In the world of customer service, there are moments when entitled customers unleash their frustration on service workers over matters that are completely beyond their control. From the mundane to the downright absurd, these stories showcase the lengths some individuals will go to express their discontent.
All stories have been edited for clarity.
“I used to work at Toys-R-Us before it closed. One year a new Baby Alive doll came out that we had a hard time keeping on the shelf. It got to the point that desperate parents would call nonstop about it so they could have us place one on hold for them. This left many customers frustrated because we would have to tell them we were ‘out’ of the doll even though we had like twenty of them on hold for other customers who sometimes didn’t even show up. Eventually, the store manager told us to tell callers that the dolls would only be available on a first come first serve basis.
On a Wednesday morning, we had just opened for the day when the phone started ringing. I answered and was met with a sharp voice demanding to know if we had any of the dolls available.
‘Yes, we have a few on the shelf,’ I answered.
‘How many?’ the voice insisted.
Luckily I was near a computer. I informed the caller that our system showed a number of six left. However, that number may change.
‘Well, can you put two on hold for me?’ the voice asked, suddenly nicer in tone.
‘No, ma’am,’ I began. ‘I’m sorry but to get this toy you will have to come to the store. We can’t place any holds at this time.’
There was a brief pause before the woman on the other end snapped. ‘Are you freaking kidding me?! You can’t just hold this toy for me until lunch?’
There was another brief pause before the woman asked how many were in stock again.
‘I’m showing a number of six at our location, but that could change-‘ I was abruptly cut off when the caller hung up unexpectedly. I shrugged it off and continued my day. Soon, lunchtime came and went and I was about to go home for the day. I was tasked with stocking shelves and offering assistance to other customers, so I wasn’t really keeping track of how many dolls were sold that day.
Suddenly, a loud voice ripped through the store from the checkout area. Curious, I made my way to the front where a woman was in the middle of berating one of the cashiers. I instantly knew who she was.
‘I was told you had a total of six dolls left. Where are they?!’
I stepped in between the cashier and the irate woman.
‘Hi, we spoke earlier. There were a total of six when you called. As I explained, that number was subject to change because it’s a popular item.’
‘You’re telling me you sold all of them in five hours!?’ the woman snapped again.
‘Unfortunately,’ I said. ‘There isn’t anything we can do. Would you like for me to find another location that might have some left?’
‘NO!’ the woman screamed. ‘I need that toy right now!’
At that point, I had to warn the woman to lower her voice because she was disturbing the other customers. Angered, the woman stormed out of the store, but not before knocking over a cardboard display and threatening a different employee.
It was pretty bizarre. But this was one of the many terrible customer service moments that made me leave retail for good.”
Just A Few Minutes
“I work as a server at Waffle House. I’ll never forget this one time my coworker was training a new hire on the register. The morning started off pretty slow before the usual rush kicked off. An older woman walked in and asked to place an order for takeout. The new girl provided excellent customer service and seemed to have a pretty normal interaction with the woman. She then announced the customer’s total and quoted a time for her food to be prepared.
Once the woman finished paying, she stood directly in front of the register. Meanwhile, more and more customers began to pile up as they waited to pay for their tabs or start a takeout order of their own. Confused, the new girl asked if the woman needed anything else.
‘Uh, yeah,’ the old woman scoffed. ‘My food!’
‘Yes, that’s going to take a few minutes. You’re welcome to have a seat.’ The new girl waved her arms across the multiple empty chairs at the bar and the empty seat next to the jukebox.
‘So I just paid for nothing?’ the old woman snapped.
The new girl paused. ‘No, but I need you to stand aside so I can ring up the next customer.’
The old woman looked around like she was trying to process a different language. ‘All I want is a waffle!’
‘Okay,’ the new girl said, her patience wavering. ‘It’s going to take a few minutes. Please stand aside so I can help the next guest.’
Finally, something clicked and the old woman snatched up her purse and sat down next to the jukebox. The new girl casually assisted the next customer in line, but not without the old woman glaring at her the whole time. When her waffle was finally finished, the woman got up and snatched it before storming out.
Not sure what Waffle House she’s been to where she didn’t have to wait a few minutes. Good grief.”
“One unfortunate day I had to work my shift at Walmart during Black Friday. Thankfully, I was scheduled to come in long after the initial rush, but the store was still packed full of people trying to scavenge for other deals. When I came in, the store was in shambles. There was plastic wrap everywhere, clothes and towels on the floor, and lines as long as I could see.
After I put my stuff away and clocked in, I quickly made my way to the floor to start straightening up. A few moments later, a quiet voice got my attention. I stopped what I was doing and turned around to find a small old man looking at me expectantly.
‘I can’t seem to find a cart. Do you know where there are more?’ the old man asked.
Now I wasn’t a cart pusher, but I’m sure they were doing their best to keep the carts stocked during the craziest day of the year. I patiently informed the man that the store was limited on carts because of how many people were in the store shopping and he would have a better shot at getting one if he waited near the front.
At the time, the old man simply nodded his thanks and walked off. It was a simple interaction and I didn’t think much of it. He had walked over to the next aisle and amazingly found a discarded cart. When he came back around to where I was, he thanked me and said he got lucky. It made me smile as I continued working, but not even ten minutes later a loud voice caught my attention. I looked up and saw a woman holding a small child in her arms with a look on her face that could kill.
‘I need a cart!’ she hollered at me. ‘Don’t you guys have more?’
I calmly repeated the same thing I said to the old man, but the woman cut me off and said, ‘Okay, but didn’t I just see you help that old man find one? I’m trying to shop but can’t do that with my child in my hands.’
Now, to be frank, the child was big enough to walk on his own, but I guess that wasn’t really my place to say. I apologized to the woman and reiterated where she could find a cart, but she kept insisting that I find one for her.
‘The customer that you saw found the cart on his own,’ I said.
‘So you’re really not going to help me find one?’ the woman retorted.
‘Well,’ I paused. ‘I’m telling you where you can find a cart, but I’m not going to get one for you.’
‘Why not?’ the woman snapped.
‘Because that’s not my job.’ I snapped back, feeling myself getting out of character.
‘Well, you just stand there and do nothing then and see how long you have your job then!’ the woman roared as she stormed off.
I said nothing as she marched away, relieved that she was finally out of my hair. I didn’t see the woman in there for the rest of the time I was on the floor, but I did get called into my supervisor’s office when a call from corporate reported me for ‘discrimination.’ After explaining the situation, my supervisor simply sighed and told me to be more mindful of what I said to customers.
I didn’t work for Walmart much longer after that.”