Retail Workers Share Their Craziest “Are You Serious?” Customer Moments


She Insisted On Speaking With “Sam”

“A lady came into Wal-Mart with a huge floor model console TV, the kind that had no remote, and wanted to return it and get her money back. She started yelling at me when I told her I wasn’t accepting the return as she had no receipt and the TV was obviously over 15 years old, and she demanded to speak with a manager. So I paged a manager, who told her basically the same thing. She then started demanding to speak with ‘Sam.’

We were like, ‘Sam, who?’

‘Sam Walton! Your boss!’ she screamed.

My manager had about enough of this lady’s crap and told her, ‘Well ma’am, we have a wide selection of shovels in Lawn and Garden, so you can go dig him up!'”

Of Course They “Lost The Receipt”

“I used to work at Walmart, and one day some people came in saying they wanted to purchase a TV. I knew these people to be rather shady as they would come several times a week and try to ‘return’ cans of food for cash. The cans were not purchased at our store, likely taken from the local food pantry.

Anyway, they asked to borrow one of the big flatbed carts from the service desk where I worked. I asked if they would like me to page someone to electronics to help, and they hastily said no and booked it out of the service desk area. A few minutes go by and I see them rush out the door, TV, cart and all. No spider wrap, no alarm, no door greeter to check receipts. My supervisor just shook her head and said there was nothing we could do. About a week later, who do you suppose shows up. The people with their TV, saying it didn’t work and wanted to return it and they ‘lost the receipt.'”

Accidents Happen, But This Is Ridiculous!

“I watched a man carrying six bottles of red wine simply drop all six bottles on the ground shattering them, of course, and walk out of the store, khakis stained bright red like a savage, business casual warlord.

My assumption was that it was an accident, he was horribly embarrassed and just left, though I’d like to believe that it was an intentional piece of performance art because it was the most beautiful thing I have ever witnessed.”

This Man Uses Smoothies In A Truly Weird Way

“Worked at a Target and have literally a thousand stories, but the one that sticks out to me was one I wasn’t actually present for. Gentleman walked in one day with a blender, sat down in our Starbucks, and proceeded to make himself a smoothie. I can’t emphasize enough that this is retail, this is hardly the weirdest thing that’s ever happened to us, but it gets stranger. The floor leader on duty asked if he needed anything, was he looking for anything, the guy smiled and said, ‘No, thank you,’ very polite. When he’s finished, he takes the blender, goes into the bathroom, and proceeds to pour the smoothie onto his head and begin to shave. In a Target bathroom, which admittedly, are already a little akin to the Twilight Zone, the Australia on the world map of Target, if you will. Anyway, a male employee was sent in to ask what exactly he was doing, and apparently, the man replied with, ‘What? It’s not like I’m doing anything illegal! What’re you going to do, call the cops?’

Yes, apparently. I guess several other male employees were called up to guard the door before anyone else could get in before police arrived. Don’t know exactly what happened to the guy, but I’m glad he’s getting use out of his blender.”

Being Checked Out Was More Important Than Giving First Aid

“When I was a cashier at a general store, I had a woman get mad at me for not checking her out immediately while I was helping a man who had collapsed to the floor having a heart attack.

I was on the phone with 911, and was kneeling next to him as he struggled to breathe. The woman stood at the counter, watched me for a minute, then started banging her fist on the counter. When I turned my head to look at her, she let out this exasperated sigh and just went ‘Um, I’m in a hurry!’ I mean, she could see what was going on, we were in plain view of the register that she was standing at, not more than five feet away, and that it was a serious situation, but she didn’t give one single care.

I just gave her an ‘are you kidding me?!’ look, and turned my attention back to the man and the 911 operator on the phone. Every few seconds, she’d bang her fists on the counter and go, ‘Can you just check me out, please?!’

So, I turned around at one point and told her what was happening. I told her, ‘This man is having what I think is a heart attack, and I’m on the phone with 911.’

And she went, ‘Well, can’t you just check me out real quick?’ and then informed me that she has to meet someone for lunch in a few minutes. I just shook my head, and continued taking orders from the 911 operator. She did this the entire 10 minutes it took for the ambulance to get there– just kept banging her fist on the counter to try and get my attention. It used to infuriate me whenever customers would bang on the counter to get my attention, it was one of my pet peeves, but I was double-ticked that she was doing it during that situation.

When the paramedics finally got there and got the man on a gurney, I went back up to the register, and she chewed me out because she had to wait ’10 freaking minutes’ to be checked out. I’m not sure what kind of self-absorbed little world she lives in, but I was furious at her behavior. That was one of the most selfish things I’ve ever seen.”

She Had An Interesting Reaction To Being Caught Shoplifting

“I worked in an Old Navy for quite a few years. We weren’t particularly known for our thorough loss prevention, so some people had gotten quite comfortable openly stealing in front of employees.

Eventually, loss prevention turned over to new management and kicked into overdrive. They had squads of people who would team up in stores to attempt to catch a few people so the word would spread and we’d see a few less shoplifters.

They were running this operation at a store in a low income area, when suddenly a lady in her mid 50s came in and started shoving random things in her purse with little regard to her surroundings, shoes and tops hanging halfway out of her purse. When she tried to leave, loss prevention stopped her at the door and informed her that they had notified the police and she needed to remain there until they arrived. She immediately said, ‘I have to go to the bathroom,’ and as they tried to tell her that wasn’t an option she started screaming, ‘I’M POOPING!’ and crapped herself.

They escorted her to the bathroom, since it’s a single room without windows and she had no chance to escape. They figured this would be an opportunity for her to clean herself up, and this was mostly for the police, so they wouldn’t have to have to soak the car in bleach afterward. After the police arrived, they realized she had been in the room for a while and wouldn’t respond or unlock the door. Management opened the door with a key and found the woman covered in her own poop, which she has also rubbed all over the walls, ceiling and floor.

People are freaking nuts.”

She May Have Overestimated Jeff’s Capabilities

“Woman bought a shed. I asked for her loading bay number and she said she hadn’t driven. Asked her if she needed the number of a man with a van or something. She said her husband could carry it.

I stared at her and said very slowly, ‘Madam, it is a building.’

She insisted that I was being ridiculous and demanded we bring it up so her middle-aged, slightly chubby husband could carry it out the store as they only lived ‘about ten minutes walk away.’

We brought it up, with extreme difficulty, and she asked me, ‘What’s that thing?’

I said, ‘That’s your shed, madam.’

‘There’s no way Jeff is carrying THAT!’ Oddly she decided to pay the money to have it delivered.”

“After 30 Seconds, I Was BEGGING This Guy To Stop”

“Right out of college, I worked two years in a high-end retail home electronics store. On day 10 of my employment, a well-dressed, professional-looking man came in and started asking me about amplifiers. I did my job, asked him qualifying questions, etc. We made our way to a display room where I started showing him a couple of items I thought suited his needs. Within ten seconds, he started trying to pull amplifiers out of their ‘nooks.’ They were all hooked up, by the way. Politely, I told him they were connected, he ignored me. A bit less politely, I told him they were integral to our store display, and he ignored me again. After 30 seconds, I was BEGGING this guy to stop trying to pull our amplifiers out of their display areas and he just wasn’t hearing me. He was reaching and grabbing and pulling our display amps and I got more and more desperate. Dude was literally breaking tens of thousands of dollars worth of wires and electronics. Finally, I grabbed his arm. ‘SIR, PLEASE!’ Dude spun around and tried to hit me. That’s when I went from confused to ticked. I yelled for my general manager as I took the customer to the ground. His armload of electronics fell on and around us. Even after I had him on the ground, he kept reaching back toward the amps. His eyes were glassy, dude was disassociated or something. My manager eventually came in, saw us wrestling on the floor, and yelled, ‘Oh crap! It’s HIM!’ The cops showed up a few minutes later, looked at the customer, greeted him BY NAME, and took him to the psych ward. Apparently, he was a known quantity. Nobody bothered to warn me that Houston, Texas had a high-end electronics fetishist.”

You Run Into The Most Interesting People At The Grocery Store

“Worked as a cashier at a grocery store. I asked a woman once how her weekend went. She replied with:

‘Well, I have to take care of my mother and my mother-in-law full time because they’re on hospice and I can’t work because I have spinal meningitis and the pain is too bad. This weekend I had to drive my sister to three different hospitals to see specialists for her cerebral palsy and visit my uncle who has eye cancer.’ Now here it’s important to note that this woman was buying nothing but sixteen gallons of distilled water. ‘That’s why I’m buying this water. I use it to make a tea that cures cancer. I can see you have freckles, so you’re going to get skin cancer someday. Let me write down the recipe for you. It really works! My uncle was supposed to die a year ago, but hasn’t because I make him this tea.’

Cancer tea lady came back and told me she had adopted an 11-year-old dog with fifteen puppies that would have been put down without her because it had cancer, but she had cured it with her tea and she was not suffering taking care of the fifteen puppies.

She came back again, buying ten trays of chicken that she claimed she couldn’t touch because she was allergic to all meat and it would make her skin rot.”

They Wanted Him To Commit A Felony Just So They Could Get A Tree

“I worked in a large grocery store. In another part of the city was a smaller drug store owned by the same company, but we are separate (Hy-vee and Hy-vee drugstore). The drug store has a pretty extensive garden center outside with trees. They also closed at 9 pm, while we were 24/7. So late at night, this older couple from out of town came in, wanting to buy a tree from the drug store, but they were closed. There was nothing I could do about it except say sorry, they open again in the morning. ‘But we live hours away!!’

Then they actually wanted me to drive across town in the company van, somehow break through the locked fence, and steal the tree for them. This was at about 10 pm, and they were serious.”

This Just Proves It: Couponers Are The Worst

“It was Thanksgiving Day at Walgreens and we were having our ‘Brown Thursday’ sale. I had a line from my register backed up to the coolers. You’ve all been to Walgreens, so that’s 5-6 aisles back. All because this lady had a MASSIVE transaction on all of our advertised on-sale items. She had a crap load of coupons and, in total, it took about an hour and a half to ring up and scan each coupon she had. At the end, her ‘calculated’ total she penned in planning this transaction didn’t add up correctly. Then she noticed she missed a coupon in her purse. That’s when she said, ‘Well, we’re going to have to start all over again.’ Our system wouldn’t allow us to merely type it in extra because she would be dipping into the sales tax on the transaction. The only way to get all of these coupons in there would be to start the whole stupid thing over. This lady had 15 people behind her needing to check out. You could see people ticked that they were having to wait. Those that heard her request we start the transaction over again flipped out, I flipped out, my manager flipped out, we ALL flipped out. It’s THANKS-FREAKING-GIVING and these people just wanted to pick up a soda or something to take home to their family dinner, while this lady wanted 22 bottles of freaking shampoo. We couldn’t believe the balls on this woman to ask us to start over a nearly 2-hour transaction for a 50 cent coupon. Not only did we refuse and have to put back everything she left, since she was a regular shopper at my store, my manager ordered that she shop a little lightly from then forward. She was so ticked, but never have I experienced a more intense case of, ‘Oh, screw you’ in my life.”

Her Amazing Deal Just Wasn’t Amazing Enough To Please Her

“I work at Macy’s in the women’s shoes department. Our customer base mainly buys clearance items and rarely spends more than $40. Every day, I watch as customer after customer asks if they can use coupons, get an extra percentage off of the price, or any discount possible. Now, one customer took the cake over every other one. She came to me and asked for 18 different clearance shoes. As I work off commission, and this was a pretty large sale, I basically ran around the stockroom to gather these shoes. I brought them all out neatly stacked in their boxes and rang them up at the register for her and her total came to $236. This is where things went south. She asked if she could use her 20% off coupon. Now normally, heck yeah you can use that coupon, but on this day, we were having a sale. All clearance shoes were marked down 80% and were roughly $10-20 per pair, so coupons were prohibited. She then SCREAMED at me until I called my manager. Like calling me every name in the book, telling me I’m a freaking idiot, that I shouldn’t be allowed to work there because I must be moron, everything. My manager finally came and when she explained that coupons weren’t allowed for this particular sale, the woman bought all 18 pairs, for $236, but made someone else ring it up so I wouldn’t make commission on the sale. Little did she know the other salesperson rang it up using my ID number; dumb witch.”

Milk Can Be A Touch Subject For Some People

“I used to work at a grocery store as a bagger. This guy said he wanted his milk in a bag, and he had a lot of stuff, so when I finally got around to the milk (’cause prioritizing and all that jazz), I wanted to confirm that’s what he said. It just slipped my mind, so I asked again.

He proceeded to yell so loud that the next two lanes got quiet and they were all staring at what was going on, ‘Are you freaking stupid? You have hearing problems? Where is your manager? They should fire you for being so stupid. I already said I wanted it in the bag.’

For Pete’s sake, I just want to make people happy. Of course, the jerk manager was working that day, so he didn’t say a word, even though he watched it go down. I at least had the sympathy of the checkers from the other two lanes.”

This Mom Should Have Set A Better Example

“I worked at a really popular clothing store for about 3-4 years. I have plenty of bad customer experiences, but one always sticks out in my mind.

Everything was going normally one busy Saturday until I walked into a very large puddle. Obviously, a puddle about a yard wide isn’t supposed to be in the middle of a clothing store, so I ran to tell my manager that there’s a leak somewhere.

What I hadn’t noticed before was how the puddle was mysteriously coming from a woman and her 2-3-year-old son. I thought, ‘Great, a big puddle of apple juice, that’s going to be sticky as heck.’ As we walked up to tell the woman, we soon saw the entire front of her kid’s shorts were soaking wet. We put two and two together and realized this toddler had peed himself and all over our hardwood floors.

My manager was livid at this point and confronted the lady. She and her son were Hispanic, so she acted like she couldn’t speak English, even though she was able to have a small conversation when I greeted her as she walked into the store. This didn’t deter my manager, he was able to get his point across through basic signing even as she still acted like she didn’t know what was going on.

The most awkward and annoying part was how she didn’t leave. She just kept shopping, like nothing ever happened and basically destroying every display that had clothes she was interested in. There would be a nice clean table with perfectly folded clothes and she would go and dig through a whole stack to look at one shirt in the size she wanted, only to just toss back onto the mess she had made.

Luckily, my manager asked her to leave after this and she was able to understand that because she left right away. He also didn’t make me clean up the pee, which was awesome, and he cleaned it up himself. Overall 0/10, retail really sucks sometimes.”

“This Was An SAT-Level Word Problem” That She Expected Them To Solve For Her

“I was working at Bath and Body Works, and we had a bunch of promotions going on. The sale signs would say things like, ‘Buy 3, get 2 free or buy 2, get 1 free’ and then in small print, ‘Save up to $xx.’ You could mix and match items in certain groups, and some of the items were the same price, but not all of them. The cheaper items in any given group became the free ones. On top of this, we had coupons- some were XX% off, some were spend a certain amount, get an item free. Only one coupon per transaction could be used, but we would do separate transactions per customer so they could use multiple coupons. We really tried to help customers get the most bang for the buck.

One day, in the middle of the Christmas rush, this lady came up to the counter with three bags of stuff and dumped it out on the counter. She held up a handful of coupons and said something along the lines of, ‘If I have these coupons, and the sign says save up to $XX if I buy three of these, then how many sets of this and that do I have to buy for my total savings to equal $XX, including the coupons savings?’

I just stared at her. This was an SAT-level word problem, and I failed high school math. She was deadly serious. She wanted to know what all of her savings would be in various combinations of purchase groups. I wound up having to get a manager, who essentially told her to shut up and buy her stuff or get out. They got into a big argument about how we should get our calculators out and do all this insane math for her, or it was bad customer service.”

All They Could Do Was Watch As The Whole Thing Went Down

“So I used to work at a video game store and I had a few weird ‘did that just happen’ moments.

One slow day, while the manager and I were just trying to keep ourselves busy, we heard an alarm go off in the phone store a little further down the center. About 15 seconds later, this real shady dude walks into our store, hands in his coat, followed by two security guards who were just watching what he’s doing at this point. Formally mentioned shady dude walked to the back corner of the store and started shuffling a few game cases around to make it look like he was going to buy something, then proceeded to, in full view of us and the security guard, slip the stolen phone behind a slightly empty shelf spot, put his hands back in his pockets and tried to leave. One of the guards stopped him while the other got the phone from behind the game cases. They told him that they knew he stole the display phone (they don’t actually work, but it’s still stealing, obviously) from one of the tables. The shady guy started yelling, ‘You’re just out to get me, this is messed up! Ask the guys behind the counter, they know I didn’t steal it, they were here the whole time.’

I sorta just stood there, dumbfounded, trying to compute what just happened while they ushered shady dude out of the store.”



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