Working in retail is hard enough, but it’s even worse when you get nightmare customers like this woman! Carry on reading for a satisfying tale of malicious compliance.
A Retail Job With No Customer Interaction
The original poster (OP), a male, works in online fulfillment at a large home, garden, and building supply store.
His job is to grab orders and ensure they get delivered to customers in a timely manner.
Technically, he isn’t supposed to work with customers directly, just point them in the right direction or find another associate who works in that department.
On the Job
One day, OP had a massive order to grab, which consisted of several heavy and large pieces of sheet metal and screws.
He quickly realized that the sheet metal size he needed wasn’t where it should be, so he had to scan pretty much everything to figure out what was what.
A Customer From Hell
That’s when he heard it – the shrill, harpy voice of Karen, a customer from hell.
She was standing a few feet away, glaring at OP. “Are you gonna help me or not?!” she screeched.
OP was shocked, especially as she hadn’t spoken to him at all before. He was confused and didn’t know what to do.
Bite Your Tongue
But Karen was not pleased with his silence. “Well?!” she demanded, increasingly annoyed.
“I’ve been standing over there FOREVER, and you haven’t offered to help me!”
OP took a deep breath, trying to calm himself down.
He knew he had to be polite, but it was difficult with the way she was speaking to him.
“Ummm…my bad. I can try?” he said uncertainly. “I don’t work in this department, so it depends if…”
But Karen cut him off, suddenly and actively hostile. “Try? UGH! No, you WILL. It doesn’t matter if you work in this department or not!”
He Tried to Help
He didn’t know what to do or say. He took another deep breath, trying to calm himself down.
“Okay, what do you need?” he asked. He was definitely unable to control the annoyance in his tone as this woman was yelling at him.
“THIS!!” Karen said, not joking as she proceeded to suddenly pull out a screw and nearly stab OP in the eye, shoving it towards him.
OP pushed her hand away, feeling much less calm as he had a PTSD reaction to people putting their hands in his face, much less a screw.
He was now visibly shaking.
He’s Gonna Blow!
“Okay, ma’am, screws are at the end of this aisle, on the left…” OP said, trying to keep his cool.
“What…” But Karen was having none of it. “I ALREADY KNOW THAT,” she snapped.
OP was getting frustrated. He had no idea what this woman wanted, and she was being incredibly rude.
“Okay, what size is that? What size do you need?” he asked, hoping to get some more information.
But Karen just got even angrier for some reason. “YOU TELL ME!!!” she shouted, taking a step closer as if trying to seem threatening.
Enough Is Enough
OP had had enough. He couldn’t hold back any longer. “I have NO clue, ma’am,” he said, raising his voice slightly.
“There’s an entire wall of screws. It’s impossible for me to tell its size by just…looking at it.”
Karen was not pleased with this response.
Taste of Her Own Medicine Didn’t Go Down Well
“You will NOT come at me like that!” she declared, speaking as if she were royal and OP should feel afraid.
“Your manager would NOT like that!” But OP was no longer giving a hoot. “Ya think?” he said sarcastically. “Well, I can get a manager if you’d like. Maybe one of them can identify the screw by sight!”
But Karen was having none of that either. “DON’T MAKE ME MAD TODAY. JUST… DO… YOUR… JOB!”
“Just Do Your Job!”
Feeling fed up with Karen’s attitude, OP decided to take a malicious compliance approach.
He walked away from her to his trolley and proceeded to continue looking for the items on his order.
“What are you doing?!” Karen yelled after him.
“My job,” OP said simply.
What was funny was that an aisle over, one of their assistant managers, was nearby.
With Karen ranting and stomping like a toddler, OP walked over to the assistant manager and told him about his two issues: one, he couldn’t find the item, and two, he had a problem customer to deal with.
Best to Ignore
The assistant manager laughed and showed OP where the correct size sheet metal was.
He completely ignored the woman, who was still yelling, until she huffed loudly and stormed away.
The Last Laugh
OP couldn’t help but chuckle to himself at the situation.
Maintaining His Composure
He had handled it professionally, even though he wanted to snap back at the woman.
The assistant manager had helped him find what he needed, and they both had ignored the woman until she left.
What Is Wrong With People?
OP couldn’t help but wonder why people act the way they do sometimes. Why did this woman think it was okay to treat him like garbage just because he couldn’t immediately help her with what she needed?
Just Another Day
All in all, it’s just another day in retail, dealing with entitled customers who think they’re better than the people who work there.
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Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Krakenimages.com. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.