In any profession that requires you to directly interact with customers, you're all but guaranteed to get a fair share of people who are crazy, entitled, rude, or some combination of the three. However, some stand out more than others in both their ability to leave a lasting impression and their level of obnoxiousness. Workers wouldn't wish these people upon anyone, but their clownery does make for some entertaining stories!
Whether it's a lady losing her mind about keyboard cleaners or a horrible little boy spouting hate speech at other customers, these people really need a lesson in how to act like civilized members of society. Here are some of Reddit workers' wildest, most absurd stories about the worst customers they've ever had. Content edited for clarity.
She went into a rage about how there was supposed to be $40 on it. She was yelling at me about how I do a crappy job, how Kmart is a horrible place, etc. I asked her if that was her usual card, suggesting that maybe she had another card with that amount, and she angrily told me no. I finally asked her why she thought she had $40 on that card.
She told me that she bought $400 worth of appliances at Sears the previous day, so I stopped her mid-rant and explained to her that 1% of $400 is $4, not $40. She didn't believe me, so I got a pen and paper and showed her the math. Then she went into a rage about wanting to see a manager, so I pointed her to Customer Service and she waddled her way over there. The managers (of course) refused to credit her for $40, so she cancelled her card and stormed out. I saw her shopping again the very next day. If she hated the store so much, why keep coming back?
"This happened when I was working in a pharmacy:
Customer: 'Why isn't my prescription ready yet?'
Me: 'We're trying to get in contact with your doctor because of a problem with the prescription. Your profile says you're allergic to penicillin, is that correct?'
Customer: 'Oh yeah, that stuff is real bad for me!'
Me: 'The medication your doctor prescribed has penicillin in it, so we're trying to get ahold of him to find out what he wants you to take.'
Customer: 'Oh, well, he wants me to take the penicillin. That's what he wrote down, right?'
Me: 'Yes, but you said you were allergic to it.'
Customer: 'But he's a doctor, so he knows what's best. If that's what he wrote, then just give me that.'
Me: 'Well, we'll check with him first to make sure that it's safe for you.'
Customer: 'Of course it's safe for me or the doctor wouldn't have prescribed it! He probably just cured my allergy. Check my old prescriptions, I bet he prescribed me something to cure my allergy!'
Me: World's Biggest Facepalm."
"This is my favorite retail story from when I worked in a non-chain (i.e. awesome) video game store. It goes without saying that part of the job entails selling horrible games to the horrible children of horrible parents, but this seemed like a redeeming moment. A woman came up to the register with her nine-year-old son and handed me Grand Theft Auto 4.
Woman: 'I'd like to trade this in, I'll take whatever you can give me. I walked into the room as he was playing and he was standing over a dead woman, beating her over and over again. Do you know what he said to me?'
Woman: 'He said, 'It's okay, mom...she's just a dirty streetwalker.'
I passed her along to one of my coworkers to complete the trade. But before they left, I looked the kid dead in the eyes and said, 'Streetwalkers are people, too.' But I was amazed by his mom, a parent that pays attention! My heart grew three sizes!
Not fifteen minutes later, another mom came in with a different young boy and proceeded to purchase her son that EXACT game we'd just processed. I begged her not to.
Me: 'Ma'am, this game is awful. Really, really bad. Like, beating women to death in the middle of the street bad.'
Her: 'Oh, no it's okay (she leans in, conspiratorially), he goes to a private Christian school, so...'
Me: 'Still...it's full of criminal activity and violence and filthy images. It's really, really bad. Are you absolutely sure you want to get this for him?'
Her: 'Don't worry, I make him play with the sound off.'
As I rang her up, my weak little heart, so full of hope, shriveled into nothing."
"I used to manage the children's section at an independent bookstore, and we used to have a Muslim mother who brought a hoard of neighborhood kids in a few times a week to read to them.
One day, a really sketchy looking redneck guy (complete with a wife-beater and cutoff jean shorts) brought his kids to read on the same day. His little boy, maybe 5 or 6 years old, ran up to the other kids screaming the most obscene statements I've ever heard come out of a child so young, it was sickening.