Workers Who Were Fired For Going Off On A Rude Customer Share Their Stories
Working in the customer service industry can often be stressful. When the customer is “always right,” it’s tough to bite your tongue, plaster on a fake smile, and continue helping people who are yelling or even threatening you. Sometimes, workers just can’t take it any more, and they deliver a real zinger that puts a rude customer in their (probably rightful) place….
For most of these people, the immediate relief of striking back at a rude customer comes at a cost: their job. But the taste of revenge is just too sweet, and it’s tough to care that you’ve just lost your job when you’ve had to put up with the constant customer abuse. These service workers of the internet banded together to share the weird, crazy, and even creepy times where they lost their job…but it was totally worth it, because they put a nightmare customer in their place.
Arguing With Customers
I used to work at a car dealership, and one day I had this customer that was just awful from the beginning. He had a problem with every car I showed him and took up most of my day. I finally found something agreeable, and we got to the paperwork. The dude refused to give his social security number to run credit….
My manager got involved and finally got him to agree. I followed the manager into his office, and the manager ran his credit report. He said that he couldn’t buy anything unless he came up with cash. I ended up getting into an argument with him, and luckily, my manager didn’t care. The guy’s credit was terrible, and he was convinced I was trying to steal his identity. I was “supposed” to get fired for yelling at a customer, though. Reddit User: [redacted]
A Convenience Store Clerk
I used to work at a convenience store. I hated it. I had a string of bad customers, and then we got this regular that just rubbed everyone the wrong way. He would talk down at most of our employees, mostly the men but also any women he didn’t like. One thing he liked to do was when you went to hand him his change, he would act like he was about to take it, then smack his hands on the counter, look at you, and yell, “Put it on the counter….”
Then he’d casually scoop it up and be on his way. For the longest time, I thought he might have been a germaphobe, but after a while, it became pretty clear he liked to play mind games. I was just fed up, so I slammed it on the counter and it went everywhere. I got admonished but not fired; I didn’t care at the time, because it was just a side gig in high school. Reddit User: [redacted]
A Young Hostess
I was 15 and working the to-go counter at a popular sports bar chain. A big college football game was on, and we were slammed. Our restaurant didn’t have bussers or servers; whoever’s around is just supposed to clean the tables themselves. A couple in their 50s and their late teens/young adult daughter came in wearing their sports team jerseys asking how long the wait was….
I miscounted and told them the wrong number. I was off by like one. The guy started screaming at me about how awful I was and said something about me being the worst hostess ever. He said he was leaving, and I told him not to let the door hit him on the way out. I got a write up because it was the policy. Reddit User: [redacted]
Getting Angry Before Looking
Someone I know was waiting tables and one night had a large table of 10(ish) people. They took up most of her section and lingered at the table for quite a while after their meal. They paid their bill and just drew a line through the tip section, so she inspected the table and saw that they didn’t leave cash either….
She had had a rough week and snapped. She followed them into the parking lot and berated the man who paid the bill. He walked with her back to the table, and he lifted up his plate. The man left her a $200 tip and put it under the plate. A manager saw and asked what the problem was. The server was fired on the spot. Reddit User: [redacted]
I worked at Jimmy Johns. Last Sunday, some rich looking trophy family came in when I was working the register. The three kids stood there laughing at me while the mother and father spoke to me more pretentiously than I’ve ever encountered. However, at one point, the mother asked, “How big are your 8 inch sandwiches?” I was sort of perplexed and amused….
Then, I replied after a moment and grinned a little. She got so mad. The dad pointed his finger in my face, threatened me, and called my manager over to talk. At the end of my shift, my manager came up to me and gave me this whole talk about customer respect. Then he fired me. They literally fired me for answering a customer’s question. Reddit User: [redacted]
A Bad Day to Lose a Job
I was working Christmas Eve at my retail job. I’d worked fifteen days in a row and was absolutely exhausted. I was finally heading off on my break and was taking two huge boxes of overstock into the stockroom on my way when a customer stopped me to ask the price of something. There was literally a price sticker on the box, but it’s retail and Christmas Eve, so I decided not to bother arguing….
I told her I would check. I pushed open the doors to the back of the house area, literally dumped the two boxes on the floor, and headed straight back to the customer. She literally grabbed me by my shirt, demanding to see a name badge, which was nonexistent. I got angry and kicked the box under the display. I got fired on Christmas day for it. Reddit User: [redacted]
He Was Really Upset
I was working for a bakery because I just couldn’t find anything else after my last stable job let me go in favor of automation. Anyway, so I’m working there for about six months, and there’s always this one particular old Spanish dude who was a major headache and a frequent regular. The bakery used a number system. We only used it when we were busy….
This guy came in one day and got the number 12. The counter was at 99 from the previous day, so I reset it to zero and called number 1. Nobody had the number 1, so I called the next. This guy decided to cut in line, convinced he was next, and began berating me. I decided to drag him out of the store and handed in my uniform. Reddit User: [redacted]
I worked at a water park when I was 15. My job was to assist people going down the slides in the slide-required tubes. The issue was when obese people would go down the slide and I’d have to help. This was not easy. So, I’d ask if they could help me push them off the slide. One day we had two people who wouldn’t help push themselves down the slide….
I asked twice for a little help. They wouldn’t help. So, in response to their unwillingness to assist, I told them that I couldn’t push their butts down the slide and that they could rot up there. They complained to my manager, and I was fired about an hour later. It definitely wasn’t my best moment. I felt really bad afterward. Reddit User: [redacted]
He Didn’t Like It
I was working as a server at TGI Fridays while in school. One evening I got a group of businessmen in for a happy hour. They all ordered drinks, and one man, whom I believe was from India, had a very strong accent. He ordered a pina colada. I repeated the order back to the table. I proceeded to deliver the drinks and went back to the computer….
I turned around to find the pina colada man standing 3 inches away from me. He was yelling at me while aggressively poking me in my shoulders with his finger. He flipped out, saying that he never drank alcohol. I was extremely shocked and refused to take the table after that. I was fired because the manager wouldn’t believe me. Reddit User: [redacted]
Curly Fry Problems
I got fired from my second job ever as a waiter at a steakhouse. This particular chain does curly fries. One night, a customer complained that his curly fries were in too many pieces, and he wanted a new batch. I’d been having a bad night and asked him if he was serious. Needless to say, I got fired straight away….
I kicked the door open on the way out and shattered the glass, so they kept my last paycheck too. I actually didn’t mean to break the door. I had my hands full of all my stuff and went to kick it open with my leg. The glass must’ve been loose and smashed. It didn’t look good, and I felt bad afterward. Reddit User: [redacted]
The Squirrels Made Him Do It
I worked at a Subway for a while with his guy; we’ll call him Allen. Allen was a bit strange. He was alright for the most part but always seemed a bit different. One day a customer came in that we’d never seen before. She ordered a meatball sub, and Allen started to make it. That’s when things got strange….
As he started making the sub, he started talking about how he liked to eat squirrels and proceeded to describe in detail how to skin and field dress the squirrel, all while continuing to make her meatball sub. The woman was horrified and asked to speak with the manager. He proceeded to go off on her, yelling obscenities. It was his last day after screaming and yelling at this poor woman who just wanted a sandwich. Reddit User: [redacted]
Thieves Won’t Be Tolerated
I work at a gas station. There was this one time where these young punks were stealing frozen taquitos and shoving them in their pants. I walked up to them and asked if they had anything in their pants. They called me a pervert and started to walk away. I quickly ran around the adjacent aisle so I emerged in front of them….
With a swift and furious swing of my foot, I crushed the box of frozen taquitos, and subsequently, the gentleman’s privates. I didn’t get in trouble because I was the best theft prevention they had. I willingly left the store a year later. Now that I think about it, the store closed after that due to a large amount of theft. Reddit User: [redacted]
An Angry Cook
I was moonlighting at a popular dive/hipster bar in my college town. I was working full time in addition to this spot. I started out as a cook and loved it. I made good tips and loved cooking. Eventually, I was moved to bouncer/barback at minimum wage without being tipped out. I have respect for those who can do it, but it’s not for me….
One night, we had a call out, so I was working as a bouncer and a cook. It was tough, and we had an extra rowdy crowd. The night was smooth until the last order. I accidentally gave food to the wrong person, and the person who ordered it was upset. He yelled at me, and I yelled back. I got fired for yelling at a customer. Reddit User: [redacted]
The Happiest Place on Earth
I worked in the ticket booths at Disneyland. If you’re an annual pass holder and you’re on the monthly contract, Disney takes automatic payments from your credit card. If your card expires, the auto-payments stop, and your pass freezes. One day, I get a middle-aged couple whose passes froze. The man was upset and ready to talk about it. A common question from guests is if we send out notices….
I was having a bad day, and they started yelling at me. So, I yelled back. My booth lead happened to come over as soon as she heard “supervisor,” so she was standing behind me when I said the emotional thing. It isn’t how I wanted to go out, but I looked at it as a cathartic mic drop goodbye to my fellow cast members. Reddit User: [redacted]
Trouble at a Furniture Store
I was lucky I didn’t lose my job for this one. I worked at a furniture store as a sales associate. One day a husband and wife come in wanting to furnish their son’s apartment. They find all of the furniture pieces they want, and I go to check stock on multiple items. Everything is in except the tabletop on the dining room set they wanted….
The husband throws an absolute hissy fit, saying that he can’t believe that we don’t keep our products stocked. So, we would have to wait for that vendor to send us the tabletop, which was about two weeks. He started telling me that I was incompetent. He started screaming at me, and I asked him to leave the store while screaming right back. Reddit User: Nishiwara
Issues With Children in a Salon
I used to cut hair. I was cutting a lady’s hair, and her child started running around the shop. I told the child several times to go sit with her mother and asked her mother to keep her child seated next to her. Well, in the middle of cutting around my client’s ear, the child ran into my work area, ran into me, and almost caused me to cut my client….
I looked at the child and told her to go sit with her mother. Well, her mom didn’t like that and yelled at me. She glared at me, grabbed her child, and stormed out. A few days later, the owner came and tried to fire me for it, but luckily there were enough stylists and clients that came to my defense about the danger of the situation. Reddit User: IamWood13
A Dangerous Situation
I had a customer’s child all but try to climb up a product shelf (after knocking half a shelf off), so I told the boy (3-4 years old) he needed to sit. Mother says sharply, “I’ll take care of him” after ignoring his rambunctious behavior for the last 10 minutes. So I tell her he’s climbing up shelves. I wouldn’t want them to fall on him….
They aren’t designed for that kind of weight. She rolls her eyes and, of course, doesn’t leave a tip. I’ve lost count of how many children I’ve had to “parent” in my store. I got a write up after she complained. My manager wasn’t upset with me but had to write me up as a technicality. We aren’t supposed to tell customers what to do. Reddit User: mara_sage
The Stylist Did Everything Right
Once, I was waiting at one of the mega haircut chains for a haircut. While waiting for the haircut, I hear this 40-something-year-old woman complain about how short her hair is. She starts cursing until the stylists ask her to stop and inform her that this is what she asked for. The customer storms to the front of the store, where her young daughter is waiting….
This woman carries on cussing until she decides she doesn’t want to pay for this haircut. She says she won’t be paying for an awful haircut, then leaves. I’m pretty sure that this was all a ploy to get a free haircut. I came to the defense of the stylist when I saw her getting reprimanded. There was no reason for her to get in trouble for that. Reddit User: effinmitch
Well, That’s Scary
Many years ago, I worked at a home improvement store called Menards. I was a cart pusher, which was nice, as I was outside all the time. Anyway, we gather about 25-30 shopping carts together and push them up to the entrance where they’re stored inside. Now to get them there, we do have to cross the main drive of the parking lot in front of the store…..
We always stop and let customers drive by. So as I push the carts up, I stop because I see a guy in a pretty nice SUV. He’s actually stopped in front of the entrance. The next thing I know, I’m on the ground. This guy hit me. He got out of the car screaming at me, and when I screamed back, I got fired. Reddit User: Warmasher
I used to work in the restaurant industry as a chef. We had a closed kitchen at this particular spot, so customers couldn’t see what was being done in the kitchen. It was nice because we could listen to music and joke around without having to worry. One day, I was alone on the line, and a server came to me and said a customer wanted to give me his compliments….
I put on my nicer jacket and went out to say hi. The customer thanks me, and then tells me to come in close because he had a secret. So I lean in a little; he motions me closer, I move in a little more. The guy grabs me and begs me to meet him later. I was so upset after being harassed that I went off on him and got fired for screaming at a customer. Reddit User: zeebow77
That’s Not How It Works
I used to work at a pizza place in a small town when I was a teenager. One night, I took a phone order from a woman. I asked for her order, and she asked for a pie with half pepperoni, half sausage, and half black olives. I was confused, so I asked her if she meant something different. She started to scream at me for not understanding what she wanted….
I tried to calmly explain that there are only two halves to a pizza, and what she was asking for was impossible. I thought she wanted it separated by thirds, but that’s not what she wanted. She asked to speak to my manager. I got fired on the spot. It was easier for the manager just to hire another person than it was to lose a customer in a small town. Reddit User: WallOtterCarpetSeal
The Customer Is Always Right
I was a stockroom assistant at a well-known fashion chain in the UK & US. I didn’t go off on a customer, but I wish I did now. Happened to be behind tills changing hanger boxes when a customer explodes at the trainee cashier demanding to know where her order was. She’s screaming her head off at how unacceptable it was….
The poor cashier started the previous week and was basically cowering for dear life. I take over and ask to see her email, which she explains she “doesn’t need” because she “paid extra,” so her package “must be here.” I argued with her for ten minutes until she decided to storm off. It turns out she was a journalist for the DailyMail, and I got fired because of her connections. Reddit User: IntrusiveInveigling
A Game Store Mess
I worked at GameStop as a game advisor. Some guy came in and had a load of games (over 100) to trade, all with games and cases mismatched. It took about 45 minutes to process his ticket. When I told him the total, it was low because every game was scratched. This man then proceeded to try to negotiate with me….
I can’t change the prices. This man started screaming obscenities at me, demanding a higher price. And my coworker decided to take matters into his own hands. He started yelling at the customer, bagged up all of his games, and threw them outside. My manager came out of the backroom and fired him on the spot in front of the customer. Reddit User: [redacted]
There’s No Need to Be Rude
No one was fired over this, but as a person in the service industry, I thought I’d share this with my fellow industry folk, as I still think it’s one of my favorite things I’ve ever seen happen behind a bar. I was once working at a beer bar in Sarasota, Florida. We had a Dogfishhead total tap takeover, and the place was at capacity….
I mean, we’re three deep around the entire bar, four guys behind this tiny bar, including the owner, all trying to pour as many beers as we can to cut through the line. At some point, a guy whom I’d made eye contact with a number of times started screaming about poor service. My manager screamed at him to get out and served the person next to him. Reddit User: beerandloathingpdx
There’s No Need for This
I didn’t lose my job, but I think most people would have blown up at this guy or cried. Fortunately, I’m extremely calm, collected, and tough from being bullied so much in middle school. I worked at a large retail store and was stocking a shelf when an old (like 80+) man came up to me. I assumed he was going to ask me where something was….
Instead, he started going off on me. Just insult after insult, telling me I’m disgusting, and all these things like that, because I have tattoos. Instead of blowing up at him, I thanked him for the compliments. About 10 minutes after the guy gave up, my manager came up to me looking furious. He was upset that I didn’t let him know so he could kick the man out. Reddit User: listen-
Standing Up for Employees
I worked as a server at an upscale country club and had these two gentlemen come in for lunch. One ordered, and the other said, “I’ll have exactly the same thing.” So I confirmed that’s what he wanted, and he replied, “That’s what I said, right?” I bring out their lunch, and the second guy complains and starts getting rude with me because his lunch has onions on it….
He went off on me after I told him I gave him what he asked for. He asked to see the manager, who unbeknownst to me, was sitting at the table right behind these guys having a meeting with another member. She turns around and tells the guy to move on and leave me alone. I didn’t get fired, and it was refreshing to see my manager stand up for me. Reddit User: [redacted]
Complaining Won’t Solve Anything
A woman came into a charity shop and complained about every single item loudly to the ten or so customers in there. It was like she expected some boutique with clothes that were brand new. She clearly didn’t understand how rarely new clothes (still tagged, etc.) are donated. Then, she got in my face about it. I was so angry with her for chasing away the people that came in….
I lost my cool. There was nobody left except her since she’d ranted them into leaving. I told her to get out, and I didn’t care about her opinions. She screamed her way out of the shop, broadcasting it to everyone on the street. She came back once the manager was off their break and complained again, so I lost my job soon after. Reddit User: TwentySixLetters
Be Kind to Your Employees
This actually happened to my friend today. She was working at Buffalo Wild Wings. New Year’s Eve, one of the busiest nights of the year. Opening employees have to be in by 8 AM to prep food and get the store ready. The manager isn’t there to open the store, and two employees walk to work and stand in the cold for almost two hours, waiting for someone to show up with a phone.
It turns out that the opening shift manager forgot they were supposed to open. So, the general manager shows up to let the employees in on her day off. She stays until the scheduled manager shows up. Everyone was running two hours behind after this, and my friend was upset. The late manager asked her to do something, and she went off on her. She ended up quitting that day. Reddit User: Throwawayfried2
A Con Man
I was working in an auto parts store in Rubidoux, CA. It was a terrible neighborhood. I had a great manager who didn’t let us get abused. A guy comes in empty-handed, walks around for a while, picks up a battery, walks around for a while, brings it up, and asks for a refund. I told him to get out of the store….
He came back a few hours later and asked to speak to the manager. He started screaming about my behavior and told the manager to fire me. My manager asked to see his receipt for the battery to ensure he bought it from us. If he had it, the manager would give him a replacement. The man stormed out of the store, and I didn’t get in trouble for his ridiculousness. Reddit User: Orcapa
Oops! That’s My Mistake!
I was working at a Sears store in the men’s clothing department while in college. I had already put in my notice, as I was going away for the summer. So, the night before Father’s Day, we’re swamped. I have piles of clothes to rehang, and it’s just minutes before closing. This woman comes to the register, and I just ring her up….
I didn’t try to upsell her on anything like I’m supposed to. I realized she was the regional clothing manager. After she lectured me, she handed over her Sears Card and employee card, which did not have a picture on it. So, to not get into further trouble, I asked for her driver’s license. She complained to my manager, and I heard about it the next day. Reddit User: [redacted]
Making the Wrong Person Angry
I cleaned cars for a rental car company. One day, a customer came in, already in a very bad mood (for whatever reason). He saw me standing at the counter, and apparently, this offended him to the point that he began to yell at me. Long story short, I yelled back at him. Nothing came of it for over two months until I was fired without warning….
The district manager who fired me said that everyone in the company who reviewed all the evidence pertaining to the incident decided I was well within my rights as an employee to yell at the dude. They had to fire me because he was some big shot at a company that had a very lucrative contract with my employer, and he threatened to drop the contract unless they fired me. Reddit User: TLCplLogan
Just Trying to Help
Many years ago, I worked in clothing retail. I had a favorite customer. He and his wife would come in, and he’d put down a small fortune each month on his wife and teen daughter. He reminded me of my dad, who I lost to a massive heart attack when I was 18. I was in my early 20s, and my mom had just died of cancer….
This gentleman stopped coming in for about two months. They came in, and the daughter called her dad a ‘waste of space’ for losing his job. I told her off. I said that she should appreciate her dad, who gave her everything until he couldn’t. My boss chewed me out. She said if they complained, I was toast. They never filed a complaint. Reddit User: SnarksNGrumpkins
A Time Out for Mom
I didn’t get fired for this, which was pretty great because I threatened a mother with a time-out in front of her kids. I worked at a pool as a lifeguard, and our pool doesn’t allow water wings because they aren’t “Coast Guard approved.” We gave out free life jackets for them to use. A woman came in with two young children wearing water wings….
I told her she couldn’t use them, but we had ones available for free. She blew up on me. I guess her daughter really liked her water wings. I told her to talk to a manager because I’m not allowed to talk while watching the pool, but she kept yelling, so I just repeated the line I’m instructed to use for kids who repeatedly misbehave. Reddit User: MenionIsCool
Harassment Isn’t Okay
I was working at Blockbuster when I was 17 and in high school. A middle-aged guy came in, and instead of using the drop slot to return his movie, he casually tossed it across the counter. It hit a register hard enough to pop the case open. I kept an eye on him because our store was a hot spot for kids to come in without adult supervision to mess things up….
He chose a few movies and waited for me to help him. I got his information up on the screen and let him know we couldn’t rent the movies he wanted unless he paid his late fee of $6. He flew off the handle, reached over the counter, and grabbed my shirt. I punched him in the face trying to protect myself and was instantly fired. Reddit User: Edge80
He Should Have Listened to His Boss
This happened to a friend of a friend. This guy had just passed his training for a call center. He was excited to get to work but was warned about the rude customers. His boss explained the proper way to handle it. After a few days of working there, he answered the phone and knew he was getting a rude customer….
They ended up getting into an argument over the phone. The argument went on for nearly an hour until the customer hung up. The new employee called him back to continue the argument. His manager called him into the office after listening in on the phone calls. The guy was in his late 50s and lost his job that day for harassing a customer. Reddit User: MyMurphy
Throwing a Temper Tantrum
I worked at a Blockbuster 12 years ago. We always had the rudest customers. Blockbuster seems to make people really angry. A woman came in screaming because her credit card got charged for a movie she didn’t return. It happened all the time. People would forget they put a card on file when they opened the account. She demanded to speak to a manager….
The manager was on his lunch break and told me to tell her she would have to wait. Her final attempt at attention-seeking was to climb on my counter so I couldn’t help any customers but her. So, I logged out and stepped to the next register. She left the store screaming and never came back. There were no consequences. Reddit User: rachface636
Anger Issues at Burger King
I was working at Burger King many years ago. I was working the drive-thru register, which was close enough to the front registers that I could hear conversations. One of my coworkers was taking an order from a lady who kept asking how much her total was, then canceling food on it and changing her mind. I guess she was trying to keep under a certain dollar amount….
Well, at the Burger King I worked at, any canceled food on an order needed a manager’s password. So, the manager had to come by 3 or 4 times at that point. My coworker got angry and went off on the customer after she ripped something out of his hand. He already had a few write-ups and got fired after she left. Reddit User: Partofbreakfast
An Angry Customer and a Frustrated Employee
I worked at a pretzel place where everything was hand-made. I had just finished rolling and bounced over to the register to help out a customer. She asked for salted nuggets but needed to know they were fresh. I had just finished making them, so I knew they were fresh. She seemed to be fine with that answer and ordered them….
Not even five minutes later, she comes back, hollering at me that I’m a liar and that I must be stupid because the nuggets were hard. I knew she was the liar because I had just made everything. She demanded a fresh batch and continued to berate me. I let a coworker take over before I said something awful to her. Reddit User: blamethecranes
An Animal’s Life Matters Too
I worked at a veterinary clinic and lost my job over a customer. A woman brought in her 5-year-old dog that had diarrhea for a week and was untreated for it. She was tired of the dog having accidents in the house, so instead of having the dog treated for the condition, she decided she would rather just have the dog put down….
I was so angry. I had never met anyone with such a high disregard for an animal’s life. It was an easy problem to fix. It wasn’t the dog’s fault. I proceeded to call her a dummy while explaining to her the responsibilities that are involved when you decide you want to have a pet. I was fired that day and never looked back. Reddit User: onnicitta
I was working chat tech support for a web host. A customer opened a chat request complaining of slowness. The customer thought our servers were to blame. I did all of the standard steps, and we determined that his internet service provider was having issues. He didn’t believe me and became obstinate. So I ended the chat by saying, “You’re wrong….”
About 10 minutes later, I get a new chat request. I see the account name and the question. It was the same guy with the same question. Without letting him say anything, I write “You’re still wrong” and close the chat. If I wasn’t one of the better techs, I know I would have been fired. I didn’t get fired but got a written warning for it. Reddit User: trogdor259