Workers of Reddit share the stories when their companies had to add ridiculous signage to their business because of what a customer did. Some things seem like common sense and others are so unbelievable. See the necessary lengths that workers had to go to protect their other customers and their businesses. Content has been edited for clarity.
"My cousin, who managed a restaurant for years, told me about this:
On the hostess stand at the front they had a sign that read, 'we smoke our meats with premium applewood' with a small bowl of the wood chips they used placed right in front of it. The amount of people who would take a wood chip and try to eat it were staggering. It got to the point they had to keep a bag of the wood chips in the cabinet of the hostess stand!
People would sometimes put them in their mouth and spit it out embarrassed, and try to cover it up; some would laugh and say I shouldn't have had that last drink. Others would turn around, double down, and try to give the saliva covered chip to the hostess then complain that 'these mints are disgusting!'
So there is now another sign beside the bowl that reads, 'WOOD CHIPS DO NOT EAT' in red letters. Makes for fun conversation every night for the hostesses seating people who are new to the restaurant.
Unfortunately, they still need to keep an extra bag of wood chips at the stand and people still think they look like a great after dinner snack. Now when the double downers complain, the hostess just points to the sign and laughs. People never cease to amaze."
"Back in my community college days they had to evacuate a whole floor of a building because someone didn't understand how microwaves work. I was in class when the security guard came into our classroom and told us we had to leave the building and then immediately left. We were confused, so we started to talk about how weird that was. Then just like a cartoon character the security guard sticks his head back into our classroom and said, 'I SAID you need leave RIGHT NOW.'
So when we left we asked how long we had to leave for, and they told us it'll probably be like an hour. Our professor decided to just end our class because he didn't want to wait that long and man were we lucky. When I came back the next day I asked the receptionist about what ended up happening, and I was NOT ready for the answer.
They were outside for four hours and this was in the middle of the day so a lot of staff couldn't just go home since they had to be there until the end of day. Turns out someone decided to use the microwave in the student lounge to reheat something in a metal cup. They put it in the microwave and then left out of the lounge to do something else. The microwave ended up getting fried, and we lost the microwave for a few days.
When they got a new microwave they printed multiple 'DO NOT PUT METAL OBJECTS IN MICROWAVE' signs to put on and around the new microwave. Whenever someone would walk by all the signs they would comment about that's common sense and how no one is dumb enough to that."
"Back in the '90s, I worked in an adult video store. We had a sign printed on the entrance door up front that read, 'NO ADMITTANCE TO ANYONE UNDER THE AGE OF 18' printed in letters six inches high. It was never an issue.
Well, until one day...
I'm sitting behind the counter watching regular TV, and over the counter, I see what looks like a 7-year-old girl wandering around the aisles. And I'm thinking I'm having a hallucination. I mean no kid ever accidentally wandered in here before. So I figure it's got to be the first.
Nope, some guy actually brought his daughter into the store because he didn't want to leave her alone in the car while he was picking up a movie. And he kept saying, over and over, that it was okay for his kid to be here because he was giving consent as a parent. I told him that's not the issue, IT'S THE FREAKING LAW. If word got around that I was letting kids in here, I could go to jail. So he asked how was he supposed to pick up any movies if he didn't want to leave his kid alone in the car. And I said, 'SO YOU DON'T GET ANY ADULT MOVIES TODAY!' and threw him out."
"I used to work at a bank that had a large piece of furniture we called a check stand in the lobby where people could make out their deposit slips and endorse checks before they got to the teller window.
We had a lady that would come in every few days and make deposits and cash checks.
She told us one day that her bills weren’t getting paid, but we didn’t know what she was really talking about. Another day she was complaining that her bills weren’t being paid because they weren’t receiving her checks. We confirmed that the checks she wrote had never cleared. She said everywhere else she mailed her bills was getting paid.
Our mail went out from the mail room in the back, and we know she didn’t have access to that.
She said she was filling out her checks, putting them in envelopes, applying postage, and dropping them into the mail slots that were on top of our check stand in the lobby. We couldn’t figure out what she was talking about until we realized she was dropping her bills into the two holes that were for trash.
Every few days, our janitor would open a trap door at the bottom and all the trash would dump out, including her mail.
We finally had to label those holes as TRASH.
God only knows how many of her bills were going in the trash."
"A few years back, I worked in a family ran Irish pub. I was still quite new and getting used to the procedures at the end of the night (what chairs needed to be stacked where, how to take off certain nozzles to clean them, cashing the till).
We closed the pub at midnight, shut off all the lights, turned the alarm on, and put the shutters down. The next person to open the pub would be there for 8 am.
I come in for my shift at 5 pm to be greeted with a sign reading, ‘Please ensure to check the toilets at the end of the night for anyone still left inside before locking up.'
We locked a guy in the pub overnight who had pretty much passed out in the toilet.
He was found by the cleaner at 8 am who got the fright of her life. He didn’t even LEAVE the toilet the entire time, just slept right through."
"They had to put up a large sign at a local nursing home saying basically don’t let people out the door to outside without checking with staff. Evidently a resident, in a gown and wheelchair, asked a visitor to hold the door (with an alarm and a keypad/code to open) open for them, and the person obliged. The staff ran out and got the patient at the end of the driveway about to push out into traffic. The visitor actually said, 'I didn’t know she wasn’t allowed out.'"
"I used to work at an ice rink with a public skate. Normally during the weekdays, the people that come in are very nice and respectful, but the weekend is when the worst people would come out.
'Please Do Not Eat The Ice.' People would constantly pick at the ice with the rental skates and eat the ice like it was a snow cone. They would put it in their mouth and realize it tastes like chemicals. They'd come back to me and say the ice tastes terrible. I thought it was a joke until one of my coworkers told me that too many kids, and some teens were eating the ice and spitting it back out. Then came the sign.
'No Animals Allowed in the Building.' I'd hope it's common sense not to bring your dog into a public building, but I guess not. People would constantly bring their dogs in and then let the dog relive itself on the floor. When asked to clean up after the dog, the customer would just say, 'That's not my job.' One time, someone even snuck a dog onto the ice with the dog in socks. Talk about animal abuse, but no, you can't have a dog on the ice ever! Not long after that, we put up the sign. Service dogs allowed though.
'Please Do Not Hit the Vending Machines.' We had a few vending machines, and from time to time, the twisting mechanism would get stuck or something, so with the infinite wisdom that some people contain, they would start hitting the glass/plastic display of the vending machine with the blade of the rental skate, specifically the toe pick. My God, I didn't think people could be this dense.
'No Refunds after Skating.' If you pay in advance for like a party of 10 people and only 7 of them show up, I'd be glad to refund the amount for the three people, no big deal. But if you've already been skating for two hours, no you cannot get a refund. People would always come back to me with their lies like, 'My ankle hurts and I don't want to skate anymore, can I get a refund?' I looked at the timestamp on their ticket and said, 'Sir, you've been skating for an hour, no, you can't get a refund.' He replied, 'I don't see a sign saying I can't get a refund,' before he lifted up a piece of paper taped to prominently on the computer. 'Sir you just picked up the sign saying no refunds.' He said, 'I need a manager.'
Well, we have added a lot more signs around the place."
"I had a guy who would come in to my bookstore and lick one particular Jacky Kennedy book. He was a little off, and it was only ever that one book, so I just priced it at an extraordinarily high price point so no one would buy it and let it happen. I had the situation under control. Then one day one of my co-workers threw it out due to 'water damage.'
Long story short, nothing in the history section with one particular first lady was safe and I couldn't deal, so I printed out a 'Please do not lick the books' sign and put it over his chair.
This did stop him, but eventually, the store owner came in and asked WHY we had that sign up. I just told her it was a joke, and she had me take it down, but I secretly put it back up because how do you ask a mentally ill man to please stop licking the merchandise?"
"I used to work at pool inside of a hospital and an issue we had all the time was that senior citizens would like to 'get it on' on the public co-ed hot tub. And on many occasions, I had to break up a moment. Keep in my mind, we serviced children too. So now there is a sign that says, 'This is a public space. Please behave appropriately at all time in the whirlpool. This area is under surveillance.' We also had to put up a sign reminding people not to preform any personal hygiene in the hot tub after we caught a man clipping his toenails and another woman washing her hair."
"I used to manage an auto repair shop. Every morning I kept smelling horrible odors coming from the employee restrooms. It turned out that some employees who came from a place with unreliable plumbing were used to wiping their butts and throwing it into the trash. Not only that, they were using the dirty shop rags to wipe.
'Please do not wipe with the shop rags. We have to turn them in to be washed. Furthermore, they contain toxic chemicals and chips of metal. Please keep all feces out of the trash and use the toilet paper provided and flush.
Thank You, Management.'"
"I live in a rural wooded area, so it's not uncommon for the local wildlife to come meandering where they don't belong whether that be at home, at the general store, or even at work! Well, one day I was at my station just swinging and going to town when my supervisor came by to informed me of lunch as he does. So I dropped everything right there and washed my hands, then it was off to the fridge. That's when I noticed something was off. You see, usually the break room is crowded like church on Easter morning, so you can hardly move nowhere, but when I came close, it was dead silent, I mean I didn't hear anyone. There wasn't anybody in there. And sure enough, when I looked through the glass there wasn't anybody there. But guess what else? There was a wild boar!
Turns out, it being as hot as it was, the fellas had propped the door open. Well they also ate a lot of corn on the cob. Boar will typically stay away but I guess the smell of corn must bring them in quick as a whip because we had a boar in the kitchen.
My supervisor came by and put up a sign: 'Beware OF PIGS. NO CORN ALLOWED.'"
"There is a tunnel at work that's exactly eight feet tall, so most equipment and vehicles at the airport can fit under said tunnel. Well, there is one very tall piece of equipment that can raise a person, so they can get into the back door of plane and stock it with supplies. It's roughly 15 feet tall on its own before being raised.
We had one incredibly intelligent agent who tried to drive through this tunnel, smashing into it and shattering the glass above which is a walkway in the airport. Now, in giant lettering on the windshield it says, 'DO NOT DRIVE UNDER TUNNEL.'"
"My girlfriend works in an art supplies store where one of the walls is filled with all types of fancy paintbrushes. One day, this lady came in and spent a bit of time looking, so my girlfriend's coworker didn't pay her any mind while she worked at the register. At some point, she looked up to see this woman sticking the entire bristle end of the brush into her mouth, sucking it and then feeling it in her hands. The worker asked what she was doing and the lady informed her she wanted to know what they were like when wet, and had apparently done this to quite a few brushes already before she was caught.
The paintbrush wall now has multiple signs telling people not to stick them in their mouths."
"At my old library, we had to put up a '5 minute limit' sign on the single-stall restroom, since homeless people were bathing with the sink. One time my boss told me to knock when a patron was in there too long, and he yelled out 'Gimme another minute, I’m pooping and it’s a bad one!'
I left him alone."
"I was a volunteer at my local hospital. One of my main duties was to transport patients by wheelchair to various locations throughout the medical center.
One day, I was told to take this elderly woman to the imaging center. The main floor had a long winding corridor that went from the front of the hospital, all the way to the back. I was taking the patient to imaging and as I arrived, I realized that the door to the waiting room was too small for the wheelchair to go through. So, I had to use these automatic double doors next to the imaging center to get the patient inside. I pushed a button on the wall, the double doors opened, I wheeled the patient through a side door into the waiting room.
After dropping the patient off, I went out through the side door and I stood in front of the two automatic side doors. Now, I don't exactly remember if I didn't see a button on the wall or what, but I simply decided to push the doors open to let myself out into the main corridor. As soon as I pushed the doors open, an alarm started going off throughout the entire main floor, there were flashing lights, and a sound alarm repeating 'CODE RED.' I had no idea what was going on, and it did not click in my mind that I was the one who may have caused the alarm. All I did was push open a door.
I was walking back with my wheelchair and I started to see that every single pair of double doors that lined the entire corridor were closing by themselves. People were coming out of waiting rooms looking around confused as to what was happening, including myself. There were also some hospital workers walking around completely unfazed by the situation and had no idea as to what was going on. Eventually, the alarm stopped and I made it back to my station. I never got in trouble and nothing ever happened. I eventually realized that I may have been the one to cause the alarm to go off. Weeks later, I was volunteering, and as I was walking past the double doors next to the imaging center, there was a large red sign that said 'DO NOT PUSH THE DOOR!!'
Now I know"
"Back in April of this year, I got hired onto my new job at a bank. Things were going fine this one morning as we were opening up for the day. Our supervisor went out to open the front doors and this guy came in just as he did and asked to use our restroom. My supervisor being a really friendly guy (and just not really able to say no) punched in the code for the guy to access our bathroom.
A few minutes go by before we see the guy exit in a hurry. We didn't think much and continued working when one of the bankers got up and walked towards the general area where our bathrooms and back offices were located. He almost immediately came running back complaining about a foul smell. It was so bad everyone and anyone who came near it gagged. I had to run across the street to the gas station to get water because everyone was too afraid to go past the bathrooms and into the break room.
It turns out, the guy pooped himself and then threw his toxic undies into our trash can. My supervisor ended up having to tie the trash bag up and throw it outside.
About two weeks ago, this lady came in looking a bit disheveled and asked to use our restroom. She was holding what looked like some documents and I figured she has an appointment with someone, so I agreed. I walked around the counter to show her the way when I suddenly remembered our previous Mystery Pooper. Upon seeing her closely, I saw that these 'documents' were actually multiple newspapers rolled up around something. Thinking fast I turned to her and tell her that if she had an appointment with someone I could let them know, so they didn't cancel on her thinking she failed to show up. Not a peep from her as she stumbled into the bathroom. I returned to my desk and informed my manager and my supervisor.
We watched for a good 10 minutes to see if she came out. She did not. I got the idea to call the ladies who work in the back offices to ask if they saw anyone exit from the back door. They confirmed they had not. Five more minutes, one of the ladies (let’s call her Alice) stormed in and told us about a disheveled women running across the office and like some trapped animal escaping books it’s out the door and into the walking trail near our bank. Alice left to go back to her office but stormed back literally two minutes later and slammed a steak knife down on Tonya’s (our manager) desk. She told us how she walked into the bathroom and found that in our sink.
Needless to say, we let nobody use our bathrooms now and there are multiple signs."
"A weekend ritual with an old trio was to go to Target and well... bring the ruckus. We would just mess around and leave. But not this night. I decided to take the arms off of mannequins (roughly eight arms) and position them in various places throughout the store. My favorite was to put an arm near the make-up section with a blue light saber in its grasp. I could hear the worker's walkies going off all over the store. My friend that happened to work there at the time later said to me after I told him the story, 'Bro! That was you? We aren't allowed to put the mannequin's arms in any poses anymore. They can only be straight down.'
"I teach physics at a major university. I had to ask one of my students to please stop vaping in the lab because it's unsafe and illegal in NYC. He started giving me lip about how he was not a typical guy that smokes, he was actually trying to quit smoking.
I just told him to cut it out and walk away. A few minutes later some other kid started making fun of him for vaping in class, so they started yelling at one another and get into a fistfight. I have to break them up, kick them out, and get the dean involved.
Now we have a sign that says no eating, drinking, smoking OR VAPING."