Anyone who has been to a Walmart knows that the place attracts some interesting characters. People are drawn to it for so many reasons. The endless selection, the low prices, and interestingly enough, because they can get away with just about anything. This has caused people to classify those individuals breaking social norms as the 'People of Walmart.' No one knows the characteristics of these people better than the Walmart employees themselves.
We wanted to see what they thought was the most obscure Walmart scene they've ever seen on the job, so we went through Reddit and found the craziest stories they had to share. This content was edited for clarity.
Ya Gotta Stay Fresh Somehow!
“I worked at Walmart in the garden department briefly in the early ’90s. I was going to take a break and walked past the deodorant aisle and I saw this huge guy, maybe 350 pounds, in a wife beater, put on some deodorant, put the cap back on and put it back on the shelf. I told my manager about it and he said it happened all the time.
Every time I buy deodorant now, I check it to make sure it wasn’t used or is in a sealed package.”
The Happiest Customer Walmart Ever Saw
“I remember once it was close to closing time, these two guys came in. I didn’t mind, the guys were usually quick and only wanted food. To my surprise, they came to my cash register, and one had shoes in his hand and a tag. Whatever. I notice he’s really jovial and couldn’t stand still longer than two seconds. Finally, figure out he’s completely wasted. The other guy was his friend and thankfully sober.
The hammered guy excitedly says he’s wearing the shoes he bought so that’s why he’s carrying his other ones and has the tag. Well, that’s no big deal to me. People do that all the time. So I said okay, and wasn’t really paying attention to what my screen said and politely said, ‘May I put your shoes in a bag with that tag? Just in case?’
‘Yeah! What an AWESOME idea! Thanks!’ He paused and started bouncing like a little kid, ‘Can I show you my new shoes?! Can I? Can I?’ His friend shrugged and shot me a look.
Well, seemed harmless, right. I said sure to humor him. He then showed me PINK SLIPPERS. No kidding. I stared and then pasted a smile, ‘Yeah, they’re nice.’
He’s absolutely giddy with excitement and just as I was going to point out something, he grabbed the bag after paying and shouted, ‘THANK YOU!’ Then proceeded to run outside as happy as can be.
In the pouring rain.”
“Oh That’s Baby Guy!”
“I worked at a Phoenix-area Walmart in the late 2000s. We used to have a customer come in dressed head to toe in a baby outfit complete with a bonnet, a pacifier and adult diapers. It was a middle-aged white guy. The first time I ever saw him I freaked out but everyone else what like ‘oh that’s baby guy.’ Apparently, he was a normal guy with a wife and a baby and one day he just snapped and decided to live the rest of his life as a baby. He would pay people to come to his house and change him and feed him in a high chair. He was a minor celebrity in the area before he passed away.
He was a strange dude. He had a bit of money if I remember correctly.”
He Saw Every Type Of Person…And Animal
“I worked at Walmart for five years and saw:
-A woman with a live goose in her shopping cart. She said it was a service goose and the store can’t ask to see papers so we had to let it happen.
-A guy with a live goat in his cart. Again said it was a service animal.
-A guy whacking one out in the bathroom.
-Another guy walking around the store in just an overcoat with no pants or shorts on and pretty sure no underwear. It was just enough to cover the naughty parts. He was walking around with his hands in the coat’s pockets and I’m pretty sure he was working up the courage to flash someone.
-I was stocking candy once and a kid with his parents came down the aisle. They kept looking and stuff and the boy said he needed the bathroom. Mom told him to hold it. Well, they kept looking at candy for seven or eight minutes with the boy getting louder and louder about the need to pee. He finally went all over the floor.
-Another time I was in the parking lot and saw a car pull out of a parking space and drive right into one of the light poles. No idea how anyone could miss it as they are painted yellow for a reason.”
Little Man With A Lot Of Power
“I saw a dwarf security guard take a flying leap into and beat the living heck out of a 60-year-old black man in a Hawaiian shirt who was trying to steal about 600 dollars worth of steak.
The steak guy, he did this once a month or so. He would just fill up his shopping cart with steaks, briskets, pork ribs, etc, head up to the front, act like he was going to check out, then barrel through the exit doors and dump it into a waiting truck.
They never got a clear plate and were trying to catch him in the act.
I was working my counter and heard behind me, ‘Sir don’t do it. Just step away from the cart.’ Walmart security was plain clothes and has no legal authority. They can detain you, and defend themselves, but they can’t restrain you. You can leave whenever you want, from what I remember.
So I turned around and I saw this guy with the shopping cart full of steaks, and he was looking cagey. He was starting to stammer and came up with excuses while simultaneously trying to play it off.
‘Sir just come with us, please. Let go of the cart, sir.’ The guard trying to get him calm was the head of security there. He was a chill guy in his 30s but built like a brick house. You might think he was chubby if you looked at him. You wouldn’t dream he could bench like 340+ lbs.
So the steak guy, he made his break. He tried to blow past Mr. Muscles, and they end up going into a stack of DVDs.
Then came Eric.
Eric was a…I’m honestly not sure he would qualify as a dwarf, perhaps just a guy with a growing disability. He was about 4 feet tall, max. He would look like a 12-year-old except for the fact that he was completely yolked. He was one of those just ‘itching for action’ type guys. He seemed like he had something to prove.
So MuscleChubs and Steak Guy are now down in the DVDs, and steak guy goes to get up, and here comes Eric. I’m probably wrong, but I swear in my mind I heard ‘nyyyyyYAYAAAAAHHHHHH!!!’ and little Eric lept through the air, both feet out, and just cannonballed this guy in the chest feet first. He went down again. I heard Mr. Muscles yell ‘Eric No!’ as he scrambled onto the guy’s chest, and just started THROWING little hands into this dude’s face. Just beating him up.
This was not what they teach you to do in Walmart security (loss prevention I think is the official department). Eric was fired pretty much immediately. Walmart got sued, and they’d had been better off just letting the guy run out with the steaks.
But boy what a show.”
Don’t Commit A Crime While You’re Committing A Crime!
“I worked maintenance at Walmart. One day I was out retrieving carts when loss prevention called out for help. She caught our pharmacist stealing a bottle of dish detergent. They struggled. Hard. Way harder than the situation called for. During the struggle, the pharmacist’s jacket came off and numerous pill bottles scattered across the parking lot. So that was how we found out the pharmacist was scamming us of pills to sell on his own, and he got caught for a freaking $2 bottle of dish soap!”
Dale Was Quite The Employee
“I worked in the Garden Center at a Wal-Mart and we had our own gate entrance as many other Garden Centers do. Since we had our own entrance we had our own greeter, let’s call him Dale. Dale was in an electric wheelchair and was a Vietnam Vet, he had an accident after the war that involved his neck so he was pretty much a quadriplegic, but his arms did work a little and he could check receipts with them. Dale took nobodies junk, so we would always mess with him to get him going, our favorite move was to sneak up on him when he was sleeping and jack up his wheelchair with a pallet jack so he couldn’t go anywhere. Dale took his job very seriously, and one day someone tried the ole Wal-Mart dash with a big stereo system as they had no car waiting outside. I’m pretty sure they figured they could get out of our door because of Dale’s condition and all but little did they know they were messing with the baddest employee Wal-Mart had. Dale tore after this guy through the parking lot with his chair, nipping the backs of his heels with the metal footrest. The guy had no choice but to ditch the massive box and full-on sprint away from our attack quadriplegic.
Dale then got in front of the box and pushed it with his foot rests all the way back to the store as happy as he could be. RIP Dale.”
He Saw Too Much In His 4 Years
“I knew those four years at Walmart would pay off eventually.
I worked at the service desk, so I dealt with/saw some of the most epic people of Walmart junk imaginable.
1) I had a couple attempt to return a half empty and exceptionally sticky bottle of KY because they said it didn’t work and it still hurt when he put it in her butt. I stood there for a solid thirty seconds holding a half used bottle of KY that was bought and used to shove something up this woman’s butt before I regretfully informed them that I couldn’t possibly process this return. I handed them their KY back and then went to the bathroom to dry heave and wash my hands.
2) I had a middle-aged guy come in and ask for a paper job application because for whatever reason he didn’t feel comfortable using the online kiosk. Ok, whatever, it’s a slow night and I don’t have anything to do. I scrounged up a paper application and he started to fill it out at the desk. We shot the bull while he was filling it out; he was funny and we had the same taste in books. Once he got to the question ‘Have you ever been convicted of a felony?’ he paused and asked me if he should answer that honestly. I told him yes, because if HR ran his name and found something then he would be ineligible for hire since he lied. He then proceeded to tell me he had been convicted of a felony. I shrugged, whatever dude. Welcome to the Walmart freak family, homie. Then he mentioned he violated someone, actually, multiple people. At this point, I took a step back. Then he said not to worry because he preyed on guys so I was fine. Then he calmly went back to filling out his application as my eyebrows met my hairline. I went to HR the next day since I was good friends with the HR manager and we ran his name through CaseNet. He was not trolling, I am sad to say. That wasn’t uncommon at my Walmart though, we had a lot of convicted felons at my store. 99% of them were really nice, served their time and were trying really hard to walk the straight and narrow. HR really only refused to hire these type of offenders. They had to change that policy went one of the managers got herself on the offender list. She got on it because she was having an affair with a married man. So in order to make it kinkier, they would go from our town to Town B and get a hotel room for a day or two. Now apparently they were into, exhibitionism, we shall say. And for whatever reason, they decided to get their thrills by banging it out on the grounds of the hotel. Like in the bushes. Not in their room. And whilst they were getting their Discovery Channel on a family with children happened to walked by on their way to check in. Two unclothed adults fornicating in public in front of children, BAM. Offender list.
3) We had this customer, we called her Huffy because she would come in and huff the aerosol dust remover that people used to clean their keyboards, get high, and then pass out in the bathroom for a few hours. I should also tell you that at the end of our parking lot was a small grassy median, and on the other side of the median is a Burger King. Remember this note.
Well, management and loss prevention got tired of ole Huffy coming in and stealing dust remover and taking up valuable bathroom space. So the next time she came in a manager and a loss prevention associate was on her like flies on poop. Somehow, that wily ole Huffy was able to partake in a few cans of dust remover before the two associates moved in. Once Huffy saw two employees walking towards her she took off, with Walmart’s best giving chase. I’m not sure why they chased her honestly. It was probably a slow day for them. The electronics worker who saw this all go down got on his walkie and radioed us up at the front and said she was going down and was moving towards us.
I didn’t have anybody at the desk so I moved out on the floor just in time to see Huffy and the two associates streak through the doors. I ran to the door because I am not one to miss a show. I saw Huffy get in her car and make a break out of the parking lot, clipping two cars as she made her escape, leaving two winded Walmart workers watching her drive off into the sunset. I was rooting for her. In my mind, anybody who’s willing to go that far for a couple cans of dust remover deserves to have them.
Now believe it or not, but someone who has just huffed two cans of dust remover isn’t the best driver. I watched the car start to swerve halfway down the parking lot, then straighten out as Huffy floored it. She jumped the median and slammed her car through the back wall of the Burger King, coming to the stop in the vicinity of the kitchen. Hands down one of the better attempts to escape the long arm of the Walmart law I’ve seen.
After working at Walmart nothing surprises me anymore. I have a theory that every Walmart is the same universe with all the same scenarios just with different people. Because every Walmart worker has at least five stories that a worker in a different state can say, ‘Yup, that happened at my store too.’ Walmart is a heck of a place. Mine especially during its golden age. Managers who steal, employees banging it out in the stock room, more illegal substances than you could possibly imagine, Poop Man the Barbarian (a senior citizen who would destroy the men’s bathroom on a weekly basis; he almost caused one of our custodians to have a mental breakdown)… it was the Wild West of retail. Some Walmart employees even chose to date/hook up with many employees. It’s a small enough pool that at some point you’ve banged someone at least two other workers have.”
The Pinnacle Of Parenting
“A mom came and dropped her two sons, I would guess they were maybe 5 and 8 years old, off at my Gamestop while she went to shop at the Walmart across the road. She left them there for three freaking hours. One of them pulled over a 4-way shelf by climbing on it and nearly crushed his brother, so I made them leave because I couldn’t deal with the possibility of one of them hurting themselves. I told them to go across the road and go talk to the greeter at Walmart, and that he’d help them find their mom because they weren’t allowed to stay in my store anymore. Mom came back a little while later to yell at me for daring to make her children cross the road by themselves. I threatened to call CPS on her for child abandonment.”
The Reaction No Man Expects When He Catcalls Someone
“I’ve been catcalled in the daytime while working. I worked in the produce section so I had on those green aprons and my hair up in a ponytail. Know what’s great? The look on a guy’s face when he realized he just whistled at my butt while I was stocking shelves, except I’m a dude. I’ve been called miss, mam, darling, hey hot stuff, and more.
It would usually be an, ‘Excuse me, darling….’ they would follow up with an apology right away and it’s all fine. I couldn’t help but laugh at the people who balked and didn’t know what to say.”
Forced To Quit
“My mom worked at Walmart for about a year. She actually liked it as she was more active, but she decided to quit after the jewelry department manager had a meltdown and started throwing jewelry at customers. One old lady got pelted in the head with a heavy ring box and it was over.
Turns out the manager was selling the jewelry to friends and family, but would keep the boxes and stuff them with rocks and trash so inventory would stay the same. She had the meltdown before she was caught.”
People Will Do Anything For A Few Bucks
“I used to work at Walmart corporate HQ and sat with a group of loss prevention associates at our shareholders meeting one year.
I asked what was the most ridiculous thing any of them had seen returning to the store.
The winning answer was an opened box of rubbers because they were TOO BIG!
I personally witnessed a woman returning a half-eaten birthday cake because it ‘gave her grandma the diabetes’ and she had to go to the ER.”
He Knew How To Make An Entrance
“I lived close enough to work to go home for lunch. On the way back, I turn off the highway onto the feeder street in front of Walmart. An SUV comes barreling out of nowhere, blew through a stop sign, cut me off, and sped into Walmart’s parking lot. He pulled up to the front and parks. Not in a parking space; literally in front next to the entrance doors. I parked and started walking in to clock in, anxious to see the guy behind the wheel. Out steps a dude with no shirt, wearing shorts and high heels.
Gets a pack of smokes and leaves.”
The Surveillance Video Was Too Good
“I had to convert surveillance video footage to DVD for an attorney a while back. It was footage of a lady, clear as day, cracking open a bottle of olive oil, pouring some out on the floor, then putting it on a nearby shelf. She then looked around and walked over to the spill and slipped and fell. So funny to watch.
It was one of those projects where I was calling people over to my desk, ‘You gotta see this!'”
No Means No! But Not To Him…
“I once worked in the fabric/sewing department and was asked to cover Hardware while the guy was on break. I wasn’t trained on how to mix paint, so worst case scenario I bother the guy if need be. Easy enough right?
Not even 10 minutes later an older (65+) customer came up asking about a vacuum in the aisle. I went to see if I could assist him with his questions.
He asked if he could open it and try it out in store, I said no. He opened it and started assembling it right in front of me.
Of course, this was the moment my coworker came back to find me staring dumbfoundedly at this old man.
Just to elaborate, the exact question he asked me was, ‘Will this work on the carpet?’ I said yes. He then asked if he could open the box and try it on our NON-CARPETED floor. I politely said no. Then he proceeded to open it without skipping a beat.
My coworker shot me an exasperated look, shook his head and went to speak to the customer. My coworker was a 65+-year-old, no-nonsense man so I’m sure he knew how to deal with it.”