Ahh, Walmart. It's a place that's almost unavoidable. Every town has one and they definitely have some pretty good deals. But, they also have the stereotypical Walmart shopper. The town oddball that seems to be lurking in the aisles. Walmart employees have to deal with them on an everyday basis.
Here are all of the best stories from Walmart employees about their most messed up customer. Content has been edited for clarity.
Unexpected And Somehow Worse
“An older guy, who looked pretty dirty and homeless, came up and asked me to ring him up through the electronics register. He was leaning over like he had something in his jacket and his hand was inside. I thought nothing much of it. I kind of expected to laugh later and say it looked like I was about to be robbed. Nope.
As I scan his groceries he looks into my eyes and says with the creepiest face and smile ‘Do you want to see my treasure?’ I just stared at him. What was it? A weapon? His meat and potatoes? Imagine my terror as he slowly opens his jacket to reveal what appeared to be a newborn puppy, very newborn and slimy, and very much not moving. I told my boss I had to go to break after that one.”
The Creep And The Dummy
“I worked at Walmart in high school. My go-to Walmart story involves a guy who came up to me when I was folding clothes once. He had a ventriloquist dummy in the child’s seat of his cart. He asked me if he could buy some of my hair. He offered me a hundred bucks. When I said no, he asked me why and then started arguing with me about why I wouldn’t sell him my hair. He said things like, ‘You don’t need it. It’ll grow back! Come on!’
I ended up saying I was going to get a manager and he gave up and left. Never have I been more terrified to walk to my car at night after my shift.”
Sharing Is Caring
“One night, this lady was pushing a shopping cart with a baby car seat thing in it. She had a bag of Cheetos opened and was eating them while pushing the cart. I saw her out of the corner of my eye grab a Cheeto, reach down, and give it to the baby. I was thinking ‘that’s weird’ when she reached in and got another.
Then this tiny black hairy arm comes out. She had a baby monkey dressed in baby clothes in her shopping cart. It had a veil covering it up so you couldn’t tell. She was just casually feeding it Cheetos while doing some midnight shopping, I guess.”
What Do You Store Your Tiramisu In?
“During my one summer working at Walmart, I was approached by a man in his mid-50s who asked where he could find ‘tiramisu containers.’ I’ve never heard of such a specific item, so I asked if he wanted Tupperware. Then I walked with him to the aisle where they could be found.
Along the way, he proceeded to say the most stereotypical Italian phrases: ‘Bene,’ ‘Bravo,’ ‘Mamma Mia!’ and etc. When we arrived, he thanked me and the other associate (a college-aged girl) who tagged along. He gave me his card; it was plain white with ONLY his name and address. We were invited to his house for, ‘music, tiramisu, and ROMANCE!’ We didn’t go. He then bought, I kid you not, at least 30 Tupperware containers.
A month later, while stocking, a strange Italian accent behind me told me to, ‘Stick your hands up!’ This same guy returned and wanted to know where he could find ‘tiramisu containers.’ I asked if he wanted Tupperware and he proceeded to buy 30 more. I still wonder why.”
They Dreaded The Approach Of “Sample Lady”
“Her name was Sample Lady. She was stocky, robust, and rude as all get out. She used to ride around in the power scooters the store has. I always knew when she was in the store. How? The ear-piercing screech I would hear as she drove herself to the deli where I worked. She would always be chewing on something, anything, asking us for samples of cheeses and deli meats. Of course, I would oblige and cut her a sample or two and await her order/decision. Nope, lets try two more. Nope, six more. I hit 11 items before I was forced to stop. I let her know that she had to make a decision because at that point it was basically stealing food. She replied, ‘I will get my sister, she has the money.’ Okay.
Well, that night as I left the store, and was blinded by the always present cop lights outside, I saw her getting arrested. She was screaming and fighting hardcore, yelling that they’re assaulting her and everything. I asked some of my co-workers outside what was going on, and I kid you not here is what they told me: management found her on the bench near meat department digging her hands through raw ground beef and eating it like that. When they went to make her leave because she refused to stop, she got up from the bench and halfway ran towards the front. She was stuffing the beef down her bra, yelling, ‘You can’t steal America from me!’ Yeah, the police got her shortly after because she got tired out at the doors.
Thus ended the saga of Sample Lady. Her reign of annoyance came to a halt, and the scooters never did scrape the floor the same ever since.”
A Temper Tantrum Of Epic Proportions
“Even though I was a housewares/crafts employee, I was trained in hardware, so I could mix paint. We sold three types of paint. The most expensive was ‘Glidden with Primer,’ then it was ‘Better Homes and Garden,’ and finally ‘Color Place.’
How our paint machines worked was we would input the color code, and then grab the appropriate ‘base.’ This is just how much room is in the can to mix the glycol in. Darker colors need more room. You could scale up on light colors if you were out of the base it needed, the machine would just add more white paint as necessary to compensate, but dark colors couldn’t change bases because they would overflow.
A very angry man came up to the desk and wanted four cans of a certain color in a flat finish. I went and checked the shelves. We just didn’t have enough of the base we needed. I explained this to him and gave him some options. Either he could: change what finish he wanted, change what brand he was going to get (he was getting Color Place), or I could call another store and see if they could get it going for him.
I told him the options and he just demanded the paint in the finish he wants. So, I called another store and gave them all the details. After a good 10 minutes of coordination, all of which he could hear, I explained that if he wanted the paint the other store will have it mixed and ready to go at the customer service desk. He would just have to pay for it when he got there. He answered by slamming the receiver button and swearing at me. I realized I did not have the powers to appease him, so I called a manager.
The manager came over and they ‘talked’ for a good fifteen minutes. The manager was sick of his attitude. He was explaining the situation and everything to him as the guy got madder and madder. Finally, the manager offered to bump him up the ‘Better Homes and Garden’ paint, in the finish he wanted, at the price of the ‘Color Place.’ The man did not like this, as it wasn’t ‘what he came here for.’ He just started picking up paint cans and throwing them on the floor. They burst open. My manager backed up a bit and kind of yelled and whispered for me to call the police. I did so, they were there in about 10 minutes. During all that time, this guy was still throwing cans and yelling.
The cop, who looked tired, just walked up to him at the edge of the paint pool. He asked the man to ‘calm down and stop acting like a baby.’ The man looked at the cop and started to come at him. While walking towards him, he decided his best course of action at this point was to pick up the dead-blow mallet we keep on the paint desk to close lids.
Not a good idea.
The cop, not wanting to deal with this, pulled out his taser and blasted it into the dude’s chest. He went DOWN. I was kind of scared the taser would ignite the paint. The man went rigid for a second, then started squirming in the puddle of paint, getting it all over him and the floor even more so. Finally, the cop’s partner came in and helped the other cop get this guy to his feet. They cuffed him and led him out. My manager looked at me and said, ‘Why don’t you just go ahead and take your 15 early today? Just call maintenance before you go.’ I did so, and as I was walking to the back I heard, ‘OH WHAT THE HECK!’ when he got there.”
“I worked at Walmart for five years. Aside from the usual trashy people, the one that sticks out to me was The Specter. She was a tall woman. She was probably in her 70s. She would come in and shop always wearing a white dress and a corset, synched up extremely tight, over the dress. She also wore white face paint and lipstick, like kabuki makeup.
This wasn’t just one time like she was coming home from a play or something. This was several times a week for years. Nobody I know at the store ever talked to her, we were all too afraid.”
This Man Was A Rarity
“My cousin worked third shift at Walmart. It was a pretty rural area so the place was practically abandoned 95% of the time and since I was a bored teenager with nothing better to do, I would often go and hang out with my cousin as he did stocking jobs and the like. The higher-ups at the store either didn’t know or didn’t care that I was there with him. There were several incidents I experienced with my cousin that I still think about to this day. One in particular:
While he was restocking dairy, a man came up to him to inquire about the steaks they had. He seemed pretty normal until I heard, ‘Well, I like em rare, do they taste good rare?’ I looked over to see him ripping open the cellophane wrapping and taking a HUGE chunk out of the steak. He swallowed it after several seconds of very loud, open-mouthed chewing. He then proceeded to shrug and look mildly disappointed before wandering off.”
A Tragedy In Pictures
“I work in the photo lab. I have this one customer who comes in weekly. She recently lost her brother. He was murdered at a football game for trying to stop a guy who was beating up a girl. It was an awful situation, and this woman was still obviously grieving and working through her loss. Anyway, she came in a few weeks ago to print off some more pictures of her brother. I thought nothing of it. She ordered her normal 40-50 photos and a 16×20 poster.
Everything is going well until the poster started printing. As it was printing, I noticed that it was coming out just solid black. ‘That can’t be right.’ I said to myself. I open up her order in the computer, look at the file for the poster, and lo and behold, it was just solid black. ‘She must have made a mistake,’ I thought to myself as I canceled the poster, not wanting to waste all that paper and ink for a solid black 16×20.
When she comes back to pick up her order, I tell her that there was a problem with the poster she ordered, the file came through as a solid black image. She said that can’t be right, and proceeded to pull up the picture on her phone.
She hands me the phone, I look at it, and see a solid black image. She then tells me that the previous night, she called out to her brother’s spirit, felt him wrap his arms around her. She took this picture of them in the mirror. In the complete dark.
I feel for this lady, I really do. I even printed her solid black 16×20 and let her have it for free. The fact that she was so intent that there was actually something in the picture was heartbreaking. I hope she is able to process her loss and come through it ok.”
“I was a cashier in a rural New Mexican town near the Texas border. There was a man that the cashiers had all nicknamed ‘Cat-Man.’ Cat-Man was weird. He had a salt and pepper bowl cut, parted straight down the middle and stopped at about the middle of his ears. He had a thick Walter Cronkite mustache that matched the salt and pepper coloration of his hair.
Cat-Man came in about three times a week. He would never have a full cart. It was always mostly empty. His groceries came out to be around $60-70 every time. It was mostly cat food. About 20 or 30 cans of wet cat food scattered the basket and a big bag of dried food was usually on the bottom rack. He’d occasionally buy human food like frozen pizzas or dinners, but not much. At the register, he was always very quiet and reserved. I can’t recall ever seeing him buy cat litter with all that cat food.”
A Scarring Experience
“I worked in the cell phone area of the Walmart in my hometown for about three years during high school. I have many stories but this one takes the cake. A man came in and said his Galaxy S3 wasn’t working. I took it from him and plugged it in to charge it. It turned on but the battery was on fire. I looked at his notifications bar and saw the little download symbol. I pulled it down and I see the most horrifying thing ever.
He was in the middle of downloading 30+ of the nastiest adult videos I have ever heard of. I told him that those were the issues and he needed to uninstall them himself. I did not want to touch his mobile jerk machine any more than I already did. He complies and starts to uninstall them. He then shows me his phone because one of them wasn’t going away. Turns out he accidentally pressed that one and it started to play about three inches from my face.”
His Raging Hid His Ulterior Motives
“I worked at Wal-Mart in the late ’90s for a year in the electronics department. We had a guy come in every week and buy something from our department. He would hold an employee hostage for at least an hour for whatever item he wanted to buy. Every insignificant detail had to be questioned and debated, no matter the product. He bought portable cassette players, universal remotes, etc. The very next day, he would always bring it back complaining it didn’t work how he was told. Not just complaining, he would go livid about it and threaten to sue if he didn’t get his way.
Turns out, this was some elaborate ruse to get a chance to hit on the woman who worked the customer service desk, Rachel. He was married. The days she wasn’t working is when he would actually come to the department and browbeat us like we had done something wrong. He eventually stopped when Rachel quit.”
Her Wheels Were Street Legal
“I worked at Walmart after college. The weirdest customer I saw was someone who had a gasoline-powered wheelchair. It was some sort of combination between a regular reclining wheelchair and a lawnmower engine. It made a noise that echoed through the store. It made the place stink of oily gasoline fumes. But, it was a wheelchair for a legitimate medical need, so she was allowed to ride it. She was in terrible control of the thing. A lot of displays were knocked down when she left her foot on the gas for too long.
It even had a license plate. She would ride it out into traffic, putting just over 15 miles per hour and otherwise behaving like the world’s saddest moped. When she left our store and went over to Long John Silver’s. In retrospect, it was cool, but at the time hearing the thing echoing up and down the store was annoying.”
That’s Not How It Works
“I had a guy come through my line wanting to buy a Flowbee (that 90s vacuum haircut thing). He wanted to barter with me for it. I tried telling him that corporate sets the prices, but he seemed to think I was personally profiting from it.
He was extremely irate. He finally says, ‘Fine! I’m not going to buy it then!’ I got a lot of people like that who think I control the prices or care if they buy something or not.”
The Orange Juice That Wasn’t
“I worked at Walmart for a few years, but one instance definitely stands out to me as one of my weirdest encounters ever. I was working one of the few check-out lanes and an older lady came through with a cart full of groceries. Business as usual, however, I noticed that as I was checking her items, there was a puddle of what looked like orange juice underneath her cart.
As soon as I noticed the ‘orange juice,’ one of my coworkers walked by and said she would clean up the mess. She grabbed a roll of paper towels and started to clean up. This is when the customer started to act like she wanted to hurry up with the transaction. That was when I notice it though. One of the customer’s socks was yellow, and as I looked up, I saw that her pants leg was wet too. The lady had wet herself, but by this time my coworker had already committed to cleaning up the mess.”