It’s not easy working retail. On any given day, you’re forced to deal with angry customers, unruly children, awful managers, and worst of all, poorly planned shifts. No one should ever have to close a store…only to open the next morning.
Oh, and do your job perfectly, and you’ll make an average of $11.11 per hour, per PayScale. Hooray.
However, some days are more tolerable than others. When you’re lucky enough to see a rude customer receive their comeuppance, you’ll have a bounce in your step for the next few weeks. In a recent Reddit thread, users shared their stories of awful customers who quickly received a karmic thrashing, and yes, it was glorious. We collected a few of the best responses, then edited them slightly for grammar and readability.
1. Often, retail workers are required to ask you if you want to buy a few extras.
If you’re not interested, just say no—but don’t take it out on the worker.
“I worked at a telecom store in Canada,” wrote thelostcanuck. “I am no longer an employee, thank God.”
“A lady comes in with a broken iPhone, demanding to get a new one for free. If you don’t know, in Canada, the iPhone 6S is going for about $400 upfront on a two-year contract at a minimum $80 phone plan. She had a good plan, but she wanted it for free.”
“She called up our loyalty team in store and spent the next two hours screaming at them. Finally, they agree to a deal: She is getting it for no money upfront. She looks at me and goes, ‘I do not want a case, and AppleCare is a scam.’ We work on commission, so this essentially meant I was getting nothing and ruining my numbers.”
“She keeps telling me to hurry up through the setup, and I was trying to get her out of the store with everything transferred over and set up. She grabs the phone and starts marching off, saying I was a terrible employee. She gets three steps out of the store and drops the phone. It shattered her screen, and she had the white screen of death.”
“She ran back in, asking what I can do. I shrug and went, ‘Sorry, but AppleCare sure would have helped, eh?’”
If you’re keeping track at home, that’s an apology and an “eh” thrown in for good measure—this person’s definitely a real Canadian.
2. If you know you’ll need to buy something, leave your pet at home.
“Warehouse worker here,” wrote Apocalypsze. “Customers have to show a card to shop with us, and even though we’re not technically a grocery store, we don’t allow pets.”
“One dude tried to power-walk past the employee at the entrance door while holding a big pitbull puppy on a leash. We stopped him and told him he couldn’t bring his dog inside, and he lost it.”
The guy started shouting about how he was their “best customer,” and how he shops there five times a week. That didn’t really impress the employees.
“He demanded to know why we don’t allow dogs. We explained how it’s a food safety issue, especially with an untrained puppy. At this point, our manager came over and just waved him through, because the manager has no backbone, and ‘the customer’s always right.’”
We hate that phrase.
“Well, not even five minutes later, this dog squats in the middle of the main aisle, pees, and poops. The man turned red and dragged the dog towards the exit, abandoning his groceries. We stopped him and asked him nicely to please clean up after his pup. ‘That’s the reason we don’t allow them, sir.’”
So…did the guy actually clean it up?
“Yes,” Apocalypsze wrote. “It was glorious!”
3. Don’t try to pull rank on retail workers.
“I worked at Best Buy 10 or so years ago, and this happened on Black Friday,” mayonays wrote. “Most of the customers were in bad moods since they’d been waiting hours to come in and stand in more lines. But this one lady was a raging [jerk].”
Okay, they didn’t really write “jerk.”
“After yelling at everyone in my department about how she needed the laptop that was on sale—ignoring the fact that it was sold out—she proceeds to tell us she’ll have the store closed down because she ‘works with the city and knows the fire marshall,’ and we have too many people in the store.”
“So she calls him, we tell her to leave, and nothing happens to the store. However, we called them as well to report what she’d said. She got fired from her job for abuse of power.”
4. If you’re going to get angry, make sure it’s warranted.
“I used to return customer credit cards by setting them on the podium we used to swipe them, so the cards ended up right by the customer when I swung the screen around for them to sign,” explained quasiix. “One lunch rush—we were a take-out restaurant—one lady decided this was an offense of the highest order and yelled at me for not placing it directly in her hand.”
“I stupidly engaged her and tried to explain that I did that for everybody, which got me a lecture about how she is the customer, and good service is doing what she wants, and so on. There were about of dozen people eating at our tables and five people in the line behind her, so she was straight hamming it up, making sure everyone saw her putting me in my place.”
“Unfortunately for her, the dramatic performance proved to be a bit too distracting. She stormed out without her infant. This was, of course, noticed by pretty much everyone in the building since she had just made herself the center of attention.”
“One of the customers even had to run after her and stop her from driving away. For the record, there is no real subtle way to pick up a full-size child carrier.”
5. A nice car doesn’t make you a nice person.
“I worked at a gas station some odd years ago,” wrote a Reddit user whose account has since been deleted. “The week before this incident, it had been snowing a lot, so the gas tankers got delayed due to safety reasons.”
“A customer came in a pretty new Mercedes-Benz, something like an SLS-400, and wanted the premium gas. I explained to him that the tankers are delayed, and we currently don’t have any premium gasoline, so he could try the next station down the block.”
“He started swearing at me personally—like I have control over the gas delivery. He sped off, tires screeching, only to have his rear tire hit the curb. His rim got [messed] up really bad, and he couldn’t drive it. I laughed at him.”
That seems like an appropriate reaction.
6. Nobody’s too good for Styrofoam.
“It was the best day of my life,” wrote Jenniferh9309. “I work in a small cafe. It was about 10:30 a.m. on a weekday morning, nice and quiet. In comes this woman—she was in her late fifties—with her husband and their grandchild. The little boy was adorable, and the grandmother was all over him. He sat beside her, and she constantly talked to him, ignoring her husband.”
“Everything is fine. Someone takes their order, and then I go to take stuff over. The wee boy’s milk is ready first—just milk in a Styrofoam cup with a lid and straw. He must be 2 or 3, and that’s just what we do for kids that age.”
“I take it over, and she looks at me like I’ve put a turd on the table. She says she wanted it in a cup, and I explain the only cups we have are coffee mugs. They’re heavy for a small child, and it’s easy to spill stuff out of them.”
“She says she wants it anyway, so I go back to the bar area. When I go back up, another girl is taking over a latte and another coffee. The woman goes mental. ‘Do you not use cups in here?!’ All because she got a latte glass—so we bring that back, too.”
“Just as I’m about to take the milk in a mug back to her, her sandwich is ready, so I take it over with the milk. She looks at the sandwich like it’s the last straw. ‘That’s not chicken, that’s revolting!’”
“I explain that, as it says on the menu, it’s chicken with parmesan mayonnaise. She shakes her head like I’m an idiot and just thrusts it back at me. I ignore her. I don’t ask if she wants something else, I just walk away. Then I hear a yell and a crash.”
“The wee boy picked up the mug of milk. It must have been too heavy, because he dropped it, soaking both himself and the grandmother and smashing the cup on the floor. Sure, we had to clean it up, but my smugness was as close as I dared get to ‘I told you so.’”
While that’s an incredible story, we’ve got to say: Parmesan mayonnaise sounds pretty disgusting.
7. This technically isn’t a story about a customer, but it’s too good to leave out.
“It wasn’t the customer in my case, it was the manager,” wrote EmberDione. “She was awful. She was rude, intentionally picked favorite employees and gave them presents in front of everyone (even when they didn’t like her and tried to avoid it), messed up schedules on purpose for people she didn’t like, etc. Worst manager ever.”
“So there was a huge storm coming in, and people were really worried about it. Like, the news was telling people to stay home, and other businesses were closing. It was up to her to either keep our store open or close it. Of course, she kept it open.”
“Because schools closed, only half of our scheduled employees showed up. The rest called in—and she called her favorites and told them they didn’t have to come in. Well, the five of us who showed up were standing there, watching out the front windows—there were zero customers—she starts yelling at us and threatening to write us all up. We’re just like, ‘No one is here, all the work is done, we are watching the wind bend trees over, and we’re worried about if we’re safe or if we’ll be able to get home.’”
“Right about this time we hear a super loud crashing noise. Cahcunk, cachunk, cachunk…WHAM! The industrial air conditioner on top of the building had been blown off. It rolled along the roof, then went flying into the parking lot—right onto her car.”
“It was so perfect it was surreal. Dead center, it smashed her car flat. If she had been in it, she would have died. And it only happened because she parked right up by the building, where we had been specifically told not to park. All our cars were out in the farthest corner of the lot.”
“We later found out it her car wasn’t paid off. It was some stupidly expensive BMW or something, and her insurance didn’t cover the damage because it was an ‘act of God.’”
8. We’re not sure whether thieves are technically customers.
Nevertheless, they’re idiots—and well deserving of their comeuppance.
“Way back when I used to be a retail slave, I worked at an electronics retailer,” wrote NermalKitty. “We had some guys going around trying to lift DVDs. They were cutting the barcodes off to remove the sensors so the alarms wouldn’t go off when they walked out of the store.”
“Loss prevention notices and starts sending over floor reps to see how the thieves are doing, if they need help, etc. Finally, our loss prevention guy goes over and just hands them a handbasket, because they had nothing in their hands. It was showing them we knew.”
“So they start wandering around ditching the DVDs as they go, and as soon as they drop one an employee comes up and grabs it. They start freaking out. They dump the rest and just book it towards the door full speed. No one chased, because they ditched all the merchandise.”
“As they exit, one of the dudes turns around and starts flipping everyone off, yelling “F*** (store name)!’ As he’s doing this, he steps off the curb into the front driveway in the parking lot and promptly gets hit by a car. It was in the lot, so it was only hard enough to knock him over, but he had to scramble to hit feet and keep running.”
9. Don’t be mean to the people who handle your food.
“I was a server during college at an upper-scale restaurant,” wrote OffdutyEngineer. “I rarely had problems with customers, and I am overall genuinely friendly. I had a table for four with only three patrons there—an older couple with their adult daughter. I served them beverages, and they told me to wait for the fourth patron, their son.”
“About 40 minutes and two refills go by. I say, ‘I bet you guys are starving by now. Would you like me to bring you our lettuce wraps? They’re small enough to not ruin your appetite. Or are we still waiting for my buddy?’”
“The father said, ‘We are going to wait, and he isn’t your buddy. Frankly, you don’t know him. He’s a hard-working man and will be respected.’”
“’You’re right, sir, forgive me.’”
“‘He actually has a real job.’”
“‘I understand, sir, it won’t happen again.’”
“When I came back for refill number three, the son was arriving. He happened to be an old high school friend. Before taking a seat, he gave me a hug right in front of his dad.”
“I looked at the father and said, ‘Small world, huh? I can’t believe you’re my old buddy [name]’s family. I’m surprised we’ve never met before, with [name] and I spending so much time together in high school.’”
“It’s too bad our restaurant didn’t serve crow.”
10. When you’re working customer service, a great boss makes a difference.
“I worked for a sushi bar for a few years,” wrote LittleMissLokii. “They do a half-price sushi hour most weekdays for dine-in customers. It’s a good deal, especially for how high quality the food is.”
“It was an especially busy day—lots of people waiting. This woman and her daughter come in and stress that they are in a hurry (‘My daughter has cheerleading’), but they want the half price. Uh, good luck? Full house…but whatever. Customers equal money, yo.”
“So the lady gets angry when her food takes longer than 15 minutes. She asks if she can get her food to go. I then explained that the food would be full priced since she wasn’t dining in. We get into an ‘argument.’ She’s getting angry and beginning to yell at me in front of her embarrassed daughter while I’m meekly standing there, unsure of what to do. ‘Well, I ordered dine in!’ I explain that she’s asking for it to go. It doesn’t matter if you were sitting at a table while ordering it!”
“She’s getting louder and more annoying and I’m starting to panic—my anxiety was really bad at the time—when suddenly, my boss chimes in. And by ‘chimes in,’ I mean she started ripping this woman a new one.”
“She told the woman to stop yelling at me, and that if she wanted her damn half-price sushi, she would have to sit and wait like everyone else. My boss apologized to the other customers and made sure I was okay.”
“The lady was shocked and now super embarrassed since the entire restaurant was now judging her. She quietly sat and waited for her sushi. The daughter apologized to me and that table ended up leaving a good tip.”
“My old boss is the nicest woman in the world. She still gives me free food whenever I go up for some sushi. She also has a bunch of regulars who she always makes time for. But don’t piss her off, because she will become a scary, scary person.”