6 Retail Customers Who Give The Rest Of Us A Bad Name

It’s probably happened to most of us at some point — You go to the bank, or the store and the person you deal with immediately, and without any apparent cause, assumes you have the IQ of a marshmallow peep. Perhaps that employee is a bad person. Or maybe they have just finished dealing with one of the following customers, any one of whom would make the aforementioned peep look brilliant by comparison.

Over at Reddit, there is an ongoing discussion of the dumbest/most clueless customers people have ever had the misfortune of serving.

The one that kicks off the chat is also one of the many highlights:

Yesterday while I was helping out in Best Buy, a woman approached me with a pink plastic phone case asking how many txt messages it could store in an inbox….

I said she needed to have a cell phone for that. She clearly did not understand.

After about 10 minutes of trying to explain that the case was solely for style/protective purposes, I sent her over to the phone department and let them deal with her for the next HOUR.

Another Best Buy-related gem:

Worked at Best Buy about 4 years ago for a summer. A lady came in insisting that her son wanted a Playstation 3. Then she saw the Wii stearing wheel and said “That will work with the Playstation right?” I told her that the Wii is a different console made by a different company – so no it wouldn’t work. She snidely says “Oh. So I have to buy a whole different console from you guys JUST for it to work? Typical.” then she adds “But you gotta make commission somehow right?” and walks away.

And then there is this customer who was convinced the bank’s phone CSR was hacking her computer while they talked:

I work for a bank, and customers will sometimes call to ask how they can access their account online and do online banking.

I told this older woman to go to bankname.com. She started yelling and cursing at me that I made her go into her e-mail and that she can’t believe I’m reading her e-mails.

I tried explaining to her that I can’t see her computer as we’re talking over the phone..and she probably just got into her e-mail because it was her homepage or the last page she viewed.

She wanted nothing of it. No matter how many times I kept asking her to find the address bar and type bankname.com…she said that it kept bringing her back to her e-mail.

The conversation lasted 45 minutes. She was yelling the entire time. I pretty much wanted to shoot myself in the head.

And the customer who has mentally checked out before paying the cashier:

one time after ringing up a customer I told him his total, he said “ok” and just sat there… expecting me to do something else, i waited a few seconds and said the total again and asked if it was going to be cash or credit, he looked at me like i had two heads, I waited again and said “uhm, are you going to pay for all of this or were you just wondering how much it costs?” (happens a lot more than you think) he gets all huffed up and says in a loud voice “I WAS WAITING FOR YOU TO TELL ME THE TOTAL!” i was stunned and really was at a loss for words, another customer behind him apparently got fed up and told him, “she told you three damn times!” he paid and booked it

The customer who would rather argue about the nature of a “bike store” than go to a retailer who can actually help him out:

I work at a bike shop that sells bicycles and other sporting goods. Very obvious when you walk in the door. Had a guy walk all the way across the shop to the back and say “I need a chain for my motorcycle”. I pause for a minute, look at the flat fix I’m doing, look back at him and say “well, I think there’s an autopart store down the street…” Then we had to fight about what kind of a bike shop we were for a few minutes.

Finally, here are the highlights of the epic story of utter confusion from a Staples print center employee:

Some older lady brought in her laptop and asked if I could print an e-mail off for her. She booted it up and proceeded to get angry because her Internet wasn’t working. I explained that she would need to connect to our store wi-fi to work. No, that was unacceptable and ‘made no sense’. She ‘didn’t have to do that at home’. And started yelling at me that I did something to her computer to delete her Internet (??)…

I connected her to our wi-fi… And gave it back to her so she could get to her e-mail. ‘See, this is my Internet. I told you…’ She half mumbles this in irritation.

Now, she doesn’t know where her e-mail is (‘usually it’s automatically on there!’). I ask her what e-mail she uses. Gmail? Yahoo? Hotmail? She looks at me like I’m stupid. ‘why does that matter?’ At this point I’m getting pissed off. I have several other customers waiting on me. I mess around on her bookmarks, hoping that it was on there somewhere. Thank god it was. I connected her to the Comcast e-mail site. She doesn’t know her fucking password. After a few botched password guesses, she decides to call her son to ask him…

I get into her e-mail. She doesn’t remember which e-mail it was. I’m going one by one in her inbox. Nope. She then tells me it was from a few months ago…. I had to sift through 3 months of spam to find it. It was a fucking EXPIRED spa coupon. I pointed out that it was expired and she waved it off and told me to print it out. I explained that I would need to transfer it to a flash drive to print off from our computer. She tells me that it should print off from her computer. ‘That’s what it does at home!’…

Then, the Windows update thing pops up. I ignore it while I’m trying to transfer the file over.’What are you doing? You can’t ignore that’. She pulls the laptop toward her and presses update, which requires it to shutdown. No, she didn’t postpone it for ‘4 hours’. She does it for right. now.

Obviously, the bad behavior of another customer is never an acceptable excuse for a store employee to turn their anger on you. But it does help if we remind ourselves that most retail workers slap on a grin and do their best to put up with clueless customers — sometimes several of them in a day.

“Respect is a two-way street,” reads the adorable kitten poster that hangs over my bed… next to my Wilford Brimley collage.


Edit Your Comment

  1. Nobby says:

    Never make eye-to-eye contact with a mannequin and look away, because it’ll still be looking at you if you look back at it.

  2. McRib wants to know if you've been saved by the Holy Clown says:


    Now I’m going to have nightmare tonight.

  3. Coffee says:

    Because I am a generally irritable person, here are a few bad customers on my shit list, off the top of my head:

    1. People who, when a new lane opens, run from the back of the line, bypassing everyone in front of them.

    2. People who park a cart in the middle of an aisle two-carts wide.

    3. People who do not pause their phone conversation when they reach the front of a line…the cashier is a person – treat them like one and tell the person on the phone that you gotta go for a sec.

    4. Checks and coupons used in concert in the express line. I know you can be here because you only have 14 items, but it still makes me twitchy.

    5. People who do not pay attention to prices and get all huffy when something they cannot afford is rung up.

    6. People who park their cart in line, then remember a few other things and run off, requiring you to push their cart forward on their behalf.

    7. People who cannot be bothered to push their cart to the nearest “cart area” in the parking lot.

    8. People who do not take out their checkbook until the entire order is scanned, then balance said checkbook after slowly writing out a check.

    9. Me. I am, evidently, a miserable human being.

    • alana0j says:

      Number 3 irritated me too. I have pissed off people that I was on the phone with because they don’t understand when I say “Hang on,let me call you back I’m at the checkout” and then they get hung up on.

      • lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

        My phone rang today while I was at a checkout, and I left it in my purse, ringing. There were people behind me in line, and I had to use my debit card, and I didn’t want to piss anyone off.

      • whogots is "not computer knowledgeable" says:

        You need to have a Conversation with those people. It is NOT practical for them to get their shorts wadded when you abruptly end a phone conversation, because they can’t tell what’s happening in your physical world. In particular, if you use the phone in the car, anyone you talk to needs to be prepared for the possibility that you will have to chuck the phone on the floor.

    • Scooter McGee says:

      Are you my clone? These are a lot of complaints I have too. But you forgot one…

      10. People who don’t understand how to use self-scan.

      • Coffee says:

        Oh, I could go on and on…it’s because I suppose that I wish people were a little more self-aware of the effect they have on the world around them. Most do, but some are self-absorbed jerks who either don’t care about anyone or are too lazy to think about how their presence affects others.

        • repeater says:

          This is basically my thing as well, and what everything on your list centers around. I don’t expect people to go out of their way for me or anything, it just seems like things would go a bit smoother for everyone with just the bare minimum of self-awareness.

          I do that social convention thing of making quick eye contact (or just looking up for a second) and then going about my business, to indicate “I’m aware that you are there and now I’m gonna stay outta your way”.

          For some reason this completely short-circuits the “stare at the ground and pretend nobody else exists” people in Seattle (which I’m sure you have bumped in to as well).

          When I do it to people at the grocery store, they actively avoid looking towards me but then end up running in to me with their carts. When I do it in traffic, the person ends up almost hitting my car. When I do it as a pedestrian, cars accidentally run the light, and other pedestrians accidentally step out in to the street or run in to me.

          It amuses and baffles me still.

          Just the other day I helped an nice looking older couple who were obviously from out of town with directions. They commented that everyone they tried to make eye contact with aggressively stared at their own feet and bolted past them or ran in to them, and asked me if that was normal here. Yepppppppp.

      • AstroPig7 says:

        11. People who understand self-scan and express lanes, but abuse them anyway. (If you have more than 50 items and aren’t an efficient scanner, then please stand in a regular lane.)

        • Scooter McGee says:

          This too. Though I’m frequently seeing self-scans with no item limit marked (the type that look like they are designed for just a few things).

          I also noticed a new Kroger here has an express lane marked “About 15 items.” I’m sure this won’t cause any arguments.

        • alana0j says:

          Hahaha I called a woman out a few weeks back at the DGM. She was in the 10 items or less line with a cartful. I loudly said to my shopping companion “WOW I guess even though my four year old can count to ten, some people obviously can’t”. She turned beet red and adamantly avoided eye contact with me.

          • Coffee says:

            I wholeheartedly support public shaming…even if it doesn’t affect the oblivious moron toward whom it’s directed, it may cause others to give a second thought to behaving similarly in the future.

          • frodolives35 says:

            Once at Walmart the express line checker called me to her register from a full service register that had 4 people in line as she had no one in her line. As she started to scan my cart full of items an older couple walked up.I had to endure the stink eye of the older couple that only had 2 items who came to the line right after she began to scan my items. I am glad they did not say anything and even though it was not my fault I felt like a jerk.

            • alana0j says:

              Ok now you make me feel like an ass…but in this case there was an open “regular” check out line so I don’t think it was the same situation.

          • Agent Hooter Enjoys Enhanced Patdowns says:

            I was rather tipsy late one night in one of those lines. I made a similar remark, then started counting in various languages. I’m punchy.

        • Coffee says:

          12. People who join someone with whom they’re shopping at the register, then add items to the cart…

          …and then purchase them as a separate transaction.

          • Princess Beech loves a warm cup of treason every morning says:

            13. People who stand in a long line in a fast food place, just fooling around — when it’s finally their turn, that’s when they start looking at the menu, “DUHH…”

            I do ask questions from time to time when it’s my turn to order (i.e. topping selections), but if I decide don’t like the stuff [and there’s a long line behind me], I already have a “backup” order that I’ll just blurt out rather than take 10 minutes to stand there and think about what I want.

            • AstroPig7 says:

              This is a very specific pet peeve, but it’s worth mentioning: people who stand in line at Chipotle with five different orders instead of faxing or e-mailing the order ahead of time. I wish it were socially acceptable to tell them the people behind them are mentally plotting unfortunate accidents.

              • Princess Beech loves a warm cup of treason every morning says:

                I don’t mind much (unless I’m really hungry) if they write the orders in one sheet of paper and hand it over, but sometimes they have it but can’t understand what they wrote, or they just didn’t take the time to consolidate all similar orders instead of listing 20 entries with duplicates, and then they can segregate the “extras” into another column.

                • RvLeshrac says:

                  I’m a fan of the way the Varsity handles this: Call in your order. If you don’t call in your order, you get it when they’re damn well ready to make it.

                  Don’t have your order ready? Haul your ass to the back of the 100+ line. Start your order and stop? Haul your ass to the back of the 100+ line.

            • Coffee says:

              Totally…I take it a step further and actually step away from the line if I’m at a fast food place I’m not familiar with. I peruse the menu, figure out what I want, and only then do I get in line.

            • Anne Noise says:

              I hate my own backup orders. I must not be good at that. If my first choice falls through, I have a second choice that doesn’t work at all, usually. I am lame.

          • pamelad says:

            This happened to me just a few days ago. In the express lane, no less. The second woman who came along and put several items in the cart had plenty of time to slowly dig out her cash, because the first woman was paying with a check and had great difficulty finding her checkbook. And of course, she only started this mind-boggling task after her purchases were completely rung up.

        • Auron says:
        • PSUSkier says:

          Honestly, I’d challenge that notion just a bit. Even if you are an efficient scanner, you still have to wait for the scale to register before you can scan the next item. They’re horribly inefficient for anything more than a handful of items.

          • RvLeshrac says:

            I *hate hate hate hate hate* poorly-calibrated self-check-outs. But they’re still faster than most of the regular lines.

            • Janus, Should I laugh or cry? says:

              “I *hate hate hate hate hate* poorly-calibrated self-check-outs. But they’re still faster than most of the regular lines.”

              Unless all of the registers are maxed out with people who have tons of groceries and I only one or two items, I never, ever use self-check outs at stores (not just grocery stores).

              The volume (voice and beeping) is irritatingly loud. The “voice” keeps screaming at me that I did something wrong. What should have taken less than a minute becoming a heart-palpitating long-time-in-hell experience.

              Besides, why should I help the stores out by doing all the work myself (except that I bag my own stuff with reusable bags) for the store’s benefit? I’m putting a lot of high-school/college kids, elderly people and people desperate for a job out of work.

              On the cell phone subject: What’s the difference between two people at the check-out line completely self-absorbed in a conversation or a person on a cell phone?

              • whogots is "not computer knowledgeable" says:

                I’ve never seen two people deeply absorbed in conversation who failed to pause and be polite to the checker. People try to stay on the phone throughout the transaction, which is rude to the checker, the caller, and the other customers.

              • whogots is "not computer knowledgeable" says:

                Also – I haven’t used one in a long time, but Wal-Mart’s self-checkouts used to have the worst voice feedback. I’d wind up there in the wee hours after work, and as if it wasn’t enough for the thing to shout, “PLEASE SCAN YOUR ITEMS” at a volume you could hear at the back of the store, it had to shout all the prices too. I was always mortified when I bought anything over forty bucks.

            • msgogo says:

              I hate them too- and I wish there was a way for them to be adjusted for people using their own bags.

        • Bob S says:

          There is a Sniglet for folks who exceed the item limits for the Express Lane…


          • rdaex says:

            HAH! Sniglets! I was just talking to one of my guys at work about these the other day. Ahh.. pieces of my youth.

            Yea yea, CSB

      • taaurrus says:

        Then expect the cashier, who is responsible for 8-10 self-check out registers, to scan all of your items for you while everyone else has to stand there and wait for the cashier to be done with you.

      • DerangedKitsune says:

        Ick, I was stuck behind a TERRIBLE example of one of those.

        An older gentlemen who couldn’t run the machine to save his life, despite both the visual and verbal prompts it was giving him. He kept putting items back in his cart, despite the machine freaking out and telling him after every item to put it in the bag, requiring the self-checkout jockey to keep overriding it.

        At the end he turned back to me and my friend, where we were busy staring daggers into his back, to apologize by way of “Boy, these machines sure are complicated!”. We had to bite our tongues to keep from saying “No, you’re just an oblivious MORON, that’s what’s wrong.”

        • hoi-polloi says:

          On a few occasions I’ve just jumped in and given a tutorial. It stops me from wanting to flip out, eases the other person’s stress, and hopefully leaves them more prepared if they ever attempt to do self-checkout again.

          • CrackedLCD says:

            My solution is simple: I don’t use the self checkout unless I have no choice.

            I am not getting paid minimum wage to ring up my own groceries, so I am not going to do their job for them.

            Ditto bagging groceries. I refuse to do it at places where they customarily have folks to do it for the customer. It’s not my job, and I’m not receiving a discount for doing their work, so everyone can just effing wait.

            • kelcema says:

              Yeah, about that— Your “discount” for bagging your own groceries is getting out of the store quicker. As a retail employee, I get paid the same hourly rate if I ring up 3 people or thirty in the same amount of time. So, you’re only wasting your own time by just standing there with your thumb up your ass.

              As for self serve checkouts, I do hate them as they always seem to have some sort of problem…

              But bag your own damn groceries. Let’s be a team here!

    • Quirk Sugarplum says:

      Here, let’s just shorten that to:

      1. People.

      Look at how much self-loathing time that would have saved you!

    • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

      All these things and more – especially the people who complain about the incorrectly priced item (fine within reason) but who then CONTINUE to argue when they are proved to be wrong.

    • Blueskylaw says:

      10). People who buy $500 dollars worth of food only to tell the cashier they have $20 and to start removing items one by one until the total reaches $20 dollars.

      • Coffee says:

        How the hell were they supposed to know that it was going to cost $500? Who do they look like, Albert Feinstein?

        • lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

          More like Diane Feinstein, as we all know how good members of Congress are with our money.

          • RvLeshrac says:

            Does it hurt?

            You know, reaching back to the 1800s for your jokes?

            • Difdi says:

              What are you talking about? Dianne Feinstein is the current U.S. Senator from California. How exactly does referencing current events (California is almost bankrupt, the federal government is bad at budgeting, naming a current Senator) equate to reaching back to the 1800s?

        • Blueskylaw says:

          It’s not like that 10 pound chateaubriand
          had a price tag on it. . .ohh wait, it does.

          • nugatory says:

            damn it. Thanks for putting chateaubriand back in my head. Its one of my favorite dishes, but because of the cost, I might make once every other year.

      • gman863 says:

        Is it just me, or do the retards pulling this usually pay with an EBT (food stamp/WIC) card?

        If I were a store manager, I’d have no problem banning repeat offenders from the store?

    • Beyond Redemption says:

      #3 as a former cashier big-time.
      And these people -always- answer their phone, even when you are in the middle of discussing something with them (say, an order) and make you wait while they talk…god forbid they hit the voicemail button, because they don’t know how to access that anyway.

    • RandomLetters says:

      The people who park their car in the crossing area because they “only have to run inside and drop some movies back in the machine.” Then take 15 minutes to do it.

      • Nobby says:


      • lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

        And old people who park directly in front of the ramp where you can roll the cart off into the parking lot. When asked to please move, they glare at you and huff. Well, excuse me blue haired lady, just how am I supposed to get my cart from the sidewalk to the parking lot WHEN YOU’VE BLOCKED THE RAMP!

        • Fafaflunkie Plays His World's Smallest Violin For You says:

          THIS!! EVERY SINGLE TIME I’m trying to use a ramp from the beer…er, grocery store with a cart full of things and am trying to use that ramp, there’s ALWAYS some asshole’s car blocking it. 99% of the time it’s some old hag. Give her dirty looks as you try to navigate around her 20+ year old jalopy, she either 1) ignores you or 2) makes a glare all her own at you, as if you just told her to go f*ck herself — which, in your mind, you have.

        • AustinTXProgrammer says:

          x 20 when someone in a wheelchair can’t get down the ramp. You can ease your cart down the curb in a pinch. The ramp probably wasn’t put there for carts.

      • RandomHookup says:

        How about _any_ length of time is too much?

    • VintageLydia says:

      For number 3: When I was cashiering and doing a return, the lady was getting back almost $300 in cash. She. Would. Not. Hang. Up. Her. Phone. Every time she paused and looked like she was going to actually pay attention to this high dollar transaction, she’d get distracted by the phone again. Eventually I just interrupted her conversation and told her “Look, just hold on a sec and pay attention to me. I’m counting out a lot of money here and I want us BOTH to know you’re getting the correct money back. Please put down the phone!” She rolled her eyes at me but paid attention for the few seconds it’s took me to count out the cash and she left. The customer behind her remarked (loud enough for the first customer to hear) “That lady was SO RUDE! Who’d just stay on their phone like that?” I was the pleasantest person in the world for the new customer :)

      From experience, if I didn’t flatly tell her to STFU and pay attention, she’d have come back and tried to claim we gave her the wrong amount of money back or something. I was too wise to play that game at that point.

    • 12341223 says:

      If I catch someone doing number 7, I will go up and let them know that is not where the cart belongs. If they are already in their car and I’m able to, I will simply put the cart behind their car.

      One time I saw a man push his cart toward a curb, and watched it hit another vehicle. When I brought this to his attention, he simply said “so?”

      Needless to say, he cared a little bit more when said cart hit his truck.

    • delicatedisarray says:

      Oh, hell no, on number 6. If there is no one behind me I will remove the cart from the lane and try to tuck it out of the way. Once I’m checked out, if the person whos cart it is hasn’t come back, I alert someone at the customer service desk that there is an unattended cart.

      A cart is not a place holder, take it with you.

      • RandomLetters says:

        If I have the time I move their cart backwards and allow other people to go ahead of them. Just so when they come back they have to wonder if the lady with the three small kids and 500 items was ahead of them when they left.

    • Kaleey says:

      7 is my pet peeve. I will return a few other carts to the corral in the parking lot, as well as my own. What kind of world do we live in where we are too busy or too important to take 30 seconds and return the bleeping cart? Why do idiots have to leave carts in the lot, taking up usable parking spaces?

      • lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

        Thank you! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen an open space between two cars, only to pull in and find a cart there. I’ve actually gotten out, moved the cart, parked, and taken the cart into the store and used it. Ugh, I hate that.

        • HogwartsProfessor says:

          If it’s a plastic cart, I just bump it gently until it rolls into an empty space (if there is one). It won’t hurt my car at all. If there’s no empty space, I look for another one.

      • Scooter McGee says:

        Somebody asked me a Costco once why I’m taking the effort to put my cart in the corral. I don’t think he cared for my ‘because I’m not a douche’ response.

        • RvLeshrac says:

          I’m a huge fan of the $0.25 cart-rental-fees at Aldi. I have *NEVER* seen an unattended cart wandering through an Aldi parking lot.

          They charge $.05/.10 for bags, too. You’d be amazed at how efficient people become at bagging their groceries when they have to pay even the tiniest amount for additional bags.

      • hoi-polloi says:

        I’m so OCD I sometimes reorganize the carts so that more can fit. People don’t always push them together properly, so you get this gridlocked mess. It makes me a little twitchy.

        The last time I ran to the store, there were four carts in a really small area. I didn’t have time to corral them all, so I pushed three together and against a post, and took the fourth. I figure it’s at least less likely for them to get blown around or bumped that way. The amount of time and effort was negligible.

        • nugatory says:

          I just picked up a great t-shirt. On the front of it:

          I have CDO
          Its like OCD
          but in alphabetical order

        • elangomatt says:

          People don’t always push them together? I think it’d be more accurate to say that people don’t EVER push them together. Even if the cart coral is totally full of carts (none pushed together) l very rarely see someone that doesn’t just shrug and put their cart into the general area of the coral.

      • Janus, Should I laugh or cry? says:

        ummm, it all depends. I used to live up north and in the winters the parking lots were sometimes horribly maintained. Ice, deep holes in the ice and snow just about made it nearly impossible to get the cart to the car. I wasn’t about to spend several agonizing minutes in the getting the cart back to the store; if the stores can’t maintain the parking lot then let them get the carts. Normally, I’m real religious about returning carts like a good citizen but not then.

        Now, on the other hand in the south, I have absolutely no idea why people won’t return a cart when it’s 75 degrees, sunny, low humidity with light tropical winds. Are they in a rush to get to the gym?

    • dolemite says:

      I agree on all points but #1. I understand the people at the front of the line have been waiting longer, but are they actually supposed to push through everyone behind them to be allowed to move to the line that just opened? The people at the end make more sense.

      • VintageLydia says:

        But it’s still not fair. At the store I worked at, the policy was to grab the next person in line and escort them to the register before opening it up (so long as it was just putting in your password and turning on a light. Not much we could do if we had to give it a new cash drawer.) But our lanes were much wider. Most grocery store lanes would make that impossible but you can usually still get the second or third person out easily enough.

      • elangomatt says:

        If I am 3rd in a line of 5 people, I am usually in a position where I could easily go to a new register without having to get anyone to move. Do people #4 and #5 ever let me go to the new register? Nope, it is like a cattle call where all of the people that just got into line move over to the newly opened register.

        • Husker says:

          When I am third in line, I walk to the new register and then wave #1 and #2 to go ahead of me. This allows me to hold the place for #1 and #2. I have tried tapping #2 on the shoulder and asking him if he wants to move, but by the time I do that, #4 and #5 have already moved to the new register.

    • Kestris says:

      I’m a fairly miserable person too then, as quite a few of those annoy the crap out of me. #2 has a variation- People who park their cart on one side of the aisle, then stand directly across from it on the otherside, effectively blocking the entire aisle.

      and people who stop to chat with their friends in an aisle, effectively blocking the entire aisle with both of their carts.

      • Coffee says:

        Your variation almost made my list! :D

      • Beyond Redemption says:

        You notice there’s always a gang of people and their carts yapping at the end of the soda/water/chips aisle so you can neither get in that aisle nor get around them?

      • JayOfAllTrades says:

        I just love it when long lost friends decide to re-unite at the front (and only set of) doors to the store. With their carts, and their kids, and their… BF/GF/SO/MomDadUncleBobetc. They block carts coming out from the registers, and block people coming in the store. Then, if they move, its only to let someone with a cart out, then go back to talking… in the same spot. Because of course, whatever they’re doing is much more important, and everyone else can just wait. I can’t count the number of times I’ve had to ask people to please take the reunion elsewhere, because they’re disrupting our business.

      • Danno23 says:

        I was looking to see if anyone else had the same pet peeve.

        I am in a fairly small city, so everyone knows everyone else and there is always an impromptu conference going on in the aisles. Carts side by side and people just chatting away. Sometimes I just want to back up and get a running start to run the blockade.

    • chefboyardee says:

      7. People who cannot be bothered to push their cart to the nearest “cart area” in the parking lot.

      I’ve gotten into multiple fights in the parking lot over this. In fact, just last week as I was on my way into the grocery store, a (no exaggeration) 300+lb woman was FOUR SPOTS away from the cart return, and pushed the cart to the front of her car (it was a windy day and the parking lot was full). I said, loudly, “really?” and she looked at me and smirked with an “I can do whatever the F I want” look on her face. I stared right at her and said “You inconsiderate bitch. That’s going to blow into someone’s car. This is why you’re 300lbs, because you’re too god damn lazy to take 20 steps to put your cart back. If I ever see your car in this lot again, I’m pushing the nearest cart into it”, smiled, and walked into the store as she stood there astounded that someone had the audacity to call her out on it.

      Mean? Maybe. Fun? Definitely.

      • Cor Aquilonis says:


      • blueman says:

        Wow, this is way over the top. You may want to either switch to decaf or sign up for an anger-management class.

        • RvLeshrac says:

          Is it? When you’re replacing a quarter-panel for several hundred bucks because some lazy fuck left a cart rolling around the lot, re-visit your feelings toward this comment.

      • taaurrus says:

        You’re my hero! :)

      • AstroPig7 says:

        Over the top? Excessive? Yes. Something that some people deserve? Maybe. Would it make me feel better? Likely.

      • RayanneGraff says:

        KUDOS!!! You seriously rock for doing that. People like that are so smug cause nobody ever calls them on their bullshit, so good for you.

      • HogwartsProfessor says:

        Oh WOW! I’m too chicken to say that, but if I heard you do it, I’d start laughing hysterically.

      • econobiker says:

        I stared right at her and said “You inconsiderate bitch. That’s going to blow into someone’s car. This is why you’re 300lbs, because you’re too god damn lazy to take 20 steps to put your cart back. If I ever see your car in this lot again, I’m pushing the nearest cart into it”,

        I am down with the first three sentences though the revenge deal was probably too much. A person as described usually don’t care how the vehicle looks or what damage has been inflicted on the car/truck/suv.

    • kathygnome says:

      We have a very very similar list of grocery store sins.

      I’d also add “use the self-checkout lanes without any idea of how to use them or ability to use electronic equipment.”

    • Remmy75 says:

      For 1 – Once I was in a long line with a cart full of groceries at Wal-mart. They send out a cashier to open a new lane and she walks by, grabs my cart from the back, and pulls it to her lane to check me out. Then annoucing she was opening up.

      I was like you shouldnt do that, did you see the death stares I got from the other people. Your gonna get me mugged in the parking lot.

    • sagodjur1 says:

      I am one of the people who does #1, but only in the circumstance that I usually have fewer items than a bunch of other shoppers.

      It’s the store’s responsibility to make sure customers are able to check out quickly. If they don’t open express lanes for fewer items, it’s only courteous for customers with lots of items (much less checkbooks, 5 kids, or an inclination to chat and distract the cashier from their duties) to let the customers who are just trying to get in and out go first.

      More stores need self-checkout for this very reason.

      • gman863 says:

        There are still many assholes who can’t figure out they have to pass the picture of the cute little black and white lines across the glass thingy with the laser inside.

        Go to a Kroger or Walmart and watch the people in the U-Scan line for five minutes. You’ll be surprised.

        • sagodjur1 says:

          So they need to tag their products with RFID so dumbschmuck can just stumble near the scanner and be done with it.

    • humphrmi says:

      Man, the “I’m going to put my cart in line, and then continue shopping” people really irritate me. Sometimes (as a customer) I just push their cart off to the side and move forward. They might glare at me, but hey… jackasses never know that they’re jackasses anyway.

      • Difdi says:

        How can they complain? You didn’t take their place in line, since they weren’t in line to begin with. Now, the asshole thing to do would be to hand their full cart off to a store employee as an abandoned cart…

    • cara says:

      #7 is what kills me. I work as a lowly cashier at a grocery store, and nothing irks me more. I did get a good laugh the other day when I watched someone leave their cart in a parking spot, and then watched a brand new mercedes SUV RAM into it… they left a wonderful scratch in their paint. If someone hits my poor car though, I’ll lose it.

      The guys do feel guilty when they see me (a girl) pushing carts and can be better about it. Really, I use it as an excuse for exercise and to see some of the expensive and classic cars we get (for example, a General Lee Charger the other day).

    • balderdashed says:

      Some good points — but it seems to me that in a lot of cases, store management is culpable in creating these situations that infuriate you. Checks and coupons used in concert in the express line? Bugs me, too. I can’t see why any store would have an express line that takes checks. The “Limit 14 items” sign should be accompanied by a sign that says, “Cash or Credit Cards only.” So you’re bugged by “people who cannot be bothered to push their cart to the nearest ‘cart area’ in the parking lot.” Bugs me, too. I’m happy to push my cart to the cart area — except when a store’s parking lot is so poorly and illogically laid out that cart areas are nowhere near my car. Sorry, when it’s 20 below zero in Minnesota in January, I’m not willing to risk frostbite to return that cart. You’re bothered by “people who do not pay attention to prices and get all huffy when something they cannot afford is rung up?” It bothers me, too. But what bothers me more is when I scrupulously check and confirm the price on the shelf, but it rings up as something else, and I have to march back to the product area to show a store clerk or manager that the mistake is the store’s. And what’s worse, it appears that some grocery stores deliberately attempt to confuse customers about the price on the shelf — marking a selected few “Lean Cuisine” items at a discount, for example, to fool some people into thinking all the Lean Cuisine is on sale. Then there’s the trick of displaying a low price that one might assume is the cost of the product, but is in fact a per-ounce or per-pound price (if one reads the very small type); the customer only learns that the product costs twice as much as he thinks it does, at checkout time. No wonder customers “get huffy” at such chicanery.

    • mauispiderweb says:

      I like your list, except for #9. I know you’re exactly the opposite.

    • Kusac says:

      I completely agree with you here, but where I live, they’ll take the carts back to the designated areas. They want their dollar coin back!

    • RayanneGraff says:

      God, how I hate checks. It’s @#$%ing 2012, checks shouldn’t even EXIST anymore.

      • HogwartsProfessor says:

        At least if I have to write a check (debit/credit machine being down or something), I try to fill it out before I get up there so I don’t hold up the line. Most of the time I don’t take my checkbook with me at all tho.

      • RvLeshrac says:

        Checks exist because some banks still charge for debit cards, or have threatened to start charging for debit card use.

        • Difdi says:

          Which makes no sense, since processing a check costs them more than a debit transaction does.

    • Growlertags says:

      All of the above. And #10 (from Scooter)
      The order varies each day though.

    • Preppy6917 says:

      Re: #1
      The new Kroger (it’s their upper tier…like Kroger Deluxe or something) FINALLY started doing a single queue that feeds to the express lanes. I love it, because not only do you not need to pick a queue, but also the person who’s next is always…next.

      (grocery stores in Central America have done it this way for awhile)

    • incident_man says:

      Number 7 is a huge irritation to me. Usually the cart return is like 20 feet away and they insist in leaving the cart in an empty parking spot because they’re too damn lazy to walk 20 feet.

    • Janus, Should I laugh or cry? says:

      “1. People who, when a new lane opens, run from the back of the line, bypassing everyone in front of them.”

      Banks formed queues decades ago so that customers didn’t have to play the guessing game of which lane might be faster.

      Why don’t grocery stores have queues so that the person in front of the queue gets the next available open lane? Is that such a hard concept for grocery stores to grasp?

      • hoi-polloi says:

        I’ve started seeing that in some of the discount retailers like Marshall’s. As you said, it entirely removes the need to analyze how many carts are in different lines, how many items people have, and the speed of employees. Adding or removing cashiers is seamless, rather than causing a massive migration or the need to broadcast that a lane is shutting down.

      • MarkFL says:

        Probably because in a grocery store, the carts require a lot of space for the single-feeder line. New stores can easily be set up this way, but in existing stores, they would probably have reset the entire store to move the aisles back.

    • TD99 says:

      Oh god, #7!!! I mean, how LAZY have people gotten!?!?!?

    • Difdi says:

      To add to #7: At stores where they have two different cart sizes, and cart return bays divided and marked for each of the two types (so they fit neatly), people who can’t figure out that shoving their large cart into the small cart bay (or vice-versa) only causes problems.

      Doubly so if they had to work harder to shove the cart into the wrong bay than doing it right would have required.

    • Hawkeye says:

      Saw a woman pull a big #7 the other day. She loaded her items into her trunk, then just pushed the cart away and got into her car and drove off. The cart caught a slope and proceeded to roll the length of half a football field before coming to a stop. Luckily the lot was fairly empty because it was early, so no cars were damaged. There’s no excuse for doing something like that.

    • dks64 says:

      #7 is one of my biggest pet peeves EVER. Rude rude rude rude rude. I’ve had my car hit by numerous stray carts, it costs me money because of other people’s laziness. It’s simple: You borrow their cart, you return it where they request it. You wouldn’t borrow a book from the library and leave it a block from the location and expect them to pick it up. Put it in the damn return or walk it back to the store! I’ve done it in pouring rain with kids in the car, so can everyone else.

    • thevicequizzle says:


    • aztecace says:

      Well for #8 I would also make a case for a person who hasn’t got their wallet out ready to pay, be it cash or charge you should be getting the wallet out to pay, unless you feel that you are going to be lucky enough to be the 1 millionth customer and get your groceries for fee.

  4. alana0j says:

    AHHH don’t forget the idiot that doesn’t know how to swipe their card properly, then gets their card declined but insists it’s the machine’s fault, swipes it two more times and is still baffled as to why it was declined then holds up the line to call their bank because they KNOW they have money in their account! I get stuck behind this person ALL THE TIME!!

    • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

      When I used to work at Gamestop I had a guy come in and lecture me about his card being declined. About 3 hours later, he came back with a return receipt from Best Buy across the way. Again, the card was declined. I tried to explain that refunds usually take 3-5 days but he was having none of it. He MADE ME CALL HIS CC COMPANY, which of course went nowhere because I wasn’t him.

      Needless to say my Manager got involved, and the customer got irate. Unfortunately the customer went to corporate with a big fat lie of a story and got my manager fired even though he didn’t do anything wrong :(

      • MaxH42 sees what you did there says:

        That last sentence explains a LOT about why GameStop is a vortex of suck.

    • T-Bone says:

      I wouldn’t give them such a hard time. My debit card is occasionally declined for no apparent reason. It flat out doesn’t work at some stores even though they have the same credit card company logo on their cash register as my card and will still work as credit.

      • HogwartsProfessor says:

        That happens to me at Lowe’s sometimes. They just manually enter it and then it works. I don’t know why those machines hate it but they do.

    • Princess Beech loves a warm cup of treason every morning says:

      We once had an encounter with this guy who tried to pay his credit card without his signature at the back of it. He kept insisting he doesn’t need to sign the back of the card, and he can just present his ID as “proof” instead of a signature.

      We waited like 20 minutes behind him as the cashier tried to explain to him that he needs a signature on the card as an authorization for the transaction. He was very insistent not to just take a few seconds to just sign the goddamn credit card to get it over with. As the cashier went to her manager to get some help with his stupidity, we loudly voiced out that credit cards need signature because once it gets stolen, the thief could easily forge his own signature and use the card.

      He probably overheard it and proceeded to pick up the pen and sign the card. Sheesh.

      • Anne Noise says:

        My friend has his cards both signed and has written “SEE ID” on them. He doesn’t get why people won’t accept his card about half the time – because it looks like you stole a card that says SEE ID and then signed it with the dude’s name, you fucking tool! I can’t believe how many times this has happened, and has been explained to him, without any change in behavior.

        • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

          That doesn’t make any sense though – does the name on the card not match his name? You’d think if they were actually willing to SEE HIS ID they’d realize they’re the same person, no?

        • TD99 says:

          Well, I was told to do this and then just now discovered that I shouldn’t!



        • MarkFL says:

          Actually, I have “ASK FOR PHOTO ID” written on the back of my card. That’s how I know that almost nobody looks at the back of the card. But I have never had anyone insist on a signature on the card.

          Anyone could steal my card and then learn to forge my signature. They aren’t likely to also forge a photo ID. And by the way, my driver’s license also has my signature on it.

          • Difdi says:

            Unless that is your legal name, then you have voided your card by doing so. And any business that accepts your card is breaking their contract with the card company every time they do so.

            You might see it as “nice” of them to do so, but do you really want to do business with a place that breaks its promises so freely?

          • rdaex says:

            Thats the POINT.
            If you have SEE ID on your card, the merchant is SUPPOSED to decline the card. The ONLY thing youre supposed to have on your card is your signature. Anything else invalidates the card.

            On a sidenote: Ive only ever had my card processed correctly at an MLB game, and a minor league AAA game. Looks like MLB is training people on this issue

    • RvLeshrac says:

      My credit card gets declined regularly. I don’t have any control over that. I have to call them, or wait for them to call me, and then answer the security questions for charges to be allowed.

    • Janus, Should I laugh or cry? says:

      This doesn’t occur often, but it has happened: The credit is rejected. Again. And again. I get lots of dirty looks. I use a different card or cash and leave. Later, I call the credit card company. They had computer/network issues and apologize.

      Computer systems are not infallible.

    • MarkFL says:

      Oh, lord, I had a lady one time who had her debit card declined. The register did not give any information on why the card was declined, and in any event, I can’t do anything about it. The lady gets indignant and insists that she has money in her account and there is something wrong with our computer. I told her that it might not even be insufficient funds, but she kept on insisting that there was money in her account. Then she shows me her bank ledger — not the statement, but the part of her checkbook where she writes down her transactions, and says, “See? I just made a deposit, so there’s money in the bank!” Well, gee, I guess that proves it.

      She argued with me for what must have been ten minutes, and my suggestion that she call the bank didn’t have any effect. I even suggested other reasons why the bank might have declined the charge, such as an unusually large amount of activity, or identity theft. No, she had the money in the bank, and that was supposed to be reason enough for me to…what? Call IT and tell them to reprogram the computer to accept the transaction when the bank wouldn’t approve it?

  5. Scooter McGee says:

    This is why I cannot work in retail, I don’t have the patience to put up with people like these.

  6. Oranges w/ Cheese says:

    The worst is when you’re the guy in line immediately BEHIND someone like this, and you not only get your time wasted but have to deal with their idiocy as well.

    • Beyond Redemption says:

      Who else gets the customer from hell in front of them at the pharmacy? It seems no one can just say their name and pay for their scrips. They argue with the pharm tech about their insurance (it’s supposed to be 90 days…blahblah) or the doctor’s authorization that didn’t come in and it goes on forever….

    • RandomLetters says:

      I “accidentally” hit them with my cart. And one time with a mop.

  7. Bladerunner says:

    I feel like some people should be required to work in tech support for awhile, to learn how to deal with those kinds of idiocy.

    • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

      Oh god, no – then we’d get stuck with their incompetence when we need tech support!

      • Bladerunner says:

        I was more referencing the retail folks complaining about idiocy…not realizing the phone doesn’t come in the case? That’s about the same as having to explain, slowly and with small words, that the “cupholder” is where the CD you were sent was supposed to go.

        The lady who just kept opening her email? Dollars to doughnuts she was clicking on Outlook instead of IE (Not that she should be using IE, but I’m just assuming…). How do I know that? Back when I worked tech support I had the same call. You have to go into it knowing “they’ve done something dumb, and don’t know it. How can I find out what, and get them to do the right thing to fix it?”

        • lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

          Unfortunately, that lady sounds like my Mom. I am not the most technically adept person on the planet, but I can fix simple things. She will call me and say, a box popped up when I was on the computer. What do I do? Me – what did it say? Mom – I don’t know, I clicked on that red X and it went away. Me – is everything working OK? Mom – yes. Me – then it’s OK Mom. Next time, write down what the box said before you x out of it. Mom – OK. Next time she calls, same story. She doesn’t know the difference between Outlook Express, IE, or Firefox. She knows it as email, on the internet, and on the internet on that other thing.

          • Kestris says:

            Sounds like my parents.}:/

            • Pre-Existing Condition says:

              Some day, we’ll all be old and our kids will mock us for not being able to operate our holographic TVs.

              • Princess Beech loves a warm cup of treason every morning says:

                Isn’t it interesting the way technology works? The “older is wiser” adage isn’t really applicable. As technology develops, the younger generation will be the people teaching the older ones instead of usually the other way around.

          • econobiker says:

            And there are folks who still think that AOL is the internet…

    • The Colonel says:

      Here is a page worth of tech support horror stories. It was quite theraputic when I was doing tech support:


  8. Princess Beech loves a warm cup of treason every morning says:

    I have my share of non-tech savvy people in my years of application support, not as bad as these, but I’ve got my “favorite” customers. Have one that submitted a service request with the description just full of bitching about how she hates the application and that she’s gonna go executive-level about it.

    I mean, I get it you hate the application, but you gotta have to use it, so tell me what the issue is so I can take a look at it? Not everyone is having her issue [whatever that is] so I’m pretty sure she did something wrong.

    And yes, she is still my “favorite” customer.

  9. KhaiJB says:

    I leave this here


    have fun :D

  10. Lethe says:

    Even though I know it’s occasionally needed, I still wince whenever I see information on how to write EECB letters. I work in customer service for a company with a very generous warranty policy that covers any possible manufacturer’s defect, but customer will always kick up a fuss when we deny their totally unreasonable claim.

    Caller: What do you mean you won’t take this back just because it has cigarette burns all over it? I want the name of your president, NOW. (This is an actual example)

    3 or five angry, rambling emails later, and the customer gets a new pillow since the powers-that-be don’t know how to say no to furious customers.

    • AngryK9 says:

      Sometimes it is simply better to give the little brat what he wants rather than listen to him whine, cry, scream and wail all the way home…

      • Shadowfire says:

        No it’s not. *Right-click* mark e-mail address as spam. Problem solved.

        Also, when they call and you say “so? Get the hell off my phone line!” they will get the point. This might take two or three attempts, but it’s important for two reasons. One, you’re not spending money making the jerk happy. Two, you’re not rewarding bad behavior. The more retailers bow down to rude customers, the more customers realize they can be rude and loud to get their way, and the more hostile the retail environment becomes.

    • Shadowfire says:

      Also, the following disciplinary notice because the company can’t figure out why you said no, completely in line with company policy.

      Man, I hate retail sometimes. Most of the time.

      But once in a while you get a customer who reminds me why. Like when a customer threatened me and another employee, saying he was going to kill us when we left the store, and a 7′ tall Russian immigrant (who was an awesome repeat customer) grabbed the prick by the shoulder and threw him outside the store, then escorted us to our cars after close (the Russian part is important for you to imagine how his voice sounded when he said “I think you will be leaving and not coming back, or they won’t be the ones in danger”). Or the customers who stick up for the employees when someone starts yelling, usually along the lines of “hey, asshole, buy your things or get out, but leave that guy/girl alone.”

      Wait… the awesome customers are often a result of the terrible human beings. Never mind, retail sucks all around. :(

      * 17 year retail veteran, mostly in management.

      • Difdi says:

        If the discipline notice/write up lists why it was issued, it shouldn’t negatively impact a performance review…after all, obeying orders and following policy are supposedly good traits, right?

  11. Draskuul says:

    Been there, done that. A customer calls up with a bad piece of hardware, and even has his “$150 an hour consultant” on site helping with it. He insists it’s our servers causing a problem, not his bad hardware. Between everyone involved we spent 4 hours having the hardware swapped out and back in multiple times, proving absolutely 100% beyond any possible doubt that it is a bad piece of hardware. Even the ‘consultant’ finally–reluctantly–agrees and tells our customer that he agrees completely.

    The customer finally hung up in a huff still dead-set that it was our fault. (The equipment in question was something the customer is responsible for providing, not us.)

  12. AngryK9 says:

    I could go into some of the things I dealt with as a field technician….but I won’t. *Shudder*

  13. The Brad says:

    Man I would LOVE to get paid to browse Reddit all day!

  14. byroan says:

    As a former Staples employee, I got a good laugh from the last one.

  15. Karney says:

    I worked at Gamestop as a shift supervisor while going to college, around when GTA: San Andreas and God of War came out. Some of the responses from parent’s buying their children M-rated games were mind boggling (there was a policy where we could not sell an M-rated game to minors, most came back to the store with their parents to buy it and demanded an explanation from me as to why their child could not purchase the game. I would say 75% of the parents bought it for them anyway).

    My absolute favorite was when I was pointing out that there was nudity (among severe violence) in ‘God of War’ to a parent buying the game for an eight year old. His response to me was that “If he likes the boobs in the game, at least I know he isn’t gay.”

    • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

      Yeah.. I got a mixed bag – one of which was the parent almost physically beating their kid in the store for picking out the game O_o

  16. SerenityDan says:

    notalwaysright.com has been dedicated to these kind of stories for years.

  17. The Beer Baron says:

    I remember back when I was a lowly Beer Squire, trying to direct people to our web area over the telephone. I would give them the electronic web network address, ask them to enter it into the electronic network locality address recepticon, and people would ask me which web locality was ours. The poor saps were entering our address into the Googlematica Electronic Informational Retrieval Device, and not the recepticon, as I had instructed. I would quietly lament the state of education as I explained how the Informational Tele-network operated.

  18. dpeters11 says:

    I still have visions of Wilford Brimley from The Firm, not his kindly grandfather days in Cocoon, on Our House or diabetic equipment…

  19. HalOfBorg says:

    Problem customers is why I HATE going into any place new to me. I don’t know the product, the options, or the standard routines so I am a problem. I hate being the problem.

    It can be bad on our side of the register also. Wallymart had this one clerk, nice, sweet older lady who moved like a glacier. Absolutely infuriating. Seeing her in the only empty (EMPTY!) checkout line, I swear I could here the “Psycho” shower scene music!

    • lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

      When I have to visit our company’s main office in Manhattan, I always hope they have breakfast items in the breakroom so I don’t have to go down the block to the little deli. Everyone there knows the lingo, codes for certain items, etc. and I take at least 10x longer to get a bagel with cream cheese and juice than the average bear. I feel like the other patrons are going to stab me.

    • AtlantaCPA says:

      I think when an intelligent new customer can’t figure out how to even order something then the store has a problem. I went to a food establishment once and couldn’t figure out what to do so I just left. Signs people, signs!

      • TheMansfieldMauler says:

        Yeah this. I walked out of some fancy fru-fru sandwich shop everyone I knew had been raving about because I couldn’t figure out how to get the food.

    • RandomLetters says:

      Mine has that lady to. She was a door greater and for some reason they moved her to registers. A 5 item transaction could take over five minutes.

    • RayanneGraff says:

      That is just the worst. There are several cashiers like that at the walmart I usually go to. Little old ladies, sweet as sugar, but good god- SO. SLOW.

  20. kathygnome says:

    Interesting how many of these have to do with computer use.

    • Difdi says:

      People manage to do more complicated things than use a computer every day. But they’ve told themselves computers are really complicated so many times, they believe it.

      Most cars are harder to operate than Outlook, after all.

  21. TheMansfieldMauler says:

    When working tech support one time I had to drive 3 hours each way because one of our “Premier” customers would only scream on the phone that the system wasn’t working.

    When I got there I sat down at his machine and asked for his password. He didn’t know it. That’s why it wasn’t working. Another person who was there said, “Hey, remember boss? Your password is your last name.” I typed in his last name, hit Enter, he said thanks, I drove the 3 hours back to the office.

  22. Bladerunner says:

    Oh, and on a related-but-side-note?

    If you’re in an ambulance, and they ask you your history, just because you take pills for something doesn’t mean its gone away. You still have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, etc., even though you don’t right this second because of the pills (whose names you probably can’t remember).

    • PunditGuy says:

      Names and doses and functions. Metoprolol, Lisinopril, Crestor. 50 mg twice a day, 2.5 mg once a day, 20 mg once a day. Beta blocker, ACE inhibitor, statin.

      If you put it in your body every day, you should know something about it.

  23. dschmidt1007 says:

    In high school & college I worked for Pier 1 Imports as a “sales associate”. I had a customer come in one busy Sunday morning and plop a bag down and tells me that she wants to return the glasses and the receipt is in the bag. The receipt was not on top of the merchandise and the glasses were wrapped paper to protect them, so I pulled everything out onto the counter and unwrapped one to get a look at them since the receipt was still buried somewhere. I unwrap it and realize it’s not from our store. I find the receipt and it’s from the same place as the shopping bag, Williams Sonoma. I politely tell the customer, as I’m putting everything back in the bag, that I can not return the glasses for her at our store, and that she should head over to the mall. She flips out on me screaming about my incompetence and what how dare I not return the glasses because “I would take the hit financially” for returning it. On and on. Finally, I lost and and told her to stop of a minute. She keeps going on and on. I finally just screamed, “They’re from fucking Williams Sonoma you bitch! You’re in Pier 1! Get your damn stores straight!” She left red faced and pouty to a round of applause from the customers in line behind her.

  24. SavijMuhdrox says:

    Someone who pulls food stamps out of their Prada or Louis Vuitton handbag to buy some food items.. and then whips a hundred dollar bill out of their matching wallet to buy The National Enquirer.

    then gets into the idling Mercedes outside the store, parked in the crosswalk, blocking shopping cart exit ramp..

    i witnessed this once.. i wish there was some kind of Moron Bingo card.. cuz i would have won.

    • Bladerunner says:

      That person’s not a moron per se, they’re a criminal, and the reason a lot of people have problems with social welfare programs.

    • Preppy6917 says:

      Funny how everyone on the blogs is able to provide this anecdotal evidence, yet I’ve never seen so much as a photograph of this person. Especially strange since he or she seems to be EVERYWHERE…

      • Bladerunner says:

        I’ll remember that, if you ever bring up an anecdotal story, I should require pictures or imply that you’re a liar.

        It’s one thing if you genuinely don’t believe the story is plausible, but do you really find it so hard to believe that some people abuse the system? I mean, REALLY?

        I’ve never seen the Louis Vuitton, fancy car version, but I’ve seen plenty of the “My parents cover my rent and give me money for food and pay for my school, so I buy weed with the food money and get food stamps”. But I live in a college town, so that’s why I’ve seen that.

        • JulesNoctambule says:

          Of course people believe that some people abuse the system. It’s the ubiquitous Prada purse-Mercedes SUV-lobster every night for dinner supposed welfare cheat that’s implausible.

  25. thomwithanh says:


    The Customer is Not Always Right: Best. Website. Ever. – apart from the Consumerist of course ;)

  26. who? says:

    My favorite from personal experience.

    I had an apartment for rent. A guy called, told me he wanted to put up a satellite dish, and asked me what direction the balcony faced. The balcony faced straight North, and there was no way in hell a satellite dish was going to work. He proceded to argue with me about what direction the balcony faced, and quote the law that says that the landlord has to let him put up his dish. I personally had no problem with the dish, but I was standing in the apartment while I was talking to him, and was completely sure that his dish wasn’t going to work. But he finally beat me into submission, and I made an appointment for him to see the apartment.

    When he got there for the appointment, he didn’t stay long, because the balcony faced North, and his satellite dish wasn’t going to work. Another couple showed up without an appointment at the same time and rented the apartment, so the day wasn’t a total loss.

  27. mistyfire says:

    LOL! and I though notalwaysright.com was funny…

  28. Buckus says:

    Great…there goes my afternoon…

  29. gman863 says:

    Having worked as a PC repair tech for years, the biggest thing that pisses me off is that – once you have fixed a problem for an ID10T and billed them for the services – they think they’re purchased a free lifetime pass for any and all stupid problems that come along. Examples include:

    * People downloading virus and malware infested shit on a weekly basis and expecting free virus removal redos. I’ve seen people crash their system even with MSE, Malware Bytes Pro and Advanced System Care Pro installed (same with Norton, McAfee, Avast and Kapurskey).
    Everything from free emoticons to Asian porno.

    * “I have this copy of (AUTOCAD, Photoshop, etc.) my cousin in India sent me – can you install it and be sure it doesn’t have a virus?”

    * “I don’t give a fuck if the hard drive crashed! I want my Dr. Dre songs and booty pics back!”

    * “I can’t get my wi-fi to hook up” (…and after about 3-4 questions…) “I get it through my neighbor’s house but I can’t figure out the password.”

    And finally, why i NEVER answer my cell phone after 9 PM

    * (sometime around Midnight) “Hey, sorry to bother you. How do I type in bold using Microsoft Word?”

  30. thomas_callahan says:

    How about this one — I get in line behind a woman in Whole Foods who only has one thing, a smoothie. Looks like she’s been jogging maybe and stopped in the store — spandex jogging suit, iPhone in hand. Figured it would be quick, one thing only, right?

    Wrong, she only has change, and not enough to pay. Spends 2 or 3 minutes searching every “pocket” in her spandex outfit for more change, still 75 cents short. The cashier, who is being incredibly patient counting pennies, says she’s still short.

    The woman says huffs, throws up her hands, and says “Well, what do we do about this?”

    “You don’t have enough.”

    “Can’t I just owe you?”

    “No, I can’t do that, I’d be short at the end of the day and get written up.”
    The cashier behind her leans over — “Ma’am, she can’t do that, she’ll get in trouble — please don’t ask her to do that.”

    “Well I shop in here all the time, I’ll come back later today.”

    “Sorry, I really can’t do that.”

    “What, do you think I’m going to steal it? I don’t understand why you won’t let me just owe you.” — stares at the cashier for about 5 seconds saying nothing, hand on hips.

    Cashier — “I’ll put 75 cents in for you.” — takes out HER OWN MONEY and adds it to the pile of change.

    *sarcastic* “Well, thank you very much, I still don’t know why I can’t just owe you.”

    Then she goes out, and, I kid you not, gets into a huge Mercedes SUV she left parked in the fire lane right outside the windows at the checkout and drives off.

    While she was ringing me up, the second cashier told the first one she could get in trouble for putting her own money in too, if “they” saw it.

    So basically this snotty rich woman intimidated a cashier into jeopardizing her job because she “needed” a smoothie.

    • Princess Beech loves a warm cup of treason every morning says:

      She needs to get out of her spandex suit. It’s clearly making her a tightwad.

    • Coffee says:

      This story is terrible…when I hear something like this, I like to imagine that the person has died, and they’re standing at the pearly gates, awaiting judgment. God is standing there, watching them, and the scales are pretty much 50/50. God looks up, says, “Hmmm…well…it’s close, but I suppose…” and then a dwarf pulls on his robe and whispers something, and God says, “Oh…right…the Whole Foods incident…” and the scale moves juuuuuust so…

  31. Nyxalinth says:

    The stupid….burns so badly…

    Ten years ago, I worked in customer care for Wells Fargo. I spent 45 minutes on a single call one day, repeatedly telling a man that in order to complete the direct deposit advance he was doing through the ATM, that he next had to do a withdrawal from the machine to get his money.

    “It didn’t give me my money.”

    “I understand sir, just do a withdrawal and you’ll have your money.”

    “It didn’t give me my money.”

    “Is the money there in your account balance?”


    “Okay, well just withdraw your cash from the machine like normal.”

    “It didn’t give me my money.”

    headdesk headdesk headdesk headdesk

    forty five minutes of going in circles with the stupid ass. finally, it got through to him, because he said “Oh, so I just have to do an ATM withdrawal?”

    (through gritted teeth) “Yes, sir.”

    I quit two months later due to burnout. If it wasn’t people screaming at me, it was stupid bastards like this one.

    • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

      AT&T Customer service was much the same.

      My FAVORITE was a 45 minute argument with a lady telling me that since she never received her bill in the mail (bound to happen from time to time) she wasn’t responsible for paying her bill and we were making it HER FAULT. Needless to say I explained the myriad other ways you can check and pay your balance without a paper statement, but no. Finally she hung up on me even though I was trying to explain it in every rational way possible.

    • Janus, Should I laugh or cry? says:

      We all have, or read of, stories of bad customers or bad service; it’s just bad people.

      But while I’m here, I’ve got my own story.

      I go to Wachovia Bank to DEPOSIT a fairly large check.
      The Wachoiva cashier was flustered with a Wachovia check (it’s not like the check was a billion dollars).
      I use my bank card and enter my PIN.
      Inexplicably, she wants my drivers license and additional information (to deposit the check).
      She calls Wachovia to make sure the check is legit and that there are funds in the account. Everthing is peachy. Remember, this is Wachovia-to-Wachovia.
      Nope, still not good enough. She puts a 3 day hold on the check (which is fine by me).
      I spent 5+ annoying minutes to deposit a check due to this idiot cashier when I could have just deposited the check in the ATM within a minute.

      I think I’m angry at myself for not complaining to the bank manager. Usually, this branch has great service.

      You tell me your horrible customer story and I’ll tell you my horrible service story.
      You tell me your horrible service story and I’ll tell you my horrible customer story.

      Horrible people are own both sides.

  32. clementine says:

    I hate the customers who leave clothes in the dressing room after trying them on. You don’t have to hang them up where they came from, stores put a return bar up in the changing room area for you to put them on after you are done. I also do not like it when customers try on clothes and stain them with their period blood and then put them back out to be tried on by others.

  33. beanycecil1 says:

    Try working in the hospital ER sometime. We deal with: loud clueless drunks, lying drug addicts, self-proclaimed medical experts by virtue of their ability to search for “food poisoning” on wikipedia, the child-in-charge family, people on medicaid who act as if they are making a huge cash donation to the hospital on their way out the door, and I could go on.

  34. SJActress says:

    I work at an icehouse, which is basically an outdoor bar. It’s across the street from a convenience store. Every shift, this guy would come in with his own cup of ice and order a can of Coke. It costs $1, because it’s a bar. I would give it to him, and he would put his hand in my tip jar so I couldn’t see what he was tipping and put change in it (the tip jars are opaque). Every single time, I would wait till he walked away and dump it out, and it always had 5 pennies in it. Our bar only has prices that end in even quarters, so it was pretty obvious it was him. I didn’t complain really, because 5 cents is better than nothing (and the good guys make up for it) but I mentioned it to one of my regulars, because I just found it odd. The next time the guy came in, the regular said to him, “You know, you could get an entire bottle of Coke across the street for about the same price and you could save her the work you’re not paying her for.”
    The guy actually took his advice.

  35. Vielle84 says:

    I’m usually cussed out at least twice a week by people who insist that Halo 3 IS TOO on “the PlayStation,” because they “saw it at the Wal-Marts the other day.” Apparently I’m just too lazy to go check in the back.

  36. Hawkeye says:

    I haven’t worked retail in over 20 years, and whenever I read stories like this I get flashbacks of all the horrible people I had to deal with.

  37. Span_Wolf says:

    The other day I was at Best Buy the other day and I witnessed the following.

    Customer: My computer is broken, and I’m within the 30 day policy, I need a new one.
    CSA: Ok sir, Geek Squad is just going to take it in the back and check it out to see what’s wrong with it.
    Customer: Oh no, you aren’t going to scam me out of a replacement. Replace it now!
    CSA: I’m sorry sir, but we need to run a diagnostic, to see what’s wrong with it. If it’s a defect then we’ll be more than happy to help you, but if it’s user error..
    Customer: How dare you! I’ve already had this thing fixed twice already in the last 2 days, it’s clearly defective, now replace it NOW!
    CSA: As soon as the agent is done checking it we’ll..
    Customer: I slap the shit out of little fucks like you all day at work!
    CSA2: What’s going on here?
    Customer: Shut the fuck up and get me a manager NOW!
    CSA: Ok sir I’m finished here, next customer.
    Customer: FUCK YOU!!!
    Manager: What is the issue here?
    Customer: *back to original agent* See I’m going to get helped now, I know how it works, he’s going to help me and there is nothing you can do about it.
    CSA: Sorry sir I’m helping this customer here and..
    Customer: FUCK YOU!!!
    Manager: I need you to stop talking to him, you are talking to me now. Look at me, I’m here, don’t look at him, look at me. I’m here and you are going to tell me what’s wrong, not yell at him.

    That’s about as much as I caught, it turns out the man had downloaded a virus, it was all his fault, and after acting the way he did he STILL got helped out and got everything taken care of…

  38. LuzioFantazmic says:

    I work as a cop and one day a Spanish female approaches me and asks “Hablas español?”

    I say “No”.

    She gets all huffy, waves me off and calls me “estúpido”. And walks away.

    I couldn’t help but chuckle a bit.

  39. CosmicCowgirlKookaburraKiller says:

    Honestly, as a person who has worked in retail and customer service for 8+ years, most customers are either pleasant or non-memorable. It is just that 10% of douchebags that ruins it for everyone.

    • Can't we all just get along? says:

      A veteran where I work once told me a story that is meant to make me make sure that I count out EXACTLY every piece of money that I owe a customer.

      A woman has made several purchases in our store during the course of one day. She storms up to the customer service area, screams that one of the cashiers shorted her, and demands that they figure out where she got shorted. After processing the five transactions she made that day, they find out that during one of the transactions, she had been shorted…

      Exactly one penny.

  40. Difdi says:

    I recall a customer who came into the repair shop I was working at as a technician a few years ago.

    He was looking for batteries. The owner didn’t stock them, since we’re right next door to a place that has literally every battery type under the sun and most of what we sell plugs into a wall. So the counter clerk points this out to the customer, who isn’t having any of it. Obviously we must sell batteries, since we’re an appliance store that also does appliance repair (again, ignoring the fact that the only thing visible to him in the store that uses batteries is a little portable fan thing).

    Finally, he seems to take the clerk’s word for it, and starts browsing in the store. The counter clerk goes to help someone else. And then the customer wanders past three Employees Only signs, opens the door to the back room (where I am) and starts searching the shelves. Naturally, I ask him what he’s doing in the employees-only section of the store. He demands batteries. I tell him we don’t sell them, there are none back here, and he needs to go back to the front of the shop. I escort him out firmly and go back to work. About ten minutes later, I go to lunch.

    When I come back, the back room is a MESS. Boxes dumped out, tools scattered, just a mess. Upon review of the security camera system, it becomes clear the customer thought I was lying, and came back after I went on break and the counter clerk wasn’t looking. He tore the place apart looking for batteries. He didn’t find any, but he did find a box of capacitors, which he then shoplifted and left with.

    Now, capacitor terminals don’t match up to battery terminals in any kind of battery-powered appliance. But while theoretically all of those capacitors were discharged, every now and then we got a live one in there. Just imagine how much smoke would be let out if he modified the terminals to fit and slapped a D-cell sized capacitor into his boom box…

  41. herblock says:

    I had a small retail store, one customer came in and gave me hell for not advertising my cool store on TV. i could barely pay the rent.
    Then were the customers who would come into my empty store and proceed to bend my ear for an eternity.

    But funniest was when I worked at the post office. A very elderly lady called and asked about getting a visa. I tried to explain to her we only did passport applications. Visa requests were through the embassy of the country she wanted to visit. “No, I want a Visa Card.” i explained to the confused woman that banks issued Visas not the government.

  42. MAKKMAKO says:

    I worked for an autoparts store in my 20’s. It was a small store, so from our back counter, you could see every customer come in the store. Well, this day we were somewhat busy but I see a man come in and walk up to our steering wheel locks and take it off the shelf. He comes back to the counter asking for a RETURN. I ask him, do you have a receipt for this (store policy). He says, “No, but you are going to give me my money back.” I replied, find me a receipt and I’ll see what I can do. I also told him, you can leave the product at the counter in the meantime, the product that you DIDN’t walk in with. He proceeded to rant and rave, I told him to leave the store. He challenged me to a fight. I told him, “I get off at 4:30, if you want it that bad” He left, never did come back, pity. Thief… LOL!

  43. Osotogeri says:

    and you wanted to work retail instead of going to college.

  44. sailorstarfairy says:

    Oh, I got stories, LOTS of them. Working in the hospitality industry you get TONS of nightmare guest/customer/clients. One of the first ones on the top of my head – The year is 2004. The place is an extended stay type hotel. The customer? The random guy who has never EVER used a computer in his entire life. He is very impressed with my computer skills (wow, you can do check ins with a computer???)

    Anyway, guy decides, “I want a computer too! Where can I buy one?”

    “Um…Walmart sells em pretty cheap…”

    “Okay!” So a few days pass and I get a call from this guy and he says, “So I got a computer!”

    “Oh good for you!”

    “I want to know if you can fix it so I can go on the Internet.”

    “Sure, no problem.” So I go up to his room and I’m looking and figure out he needs to use an Ethernet cable to get connected. So I cheerfully go and get the Ethernet cable and hook it up for him and say, “Okiedoke! You’re all good to go you can jump on the net now.”

    And he’s all “…what do I do to do that?”

    ………….”You use a browser to look up stuff?”

    “A what?” …I feel my cheerful smile sliding slowly off my face. “Um…what DO what to see on the internet?”

    “I dunno! I just know everyone needs a computer now-a-days!”

    “Um…I can’t really tell you what to look up on your computer…but you just double click on this blue E here and this white box here? Type in what you want to see and it’ll show you whatever you wanna see.”

    “Oh…uh okay!”

    I swear the look on my face must have been priceless/classic/unbelievable because my manager says “Well that took a long time, was his computer broke?” And I just said “I don’t get paid to teach people how to use a computer!!!”

  45. tinyangel says:

    My son tells me “my expectations for strangers is too high”. I think he may be right – I feel the same rage every time I’m behind these retail idiots.