Being mistaken for a retail worker is the worst part about working retail. (Or being requested to do additional duties for which you are not compensated.) If you don't believe me, just read any of these accounts. We've compiled some of the greatest examples of people from all around the globe sharing their "I don't work here" tales online.
Get a manager if you need one after reading these true stories.
30. Where Am I?
I worked at Target and there was a Hobby Lobby across the street. I ran over to Hobby Lobby after a shift to grab something and I was still wearing my red shirt with the target symbols all over it.
A 20-something girl comes up to and says, “Do you know where I can find a glue gun?” I paused and just kind of looked at my shirt and I said “… you mean at this store or… like… at Target?” And she just stared at my name tag for a long time and sighed a heavy sigh and quietly said, “Sorry, I don’t know where I am.”
29. Can You Come In Anyway?
Last holiday season, I worked seasonally for Target.
It was a disaster from the start. The managers had absolutely no organization whatsoever. I should have known when they scheduled me for my second interview and the manager didn’t even show up that I was screwed.
Toward the end of the holiday season, after Christmas and before New Years, they offered me a non-seasonal part-time position. I was going to accept but they wanted me to work a TON for part-time and being a college student they were not willing to be flexible at all. So I said, “Nope, I am done after my last day on Jan. 6th.”
Everything was good after I was done with that train-wreck and I was starting off my second semester. January 20th at 5:00 PM I get a call from Target.
Manager: “Hey, are you running a little late? You were supposed to work at 4:30.”
Me: “Ummm no. I quit over three weeks ago.”
Manager: “Uhhh well we are really short-staffed. Can you come in anyway?”
Me: “No. I do not work there anymore, I told you that and I’m at school.”
Manager: “are you sure you can’t come in anyway?”
Thank goodness I’m done with that disaster! And since this holiday season is coming up, I got a job at a different place. Thank goodness.
28. Peaceful Giant
My husband is a peaceful giant. He is 6 ft 5 and can look quite imposing even though he really is a teddy bear.
So here we are, at the grocery story, with our 6-month-old baby, shopping. The kid is fussy and nothing really calms him except when we carry him in our arms. It is my turn and my husband is going back and forth gathering what we need and bringing the items to our cart when this old woman started yelling at him.
Old Woman: ARE YOU DONE? You’ve been helping her FOREVER and I NEED HELP! NOW!
Husband: (with his smooth everything-is-good kind of tone) I’m so sorry, but I’m afraid I do not work here…
OW: NONSENSE! I just saw you help HER shopping. NOW, you help ME! AND YOU DO NOT TALK BACK TO ME!
OW: STOP! Don’t talk to me unless it is to thank me. Are we clear?
My husband sees me boiling and about to interfere but makes a sign that’s says he is going to deal with it. He then calmly lookS at her with a smile.
OW: GOOD! Now, help me grab the ketchup on this high shelve. WHY in the world you people always put the stuff I need so high is BEYOND me. Now, chop-chop!
My husband grabs the item, but instead of giving it to her, he keeps it just a tiny bit out of her reach. He looks at it and then at me.
Husband: Honey, do we need ketchup?
Me: (catching on) Well, as a matter of fact, yes! We do!
Lady: WHAT?! HOW DARE YOU GIVE HER MY STUFF! IT’S MY STUFF! GIVE IT TO ME!!!
Super slowly, my husband gets closer to the lady. He is so imposing that she calms down immediately. With the biggest of smiles and the most polite voice ever, he says to her: “Again, I do not work here… but thank you for reminding me we need ketchup.”
And with that, he puts the item in our cart, grabs the baby, and together, we left. In the background, the lady kept howling some profanities.
27. Our Driveway Isn't Company Property
College. A bunch of guys rent a beat up old house in town next to a daycare. Problem is the parents picking up and dropping off park in our driveway. We argue with the owner of the daycare every day. She doesn’t care.
So one day I begin parking behind the parents who are parked in my driveway. This infuriates the daycare owner. We go back and forth and usually I go out and move my car so the parents can get their car out. One day, though, I’ve just had it. I worked most of the night, had early morning classes, and I have twenty minutes to shave, shower, and get ready for my second job this afternoon.
I get home and sure enough parents are in our driveway…again. So I park behind them and go inside. Get in the shower and when I get out the daycare owner is beating on the door loud enough to shake the wall. I go downstairs wrapped in a towel and open the door. She burst into the middle of the living room and screams at me.
While she is screaming I take the towel off and calmly dry my hair. I am buck naked. She stops screaming long enough to realize she’s standing next to a naked college student, screams something about calling the cops and bolts for the door. It doesn’t open. In her haste to leave she’s locked the door instead of unlocking it. Now she’s stuck with a naked man. I tell her I have to have the key (true) to unlock the door and the key is upstairs on my dresser. I leave her looking like she’s about to have a heart attack.
When I come back to the living room she’s white as a ghost. I unlock the door and say, “It sucks to be stuck and not able to leave, right?”
Fast forward about 20 minutes and when I’m leaving a cop is parked in front of the house. I chat with them through the car window. I explain the situation and they chuckle. “Did you invite her in?” No, I tell them, she barged into my house. “Well it’s not a crime to be naked in your own house. Her problem for violating your privacy.”
I’d love to say this rectified the situation, but it didn’t. We never found a way to stop parents from parking in our driveway.
26. My Fake Job Is Very Profitable
I was in Best Buy picking up some software (I do independent IT work). I was not wearing a blue shirt, but the racks were a mess so I was going through the boxes looking for the one I wanted. This older guy (I’m an older guy myself) comes to me with a popular anti-virus program and starts telling me his situation and wants to know if that is the best product for him. I show him a more suitable product, considerably cheaper and recommend it.
He asks if I can check him out, I laugh for a second and explain that I’m in IT but I don’t work here. He looks a little puzzled, walks off to the register.
He comes back a few minutes later with his bagged box and asks how much would I charge to come install the software at his office. I give him my rate, he accepts, I end up at his office cleaning up a mess of 5 virus-infected PC’s before I can install anti-virus.
That was two years ago. To date, my billings to him have exceeded $10K for building an effective business network.
Helping people in a store you don’t work at can be very profitable.
25. Don't Be Rude to the Help, Even If They're Not the Help
My good friend got married last year and invited me to his wedding. I put on a nice suit on, black tie, shined shoes, all that jazz. I didn’t realize I was the only white guy there until the ceremony ended. At the after party, I also didn’t realize the waiters were dressed exactly like me. White shirt, black tie, shined shoes.
I’m walking around and a nice older lady (who would turn out to be the mother of the bride) approached me as I passed her table. She needed an extra seat for her table.
Her: “Excuse me…can we move this chair over here?”
Me: “Uh…yeah. Go ahead.”
Her: “Do you think that will inconvenience the other table?”
Me: “I mean, that sounds like that’s the other table’s problem.” (Yes, I really said this.)
Her: “…Uh…alright. Are there extra chairs in the back?”
Me: “…probably? I mean, they know there is a wedding going on so I think it’ll be okay.”
Her: “…O-okay.Well, thank you.”
Later, I had to go to that same table to drop off my portion of the wedding purse. And that nice lady was there with her sister.
Me: “Hello again.”
Her: “Oh hi. Great timing. Do you know when we’ll be eating?”
Me: “No, but I can’t wait. Wedding food is the best, isn’t it?”
Her: (somewhat annoyed)”Well, with what we’re paying for this, I’d imagine it would be.”
Me: “And thank you very much for paying for it. Really, I’m so happy to be here.”
Me: “…Um, so is this where we leave the wedding gifts?”
Her: “Oh my god, I’m so sorry! You don’t work here!”
Two seconds later, a waiter dressed like me walks by and I understand. We all had a good laugh about it.
24. Accidental Uniform
I made the mistake of wearing khakis and a red shirt into Target once. I got asked SO many questions, but just laughed it off. One lady though…
I was looking at makeup and this lady with her small child came running up to me. She asked where the bathrooms were and I told her I had no idea. She went from 0 to 100 and started screaming her child was about to have an accident, so I better get on my radio and figure it the frig out.
I said, “I don’t work her and frankly I could care less about your kid.” She went stomping off, so I went to grab groceries.
As I’m wheeling up to pay the lady taps on my shoulder and says gleefully “Remember me? YOU’RE GETTING FIRED!” I look over to the manager who looks at me and says “I don’t recognize you. Do you work here?”
When I said no, he looked really exhausted and said, “I’m sorry ma’am, enjoy your day.” The crazy lady was still insisting he “fire” me as I was leaving. Poor guy.
I’ve never made that fashion mistake again.
23. My New Favorite Sweater
My boss told me this one. She went to an outlet mall for Black Friday shopping, and had an insane encounter.
Strange Woman: (holding up a sweater) “Excuse me, do you have more of these?”
My boss ignores her, continuing to look through the rack.
The woman literally throws this sweater across the rack and into my boss lady’s face.
SW: “I [bleeping] asked you a question and you can answer me right now!”
My boss decided to buy this sweater just to irritate this lady, and leave the store
After checking out, this woman is screaming over the crowd, “Stop! What do you think you’re going with MY sweater!” She runs after my boss and grabs her bag, screaming like a madwoman, calling her all sorts of things, and insisting she be fired!
My boss just kept saying, “WTF, I don’t work here! GET AWAY!” Security shows up to pull the lady away, and she SCRATCHED at their face! The woman gets restrained, falls to the floor and tries to fake a seizure saying, “You’re making me have a seizure! Call 911!”
Police show up, the madwoman is loaded into the back of the car, AND SHE SPITS ON THE WINDOW!!
My boss made her statement, and wore the sweater to work today. It’s her new favorite.
22. No Touching
One day, I was shopping at the local Walmart and had my headphones in. Nothing to indicate that I worked at Walmart. I was looking in the freezer section for some ice cream when someone yanked my headphones off my head and they fell to the ground.
Cue this middle-aged lady yelling at me. “I have been trying to get your attention for five minutes! You shouldn’t be listening to music while you work! How can you help customers if you can’t even hear them!?” \Now I am seeing red. If she damaged my headphones she was going to pay.
I lean down to pick up my headphones and I say to this crazy lady: “Don’t you EVER touch me you crazy cow. I don’t work here you idiot. Touch me again and I will scream so loud the whole store will hear.”
“Don’t you talk to me like that! I am a customer!” she said as she grabbed my bicep to haul me to a manager like a child to be punished. So I let her have it.
I screamed the loudest scream I could possibly imagine. I actually lost my voice for the next day because of it. It startled her so bad that she let me go and dropped her purse. Not even 20 seconds later a manager comes running with the security guy.
The manager demanded to be told what was going on. By now we have an audience, and the manager takes us both and separates us.
Luckily for me, a very nice woman was a little farther down the aisle and saw the whole thing and told the security guy what happened and backed up my story. The manager asked if I wanted to press charges and I told him no. I just want my ice cream and to go home. He told me to take it. It was on him.
As I was leaving I saw the crazy lady getting thrown out of Walmart by the security guy and being told to never set foot in the store again.
21. We Broke In To Help Out
We moved into a new house a few years ago. Two days after we get settled in, it’s a gorgeous day so I’m out tending the garden.
About 30 minutes after I start, this woman walks beside the house. She compliments my garden and asks how much my services cost. So I told her “ma’am I don’t do services.” About this time my husband walks out and puts something into the car.
This woman decides to call the police and tell them we are robbing the place. I don’t know if her watching my husband caused that thinking, as he was pulling stuff out of the house and into the vehicle or what. We were new neighbors, moved in like a few days prior so you’d think she would have seen us moving.
Three cops show up a few minutes after she left. We didn’t know she called the cops. They pull up while both of us are wondering what the world is going on. Maybe someone we knew died or our kid got arrested. Neither. They said we were called in as an active burglary. We had to prove the house was ours. She didn’t even talk to us about it or mention robbery. Although I guess in the moment she just lost it. People are crazy here.
20. I Don't Want This Job
This happened about 4 years ago when I was looking for work.
I interviewed for a ‘marketing’ position at a new firm. The interview went well and I was offered a trial shift the following Monday. On turning up it became clear that this wasn’t a marketing job but a door to door sales job for what was basically a huge pyramid scheme MLM.
I quit and fortunately was offered a legitimate job a few days later.
Fast forward to the next Monday when I’m rudely awoken at 9:15 with a phone call.
MLM: Where the heck are you?!?!?
Me: Sorry? wh-
MLM: You were meant to be here at 8:30 – this isn’t a good start to your career with us, is it? Why are you so late?
Me: Sorry but who is this?
MLM: It’s the company who YOU work for. It’s too late now your team has left, but you better be on time tomorrow.
Me: Sorry, there must’ve been a misunderstanding. I’m not working for you. I got offered a job at xxx and accepted that role. I’m starting next week.
MLM: Well you should have told us this, it’s not professional to just not turn up and we would’ve hired someone else. Now your team is short-staffed…
Me: I told my supervisor. Talk to him. Goodbye.
The following morning, I am again awoken by the same guy demanding reasons for me not turning up to work. (Apparently not working for them isn’t a valid excuse.)
This amazingly continued until the following Monday when I was ‘let go’ for ‘unauthorized’ absences. (When asked if this means he’ll stop phoning me he told me to grow up and be professional about it.)
19. They Had to Call for Backup
My best friend and roommate works for a small independent print shop. We live in the burbs and the shop is located downtown about half an hour from our house. Often times I will be downtown for an appointment of some kind, and will ride home with her rather than take the train.
Usually by 4PM the only people left in the shop are her and a specific coworker, so I will just hang out in the front area of the shop with my laptop. At 5PM they lock the door, and then both of them gather their things up over the next 15-20 minutes before actually leaving. They are often out of sight, packing up in the back.
Last Friday was one such day. At around 5:10 a lady came up to the door of the shop (a glass door.) She saw me sitting there and started tapping on the door. I looked up and mouthed, “The shop is closed!” She yelled back. “I have a question!” I pointed at my wrist and said loudly, “I’m sorry, the shop closes at 5 and I don’t work here!”
She grabbed the handle on the door and started shaking it as if she could magically make the door open, and then started pounding on the door again. So I set down my laptop and walked over to the door. She screamed, “I only have one question, can you let me in so I can talk to you?” At this point screaming was really not necessary as we were only separated by a glass door.
I said “Ma’am, I don’t work here, and the door is locked from the inside by a key I don’t have. I can’t let you in!”
She screamed “Why are you being such an idiot? I know you’re closed, but it’s ONE QUESTION!” Then, to emphasize her point, she slammed her open palm on the glass door.
Which absolutely shattered. Honestly I’ve never seen anything like it. It’s not like it cracked and spider-webbed out, it just went to shards and fell to the ground. Fortunately I had stepped back. The lady blinked in shock and then started to speed-walk away. Fortunately we are in a massive metropolitan city, and I was able to follow her only half a block before I saw a police officer standing on the street.
The officer walked us both back to the shop with the woman ranting about how it wasn’t her fault and if I had just let her in, blah blah blah. The officer called for backup and two more officers arrived, and by this time my friend and her coworker had come up front.
They took another officer back to look at the security footage which is digitally captured, and that was pretty much that. Lady got arrested on the spot and I had to give a statement, and I’m told I’ll probably have to testify in court on behalf of the shop owner to get a civil penalty added onto criminal charges and help them avoid small claims. Which I’ll gladly do!
18. A Blue Shirt Isn't Always a Uniform
I was at a major electronics store known for their blue polo shirts. I just got off work at a warehouse and had a blue t-shirt on. I was in looking at movies when I heard a woman snapping her fingers right at my face and, in a angry, loud tone, “Excuse me!!”
I slowly turned to see a middle-aged woman standing there in a ticked off pose glaring at me. “You need to go get (whatever item she was looking for) from the back.” It was only then I realized what has happened.
I quietly replied that I didn’t work there, which just set her off in a rage of insults and threats.
Now I usually don’t yell at people, but something about her just rubbed me the wrong way. “Listen here, lady! I don’t work here! Just because I’m wearing a blue shirt doesn’t mean that! I am a customer! Now leave me alone!”
It was at that point that a real employee came over to see what the fuss was about. She saw this employee and demanded to see a manager.
It was less than a minute when the manager came over to talk to her.
“Yes. How may I help you?”
The lady screamed about my incompetence and demanded I apologize to her before I was fired. The manager looked at me in a bewildered state and said to the lady, “Ma’am, he doesn’t work here. Just because he has a blue t-shirt on doesn’t mean he works here. Now, I will get you an employee to help you.”
He turned to lead the lady to lead her away, but I wanted one thing first. I looked directly at the woman in the eye and said, “You owe me an apology.”
The woman looked around in a bewildered state. The manager looked surprised but said nothing.
The woman turned to a sheepish look while she mumbled an “I’m sorry.”
17. Come Back and Do Your Job!
So I’m on vacation with my family and the hotel we are staying at has a nice free breakfast. It has one of those waffle machines as well.
We walk down to eat breakfast and I make everyone a waffle because “Dads are the best.” (Really because I don’t want the kids to start pushing each other around hot metal.) After I hand the waffles, I finally make mine and start to sit down, when I hear “I’d like two waffles.”
Obviously I ignore it and sit down with my family. The lady follows me and says, “Didn’t you hear me? I said I wanted two waffles.”
Me: “Yeah, I heard you. The breakfast self-serve. You have to make them yourself.”
Crazy lady: “I just saw you hand out waffles to these people. Get off your butt and do your job.”
Me: “These people are my family. I don’t work here. I’m on vacation just like you.”
Crazy lady: “Listen here you lazy…
Crazy lady’s kid: “Look mommy, he’s wearing Batman pants.”
She looks down and sees my pants. It finally clicks and she starts making her breakfast. Her husband walks up afterwards and tells me he’s sorry, and offers to buy us lunch on him. He hands me a twenty and says sorry again.
16. It Was All Worth It to See the Look on Their Face
This happened a few days ago. I work as a substitute teacher at various local high schools. I am 24 but obviously look younger according to this teacher. AT = angry teacher. Me = self explanatory.
AT: “Why aren’t you in uniform? And no phones during school!”
I thought he was talking to a student so I ignored him.
AT: “Excuse me, don’t ignore me.” He said as he snatched my phone out of my hand.
Me: “What the f___, give that back, I’m not a student.” AT: “That’s detention for swearing at a teacher, you will get your phone back at the end of the day, now you will come down to the office and tell the principal about how disrespectful you are being.”
By this point I thought it would be funnier to let him complain to the principal who I play netball with and watch his reaction. He was raging. Saying I deserved to be suspended and that students always had their phones out yada yada. The principle and I were just trying not to laugh before she told him I was a teacher too.
Me: “Now give me my phone back. Don’t you have a class to teach? Because I do.”
I have never seen anyone go so red.
15. Don't Waste My Time
So last holiday season when I still worked for good old GameStop, there was a McDonalds a block away that I decided to go to for my lunch break. We don’t have a uniform per se, we just have to wear either a nice shirt or one that we sell and some nice pants with our name tag on.
I’m standing in line after ordering my food, and this kid and his mom are standing a couple feet away from me, and I hear the following.
Mom: “It’s okay, she works there, she’ll be able to tell you.”
Kid: “Yeah mom but she looks like she’s on her break…”
Mom: “Oh it doesn’t matter! Ask her, so we don’t have to waste a trip.”
I kind of roll my eyes but turn to the kid when he walks over and ask him what’s up. He then asks me if my store had some random, obscure PS3 game in stock. I kind of smiled, shrugged and said I had no idea, you’d have to call and ask or go up there and check.
The mom gets really huffy when she hears that and is like, “Um, we don’t want to waste all that time if you don’t have it, so if you could just look it up on your phone that’d be great!”
At this point my food is ready so I grab it and just shake my head at the lady. “Sorry, but I’d have to be at a computer to do that. Listen, I have to go, I only have 10 minutes left on my break and I haven’t eaten yet. Just call the store and they can check for you!”
I just kind of book it out of there and go back to the store and eat. A little bit later the pair comes into the store and the lady tries to report me to my manager for refusing to help her at McDonalds. My manager just laughs at her and says I wasn’t on the clock or even IN THE STORE so she can’t help her.
14. That Escalated Quickly
A while ago while I was in my break from the retail store that I work at I was shopping in the electronics store directly next to the store I work at. I was wearing the store uniform which is a very distinctive red and khaki with a jacket on top as well as my name tag which very clearly states what store I work at. Anyways enter crazy mom and her 4 kids.
I hear this piercing whistle from behind me a few times so I looked over my shoulder because whew it was loud. And this lady is barreling towards me with her kids in tow. As I turned to her to see what all the hustle and whistling was about she grabbed my wrist and knocked my phone out of my hand. I then look down and can see glass shards everywhere as the phone is smashed to bits.
So I give her the classic “WTF, lady?!” to which she responds by hysterically screaming that employees should not be texting while working and that I should be ashamed of keeping her waiting because I was texting.
Then she kicked my ankle as I walked away. I tripped, sprained my ankle, face planted, and nailed my shoulder on the shelving. Her kids started laughing and pointing. About this point was when an employee arrived and was able to help me up and see if I was okay.
Now she finally thinks for a second and a whole new look comes over her face as she realizes that I don’t work at this store in the first place. Then another new look as I told the employee to call the police. She started pleading with me that it was just a mistake and that she was just having a bad day.
Long story short: she was arrested on assault charges and eventually had to replace my phone, was given 350 hours community service, third I was awarded a decent sum of money and my personal favorite is that she has to pay for and attend therapy sessions for the next 3 years. On account of her rage issues.
13. I'm Not On the Clock Yet
A few days ago I was between flights in the South Florida Airport grabbing a cup of coffee. I’m in my flight attendant uniform and I get approached every once in a while. I do my best to be polite and help people out since most airport questions are easily answerable.
A woman approached me and asked where the smoking area is. I’m not a smoker and I’ve only been to this airport a few times so I’m not actually sure.
Me: “A smoking area? I think I saw one over by the Dunkin’ Donuts, I’m not sure if there’s one on this side.”
Lady: “Way over there? That’s the other side of the airport! Are you sure there’s not one over here?”
Mind you, this is fairly small airport, it takes about five minutes to get across the entire terminal.
Me : “I’m sorry, ma’am, I’ve only been here a few times, actually. I work out of Minneapolis so this airport is pretty foreign to me. Maybe you should ask one of the gate agents or someone working at the coffee shop? ” I try a charming laugh.
Lady: “But I’m asking you now. Why can’t you be helpful here?” She’s getting frustrated with me.
Me: “Again, I don’t actually work here. Us flight attendants don’t actually spend a ton of time at the airports we go to. I don’t know the layout.” My coffee arrives and I ask the barista about smoking areas.
Barista: “There’s a smoking area just over there, you can actually see it from where you’re standing, ma’am.”
It’s literally fifty feet away. I hadn’t noticed it since I don’t smoke. Things like this usually aren’t on my radar.
Me: “Oh it’s right there! Nice! Just for future reference, ma’am, flight attendants aren’t actually airport employees so we’re kind of helpless with things like this. Have a great day, alright?” I’m trying to be charming.
Lady: “Hmmph! Then why did you try to send me all the way to the other side of the planet if it’s right there?! WHATEVER! Learn how to do your job, idiot.” She walks to the smoking area in a huff.
The barista and I looked at each other in silence for a few seconds before sharing a quick laugh. I swear, I did my best to be helpful even though I didn’t actually work there. Even after explaining this the woman insisted that I worked at the airport.
12. Can't You Work For Free?
I got laid off from my job, but they kept contacting me, asking me to do work!
At first I responded politely explaining I can’t help any more because I don’t have access to relevant systems and also am not an employee, have a new job and am busy. I then cut conversation short as boss was a nightmare to work for when I was there and didn’t want to get into it with them.
Boss then responds a day later insisting I call them to help with another (different) issue that I KNOW they don’t need my help with as it’s such a simple and self explanatory task.
I was laid off because my role was no longer required (apparently) and I left a great handover log and was super thorough in handing everything over – gave boss plenty of opportunity to fact find from me (I was on notice since last October) so there’s no way they need my help except from forgetfulness/laziness on their part.
Not only that, I got utterly shafted with severance pay and despite being in a great position to help me, this boss wouldn’t lift a finger to make my situation better.
I LITERALLY DON’T WORK HERE LADY stop texting me!
11. I Didn't Offer to Help, You Asked Me To
I was at Home Depot today picking up some flooring. A middle aged lady approaches me asking if I can help her get something off a top shelf. I am 6’4″ and get asked this a lot no matter where I go. It’s no big deal.
I say sure and follow her further down the aisle. She points to a stack of tile on the very top shelf. I tell her that there is no possible way for me to get that and the store would need to get one of those lifter things for her. She thanks me and I go on my way. Or so I thought.
A couple of minutes later I am back in the aisle I was previously in loading wood laminate into my cart and I hear a loud, “Excuse me!” from behind me. Guess who found me again.
Her: “Are you going to help me or not?”
Me: “Ma’am, I have my own stuff to load. Find an employee to help you. They’re walking around or you can go to the front desk.”
Her: “Why should I find someone else when you are already helping me?”
It’s at this point I realize she thinks I’m an employee.
Me: “Ma’am, do you think I’m an employee? I don’t work here.”
Her: “If you don’t work here than why were you helping me?”
Me – “Because you asked and I don’t mind helping. Look at me. I’m wearing a black shirt and cargo shorts. All the employees are wearing an orange smock and pants.”
Her as she is walking away: “You shouldn’t offer to help me if you don’t work here.”
Me calling out to her: “I didn’t offer. You asked.”
Cue her flipping me off as she walks away.
10. It Went On For Hours
So in the ’90s, I rented a large workshop with two friends. I was a woodworker and the other two were metal workers so obviously none of us resembled the previous business, which had installed skylights, in any way.
Cue the customer of the previous business, C. I have condensed this as the verbatim conversation went on for a very long time.
C arrives at my door. She’s a real “Karen” who clearly needs to speak to a manager.
C: “I need repairs done to the skylights you installed.”
Me: “Sorry, that business has moved and I don’t know where they are now.”
C: ” No, I need you to send someone over NOW. The Skylights are leaking.”
Me: “As I said, that business has gone. We are a different company.”
C: “No, RIGHT NOW!”
Repeat the above a half dozen times…
About now I am realizing I am dealing with either a genuine looney or else someone too entitled to listen to plain common sense. I try another tact, caveman speech. Who knows, it might get through to her.
Me: “Skylight business gone. New business come. You talking to new business now. Understand?”
Me: “Nooooo skylight here! Try look in [bleeping] phone book! You screw off now!”
C leaves in a big huff.
It’s all about communication, folks.
9. Social Media Police
I was at Walmart the other day looking at Christmas decorations, which are displayed in a main aisle right across from the Electronics department, where I used to work. I haven’t in about 3 years, but occasionally I’ll get recognized. I’m guessing this is one of those times because I was dressed in all black, nothing even remotely blue. Anyway, I hear a sharp female voice right behind me. I turn around and there’s Karen, 478 Millionth of Her Name, Seller of LuLaRoe, Self-Styled “Entrepreneur”, and Drinker of Vodka from Water Bottles at Her Darling Jaxtyn’s Soccer Games.
Karen: “Where are the kitchen utensils?”
Me: “In the homelines area. It’s up front by the pharmacy.”
I said this out of pure reflex – I was so used to customers asking me where things were that I think I’ll always respond immediately by telling them exactly where to look.
Karen: “I know that. I was just up there and couldn’t find them.”
Me: “Well, that’s where they are. Excuse me.”
I moved to get past her, which was difficult because she maneuvered her cart so that it was pretty much blocking all foot traffic in the busiest part of the store. To my surprise, she actually moved. She had a strange look on her face though – kind of a deer in the headlights, with a lot of rapid blinking. When I walked past, I noticed her taking out her phone and dipping down a side aisle, and Miss Thing was hustling. Oh, Lord. I wasn’t sure what was about to happen but I knew it was going to be loud.
I was walking down another aisle when she bursts out in front of me, slightly out of breath and holding her phone out in front of her, like she was talking on speaker with who I assumed was the Customer Service line. She was like Kyle Fuller with hot flashes and an iPhone.
Karen: “- at Walmart. Oh look! Here she is. Come here.”
She points and beckons at me.
I was honestly confused at what was happening. I owed this woman exactly none of my time. She comes up to me instead.
Karen: “Say hi to Facebook. What’s your name?”
She said this with the slightly manic, slightly smug look of someone who has very clearly just found the hill she is willing to die on. This bitch was recording me in a Facebook Live video.
Me: “Hi Facebook. Why are you friends with her?”
Karen: “Oooh, she’s got a sense of humor. She won’t tell me her name. This is the [city] Walmart. Today is December 17, 2018 at 10:30 PM.” (I don’t remember the exact day or time but that sounds right.)
Then she ended the video.
Karen: “I have you on video. I will be sharing this with the [city] Walmart’s Facebook page. Have a good dayyyyy.”
She drew out the last word in a singsongy voice with what I can only describe as a Slasher Smile.
It’s now 2 days later and as far as I know Walmart doesn’t really conduct investigations through Facebook so I think I’m safe, guys.
8. Customer Service
So, I work at a candy shop. There’s an adult shop in the neighborhood with a similar name to our store, so when I tell people where I work, I always have to add “the one that sells actual candy.” This is a phone call I got today.
Woman: My name is [full name] and I have a complaint about one of your products. Who can I speak to?
Me: I can help you. What is the problem?
W: I bought a… um, a vibrating toy from you and I don’t quite know how to explain it, but-
Me: I’m so sorry to interrupt, but you’ve called the wrong store.
W: -It fell apart while I was using it. I was hoping you could explain to me how to put it together so that it doesn’t do that.
Me: I’m sorry, but you’ve called [candy store]. I think you meant to call [adult shop].
W: You should still be able to help me if you sell the same products.
Me: I’m sorry, but we’re a totally separate company with totally separate products. We sell candy, as in the food. We don’t carry any adult products.
W: I called [store name]. I bought this yesterday and this is the first time it’s been put into use. I’m just wondering if you could help me-
Me: That doesn’t change the fact that you are talking to a person who works at a store that sells candy. Hang up and phone [adult shop].
W: Ugh, if you won’t help me will the one in [different neighborhood] help me?!
Me: …Sure. Good luck!
W: [Hangs up].
7. Happy Holidays
So, I used to work in a grocery store, and still shop there every once in a while. Around Thanksgiving, one of the aisles get turned into a “Kosher for Hanukkah” aisle.
Early December this year, I saw one of my friends shopping in this aisle. I know for a fact he is Jewish. I was dressed about as far from the store’s uniform as I could be while still wearing clothes. He and I talked for a while, and I left him with “Happy Hanukkah”.
A lady quickly corrected me from the end of the next aisle: “You should have said Merry Christmas.” I ignored her and went to stand in line at the deli, where I had worked before and still knew some employees. She decided to press the issue.
I don’t remember the entire conversation, but she eventually demanded to see a manager. Fortunately, one was nearby.
He walked up and greeted me first, asking how my job at (other company in other city) was going. Suffice to say, the lady in question got a good talking to about how different religions handle various food-based restrictions. He added that if she accosted any customer or employee again over how they talk to people of these faiths, she would be banned from the store for the remainder of the holiday season.
6. The Sweetest Revenge
I was doing some late night shopping on a Sunday Night in Walmart when this woman comes up to me.
“Excuse me, I need help finding these items.” She shoves a list to my chest.
“I’m sorry, miss. I don’t work here.” I think that was the wrong thing to say as she just explodes on me.
“BS! DON’T BE LAZY! YOU’RE IN THE UNIFORM!”
My shirt was the same color as a Walmart employee’s but I was not an employee.
I decided to just walk away. She yells abuse and tries to chase after me but I keep running until I lose her. Then I go and pay for my things.
Now, a week later, I was told I would be interviewing someone who was applying for the secretary position in our company. So, I go to the interview room and call in the applicant. I look at the picture on the application form and my eyes widened. It was the same woman who had harassed me in the Walmart.
Oh, now this was too perfect.
She came in, saw me, gasped.
“Take a seat, please,” I said and she sits down, looking pale.
Oh, I was going to enjoy this. But I conducted the interview as professionally as possible. I made it very painful for her. My last question was:
“So, if someone came up to you and asked for help in a place you did not work, then you told them you didn’t work there, and then they yell at you and then they harass you and then they come to a job interview and you were the one interviewing them, what would you do? Would you give them a job?”
She did not get the job and I got some payback.
5. Fitting Room Nightmare
I went clothes shopping today. The dressing room had a 6 item limit and I had more than 6 things to try on so left some with the dressing room clerk at the desk.
I folded up the things I’d tried on that I wasn’t buying and brought them to the clerk and exchanged them for new items.
As I was doing this a woman tapped me on the shoulder saying, “Hey, hey, carry these in here please.” I guess she assumed I was a clerk too.
“I don’t work here.”
“Sure you do, I just saw you folding clothes.”
“I was returning those items. I’m in a hurry here. Excuse me.”
And I walked off because I didn’t have time to get into it with her and try on everything I needed to.
“Hey!” She followed me. Thankfully the desk clerk saw her and went over to help her so she left me be.
I went into the changing room, put on an outfit, and stepped out to see it in the full length mirror.
Bear in mind I had changed my clothes at this point. I don’t know how this didn’t make it clear that I was shopping.
But she asked, “Can you get this for me in a smaller size?”
I pretended not to hear her and rushed back into my dressing room to avoid the confrontation. Apparently, I was in such a hurry that I did not properly latch the door.
Because, sliding the dress over my head, jugs flopped out in the breeze, this woman follows after me and opens the door.
I take the dress off and see her staring mouth agape, and she just says, “You really don’t work here, do you?” Stunned, but mostly irritated, I reply, “Would I be naked if I worked here?”
She walked away, I shut the door and finished up. When I came out to give my next round of items to the clerk the woman was waiting for me. She apologized over and over and said she’d been on autopilot all day. I told her not to worry about it and I hoped she enjoyed the show.
I wonder what the clerk thought happened.
4. Misusing the System
So I work as an armed guard for armed truck service. For those of you who don’t know, we are responsible for picking up money and checks from other businesses. (I.e. banks, stores, restaurants, etc.) As part of my job is handling large amounts of cash, I carry a side arm or handgun for those not into guns in order to protect myself and the money. Where I live you have to have what’s called a concealed carry permit to have such firearm outside of work hours, which I have.
So I am on my way home and have to stop at the store to pickup dinner for myself. The store I go to has employees that wear a blue polo and tan pants. My uniform is black pants and red polo with company name on it. And as I had just got off work I still have my name badge on and side arm in its holster on my hip.
Cue crazy lady. I’m browsing the freezer aisle and she stops me and starts to ask where product x is. She stops dead in her tracks as she sees my gun in it holster. Stops talking and fast walks out of the aisle. I just assume she realized I don’t work there and left to find someone who does.
I go about my business and proceed up to the cashier line. As I’m waiting to get up to check out in comes a swarm of about 8 police officers. They come straight to me with crazy lady behind shouting “that’s him, that’s the guy with the gun.” They point there guns at me and order my hands up. I drop what I have and comply. I state that I work for company z and that I have a permit for my weapon.
They lower and holster their guns after the commotion and apologize for the confusion but say they got a call about a guy walking around the store waving a gun around. I say I’m sorry, but since I have been here my gun has been holstered. Never left the holster.
They turn to the lady and ask if it’s true that I never took my gun out of the holster. She yells that I’m lying and that I can’t have a gun in the store anyway. They of course go and check the security footage and see that I did nothing wrong and let me go on about my business and apologize again for the misunderstanding.
They then turn around and handcuff the lady who called and told her she is being arrested for misusing the 911 system and inciting panic.
3. How Should I Know?
So I went to the grocery today on my lunch break from work. I was shopping for ingredients to make hard apple cider. I found the only apple juice they sold without preservatives and loaded up my cart with a dozen half gallon bottles and kept them in their cardboard boxes so they would be easier to transport.
There were a few other items I needed to pick up so I pushed my cart through the store shopping for them. A woman noticed the boxes of apple juice in my cart and asked where I had found them. I had nothing better to do, so I walked her over to the apple juice display where she thanked me. Another woman immediately came up to me and asked, “You used to have these candy apples in the store but I can’t find them. Where are they?”
I had no idea where they were so I said, “I’m sorry, I don’t know – I don’t work here.”
Her eyes narrowed and she responded, “What do you mean you don’t work here? I just saw you help that other person.”
Now, I am in a t-shirt and corduroy pants and don’t look at all as if I would be working at this store. I could tell that this was not going to go well no matter what I said, but I attempted to be polite, “I’m sorry, ma’am. She asked me where I had found this apple juice so I showed her. I don’t actually work here.”
“What do you mean you don’t work here?!”
“I don’t work here. I am a customer, like you.”
“Just tell me where the candy apples are!”
At this point it was getting weird. “I really don’t know where the candy apples are. I don’t work here.”
“You don’t know where anything is in this store?!”
“I know where the apple juice is.”
“WHERE ARE THE CANDY APPLES?!”
“Ma’am, I’m sorry I can’t help you. I really don’t work here.”
“WHAT IS THAT SUPPOSED TO MEAN?!”
“It means that I don’t work at this store. I don’t know where the candy apples are. I am a customer like you.”
“THEN WHY ARE YOU STOCKING THE SHELVES?!” She indicated the boxes in my cart filled with apple juice.
“I am shopping. I’m going to buy what is in my cart…”
“NOBODY NEEDS THAT MUCH JUICE! YOU WORK HERE AND YOU NEED TO TELL ME WHERE THE CANDY APPLES ARE!” At this point everyone around us had stopped and were staring.
A shelf stocker came over and said, “Ma’am, the candy apples were a seasonal item and I’m afraid we are sold out.”
The woman glared at the employee, and then me and said, indicating me, “WHY DIDN’T HE TELL ME THAT?!”
“He doesn’t work here, ma’am.”
The woman then roared in exasperation, pushed her cart into an aisle display of canned food, knocking it over and screamed, “WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE!!! I AM NEVER COMING BACK!”
She stormed out of the store, fuming. The employee gave me with a WTF look, which I returned, then I proceeded to checkout.
I loaded the juice into the trunk of my car and hopped in the driver seat. I checked my mirrors before backing out and noticed that the candy apple lady was in the SUV to my left, sitting in her driver seat, sobbing.
I rolled down my window and waved to get her attention. She noticed me, waited about 15 seconds, then rolled down her window.
“Are you OK, ma’am?” I asked.
Through sobs and tears she said, “I said I would bring candy apples to my grandson’s party.”
I asked her when the party was to take place and she told me ‘tonight’. I told her that I had seen kits to make candy apples over at Safeway, and that if she made them now they should be ready by the time of the party.
Her eyes lit up and she looked at me, “Thank you.”
I went back to work.
2. Hired and Fired on the Same Day
I never thought I would experience this in my life time. I’m a hard worker, extremely dependable, and respectful. Not sure how I could lose a job like this. Especially when I only just got it.
So I work late and just about every night for the last few weeks at least, I stop by Walmart to get something for dinner. I usually get off around midnight and stop by on my way home. Every time I’m at Walmart, barely anyone is there except for the night crew. Stocking up the store and doing their own thing. Now from what I have noticed, they don’t have much of a uniform. Many of them are in hoodies or jackets of different colors. Just to add some context.
I showed up last night and I’m wearing a hoodie. I begin to walk up and down the aisles trying to figure out what I want for dinner. I’m thinking pasta and walk past a few guys who are loading the shelves.
All of a sudden, I start hearing this guy yelling. This voice gets louder. “HEY! HEYYYY! Are you listening?” I turn to look to see what is going on and this guy approaches me. “You’re late again. Don’t think I haven’t noticed you walking in the door after 12.”
I begin to laugh, thinking this guy is joking around. Before I can even say anything he jumps on me. “You think this is funny? Your job must not be important to you. I want you to follow me to the office.”
Now I’m completely confused and start looking around like I’m on some hidden camera show. He starts to walk off and I turn around and go back to shopping.
He comes back a minute later and starts to yell. “You want to be fired? Because if you don’t come with me now, I will fire you!”
I start to laugh even harder, then ask him, “What’s my name?”
He gives me this puzzled look, so I asked him again, “What’s my name? Do you even know who I am?”
He looks at the other guys in the aisle, who have stopped stocking the shelves at this point to watch this event unfold. He then looks back at me, trying to figure out what exactly to say back to me before his head explodes.
“Good luck filing the paper work to fire me, when you don’t even know my name!” I continue to laugh at this whole stupid charade. I pick up some ingredients for spaghetti, trying to give this guy a clue.
He storms off and I look at the other guys in the aisle. “I’m sure he will figure out eventually, I don’t work here.”
They start laughing and I go on. Can’t believe I lost the job I just found out I had in the same night.
1. Promoted At My Fake Job
So yesterday I was at my favorite local supermarket. I’ve been shopping there pretty much once a week for the past 6 years. I know the place like the back of my hand. I know most of the employees by name (I live in a small town of ~4000 people).
As I’m standing in the taco aisle, trying to decide exactly how hard to punish my bathroom later (I picked Ghost Pepper salsa, so a lot), I am approached by a woman who must have been 75 if she was a day. SL will be sweet lady, and M will be Me.
SL: “Son, can you help me locate the aluminium foil?”
M: “Sure, it’s right up this way.”
I walk her to aisle 7b.
M: “It’s pretty high up, let me grab it for you. Do you want the Reynolds, or the store brand?”
SL: “The name brand please.”
I hand her a 200 foot roll.
M: “Do you need help finding anything else? I’m a walking directory of this store.”
SL: Hands me her shopping list
I spent about ten minutes filling her cart with heavy/hard to reach items, and then I got back to my shopping with a smile and a “have a great day”.
As I’m standing in the checkout, I see the SL arguing with the floor manager (Greg, he goes to my church, we’re pretty familiar with each other) over by the express line.
I pay for my groceries, and walk over to be nosy, and maybe help out.
SL is telling Greg that “The big guy with the red beard” helped her. “I didn’t get his name” and she wants to see him get a bonus, promotion, or employee of the month, something.
Greg is insistent that no one with that description works there.
I get to the counter, and before I can explain that I don’t even work there, Greg pipes up.
G (to SL): “Oh, you mean Mark? Yeah, he’s one of our best employees.”
G (to me): “Mark, this lady has been over here singing your praises for the past 5 minutes. I didn’t even know you were working today.”
Me (Lying through my teeth): “Well, Sharon (a cashier I know) called me and said we were slammed, so I came in on my day off.”
G: “Well that’s some real initiative, how would you like to be Assistant to the Regional Manager (we’re both huge Office fans)?”
M: “Oh my God, thank you! Are you sure?”
G: “Well, you’ve definitely earned it.”
SL: “See, this is why I shop here instead of Walmart, even though you guys charge more. You care about your employees, and your employees care about your customers.”
So that is how I became assistant to the regional manager at a store I am not even employed by.