We're all dealt with bad customers before. Thankfully not all are as bad as the absolutely atrocious behaviors some people endure. We have collected the worst experiences that Redditors have had to deal with, with a couple being outright assault. Some of the content has been edited for clarity.
"I was working at a clothing store and because I was young and attractive, the manager had me work the men's section. One man was chatting me up and mentioned that he wanted something for his wife who was a size 2. I say, 'Great! I'm a size 2, too so that should help.' He looks me up and down, sneers, and says, 'You are not a size 2.'"
"I used to work at a grocery store as a cashier. There are few special needs people working there, but they do a good job and are in no way an inconvenience. One of them, Kyle, has downs syndrome, and is a really hard worker and a super nice kid. This lady came through my checkout lane and I forget what item it was, but it was damaged, so I had to send Kyle to go get a new one. She still had a lot of items in her cart so it wasn't like we had to wait on him or anything. I can see she is visibly upset though. Maybe 20 seconds pass and I hear her mumble something like 'maybe you shouldn't have sent one of the special ones.' I absolutely blew up on her. I've never snapped like that in my entire life. She ended up turning really red and decided to just leave her things and running out of the store. My manager called me into the office and told me I wasn't in trouble, but that it had to look like I was getting reprimanded for the customer's sake. Two weeks later I got promoted to a stocking job."
"I am working the front cash register. From the register, I can't even see the drive-thru, and in general means I'm not making sandwiches for either side. I'm standing in position, taking an order, and someone pushes the the front of the line, interrupting the order I was taking. 'This is wrong,' she shouts, thrusting a bag at me.
'I'm sorry about that. What was it supposed to be?'
'Not this!' I look into the bag to see what is inside in the hopes of being able to look it up. It's a sandwich and fries. The fries are hot and the sandwich looks normal when I open it, so I assume she either got someone else's sandwich, or else had ordered something special on her sandwich. I have no way of figuring out what it wrong with it, without asking her. 'What was it supposed to be? I'll make you a new one,' I asked, looking up at her.
'I already told you what it was supposed to be when you took my order. If you don't know how to make a sandwich, you shouldn't have a job, idiot.' Then she opens up her cup of soda and throws the open cup at me. I ran to the back and got the manager, and hid there until my manager came to tell me she was gone."
"My third day as a waitress in an insanely popular restaurant, we were absolutely slammed during lunch. I had a ton of tables and thought I was on top of all of them, but wouldn't you know it, there was table where every server thought another server had taken the order. So these people were sitting there being ignored for like 15 minutes.
When I found out they were mine, I went right over, apologizing profusely, and saying I'd rush their order through right away. I get why they'd be upset, but they were AWFUL. I don't remember most of the specifics, but they were extremely nasty and kept telling me how awful I was and how it was entirely my fault. They got up to leave, the wife still slinging insults my way. At this point, the whole restaurant was watching this go down. As a last ditch effort to explain, I said, 'I'm so sorry, but I'm new at this!'
She looks at me and yells, 'Yeah, well you SUCK at it.'
I tried to keep my cool and go back to work, but I hadn't developed a very thick skin at that point (that would change after several different waitressing jobs) and broke down in tears trying to take my next drink order. Luckily the women at that table were super nice and agreed that the people had been way out of line and told me to take five."
"When I was working at Walgreens a few years ago, a woman decided it would be appropriate to spit in my face and tell me she would kill my family...over a $1 coupon I forgot to apply to her total. Police were called, and she was arrested. All of this was over a COUPON. Unbelievable, really."
"Back in high school I was a big shot manager at the local roller skating rink. On Saturdays, we had a 5-7:30 'family session' that was cheap and tailored to younger kids. After that ended we would close down for 30 minutes, clean up and re-open for the 8pm-12am 'teen night' which was more expensive and basically a 'club atmosphere'.
As was common, we'd usually get some teens pay the $2 'family night admission' and try to hide in the bathrooms or in the back to avoid the teen night admission. Since we had an off duty uniformed police officer this situations usually handled themselves. One night I caught a couple kids hiding in the back and dragged them out.
Their mother showed up about 30 minutes later demanding to speak with me, yelling and cursing at other employees in the process. I called her over to the window and told her why her sons would have to pay to get back in. She said she didn't know the rules, etc. I told her I'd take 50% off the teen admission for her kids, despite that fact that we told every single person who paid during family night that it ended, and the next session was more.
She lost her mind and grabbed me by the collar of my shirt, and while I was pushing off, she straight up spit in my face.
The smell made me gag and some of it had gotten in my eyes and my mouth. The cop came over and put her in cuffs and I went to the bathroom to wash my face off. I could have pressed charges for assault on her, but decided not to. The cop ran her name and she had violated her probation and was going to jail anyway. He left to take her to jail and her sons (about 14) just glared at me from outside the rink. Some older guy came and picked them up later and when we left that night, I thought I was going to get jumped. This is when I learned my job was not worth the $10 an hour I thought was amazing pay."
"Woman comes through the checkout line at my department store with her daughter. Woman is probably mid-30s, daughter early teens. They're buying a bunch of clothes, a few really grandma-y home decor pieces: the usual. We're very busy right now, and they have The Look (retail workers know what I'm talking about), so I'm trying to get them out of here as quickly as possible. That seems fine to them, as they have completely ignored me thus far and are too busy looking bored on their phones to acknowledge my existence.
I can't remember her exact total, but it was something like $61.78. I see her going into her wallet and know she's going to pay in cash. What's more, she's decided that she's going to give me exact change. On a busy day, when she has The Look. This never turns out well.
So she hands me three 20s and a dollar. Ok, cool. Now she's digging through her coin pouch. She -- as a solid half of exact changers do -- turns to her daughter to solicit coins from her because she doesn't think she has enough but is now determined on giving me exact change. So mom scrounges money from daughter and hands it to me in a big pile. It's not three quarters and three pennies: no, that would be too easy. So I sift through the pile of a couple quarters, nickles, dimes, and pennies, and discover that she's handed me 93 cents.
She has The Look, but she's handed me the wrong amount of money. I know this is going to get ugly, but I have no choice to plow forward. 'Are you sure you want to give me this much?' I ask quite politely. 'You only need to give me 78 cents.'
'Yes,' she snaps. 'I need to get rid of the change.'
Ok, fine. Have it your way, lady. So I punch in the amount into the register and, of course, it spits back to hand her some money back. So I pop open my drawer and start to sift out 15 cents to hand back to her. Now, of course, she's confused. 'Why are you handing me money?' She says. 'Didn't I give you exact change?'
'No, ma'am, you gave me 15 cents extra.'
'Oh for goodness sake,' she snaps again. She reaches over the counter and pries the money out of my hand and reaches into her wallet for another dollar. She then hands me another dollar and three quarters. 'There, you do that and give me 42.'
What? She is making zero sense to me. 'Excuse me?'
'You take that, and give me 42 back.' She finally huffs a sigh and reaches forward, grabs the three quarters (again, prying them right out of my hand.) 'Ok,' she says. 'Clearly this is too much for you, so I'm not going to bother. Nobody knows how to do change anymore. No wonder you're working here instead of in school. They don't take idiots at college. Just forget it. Keep the bloody change. Jesus Christ. Unbelievable.' With that, she leaves me with $62, grabs her bags, and storms out. Her absorbed-in-her-iPhone daughter trails after her, glancing at me in confusion but saying nothing. The next customer who walks up looks after her as they leave and then looks at me. She couldn't believe it either."
"I worked at Killington Ski Resort in the retail store, and we had a strict no-returns policy on ski goggles. This was because people who often left their goggles in their hotel rooms would just buy a pair, use them for the day and then try to return them. We weren't renting goggles, we were selling them. Anyway, a customer tried to return a pair of goggles she had used for the day. After I told her about our policy, she started screaming and throwing a fit. I told her I was very sorry, but that I couldn't budge. Once she heard this, she took the goggles and absolutely chucked them at me, all baseball-pitcher like. They hit me square in the face, breaking my nose and causing blood to pour from my schnozz like faucet. She ran out and that was that."
"I worked at McDonalds in 1997 and we had Beanie Babies as happy meal toys at one point. It was insane.
They literally had to buy a security cage to keep the toys locked down in the back. They were delivered with a security detail. People were ordering '100 happy meals with no food' because we couldn't sell the toys by themselves.
One day I heard a commotion up front and found my high school counselor reaching across the counter grabbing one of the owners by the shirt because we were out of the pink flamingo. I'll never forget the look in her eyes. She had to be dragged out. It's scary how easy it can be to work people up into a frenzy."
"Worked at Radioshack for 6 months while in college. Pretty much had at least one terrible experience per shift.
The one that stands out the most was a guy who wanted us to honor the warranty on his iPhone cable. But the thing was a mutilated mess. It had clearly stopped working and he had tried to fix it himself by cutting the cable apart and attempting to solder two wires together.
We calmly explained that we couldn’t process a claim for an item that was willfully destroyed, and he starts screaming in our faces about how 'Radioshack is a scam!' and 'I’m going to sue all of you!' And then he tries to WHIP my coworker (a 5 ft tall, non-threatening woman) with the cable! She managed to turn her head and catch the wire with her hand before it caught her in the face. Myself and another employee chased him out of the store and called the police but nothing came of it.
Radioshack shoppers were the worst."
"I worked at a ski resort when I was younger, fitting boots and sizing skis, etc. It was basically the Walmart of rentals, the cheapest option and the biggest store. So the week of Christmas, there are lines out the door every single day. I remember seeing my two week paycheck after this time and I had worked 119 hours. It was absolute insanity. For another reference, the closest town had a permanent residency of less than 10k people, but during Christmas it jumped up to 70k people trying to enjoy their vacation in the same spot.
So one of these days, it’s business as usual, a quarter mile line out the door, non stop craziness. I’m at the bench closest to the door, helping a lady when this kid walks up to my bench. I asked if I could help him and he said he had reserved rentals online and he wanted to pick them up. I said this is our store name, if that’s where you reserved, you’ll need to get in the back of the line and we’ll help you as soon as we can. This 13 year old kid said, 'This is effing bull,' in front of the customer I was helping. I told him that quite literally every piece of equipment in our store was reserved, every single person in front of you has a reservation as well and we have to help everyone. He started insulting me personally, saying I was a stupid cow and that he was going to report us to anyone he could because we weren’t letting him skip hundreds of people doing the exact same thing he was doing.
I think what angered him more is that I’m 6’3” and big. He was maybe 5’ something and 120 lbs. So when he called me a stupid cow, I literally laughed in his face. I was at no point threatened by this child, and at first it was funny. The first lady left, I’m ignore-laughing at this kid and asking the next person to come up and he starts yelling cuss words at me because I’m not helping him.
Up until this point, my manager had been a complete knob and I was not a fan of him. But he’d had enough of the Christmas rush as well and it was a perfect person to let off some steam on. I went and got my manager and told him this kid was personally attacking me and yelling cuss words in front of customers, so he walks up to the kid and says, 'I’m sorry for the confusion, what’s your name so I can take a look at your reservation?' And the kid lights up thinking he finally beat the system and he gets in front of everyone for throwing a hissy fit. My manager goes and finds his reservation (it’s digital but I’m pretty sure he printed it off for the added dramatic effect), comes back and says, 'I found it.' He proceeds to rip it in half in front of his face. 'Don’t ever treat someone that’s trying to help you like that, you are never allowed in our store again, and with every other store in town also being completely 100% booked on equipment, good luck skiing this week.'
I still didn’t like the guy, but I respected him one point more for the rest of the season for standing up for me."
"I worked in a T-Mobile store. A lady comes in screaming about how she bought a phone the previous day, didn't buy insurance and dropped it in a pool. She was demanding I give her a new phone for free. But, she wasn't even our customer. She was a Verizon customer. She screamed at me for about ten minutes demanding I call our manager. She then started yelling at other customers about how awful we were. We called the cops."
"Not me, but a coworker from my days at Starbucks. Three people were working at the time. The Manager is cleaning the bathroom, and my friend is doing inventory, so new girl is the only one on the floor. Man walks in, orders an extra hot venti white mocha. Girl makes it and hands it to the man. He takes 1 sip and screams 'this sucks' and proceeds to throw (not toss, but overhand quarterback throw) this 180 degree cup of coffee at this girls face, then runs out of the store. Manager comes running out along with my friend (who happens to be an ex-marine). He goes to chase after the guy but he had already jumped in his car and peeled out. Girl was rushed to the hospital with burns on her face and hands.
Police were called, and fortunately there were cameras that caught the guy's plate number. He was arrested and promptly convicted of assault."
"This tale takes place roughly 22 years ago at a community college bookstore.
As with any college bookstore, the start of the semesters were incredibly busy. In order to help ease the insanity in our small store, we set up a table outside the front door for doing returns. And that's where I was stationed for the day.
People got in line. I processed the paperwork for their return and sent them inside for the cashiers. This is an important point. I had no cash, no ability to process cards. Just me, a table, a stack of paper, and some pens. That's it.
Well, a middle aged lady gets to me. She is obviously not lacking in funds. Her son has dropped all his classes and she is returning his books. Ok. Cool. I do all the paperwork, hand her back the document and direct her inside.
She goes BALLISTIC that she has to wait in line again. I mean starting nuclear wars ballistic. The customers in line behind her actually went to my manager to file formal statements about her behavior. Not mine. Hers. Because they knew.....
I take a break and shake it off. Everyone has bad days. And I know that I have the customers' statements to back me up. A few days pass and the manager gets a call.
It's the president of the college. With a complaint. THE WOMAN CALLED THE PRESIDENT OF THE COLLEGE TO COMPLAIN ABOUT ME. So my manager and I head off to a meeting with the president and the woman. We walked in calm and polite.
The woman tells her tirade, still screaming and cursing. My manager pulls out the statements and without a word, hands them to the president. The president calmly read them. I don't remember exactly what he said, but I do remember watching the woman turn more and more red. I do remember the word 'entitled' used a whole lot. And I do remember him saying, 'Don't waste my time ever again,' before he showed her the door."
"When the old guy I was serving kept looking at my chest and making creepy facial expressions, I asked him if he wanted a drink or he was just going to keep staring. He excitedly put his hands out and went, 'Oh, I can do more than stare!' and tried to walk behind the bar to grab my chest. I told him to get out now, to which he seemed very shocked and outraged. I started loudly shout back to him, 'Sir, please do not try to grope my chest. You need to leave,' over and over until the rest of the bar was staring and he was panickedly whispering for me to please be quiet so that the wife I didn't know he came with wouldn't hear him. Can only imagine the argument that unfolded while she was dragging him out."
"I was 18 and worked at a local grocery store in the produce department. Beyond regular duties, we made fruit trays on weekends - nothing fancy, just a variety of cut up fruit in large red bowls.
Dude comes in after 10pm (we close at 11) and asks for a tray with specific fruits. I tell him we unfortunately don't make custom trays. The 16 year old dude who is also on shift with me overhears and tells him it's slower tonight so he can do it for him. He says 'Ok good', no gratefulness displayed at all. This co-worker of mine is legit always extra kind to customers, it's honestly admirable.
20 minutes later my coworker comes out of the back room and presents it to this customer. He immediately starts screaming at him about how bad it looks. He yells things like 'That looks like absolute dirt! Are you an idiot!?' I run over to see what the problem is. The fruit tray looks absolutely standard but this guy isn't having it. He smashes it on the ground and keeps screaming about how we are 'complete effing idiots' and how we have wasted his time. I snap. I tell him to 'Get out now!'.
He postures up (keep in mind this guy is like in his 40s, ready to fight some teenagers over a fruit tray). Numerous other employees run over and yell for him to get out. He says 'I'll be back for all of you' and runs toward and out the sliding doors. The best part was that as he was walking out, one of the employees yelled 'how you like them apples!'
All of this is on camera luckily so management calls the cops regarding the mans actions and that last threat. They ended up arresting him later on because he also had some warrants. Hope the fruit was worth it, idiot.