I Don't Work Here, Lady! These Customers Were Hilariously Mistaken For Staff.

Sometimes a customer will get mistaken for an employee at a store. It's an honest mistake, usually ending with someone apologizing and then returning to shopping.

But a lot of the people below couldn't own up to their mistakes - and they were completely disrespectful about it. Which, as you'll read, can create a HUGE scene.

If you want to read more, check out the source link at the end of the article.

Weve had a longer than usual cold spell where I live, and I really wanted some warmer boots. So off I went to the place where boots and other foot-related items are found.

Im crouched down looking at a shelf, trying to find my size, when a woman steps up beside me and dangles a shoe in my face.

I want this in a size 9.

I pause for a second, and she wiggles the shoe at me.

So I did what any self-respecting person would do. I grabbed a random boot, stood up barely glancing at her, held out it out and said, I want this boot in brown.


Brown, I want these in brown. Do you have it?

Oh, I dont work here.

Well, how was I supposed to know that? I ask.

I I Im wearing a coat and carrying a purse?

You mean, like I am?

What? ...Oh, yes. Sorry.

No problem. …So, youre not going to get me these boots in brown?

She laughed, I laughed, the clerk who was standing behind the woman with a terrified look on her face laughed. The lady got her size nines, but those boots did not come in brown.


This happened a few years ago. My friend and I decided to hit up Gamestop to see if there was anything worth buying. I just happened to be wearing a polo shirt and had a lanyard around my neck because I had just left the office.

This kid comes up to me in the Xbox section and asks me if a certain game is available for PS3. I went ahead and answered him in the affirmative. He simply says, "Get it for me".

I pause and look down at this kid, "Excuse me?"

"Get it for me, I want to buy it."

So I tell him, "The shelf is right there." 

I start to turn away and he forcefully demands again that I get him this game.

I went ahead and kneeled so that I was eye level with him and told him "If you want that game so bad, walk over there and pick it up. I'm not your servant."

The kid runs off and gets his mom. My buddy and I are having a good chuckle at this as we grabbed our games and went to stand in line. While we were making our way through the line, here comes the kid again with his mom in tow.

The mom was throwing a fit at the front, demanding that the 'employee' who disrespected her son be fired.  The kid looked over at me and said, "That's him!"

The mother just exploded on me with a ton of vitrio. Meanwhile my buddy and I are cracking up. This circus is only causing me to laugh harder which in turn is making her even more angry.

Finally, the manager came up front and asked what was going on.

The woman demanded that I be fired immediately. The manager looked at me, looked back at this lady; me; lady; me. The he says, "Ma'am, he doesn't work for Gamestop".

Dead. Silence.

My buddy then speaks up: "So I take it we don't get an employee discount?"


I work as a POS (point-of-sale) technician. My job is essentially driving around servicing pretty much any company that doesnt have its own dedicated tech team. 

Today I answered a call at a grocery store because one of the tills' serial ports stopped working. This story begins with me just at the point where Ive unplugged everything and have the computer pulled out from its compartment.

When I pop up from under the counter, I see some lady unloading a cart onto the conveyor belt. Shes on her phone. I give her a little wave and say, Hey this lane is actually closed - sorry for the inconvenience. But she continues unloading the cart. 

I point at the register closed sign sitting on the conveyor directly in front of her slowly growing pile of groceries. She gives me a little hand wave and rolls her eyes as she continues unloading. 

I make a show of slamming the computer down in front of her. Shes done unloading her cart and she's getting antsy watching me. By the time I have the stuff plugged back in and I've turned the computer on, shes off the phone.

Her: Whats taking so long? 

Me: I told you this lane was closed. You should try the other lane.

Her: I already unloaded my cart, Im not waiting in line again. 

Me: Well this till is going to take about 45 more minutes. Youre welcome to wait it out. 

Her: This is ridiculous. Where is your manager? 

Me: In his office. I dont work here. Im fixing the computer. Its going to take a while.

She stands around for a good 10 minutes while Im installing drivers until a manager walks by and she flags him down. She tells him about how rude I was being and how I was making her wait. [continued...]

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Manager: Id be happy to help you at the customer service desk.

Her: Finally some service.

She loads her cart up again and walks it over to the customer service desk with a smug little grin on her face like she'd won something.


I work for a university police service as a security officer. My uniform consists of a white shirt with grey slacks and a blue striped tie. I also carry standard effects like a badge, radio, knife, handcuffs, and flashlight. In this particular instance I wasn't working, so I threw my badge in my pocket.

I rolled into a grocery store where the employees wear brown slacks and green polos, and started putting together a dinner for the evening. While I'm doing my thing, I feel a tap on my shoulder. 

I turn to see a woman in her mid 40's who asks me, "Where are the pretzel buns?" After a second of wondering how she mistook me for an employee, I indicated the general direction of the breads and told her she could head that way to find what she was looking for. Noticeably dissatisfied with that answer she says, "Do your job and come find them for me." At that point it went from simple misunderstanding to annoying entitlement.

I told her I wasn't going to help her and when she asked why I responded with the truth: "I have no obligation to help you because I'm not an employee here and I choose not to help you because I don't feel like it." Apparently that was an unsatisfactory response and my "lack of initiative" was something my manager was going to hear about. I was "obviously lying", so she doubled down and started yelling and involving other customers. "Look! This piece of crap employee won't help me!"

I pulled out my badge and said, "Ma'am, this is your only warning. I'm an officer with [university] police. Back off now!" She stops for a moment, mutters something I didn't catch, then walks away still steaming from her ears.

Less than five minutes later she showed up again with one of the cashiers. She said, "Your employee is pretending to be a police officer!" The cashier recognized me from previous late night visits and greeted me. He turned to the woman and said, "He's definitely not an employee, and I'm pretty sure he IS a cop!"

She just wasn't having it. "Fine!" she grunted. "I don't care. Don't help me. All I wanna know is where are your freaking pretzel buns?" He looks at her and delivers the best news I'd heard all night. "Ma'am, we don't sell those."


I'm always at Home Depot picking up odds and ends. I cannot believe the number of times I've overheard employees giving a customer wrong, and sometimes dangerous, information.

For example, a customer wanted help hooking up his new hot tub. An employee was explaining to the customer how he just needs this standard, non-fused disconnect (meant for air conditioners) and "some of that yellow wire." At this point, I had to step in.

Me: Sir, do you know what amperage your tub is rated at?

Customer: Uhm... 40 amp minimum. 50 amp max.

Me: That's what I thought. If you use that "yellow wire," the best you can hope for is that you'll constantly be tripping the circuit. At worst, you could burn down the house.

I then direct him to the correct size wire and fused disconnect, and ask him if he has a permit for the electrical work. 

Employee: He doesn't need a permit! As a homeowner he can do whatever he wants!

Me: In this state, even homeowners are required to get permits and inspections by the local authority having jurisdiction. In this case, it's the city of planning department.

Employee: Oh, yeah? How would you know?

Me: I'm an electrical contractor. But you're right. I've only been doing this for 20 years. What would I know? (Turns back to Customer) Look, you can listen to him if you want, it's your house and life.

Employee: He's just trying to scare you into hiring him to do it for you!


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Me: Actually, I don't have the time for side jobs. And besides, I don't have a contractor's license, just a journeyman's. I can't pull permits. Have a nice day.

As I'm walking away, the customer puts his items down, and tells the employee that he won't be needing them after all. 

The next day, I get a call from my boss. It seems he received two phone calls that day. The first was from a manager at Home Depot, who was complaining that I was "poaching jobs in our store." (After telling him what happened, he ended up calling them back and asking if it was their policy to endanger lives and property with incompetent advice). 

The second was from the customer, who now wanted someone from our company to come out and do it right.


I decided to buy a portable heater for my bedroom. I stopped at a hardware store and was crouched down in one of the aisles looking at the various heaters on the bottom shelf.

"Hey I need to find the bathroom fittings," came a voice from behind me. I clearly heard what the woman said, but assumed she was talking to a shop employee somewhere behind me.

"Um hello! bathroom fittings?" she repeated, using that entitled tone.

I was dressed in a suit and tie, so surely, SURELY she wouldn't be confusing me for a hardware store employee. I kept looking at the heater in my hands.

"HEY!" she tapped me heavily on the shoulder twice, so I looked back over my shoulder at her. I saw a mid-30s mother with a two-year-old on her hip. And she looked mad.

"Yes?" was all I got out, not expecting the physical contact.

"Where are the bathroom fittings?!"

I immediately decided for some reason that there was no way I was going to tell her I didn't work here. I don't know why, but I seemed to think she didn't deserve to know it if she wasn't going to treat someone with basic human respect.

"Well that's rude," I said.

That pushed her over the edge. She started yelling, "What's freaking rude is you ignoring me when it's your stupid JOB to help me! Are you going to tell me where the bathroom fittings are or do I need to go find someone who isn't an idiot?!" 

"Why would I help someone who's screaming at me? You have no idea how to treat people properly, do you?" 

She stood there silent for a couple seconds in disbelief that I said that, then stormed off yelling and cursing that I'll be fired. All the while her child was visibly stressing out at all the yelling happening right in his ear.


I was walking to work around 8:30am in a small eastern US town. We have a relaxed dress code at work, so I was wearing jeans and a t-shirt, I had my purse and a plastic bag with my lunch, and I was smoking a cigarette. I was 25 at the time, but I have a small frame so I was regularly mistaken for being younger.

As I'm passing a bakery, 20-30 high school kids come out and start walking right ahead of me. Since I'm smoking and the wind is blowing forward, I decide to wait for traffic to cross the road to get away from the students. Mrs. Teacher lady must have smelled the smoke and looked back to see me stopped, waiting to cross the road.

She basically exploded. "I can't believe you would try to pull that! You know how I feel about smoking and on a field trip no less! When we get back to school you're going straight to detention!"

 So now I'm confused. A few students turn to look at me, and they're confused, and apparently the teacher's confused why I'm smoking.


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"Uhm. I'm not in your class," I said as. When I attempted to cross the road, she stopped me.

"That's not the point! Smoking is against school rules no matter what homeroom you're in!"

"No, like, I don't go to your school at all. I'm 25. I'm going to work."

Silence. Amazingly hilarious awkward silence. Finally a student pipes up, "Yeah, no, I've never seen that girl before." A few others agree. The teacher still doesn't speak.

"I'm, uhm, I'm gonna cross the road now."


I swear I have an "ask me to help you" look because I get this on a regular basis.

I'm at Wacky Mart with my wife and one-year-old daughter. We stopped in for a few items we needed for dinner, one of them being marshmallows. I'm wearing sandals, cargo shorts, and a green tshirt with a skull on it - not anything that a store employee would wear.

We fnd the marshmallows and we move on our way. Then I go back because I forgot to get brown and white sugar. So I take my daughter with me back to the baking aisle.

A woman who had been in the aisle previously is still there. Her shirt is bedazzled and she's got one of those short hair cuts where the hair in front is longer than the hair at the back. Also, she's literally wearing a purple sparkle fedora. Because of this we'll refer to her as PF, for Purple Fedora.

So she comes up to me and tells me she needs me to get something for her. I look at the ten pounds of sugar in one hand and the 20 pounds of baby in the other and tell her: "Sorry, I've sort of got my hands full here."

PF: I saw you help that other woman. Now help me. 

Me: My wife. You saw me help my wife. 

PF: I'm more important than her because I'm a customer. 

Me: What makes you think you're more important to me than my wife? You're a stranger that I've never met. 

PF: Because I. Am. A. Customer. 

Me: So. Am. I. 

PF: No, you work here. Now put that baby down and help me.

And then I just walked away to the sound of threats about managers and being fired and calling corporate.

Fast forward to the self-checkout and she is in line behind us. We go to the next available register and I hear her asking the guy in charge of the self-checkout, "Does that man with the baby work here?" The guy wearing the khaki pants, blue polo, and yellow store vest says, "No. Why would you think he works here, he's wearing shorts and a skull tshirt."


This event took place at a local liquor store when I was home on leave from the military. It was my first birthday home in years, so I was planning on having a great night with my old high school friends. 

I was perusing the items in the store when I noticed an unused crate. I asked the security guy if I could borrow it while I was shopping. He said yes. I had at least 6 different bottles in the crate. I was looking for something else when a lady, probably in her late 40's, comes up to me.

Lady: Excuse me, I was looking for [name of gin] do you have it here?

Me:  I don't actually work here. But they don't have that brand. If I may make a suggestion...

Conveniently the tonic was on the wall next to us. I handed her a bottle and showed her where the gin was. She thanked me and went on. Someone else came up to me and asked a random question about the absinthe that the store has. I get into a conversation about absinthe, what it actually is, why it's illegal in some places, and whether it makes you hallucinate or not. The entire time people were coming up to me asking me questions on where to find this, suggestions on what kind of wine they should get, drink suggestions and so on.

When I get to the counter, the owner gives me a smile.

Owner: So you are the one everyone has been talking about.

Me: What do you mean?

Owner: Everyone has been saying what a good employee I have working here, and how helpful you've been. I didn't know how to respond because I'm the only one working today. Too bad you don't actually work here. You've been an excellent help.

The whole time the security guy was laughing every time a customer would come to me for assistance.

At final checkout I got 10% military discount, and a 15% employee discount. 


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I used to frequent a marina in my area, and because of that I'm very familiar with the place and how everything runs. I'm an educated professional but I don't dress like it on a fishing day. 

So I'm filleting some fish I'd just caught on the publicly available cleaning table, clearly marked 'for customers'. A boat pulls up behind me and a few teenage boys jump off and go inside. Their mom disembarks and pats me on the shoulder.

Rude Lady: Do you want to actually help me?! The fish are right there.

Me: Umm, what? 

She pointed down into her boat, where 10 trout are stacked. The marina folks would charge $10 to clean them.

Me: Okay? They can help you over there.

RL: They have a line. You don't. I'm not waiting.

Me: Well they're pretty fast and it doesn't even look too busy.

RL: You just don't want to do your job do you? I'm not waiting.

She tosses $30 at me before walking inside. I'm not gonna complain; I pulled the trout off the boat and start to clean them. She comes out a few minutes later with the boys and makes snide comments about me the entire time I'm cutting her fish.

"This is why you're all going to college." "Ugh! She cut off too much of that one." "Why is it so expensive? I'm sure y'all could do that just as well." 

Well that last comment actually got one of the kids to speak up and inform her that not only did they think they were going to be doing it, but it should only be about $10 and pointed over to the marina's tables.

RL: You overcharged me! It's only supposed to be $10.

Me: I didn't tell you a price, you picked one and threw it at me. But also... I don't work here and don't go by their prices.

RL: And why would you do any of that and take my money knowing I thought you worked here?!

Me: Well you paid me. Your fish are done. Hope you boys enjoy college as much as I did.


A few weeks ago, my fiance was coming to pick me up from my gym, which sits above one of those hair salons where they just style your hair and don't cut or color it or anything. He texted me that he had arrived, so I walked out and beelined for his car. Suddenly, an angry woman emerged from the salon. 

AW: What are you doing? That is MY uber!"

Me: No, it's not, that's my fiance...


Me: Again, that is my fiance, and this is our car.

AW: Well he is my uber driver! You can just wait for yours!"

Me: No, he isn't.

So I got in the car and left her in a screaming fit of rage, presumably until her actual uber driver arrived.


I was an employee for a Wal-Mart market with a green vest for a uniform. I had unwillingly been dragged into a Wal-Mart superstore right after my shift. I had forgotten to take my vest off before entering the store, so I took it off and threw it into the top of the basket. 

I'm shopping with my mother and my friend when a women storms up to me and demands I stop being a lazy worker and open another register.

I just stared at her and told her I don't work there. She then proceeded to grab my vest, which is underneath three purses, and throw it at me, telling me to do my job or she'll get management. 

I told her to get them. I actually did know the manager on shift. So when she complained, he told her I in fact worked another location. 

Best part: a couple months later she came to my store asking for a supervisor after treating the service desk employee like crap. I was the supervisor.

She didn't believe I was the supervisor and flipped out, which led to me calling up my store manager who had her removed and barred from the property.


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I was at a gas station pumping gas, when the lady at the pump across from me sticks her head around and asks if I can help her for a second. She says she's having a problem with the credit card reader. 

She had put her card in backwards and it was stuck. I get it out for her and show her how to put it in the right way. She thanks me. I head back to my Jeep and start to put the pump back, only to find another woman blocking the door. 

"It took you long enough. I've waited 5 minutes already. Hurry up and pump my gas."  

"Sorry miss, in Washington we pump our own gas. If you need help go into the store and talk to somebody that works here." Well she loses her crap. 

"What the heck? Go pump my gas or I'm going to get you fired."

I said, "Okay miss, you're right, I'm sorry. head back to your car and I'll be with you in a moment." I just jumped into my car and took off. The look on her face when I started my Jeep up was hilarious.


This past Friday I was at Victoria's Secret (VS) shopping for undies. I was wearing blue jeans, a white rain coat, and a beige cross body purse. The employees wear all black. Now, if you've been to VS, you know they keep all their sizes in drawers under each display. So there I am looking through the drawers. I'll be M for me and CL will be clueless lady.

CL: Excuse me? EXCUSE ME?

Me: Oh! Sorry, I...

CL: You should be! You shouldn't be organizing underwear with all the customers in here! Now that I have your attention, I need this in my size. Do YOU have it?

Me: Uh, I don't work here. I'm shopping just like you.

CL: Well how was I supposed to know?

Me: Use your eyes next time?

With that, I grabbed my 5 undies and proceeded to wait in line with the other women ready to pay. CL ends up behind and she's making loud sighs and groaning at the length of the line. There are two ladies in front of us, so I get called up first and CL ends up at the register next to mine.

CL's Cashier: And, who was helping you today?

CL: "Well, SHE wasn't helpful at all!

CL's Cashier: She doesn't work here ma'am.

CL: That's not the point! She was rude when. I asked for help.

Me: Maybe if you treated people nicely, then people would be nice back.



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You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar, or so the saying goes.

The same can be said for your interactions with cops, most of whom are perfectly happy to let minor infractions slide––When was the last time you were actually ticketed for jaywalking?––provided you're not a total Karen should you interact them.

Your local police officer likely doesn't care about jaywalking or the fact that you went five miles over the speed limit unless you give him a reason to, as we learned when Redditor Takdel asked police officers: "What stupid law have you enforced just because someone was an a-hole?"

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