We've all had one of those days where nothing seemed to go our way, and it was easy for us to slip into a bad mood and say something snappy to someone we loved.
But most of us can hopefully say that we haven't thrown a full-blown tantrum over something that didn't go the way we wanted, especially out in public, where someone else could witness it or even catch it on video to share with the internet.
Redditor HuitzilopochtliMX asked:
"What has been the worst adult tantrum you've seen?"
One Adult Tantrum, No Waiting
"I worked at a Wal-Mart pharmacy when I was in pharmacy school. We had this lady come to pick up her prescription, but I think she had new insurance or something. So we had to rerun under the right insurance to get the correct price. We told her it would be a few minutes and we'd call her when it was ready."
"After we finished, we called her name, but she didn't respond. This happens a lot, and we figured she probably went shopping. But I guess she was on the bench and just didn't hear the girl calling her name."
"After a few minutes, she went up to the counter and asked why her medication wasn't ready. The girl at the counter, who was Filipino but could have passed for Hispanic, told her we did call her but she didn't respond."
"This set her off. She started screaming at this poor girl and kept talking about how she was lazy because she was Mexican and how the Mexicans were destroying this country and so on."
"The girl told her that she was actually Filipino."
"The woman said, 'THAT'S EVEN WORSE!' She said the Philippines was a country of w**res and all Filipinos are w**res and the girl was a w**re and on and on."
"Our assistant manager tried to calm her down but she kept screaming. Finally, the assistant manager banned her from the pharmacy and called the store manager to ban her from the store. It was the craziest meltdown I've ever seen."
Lack of Accountability
"My dad, in a T-Mobile store, was losing his mind and threatening the staff because he couldn’t do something on his phone and blamed the store manager for doing it on purpose."
"Reader, he f**ked up his phone at HOME."
Not Time to Shop
"Christmas Eve, working in a high-end mall, the store is closed. Someone forgot to lock the outer door and a grown man is standing in the foyer, banging on the interior door and screaming that I’m ruining his Christmas because I won’t let him in just to buy a few things."
"Sir, we are closed, you need to leave, lather rinse repeat. It’s like, 6:25 PM after a 6:00 PM closing time."
"We can’t leave because I can’t go out there and lock the door, and he would not leave."
"He ended up in cuffs doing the whole 'Do you know who I am!?' deal."
"I used to get these just closing up the restaurant at night. We weren't a late-night place, we closed at 11:00 PM. You bet your a** at least once a week someone would show up at 11:05 PM and pound on the front door demanding to be let in because they wanted cheese fries."
The Struggles of Jury Duty
"Jury duty for county court, around 2000. I was in the selection pool for a murder trial. I didn't get picked for the trial, but this one skinny, middle-aged man in a nice suit did, and immediately said, 'No, I don't have time for this! Don't you know who I am?'"
"Angry man: 'I'm [local used car dealer]!'"
"Angry man: 'I'm VERY busy and VERY important, and I don't have time for this! I'm [local used car dealer]!'"
"The judge called him back to chambers, and after a few minutes, the angry man sheepishly took his place in the jury box."
"Never thought I'd see a juror flip out in court."
"My mom threw a full water pitcher at my head in a hospital room. She was a drunk and having a fit because she was not competent to be discharged."
"I didn’t get hit and just walked outside to breathe. The nicest nurse came out and was kindly talking to me while I calmed down."
"I am an attorney and see adult tantrums literally daily, but the worst one I saw was while negotiating a settlement for a client."
"His case was already not great but the other side supplied me with evidence that made things way worse. I still managed to get an offer well into the six figures."
"He threw a hissy fit complete with ripping out his hair and holding his breath, threatening to asphyxiate himself, insisting that he deserved millions of dollars, which wasn’t even legally possible in the kind of case this was."
Big Fish in a Small Pond
"I work as a news reporter in a small town. A lady went on a racist tirade of some sort and then committed some crime, relatively minor, legally speaking. Criminal trespass or something. I forget, but it wasn't like a felony or anything."
"But, she is one of those 'big fish in a small pond' types. Has one of those last names that has always made her life easier. Rules have never really applied to her the way they do to normal folks."
"So, she called the office, throwing a fit and demanding we remove her from the police reports before we printed them, and threatening us with lawyers if we didn't. She was very sure we needed her permission to print her name."
"That's not how any of that works, because it's public information. We don't need her permission to print her name."
"She... umm... happened to be the very first entry in that week's police reports, though."
Fees Over Interest
"When I was 19 or 20, I worked in a bank. A couple around 40 years old came in with their 10-year-old-ish son."
"They had opened an account when he was born with something like 20 dollars. After 10 years, they expected there to be 10s of 1000s of dollars in there due to interest (they literally said as they were waiting for me to look up the account: 'I bet there's at least $10,000 in there now!' for a savings account with 0.02% interest)."
"But the account charged a monthly five-dollar maintenance fee for any balance less than 50 dollars (I might not remember the amounts exactly but you get the idea), so it had closed years before that."
"They lost their s**t. Both of them were screaming at me that they wanted the bank president on the phone, I deserved to die, someone should blow up the bank, etc."
"One of them tried to climb over the counter to get at me (but they were both very large people and physically unable to pick a leg up that high, thankfully)."
"Their son just stood there screaming a high-pitched, one-note scream over top of everything."
"The manager came out and asked them to leave and they started screaming at her and threatening her, too. It was absolutely wild."
Game Design Culture
"A well-known video game developer stomping his feet, flailing arms, and voice screeching/cracking while screaming like a mall five-year-old due to a small delay in the schedule."
"I work in game development, and there are a lot of socially stupid grown children who are considered geniuses who absolutely cannot work with other humans. Game designers are the worst offenders by far. Every other discipline is usually pretty chill."
Don't Be Like Rob
"The biggest one was a month ago from a now ex-coworker. The gas station I work at has multiple signs around the registers not to take transactions over the phone."
"We get emails and community messages three to five times a month constantly reminding everyone not to take any transactions over the phone. The registers ask you twice if you're on the phone when doing money orders and gift cards, there's even another screen that tells you to hang up if someone tries to do a transaction over the phone."
"Simple, yeah? Don't take transactions over the phone. My one-week-old daughter could figure that out. Not Rob. Rob couldn't figure that out."
"I got a voicemail later that night, sounded so proud of himself because he figured it all out without help. "Store support called and wanted me to test a system update by ringing up a pack of cigarettes and a 1,000-dollar gift card. I wrote down all the prompt numbers they gave me and everything went through just fine. Just wanted to let you know."
"The day prior to this, there was a community message reminding us, yet again, that no transactions are to be done over the phone. Store support, law, government, or anyone else will never call to perform a transaction over the phone. We have a binder where we put all these emails and messages for everyone to read and sign and ask questions on, basically a store bulletin board. Rob's initials were on that message."
"I sent a quick text to my boss telling her everything and I would be there in the morning with her to deal with this. We both show up before opening and Rob is in the parking lot waiting for us with this big boy news. He starts spewing everything that happened and, 'Ohmehgosh, look at me figuring something out without help.'"
"My boss stopped him and simply told him he was fired. Out came the most three-year-old tantrum a late 50's adult could throw. Huffing, feet stomping, banging his head against the glass in the door, the works. Stomped off to his car and sped out of the parking lot."
"It's no surprise he's been fired from over 20 different jobs in his working life."
Making Quite the Statement
"Once I was in Philly for New Year's and I watched some lady get in an argument with (I assume) her boyfriend. She thought the best way to win the argument was to jump in front of an oncoming box truck."
"Thankfully, they weren't going fast and hit the brakes in time, but I still remember that silhouette of her with her arms out in front of the headlights thinking I was about to see someone die."
"After she didn't get run over, she just went back to arguing loudly with the guy."
"I used to work at a small cafe that serves coffee, sandwiches, soup, etc. A woman can in one day and ordered a sandwich on gluten-free bread. We had just run out, and I informed her."
"Her: well I called yesterday and someone told me you had gluten-free bread! So why can’t I get a sandwich?!"
"Me: I’m so sorry ma’am, we do carry it, but we’re out at the moment. We’ll have more tomorrow."
"Her: I haven’t eaten ALL DAY because I was going to come have a sandwich! Now you tell me you don’t HAVE GLUTEN-FREE BREAD? This is unacceptable! I’m going to make sure EVERYONE KNOWS you FALSE ADVERTISE!"
"Me: Ma’am, again I’m sorry, it has been busy today and we ran out. That’s all. We have other GF options, including desserts, if you’d like to look at the menu."
"Her: No! I CAME HERE TO HAVE A SANDWICH AND YOU FALSELY ADVERTISED YOUR GLUTEN-FREE BREAD! (At this point, people are staring and she’s pacing back and forth in front of the register.) I’M FILING A COMPLAINT WITH THE BETTER BUSINESS BUREAU! You all just LIE and TRICK PEOPLE."
"Me: ok ma’am, if you don’t stop, I’m going to have to ask you to leave."
"She just went and sat at a table in the corner. I don’t remember if she ordered anything but I’ll never forget her losing her absolute s**t over gluten-free bread."
An Ex for a Reason
"My ex at almost 45 years old, losing a game of pool, and a 70-year-old man with Parkinson's telling him not to worry about it, it's just a game. He almost punched the guy in the face, then started throwing pool cues on the floor while screaming and cursing. This was at a busy pool hall."
"He threw tantrums like this all the time, and would scream at me and tell me I was a f**king freak because I didn't act like he and his brother did when I was upset."
His Order Comes First
"This fall I ordered Taco Bell on the app, for pickup in the lobby. I walked a few blocks and the lobby was closed. Drive through only. So, I walked up to the drive-through window and picked up my order."
"A guy in a mini-van behind me started screaming at me, and when he got out of his vehicle to start a fight, the pipe that was in his lap fell on the pavement and shattered."
"I took a photo of the license plate and called the cops to report an intoxicated driver."
"I worked at a Tim Hortons in 2000. At this time, we still had bakers in the store and they made the donuts from scratch. However, the honey crullers weren't the easiest donuts to make so our bakers conspired together to hide the tool that made them. This meant we were out of the donut for weeks."
"I was working the drive-thru on a Sunday morning and an elderly man asked for some honey crullers. I told him we didn't have any and the man lost his s**t. I was 16 years old and a man old enough to be my grandfather chewed me out because we didn't have his favorite donut."
It's fascinating to think about how entitled people can be, literally to the point of having a loud, eye-catching, or even dangerous tantrum.
It's important to remember that we're all people, and we're all doing our best. Throwing a temper tantrum at someone likely won't improve anything.