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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!”

You Never Know What People Will Understand

, , , , | Right | CREDIT: TylPlas26 | March 8, 2023

I come from a Dutch background. I am nowhere near fluent in the language, but I know enough that I can pick up some words and understand a few sentences.

I am helping a customer who needs some paint made. As I’m mixing it, her phone rings, and she answers it and begins speaking in Dutch.

As she is talking, I can pick up that she’s telling the person on the phone where she is. Then, she says something along the lines of:

Customer: “I have one of these dumb young workers mixing it.”

I say nothing. I decided to wait for the right moment as I mix her paint and she continues talking.

When her paint is done, I hand the can of paint to her. She says thank you, and I say, in Dutch:

Me: “You’re welcome. Goodbye.”

She freezes, her mouth open.

Customer: “You speak Dutch?”

I didn’t want to let her on how little I actually knew, so I just simply said, “Yup.” She quickly darted for the cash area. It was very funny and rewarding.

A Lighter Story For Once

, , , | Right | March 5, 2023

A customer cuts in my line to ask me a question.

Customer: “Where do you keep those little lighters?”

Me: “We actually don’t have those. We just have the big BBQ kind you cou—”


She immediately walks away yelling and looking for lighters, leaving me in exasperated silence.

Customer I’m Ringing Up: “Wow.”

Me: “Yeah…” *Finishes transaction* “Have a good one!”

Customer I’m Ringing Up: “I’ll at least have a better day than her.”

Customer: *Cutting in front of my line again* “See! Here it is! Let me train you! IT’S RIGHT HERE!”

She produces a small utility flashlight and wiggles it at me before walking away, continuing to yell.

Me: *Sighs* “That’s a flashlight.”

True Grit

, , , , , , | Right | March 3, 2023

I work in the paint department for a major hardware chain. I come back from my break to find my coworker dealing with a customer he apparently helped earlier. I step in to see what the situation is and to see if I can provide maybe some kind of insight or solution to the problem at hand.

The customer bought a special type of deck paint we sell. It has a type of sand or mud in it so when you apply it to your deck, your feet, clad in shoes or not, will have something to grip on to despite most weather conditions and you won’t slip. It comes in “Smooth” (which still has grit in it for the same reason), “Textured” (extra grit), and “Extra Textured” (same amount of grit as textured but there’s a special roller with little hooks in it to pull it up more as you apply it).

This man tried to run it through an airless spray gun. These things generally struggle to spray our most basic paints without cutting them with water or a flowing agent, and this bonehead tried to effectively run colored mud through it. And now he wants a refund.

After some fighting (thankfully no screaming or demanding a manager) I manage to tell him:

Me: “No, you cannot return it. It’s already been tinted and that makes it impossible to resell.”

Customer: *Points to a bucket* “Well then, give me some free paint so I can run it through my sprayer.”

Me: “No, I’m not going to give you a free five-gallon bucket of stain so you can run it through your sprayer.”

While not the happiest camper, he agrees to buy a whole new bucket of stain, but as he’s leaving, he has the audacity to tell me:

Customer: “You should have told us that it had grit in it.”

A week later, I found out he had come back and gotten an assistant manager to do the return for him, even though I explicitly told him HE COULDN’T, forever placing him on my s*** list.

Wherever you may be, I hope your sprayer broke and you had to buy a new one.

Can’t Hear You Over The Sound Of Your Ovaries, Part 26

, , , , , | Right | February 6, 2023

Customer: “Can I speak to a man?”

Me: “I can help you with your query, sir.”

Customer: “No, I need a man. A woman wouldn’t understand.”

Me: “If I’m not the one to help you, then I can find someone who can.”

Customer: “I need to talk about things that were invented by men, so women wouldn’t understand.”

Me: “So, you’re saying men can only understand things invented by men? Does that mean women can only understand things made by women?”

Customer: “That’s right.”

Me: “Well then, I have some bad news for you, sir, since that means you shouldn’t know anything about circular saws, life rafts, fire escapes, coffee filters, windshield wipers, Wi-Fi, and space rocket propulsion systems!”

Can’t Hear You Over The Sound Of Your Ovaries, Part 25
Can’t Hear You Over The Sound Of Your Ovaries, Part 24
Can’t Hear You Over The Sound Of Your Ovaries, Part 23
Can’t Hear You Over The Sound Of Your Ovaries, Part 22
Can’t Hear You Over The Sound Of Your Ovaries, Part 21