People are not lying when they say that there is no worst job than retail. The insane things that these retail workers have heard will have you laughing and cringing on behalf of these poor workers.
Cut Down On The Viagra!
“I worked as a cashier in a motorway branch of Waitrose for about a year. At 8:30 on a Sunday morning a 55yr old man came in and we got chatting while I was bagging his items. He was complaining about being hungover because it was his father’s birthday 92nd the day before and they’d stayed up drinking whiskey until the early hours of the morning. The man told me that his father had recently been in hospital due to a heart murmur and that the doctor had told the father ‘Don’t worry, you’ll be fine – just, for Christ’s sake, cut down on the viagra!’ The father was a widower who had married a ‘Hot, young, 70 year old’ a few months previous, hence the recent viagra use” (source).
“My husband sells specialty cheeses. One day, a middle-aged woman was having a hard time finding some fancy-pants buffalo milk cheese, and my husband had just happened to get an order in for it that day. She was thrilled. ‘You’re such a good boy,’ she said. Then she asked for a few more suggestions for a cheese platter. He put one together for her. She kept saying, ‘What a good boy’ and that sort of thing. My husband, who has a touch of social anxiety, was horrified and had no idea what to do. At the end of the interaction, she rubbed one of his shoulders and said, “You made mommy _very happy _today,’ winked, and then left. Once he calmed down, he realized it was probably one of the best, most hilarious interactions he’s had at work” (source).
Far Too Fabulous
“I had a girl about the same age as me come up to me and tell me the following: ‘You are far too fabulous to be working here.’ Best compliment I have ever had” (source).
Best Thing Since Sliced Bread???
“A customer came in and was being really rude and sarcastic, blaming me and the other cashier for things that were clearly out of our control. It was my third day on the job and I was near tears, but I held it together and cranked up the politeness as high as it would go. As he left, two cops began talking loudly about how rude he was, clearly meaning for him to hear. Once he was gone, they said to me that even if he thought he was special there was also a million others out there like him, and not to let it get to me. It really made my day and helped whenever I had to deal with someone who thought they were the best thing since sliced bread and I was the sh–t on the bottom of their shoe” (source)
“I will always remember that”
“I had a rather obvious transsexual come to my counter (that may not be the right term, but it was a somewhat masculine looking man dressed in women’s clothing). I was as polite and friendly as I could be and spoke to them like any other customer. When he (again, sorry if I am incorrect) left, then paused, looked at me and said ‘Thank you. Thank you so much for treating me like a human being, you made my day.’ I will always remember that” (source).
“It’s not a mat sir. It’s a cape”
“I work at a water slide and we have to make sure kids don’t drag the mats on the ground. So I saw a little guy walking with the mat ends on his shoulders and the other end dragging. I told him to pick up his mat and he turns and calmly says ‘It’s not a mat sir. It’s a cape, I need it to fight crime’ greatest kid ever” (source).
I’ll Call You Later
“So I work at a call center. I do inbound, so I don’t get people who are super angry that I called. I get super angry people calling in because there was something wrong with whatever service they were supposed to be receiving. I was having a pretty bad day when I got this call. This woman swears right away which is always a bad sign… She sounded like a little old lady, but she was swearing at me. Then she apologizes and tells me she’s got the mouth of a sailor. She proceeds to tell me all about her life. I do not know how much was true, but her story was awesome. She ran away from home and lived with a gang of bikers. No big deal. Because of her I got to spend 2 hours just having a great conversation instead of dealing with angry customers. At any rate we talked for over 2 hours. One of my longest calls. At the end of the call she says that she wasn’t ready yet for us to come out to her house and that she would call back when she was. Awesome” (source).
“An older man (60ish) bought me flowers on Valentines Day and gave them to me in the store. He said he had always ordered them for his wife, and this was his first year without her, and it was too hard not to order them again this year. I accepted graciously, and gave him a hug” (source).
“I was working at a Starbucks and I had these people come to the drive thru order 2 venti coffees… Very simple, they got their coffee and left. I walk to the front of the store and see them zip out of the drive thru lane and speed to the closest (handicapped) parking spot. Then they come in and start screaming at me since I was the supervisor at the moment. They were just going insane saying we made their coffee wrong. I did everything I could to try to appease them, but no luck and it continues to escalate. The lobby meanwhile is full of customers, regulars and some people waiting in line, but these women jumped in front of everyone in line and were screaming at me at the top of their lungs calling me racist and sexist. My dad was conveniently sitting outside at the moment, came by when I worked usually to get a cup of coffee even though he hates Starbucks coffee. He is able to hear them yelling from outside. He comes up to the counter and interrupts these two women and says to me ‘Excuse me sir, but there seems to be a car illegally parked in a handicapped spot. Do you have a security number you could give me?’ Now one woman is outside yelling at my dad, and another is yelling at customers who asked them to please be quiet because they were working on homework. Security showed up, parked behind the car so they couldn’t leave, cops showed up, women arrested. And finally peace. Best part is my dad pretending to be some random person getting those women out of there, and the customers that came to our defense and the hugs and cigarettes they promptly gave me when it was all over and time for a break” (source).
Truly Amazing Cop
“I was working at a Pizza Hut and this group of guys came in demanding a discount. They were totally unfounded, and my boss wasn’t there so I couldn’t just defer them to him. Anyways, this guy starts screaming at me that he’s with some Students Organization and that means he gets a discount. After like 15 minutes they give up and walk out. A cop was right waiting until they left, and came up to me. He said that they had been doing this at a few places. He technically couldn’t arrest them for being annoying a–sholes, but while they were in there yelling at me, he had their car towed for being parked illegally. That cop got free pizza” (source).
Have A Good Life
“I was working one day and give the generic ‘Have a good day.’ This woman responded with ‘You know what, have a good life, too. There’s too much bad in the world and one day isn’t enough. You gotta have a good life.’ Totally made my day” (source).
Cutest Little Thing Ever
“I had a little girl wanting to give me a hug one time and her parents wouldnt let her, I was just being sent to my break and they were my last transaction before it and as I was walking away and the little girl was crying because she couldn’t hug me. She then yelled ‘I love you!!’ She was the cutest little thing ever” (source).
“I was working at Tueday Morning (an overstock/discount store similar to Marshall’s) and also debating whether or not to marry this guy who I hadn’t been dating for very long. He asked me to because he had to move across the country and wanted to be together and whatnot. So, this lady comes in. She has NO idea about my situation, but she apparently knows one of my coworkers. She starts talking to him and I kind of casually join the conversation. She started talking about her recent divorce. She ended up saying, ‘Yes, I got divorced. I knew my husband for 15 years before I married him, only to find out after marrying him that I didn’t REALLY know him at all. Yet I know people who have gotten married after knowing each other for 2 weeks who have a long, successful, and happy marriage. The point is, you can know someone for 10 days or 10 years. You’ll never know who they really are until you get married, and even then, you might never really know them. Basically, life is short. Take a chance. If you think something is right, go for it. If you end up being wrong…oh well. Better than never knowing.’ I ended up marrying the guy and we are very happy together. Thanks, random lady!” (source).
Baggers CAN Be Choosers!
“I bag groceries at a grocery store. One day a man came in and I asked if he wanted paper or plastic bags. He said ‘You pick this time. Because today, baggers CAN be choosers'” (source).
“I worked at a Borders Books for around six years and in all that time I’d met some incredible people and some really sh–tty people but one guy in particular will always stand out. The guy was in his late 30’s early 40’s and came into my store just around the time that we started getting busier for the approaching Thanksgiving/Christmas rush. I was in charge of all our multimedia sections in the store. I was hovering in the music section when he came in looking for a particular opera singer and a specific song. Over the years I’d learned that this usually meant only one of three things, either someone was getting married, having a birthday or a funeral. I had also learned to not make assumptions about what it was for because that could easily lead to unnecessarily awkward moments. Anyways, back to my customer. He couldn’t remember the girls name only that she was very young for an opera singer and had appeared on quite a few popular talk shows etc. Usually this wasn’t a difficult search but for some reason it wasn’t being nice that day so it ended up taking much longer than I had anticipated. Fortunately my managers had become accustomed to my customer service style so when I felt I needed to I would stay with a customer for as long as it took to make sure we exhausted every option. His search seemed important to him so I stuck with it. We dug through pages and pages of Opera collections, new releases, talk show guest lists and on and on until I was finally running out of small talk so inevitably we came around to why he was looking for this particular piece of music. Apparently it was his moms favorite and she had just passed away two days before. He nearly broke down telling me that searching for this music was the only thing keeping him sane. We stopped searching for a while and stood in the classical music section talking about his mother and how close they were, the things they had done together when his dad had passed in order to keep busy, traveling etc. During this entire exchange we never introduced ourselves by name, to this day I don’t know who he was or even really remember the specifics of what we talked about. We jumped around from subject to subject until we were both in tears from laughing or remembering people we had lost. At any rate he realized that we had been talking for a long time so he apologized profusely for taking up so much of my time and thanked me for trying to help him find the piece of music he needed, this was the third or fourth place he’d been so far, but now he would let me get back to work. I felt awful that we hadn’t found what he was after so I asked him if he was going to be around for a bit longer and he figured there was no harm in just browsing through the CD’s in case he got lucky. We shook hands and said goodbye and then I did what any well meaning bookseller would do and ducked in back to quickly scour the internet in a last ditch attempt to find that cursed CD. I finally succeeded in finding ‘Charlotte Church: Voice of an Angel’ which luckily we had in stock and ran out of the back office to find the guy who was already in line with a different classical CD that had ‘Ave Maria’ on it (the specific piece he wanted.). I’ll always remember the look on his face when I asked him if this was the artist he was looking for, kinda what I imagine people look like when Ed McMahon shows up at their door, and he was happy beyond words. We took it to one of the listening stations in the store so he could hear it just to be absolutely sure and as soon as he started tearing up I knew we had hit the jackpot. I took him to one of the empty registers and we chatted a little more while I rang up the CD (Came to like 15-16$) and without any explanation he starts pulling twenties out of his wallet and putting them on the counter, I start trying to explain that I only need the one and at first he muttered something I didn’t hear so I took one of the twenties and finished the transaction. He then scoops up the almost awkwardly large pile of money on the counter and hands it to me. I asked him what it was for to which he replied, ‘Thank you. Thank you so much.’ The rest of it was a little un-intelligible but I heard him say how happy he was. After shoving the money into my hand and me trying to tell him politely that I couldn’t accept it he grabbed his bag, said thank you again and left the store leaving me with what ended up being a little over $300. I was freaking out a little bit at this point not sure what to do with this huge wad of cash in my hand and not sure who to tell. After being a little frantic I decided I should donate it and since we had a book drive going on at the time I called over a supervisor and told him what happened. He agreed and we started ringing up bargain books, after about a $120 dollars or so he totaled the transaction and told me to keep the rest. I ended up buying the staff coffee from our cafe and when my dad picked me up that night from work we went and got dinner and I was having some money troubles at that point so the rest of his gift paid off two bills. That was probably the most incredible moment I’ve ever had in retail. Like I said earlier in the post I still to this day have no idea what that man’s name is but thank you. I will never forget that day” (source).