We used to serve cooked chickens in our rotisserie oven. If a customer requested it we would half or quarter the chickens for them. A lady asked for a half and did that annoying thing where they go off and continue their shop while you’re taking all of 30 seconds to cut a chicken in half. I bagged it, and put it on the counter. She picked up and continued on her way. About 30 minutes later she came back, visibly angry that I didn’t tell her that bones were in it. She then asked me to cut off all the meat from the cooked chicken, leaving the bones. When I politely explained that I don’t do that she stormed off in a huff. I was thinking maybe she’d like us to crush some fresh garlic for her aswell, on a bed of lettuce and half an avocado.
A woman came into the store with her out-of-control child. He was clearly high on carbonated drinks as he was erratically running around slapping customers’ butts and cackling. The woman wasn’t doing anything to try to control the little terror. I continued with what I was busy with when I felt an infant hand sharply smack my butt. I looked round to see that mischievous little shit smirking up at me. I laughed but deep inside I wanted to spank the shit out of him.
I worked at a country pub several years ago. The landlord didn’t fancy allowing kids inside the pub even if they were with adults. So one day, in walks a middle aged couple with their young son. I had to politely explain they’ll have to sit at one of the tables outside, because we don’t allow anyone under the age of 18 inside the pub. The guy obviously took this a little too literally, and without a moments hesitation pointed to the Alfie the resident pub dog and said “Well he’s under 18”. I was admittedly lost for words.
I once got a final written warning because I didn’t give enough notice to take two days off.
My grandfather died and I had to travel across the country to his funeral. After I explained this to my 16-year-old manager, I was told I wasn’t getting paid for it and that I was putting the company under “immense pressure” and I should have told them earlier so they could cover my shift … I tried to delicately explain I don’t possess psychic powers to be able to predict heart attacks within my family. Apparently still not good enough. What a joke.
This is how we’d transition from regular members of the public to servers of fine foods behind an upmarket fresh food counter. We’d been trained to go up to the changing rooms, stash our civilian clothes into lockers, don our service outfits, shave ourselves, pluck our nails, steam our faces, step into the decontamination shower, well that is a lie but you get the idea. Really we would rock up straight to the counter dead on starting time. Hide behind a wall where the management grunts wouldn’t see and take off a jacket revealing the fully or near fully dressed outfit, straighten tie, wash hands and good to go, serving our first customer at 30 seconds past the hour.
Working behind a Waitrose delicatessen counter, having huge cuts of cooked meats in front of you with a per-gram value approaching that of some class-A drugs, cutting a bit off and sneaking it into your apron pocket was something the more rebellious among the staff did on the sly. Justified by the fact that it would be destined for the rubbish bin anyway. A turn in the colour would see the fickle customers turn up their toffee noses and the meat would become unsellable.
There was a particularly arrogant new starter, only 17 and thinking he owned the place. A smooth talker and a good salesman, and also a serial thief. As soon as he learned of this open secret he took it as an invitation to swipe sizable chunks of salami on a regular basis. The last straw was when he was working behind the raw meat counter. He cut off a third of a chunk of fillet steak and stashed it away, not even trying to hide what he was doing, in fact bragging about it.
This was too much, he crossed the line. I hinted to the manager that someone was stealing from the counter. He arranged for searches that evening and caught him cold. He was never seen at the store again.
I had just started working in retail and was in the backroom watching training videos, filling out forms, etc.
I thought I was in for an easy first day, but someone working on the checkouts needed lunch and since it wasn’t that busy they decided to throw me up there for an hour. Running a register is supposed to be pretty easy so it shouldn’t have been a problem. In walks a short, ancient-looking customer and lays down two items that were about $0.60 each. I scan them through and tell him the total and he becomes visibly angry.
He goes bright red, lets out an exasperated sigh and starts ranting about how it said they were $0.50 on the shelf. This seemed mental to me. It was a minor difference, but I didn’t have very much experience with this kind of thing. So I just said “maybe they were in the wrong place? The computer should show the correct price.”
That was it. He starts shouting, saying “you don’t care, you think you’re big and tall standing over there?! Well, I’ll hop over there and beat your ass.”
He then points to a ring on his hand while saying “see this?! It means I’m a world karate champion. I’d kick your ass in a second.”
Not particularly convinced by his claims and beginning to wish he would indulge his “fight the lowly retail employee” fantasy I awkwardly shrugged. After storming out the next guy in line steps up, points to his ring and says “you see this?! It means I’m married. My wife sent me here
I work in a busy restaurant and this lady came over to me with her little boy, who was aged about four or five. After being seated, the little boy proceeded to piss in his pants. The lady told then cornered me at my station to tell me it was my fault because I hadn’t told her that her son looked like he needed to go to the bathroom. She actually wanted us to give them their dinner for free. I couldn’t believe it.