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In Receipt Of Unruliness

, , , , | Right | March 8, 2023

I work in a hardware store well known for “excellent customer service”. With that title come the most entitled customers.

I am typically a floor associate for my place of work but was hired as a cashier and have a lot of knowledge of the registers. I was working a cashier shift when the absurd incident in question happened.

For context, we can replace and repair window and door screens, and we can sell either premade retail packs we get in from a company, or we can sell some of our raw materials unpackaged under a general SKU. The premade packs come in shrink wrap with a slip inside with the product information, logos, and a barcode to scan.

Me: “Hello, how are you?”

Customer: “I have this to return, and this to buy.”

He gestures vaguely at the counter. I look down and see a premade package of screen repair material and a pile of loose supplies.

Me: “Okay, sir, let me go ahead and take your receipt.”

I scan the premade package, and then the receipt to prompt the return. I get a message telling me that it isn’t working and isn’t found on the receipt. I call a manager over, and the only one available to help me just so happens to be the assistant store manager.

I show her what’s happening, and she tells me that I can override it if I need to. This whole time the customer is watching but remaining silent.

She leaves before I turn and ask him how much of each raw material he got, so I can ring it up.

Customer: “I’m buying that one. This right here is my return.”

I stare at the counter.

Me: “Oh, I see what happened. Sorry, I misunderstood. In that case, could I have the packaging to return it with?”

Customer: “I don’t have the packaging. That’s what the receipt is for.”

Me: “I need the packaging for any item to be returned, so we can confirm it was the item on the receipt, sir.”

Customer: “The plastic? I threw that s*** away. I have the receipt.”

Me: “It should have had a slip with the barcode on it, not attached to the plastic.”

Customer: “I have the receipt.”

In this time, he had crossed his arms and was staring me down. In any situation, I’m a very small woman who is a bit made of fire and fuelled by wrath. In unrelated news, I am also Italian and Scottish. I realized that he was going to continue to be unreasonable and attempt to intimidate me unsuccessfully into doing the return regardless. I called the assistant store manager back again.

She came over and I explained the situation to her, and she reiterated what I had already told him. He began to get heated and said again, he had the receipt. And it was our fault for not having signs telling him he needed to have packaging to return the item. Me and my manager just kind of looked at each other.

Manager: “I’m sorry, sir, but that’s our policy. This time I’ll go ahead and refund y—”

Customer: *Raising his voice.* “—It’s not my fault you guys aren’t clear about your return policy!”

Manager: “Do not raise your voice at me. I was in the process of telling you that I was going to do it anyway. Do not talk to me like that.”

They proceeded to go back and forth before she told me to just return it and mark it as a defect. I asked her what on earth to put for the defect reason.

Manager: “Unruly customer.”

Proud to admit that I didn’t laugh at that in front of the guy. After she left, he tried to argue with me about the cost. It was an even exchange, and I told him a bit more than firmly that that was that. He then asked for my store manager’s number.

Me: *Fully knowing that my store manager is worse than I am and would actually probably start laughing at him on the phone.* “Call the store number and ask to speak to [Store Manager’s Name].”

Customer: *Angry and triumphant.* “Okay!”

He Constructed His Own Demise

, , , , , | Working | March 8, 2023

I work construction but when work is slow, I deliver pizzas.

I have one very annoying team lead from the construction job. He was the kind of guy that would watch you make a mistake, then berate you and call you an idiot for that mistake. Not a nice guy by any right. He was also prone to using misogynistic, racist and homophobic language, as well as looking down on anyone who earned less than him. 

Another thing he loved to do was brag about how doting his wife was and how she was a homemaker. Nothing wrong with that, but he also bragged about how hot his girlfriend was, and how much they did it when his wife thought he was working overtime. 

I got a delivery with a familiar name. I arrived at the house, knocked, and he opened the door. He looked quite surprised.

Team Lead: “Hey, I didn’t know you delivered pizzas!”

Me: “Yeah, when work gets slow. Anyway, that’ll be $15.”

Team Lead: “Here you go, don’t spend it all at once!”

He hands me $15.05 and looks super smug about it.

I take the cash, am about to turn around and say just loud enough that anyone inside might hear:

Me: “Hey [Team Lead], is this your girlfriend’s house, or you and your wife’s place?”

The color drained from his face, and he handed me an extra $20.

Shake Up The Customer Dynamic!

, , , | Right | March 8, 2023

This happened about twenty years ago. Every night, about one hour prior to closing (about 1 AM), the milkshake machine would be taken apart and cleaned and the remaining liquid would be heated to guarantee there were no germs developing in the sealed container.

In comes a regular customer of ours who always finds something to complain about.

Regular: “Hi there, can I get a strawberry shake?”

Me: “Unfortunately, the machine has entered the cleaning cycle. Shakes will be available in about three hours’ time from the drive-thru.”

Keep in mind, the machine is in full view, and he can see that it’s taken apart.

Regular: “You are just lazy and don’t want to do your job, get your manager!”

What follows is a rant to my awesome manager. By the time he is done, we have about fifteen minutes until closing.

Since the customer is hell bound on having his shake, my manager complies. He assembles the parts of the machine needed (takes about five minutes) and takes a step back before he pulls the lever to dispense the oh-so-precious milkshake. A huge cloud of steam and boiling liquid comes out.

After about a minute, my manager comes back with thick oven gloves, puts a lid on the boiling hot cup and hands it over to the customer.

Manager: “Free of charge, enjoy!”

That customer’s face was worth the additional cleaning; never saw him again.

The Tables Haven’t Moved, But They Have Turned

, , , , | Right | March 8, 2023

I’m a manager at a restaurant. We have been in lockdown for a few months (you all know why) and we are just beginning to reopen but with a lot of social distancing rules.

A party of six comes in headed by a soccer mom type.

Customer: “I want those two four-person tables pushed together.

Host: “We can’t do that due to social distancing; you’ll be too close to the other table next to you.”

Customer: “Let me speak to the manager.”

She’s calm, just insistent and it’s obvious she’s played the card before.

Me: “How can I help?”

Customer: “Can we push those two tables together?”

Me: “No, can’t; social distancing. You’d be too close to the next table. You can have that table that’s for six in the corner, you can have that booth for six after we clean it, or you can have that table for six outside after they get up in I’m guessing about ten minutes.”

All the while I’m pointing to each table like I’m showing them emergency exits on an airplane.

Customer: “You can’t push those tables togeth—”

Me: “No, we will not be moving tables. You can have…” *And I point out the tables again.*

Customer: “You know what I think?” *She begins turning to her friend.* “You know what I think?”

Both Of Them Together: “We go somewhere else?”

At this point I clap my hands together and say:

Me: “Thank you and have a great night.”

With that, I immediately turn around and walk away. The best part is she stares at the back of my head for a solid two seconds before she shuffled out. I didn’t realize this until I watched the video of the exchange.

It felt so good that they are starting to realize some of the dynamics have changed since we reopened.

Trying To Make (Gas)Light Of It

, , , , , | Working | March 7, 2023


I work in a deli inside a 24-hour grocery store. The deli closes at 10 PM and I stay on after to clean everything. I am down on my knees and scrubbing the back of something when I notice a customer just staring at me.

Me: “Sorry, sir, the deli closed at ten. We’ll be open again tomorrow at six.”

The customer just nods slightly but doesn’t move. I go back to my cleaning and when I emerge from the corner, I see that not only is the customer still there, but he has gotten closer. He is also, from what it looks like, touching himself.

Immediately freaked out and grossed out in equal measure, I run to the back and find my manager.

Me: “There’s a guy out there touching himself while is he looking at me!”

Manager: “What? What do you mean?”

Me: “He is enjoying himself watching me bend over to clean stuff.”

Manager: “Oh… Oh! Is this on camera?”

Me: “It’s at the deli.”

Manager: “Okay, I’ll check it. You go back to cleaning.”

Me: “I am not going back out there if he’s still standing there!”

Manager: *Sighs.* “Fine, I’ll check with you.”

He comes out to the deli, and we can both see that the customer has gone. I know this was a bad idea, but I agree to finish cleaning and my manager leaves. When I am close to finishing, I see the customer again, standing further away in an aisle, but sticking his head around and continuing to stare at me. He doesn’t look away when he sees me notice him.

I run back to my manager to tell him. He rolls his eyes and says I am overreacting.

Me: “Women are killed every day for being gaslit into thinking they’re overreacting. That’s not gonna be me! I am being followed!”

My manager finally agrees to check the footage (I think he was hoping I would forget about it) and we can clearly see the man pleasuring himself while staring at me.

Manager: “I’ll walk you to your car.”

Me: “Are we going to call the police?”

Manager: “That’s… a lot of paperwork.”

Me: “Are you serious?”

Manager: “Look, I’ll walk you to your car. If he comes back I will have a word with him.”

Me: “You will call the police or I am not coming back.”

Manager: “Seriously?”

Me: “Try me.”

He tried me.

I quit.

When I explained to HR why I didn’t hand in my two-week notice, they agreed with me, although I am sure they were just grateful I didn’t take any legal action against the store.

I contacted the police myself, who saw the video and traced the customer via his car registration from the parking lot cameras, which helped me file a restraining order. Some may say I overreacted, but I am still alive and I do not care.