There's only so much people can take before they finally have enough and let their emotions get the best of them. After months, years, and even decades at a job, sometimes the smallest and most insignificant of events can push someone over the edge.
A Reddit thread recently asked people to reveal the most ridiculous adult temper tantrums they witnessed while at work. Some of those responded dished the dirt on coworkers or managers who finally lost their cool while others explained some of the most insane demands from customers. No matter who was involved in any of the following stories, it's safe to say that there are no winners. All posts have been edited for clarity.
Was It Bring Your Kid To Work Day?
“I had two coworkers argue about setting up a virtual machine as both started working on it and were kicking each other out of it by accident. Finally, ‘Tom’ walked over to ‘Jerry’s’ cube.
T: ‘I think we’re both working on the same server. Do you mind if I finish it?’
J: ‘Well, I have the ticket, I should finish it.’
T: ‘It’s really no problem, I see you don’t even have the checklist up and I already do. I can finish it.’
J: ‘I have the checklist and I have the ticket. I’m going to finish it.’
T: ‘I’m pretty sure I took that ticket. Would you pull up the ticket manager and check?’
J: ‘No. I’ll finish the ticket.’
At this point, Jerry accidentally clicked on the ticket manager and it showed Tom has the ticket. Tom pointed that out and that’s when Jerry screamed ‘NO’ and grabbed the monitor and pulled it down to the desk. He then covered the monitor with his body. They both looked over at me since I’ve been there the longest and started arguing about who should take the ticket. All the while Jerry kept batting Tom’s hands away from the monitor. These were both men in their 40s.”
He Didn’t Want “The Government” To Know His Business
“A veteran came into the clinic trying to apply for his VA benefits. I handed him the form and instructed him to turn it in with a copy of his DD214. He got mad and demanded to see a doctor right away. I asked him why but he wouldn’t tell me. We’ll see anyone on a humanitarian basis, even if they aren’t a veteran. If someone walks in having a heart attack, the medical team will descend upon them. But this dude went into a rant about how he didn’t want the government to have his information because they were watching him. And I was like, but you served in the military (supposedly). They already know your social security number, date of birth, what you look like. You have to fill out the form so we can verify your eligibility for VA health care.
‘The government has no right to know how much money I make!’
Um, the IRS would disagree? He took the form and stormed out in a huff. He returned a week later and turned it in and wrote (in crayon, I swear to God!) a paragraph about how he’s not telling the government how much money he makes over the section of the form for reporting income. He screamed at me for a little bit then went out to the parking lot and paced for several minutes before getting in his car and leaving. I kind of felt bad for him. He clearly had mental health problems. I almost called the cops because he seemed like the active shooter type.”
A Not So Happy Meal
“It was 10:45 am on a Saturday in the McDonalds drive-thru when a patron named Mickie came through. Now you’ve got to understand that we didn’t start serving lunch until 11 am on weekends, so that meant we couldn’t ring up orders for anything with French fries or chicken nuggets for another 15 minutes.
Mickie came through the drive-thru and I prompted her for her order.
Mickie: ‘I’d like two chicken nugget Happy Meals.’
Me: ‘Sorry, ma’am, we don’t serve lunch until 11. You could either come back in 15 minutes for lunch or order something off of the breakfast menu. I’m sorry for the inconvenience.’
Mickie: ‘What? That’s insane! 15 minutes? I’d like two chicken nugget Happy Meals.’
Me: ‘I’m sorry ma’am, but I’m not able to ring those up for you right now.’
Mickie: ‘I’ll just sit here for 15 minutes – I don’t care! I want my Happy Meals (Mind you, her kids are in the back seat).’
Mickie then sat at the microphone telling us all about how she would write a strongly worded letter to corporate, how she would sue us to the ground, and how horrible of people we were for doing this to her children. This went on for five or six minutes until – all at once: it all stopped
Mickie: ‘Fine…I’ll take three hash browns and an orange juice.’
Me: ‘That’ll be $4.37 at the next window, thanks!’
The best part was she could have ordered Happy Meals by the time she got her order.”
This Was By Far The Worst Thing They Had Experienced On The Job
“I managed a movie theatre in a local mall and it wasn’t that unusual for shoppers to swing in to grab a soda or bag of popcorn to snack on while they shopped.
So one day, this woman came in and asked for a small popcorn which I happily provide to her.
She took her popcorn and exited the lobby.
About 20 minutes later, she came back in with the bag almost empty and asked if I could pour the rest of the popcorn into a brown paper bag.
I apologized and let her know we didn’t have any plain brown bags, just the decorative bags we used.
‘Okay, then I want a refund.’
I politely but firmly refused the refund and explained that she had already eaten the bulk of what she paid for and her distaste for the color of the container was not grounds for reimbursement.
What followed was about 15 to 20 minutes of this woman just getting red in the face and threatening to sue me, personally, because I wouldn’t refund her the price of a small popcorn, and how I was what was wrong with America. Once she finished hitting the usual, ‘Whatever happened to the customer is always right?’ bullet points, she moved on to accusing me of being an agent of Satan, that the theatre itself was a satanic temple, and that Jesus Christ was going to strike me down.
And then something about money lenders and Jews. By then, I had called security because she was starting to try to tip over our standees.
I had some weird stuff go down during my years in the retail mines, but that was easily the craziest thing I’d ever had to deal with.”
Just Another Reason They Don’t Miss This Job
“I worked at an airport bookstore. My county had just created a 10 cent charge for bags and explaining this to non-locals (everyone, basically) was hit and miss. Some took it as nothing, others lost their minds.
This lady lost her mind. Blonde, mid-30s, Midwest from the twang in her voice. She bought a pack of gum or something small and I asked her if she wanted a bag. She said no. I gave her her change and she just glared at me and asked me where her plastic bag was. I said we don’t carry plastic, we have paper and it’ll be 10 cents.
She started yelling about why and how and this was stupid and I’m stupid and I don’t know how to do my job, the works. My shift was ending and my boss was behind me as a coworker was coming to take my register. The three of us watched this lady go beet red in the face over 10 cents. She eventually took her gum or whatever and stomped out of the store towards the gates.
I don’t miss that job.”
She Was Going To Have Things Her Way, Whatever It Meant
“I work at a Subway at a popular amusement park. The park usually closes at 10 pm and thus all the restaurants and attractions inside close as well. Unfortunately, on this particular day, we were so swamped that we ended up being open up until 10:30. So it was 10:30 and we were serving our last guests of the day, a middle-aged woman with five young children, and then a man and older women behind them.
So at this point in time, we were 30 minutes past close we and started to run out of items, and it being a REALLY busy day, didn’t have much in the way of prep in the back for the next day. So we made this woman and her five kids their sandwiches and get to the very end where we add condiments. She requested that we put mayonnaise on each sandwich, but unfortunately, we were out. I told her so and at first, she was a reasonable human being and we offered her light mayonnaise instead which she accepted. So we put light mayonnaise on each sandwich when lo and behold one of her demon spawn of a child started screaming.
Apparently, the child was so distraught at having light mayonnaise instead of regular that the mom demanded we scrape off all the mayo off of each sandwich. So we did that. She then decided this wasn’t good enough and demanded we throw all six sandwiches away and remake her new ones. I was ticked at this point, and so as we went about making them a second time we proceed to run out of even more ingredients. I informed her that we were out of, for example, banana peppers because she wasted the last of it. She surprisingly took it well and moved on.
So here we were at the condiments again and she did her famous line, ‘Now, put mayonnaise on all of them’ because for some reason, between the time it took to remake her sandwiches, she forgot that we are LITERALLY OUT OF MAYONNAISE IN THE ENTIRE FRICKEN STAND. So I told her again, we were out, to which she proceeded to scream and cuss me out for an impressive amount of time. So I decided to go in the back to ‘look for more again’ and to get away from her screaming with another supervisor. We sat back there, staring at each other in disbelief until one of us decided, forget it, we took a spare light mayonnaise bottle from the fridge, take off the cap that’s labeled ‘Light Mayo’ and replaced it with a regular mayo label.
Triumphantly, we brought the ‘completely regular mayonnaise’ up front and make up some lie about how it fell behind another bottle. She rewarded us by screaming some more about how we lied to her all that time about not having any before we finished her transaction and sent her and her demon brigade on their way.
Humorously, the man and older woman behind her happened to be her husband and mother who apologized to us profusely and were all around very kind people.”
Some People Can’t Be Bothered
“I worked at a kind of prestigious summer camp where high schoolers would stay for a couple of weeks, take college courses, and then leave. Part of our check-out procedure required that the adult checking out a student needed to have photo ID. Standard safety procedure.
This woman came in and one of our staff members reminded her that she would need an ID to check out her kid. Immediately, she had a bad attitude and said, ‘Well, My ID is in the car and I’m not getting it,’ and then went upstairs to get her kid. My boss warned me to make sure she showed an ID, and when she got to the check-out table, I politely asked for it (even though I knew she didn’t have it). This woman flipped her lid, in front of her two children and started screaming about how she was not going to get an ID and how she could leave with her kid. I told her it was a safety precaution and we couldn’t allow her son to leave without verifying her identity.
Then she started pushing her son towards the door telling him to go to the car and dragged her little daughter along and the kids were obviously terrified. My boss had to block the door as this woman was screaming about how nobody told her she needed an ID (she received an email a week prior and a reminder at the door) and how the parking lot was too far (it wasn’t) and basically the entire lobby is staring at her. My boss told her he would walk to the car with her son to get her ID. So that happened, she sat across from me all huffy and glaring and when my boss gave her her ID, she threw it on the table in front of me and then snatched it out of my hand.
She made a five-minute checkout procedure last half an hour because she didn’t want to make the two-minute trip to her car.”
“Idiots Will Be Idiots”
“A guy at a small airport rental counter arrived six hours late for his reservation due to flight delays. He never called to reconfirm the reservation, so the company canceled it. By the time he got there, they were out of cars.
The guy started blowing up on the poor clerk. There was nothing she could do, of course. No cars means no cars. It’s not like she could just conjure one up for him. It was close to midnight so nothing’s happening for this guy.
Once he realized that he was out of luck, he went nuclear and started screaming obscenities at the top of his lungs and physically threatening the clerk. Stuff like, ‘I oughta rip your throat out!’
At that point, I went over and got a couple of TSA guards and pulled them over to the rental car area. They took hold of the guy and not-so-politely led him away. Not sure if he got charged with anything but the TSA guys were clearly not happy with his behavior and were making that pretty clear.
The clerk was in tears, so I bought her some Starbucks and talked her down.
Idiots will be idiots.”
There’s only So Much You Can Take Before Enough Is Enough
“I work at a public computer lab for students and community members. It’s a public place and it’s hard to keep everything clean, especially each computer.
One day, a lady came up to me at the front desk asking why the computers were so dirty. So I went ahead and offered to wipe down her computer station. I looked at her station and there were no major flaws in terms of dirtiness, but as an employee, I cleaned her station anyways. Afterward, I was walking around making sure everything was in working order and she decided to talk to me some more regarding the dirtiness of the computers. I myself couldn’t care less because this is a public place for anyone to use. Think of it as a library but just computers. I was very calm and agreed with her statement so she has a one up and feels better.
The tone of her voice rose dramatically and the complaint intensified. As stated previously, her station was barely dirty. My supervisor stepped out and told me to take go back to the front desk. In short, the lady started yelling and started threatening us by calling the ‘health department.’ over it. Everyone was staring at the lady.
My supervisor said ‘Go ahead. We can’t wait to hear from them,’ and proceeded to kick her out.
The lady stomped her way out of the building with a phone to her ear acting like she was on the phone with someone. Sadly, we never heard from the health department or anything from the lady.”
Come On, It’s Just A Best Western
“When I worked at a hotel, I met possibly the most irritable man on the planet. He came to the front desk to check in and when I asked for his name, he said, ‘I’m a regular here.’ And I said okay, I still don’t know your name, he said, ‘I stay here all the time, I’m a VIP. Didn’t they tell you I was coming?’
This hotel was a Best Western. No Very Important Person has stayed at any Best Western location, ever.
I said, ‘Thank you for your business, I have only worked here a few months and I apologize if I’ve checked you in before and didn’t recognize you, but I really do need your name to find your reservation.’ Finally, after a little more back and forth verbal abuse, he spat out his last name and I searched for it in this system: nothing. I tried a few different spellings: nothing. I asked him to spell it.
‘Are you kidding me? First, you interrogate me, now you’re saying I don’t have a reservation?’
‘No, sir, I’m just having trouble finding it. If you’d please just spell your name for me…’
Then he started screaming at me about how ridiculous this was, how he would never come back, how he was going to sue the hotel. He stormed out and I heard his car peel out of the parking lot. Later on, I did find his reservation – his name had a very odd spelling that I hadn’t guessed earlier – and when I told the manager the story, she said, ‘Well, yeah, that sounds like him.’ Apparently, he was just that irritable all the time. (And I checked his room history, his last visit was three months before I started working there, did he think we kept portraits of all the guests and memorized them?
I saw many, many adult tantrums at the hotel. We were the first hotel driving into town off a long stretch of highway, so many of them I chalked up to people who were tired and cranky from the road. But lots of people just wanted to throw a tantrum to get a better rate on the room, and of course, the people who just like to abuse service workers.”
When Playing The Victim Doesn’t Work Out
“I used to work at Joann’s; one day a woman came in and she wanted to buy an item but wanted to make sure that it worked first. Well, we can’t open packaging, it’s store policy. I explained this to her. Also on this particular day, I was stuck in the ‘Customer Service box,’ so I was the person people would go to to ask their dumb questions. So she started flipping out on me that I should let her open it before buying because she has cancer and she really needs to see if the item worked.
So she was standing at the customer service box screaming at me, acting like a child. I was just standing there because I hated the place. My manager walked up, and she was like, ‘What’s going on?’ I explained to her what the guest wanted, my manager looked at her and said, ‘Yeah, we can’t let you do that.’ So cancer patient guest started throwing another hissy fit about how it was not fair. She eventually left after taking a step back from the box and just stood there screaming at me.
I literally ignored her and continued helping other people who weren’t being complete lunatics. Eventually, she left, my manager came back up to me and was like, ‘So, yeah, that was a first.’
I don’t know why people have to use their illnesses to try and get us to break rules. One person could make me lose my job and it wasn’t going to be her. I willingly left that job later on and haven’t looked back.”
This “Stupid Old Man” Thought He Had It All Figured Out
“I work at a grocery store that has a strange bag policy, meaning we don’t give out plastic bags and my managers are stingy with the paper ones, so we can only give them out when people have a bunch of things.
This old man came in one day and only bought bread and mustard, so I didn’t give him a bag. He got super mad and went off – made a HUGE scene by yelling and pointing in our faces. He told us to get bent and was all red-faced and gross. Then he went outside to get his bag and said now I had to suffer the consequences and had a huge line all because of this. I just moved his stuff to the side and said, ‘Next.’
Stupid old man.”
All Of That Over Sales Tax?
“Not the worst but certainly the most memorable is the time I had a pregnant customer sit down in the floor and cross her arms and legs like a kindergartener because we refused to give her sales tax on an item that she was returning that was purchased in a state that didn’t levy taxes on items.
Needless to say, my manager relented because he didn’t want the entitled Houstonian to make a giant scene and cause bad press for the store. Seriously, this lady’s car was probably worth $100,000 and she was complaining about $13 that wasn’t due to her.”
These Customers Should Consider A Different Type Of Medication
“We had a woman throw her cane at us over the counter because we couldn’t magically make her medicine that we don’t carry appear right that second. She slammed her cane on the counter a few times and banged on it with her fists. She yelled and screamed. We offered to call another, bigger store but she wasn’t having any of that. The closest store had it, but she said she couldn’t go there and that she couldn’t drive. I was thinking about telling her to get on her broom. There was a line of people and a woman who was a nurse called security. They got her away and then they took her off to get something to eat.
She came back a couple of hours later and said it was because she was hungry. That was hangry in action for sure.
Another customer was mad because the doctor didn’t fax a prescription at the exact moment that the patient was there. They called her and said it was able to be picked up at the doctor’s office. But she thought WE called and we hadn’t. We were told how much we sucked and that the whole freaking place sucked and how that she’d sue us all for not letting her get her medication, cussing the whole time. I swear like a sailor, but not every other word has to be a cuss word.”