1. Laughing Fit

As I was going about my usual duties of cleaning the self checkout machine in between , a woman approached with a trolley full of groceries. I asked her if she needed any help checking out. She just giggled and replied “no” whilst remaining to stare at me. I carried on cleaning, aware that the woman was still stood behind me staring at me. She then, very rudely shouted “Do you want to work or not?” My manager who was stood by then walked across to see what was going on.

My manager who I have worked with for years then asked the woman if there was a problem, to which she started giggling again, but this time in a more snotty, obnoxious manner and replied “I want to speak to both of your managers, I need a checkout!” My manager then took a moment, looked in my direction and almost copied the rude woman’s grin, looked back at her and replied “You’re looking at her”. The woman sheepishly checked out her own groceries whilst me and my manager high fived in the staff room and laughed about the glorious response to the rudeness we had just endured.

2. Ice Scream

So back when I used to work at an ice cream chain, I remember one customer who really shocked me! Two young boys came into the store, they were around high school age and ordered for a large bowl each with various toppings. After I had mixed their ice cream bowls I asked for the $10.36. Me: Okay, so that’ll be this many dollars. Guy: Okay, I have a gift card. Me: Great! scans card so it looks like you owe another $0.36 after the gift card. At this point, they both look at each other and shrug sadly. Guy: Oh…I’m sorry, I don’t have any money with me, never mind…. Me: Oh hey, it’s cool, only $0.36 I take the $0.36 out of the tip jar and put it in the till no big deal!

I then thought nothing of this until around 4 hours later when I see the younger looking of the two boys walking back through the store. I head to meet him to ask him if there was anything I could help him with. But before I could ask I seen him drop a 20 dollar note back in to the tip jar. I was about to thank him as I was so shocked with the kindness and generosity of the tip but he had already turned and left. This restored my faith in humanity!

3.  Feeling lucky?

This just happened. So a man walks into the store and says “ill take the $8 lottery package which my wife usually picks up from you please.” To me this man was a complete stranger and i had no idea who his wife was. Adding to that, there is also no such thing as an 8 dollar lottery package. I explained this to the man who did not seem to be taking no for an answer.

He went on to inform me that his wife picks up the same package from me personally each day, and when I told him he must be misunderstood he did not appreciate this. He then went on to fabricate his story, conveniently remembering picking up the lottery from me the day before. I think he must have been sent by his wife and was so nervous to disappoint and mess up her lottery ritual that he thought lying to me would solve his problem. He was wrong. He returned later with his wife who then bought 8 bucks worth of normal lottery tickets to his utter embarrassment.

4. Two peas in a pod

Half way though my shift at the toy store, I see a family of 4 enter. Immediately I see that the two young children are crazy excited to look at the toys. They are running around and showing almost every toy we have to the parents. This is one of the major perks of my job, sitting and watching the different strategies the kids have to try and persuade the parents to buy them the toys.

This time though it was the parents who were being crafty as I seen the father head in my direction on the sly and hand me a Star Wards card from our card display with the dollars to pay for it. He uttered “dont let my wife see, she will love this. We are big Star Wars fans”. I smiled and took the payment, handing him the card back. He rushed back before anyone had even noticed him missing. Then, incredibly I see the mum walking towards me. She hands me the exact same card and tells me not to tell her husband! As they were leaving I seen them both chuckling and smirking to themselves about how clever they had been.

5. Those airport prices

I work in a small convenience store at a large and very busy airport. Like all airports, our prices are higher than those in normal shops. We do try to keep our margins as low as possible however our rent for the space in the airport is around 14k so this is difficult. Yesterday a woman walked up to my till and placed down an expensive brand of water, this bottle was prices at $5.15.

I just knew she was going to comment, and she did. Asking me if I wanted to know something funny, I replied yes. She then mumbled “this water is only $2.50 at most other airports’. She then stared at me for a further 10 seconds before attempting to pay. I told her I must have missed the joke but she was already looking for an escape route from our shop.

6. Paper Trail

Checking ID’s as your job can be boring, so I have come up with my own game to keep myself entertained called “papers please”. The game involves me picking one person per shift who I thought looked suspicious and asking them for their ID in a funny tone. I usually say “papers please” half expecting them to crumble under the pressure, they never do.

However yesterday afternoon when I found my suspect for the game, a woman looking to use her ID to sell something. I prepared my best immigration patrol voice and said “papers please” to which she instantly started to shake with nerves. I looked at her passport to see the date of birth had clearly been edited. I felt so bad for calling her out that I let her off.

7. Leave the way you came in

I was shown a ring by a customer and asked about it. Having realised it was sterling silver, I told her that it was a lotus ring. After showing me that it did not fit her, she told me it was too big. After wedging it halfway down her finger, she said, “But it does not fit.” Do I look like a jeweller who could resize rings on the spot? Absolutely not. She was shocked when I told her that we only had one of those designs left.

In the meantime, the same lady inquired about the artist’s location. As far as I knew, she was American, but I wasn’t certain that she was from there. She must be from another state if she’s not from ours. “Well, duh,” replied the lady. She’s from somewhere else if she’s not from here.” Sigh. That’s what I say whenever someone asks about local artists, and I’ve never gotten a response this sour. Most consumers were just looking for information about whether the item was made in America. Next she asked me in which direction her husband had left, so I pointed to the only exit and said, “That’s the only way out.”

8. Even the small things that matter

My family owns a pet store where I work. Our services include boarding, daycare, training, grooming, and retail. Several months back, one of my regulars came in, and he was having financial difficulties since becoming disabled. I noticed his dog had fleas when he brought his dog in for grooming; so I called him and informed him. In addition to giving his dog a flea bath cheaply, I offered to make sure his other dog had one as well. Upon arriving, he attempted to pay with a care credit card that he had been given by the state. Sadly, we cannot accept this credit card. I asked for his card info so I could charge him when he got paid. We sell over-the-counter flea and tick topicals that I sent him home with.

He actually called me on the day he got paid to remind me to run his card. I thought that was so honest and decent of him I chose not to take the payment. He called me earlier today to inform me that he was never charged to which I told him I was happy to help out and would not be charging him at all. He froze on the phone, and took a gulp before thanking me so genuinely. I was so happy after the call just knowing I had just improved somebody’s day!

10. Parting gift

There were only a few days left for our store to close and we were liquidating. Customers who simply changed their minds about goods could no longer get a refund. There was a lot of stress and customers were being rude despite the fact that every single person they were dealing with would soon be out of a job. The day before, a customer asked us if he could get a refund on a suitcase he bought but changed his mind about. Even after trading it for a few things, he was still ten dollars short. As I prepared myself for today’s shakedown, I apologised to him and told him that he would not be able to have any money returned, but that we could exchange something towards the value if he wanted.

In order to make up for the difference, he piled sweets, biscuits, cakes, etc. on the counter. In the end, we were still short by about 10 cents. Even though we weren’t quite there, I said that it was the best I could do because we didn’t have anything for 10 cents. How did he respond? “I think you’ll have a hard enough time eating all that!”. Goodbye!” I was left with an enormous pile of free food. It was frustrating to close the store, but I will always remember that friendly guy.

11. Red flags

Our store has a self-service lottery machine. Are you a player? Lottery, scratch cards, you can do it all on this machine. However, there was one grown woman who, I swear, deliberately avoided listening while repeatedly claiming she did not understand. Despite her resistance, I insisted upon explaining it to her. I said, “Yes, there are three large blue boxes right in the middle of the screen. On the fourth row of four boxes, along the far left there was a Powerball button.

The lady touched it. Trying to correct her, I said, “No-that’s Powerball.”. To close that, you need to click on the red rectangle at the top right corner of the window. A tiny red button surrounded by a quantity bar was touched by the woman. The words ‘Close’ in the box had to be touched, but she failed to listen. We scanned the screen closely and noticed there was virtually no red at all at the bottom. The exchange lasted about twenty minutes. I just want it to be over with.

12. Lost in translation

Here in Australia, I work at a BBQ shop. In my three years of experience, I’ve dealt with a variety of customers, but today was the best I’ve ever had. Two Chinese men walked into the office, who appeared to be in their early twenties. I approached them after they walked around for a while and asked if they needed help. After one took out his phone and started using a translator, it became obvious that they did not know a word of English. After about 25 minutes of back and forth with the translator, I realised they were looking at a BBQ and a few accessories we have on hand.

We usually only take about 5-10 minutes to complete this transaction, but since we were all patient, I didn’t mind. I tallied up the items and gave them a detailed breakdown, which totaled approximately $500. As soon as he finished paying, I stacked all the products next to the register. What followed left me speechless. After everything was finalised, he reached out to shake my hand, saying: “Oh, just so you know, we speak perfect English here as well.” I’m sitting there shaking my head and laughing, wondering how I’d fooled myself into thinking that. The guy who said that I handled it well leaned in after we all regained our composure slowly. This completely made my week, hilarious!

13. Fight over me

This man came up to the second window while I was working the drive-thru to take his food. Obviously, after greeting him and handing him the food, I said hi to the precious little baby in the back seat. When I said hi, he immediately started laughing and waving at me since he had been staring at me intently. What a cutie! “Son, you are too young for flirting,” his father told him. Stop it.

Me: ‘D’aww, honey, I’m sorry, but I have a boyfriend. Right now, I’m not sure you can fight him for me. If you were 15 years older, you could, but right now I think he’d crush you.” And so we laughed together, he left, and I resumed working. Not long after, they returned! He insisted on seeing you again! She has a boyfriend, so don’t flirt with her, he says to his son. There was a lot of laughter from the little one as he waved his chubby little arms around. It was an enjoyable experience.

14. 4 bucks a minute

When I worked at a bead shop, I experienced this a few years ago. We also repaired jewellery. Most of the time it’s just simple stuff like restringing beads, reattaching clasps, and knotting pearls. Sometimes we would do repairs on the spot when we weren’t busy. For repairs, we charged $4 plus materials. A woman comes into the shop one day and asks us to repair her necklace quickly so she can wear it at a dinner party that night. As I inspected the necklace, I saw that it only needed the clasp reattached, which I could accomplish within a minute. I explained the policy to her and said I could fix it while she waited.

 Having been okay with that, I reattached the clasp for her with a jump ring. She took her necklace and left without saying a word when I called her. I was surprised to hear that she was upset after having to pay $4 for the jewellery repair because I had fixed it in under a minute. “Last time I checked, only doctors made $4 a minute.” You didn’t know what to do, lady. Because I’ve done it 562 million times before, I did it quickly. You don’t have to hire a professional; do it yourself.

15. I stole 30% of $0… allegedly

Kohl’s was where I worked before. There was a customer who complained that her 30% coupon was not taken off when she presented her receipt to the service desk. Normally this would be an easy fix, but when I examined her receipt, the total was $0. Apparently, she already paid for the purchase with Kohl’s cash. The computer system deducted the dollar off coupon first.

The percentage off was then deducted afterwards. Regardless of the order in which you scan them, this is how it works. Seeing as her Kohl’s cash took care of the total, I explained that the system couldn’t take 30% off of $0.00. This did not sit well with her. As a result, she began yelling at me and accusing me of stealing money from her. Kohl’s cash is a coupon, not money. That’s what I told her. Before leaving, she threw me her 30% coupon, and said she wouldn’t be shopping at Kohl’s again.

16. Slay the day

This happened yesterday at the candle store where I work. In the waiting room came an elderly woman, maybe in her 80s but still seemingly in good spirits. Basically, she kept talking about how she wanted to give a small gift to a guy who worked in her building. I told her that we carry skincare products for men as well as bath products. The woman laughed and thought that was strange. My response was, “What about a candle? After all, I work at a candle store. I clenched my fist at her response.

In essence, she said, “I can’t give him a candle.”. He’s not gay As hard as I tried, I reminded her that we have lots of male customers and even my straight boyfriend appreciates our candles. Then she said, “That’s okay for him, but I can’t give him a candle because he’s not gay.” I walked away at that point. As a result, my manager stepped in because she is far more patient with ignorance than I am. My manager told me that after she left, she bought a notebook that reads, “Slay the day.”

17. Don’t judge a book by its cover

Let me quickly set the scene. I work as a supervisor for one of Australia’s largest grocery chains. Currently, I’m covering for another store nearby. My attention was drawn to the self-serve checkouts when I saw three kids (without parents) come in pushing a scooter. They were probably ages 10-15. Despite the fact that they followed directions when I told them not to ride their scooters in the store, these kids looked like the typical trouble-making kids you see everywhere. A chocolate bar was grabbed by one of them and he started eating it while the others grabbed a 24-pack of soft drinks.

Upon entering the self-serve, the two with the soft drink cans began putting money into the machine, but noticed that they did not have enough. In their urgent discussion of why they were short and whether the chocolate bar guy had spent their money, one of them realized he lost a $5 bill. Since I was feeling happy, I paid the $3 for them on the spot. Despite the fact that they were polite and thanked me, what happened next is what makes me write this. After the kids dropped their $5 outside the store, one found it and came back to offer it to me. I refused, letting them keep it. As a way of paying it forward, they asked that I take it and, if any other customers were short a couple dollars, I would use it to cover it. After accepting, I put the money in our loose change tin and sort of wished their parents were around to tell them what wonderful kids they had raised.

18. Power Out

An outage followed a power surge on a Saturday afternoon. The store wasn’t informed of the outage. One would think that people would be understanding…but there was not a single person who showed empathy that day. We had no backup generator, so people started complaining. In their eyes, the employees were to blame as well.

Despite one register ringing, the card reader failed, so we had to accept cash only. Our belts also did not move. None of this should be surprising. People asked, “Are you saying I can’t use my bank card? even though we had been repeating it for 20 minutes. Then there was that nice man who kept shouting, “Time to grab a pencil and paper!” because we all know how much everything costs.Once everyone had left, the doors were locked, the stuff was put away, and we enjoyed 30 minutes of bliss. Once the electricity again came on, people came pouring in. They were told that everything had to be rebooted but, of course, they wanted to go shopping during that time rather than waiting.

19. Lumber Jack the lad

When I was in my register one day, I saw an old man with lumber. Upon saying hello to him, he immediately told me that he had eight pieces of the lumber on the left. After counting them, he snapped at me and said, “I said eight!” I explained that we were supposed to count them. I tallied the pieces and paid.

He said he had ten pieces of lumber on the right side of his cart. I calculated them once more. What school did you attend?” I was so confused by his question that I did not even know how to answer. He kept smiling at me despite how cranky he was, as if his rude remarks weren’t unwarranted. His mask hung down over his nose. The man left the store without thanking me or saying anything to me after he finished paying. I can easily put him at the top of my list of the worst customers I’ve ever had. His behaviour still disgusts me to this day. He had no manners.

20. Junior accountants

I just had a mom with her three preteen children come into my (very small) retail store. The situation is normally disastrous. Nevertheless, the kids displayed extreme politeness as they thoughtfully looked through the items in the store, chose something, brought it to the register, and paid for it with money from their pockets.

A mother told her kids, “Make sure you keep your receipts so that we can budget tonight.” One of the kids replied in the most polite way possible, “I always save my receipts.” She did a great job teaching her kids about money and financial planning. In contrast to most of the dross I receive, these people made my day genuinely better!

Two child accountants are ready and willing to look at your finances. Do your numbers add up?

21. Can I get a discount please?

Several items were piled up on the counter as the customer stood at the cash register, staring at me. I proceeded to cash them out. Suddenly, the customer left and began browsing the store again. Moments later, when he returned to the counter, I asked him if everything was good. There was no response, so he went off to look at something else.

As time passed, the customer stood impatiently at the register, asking sourly, “Can I get some help over here?”? This took all of my willpower to not retaliate with a bratty reaction. At the same time, I kept hearing, “I always get 10% off,” even though our item rewards system has only offered 5% off for the past 10 years. Nope, he kept saying he always catches a deal here. That was the first time I had ever seen him. They were not able to get the discount they were looking for.

22. Dont waste my time

This lady kept eye contact with me the entire time she was talking to a friend at the till. One of her friends asked how she was. The woman was leaving miscellaneous food items on the jewellery counter, and then promptly got in my way. When I spoke to her, I asked, “Could you bring me the items you just discarded over on jewellery?”

Think about it, I don’t like to have my store look like a disaster. I didn’t like her reply. “Not right now,” she replied sourly. “I have errands to run.” She places her items on my counter as I just stare at her. “Will you ring me up?” she asks. “Not now,” I reply. I step out from behind the cash register, walk slowly over to the jewellery counter, and pick up the items in question. I place the items in the returns cart carefully. No further words are exchanged.

23. A touching moment

I work as a technology sales associate for a technology retailer, and I’ve noticed that a lot of people I know are technologically non-savvy. But not this person. Earlier today, a man that bought ink for his inkjet printer, looked for an alternative to laser printers. In an effort to find the best printer for him, I asked him what he was looking for. We picked out a few that would be perfect for him after roughly 10-15 minutes of friendly back and forth. Given that he’d bought ink earlier, I figured this printer wasn’t a priority for him. We didn’t have any printers on sale, so I told him I’d make a list of some dates when they might go on sale.

His face lit up when he heard that. Then I wrote down which printers we decided would work for him, when every sale would happen in the next month, what the toner prices would be, and what the important notes for each printer would be. His face is wet as he tries to wipe away tears from his eyes as I hand him my note. Me: Are you alright, Sir? Him: Yeah, wipes his face, I just haven’t felt cared for very much recently…I went in for surgery earlier this month, and nobody so much as gave me a phone call. Thank you for spending this time with me today, I appreciate it.” Right after that, I took my break because I was about to cry too and I didn’t want to embarrass myself.

24. 1 offer per customer

The customer I dealt with today really bothered me. I tend to ignore mean customers most of the time. My response is to let them complain and then say “Sorry, company policy” or something similar to shut them up. That’s not the case today. The first one was rough. It was a very older person who had purchased four hot dog packages. There is a current promotion for hot dogs: buy two for 99 cents each instead of $2.99 each. This is a good deal since there’s a limit of one. You save $4 on the whole. It angered this woman that only two of her hot dogs had sold for the sale price. She asked me to correct it. The lady said she had no idea there was a limit.

After I got out the sales flyer, she said that she didn’t read the flier before I had even opened it. I was instantly furious. My refund was set up, and I went to get the on-shelf sale tag. I grabbed the sign and headed up front to show the customer, and lo and behold there was the sign I’d been looking for: “Limit one offer per customer.” I saw her coming and she immediately sped off since she had already run the refund before I could get the tag. There is something irksome about customers who read the sale signs but selectively ignore parts of them.

Photographer Victor Protasio, Food Stylist Torie Cox, Prop Stylist Claire Spollen

25. Can I speak to the manager please?

Several attempts were made by this customer this morning to purchase gas. He attempted to use all three of his cards, but they were rejected, so because I was in a good mood and had won $200 on last night’s mega millions, I figured I’d spend $20 on gas for him. After pumping $5 into the pump, he returns to the store to ask for change. “Pump 3 change please.” Customer says.Me: What do you mean? “C: That’s right, I only put in $5 from pump 3. “Me: I offered you $20 in fuel. I didn’t expect to give you change. C: Let me speak to the manager. Me: My manager’s office is open Monday through Friday from 5:00 am until 8:00 pm. C: I need his number. I can’t give out his personal number since the company doesn’t provide work phones.

C: What is your corporate number? (now shouting) Me: Outside on the door. It wasn’t long before the police arrived. Someone told me that there was a cashier here who would not return people’s change. When the officer asks why I didn’t give the officer my change from the pump for the gas I bought, I explain that I used my own money to help someone out.I called the manager when the officer asked to see the tapes. It was his day off, so he was irritated. The manager arrives after about 20-30 minutes and shows the officer the tapes. After they emerged from the back office, the officer apologized to the manager and left.After that, the manager told me that if the guy came back to the store to refuse sale and tell him he was banned from it.. Guess being nice doesn’t pay off.

26. Catching a bargain

First of all, my store does not offer coupons. There are no plans to do so. A woman came into my store on this particular day to pick out decor for her new house. So I showed her the options we had. As she spoke, she mentioned how excited she was to get such a great deal. From what she said, I assumed that was due to the 40% discount on everything she was picking out. Turns out it was not. During our conversation, she proceeded to pick out everything behind the counter and have it put away for her. Suddenly, she blurted out, “Oh yes, I am so glad to get a half price coupon here,” which was a major red flag.

When I asked her to see it, I explained that we did not have in-store coupons. She searched for the supposed coupon for another 30 minutes. As soon as I saw her phone, I understood-she had gone to one of those websites that provide coupon codes, but they rarely work. It stated explicitly that the coupons were uncertified. Despite being perfectly polite throughout, explaining to her that she could not use those in-store was exhausting. It was like she couldn’t believe that she couldn’t use her coupons, but I know older generations have problems with stuff like that. I guess she wanted to put half of it back.

27. Closed for the day

I work in a camera store, and if you are there before closing, we will attend to you until you leave. Recently, I’ve been counting the minutes until closing. Then, right on the hour, the shutters are rolled up, the open sign turns off, and the phones go to night ring. We closed at 5 p.m. today.

When the front doors opened, I was already halfway across the floor. When the husband and wife entered, I was already halfway across the floor. When he sees me, he leans back outside to read our hours, turns to his wife, and says something I never imagined he’d say. “Oh, they just closed. Thank you sir. My hero. As well, tomorrow we’re closed, but the thought counts.

28. The most adorable children

As an assistant manager, I manage a shoe store. So I can answer the store phone wherever I am in the store, I carry a store phone with me. It was ringing non-stop today. We received numerous questions regarding the closing time, the location, and how to check shoes. As soon as I answered the phone, it sounded like a little kid. Kid: Hey, do you have all-black high-top Vans for kids? “Me”: I’ll check it out right now. The only Vans we have for kids are the low-tops in black. Child: What about those? Child: What size are your shoes? Kid: A size 1.5. Me: Okay, so I don’t have a one and a half but I do have a size two.

Kid: Okay, that sounds good. Me: Would you like me to hold it for you? Kid: Yes, please. Me: Okay, what is your name? His mom was in the background when the phone grew really quiet, as if he was hesitating. Mom: Give her your name! Kid: Tyler. Me: Okay, Tyler, I’m going to hold this shoe for you. So when you and your mom come in, just come up to the counter and tell us you have a shoe on hold under your name. Kid: Okay thank you. Have a nice day. Me: absolutely. You have a nice day too. In my four years as a retail employee, this was the most sincere phone call I’ve experienced. The fact that his mother called and asked about his shoes is excellent. What a wonderful day it was.

29. Good girl

Putting grocery baskets away incorrectly is the bane of my existence as a grocery store worker. They can be stacked on a pile, but people are not interested in it, their baskets are usually left to the side or in an inconvenient place, hindering anyone else’s basket. A mother did just that last Friday.

The basket is placed halfway into the pile, with one half in and the other half out, making the pile look awful. As she does this, her daughter stares at the basket. She turns to her mother and loudly says, “What is that? You think that’s acceptable?” Her mother sheepishly sorted out the basket, and that girl instantly became my hero.

30. Hand sanitizer to the eye balls

Since COVID requires a door greeter at a thrift store to greet customers and spray their hands with hand sanitizer, I work there. An elderly woman walked in as I did this. Her hands began to swell as I sprayed, and she sounded as if she had never seen anyone do that before.

Then, she said, “You sprayed too much. When she said that, I immediately felt bad, but then I lost her when she said that it had gotten into her mouth. Her mask clearly covered her mouth. Adding insult to injury, while walking away she muttered something. It sounded like, “This is going to affect the amount of money I spend today.” I mean, not my problem, but okay.

31. Time is precious, for everybody

Since I’ve been in customer service for two years, I’ve had to deal with so much stuff that I could blast God to the 16th dimension. An unhappy customer once asked for something high up on the shelves, in the depressing fluorescent lighting territory. I said I would be back in 10 minutes to get a ladder. This was okay with her. Now I am not even able to donate blood because I am too light. The rodent version of a ballerina, I have arms made from Campbell soup noodles. I dragged this colossal ladder from the break room all the way across the store to get back to the lady and the merchandise since none of the other workers were around to help.

The lady was taking her first-class ticket to Employees’ Time Is Meaningless-Ville, I found out when I returned to the desolate aisle. No sign of her. People have a lot on their minds, and there is a lot to do and places to be, so time is money. However, don’t act as if your time is important because it isn’t.

32. I placed the chips on top of the baby…

Last night, I bagged groceries when a woman came through with a car seat in her basket. When I bagged the groceries I put them back under and around the car seat, because I’m assuming she had a lot of groceries under and around the car seat. There’s no other place I could put them if not there, right? They couldn’t possibly be placed on top of the baby, could they? OK. As I’m placing stuff carefully under Baby, Baby’s mom says “oh Hon, you can just put some of this stuff on top of him” and pats the canopy. I almost choke on the words, “But that’s a baby,” but then nod and continue to put stuff under the baby, under the cart, in the seat of the cart, etc.

By this point the cashier (my favorite cashier) is trying desperately not to laugh at both how absurd it is for me to be told to put groceries on a baby and my ever-increasing efforts to find a place for the bags. Once everything was tucked away, there was no room left, so I set the bag of chips on top of the car seat as they walked away. “I put the chips on the baby,” I whispered in horror as I turned back to the cashier. This was the most absurd thing I’d said on the job so far.

33. Are you feeling lucky

Lottery kiosks are located in our store. The lady who was buying tickets yesterday asked me to wish her luck while she was buying tickets. Obviously, she hadn’t meant to wish her luck in the first place. As she pointed out, “You should say good luck to me when I’m paying for lottery tickets.”

I just told her that I grew up doing theatre and I had been conditioned not to give good luck. I think this is sort of true, but I usually don’t mention it because I am not comfortable with these people bothering me in any way.

“Suffolk, Virginia, USA – November 10, 2012: A horizontal shot of an unidentifiable caucasian male, selecting an instant lottery scratch card from a Virginia State Lottery vending machine. The screen shows a transaction is in progress.”

34. Grand Trolley Auto

There aren’t tons of customers for me to deal with. A woman once flipped out and called me a fool, but in my opinion, this was worse. There were two teenage girls putting their cart up on the curb instead of a corral. I offered to take it. Who did she do? The cart is pushed so that it rolls at full speed, and I have to pursue it while they stand there and laugh at me.

The one who didn’t shove the cart said, “Haha, you really did it!” to the one who pushed it. I felt hurt and embarrassed by that. I was upset that they made a joke out of my job and me. The situation still hurts, even though I think that they are very immature.

35. Don’t forget to leave a review

One woman told me she didn’t want her receipt. As soon as I threw it out, she shouted and told me that I should provide a receipt. I reprinted the receipt and she immediately said, “No, I want the original.” So I dug it out of my garbage can, which had nothing but receipt paper in it, and she said, “Yes, that receipt!”.”

How could you know that, Lady? My response was, “Yes, but this is for a smaller purchase.” I held my tongue and simply said, “No.” She was wearing a bigger size, so I found hers. Several days later, I scanned the customer feedback box and was shocked. I got a bad review because the customer said I was rude, didn’t print her a new receipt when she asked for it, and threw out her receipt after she asked for it. In addition, I was accused of pulling a receipt out of the trash and not even giving her the right receipt. She received a gift card from corporate. That was it for me.

36. Sweet rewards

Although I left the retail game about six months ago, I still remember fondly this experience… I was in charge of returns and exchanges at a smaller computer and electronics chain, and one of our associates called me into the returns area. A young college-aged girl was holding a MacBook with a cracked screen when I approached her.  According to the receipt, it was less than a day old. The college student admitted dropping it as soon as she took it out of the box, and that she didn’t get a warranty to cover the damage because she was broke. I was asked if any help could be provided for her with it at this point.

I told her I would walk away and come back within a minute, and once I got back, she should tell me it was broken immediately after taking it out of the box. Upon returning, I was told that, and a new one was swapped out for no charge. She came back a couple days later with a tray full of the tastiest brownies and repeatedly said how grateful she was for everything we did for her.

37. Your Parcel has been delivered to a neighbour

I work at a shipping company. A few days ago, I was asked to ship something to Iraq for a military husband. In typical Karen fashion, she complained about small things and gave lip service to price. The $20 of junk was delivered after a long process. When she returned to the store after a few weeks, she was upset. Then she asked to speak to my boss.

Suddenly, she started berating him for sending the package to the wrong address and charging her too much. Because she wanted to send it to a military base, the price should have been dramatically reduced. My boss took one look at her, and shut her up with a single sentence: “Ma’am, how does my employee know a random street address in Iraq unless you told him to send it there?”

38. My cover here is blown

Hence, we communicate with each other using short-range radios and headsets in my workplace. It helps us be more efficient and is a huge help for us. I was sent to the grocery store by my boss earlier today to buy donuts for the crew. An 8-year-old shoots a dagger at me as I wait in line. I have my sunglasses on inside and my earpiece in place. My attention is grabbed by his yell as I’m leaving. Here’s the conversation we had: Little Kid: Hey! Me: Uhh, yeah? Kid: What’s that for? (pointing to my earpiece). It’s getting serious now. Me: (I cross my arms) I use it for work. Kid: Come here, I have another question.

My mother rolls her eyes because her child is eccentric, which seems to annoy her. I like weird kids, they make me laugh. Kid: Do you have a government job? I bend down to hear. Me: (I put my finger over my earpiece) Eagle this is condor! Cover blown! I repeat eagle, our cover is blown! I then grab my donuts and run out of the store as fast as possible while my mom is dying with laughter and the kid’s jaw is on the ground from meeting a secret agent. My day has been made!

39. Teachers benefits

A few days ago, a doctor brought a bag of clothes into the store. We did not have discounts for health care workers, so she asked if we offered them. Military personnel, teachers, and students were the only people entitled to discounts. As soon as she heard this, she became upset and told me that doctors worked much harder and deserved their rewards more than teachers.

For me, expecting a well-paid doctor to get a discount over severely underpaid teachers was rude and ignorant. It is highly unlikely she needed a discount if she spent $300 on clothes and had other shopping bags on her. However, things didn’t improve. During the pandemic, she dares to ask, “Well, who was working hard at the time?” Yeah, doctors! That’s right.” She was well paid as well, so it’s somewhat true. However, teachers do so much to educate the younger generation, including future doctors, but they are not paid nearly enough, which is why they often receive discounts. It just blows my mind how she sits there bashing teachers for getting a discount as if it’s something they made up.

40. Punch the religion out of him

Our store is frequented by the main man of this Pentecostal church. Our server was told that she would suffer and that she could not serve him due to her tattoos. No matter how bad the pandemic got, he would not wear a mask. Every time he came into my restaurant, he would complain about the service and how there was no good server. However, that’s not his worst mistake.

He also threatened to call CPS on one of our servers because her children should not have a parent with tattoos and piercings. My dream would be to punch him right in the ear and knock out all the religious superiority he has in his body.

41. Click n collect

As of now, I do not have a click-and-collect system in place in my store. We basically have a system that sends us an email, and then we call the customer to confirm. On Saturday, someone called just before closing and I was able to fit her order in. The woman yelled, “Ugh, whatever,” and hung up on my manager.

I called her back within an hour and she placed her order. Her refusal to call the store for pick-ups in spite of our COVID policy signs was a clear violation of our COVID policy. Rather than going around the barriers, she climbed over them to knock on the store’s door. The coworker was completely out of sight when she did this, while I was on the phone with a customer. In today’s incident, I gestured for her to call us. I had just collected her order when she called, and when I answered the door, she laid into me about being rude. I countered, “I think it was rather rude of you to ignore all our signs and barriers and knock on the door.” She became very angry and said she wouldn’t return. “You’ll be lucky to have a job tomorrow,” she threatened.

42. Covid breach at the bakery

For obvious reasons, and maybe not so obvious to some people, we have plexiglass in front of us and in front of our artisan bread in a grocery store bakery. A lady grabbed a cake from the top of my pile of cakes earlier today after reaching over the glass. I had to help her reach it.

Also, during COVID, all our bread had to be placed in bags instead of remaining out in the open. There is a glass as tall as you are. My first thought was, “If you’re struggling to reach over the glass, it probably means you’re not supposed to be doing it.” This has been happening even more since COVID and I’m really over it by now.

43. Happy birthday to you

A florist and bakery shared a space in college, and I worked there. Both businesses were able to operate in the same space, so it was a natural partnership. My senior year ended with this story. It was six weeks before I graduated with two degrees. My nonsense-tolerance had fallen significantly even though I cared about the stores and wanted them to succeed. I was approached by a woman looking for balloons for her son’s 2nd birthday celebration. Her cake was already in hand. I can’t believe that bakery (grumpily throwing a selection of balloons at me): Ugh. What’s the matter? Woman: Yes! LOOK at this cake! The box is opened. I like the way this cake is decorated with icing and trains.

A scrolling script says: “Happy 2nd Birthday Jackson!” Me: … Woman: DON’T YOU SEE IT?! Me: I think it’s a lovely ca-” Woman: IT’S IN CURSIVE! WHY THE HECK WOULD THEY PUT IT IN CURSIVE? HE’S TWO! Me: Oh…well, it’ll take me a couple of minutes to fill these balloons. I bet you could take it back, and they could scrape off the old lettering, re-frost the blank space, and rewrite it for you. Woman (clearly hasn’t heard a word I said): I CAN’T BELIEVE SOMEONE IS SO STUPID TO THINK THIS IS OKAY! Me (yelling above her): CAN YOUR SON EVEN READ?! I filled her balloons while she fell silent, blushed a deep purple, and was silent for a moment. There was no word exchanged.

44. Turn the waterworks on

In a mall, I manage a convenience store. There’s a lovely fountain outside our store, but it’s drained. That has been the case ever since we moved in. A few days ago, I was sitting in the cool air, enjoying the taste of it. Through the glass windows of our store, you can see people walking by, as one wall is shorter than another. In between watching traffic on the mall and playing my game, I was always on the lookout for trouble. A man advancing directly toward me disrupted my idyllic view at one point. He was clearly directing his steps. There was not even time to give my usual chipper, “How you doing today?”.  I was caught off guard by the angry man’s question: “When is the fountain going to turn on?”

I have no idea, I apologized. The man frowned for a moment. It appeared as though he was not sure how to process the fact that I didn’t have an answer. In an apparent attempt to clarify things for me, he said, “They drained all the fountains!” It was my turn to be confused. The fountains were clearly drained: I have been staring at the empty fountains all day, so I know they were drained.

45. Sour face to save the day

During a staff shortage, the owner of the convenience store near me asked if I could cover. After walking around for a few minutes and reorganizing misplaced items, I noticed a kid, maybe 3-4 years old, hold onto my hand. I glance around to see if anyone lost their child, and I see a young lady give me a “go on” gesture. I’m not quite sure what she wants, but I was bored and this kid looked cooler than my friends. My next question was if he liked candy, and if so, what kind he liked the best. He didn’t speak and just pointed at some gummy worms. Me: That’s cool. Me too! I like the sour ones because I can make a sour face.

The kid laughed. He says: “I love you, daddy,” then he hugs me. My first reaction was to freak out, thinking this kid couldn’t possibly be my kid. The young lady began crying as I looked at her. “I love you too, son.” So I told him, “I love you too.” The boy ran back to the lady, and she came up to me and hugged me. Suddenly, the truth became clear. The lady tells me: “I’m so sorry for that, my husband just passed two days ago. Since that day, I haven’t heard him speak.” They departed. We are both waving our gummy worms at each other and I am giving him the sour face.

46. Retail Guardian Angel

My day was made by this sweet old man! He’s named Samuel, and I’m unaware of any medical conditions he has. However, he always sweats buckets and shakes quite a bit whenever he comes in. Since he always gets food to take to him and his mom while I was working, the first time he came in while I was working, we started chatting. It was about a week ago prior that my childhood pet Max died, so I only have a cat now. Then he told me something I have never heard a customer say: that my dog made it over the rainbow bridge and was waiting in heaven for me. When he left, I wept.

During his third visit, he asked me what college I went to, and how amazing it was that I worked and went to school at the same time. When someone I didn’t know told me I was doing amazing during a time when I was failing a class, it really warmed my heart. We continued talking after he came in a fourth time. He asked me what I was going to do once I finished my community college coursework, and I told him I would be able to start my bachelor’s degree program. His breath came out in a gasp, and he said he was proud of me and that I would do great things. My hair was so pretty that he said God had blessed me, even though I had unwashed it at the time and wore it in a messy bun. This guy must be my retail guardian angel. Whenever I’m having a bad day, he always shows up, and he makes things better.

47. Call the cops

Earlier today, a customer bought something from my checkout. After paying, he went, “Actually, I am banned here. What do we do now? My brain probably made the Windows XP shutdown sound as I stared at him, but I didn’t respond. The audacity of his coming back again after being banned, as well as informing me about it, after having purchased something, was shocking to me. The supervisor sighed and said that in that instance, he got lucky and that I should tell him to grab his things and leave. This did not satisfy him. He started provoking me, saying, “And what about the next time, huh?” I explained that I wasn’t authorized to decide about the duration of his ban and that, in case of doubt, he just shouldn’t come again.

As he continued to harass me, he said, “Yeah, what do you want to do?”? Do you want to call the authorities? Huh? Huh?” At this point, I was about to break down, he just kept going at me and I didn’t know what to so. Another woman in line stepped forward and told him that I was being made nervous by him. “Yeah, I can see you’re shaking. I wonder why,” he blurted out. Despite my shaking, I managed not to cry in front of everyone. He eventually left after telling her to mind her own business and being rude to her too for a while. As I stood in line, I heard this lady say: “Honey, never let a man talk you down like that!” Always remember: Big ego equals small elsewhere! This really lifted my mood!

48. Today was a good day

In my job as a photofinisher, I helped a nice lady take prints of her phone. Her off-handed statement was that she recently lost all the photos from her phone, so she only had the most recent prints to show. I found it odd that while the phone was still working, the photos just disappeared. Although she was “technically illiterate,” she insisted she didn’t accidentally delete them. Towards the end of the conversation, she mentioned that she thought her phone had a memory card. I would have to find out more about this. As many older folks call the SIM card a memory card, I fully expected her to not have a microSD card, but lo and behold, there was one inside. The card wouldn’t show up on one of our computers, so I turned on our Windows PC instead, and it told me that the disk wasn’t formatted. I assumed the Android was corrupted somehow. Even though I wasn’t willing to get her hopes up, I figured there might be a chance since Windows could see it… So I sucked in a deep breath, formatted it and threw it into the recovery software.

I recovered 90% of the photos and videos from that card. I invited her to come to my computer and take a look at my prints, as she had been waiting for them anyway. After viewing the photos, she immediately broke down in tears. Among them were pictures of her grandson’s graduation, her dog that had died a few months earlier, and family trips. There were years’ worth of photos that were not backed up. She ended up buying a new MicroSD card, and I gave her a free DVD containing the pictures. She gave me a big hug as soon as she paid. My boss later told me she wrote a letter to my boss saying it was the best customer service she had ever received. Today has been very good to me.

Photographer: Rick Findler
28.05.15 Yellow Printshop Office, Sheen, London, UNITED KINGDOM.

49. Queen Karen with an almighty rant

I had to call a manager to a lady today. In her complaint, she complained that some items did not have a price on them while others did. Today, I was on SCO duty, so she started questioning me about pricing protocol. Despite having never met her before, I flatly denied that I had anything to do with stocking. Queen Karen threw a full-on rant at the manager as soon as he arrived. As she sat at the counter complaining, she made very hand-flailing, gestural remarks about the counter edges being too rough and sharp. Even going so far as to say she was lucky she didn’t injure herself, otherwise she would have contacted the health board. The counter gets wiped down at least 200 times a day.

It is not sharp, as I would be the first one to raise an issue if it were. My co-workers know that a small thing like a sharp edge on a cart can result in a lawsuit in the crazy economic and opportunistic climate we are experiencing at the moment. I laughed with the rest of the staff all shift about it, but my manager handled it well.

50. Mr Money Bags saves the day

I had this experience about a month ago and I’m still rejoicing about it. Now, this money bags guy is a regular customer of ours, and when he comes in, we jump for joy because he spends thousands of dollars on auto parts. This lady walks in and rushes to the seat cover aisle while I am helping this guy find the parts. The ugliest faux leather seat cover catches her eye and she rushes to the front. Her: The prices on these covers outrageous! $60 for these?! ($60 is outrageous and would have helped her). Me: Ma’am, I will be with you in just a second after I finish helping this man. Or my manager will be here in a moment and he will help you. I am sure—

Her: NO! You will help me now! I have money! And you will stop being a lazy jerk and help me right now! So my manager walks up. Manage: can I help you, ma’am? Her: Yes, tell your lazy employee to do his job! By this time, I had stopped listening to her and was helping the money bags man, who had pointed to the seat cover in her hand. Man: Do y’all have any more of those? Me: Let me check. Yes, three more besides that one. Man: Can you please get them for me? So I get them, and as I’m doing so, the money bags man notices the rude customer lady. Man: You gonna buy that? Her: I haven’t decided yet! He grabbed it and told me he wanted to buy them all with cash. Once I make the sale, we get  sweet revenge.