back to top

Literally Just 26 Of The Strangest Things That Have Happened To Retail Workers

I am just...shocked? Confused?

We asked members of the BuzzFeed Community to share their wildest experiences while working in retail. Here are some of the most cringeworthy responses:

1. The scammer:

FOX

"I once had a customer who came into Nordstrom with a fake gift card on his phone. He kept insisting that he used it on one of the floors to buy some clothes. So finally he burst into screaming and called us incompetent because we couldn’t make his fake gift card work." —denisseelizabethaldana

2. The pee in the vase:

"When I was in high school, I worked for a discount retailer that sold home goods. We were closing one Friday night and one of my coworkers told the manager on duty to come to the glassware section to help her clean up a broken glass item. We had a display of vases and one was filled with liquid — someone had peed in a vase." —danic4ac686ecc

3. The booty hole:

"We were making our routine checks in our fitting rooms, and a customer hadn’t locked their door and we accidentally opened it. We found them bent over, pulling their ass cheeks apart and having a good old look at their booty hole."

clairelouisea3

4. The panty liner:

"Some girl changed her panty liner in the fitting room and left it rolled up behind the mirror." —kathyc457934e5f

5. The literal dump:

"I kid you not, someone literally took a dump right in the middle of the store. Luckily, I had just clocked out so I bolted out of there." —emmperreault

6. The secret spy:

FOX

"I left a customer in the dressing room to change and checked back on her once or twice and didn't hear anything. Forty-five minutes go by, and I knock and open the door to find no one in there. She left her personal items, her purse, cell phone, and official government documents all spread out on the ground and wall. There were so many papers there, some marked in red or blacked out, some laminated, but everything had a different government emblem on it. She also had a laptop that was on and open. I didn’t stay to see what she had on it and I closed and locked the door. She came back two hours later after shopping at other stores before collecting her stuff and buying a shirt from me."

yasminh48d9f6246

7. The clean(er):

"I work at a drugstore. One day a woman came in and she couldn’t speak much English. All she could say was 'clean, clean.' The cashier couldn’t understand what she wanted, so we called a manager over. She pointed to her vagina and said 'clean clean.' We pointed her to the feminine care aisle and she bought three douches. She went to the bathroom and came out 10 minutes later. As she walked out, she looked at the cashier, smiled, and said, 'clean clean.'"

precisetester00

8. The baby rabbit:

"I used to work at a liquor store and a customer who was considered a regular came in, sweaty and smelly from the walk. She grabbed her drinks and a pack of smokes and lingered around the counter after paying. Finally, I was like 'So, what are you up to today?' She says, 'I have a baby rabbit in my bra' and whips out a live baby rabbit."consuelabananahammock

9. The dirty tampon:

"I had a customer trying on pants in the fitting room and the next thing I knew she was screaming. The last person who had tried on the pants had left a dirty tampon in one of the pockets." —kirstenj4bba4855a

10. The diarrhea:

"My first Christmas as a floor manager, I got a call from one of my associates that someone had had an accident in a fitting room. This happens all the time (Once I picked up a pile of clothes that had so much pee in it I thought someone had left an open bottle of water in the clothes). When I get there, someone had diarrhea’d all over the floor and left it there. We still have a stain on the carpet that looks like someone spilled an entire pot of coffee in the fitting room." —kellyl4cebad7ad

11. The KKK:

"I used to work at a copy and print center. The craziest thing someone ever wanted me to print out for them was a banner with Nickelodeon characters on it. Sounds pretty mild, until I saw them photoshopped with members of the KKK. Some guy came to print his KKK propaganda." —meganc83

12. The bong:

Universal Pictures

"I worked at Montgomery Wards. One evening, a woman came over and told us that she smelled smoke near the dressing rooms. I thought it was just someone smoking a cigarette, so I went back to kick out whoever it was. When I got to the dressing rooms, I noticed the smoke smelt different, not at all like cigarette smoke. I opened the door where the smoke was coming from, and found a woman sitting on the floor, hitting a bong. What'd I'd like to know is how did she manage to sneak an entire bong into the store." —misssalome

13. The sniffers:

"I worked at an apparel outlet, and I had a mother and her adult son ask me about our underwear return policy and if we did sniff tests on them for freshness." —alexm4b07df8be

14. The prom pee:

"At a store I used to work at, this girl found her perfect prom dress. She, for some reason, decided not to get the dress that day. When she left, my coworker went into the fitting room and discovered that she had peed on the dress so nobody else would buy it." —kathrineboyer

15. The smelly dress:

"I used to work at a plus-size retail chain. I was working the register when a woman brought in a dress she wanted to return. It was in a clear plastic dress bag. I was pleased to see it looked okay and that she had taken care of it. She wanted to leave quickly and I figured it was due to it being the middle of the day and she had other errands to run. She left the store and I opened the bag to put it away, when the most horrific smell hit me. I almost threw up right in the store. I don’t know what she could have possibly done in this dress for it to smell like that. To this day that smell haunts me." —tiarraw2

16. The pipe:

"A lady once came in to do a return on a shirt she had bought. She smelled awful, but I couldn’t place the smell. Thirty minutes later my manager called me over to ask if I had made that return. I later learned why the lady and the returned shirt had smelled so bad — she had left her crack pipe in the shirt!" —hrussell14

17. The pee:

"I worked at a women's clothing store that is no longer in business. Someone piled a bunch of clothes in the corner of a changing room and pissed on them." —jenv40e4cc76c

18. The foot fetish:

Miramax Films

"I was the assistant manager of a trendy shoe store. One night some dude came in and asked one of my female employees to try on a pair of shoes since his girlfriend was about the same size. She put on the display, but he wanted to see them both on. We went to the back to get the shoes and then we realized HE WAS SMELLING THE ONE SHE JUST TRIED ON." —lisad25

19. The dishwasher:

"I worked at Best Buy for a few years and a man came in who wanted a repair on his dishwasher. I pulled up his account info and the dishwasher was over six years old, so it was out of warranty and past the five-year protection plan. He wanted a brand new one to replace it because it was inconvenient that we sold him a dishwasher that broke. When I kept saying there wasn't anything we could do besides offer a service visit, he picked up the credit card scanner and threw it across the counter at me." —oliviae4694c0216

20. The grouch:

"I was a front-end manager during Christmas and the store was closing in about an hour. We noticed a woman had walked into the back, took a flat (used to move furniture) and was shopping with it. We were able to get her to switch to a cart. She then stood OUTSIDE of the fitting room and started trying on clothes. Again we asked her to either go in the room or leave and she got angry. One of my cashiers was working on checking her out, when the lady smacked her with a hanger! I took over the transaction and during that time, the lady: 1) said I had a hideous face and would die alone, 2) said she was going to have me fired because I didn't know who I was dealing with, 3) broke a piece of glass and threatened to cut me with it, and 4) nearly refused to leave the store without the cops coming." —mkocur96

21. The repeat returner:

"I was working in Target at the returns desk when a lady came in with a cart piled full of stuff to return. She had her receipt and everything had the tags attached so we rang it all back. She was nicely dressed and very polite, but offered no explanation as to why she was returning other than a vague ‘changed my mind.’

A few hours later my shift ended and as I was walking through the store to the backroom I came upon the same lady with a new cart that was filling up again. The next day a coworker told me when she checked out, her total was over $7,000 and she paid without question. Since I was on the returns desk again, I walked over there and who do I see standing in line with a cart full of stuff to return? The same lady!" —laurastallonel

22. The stripper:

"It was just about closing time, and I went to make sure all the merchandise had been put back from the dressing rooms. One of the doors wasn’t shut all the way, and I absentmindedly pushed it open to reveal a completely nude man with no merchandise in the stall with him. He had just walked in and stripped." —emilygoheen1018

23. The shoe lob:

New Line Cinema

"A customer had come in to make a return on a pair of shoes. Unfortunately I could not allow the return because he had already worn the shoes. He argued that he had worn the shoes only once, but it was clear he had probably worn them every day for about six months. When I informed the man that there was nothing I could do, this 50-something-year-old man cursed me out, walked towards the exit, and lobbed the (wooden-soled) shoes at me."

travisd4a11dc95b

24. The wick:

"I worked at a store for a couple of years, and I remember we once returned a candle because the wick burned out. At the bottom. Of a candle." —kimberlyt441079d6b

25. The doula:

"This lady I was ringing up asked if I had any kids and I told her no. After I told her no she proceeded to tell me that she used to be a doula and 'when you do have kids make sure you breastfeed because it’s just so special for the baby and mom.' Me being the awkward person I am, I just utilized my fake smile and chuckled a bit. After I handed her the bag, as she was walking away, she shouted really loudly, 'REMEMBER, BREAST FEED!'" —jannat4461f7c87

26. And lastly, the toilet seat:

Comedy Central

"I worked in customer service for a couple of years. One day, a man brought in a toilet seat to return it. I don't remember why he didn't like it, but I DO remember that it was USED and it WAS NOT clean. The manager made us take it back — a used, nasty, not-been-cleaned toilet seat." —jessicarayc

Want to be featured in future BuzzFeed posts? Follow the BuzzFeed Community on Facebook and Twitter!

The submissions used in this post have been edited for length and clarity.

Connect with As/Is