Craziest Stories in Customer Service

Jobs requiring customer service can be difficult, especially when consumers lack poise.


photo by Lucie Flagg

Time for work! Students keep track of the days they have to work.

Jamey Simon, Staff Writer

Many students at NASH have jobs that deal with the general public. In the world of high school employment, students are bound to have some interesting experiences. Lots of employees have to deal with rude and crazy customers while working. Remarking their craziest encounters in customer service, several anonymous students share their stories:

Student #1: “One time a customer came where I was working and spent over an hour collecting items to buy. The customer had over two baskets full of merchandise. When she went to check out, she asked to use a gift card that she said she got for her birthday. However, when I scanned the gift card, it showed the balance as zero dollars. When we told her what had happened, she started yelling and insisting there was fifty dollars on the gift card. We tried again and it didn’t work, so we called our manager on the phone. She was on the phone with the customer for over 10 minutes. After the conversation, the woman called the store a ‘disgrace,’ and said she would never come back. The lady then slammed the phone on the counter and stormed out of the store, leaving her two baskets of merchandise.”

Student #2: “As I was checking out a man’s groceries, I noticed his mask with a big smile on it. Trying to be friendly I said, ‘I like your mask!’ He replied with a subtle chuckle, saying, ‘Thanks.’ Then, suddenly locking eyes with me, he said, ‘You wouldn’t like my other one.’ I had to think about that for a solid minute, but responded back with an awkward laugh. Yeah, that was weird.”

Student #3: “A few days ago, my boss told me that, when people walk in to use the bathroom, we have to say no to limit the number of people in the store. Someone came over and walked into my co-worker, and asked to use the bathroom. She said, ‘Oh, I’m so sorry, but we cannot let anyone in who doesn’t have an appointment.’ The lady said, ‘Well, where am I supposed to pee?’ And then she peed in the parking lot.”

Student #4: “I was working in a bakery. The cupcake of the month was peanut butter chocolate, and a lady came in and asked if she could order 12 of them, without the peanut butter or the chocolate. Once we told her we couldn’t do that, she threw her pie on the ground.”

Student #5: “A customer told me what they wanted to order, and I confirmed it with them twice. When they showed up, they got really mad because they said they ordered something completely different.”

Student #6: “So, it was a really busy night, and a lady and her son came in. Her cards kept getting declined. We were trying everything for this to work, but the register wasn’t taking it. Then, I was going to pay for her, but the lady behind her paid instead. It started a trend of people helping to pay for each other’s ice cream.”

Student #7: “One time, a customer walked back into the staff-only room and yelled at me because the peaches were too small. I just said, ‘I’m sorry about that. That’s just how they are this year because of the drought.'”

Student #8: “One time, I was putting out some produce, and I was approached by a customer. He seemed really annoyed, but proceeded to spend 15 minutes asking me about each individual vegetable in the produce case. In the end, he complained that all the prices were too high.”

Student #9: “This old lady stormed into the store and was really angry because apparently someone had parked crooked next to her, and she couldn’t get into her car. We tried to find the customer in the store, but they were nowhere to be found. I got my manager, and he said they would both go outside and he would try and help her get into the car. While they were doing that, the owner of the car came out of the store and the old woman started screaming at her. They proceeded to fight for 10 minutes while my manager was trying to break it up. The old woman told the lady she was an awful driver and that she shouldn’t be on the road. Both drove away in rage.”

Student #10: “At work I had a lady hand me a bag of candy corn that was $3.99, and asked if she could have a quarter of the bag because she didn’t want her son to have that much. It wasn’t a lot at all. So, I had to dump some candy corn out, weigh it and reprice it.”

In the end, it’s incredibly important be nice to everyone you meet, especially if they are doing something for you. While these testimonies are meant for a good laugh, employees often struggle to ignore the harsh comments from patronage. Customer service isn’t an easy job, but at least we can find some light in an often-dreary work environment.