Obstinate customers/patrons you've dealt with on your job

I used to work as a security guard at a county school building in the Los Angeles area. There were quite a few times when visitors, with legitimate business at the site or not, could make me climb the walls the way they flouted the (often clearly posted) rules!
Let’s hear it from the Teeming Millions on how such people have made you miserable, furious, or damn near insane by their obstinacy!

This thread will be long, no doubt. Here is the one that stands out the most in my years of customer service jobs.

I was working in a retail pharmacy as a technician. One day a few aisles away from the pharmacy area, a customer had a heart attack. The pharmacist rushed to her aid to do CPR and I had to stay behind to watch the pharmacy counter.
This jackass old guy comes up and says he wants to talk to the pharmacist. I try to explain quietly that there’s been an emergency and he was called away- he’ll be back in just a few minutes. This guy goes totally nuts. Literally screaming and yelling at me about how he wants to see the pharmacist RIGHT FUCKING NOW! So, I try AGAIN to explain the problem- this time I come right out and say “Someone has had a heart attack- he’s administering CPR. He’ll be back in a few minutes…I’m sorry”. He is still beside himself- can’t believe the nerve of this pharmacist- how dare he leave like that! (I am not exaggerating one bit here). We both get basically screaming- he wants to know- “Doesn’t anyone else around here know CPR but him?” No lie. After a few minutes, I am so angry at him for being such an insensitive asshole, I just called the store manager over to deal with him. I was so upset that I got an INSTANT migraine headache- I swear to God my blood pressure went up so high I thought I was having a stroke or something.
He was just so angry that the pharmacist was not right there for him, regardless of the circumstances- and he made it clear that some woman having a heart attack was just not his problem and very inconvenient. It made me want to become a hermit so I never encountered another human being so callous again.
From that day forth, I never waited on this jackass. I would just walk away and get someone else, because I could not speak to him in a calm manner no matter how hard I tried. I hope he died a miserable death and no one helped him. (I know that’s not nice, but it’s how I feel anyway)

Run for the hills, folks! Or you’ll be up to your armpits in martians!

I work the graveyeard at an animal emergency hospital, so you can imagine the crap I put up with all night long. I can’t even begin to list all the horrible situations I have had to put up with. the one that will always be first in my mind though, is the guy who wanted to take his sick guinea pig home with him, so he could bash its head in with a bat, because he was too cheap to pay the euthanasia fee.

While working at Tower Records in the Village, we were closing and the final line of customers was formed. While I was ringing in a customer, I noticed that someone cut in the line unintentionally.

I finished and said, “Next,” and the one who cut came forward. The guy who was cut said, “I was first,” and the girl who cut just stood there.

My policy in situations like this was someone would relent and all would be good. Never failed before or since. But this was that one time…

Chick doesn’t budgem guy is asking me, “Who was first?” I was so surprised at the bullshit, plus I wanted to go home, so I said, “I didn’t see. Let me take care of her and I’ll get you next.”

He looks at me and goes, “Oh, you didn’t see? I know you saw. What, are you too stupid to know what you saw? Well, of course you’re stupid, look at your job!”

I stared right at him and simply said, “Fuck you!”

I rang in the woman and he started to being his stuff on the counter. I was like, “I’m not ringing you in!” and I started taking acre of someone else.

He yelled, “You have to ring me in! It’s your job!”

I’m like, “My job does not mean dealing with an asshole like yourself.”

“I demand to see your boss,” he said.

She came over. She didn’t like me much, but she liked overbearing jerk-offs less. I explained in front of him the whole deal, and sais, “I refuse to ring him in.”

She looked at him and said, “If you want to pay for that, go upstairs. He doesn’t have to ring you in.”

He was all, “Well, if he doesn’t ring me in, I don’t want it!”

She looked right at him and said, “Then I’ll be glad to take your merchandise and put it back on the shelves. And since you are not buying anything, you can leave or I’ll have security escort you out for loitering.”

Dude left in a huff.

Yer pal,

Trust me, after seventeen years working in various prisons, I’m betting I can top anyone’s stories about obstinate people I’ve dealt with at work. But on the plus side, you can all envy the fact that when I have to deal with someone who’s really annoying me, I have the option of tear-gasing them, slapping on the cuffs, and locking them in a cell for six months. You don’t get that kind of satisfaction working the complaint desk at Sears.

One day a man came in with his wife and he asked if anyone was free to give her a perm. Well, it takes a good 2 hours to do one of those, and no one was free to do one. He wouldn’t believe it. He said, “My wife wants a perm and I want a haircut.” He was told that the haircut would work out but the perm wouldn’t. He kept yelling and waving his arms, and in the process knocked over a nail polish display.

His wife apologized and started cleaning the mess but he told her to stop it because it was our job to take care of that. My boss came over and asked what the problem was, we told her and she told him, “Yes, they are right. We cannot get her in for a perm now.”. Then she proceeded to tell him when the next opening for that would be but he wouldn’t listen. He stormed out.

This man is a regular and we were wondering if he’d ever come back for his haircuts. He did, and he was the sweetest man! His wife is a regular of mine now and based on what I know of her now, I suspect she yelled at him (it would be just like her…I love her…she’s so much fun but she doesn’t take garbage from anyone). I guess he feels bad. Everytime he comes in he’s way nice, like he’s trying to kiss our butts.

Sometimes life is so great you just gotta muss up your hair and quack like a duck!

Mike - WAY COOL!!

My hsb worked in a small ER that had 3 children, victims of a tragic housefire, airlifted by chopper from the ER parking lot. Mind you, this is a small town and an airlift rarely happens. Next day, a woman who lived down the street called the hospital to complain that the chopper had disturbed her sleep. When she was told the circumstances, she didn’t budge, continued to bitch, like it was the kids’ fault. You’d be surprised how some people get about waiting to be seen for their wimpy-ass illnesses and injuries when they’ve clearly seen the bloodied stretcher rush in, a medic straddling and doing CPR. One guy actually said “I don’t care what’s wrong with him, I want to be seen NOW!” I want to ask those people, “Does your mother know you act like this??” Oh, yesssssss, slapping on the cuffs and throwing them in a cell would feel soooooo good!

“With enough courage, you can do without a reputation.” - Rhett Butler

Satan – no offense, but I found the obstinate party in your story to be the customer service rep NOT the customer. First of all, it was NOT “bullshit” for the guy to protest at being cut in line. Furthermore, it was NOT “bullshit” for him to ask you to mediate the situation. As I see it, the “bullshit” was your lazy and sloppy response. Surely it wouldn’t have been any more trouble to say, “Sorry, Ma’am, but the gentleman WAS first” than it was to say “I didn’t see. Let me take care of her and I’ll get you next.” Sure, the guy overreacted, but maybe he was tired too, and wanted to get home – and HE was in the right. Then, instead of backing down and attempting some damage control, you continue to dump on the guy, who, as I said before was actually in the right in the first place. I’ve gotta say, man, you don’t seem to have much of a gift for customer service! FWIW, I think your manager also dropped the ball. Between you, you lost a customer. If I had been the dude, I would have been damn tempted to write a letter of complaint to your corporate headquarters and attempt to get BOTH of your butts fired. Considering how iritated the guy seemed, you’re lucky he didn’t do so. Anyway, as I said before – don’t blame this little mess on the customer – looks to me like it was your fault from the get-go.


Full of 'satiable curtiosity

I was 16, and it was my first job at the local grocery store. We had a drunk old man who wanted me to “step outside” over a price check. After two weeks of one asshole after another I quit. My next job was in a warehouse most cardboard boxes a very polite. I refuse to work anywhere I have to deal with costumers an ill stick with the military another 10 years or so after that ill go back to manufacturing.

Ive always found it easer to get forgiveness rather than permission.

Jess: Never worked retail in New York City, did ya?

I am not going to give any examples (out of respect), but I will say that I have to deal with bullshit many times every day.

For the most part, my clients are sweethearts, but try dealing with one or a combination of the following types 15 or 20 times per day:

(1) - The veteran who thinks the world owes him everything on a gold platter. Granted, certain veterans are entitled to certain benefits and respect, but it is usually the guy who served 30 days during peace-time, squeezing by on a general discharge, and wants the VA to support him completely, for life, because he was treated for hemorrhoids during service.

(2) - Government hating veterans who are pissed off at the world and want to take it out on me. Usually the Vietnam combat vets who have a reason to be angry, but I get the brunt of it.

(3) - The schizophrenic or psychotic veteran who is having an episode. He may be swinging his arms around, ranting incoherently, unaware I am even in the room trying to help him.

(4) - Another version of the above only this guy is aware I am there. He stands in front of my face, screaming obscenities and accuses me of everything from hiding the green man who grew from his arm to being in conspiracy with the CIA to have him transported to Mars.

(5) - The guy who is a combination of any of the above only to the extreme. Some cases required an armed guard in the room as I counsel.

Makes you wonder why my job includes self defense classes.

Not to invite flames, but after a hard day at work, you guys in the BBQ Pit are a piece of cake.

Coffee, chocolate, men . . . Some things are just better rich.

Oh - I just remembered another category, a large category considering I also work closely with the homeless.

(6) - The extremely drunk or drug-wasted guys you may ever see (that aren’t dead). These guys come in to see me, their “bud” after guzzling a bottle of Windex or shooting up “sumthin”.

Coffee, chocolate, men . . . Some things are just better rich.

I think everyone who contributed to this thread should go out and rent “Clerks.” Excellent movie dealing with just this sort of thing.

When I was working at my dad’s gas station, probably the most upsetting customer I had was a little old lady named Grace. Not a particularly fitting name.

I remember one summer afternoon, we were already in a tizzy because some tourists from California had accidentally driven off without their teenage daughter. My dad was on the phone with the state police trying to track the parents down when Grace pulled in. I went out to wait on her, and she order “5 gallons of gas. Not 5 dollars but 5 gallons.” Ok, not a problem, but she also asked that someone check her tires. I hadn’t worked at the station very long at this point and hadn’t mastered the art of the tire gauge yet, but said OK and pumped the 5 gallons (not 5 dollars) of gas. Then I went into the office to ask my dad for help with with the tires. He was still on the phone and very distraught himself at the moment, so he told me to go back and tell her sorry, but no one was there to do check her tires today.

So dumb little me, I run back out to give her the message. She immediately lit into me, calling me a liar and a theif, because I had known that if we weren’t going to check her tires that she wasn’t going to buy the gas, so I had tricked her. I was utterly speechless, no one had ever talked to me like that. Then she said she was never going to buy gas from us again. As bravely as I could, I said, “Fine!” Then, after she left, I went into the restroom and sobbed.

My dad apologized and said he wasn’t aware what was going on since he was on the phone, but I didn’t blame in anyway. He told me that Grace actually owned her own gas station, but refused to pump the stuff. She’d always made her husband do it, and closed up shop after he died. She also used to run truckers out of her station with a rifle or shotgun, because she didn’t want the big rigs tearing up her asphalt.

The kicker is, Grace did eventually come back, and I was put out that dad didn’t refuse to serve her, but he was more forgiving than I, I suppose. She came in for one of those fluids that goes under the hood (can’t remember which, it was so long ago). Anyway, she got huffy at our price and said she could get it cheaper at GI Joe’s, then left. Later that evening she came back and bought whatever it was. That was sort of satisfactory.

(On a side note, the teenager’s parents eventually came back for her. They just pulled up, she jumped in the car, and they were gone, without so much as a “Thanks for watching our kid while we were incredible dunderheads” or anything. C’est la guerre.)

“I hope life isn’t a big joke, because I don’t get it,” Jack Handy

Clerks kicks ass!

Co-workers and off-site corporate managers!

Especially co-workers who think they can treat you like crap because they’re union and you’re “management.” (Except you’re really not management cuz you have absolutely no power over anything and they know it, but they still use you as a verbal punching bag.)

If I complained every time a disgruntled employee told me a policy was “bullshit”, or said “this company fucking stinks”, I wouldn’t get any work done.

Today I was bitched out by a woman who hasn’t received a service award – I could understand if she didn’t get her paycheck, but to complain about not getting a freebie? (And you know her name’s going right to the bottom of the list, so why didn’t she keep quiet?)

Someone bitched because she wants to go to her husband’s aunt’s funeral – she can go but it will go on her attendance record as unexcused. (There are no consequences as long as you don’t get too many.)

But she doesn’t want an unexcused absence on her record and she can’t understand why she needs to bring back some proof she went to a funeral. Because people will lie about a death in the family to get time off work, that’s why!

We had a guy once who took the standard three days PAID bereavement leave for his sister-in-law. He went to the funeral all right. (His brother had beaten her to death.) Hey! Three days off, paid. Heck, I can sit through a funeral. Little uncomfortable maybe, with all her relatives there and all.

Bitch about having to work overtime but treat new employees like dirt – if we can’t keep the new hires, you’re going to continue working overtime. Get it?!

Get fired, trash the office of the woman who fired you, then come and ask where your last paycheck is. Hmmmm, payday is Friday, not Wednesday. Let’s ask Payroll to cut you a special check. Except we don’t give a f*** if you have your check cuz you don’t work here any more, do you?! And telling everyone you were going to kick their stupid asses will insure you get your job back.

Work for us for a month and then tell the nurse you have carpal tunnel. Refuse to do the lighter work that doesn’t involve repetitive movement. Then take off a few days for “personal business.” Call the nurse names when she won’t send you home from work early, with pay. Call us some more names when we let you go. Then call and ask where your paycheck is cuz you’re going to be hiring a lawyer. Oh we’re so scared.

We didn’t hire you? Call and demand to know why – make sure you act really mad, tell us how stupid our hiring decisions are, tell us the people we hire are all dope fiends. Then ask if you can re-apply. Sure, we need more just like you.

Call me up and bitch because it took so long to get ahold of me. Don’t ask your question, just bitch about how many times you called. Don’t mention that you never left any messages. Act offended when I ask “how can I help you?”

And the corporate office! Talk about overmanned and underworked! Just keep demanding that report on how many people in which age groups have how much life insurance. Yeah, you know you got one last month but something might be different and you want your Fing figures to be accurate! Look, we’re trying to get the product out to customers so we can pay your fing salary. Shit, we’re lucky to get people (the ones who DO the work) paid on time and you have TIME TO CALL ME CUZ YOU WANT TO BE ACCURATE!!!

So start an internet site cuz there’s not enough “communication.” Demand that people take the time to read your “news” (but be sure to let everyone know that personal use of the 'net is being monitored).

Set up the ugliest, most unreadable site you can, make sure it can’t be read on our dinky 13" monitors, bitch about paper use so we can’t print out your “news” – and then tell us about how a sister company saved 12 cents a unit by using a magnetic screw.

I really love my job but today just sucked.

Now that was a good rant, Auntie.

Thank you. <nice curtsey> I’m all better now.

Yeah! What she said!

Good Lord! I can’t match some of these. But I’ll put in what happened on MY old job for what it’s worth.
I used to work as a security guard for the Los Angeles County Office of Education, about 15 miles east of downtown. shortly after I started this guy, who said he was a disableld vet, stormed up the office where I was at the desk, because he got a mock “citation” for parking in a handicapped zone. (It’s on private property, so in California it’s not a parking ticket.) Anyway, the guy was yelling at me, in front of all the other people leaving for the day, until a senior official–who certainly had authority over me– asked the guy to come outside with him. I never heard anything else about it.
Several years later, a representative from the L. A. County Sheriff’s Department–not a sworn peace officer–came to the building after hours. We had no memo or orders to admit her and she walked out in a huff when I couldn’t get permission to admit her! Fortunately the guy she came to see, stepped out of the elevator into the lobby just as she went out the door, and I told him where she was. (I later found out from my supervisor, weho supported me in this matter, that she had, ironically, come into the building concerning people getting unauthorized access to government buildings!
I stood my ground although she proably makes at least 10 times as much money as I do–and I was vindicated. I never heard from her again.

“If you drive an automobile, please drive carefully–because I walk in my sleep.”–Victor Borge