A Ballooning Sense Of Bad Behavior

| Helsinki, Finland | Bizarre, Crazy Requests, Holidays

(It is daytime during New Year’s Eve, and I go to buy some supplies for my brother. When I walk through the door, I see a balloon stand with lovely New Year’s Eve-themed balloons, so I pick one out. Soon I notice a middle-aged customer, an angry-looking woman, who is intentionally following me when I walk around. Suddenly she grabs me violently by the shoulder, forcing me to stop.)

Me: “Uh, excuse me, what are you doing?”

Customer: “You can’t do that!”

Me: “Do what exactly?”

Customer: “Walk around in the store with a balloon with you like that!”

Me: “I took this from the balloon stand by the door, and I intend to pay for it before leaving, if that is what you mean.”

Customer: “NOOO! I mean, you can’t just strut around looking all snobby and important with that balloon, showing it off like ‘look what I’m getting for my kids’! It makes me look like an a**-hole!”

(Note: I’m only 22 and have no kids, so I tell her that I’m getting it for my grandma, since she’s hosting a dinner for my family tonight.)

Customer: “See! That’s even worse! Why can’t ordinary people just walk around the store, without feeling obligated to buy stuff like that for others who certainly don’t need it?”

(At this point I’m so confused, that I go completely silent, but the woman just keeps repeating herself, with her voice going higher and louder each time. I just stand there dumbfounded, when mall security suddenly appears.)

Security: “What’s going on here?”

Customer: “This woman is basically forcing me to buy a balloon for my kids even though I don’t want to!”

Security: *to me* “Did you do this?”

Me: “No, there has to be some mistake here. I never spoke to her or even looked at her before she came up to me and dragged me by the shoulder. I was just walking around with this balloon that I picked up by the balloon stand, while collecting other items.”

(At this point the woman goes totally crazy and starts dragging me by my hair. The mall security officer steps in and firmly holds her away from me.)

Security: “Finish up your shopping and meet me by the cashiers, and we’ll go have a look at the tapes. I’ll keep an eye on this woman in the meantime.”

(I went to pay for my items, including the balloon, and then I followed him to the room with all the security tape screens. He saw exactly what happened on the tape, and he let me go. While I was walking to my car I could still hear the woman screaming in protest. I guess her problem was having a bad conscience!)

Never Too Late For Some Holiday Jeer

| Mississauga, ON, Canada | Mississauga, ON, Canada | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests, Holidays

(I work at a large popular chain of grocery stores as a cashier. It is Christmas Eve and the store is closing at 6:00. By this point it is 6:15 and due to a huge lack of information on the supervisor’s part, there is still a long line of customers at my register. I am in full cashier mode and cashing at the speed of light in hopes of getting out by 6:30. A lady who is next in line walks up to my till.)

Me: “Hi, how are you?”

Customer: “I’m fine. Busy in here, isn’t it?”

Me: “Sure is!”

(I chuckle and begin to expertly ring her up. I am not only ringing through her groceries but am also putting them in bags for her while she idly fumbles in the purse. I reach her Christmas decorations and she begins to talk.)

Customer: “Oh, I really needed these. I was so happy you guys were still open!” *goes on for a little while*

(I’m not entirely ignoring here but am focused on my work and nodding and smiling when appropriate, by now her transaction is done and it has been all of 90 seconds. I wait for her to pay, wish her Merry Christmas, hand her her receipt and press the conveyor pedal to move her groceries down to the end as I begin to cash the next customer.)

Customer: “Excuse me, what are you doing?”

Me: “Sorry, did I miss something?”

Customer: “You are moving so quickly you did not even stop to look me in the eyes and wish me a genuine Merry Christmas; this is the worst customer service I have ever received!”

Me: *blinks*

(I moved on to the next customer.)

Putting Them In Two Dollar Squalor

| CO, USA | At The Checkout, Money

(I am working the returns desk after Christmas. Our company has a somewhat flexible return policy; you are allotted store credit if you do not have a receipt. However, you will be given credit worth the most recent sale price, since we have no way of knowing when the item was purchased.)

Customer: “I’d like to return this lamp.” *she places it violently on the counter*

Me: “Certainly! If I could just scan your receipt—”

Customer: “I don’t f****** have it.”

Me: *taken aback, but friendly* “Oh, that’s all right. I can give you store credit.”

(The customer nods sullenly. I process the return and tell her the total; around $18.)

Customer: “You’re s***ing me! I paid $20 for that lamp!”

Me: “Sorry. You’re right, it’s selling for $20 right now, but since you have no receipt, and we can’t tell when you purchased it or what you paid, you’re automatically given the most recent sale price, and this product was $2 off last week.”

Customer: “Well, that’s f****** bull-s***!” *she takes the lamp and storms out*

(Most people are just happy to get anything back at all without a receipt!)

Has Some Holiday Baggage

| New Zealand | Holidays

(It is my second week at my first ever job at a cosmetics and body products store. It is a few days before Christmas, and we are running out of carrier bags. Our manager has told us only to give people a bag if they desperately need it, as we won’t be getting any more in until after Christmas. A customer comes up to the till with only one shower gel, also holding a massive bag from another store.)

Me: “Hi! Is this all today?”

(The customer grunts. I begin to put through the sale.)

Me: “Do you have a loyalty card with us?”

Customer: *grunts and throws a card onto the counter*

Me: “Now, we’re running very low on bags at the moment, so would your shower gel be all right to go in your other bag?”

Customer: “WHAT?!” *slams hand down onto the counter* “This was going to be a gift, but I guess that’s ruined now! I’ll have to go and BUY some wrapping paper!”

Me: *shocked* “I’m sorry; I can give you a bag if you need.”

Customer: “No, I wouldn’t want to waste your time! And I will be talking to your manager about this!”

(She snatched the shower gel and stormed over to my manager at the gift wrapping station. As it was only my second week, this was the first time a customer had shouted at me and I was terrified I had done something wrong. Luckily, my manager came over after she’d left and reassured me I’d done nothing wrong. She also told me that she was a regular difficult customer and seemed always find something to complain about!)

Next Christmas Will Look Crazy

| UT, USA | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests, Holidays

(It is about a month after Christmas, all our remaining Christmas ornaments, trees, decorations, etc. are up to 90% off. This woman comes in and pretty much clears us out of what we have remaining. She buys over $2000 of Christmas supplies, and most of it is under a dollar. She came in about three and starts to get rung up at about six.

Woman: “Can you get all of this rung up as quickly as possible? I have somewhere to be in thirty minutes.”

(We ended up having to get all our cashiers ringing her up all at once so she could get out on time, causing everybody else to wait.)

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