credit or debit?”

Customer: “Uhh… debit I, guess.”

Me: “Okay, slide the card here and then enter your pin.”

Customer: “But it’s my friend’s card. I don’t know the pin.”

Me: “I’m sorry, but I can’t allow you to use a card that doesn’t belong to you.”

Customer: “Do credit. I don’t need the pin for that.”

Me: “Yes, but for credit the cardholder has to sign.”

Customer: “I can sign it.”

Me: “Only the cardholder can sign.”

Customer: “Then I’ll just sign her name.”

Me: “I can’t allow you to do that either. That’s fraud. We could both get into trouble.”

Customer: “There won’t be any trouble. She told me I could use her card.”

Me: “I’m sorry, but I can’t let you use a card that doesn’t belong to you. Can you pay for these things yourself and then ask your friend to pay you back?”

Customer: “I don’t have any money. Besides, I can’t trust her to pay me back.”

Me: “Then I can’t sell you these items. I’m sorry.”

Customer: “Why?”

Me: “Ma’am, we don’t know each other, right?”

Customer: “Um… nope. I don’t think so.”

Me: “If I were to try to buy something from you with a credit card that you knew wasn’t mine, what would you say?”

Customer: “I’d ask you for some kind of proof that you had permission…” *lightbulb goes on* “Oh!”

(Although the customer seems to finally understand, but she continues to stand there.)

Me: “Was there something else I could help you with?”

Customer: “So, can I just sign her name?”

 

#3: The Need To Be Shirty

(Our manager is just about to clock out, when he notices a young man in his late teens looking around nervously and acting jittery. The young man goes into the fitting room carrying a $5 t-shirt, and then comes out with an obvious bulge in his pocket.)

Manager: “Excuse me, young man. What do you have in your pocket?”

Young Man: “I ain’t got nothin’ man. I don’t know what you talkin’ bout.”

Manager: “Okay, sir. How about you walk back with me to the fitting room, and we see about that t-shirt you just took in there.”

Young Man: “I ain’t done nothin’ man.”

(The young man takes off, practically racing our manager to the fitting room in an attempt to remove the shirt from his pocket. He has misjudged our manager and is caught.)

Manager: “Alright, we are going to take you back to my office and call the police.”

Young Man: “No man, I’ll pay for it! Just let me pay for it!”

Manager: “No, sir! I asked you what you had. I gave you a chance to come clean. You lied to me. We are calling the police!”

Young Man: “Man, just let me pay for it?!”

(Our manager is infuriated by having the kid lie to him, then having to chase him to the fitting room, and at having to stay an extra hour after his scheduled time to take care of this kid; so he cuffs him. One of my co-workers has a front row seat for the entire exchange. All she can do is laugh, because this stupid boy just got himself into a whole world of trouble over a $5 t-shirt.)

 

#4: Someone Should Show Her The (Car) Door

(An old car has just driven up outside the store. Out of it comes a customer who looks like a party girl, with makeup and chewing gum. She enters the store.)

Customer: “I want some pretzels.”

Me: “Right, that’s $3 a bag.”

(The customer dumps the money on the counter and snatches the bag from my hand. I think nothing of it, but a few seconds later I hear her screaming. I go outside to see the customer screaming at a nerdy-looking girl that looks about 10.)

Customer: “You f******, ungrateful little b****!”

Girl: “Look, I’m s-sorry!”

Customer: “You f****** better be, you little cow! You f****** well damaged my car! There are cameras up there. You are in so much trouble!”

Me: “What’s happened?”

Customer: “This ugly b**** thinks she can open a car door without thinking that she can actually damage my $50,000 car!”

(I raise an eyebrow, as the car is clearly worth nowhere near that amount. The girl’s father comes up.)

Father: “What’s going on, [Girl]?”

Customer: “I’ll tell ya what happened! Your w**** of a daughter opened the door on my car, and there’s a f****** dent in it!”

(The father and I look over. The car door has landed in a dent, but given the standards of the car, I assume it was there already.)

Me: “Look, why don’t you come inside? I can call the police and they’ll look at the tapes.”

Girl: *to man* “Daddy, I’m scared.”

Customer: “You f****** well should be, you little b****! I hope you think about this every time you get in your precious daddy’s car! You’re lucky your daddy can actually pay for this! You think you’re so rich; you can do what you want!”

(I try to help the situation by asking the customer to take a step inside and talk to the manager. But then she looks at the father.)

Customer: “You gonna pay for it?”

Man: “I am.” *looks at girl* “[Girl], try and think before you open a door.”

Girl: “It was there already.”

Customer: “You know what, little cow? I really hope that when your daddy is in hospital from the heart attack he’s gonna get when he sees the bill, he dies from it!”

(The girl wails even louder, holding onto her father’s leg, as he begins to look pale. He puts an arm round the girl’s back, and some other customers outside the shop and inside are now looking. The customer can’t stand me trying to get her inside, and digs her nails in my cheek.)

Customer: “Don’t keep talking to me in that fancy cashier talk, lady. I can handle myself!”

(The girl’s crying is now really loud, so the customer goes over and pulls the girl from her father. The girl is reaching toward her father, and he begins trying to fight the customer to get her off. I call security in my radio. The customer is hitting the girl and knocking her glasses off.)

Customer: “You think you’re so important, don’t ya? Well you’re just a f****** loser! You ain’t gonna rely on mommy and daddy forever, kid. One day you gonna have to leave. Yeah, and you’ll die on the streets because you waste all Daddy’s money on attacking everything!”

(The security guards manage to get her off, and eventually the police arrive.)

Policeman: “Calm down, miss. We can handle this.”

Customer: “You f****** better do, because I got a party to go to.”

Policeman: “The way you’re acting, miss, the only place you’re going is the station.”

Customer: *laughing* “Come on! Takes more than a rich kid to get against me!”

Me: “What about those cameras that you were arguing about?”

(The customer is silent. The police take her away. The man and girl give statements, the man comforting his daughter throughout, and then police look at the car and exchange insurance. Soon after, the girl and her father come in to the garage and buy some fizzy drinks.)

Father: “I remember you from that night.”

Me: “Did you have to pay insurance?”

Father: “No. It wasn’t just because she was attacking my daughter. It was because security showed the dent had been there earlier. And what made my daughter cry more actually, was the fact I HAVE had a heart attack. She was only nine and didn’t understand. She has a mental disability, so can’t understand many things and has to go to a special school. She already was having therapy because she’s scared of the outside world, and this was our first time going to a restaurant in ages.”

Me: “Oh, my God; I am so sorry!”

Father: “It’s okay. I really think she can get over it.”

(It’s been around two years since and they come into the store often. She is a lovely, happy young woman, and has gotten over what happened to her. I’m just happy for her that she has coped so well.)

 

#5: Should Have Stolen Some Military Intelligence

(I’m working at the service desk of a large retailer when I’m called into the security office by the asset control associate while he detains and questions a female who was caught shoplifting. I walk in and the girl is obviously in her early 20s. She’s sitting there trying to force out the most fake sobbing I’ve ever seen. Her boyfriend has come in to support her, but at the moment he has to wait outside the room.)

Coworker: “All right, well, the police are on the way and the store manager is on her way up—”

Shoplifter: “No! Please! You can’t do this! I can pay for the stuff!”

Coworker: “Miss, you tried stealing $300 worth of electronics.”

Shoplifter: “No, you don’t get it! I can pay for it! I was just… I wasn’t thinking! I’ve been really stressed!”

Coworker: “Stressed enough to try and walk out the front door with groceries covering a blu-ray player?”

Shoplifter: “Please! I can pay!”

Coworker: “You had a chance to pay for it when you went through the cash register to pay for your groceries, and you had a chance to pay for it when you walked through the store again, picked it up, and walked right by MORE registers to leave with it.”

Shoplifter: “I just… you’re wearing dog tags, right?! What military branch?”

Coworker: “Marines.”

Shoplifter: “Please! My boyfriend is a marine too! He just got back from Afghanistan!”

Coworker: “Really?”

(My coworker stands up, opens the door, and looks to her boyfriend who is still standing there waiting.)

Coworker: “Hey, what military branch are you in?”

Boyfriend: “Huh? I just finished boot camp for Air Force.”

Coworker: “Thanks.”

(My coworker shuts the door, and stares at the shoplifter accusingly.)

Coworker: “Air Force boot camp? Really? That’s cheap, miss.”

Shoplifter: “SAME THING!”

Coworker & Me: “It really isn’t.”

Shoplifter: “You guys suck! This is so stupid! Let me pay for it! Don’t call the cops! Please!”

Coworker: “Too late. Speaking of the police, your chariot awaits.”

(The store manager decided to press charges as it turned out she’d stolen from other stores in the area.)

 

#6: Hats Off To Idiocy

(It is New Year’s day/night. I am working the graveyard shift and I have a pair of friends at the store keeping me company. A customer comes in and is casually walking the aisles. My friends and I continue talking, but I keep an eye on him. The customer heads for the door without buying anything, but I notice a hat rack hanging from the ceiling, swinging wildly.)

Me: “Excuse me, sir?”

(The customer stops by the door, holding his jacket closed.)

Customer: “Yeah?”

Me: “I’m really sorry, and I’m sure I’m mistaken, but would you mind opening your jacket?”

Customer: “Why do you want me to do that?”

Me: “Again, I’m sure I’m mistaken, and I do apologize, but I need to make sure you didn’t forget to pay for a hat.”

Customer: “How dare you accuse me of stealing! I don’t have to do what you say!”

Me: “Sir, if you don’t I’ll have to—”

(At this point, the customer darts out the door. I know we’re not supposed to, but I am angry that this guy would steal from me. I hop the counter and start running for the door. The customer sees me and takes off running. I chase him across the parking lot and start across the street after him when my better judgement kicks in. I go back inside, but am surprised to see my friends laughing really hard.)

Me: “What’s so funny?!”

One Of My Friends: “Dude! His car is right there! Parked outside!”

(I call the police, who arrive and check his trunk. The customer had had a busy night, and had stolen from a few other stores. A cop is taking my statement when we see a woman get in the customer’s car and start it up.)

Cop: *to the woman* “What are you doing?”

Woman: “…Oh, my husband is drunk and forgot that he had driven the car to the store. I’m just picking it up.”

(Sensing an opportunity, the cop slyly smiles at me, before continuing to speak to the woman.)

Cop: “Okay, go ahead…”

(The woman gets in the car and drives off, unwittingly leading the cop to her home. I testified in court a few weeks later.)

 

#7: I Say Tomato, You Say Theft

(As a cashier one of biggest pet peeves is when people eat the items before paying for them.)

Me: “Hi. How are you today?”

(I instantly notice customer has three boxes of tomatoes, and is eating away.)

Customer: “Hi…” *continues eating one of the boxes of tomatoes*

Me: *scans all three boxes* “Your total is [total].”

(The customer, still chewing away, swipes her card.)

Me: “This card was declined.”

Customer: “Can I try again?”

(There are only two tomatoes left in box she ate from. She swipes the card again.)

Me: “It was declined.”

Customer: “Let me try another card.” *swipes card*

Me: “That was declined also.”

Customer: “Let me just go to the ATM to get cash. I’ll be right back.”

(The customer never came back and got away with eating almost an entire box of tomatoes for free.)

 

#8. Should Have Maintained Radio Silence

(I work in a stereo shop in a not-so-savory neighborhood. We see stolen radios A LOT. It’s really obvious when one is stolen. We also log EVERY serial number sold, just in case.)

Customer: “I just bought this from my friend. I need it installed.”

Me: “Okay, what kind of car is it going into?”

Client: *gives car info: an older Nissan pickup*

Me: “Well, this is from a Toyota, so we can’t reuse the parts still on it. We’re going to need new install parts. It also looks like the main radio harness is missing, as is the faceplate.”

(Faceplates are removable as a security feature. They basically cost as much as the radio does, just to prevent theft. Harnesses are almost always left behind when stolen because they unclip and thieves think ‘how much could it be?’)

Me: “Check with your ‘friend’ if he has them. Otherwise it’s $150, plus $65 for the install and install parts.”

Customer: “$150!? Are you f***** kidding me!?”

Me: “No, sir. $40 for the harness, $110 for the faceplate. I can have them here in three-to-five days; it’s a special order.”

Customer: “Well, how much is this radio?”

Me: “They’re on sale right now for $129.99. Install is the same price; I still need the same parts.”

Customer: “That’s f****** crazy! I just paid $50 for this. You’re telling me the parts cost more than a new one!?”

Me: “Well, that would be a great deal if you bought a radio with all the parts. For half a radio, it sounds like you got scammed by your friend. The parts cost so much as a deterrence to theft.”

Customer: *just stares; I struck a chord with those words*

Me: “So would you like me to order the parts? Or would you like to just get the same one installed, brand new, with a warranty, for less?”

Customer: “I’ll take the new one.”

(The customer hands me his keys and gives all his info: name/address/phone number.)

Me: “Great, I’ll give you a call as soon as it’s done.”

(He left. I ran the serial; it was sold by us. I called the client. He confirmed his car was robbed, even faxed a police report. We called the police and informed them we recovered stolen property. Moral of the story is, we called him down, he paid for the work, walked out, sat in his car (with the stolen radio still in it) and was arrested in our parking lot. Caught a thief, and sold him a radio at full price, with install. Customer who got robbed gave me a $100 tip. Not a bad day.)

 

#9: A Speedy Resolution

(Working at a used car lot, I receive the following phone call:)

Customer: “I bought a car from you guys, and it has a vibration at 80 miles per hour, can you tell me what’s causing that?”

Me: “What is the vehicle in question sir?”

Customer: “A 2004 [Car].”

Me: “Sir, a slight vibration at high speed is normal in an 11 year old vehicle. Nothing is ‘causing’ it.”

Customer: “You don’t understand. I just want to know what’s causing the vibration in my car at 75, 80 miles per hour.”

Me: “Sir, is there any vibration at lower speeds?”

Customer: “No.”

Me: “Sir, that is normal operation for that vehicle.”

Customer: “So,what might be causing this vibration?”

Me: “…Sir, where in the state of Virginia are you finding a road with a speed limit of 80 miles per hour?”

Customer: “What? What does that have to do with my vibration?”

Me: “Sir, you are asking me to fix a problem that is occurring when you are operating your vehicle in an illegal fashion. You’ve already told me that there is no vibration at lower speeds, and the vibration only occurs when you violate the speed limit laws. I can’t very well fix a problem I can’t duplicate, and since our technicians don’t test drive customers’ vehicles at illegal speeds, I will never find the issue you’re describing.”

Customer: “Tell [Salesman] to call me.” *click*

 

#10: Needs To Press Paws

(I am cashier at a pet store. I see a man walk into the store, pick up a large and expensive coffee table book on show dogs, and get in my line. My manager has warned me, and shown me a picture of this man. He tries to convince cashiers to give him a refund for items he has just stolen. I immediately page my manager, who, unbeknownst to me, is tied up with a minor medical emergency in the back of the store.)

Thief: “I want to return this item.”

Me: “Do you have a receipt?”

Thief: “No.”

Me: “I’m very sorry, sir. Without a receipt, I cannot give you a refund.”

Thief: “Give me a refund.”

Me: “Sir, I watched you pick that book up when you came in. I know you did not buy it.”

Thief: “Give me the f****** money, or I’ll kick your a**.”

(Most of the customers in my line start backing away.)

Me: “Sir, I cannot give you any money, and if you leave with that item I will call the police. Please leave the store.”

Thief: “You little a**-hole!”

(The thief grabs the front of my shirt, and rears his arm back to punch me. I throw my arms up to shield my face. Out of the corner of my eye, I see a flash of movement. The next thing I see is a spatter of blood on my counter, and the man out cold on the floor with a bloody nose. My manager, with a paramedic from the earlier emergency, walks up.)

Manager: “What the heck just happened?”

(As I tell my story, an assistant manager calls the police, opens another line, and checks out the waiting customers. The paramedic starts checking on the man, who has a clearly broken nose. The man slowly regains consciousness, and points to me.)

Thief: “She assaulted me! I’m going to sue!”

(I talk to the police.)

Me: “He grabbed me, but I never hit him. I don’t know how he got hurt!”

(The man, a known criminal, is handcuffed and put in the police car. The officers and my manager go to review the security cameras. About ten minutes later, I get called to come back to the office.)

Manager: “You have got to watch this!”

(The camera footage clearly shows the man getting the book, getting in line, arguing with me, and then grabbing my shirt. At that moment, the customer in line after him, a tiny, middle-aged Asian woman, leaps up, grabs the hair on the back of his head, slams his face into my counter, and then calmly steps back to where she had been standing. She did it so quickly, that we have to run the footage back on slow to see exactly what she had done. After the thief is out cold, she walks over to the new line that the assistant manager opened, buys her bag of cat food with cash, and leaves without a word. Apparently, the other customers either didn’t see what she did, or decided to keep their mouths shut. We have no idea who she is, and we never see her again. The thief was charged with assault on me, and arrested. Wherever you are lady, thanks! You’re my personal super hero!)

 

#11: Cougar Town

(I work in a small town gas station where you can pump your fuel before you pay. A little old lady—who is probably in her 80s—comes in to pay for fuel.)

Old Lady: “I guess you want my money, right?”

Me: *smiling* “I’d hate to call the cops on you.”

Old Lady: “But it would spice up my day!”

Coworker: “You should let them pursue you!”

Old Lady: “Are there any cute ones on duty?”

Me: “Sherman?”

Coworker: “Eh. But he looks about 12.”

Old Lady: “But you find them young to raise them how you want!”

 

#12: Mom Is Breaking Bad Habits

(I am serving a customer who is purchasing over $600 worth of clothing and accessories for her son’s upcoming 21st birthday, as well as making an exchange on his behalf.)

Me: “Okay. Was there anything else before I process the exchange?”

Customer: “No. Here you go!”

(She hands me the bag with the original item. As I remove it from the bag, an obviously used meth pipe falls onto the counter.)

Me: *in disbelief* “Um…”

Customer: “Oh, my God! What is that?”

Me: “Um, it’s a pipe…”

Customer: “A pipe? Like a smoking pipe? What is it for?”

Me: *I pause, unsure of how to break it to her*

Customer: “Is it for marijuana?!”

(By now she is already visibly flustered, looking incredibly angry, and, most of all, mortified. I decide not to tell her what it really is, in fear of her having a heart attack in front of me.)

Me: “Yeah. It’s for marijuana.”

Customer: “I’m going to kill him! What else is he doing? Oh, my God. I’m so embarrassed!”

Me: “He’s obviously got a lot of explaining to do?”

Customer: “I’ll have to confront him about this. Who knows if he’ll be getting anything at all for his birthday?!”

(To my surprise, she actually still purchased everything. I do wonder if her son confessed to what he was actually smoking!)

 

#13: Don’t Do The Crime If You Can’t Tell The Time

(My store has a grocery section, including an aisle of wine and beer. Since, in my state, alcohol cannot be sold before noon on Sundays, during that time the aisle is roped off. A customer comes up to my till at 10 on a Sunday, carrying bottles of wine.)

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am. I won’t be able to sell these to you before noon.”

Customer: “What?! Why?”

Me: “It’s state law. Alcohol can’t be sold before noon on Sundays.”

Customer: “But I have to have these for a lunch party! It’s starting soon, and I said I’d bring the wine!”

Me: “Again, I’m sorry, but I can’t sell these now. It’s illegal and my register will reject it if I try to ring it up.”

Customer: “Don’t you understand? I NEED THESE. I will look like a FOOL if I show up at the party without any wine.”

Me: “That’s… not really something I’m able to help with. I can’t break the law for that.”

Customer: “What law? I just want you to sell me wine!”

Me: “Texas state law forbids the sale of alcohol before noon on a Sunday. If you’d like, you can come back after noon and buy the wine then.”

Customer: *suddenly calm* “Fine. I’ll come back later and pay for these then.”

(She then picks up the bottles and starts walking towards the door with them. I call security.)

Security: “Ma’am, you can’t take those without having paid for them.”

Customer: “But she won’t let me pay for them!”

Security: “Alcohol can’t be sold before noon. That doesn’t mean you get to walk out with it.”

Customer: “But I was going to come back and pay for it later!”

 

#14: Morbid Curiosity Killed The Cat

(I answer a crisis hot line for suicide, depression, drugs, any sort of thing they want to talk about.)

Me: “[Name of Crisis Line]. My name is [name]. Do you feel comfortable sharing your first name?”

Caller: ”Do people really ever call this line?”

Me: “Yes, they certainly do. What’s on your mind today?”

Caller: “Well that’s stupid. Do you just listen to depressed people all day?”

Me: “I listen to whatever is on their mind. That’s what we’re here for.”

Caller: “You should just tell them to off themselves.”

Me: “Sir, if you would like to speak to an operator, I’m right here. If you are prank calling us, that is a misdemeanor and we will prosecute.”

Caller: *obviously faking it* “Oh… well you see …my… um… my… cat…died.”

 

#15: No Point Crying Over Stolen Milk

(Milk is subsidized in my state so we don’t offer cash refunds or exchanges unless the product is spoiled or damaged. One man has been exchanging half-empty milk every week for six months claiming each time that the container is leaking. He does it with different clerks and it takes a while before everyone realizes he’s scamming us. As manager, I ask my clerks to let me know if they see him come in so I can talk to him.)

Customer: “I’d like to exchange this milk.”

Me: “Sure, we can certainly do that. Man, you have some rotten luck!”

Customer: “What do you mean?”

Me: “Well, you just always seem to have leaky milks. Looking at how little is remaining, it must have really made a mess in your fridge!”

Customer: “Oh. Yeah.”

Me: “Wow, going through a milk every week? I wonder if [Milk Company] knows they have so many leaky containers. I should track this and notify them.”

Customer: *nervously* “I don’t think that’s necessary.”

Me: “Oh. Well, a leaky gallon every week for six months? That’s unacceptable. Maybe you should try another brand? You know, [Milk Company]’s headquarters are just one town over. I could just call them and have them inspect this.”

Customer: *alarmed* “Oh, no, no! It’s fine. I’m all set.”

Me: “Are you sure? Hey, why don’t we go pick out a gallon together. That way we’ll KNOW it isn’t leaking?”

Customer: “Oh, uhhh. I’m sure I won’t have any problems anymore.”

Me: “I really appreciate you letting us know there is an issue with their packaging. I’ll be sure to keep an extra close eye on your milk from now on.”

(The customer leaves in a hurry and we never see him again!)

 

#16: Blocks Out The Glaring Customers

(My coworker has just had laser corrective surgery on his eyes. Unfortunately, he’s experiencing a much greater than usual amount of swelling in the area. His optometrist has prescribed him eye drops and told him to keep sunglasses on at all times, until the swelling goes down, as bright light causes irritation.)

Customer: “Excuse me!”

(My coworker and I notice an older customer glaring at him angrily.)

Coworker: “Can I help you, ma’am?”

Customer: “How DARE you!”

Coworker: “Sorry?”

Customer: “You take those off right this instant! I won’t stand for this disrespect!”

Coworker: “You mean these?” *points to his sunglasses* “Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to offend you. It’s just that I had laser surgery on my eyes, and the eye doctor told me I have to keep these on because bright light makes the swelling worse.”

Customer: “LIAR!”

(The customer lunges over the counter and grabs the glasses right off of his face. She puts several bloody scratches on his forehead with her long fingernails.)

Coworker: “Oh, God!”

(My coworker clutches his face, doubles over, and staggers head-first into a wall.)

Me: “Good God, lady! Why the h*** did you do that?!”

Customer: “You young ruffians are worthless! Not showing me the respect I deserve because you want to look ‘cool’!”

(She drops the sunglasses on the ground and stomps on them, shattering them. The noise and commotion have attracted our manager.)

Manager: “WHAT IS GOING ON HERE?!”

Customer: “That young punk was disrespecting me with his gang stuff! I demand that you fire him immediately!”

(The manager looks at the shattered sunglasses on the ground, and my coworker, who is doubled up, moaning and bleeding.)

Manager: “Did you assault my employee?”

Customer: “I can do whatever I want to scum like him! I’m the customer, so he has to do what I say! And he needed to be taught a lesson about respect, with those stupid things on his face!”

Manager: “He was wearing those because his optometrist told him not to look at any bright light!”

Customer: “You expect me to believe that? Give me a break! Now I DEMAND to be served RIGHT THIS INSTANT!”

Manager: “I’m calling the police.”

Customer: “Good! He SHOULD be in prison! He should rot there!”

(The customer actually stands there looking smug and triumphant as the manager calls the police right in front of her, while I lead my coworker to the front office to get the first aid kit. About ten minutes later, the cops show up. My manager and the general manager of the store explain to them what happened, with the customer agreeing the entire time, still convinced the cops will be on her side. It completely blows her mind when the cops start to drag her away instead, as she goes kicking and screaming that my coworker should be the one getting arrested, not her.)

 

#17: They Stole Her Precious

(Having been married just one month, I am very precious and careful with my wedding ring. I take it off only to wash my hands. I’m in a shopping mall bathroom and have just taken my ring off and set it on top of my bag next to me. At the sink next to me is a girl about the age of 12.)

Girl: “Hey mum! Look what I found!”

Mum: *in a loud whisper* “Put that in your pocket! Show me later!”

(They begin to leave. I reach for my ring and find it gone! I see the girl just shoving my ring into her pocket with a big smile on her face.)

Me: “Hey! Excuse me! I think you have something of mine!”

Mum: “Mind your own business!” *to her daughter* “Keep walking, honey.”

(They both flee the bathroom, but I follow and yell.)

Me: “Stop! Hey! Give it back!”

Girl: “No! It’s mine, b****!”

Mum: “You leave my baby alone!”

(I start to cry. With the mum yelling at me, the chaos brings a security guard running over.)

Mum: “Thank God! This b**** is trying to steal my baby girl’s ring!”

Me: “No, no, it’s my wedding ring. I took it off for a moment and she took it!”

Girl: “She’s lying! It’s mine!”

Guard: “Enough!” *to me* Do you have any proof it’s yours?”

(I’m still crying and try to describe it, but the girl and her mum keep screaming over me. The guard has to yell at them to get them to quiet down. At last, he looks at my long thin fingers, and the girl’s very short chubby ones, and he winks at me.)

Guard: “Okay, tell you what. Whoever the ring fits, that’s who it belongs to.”

(The guard forces the girl to hand it over, with the mum screaming the whole time. Of course, the ring doesn’t get anywhere near fitting her, and is a perfect fit on me. The guard calls the police and they both get banned from the store. My husband and I are still very good friends with the guard; in fact, he’s marrying my husband’s sister next year!)

 

#18: Hell In A Handbag

Me: “That will be 17.50, please.”

Customer: “Are you a Christian, dear?”

Me: “Why do you ask?”

Customer: “Are you?”

Me: “Well, no. Why do you want to know?”

Customer: “Oh. I would like to be helped by someone else, please.”

Manager: “Good morning ma’am, I hear you’ve been having a problem with the clerk?”

Customer: “Oh, she didn’t make any trouble, it’s just that I don’t want my money to be handled by someone not of the faith. You should be careful, she’ll probably nick from the till when you’re not looking.”

Manager: “You’re right, ma’am, I shall definitely have to reprimand her.”

Me: *surprised* “What for?”

Manager: “For failing to notice that the lady was not planning on paying for the three Mars bars and the map of Europe she must have put in her bag while you were fetching me.”

(The customer freezes for a second, then looks at her bag.)

Customer: “Good heavens! I must’ve been so distracted I didn’t even notice the devil putting them there!”

 

19: Admitting Defeat Was An Easy Thing Touché

(The owner of the bookstore where I work is very old and walks with a cane. Despite this, he always wanders the shelves and helps out patrons. Behind the counter, in a glass case, he keeps an assortment of trophies and medals he won in his youth. One night, someone decides to try to steal them.)

Owner: “I’m sorry, but you can’t be behind the counter.”

Robber: *smashing the glass* “F*** you, old man! Just stay away and don’t do anything stupid!”

(The robber sweeps the medals into his backpack and then tries to open the till.)

Owner: “Stop that, young man! You’re making a terrible mistake!”

Robber: *waves a large knife* “Yeah, well so are you! Back off! How do you open this f***ing thing?””

Owner: “Take a look at all those medals.”

Robber: “What? Just open the f***ing cash register!”

Owner: *very calmly* “Just take a look.”

Robber: *confused* “Uh, okay. Yeah, they’re gold. That’s why I took them, you a**hole. Gold fencing, gold fencing, silver fencing…”

(The owner gracefully draws the sword from his sword-cane.)

Robber: “Oh, please! Try that stuff in a real fight and you’ll just get kill—”

(With a flick of his weapon, the owner removes the robber’s glasses.)

Robber: *drops the knife* “Don’t hurt me!” *drops to his knees*

(I had called the police as soon as the knife came out. They arrive and identify the robber as a serial burglar who had stabbed a previous victim. Years later, at the owner’s retirement party, he recounts the story.)

Owner: “You know, hearing that story makes me think of two things. One, I wish a fencing judge had been there so I could have gotten the gold for that bout, and two, I missed the only time in my life when I could have asked someone if they called that a knife.”

 

#20: That Kind Of Behavior Is Just Not Cricket, Part 2

(I am a customer. I witness an argument at one of the tills over a false label on an expensive cricket set. It appears as though the label has been attached by the customer. It is obviously written in green felt tip and not real.)

Customer: “Why won’t you give me the discount?”

Employee: “Because this is obviously a fake label.”

Customer: “HOW DARE YOU ACCUSE ME OF BEING A SCAM ARTIST! GET ME YOUR MANAGER!”

(The employee fetches a manager.)

Manager: “Sir, we are not going to sell you a set that costs £189.99 for only £15. This is obviously not a real label.”

(The customer takes a bat out of the pack and raises it in a threatening motion.)

Customer: “GIVE IT TO ME FOR FREE OR I’LL BREAK YOUR SKULLS!”

(Suddenly, out of nowhere, a random customer who is just walking past grabs the bat. He moves it round the unruly customer’s shoulder, flooring the bad customer and disarming him in one motion. The random customer goes right up to his face.)

Random Customer: “Buddy, you ain’t gonna get s*** unless you calm down and learn to be an honest man instead of a p***k. F*** off.”

(The unruly customer gets up and runs off, only to be grabbed by security and arrested a few minutes later. The good customer was given a £100 gift card and was even offered a job as a security guard! He declined, saying it was his duty to be a good citizen. I found out he was an ex-colonel in the British army and had been in tougher situations than that.)

 

#21: Developing Arrest

(I work as a supervisor at a bar. Fargo is hosting the ‘North Dakota High School State Wrestling Tournament’ this weekend. I receive a phone call.)

Me: “[Bar Name], my name is [name]. How can I help you?”

Caller #1: “Hi, My Name is [name #1]. I was wondering if you accepted school IDs. I’m from out of town, and grabbed the wrong driver’s license.”

Me: “Um, well no, because they are not state regulated. You have to have papers if your driver’s license or state ID is clipped.”

Caller #1: “Well my drivers license is clipped; can I speak to your manager?”

Me: “I am the supervisor.”

Caller #1: *click*

(Two minutes later…)

Me: “[Bar name], my name is [name]. How may I help you?”

Caller #2: “Yes, my name is [name #2]. I was wondering if you accepted school IDs. I’m from out of town, and grabbed the wrong driver’s license.”

Me: “Your name is [name #2]?”

Caller #2: “Yes.”

Me: “Is the license you grabbed clipped?”

Caller #2: “Yes.”

Me: “Well you need to have your papers issued to you by the state for your clipped drivers license or state ID.”

(I then hear a hushed voice in the background. It is Caller #2 talking to Caller #1.)

Caller #2: “[Name #1], what do I do now?”

Caller #1: “Ask for the manager.”

(Without letting Caller #2 even ask, I respond.)

Me: “I am the supervisor.”

Caller #2: *click*

(Three minutes later…)

Me: *sighs* “[Bar name], my name is [name]. I am the supervisor here; how may I help you?”

Caller #3: “Hi, my name is [name #3]. I was wondering if you accepted school IDs. I’m from out of town, and grabbed the wrong driver’s license.”

Me: “Are you friends of [name #1] and [name #2]”

Caller #3: “YES!”

Me: “Oh, well, hello then. I talked to my general manager, and he says to come by the bar! What time will you three ladies be showing up tonight?”

Caller #3: *in a hushed voice to Callers #1 and #2* “We are soooo in!” *returning to me* “We will be there at 9:30 sharp.”

Me: “Well I hope to see you all here tonight.”

(Later that night, Callers #1, #2, and #3 show up at9:30.)

Caller #3: “We are here; the supervisor said you accepted student IDs!”

Me: “Hi! You must be [Callers #1, #2, #3]. Let me see your clipped drivers’ licenses, and student IDs.”

(I check them. The licenses and student IDs are clearly not theirs. The pictures in each of the girl’s licenses have a different facial structure, and one girl is miraculously missing a birth mark on her chin.)

Me: “Alright ladies, we have a VIP party in the back. Let me lead you there.”

Caller #1: *to #2 and #3* “Oh, my God! VIP? This is the best [high school’s name] trip ever!”

(I walk them around the building, with all of their IDs still in my hand.)

Me: “Alright officers, they’re all yours.”

(A couple of police officers are waiting for them at the back. As they are being handcuffed, one of the callers has a question.)

Caller #1: “Can we at least get our IDs back?”

Officer 1: “You can tell…” *reads names on all three IDs* “…that they can come pick them up at the station. We would like to have a word with them.”

(To my knowledge, they were processed to scare them, and then released to their parents. The girls on the IDs were charged with ‘furnishing alcohol to minors’, and ‘providing identification to a minor for the sole purpose of obtaining alcohol’.)

 

#22: Of Big Mouths And Even Bigger Customers

(At the gas station where I work, a bunch of young, smart-mouthed customers are holding up the line, talking about how f***ed up they’re going to get that night. I call several times but they’re too busy goofing off to notice. Eventually, a large, 6’6″ and ripped middle-aged gentleman who is also waiting taps one of the young customers on his shoulder. The young customer almost mouths off to the large gentleman, but thinks better of it and turns to me.)

Young Customer: “Hey, can I get a pack of cigarettes?”

Me: “I’m gonna need to see your ID.”

Young Customer: “I’m gonna need to see YOUR ID!”

(I immediately pull out my wallet and flip it open so it’s showing my ID.)

Me: “Still gonna need to see your ID.”

Young Customer: “Look, a**hole! I’m old enough to buy alcohol and you will sell me—”

(At this moment, the large and ripped gentleman who has been patiently waiting behind walks up, pushes the smart-mouthed customer out of the way, and puts his stuff down.)

Gentleman: “Hey, can I get a pack of cigarettes?’

Me: “Not a problem, sir.”

Gentleman: *to the young customer* “THAT’S how easy it is for adults. Maybe you’ll get there someday.”

 

#23: Went To The Wrong Joint

(In the state of California, it is legal to sell water pipes, hookahs, bubblers, all ‘for tobacco use only’. We also cannot sell anything if a customer even hints at using marijuana.)

Customer: *showing his ID* “Wow, you guys are strict, huh?”

Me: “We have to check the IDs of everyone who comes in here. It’s store policy.”

Customer: “You’re being careful, huh?”

Me: “I have to be, because the laws are so strict. It’s very delicate. If someone says just one wrong word, I have to ask them to leave the store.”

Customer: “So how much is that bong there?”

 

#24: Honesty Is The Sweetest Policy

(An Hispanic woman and her son, who is about six, come into the store. The mother gets the little boy a soda and he grabs a candy bar. Note: they are standing in the middle of our candy aisle, which I don’t have a completely clear view of.)

Little Boy: “Mama, can I have this? I’ve been good!”

Mother: *in English* “No, put it back. I don’t have the money for it and the soda.” *in Spanish* “Just put it in your pocket. She will never know.”

Little Boy: “No!”

Mother: *in Spanish* “That stupid b**** will never know! She can’t see you from there!”

Me: “Excuse me, ma’am?”

Mother: *innocently smiles* “Yes?”

Me: *in Spanish* “The stupid b**** speaks Spanish.” *in English* “So, if you’re smart, you’ll either put the candy bar on the counter with the soda, or put it back. It’s your choice.”

(The mother puts the candy bar back, pays for the drink, and then walked out. The little boy lags behind and approaches the counter by himself.)

Little Boy: *shakes his head* “I don’t know why mama thinks white people don’t know Spanish.” *whispers* “That’s racist!” *normal volume* “Don’t worry, when we get home Daddy and I will put Mama in time-out for being bad and saying a dirty word!”

(The kid made my day, so I bought him the candy bar for being honest and so adorable!)

 

#25: In Soviet Russia, Accent Speaks You

(The phone rings.)

Cashier: “Hello, [Name] Pizza… Oh, f***, not again.”

(She hangs up. A few customers come and go, and the phone rings again.)

Cashier: “Hello, [Name] Piz— f*** this!”

Customer: “Hey, lady, problem with the phone?”

Cashier: “Some sicko keeps calling from a blocked number and making creepy comments.”

Customer: “Hang on. I gotta go find my friend.”

(He pays and leaves… and comes back with a 6’8″ NYPD police officer.)

Police Officer: *with a minor Russian accent* “I hear you’re having a problem with a caller?”

Customer: “No, no. Do the accent! Make it f***in’ scary!”

Police Officer: *in a deeper voice with a thick accent* “Excuse me. I hear you have problem with caller?”

(The cashier explains. The police officer orders a slice of pizza, and he and his friend sit and chat for a few minutes. Then the phone rings.)

Cashier: “It’s a blocked number!”

Police Officer: *on the phone, with the accent* “Hello…. You are thinking my body is what? I am thinking your body probably very fragile. Very easy to— Oh, he hung up.”

(They stare at the phone a few minutes.)

Customer: “Problem solved?”

Cashier: *to customer* “So… is your buddy there single?”

Police Officer: *in accent* “Boris have many women. All are love him!”

Customer: “You’re married and your name isn’t Boris!”

Police Officer: “Boris is name of accent. Has life of its own.”

 

AND ONE CUSTOMER THAT DOESN’T DESERVE TO GO TO JAIL!

Alls Well That Bookends Well

(A sharply-dressed man comes to the counter with a woman of his age and a 5-year-old kid walking near them.)

Me: “Can I help you, sir?”

Man: “Yes, can you tell the price of those books, please?”

(He hands me a list, and I use it to calculate the total price of the books in question.)

Me: “Okay, the total comes to $242.14.”

Man: “Alright. Do you take debit cards?”

Me: “Excuse me?”

Man: “Ten years ago, when I was a teen, we stole those books in your shop with my wife here as a student prank. Now that we both have a good job, we want to show my kid that you must fix your errors in life.”

(I stayed speechless for a good minute before taking his payment. If there’s a “Customer of the Month” award, this family takes the cake!)

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