Shoe store

Melbourne, Australia

(We have recently run a voucher promotion, giving customers 50% off their next purchase. I am on my lunch break out back, when one of the other two employees asks me to come help with a middle aged female customer)

Customer: “I’d like to purchase these shoes, but I don’t have my voucher on me.”

Me: “Well unfortunately Ma’am, we do require the voucher to process the discount. Are you able to come back with your voucher and we can hold the shoes for you?”

(The customer starts becoming more upset and I realise this is why I was asked to help)

Customer: “Why would I possibly need to bring the voucher with me? This is ridiculous! Is this some kind of trick to get customers to come back to your store and spend money, and then you don’t give them the discount?”

Me: “Not at all Ma’am, I’m sorry for the confusion, but I really do need the voucher. The code needs to go into our computer system, and the voucher sent to our head office. And unfortunately, the whole point of the voucher is that you need to bring it back… we can’t just give out 50% discounts.”

Customer: “I can’t believe this! I want to speak to a manager!”

Me: “Unfortunately our manager isn’t in today, but I’m the most senior staff member here so I’m happy to try and help you. Or I can get my manager to call you tomorrow when she’s in?”

Customer: “No! Give me her mobile number then, I want to speak to her!”

Me: *somewhat shocked* “Ma’am, I can’t give out my manager’s personal mobile number, or bother her during her day off. You’re welcome to call our head office if you aren’t happy with what I’m able to offer you”

Customer: “Then I want your name, and I’m going to file a complaint about you to your head office!”

Me: “If that’s what you’d like to do, then my name is (first name) and here’s a card with our head office number”

Customer: “And what’s your surname!”

(I have a distinctive surname, so don’t want to give it to this crazy customer!)

Me: “Ma’am, I’m not going to give you my surname. I’m the only (first name) working at this store so that will be enough to identify me”

Customer: “Well how do I know that’s even your name! You’re not wearing a badge!”

Me: *sigh* “I don’t have a badge because I only recently started at this store, but the other staff members here will verify that (first name) is my real name”

(The customer raises her voice in triumph, thinking I’ve been caught out)

Customer: “Hah! You just said you were the most senior staff member, and you’ve only just started working here! This is outrageous! I demand to speak to your manager!”

(By this stage, I’m feeling thoroughly harassed by this customer and her barrage of questions)

Customer: “Ma’am, I’ve been with (company) for 3 years and recently transferred to this store from (other store). I don’t have a badge because we have different uniforms and my new badge hasn’t arrived yet. So if you like, you can either return with your voucher, my manager can call you tomorrow, or you can call head office with your concerns, and those are our options. What would you like to do?”

Customer: “Well fine. I’ll just call your head office then, and expect to hear about it!”

(She then slowly rants her way out of the store, stopping with my colleagues on the way, when I realise she has left her credit card on the counter. I take a deep breath and resist the urge throw it straight in the bin)

Me: “Ma’am! You forgot your credit card!”

Customer: “Hrmph!” *storms out*

(The next day I speak with my manager who assures me I did everything right, and agreed that the customer was crazy and/or very dim to not realise you need to bring a voucher in to claim it’s discount - And I never heard from head office about her complaint!)



Store opens at Noon.

(11:25 - Customer banging and pulling on door. Conversation takes place with him yelling through the door)

Customer: Why is the fucking door locked?

Me: Because we don’t open until Noon.

Customer: Then why do you get to be in there?

Me: Because I work here.

Customer: Prove it.

(I walk away and go back to vacuuming. After a minute, I look up and he is still there. I point to the vacuum.)

Me: Proof?

Customer: Yeah…

(Customer walks away.)

Farm/Hunting Retail

Ontario, Canada

My parents bought a small farm and hunting store 2 years ago and have made significant improvements and additions since then. It had also changed owners a few times in recent years before. A customer came in one day, saying he hadn’t been in in years. After letting him browse for a bit, I asked him if he needed any help.

Customer: I’m looking for a valve for a livestock water bowl. You used to have it right here.

Me: Oh… well, we usually just order in parts because we don’t have space to stock them. I can likely get it in in a few days.

Customer: Oh… well you used to have it right here…

He proceeds to check around the near vicinity, so I humour him by looking around, as well.

Me: No, I guess we don’t have it. Do you know the part number?

He is still confused that we don’t have it, but shows me an unmarked, broken valve that he brought.

Me: Okay, do you know the model of the water bowl? It will help to look it up.

Customer: No, I don’t see anything on the valve…

Me: Okay… I’ll see if I can find anything…

I begin looking through all of our sales histories, inventory lists, and supplier databases for any signs of the part, but can’t find anything close.

Me: If you could get me the model of the water bowl I could easily find the part.

Customer: No, I don’t see it on the valve…

I try to convince him to go home and find the number, but he doesn’t bite. He just stands and stares at me. I continue searching for another half hour, all the while he keeps going on about how we used to have it and must have forgotten to restock it.

Finally I find it after some intense cross-referencing of diagrams and part numbers. I order it for him and tell him that it should be in Tuesday. He is not very happy, but agrees and asks me to order another for a backup.

I forgot about a holiday on Monday, and so our delivery is delayed. The customer comes in and asks for the part.

Me: I’m sorry, I forgot about the holiday… Our order was delayed, so it will be in tomorrow.

Customer: Oh… Well you said it would be in today…

Me: Yes, I know. I’m sorry about that. I forgot about the holiday… It will definitely be in tomorrow.

Customer: Oh… (stares at me for a few seconds before leaving)

The customer came back 2 days later and took 1 of the 2 parts he ordered, leaving me with a $40 part that we haven’t sold in at least 2 years.


Wayne, nj

(I am taking a delivery order for a deli. )

Me: I’m sorry… I cannot split your order up between three cards. Each of your items is not 10 dollars. There is a minimum per charge.

Customer: We do it ALL the time.

Me: You charge 4.50 to a card regularly?

Customer: yes… Almost daily! Is this new?

(I work 6 days a week. I am the only person answering phones… She spoke to no one but me.)

Me: Well miss, can you please inform me of the name or gender of the employee who did this as I will be firing them tomorrow.

Customer: I don’t remember… Anyway I found cash…-hangs up-

Concert Venue


(My coworker and I are standing at one of the doors to the concert hall when a guest comes out and starts dancing to the music. He approaches me as though he’d like to come back in.)

Me: Hi there. Can I see your hand stamp for re-entry?

Guest: (puts his hands together and starts waving them around) Do you wanna see my interpretive dance?

Me: (since no one else is around) Sure, why not?

Guest: (runs off into the woods)

Coworker and I: *speechless*