Mistaken for Masturbating: Inverted in this story, where a woman walks in on her son masturbating and mistakes it for a seizure, then refuses to accept the truth and demands the responding EMTs take him to the hospital.
Anything with the title "I Don't Work Here, Does Not Work Here". It's up to Part 16.
Inverted here: Even though the submitter is wearing a uniform, the customer refuses to believe they actually work there and aren't just using an elaborate method to cut in line.
This customer actually reports the submitter to their manager for refusing to help her at a completely different store - judging by the fact that, a few days later, she goes to the submitter's store and demands that they take a return for something she bought from the other store, she apparently thought the submitter being at that other store means they work at every store in the state.
In a milder example of this kind of trope, there's also a few examples of what we can call Mugging The Human Resources Manager, wherein an applicant for a job barges into the place and starts rudely throwing their weight around, only to discover that the staff member they've been treating poorly is actually someone they should have probably been a bit more polite towards if they want to stand a chance of getting the job. Such as this person or this genius. In an oblique version of this, Mugging the Target Audience.
Alternately, threatening that you're going to complain to the manager when that's who you're talking to.
This naval lieutenant decides to throw his weight around in a civilian restaurant and makes the mistake of antagonizing another diner... who happens to be a Rear Admiral stationed at the same base.
R-E-S-P-E-C-T: Sometimes, a reputation as a "man-beater"note Earned by the lady in question defending herself against a former co-worker, and sending him to the hospital can be useful when dealing with certain problematic customers.
In an example overlapping with Bullying a Dragon, this robber made the mistake of trying to rob a bookstore owner who also happened to be a champion fencer. He remained unitimidated when the owner pointed that out (still Mugging the Monster at this point) and even when the owner drew a sword from his cane (this is the Bullying a Dragon part). It isn't until the owner flicked his glasses off that he wisely chose to surrender.
A lighthearted example here. A student cuts in front of a man in a lunch line. When the man points this out, the student starts throwing their weight around, claiming to be someone important, and asks the man who he thinks he is. The man then says that he's the Governor of the state.
This man tries to takes some training pads from a small woman, because he clearly needed them more and because of those reasons had no need to be polite. Too bad he underestimated her ability and got himself pinned and humiliated.
This father of a young boy in the hospital (falsely) accuses a teenage patient (who can't speak above a whisper due to mono) of gossiping about his son, and threatens physical violence against her. Too bad for him she's the daughter of the head nurse for that floor of the hospital.
Here, a woman tries to scam her way into a discount by claiming she's the owner's sister, assuming the person serving her was some lowly employee. Unfortunately for her, that employee happens to be the owner, who calls her out on her lies.
Father: It's a free country, and you HAVE to serve me! Owner: You're right, it is a free country, and as the owner of this shop, I have the freedom to tell you to get the fuck out or I'll call the police.
Never Heard That One Before: This person works in a theater where the restrooms have a marquee over them identical to the marquees over the individual theaters, reading "Restrooms." The tone of the story suggest that the person has gotten far too many people who think they're funny by asking if "Restrooms" is a good movie, so they have fun with it: "I thought it was OK, but the reviews have been in the toilet."
New Media Are Evil: This customer asks a Doctor Who fan to stop watching the show because her church says "it's evil" and wants people to "support gay marriage and be an Atheist". Needless to say, she gets kicked out.
A later entry, also involving Doctor Who, starts out very similarly... But then the customer comes back to apologize, and admits she just has a negative reaction to the show because she was a fan growing up, but her parents refused to let her watch it, saying it was against their religion. The submitter responds by recommending her a memorabilia shop that could help her catch up on the 30 years of the show she's missed.
No Dialogue Episode: This story has no spoken dialogue. Justified as the antagonist and viewpoint character are both in separate vehicles, and the third party is a policeman directing traffic. The closest thing to speech is the viewpoint character honking his horn at the driver in front of him; everything else is completely visual.
No, Except Yes: All the time. Frequently literal variations, such as a bacon cheeseburger with no bacon, but not a cheeseburger which becomes the same bacon cheeseburger upon adding, you guessed that, bacon. Frequently a Pyrrhic Victory for the customer as well, as the typical customer's "cashier is always trying to cheat me" attitude makes them blind to the above logic and they insist on paying for the more expensive thing without including the ingredients that make it more expensive.
This mall-goer asks a kiosk employee for the location of the post office. The employee begins to say that it's inside a camera store, but the mall-goer assumes that the employee is trying to drum up business for the camera store and repeatedly cuts off the employee before they can complete their directions. When they finally manage to explain the whole thing, the mall-goer berates the employee for not being clear.
This man assumes that a grocery store employee is tired because she was partying too hard and that it's entirely her fault for being tired. He doesn't let her speak until he's finished ranting, at which point the employee explains that she's tired because she was working overnight and usually didn't do so. To the man's credit, he realized his place, apologized, and walked away.
During a prom, a teacher accuses a dry bar of selling alcohol to minors, but it isn't too long until the bartender manages to get in that the beer the teacher took was non-alcoholic, and there were no actual alcoholic drinks anywhere near the bar. At least the teacher gave the bottle back.
Operator from India: A few stories involve call center employees being mistaken for this (or something similar) when they're actually from the same country as the caller.
Oracular Urchin: Um... this woman seems to think her child has supernatural powers and requests a credit card transaction be canceled just because the child said the card was unlucky. And she was right, in a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy sorta way. Making the purchase and then asking instead of the other way around, then being too unreasonable to do the paperwork to undo the purchase - meaning it stands, even though the customer stormed off and didn't get the service - means a significant amount of money was wasted. So in the end the kid was right, though it was less the fault of the card and more the fault of the stupidity.
Panicky Expectant Father: Inverted here, where the guy is not going to let the fact that his wife is visibly in labor and ready to drop stop him from arguing over a discount on a duffel bag. And the worse thing is the bag has nothing to do with the pregnancy; he needs it for a trip the next week.
Parking Payback: While there's nothing over-the-top, some jerks who decide to disregard parking etiquette do get their comeuppance.
This jerk who parks in not one, but two handicapped spaces gets ticketed in the end.
In this story, a young man cuts off another woman who was going to park in a handicapped spot, with his car that has nothing indicating that he's allowed to do so. The woman gets her payback when she sees the man and confronts him, and lets him see that she's very old. The man then offers to help her into the store.
Pig In A Poke: This guy gets ripped off by (unknowingly) buying a much older pond pump than his last one from some guy on the Internet. He tries to get a refund from the pump company itself. It doesn't work.
Placebo Effect: When this customer complains about their coffee being too light, and ends up being served the exact same coffee she sent back the first time. Apparently the waitstaff has been doing this to her for years and she never catches on.
Poe's Law: Exactly how many of the stories are genuine, how many are exaggerated/embellished versions of real events, and how many are actually pure bullshit made by trolls or somebody with an axe to grind? Sometimes, the person submitting the story is unclear as to whether the customer was trolling them or serious, such as when "new age" vegans entered a sausage shop.
Inverted in another story. The store tries to be a little politically correct, selling "holiday trees", but apparently the customer wants a Christmas tree, and so will go to a store that "isn't afraid of offending people!"
Rapid Fire Interrupting: It happens here. A customer calls a pet store and demands that they fix an order of chicks, constantly cutting the employee off and assuming that they were being lazy. To the customer's credit, once he realized that he called the wrong pet store, he promptly hung up.
A few entries are about women assuming that the employee's hair is fake (either in color or length) and refusing to believe the employee's hair is natural.
These customers assume that Santa Catalina Island, California is just a theme park, and not a real island with real people living on it. They repeatedly ask a resident what time the island closes, and refuse to believe that the island resident when she claims to live there, believing that she just doesn't want to break character.
Several of the stories on here are about extremely stubborn customers who will pay the price posted and only the price posted, no matter what sales or discounts are in effect despite not being advertised. It's like they're hardwired to believe that no matter what the store workers do, they're trying to rip them off.
This upper class woman demanded money back for their kid's private school tuition because other people were going for cheaper. Her response after being told her kid didn't get any aid because her household made $170,000, and aid is usually given to those who make $20,000 or less a year? "You fucking liar! Nobody makes so little money!" Seems like the money has made her far too sheltered.
Strange example here. A customer accidentally threw out a modem's power-supply, so she tries to scam the tech-support guy into giving her one for free. He'll only do it if it's broken, however. So, the customer breaks it. The tech-service guy refuses to give her one for free because he saw her break it. She then tries to bribe him, saying “I’ll pay you £30 to say you didn’t see anything.” The tech replies that a new one only costs £8 anyway. She then screams "It’s not the amount; it’s the principle!" So, in the process of trying to get one for free, this customer is willing to pay more than three times the price of getting one legitimately? Okay, whatever, it's your money.
This customer, after repeatedly asking a cashier at a gelato shop if they have pizza because "this is Italy!", has the same cashier jokingly offer to buy her a pizza for €100 (about $150 USD). She pulls out €100 without hesitation until a coworker stops her and offers to give her directions to a pizzeria.
This customer, refusing to believe that a hotel is actually sold out, is told "Well… I could fix a roll away bed up on the roof for you if you like. It’s gonna rain a little later, so I hope you don’t mind getting wet." She gladly accepts the offer without hesitation.
A double-case, where a coworker passes the phone to the submitter rather than try to answer the customer's question, and then the submitter hangs up upon hearing it (asking if a little boy could fit in a dog cage or carrier).
Here's a customer who did have a connection, and abused it to get free food. Eventually, however, the store manager steps in, bans the customer, and suspends his connection (another manager) with no pay for a week.
The final straw in thisHumiliation Conga: not only does he not have connections, but the fellow customer whose removal he's asking for does.
This is an odd example in that the customer seems to have honestly deluded herself into believing that she is the vet's girlfriend, or she's trying very hard to become his girlfriend. She's set, er, straight, by the vet's sister, and later the vet himself.
This caller demands a new free computer, even though the issue with his current computer is easily fixed, and then claims to know the founder of the company and be having lunch with him the next day - only to be informed that the founder is dead.
This woman flat-out states that she is "above the law, and with one word, can have your entire company shut down".
Golfer: That’s assault! I am calling the police on you! I paid good money! Backyard Owner: I don’t give a d*** how much you paid; this is private property and according to the state penal code, I can remove you just like I did. Golfer: I'll sue! I paid good money! Backyard Owner: Go ahead. I’ll be your lawyer.
This woman steals a coffee pot from a library because she believes that poor people don't deserve coffee or tea, and uses the same "logic" to steal roses from a flower shop.
This submitter actually has to point out to a problem customer the sheer stupidity of refusing to show her ID to a video game store's cashier, because she automatically assumes the cashier is an illegal immigrant who will steal it, but immediately giving it to the first complete stranger who offers to check it for them.
This customer asks to return a Playboy-themed game that she bought for her 8-year-old — not because it's pornographic, but because it requires lots of reading and he can't read very well.
This customer admits that she's planning to adopt a pair of cats and then leave them to fend for themselves in a dead relative's large house. Or she's going to live with the cats at that house and let her son fend for himself and the cat they already have at their apartment; she keeps changing her story. She, of course, then has the nerve to accuse the worker of not caring about the animals, because he won't sell them to people who won't actually take care of them.
This woman, in need of a flight reschedule, insists on waiting another 24 hours for a flight through Charlotte, because their airport has a Cinnabon.
This customer thinks that going to the salon daily is more than treating her son's asthma, which has been acting up for five days.
This fast-food chain is more interested in staying open during the lunch rush than keeping the store from burning down.
This customer, upon seeing a taxicab involved in an accident, is only concerned with the fact that the taxicab might be the one he called.
Some customers like to boast about their large salaries and hold it over the "lowly" workers, like here. Like making more money is somehow a valid reason to insult the people who are probably more skilled than them.
A specific case here: a woman who seems to think that she gets to set the rules at a daycare, even trying to force them to switch cleaning supplies based on her preferences, just because. Naturally, she's forced off the premises after swearing at an eleven-year-old girl for daring to try to uphold the daycare's actual rules.
And then there's this woman, who is no name and all ego - and when someone else puts her in her place she tries to kill him.
This guy seems to think that having known the former owner of a coffee shop means he can get free drinks and do whatever he wants, and then when the head barista and the actual owner force him to leave he tries to tell them they'll somehow be "missing out".
This writer thinks he's the greatest writer ever and has written a great story that needs to be published. But when the publisher reads it, it turns out to be very, very bad, with grammar mistakes, no characterization, a Mary Sue protagonistinvoked, using made-up words, and being too short - and that's only five reasons. When the publisher sends the writer a rejection letter, the writer tries to sue the publisher, claiming discrimination because he's dyslexic. The charges are later dropped when the publisher's lawyers contact the writer's lawyer with the news that the conversation listing the reasons for rejection was recorded.
Every other word out of this asshole's mouth is reminding the other person they're a doctor and they know the speaker, and are therefore better than everyone else.
This lady is told to leave the restaurant by a manager after she sees an employee wearing hearing aids, is too dumb to realize they're not headphones, and decides this requires said employee being fired immediately. She starts on the whole "you just lost a lot of business" spiel, claiming her husband is a solicitor, only for the husband himself to interrupt her and tell her to just go. Turns out they actually just won the lottery and are living off of that, which was enough to send the lady's ego soaring (she used to work at a shoe shop).
Soapbox Sadie: This woman makes a scene demanding that the owner fire an employee because he is serving everyone but a Camp Gay customer. When she's done talking the owner tells her that the "employee" is his son, and that the flamboyant "customer" is his son's boyfriend, who has come to pick him up at the end of his turn.
This man refuses to believe that a female tech support worker actually helped him, and decides that there was some man who told her what to say instead, despite the worker and the supervisor saying otherwise.
Inverted in this case. This man encounters a female tech support worker; since he doesn't encounter them very often, and this is a stereotypically "male" occupation, he decides she must be good at her job. Whenever he calls in the future, he requests to speak with her specifically.
This customer repeatedly refuses to believe that she's pulled up to a store that's under construction, and presumes that food is available because the workers are eating. She also assumes that a random bystander who supplied said food is the manager, and is equally oblivious to the traffic cone she ran over on the way in.
This person refuses to believe that she's called a generator company and not her power company.
This lady calls a home improvement store, asking what they do for birthdays. She refuses to believe that she's called a wrong number, but the employee is at least able to provide some help, for which she still says thanks at the end of the call.
A perfect double example would be here: a woman enters a bakery and asks them to create a wedding cake and bill her for it, totally ignoring the submitter's insistence that they don't sell cakes or send bills out before she leaves; naturally, none of what she asks for is accomplished. She then begins sending attorneys to the bakery, apparently oblivious to the reason why they all immediately drop her case against the bakery, and ends up going through four of them, probably wasting thousands or even millions of dollars in the process, before she gives up (or, less charitably, before she gets enough of a bad rep amongst attorneys that they won't take her case).
To summarize this story, "Do I need bags for this vacuum?" "No you don't need bags." "Okay, but do I need bags?"
Another perfect case, where a woman drops a pair of dogs off at an animal shelternote please note, by "drops off" we mean that literally - dropped from the top of a five-foot fence just so she didn't have to pay a fee, then comes back long after said dogs have been adopted by someone else looking for them, assuming the place was a boarding kennel and refusing to believe otherwise. She ends up dragging a police officer into the mess, who immediately arrests her for animal cruelty and neglect - and the story ends with the reveal that she also had contempt of court charges added to that, for still not understanding that the place was not a kennel and even spitting in a judge's face for siding with them in the case.
This customer completely fails to comprehend the bartender telling her three times they don't have any Carlsberg. Especially odd in that she does understand the other half of what he's telling her, it's just "we don't have Carlsberg" she's completely tuning out.
This customer asks for a Green Card photo, and the photo tech in charge explains that the software won't allow it. Multiple times. As the customer in question speaks very good English, and is accompanied by his wife (who speaks even better English), it's not a case of Language Barrier. When the customer finally gets what he's being told, he has the gall to ask:
"Well, why the h*** didn’t you just tell me that?!" "I did, love. Five separate times. Have a great day, folks!"
This person doesn't seem to understand the concept of a yard sale, and threatens to report them to the BBB for selling used items.
This customer refuses to listen to a pizzeria worker when calling in an order: no response when asked whether it's a delivery or carryout, to two requests to pause the order when the computer crashes, or to a request to be put on hold. After the worker gets the computer fixed, the caller hangs up, calls again, and asks why they were hung up on.
This mother's reasoning for not stopping her kid from bumping a cart into an elderly lady ahead of them. The customer behind them thinks differently, and shows what might happen if the mother never disciplines her son.
"Hello, I need shoes for all seven of my children. They're each a different size, I'd like to purchase three pairs each, and can you make sure that all the shoes are different? My children don’t want shoes that are like each other's. And hurry up, I don't have all day!
Title Drop: A surprising number of customers literally say "The customer is always right" as if it were some kind of magic spell that always makes it so.
The saying "The customer is always right", when it is applicable, applies to business and business ONLY. Customers seem to think it applies to everything from religion to sexual orientation to opinions of any sort.
Customer: I think that [misguided opinion]. Worker: That's fine. I happen to think that [better-informed opinion or actual fact]. Customer: Why? That's obviously wrong! Worker: Um, not really... Customer: Yes, it is! The customer is always right!
This one actually adds the "not always" to the mix, when customers try to argue how old the cashier serving them actually is by this logic.
And this one, where a customer tries to call a bank, gets a veterinarian office instead, and refuses to believe he had the wrong number because "I just gave you my account number", as if said number is the magic phrase that turns any place he calls into his bank.
Invertedhere: a customer tries to price-match turkeys with a competitor, insisting on getting their price even though this store's prices are actually cheaper than said competitor's. The cashier does not fight this because of the "customer is always right" logic.
NOT the customer buying £250 worth of fireworks, but the person nearby who stomps on said customer's fireworks. Fireworks may be relatively inert without an external ignition source, but that doesn't make stomping on them a safe thing to do.
Possibly a literal example. Driving, while talking on one cellphone, and configuring another, with hot coffee between her knees. She was t-boned by another car. No word on what happened after that.
The best part? Technically, the accident was the other driver's fault (the other car ran a red light).
This customer recommends starting a fire in a barrel for warmth in the middle of a gas station.
An example by proxy: This man's son ends up with a concussion very early in the morning. The man is perfectly aware that a concussion patient should not fall asleep - so he keeps his son awake all throughout the morning instead of immediately taking him to the ER, ensuring that it will be that much more difficult to keep him awake.
This woman is apparently too busy with her upcoming 3 month tour of Europe to worry about her skin cancer. In that time, said cancer, if left untreated, could develop into much worse form or even spread to her other organs.