16 Employees Share The Moment A Horrible Customer Caused Them To Finally Snap.
This article is based on the AskReddit question "What was your breaking point, where you snapped and went off on a rude ass customer?"
Nope. The customer is NOT always right.
Source can be found at the end of the article.
1/16. I owned/Managed a Little Caesars pizza joint for a bit. One night some guy comes in and tells my counter girl we screwed up his food last time, so this time it's free. My cashier perfectly explains the return/ we made a mistake policy and asks the guys name since we have a book we write them in. The guy starts losing it and yelling at my 16/17 year old employee. I calmly walk over to her, ask her to go in the back and call this guy out for swearing at a young girl, how he is a piece of sh*t, has no respect, and tell him to get the f*ck out and don't ever come back.
The random customer in the lobby gave me a high five.
2/16. I own my own business that opens at 10. Was running late one morning and some old dude was pacing at the door (probably 10:03) and he looks at me as I am sticking the key in the door and says something along the lines of, "well, it's about time someone got here, glad you decided to show up!" So before opening the door completely and letting him in, I locked it back and said, "actually I think I won't come in today". And then went surfing.
3/16. One of my coworkers was feeling under the weather about midway through her shift, so I was asked to move my till over to the register she was on so that she could go home. No biggie.
I grab my till, walk over, and quietly tell Coworker, "Hey, I'm here to relieve you so you can go home. Hope you feel better."
She finishes up her transaction, pulls her till out, starts gathering her stuff up.
Next customer in line starts complaining about how long she's going to have to wait.
I put my till into the register, ("It'll just be a moment, ma'am") sign on ("Just give me a minute and I'll be with you"), and start scanning her stuff.
Customer complains about Coworker not ringing her up. "She should have rung me up! I've been waiting for ten minutes." (A lie, since it had been slow, with multiple registers open, and coworker had taken maybe two minutes with her previous customer.)
(Still scanning) "I'm very sorry about that, ma'am. But Coworker was not feeling well, and I was asked to relieve her so she could go home."
Customer was not satisfied. "Well, why didn't she stay home, if she was sick?"
I don't even look up at that point because I'm just seething. Still scanning her stuff, I respond, "Maybe she was feeling well at the start of her shift and only started feeling bad after she got here. Or maybe she tried to come in and work through feeling sick because maybe, just maybe, she relies on the money she makes here to have a roof over her head and food in her stomach and can't afford to take a sick day." (I finish ringing her up) "Your total is $XX.
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4/16. I worked retail when I was in college.
A customer came to my till and one of the products he had was a large version of a chocolate bar. I scanned it and he started giving me s*** because the price was wrong.
I knew the price wasn't wrong because I enjoy this particular chocolate and bought it all the time.
He walked me down to the shelf where it was and pointed out the price tag. I told him that's the wrong price tag (it was for regular size, not large).
He asked me "are you f***ing blind?" I responded with "yes actually, I'm blind in one eye, but I can still see that this price tag is for a regular size bar, and not large. Look at the small letters under the price"
He immediately turned nice and bought me a chocolate bar.
But screw retail. Never doing that again.
5/16. My mother own a dry cleaners and one of her customer's flipped out on her because she said we misplaced her clothing. She tried talking to her calmly and explained to her that what ever she dropped off was picked up and paid for. I believe it was one blouse so we didn't lose it. She then went off on her and I basically told the lady to f**k off and get the hell out. I never curse in front of my parents but that lady pissed me off yelling at my mom who worked 12 hours a day, 6 days a week. She then told me to watch myself because she knew people who would get my "chinese" ass.
6/16. I used to be a shift supervisor at a pet store... I once had one of the girls come up to the front, crying... Immediately my big sister instincts kicked in and I ask her what's wrong. Turns out there is some jerk back in the dog food section that she was trying to help and he was a total ass to her, arguing with her about something that she was entirely correct about. So I head back there. Dickhead is back there throwing around bags of dog food.
So I ask if he needs help and he goes off on me about the girl that was just back there and how useless she was... So I listen to him rant and then correct him and tell him he was out of line. He gives me the favourite "Haven't you heard the phrase the customer is always right?" line. So I give him a flat look and respond with "Yeah, and in this case he's also a horse's ass." He loses it and yells, saying he wants to speak to the manager. I give a shrug and say "I am the manager. If you want you can fill out a customer complaint card on your way out and I will make sure I get it. But you need to leave now."
I have managed at so many different retail stores... I am not even fazed by people any more. I am so glad to be out of the industry.
7/16. Worked in a "high end" hippy store. Lady came in with her dog despite the mall's No Dogs policy. Told her "no dogs allowed" but she insisted she "knew someone at corporate". It's bullsh*t but whatever, I don't get paid enough to argue.
Dog immediately pisses on the floor. She looked over at me with this "well?" look like I was supposed to rush over and wipe it up.
Nope. I just tossed a roll of paper towels at her and went back to folding clothes.
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8/16. Had a woman come into my red themed department store asking about cameras. We aren't trained in every individual camera so we usually just refer to the item cards on display near the device that list the basic specs and features. She wanted to know why one, which seemingly had better specs was priced lower than another.
Best we could give her was "uhh idk that's just the way it is." The entire time she's berating my teammate who I had been called to assist and starts ripping into me, telling me she should have just gone to PC Richardsons instead of my store.
After finally deciding on one I ring her out, where she continues to complain about the service and knowledge level. I asked if she wanted a replacement plan, which is standard practice on all electronics purchases. She was like "are you kidding me? I've never had a worse experience and there's no way I'm giving you any more money."
I smiled and told her "well next time ma'am, there's always PC Richardsons."
She was PISSSED.
"What did you just say to me?"
I repeated myself.
"Well I should just go return this right now."
"Sure thing, guest services at the from can definitely help you with that, just make sure you have your receipt handy.
9/16. I worked at a big name office supply store for 2 years, and dealt with all kinds of bullsh*t. I don't take well to customers treating low wage people like sh*t. A few summers ago, I had come home after working at that office supply store and decided I wanted ice cream. Low wage or not, I had worked a few extra hours and decided to invite the single mom neighbor and her kids to come for ice cream, since I knew she was struggling too.
It was the beginning of summer and there was a line 20 people long, but no deal, you wait your turn. There was a woman a few people ahead of me who spotted one of the employees on their break, leaning out an extra window and talking to a friend who had dropped by. This woman decided to lean out of the line and scream up to the windows, "We're out here waiting and she's just chatting with her friends instead of doing her job, etc etc". I lost my temper, leaned out and said "Ma'am, please, what's the problem here? You're waiting for ice cream, not the cure for cancer. Anyone who works hard is entitled to a break, and especially when low-wage employees deal with assholes like you, they need it."
The entire line started chuckling and looking at her, she turned beet red and went silent. I hope she felt more embarrassed than she ever had, because seriously, it's f***ing ice cream. Don't be a b**ch.
10/16. I worked at a PartyCity in Minnesota, there was one night where I was working the register. It was near the end of the night, tired, still had homework and was in a bad mood. However I was still polite and friendly.
This lady comes in, grabs a few items and comes to the register. She doesn't say anything even when I try to make small talk, she seemed like a snooty woman. She just stared at her phone, pays and leaves.
A few minutes later she comes in looking for her phone, clearly frustrated and I tell her I hasn't seen it and that I was sure she had walked out with it. She walks out and comes back and says she can't find it.
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She then proceeds to accuse me of stealing it. I had my phone in my pocket and I showed it to her, told her I had no need for her phone but I will check out for it. She demands i turn out my pockets and she wanted to check behind the register to make sure I hadn't hidden it.
The night manager is there at this point and just tells me to do what she says. It gets to the point where they also go through my locker in the back of the store (mind you I only had a few minutes before she comes in accusing me) and then going through my car (how the hell did I manage than when I have to walk right next to her to get to it). After proving I isn't have it he gets angrier and says I must have stolen it because in a pathetic loser working retail that can't afford a real phone.
Normally I'm a shy, introverted guy that doesn't say much and is polite. But I just tilted into oblivion.
Told her she was stuck up, entitled, and that she needed a f**king attitude adjustment. That I had no need for a phone that was better because mine works just fine. And that her phone wouldn't be fit to wipe my ass with. Lame but I was so angry I couldn't really think. I still had the job the next day.
11/16. This happened about a year ago. I managed a team of about 12 call center employees.
Guy calls into my tech support desk (we do B2B software), and absolutely berates one of my interns until she's in tears. My most senior analyst takes the call from the intern, and he rips into her as well - cursing, whole 9 yards. Guy was a real asshole to any of the female staff whenever he'd call in anyway, he was one of our "frequent fliers".
I was not having a great day, but against my better judgement I took the phone out of her hand and laid into him. Didn't curse, but by the time the call was over he understood in no uncertain terms that I knew he was a real asshole, and yes, I'm the manager, and no, he was not welcome to ever call us again. After "firing" the customer, I hung up, looked around...every one of my staff, my boss, bosses' boss, and the next team over were peeking above their cube walls and out of offices.
Went out for a smoke to get mentally ready for the paperwork I knew I'd be getting for telling a customer off.
Came back inside, and nobody said a word, never heard about it from my bosses.
12/16. I work at a concert venue where I normally check bags and do security until warped tour came around...
The food vendors were understaffed so I was moved to a stand where we never had enough food and I was the only one doing food prep (which I hadn't learned how to properly do).
About 2 hours into cutting deals with people who ordered something I ran out of saying "ohh chicken sandwhich? Sorry just ran out I feel really bad but I have burgers can that work? I'll throw in some fries." Someone starts giving me sh*t.
My line is backed up like 15 customers as it had been for an hour now and this person somehow thinks that I can do anything about my current situation besides leave.
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I didn't even need to say anything I looked her in the eyes, shut my own for a few seconds took a deep breath and exhausted hunched over the bar. When I look up at my line of now 20 people I make eye contact with the guy behind her in line.
He turns the girl around and says "We're here to see a concert, get drunk and have fun while this kid is stuck slaving away making food for people all day. How about you leave the f***ing kid alone I'll refund you right now! what did you get?"
For every 1 horrible person I deal with there are at least 5 who keep a smile and make me happy to work there. Then there's that guy who brings a tear to my eye by looking out for me.
13/16. I work at a grocery store and at the time was cashiering at our express lane which was 15 items of fewer. Some lady comes up with obviously over 15 items so i politely inform her its express. She snaps back telling me she counted and its 17 items, only a bit over. We are not allowed to fight with customers over our express lane so I was forced to move on. Finally its her turn and I angrily scan and bag her goddamn items. She has that smug little grin on her face I just wanna punch. Anyway, it gets to the end of the order and I see on my register the item count is 34! What happened for 17! I was annoyed but we are "encouraged" to be calm, collected, and not fight with our customers. So to tell her the total I put on my biggest retail smile and said in my best overly perky sarcastic voice, "Your THIRTY-FOUR items will come to a grand total of $112.34"
She got flustered then walked away without saying another word to me. It was necessarily "snapping" because we are "discouraged" from doing that. It was as close as I could get to snapping.
14/16. I offered a VERY minor celebrity in the UK, who was in town to do a pantomime, a store card (that we have to offer everyone!) and his response was "I don't need 5 off. I could pay your wages for 10 years from one job. Don't you know who I am?"
So I decided to lie. "Not a clue." I then called my boss (who I knew didn't watch any soaps) on the tannoy and asked him if he knew said celeb. He said "Sorry no. Should I?"
Then I asked the customer behind him who said no. Mayne they she was just getting involved or she genuinely didn't know, I have no idea. But that lady was a legend.
Then he said "Sam Kane? Brookside? Coronanation Street?!" I finished with"Nope. Still dont know you. So you sure you don't want to take advantage of the 5 discount? It means you save 3.55..."
He walked out. My manager complimented me on my store card pitch. It was a good afternoon.
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15/16. I "took too long" to make someone's drink and he called me an idiot after I apologized for making him wait and he said I shouldn't have dropped out of college and maybe I'd have a real job, he can't believe this bulls***. FWIW I'm a younger woman, which is probably why he assumed I dropped out of college to tend bar, but it pays the bills.
The man was ordering a pina colada at a tiki bar on a Tuesday afternoon in February in Florida, where the weather was gorgeous! It's a setting for happiness!
While it's not a dramatic snap (I'm not very confrontational), I just turned around and said, "You know, if waiting too long for a pina colada is the worst thing to happen to you today, I am SO jealous of your life. So do you need anything else? I have other guests to serve so I can afford my summer tuition."
He called me a stupid b**ch asked for my manager after that and I said "Find her yourself, I'm done helping you.
16/16. I worked as a trainee piercer/ shop girl/ general everything in a Tattoo/ Piercing studio.
Had this lady march in with her (obviously) underage daughter like 12-13 and started screaming and yelling the place down about how we had pierced her daughters bellybutton without her consent. Now we keep consent forms on the premises for about 2 months for EVERYTHING we do, and we keep them right under the counter at the front of the shop where I stand. After her refusing to believe me that under NO circumstances would we have pierced her belly even WITH parental consent (we had a 16+ policy) I ask her name and pull out the consent forms.
Surprise! no form for this girl. Mother starts ranting about how we must have hidden it to cover ourselves and she was going to sue us and we were all going to be arrested. I then asked the mother "Who did the piercing for your daughter?" She said some tall guy. Well... all our piercers are women. Asked her if she SPECIFICALLY said she got it done here as there are also 2 other shops which do this piercing within walking distance.
She said "in town". Which we were, but so were the other shops. Daughter is totally silent during this whole exchange and looking like she wants the ground to swallow her.
Mother realised she's made a mistake and starts attacking me personally about how piercings and tattooes are ugly and about how my mother must feel with me working in such a place. I told her my mum was upstairs as we spoke getting her back tattooed and if there was anything else I could help her with?
She left. I smiled. It was amusing.
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Minimum wage is often paid by some of the most physically and emotionally intensive work—service industry jobs. Having to work in a hot kitchen all day or deal with irate customers while being paid less than you need to survive is not exactly the best situation to be in.