The customer is always right might be one of the most incorrect statements of all time, next to Lord Kelvin, president of the Royal Society of London famously saying “Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible,” only to be disproven a few years later.
So one netizen was curious to hear what were some of the most unhinged things managers had ever heard a customer or coworker complain about an employee. So if you have worked in a customer-facing job, or have just had some strange colleagues, prepare for some unfortunate flashbacks and get comfortable. Be sure to upvote your favorite posts and share your own thoughts and experiences in the comments section below.
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I had a customer complain that our carrot sticks were too thick and were for horses. She threw it at my server…which she then ran to me in tears. I walked out there and she was just some stupid c**t who wanted to make someone have a bad day. Her words were, “it’s our job as customers to let you know every thing that’s wrong.”
How about you f**k your self and treat people like human beings?
Image credits: SalveBrutus
I was working customer service at the time, the guy wanted to complain that the agent he just spoke to was too attractive to be on the phones. I wasn’t sure if he was phisihing for a physical description or legit concerned that her voice was going to tempt him to hell and damnation through sinning. Either way, I flagged his account written communication only and he never had to worry about us speaking to him again.
Image credits: tdasnowman
In a money-driven world, some people forget that just because you are parting with your hard-earned cash, doesn’t mean you are entitled to anything and everything. You wouldn’t throw a fit if someone who has to just hand you a coffee wasn’t smiling. And if you would, I would suggest you reevaluate a significant part of your life.
Other examples here range closer to traditional definitions of paranoia. For example, the chance that a retail employee could and would curse you is near zero. Of course, if someone really was a wizard, witch, warlock, or any other flavor of mystic, why would they be working at, for example, Best Buy? Similarly, if these people have such arcane power, what exactly do you think a complaint to a manager will do?
Customer called my manager because I was off the clock and wouldn’t help her. It was my day off and she demanded I help her because she knew I was an employee there. I just walked away while she had a tantrum in the store.
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Used to manage a sporting goods store in a strip mall. The whole storefront was large glass windows. I got a couple of comments from customers and other employees that one of the guys was pretending to be a cat. I had never seen it myself, but the kid was a little off typically, so I figured I’d look into it. I drove to the store in a different car than usual on my day off, when he was scheduled for a shift. Sure enough, this 18 year old boy was standing in the window licking his hands like paws, batting at things, and meowing to himself. I watched for five minutes, with customers entering the store and he wasn’t even attempting to help them. I called my district manager and told him what was going on. He checked the security camera, thanked me, and told me he’d come take care of it so I could enjoy the rest of my day off.
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I had a 55-ish year old man on THANKSGIVING scream at the top of his lungs at me for about…. 30 minutes because the employee was using the same bathroom that his daughter could potentially use.
In short. one of the employees was using the single-use bathroom. We had four other bathrooms in the Theatre. He got there first and was already inside when she walked up. He was mad that she (his daughter) had to walk into the women’s room next to it use THAT Bathroom.
He wanted me to reprimand the employee in front of him, and then fire him “For using the wrong bathroom”
I refused to do so. He literally stomped around and threw a tempter tantrum like a child.
Image credits: SpacyCats
More often than not, the real issue is entitlement, not delusions and spellcasting. Customers seem to believe their word is law and everything from the shape of the glass to the demeanor of a worker can be adjusted to their will. We all have our preferences, but fortunately, the vast majority of us don’t believe that what we want is so dominant that we would go talk to a manager about it. Some people’s greatest battles, it seems, are with delusions.
I’m a bartender, and I had someone complain that the fish our restaurant served would give her coronavirus. Second best complaint was that she didn’t like me serving her because I was “being haunted by something.”
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Not my employee, but a lady did complain that the employee was cutting her fudge “too aggressively”.
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At a hotel, a lady called and complained that our phone number was almost the same as her phone number and she was not happy about it.
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Anyone who has worked with enough customers will know that there is a sizable subset of people who really just want to talk. The more “clever” in this cohort understand that making a complaint is one of the rare cases where a customer service representative will not just drop the call. So they concoct the most outlandish complaints, arguments, and weird suggestions just to hear a voice on the other end.
A guy was clipping his toenails while talking to a customer. I don’t know how that even happened.
Image credits: WatchTheBoom
I once had a manager come up in a sort of serious way and say “so, um… One of your co-workers said you were asking about his favorite teletubby and he’s just kinda a little freaked out about it” One of my proudest moments at work.
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We have a store next to a massage business. A woman complained that the loud cackling of the manager of my store ruined her massage. Really funny.
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This, for those who have thankfully avoided such roles, is still a decent situation, compared to the humans that can only be described as a smoldering volcano or rage. Some people have a deep, perhaps innate, desire to shout, scream, and make their power known. Perhaps unable to do it anywhere else, they pick workers as a target.
Manger at Walmart. A older woman would call at least once a week for a month to complain that my employee was a witch who put a curse on the toaster she bought and she wanted the employee fired.
Image credits: DerpyTheCow47
I own an establishment that serves alcohol. We had a guy complain that the bartender was pouring his beer into “gay glassware” and I need to train him to pour beer for men into manly glasses. He was dead-a*s serious.
Image credits: fukn10ply
Karen didn’t like one of our Cashier’s giant [breasts] distracting her 12-year-old son.
Image credits: randy88moss
The truly weird cases are the complaints from coworkers. Unlike random customers, these people know enough to understand what is normal or not. But it just goes to show that the unhinged folk many customer-facing workers meet also have to work somewhere. If all this work-related talk has put you in the mood for something more lighthearted, Bored Panda has got you covered, check out our article on unhinged work memes.
I managed a IT desk for a very large corporation , and we got a complaint about a guy giving inappropriate temporary passwords when they would call in to get their passwords reset on their accounts. Example being “ whiskerbiscuit 420” or “ millertime69”
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Had an employee that was on break. We had single bathrooms. A customer called me on the phone to tell me that she knows my employee didn’t wash her hands after using the bathroom, because she went in right after her and the sink was dry. I’m like well her hands will be washed because she has to before she goes back to work from break. Customer’s like well don’t yout think she should wash her hands in the bathroom? Um I sure do, but I can’t control what people do in their privacy…
Image credits: Weaversag2
I manage a team of sales guys, and there was this sales-rep named Chad Engle that was caught allegedly jerking-off inside one of his customer’s home’s in the bathroom. Most awkward thing to address and have to fire someone for. Especially in the papers where it said “customer claims the sales-rep, Chad Engle, wiped his semen on the hand towel that the kids use after they eat dinner…”
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I’m not a manager, but I once worked with a manager who liked to share the oddball complaints with us.
The manager of another department made a formal complaint against me because I was too *friendly*. He felt it was a huge waste of his precious time to have to say hello back to me every time we passed in the hallway.
One of my colleagues had a complaint made against him for being too *helpful*. He offered to press the lift call button for a woman in a wheelchair, who couldn’t reach it by herself. She found it ‘belittling’.
Another colleague was accused of being too *happy*. Whistling a tune while walking from one work order to the next. Disgusting.
And I collected another complaint for being too quick. A user claimed that I couldn’t possibly have fixed his computer in the few minutes I spent in his office. The manager got him to switch it on and he had to admit that it worked fine now.
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Not a manager but when I was working as a cashier I was having a pleasant conversation with this person I was ringing up (not pausing or going slower just having a little conversation). Then when it was the person behind them’s turn she told me it was very disrespectful that I hadn’t included her in our conversation and that she was going to report me to my manager. I thought she was joking at first but realized from her expression that she was not. All I said was “I’m sorry about that ma’am” and got back to work.
Image credits: LitCroissant
My MIL is a customer service manager at a grocery store. She had a customer complain to her once that the cashiers had followed her home and vandalized her yard with the sale papers from the store. She said she would have taken a photo, but by the time she got her camera the cashiers had cleaned it all up.
This same woman had many other complaints, but that was the first one I thought of.
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Not a manager, but my manager did share with me the weirdest complaints he’d gotten about me.
One was that I didn’t flirt with the customer. I was being “so nice and helpful”, but me not flirting with this customer was apparently worth complaining to my manager about me.
Second weirdest was this older woman screaming at my manager about being “inappropriate”. According to her, I was doing some very lewd things to my coworker in full view.
What had actually happened was this coworker sent a friend to ask me out, and I pulled him aside afterward to talk to him about it. We were close together, in an alcove, and talking quietly because I didn’t want the entire store to hear me tell him I was gay and thus unable to be interested. Somehow in her dirty mind, this translated into something much more X-rated.
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We had this one customer that complained that the cashier wasn’t wearing a hairnet. This was at a GROCERY STORE.
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Not a manager but we had a girl who always used to complain about new people not knowing how to do simple things even though it was HER responsibility to teach them how to do said things.
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I work in a gas station so we sell a lot of cigarettes I had a young looking lady asking me to fire an employee because he carted her. She was 28. I don’t know about you but I would have taken it as a compliment.
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That he got drunk and peed in a trash can in someone’s office.
I was a supervisor/manager and an official complaint was filed against me because I told my team to do their work. My project manager had to have an official talk with me, laughed the whole time, and then thanked me for actually making that team do more than go to lunch.
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Pest Control supervisor here. Someone called my office and said they saw one of my guys leaving the bathroom at Taco Bell. I waited for more. There wasn’t any. I told her I’d talk to the tech about having to use the toilet.
I once got called into a meeting by my manager because I had organized lunch for a small group in my department and had not invited one woman (who sat on the opposite side of the room and never talked to any of us). Out of 21 people, only 3 of us got together to get pizza (we all sat near each other). Because this woman was not involved and had wanted to be (how were we to know?), she complained about me. My manager was laughing and agreed that it was dumb but I still had to be talked to. After that we did a group lunch like that one more time, and included the complainer. After that I never organized group lunches again.
Manager was asked to tell me there was a complaint – I smelled of coconuts
Was using coconut shampoo, so, true…but I’m not sure why it was an issue?!
I once had a guy blame me for breaking his debit card because I apparently “hit the debit button on my till too fast” and it “scared him,” causing him to shove his card into the debit machine forcefully and it snapped. He then went on to say how much of an inconvenience I made for him now that he has to get a new card
He repeatedly fell asleep at his desk, which was near a fairly public area.
Not a manager but I had a customer berate me for 10 minutes for not being able to put a metaphorical square peg into a circle hole. I told her the task was ‘impossible’ but she still wanted to force me to try to do it anyways. And ofc it wouldnt work because I was good at my job and she should just listen to me. So after listening to her b***h at me for 10 minutes about how stupid I was for not being able to do the impossible I basically just went into the backroom and left her c**t-a*s there. The manager came to talk to me and I explained how much of a b***h she was. Didnt really get in trouble.
This was geared to me. I was working at the movie theater selling tickets and a customer complained that I gave off a creepy vibe and made them so uncomfortable that it ruined their movie for them. The manager casually brought it up to me one day laughing because I usually had customers saying that I’d make their day by making jokes and taking time to talk to the regulars to get to know them and make their experience better
I was written up once for rolling my eyes and something to do with my aggressive eyebrow behavior (or something similar, but definitely specifically related to my eyebrows).
A woman who got out of her car, moved parking cones with caution tape and drove through our newly paved parking lot to complain about one of my workers not paying attention.
Use to be a site manger for after school programs. Every single one of my employees (including me) had visible tattoos. Nothing inappropriate, actually very tasteful and well done. And there is nothing in our policies that says you can’t have them.
Had a parent complain to me that her kindergarten age son’s group leader had a visible neck tattoo. It was a very well done rose he got for his mom. She requested that he cover it up due to tattoos being “inappropriate” and “giving her child the wrong idea.” I told her that there wasn’t any other groups for her to put her kid in and that tattoos aren’t against our policy and there was no way for him to cover it up because of location. Then I told her if she didn’t like she could remove her child, as there was a long waiting list.
She didn’t remove her kid. Infact I had said leader do a lesson on tattoos toward the end of the year.
I’m not sure if this counts since one of my responsibilities was just helping with training new staff members. But one of the new guys once went ballistic and accused some of the experienced people of being racist just because they corrected some of his mistakes and the mistakes of another new person. He was soon gone; I’m not entirely clear on whether he quit or got fired but most likely the latter.
Not a manager but a customer once tried to make a complaint about me because he didn’t like my face 🙁
Not a manager but years ago at a job I got called into the office of the big boss. My boss was also there. I was told about my unacceptable behavior from that morning. Confused, I asked what I did. Apparently, my boss passed by my desk that morning and said “good morning” and I said nothing back. They told me it was unprofessional to be giving her “the silent treatment.” I laughed because I thought they were joking around. They were totally f*****g serious and didn’t believe me when I said I just didn’t hear her. They gave me an hour speech about how mean and unprofessional I was and how bad I hurt my bosses feelings.
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I used to manage a dominos pizza. The only complaint I personally ever receiving was from some lady who freaked out because her sandwich took so long to make. While she was talking to my cashier up front I overheard her order and had it made and halfway through the oven before she even paid. She waited a maximum 3-4 minutes after paying and then went off on me for my poor customer service and inability to do my job. She asked for the manager on duty and surprise! Told her to get the hell out of my store and not come back.
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One of the trades working for me right now asked me to kick a guy off site because he doesn’t talk much. Like, the guy was competent, friendly enough, but just didn’t really have a lot to say about anything. Other workers on site would pester him about things and he’d give 2-3 word answers most of the time.
I get that people like to be able to talk to people working next to them, but how am I supposed to justify getting this guy off site simply for not being talkative?
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Not a manager, but a McDonald’s employee. I was working window (front counter) and this lady walks in, I stand at the POS (point of sale) and say, “I can help you when you’re ready, ma’am.” She shook her head and let a man go in front of her, and while I take his order a few other people walk in so my manager goes to the other POS and takes their orders. Once I had no more orders I asked her again if she was ready before walking away and said “I can help you here.” She looked me dead in the eye and said “evidently you can’t.” Felt my f****n heart sink man, I was like “oh f**k, did I do something bad?” internally.
Manager finishes up the order she was already taking and takes the lady’s order, and I get to work bagging people’s orders. She finishes with the lady, we go about our day for a bit, and later I’m in the back getting items to stock and my manager says to me, “you know that lady that complained about you? She said it was rude of you to wait for her since she walked in.” We both laughed it off and sometimes I still see that lady and just wonder what broom got shoved up her a*s that she’d be rude to an innocent employee and say something so dumb
Image credits: bluberrysys
“Why is your employee sweeping the lobby? There are *children* in here!” (At McDonald’s.)
Image credits: anon
I was the employee in this case. I was working as an industrial technician, repairing a robot. I am also the one who would make adjustments to the weld if there was a quality issue. This is a welding robot, part of an assembly line, that assembles automotive parts. Currently, all of assembly line 1 is down while I make this repair. I’m probably 15 minutes into this job, making good progress, and I’m really trying to get this done.
I get a call on my radio from another technician (same job as me) that they need me to come over to line 4. I had signed off on the weld for line 4, and the quality technician doesn’t like the way it looks. I explain that I’ve got line 1 down, but they keep insisting I come over there. I walk over to the table where the quality parts are, look at the part they are holding, look at the label on the part, and see they are holding a part that is clearly marked as coming from line 3. Line 3 isn’t scheduled, isn’t running, and hasn’t been set up. I said “this is from line 3, not line 4”, picked up the line 4 part, looked at it, it looked okay, and I handed it to them. Then I turned and walked away, going back to the robot I was working on.
About 30 minutes later, everything is currently running, and the manager comes up to me. He pulls me aside and tells me that the quality technician left early, went home in tears, because I made her feel stupid. He had asked her what I said, asked her if I was correct, and kinda just left it at that. I explained that I had line 1 down and was trying to get that done.
I felt bad that I had upset her, especially so much, but it was definitely a weird complaint.
Not a manager but a customer complained to me about the fitting room attendant that had asked the customer to take the items that the she had left in the fitting room (where I work we count your items before you go in give you a paddle with your number of items and count again when you come out. It’s pretty obvious you can’t just leave your stuff in there). The customer actually said this to me “I mean, I didn’t know it was *my* job to clean up after myself!” I stood there barely managing not to say “oh I’m sorry, the attendant must have assumed you had learned common decency.”
That one of our employees started clapping when he heard a customer said they would take their business elsewhere. Doesn’t sound abnormal until you looked over and saw he was carrying a very large box with two hands, and impossible for him to clap at all. There was only 2 employees in the area. The manager who she was speaking to, and the man carrying the box.
Not a manager, but an employee, I worked at a dairy farm in high school where we sold ‘farm fresh eggs’ in recycled egg cartons. This particular customer must not have realized that and purchased the eggs. She later called the farm and complained that because the eggs were not ‘extra large’ they ruined her cake. We ended up giving her free eggs at the end. My boss then made it mandatory to scribble out the old egg carton labels.
That we gave them great customer service.
Seriously. Our employee walked over and asked them if they needed help and the guy complained to me that we were giving him the worst customer service experience he had ever had because there wasn’t anyone standing in the aisle waiting for him to get there.
Sorry dude. I don’t have 40 some odd people to stick in every aisle.
I used to work at a store that gave you stickers at the register to seal envelopes. A customer called to complain that I had forgotten to ask if she wanted them. We had been busy the time she came in and I wasn’t thinking about it. My boss knew it was stupid and basically said to try to remember them in the future. It took effort for me not to laugh.
I was a server, but my managers loved me. One time I had a very blunt guest. I approached the table prepared to say, “Good morning, how are you, my name is-“ she cut me off before I could say good morning and asked for coffee. I said, sure thing and communicated as little as possible with her throughout her meal, but still gave good service as far as refills and check ins, processing payment quickly, all that stuff. After she left my manager came up to me and said, with a chuckle, the lady at table 13 complained that you didn’t suck up enough.
I laughed and told my manager her treatment towards me. We laughed and that was it. I don’t remember the tip I received, nor did I care. I was just glad she was gone.
Not a manager, but the employee Lady left a review on my theater’s Google maps page all about how big of an a*****e I was to her son and his friends. She described how they were denied tickets to see Deadpool due to being underage (they were), then how they bought tickets to a different movies and snuck into Deadpool, how I found and kicked them out and refused to give them a refund (I don’t do refunds managers do and in these circumstances, they don’t get refunds), and that I should be fired. Obviously, I wasn’t fired. But another employee who decided to give them a refund, and was named in the review as being the one to do this and how good of an employee he was, damn near did get fired for breaking two policies: refunds without manager approval, and refunds for circumstances that don’t warrant refunds Like, she didn’t try to present what happened in any positive light. She really did just write things out exactly as it happened, and thought that I was in the wrong lol the review is actually still up on the page and it’s been like, four or five years since I left