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When I was in college, I worked in the bakery of an upscale grocery store in the summer time. We sold pumpernickel bread at this bakery, but it was not frequently purchased, so rather than keeping the bread on the shelf, we kept it frozen in the freezer. Thus, I was not terribly familiar with this item, as I only saw it when people came in and requested it. The way this bread was baked, it had small holes on the top. Within my first month of working in the bakery, I only saw this bread about two times, and when you take the bag out of the freezer, it is covered in ice so it is hard to see exactly what the bread looks like. I wrongly assumed that the holes in the bread were raisins, as they were small, dark and oval shaped.

One day a man called on the phone asking if we had pumpernickel bread with raisins. I told him yes and put one on hold for him to pick up when he arrived. About an hour later, he arrived and I took his bread out of the freezer. When he examined it, he got a very stern look on his face. He said, "Miss this bread does NOT have raisins, I specifically asked for raisins, why did you tell me it had raisins if it did not?" I looked at the bread and realized I had made a very stupid mistake and immediately apologized and explained to him how I had only seen this bread a few times but was convinced it had raisins. He did not accept my apology, he just stood there and stared and me and continued to tell me how stupid I was for not knowing that the bread was raisin-less. After apologizing several more times and suggesting that there might be a commercial brand of pumpernickel bread on the store shelves and showing him the breads we had that did have raisins, he still stood there just staring at me in disgust and muttering rude things, so I decided I should just go back to work because I had done all I could think of and apologized multiple times and I did not wish antagonize him, even though I was shaking with anger at this time because he was being so rude over a loaf of bread.

I could tell he wanted to yell at me more, but he finally walked away. However, I noticed he went to the customer service counter - which is fine, its his prerogative to make a complaint. A few minutes later, he left (I can't remember if he bought the bread or it was given to him for free) and the customer service manager came over to me smiling and shaking her head. She told me this man ranted and raved to her how he drove here just for this bread and could have DIED in a car crash coming here and it would have been for nothing since the bread didn't even have raisins and if he had gotten into an accident, it would have been all my fault. I thought to myself, "But he was willing to risk his life if it did have raisins?"  We don't live in a big city – yes, I realize accidents can happen anywhere, any time, but it wasn't like he had to even drive on the high way to get here. He told the customer service manager what city he was from and how offended he was that he had to drive all the way from his hometown to our store and risk his life for nothing. The city he was from is the neighboring town - a 15 minute drive, all on side streets. The manager told me I wasn't in trouble and that I handled the situation very well, as I remained calm even though he was telling me how stupid I was, and she said not to worry I wasn't going to get in any trouble – but it would probably be in my best interest to remember from then on that the pumpernickel bread did NOT have raisins!



I work at a large electronics store where, while we can't order anything from the suppliers, we can ask for another store in our chain to transfer it to us. This takes from four to five business days. One day a customer called up and told us that she had asked the sister store to send us a particular video game yesterday and had we gotten it? I checked our stock and our sister store's stock. Neither of us had it. I said that it wasn't at either store and might have been en route. She called back later that day. She called twice the next day and twice on the third day. 

On the fourth day, a woman and her young child came in loudly demanding said game and irritably yammering on a cell. I looked it up in our computer. We had never received it and our sister store didn't have it. I got through the words, "It doesn't look like-" and she slammed the cell into my face and demanded I explain to the person on the other end.   The person on the other end was already irritable and when I explained the situation, she lost it. Apparently the employee at the other store promised it would be there in one to three business days, and it was the fourth so we had certainly gotten the game and where was it? One of two things could have happened. A) The customer called, asked if they could transfer something, gave her name and the name of the product and hung up without ever knowing if the store had it or B) the employee at the other store had agreed without checking as it was about to be our problem, not his.   

I tried to placate her and told her some other places that carried the game, but she would not be calmed. I was rude. I had sold her game to someone else. I had no idea how to do my job. She was positive it was in the store, no matter what I said. I got irritated as I could not get a word in edgewise. Meanwhile, her daughter started chanting "You body language is hostile! Her body language is hostile! Look at her body language! Look at the way she's standing! Her body language is hostile! Your body language is hostile!" Finally the woman on the other end of the phone demands the manager and I'm left alone with Mrs. Hostile Body Language who proceeds to rip into me. The two words I manage between screaming fits only enrage her more, and she howls that I am screaming at her and she once was a manager somewhere so she knows I am the kind of employee who needs to be fired, and won't my managers be happy to finally get rid of me. Unbeknownst to her, all of my managers and supervisors are standing right there silently horrified at the family's behavior.



I work at a small Internet provider, and we offer low rates on High speed internet. One day a customer of ours came in to the office to switch from dial up to high speed. I had been eating the last piece of a chocolate bar when he came in. I eat a little piece everyday, and I had about two bites left. I went into the back room to get the equipment he needed, and when I came back in the room he said "I hope you don't mind, I ate a piece of your chocolate bar". I brushed it off until he left, but I was floored! This was not a piece of candy sitting in a dish, it was obvious that it was my afternoon snack. The worst part is that he actually bit the bar, he didn't break a piece off! Needless to say I threw the rest out.



I work at an Irish Pub.  One night, I had a draft beer on my tray that I was about to drop at a table when I saw a young woman barreling towards me.  I didn't have time to react, so she slammed into me.  Beer flew everywhere - all over me, all over her, all over the floor.   I looked up and said, "I'm so sorry!"  Even though she had run into me, I still felt badly that she was covered in beer.  She gave me the world's dirtiest look and huffed off, joining two young men at their table.    I went over, apologized again that she was drenched, but she just rolled her eyes and ordered a beer.  Well, I like to kill 'em with kindness, so I made an extra effort to give top-notch service without bothering them.  Every time I was within earshot, I heard her talking about me in Polish.  I don't know Polish and I don't like to jump to conclusions, but when I kept seeing her point at me I was pretty sure I was the topic.    I was uncomfortable being talked about in a language that's foreign to me, but when one guy's beer was low I asked if he would like another one.  The girl laughed in my face!  Why?  Only she knows, I was just doing my job.  Luckily she left after her one seemingly bottomless beer.   The guys stuck around a while longer.  I guess they appreciated my service and/or were compensating for their rude friend, because they left me a 100% tip.    



This happened years ago, when I was shopping with my mother and younger sister at Value Village (a department-style thrift store). We would go there about once a month and try on clothes. We would each take a cart, fill it up, then go and try them on. On a lucky day, you might try on 50 different pieces of clothing and wind up with three or four that you want to buy.

Anyway, I was using one of the change rooms, trying on clothes. If I found something that looked good, I'd come out of the change room and show my mother and sister to see what they thought. One time as I was coming out, this woman grabbed my arm, muttered, "Scuzzi, scuzzi," and went into my change room--the change room that still had all of my stuff in it, including the clothes I'd worn to the store and my purse! Turns out this woman had one dress she wanted to try on to show her friend.

My mother and I were shocked! If the woman had just ASKED, "Could I please use your change room to try on one dress?" I would have said, "Sure, go ahead." But to just barge in and take it like that is RUDE! This woman was European (you could tell from the accent), so some people might blame this on a culture thing, but I think that taking something that is someone else's without even asking is still rude, no matter where you come from.



I used to work at a very large hardware store as a cashier. In a job like that you meet a lot of strange and/or rude people--it's just part of customer service. One guy that really, really stands out came in on a very hot summer day in his biking outfit and handed me two very damp, almost WARM dollar bills to pay for a bag of nails (or whatever it was). I was vaguely grossed out by the money and laughed nervously, saying "Heh, they're wet". "Oh yeah," said the guy. "I just biked twenty miles--and I CAN'T WAIT TO GET OUT THERE AND BIKE SOME MORE!!" Apparently he'd had his money tucked into a special, bikers' wallet attached to his waistband and right against his sweaty back. Yep. I must have looked repulsed because he finally caught on and said, "I guess that's kind of gross, huh?" UM, YES, JUST A LITTLE. What a moron. My husband jokes that I should have rubbed his change in my armpit before giving it to him, and I'm almost sorry that I didn't. Blech. To make it worse, it was a really busy time of the day and I didn't have a chance to wash my hands until hours later. Note that the guy never apologized, either.



I work for an upscale grocery chain. Like many of my coworkers I'm grossly overqualified but working there suits my lifestyle; I have a baby and I work weekends only. Naturally most of our customers assume we're complete idiots but one customer in particular stands out.

The day this incident occurred I happened to be giving out samples. This meant I was stuck behind a table which meant I was a stationary target for customers who wanted to ask mostly stupid questions. I don't even remember what this customers question was now but I remember answering it. She was quite old so when she asked me to repeat the answer I assumed she was a little hard of hearing and repeated myself a little slower and a little louder. She glared at me and said, "I'm not deaf, it's you that can't talk. (company) shouldn't hire you &%$& foreigners, nobody can understand a *^&%#$% word you say," then she walked off and asked one of my coworkers the same question. I should tell you that English is my first language and although I wasn't born here I've lived here for many years, never had a problem with anyone else.


"Foreigner" is a relative term.  When I first moved to the Southeast, I pretended to not hear well when communicating with my very Southern neighbors simply because I could not understand a word they were saying through their thick Southern drawls.  "Eh?  What was that?"  "Excuse me, I didn't catch what you said."   Of course, they were probably thinking, "Stupid, heathen Northern Yankee!  Thanks for visiting, now move back North."  


About six years ago I worked as a bag girl for a grocery store. The first couple of shifts were spent with training videos, all demonstrating how to either be polite to customers or bag groceries properly. Most of the stuff was common sense - almost anybody realizes that putting a gallon of cooking oil into a bag on top of potato chips is a bad idea, after all. But I watched the videos anyway, then went into the main part of the store to do my new job.

First incident: I came back inside after loading up somebody's groceries. As per our training video, I found the nearest checkstand that wasn't being attended by a carryout guy/girl and started bagging the groceries. The customer had already filled the bottom of his cart with bags of stuff, so I politely took over and finished the job. I should note that, before I put in stuff that I'd bagged, I checked to make sure that I wasn't putting anything on top of bread or other easily-crushed stuff.

The customer never said anything to me about loading a flat (2 1/2 dozen) eggs, unbagged, underneath his cart. They were apparently right in the middle, out of my sight - not that I could see them through the tan-colored bags inside the actual cart anyway.

So, as soon as I pushed the heavily-loaded basket down the ramp in front of the store and into the parking lot, this flat of eggs slid out and fell onto the asphalt. The guy gaped at me like I'd just sacrificed his firstborn and said, "Wow, you're not very good at this are you?" and made several other comments along those lines the entire time that I loaded his groceries into his trunk - he even resumed making these comments after I came back from running the wrecked eggs back inside and bringing out a replacement.

Oh, and here's my favorite one: a customer tried to tell the cashier that her register had given the wrong price for his carton of strawberries. She looked it up on the produce department sheet taped up by her register and said that no, that was the listed price. Then the guy started complaining about the sign on the strawberry display stating that the price was lower - two dollars or so - than what he had just been charged. So I, the happy bag girl, was sent all the way to the produce department at the back of the store to check the display. That would have been all right, except that when I got there and checked things out I wanted to go wring the jerk's neck.

The display was a giant table with two OBVIOUSLY different sized cartons of strawberries shown. One side of the table had the very small package, and the other side had a pretty big carton. Okay, so there's obviously going to be a price difference, as the latter carton was easily twice as large as the smaller.

The price sign was one of those metal-framed things that stand by themselves on tables and such. This thing was right in the middle. On the side with the smaller cartons, one price was shown. When I went around to the other side, I saw the higher price. This guy had to go to the side with the larger cartons of strawberries to pick out his purchase, but I guess he didn't see the giant price in six-inch-tall letters. And even if he'd missed the sign, he still should have figured that the bigger container would cost more than the smaller one.

I got back to the check stand and politely explained that the price he was quoting as the correct one was for the smaller container. He glared at me for almost ten whole seconds before he finally whipped out his wallet, paid the cashier, and grabbed his cart (obviously he didn't want me loading his groceries for him after that).

After one month of putting up with customers like that - there were a lot of shoppers who apparently decided that people who bag groceries exist to be blamed, yelled at, complained about, and verbally abused - I quit. I learned that I'm just not good at working retail. But on the happier side, I still make doubly sure that I'm polite even when I want to do or say something that would put me in e-hell.



I work in a pharmacy, and quite a few of our elderly or infirm customers have their prescriptions delivered to their homes. We collect the forms from the doctor, make them up, and send them out, usually all in the same day. Please note that this service costs our clients absolutely nothing.

We had a particularly unpleasant and demanding customer who, in the interests of anonymity, I shall call 'Mrs. Witch'. She calls us about four times a week on average, generally just to complain. She also claims to be housebound, although I have seen her out and about many times in the town, generally screaming at people. As she is usually out when we try and call on her, we nearly always have to make three or four trips to deliver to her.

I was working one Saturday. We do not deliver prescriptions at the weekend, and all our delivery customers know this full well, and are used to it. However, Mrs. Witch calls at least five times to ask when her prescription will be delivered. Each time I explain the "no-deliveries-at-weekends" policy, and each time she screams abuse and hangs up. The fifth time, she starts whining about "oh, it's a sad state of affairs when a poor old woman with no family and no friends is left to die by some jumped-up little witch."  She then asks me to come and deliver her prescription myself. I explain that a) I am uninsured to do so and b) there is no way I am trotting halfway up the town on my lunch hour to deliver a bag full of morphine in full view of the needle-exchange users who hang about outside the shop. " And anyway", I said, "looking at your records, you shouldn't run out until at least next Wednesday, and that's why we haven't delivered it this week".  Mrs. Witch is, for once, shocked into silence, so I decided to grab the advantage and told her that, if she is able to make it to the shop BEFORE a quarter past five, we will happily hand her order over to her. After going on for about ten minutes in the "I'm a poor defenseless woman, society's going down the toilet, nobody cares about me" vein, she hangs up.

We shut the shop, as usual, at half-past five. I had locked all the controlled drugs away, and written up the records, leaving us LEGALLY unable to give out any more prescriptions. I was just locking the door, when along comes Mrs. Witch on her shopping cart, looking for all the world like Jabba the Hutt in a pink mohair tent. I popped my head round the door, and explained (politely, I must add) that, unfortunately, she had missed her opportunity, and we would deliver her items on Monday. She slammed the door open, whacking me in the face, and started screaming 'I WANT MY DRUGS! GIVE ME MY DRUGS! YOU CAN'T TREAT ME LIKE THIS!' I refused again, and she blocked the only exit, still screaming. By this time, it is ten to six, and she barricaded us in the shop until at least six o'clock, refusing to let any of us out. In the end, we had to threaten to call the police to make her go away.

On Monday, she had the cheek to call our head office and make a complaint about me. Evil, manipulative old witch. The only comfort I have is that she has a sixty-year start on me, and will probably be dead soon.


These stories are about the worst customers I have ever had the displeasure of assisting.  For some background information, I am an assistant manager at a large world wide convenience store chain, aside from paperwork and ordering, I spend a fair amount of my shift every day out on the floor assisting customers, many of whom are very pleasant, but for every nice customer, you get 5 that you wish you could avoid forever.

My first story took place when I had only been employed for a month or so, a woman and her daughter both came in together and each requested a pack of cigarettes.  Since the state law here requires that I card anyone who looks to be under the age of 27 before selling them an age restricted product, I asked to see the daughter’s ID.  When the daughter said she did not have her identification, I was required to inform her that I was unable to sell her the cigarettes.  Her mother then said that she would buy them, and when I apologetically said that not only could I now not sell her the daughter’s, I could not sell her her own.

She went off, she started screaming at me, telling me that I was to show her written “proof” of the law (We have signs throughout the store informing customers that we card under 27, and that second party sales were prohibited) and she refused to leave the store until she either got her cigarettes or I pulled the written laws out of thin air and showed it to her.  During this time I was the only clerk in the store and I had a line growing behind this woman.  After I repeated for the third time that if her daughter wanted to go and get her ID then I would be more than happy to sell the cigarettes to them, but until then I was going to help my other (very patient) customers.  I informed her that if I broke the law and sold her the age restricted products, and if there was a secret shopper from the company or ABC in my store I would A) Lose my job, B) Be fined up to $5,000 and C) go to jail, and that I was not willing to take that chance.  During this whole episode I tried to be polite and apologetic, and finally the daughter went home and got her identification, and I was able to complete the sale and breathe a huge sigh of relief.

The kicker is that the next day the woman called my boss and told her that I did a good job and that she only gave me such a hard time to see if I would give in…  for fun.  That is what she told my boss word for word.

The second story is about a night when I was working with another clerk and two guys and a girl came into the store.  One of the men was probably about 25 and the other two were maybe 18 (note, the law says I have to card people who look under 27, I can lose my job even if they are 21 and I fail to card for cigarettes or alcohol) The older man came to the counter and proceeded to check out, the girl stayed near the cooler looking at the sodas, and the other man walked out of the store as he told the person at the counter to buy him a cigar.  Again I told the customer that I had to see his friend’s ID or I was unable to sell him any age restricted product.  He began yelling at me, accusing me of being racist and only doing this because he was black.  His female friend came to the counter and joined in and then his other friend came back inside with another man and a woman and I had all of them screaming and cursing at me at the top of their lungs.  After trying to diffuse the situation by informing them again of the law I finally told them that they would have to leave the store, that I would not be selling them anything.  At that point three more men came in and joined into the fray, and they refused to leave.  I called 911, told the police that I had 8 people in the store who had been asked to leave for being abusive, and wouldn’t.  I stayed on the phone with the operator until the police arrived and arrested them for assault (the operator had heard two of them saying they were going to come across the counter and f*** me up)

All the while we had customers coming into the store and calmly going about their business while my co-worker rang them up.

There are plenty of other stories I could tell, but these are the two worst I’ve come across.  People, please, don’t assume just because we are unskilled labor that the person behind the counter is racist, stupid, or some kind of automaton.  Please at least set down your cell phones, speak to us civilly, and let us do our job properly.  We’re all human whether we’re a convenience store clerk, or the president.



I work at a large electronics store where we have a computer system to keep track of our stock since it moves so fast it's impossible to know what our inventory is at any given time. One of my coworkers, "Al," is Native American. An African American lady asked him to check to see if we had a certain item in stock, so he lead her to the computer. Another coworker, "Billy," who is Caucasian, walked up behind him to wait for him to finish. Al turned and asked if we had any of the item in stock. Billy told him we did and pointed to were it was. Al left the computer and Billy took it over. Now, Al's customer was entirely oblivious as to what had just happened. She had seen a white employee walk up to them, point away from the computer, and take it over. She threw an absolute FIT. She screamed and howled and demanded managers. Everyone tried to explain what had happened to her, but they were white and apparently lying. Al attempted to explain to her, but she was so angry she seemed to had stopped hearing at that point. Later she apparently demanded to know why Al put up with such blatant racism. It astounds me how some people jump so quickly to the idea that they're being oppressed that they rule out common logic.


This was an incident that happened when I still had the misfortune to work in a fast-food Chinese restaurant.

Some background: Our till had a special feature on it--$10 and $5 buttons. So if someone handed you a ten to pay for their meal, you just hit the $10 button and the till calculates everything automatically. This saved time, since you wouldn't have to enter 10.00 manually (pressing each number key and decimal point individually) and then press the "Cash" button when someone gives you a ten. Same goes for the $5 and you would press "Cash" if someone gave you exact change. The only problem with this is that once you enter any payment, you can no longer add items to an order. This all becomes important later.

One slow night, a woman and her boyfriend came in. They ordered combos, which I served. Since the drink machine is right next to the till, standard practice at our restaurant was to serve the meals, ring them up on the till, press the "Subtotal" button, and then ask the customer if they want any drinks or other extras. Well, I did that, only my finger slipped and hit the $10 button (which was right below the "Subtotal") button, meaning that I couldn't ring in the drinks in the same order. I apologized for my mistake, and informed the lady (who'd done all the talking up to this point) that I'd have to ring their drinks in afterwards, since the till wouldn't allow me to add anything else to this order (thinking that I'd already been partially paid).

The lady then says, "Well, that's a bunch of s***! Now I'll have to pay more tax."

"What do you mean?" I asked.

"Well, if you pay in two batches you end up having to pay more tax."

I politely explained that, no, she wouldn't, since tax is based on a percentage. I again apologized for the inconvenience of having to pay for her drinks separately from the meals, but it was an innocent mistake and wouldn't cost her anything.

No, she insists, she knows that she'll end up paying more, because she works as a cashier. I shudder to think that she might actually do the addition herself. I try to move on with business, asking if they would like drinks. She sighs and turns to her companion and basically says that I'm trying to cheat her. Which, of course, I'm not, my finger slipped and hit the wrong darn button. It wasn't like I did it on purpose. And anyway, she'll pay the exact same amount of tax anyway!

(After all, anyone who passed grade 7 math would know that if you have 7% of $10 (70 cents) plus 7% of another $10 (70 cents) equals $1.40. Or if you paid it together, 7% of $20 would be $1.40, the same amount! Of course, I didn't point out this equation to her, since 'the customer is always right'.)

They order drinks, amidst much grumbling about how incompetent I am, and that I'm a stupid b**** for cheating them, I must be just a tool of corporate greed...blah, blah, blah. There were a few other derogatory terms about Chinese people (I'm half Chinese) thrown in there, too. Said under her breath, but loud enough that I heard, which I'm sure was her intention. After finally paying, the customer practically yells at me that I should refund her f***ing money that I had "cheated her out of". I was very upset at this point, as I'm a very honest person, so I finally grabbed a quarter out of my tip jar and gave it to her, saying "Here's a refund. Have a nice evening." At least that shut her up and she left the counter to go eat.

Then I went to the back of the store, where I broke down in tears. I'd been treated like a piece of dirt before on this job, but never had been accused of trying to steal from anyone before. With good reason--I never steal! At this point I'd worked at this restaurant for over a year and had been given a raise (which was almost unheard of in this company) because my work was so outstanding. When my boss saw me in tears, she asked what was wrong. I told her the whole story, and she poked her head out the kitchen door and asked me to point out which woman had given me a hard time. Then my boss told me that she knew that woman, because when she'd owned her own dollar store, that woman had been caught stealing from her, and my boss had even had to testify against her! Thank goodness I had an understanding boss, who assured me that I had done nothing wrong. Honestly, working for her and the other manager (who was also a decent person), was the only reason I stayed at the job for so long!



When we would ring in meals and drinks, the receipt would show the meal cost, the drink cost, then the subtotal, then the tax and then the grand total, which is what the customer would pay. Everything was clearly annotated on the receipt like this example:

Combo 1 $4.49 Med Drink $1.09 Subtotal $5.58 Tax (7%) $0.39 Grand Total $5.97

Then of course the receipt would say "Cash" and the amount and what the change was, or "Interac" if the customer had paid with a debit card.

Seems pretty straightforward, right? Not to some people. Once, an elderly man came back after eating, accusing me of overcharging him. He was convinced that I had charged him the subtotal in addition to his food. In other words, he thought the $5.58 from the above example was an extra charge. I politely explained to him that the $5.58 was merely the subtotal, shown on the receipt so that he would know what the total for his entire order had been before tax had been added on to it. But he would have none of it. It's showing up on the receipt, so I MUST have charged him for it. Never mind that it would be completely impossible, given that he only handed me $6.00 (and received three pennies in change), for me to have taken an extra $5.58 from him. It made me wonder how on earth he managed to pass 5th grade math if he couldn't figure out that $5.58 plus $1.09 plus $4.49 plus $0.39 would have been over $11!

He was so insistent that I had overcharged that I had to call over my supervisor to deal with him, and he had the threaten the man with calling mall security! Unbelievable. Thankfully, he left after we threatened to call security. Just goes to show why no system can ever be truly declared idiot-proof.



Here's another story that I'm sure all the readers who have ever worked in fast food can relate to:

I worked at a Chinese fast-food outlet at the local mall to pay for college. Not a dream job, but it got the bills paid. Unfortunately, some people seem to think that fast-food workers are all stupid, and treat us like dirt, which can be really wearing day after day.

Once, during the lunch rush, a lady came up to the counter. I asked "Can I help you?" as usual. She replied that she needed a few minutes to decide. Why she hadn't bothered to look at the menu while she'd spent 10 minutes waiting to get to the front of the line is beyond me, but that's her prerogative. I said, "Do you have any questions?"

"No, I just haven't made up my mind yet."

"No problem," I said, getting in to my required sales pitch, "Our special today is the orange chicken, found in combo #4. We have the four set combos, or you can choose your own combo. I'll give you a few minutes to decide." I said, then turned to the next man in line and said, "May I help you, sir?" Of course, intending to serve the lady as soon as I'd served the next customer, thus giving her time to decide what she wanted to eat.

Well, this lady got totally pissed and started to yell at me. Apparently, she expected for me to wait for her while she decided, and for everyone else in line behind her to wait while she decided what she wanted to eat. This is a fast-food restaurant! My manager quickly stepped in and asked if there was a problem. The lady then shoved her finger almost in my face and shouted, "That stupid girl right there tried to serve someone else instead of waiting for me."

After much drama, the manager stepped in and took her order. After she left, I asked my manager if I'd done anything wrong (even though I knew I hadn't, I done exactly as the store's training outline says). My manager told me that she had defended me to the lady, (yay!) which I hadn't heard, as I'd been serving another customer. Since the lady hadn't been able to get my manager to side with me, it had taken the wind out of her sails.



I worked at a cafe/gift shop at a national park this last summer.  I worked in the cafe portion and we were the only place you could purchase food in the whole park, so we got a high volume of customers.  My best friend and I worked there together, and although we got quite a few rude customer a few stand out and we still laugh at them today.  

One of the worst customers I had the whole summer happened on my first day of work.  An elderly woman and her grown son were ordering their meals.  Her husband was standing to the side looking angry.  She asked me if she could substitute something in the meals we offer and I told her we couldn't.  Her husband then stepped up to the counter and started yelling at me, saying "We came 3000 miles, I think you can make an exception for us."  He then told my manager I was being rude to him.  Fortunately the son led him away, the wife finished ordering, and my coworker told the manager I wasn't rude to him at all.  For our coffee, the milk and sugar were in the back of the cafe.  

We got a lot of European tourists who would order a white coffee (coffee with milk in it) and we would hand them the coffee and show them where the milk was.  One English woman became very upset when she saw her black coffee and before we could show her where to get milk, yelled at us, "Can I get some cream and sugar or is that too hard for you?"  

We offered many vegetarian options at our cafe, and we got many compliments on this.  One woman, however, came up the counter and started yelling at us because we didn't have any vegan options.  We told her what vegan items we had (there were several)  but there was a specific item in the sandwich cooler that had cheese in it and she wanted that item to be vegan. So she wanted us to make her that without the cheese.  We told her everything in the cooler was pre-made and we couldn't make anything.  She then became so upset we had to get our manager.  Our manager ended up making her a special sandwich (although it wasn't the one she originally wanted).

 Some of the rudest customers we had (but also some of the nicest) were the tour bus drivers.  Because they brought business to the park, they were allowed one free food item and one free drink item each time they came to the cafe.  One particular bus driver never seemed to want to wait in line and thought he could cut in front of customers to tell me what he wanted.  Another would always order 3 or 4 items(which wasn't uncommon) but then would never pay for these extra items.  There were a few items bus drivers weren't allowed to have for free, but one driver would always try to take these items, and would get really upset when told he had to pay for them, and then would loudly exclaim "Well, I'm just not going to bring my customers (tourists) here anymore." Even when my manager heard him, his ploy never worked and he always had to put the items back.  


Page Last Updated July 30, 2007