Working in retail usually means being underpaid for working long hours on your feet and dealing with the insane public. Way too many people treat retail employees like dirt. Usually these people are big babies who can't handle the real world.
These are their stories. We curated some of the most insane stories from people that work in retail describing the biggest child-like meltdown they have ever seen a customer have. Temper tantrums on a massive scale. They will shock you and embarrass you for your fellow humans. This is what happens when adults act like 5-year-olds.
"I worked at a grocery store when I was 16.
We closed early on Christmas Eve but had to wait till everyone is out of the store, obviously. We closed at 7 and around 8, we're at the door telling people that we closed 1 hour ago to be with our family...
Well, this entitled snot rag laughs and says he just needs a couple things and pushes past me. My boss saw got in front of him and said, 'Hey, we closed a while ago, sorry.'
The guy keeps trying to walk past us, and finally it ended with me and a few other people literally dragging this guy out of the store as he is screaming.
It kind of killed everyone's Christmas spirit."
"A woman in her early 30s threw a tantrum like a toddler in a high-end shopping mall because her husband told her she couldn’t spend anymore money. It was Christmas and she’s literally on the floor screaming at him. She’s screaming, 'Arnold, you said I could spend $25,000 and I’ve only spent $22,00! I need to get my brother the computer and my aunt wants that new coat! Arnold! Arnold! ARNOLD! YOU SAID!'
Now, Arnold is about a few months shy of his 60th birthday. He looks almost identical to John Pinette, except grumpier. He’s on the phone with his back to her as she screams on the floor. He’s holding one hand out towards her like, 'Give me a minute,' and is overall unfazed. He turns around, looks her up and down and says, 'Can you shut up for a second!' and then keeps on with his phone conversation.
She continues to yell, and sob and make a giant scene. Mall security shows up and Arnold kind of points at her, walks away and keeps on with his phone conversation. They tell her she needs to leave immediately and she’s throwing out, 'I spend more money here than anyone of these people! I’m not leaving! Arnold! Arnold! Get these people away from me.' Arnold continues to ignore her.
She ended up getting kicked out, basically carried as Arnold followed her with her bags. He did not give a hoot. This must happen often."
"I work in pharmacy, so every day I see adult tantrums, but one stands out more than the others.
A lady comes in every 45 days or so to pick up her prescription, and, based on the directions, we have to bill for a 25 day supply to the insurance. Her insurance says they will only cover it if she makes it last 30 days. So I call the doc to get the ok to say, 'must last 30 days' on the bottle. They approve, I bill through insurance, and save her about $130.
She gets to the register, and as I'm patting myself on the back for doing a good thing, I walk over and tell her the good news, that it's now a 30 day supply, and since it's through insurance, it's $0 copay instead of about $130. I explain that since she's been picking up every 45 days or so, she won't even notice the difference.
Lo and behold, I saved the devil herself reincarnated $130. She screamed at me for 5 minutes about how she only wants me to fill what the doctor says, despite me getting the doctor's approval. She mentions that she always has problems with us (but still comes back) and was screaming so loud at me that all the managers in the store could hear her, even on the opposite side of the building.
I changed it back to the original 25 day supply, charged her $130, and then spent the rest of my day wondering what it must be like to have the disposable income to just drop $130 unnecessarily."
"Working retail, we have certain days that we can do military discounts. We offer military discounts everyday except Tuesday and Thursdays, since we have bigger sales on those days.
So, on a Tuesday, I get a woman who came in with toddler in tow, pushing the little munchkin in his stroller. She asked me about several items and then chose something. At the register, she asked about a military discount. I told her the product was cheaper today since it was 30% off original price. If she wanted a military discount, it would only be 10% off original price and she would have to come back tomorrow. I told her I could hold the item for her for a week if she wanted to wait to pick it up.
The lady starts screaming and smacking her hands against the counter, upset that I’m not applying her military discount. Appalled, but totally used to this nonsense, I repeated that if she wanted the military discount instead of the sale price, she’d have to wait for tomorrow.
The lady puts in a few more choice words then leaves with the baby. Only to come back 5 minutes later with her husband who then proceeded to cuss me about as well. All in front of their toddler. Once he began threatening to kill me for not 'respecting' him, since I wasn’t giving him a military discount, I called mall security. They scampered off after that.
Biggest tantrum I’ve seen. They even pulled a shelf down before leaving."
"I sold computers in my college bookstore one semester. One day, a well-known law professor came in to purchase a new computer.
He was known for his involvement in politics and was one of the more prestigious professors at the university. Anyhow, I sell him a new machine and he is pleasant and curious about what to get. It was a good sale and he was a nice man until the next day.
The phone rings and I answer it. It's him ranting and raving about the computer I sold him and how the university bookstore had ripped him off and sold him a computer that wouldn't even turn on. It was pretty terrible and caught me entirely off-guard. He finally demands to speak with someone in charge and I happily pass transfer the call to the supervisor of the department. My shift ends and I go home. It's a day or two before my next shift.
When I return a couple days later, I ask what happened, if I was in trouble, and if everything was OK. I really loved the job and was a little worried about it. The boss said the professor railed him for a long time before finally demanding that someone go to his office and pick up the piece of junk personally, so my boss went. He said he went into the office where the professor was still in a tizzy, walked over to the machine, plugged it in, turned on the computer and left without saying a word.
Yep, the story about forgetting to plug in a new computer really does happen because it happened to me. To the professor's credit, he did return to the store and personally apologize to me about the entire thing. He said he was intimidated by technology and had spent a very long time trying to the get the machine to work and just completely lost it. He apologized profusely and said he was incredibly embarrassed by the whole thing. It was sincere. He was humiliated and still came to apologize because it was the right thing to do.
So in spite of everything, that is what I took away from the whole encounter and actually really respected him in the end. He went nuts and took responsibility for it and did what he had to to make it right."
"I worked in a cupcake shop for a year and people get way angrier about these stupid tiny cakes than you’d believe. My favorite story is about a woman who came in to pick up an order that she placed for blue gender reveal cupcakes.
On her order sheet, it said blue frosting, but didn’t specify a shade, so we chose a light blue since it was for a baby shower. When she came to pick it up she was furious that it was 'aqua' and not 'baby blue.'
The manager offered to make her new cupcakes with lighter frosting for free. The process of mixing frosting doesn’t involve touching or coming close to it, so he wasn’t wearing gloves. As he was stirring the dye into the frosting, she said she didn’t want it anymore since he was making it with his 'filthy, disgusting hands.'
She proceeded to throw the box with the initial order at the counter, and seeing that it didn’t do much, she picked up the individual cupcakes and threw them at the ground and toward the register. When we tried to give her a refund, we asked for the last four digits of her card number to confirm it. She refused, saying she wasn’t going to share that personal information in front of 'all these people!' It was two high school cashiers and one manager."
"I was in a pet store, not too long ago. It was an unusually long line for a weekday and there was only one person checking people out. There was a lady in front of me who was buying some things for dogs - treats, toys, etc... She asked the cashier if they had any Royal Canin food for beagles in the back because there weren’t any on the shelves.
The cashier radios to another employee asking them to check stock. A few seconds later, the employee answers and says they don’t at the moment, but there should be some coming on the next truck, which was the next day. This lady was NOT okay with that.
She replies to the cashier in a pretty nasty tone and says, 'I thought this was a pet supply store,' and 'WHAT IS MY DOG SUPPOSED TO EAT TONIGHT?!'
She asked the cashier the latter question multiple times and bless the cashier’s soul, she deserved an award for keeping it together while this lady tore into her about them not having breed-specific Royal Canin food.
Meanwhile, I was definitely not helping because I was laughing from how ridiculous it all was. 'WHAT IS MY DOG SUPPOSED TO EAT TONIGHT?!' I wanted to say, 'I don’t know, maybe a filet mignon?'
The crazy lady had brought a 'regular' bag of food up there, and the cashier had already scanned it. Once she threw her tantrum, she told the cashier that she decided to not get the 'regular' food because, she 'didn’t want to risk it.'
Some people have no poise."
"I worked at a Starbucks and I had the privilege of witnessing adult tantrums almost every day.
My personal favorite, however, was when a man did a mobile order for a bacon gouda sandwich. That sandwich is obscenely popular and we had run out of it about an hour before he sent his order in.
The standard protocol for this kind of situation is that we place an empty sandwich bag with his little order sticker on it on the mobile order platform, and wait for the customer to pick it up. When we see the confused customer, we tell him the situation, and offer him a refund or a different sandwich. It's not the best system, I admit.
Well, we put the bag on the thing, and we wait for the guy to show up. It had snowed really hard that day so not a lot of people were coming in, so eventually, when a middle aged guy in a suit strolled in, we assumed it was him and explained the situation before he even got to the mobile order thingy.
It didn't go over well. We asked if he had ordered the sandwich, he said yes, and we told him that we were all out, and offered a refund of a replacement. He simply said, 'No,' and sat down, staring at us, waiting. We were all a little confused and asked if we could help him. He said, 'No. I order this sandwich at the other Starbucks in town every day, and it's never a problem. I don't care what you have to do, but I'm getting my sandwich.'
We reiterated that we didn't have the sandwich, but he was stubborn, demanding one anyway. We called our manager over, who explained the situation, again. He responded by angrily throwing the empty sandwich bag down and shouting, 'Give me my sandwich!'
My manager was a bit taken back and told him that we could give him a refund and a little $5 'recovery card' to make up for our lack of bacon goudas, but he was adamant that he was getting his sandwich. Another customer, a regular who we all kinda knew, strolled in around this time, and tried to order at the register. Sandwich man didn't like this, and walked over to the register, blocking off the customer, and demanded that he get his sandwich before we served anyone else.
Shortly after this, my manager threatened to call the police. Sandwich man huffed and did a little angry screech, and trotted back out into the snow. I don't know if he just had a god awful day or what, but it was one of the worst things I saw working there."
"I worked in a call center that's primary function was to help people book camping sites. I could help with other easy tasks such as website navigation or general info but my main function was to book camping spots and that's it.
Somehow every tenth person would use our line to complain about asinine things, but no one can top free water lady.
I answer my phone, say my introduction, and am greeted by a lady who is FURIOUS that there are no water fountains at our campground and the water bottles cost two dollars. I was treated to such incredible quotes such as, 'You're denying us a basic human right,' 'Do you want my children to get heat stroke?' along with plenty of threats to sue my company. Through the background noise of children playing, I can tell she's doing this right by our campground's super busy playground.
This one 25-minute call of pure one sided screaming had already tanked my daily call quota, but she wouldn't hang up until she talked to my manager (who wasn't in at night). I ended up telling her that our company does not provide food, water, or tents and that it was in the contract she signed that we DO NOT have running potable water onsite and that she should have planned accordingly, then hung up on her.
She called back EIGHT TIMES that day."
"I worked at an optical store. A man came in with 10-year-old, nasty glasses, including green nose pads that probably weren't changed in the decade he had them. He throws them on the table as the arm came off and demanded we replace them. I told him they weren't under warranty and we don't carry those glasses - I was not sure if he even bought them from us. The best I could do was solder them for him to get him by, but he won't be able to close them and they will be discolored. Well, after a full on tantrum, he says fine.
When he comes back to pick them up, my coworker dealt with him because she saw how angry I was after the first encounter. She gives him the glasses and he is ticked because they aren't closing and are discolored, just like I told them they would be. He ends up finally leaving and as he is walking out, my coworker says, 'Have a nice day.' His response was to throw one of our chairs across the room.
We are in Canada. If he needed glasses and couldn't afford them, there are government programs in place to get new ones. I'm not sure that was his case but I'm just saying there was no reason to get so upset about old glasses."
"I worked at PetSmart for awhile.
On Black Friday, this older man comes in and asks for a specific brand of something for cats. I stock so I know everything like the back of my hand but I was exhausted due to retail overworking me for this holiday. I ask him if he can explain to me what it is and this man goes off. Like full on curse words, knocks over a few cat stands, and people are staring at him. I politely tell him that I cannot help him if that’s how he wants to act.
He gets even more upset and starts yelling at me louder, he calls me a dumb blonde and a few other choice words. I walk away, I’m not dealing with that. I get my manager, because this man was at my heels following me.
MY MANAGER DOES NOTHING. This man apparently gets what he wants and a discount and says to my manger, 'I knew I just needed to speak to a man to get this done, women complicate everything.'"
"I once watched a woman in my store complain about the iPhone she got being the wrong color.
She threw a big enough tantrum that her father grabbed the phone and told her she was off of his account. She proceeded to bite his arm hard enough that there was blood. Out of instinct, the father backhanded her. This led to her yelling at everyone in the store for not calling the cops. So she called the cops.
An hour later, the cops then arrested her for the assault on her father. Oh, and this was all in front of her four-year-old daughter."