25 Of The Weirdest Encounters People Have Had With Customers

Published 3 weeks ago

Though many of us may have never worked in customer service, we can relate to the struggles of those working in service roles because of all the many stories we have heard. It’s often portrayed as a field where you encounter a wide range of interesting characters. 

We’ve all heard tales, watched videos, or read about customers who are rude, entitled, or just plain bizarre, and how employees have to navigate those situations. Now, don’t get me wrong, there are also plenty of lovely customers out there, but today we explore an online thread inspired by one Redditor’s question, asking fellow community members to share some of the weirdest customer interactions they’ve had at work.

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#1 I was a cashier at a Dillons grocery store in the bible belt when I was a kid.

Image source: Beautiful_Cap7659, Pixabay

One day a woman came up to my counter and, in a quiet voice, says “excuse me, you’ve got some ducks out in the parking lot. Um, they’re mating, and everyone can see it” I didn’t know what the f**k she was talking about, so I just kinda joked about it being that time of year or something, but she continued. “Everyone can see what those ducks are doing, you need to send someone out there right now”. Lady was serious. She wanted an employee to go outside and c**kblock a duck so kids wouldn’t know what banging was.

I rolled it to my supervisor, who did send a cartpusher to make the lady feel better and ruin some ducks big day.

#2 A coworker screaming at me for leaving food to rot in the shared fridge. It was my first day there and I hadn’t even unpacked my belongings yet.

Image source: RegularFix6281, Max Vakhtbovycn

#3 Working at Gamestop had a guy come in to return something 10 days after the returns window was closed. Didn’t tell him “no” just explained that the manager would have to approve the return and he didn’t come to work for another 2 hours.

Image source: Flailing_Aimlessly, Mike Mozart

The man stood in my store for just shy of 2 hours and berated me, yelling that I wasn’t a real man, I was racist, I was a corporate fool. Asked me to let him steal an equal value amount of merch, to just do the return… left and came back 10 minutes later with a friend and they yelled at me in stereo.

Then about 10 minutes before the boss was due to arrive, the customer left.

#4 A slightly disheveled woman comes into our store with her hands full of clothes. I say hi to her, and she ignores me and walks to the back of the store.

Image source: lostsparrow131986, Edgars Kisuro

In the back are rows of racking with bins full of various parts for purchase. She proceeds to pull out bin after bin, seemingly looking for something in particular. After 5 minutes of this, she crams all the clothes into one of the bins and places it back on the shelf.

She wanders up towards the front and mumbles something about looking for a specific part, but her eyes are darting all over the place and she doesn’t seem to be existing on this plane of the universe.

She proceeds to put her forehead down on the counter and rests it there for a full 2minutes while my coworker and I ask if she’s ok or needs help.

This lady finally brings her head up and is now holding a water bottle that she had just broken out of the cases of water we had for sale. SHe pops it open, drinks it, grabs a handful of plastic bags from our register and walks out the door.

My coworker and I just stare at each other with a ‘WTF JUST HAPPENED’ look.

We head to the back and find this pile of clothes still stuffed in the bins, which we bring to the front, assuming this lady is going to come back for them. Nope, never did and we ended up th rowing them in the trash a day or two later.

#5 A lady hit me in the face when I told her she had to leave my store if she wouldn’t stop harassing other customers.

Image source: HottieKara_xxx, Vika Glitter

#6 I work at a library. A woman came to the desk with all the seasons of Game of Thrones on DVD that were out at the time, sat them on my desk and proceeded to tell me that she hated how violent the show was but she recognized that it was important to learn our history even if it was sometimes hard to watch. I didn’t even know what to say.

Image source: GusFringNo1Boss, GameofThrones

#7 A woman called into my job and refused to provide us with any identifying information. I told her I cannot assist her if I don’t know who I’m speaking to. She said we were going to steal her information and sell it to migrants. I wished her a nice day and disconnected the call.

Image source: slinkocat, Anna Shvets

#8 I used to work at a retail store as the onsite IT guy. Think Best Buy/Office Depot/etc. Anyways, the guy comes in and he got a virus on his computer. We charge money to remove the virus.

Image source: The_Owl_Bard, S B

He was upset that we wouldn’t do it for free despite spending “a lot of money on the laptop” ($300-ish dollars) but he had refused any sort of antivrus software and he seemed like the kind of guy to click on any sort of popup.

He gets upset and he’s yelling but we hold firm. He turned around, takes a few steps forward, and then throws his laptop to the ground. It’s nothing impressive, the guy looked like he was in his late 60’s so how much strength could have possibly have to do any real damage, but we just stand there and watch. After a few seconds of nobody saying anything, he picks it back up and leaves.

#9 Story Time

Image source: Luke5119, Rhodi Lopez

I was working retail for an office supply store. I see a customer as I’m walking the sales floor is looking at envelopes. I ask if I can help and he just glances over and hands me a specialty envelope. I know we don’t have it, but humor him in looking. I then say politely *”I don’t believe we carry this in store, but I can check our website and if we find it I can ship it to you next day at no additional charge”.*

He doesn’t say anything and keeps looking. I motion to him that I’m going to a front computer to check and will be back shortly. I go to the front and spin around a computer and start looking.

I’m not at this computer but a minute, and all of a sudden a large box of envelopes goes flying past my head grazing my right ear and lands on the ground in front of me and busts open.

I turn my head back around to see the man I was helping is looking at me….fuming. This guy is stark raving mad and just yells *”YOU’RE NOT LISTENING TO ME!!!”.*

I thought the guy was having a manic episode, because none of what he was doing made any sense.

I ask *”Did you throw that box of envelopes at my head?”*

He proceeds to yell the same thing *”YOU’RE NOT LISTENING TO ME!!! I want THESE ENVELOPES, WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!”*

My store manager wasted no time and made a B line for the front of the store and threw him out.

My store manager then nervously chuckles, shakes his head, and looks at me asking *”What the hell you’d do to that guy?”*

I just shrugged and said *”Tried to help him find some envelopes, f**k me right?”*.

#10 I was ringing up a customer and making small talk being my usual goofy self. She looks at me then says “you remind me so much of my son” pauses for a bit and then says “ I miss him so much”. I guess it’s not the weirdest but has stuck with me over ten years.

Image source: Sven_88, iMin Technology

#11 I worked at a convenience store near the state fair grounds.

Image source: baconatedwaffle, Nishant Aneja

One year a clown in black and white makeup came in at 1 in the morning and tried to pantomime what kind of cigarettes he wanted. after three minutes of me being the worst charades player ever he got frustrated and tried to come behind the counter to I guess pick them out, but that freaked me into broom grabbing defensive mode. he kept trying to get in, I kept trying to tell him he couldn’t come behind the counter. just when I thought I was about to get into a fight with a mime he finally blurts out LOOK MAN GIMME SOME MARLBORO MENTHOL LITES.

#12 I used to be a full time rideshare driver. One of the stickers I have on my car has an opossum with text saying, “Eat trash. Hail Satan.” It is meant to be funny and not taken seriously.

Image source: OnlyIGetToFartInHere, Keisha Land

One time, I picked up a couple that was going to a Catholic church. They freaked the f**k out after seeing that sticker. They acted like I was a demon that was sent to corrupt them and spent a lot of the ride loudly praying and saying “Oh Lord save me!” in a very *I am about to die* tone.

#13 I wouldn’t immediately call this weird, but I think of it very often.

Image source: sammy5585, Sagar Kulkarni

I worked at a farm supply store for a while. Once a year, baby chicks are delivered and we kept them in a corral in the middle of the store. One night, a exceptionally tall (probably 6’9″-7′) man comes in. He was very pale, had dark hair and dark eyes, and was wearing a very long, black trench coat. He walked in and gazed at the chickens for a while. I remember thinking, “This dude is TOTALLY a vampire lol” before he walked up to me.

He asks me “May I ask you an unusual question?”
“I breed reptiles and I notice you have baby chicks. My pets need to eat and those are much too small for the animals I have. Do you perhaps have larger ones out back? Closer to full grown?”

I was a bit stunned but hey, I know animals need to eat and there wasn’t a rule stating we couldn’t sell them for *animal* consumption. We sold meat birds for human consumption constantly. Coincidentally, one of my regulars came in earlier asking me if I knew anyone who wanted 50-100 full grown quail, as she had too many.

“Uh, no, I don’t have any larger ones out back. But I may know of someone who has something similar for sale, how many are you looking for?”
“Well, how many do they have?”
“She has 50-100 full grown quail.”
“I certainly don’t need all of those at once, but maybe I could buy a coop and keep the quail on hand… can you show me your coops? And do you have her contact info?”

This man went on to buy almost $1000 in coop supplies, food, bedding, etc. He told me that he breeds snakes mostly, and has a secure room in his house with a $15k biometric security system with climate and humidity controls for his snakes. He had a 17′ Burmese python that he would let hang out with him on the couch, and even showed me a photo of his toddler son sitting with the Burmese watching tv. He had various other large snakes that he showed me photos of too.

I realize that reptile breeding really isn’t strange, and lots of people do it. But I was NOT expecting that one random evening in the middle of a small farm town. I know from speaking with our regular, that he picked up 50 quail, and planned on picking the other 50 up at another time. I never saw him again.

#14 About 25 years ago, I worked at a liquor store in a shopping mall. This one disturbed guy would walk in every day and ask me a strange question, and then leave without buying anything.
Once he asked me if there was a difference between bitterness and rage.
Another time he asked me if you could buy glasses that would blot out the sun completely.
Always wierd stuff like that.
I’d always answer him as honestly and accurately as I could.
I wish that I wrote down his questions every day, there was some good ones.

Image source: Peptic_Germ

#15 Worked at McDonald’s briefly in high school. There was a subdivision being built on the land in back of the building. Group of 10 guys at least all came in to eat and just destroyed the bathroom. S**t literally everywhere. Manager told me to clean it up since I was the newest. Walked right out and applied at the Penn Station down the road.

Image source: Jumpy-Author-4985, Visual Karsa

#16 I posted something about this in a thread a while back. Back when I was taking my bachelors degree program, I was working in a fast food pita-typed restaurant. It was set up kind of like Subway where you select everything you want on the pita. The only difference was that we cut up all the veggies fresh, and the meat was nice quality that we cooked on a grill.

Image source: Glossiebabee, Valeria Boltneva

At night time in the winter (Canada) we did not usually get many customers. One particular night I was working alone near closing time with a medium-strength blizzard outside. I hadn’t had anyone come in in a couple hours and was brushing up on my class notes for the week feeling pretty good about being payed to study.

Unfortunately, a customer walked in, so I pleasantly walk up to serve him. He was an average looking guy, maybe a little haggard looking. Just tired and stressed from driving in the storm I thought. He ordered a chicken pita with extra peppers. So I put the peppers in, and he said “no no, more peppers, I need more peppers”. I put the peppers in free of charge, they were going to be thrown out at the end of the night anyways (new veggies every morning and afternoon). It was LOADED with peppers, and he seemed happy.

He thanked me and left a couple loonies as a tip (pretty good tip for a cheap fast food place) and went to the back of the store to eat it.

This is where it gets interesting. He literally had a mental breakdown right in front of me. He took a few bites of his pita, then SLAMMED it down on the table. He started *screaming* about how much he hates peppers. “I F*****G HATE PEPPERS WHY WOULD YOU PUT PEPPERS”, then started just screaming incoherently.

What followed is probably the strangest thing I have ever seen. He took off his parka to show that he wasn’t wearing a shirt underneath, then started rubbing the peppers from his now destroyed pita on his chest. At this point I pick up the phone to call and ambulance. I wasn’t really afraid for my safety given that I’m not the smallest guy and I was standing a few feet from several large industrial grade knives.

This guy was straight up flipping out. He was knocking chairs over, and walked up to the cooler full of bottled drinks. He PULLED the cooler over (almost onto himself) and all the drinks smashed on the floor. Then he went and curled up in a ball on the floor crying.

The dispatcher had decided to send over the police as well, and it didn’t take long for them to get there since the station is right down the street.

They loaded him up into the ambulance and took him away, and I filled out a police report. There was only a couple hundred dollars in damage (which the business insurance covered) and I never heard anything about the guy again.

**TLDR: Man goes insane in pita restaurant, rubs hot peppers all over his naked chest**.

#17 I think I was the victim of a social experiment one night. I was bartending, we had a couple come in once a week, usually order the same thing every time. One week, they were 30 minutes late, when a couple who looked exactly like them came in, sat at their seats, and ordered pretty much the exact same stuff. When I say they looked exactly alike, I mean all the guy did was have on a convincingly good looking fake mustache, everything else about him was a dead ringer for our guy. Normally the couple would be happy and chatting with the bartenders, but this couple sat in silence and didn’t make any small talk with the staff.

Image source: BrilliantWeekend2417, cottonbro studio

Towards the end of their meal, I confronted them “Hey, you’re so and so, right? Is this a joke or something?” to which the guy replied “I’m sorry sir, you must have us confused with someone else.”

The “original” couple didn’t come in that night, but they came in next week for their normal dinner, and when I asked them about it, they denied it being them, and we never got them to even hint that it may have been them, and everybody pretty much acted like it never happened and wasn’t them, but I was serving them, too many coincidences for it to not be them… their wardrobes, their appearance, the time and date they came in, their order….

Yeah, weird, to say the least.

#18 A guy came up to the front and asked me where we kept our alarm clocks. I said “If we have any left they’ll be in the back corner with the rest of the electronics.”

Image source: Cathlem, Tima Miroshnichenko

He started walking to the back of the store, got halfway there, then I heard him yell “IF?!” and he stomped out and we never saw him again. The whole time he was muttering “If” to himself.

Sorry dude, I work upfront, I know where they are, not if we have any right now.

#19 One time I had a customer who insisted on paying for their groceries entirely in pennies. They brought in multiple heavy bags filled to the brim with pennies and spent hours counting them out at the checkout counter. It was definitely an unusual situation, and it caused quite a commotion in the store!

Image source: michelle_1108, Pixabay

#20 One i always remember… I used to work in a bank call centre, in Australia. A guy calls up and I ask for his name and account number. He says, in a ridiculously over the top posh British accent, “my name… is Ronald… McDonald ” and gives a number. I thought for sure this is a prank call, but hold my laughter and look him up just in case I get audited or whatever. HE WAS A REAL PERSON. Poor dude. Might as well have been a clown though with a name and voice like that!

Image source: OlCheese

#21 At an Italian restaurant and the woman at table next to ours asked the server what was the ratio of chicken to cheese in their Chicken Parm. The server thought really hard about it for a second and then replied “I’d say it’s about normal”. And the woman was satisfied with that. She ordered the Chicken Parm, and ate it without further comment.

Image source: Leopard__Messiah, ALINA MATVEYCHEVA

#22 Was at the cash register when a foul smell hit me like a bus.

Image source: adventurouslina, Fikri Rasyid

Turns out someone took a dump in the TOILET PAPER isle and ran away. The camera got the guy ofc, but still…

Told my manager I wasn’t gonna clean that up and he got mad, threatening me with a smaller paycheck since I’m not doing my work. Got out and quit.

Not taking any more s**t on that job, quite literally!

#23 First bartending / waiting job, it was at a Macaroni Grill in the early 2000’s. Damn I miss that place. Anyways.

We close at 10, it is around 9. It’s been a slow night so we have cut the staff down to just a few of us. A guy comes in and sits at one of the tables by the bar. He is wearing a hospital gown, and still has his hospital bracelets on, for some reason has one drumstick and is clearly unhinged. He was pretty young and well built and just saying all kinds of crazy s**t. It’s been over 20 years so I don’t remember everything he said, but at one point he made eye contact with me, waved his drumstick around and sang “I’ve got the magic stick”. I eventually had to kick him out because he wasn’t ordering anything. It seemed like he had escaped from a hospital and came there to hide out.

*Other notable stories from bartending and waiting tables from that Macaroni Grill include*:

Waited on a guy that had blue skin. Some kind of rare disease I guess?

Waited on another guy who was completely covered in what looked like large warts. Entire face, hands, neck, all of it. I felt horrible for him.

There was a guy who would come in a few times a month that was known to tip insanely. He shows up in my section. I come up and do my greeting, he orders drinks and hands me a twenty. I come back and get his food order. Hands me another twenty. This happens every time I come to the table, and then at the end he tips me like another $200 for a $50 meal. Well this guy ends up in the news about 6 months later. He was an identity thief and was raking in all kinds of cash. Went to prison.

Waited on a family of very tall people. Mom, dad and son. All 3 were over 6’6″ easily. They all order steaks. At one point the son stands up and is choking. His giant a*s dad grabs him from behind and yanks him in the air by his stomach. Dude shoots a giant chunk of steak out of his mouth across the restaurant in the middle of a packed lunch rush. That place was f*****g wild.

Image source: dusty_trendhawk

#24 I sell high end marble for countertops and a couple with a project in palm springs came in. They said they needed about 22 slabs. Now that’s a lot, so naturally I asked for more details about the project. They showed me the plans and it was a compound with 9 master bedrooms, all with their own kitchen. Don’t know if they were swingers or cult leaders but it was the strangest encounter I’ve had so far!

Image source: 2spooky7ime, Ryan Donnelly

#25 I work at a grocery store deli, and there is this girl who comes in nearly every single day.

Image source: TrulyNotAStalker, Kampus Production

For a while just to talk to me, she was ordering a single slice of cheese nearly every day I was working. She also basically asked where I live and compliments me an unnatural amount.

I recently found out she flirts with almost all the guys in the produce department (as well as asks them on dates), even boys in their teens. She is around 40. She went on a date with the supervisor of that dept., which was a veteran, and he said it was the biggest mistake of his life.

She has also stolen bok choy among other things.

Shanilou Perera

Shanilou has always loved reading and learning about the world we live in. While she enjoys fictional books and stories just as much, since childhood she was especially fascinated by encyclopaedias and strangely enough, self-help books. As a kid, she spent most of her time consuming as much knowledge as she could get her hands on and could always be found at the library. Now, she still enjoys finding out about all the amazing things that surround us in our day-to-day lives and is blessed to be able to write about them to share with the whole world as a profession.

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clients, Customer Service, customers, eccentric, weird
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