Why do people take it so personally when they mistake someone for an employee? These innocent bystanders were doing some shopping, when suddenly they were literally dragged into the worst scolding of their lives. How could they reason with a completely deranged human being?! Content has been edited for clarity.
"I live a pretty solid distance from my folks, and there's one last town to stop in before the last forty-five minutes or so of driving straight out into the country. I stop at a fast food place that's pretty busy, and I have to park in the lot of the grocery store next door. As I get almost to the restaurant door, someone grabs me by the shoulder and spins me around, saying something like, 'Where do you think you're going? You come to me when I call for you, it's not time for your break!'
I whip around and there's this 5' chubby little old lady lecturing me about my work ethic. She doesn't stop for even a breath hardly! I keep trying to get out, while she was practically marching me back to the grocery store. I was completely flabbergasted as to what was really going on. We almost got to the front door of the store while I was trying to pull away. This ferocious woman had a death grip on my arm and was moving fast. But suddenly, my little sister was standing right in front of both of us!
The little lady stops short, and I'm bewildered to see my sister, Minnie, who looks similarly confused. And I have no clue what's going on, we're all just sort of staring back and forth, stunned by what we're seeing. When suddenly the little lady lets go of me, looks between the two of us and gasps, throwing her hands up to her face in embarrassment, and cackled, 'Bet you thought I was kidnapping you, huh?!'
She doubles over laughing. Unbeknownst to me, my kid sister, who is practically my doppelgänger on a ten year delay, had been assigned to a job rotation there and was training with 'Ms. Betsy', who apologized for the confusion and then chuckled, 'Now I got a 'they all look alike' story to tell at bingo this week!'
This trainer took her job way, way too seriously. At least we could laugh about it, but I feared for my life for several excruciatingly long minutes!"
"So I'm trying on a pair of jeans at Hollister. This huge sale was going on, so there was this massive crowd of angsty and smelly teens all over the place. I left the changing room, only to see a ton of people waiting in this massive line to use the very same room. The worker was nowhere to be found, so I went over to drop my clothing off into the shelf where people left their other discarded clothing. It was a mess. This shelf was stacked high with clothings, to the point where pieces were falling off onto the floor all around it. I felt so bad for the store employees who had to deal with this, so I attempted to tidy up a bit. But this mess was too far gone, and it really wasn't my job, so I just tried to leave the area. That was when this atrocious mother, complete with her tiny doppelgänger carrying ten pairs of jeans, found me. This woman started to go on and on and on about how her daughter was a size 3, but there were only sizes 2 and 4. She was also upset that these jeans came pre-ripped. This woman was not even giving me a chance to breathe, and I clearly saw that she mistook me for an actual employee. I was young, tan, and had sort of a surfer vibe, so that made sense within a Hollister store.
I just let this woman rant, not really listening to what she had to say. I was waiting to finally explain myself, but this woman was just picking me apart! She started to tel me how the store should hire workers who have actual brains, rather than ones who stand still and look pretty. She finally gave me a chance to speak, but instead of telling her that I didn't work there, I pretended to act like I was super offended. I exclaimed how I quit in a super dramatic way. The woman's daughter looked completely mortified. People were watching us, and you could tell this small crowd was against this angry woman. She started to try and apologize to me, but I replied with, 'No really, I quit! You can work here instead, and you won't have to worry about looking pretty!"
I just walked away with the biggest smile on my face."
"Many moons ago, I was finishing out the final build out of a restaurant, which I eventually became General Manager and Executive Sous Chef of! It was set to open a week prior, but due to the county dragging its butt on permits and final inspections, it was delayed by almost a full month. It was around 8:30 p.m. Now if you were to peer into the restaurant, it was plainly obvious that it was not ready for business. Booths were half assembled, kitchen and bar equipment was in the dining room, and there were boxes and boxes of stuff laying around. This guy comes into the restaurant, I am twenty feet up on a huge ladder installing in-ceiling speakers, when he starts shouting, cursing, and making threats. He is upset that the restaurant both did not call to confirm his reservation, and that the restaurant CLEARLY was not open for business. I and my coworker let him know that we are just contractors and have absolutely no idea about anything about the restaurant. We were just here to install audio equipment, sorry bro!
This guy then kicked a flat screen television box and made it abundantly clear how upset he really was. He demanded to speak with the owner of the restaurant. We told him that we couldn't help him, but he simply continued to shout and curse up a storm. At this point, I decided to come off the ladder, as I do not want him pushing me over to the ground. As I am coming down, he got louder and more aggressive. I jump and rotate around to get to the ground from about four feet up. He saw my shirt flare up just enough to see the weapon on my hip. His eyes locked onto my hip, and he shut the heck up immediately. I told him that he has to get the heck out now. My coworker confirmed that the cops were on their way, and they would be there in less than sixty seconds. He hightails it to his car, my coworker gives 911 his plate number, and a few seconds later three cop cars arrive.
Charges were not pressed. He was given a warning not to come near the restaurant while it was still under construction. This cop asked me about my weapon, so I showed it to him, which lead to both of us bonding over each other's weapons. That was definitely a very strange night. To preempt the inevitable question as to why I carried, this restaurant was in the 'nice part of town' where it more or less met the 'not so nice part of town'. I am in an empty building with one other guy, with easy to move boxed kitchen equipment valued at over $80,000, with another $40K in spooled copper wiring, flat screen TVs and speakers. I do not care whatsoever about the stuff, but I do care about my life and someone being stupid. My coworker carried as well."
"I was at Target right after work. I had on a red polo and khakis, and it had my company name embroidered on it that starts with a T. I was doing some networking stuff, so I wasn't wearing my normal dress clothes. I forget what I was buying, but I had my cart full and my purse over my shoulder. A woman asked me where the laundry detergent was. I am used to this, so I just told her that I think it is down a few aisles. This woman lost her ever loving mind on me saying that I was a horrible employee and how I should know where everything is in my store. She went on about how I will never be paid above minimum wage because I am so dumb. She wanted my name, my supervisor's name and the number to corporate. It was after her rant that I politely informed her, 'Ma'am, I don't work here. I was just telling you where I saw it while shopping for my own stuff.'
She didn't believe me and went to find a manager. I went to the checkout. I guess she found a manager and brought him to where I was checking out. She started demanding that he reprimand me. He then informed her that I didn't in fact work there. She was flabbergasted and just walked away. No apology, no nothing. The manager however did apologize to me. I told him no problem, not his fault. You can't fix stupid. I no longer wear red polos to Target. The manager did offer me a discount for my trouble, but I wasn't too worried about it. I just wanted to get home after this ordeal!"
"A couple weeks ago, I was at my local Petsmart, chatting with the one guy there who really knows his stuff. I have a good deal of experience with aquariums, but I like to run my ideas by other people before I try them out. We are talking, but a customer comes up, so he breaks off to assist them. As I am standing there looking at the fish, an old woman walks up to me and asks about what kind of bowl and food she should get for the goldfish her grandson brought home from the fair. I start to tell her I don't work there, but as I glance around, the guy I was talking to and the other employee were still busy. I was mumbling about how I really didn't work there, but I end up telling her, 'The thing is, goldfish actually need a fairly large aquarium, so you should either get at least a 30 gallon set up with this filter and such, or if you don't want to invest that much, I'm sure the store would be more than happy to take it off your hands. And if you'd like a more manageable fish, I would recommend a betta. Now here are some good set ups for them...'
I finish helping the old woman, and immediately another customer comes up to me and asks a question about what fish would work well in her son's guppy tank. At this point, I'm pretty much committed and I decide to help her too.
Eventually, after about twenty-five minutes and several more customers, the crowd thins out and I go back to my conversation with the employee. I ended up helping Petsmart sell several fish and one massive aquarium that day. I really should have gotten paid for my hard work. I basically assisted the customers for half an hour because I was too awkward to correct them."
"I used to work in a bar that was about a five minute walk from Tesco, the local grocery store chain. Every Saturday afternoon, the bar would hit a lull between 4 and 5, so I would get sent to Tesco to pick up fruit, mint leaves, and juice for the night. And seemingly every Saturday, some customer in Tesco would come up to me thinking that I was staff there. But my work uniform didn't even look similar to the Tesco uniform, so I never understood it. The best case of mistaking me for somebody who worked in Tesco was this woman who came up to me, while I had my hands full of juice cartons. She started complaining about the terrible service and unhelpful staff. I tried telling her that I didn't work there, but she kept cutting me off. Eventually she demanded to speak to my manager. I responded with, 'Oh you'll have to go to the bar around the corner to speak to the manager, that's where she is.'
The woman looked shocked for a second but then said, 'Oh, well that explains why this place is run like a poor excuse for a circus. Your manager is off in a bar, drinking on the job! I should have guessed it!'
To which I responded, 'No, I work in that bar and was sent here for stock. If you want to speak to my manager, you can go to my workplace and talk to her.'
She realized immediately the mistake she had made and became much nicer and very apologetic to me afterwards."
"My ex-girlfriend worked in sales, and she worked all the time, so for a while there her brain was just wired for it. We were in a store on Sunset Boulevard. My girlfriend got her head buried in the many racks of clothing and wasn't really paying attention to anything else. Next thing you know, the real life Josh Groban walks in, but she doesn't notice because she's too busy rooting around. Eventually they're standing pretty close together when she finally looks up and they make eye contact. She's so surprised to see Josh Groban that her brain immediately kicks into instinctual mode and she asks him, 'Hi, can I help you with anything?'
'Oh, no thanks, I'm just looking,' Josh Groban tells her. Immediately, she realizes what she's done and then tries to correct it by freezing completely still for what seems like forever and then telling him, 'I'm sorry, I don't actually work here.'
Josh Groban simply replied with a brief 'Okay,' and continued on his way. It was one of the most amazing, awkward exchanges I've ever witnessed.
"One time, my best friend and I were in Wal Mart, digging in the $5 movie bin. We were standing there looking through all these terrible movies, hoping to find a gem, when this random lady walks up and asks if we work there. I apologized to her and said that we didn't. And we continue digging through the bin. Well, this wasn't good enough for this lady. She stands there and asks us something about finding volleyball equipment, I forget exactly what she was looking for specifically. I ask if she looked through the sporting goods, which she was standing right in front of, and she says, 'Well yes of course, but I didn't see it. I thought you all would know where it would be!'
At this point, my friend and I are both a little frustrated with the situation. So I tell her that we have no idea where else the volleyball equipment would be at in this store. I ask her if she had gone to the local sporting goods store. This is when all heck broke loose. She raises her voice and starts yelling about how she wasn't going to spend that much money and was ranting and raving about the cost difference and this and that. My friend and I just looked at each other and walked away."
"I was walking through the grocery store and see a very old lady in the medicine isle, holding five boxes and looking extremely confused. I told her she looked lost and asked if I could help. I'm a paramedic, so I am used to helping people at a moment's notice. Apparently, her elderly husband was home sick with a pretty bad cold. He told her to go buy medicine for a headache, cough, chills, and congestion. She was planning to buy all five boxes in her arms, one for each symptom. The problem was that each meds was one of those Multi-symptom meds like NyQuil that contain multiple substances in each. I quickly calculated that had she bought all of them, her husband would have had lethal doses of more than one medication, in addition to what sounds like renal and hepatic issues, making even small doses much stronger.
I very calmly told her of the problem by showing her how to read the ingredients list and dosages on the back of the box, and telling her how bad it could have been. I then picked out a low dose of what the husband needed, saving her about $40 by using store-brand over name-brand, and told her that he should take only the low dose until he can see an actual doctor. With his age and other health problems, there is no such thing as 'just a cold'. She then DEMANDED I take her to my manager, so she can compliment me and give me the money I saved her as a tip. I told her I was just a local Paramedic and saw someone in need, and that her happiness was all the tip I would take. I have a strong aversion to tipping and insisted she simply help someone else with a need. I left with her still quite upset because I physically pushed away the cash she was forcing in me, but I think she was glad to have seen the hope in the kids these days."
"Here is a lovely little tale of how I went shopping and managed to somehow get fired from a job I never had! Let's give you some context to help you out though. My brother and I are half Chinese, three years apart. I'm 5'11" and he's just under 6'2". We have different fathers, so it's always weird to hear people tell us we look the same. We definitely don't. So one day, I had a day off, and I was going to meet up with some friends. I had twenty minutes to kill and was mulling over whether or not I would buy a new graphics card for my computer. My brother got discounts that I never used, but maybe today would be the day. So I go into the shop and I'm staring at graphics cards, comparing one to another. I'm stood there for a good five minutes before someone came up to me and just stared at me. I asked what was going on tentatively. I noticed this woman had a name tag and was wearing a plain black t-shirt like me. She demanded to know why I was wearing jeans, because apparently I should know what the official policy was here. So I can't help but laugh. I figure she was having a laugh with me, and that it was an interesting way to try and close a sale. Electronics shop with a dress code. Hilarious. This however isn't the desired response, as the mood flips completely. She's shaking with rage at the fact I was just giggling in her face like a girl. She demanded that I go with her into the back office right away.
She tried to lead me by the arm, like I was a naughty schoolchild, and she was even more enraged by the fact I withdrew my hand from her. Disregarding my confused expression and confused comments, she ran off. In under a minute, she brought back a heavy set bloke who looked pretty unhappy with the fact he had been brought out. Unlike everyone else, who I notice is wearing a black t-shirt and black trousers, he was in casual clothes. He was the boss. He was now getting increasingly unhappy as she filled in the encounter with stories of my incompetence and of the recent 'struggle'. So I cut in. I argue about how this is all a misunderstanding, and I get told to zip it. That expression was genuinely used. I was then berated while I tried to cut in to explain the situation. I'm also now running out of time, so I then try to call my brother, so he can get his butt here and sort it all out. However, he then has the nerve to take my phone off me, and then really laid into me about having my phone on the sales floor. He tried to then take me to the back office, as we had got a crowd growing, but I shrug them off. I'm swearing, he's swearing, and then it comes. I'm fired. You're not him? NONSENSE!
He then grabbed me and started dragging me to the door, and I'm flailing around trying to stay on my feet, kicking boxes and shelves. Finally we were at the door, to which I'm pushed out of. He then stood blocking the doorway, aghast with how I acted, stating how appalled he is. My phone started ringing and I see it was my brother, He had a dropped call from me. I answered and immediately told him to run back to work. He was on his lunch break two minutes away, and I then decide to take it further. I told his boss to jump off a cliff. I swore and I made a scene. We're on the street and people were stopping to watch the theater unfold before them. He was calling the police, there were vile things said and gestured, and then my brother turned up. His look is golden, but what I'm enjoying much more is the look of his boss. God, how I loved the look on her face, it completely reversed from that awfully smug look earlier. So I pulled the race card, as well as a half Chinese guy can anyway, and apologies were so forthcoming and sudden. They were trying to bring us both in. If this was the U.S., we might have been able to make a bigger deal of this. But a typical English town? Not so much. But I went to listen to the apologies just to get rid of them. On the upside, I did get a free graphics card, but it wasn't the most up-to-date version I had wanted. The employees' shame could only get me so far!"