Unsatisfied female customers who are entitled and raise a fuss inside stores have become known as a "Karen" in common parlance.
But regardless of gender, you know the type.
I encountered many of these annoying customers who never take "no" for an answer when I used to work in retail.
A flustered woman asked me to find the right size slacks from the back of the store after I had already told her we were sold out.
But she insisted I still go and check, even though I knew we were out of her size. When I told her I couldn't help her, she told me I was "a waste of space" and then asked to speak to my manager.
Sometimes the customer is not always right, but they must never know they are wrong. Sigh.
Redditor mrquin89 asked others to share their experiences in retail by asking:
The Best Retail Manager Everseason 6 no GIF by Portlandia Giphy
"I worked at the big box store with the yellow tag. I had been there for 18 months as a cashier. We recently got a new Ops manager who came from computer sales and didn't really know the registers that well. This happened during his first week as manager".
"Me: ok sir, that will be $ amount."
"Customer: Fine, here"
"tosses card onto the counter"
"Me: sorry sir, your card declined. I can run it again or we can try another card if you'd like?"
"Customer: Run it again, I know there's over $1000 on that card and it should work."
"Me: Sorry sir, it has declined again."
"Customer: It must work, is there anything else you can do to approve the sale?"
"Me: I can try to run it manually, but that will only help if your magnet strip is damaged"
"Customer: Try that then"
"Customer: There must be some way to force or bypass that, I know there is money on the card."
"Me: I'm sorry sir. If it's declined by the card company, there is nothing I can do."
"Customer: THIS IS BULLSH*T, I KNOW THERE IS MONEY ON THAT CARD. GET YOUR MANAGER NOW!"
"Me: Ok sir, just a moment"
"Manager Approaches and stands behind the counter next to me"
"Manager: Hello sir, how can I help you?"
"Customer: YOUR EMPLOYEE KEEPS DECLINING MY CARD AND I KNOW THERE IS PLENTY OF MONEY ON THE CARD. YOU NEED TO OVERRIDE IT."
"Manager attempts to run the card Declined again"
"Manager: Sorry sir, it was declined."
"Customer: I KNOW THAT, YOU NEED TO OVERRIDE IT SO I CAN TAKE MY STUFF AND GO HOME"
"Manager turns 90 degrees to face me"
"Manager: It declined, is there anything we can do to override it?"
"Me: No sir, that decline is from the card company. There is nothing else we can do."
"Manager turns 90 degrees back to angry customer"
"Manager: I'm sorry sir, I spoken with one of our experts and he informs me there is nothing else we can do with this card. Would you like to sign up for our card and save 10% on your purchase today?"
"Customer angrily stomps out of the store"
More Declined Cards
"Oh, this happens so much... I work in a hotel and people's CC's decline a lot for fraud protection (because your CC that hasn't been 40 miles from home in a year is now ringing up charges for products and services you never use it for, farther and farther from your address). 'I know there is money on it!' Yeah, but your CC company wants to cover your/their a**. Call them. 'It just worked at the gas station!' Yes, you buy gas twice a week, and they're not gonna sweat a $40.00 charge. But I'm asking them to cover something like 20 times that amount for something you don't ever do. Call them. Repeat. Repeat. They finally call. 'Uh, they said it should be OK now.' Yep, it is."
Scene At The DQ
"I worked at a Dairy Queen in high school. One night before we were about to close, some lady came up to the outside seating area and tried to order through the screened off windows that we had there. I told her that she would have to walk around to the drive through window (because the inside of the building was closed for the night already) she started screaming about how she could get killed by a car and stuff like that. I told her that it was well lit and no cars have come through for like an hour. I also told her that I could just walk the food out to her, but she refused that for some reason and asked for my manager. The manager came over and after listening to her scream for a couple minutes just simply said 'get the f'k out of here and stop yelling at my employees"
Not In The Store System
"Back when Lowe's used to have dedicated in-store installation sales teams, I worked as a contract coordinator."
"This lady called us b*tching about her carpet coming apart only a week or so after it was installed."
"She was rightfully upset, and I wanted to fix her problem for her. But I couldn't find any record of her in our system. Her address wasn't in any of our records. Her name wasn't in any of our installations over the past few years."
"I tried everything I could think of to find out more about her install. I called our flooring specialist. I called our independent contractors. Still, nothing."
"She got pissed. Like, livid. She thought I was trying to shirk responsibility so she asked to talk to a manager."
"I felt defeated, but in this case I felt her request for escalation was justified. I transferred her to the acting store manager and he came back to our office to help me research."
"He asked her to look for her installation folder at her house and she went digging for it and found it."
"Finally! We could get her some help."
"I could hear her on the handset my manager was using."
"Oh. Wait a minute. This is a Home Depot folder. I think I f'ked up and called you by mistake. Bye."
"I don't know about 'favorite' but it did make me SMH."
"I worked in a department store with three floors and I worked nights. Most department managers worked days, so at night, there was usually one manager on duty for each floor. I was working one night, around Christmastime, so the store was busy. A woman came up to my register in tears and said she had purchased about $200 in wedding gifts (this was in the late 80's so it was a good amount of money), but had left the bag in the fitting room and it was gone by the time she realized she'd left it behind. She first wondered if anyone had turned it in (ha ha, no, but a reasonable question) and the decided that the store should be on the hook for replacing the items. She literally wanted me to gather the items for her, check them out and charge her $0 for them because, in her words, they were 'stolen inside the store.' She was really, really insistent despite me telling her I could absolutely not do that for her. I told her that I was sorry her items were stolen, but her only recourse was to file a police report. At that point she gave the famed response, 'I want to speak to your manager!'"
"I had no idea who was on that night, but I hoped it wasn't any of the managers that took crap from customers. I paged for a manager and I was thrilled to see 'Heidi' come and answer my call. Heidi was one of our night managers. She was German, about 6' tall and probably 180# - she was an imposing presence for sure and she did NOT take crap from customers."
"So, this lady explains the situation to Heidi, and Heidi looks her dead in the eye and says complete with German accent and no expression on her face, 'Well, we can't just give you product for free. You left the product in the fitting room and it was stolen. It has nothing to do with us. I cannot help you' and just walked away before the customer could even respond. It was great."
"The woman just looked kind of dumbfounded and muttered 'I'm coming back tomorrow to speak to the general manager. I can't believe this. What am I going to do...' as she walked off. I don't know if she ever did come back, but I'm sure 'Jane,' the store manager, would have told her exactly the same thing, but probably in a more gentle way."
"All these years later, I just remember how insistent this woman was and how she honestly thought we'd just give her free product off our shelves because her stuff was stolen due to her own carelessness."
"Middle-aged male (this is important as I worked at a predominately male field in both associates and customer base, sexism was hot and heavy here from the customers and I am a small, youngish female) customer was complaining about something to me as I was kindly explaining x process or y reason for something that wasn't really that much of an issue. He asked to see the manager."
"It was my moment. The moment I'd been waiting for my whole managerial career. Muscles tense, eyes flashing, I said: 'I am the manager.'"
"The guys face was priceless. Instant regret and instantly backed off. He even mouthed an 'oops.'"
"It's also funny that he didn't even realize I was the manager because I had my nametag on which clearly said Manager on it."
For Kicks....Happy Hour Dog GIF Giphy
I was a bartender for a family owned Irish pub and usually worked the double on Saturdays. The serving staff wouldn't come in until 4 and the manager would usually do office work leaving me to deal with any lunch crowd. Also the owner of the place had a rule that the TVs needed to be on news or sports, nothing else.
Guy and girlfriend come in and sit at the bar and order drinks, then guy asks me if I can change the channel to TBS. It's summer, so I figure there must be a baseball game on but I flip the channel and it's just some movie. I tell him I have to change it back to news, that's the rule. Guy doesn't say anything, but looks unhappy.
I make a round to see if my tables are ok, go back to the bar and girlfriend orders for her and guy. I put in the meals, get them another drink make the rounds of my tables, bring them their meals. Another round through the tables and I come back to check on them.
"How is everything?"
"I will kick your a**, man."
I blink. "Excuse me?"
"I swear to god I will come over this counter and f**k you up."
I'm dumbfounded. I am not a small man and had served as a bouncer on event nights I wasn't bartending. Still though, I try to calm things down. I apologize for not being able to change the channel and start to say it's the owner's policy when he cuts me off.
"Know what, get your f**king manager."
I head to the office and explain to my manager and she comes out to talk to the guy.
"Is there a problem?"
"Yeah, your idiot bartender thinks he can make me watch CNN while I'm trying to eat."
"Oh, well unfortunately the owner of the rest-"
"And I'm not paying for any of this crap either."
There it is. We've seen this before. Someone comes in, looks for something to complain about and tries to bully their way to a free lunch.
Manager tells them that not only will they pay for their food, but they're going to pay for it right now, and then she's going to call the police and report him threatening me, so they have from between now and when the cops get here to finish their food or pack it up and get out.
Guy tried to argue some more but girlfriend handed over a debit card and paid. I didn't get a tip but my manager and I had a good laugh.
Whose on Duty
Restaurants/bars are borderline retail but it's important, as a manager, that your staff knows there is a line that can be crossed - where the customer is not always right. It's been satisfying to see managers inform the patron that they're in the wrong & convey that the establishment is willing to take the loss of your check, in order for you to leave - as they will not put up with that behavior. Once, a patron was very insulting to a waitress (lunch, no drinking involved; just a mean/angry diner). The manager-on-duty actually told the patron he should apologize to the waitress - the patron did apologize.
I work in a major supermarket chain in the UK. Once I had a customer who couldn't speak any English and I couldn't speak their language either so she got out her phone and proceeded to make me talk into it so it could get translated into her language and vice versa. I didn't really mind this if it was only to located a product or select something etc but she was claiming the food she bought the other day was out of date. Turns out she actually bought it in the "reduced" section where we put the food thats going out of date on that day for a discounted price and tried to return it the next day for full price.
It got to the point where she demanded I got a manager simply because I refused to return this item as her receipt clearly stated it was a "reduced" food product and with the date on the bottom of the receipt I knew she was trying to scam us. This managed is an older woman in her 60s, doesn't know anything about technology but she had to try and do this Google translate into this woman's phone.
After around 5 mins of going back and forth my manager just threw her hands up and said forget this, I don't know what's even going on, I'm not entertaining this and barred the customer there and then. That was the day she became my favorite manager, lol.
A customer told one of our bartenders that she looked like a "tramp." My colleague comes into the back with tears in her eyes.
Our manager saw this, heard what had happened, marched up to the table and essentially told the customer she was a terrible person and was not welcome in the restaurant now or ever again.
It's so hard as a young woman in a bar because your tips are directly tied to how you handle this stuff. A manager that has your back is invaluable.
Not in my House
Not strictly retail but a casino. A member of the dealing staff had a minor medical issue as I was passing her table. I jumped in to take over the table while she nipped to the bathroom. A couple of minutes later a chap came over to the table and wanted to play but I refused to let him sit down as he was far too drunk. He went mental, demanding to speak to the manager, talking about how he was going to have me fired. I told him OK and to wait right there. I called over a different staff member, had them take over the table and stepped away, picked up my jacket, walked over to the drunk chap and said "Hi, I'm the manager, let me show you the door."
Freshest Cutswalt disney flowers GIF Giphy
Had a customer do a similar thing at the florist I worked at when I was a teenager. We'd put open flowers outside for ridiculously cheap and the disclaimer that they're open and not gonna last more than a day or two.
Lady came in on Sunday, pissed that the flowers she bought on Friday were looking bedraggled. The thing was, I was outside watering plants when this happened, the owner was inside and she got the screaming.
I went inside to do whatever and I watched this lady berating my boss and I dunno what came over me but I very sternly, without raising my voice, told this lady that this is no way to talk to a person and she absolutely will not be treating my boss like this.
My boss was a little shocked (so was I) but I've never seen a person deflate so fast. Something about being told off by a 16 year old must have done something. She apologized profusely, spent a good hour in the store having a conversation with my boss and bought a load of fresh flowers. She became a regular and a big spender.
When working as a cocktail waitress I was kind of shrugging off a guy who stiffed me, but one of my bartenders asked me "that guy right there?" And I watched her stomp right up to him and ask what was wrong with his service. Were his drinks not right? Was I rude to him? So why did he think it was okay to leave without tipping a young girl making less than $3/hr to give him great service?
He pitched a fit and was still super rude but he was told in no uncertain terms that he wasn't welcome back. She was my freaking hero that night.
The customer didn't ask for the manager, but it's a good story nonetheless.
I sold a woman a flashlight.
2 hrs later I get called to customer service because there is a hysterical woman trying to return a flashlight.
I go to see what's up, and she is on the verge of tears because the flashlight wont turn on.
I opened up the battery compartment and flipped the batteries around for her, and lo and behold, it works!
I go to pack it back up for her, and now instead of sadness there is anger, and she no longer wants the flashlight because she "doesn't trust it."
When at Home Depot
I work at Home Depot, I had someone a few months ago want to rent a truck.
Me: Ok, I need to see your drivers license and proof of insurance.
Customer: I don't have a drivers license.
Me: Unfortunately sir we can't rent a truck to you if you don't have a drivers license.
Cust: DO YOU KNOW HOW MUCH MONEY I SPEND HERE EVERY YEAR?
Me: Sir, you spending millions of dollars here doesn't automatically give you a license to operate a motor vehicle in the state of Oregon.
Cust: I don't spend millions of dollars here every year.
Me: So you get my point even more so then.
Cust: THIS IS BULL, I WANT TO TALK TO THE F**KING MANAGER.
I laugh and call the manager in our store and ask him to come up because I got a good one for him. Manager comes up, listens to the guy whine.
Manager: Looks at me and says "Your f**king with me right? This is some kind of joke?"
Me: Nope :)
Manager looks at customer and says, "we won't rent you a truck with out a drivers license, its illegal ."
Customer: I'LL JUST GO TO THE LOWES DOWN THE STREET, I KNOW THEY'LL BE HAPPY TO HAVE MY MONEY!
Manager: Good luck with that.
Manager looks at me and smiles, the Lowes down the street from us doesn't do any rentals.
I had a very difficult customer at my table, known for being incredibly verbally abusive. I was sent there to deal with him because of this and the manager told me me to take the gloves off basically. So I pulled an attitude with him, much to the delight of everyone else within earshot. I did not swear at him at this point but definitely was a surly git. He, on the other hand called me a c**t several times amongst other things but didn't get the reaction he was looking for. He did not like this and called over the manager. He told the manager that I had a shitty attitude and that she should deal with it. She turned to me and said :
"Have you had an attitude?"
"Why is that?"
"Because he's a c**t"
"Oh, I see." she turns back to the customer "Maybe you should try to not be a c**t"
Mic drop, she walks off, my favorite manager for life.
I miss the casino business sometimes, especially small provincial casinos, it was like the land that Public Correctness forgot. They would rarely bar people who were just verbal but the staff could give it back when it mattered.
The Old Codgerold man smile GIF by F*CK, THAT'S DELICIOUS Giphy
My managers are pretty weak and usually do whatever the customer wants to keep them happy, but one time this old codger was really giving me a hard time because I wouldn't refund his singlet. Store policy is that we don't refund undergarments, and this particular singlet was part of our undergarment line and was covered by that policy. He was trying to argue that it wasn't a pair of boxers or a bra so I was wrong about the policy and he demanded to speak to someone who knew what they were talking about.
I dreaded calling up my manager because I knew there was a 90% chance he would just refund it anyway and make me look like a loser, but he really surprised me that day, came the the checkout from the back and told that old fart right to his face that everything I was saying was according to store policy and he wouldn't be getting a refund. Felt good.
Buh Bye Now
As a manager I had a guy once scream at one of my crew members and I was coming back onto the floor, I stood next to him (waiting for him to see there's a manager to scream at instead of the poor 16 year old that's just clocked in) when he did, oh I can't tell you how much he spoke down/belittled me! Anyways, when I tried to rectify the issue he told me not to interrupt so I didn't! I went and grabbed his receipt with a refund, and said 'have a nice day!' 😘
You Do It!
I was working as a cashier. Late night at Walmart, they close customer service, and cashiers are expected to take returns. I also had managers that folded under any pressure. When it was something that I knew was against policy, I absolutely refused to be the cashier handling it. I MADE the manager in charge log into the machine and handle those themselves.
Was in a Burger King ordering my meal when an odd, disheveled looking man came in carrying a bag. He was attempting to get a refund on a half-eaten Whopper that he had purchased THE DAY BEFORE! The manager stared at him and the whopper for what seemed like forever just contemplating the situation. I can only imagine the thought going through her head. She refused the refund, but gave him a new sandwich.
Here ya go?Tea Smh GIF by moodman Giphy
I was working at Walmart as a cashier a little over a decade ago the day before Thanksgiving. This guy comes through my lane with a flatbed the staff had gotten for him and it's absolutely loaded with frozen turkeys.
I ring him through, give him his total, he hands me a check that was printed from his business and I note that the check is post dated. "I'm sorry sir, the check is dated for tomorrow. I can't accept it."
After going back and forth about how "it'll all balance out tomorrow" and me still refusing to accept it he demands a manager. The manager, of course, folds and says we'll take it. So I suspended the order, logged out of my register, stepped aside, and said "Ok <manager>, here ya go!" and motioned for him to take over the lane.
You could see the immediate panic in his eyes when he realized I was right, he was wrong, and he started imagining all the sh!t he'd have to deal with from the finance department when a post-dated check came through under his name.
I was working several years ago during a Teamsters strike. Because we were also union, we supported the Teamsters and our deliveries suffered as a result. We were having a hard time keeping things on the shelves.
We had notices up informing our customers and apologizing for the inconvenience. But one day, an elderly woman came up to me at the front of the store, absolutely livid.
Customer: You don't have anything that I need in stock!
Me: I'm so sorry, ma'am. You see, there is a Teamsters strike currently...
Customer: I know about the strike! But I'm the customer and you (firm poke of her finger in my chest) need to do something about it!
Me: (patting woman condescendingly on the shoulder) Well, I'm sure if you'd like a job driving truck, our delivery team would be happy to hire you.
Customer: (utterly flabbergasted expression as jaw drops)
Me: My manager's name is [Manager's Name]. She's just over there (points). My name is madcats323. Have a lovely day.
(my manager was awesome and totally had my back. still one of my favorite retail moments)
This happened many years ago when I worked at a Walmart while in college. I was working at the customer service desk and a customer came in to return a bike that was clearly very used and broken. He went on a rant about what a piece of crap it was, wanting to return it, etc. Store policy was that we couldn't accept the return, which I told him. He became enraged and threw the bike at me over the customer service desk.
I don't know how I dodged it, but I did and then stood there for a moment in shock. The manager had already been called and when he showed up, I explained the situation, along with my coworker and customers in line who witnessed it. The manager almost caved and gave him a refund, until I suggested a police report. In the end, rage guy stormed out, but I never forgot how that manager almost let him get away with that. I left not too long after that. lol
But the Ad SaysKaren GIF by moodman Giphy
Not even one specific moment but I worked at Walmart for a little over 2 years and maybe half that time I was the manager. At a certain point at night I'd only have one cashier so I'd have them start cleaning up doing bathrooms, getting carts etc. while I rang everyone else up until they came back. Well, once Walmart started doing the "we'll match your price, bring in the ad" thing people jumped on it. Every night, at least one person,
Customer: "this as says it's 4 for $10"
Me: "that's next weeks ad."
Customer: "no it's not. I just got it in the mail."
Me: "it says the date on the bottom. It has to be this weeks ad."
Customer: "but it's the price in the ad. You have to honor it! Let me speak to your manager!"
Me: "I am the manager."
Now this is where it can go 3 ways. 1st way Customer: "ok fine then I don't want them!"
2nd way Customer: "then who is above you!? Who is your boss!?"
Me: gets either assistant manager or support manager. "Ya she's right. This isn't the current ad."
Customer: either buys them or doesn't.
3rd way Customer: "THIS IS F***ING RIDICULOUS!!! I WANT YOUR BOSS AND THE NUMBER TO CORPORATE!!!! YOU GUYS AREN'T FOLLOWING YOUR OWN ADVERTISING!!!"
my boss: "sir/ma'am, we can't help you. Please leave the store. Here's our phone number. You can talk to (store managers name) tomorrow when they're here."
Tomorrow Store manager: "hey Christy, don't worry about that customer. They're not welcome back in the store. Let me know if you have any more problems with them."
Very much considering never going back to retail. Some people can be real jerks.
I worked in phone tech support for several years, as part of a pretty small, tight team. The "manager" was in a different part of the building and wouldn't take phone calls ever, so we would trade off being managers for each other.
I think I was probably the best manager on our team. One time a lady sent me a box of chocolates.
Courtney the Fraud
A guy was arguing with me over the phone about a Uber delivery, after many minutes of explaining that Uber is an external company and we have no control over what has happened (after offering everything I physically could) he proceeded to shout, call me a liar and names down the phone, he went on and then said I want to speak to you manager what's your name, so I told him my name and told him to give a second, put the phone down for a second and answered with 'Courtney speaking, I'm a manager how can I help?'
"I deserve a discount for waiting so long!" (Doesn't realize there was a sale anyway) "Well, let me just see what I can do?" (Walk away for a second and come back) "Normally I wouldn't but today I'll give you that discount." (I smile as if the world is in total peace and she becomes totally declawed) "Oh...I...um..." "Have a GREAT DAY! Be sure to ask for me the next time you come in. Byeeeeee"
She came in after that and was docile as hell.
Ok girl. Let's do this.
My favorite customer experience I've ever had:
Her: So what can't this security camera do?
Me: sorry, what can't it do? What do you mean?
Her: you heard me what can't this thing do!?
Me: well the list of things it can't do is far greater than the things it can do
Her: well if the list is so long then tell me a few!
Me: *thinking to myself "ok witch you're asking for it"
Welllllll it's not gonna make your bed. It's not gonna toast your bread. It's not gonna scratch your head and it's definitely not gonna sharpen your pencil lead.
Her: ok smart a**, I wanna speak to your manager.
I miss Mr. Creed
Customer threatened to kill me because I could not order replacement feet for his HP Laptop.
He flat out said "I am going to kill you." I said "Let me check with my manager"
My manager obviously called the cops, but I really appreciate that he always had my back. It was my first job out of high school, and the manager who hired me straight up bailed off the freaking job.
My Second Boss ruined all further bosses for me in future. I was allowed to say no. I was allowed to tell customers to leave. I was allowed to exercise common sense.
About the only customer service bull he required me to adhere to was pretending that I gave a shit what the customer wanted.
God Speed Tom, you were willing to call the cops on those crazy a**holes.
Another fun one, was a dude who would buy laptops the way most people buy USB sticks.
He loved XP. He was willing to pay any amount. He stored his documents in the recycle bin, no man is without sin!
Still got in trouble. He wanted to drink at the service counter. It was super illegal.
He was still a fantastic customer. Mostly new laptop setups and data transfers. He was always SUPER HAPPY to upgrade, and his enthusiasm was contagious.
We sold him all manner of expensive laptops, and he did not give a flying f**k. As long as it was expensive.
Dude lived in a garage. He'd burned his mansion down. He rode the bus in, I can't imagine why.
That man is my favorite customer ever. You could just flat out pitch sh!t to him, and he would say "Hell yeah I want that."
I miss Mr. Creed.
LIAR!frustrated jim carrey GIF Giphy
I worked at an electronic store in customer service. Guy came in trying to return a motherboard that he said was defective. I opened the box to 1. Make sure it was there and 2. Make sure the serial numbers matched Upon pulling it out, noticed it was covered in dust. I asked how long he had it and he said a few days and handed me the receipt.
Hmm ok. Checked the serial number on the box and on the board - of course they didn't match. He put the old board in the new box. I told him he must have mistaken put the old board in so I can't complete the return. He claims I'm wrong and dumb because I'm a girl who doesn't know anything about how computers work. Ok sure, I'll bring a tech over to explain it slower. They do. He starts flipping out asking for a manager, saying I'm calling him a liar. I was actually just implying he was dumb. So manager comes out, repeats what I said. Guy jumps across the counter and tries to assault us. The security guard caught him and held him until police came.
I Value You
My favorite boss was a gorgeous, very tall black woman who took no sh!t from anyone. I LOVED telling her there was a "valued customer" up front who would like to talk to her. Made me wish I had popcorn when she would come up front. Damn, I miss her. I'm determined to work with her again in the future.
I'm a pharmacy manager. One night, I was covering for my technician when a lady named Karen (I kid you not) started giving my cashier trouble about a cash price for a medication I generated. It was an extremely good price, as we are a privately-owned pharmacy and don't price guage our cash customers like chain pharmacies do. (If you're a cash patient, do yourself a favor and find yourself a mom and pop pharmacy. Your wallet will thank you.)
I decided to intervene, being the one who generated the price, and calmly explained to her that while this was a generic drug, it recently went generic and the price was still high due to a lack of competition for the manufacturers. I even offered to call her doctor to see if they would change the prescription to a similar combination steroid and antibiotic eye drop, but she insisted that this is the only thing that would work for her. Then she muttered something about "stupid hourly workers" and asked to speak to my manager.
I smiled and said "sure", and I spun around on the spot, then said, "Hi Karen, I heard you wanted to speak to the manager. How can I help you?"
I'm still not sure what was better, her smug WASP face going completely slack, or my new pharmacist nearly sh!tting herself to the point that she literally had to pull out her inhaler.
When in Public
This obese woman who was always an issue was demanding I "get it from the back." After explaining, slowly, that the item most Def was not back there she gave me the request.
The owner was a personal friend who actually asked me to work there. No nonsense kinda guy. He came out and he's like "you're not even supposed to be here. You write us bad checks and you're not allowed in this store anymore."
Got to be part of the escort team walking her out.
Nothing like a little public humiliation to take the edge off.
Man came in to return old shoes that were falling apart, claimed they were only months old and wanted a brand new pair.
No receipt, paid cash, blah blah. I decided I didn't want to fight with him and approved the exchange.
Guy was mad and wanted to speak to my store manager because even though I did the exchange "[I] wasn't happy about it!"
Second job, Friday night, worked a 16 hour day, did him a freaking favor, and he wants to get me in trouble because I wasn't happy enough to get scammed by him.
Forget that dude.
I was the manager in this case but I still want to share the story.
I worked for a video game retailer for the better part of a decade in a store in a very racially diverse area. I was in the back grabbing accessories to restock and the one of my associates, a young black guy, was up front. I hear the door chime and check the camera to make sure he doesn't need any help. It's a white guy and his kid. I go back to restocking. A few moments later my associate knocks on the door. He is clearly holding in massive rage.
"The customer would like to speak to someone who is not black."
"Did he say 'not black?'"
"You know what he said."
I went out to the front and greeted the man and his son. I asked the kid to go pick out a toy from the front that he could keep on us, (stock that we were asked to throw out we would give away or donate, sue me). I look to the father and say, "I'm sorry for the wait, sir. I understand you had an issue. I'd be happy to assist." He says, "Yeah, you can help me. I just don't talk to ni**ers." After I made sure his kid was still out of earshot I said in a low voice:
"I understand. Do me a favor and get the heck out of here and don't ever come back in here."
"You can't talk to me like that. I want to speak to the manager."
"Sir, I am the manager. Have a good day," I said with the biggest smile on my face.
He never came back and I had a very relieved employee.
BB & B
Been a customer service manager for about 7 years now. When I worked at Bed Bath & Beyond I was also the regional customer service manager. So people would ask for a manager, I'd tell them I was. They would ask for a regional manager and I'd give them my phone number. Typically they'd call later on. No one ever called right in front of me like I hoped.
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I worked at a clothing store for a few years. Fairly often, people would carefully swap the tags between an expensive item and a cheap one, then try to buy the expensive item at the cheap price. This was a known issue we were told to look out for, and we would need to check the sewn-in tag on the item for its correct SKU to get the correct price. One day, a customer came up to my register with a swapped-tag item. I immediately recognized it and politely informed the customer that someone must have swapped the tags, and that I would have to use the SKU on the inner tag, then apologized for the confusion.
Customer immediately started screaming at me and said I was calling him a liar and a thief. Demanded to talk to my manager. So I called the manager over and the manager agreed with me. Customer lost it and started threatening both of us, so my manager called security. When they showed up and asked the man to leave, he legit pulls out a wad of $100 bills and starts throwing them at us, screaming about how he has so much money and doesn't need to steal and that we were stupid and lost our store a "high paying customer." I can't express how satisfying it was to watch this guy get dragged out of the store by security.
Idk man I work at a smoke shop I could write a freakin' book. Probably gonna go with the lady that wanted discounts then laid on the ground and had ghost sex with herself then took a crap on the doorstep. She still had boom boom in her butt when she pulled her pants up and that's the real kicker to me. Had to watch my manager sweep a turd lol. Alternatively, there was a man who did air karate and tried to pay with rocks. It was a three day ordeal, and we later found out he beat his elderly mother. The look on my managers face when he whipped out a suitcase full of rocks was freakin' hilarious.
For the Packers
I was dealing with a typical Karen. She was raising hell over some dumb stuff, she asked for my manager. My boss stuck up for me and said, "this is packersfan, he wasn't on the schedule today but came in when I asked. He came in to help me out, not to be a target of abuse from you. Please leave."
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When these people came into a store I worked at, and wanted to return an already opened DVD. This may sound old but it's fairly recent, it was just an old store in my area that worked at that went out of business.
So these people came in, and I was told if the DVD was already opened, they couldn't return it, so they asked for a manager, and kept crying that it was her daughters birthday, and it unfair, and they gave me attitude, and started yelling after awhile. So my manager came over, because they wouldn't leave me alone for like 30 minutes, and took them away from the help desk I was working at. These people continued screaming and yelling and making a scene because we wouldn't fall for their scam, This went on for like another 30 minutes, until they finally left.
This lady did not ask for a manager, but worth sharing.
My wife worked at a hardware store in college. An old lady came in one day and needed help finding hydrochloric acid. My wife doesn't think anything about it and brings her to where they had some, but was curious and asked why she needed it. The old lady said: "I have a cut on my hand and my doctor said I needed to get some to clean it." The lady confused the acid with hydrogen peroxide. My wife tried to talk the lady out of buying it and the lady got snippy and said: "I'm buying it so when I call my doctor and find out I'm right I don't need to come back to this store."
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Not me but happened to a family member. A woman came into the supermarket to return her rotisserie chicken. Just bones. She said it wasn't "good" and demanded a refund. No one would give it to her but in the end the manager handled it because the "customer is always right". She ended up getting her money back.
When in H & M
When I worked at H&M a guy came up to the register with a bank t-shirt. He told me he wanted to put "#MeToo, and she liked it!" on it. I refused to check him out. He told me wanted to speak to the manager. My manager (a woman) came to the register and told him to GTFO.
Not my story, but my fellow manager from that night:
We are running a 2/6$ special that suggests adding a drink on the bottom of the ad. However, in the fine print, it explicitly says the price of the drink is not included in the special. Some older guy came up one night saying he didn't get fries or whatever he was supposed to get. The manager looked at his order and said he didn't have any on the ticket. He insisted he was supposed to have them, or a drink or whatever because he ordered the special, which she then specifically told him, only includes sandwiches.
I'd wandered off after that to go double check some paperwork, which is why I missed him coming back up to complain again. She even pointed out and read the fine text to him that the drink wasn't included. He huffed and said he was never coming back so she was just like, "Well ok then. Have a good day!"
The day I had to serve a customer who had the "I'm trouble" face. He was old, was wearing sunglasses and was intimidating. I sucked it up and was as nice, friendly and helpful as I always was to my customers.
He made me call my manager (who wasn't busy, fortunately) just to tell him I had given him probably the best service he had received in a long time, that I was a very good employee, and to treat me right because that's what makes people come back to places. It made my day and probably my whole week
Not really exciting, but it was probably the nicest thing a customer said to me while I was working there, as I was starting to feel that my service wasn't that good. Still smile about that.
I provide a support therapy in a hospital. I got a referral for an elderly lady who was transitioning to hospice care at home and leaving that same day. I'm confused as we generally sign off when a patient transitions to comfort care and I call the MD immediately. MD is also confused, but says the family was requesting to talk to me, I re-confirm plan for hospice and go see the family within 30 min. Pt is not appropriate for my service, but I answer all questions, provide advice and help family focus on comfort of patient as she is only expected to live a few days. I'm completely professional, family thanked me for my time, I offered reassurance. A week later a family member who lived out of state (was NOT there) and is in the same profession as me finds my bosses name and calls to complain about me. Boss and MD tell her politely and professionally to f**k off.
I had a woman request a manager because she didn't like the answer my employee gave. I walked out and gave the same answer. She asked to speak to my manager and I said no. I am the manager and we'll solve this together or she can leave. She was pretty shocked! They said no?!?! They can do that?! Yes we can.
I worked in a restaurant and we had a private dining area booked and the party there were being super loud, we let it slide for a while but it was obviously putting of potential customers who would come up to the front desk then leave when they could hear the PDR. I went through and gestured for them to keep it down a bit (didn't get crazy with them) one of the party came up and started berating me saying that as they were spending a lot (not really a lot) of money they could act how they wanted.
I shrugged and got the deputy manager who politely listened as they said I was rude and unprofessional to which she replied that she had seen and heard everything and disagreed. The party then demanded to see the GM (who was in a meeting with the area manager and both had observed everything) The GM came over, the party repeated their accusations and were politely told to basically 'f*ck off, the only person who talks to my staff like that is me, get your stuff and leave!'
When I was a server, I had a lady request a whole hard boiled egg. Not a strange request, until she said that she didn't want the yolk.
I tried to explain that that wasn't possible. I could bring her the whole egg and she could remove the yolk herself or the kitchen could cut the egg in half and remove the yolk for her, but it was physically impossible to bring her a whole yolk less hard boiled egg. She started screaming about how stupid I was and no wonder I didn't amount to anything other than a waitress. I repeated her options to her again when she finally said the magic words, "Go get your manager." My pleasure, lady.
The general manager and kitchen manager both ended up talking her, explaining the same thing I did. She yelled at them too, questioning why everyone in our restaurant was so stupid and couldn't follow basic requests. They ended up bringing her a whole egg (with the yolk) and one cut in half with the yolk removed. This woman sulked her whole meal.
I feel awful for the people she was dining with (though I don't know why they didn't speak up and tell her she was ridiculous) and more than 10 years later, I still wonder what kind of eggs she was eating that didn't have yolks.
I managed a Borders bookstore for some years and, although most of our customers were great, we had the odd one that stood out.
One man gave a staff member plenty of crap because the book he'd ordered hadn't come in. There was no trace of the order number in our system. In the middle of his rant, I asked to look at the receipt... which came from the Waterstone's down the street. We all waved goodbye.
I also loved kicking out racists. There was one lady who asked for the manager and complained that 'there were too many (insert religion here) people in the store'. Apparently she'd been a regular for a while and everyone called her Mrs Hitler. Banned her butt and got security to escort her out.
I also had to babysit shoplifters until the police turned up. They had often tried to steal DVDs or blurays, so if they were relatively chill I'd sit and watch a movie with them while we waited. Better than an awkward silence.
Heart to Heart Karen
I had what looked to be a Karen come up to me and complain that no one was helping her and so she wants to complain to the manager. I told her the manager isn't coming till later so she asked for a corporate number to call. Before I gave it to her I told her to tell me exactly why she was so angry. She starts going on about how no one helped her in the change room and she was waiting too long etc. eventually leading to her personal issues.
I was listening for 10 minutes and just nodding and telling her "yeah I totally get that" and being supportive. Eventually she was satisfied with the ranting and told me that she knows it's not my fault and how she's sorry she was hostile. She left happy without taking the corporate number.
Sometimes we just gotta have a heart-to-heart with Karen.
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I work in technical support and at the end of a call my customer said I need to talk to your manager. Crap, what did I do wrong? She was talking to my manager a really long time as well.
My manager popped out of the office and said "Hey great job, she wouldn't shut up about how helpful you were."