Didn’t See The Kicker

| Pensacola, FL, USA | At The Checkout, Money, Wild & Unruly

(My girlfriend is a cashier, and I am a customer in her line. There’s a customer in front of me, giving her a hard time. He writes a check and hands it to her.)

Girlfriend: “I’m sorry, sir, but our system has declined your check.”

Customer: “What? I’m a millionaire! That’s not possible!”

Girlfriend: “Well, actually, I think it’s because the license and check are from different states. It’s to prevent identity theft.”

Customer: “Well, thank you for nothing, worthless b****! I know you did this on purpose!”

Girlfriend: “Sir, I can assure you I didn’t. Now. Do you have another form of payment?”

Customer: “No! You d*** b****! You’re just being totally worthless! Why don’t we take this out to the parking lot?”

Me: “Oh, can I film that?”

Girlfriend: *smiling* “Absolutely.”

Customer: “What the h*** are you talking about?”

Me: “Oh, didn’t you know? She’s a championship kickboxer. I just want to film her kicking your a**.”

(The customer huffs and stomps away.)

Girlfriend: “Aw, why did you scare him off? I was looking forward to that.”

Where There Are Smokers, There Is Fire

| IL, USA | Criminal & Illegal, Extra Stupid

(I am the manager of a store that sells hookahs, among many other things. Since there are very strict laws in the area I tend to cut people off before incriminating themselves too much. The phone rings and I answer.)

Me: “[Store Name]. This is [Name]. How can I help you?”

Caller: “Hi. You guys sell hookahs? I want to know how these things work. I need to know what order to put things in. I’ve got the coal ready. I put that in the bowl on top, then the tobacco and weed right?”

Me: “I’m sorry, but we don’t sell hookahs for anything illegal. Just tobacco.”

Caller: “Oh right… Where do I put the tobacco then?”

Me: *sighs* “The tobacco goes in the bowl, then either a screen or tin foil with some holes on top of the bowl, and the lit coal on top.”

Caller: “Oh… I would have burned my house down again! Thanks!” *hangs up*

Me: “Again?”

Anything Could Spark Him Off

| QC, Canada | Crazy Requests, Transportation, Wild & Unruly

(A woman is looking at the spark plug we have on the floor. She seems confused about what she needs, so I go to her to help her pick the right one.)

Me: “Are you having trouble finding the spark plugs you need?”

Woman: “Yes! My husband sent me to pick new spark plugs for his car. He gave me an old one to make sure I get the right one, but they all look the same!”

Me: “Well, just come to the counter and I’ll help you find the right one. I’ll just need some information about the car. Which year, make, model, and engine size is it?”

Woman: “I think it’s a Ford. It’s a car for sure, not a truck. Pretty sure it’s a Ford. I’m not sure of the year. I think he got it in 2008. Or 2009. But I don’t know if it was new or not. And for the model, it’s the one with 4 doors. It’s grey, too!”

Me: “Okay. Well, I need more precise info. But it’s all right. I can usually do a cross-reference with the old spark plug you have to see what I have in stock.”

Woman: “Oh! That’s great. I really don’t know anything about cars, as you can see. My husband sent me because he hates dealing with you people. He thinks you are all incompetent jerks.”

(I take the spark plug and start checking for cross-reference numbers. However, I can soon sense this will turn bad because the spark plug I hold is made by a company I’ve never heard of. It looks like a cheap Chinese knockoff. To make sure, I ask my coworkers if they’ve ever seen this brand. None have, and it is not listed in our cross-reference book.)

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am. It appears that this brand of spark plug is not listed in our cross-reference books. I’ll have to make a couple of calls to the manufacturers to see if they can match it.”

Woman: “It’s okay. I’ll wait. My husband will be really pissed off if I don’t come back with the spark plugs.”

(While I’m waiting on the phone for a manufacturer hotline to answer, her cell phone rings. I can clearly hear her conversation.)

Woman: “They are looking if they can do cross-reference to find the good one.”

Husband: “Why the f*** were not able to find one by yourself? Now you’ll have to deal with those f***** morons that work there. It’s not too f****** hard to find one d*** spark plug. F****** useless woman! You’re all the same. Don’t make me come there. They’ll f****** regret it!”

(By this time, the manufacturer have told me they cannot cross reference this spark plug, and they’ve never heard of this brand before.)

Me: “I’m very sorry, ma’am. I’ll absolutely need the car information. I cannot do a cross-reference on this plug. Nobody’s seem to have heard of this brand before.”

Woman: “I was sure this would happen. My husband likes to buy stuff on the internet because he says your store is ripping off people. He says you’re all thieves. His cheap spark plug stopped working and he’s having all sort of problem with the car ever since. But I really don’t know what car he has.”

Me: “Can you call him and ask him?”

Woman: “He’ll be pissed off. Too bad for him. He should have come here by himself.”

(She calls her husband on my phone and tells him I need some info on his car.)

Husband: “What do you f****** need to know?”

Me: “Just basic information, sir. Year, make, model, and engine size.”

Husband: “It’s a f****** Ford. Now gave my wife the spark plugs.”

Me: “Sorry. I still need the year and engine size.”

Husband: “I ain’t giving that to you. You’ll know what I’ll drive and you’ll try to rip me off.”

Me: “Look. If you don’t want to tell me what kind of car you have, it’s fine. But don’t expect to get spark plugs.”


Me: “Like I said, I’m sorry, but there is nothing I can do in this situation. I will not go on the floor and look at the hundreds of different spark plugs models and lose countless hours because you are too lazy to come up here and buy them yourself, and too paranoid to give me the basic information I need. So I cannot help you and I will terminate this call right now.”

(The woman told me to not worry; she’d go to her friend’s place for a couple of hours, like she always did when he’s angry at something. She warned me that he would probably come and make all kinds of trouble. As she said, a couple of hours later a guy came in the store with a handful of old spark plugs. He started throwing them at the employees, all the time yelling about how we are thieves and that women are useless pieces of meat. We had to call the police to have him removed from the store. His case went to court and, thankfully, he was sent to anger management class!)

Sticking It Out

| MA, USA | At The Checkout, Criminal & Illegal, Liars & Scammers

(It is the late 1990s. I’m a cashier for a major home improvement store. We have been taught how to spot the various tricks people might use to try to pay less for merchandise than the actual prices. One night, an assistant manager came up to me about 10 minutes before closing time, as I was the only register open.)

Manager: “Keep your eyes open. We’ve got a customer who’s up to no good.”

Me: “You think he’s trying to make a grab?”

Manager: “Yeah, and he’s not exactly being subtle about it. I’ve been watching him roaming the aisles. Just be on your toes.”

(A few minutes later, said customer approaches the registers. I call him over.)

Me: “Evening, sir.”

Customer: “Hi. Just this, please.”

(He hands me a utility lamp that I scan. Just by looking at my monitor I can tell what he’s up to.)

Me: “Wait. That can’t be right.”

Customer: “No. It says $4.99, then that’s the price!”

(The price is one thing, but the monitor shows that I’ve scanned in a $4.99 house plant from the garden area.)

Me: “Sir, you’re buying a lamp, not a plant.”

(A quick inspection confirms what I suspected, that he’s taken the UPC sticker off a lower priced item and covered the lamp’s UPC with it. His mistake was what he took the sticker from. I peel the sticker off and re-scan the lamp, showing the correct $24.95 price.)

Customer: “No. You’ve got to let me have it for the other price you scanned in!”

(During training, we were also told never to confront or accuse a suspected shoplifter, to leave that to a manager.)

Me: “Sir, even though the wrong bar code wound up on this by some error, I have to charge you the right price for the right item.”

Customer: *sighs* “Fine. I’ve got to go check something out. Be right back.”

Me: “Okay, but we close in a few minutes.”

Customer: “Yeah, fine. I’ll put this back….”

(The whole time, I’ve had my hand on the lamp in case he tries to take it and run.)

Me: “No, sir. That’s okay. I’ll take care of it.”

(The customer goes back into the aisle. The assistant manager has been nearby watching the whole thing, and follows him, but passes by me first.)

Manager: “Nice catch. I’ll make sure your supervisor hears about this one.”

(Less than two minutes later, he’s ushering the customer to the exit.)

Customer: “Man, I didn’t do anything!”

Manager: “Yeah, ’cause I have a cashier who knows what he’s doing!”

His Table Lawsuit Won’t Have A Leg To Stand On

| Baton Rouge, LA, USA | Crazy Requests, Food & Drink, Home Improvement, Theme Of The Month

(My family is out to dinner at a Chinese buffet. My boss texts me from the furniture store where I work. I’m known for getting the problem customers.)

Boss: “You’re not allowed to sell to psychos anymore!”

Me: “But they’re my best business! But, seriously. What happened?”

(My boss proceeds to tell me about a customer that already harassed me three times the day before, as well as the customer service line several times, and tried to prevent our drivers from leaving his home after his delivery. His complaint was that his table was the wrong shade of brown.)

Boss: “He sent me an email complaining that he’s talking to highly educated people about suing us.”

Me: “Ha! His lawyer can call my lawyer! I’ll sue for harassment.”

(I happen to open my fortune cookie at this point and start laughing. I send my boss a picture. The fortune reads ‘A judgment will rule in your favor.’)

Me: “Fortune cookie says we can take him!”

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