If you've been around the internet any time since the mid 2000s you're probably familiar with the often shocking and amusing antics of Walmart's customers. As a former retail employee I can confirm that these types of situations certainly aren't exclusive to Walmart (try working overnights in a rural gas station for a year), but the stores do seem to attract more than their fair share of the bizarre.
Reddit user Skyliner360 asked:
Some of the responses took me right back to my cashier days, and some of them made me cringe inwardly in sympathy for the employees that dealt with the situation. None of them, though, were boring.
I Guess the Customer Is Always RightGiphy
Former Walmart cashier/Customer Service Desk associate here. Had a guy bring in a copied $10 bill to make a purchase. When the cashier told him he couldn't use it, he demanded to speak with a manager.
Now, I'm not sure if a hand-colored xeroxed $10 bill, or the manager approving the sale was the most Walmart thing, but I think the argument could be made that it doesn't matter in the end.
He Just Had To Try
Once had a redneck with a mullet try and steal a comforter by just walking out with it, not even from the checkout lanes. Just blatantly walking out. When I asked can I see his receipt he hands me a receipt from 7/11 for beer. I said this is a 7/11 receipt and he looks at me and with the biggest smile goes "AYYYYEEEEEE" hands me the comforter and walks out like nothing happened. I was like tf
Not much of a story, But I work in the deli, and routinely an absolute giant of a man (width and height), comes in and buys all of my hot wings. I don't exaggerate when I say this guy's an easy 7 feet, because I'm 6' 2" and this gentleman absolutely towers over me. I fear the day when we run out of the spicy goodness and he vaporises me with his immense strength.
My mom worked at Walmart for about a year. She actually liked it as she was more active, but she decided to quit after the jewelry department manager had a meltdown and started throwing jewelry at customers. One old lady got pelted in the head with a heavy ring box and it was over.
Turns out the manager was selling the jewelry to friends and family, but would keep the boxes and stuff them with rocks and trash so inventory would stay the same. She had the meltdown before she was caught.
Caught several women stealing eggs out of the cartons putting them in their purses. This was almost a daily occurrence. It was so bad they even had cameras put up in front of the eggs.
The Competition Doesn’t Have It Any Better
People of Target from my four years there:
The person who took a dump in a kid training toilet, boxed it back up, and replaced it on the shelf.
The guy who disrobed in the entrance, and a bunch of managers had to block views of him by holding up cardboard until the police arrived.
The trail of poop that led, Family Circus dotted line-style, up and down and in and out of nearly every aisle in the store until it led me to the abandoned electric scooter that had diarrhea pooled in the seat, dripping on the floor.
Stay fast, fun, and friendly out there, team members!
Went to a Walmart on a Friday night at midnight in Missouri and immediately saw the most glorious mullet I have ever witnessed. Also a kid pushing a cart so full of gatorade that the cart looked heavier than the kid.
Grew up in Missouri. The best thing is when you witness the rare couple mullet. When both husband and wife have matching, flowing mullets.
I used to work for a cell phone carrier at a little folding table near the front door of Walmart. This was 15-20 years ago when Walmart themselves did not sell phones. Way back before phones went digital, and in most parts of the country there were only 2 carriers to choose from. I was selling Motorola flip phones and BAG phones. So this was a while back. I moved from store to store around a medium sized metro area, about 8 Walmarts in town, and my team all took turns with them.
Anyway, this particular day I was stationed at a Walmart in a very ghetto part of town. One of those places where loss prevention had loads of staff and sh*t was still getting stolen all the time. Crackheads drifting around all the time and just tons of run for the door petty theft and fast hands "make change" scams. It was a lively place to be. As it happened a tropical storm was rolling into town. 2-3 in the afternoon, overcast and a bit dark outside, and the power goes out. Now these days there would be immediate battery backup lights that kick on, but back then there was a generator, and it took a good 2 min before itself started and the lights came back on. The other thing worth mentioning is this was an older store, built in the '80's. So lower ceilings than the modern ones, and back before they put skylights everywhere. The point is, it was PITCH BLACK in that building for a good couple of minutes. Aside from the handful of emergency exit signs, there were no lights.
Now, you remember back in grade school when the power would go out and everyone in the class would just start screaming because they could? Well, it was like that. I was about 20 yards into the building sitting at a little card table just past the little hot dog stand/restaurant place (remember them?) and the roar of noise was deafening and immediate. And then, after about 20 seconds, people seemed to realise that the lights were not going to come right back on, and there was opportunity afoot. And it happened. Seemingly all at once, damn near every customer in the building grabbed a handful of whatever they were standing next to and made a run for the door.
It was and still is one of the craziest things I have ever seen. I was sitting next to a little half height wall (that surrounded the seating for the hot dog place) and close enough to the door that I was not in total darkness, so everyone was running past me and not into me. And I literally had front row seating for this whole thing. For 30 seconds it was just streams of people, dragging all kinds of crap along with them, while the 2 security guys who work the front door were frantically trying to stop them and grabbing at whatever they were carrying. Someone grabbed two of the display model phones off my little table as he went past (they were empty shells with a weight inside so no real loss).
2 min later the lights all kicked back on, and it was just me, the employees, and a few retirees who were all looking a bit dazed by the whole thing. And all the clothes racks had been knocked over, sh*t was EVERYWHERE. Some jackass had managed to pull the whole rack of bicycles off the wall in the toy section. It looked like a bomb had hit. Took them damn near a week to get it all back to normal. They closed the store for a day just to get it cleaned up enough to let people back in and they had a few places roped off for a few days while they fixed broken racks and stuff.
It was kind of incredible.
That Isn’t How You Use That
If this says anything about the associates, just last week I was in the employee bathroom when another associate walked in. All the stalls were full so he peed in the sink, didn't wash hands, and left.
This is why I avoid Walmart bathrooms like the plague. There's something about Walmart stores that make people lose their sense of normal human behavior.
Had to convert surveillance video footage to dvd for an attorney a while back. Was footage of a lady, clear as day, cracking open a bottle of olive oil, pouring some out on the floor, then putting it on a nearby shelf. She then looks around and walks over to the spill and slips and falls. So funny to watch. It was one of those projects where I was calling people over to my desk, "you gotta see this"!
I worked in a neighborhood market in Tennessee. One day a heavy storm rolled in as I was pushing carts. As I was pushing in my last row, I saw a man walking towards the entrance, and since it was raining it looks like he was wearing a white suit with yellow polka dots.
I go inside, turns out it's a very thin spongebob onesie. He wasnt wearing underwear. It was not a good day for my eyes.
Always Buy The Shrink-Wrapped Ones
I worked at Walmart in the garden department, briefly in the early 90s. I am going to take a break and walk past the deoderant aisle and I see this huge guy, maybe 350 pounds, in a wife beater, put on some deodorant, put the cap back on and put it back on the shelf. Told my manager about it and he said it happens all the time.
Don't Commit Crimes While You're Committing Crimes
I worked maintenance there. One day I was out retrieving carts, when loss prevention called out for help. She caught our pharmacist stealing a bottle of dish detergent. He struggled. Hard. Way harder than the situation called for. During the struggle, pharmacists jacket came off and numerous pill bottles scattered across the parking lot.
He had a good scam ruined by a $2 bottle of dish soap!
No Is Just A Suggestion
I once worked in the fabric/sewing department and was asked to cover Hardware while the guy was on break. I wasn't trained on how to mix paint, so worst case scenario I bother the guy if need be. Easy enough right?
Not even 10 minutes later an older (65+) customer comes up asking about a vacuum in the aisle. I go to see if I can assist him with questions.
He asks if he can open it and try it out in store, I say no. He opens it and starts assembling it right in front of me.
Of course this is the moment my coworker comes back to find me staring dumbfoundedly at this old man.
EDIT: Just to elaborate, the exact question he asked me was "Will this work on carpet?". I said yes. He then asked if he could open the box and try it on our NON-CARPETED floor. I politely said no. Then he proceeded to open it without skipping a beat.
Confidence Is KeyGiphy
I worked at Walmart a long time ago.
I once saw an older man in his mid 40s, 250 lbs, walking around in construction boots, Daisy dukes, and a pink belly shirt. At least he was confident!
Catcalling Is Never Good
Not that this is really "peopleofwalmart" specific, but hey, I've been catcalled in the daytime, while working. I worked in the produce section so I had on those green aprons and my hair up in a ponytail.
Know what's great? The look on a guy's face when he realizes he just whistled at my ass while I was stocking shelves, except I'm a dude. I've been miss'd, mam'd, darlin'd, hey hot stuff'd...
Huffy's Great Escape
My time to effing shine; I knew those four years at Walmart would pay off eventually.
I worked the service desk, so I dealt with/saw some of the most epic people of Walmart bullsh*t imaginable.
We had a customer, we called her Huffy because she would come in and huff the aerosol dust remover that people use to clean their keyboards, get high, and then pass out in the bathroom for a few hours. I should also tell you that at the end of our parking lot was a small grassy median, and on the other side of the median is a Burger King. Remember this note.
Well management and loss prevention got tired of ol' Huffy coming in and stealing dust remover and taking up valuable bathroom space. So the next time she came in a manager and a loss prevention associate were in her like flies on sh*t. Somehow, that wily ol' Huffy was able to partake in a few cans of dust remover before the two associates moved in. Once Huffy saw two employees walking towards her she took off, with Walmart's best giving chase. I'm not sure why they chased her honestly. It was probably a slow day for them. The electronics worker who saw this all go down got on his walkie and radioed us up at the front, "Sh*t's going down and it's moving towards you."
I didn't have anybody at the desk so I moved out on the floor just in time to see Huffy and the two associates streak through the doors like bats out of hell. I ran to the door because I am not one to miss a show. I saw Huffy get in her car and make a break out of the parking lot, clipping two cars as she made her escape, leaving two winded Walmart workers watching her drive off into the sunset.
Now believe it or not, but someone who has just huffed two cans of dust remover isn't the best driver. I watched the car start to swerve halfway down the parking lot, then straighten out as Huffy gunned it. She jumped the median and slammed her car through the back wall of the Burger King, coming to the stop in the vicinity of the kitchen. Hands down one of the better attempts to escape the long arm of the Walmart law I've seen.
Hot New Shoes
I remember one time close to close, these two guys come in. I didn't mind, the guys were usually quick and only wanted food. To my surprise, they come to my cash, and one had shoes in his hand and a tag. Whatever. I notice he's really jovial and couldn't stand still longer than two seconds. Finally figure out he's completely wasted. The other guy was his friend and thankfully sober.
Drunk guy excitedly says he's wearing the shoes he bought so that's why he's carrying his other ones and has the tag. Well, that's no big deal to me. People do that all the time. So I said okay, and wasn't really paying attention to what my screen said and politely said, "May I put your shoes in a bag with that tag? Just in case?"
"Yeah! What an AWESOME idea! Thanks!" He paused and started bouncing like a little kid, "Can I show you my new shoes?! Can I? Can I?" His friend shrugged and shot me a look.
Well, seemed harmless, right. I said, "Sure" to humour him. He then shows me PINK SLIPPERS. No kidding. I stared and then pasted a smile, "Yeah, they're nice."
He's absolutely giddy with excitement and just as I was going to point out something, he grabs the bag after paying and shouts "THANK YOU!" Then proceeds to run outside as happy as can be.
In the pouring rain.
Oh, That's Baby Guy
I worked at a Phoenix area Walmart in the late 2000s. We used to have a customer come in dressed head to toe in a baby outfit complete with a bonnet, a pacifier and adult diapers. It was a middle aged white guy. The first time i ever saw him i freaked out but everyone else what like "oh thats baby guy". Apparantly he was a normal guy with a wife and a baby and one day he just snapped and decided to live the rest of his life as a baby. He would pay people to come to his house and change him and feed him in a high chair etc. he was a minor celebrity in the area before he passed away.
Where's The Feta?Giphy
I don't know if you want looks or behavior, so I'll try and cover both. I worked overnights. My store was right across the street from a hospital, but only a couple blocks away from a strip club, so you can only guess the variety of people I saw.
I worked on the grocery side of the store, not general merchandise, so I didn't see a lot of crazy stuff. I mostly had to deal with rude idiots. For instance...
- Customers would refuse to move while I was pulling pallets and insist that I go around them in addition to all the holiday displays and construction. Yeah, that's not happening.
- Customers getting angry at me that food items didn't come in a smaller size, as if I personally did this to screw them over.
- People would open up the cooler doors to the dairy and stick their heads in to ask where products were instead of finding an employee on the floor. Mind, there's a bunch of giant-ass cooling fans in the dairy cooler that make it impossible to hear anything. I'd have random-ass customers screaming "WHERE'S THE FETA?!" out of fucking nowhere. Scared the sh*t out of me.
- Had a woman threaten to call the store manager because the eyeshadow she found on a clearance rack had been marked down to $2 and she wanted it for $1. She started screaming and making threats and sat outside on the benches for three hours on the phone complaining about the store and how awful we were.
- And finally, some former friends of mine tried to start something with me while I was on the clock. They followed me to my department and were opening up all the outside dairy cooler doors to try and scream at me, so I hid in the meat freezer until another employee came through and I told him to get out manager.