Working in customer service or retail means anyone can walk in on you. Literally. Anyone. At any time. With all their problems and their issues and their bad days. They just walk right up to your counter and demand service from you. Unfortunately, that's the gig. You need to stick it out to serve, but sometimes the person who walks in or call you up is perhaps a little too odd.
That's when you go online to talk about it!
Reddit user, u/coldfoxy, wanted to hear the weirdest of the weird when they asked:
The Laser's How They Read Your MindGiphy
Back when I worked at a hardware store, I had a woman scream and cry at me for using my item scanner on her items because its laser would "make [her] sick" and/or "make [her] sickness worse." Her basket was stacked and she was effectively asking me to hold the line up for a half hour to dial in her product codes manually. She also screamed if I made eye contact.
When she left she told me something to the effect of "I don't want you to get hurt, but if something bad happens to you, it's because I'm thinking about it."
Pets Don't Always Look Like Their Owners
Worked as a dog bather- and had this corgi named potato. He was friggin adorable.
I don't know what I really expected but when the owner came to pick him up he was this big body builder covered in tattoos and he had this lime green leash and when potato saw him he got excited and this big Greek statue looking guy just yells 'potato! Stop that!' And I still think about it.
A Misplaced Ticket
I was a page at NBC Studios in Burbank in the early 2000's and part of our job was working the gift shop and ticket counter for the Tonight Show.
Two guys come in and say "We're here for the Lakers game." I was like "Uh... I'm sorry, that game isn't here, it's over at the Staples Center." One of them just gives me a look and says "It's NBC, right?"
I proceed to explain to him that while NBC is airing the Lakers game, we don't shoot it at the studio, and we take our cameras and crew and shoot it at the Staples Center where the Lakers play.
The one guy turns around and scribbles on a piece of paper and hands it to me. It says "2 Lakers Tickets for [Insert Random Name]" and he says like "What about this, huh?"
Thankfully my supervisor jumped in and said "Oh, you'll have to come back Thursday morning, we'll see you then, okay?" and that seemed to placate them and they left. My supervisor tells me this happened quite often and when you tell them to come back, they rarely do.
You Can't ALWAYS Go To "Hitler" When You're Upset
I was a supervisor at a call center for a major online retailer who was involved in a data breach a few years ago. As usual, we required all of our customers to change their passwords.
I had to take over a call from a lady who was absolutely refusing to change her password. I tried to explain as nicely as possible and she kept me on the phone for an hour insulting me and screaming about how wrong this was.
Ultimately she told me that I, personally, was worse than Hitler and that making her change her password was an offense worse than the Holocaust.
No joke. I am not exaggerating at all.
When What You Order Isn't What You Get
In my first years in the Army I also worked a part-time job as an optician in the local mall.
One day a lady came in with her mother (about age 40 and 60) and they were quite hyper and giggling at each other. I asked if I could help them and they had a prescription for lenses. No problem.
She then asks if she can use her existing frames, and I was like "Sure, we can just do lenses." She proceeds to hand me a pair of extremely cheap sunglasses she got from a dollar store.
I told her that there was no way those glasses would stand up to having lenses changed out. She insisted that I "already said she could." I asked her if she was sure, because it was almost guaranteed they would be destroyed in the process. She still insisted. I pointed out the sign we had up saying we weren't responsible for damages (it was next to the register) and asked her one last time. She said yes again.
Ok, I put them in the hotbox (a box of heated sand you use to loosen up plastic frames to get the lenses out) and they melted into goo pretty much instantly, as expected. She was over my shoulder watching with these wild eyes, and when I pulled them out after a few seconds she started screaming about how we destroyed her glasses and now we owe her free glasses. Her mom got in on the action at that point and started shouting also about how I did it on purpose.
I handed them back to her and said something like "Ma'am, I told you so." They went into even more hysterics and by this time were attracting glances from passersby at the mall. I just walked into the back room to the lab guy and was like, dude, you deal with this, I'm done.
I then watched as he masterfully over-charged her about $100 for a $20 frame (it was on the display rack for $100, but we had a pile of the same frames in the discount drawer for $20), giving her a "20% discount" in the process. I was there when she picked them up in about an hour, acting like she won the lottery at my expense because I was so incompetent.
I was still young and had no idea the insanity people would go through to save a few dollars and "stick it to the man."
Latte Got Your Tongue?
At a coffee shop, we had a customer come in one day and tell us in a very awkward and stilted manner that he would like to become a regular, but that he wanted a wordless transaction. He would come every day at the same time and get the same drink, and he wanted us to ring him up and give him the drink without anyone speaking to him. It was definitely weird, but we did it for him, passing the info along to the other staff as a kind of tribal knowledge, and he did come every weekday and buy his latte, without speaking to or looking at anyone.
It worked very well until one day I was working with a new girl and I had stepped into the back room to get something, and I suddenly heard him screaming out front. The new girl had said, "Hi, what can I get you?" and he responded by screaming in her face, "What the f--- is wrong with you? I told you people not to talk to me!" and storming out.
We never saw him again.
A Difference Of Countries...Question Mark?
I used to work at an adult store. It was a clean and classy joint, mostly marketed toward female clientele.
One afternoon, an older Eastern-European customer came in asking for "the blue pills that come in the bottle." He was looking for Viagra.
I tried to explain that we didn't carry that, but he was insistent that I was hiding it from him. I told him he needed to speak with his doctor to get a prescription and he just got REAL mad.
It soon became clear that "blue pills" was code for something--sex worker. I told him we didn't have this either, and that what he was suggesting was illegal.
He got MORE angry, because "what I am wanting is to pay sex with YOU, stupid girl!" THEN HE STARTED TO COME AROUND THE COUNTER making a 'squeezy-squeezy' gesture with his hands. I flipped out on him, and ran him out of the store and called the police. He came back a few weeks later and I told him he was banned for seeking illegal services, never saw him again.
I'll just never forget:
"Give me your blue pills, you stupid girl! I pay for your sex, WHAT IS PROBLEM???"
You Can Actually Feel The Customer Smacking Themselves In The Face Over The PhoneGiphy
I work at a pizza delivery business. Had a lady one day call in and order for delivery.
Sure, what's the address?
"I'm not going to tell you."
I'm sorry? If you don't tell me the address, how are we supposed to deliver to you?
"I don't know what the address is!"
Well, if you don't know where you're at, again, how are we supposed to deliver to you?
"So you won't take my order?"
Not without an address.
"Well! I guess I'll just order somewhere else, then!"
I guess you will.
One morning when cleaning enclosures, I saw a young man standing less then 3 feet from the bars of the lion enclosure (double-bars, so it's not dangerous, but you can get within 2 feet of a lion if one wanders up). When I circled back five minutes later, he was still right there.
"Watch out," I told him, "they can spray urine through the bars. You might want to back away." (For anyone curious, there are plenty of videos online of big cats spraying guests who get too close!)
He nodded, backed away a little bit. Fifteen minutes later he's right back up there, as close as you can possibly get, just standing there. "I'm not kidding," I told him, "if one sprays you you'll stink for the rest of the day."
Once again he nodded silently and took a few steps back, and as soon as my back was turned he got as close as he could get again. Whatever I thought, not my problem if he gets sprayed.
I didn't see it personally, but about an hour later a coworker told me that she saw a man get sprayed by a lion. Apparently he got sprayed, didn't react much, and just walked straight out of the zoo without evening visiting the bathroom, dripping with lion urine.
Unfortunately it did turn out to be "my problem" at least a little bit, because he walked through one of those outdoor patio restaurant places and we got comments all morning about the god-awful smell ("like a dirty litterbox from hell," one customer described it) in the vicinity.