We recently asked members of the BuzzFeed Community for their worst experiences working in retail. Here are the horrifying results.
1. Submitted by Carmenp4
I work at a Publix grocery store in Florida. One week the ladies' restroom was out of order, so we had everyone use the employee bathroom in the back. No one really knows what happened except that an extremely large old lady was in there for, like, an hour. Then we heard her screaming and crying for help. We called the ambulance, and when they busted the door down she and the entire bathroom were covered in shit. Just...everywhere. The paramedics refused to lift her out of there, so one of our store's baggers wrapped her in the fire blanket and threw her on a stretcher. He got a promotion and free lunch for two weeks. He's the dark hero our Publix needs but doesn't deserve.
2. Submitted by Hef1215
This lady brought her live parrot inside to help her try on shoes.
3. Submitted by Kevin Strange (Facebook)
I was asked to help out our maintenance guy with an issue in the women's restroom. I walked into the stall in question, and there was literally shit sprayed on every wall in the stall. I saw that and was just out. I was written up because I told my boss I was hired to stock shelves, not clean up shit.
4. Submitted by Becky Erickson (Facebook)
I worked at Claire's when I was 18. We use mirrors on the ceiling to see if anyone is shoplifting, and once I saw a little 14-year-old girl hide a pair of earrings into her ICE CREAM CONE. When we confronted her, she ate the ice cream so fast we could barely lift a hand to stop her. We told her she could keep the earrings when they came back out...if they ever did. Hope the intestinal punctures were worth it.
5. Submitted by Jessie Langs (Facebook)
An elderly lady hit me with her cane because I was out of the ornament she wanted.
6. Submitted by Anna Kopsky (Facebook)
A few years ago I worked at a video store in the suburbs of Chicago. Our store had an "adult" section in the way back of the shop. Every time one of those movies came through the return box, the employees would cringe and take turns choosing who would return *those* films to the back room. I had one particularly awkward run-in with a man who looked about 20 years older than me. He walked up to me and whispered, "Which one's your favorite?" while he had three pornos in his hand. He honestly stood there, WAITING for my answer! I shuddered, put the whole stack on the shelf without sorting them into their places, and left. I told the manager I didn't want go back there again.
7. Submitted by Lindsay Schramm (Facebook)
I worked at a high-end lingerie store in NYC. A very well-known, aging, and slightly off-hinge actress was one of our clients and would always try on a million thongs WITHOUT wearing the protective panties underneath. She would get her body glitter all over them (she's at least 60), and sometimes we would even find skid marks. Panties at my store cost a minimum of $150 a pop. Whenever she came in we called it "return of the brown eye."
8. Submitted by Anna Kathleen (Facebook)
I used to work at Forever 21. While I loved my co-workers with all my heart, our customers were hell on Earth. I started my shift in the dressing room only to find some girl changed out her tampon and left everything — blood-soaked tampon and all — on the floor of the dressing room.
9. Submitted by Venchise Glenn (Facebook)
I spent a summer working at an amusement park in the ride photo booth, which was part of the retail department. People would immediately get off the ride and purchase their on-ride photo from us. One day, a man purchased his photo, and when he turned and walked away, I noticed that his white shorts were filled with poop. He pooped himself on the ride, and instead of going to the bathroom to clean himself, he bought a photo to commemorate the event.
10. Submitted by Hannahe4b77
I worked in the J.C. Penney men's department in high school. I once got a call that the changing room needed to be cleaned. I discovered a bag of socks that had poop in them; someone had taken a bag of tube socks, opened it, took out a sock, pooped in it, and attempted to put it back in the package.
11. Submitted by Pinkdeedle
I'm a clothing retailer. One time a girl went into the changing room with a necklace and came out without it. When confronted, she got argumentative and then ultimately reached up her dress and pulled the necklace OUT OF HER VAGINA and threw it at us. So, so, so disgusting.
12. Submitted by Megan Luckey (Facebook)
I was a florist for 14 years. I would have never guessed the odd requests people place on their florists, but one stands out the most. This particular type of thing happens occasionally, but one fellow really aggravated me. For Valentine's Day, he came in and ordered two arrangements for two people: his wife and his lover. He was a total jerk about the whole thing and kept reminding me how vital it was not to switch them. After several minutes of him explaining how incompetent he thought I was, I promised him nothing would happen. Except it did. His wife got flowers addressed to his lover and vice versa. Maybe if he hadn't been sending his wife three carnations while his girlfriend was getting a dozen roses, I wouldn't have been so "forgetful."
13. Submitted by tusdaep
Had a young woman leave trails of diarrhea around our store. She proceeded to wipe herself with some of our clothing and eventually the 20-foot curtains covering the dressing room. My manager tried to clean up the piles but ended up gagging so badly that I had to finish.
14. Submitted by Liab46e
I volunteered in a charity shop. One day a man came in and tried on some jeans, said they didn't fit, and left. We soon became aware of a bad smell in the shop and looked for the source. It turned out that the man had a situation and had left wearing the jeans he tried on and put his own back on the rack. The inside legs and some outside of these jeans were absolutely covered in human feces, as were the trousers hanging next to them. We had to throw out all three pairs and scrub the fitting room because some poop splashed up the walls.
15. Submitted by Wouldntuliketono
I was working at J.Crew, and this woman asked to use the bathroom. I escorted her to the stockroom, where the bathrooms were. Because we have so much merchandise back there, we always had to wait for the customer to be done. This woman was there for SEVERAL minutes, and there was no sound. When she finally came out she apologized for taking so long and explained it was because she was having the heaviest period of her life, and as we walked to the door, she went into the most graphic detail of menstruation that I have ever heard — how big the clots were, the fact that she always gets crazy diarrhea when she's on her period — as I am just smiling and agreeing with her. I almost quit that day.
16. Submitted by kristinalawlerf
A co-worker of mine once went to clean out the fitting rooms. She once found a half-used box of Kleenex and a dirty magazine (we're a mass retailer and don't sell those) and what my co-workers and I describe as a "biohazard" all over one wall. A manager cleaned it up, because we do NOT get paid enough.
17. Submitted by katiejanejkp
During college I worked in an outlet mall at Old Navy. One day a lady came in who was apparently having some stomach problems (please note: she was wearing a short denim skirt). In that store, we had little hall-like passageways between each "shop," where we'd hang accessories and miscellaneous crap. Somehow, while standing in this area, the lady must have had projectile sharted/diarrhea-ed. It ended up all over the wall and the floor, with a trail leading to our bathroom in the back, where she hid out until she was ready for her walk of shame.