"Everyone likes a man in uniform" may have gone a little overboard with these stories. The protagonists here were mistaken for being employees because of their uniform or maybe just because of their appearance. Nonetheless, they were wrongfully judged and had to deal with the consequences of not helping out a patron, even when they weren't supposed to. The worst part, is these customers weren't understanding or accepting of the fact that THESE PEOPLE DIDN'T WORK THERE. These poor misunderstood individuals were berated and reprimanded for reasons they could not comprehend. Thankfully, though, these poor victims of mistaken identity got their revenge in the end. Content has been edited for clarity.
"A while back, I was a server/bartender at an upscale restaurant. I was dating another bartender and was good friends with two of the managers. The owner was a pompous jerk but had two locations and was almost never at my location. The other one was in the trendy part of town so of course he had to be seen there.
We had this one lady who loved to come to the bar. She would tell anyone and everyone working that she was friends with the owner (actually true) and used that to treat everyone like dirt. Snapping fingers, calling out, 'Hey you, I need another drink.' All while bragging about the car she drove, the presents that her boyfriends would give her. Since she was actually friends with the owner, we just took it. We knew she would get most, if not all her tab comped, and she never tipped, so we just shuddered when she walked in. She had two steady boyfriends and a third that seemed to rotate. She was good-looking if you like fake parts. We had a couple inappropriate nicknames for her. When she was with a boyfriend, she was only a bit horrible, but when she was alone, she would get really off her rocker and tick off other patrons or hit on the older men to the point that they would leave, affecting our tips all night. It's one thing if I know it's just one tab I'm getting shafted on, another thing entirely when you affect my whole night.
Fast forward about 8 months. I left the job to go back to school full time but my girlfriend is still bartending there and I would go in frequently to have a meal on the cheap and a free drink or two. One of these nights she shows up.
Lady - (Snaps at my GF) 'I need another glass! Quick!'
GF (who is taking another customer's food order) - 'I'll be right there in a minute!'
Lady - (looks at me) 'You, you work here! Get me a drink!'
Me - (watching the game on TV and eating my dinner, ignoring her)
Lady - (gets in my face) 'You! I was talking to you! Get me my drink!'
Me - 'Ma'am, I don't work here anymore.'
Lady - 'Yes you do! I see you working here all the time! GET. ME. MY. DRINK. Don't you know who I am?! I know the owner!'
I look at my girlfriend, and give her a little smirk as if to say 'may I?' and she nods back. I didn't want her to get in trouble but the friendly manager was working that night and the owner was nowhere to be found. The stars had aligned.
Me - 'I don't work here and since I don't, let me tell you what everyone who does work here thinks of you! You are the singularly most obnoxious guest that walks through these doors. We call you the explicit nickname behind your back. You're a weaselly gold digger, and fake from head to toe. We count down the minutes until you leave. (I turn to the boyfriend that's with her that night). You know she has at least two other boyfriends, right?'
Apparently, no one has ever talked to her like this before and her jaw was on the floor. You can see the hamster wheels spinning in her tiny brain and knowing the whirlwind I have started, so I sit back and take a long sip of my drink and prepare to get reamed out. But before she can start, her boyfriend goes, 'WHAT?!' Apparently he did NOT know about the other boyfriends. So what I thought was going to be a rant filled tail-chewing coming my way turned completely 180 on her. He starts going off on her and the restaurant is dead silent listening to him ream her out. How could she be sleeping around after all he has done for her! Cars, condos, presents! After all that, she was messing around on him! He storms out and she runs after him. That was one of the sweetest drinks of my life
After story: Of course she called the owner and complained about me, but he confirmed I no longer worked there. My girlfriend got written up for 'allowing' me to talk like that, but she never came back to that location. I was 'banned' by the owner, but since he was rarely in, I still got to go hang out with my girlfriend and manager friend."
"My buddy (B) breathes martial arts. Some people love cars, some people love biking, he collects martial art forms like people used to collect beanie babies. The word obsessed would be aptly applied.
At Walmart, our wandering protagonists were picking up some drinks and pork rinds. (B) was wearing a blue muscle shirt with a long sleeve undershirt and black, baggy surfer shorts.
While scanning the selection of drinks, the desired brand was spotted, but was trapped behind a pallet jack that had a few cases of something or other on it, left behind by one of the employees for some reason or another. Wanting to liberate the libations, (B) started to push it a few feet down the aisle so he could free the poor, trapped beverages from the shelf.
STOMP STOMP STOMP STOMP! Down the aisle came she.
She was wearing a loose, flowing pantsuit type thing, I don't know what they are called, but it is a one piece outfit with the fabric kind of loose and billowy around the legs so even though they are individual legs they kind of look like a dress when they move around. I remember the wide belt with the large silver buckle, the shoes that are high heels but not with the skinny stiletto heel thing, but the heel column is a lot thicker and made a loud clomping sound as they purposely hit the floor. And the pearls. I've never seen anybody wearing pearls at Walmart who was pleasant to deal with, but there they were, the wicked witch equivalent of a snake's rattle, a coral snake's stripes or a porcupine's quills.
She had seen (B) pushing the jack filled with boxes, made the requisite connections to open her mouth before engaging her brain and so the fun began.
'You! Worker! I need a few more things for my garden party, you can come back to this later, come find what I need.'
(B) could be surly when he felt like it, and right now he felt like it. Her harassment was delaying his drinking time and he was not in the mood. 'I don't know what your problem is, lady, but I'm not your servant.'
She didn't like this.
Face quickly turning red with anger she strode into his personal space and poked him squarely in the chest, three times, in rapid succession.
'You will not address me as "lady." I will not be treated badly by the likes of you. Now come with me, I will talk with your manager later. If you perform to my satisfaction, I might even let you keep your job.'
(B) mutters 'whatever,' as he turns away from her and takes a step or two down the aisle.
'How DARE you!' came the outburst. She reached forward and grabbed his shoulder forcefully, and I could see her nails digging through the thin under layer and probably cutting into his skin below.
With the grace of a defensive guard who moonlights as a ballerina I saw him twist his shoulders and do a kind of side-thrust motion with his hips and over his shoulder she went. It was a thing of beauty, clearly an instinctive reaction from being grabbed with pain induced. She landed, hard, with her arm smacking the boxes still stacked on the pallet jack nearby.
She screamed, an incoherent mix of a steam whistle and a frat boy whistling at a concert. She lay there on the floor, clutching her arm.
Running up came two guys (managers, I assumed) demanding to know what happened. (B) stood there glowering at his assailant on the floor, who continues to make sounds that did not resemble speech.
I stepped up and volunteered my observation: 'This lady demanded that he follow her around the store, poked him in the chest when he refused, he turned away from her, she grabbed his shoulder from behind and the next thing, I knew she was on the floor.'
You could see some small, fingernail shaped tears on his under layer. I found out later that there was some minor skin cuts and a drop or two of blood from where she scratched him.
One of the people must have had a radio because I heard him tell somebody 'call an ambulance and the police' as the lady was still unable to talk, doing nothing but whimpering and continuing to clutch her arm. The other guy said 'don't move' and ran off somewhere.
A few minutes later some cops show up. One takes me down the aisle and asks what happened. I saw (B) going several feet in the other direction with another cop, while a third was crouching down around the lady.
A few minutes after that the EMT's show up with a stretcher and do some EMT things, ultimately putting this woman on the stretcher. I wasn't paying too much attention as I was still talking with the cop, who, among other things, was writing down my name and address from my license. (B) was still with another cop, deep in conversation.
I was vaguely aware of the stretcher being pushed down the aisle and heard the cop who had been with the lady say something about 'cameras' to one of the guys who ran up originally.
A few minutes later, the cop who was grilling me said I was free to leave. (B) was still talking with the other cop. I started to walk towards him when 'my' cop told me, 'No, you should go that way,' and pointed down the aisle away from the other two. I didn't argue.
Near the exit at this particular Walmart was a Subway. I was hungry, so I did the obvious. While eating, I saw one other cop walk through the doors and head off in the general direction of the drink aisle, but other than that just the steady stream of oblivious customers flowing in and out.
After I ate, I got a call from (B) asking where I was. I told him and he said he'd be right up.
I saw him going through the checkout line with the drinks and pork rinds (priorities, right?), and then he came over to me. I was ready to go, but he wanted his own meal so I got a refill on my Coke and waited.
He told me that the cops kept asking him questions, took down his contact information, then one came back and then two others went with that manager-type guy for several minutes, then they came back and talked among themselves for a while, called somebody else, then told him he was free to go and that somebody would be in touch within a few days and make sure he answered/returned their call.
As far as I know nobody has called him yet. He's still annoyed over the fuss, a little anxious about not knowing what is happening/going to happen, but can't do anything about it besides wait.
He wants me to go to Walmart by myself next time. I'm going to make sure I wear my reddest shirt when I do."
"Cast: Me: Me
PO: Police Officer
CM: Countdown Manager
CE: Countdown Employee
I was at my local Countdown (New Zealand grocery store). I was in the bakery section when this woman probably in her mid 50s came up to me and said:
Karen: 'WHERE ARE THE MALLOW PUFFS?'
Me: 'First off, I don't work here, and second off no nee-' (she cut me off)
Karen: 'STOP LYING AND GO TO THE BACK AND GET THEM OR IMA SUE YOU!'
Then Karen yanks me back, making me fall over.
Me: 'WHAT THE HECK LADY?!'
This is when an employee comes over from the commotion.
CE: 'Ma'am, I'm gonna have to tell you to stop screaming or I'm gonna have to kick you out of this store.'
Karen: (on a calmer note) 'You can't do that, he punched me and if you don't kick HIM (pointing at me) out of this store, I'm going to sue.'
This is when the manager comes over from hearing this woman and seeing her pull me back.
CM: 'Ma'am, get the heck out of my store!'
Karen: 'A customer can't kick me out, so I'm not leaving!'
CM: 'I'm not a customer, I'm the manager and if you don't leave this instant, I'm going to call the cops and have you arrested for assault.'
Karen: 'That's unfair! He punched me! I never touched him!'
CM: 'Ma'am, I saw the whole thing go down, and he (points at me) never laid a finger on you.'
Karen: (Sputtering a bit) 'Fine, call the cops, they'll find out he's lying.'
The manager called and cops and the cops took us in different rooms for each of our sides of the story.
I don't know what Karen said but I told the cops that she pulled me back causing me to fall, all the while screaming her head off at me.
The cops then checked the security cameras to see who was lying and Karen was caught red-handed.
PO: 'Ma'am, you're coming with us.'
The cop then took Karen to the police car but not without her screaming and kicking. That's the end of my terrifying encounter with a KAREN."
"I used to work in the deli of a Publix down in Florida, which is a fairly large grocery chain in the Southeast. The Publix I worked in was fairly close to The Villages, which is the largest retirement community in the country. Probably something in the range of 2/3rds of all customers in the store were retirees. There was a larger than average number of rude customers, but there were a few regulars who were really foul-tempered.
Of the year or so that I worked there, a 70-ish year old woman came in every Sunday and ordered the same thing: a toasted chicken tender sub with shredded pepper jack cheese. She was also the pushiest woman I've ever had the displeasure of meeting. If there was a line, and she was forced to wait, she'd start yelling that we need to hurry up because 'some of us have places to be,' would loudly complain that 'the service here is getting worse every year,' would lean over the counter and snap her fingers at anyone passing by and snap, 'Excuse me! I've been waiting for service! Come here!' She also had a habit of whistling at people like they were a dog to get their attention.
Everyone hated this woman. She never said thank you, always found something wrong with everything you did ('This sub is burnt!' 'There isn't enough cheese!' 'I didn't see you wash your hands, I don't want that sub, go wash your hands and make me a new one!') And never even tried to be polite. Unfortunately Publix has a policy of 'Make it right' so we could never tell her to go forget herself like we so desperately wanted to.
Eventually I got fed up with every other guest being a miserable old piece of trash more interested in starting a fight than they were in getting their deli meats, so I quit. Three days after I quit, I came back in to Publix and stopped by the deli to give one of my coworkers his phone charger that I had borrowed. As I turned to leave, that woman stepped out of line and said, 'Hey! You work here, don't you? Come take my order.'
I said, 'Sorry, I quit a few days ago, I don't work here anymore.'
Her: 'I just saw you behind the counter talking to someone. If you have time to talk, you have time to help customers.'
Me: 'Sorry, can't help you. They'll be with you soon.'
I tried to walk away, but she stepped in front of me and grabbed my arm, then pointed her finger in my face and started screaming at me that I was the worst employee she had ever seen, that I always messed up her order, that I should feel lucky to have a job, and that I need to do as she said, or she would tell my manager.
I yanked my arm out of her grip, told her to go eff herself, then walked over to the customer service counter and told the manager there that there was someone harassing other customers in the deli line. He said he had heard someone shrieking about something and was about to go see what it was. So he and I walked back over to the deli and I pointed her out to the manager. After a short conversation in which he asked her if anything was wrong, she started complaining to him that I was rude and unwilling to help; he told her that I no longer worked here, she was disturbing other customers and had to leave, and wouldn't be welcome back.
She left complaining that Publix sucked, and she would be calling corporate to file a complaint, and I got a few texts from my old coworkers thanking me for getting rid of her. Glad to help, and see you never, you old hag."
"In my early twenties, I worked away from home a fair bit and was put up in hotels by my company. One morning as I dressed for work in an unusually (for the company) smart hotel, I realized I was putting on a white blouse and black skirt.
I went down to breakfast, got a table, ordered coffee and went to get my buffet breakfast - lovely fresh fruit and natural yogurt. I moved over to the juices to pour myself a fresh orange juice. A young woman who was pouring milk on her cereal said (over her shoulder, without even looking at me or what I was doing) 'Could we have some more milk here?'
Quick as a flash, I replied, 'I’m sure if you ask a waitress they’d be only too pleased to get you some.' I took my poured juice and turned to walk to my table as the woman turned bright red and stuttered her apologies.
Moral of the story: treat servers as the people they are - look at them when you make your requests and you may save yourself some embarrassment!
This story is old but still makes me laugh every time I think how embarrassed that poor woman must have been to ask another guest for milk!"
"I am currently a student, but in the summer I work in a relatively big retail chain with my sister, who is also like the 'manager' (boss) of that specific store.
The story happened on a Friday, when neither of us (me and my sister) worked, but my sister had to go in to register a new coworker into the system and I went with her. She also brought her 2 year old daughter because no one could babysit.
While my sister was doing the stuff, some of our coworkers played with her daughter, and they went outside to the retail area and bought her some snacks (her mother approved of this beforehand, of course). In the end, me and my sister purchased some stuff for home, and when we went to the cashier, that's when we met EP (entitled person).
There was only one cashier and a long line, so we told the only cashier to ring the bell twice (request for other cashier), and we went to the second cash register. The problem is, for us to go there, we had to cut in between two people because they were blocking the path. One of them was EP.
The moment we went in front of him, he started saying how we are cutting the line, etc. But the moment he realized that we are going for the other register, not cutting in front of the line as the thought, he instantly shut up.
The second cashier arrived, announced that the customers can also come here, and in that moment, EP was already behind us as the second person in line.
Remember the snacks? Well, my niece wanted to eat that little chocolate (which was already paid for, we have the receipt), so my sister opened it and started giving it to her. The moment the chocolate got opened, the following conversation started.
EP: 'Excuse meee!!'
Me: 'Yes? Can I help?' (Kinda forgot that I am not working right now)
EP: 'HoW dArE yOu OpEN tHat BeFoRe PayINg?'
Sis: 'It was already paid for, we even have the recei---'
EP: 'YoU are LyIng! YoUr IteMS aRe beInG ScaNNed NOw!'
Sis: 'Yes, but the chocolate was paid for before we bought these.'
EP: 'WhY wOuLD yOu BUy yOUr sTuFf in TWo ParTs???'
Sis: 'Because we work here, and we bought the chocolate when we arrived?'
EP: visibly rolled his eye, 'If YoU wOrK hErE wHy arEn't yOu iN yOuR wOrK cLoThes!?'
By this time the cashier scanned all of our items, and we were ready to pay for it. But before that, my sister gave the cashier her company id card, (loudly asking her to please scan this) which will give a 10% discount on the total when scanned at the end. The moment EP saw the card and the price going down on the monitor-stuff, the look on his face was priceless. The next day we had a pretty good laugh about it with my coworkers, and I haven't seen EP since that (happened one month ago)."
"My best friend and roommate works for a small independent print shop as a graphic designer. We live in the suburbs and the shop is located downtown about half an hour from our house. Often times I will be downtown for an appointment of some kind, and will ride home with her rather than take the train. Usually by 4, the only people left in the shop are her and a specific coworker, so I will just hang out in the front area of the shop with my laptop. At 5, they lock the door, and then both of them gather their things up over the next 15-20 minutes before actually leaving. They are often out of sight, packing up in the back.
Last Friday was one such day. At around 5:10 a lady came up to the door of the shop (a glass door.) She saw me sitting there and started tapping on the door. I looked up and mouthed, 'The shop is closed!' She yelled back 'I have a question!' I pointed at my wrist and said loudly 'I'm sorry, the shop closes at 5 and I don't work here!'
She grabbed the handle on the door and started shaking it as if she could magically make the door open, and then started pounding on the door again. So I set down my laptop and walked over to the door. She screamed, 'I only have one question, can you let me in so I can talk to you?' At this point screaming was really not necessary as we were only separated by a glass door.
I said, 'Ma'am, I don't work here, and the door is locked from the inside by a key I don't have. I can't let you in!'
She screamed, 'Why are you being such a jerk? I know you're closed, but it's ONE QUESTION!' Then, to emphasize her point, she slammed her open palm on the glass door.
Which absolutely shattered. Honestly I've never seen anything like it. It's not like it cracked and spider-webbed out, it just went to shards and fell to the ground. Fortunately I had stepped back. The lady blinked in shock and then started to speed-walk away. Fortunately we are in a massive metropolitan city, and I was able to follow her only half a block before I saw a police officer standing on the street.
The officer walked us both back to the shop with the woman ranting about how it wasn't her fault and if I had just let her in, blah blah blah. She called for backup and two more officers arrived, and by this time my friend and her coworker had come up front. They took another officer back to look at the security footage which is digitally captured, and that was pretty much that. Lady got arrested on the spot and I had to give a statement, and I'm told I'll probably have to testify in court on behalf of the shop owner to get a civil penalty added onto criminal charges and help them avoid small claims. Which I'll gladly do!"
"So as part of my actual job, my company sends me to different clinics to audit their invoices to ensure insurance companies aren’t getting scammed for unnecessary or unperformed patient procedures. It happens more than you know.
Normally when I’m at a clinic, they’ll stick me in an unused office or a cubicle so I’m out of sight and don’t interfere with their normal operations. However, yesterday during a clinic visit, they didn’t have anywhere to put me except the front desk with the receptionist.
This wasn’t a problem for me since it does happen on occasion and I’m just there to get the job done and head out. So, I’m sitting there in the front office desk looking over the clinic’s documents when the receptionist gets called back to assist with a patient. After a few minutes, I hear someone cough slightly to the right of me and look up. I’ll call her 'Karen' because she had the haircut and the attitude.
Karen (in a rude voice): 'I’ve been standing here for the past couple of minutes and you’ve yet to acknowledge me. You should be ashamed of yourself. Is this how this clinic is run?'
Me: 'I’m sorry ma’am, the receptionist just stepped out for a moment. She’ll be back soon. I can’t help you as I don’t work here.'
She looks me up and down like she’s judging how I’m dressed. I should mention that I’m dressed in standard business attire: blazer, shirt, tie, and black slacks with my company logo and name tag hanging from a lanyard.
Karen: 'How stupid do you think I am? You’re sitting at the front desk of a clinic dressed like that and you don’t work here? I should file a complaint against you with your boss.'
Me: 'Listen ma’am, I’ve already told you I don’t work here. Take it or leave it but I work for a different company (as I hold up my badge.) Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to get back to my work.'
Karen (now infuriated): 'How dare you?!!! Do you know who I am? My husband works with the owner of this clinic and he’ll be hearing about your poor customer service skills!!!'
Me (still looking at documents): 'Good for him. I repeat: I don’t work here. Wait for the receptionist.'
Karen (tries to change tactics and fake smiles at me): 'Look, I’m sure you’re busy so I won’t take much of your time. All I need to know is my daughter-in-law’s next OB appointment. It shouldn’t take you to long to find her in your calendar. I just need to know what time it is so I can be here to meet her.'
Me (now looking at her): 'Are you deaf? I’ve already told you I don’t work here and even if I did, you’re asking me to violate HIPAA laws. Do you know how serious that is?! You need to ask her directly if she’s actually willing to have you with her. Though I doubt it.'
Karen: 'You don’t know what you’re talking about!!! That girl should have told me when she was scheduling her first ultrasound. That’s my grandchild in there and I need to be here to see him! Now tell me when her appointment is otherwise I’ll have you fired!!!'
Me: 'You need help lady. You need to leave now before I have someone call security.'
Karen: 'You’re threatening me?!!!'
The doctor and receptionist hear the loud commotion and come out to the front desk.
Doctor: 'What’s going on here?'
Me: 'This woman doesn’t understand that I don’t work for you and she’s trying to find out her in-law’s appointment.'
Karen (now panicking): 'Your receptionist (pointing at me) has been useless and won’t give me the information I’ve asked for. HE NEEDS TO BE FIRED!'
Receptionist: (to Karen) 'He doesn’t work here. Doctor, I’ll take care of this,' and she intercoms the security office. 'Hi, we need a guard to come to office 123 to walk someone out. She’s disturbing one of our vendors,' and then she says 'thank you' once they confirm someone will be here shortly.
Once Karen realizes she’s about to be walked out: 'I'm not leaving, I have a right to know how my grandson is doing! I have a right!'
She starts shouting profanities at us for a couple of minutes when a burly security guard arrives and tells her to leave otherwise he’ll call the police on her for trespassing.
She refuses, so he grabs her by the arm and drags her screaming out of the office.
That was the last I saw of her but the receptionist called the daughter-in-law to inform her what just happened. After the call, the receptionist laughs and tells me that the in-law didn’t want the woman anywhere near her and her baby-to-be. It seems her and her husband are no contact, which explained part of the craziness."
"A few years ago, one of my buddy's dad passed away so I went to pay my respects. It's worth noting my buddy and I went to this fairly small church so all the kids grew up seeing each other at Sunday school. After high school, we all moved away for college and what not, but since we were all in town, we met after the service for lunch and caught up.
And, this becomes important later, our group is all Koreans and we are all dressed up for the funeral. So we went to a Chinese buffet in town to eat and catch up. Then, we get up, and go to pay.
So here we are, waiting in a line to pay, when SHE arrives. HER as the lady that just walked up, GROUP as I don't remember who all said what.
HER: 'I've been waiting forever already! Stop slacking off and seat me!'
HER: 'Stop standing around chatting and get to work!'
My buddy's baby sister, about 19 at this point, starts crying. Her dad just passed away, she held together long enough to give the speech before breaking down earlier. So she's having a rough day when the yelling started. And as stated previously, we all grew up together. The crying girl used to sit on my foot and hang on for fun as I tried walking with a little girl on my foot. So, she's everyone's baby sister and we are all very protective of her normally. Today, none of us are having a good day and seeing her break down crying at the funeral has us all turning our 'protective' up to 11. HER doesn't know it yet, but she is on INCREDIBLY thin ice. I don't see who said the next part as I'm trying very hard to hold it all together.
GROUP: 'Ma'am. We don't work here. We just got back from a funeral. She's crying because that was her dad's funeral.'
HER: (Starts saying a word when she notices what I imagine is the barely suppressed fury in our group.)
She leaves, we pay and take turns making sure the girl is alright. The nerve of some people, man."
"I work at a car dealership as a salesman, so I wear navy suits most of the time. After work, I went to a clothing store that has a similar dress code to my place of work.
I was approached four times in a matter of roughly 15 minutes. The first three times I explained the situation and moved on. Shortly after a woman in her mid 40s came up to me and asked if I could show her where to find a few things she needed to buy, this time I decided to play along since I didn't find what I was looking for anyways and was on my way out.
I can't quite recall the things she wanted to buy but it was pretty basic stuff, a few dress shirt's, a tie, a belt, stuff like that. She went shopping for her son who was about to start his first job and was 19 y/o and had according to her a similar physique to mine, so we went for the sizes fitting me.
After she had everything she needed she asked me which floor I would be bringing the items to. (In this store you usually only get the price tags and the employees deposit the items at one of the registers). This is where I told her from here on out I can't help her anymore since I don't work here, and she needed to hand them to one of the employees. She looked a bit confused, we talked for a few more minutes mainly me explaining why I haven't told her to get lost.
With all those Karens in this world, I thought I'd share my story to lighten the mood a bit."