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.
Make it RainMake It Rain Reaction GIF Giphy
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."
Longest 30 Minutesmake it rain dvds GIF by Polyvinyl Records Giphy
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."
Deboned backchicken eat GIF by DLGNCE Giphy
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.
there is hope....Excited Pizza GIF Giphy
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."
People Explain Which Strange Things Are Considered Normal In Their Home Country But Weird Everywhere Else
What is in the water in the United States that compels people to walk around in their homes with their shoes on? Try doing that in South Korea––people would be so mortified. I have a sibling whose apartment is carpeted from wall to wall and who walks around inside with his shoes on all the time, tracking in any manner of dirt and dust from outside. Egad! I get chills just thinking about it. And as an American, it's something I've noticed people from other countries love to comment on.
We learned a lot more about things that are considered normal in other countries after Redditor monitonik asked the online community,
"What's normal in your country that's considered weird in others?"
"I grew up in Australia..."
"I grew up in Australia and migrated to Ireland about ten years ago. First thing I noticed was people in Ireland really like to talk about death in everyday conversation: Who died. When the mass is. The removal of the body and the anniversaries of their death. It's so normal in conversation."
"Leaving a baby..."
"Leaving a baby bundled up outside to sleep. When my previous neighbours had a baby, sometimes I would pass it on the porch, just sleeping. Including in winter as long as it wasn't too cold."
And in the United States, rest assured that child services would be called ASAP.
"In Japan, there are public toilets in a few places where after urinating, you can opt to view a general health assessment report."
Sounds like a privacy issue, no?
"I live in Malaysia..."
"I live in Malaysia and nearly everyone here uses at least three languages in a sentence."
Spend some time in Miami. The official language of the city is Spanglish.
"There's this sport..."
"There's this sport in Finland called eukonkanto, where men participate in running a specific distance, all while carrying their wife or girlfriend. Winner gets their woman's weight in beer."
"It's a small country..."
"Probably talking to people so that no one else can hear you except the person you are directly talking to.
It's a skill almost all Dutch people have, I have found, but it can be very unnerving for other people because you can be sitting pretty close to two people having a conversation and have no idea what they are saying.
It's a small country and very densely populated with people who value their privacy. It's a survival skill, really."
Can we bring this to the United States? Why are people so LOUD here?
"Some areas in the country..."
"Saying "hi" or waving to strangers. Some areas in the country take it even further and you're considered rude if you drive through a residential street and don't wave to anyone walking as you pass them."
"If you're walking with a dog..."
"Walking all over the countryside along ancient footpaths (as well as bridleways and byways, and a lot of disused railway tracks that have been designated as footpaths). These paths often go across privately owned land; the landowners are required by law to keep the paths clear, and if they put up a fence to provide a gate.
If you're walking with a dog, you're expected to keep it under control around livestock and when the path crosses a road, but otherwise it's just accepted that dogs are going to run around sniffing everything."
"We have robots..."
"We have robots at busy intersections and crossing points to assist and control traffic flow."
Nice to see Chappie is getting some work.
"The other day..."
"I teach in Japan but grew up in America. The other day my students asked me wide-eyed if Americans really wear their shoes inside. I told them yes and that sometimes my dad would cross his legs like this while we sat on the sofa and I could touch the bottom of his shoes. They were super grossed out. "Eew, why would you wear shoes inside! That's so dirty!" These kids are 2nd graders so it starts pretty young."
It never hurts to travel––you'll broaden your horizons and learn more about other cultures! When the pandemic's over––I mean actually over––and it's safe enough to travel, I might just hire someone to play my wife and take part in that Finnish wife-carrying contest. Some beer sounds great.
Have some observations of your own? Feel free to tell us all about them in the comments section below!
Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.
The brain a fascinating part of the body. No, its the most fascinating.
Scientists have said for years that we'll never know all about the brain and its functions.
So if it is so fascinating and so capable and awesome... why does it stall? Why does it overload?
Why aren't we all gifted with photographic memory? The brain definitely has a full storage issue. And we all suffer.
Redditor u/MABAMA45 wanted everyone to fess up to and just embrace all the things the brain can't handle by asking:
What can your brain just not comprehend?
I'm a smart person. I read, I study, I comprehend. But certain types of math can send me to the funny farm. I tried trigonometry in high school. I needed a therapist after a week. My brain hates math. It is what it is. I give up trying.
Louder!Meme Reaction GIF by reactionseditorGiphy
"I can't comprehend why any company would think I'm more likely to buy their product if they make their commercial 20db louder than all other commercials. Instant boycott."
"The sheer size and scale of the universe. Like the fact that you can fit all the planets of the Solar System between the Earth and the Moon. Now realise how far apart all the planets are in the Solar System. This is practically next door compared to the distance between our Sun and the nearest star."
"There are billions of stars in our Milky Way (with the majority having planets of their own). The sheer scale of the vast emptiness involved means that even when our galaxy merges with the Andromeda galaxy in 4.5 billion years' time, there will be very, very few actual collisions between stars."
"Then there is the void between galaxies, and that it takes billions of years for light, at its speed (massless, and the fastest speed possible), to travel between galaxies, speaks of the sheer emptiness and distance in that void. I can't quite fathom it."
"What was there before the universe, what was there before that, and that and that and (you get the idea)."
"Before" implies that time exists on both sides of an event, but that is not true when we are talking about the universe. Like how there are no positive numbers less than 0, there are no times before the beginning of the universe."
In the Words...
"Language, the fact that we all collectively decided separately and divertingly that certain sounds have meanings and that other sound mixed with those can change the meaning."
"Thanks for all of the upvotes and the award :3."
"Adding onto what I said, sounds are just vibrations in the air that out brains interpret into the sensation of hearing. Really we're vibrating the air at each-other and those air vibrations to your brain contain meaning. When you think about it like this language is not too dissimilar to the internet in a way. Makes you realize how crazy and unique of a skill language really is, with-ought it we wouldn't have a civilization."
"Another interesting thing related to this is when people call your name. Even if your in a crowded area with hundreds of people talking around you and you think your tuning them out if you hear your name you immediately notice, Some part of your brain must be constantly listening."
"Here are some other things my mind can't quite grasp:
- Computers, the fact that my phone is performing countless mathematical operations constantly.
- the plank length, if I understand it right it's the smallest distance anything can move, like a pixel of space.
- the human body and animals in general, were a collection of (large number but idk how large) cells all working together in various systems some how sustaining a brain that is able to be conscious, it's a miracle animals work at all let alone what they're capable of.
- why my ankles crack when I walk.
- what the future will be like, the world is changing so fast it's likely the future will be nothing like we think and it's coming." - Flaer15
I'm EmptyFun Floating GIF by Tomas BrunsdonGiphy
"My little brain can't comprehend the vast emptiness of space and the fact it supposedly just stretches on forever and never has an end. Kind of wild when you try imagine it."
Like any other muscle or organ in the body, we have to listen when pain is inflicted. We have to recognize discomfort and deal. Why don't we allow the same respect to our brain? It will tell us when enough is enough.
Simplicity...Work Working GIFGiphy
"How a simple calculator works. I can do math. I'm actually very good at it. How does a little plastic box do it though? Always boggled my mind."
"Dates. I am considered a historian by my family due to my knowledge on most world history, but God dang dates... I could be talking about WWII and say it happened the same date as WWI."
Billions of People
"That all the others persons I talk to or see, have their own thoughts, own inner dialogue and own life. For gaming analogy sometimes I just feel like others are NPC and I just can't comprehend that there are more than 7 billions person just like me."
The profound feeling of realizing that everyone, including strangers passed in the street, has a life as complex as one's own, which they are constantly living despite one's personal lack of awareness of it."
Now That's Too Much!
"I have a PhD in astronomy and MSc in Physics, and had to take ~2 years worth of quantum mechanics courses. It's one of those things where you can take solace that even with all that education on it all I can say is no one else really understands it either."
And the Dark?
"Light isn't affected by time. So... other things could just exist outside of time? Like, if you were a photon that traveled at light speed for a million years and then hit an alien's third butt, you'd experience it as instantly being a million light years away."
"A photon moves at the speed of light through space, but is standing still in time."
"A person at rest moves at the speed of light through time, but is standing still in space. When you accelerate through space, you're simultaneously decelerating through time. That's why observers will see your clock slow down when you begin accelerating at relativistic speeds. It's referred to as time and space dilation. Makes more sense once you realize that."
"There are people who don't have an internal dialogue with themselves. So, they never question if they are right or wrong. They never wonder if they are treating someone fairly, or if they are nice or mean."
"They can change their minds with no information, but it doesn't involve the process most of us go through when confronted with an opinion, or new data. It's not common, but it's not entirely rare. When I learned about this, I just couldn't understand how it was even possible."
The EndSeason 2 Episode 10 GIF by The SimpsonsGiphy
"Death, obviously I understand why people die and all that but just thinking what happens afterwards. What's it like for the said person that died, is it just blackness? Is it like they're dreaming??? Reincarnation?? This probably sounds very stupid but I don't care 🤦🏻♀️🤷🏻♀️"
There is so much to learn, and even more that we'll never know. And that's ok. When the brain is full, it's full. Seems like just a part of life. The mysteries will sometimes stay illusive.
Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.
It's okay to hate things.
Some things deserve to be hated. Internet trolls, people who mistreat animals, and individuals who talk during the movie are most definitely worthy of the scorn they gain. However, there are some items and topics which could do with a bit of rebranding. Instead of being "Hate Me," they instead deserve a sign that says, "I'm Really Not That Bad."
What doesnt need the hate it gets?
They say you hate what you don't understand. Clearly, they were thinking of things like the entries below when they came up with that expression as all of these fit the bill of being hated for not being understood.
It Cycles Past Judgement Into Comfort
"Sleeping with stuffed animals. You're never too old for that."
"Somewhat mature: Not needing a stuffed animal in order to sleep.
Very mature: Sleeping with one anyway because you don't give a f-ck what other people think."
Long Live The King
Most unfairly villainized and maligned animal in the world all because of some stupid Disney movie. They are not scavengers at all they hunt 90% of their prey and lions steal food off of them far more than they steal off lions. They are highly intelligent predators with an equally important role to play in the ecosystem."
They Go Through More Than Anyone Will Realize
I can personally confirm that I was a piece of work in grade school--then high school. And it wasn't because of teachers--it was because of me."
"As someone in high school rn, I agree with this. They get paid too little to deal with my laziness and bullsh-t"
You might have been told, either by a friend or a family member or some misguided news source, that the following topics are deserving of your hate. That their mere existence is something to shun and hate.
That's not the case.
It Tastes Soooo Good
"MSG. It's like salt but on crack and exploding with flavor."
This was a pretty racist phenomenon that got built up around Asian restaurants in the 70s and 80s.
"Essentially some study came out that MSG was bad for you and caused headaches, racing heart and basically anything else that might be considered bad. They even came up with a diagnosis for it "Chinese Restaurant Syndrome" and it was recognized as a legit medical diagnosis.
However, the FDA had already tested it and on retest found that it was still basically as safe as anything else you put in your food. .
The original studies were really flawed in that they weren't blind and there was already this perception that MSG was bad because they were racists/xenophobic."
You Know Bananas Don't Normally Look Like That, Right?
"GMOs. Humans have been slowly doing that since we started cultivating crops, now we can just do it quicker. And there are millions of people who rely on GMO crops to not starve to death."
It's important to be cautious about your own safety and well-being. No one is trying to convince you to take unnecessary risks.
However, sometimes that thing you were worried about might not be as deadly as you imagined.
They're Not All Chernobyl
"People freak out because of the radiation but almost everyone is oblivious to the amount of crap a coal or oil powerplant dumps in the atmosphere."
"Nuclear waste is relatively easy to store and modern nuceal powerplants have good safety records."
They're Just Words
Chemist here. The word "chemicals"
Toxicologist here. "Chemical free" ugggggg makes me so mad. Anything can be toxic at the right dose
Seriously. Don't Be That Parent.
"TV shows made specifically for toddlers. They are toddlers. It's all colors and shapes and being excited over simple things. That's what toddlers are about. YOU don't need to watch the show. It's not for you."
Do certain things and people deserved to be scorned? A look at Twitter will say a resounding, "Yes." But with a keener eye, and a closer look, you'll see that misinformation or misunderstanding can guide misguided to hate.
Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.
Going to college is an exciting experience. You meet new people, learn about the world and the inner workings of society, and make lasting friendships. As fun (and expensive *cough, cough*) as higher education can be there is a reason that only one-third of the US population 25 and older have been able to complete a four-year degree program. It is hard and burnout is real.
Going through university was filled with both happiness and sometimes tears for me. I loved school and found my classes interesting, dove into extracurriculars, and had that perfectionist drive to get all A's... totally not sustainable. It hit me I was totally burnt out about two years in while enrolled in an algebra class.
I wanted to give up, I was flustered and spent way too much time trying to get a great grade in a class that just wasn't clicking for me. What did I do? I had to take a step back and reflect on what I would tell a friend in the same shoes. I would tell them they don't need to be perfect, that getting a C+ in one class wasn't going to wreck their whole GPA, and for the love of God drink water too won't just coffee.
Self-care and stealing extra sleep, even just an hour nap, can go a long way to refreshing your drive. The takeaway really was just to show me the same love and support I'd been putting out to those around me. You deserve it, too!
Redditor peachyjams asked:
"What are some tips for a burnt out student?"
The Reddit community gave this user some wonderful tips and tricks to help with student burnout.
Go at your own pace.
“Don't pressure yourself into 4 years. It's OK to take it slower. Balance out your schedule with more enjoyable elective credits if you can, or just take less courses in a semester if possible.”
“Obviously things like financial aid, living costs (if not living at home) and others may play a factor in how many courses you need to take or how quickly you need to complete college, so if you can't take less courses, talk to your advisor or counselor and work with them to carefully plan out each semester so that your coursework is balanced IE: You don't end up accidentally taking Calculus + "Fun," art class that was 1000x more work than you thought it would be in the same semester.”~zachtheperson
“Burnt out doesn't begin to cover it.”
“I feel very qualified to answer this. I have been in college continuously since I was 18, and I'm now 32. I have 2 years to go before finishing my doctorate. I currently have an associate's, bachelor's, and master's. I have also worked the entire time. Burnt out doesn't begin to cover it. Here is how I stay sane:
- Give school as little bandwidth in your life as possible. "Good enough" are the two most beautiful words in the English language. Get Bs on things. Write your assignments and due dates on a master calendar, block off times to get them done, and try to avoid thoughts of school outside of those blocks.
- To increase productivity during your work blocks, use Freedom or something similar. I paid for a lifetime subscription and in one class alone it paid for itself. It just blocks access to your distractions on the phone and computer while you get stuff done.
- Tackle other hobbies in life that you see progress in outside of school. Even if it feels like school will never ever end and you're on a treadmill of misery going nowhere, you can go somewhere in other areas of your life. I'm currently training for a marathon, just started learning cello, I mentor first gen college students, and I'm in a book club. Pick your poison, but try to put away the laptop and push yourself in a non-academic area.
- Your social needs may vary, but try getting together with other people not in your circle of school misery. Join a sports league (yuck for me but maybe not for you). I host regular dinner parties. Volunteer. Now that vaccines are out, make sure you get one then connect with other people.
- DO NOT TAKE A BREAK. When you stop school even for a semester you know what it's like to be happy and not have the weight of misery pulling you down. You won't want to go back. Slog through and just do it.
- Don't reward yourself with damaging things. Don't eat or drink your rewards for school or you will be unhealthy and unhappy when you're done. Reward yourself with something positive instead."
If I had to recommend one book, it would be 'Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle'. Basically, it goes into the science of feeling burned out, why it's bad for you, and how to fix it on a physiological level."
“If you don't want to read the whole thing, if I could distill the most useful information it would be: exercise. The author digs deep into the science (which I love) behind why it works SO DAMN GOOD, but if you hate science and reading, trust me. Go for a run a few times a week, lift weights, dance a lot, just get your heart rate up. Good luck. School sucks."~bicycle_mice
You don’t have to be perfect.walking dead love GIFGiphy
“If you're an A student I would suggest lowering your personal bar. Being constantly burnt out isn't worth the 0.2 difference in your GPA and if you're worried about career prospects there are always comparable fields that aren't quite as competitive.”
“Trying to get an A in every class takes disproportionally more work. If you can get A's and a few more B's while getting to chill every once and a while and not stressing, do that.”~SlightlyOvertuned
Lists are seriously underrated.
If your sensation is of being overwhelmed (i.e. you have an impossible amount of work to do with no end in sight) more than burnt out (you are exhausted and becoming detached from the work), then two tips:
- Realise that it's not infinite. If you stick it out until graduation (and I hope you do!), then many of the problems you're accumulating will be wiped clear. Perhaps your GPA/final grade won't be as good as you want, but remember that whatever you're facing now - this too shall pass. Knowning that there is an inevitable light at the end of the tunnel is useful for me.
- Make a list. If you are the under-organised type, making a list of things to do each morning on a sheet of paper dramatically reduces the stress level that those items cause you. You can implement some fancy to-do software if you prefer but tbh a daily todo is simpler and more effective...”~alexandicity
A book and a blanket? Make it so.read new york GIFGiphy
“When I was a burnt out student I took solace in a comfort zone activity. Something unrelated to my school work that I could dive into for a little while when I needed a break. For me, this was reading the Lord of the Rings.”
“What works for you depends one what's in your comfort zone, but it should be something that you can easily pick up and put down again when it is time to get back to work.”
“To this day, I still read the Lord of the Rings when I get stressed or overworked. In fact, I am reading it now, for the 48th time.”~khendron
“Lots of things you could try! Sleep. 8 hours a day, wake up spontaneously without an alarm and if you feel the need do a 30-90 minute power nap in the afternoon.”
“Meditate daily, 5-30 minutes to start in the morning or whenever you feel comfortable. Limit the consume of caffeine.”
“Plan a healthy diet you can stick to, reducing the amount of junk food first to focus later on the composition of your main meals, snacks and so on. Eat plenty of greens, fruit, nuts and drink mainly water or sugar free drinks.”
“Take cold showers. Those are a huge boost, especially in the morning. Decompress. As someone said, take the days you need to just do nothing during your week. Last but not least, workout! Start small, build the habit and stick to it!“~Tha_Sin
“...it's pretty normal in our over worked society.”
“Burnout is real. It means you have given too much of yourself to something, and you need to recover. While deadlines don't wait, professors often will. “
“You have to communicate with them if you are struggling. If they are worth their pay, they will do their best to accommodate you. It's unhealthy to continue under so much stress. Be kind to yourself.”
“Nearly everyone experiences this at some point in life, and it's pretty normal in our over worked society. Do what you can to clear your mind. Assign yourself a certain number of hours to completely shift gears away from all these responsibilities.”
“Set an alarm if you have to, but give yourself enough time to reach a stage of full body relaxation. You can try walking, meditating, sleeping, whatever your body needs. Just listen to it! There is no shame here. You must care for yourself and keep a balance. Deep breaths, often.”~VaginaWarrior
“Yes to this advice!! Let teachers know ASAP that you are struggling and often they will be able to make accommodations or offer help. Also, looking into counseling services that are offered through the school is definitely worth taking advantage of while that stuff is accessible and free.”~shannonbta
“because a b*tch needs water...”
“My bad day thing is I have to get up, eat (even if it's takeout), put on fresh bedsheets because if I'm having a bad day in bed it might as well be comfortable and smell good, have a shower (even just shoulders down) and go for even a small walk, even if it's to the shop or to get myself that takeout."
“They're not huge things to do but they're very difficult on some days. And I don't always do them all, maybe I just eat and shower, or go for a walk, or just change my bedsheets. But all of them are small tasks that feel like mountains but once I do one or two of them they're so so easy, and I benefit from them all mentally or physically or both."
“And I have a litre bottle of water and cup of tea at my side at all times because a b!tch needs water and there are few things as comforting as a good cup of tea in a warm mug to me."~thisisausername-2021
“I didn't pull a single all-nighter in my 4 years of undergrad.”
- “Don't listen to your fellow classmates who boast about study 60+ hours a week, they're either exaggerating, straight-up lying, or have an incredibly inefficient study method. There will be times where you really need to be studying hard for extended amounts of time (ex. finals week), but for the vast majority of the semester it is completely unnecessary to do that in order to get a good grade.”
- “If you do find that you need excessive study in order to do okay in a course then you need to reach out to your TA(s) and professor. Most universities have free tutoring services, use them.”
- “Seriously just take more breaks and get more sleep. I didn't pull a single all-nighter in my 4 years of undergrad and now that I'm in med school I don't have any need for that either. Without real breaks and sleep your brain's ability to actually store and organize all the information you've studied goes out the window. This is harder to do if you need to work to support yourself but you need to find some semblance of healthy sleeping habits if you want to be able to make it through all 4 years.”
- “Eat real food. Don't just live off of snack foods and coffee, your brain isn't going to work properly if you don't fuel it. It's generally cheaper to buy canned and frozen fruit and veg so if you're on a budget try those aisles. Additionally, most places have some sort of charity or community pantry/soup kitchen, use it if you need to.You don't need to be completely destitute in order to reach out for help from these places, if you are struggling to make ends meet get help from your community. It is not weak, it is not shameful, it's being smart enough to accept that everyone needs help now and then.”
- “I mean it, don't pay attention to classmates and social media influencers who say they spend all their time studying. They almost definitely aren't and if they are they have an unsustainable view towards work/school that will bite them in the butt later on.”~JSD12345
Treat yourself to a mini-vacation.
“If you have any extra money (I know, easier said than done) book the cheapest AirBNB you can find within the area you can get to with the transportation you have available. Go alone or bring a friend, and have a mini-vacation, just for a night or weekend. It's very refreshing to have a change of scenery, even if it's in your same city.”~goshawkgirl
These are some great ideas to help cope with the all to real burnout. Remember to show yourself the grace you give to others because your best is all you can do.