Cashiers have to deal with a lot of awful stuff. Customers that are having rough days tend to take out their issues on people that they view as less powerful or less deserving of respect, and those in the service industry seem to receive a disproportionately large amount of these customer's frustration. These stories are from cashiers and others in the service industry that simply couldn't' take it anymore and fought back.
Due to the nature of these stories profanity was filtered and other edits have been made for clarification purposes.
Pick On Someone Your Own Size
“When I worked at Subway in high school, there was this guy in his 30’s that came in with his wife almost everyday. He was a prick and talked to you like you were an idiot. Not because he was in a bad mood either. It was just because he thought it was funny to be rude to kids working fast-food jobs.
One day I had enough and took his sandwich I was in the middle of making and spiked it into the garbage can and told him to eff off. He told me I couldn’t talk to customers that way and I told him, ‘I just did, you idiot.’ I took off my gloves and had another employee serve him his food. He left the shop, yelling at me threatening to get me fired.
He called the owner and dropped my name (we had name tags) and she told him that if I blew up on him like that it was probably deserved and asked him to not return. I for sure thought I was fired. Lucky for me the owner knew exactly what customer she was talking to and knew me well enough to know it takes a lot to get me irritated and that I wouldn’t do something like that for no reason.”
You Should Really Tip
“When I was working as an exotic dancer, we had our usual amounts of idiots that would come in. At least once a night you would have a complete prick just be rude because he saw you as less than human. I have many stories but one that sticks out for me was the time I had a customer sit right up front by the stage and not tip any of us girls. Well, club etiquette says if you’re sitting up front, the best seat in the house, you better leave a bloody tip. He and his bunch of buddies, about 8 of them taking up nearly the whole stage not tipping and blocking any would be tippers from the stage. Two dancers had already told the group to move, they wouldn’t.
Then it was my turn on stage, I’m up there doing my thing and go around for tips and they laugh saying that they don’t have to tip because they already paid door fees (us girls don’t see any of that money). Well, main perp had just come back from the bar with 8 hideously over priced drinks and puts them on the stage leaner that ran around the stage. There were signs clearly stating do not put your drinks up there as the stage is tiny and chances are they could be spilt by a flying foot.
Well, I saw my time to shine and did a complete sweep with my foot and knocked over all of the drinks in 1 swoop. Nearly $100 of drinks gone. Guy went crazy screaming and yelling. I smiled and said, ‘Oops’ and the bouncers came over now to see what the problem was, this guys nutting off saying that I did this on purpose, bouncer shows him the signs and the guy says he doesn’t care and that it’s still my fault. He’d caused enough of a scene that the bouncer picks him up and tosses him out of the bar, like literally tosses him, and all his friends got shown out.”
“This woman who used to come into the coffee shop I managed was the real-world equivalent of Dolores Umbridge. She was smug, obnoxious, and delighted in being a giant pain in the butt. She came in daily and had a ridiculously complicated drink order with which she was unnecessarily nit-picky about. She came in one day when our grinder was having issues (which I warned her about). I happened to be on register and not on bar and so my employee (who was my best employee at the time) made the drink. She took it and left.
The next day she came in and before she even hit the register she announced very rudely in my general direction, ‘You’re making my drink, right?’
I switched places with the person on bar in order to make it. As her drink was so wildly complicated, it took several minutes to make, throughout which I was told how terrible her drink had been yesterday, how it had ruined her day, how she’d lost faith in the company, etc. I apologized profusely and offered to comp her drink. That was not good enough. She told me she wanted the person who had made her drink before fired.
I… lost my temper. I more or less told her that I was sorry that her drink was not up to par the day before, but that I had apologized, offered a free beverage and had actually warned her we were having an equipment issue the day before, which was the likely culprit and not my employee.
She told me I must have woken up on the wrong side of the bed and I said, ‘No, actually you are a giant pain in the butt, your order is obnoxious and we bend over backwards to accommodate you daily (she had a whole list of things aside from the crazy drink; it had to be served with a certain number of napkins, her sleeve had to be facing a specific way, etc) and if that’s how you feel please take your business elsewhere. I frankly couldn’t care less.’
Coffee Umbridge tut tutted her way out of my shop in a huff and I didn’t even care if I got in trouble for telling her off (I didn’t).
The Pill Pusher
“I work in pharmacy.
I tell people calmly that we won’t be filling controlled medications for them early because no one is willing to lose their license over their Norco/Percocet/benzo of choice/Adderall.
They lose their minds. The best one was when the dude flipped out because his insurance wouldn’t pay for a non-scheduled prescription early, we told him it would be TWO WHOLE DAYS, and he lost his mind and started screaming at us that we would be the reason that he would ‘DIE, DIE, and that it would be ALL MY FAULT.’
I didn’t yell at him, I leaned across the counter and told him, in a quiet tone of voice, ‘No, your non-compliance and rage issues will be what kills you. And I will never, ever serve you again. You don’t get to scream at me, and you certainly don’t get to refer to me the way you have and expect anything from me.’
He called me a wench (after calling me everything but a child of God, I hate overly dramatic buttholes), and I told him, ‘I may be a wench, but I am not your wench, and you still aren’t getting your way. No matter what the pharmacist says (because he is jelly-spined and passive), you are leaving. No one here, not the techs, not the other customers, and not the other pharmacist, is here to put up with you. Get. Out. Before I call management, and they call the cops.’
The pharmacist finally stepped in and told him to leave, and that he was no longer welcome. That is the ONLY horrible customer I have EVER seen him transfer out. And there are several who are like that he needs to get rid of and won’t.”
Dollar Store Dental Work
“There was a hotel next to the restaurant/bar I worked at, which often would bring in crews of construction workers and other types of traveling workers. Most behaved themselves just fine, and some of my favorite regulars were seasonal workers who stayed next door. There were crass, classless individuals from time to time, though. Usually a quick comment that they’re in a restaurant, not a sports bar, was enough to calm them down, but not this group. They came in on a Friday, were loud, rude and vulgar, making passes at waitresses and irritating other guests. I ended my shift while they were still there, and when I arrived the next day, I was informed that they followed a waitress out to her car, and wouldn’t let her leave. They blocked her from getting into her car, and when she finally was able to get past them, they stood in front of her car and jeered, making rude gestures and remarks. Eventually the kitchen guys came out, and they left.
They showed back up the next night and I was instructed to deal with them if they came back after the GM went home, which of course they did. So we started with the usual deal, ‘You’re not welcome back due to your behavior, please leave,’ spiel.
The foreman (or whatever he was) insisted it was all a joke, and that I needed to get a sense of humor. His exact words were: ‘You need to go to the dollar store and buy a sense of humor.’ Whatever that means.
So this goes on for a bit, he actually had the gall to ask for a refund for the previous night. I declined and as this conversation continued, I began to lose my patience. The guy got more belligerent, and insulting, and repeated his weird dollar store comment multiple times. I finally lost my patience roughly the 400th time he said this, and said, ‘The dollar store, huh? Is that where you get your dental work done? You have 10 seconds to get the heck out of this bar before I call the cops.’ I could tell this was a sore spot for him, as he looks like he chewed rocks every day for breakfast. He deflated quickly, as several patrons and most of the waitstaff witnessing this laughed at him openly.
He left quietly and did not come back.”
I Tackled That Lady
“I was once a cashier at a smaller little store.
I was doing my usual routine helping customers, when this couple walks in. (It was a slow day so I just happened to notice them).
As I’m sort of walking around, asking if anyone needs help with anything, I see the couple from earlier just crashing their shopping cart into EVERYTHING. We had this stand up that held almost a hundred sunglasses and they just rammed right into it.
I asked the lady why she did that and she just stares at me for a solid 5 seconds, then spits in my face and flips me off.
I lost my cool. Nobody does that to me. I effing tackled that lady. Serves her right.
In the end they just ended up getting kicked out by my manager.”
Bring The Right Receipt
“The year was 2010. I used to work at Ross during college. I was part of customer service. This woman walks up to return an item but she gives me the wrong receipt. So, I’m scanning this item and the receipt but they’re not matching in the system (the system was telling me that the receipt and item did not match). I was confused at first because customers usually have the right receipt with them when they return an item.
After a couple of minutes, I told her that I couldn’t make the return because it’s not the right receipt. That’s when she decided to flick a whole different receipt only inches away from my face as she was telling me I’m stupid, mind you. I’m the stupid one but she gave me the wrong receipt. As she flicked that receipt at me, my instinct was to protect my face because I saw a hand going towards me rather quickly, so I jerked my head back and snatched the receipt from her hand.
We had a half second stare down. During that short amount of time, I thought about Scarface from Half Baked and how he threw the burger at the dude’s face. I then decided to crumble the receipt and threw it at her face. The receipt hit her face bam! She looked shocked and that’s when I said, ‘Eff you. You could do your own effing return.’
I turned to my supervisor in customer service and told him ‘I’m taking my 15 minutes.’ So , I walk out, had a smoke to try to calm down. When I walk back in, the woman complained to the manager but it turns out that the customers in line actually started sticking up for me and they said she was being extremely rude to me. None of the managers ever said a word of that incident. No write up . NOTHING. I don’t think she will be shopping at Ross again.”
Entitlement Has No Place In A Coffee Shop
“Coffee shop. Saturday morning. Line out of the door. Lady barges through the entire line, throws her massive purse containing a small dog onto the counter knocking over both tip jars and several drinks (she’s wearing thick sunglasses…you know the ‘it’s fashion not that I’m hungover’ kind of daytime ultra dark sunglasses) and then says she’s been stuck in line for fifteen minutes and needs her drink now. Like barely even looking up from her phone. It was astounding.
I respond that she hasn’t been in line for fifteen minutes because the people she just cut in front of had been in line for far less than that. Meanwhile, my co worker is scrambling to pick up all of the stuff she spilled everywhere and I’m like, ‘Go to the back of the line or leave.’
She responds, ‘What?’ looking up from her phone like, stunned she isn’t getting what she wants, and then says, ‘I want this.’
I’m like, ‘Again, go to the back of the line – also we are out of that.’
She blows up and goes, ‘And you don’t even have what I want?! How hard is your job?’ Then she kind of laughs and looks around for backup…which was just, delusional. And I lost it.
‘You know what, that’s not my effing problem, get out of this cafe. You’re lucky I don’t use your stupid pocket dog as a freaking mop to clean up all the stuff you just spilled everywhere. Go call your daddy and have him take you Dunkin you entitled piece of garbage.’
The face she made as she paced around for a few minutes afterwards was priceless. She was absolutely stunned that someone had said something like this to her. Then she asked for my name and I tell her to ‘go eff yourself’ to which she replied that I was ‘classy’. And once again tried to get the other people in line to take her side by saying all kinds of bull and calling me all the names under the sun. I also want to point out that she was clearly well off. Like, this was not a situation where she deserved anyone’s sympathy for any reason.
I can’t say the other people in line started clapping but, no one was against what I did and the tips were good that day.”
Math Is Hard
“Back when I worked admissions for a popular tourist attraction in Hollywood:
(Guest hands me a coupon: $8 OFF PER TICKET.)
ME: ‘Your total is $44.’
GUEST: ‘You forgot to include the coupon.’
ME: ‘I included the coupon. Ticket is $30 (I point to the sign next to me) so for the two of you that’s sixty, minus eight and minus eight again is $44.’
GUEST: ‘Did you include the coupon?’
ME: ‘I included the coupon. $30 per ticket. Two tickets is sixty dollars, minus $8 and minus $8 is $44.’
GUEST: ‘Coupon is for how much?’
ME: ‘Eight dollars off.’
GUEST: ‘Right. So that brings the price down to sixteen.’
ME: ‘Um…no it doesn’t.’
GUEST: ‘Thirty dollars minus eight dollars, right?’
ME: ‘No. $22.’
GUEST: ‘Forget it. What’s my total?’
GUEST: ‘Did you include the coupon this time?’
GUEST: ‘How does it come to $44?’
ME: ‘Ticket price is $30. You gave me a coupon for eight dollars off, which brings the price down to twen–‘
ME: ‘TWENTY-TWO. There are two of you. Two tickets comes to $44.’
GUEST: ‘Not $16?’
ME: ‘Not $16.’
GUEST: ‘Why not $16?’
ME: ‘Because that’s not what math is!'”
“You’re A Nasty Young Woman”
“My manager came to my register and turned off my light to tell me to grab some carts from outside. She then put a rolling chip rack in front of the lane to block people from coming in. I’m finishing up my last customer when an older woman riding in a mobility scooter rolls up and weaves around the chip rack. I use my go-to response: ‘Sorry ma’am, I’m closed!’
She scoffs and said ‘You can’t take me?’
I said, ‘No, sorry, I have to go get carts. Register 4 is open though.’ Register 4 faces my register and is no more than 6 feet away with 1 person in line. She starts backing up and passive aggressively says (purposefully just loud enough so I hear): ‘Nice sign you have.’
I said, ‘We use lights here, and mine is off.’ She mumbled some more stuff under her breath and I walked away.
I grabbed the safety vest and came back to my register for my coat. In the 25 seconds it took me to do this, she was already being helped at register 4. She saw me coming back and said to the cashier at 4 in- yet again- a passive aggressive tone: ‘At least someone knows how to put their sign up. Thank you for taking me.’
I said, ‘We don’t use signs. My lane is blocked, my light is off, and I said I’m closed. What part about that is hard to understand?’
She said, ‘You were still operating.’
I said, ‘Well, yeah, I had to finish up my last customer.’
She replied, ‘You could have taken me!’
I said, ‘No, my manag–‘
She interrupts: ‘YOU WERE STILL OPERATING.’
Me: ‘My light was-‘
Her: ‘YOU WERE STILL OPERATING!’
She did this a couple more times before I said, ‘ARE YOU EFFING DEAF? JESUS CHRIST!’
She said ‘You’re a nasty young woman. Lazy. LAZY.’
I told her, ‘I’m a hard worker, actually, but okay,’ and went outside before I punted her in the face. I grabbed a row of carts and as I came back into the store with them, she was on her way out. I said ,’Man, look at me, such a HARD worker, pushing all these carts like my manager asked!’ Just beaming.
She said ‘OH, you’re NASTY. You better watch out or I’ll report you.’
I said, ‘For what? Being such a HARD worker?’
Her: ‘I’ve never been spoken to like this in all my life. Nasty, lazy, young woman!!’
Me: ‘Says the lazy bum in the scooter.’ She dramatically gasps and I went outside yet again for another row of carts.
As I was pushing that row in, her husband pulled into the fire lane, blocking the doors I needed to go through. I had to go behind his car. He started backing up and hits my carts.
I said: ‘Ooooooh, better watch out or I’ll report you for being in the fire lane and hitting me with your car.’ She complained, they both lied saying I ran my carts into them, and my managers thought the whole thing was funny. She’s actually given me issues before this so I wasn’t surprised.
The very next week, I was tidying candy up on my register and she pulls in behind me. ‘Is someone going to help me here?’
I told her, ‘Morning! Yep, that’s me! just fixing the candy.’
I walked around to my register and said, ‘How’re you, do you have a member card with us today?’ She didn’t reply.
I started ringing up her stuff and she said, ‘You guys don’t carry my cereal anymore. I can’t find it anywhere else.’ (it was a brand on closeout)
I said, ‘Oh, sounds like it may have been a closeout item the store is no longer selling.’
She paused. ‘Aren’t you supposed to ask if I found everything I was looking for?’
I told her, ‘Not necessarily, why?’
Her: ‘It’s your job.’
I said, ‘If you can’t find something, then ask and I can help or I can find someone who can.’
Her: ‘You’re paid to do it, so it’s your job.’
I said, ‘We aren’t given specific lines to say. We have our own greetings. You need something, ask. I’m not going to greet everyone with the same question 100 times a day and assume they all need help finding something.’
Her: ‘You need to learn how to treat customers better, your customer service is terrible.’
I asked, ‘Since when is a “Hi how are you?” considered poor customer service? Is that not enough?’ She started mumbling crap. When she was about to leave I said, ‘Have a good one, it’s a nice day for a walk.’ She can’t walk. I might not be going to Heaven for that one.”
“Had a customer come in to do a return on a toilet seat, not to me but the customer service person. She tells him store policy is we don’t do returns on seats out of the plastic. He starts telling her he just took it out to check it and it’s not the right shape. She repeats store policy and theres no manager here to override it, it’s literally impossible for us to return it.
He doesn’t like this and starts raising his voice and trying to bully her. She’s super shy and quiet so she kinda just shut down. The other cashier says very loud ‘It’s dirty, he didn’t just take it out. He’s a liar.’ He became incredibly angry. I reached over, hit her light and said ‘You’re on break, go upstairs.’ She protested but I repeated and she left. He said ‘What did that girl say?’
I reply, ‘Don’t worry about it, I’ll handle it later. We aren’t doing your return.’
He starts to protest again but I cut him off ‘I don’t care. I don’t care what you did or what you have to say. We aren’t doing your return today. You’ve got two options: take your toilet seat home and come back tomorrow and talk to a manager or take your seat and get out of here. Either way you’re leaving here with the freaking seat.’
He left, managers became required to be there on weekends, and someone bought me some M&Ms.”
The Turkey Bandit
“I used to work at a dollar store that sold food, and I rang up an older lady who had a rather large order. I bag up all her items and tell her have a nice day, blah blah blah. One of the items she bought was lunch meat, spiced turkey to be specific. It was a really disgusting flesh color with flecks of acid-red peppers all over it, real slimy looking even in the package. She bought four packages of it that I double-bagged with nothing else in the bag. This turkey is important.
I move on to the next customer and don’t think anything of it. The lady comes back 5 minutes later, slams her hand on my counter while I have another customer, and point-blank yells at me, ‘YOU HAVE MY TURKEY!’
I’m taken aback by her ferocity, and just go, ‘I’m sorry?’
‘YOU HAVE MY TURKEY! YOU STOLE MY TURKEY! YOU HAVE IT BACK THERE!’
‘No, ma’am. I do not have your turkey.’
‘YOU HAVE IT, I KNOW YOU HAVE IT, YOU LITTLE LIAR! IT’S IN ONE OF THESE BAGS HERE!’
At this point, she starts rifling through these other customer’s bags and I tell her firmly, ‘Ma’am, these are not your items, you may not go through them. I guarantee you that your turkey is not on my counter, it is not in my bagging area and it is not in my go-backs. Please go check in your vehicle. It should be in a bag all by itself, double-bagged.’
‘YOU CAN’T TELL ME WHAT TO DO MISSY! I’LL DO AS I PLEASE! YOU HAVE STOLEN MY TURKEY AND I DEMAND YOU GIVE IT BACK!’
‘Ma’am, I do not have your turkey, and you are welcome to come check behind my register for yourself. Otherwise, please go check your vehicle.’
She storms off, I finish with 2 more customers, but then she comes back.
‘IT’S NOT THERE! I CHECKED EVERY BAG! YOU’VE STOLEN MY TURKEY FOR YOURSELF! YOU’RE HIDING IT UNDER YOUR REGISTER SO YOU CAN TAKE IT HOME AND EAT IT!’
At this point, I was fed up with this woman and knew I was most likely never going to see her again, because that’s just the nature of the store I worked at so I responded, ‘Ma’am, I’m a vegan. I don’t eat meat, and even if I did, the turkey that you are accusing me of stealing from you is the nastiest looking food to ever cross my register, and I’d rather hurl. You can either go get more turkey from the freezer or you can leave.’
‘I WANT YOUR MANAGER!’
‘My manager is currently on a bank run, and I am the most senior cashier on the floor. Either go get more turkey from the freezer, or leave.’
She chose to leave. Never saw her again. I quit that job about 4 months later, and Hurricane Harvey destroyed the building. I don’t miss it. Not one bit.”
That Is NOT My Job
“I was a fragrance vendor at a large chain department store (think famous Christmas movies).
The thing about fragrance vendors is we actually work for the fragrance company and not for the store, so I didn’t report to anyone in that building or company I was working with.
It was Christmas time, probably around the 23rd when customers get desperate and crazy and where employees have been abused every day since Black Friday so we just don’t care at all anymore.
I noticed a man waiting by the fragrance register though there was no store employee. I asked if I could help him and he said he had purchased a gift card at another register, but they hadn’t given him an envelope to put it in. I said no problem let me check if we’ve got any here (not technically my job, but I’m nice enough to do it). Lo and behold, we have 0 gift card envelopes.
ME: ‘I’m very sorry sir, but it appears that we’re out at this register. Other registers might have some—’
MAN: ‘THIS IS FREAKING RIDICULOUS I BUY A GIFT CARD I SHOULD GET A FREAKING ENVELOPE TO PUT IT IN YOU PEOPLE ARE THE BIGGEST IDIOTS I’VE EVER MET—’
ME: ‘Sir, it’s the twenty-fricking-third of December. We are probably out of these envelopes everywhere. I don’t even work for [Big department store chain] so I don’t have to listen to you yell at me.’
I walked off but I saw him deflate and shuffle off ashamed.”
Move On With It
“I was doing supervisory work in online retail customer service. We had a customer escalated to me about an item she received and changed her mind on and the first agent hadn’t let her return the item.
The sticking point on her account was that this lady had a ridiculous ratio of returns and we had started to restrict her ability to return things. Any-who, she’s going off about how awful the first agent was, and how terrible I was, and how absurd our policies were. She’d gone on for about ten minutes, and I was literally just flipping through tabs on Amazon and half-listened to the tirade.
Finally, she starts raising her voice and screams at me, ‘WELL, WHAT DO YOU EFFING DO WHEN YOU BUY SOMETHING AND CHANGE YOUR MIND, HUH?’
Again, I was basically zoned out for several minutes while looking over 28mm miniature terrain pieces so my filter had fallen. I immediately respond, ‘I remember that it didn’t work out and I move on with my life.’
She full-stopped her rant and her tone went straight to confused – ‘Well, what about when you want to return something?’
‘Miss, I haven’t returned a single thing in 32 years except Blockbuster rentals.’ She didn’t respond and hung up the phone.”