Share your weirdest customer stories

Like most stores mine has a no shirt, no shoes, no service policy. However we don’t enforce it with small children (they must stay in the cart if barefoot. This one woman came to my line with her to kids. She had a large order that she payed in foodstamps. Her son who was probally about 7 or 8 was wearing nothing but a pair of ripped tighty whities and was running around outside her cart. It wasn’t even that hot out. As far as actual nudity there was the time two guys streaked through the store in ski-masks (frat hazing?) in November.

We once had a customer wet himself while sitting on one of our benchs. Another time stockboys found a puddle of piss in front of the dairy cases.

And drunk/high customers can be fun. Once I had to girls who were tripping come to my line and they kept asking my “Are you Jesus?” One couple I helped use the self-checkout and after they finished he shook my hand and when I opened my hand what did I find? An eighth of marijuana!

Weird Ads in the weird customer thread.

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I don’t get it…

I once worked at K-Mart as a cashier. A woman came through my line who obviously had mental problems. She started screaming when I had made a mistake-- loud, wordless screams like she was being murdered. She then threw a box of donuts at me which splattered all over the place. Being a young thing, all I could do was cry and start to clean them up as she marched up and down the bank of registers, screaming like a fire engine siren. Her young son trailed after her, weeping, “No, Mommy, not again . . . .”

She ran back to my register and demanded I give back her donuts. “Um, ma’am, you threw them at me,” I said timidly. “They splattered.”

“No, I didn’t!” she hissed. “You ATE them, didn’t you?”

Then there was the woman who came though my line chatting pleasantly. After I finished her transaction with a smile and “Have a nice day!” she marched over to the customer service desk and told them I had “cussed-out” her kids. Still, to this day, I have no idea where that could have come from.

Last year, I had a visitor to the museum in which I work loudly make fun of one of my co-workers who lost a finger due to illness. He thought he was a real commedian, and made mocking remaks, making sure the rest of his group could hear to appreciate his humor.

“Stumps Party” sounds odd, but the rest of those small ads seem quite reasonable to me.

Just remembered one: a few years ago my brother worked in a computer resource centre in London - the kind of place where you could go if you were a small business with no computer resources, in order to pick up email, use the fax machine, etc. They also provided computer lessons for kids.

I was once hanging out there, when this huge guy came in with his ten-year-old son. He was wearing a sheepskin jacket, had a broken nose, huge sovereign rings on most fingers. He looked like something out of Lock Stock…, or Ray Winston in Sexy Beast, and had parked his huge Jaguar outside on the double-yellow lines.

“You do computers for nippers?” he asked in a gruff Cockney voice.

“Uh… yes, we do teach classes for children,” replied my brother.

“Right. Good. See, what it is, is, I’ve got to go off on some business for a couple hour. You take my boy 'ere, learn him them computers, and I’ll come back and pick him up later.”

“Well usually we like to schedule our appointments so we can have the appropriate-”

“No need for that, mate.”

“I suppose we could fit him in. The charge is £25 per hour.”

“A pony?! For a bleedin’ hour? Look, I’ll give you ten quid and not a penny more.”

“I’m sorry sir, but I have to charge-”

“All right all right. Tell you what. You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.” And he leered and tapped his scarred finger against his broken nose, with a wink. “Take the boy for a little while, and I can make it worth your while. Know what I mean?”

“I’m sorry, we can really only take money.”

“Really.” he said steadily, with a hint of menace, fixing my brother in the eye. “Right then. Come on son, let’s find somewhere else a bit more… ‘flexible’, shall we?”

And off they fucked.

I have no idea what on earth he was up to. Or why on earth a little bureau in Kensington would be his destination. In our minds he was desperately looking for someone to babysit his son while he pulled a bank heist, though the true explanation was probably more prosaic.

It did amuse me that a very simple and mundane transaction could be couched in such menace and with such wide boy wheeling and dealing. I suspect his entire life was lived on such terms.

Those were the ads at the bottom of the page when I viewed the thread.

(Unless I’ve been whooshed?)

Stumps? Icelandic parties? I didn’t get it, either. A strange assortment of ads.

Is this standard British slang?

I had one older gentleman who came in once and examined every single one of our paintbrushes…by sweeping them across his cheeks. I could hear him mumbling to himself from the next room, “Oooh, yeah, that one feels nice…hmmm, that one’s a bit prickly…this one’s really smooth…” :eek:

He didn’t buy any. I still wonder if he was actually going to use them for painting.

I should clarify. Face cheeks, not ass cheeks. Had it been the latter I think I would have had the cops and/or the looney bin down there pretty quick.

How did you respond? “Yes I am, and this is my body which is given for you” might have gotten you laid you know.

Here’s a few I posted on Customers Suck! (that I have yet to repost since they got hacked).

I worked for Black & Decker for a couple of years at one of their factory outlets. I don’t know what it is about tool shops, or at least this tool shop, but we got some of the more bizarre requests from people who were clearly still working off that last bong hit.

Customer: “Yeah. Is this where I go to reapply for a driver’s license?”
What tipped you off? The torque wrenches?

Customer: “Where are your go-karts?”
Down the left aisle, next to the rotary hammers. (To be fair, our store took over from what used to be a kid’s go-kart store, and this was a pretty common question, but if you walk in to a store that says “Black & Decker/DeWALT” and see nothing but power tools and lawn & garden equipment, this becomes a stupid question)

Customer (phone): “Yeah, you got any toads?”
Toads? Sure! We got toads! We got all manner of amphibious reptiles! Didn’t you hear me answer, “Good morning, Al’s Snakes 'n Things?” (It turned out, after some goading, he was after Bullfrog clips, which were strong plastic clamps used for holding projects to your workbench, so-named because their profile looked a little like a frog in mid-hop)

Customer (Monday morning): “I came by last night at 8:30pm and you were closed! You’re supposed to be open 'til 9!”
You’re right. We are. On days that don’t start with “S.” The “Store Hours” clinger on the window would have told you the same thing if you had only asked it.

Customer (at 8:50pm): “What time are you guys open 'til?”
Me: “9:00pm.”
Customer: “Oh. It’ll take me about half an hour to get there. Will you still be open then?”
Yes. Because I lied when I said we’d be closing twenty minutes before your arrival.

I tell you. Working retail will make you weep for humanity.

Mindfield, I think I remember you over at CS. I haven’t been there since the last hack either, was having trouble getting reregistered and was too lazy to keep trying. You inspired me to give it another try and ta-da! I’m in!

I’ve posted over there about my experiences working at the Seattle Center quite a while ago. Here’s one of the highlights:

I worked in the arcade near a video game where you sat on a bicycle-like contraption. As you pedaled and steered, your on-screen character would pedal and steer a flying machine. At this time, a woman was seated there. She sent one of her two little girls over with some change she wanted to exchange for quarters. The girl was maybe seven years old, so I put the change on the counter and counted out the money so she could understand what I was doing. “OK, this dime and this dime and this nickle make a quarter,” I’d say and then give her a quarter.

After doing this a couple of times there was fifteen cents left. I gave her the change and explained that it wasn’t enough for another quarter. The girl thanked me and went back to her mom, who was watching from 20-25 feet away. Well, pretty soon Mom marched over with her little girls in tow and shouted at me that I had stolen a dime from her daugter! Mom (who looked like she was desperately missing her stool at her neighborhood bar) didn’t have enough quarters to play her video game because I had stolen money from a child! How could I be so evil? :rolleyes:

I wasn’t supposed to give out change anyway. There were certain people, employed by the company that leased the video games, who were supposed to do that. But I didn’t want to send the girl halfway across the building, out of Mom’s and my sight, so I did her a favor.

But deep down, of course, I just wanted that dime! Evil, evil me!

With any luck Raps can beef up security a bit. Or at least, y’know … make backups. The hacks there are almost becoming routine, and I’ve been too lazy to repost my war stories. :slight_smile: (I spend too much time here and not enough there)

In my younger days, I worked as a cashier at a local chain of home centers. On Sundays, people would come in after they had been to church, wearing nicer clothes than what you normally see in a place like that. Sunday afternoons were also a little laid back; most folks had already gotten their supplies for weekend projects and were at home completing them.

Anyways, on one sleepy Sunday afternoon, a lady comes into my lane with a whole cart full of stuff. Not the usual stuff like paint or plumbing stuff, but household supplies. Not usually the fastest moving stuff in our store, since we were usually priced higher than the grocery store that was in the same shopping center. Stuff like hangers, dishwasher soap, laundry baskets (not on sale), car wax, paper towels, etc… And she wasn’t dressed up like most of the customers I had seen that day. She had on an old ratty sweatshirt, stretch pants, flip flops AND…

Her hair was rolled up in little yellow plastic rollers, under a hair net. Just looked strange for around 2 o’clock on a Sunday afternoon. I remember thinking to myself, “Maybe she’s going somewhere later.”

I mentally shrugged, and rang up her purchases. She pulled her checkbook out and wrote me a check. So far, all good. I ask for her ID.

There on her driver’s license in full color, she was wearing the identical ratty sweatshirt, AND…

Her hair was rolled up in little yellow plastic rollers under the same hair net. :eek:

I had a hard time keeping a straight face!

You are a sick, warped man - I’ve always admired that about you! :smiley:

I used to work closing shift in a bookstore that was open until midnight on Saturdays. The weirdest customer I ever had showed up around 9:30 one night. He wanted to know if we sold aspirin, despite the big sign out front that said “Bookstore”. He was dressed in jeans and a white T-shirt and was wearig a red baseball cap and a dazed expression. At first, I took him for an escapee from one of the many neighborhood bars. I looked him over and noticed that he had several small blood stains on his shirt at about appendix level. They were bright red and slowly getting larger.

I asked him if he was all right, seeing as how he was bleeding and all. He said that he was okay. He’d just been stabbed with an ice pick. I got him to sit down and handed him a wad of paper towels to apply direct pressure to his leaking abdomen. I then called 911. I went back to him an told him help was on the way. At this point, he freaked out and ran out of the store and into the night. The Emergency Med Tech told me that this happened all the time, that no one was compelled to accept their aid. They wouldn’t go looking for him even though he’d only been gone for a minute.

There was nothing in the paper the next day and I never learned what happened to the guy. I still wonder why the wounded guy thought an aspirin would have helped.

Damn straight. I’ve sworn a solemn vow that even if I’m starving, I’ll never work with the general public again.

The worst behavior I ever saw out of customers was when a man died in my aunt’s store. It was a little gas station/convenience store in a tiny town.

A guy was walking into the store one day when he suddenly started gasping and feel down, dead as a stone, in the doorway. An ambulance was called and all of the employees clustered around him, trying to revive him, but there was no response. As you can imagine, this was all very upsetting. People were crying and frantic.

Then, to my complete and utter astonishment a series of customers came in, stepping over the dead guy’s body, who was lodging the door open, brushing past the people trying to adminster CPR. They asked for cigarettes and lottery tickets without so much as batting an eye at the corpse on the floor. A couple of them appeared irritated that the clerks were all busy with the man dying on the floor, instead of instantly available to hand them their smokes and scratch-offs. One asked, “Is he okay?”

“No,” I replied. “I think he’s dead.”

“Oh. Can I have a can of Skoal Cherry?”

I think that may have been the beginning of my slide into being an utter misanthrope.

I work at a plant nursery that has a great national reputation for sending out specialty plants, and has a 20 year history of excellent shipping technique. We rarely have complaints, usually, accolades.

Last year, we had a strange e-mail from a woman who had ordered daylilies, and claimed there was “nothing in the pots”. That just Not would have ever happened. We discussed if it could have happened, but, really, no way.

Our office manager/customer service diva, on a whim, decided to google the customer’s name and location: Whoa!, a news story came up with a doozy of an incident of way crazy behavior. Not a common name, in the same area , so no doubt of a match. In light of liability issues, I’ll not detail it, but it was a really messed up incident that made the local paper, enough to red flag the issue. We informed her that it did not seem possible due to our quality control.

The customer sent back all the pots, with no plants in them, but filled with regular garden soil, not the soil mixture we use at all. Rather than back off when her scam was challenged, she decided to take the time and expense to give it one last try, and ship us those pots of dirt.

We informed her that the dirt in the pots was not the soil mixture we used, so her complaint was not valid. And, did not hear from her again. Her attempted scam was breathtakingly stupid. The Google bit, though, added an extra dimension of :eek:

Key-rist. I can’t even comprehend the level of abject indifference one needs to be able to step over a prostrate, possibly (in this case demonstrably) dead human being as if it was a soda spill. Fortunately nothing that serious ever happened while I worked retail, but I’m quite sure if it had, misanthrope would have been complimentary when applied to me. If anything the moment someone stepped over the body and asked for smokes or lottery tickets I’d probably have whipped around and verbally bit a hole in their skull into which, with any luck, a little human decency might seep.