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Retail Workers Divulge The Dumbest Things They've Had To Explain To Customers

Reddit user Fragmented-Rooster asked: 'Retail workers, What's the dumbest thing you've had to explain to a customer?'

Grocery store worker checking inventory
Bernard Hermant/Unsplash

Those who work in the service industry are to be commended for not only all of their hard work earning barely livable wages but also for their patience.

They've experienced interactions with all types of customers, many of whom aren't always the brightest or the kindest people.

As patrons of various establishments, we've all been guilty at one time or another of checking our brains at the entrance, but hopefully, we were never as bad these employees described.

Redditor Fragmented-Roostergmented-Rooster asked:

"Retail workers, What's the dumbest thing you've had to explain to a customer?"

People, pay attention!

The Back And Forth

"Why are you shut tomorrow?"

"Uhh...because its Christmas day?"

"But what if I need something?"

"You...youre in the store now? Just buy it now?"

"But I dont need it now!"


– pajmage

"OMG, a while back I tried teaching my wife how to drive a standard transmission. The Costco parking lot on Easter Sunday seemed like the place to practice driving."

"That year, Easter happened to fall on 3/31. We got accosted by some old lady who wanted to know why Costco was closed. She kept yelling at us that her coupons said they were valid through 3/31, so it was false advertising for Costco to be closed on 3/31."

"I can't remember how long she yelled at us about it, but she refused to accept that neither wife nor I worked at Costco so we didn't have anything to with closing the store or sending her the coupons, and we certainly didn't have the power to open the store for her, lol."

– attempted-anonymity

Imaginary Sale

"Back in the day I worked at Safeway and a woman walked up to my meat counter and started asking me where a specific sale item was, like $1 a pound chicken or something. I tell her that’s not sale we have."


"She then shoves the store ad in my face and aggressively points at the $1 a pound chicken on sale. 'Ma’am this is Safeway. That’s a Kroger ad' She looks at it and says 'oh. Oops' and walks out as I stand there just freaking baffled at what just happened."

"Also working meat department every Thanksgiving morning I would have to explain to at least 5 people that you cannot thaw and cook and 20 pound turkey by this evening."

– vagabondsean

Customers gotta chill sometimes.

A Whole Latte Drama

"I didn’t make your drink wrong, Amy. You ordered a large hot drink, and immediately after paying the barista put out a small cold drink and yelled 'Jennifer.' Then, Amy, you picked it up and took a sip before realizing it was not your large, hot drink."

"Shift lead sent me on break before I had a chance to fully explode."

– BetaOscarBeta

"A lady at my first real job used to grab the next drink called after she ordered and would walk out with it, no matter what it was. She never complained about the wrong drink, but she left a bed of chaos in her wake, every time."

"Their manager decided it was easier to train the employees to make hers on the fly no matter how long the line was, than try to stop this old lady on her morning routine."

– Artistic_Purpose1225

Sorry, Wrong Number

"(Phone call when I worked in a hardware store)"

"Good morning, <hardware store name>, how can I help you?"

"Hi there. I'd like to refill my prescription"

"Oh, I'm sorry - I think you have the wrong number. This is a hardware store"

"<5 second pause>"

"So you won't help me refill my prescription?"

"What sort of prescription?"

"My birth control pill"

"OK well we're a hardware store, so we don't have birth control or any other medication"

"You're not being very helpful at all"

"And then she hung up..."

"I might have done society a disservice by not helping prevent her from procreating, come to think about it..."

– GraniteBoy

Bizarre Argument

"A chicken is an animal. Therefore it's not vegetarian."

"Worked in a vitamin store in college and was explaining to someone that vitamin D is extracted from lanolin in sheep's wool, so it depended on if you were vegan or not."

"And they hit me with fish and birds are not animals."

"The specific thing she said: 'What about a chicken? It's not an animal, it's a fowl!'"

"My assistant manager told her something like, 'Oh well remember the 20 questions game? Is it animal, mineral, or vegetable? A chicken isn't an a mineral or vegetable.'"

"They left in a huff and made huge complaints about us. Me in particular because I couldn't believe how stupid they were (and I have no poker face)."

"I was not/am not cut out for retail."

– LadyCiani

The customer isn't always right.

Full Refund Please

"Former retail worker. The store I worked at through college would do a 'friends and family' event twice a year. If you had a membership or received one of the discount cards, you received 30% off your entire purchase. The receipt showed the breakdown over each item for the discount.

"There was one woman who would come in EVERYRTIME trying to return one item and would argue with our staff about why she wasn’t getting 'what she paid for it.' We’d point to the item and the amount subtracted to it from the discount and she wasn’t having it. Insisted on asking for a manager everytime and causing a huge scene."

"She could never get it through her head that she didn’t pay full price for the item. It happened so often that staff would sigh when she’d come into the store because we knew she was going to pull the same stunt. It was exhausting."

– g00d_rat

"I worked in a sporting goods/hardware/automotive store that also had a gas station and bait shop. I was working in the gas station and a lady dumped a plastic bag full of fishing luers on my counter and tried to tell me some story about the customer service desk told her to handle her return out here in the gas station."

"I kept such a straight face and just responded, 'No they didn't send you out here for a return. We aren't event trained on that out here. You can try your luck at the customer service desk directly, but I'm betting they already denied you because you didn't buy those here. Have a nice day.'"

"She took her loss with grace thank goodness. LOL Try the Walmart, ma'am, because I'm not falling for your scam."

– Hookedongutes

Sassing The Customer

"I work in a deli. We've gotten some doozies. 'What flavor are the plain breaded wings?' 'Chicken.' -from my wife."

"My personal favorite that happened to me, went as such:"

"Customer: 'Hi, I'd like some sliced chicken lunch meat, what you got?"'

"Me: 'We carry oven roasted, buffalo, and garlic & herb.'"

"Customer: You're not understanding me boy! I want sliced chicken lunch meat, now what you got?"

"Me: 'Oven roasted, buffalo, or garlic & herb'."

"Customer: 'You're still not gettin' me son, I want sliced chicken lunch meat! Now tell me what you have, dammit!'"

"Me: 'Oven roasted, chicken lunch meat. Buffalo, chicken lunch meat. Garlic and herb, chicken lunch meat.'"

"Customer: 'Oh. Uhhhhh gimme some balogna.'"

"Still don't know how I didn't get in trouble for sassing that f'ker."

– Chaoticist523

A Fitting Disagreement

"I spent 20+ minutes arguing with a middle aged woman trying to return a XXL stack of men's underwear (against policy once opened). I explained that if her husband had a 32 inch waist like me she needed to buy him Medium size underwear."

"She eventually and angrily shouted 'Look, he's got a huge [member] and he needs XXL pants for it but these keep falling down when he wears them!!!!'"

"She would not accept my explanation that the tag size related to his waist, not his junk. She raged out of the shop, leaving the stack of pants behind."

– OP

Got Milk?

"Shelve of milk bone bare, offering a clear view of a completely empty cooler. 'Are you out of milk?' I have no idea how I kept my job that day with all the smart @ss responses I gave."

"Also, a woman cursed me out on the phone because we didn't have a product. I explain that we have not carried that product in over a year."

"She exclaims she has one in her fridge she bought last week and asked if I was calling he a liar. 'No mama, but I am the dairy lead and that product when we got it came in with a three week shelf life and we haven't received any for over a year so if you bought it last week I would recommend you bring it back for a refund cause it is far out of date.'"

– Kitraofthecrackedegg

It takes a certain type of person to deal with these kinds of unpredictable scenarios.

They deserves all the raises and bonuses to keep an establishment going.

The next time you enter a store and are confused about something, how about doing a little research before yelling at someone who is just trying to help you?

Save the drama, folks.