Malaysian Retail Workers Reveal The Most WTF Thing They've Seen Their Customers Do
In retail, you meet hundreds of people i.e. customers every single day. The good, the bad, and the simply weird... you've gotta deal with them all the same.
Having worked several part-time retail jobs through my college and uni years (photo above, circa 2011 with co-workers at my first retail job), I can attest that you eventually learn to brush off the yelling, the unreasonable demands, and the ugly side of humanity. Forgive and forget, right? :D
On that note, every retail worker has that one WTF customer encounter that they will never forget for the days to come. So I asked some friends from my retail days to share their stories:
Note: All pictures used are for illustration purposes only and names may have been changed to protect the source's privacy.
1. "Adik, is this chicken halal?"
"I worked at a restaurant right after SPM. This couple came in, ordered their food, the food got there on time, they finished it.
When I brought them the check, the man suddenly asked me, "Adik, ayam ni halal ke?" (Miss, is this chicken halal?)
My eyes flicked toward their plates, where the chicken was stripped to the bones, and before I could control myself, I replied, "Pakcik dah habis makan baru tanya ayam ni halal ke tak?" (You've already finished eating, then only you asked if the chicken is halal?). Woops."
2. "I had to hide in the storeroom for an hour because this guy was stalking and following me around the store."
"Busy weekend, I was flitting around the store doing a few things at once when my supervisor suddenly called me over from the front of the store. In a low voice, she told me that this one guy has been tailing me all over the store for a long time. Pointed him out, and I realised that he's one of those people who've been in the shop for awhile.
Anyway, my supervisor made me hide in the storeroom, and said that she will text me when he's gone, so I did. About 20 minutes later, I got bored, so I thought I'd peek out of the door to see if he's gone... AND HE WAS STANDING A FEW METRES AWAY STARING AT ME. I had a mini heart attack, slammed the door shut, locked it, and sat against the door because I thought he was gonna barge his way in.
I was in there for at least an hour, I think, before my supervisor gave me the all-clear to come back out. Oh, and there was a bunting blocking right in the middle of the doorway when I opened the door. I think it might've been him. Ugh."
3. "I never thought that I'd be putting a shoe on a customer like she's Cinderella."
"I'm used to demanding customers, coz I guess most luxury brand customers are like that. But this one is demanding level 999 man.
I don't know who she is, but she came in expecting to be treated like a princess. She just sat on the sofa, pointed out the bags and shoes she wants, and waited for us to bring them over to her so she can look at them. When she tried on shoes, we had to put it on for her because she didn't want to bend down.
I even had to kneel down so she can sign the credit card check, coz she was still sitting down. In case you're wondering, she spent almost RM10k that day."
4. "She spent an hour measuring a RM5 shirt against every male employee on that floor."
"I used to work at a department store. One day, this woman went around measuring a shirt against every male employee on that floor because she wanted to buy it for her nephew. She must have spent at least an hour on that, and the shirt was only RM5 (that's two hours of my pay)!
She didn't buy it that day, but she came back the next day and DID THE SAME THING. She bought it in the end."
5. "I got yelled at for informing a customer that our fitting rooms are closed for the day."
"It's 10 minutes to closing, so the cashiers already announced over the intercom that 'the fitting room is closed'. I was in charge of the fitting room that day, so that's my cue to block off entry to the fitting rooms so I can straighten them out, fold and hang up all the clothes that have piled up etc.
Then this woman marched over with a FULL bag of clothes and just walked past the barricades. I ran over to inform her that our fitting rooms are closed (politely, of course, with a "sorry, ma'am")... and she puffed up her face and started yelling in my face for being 'rude' and 'lazy' and 'inconsiderate' yadda yadda yadda.
I wish I could say we successfully kicked her out, but I was tired and couldn't be bothered so I just let her. We went home at 11pm that day."
6. "She wanted to buy everything... until she saw the amount of money she had to pay. Then she wanted to cancel everything."
"Young woman, looks like she's in her late teens, walks in 15 minutes before the store closes. Picked out quite a lot of stuff, tried everything on, and wanted to get everything. Okay, I thought, that's not so bad.
At the cash register, after we scanned everything, she saw the total amount and got worried. So she decided to cancel item after item, while we recalculated the amount over and over until we got to the amount she was willing to pay."
7. "If you think sex in fitting rooms only happen in America or 'The Sims', let me tell you a story..."
"I was in charge of the fitting rooms that day.
This couple - who'd apparently gone into a fitting room together - walks out, deposits clothes onto the counter, and out of the shop. Not suspecting anything, I went into the room to make sure it's clean before letting another customer in... and felt this musky humidity that meant some hanky panky definitely went on in there. Don't make me say it, we're all adults, you know what I'm talking about.
There were also clumps of suspiciously sticky tissue paper on the floor, so you make your own conclusions la ha."
8. "Aunty keyed in her credit card pin number in the 'Tips' screen, then accused me of double-charging her when I stopped her from charging herself hundreds of ringgit."
"Aunty wanted to pay with her credit card, but before I could type in the amount, she shoved it into the machine. So I removed the card, asked her to wait, then slid the card back in. She then accused me of "double-swiping", so I had to explain that a receipt will be issued if there's a transaction. Keep in mind that this is the new credit card machine that requires a pin number for the transaction to be authorised.
That's not all. She took control of the machine and almost charged herself a few hundred ringgit because she keyed in her pin number in the 'Tips' screen, which comes before the pin key-in and we usually just press the OK button to ignore. I stopped her midway, erased her pin number, and helped her get to the key-in-pin screen. She flipped AGAIN, saying, "Show me the transaction history! I know you double charged me!"
Thankfully, she did not shout and we eventually got things settled, but damn, that's one impatient lady."
9. "Aunty insisted on opening a sealed item because the samples on display did not have the colour she wanted."
"The clothing store I work at, we put out samples so customers can try them on for size. Note that we're not supposed to unseal packed items unless a customer had paid for it, it's storewide policy and obviously, I don't set those.
Customers are usually very understanding when we tell them that, but there was this one auntie who 'die die' also insisted on opening the package... because the testers did not have the colour she wanted."
10. "Customer put her delicate top into the washing machine. She came back and demanded for a new one, padahal the top looked like roti jala already."
"This was when I was working at [expensive branded clothing store]. This customer purchased a RM300+ top, made of delicate material. One week later, she brought it back and demanded for a new one, because she put it in the washing machine. The best thing is... the top looked like roti jala already.
She kept saying it's my fault that I didn't tell her the top cannot be machine-washed. Gurl, even if you didn't see the warning on the wash care tag, it's common sense! You don't put delicate lace into a washing machine."
11. "She started putting on the clothes, layer after layer, while she was walking to the fitting room."
"This lady came into the store with her boyfriend and started picking out a number of clothes. Then she started putting them on, layer after layer, on the way to the fitting room. There was actually this one moment where she couldn't fit into the last layer, because she was wearing so many layers of clothing!
That's not even the weirdest part.
When she started taking off the layers, she kept complaining to her boyfriend that's she's fat... until she reached the innermost layer. She decided to buy that one because it made her look skinny. WHAT EVEN."
12. "A customer came to the store three times in one day to yell at us because we weren't able to transfer an old software into his new MacBook. I had to resign because of that."
"This happened in the morning. Male customer in his 30s came in to purchase a MacBook. He asked if we could transfer Microsoft Word from his old MacBook into the new MacBook.
Here's the thing - his MS Word is an old version which is not supported on the new Mac OS. Pretty simple to understand, right? We explained that to him and even suggested that he get a new version of Microsoft Office, but he insisted on using the old version and refused to pay unless we transferred it to the new MacBook.
Again, I explained why it couldn't be done, as did the technician on-duty. Then he pointed to me and asked how long I've been working here (one year plus), said that he's been using Apple products for three years, and called me "stupid" and "idiot". He left without buying the MacBook.
He came back again in the afternoon, and we explained the same thing to him again. He refused to accept our explanation, insulted us, then demanded to speak to the manager. So we called our manager, and the guy straight up told him that my service is bad and that I should apologise to him.
Seriously?! We've been nothing but polite to him, so I told him I won't be apologising because I did nothing wrong. He wanted to file a formal complaint with corporate, so I gave him my name card and urged him to go ahead.
He didn't file a complaint, but he came back again at night and complained to my manager about me. The next day, I got pulled in for a chat, where my manager indirectly told me that I should resign ("Don't you think that you're not very suitable to be in the service line?")... so I did. Good riddance."
13. "This guy still messages me 'til this day when he has issues with a MacBook he bought in 2010. I left the job in 2012."
"Way back in 2010, this guy bought his first Mac - a MacBook White - from me. He added me on Facebook the day he bought it, and ever since then, he'd talk to me on Messenger about ANYTHING to do with his Mac, even about basic commands like 'copy and paste'.
When he found out that I left KL to go back to Penang in 2011, he called me up, telling me he was upset that I was leaving, that he had no one to rely on for any issues with his Mac. I made it very clear then that I'm not the only Mac salesman in KL.
I took up the same position in another Apple reseller in Penang, and he actually travelled to Penang once to get my recommendation on what keyboard cover he should get for his Mac. Not a software installation, RAM upgrade, new OS upgrade... a keyboard cover. He called me up again when I left the job in 2012, to ask me why I left.
He still sends me messages to this day. Me being weirded out by this may seem mean, but you have to take into account that it's been SEVEN YEARS."
14. "We had a lot of a**holes who kept smoking in areas they weren't supposed to smoke in."
"When I worked at this restaurant/bar, we had a lot of a**holes who kept smoking in areas they weren't supposed to smoke in.
For some reason, this woman is the one I remember the most. She started lighting up inside the restaurant - obviously a 'No Smoking' zone - so we told her to either stop smoking or continue outside at the smoking area. She killed her ciggy.
Five minutes later, she lit up another. Inside. Again."
15. "'Medium is too small. Got XL ah?' ... We were talking about steak."
"A group of friends came in and ordered the Ribeye Steak. When I asked one of them the doneness of his steak, he answered medium.
His friend suddenly said, 'Medium too small. Got XL ah?' I thought he was joking, but his face was dead serious."
16. "A customer bought me lunch, then tried to convince me to join his MLM scheme."
"We had this regular customer, I think he's quite rich lah right, coz he'd buy thousands of ringgit worth of CDs and Blu-rays and pay it all in cash. He's not a horrible person or anything, but I'll never forgive him for trying to seduce me into an MLM scheme with food.
I was still a gullible SPM-leaver who'd just started working, so when he offered to buy me lunch, I went lah coz I was afraid I might offend him if I didn't. Before I knew it, he was pulling out these [MLM company] brochures out of his man-purse and started talking about how much money I could make if I join his programme.
Internally, I was like, "???!!!!" but I just smiled and nodded and ate very fast so I could get away from there. I felt a little guilty for declining his offer coz he paid for my food, but I've avoided him ever since."
- Wai Kit
Have you ever worked a retail job before? Share your most memorable customer stories with us in the comments section below!