Whether if it's in an industry where people have to deal with customer service and face the unwashed masses, or mainly just interact with coworkers and have to navigate interoffice politics, the modern workplace has no shortage of maddening encounters. It's unclear why some people feel the need to be the most aggressive, selfish versions of themselves when they go out into the world. Maybe they were raised by parents who did the same and taught by example.
Whether it's a parent who has zero control of their obnoxious child or a customer who can't grasp that a coworker's medical emergency supersedes their shopping experience, it's a miracle more workers don't have spontaneous aneurysms with all the bullcrap they have to put up with. Here are some of Reddit's nastiest, most off-putting tales of workers' encounters with rude strangers.
He Needed That 25 Cent CD ASAP
“I used to work in a record store and once during one of our busy moments of the day, a coworker started to have a seizure up by the cash registers. I immediately stopped ringing up a customer to go help my coworker and try to figure out what to do.
About two minutes into me helping my coworker (who everyone could see needed help), a customer asked if we could hurry up and check him out. I remarked that I was sorry I was busy helping someone that was having a seizure so they’d have to wait a couple minutes.
Of course, the customer gave me an angry, frustrated look and started back talking. After I got the situation taken care of, I went to check the customer out and all he was trying to buy was a CD for 25 cents. As he was leaving, he remarked that he would never come back because of the slow service. Really?”
She Had Zero Control Of Her Riled Up Son
“A few years back, I was working for Gottschalk’s before they closed. I worked in the back side of the store in the Children’s Section and Intimate Apparel. One time, I was next to my register, organizing panties or something, when a woman walked up and asked me to ring her up. I went over and began scanning her items when her son wandered off toward the expensive leather jackets in the women’s section on the other side of my register.
This woman was paying absolutely ZERO attention to her son and even had her back to him. As I was still ringing up her massive amount of items, her son climbed up into the middle of the coat rack. He grabbed onto the metal bars on top, and began swinging back and forth while screaming, ‘IMMA CHIMPANZEE, IMMA CHIMP…’
Of course, the rack tumbled over on its side, causing a freaking chain reaction that sent ALL of the coat racks crashing to the ground. I ran over, pulled her son out of the middle of the collapsed rack, made sure he was okay, and attempted to get the FIVE HUNDRED DOLLAR coats off the ground.
The lady, still at the register and not even bothering to check and see if her kid was okay, suddenly shouted, ‘EXCUSE ME! YOU WANNA FINISH RINGING UP MY FREAKING ITEMS?!’
Flabbergasted, I stared at her in shock, the carnage of her son’s exploits all over the ground behind me. And then yeah, I rang that witch up. Unbelievable.”
“Where Is The Common Sense And Decency?”
“I work in the same building as a gym on a fairly major intersection and we have an underground garage where we can park. At 10:30 in the morning I hear, ‘There’s a dead guy in the stairwell facing the road.’ I asked coworker #1 for that to be repeated and, yeah, I heard correctly; there is a dead guy in the stairwell facing the road.
Three seconds later, I heard coworker #1 say, ‘Yeah, coworker #2 took a picture of the guy around lunchtime yesterday and he has it on his computer. There’s crap all over the stairwell. I went down and checked just now, the guy hasn’t moved from the position he was in in coworker #2’s picture. He crapped his pants and flies are buzzing around him.’ As he was describing this, he was laughing. Then I heard coworker #2 talking and laughing about it, too.
Naturally, I asked, ‘Okay, has anyone called 911?’ Nope. A guy had been dead for approximately 24 hours and no one had done anything except take a picture and laugh about it. WHAT. At that point, I was thinking these guys were either pulling a prank or they are total pieces of crap.
I went outside to inspect the scene and I could smell him from a hundred yards away around the corner of the building. The smell was permeating through the garage and out the vents, and became worse as I got closer. Finally, I walked up to the stairwell and saw a groggy-looking homeless guy sitting up and trying to get his bearings straight. Thank God he was alive and well,
I made the owner of the company aware of the situation and he basically asked my coworkers the same thing I did: ‘Where the heck is your common sense and decency?’ That was the end of it.”
Talk About Having No Concern For A Fellow Human Being
“Many years ago, I was a cable guy in New Jersey. One day we had a severe hurricane and there was massive flooding everywhere. I was asked by dispatch to come in and help handle downed poles and other emergencies (people will live without power, but not cable TV, believe me).
I hopped in my old ’74 Mustang and drove off to HQ. On the way, the road flooding was horrific. I nearly gave up after several fruitless reroutes. Eventually, I reached an impasse. I had to navigate this one road that was flooded really bad; a BMW was floating by. I looked at the arrangement of cars and decided if I stayed left of car X and right of car Y, I should be able to snake through the lake of water. I was wrong.
My car lifted and began to float. Water poured in from all directions. The dashboard lights all lit up. Abandon ship! So I did. I opened the door, flooding the car, and escaped. I swam in the murky water and came out on someone’s lawn. As I pulled myself up out of the muck, I was head-to-toe in mud. Just then, a door opened and a very large and unpleasant woman screamed at me, ‘Look what you did to my lawn!’
I looked at her lawn. It was a flooded mess, most of it underwater and much of it carried away down the street. Oh, and it had a few divots where my hands and feet were when I pulled myself out of the muck. I couldn’t believe she was upset at a few divots when 30% of her lawn was floating out to sea, but she continued to berate me. I was freezing cold, covered in mud, upset at ruining my car, and in shock that this old bat was actually chastising me.
I watched my car list to port, then sink. Only the roof stood above the waves. It was a total loss, no point in thinking about it. As this horrible woman continued screaming at me and threatening to call the cops, I swam to the far side of the mini-lake to find dry land. As I did, some dude in a Cadillac pulled up and offered me a ride. I explained I was covered in mud, but he didn’t care. He saw the whole thing and just wanted to help out a fellow traveler in trouble. He drove me almost all the way to HQ as I thanked him profusely. I’ll never forget that guy. Once at work, I was one of only five who made it. We spent the next 14 hours fixing downed wires and flooded boxes for $7.24 an hour plus time and a half.”
We All Have Problems
“I was a school teacher and we had a group of students that would tour around doing dance performances. Our kids performed in a library and one of the kids hurt themselves during the performance. It was closing time for the library and I was walking with this girl, my arm around her holding her up, trying to get her back to the bus and she was just bawling.
Though it was very obvious that she was sobbing, the janitor started yelling at us to get moving because he needed to clean. I told him she was injured and was moving really slow, but we were trying to get her out. He kept snapping at us, making her cry more.
I finally moved her out to the van and got her squared away. Then I went back in and told the janitor that it was rude of him to yell at a teenage girl like that. He just doubled down and said, ‘You got problems, I got problems!’ What a moron.”
He Didn’t Understand The Explosive Danger At Hand
“For a while, I worked at a gas station and most of the time I had to sit in a small building and just watch what went on outside. I was doing a bit of paperwork one day when I saw movement out of the corner of my eye. A customer was waving frantically to me, the pump hose in one hand (with no nozzle) and gas spraying EVERYWHERE.
I slammed the emergency stop button and the alarms started blaring. I ran outside with the absorption powder to try and get the massive spill under control, and at the same time, I was trying to explain to the people that were coming up to me why the pumps weren’t working. At that point, I was a bit unconcerned with customer service because my number one priority was to get the dangerous spill under control.
The guy who broke the nozzle felt that was a good time to come up to me and tell me, ‘I need a refund for all that gas.’ You know, I understood that because the gasoline was shooting out onto the ground instead of his tank, so he would eventually need his money back. But while the gasoline is still on the ground and I’m desperately trying to clean it up so that nobody gets hurt—that is not the right time to demand a refund.
Fortunately, my manager came out (he had to call the fire department and tell them not to come) and he dealt with the guy and all the people that felt the need to tell me that they were ‘in a hurry so when will the pumps be back on?'”
He Made The Boss’s Wife Look Silly
“My boss’s wife (who recently joined the company) has been sitting in on all our management meetings while we’ve been reviewing vendors for a new service on our website. After looking at one that boasted ‘93% of our customers think we’re the best!’ on their main page, she said, ‘I wanna talk to those 7% of customers, get me their phone numbers!’
We all glanced around at each other. My boss tried to explain, but she wasn’t having it, demanding I find out the contact information for this mysterious 7%. I replied, ‘(Boss’s wife’s name), getting their contact information that way is like watching a toothpaste commercial and then calling Crest demanding to know which one of the ten doctors didn’t feel it removed plaque better than the other leading brands.’
She shut up and sulked after I recommended Yelp.”
His Response May Have Been Too Savage…
“Yesterday I walked from my office to a nearby mall food court for lunch. Going inside the front doors, there’s a set of steps that go up and a ramp next to them exactly wide enough for one person.
For whatever reason, I ended up walking up the ramp instead of the steps. I was literally 3 feet from the top when a guy in a wheelchair who had been approaching lunged to the end of the ramp, blocking my way. Since this ramp was barely wide enough for a wheelchair, bordered on one side by the wall and the other by a railing, I was blocked in.
The guy started yelling at me, ‘The ramp is for handicapped people, go back and use the stairs!’ He literally wanted me to turn around, walk 75 feet back down the ramp, and then back up the stairs. To be clear, he wasn’t ON the ramp, just blocking the end of it. I’m not even sure he wanted to use the ramp.
I said, ‘Look, just move out of the way.’
He yelled some more, ‘No, you go back down the ramp!’ At that point people were staring and I was hungry, plus no way I was going to give this old miserable coot the satisfaction of walking back down the ramp, so I stepped over the rail and walked around him.
He was frothing he was so mad and said, ‘You think you’re pretty freaking cute, don’t you?’
The only response I could come up with was, ‘It’s no big deal…because I’M NOT CRIPPLED.’ It wasn’t my proudest moment, but it was pretty satisfying.”
The Audacity Of Some People When Lives Are On The Line
“Working as a paramedic, it was surprising sometimes to get to the scene of an accident and have some idiot come out of the house yelling about walking on his or her yard and all the damage we were doing.
I once had a lady who went sledding with her kids in a public park when the sled hit a bump and she hurt her back, leaving her unable to move. We were there and some frickin’ prick came up and said, ‘You know, you’re blocking the way for our sledding, you need to move.’ The ignorance, insensitivity, and sheer disregard for other people’s problems/injuries never cease to amaze me. It must be something about the flashing red lights that make certain people say the dumbest things. I can only imagine some of the dumb crap cops hear.”
She Was Manhandled In The Middle Of Serving A Table
“I work in a restaurant as a server. When I went in on Halloween this year (as a dazzling Miss Peter Pan, I must add), I discovered the restaurant had advertised that all kid meals were free for children under 10. As soon as I checked in with the hostess, I was double sat with parties of 3 and 12. I was all flustered trying to get drinks and orders from both parties as the host sat me again and again. The party of 12 just happened to have four or five children so I had to add together what their food would be, take it off their bill, and then split up the bill onto 3 separate checks while dealing with my other tables.
As I was handing the party their checks, I got sat again with two people. I had to postpone greeting the table because one of the women in the party told me that I added 2 extra cold beverages to their bill and needed to fix it right away because they were trying to make it to a movie. I ran through the restaurant looking for my manager to correct the bill so I could hurry and give it to the woman before greeting my other table, which had been waiting too long.
After fixing it and returning it to the woman, I thanked them for coming in and told them to have a great night. Then I immediately turned to my new table to greet them. I started taking their order when I heard, ‘Excuse me, this bill is still wrong, I told you we only had one cold beverage,’ and the woman grabbed me by my shoulder and turned me around to face her WHILE I was with another table.
This woman tried to tell me that I didn’t take the beverages off and the bill was still wrong. I pointed to where it said ‘ERROR Cold Beverage: -2.29’ on her bill and compared both the old bill and the new one I had given her to show her the difference. When she tried to argue with me, I told her that I knew the bill was right and that I was busy and had other customers to help.
Also since there were more than eight people in their party, the bill had gratuity added automatically. Where the bill asked for more to be added onto the tip, the woman wrote, ‘No way!’ I found that very humorous since the only thing that went wrong with their whole experience was the extra beverage, which I fixed. That woman and her family are regulars, so I do my best to stay clear of them now.”
He Was Completely Insensitive To The Developing Situation
“I work at urgent care and we once had a pregnant woman in her third trimester come in and immediately fall to the ground having seizures. We called an ambulance to take her to the ER and tended to her while we waited.
This was all taking place in the waiting room, about 15 minutes before closing. Right after the ambulance arrived and the EMTs were loading her up on the stretcher, a man walked in to be seen. I kindly explained to him that we were in the middle of a situation (which he could plainly see, as it was happening in the reception area) and couldn’t take any more patients as we were closing in a few minutes anyway.
He started going off, saying, ‘Aren’t you a freaking urgent care? I need urgent care! Are you refusing me treatment? That’s illegal, you witch!’ He finally left after a while, muttering about how we were the worst doctors he’d ever been to.”
The Situation Demanded Just A Bit More Urgency Than He Indicated
“I used to work in banquet service (setting up, not serving food) for a large hotel chain. I worked the late shift so I was the only one from my department on staff. I was never very busy (I was mostly there in case someone needed an extra table or chair) so I carried a walkie-talkie in case I was needed somewhere.
One day I was paged over the walkie-talkie, ‘Can you swing by the front desk when you get a chance?’ I had already finished all of my tasks for the day, so I was watching Law and Order in the break room. During a commercial break, I sauntered up to the front desk and ask, ‘Hey, what’s up?’
The front desk clerk then said, ‘Oh hey, the banquet table is on fire.’
I walked around the corner and, sure enough, the buffet table we had set up outside a conference room was on fire. One of the burners used for keeping dishes warm had tipped over. I grabbed a nearby tablecloth and smothered the fire. Then I walked back by the front desk and imparted this wisdom: ‘Next time something is on fire…try to convey a sense of urgency.’ He just stood there and blinked at me. Also, he had a fire extinguisher behind the front desk.”
He Was Rewarded For Being A Cretin In Front Of His Kids
“I used to work at a small food stand-like place at Disney World. We closed at 3 pm every day after lunch and we were RIGHT next to another food place that remained open. One day, a man came up to our window at around 3:30 pm (we had already closed everything) and demanded food. I told him nicely that our kitchen was closed, that a similar restaurant was literally 15 yards away, and that they served the same items.
Well, this guy freaked out, screaming and complaining about the service in front of his children and a bunch of other kids. He even called one of my coworkers a moron. I’m sure he was fully aware of Disney’s policy to never let anyone go unsatisfied and thought maybe he’d get some freebies. Well, he did end up getting free food and drinks.
As he was given his food that came from the neighboring kitchen, I remember giving him the most ‘what the heck is wrong with you?’ I’ve ever given anyone, even at the risk of losing my job for not looking ‘Disney Happy’ when around a guest. The part that ticked me off most was that he acted like that in front of his children and was rewarded. He didn’t even say thank you.”