People Are Sharing The Customer Service Interactions That Still Haunt Them

Daniel Mitchell-Benoit
A library hallway, bookshelves on the right side and tables with chairs on the left.
Unsplash | Trnava University

A recent viral tweet asked people to share some outlandish interactions they had while working customer service that still haunt them to this day.

The replies to this tweet were full of wild stories that range from hilarious to horrifying. One thing's for sure, though, if you've ever worked any sort of retail, food service, or customer service job, you definitely have a story that could fit among these examples here.

Alternative currency.

A skull fitted with a glass eye
Unsplash | Hannah Gibbs

"Working in a record store, many moons ago, and a guy who was obviously wasted tried to pay for a Bob Dylan tape with some cash and his glass eye. I explained that I could only accept the eye if it fit in the till. Tried to put said eye in till. Didn't fit. Fair enough, he said."


A car on fire on the side of the road
Unsplash | Riley Edwards

"Working as a firefighter. We got a call to the car that caught fire. Later some guy from the mayor's office appeared, complaining that they are gonna need to fix the road (asphalt under the car melted) and ranting at the driver that he had should park that car in the forest."

Cutting some carpet.

A black lawnmower atop some grass.
Unsplash | Andres Siimon

"Working the night shift in a public library on a particularly quiet night when I look up to see a man pushing a lawnmower into the elevator."

Much too vague.

A man in a brimmed hat in the shadows, looking over his shoulder.
Unsplash | Craig Whitehead

"I told a customer (who was kinda dressed like Sherlock Holmes) as he was leaving the pharmacy, 'have a nice one', and he turned his head over his shoulder, looked back, and with a grin said, 'I already do'."

Hindsight is 20/20.

A group of young children in a classroom sitting on the floor.
Unsplash | CDC

"A lady was registering her kid for classes. I asked the kid’s name, she said 'Wilhelmina.'

I said 'that’s my mom’s name!'

The lady frowns. 'Hm. Weird name.'"

Breaking news.

A man holding a bottle of sprite in both hands.
Unsplash | Waldemar Brandt

"Work in a library patron came in noticed a Sprite behind me said 'what's the deal with that Sprite?' I said 'oh I don't know I think someone left it there'.

Two hours later came back and said 'Any news on that Sprite?' [That] has stayed with me for years."

Local facilities.

A wide shot of an Apple store.
Unsplash | Mihály Köles

"I worked at the [Apple] store and a guy would come in EVERY DAY to use the iMacs for a few hours. He’d check his email, pay his bills, dance to YouTube videos, take pics of himself in photobooth…all while drinking from a 64oz container of Odwalla carrot juice."

An unorthodox snack.

Two wrapped condoms, one orange and one red, on a blue background.
Unsplash | Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition

"When I worked at an ice cream place in Boston, a woman asked, in a lascivious tone, if we had 'CHERRY ice cream'. After she left, my coworker turned to me and said, 'She was chewing on a CONDOM!' Later, I found a condom full of tooth marks on the counter by the register."

Reaping what you sow.

A glass mug on a wooden coaster containing tea.
Unsplash | Luke Oslizlo

"Worked for Teavana. Woman ordered an herbal tea which takes 5 minutes to brew. Her child said she had to use the bathroom. I told the woman it would be 5 minutes, she could take the kid to pee. Mom said kid could hold it. Mom didn't even apologize when kid peed."

To the rescue.

A bowl of ramen with both a spoon and toothpick resting on the bowl.
Unsplash | Diego Lozano

"Worked in a ramen restaurant with counter seating overlooking the kitchen. Couple came in with a kid and allowed him to run all over, zero supervision. He started to climb over the countertop right above the boiling station for the noodles.

I put my arm in front of him to stop him from jumping into a vat of boiling water and said, 'Oops, you don’t want to go that way.'

They screamed, 'Do NOT touch our child!'"

Negative energies.

A woman with long hair thrown forward and a hand on her head.
Unsplash | Carolina Heza

"There was the time a woman refused to be rung up by my coworker. Her reasoning: 'I’m going through an exorcism right now and I can’t be around her energy.'"

Split in two.

A blue bathorom stall.
Unsplash | Tom Rogerson

"A bar patron passed out on the toilet & my boss hoisted me up over the door to wake her. She came to & immediately started trying to pull me down into the stall. There I was, hanging over the stall door, w/ my boss pulling my legs and the drunk girl pulling me by the arms."

It looks like what it looks like!

Three colored lightbulbs hanging from a tree.
Unsplash | Zarah V. Windh

"Once tried to help this customer find the right lightbulb we needed. It was some specialty nonsense and he didn’t have the old bulb with him. It wasn’t even my department so I had no clue what we had in stock, and he just kept angrily insisting 'it looks like YA KNOW!!'"

The six-dollar swindle.

A page of a dictionary featuring words from 'dysgraphia' to 'dyslogistic'.
Unsplash | Rob Hobson

"It’s a different kind of haunting, but once someone complained to my boss that I’d 'steamrollered' him into buying a $6 dictionary. To her credit, when my boss told me, she said 'I don’t believe that for a minute.'"

No lies were told.

A man pouring two glasses at a bar.
Unsplash | Stanislav Ivanitskiy

"When I was a bartender, there were a couple of college kids at one end of the bar arguing about whether they'd rather be shot or stabbed, when an old guy who was just quietly drinking well whiskey said 'stabbing hurts worse when it happens, gettin' shot hurts worse the next day'."

Unexpected finds.

A man stepping on a dead cockroach.
Unsplash | Nowshad Arefin

"Someone tried to trade in a GameCube. They slid it across the counter, I opened it, and slid it back.

I'm sorry I can't take in this [console].

'And why not?'

Ma'am, this GameCube is full of bugs."

Artistic liberties.

A library hallway, bookshelves on the right side, tables and chairs on the left.
Unsplash | Trnava University

"At the library. [...] A very nice, very elderly woman says she’d like to shrink down one of her drawings on the copier so she can mail it to her friend. I look down at a colored pencil drawing of Jesus on the cross blasting a guy with eye lasers, setting him on fire."

The entitlement...

An ambulance speeding down a street.
Unsplash | Jonnica Hill

"[It's] just the two of us on shift at Blockbuster. My coworker is having an extended (over 5 minutes) epileptic episode and I'm on the phone with 911. Customer walks up, looks down at her and says, with *all kinds of attitude*, 'How much longer until we can get some service?'

I'm stunned, just stunned. The 911 operator says, 'Did they actually just say that?'

I tell them that we're closed due to [a] medical emergency and insist they leave. They do, in a huff."

Playing games.

Various silver coins.
Unsplash | Shot by Cerqueira

"I had this regular that before opening the menu, would place 20 $1 stacks of quarters on the table. He always ordered the same thing, and he would remove quarters if he thought you weren't serving him to his liking. Literally remove some, and just stare at you disappointed."

Uh oh, awkward.

A woman's hand on top of a man's, both wearing wedding rings.
Unsplash | Thomas Curryer

"Was a receptionist in a fancy place. A married couple comes in every Friday, for months. One evening, he comes in with a party of 4, no wife.

Me: 'Oh, hello Mr. So-and-so, and where is your lovely wife this evening?'

A woman I’d never seen before turns to me, icily: 'I’m his wife'."