33 Employees Reveal Secrets That They Wish Customers Knew

These are really informative and cool. Jerks that cut in line, read this. Those who yell at waitstaff, read this. Remember that employees are people just like you. Read more on this Reddit thread.
Please note that Thought Catalog has not verified the veracity of these claims, but rather collected these accounts and opinions to start a discussion.

1. Never surrender, never give up

I worked in tech support.

Never, ever, EVER!, FUCKING EVER! Admit to customer damage when trying to get a product replaced or fixed under warranty.

It doesn’t matter if it’s an accident or you’re just trying to be honest. If you did the damage, you will be denied service. We have to. Our calls are recorded and random calls are evaluated. If you say that you broke something and we still set up service on a call that’s evaluated… It affects our raises, promotions, and can get us fired.

Describe what’s damaged, stick to your simple story, “I have no idea how this happened.”, do the troubleshooting you’re asked to do even if it seems asinine, and you’ll get your shit fixed.

2. Save your loved ones


  • Your dog/cat/bunny is NOT the same animal at the kennel as they are when you’re at home. 90% of the time, your animal is extremely stressed out/scared. we spend a lot of time trying to convince your pet that we’re not going to kill them.
  • Bring your own pet food. rapidly switching an animal’s food usually is upsetting to their stomach. why add belly aches to already-fried nerves?
  • Caged animals freak out and destroy blankets. your animal is likely laying on concrete or a plastic cage bottom. it sucks. kennels try to make things as comfortable as possible, but the pets generally make that as difficult as they can, because they miss you and are totally freaked out that you left them. we can’t keep giving them blankets/beds if they keep ruining them, because of cost and the animal’s safety (chewed up material can supposedly hurt the intestines, at least that’s what my kennel boss told me).
  • Don’t use hartz or whatever over the counter crap flea preventative: it does not work. in a room full of 50 other animals, there are going to be fleas. hartz will not do the trick. now your dog is stressed out AND itchy.
  • Try to avoid boarding your animal at all costs, honestly. Unless you are paying one of those luxury pet resorts like $30 per day, you are basically putting your animal into a “pound” scenario- the only difference is that obviously kennels don’t euthanize. it’s still a terrifying scenario for 90% of the animals (some of them are really laid back and friendly and have a great time because that’s how they roll. chances are, this will not be the case for your animal).
  • Most important tidbit: you can pay a vet tech about the same amount of money per day to just come to your house to feed your pet, play with it, let it out, etc. You just ask your vet if any of the vet techs would be interested in checking in on your pet. this is way more comfortable for your animal and often doesn’t even cost you any extra money.

3. Not a secret, just COURTESY

When you pick something up in the store (especially a product that needs to be refrigerated/frozen) don’t strand it in somewhere in the store where it will spoil (ie the steaks I found in our cereal aisle earlier this week).

4. They don’t set the prices, you know

I work at a gas station. While there’s a few things that it would be nice if everyone knew it’s mainly:

  • I’m not responsible for the gas prices.
  • I’m not fucking responsible for the gas prices.
  • I really don’t want to hear about how gas prices are hurting you when you can still clearly afford to fill up your huge truck/boat/jet ski/etc.

5. They’re practically feeding you

Food sample person here:

  • We don’t wear gloves to keep our hands clean, we wear them to keep your food clean. So, please don’t just reach in and grab stuff that we aren’t serving at the moment.
  • If someone touches a piece of food/drink that we’re serving, or even just the cup/napkin that it’s in, we have to throw it away. Therefore, please only touch what you’d like to take.
  • Be courteous. Don’t cut in line, move out of the way so others can taste as well. Don’t break into our stuff. A friend of mine stowed his stuff away to take a restroom break, and came back to find that someone had taken stuff out of his microwave. WTF.

If you’re nice, we’ll give you as much stuff as you want, there aren’t any rules against that. Be nice, be a decent human being.

6. Lesson 1: Don’t be a dick

I cannot magically give you a product that we are out of.


Man: “Do you have any more of these pools in back?”

Me: “Let’s check.” scans item “It says we have zero… let me check for you just in case.” goes to backroom, find no pools in their location “Sorry, looks like we’re entirely out. I could call another store for you if you’d like, the [nearby city] store is only 10 min-”

Man: “No! This is bullshit! What the hell are my kids supposed to play in today? We wanted this pool, they’re excited, and now I’m supposed to come home with no pool? You need to get me one of those pools!

Me: “I can call the [nearby city store] and put one on hold for-”

Man: “I don’t have time for this. Get me a damn pool!”

Me: “You’re out of options if you don’t want to go to [nearby city].”

Man: “You’re ruining my kids’ summer.”

7. I catch snakes fer a livin’

Rattlesnakes don’t jump through the air, chase you, track you, smell bad, attack unprovoked, or do any of that cartoon shit. Also, don’t lie about this kind of thing to the guy you just called to catch the thing, because I can tell you’re lying.

8. Ice cream shop workers

Cold Stone employee here:

  • Our food is bad for you. Really, really fucking bad for you. People tell themselves all the time that this is going to be in place of their dinner, when in reality, it would need to be in place of all their food for a day. A large Chocolate shake will run you over 2000 calories, and more than double your daily dose of fat. Large Signature ice cream more your style? Try between 1400-1800 calories.
  • Just want a little bit of ice cream? Get a kids size! It’s 3 ounces, and only $2.
  • With someone and want to save money? Order a large, split it, and save $3-5 dollars.
  • If you’re planning on coming back twice in a month, or have people with you, consider ordering a half-gallon “Everybody’s” size ice cream. It’s $10, which is almost the average purchase amount for two people, and is 64 ounces of ice cream. For reference, two medium sizes are 8 ounces each, and will cost you the same amount of money.
  • Want mixins? Don’t want to pay $0.70 per topping? Order a signature, with some of the mixins you want in it, and swap out the rest. Substitutions are free.
  • If you come in during the last 5 minutes before we close, I will secretly hate you. I’m mostly cleaned up by this point, and really just want to go home, and making your ice cream sets me back 10 minutes of work. If you really, really have to have it, order your ice cream plain, or get the mixins on top. A shake also works. Your ice cream person will love you for it.
  • Have allergies? No problem! Tell whoever is helping you, and they will put on gloves, sanitize the spades, grab a fresh pan of ice cream out of the back, along with fresh mixins, and make your ice cream on a sanitized cookie sheet. If they skip any parts of this feel free to call them on it. It’s your health, and we’re all trained on how to do it.
  • Regarding tables: Yes, we will clean up your child’s mess since half the ice cream is now on the table and floor. We’ll be a lot happier though, if you apologize for it. If you move the tables around or outside, please put them back.
  • Parents: Don’t let your kids smear their dirty hand all over the glass in the store! I understand that they’re excited, but that’s no excuse to let them smear their hands everywhere. Also, our store is not a jungle gym, and allowing your kids to run free and climb on things is simply unacceptable.
  • The reason we’re called Cold Stone is because we make your ice cream on a granite stone, that is kept cold. Long-time customers only just realize this all the freaking time.
  • I am not a trained cake decorator. I’m an art student, so that duty magically just happens to fall to me. I get paid $0 extra for doing your cakes. Hell, I only make a little above minimum, so if I’m doing your cake, consider tipping. If you come in and demand something and show me an Ace of Cakes picture, or something from a specialty bakery, I will laugh at you. I have buttercream frosting in 6 different colors, and decorate for free. No, I will not go buy an airbrush with my own money so you can have the $150 cake for $40 at my store. I will also not buy fondant for you.
  • Cakes take time to make. We have to make them, freeze them, decorate them, and then freeze them again before you pick them up. This takes about 3-4 hours minimum depending on size, if I can dedicate my time solely to the cake, and not have to worry about customers. If you come in and tell me your daughters birthday party is in 2 hours, and you need a custom cake by then, I cannot help you. I will also feel no sympathy for you as you scream at me for ruining her life, and not caring about the dreams of children.
  • If you try to take change from my tip jar, I will get very, very serious with you. That money is mine. Don’t fucking touch it.
  • If you give me a ‘tip’ like, “Check your tires for better gas mileage” and then demand a song, I will not sing for you. Shame on you.

That being said, if you behave like a normal, rational person, I will love talking to you, and do everything I can to make you happy. Behave like a cool person, and I’ll have no idea how those extra portions of candy fell into your ice cream. Customers make my happy, and want to kill myself. Please be one of the former.

9. I got hired for my Googling skills

I don’t know every asinine detail of every piece of software you use. When you ask me an oddly specific question, I just google it. I’m not mystical or a genius. I just google shit.

10. “Can I take your order, sir? When was the last time you had sex? Would you like fries with that?”

The nicer and more respectfully you treat me the more likely I am to go above and beyond to help you. And sometimes I have to ask you personal questions, don’t take it personally.

11. Don’t be an idiot

My store carries over 100,000 products ranging from lumber to patio furniture to grass seed to wood stain etc etc. I do not know every single thing about every single product, so instead of acting like I am retarded when I don’t know how long a certain brand of seed takes to germinate, how about you just read the back of the bag? Seriously, I can answer most questions just by looking and READING the back of the product you are waving in my face.

Relating to the fact that we have a bazillion products, we also have multiple sales going on at once that rotate every week. If you come up to me asking about ‘that battery pack’ that was in the Sunday paper 2 weeks ago and ends on Thursday, I have no idea what you are talking about. BRING IN THE AD, FOR THELUVVAGAWD.

12. Be nice to people

People get so caught up in their own “private hells” that they forget they’re dealing with other real, actual people in these exchanges.

  • I’m a civil court clerk in a big-ish city. I am not your adversary. I am not the one suing you. I, personally, wish you luck in your judicial endeavor.
  • I’m not an attorney. I can’t give you any sort of legal advice, even it’s common sense. I could not only lose my job, but if things don’t go your way, you have a cause of action to sue me. I know going to the court when you don’t know where to start is a logical choice, but I can’t fix your shit. I can’t even fix my own, lol.
  • When I recommend you seeking the advice of an attorney, don’t get mad because they are expensive and try to tell me how hard you have it. We clerks get it. We’re all pretty much one missed payment away from being in your place.
  • If I tell you that I can’t do something, chances are it’s because of a rule, statute, or judge request. I’m not going to go against the Supreme Court because you didn’t research something. Chances are, you wouldn’t either if your job depended on it.
  • This has been said by many people already in the previous comments. I WANT to help you. I will write down every website, resource, and phone number I have so that you can be prepared. (This is mostly for people representing themselves.)
  • I can’t tell you how many attorneys call asking what they need to file and how. If it’s not general court policy, it’s probably falls under the realm of legal advice. Bros and Bras of counsel – swap me your salary and I’ll gladly research the rules for you.
  • We have to charge for copies. It’s less than 40 cents per page. Do NOT try to be slick and say dejectedly, “Ohhhh, all I have is a twenty…” thinking I’ll wave my hand and say, “Oh, that’s ok then, let me just do yours for free.” I will hit up as many other clerks as I need to to get you change. I’m not getting written up for pocket change.

That being said, most people are simply delightful, even during their times of stress. They just want someone to listen, and be as helpful as possible. This goes for every single job: it’s always the assholes that wouldn’t think twice about being snippy, short, and rude when you come to their services, and then do NOT understand why you’re not being Polly Perfect Poof I Fixed Your Life.

13. Easy to remember

Chemist here!

Stay the fuck away from my lab.

That’s pretty much it

14. Teachers deal with this shit all the time

If you don’t make your kid come to school, he will fail.

If you don’t check to see if he did his homework, he won’t, and he’ll fail.

If your kid is an asshole in class, I get to send him out for two days. Make your kid NOT be an asshole.

If your kid can’t read or write, I can’t miraculously make him smarter in 9th grade. You should have been on this shit for 9 years.


I work for a major US retail chain, I have worked both on the sales floor and in Human Resources.

  • Ladies, when trying on bathing suits, please leave your panties on. You don’t know whose crotch has been in those before yours.
  • On a related note, please do not remove the hygienic liner from the crotch of the bathing suit bottoms and throw it in the floor. I do not enjoy gathering them at the end of a shift.
  • When I say “I will take any garments you do not want” and reach for them, don’t throw them in a cart, or hang them where they don’t belong. I am reaching for them because I want them IN MY HAND because you probably hung them all wrong and I will have to fix them.
  • Hangers face the left. Always.
  • I can’t help you find what you’re looking for if you don’t know what you’re looking for. I’m not a mind-reader.
  • It does no good to spill your life story to me. I just want to know what department to transfer you to.
  • Stop coming to the store if you’re “already late for a doctor’s appointment” and your doctor’s office is “20 minutes away”.
  • We usually see you shoplifting. If we don’t catch you, it’s probably because our Assets Protection Specialist is out of the building.
  • I don’t care if you had to drive seven miles to get here. It was your choice to come here in the first place.
  • No, I do not have the phone numbers of other businesses. Use Google.
  • I don’t care how much you say is in your bank account. If our registers don’t take the check, we can’t just make an exception because you are loudly yelling “I have over $2,000 in that account!” Obviously there is a problem. Take it up with your bank.
  • If you’re nice about a wrong price, I will take your word for it and change the price if it’s within 20% of the value without sending anyone to double-check. If you’re not, I will send someone to check and make you hold up the line. Every.Single.Time. I get paid by the hour, not by transaction.
  • No, old lady, I do not know what items so-and-so is registered for. You have to either use our website or get off your ass and come to the store like everyone else.
  • You can’t take a thousand things in the fitting room. Sorry. When I say the limit is Six, do not ask if you can take seven or eight because you’re “in a hurry”.
  • Our website is run by Amazon. We have nearly nothing to do with it, so don’t yell at me about problems with it.
  • No, I cannot tell you how to operate the item you just bought from us. Read your damn instruction booklet.
  • I’m sorry we don’t have all eighteen lanes open. It’s 2pm on a Tuesday.
  • If you call about an application, please do not ask to speak to the store manager. He handles precisely none of the hiring. Ask to speak to Human Resources.
  • If you are calling about an application, do not cop an attitude with me. If you are, I will “take a message for you” that will never reach Human Resources.
  • For god’s sake, folks, don’t wear jeans to a job interview.
  • The Fitting Rooms are NOT bathrooms. Please do not use them as such. I get paid barely above minimum wage, and that is not nearly enough to clean up your bodily waste.
  • Please do not use me as an example for your children to stay in school. I graduated. I’m working to support my family.


I work at Subway.

  • Don’t order a chicken bacon ranch, it’s a 7$ sub. Order a chicken breast and add bacon for 6$. It’s the same damn chicken anyway.You could even ask them to cut up the breast and they SHOULDN’T question you.
  • Please do not pay 3.75 or 4$ for a sub that is a 5$ footlong. At least give the other half to a homeless person or something. People cheat themselves daily with this. (EDIT FOR THIS ONE:CLARIFICATION) What I meant was that the 6 inch is 3.75, so the unit cost of buying the footlong is VERY much in your favor. It was just a suggestion. I live on the edge of a neighborhood that has many homeless people who would appreciate half a sub.
  • (If your area does this) A subway card costs you NOTHING. You earn points for the money you spend and you get free food for them later. Yes, the marketing is that you may end up at subway more.. but no, it is NOT a credit card (lol).
  • Please don’t give a Sandwich Artist<<< THIS PART IS A JOKE MORONS shit if they are out of a kind of bread or vegetable in the evening. Chances are the day shift didn’t make enough (due to the workload or negligence) and either way it’s probably not his or her fault.
  • PaperFUCKINGtowels do NOT go in the FUCKING TOILET. Thanks
  • The girls bathroom trash can has a lid for sanitary (tampon) reasons. This does not mean throw all your shit (used tampon) on top of the lid instead.
  • Yes, you can ask for as much of the vegetables as you like. But if you ask for “extra… a little more….just a few more” for EVERY vegetable please don’t bitch at me if it’s hard to close and messy. You just paid 5$ for a sub that in food cost should probably cost you 7-8$.
  • Please read. We have pepperjack and monterey cheddar, not monterey jack. If carrots aren’t listed, we don’t have them. Same goes for mushrooms, sprouts, and the hearts of children.
  • Extra shit costs more. If it’s a dollar more for pepperoni I’m going to charge it to you. If you’re super nice we might “forget” but saying “THE OTHER SUBWAY NEVER DOES THAT,” and then never naming which subway and then telling me it’s just because you’re black will get you no where.
  • These are not pastries. We do not throw them all away at night. We can’t give you a free sub when we close.
  • Please get off your phone. Or at least stop taking attitude when I keep asking you what kind of bread anyway. I’m saving you from the angry mob forming behind your rude ass.
  • Almost forgot one that’s really important to me. DON’T BE AFRAID TO ASK. Want a recommendation on a sauce that most people like on that sub? I know it. Abhor eating meat but don’t want to seem pretentious? I’d love to change my gloves for you. Come in every day? I’ll tell you my name if you tell me yours. STORY TIME I have a customer who has a strong middle eastern accent, a lazy eye, and a bit of a mumble. No one likes to serve him. But one night he was VERY polite and I took the time to be patient. I learned that he doesn’t eat pork so he’d like you to clean the knife and change your gloves. He wants tuna but likes the bread and cheese toasted before the tuna is put on it. He also likes the same vegetables and sauce each time. You know what? He has the BIGGEST smile on his face when he sees me working because I saw him coming down the street and I’m already half done with his sandwich. Customers like him are the reason I don’t mind working at a Subway so much.
  • If you are a white girl who is shorter than me, there is a 97% chance you will order a 6 inch turkey sub on wheat, get 3 or less veggies, no cheese, but ask for a cookie. Your sauce will also be mayo or ranch. And you will not toast it because even though there is no possible way that adds calories, you feel like it might. Or at the very least it makes the grease come out of the meat and you think it’s gross.
  • THIS ONE IS HUGE TOO * Buffalo chicken, chipotle chicken and cheese, and chicken strips are ALL ALWAYS 5 DOLLARS. It’s the SAME EXACT MEAT as the breast except sliced in a machine somewhere and we put chipotle sauce or buffalo on it for you before we serve it. Yes, they are charging you a 1.75$ to slice it. Ask for a chicken breast and just add chipotle or buffalo (PRO TIP: Ask for it before we toast it). The only one that is worth it is the Teriyaki. The sauce that goes on it is DIFFERENT from the Sweet Onion they market it with.
  • When the sub is marked “6 grams of fat” that is a 6 inch on plain white or wheat, with no cheese, minimal vegetables and a low fat dressing (the dressing are listed on the glass as “Low Fat” and “Full Flavor”). Although you may still be getting more vegetables than at a McDonalds or something be aware that a footlong with cheese and mayo still has a high calorie count for a quick lunch. Especially when you get a 21oz soda and chips.

17. Bachelorettes, take notice

I own and work at a comedy club.

Bachelorette parties – nobody, and I mean NOBODY, from the famous headliner to the new local act to the waitress to the guy at the door to the other audience members – wants you there. Your penis hats are stupid, you talk too much, and no one is going to waste their entire set talking about the chick getting married, so save your bitching and take the party to Chuck E. Cheese or something.

18. Write “GLASS” or “LIQUID” on your box

When you ship a package, whether it lives or dies is mostly dependent on how YOU package it!

Use a solid box, tape it up with PACKING TAPE (no, masking tape or scotch tape will NOT survive shipping!) and use something to fill up the dead space like packing peanuts, or even just old newspaper pages wadded up. Make sure there are no holes in the box, and that there is nothing sticking out. Also make sure the box is the proper size for the item, if it is bulging or so tight it won’t close properly, that means extra pressure will be put on it when being shipped with 1,000s of other boxes.

If you are shipping something fragile, especially glass, take extra care in packaging, and when shipping electronics use the original box if at all possible.

Some things should probably not be shipped, your grandmother’s prized antique crystal punch bowl should probably never be shipped, and if you do have to ship it understand that unless you pack it very carefully using the above tips, it probably won’t survive.

Also, the word “FRAGILE” does not mean anything to someone in the shipping industry, however the word “GLASS” does, because nobody wants to break it because it is a huge pain to clean up. Also if you can do so without incurring an extra charge, write “LIQUID” because liquid items cannot be entered into most automated sort machines, and may help protect it from a lot of banging around.

Most of all remember, your box will get stuffed into a trailer or container with literally TONS of other boxes, moved all over the country bouncing and jostling the whole way, get handled by up to a dozen different people (some of which honestly don’t give a damn about your box), and it is safe to assume it will get dropped, thrown, shook, rattled, and have dozens of other boxes piled on top of it.

19. Be nice to the theme park employees

Theme Park Employee here!

  • Please read the sign out front prior to entering the queue. Then, you won’t be upset with me after you’ve waited in line for an hour and I have to tell you to go back to the entrance to place your items in a locker.
  • If you have a child with you, and I determine that your child is too small to ride the attraction, accept that I am enforcing a policy that goes over my head that is in place for your child’s safety. Don’t argue that an inch couldn’t possibly matter. Don’t tell me your child has already ridden twice and was fine. Don’t scream at me that you came all the way from Michigan/Brazil/Zimbabwe just so your child could ride this one particular attraction. If you are understanding, I’ll hook you up with front of the line access at a ride your kid CAN enjoy. If you are nasty and rude, you can scream at me all you like, but NO amount of screaming is going to make me risk my job and your child’s well-being to experience the attraction. End of story.
  • If you feel the need to smoke, please check your park map for the designated smoking area. Don’t light up at the exit of the kiddy ride and then get upset at ME when I very politely ask you to put it out.
    I don’t speak Spanish. No matter how loudly/slowly/angrily you speak Spanish at me, the only answer I’m going to give you is “No hablo Espanol.” The first time I have to say it, no grudges. A lot of people speak Spanish, and I don’t happen to be one of them. However, each additional time I have to repeat myself, the more Americanized my pronunciation will be. Eventually, I will be saying “No Hay-blow EspAINyol.” with the best Southern twang I can muster.
  • If you are upset by something, I genuinely want to help you. Please, let me help you by calmly explaining why you are upset, and what I can do to make it better. If it is something I can reasonably do, I will do it in a heartbeat. If it is not something I can reasonably do, I will explain this with an apology and try to come up with an alternative that will make you happy. And no, I can’t reach in to my pocket and pull out $500 to refund your tickets. If you keep insisting that I personally refund you, I will eventually pull out my debit card and explain to you that the thing doesn’t even have enough to refund ONE ticket, but by all means, go get an extra value meal at McDonald’s on me.
  • The theme park I work at is a completely different company than the various other theme parks down the road. If I enforce a policy you don’t like, telling me they do it differently somewhere else is like getting upset with a Burger King employee for refusing to serve you a Big Mac.
  • If you witness another guest screaming or yelling at me, please don’t intervene unless it looks like I’m going to get hit. I know you’re trying to help, but I’m trained to handle irate guests, and your presence is probably going to just make them defensive, which is going to make the situation worse.
  • I understand that you spent thousands of dollars to be here but please remember – I’m getting paid minimum wage to stay here and I don’t get to leave. Please take pity on me and be nice.

20. Stop arguing with lifeguards

Lifeguard here, and I totally agree with #2 We have a water slide, 4 ft height requirement.

I swear, I don’t know how many times a Parent has tried to convince me to let their short kid go down the slide. I’d love to see your kid go down the slide, but if I let him, and by chance, something does happen, or even not, I can be sued for endangerment.

if I measure, and he’s too short, it doesn’t matter if you measure him at home, or the doctor said he was 4 ft. Frankly, I find all that to be BS because our measuring stick is like 1/2″-1″ too short to begin with because is been worn down so much on the end.

Also, no, its not okay if you just go down with the kid in your lap. That’s even worse, not only is he too short but 2 people would be going at once which is even riskier.

Also, like you said, the rule comes from above us. We don’t come up with the height requirement. 4ft limit comes from the manufacturer who determined that 4ft is the length of a body that can travel the slide with out spinning around and smacking your head. To have the slides we LEGALLY have to enforce that rule, its not something to take lightly.

21. Points for you

I work at a cemetery. All my customers are dead.

22. This is the saddest story

I worked in a morgue in Afghanistan when I was deployed; All my customers were alive, we did it for the families. We processed both American/Coalition Forces who were killed in the country, as well as any Afghan National Army/Police who died in the line of duty, as well as any civilians that happened to die in our base hospital. (Afghan Civilians would come into the hospital usually because we had an actual surgical team, and definitely the best care for a hundred miles in any direction.)

So as Mortuary Affairs, one of our duties was to take the remains of civilians and turn them over to their family at the front gate. It was always kind of a rough duty, as you’d expect, but mainly because of the nature of the environment. We don’t know who their family members are, and we are standing outside ‘the wire’ having to pull security and make sure no one tries to blow us up or shoot us as we handle what is undeniably rough business- nine times out of ten, the family hasn’t seen their loved one in months, and certainly not since they died.

So one day we get this 15- or 16-year-old boy who had been hit by a truck and died in surgery in our hospital. We processed him like always and get the call that the family is ready to pick him up. We load the casket into the back of the big white box truck and head to the front gate. We get there and the interpreter is standing there with 3 guys, and no vehicle. The gate was closed, and they had come in the side/pedestrian entrance. We go and ask the terp to let us know when the family gets there, and he tells us these are them.

“Okay, well have them go and back their truck or car up, we’ll open the gate.”

“No, they said they will just walk with him out.”

“There’s only three of them, they can’t walk him out like that, just have them back the car up, its no problem.”
“They say it’s cool; they have to walk a few miles anyway, and if he can’t walk they can take turns supporting him.”
Turns out, that somewhere in the chain of the boy arriving at the hospital, going into surgery, dying, being sent to us, and getting taken to the gate, no one had actually informed his family that he was dead. They understood he had a broken leg, and would be walking home with them. We pulled the ‘terp to the side, and explained that we were Mortuary Affairs and that everyone there was about to have a terrible day. He needed to triple check that the name for the person they were picking up was correct. Then, if it was, he would have to inform this friendly guy that wanted to support his son on the walk home that his son does not have a broken leg. His son is dead. He is wrapped in white muslin in a black body bag in a wooden casket in the back of our big white box truck. In a minute I’m going to lower the ramp on the back, and I’m going to climb in the back of the truck with him and open the casket and the body bag, and I’m going to show him his dead son’s face to make sure that it is the right boy.

The terp went completely pale as we explained this, but could tell immediately that we weren’t joking. The conversation was hard to watch; even though you can’t understand the words exactly, you know exactly when the news is delivered and can see the man’s world being crushed. I lowered the tailgate/ramp and could tell the moment the casket came into the guy’s view. I helped him up into the truck and tried not to notice how badly he was shaking. Opening the casket, I unzipped the HRP (Human Remains Pouch – Body Bag) and gestured if he wanted to loosen/remove the shroud. As a non-muslim I knew I wasn’t really supposed to handle the kafan, but I could only imagine how hard it would be for him to do it himself. He shook his head and asked me to do it. His hands covered his mouth as my hands moved to reveal his son’s face.

In Afghan culture there isn’t the same machismo/stiff-upper-lip kind of upbringing the way there is in a lot of Western Countries. I’ve had to have men identify loved ones in the States, and while you can see how much it hurts, they also try to hold it in. To put on a brave front. Afghan men don’t generally do that. They are open about their grief, and cry to the heavens, often slapping themselves on the face or beating their chests as they take it in. It’s not uncommon for every pallbearer to be crying and screaming as they take the casket and load it into their car.

The father didn’t do that. He just stopped completely still and said the boy’s name in a whisper. Tears sprang to his eyes and he looked at me. I couldn’t think of anything to say, but “I’m sorry… Sharmanda.” He hugged me harder than I’d ever been hugged before, sobbing into my shoulder. I let the kafan fall back over the boy’s face and wrapped my arm around him. I’m sorry to say it took me another few seconds to take my other hand off my rifle to really hug him back.

This sort of thing happened three times on my deployment.

TL;DR: What do I wish my customer’s knew? That their loved ones are already dead before I have to turn their remains over to the family.

23. Seriously?

I am at your house. I am carrying a container with a large square box shape. I am wearing a cap that says “XXX Pizza.” I am Asian.

Do not open the door and say “Oh, we didn’t order Chinese food.”

If you do do that, do not shut the door in my face. If you do do that, do not be surprised if your pizza comes two hours late or not at all.

If you are surprised and call the manager and complain how we are being racist because pizza is “Italian” in origin and Italians have traditionally had some racial dispute with your ethnicity 10/50/2000 years ago, thus causing me not to deliver your pizza, do not be surprised when we hang up on you and have a good laugh about it.

24. Do not yell at people on the registers

I work the cash register part time at a grocery store.

When customers are upset they like to complain to me. And by complain I mean people usually yell at me over things I have no control over. The most recent was this disgruntled man who instructed me to shove the service desk up my own anus. I always smile and try to sympathizes with the customer, but in my head I always think the following:

“I’m just some kid working to make money for a college education he can’t afford. I have no control over what this store does and what items we carry. I am paid minimum wage to stand behind this machine, smile, and ring up your order. I have no control over the rest of the store. I literally just stand on this 2 x 2 mat and never leave. I’m sorry your mad that the checkout line is long, but screaming at me for slow service isn’t going to change anything. If you are going to complain, complain to someone who’s job it is to fix what your mad about, like a manager, or better yet write a letter to corporate.”

I feel I need to add that I’m a darn good worker. However, it is the stores policy that generally anger customers causing them to yell at me, not my bad work performance. These policies include how many cashiers are working at a certain time or what items the store will carry.

25. Be more specific

I work in an upscale shoe store that is also an orthopedic clinic that makes custom orthotics and foot braces, we deal mainly with people with very tricky and usually multiple foot problems.

  • Your feet/knees/hips/back/shoulders hurt? You know what’s going to do more for you than good shoes and custom orthotics? Losing some weight. There is only so much we can do.
  • I don’t work on commission, I recommend what I think will work best for you. I’m sorry that you’ve never paid more than $20 for a pair of shoes before in your life. This is probably another reason that your feet hurt and you’re here.
  • Do not get pissy if I bring out a size 39 when you’ve been a 38 all your life! Feet change, they spread out. The number means nothing in the long run. Also, if I say a 39 is around an 8, 8.5 US, BELIEVE ME. Do not argue. I work in a damn shoe store. If it doesn’t fit, I’ll gladly grab you another size.
  • It takes time to get shoes from the back… I’m not slacking, I’m pushing heavy, dimly lit roller racks of shoes out of the way and climbing up and down ladders, scanning little teeny numbers to try and find a pair that you probably won’t like anyway.
  • Saying you want a pair of shoes with “support” means nothing at all. Heel support? Ankle support? Arch support? Metatarsal support? Saying “a walking shoe” also means nothing. Sandal? Runner? Laced? Velcro? Leather? Mesh? The cuter ones aren’t going to be as ‘supportive’, I’m sorry.

26. Very sensible advice

Bouncer here:

I’m making small talk with you on the smoking patio because a) babysitting a bunch of adults at a fun party gets really boring, b) I care about providing you a good experience and making you feel welcome at our bar, c) you look like you might cause trouble later and building rapport with you makes it a hell of a lot easier to kick you out without getting physical, or d) you look like you’re not too great socially, and I’d rather see you talking to somebody than standing around looking at your cell phone pretending to text so people don’t think you’re socially awkward (hint: this doesn’t work).

This does not mean that every time you come hereafter, I’m going to move you up to the front of the line, comp your cover, or kick out any random dude that looks at you funny. This does not mean you can hang out in the employees only area, walk in and out of emergency exits, or try and clown me to impress some girl you met five minutes ago. Stop touching me. You’re drunk. I’ve seen enough “play-fights” to know that when you add alcohol to the mix, “just goofing around” can turn into a full-on brawl really quick.

Don’t name drop. Everyone knows the owner, his job is to make sure the customers feel welcome. Everyone knows the manager, it’s his job to make sure that you’re getting taken care of if you’re spending a lot of money. Everyone knows the DJ, and frankly the guy is kind of a douchebag so dropping his name is actually a bit of a disservice to you.

Just come on in, and have a good time. Recognize that I have to be the sober person at the party every single night. Party, don’t do drugs in the bathroom, and if I catch you doing dumb shit and have to kick you out, just cooperate. I don’t want to put you in a headlock, and you can come back any other night if you’re a nice guy about it. Just don’t be a douchebag, is all.

27. Shoot her and get your cash back

I work in a computer games store in northern England.

A guy comes up to the counter with his 10 year old son. The kid puts a copy of GTA on the counter.

Sales Assistant – “Sir, that game is rated with an 18 certificate. It isn’t appropriate for your child.”

Father – “He’s played it before it’ll be fine.”

SA – “It contains extreme violence, bad language, drug references and prostitution.”

F – “It’ll be fine.”

SA – “OK then.” Addresses child. “Let me give you a tip then mate. Once you’ve had sex with a prostitute, shoot her in the face and you can get your money back.”

F – Looks shocked. “Actually we’re gonna leave it.”

True story, I shit you not.

28. Don’t order chilled shots

I work at a bar.

  • Unless it’s more than a dozen different types of drink, order them all at once. I’ve got a pretty good memory and it saves me a lot of time.
  • When I’m making your drink, be ready to pay when I get back to you. Better yet, have some cash in hand and you’ll get served faster.
  • If you want more liquor in your drink, tip well or order a double. If you’re a good tipper, you bought me a shot, or you’re a regular, your next drink will definitely put some hair on your chest.
  • If you want separate checks, tell me BEFORE you start ordering.
  • I have a name. If you want my attention, take 1 second of your time to learn it. I’m also a human being, so treat me like one and I’ll definitely take care of you.
  • We’re not stupid. Complaining because I threw out your backwash and 4 drops of beer that you haven’t touched for 30 minutes won’t get you a free drink. Yelling at me and causing a scene means I have to get a manager involved and believe me, I’m not going to get in any trouble and you aren’t getting a free drink.
  • If you’re not getting served and you see we’re all running around making drinks, be patient, it’s busy. If we’re standing around doing nothing and you’re not getting served try being polite instead of yelling obscenities at me. If you’re extraordinarily rude we might suddenly become deaf and blind for a little while.
  • There are thousands of drinks out there that I’ve never heard of. Don’t get upset if I have no idea what the hell is in that or we don’t carry that obscure ingredient.
  • The guy in a t-shirt who’s carrying cases of beer, cleaning glasses and generally working his ass off is my barback. He’s very busy, good at his job, and is not allowed to serve you alcohol.
  • Basically, if you take care of me, I’ll take care of you. And just in case you’re wondering, I prefer Jameson.

29. Remember to TIP your delivery men

Right now, I’m delivering pizzas to support myself and school. There’s a $2 delivery fee per delivery. The vast majority of that goes directly to my franchisee, and I only get about $0.35 to pay for gas. If I do not get tipped, my franchisee just made more money on your delivery than I did. With that in mind, here’s what I’d like my customers to know about tipping and deliveries:

  • The delivery fee is NOT a tip paid to your driver. Gas prices being what they are right now, if you don’t tip me, I just PAID for the privilege of delivering your food to you.
  • If you habitually do not tip or are habitually nasty to us, we’ll start to remember you. If you tip well and are nice to us, we’ll remember you, too. We’re professionals, but be mindful that this will sometimes affect your future quality of service.
  • If I impressed you and you comment on it, please tip. Nothing is more confusing and frustrating than someone who is genuinely impressed with my service and efficiency, but isn’t impressed enough to spare me a dollar.
  • All the gas I use and the wear and tear on my car all come out of my pocket. Do not call me out to the same house, down an unpaved road, four times in the same day, without tipping me once. If you can spend $60 on pizza and 2-liters all day, then you can afford to tip me. (I’ve caught three nails in my tires and had two flats because of you. You know who you are.)
  • When you tip, please tip a little more than the change. It’s aggravating when you give me $29 for a $28.83 order and tell me to “just keep the change” like I should be grateful. It feels like “here, I’ll pay you 17 cents for the convenience of not having to carry around 17 cents.” and “Wow, you did a great job, but you’re a delivery guy… in my eyes, you’re worth 17 cents.”
  • Sometimes my co-workers will goof up your order. I’ll do what I can to make it right, and I’ll even bring you free food if my manager says it’s okay, but I’m not getting paid anything to bring you your free food. Not even the little $0.35 gas money; since it’s not an “order” then there’s no delivery fee or tip for me to get gas money from. This is out of my hands, and while I’m sorry my store goofed, please be nice to me. I’m giving up a paying run to make things right for you, for a mistake I never made in the first place. I’m doing you a favor on behalf of my store.
  • I know our store may be “right down the road” from your home, but if you’re outside our delivery area, we are not supposed to deliver to you. We can give you the phone number for our store that does cater to you, but our drivers are not supposed to leave our delivery area or we can be fined. If it is more convenient for you, we will happily let you place a carry-out order for pick up, but if you’re outside our delivery area, we cannot deliver to you.
  • I work evenings, from 4:00 PM or 5:00 PM until 11:00 PM, 12:30 AM, or 1:30 AM. If there are no rejected orders, then I don’t get a break to eat. While you are enjoying the sights and smells of the food I am about to give you, I am starving, and have been for the past several hours. Please be mindful.
  • I have the right to refuse to deliver to your home if your dogs are loose or your doorstep/home is dark. Please leave the light on for me and keep your dogs contained. I’m strange to them and I smell like food.
  • Yes, I did just run up those stairs in 96ºF heat; it was faster than mucking about with the elevator and you’re only three stories up. I’ll do this dozens of times in a night. Please don’t be offended if I’m a little winded.
  • If your home does not have house numbers that I can see, I might pass your house while looking for it. Please don’t be upset with me if it takes me a pass or two, I am genuinely trying my best to find your house as fast as I can. If you would like me (or anyone else, like emergency services, for example) to find you faster, please consider investing in larger/reflective/higher-contrast house numbers.
  • I mean, I guess it’s a little petty, but those tips make up the majority of my pay, and just a little bit of kindness from several people adds up fast. Even a quarter extra from everyone can mean an extra $5 for me, which is enough for dinner. It makes me feel better as a person when I’m doing a good job and people recognize that.

tl;dr: Don’t be angry with me, I’m giving you the best I can, and remember to tip.

30. Quiznos ≠ Subways, got it?

I Worked at a Quizno’s.

Thank you for making this, because people need to know this about Quizno’s:

  • We are not a substitute for Subway. Quizno’s subs are in no way as healthy as Subway subs. Many of the large subs caloric content exceed a normal sized person’s REGULAR DAILY VALUE. If you don’t believe me, look at the caloric content, sodium, and fat involved in a large tuna sub.
  • I don’t know if this is at all Quizno’s, but at mine there was this pink lemonade that I loved. I stopped loving it after I saw how it’s made. It’s a bad of solid, thick syrup that is simply mixed with water, it should not be considered a drink.
  • Honestly, the original poster covered all the other points about sub making and customer etiquette, I just want to make as many people realize as possible that just because Quizno’s and Subway are competitors, doesn’t mean they are equal in terms of health. I found very little to be healthy at Quizno’s. Their way of advertising healthy food would be to tell people to buy a small mesquite chicken, which would still be around 700 calories, and “sammies”, which would only be low in calories because of how ridiculously tiny they were.
  • They’ve added a “nutritional info” part to their website; do not believe it. They’ve lowballed ever one of those estimations, and hilariously, they are all still pretty unhealthy. It’s a testament to how truly unhealthy their subs are that they can’t even bring themselves to lie enough to make their subs sound remotely healthy.

31. Simply put, human beings are awful

I work at a 2,000 rx/week retail chain pharmacy. The high price is your insurance’s fault. The reason we didn’t fill your prescription is because your doctor’s office didn’t call it in. We know if your prescription is fake just by looking at it. We dislike calling you about stupid things more than you dislike receiving the calls. I could go on, anyone that has been a difficult customer in a pharmacy needs to work as a technician for a day so they understand how ridiculous the job is.

32. Don’t answer questions

Don’t have customers, but clients, but:

  • They’re called voluntary roadside maneuvers. If you get pulled over for a DUI, do not fucking do them. You are going to fail them. I promise.
  • When the cops ask you questions, do not fucking answer them. If you’re under arrest, you cannot talk your way out of it. I promise you. If you’re not under arrest, the questions are designed to get you under arrest. Nothing you can say can help you. Believe it or not, the majority of cops are looking to arrest someone for whatever they’re investigating at that point. If they’re talking to you, they’re looking to arrest you.
  • I’m not a public pretender. I’m not working for or with the DA. I’m not trying to get you in jail. I’m not building my resume to become a DA. I’m not building my resumed to become a private attorney, for that matter. I am what am because I am trying to help people stop from getting screwed. Screaming at me isn’t going to help.

33. At a movie theater

I work at a Cineplex movie theater.

  • Our food is not overpriced, it’s actually on par with what would be required to keep the business running. Most of the profit for the theater comes from the food. Much of the ticket sales go straight to the people that made the movie. Theaters want the good movies not to make a profit from ticket sales directly, but to get people in the building where they are able to buy the food. (When I say overpriced it’s relative. Yes it’s higher than other places that sell items. And yes it’s way higher in price than the actual value of the item. What I mean to say is that theaters cost a lot to maintain and this is where most of the revenue comes from. If the prices for concessions were a bit lower the theater wouldn’t make enough revenue to bypass the expenses and be at a loss.)
  • SCENE cards are not a scam. There is no catch. They give you a 10% discount on food and give you points to get free movies. They’re meant to create loyalty (Why go to AMC when I can get free movies at Cineplex?) and they also track which items are most often bought so they can better offer food and deals. It’s just a form of marketing. (I’m not sure if this is true for all Burger King’s but for the ones at Cineplex if you want a Whopper Jr. do not buy a Whopper Jr. Buy a hamburger, ask for no mustard and ask for lettuce, tomato and onions to be added. You’ll save about a quarter.)
  • The small is very small and the large is very large for a reason. They want people to buy larger. If you don’t want to drink that much then go ahead and get a small. If you can drink more, the medium is more worth it. Get the large if you can drink a lot or just share. Sharing a large over getting two smalls saves you about $3.50. If you plan on getting coke or diet coke then don’t get a small. Some food outlets at the theatre should have coke bottles. They contain about 20% more liquid for a bit less.
  • Ice in your drink is not a scam. It’s meant to keep your drink cold because you’re going to watch a movie and we assume you aren’t going to drink the entire thing before the movie starts. Syrup levels are offset from the correct level so that as the ice melts the drink becomes the right balance. This is why the soft drinks taste very sweet on your first sip. Try it with a Cineplex cup of Coke and a can of Coke. The cup will be sweeter at first. An hour later they’ll taste about the same. (This may only happen at my location/brand or it may be misinformation being passed around. I am confident that the people who have told me this are not lying (possibly misinformed but not lying). Also when I say that the level is offset I do not mean that it’s offset by much. I have tried soft drinks from a can and from our theater around the same time to see for myself whether this was true. While I could just have a horrible sense of taste or cognitive bias I really did find the cup from the theater to be much sweeter. It’s why I suggested people to try it themselves. I tried it because I didn’t believe that a theater would do this when they’d have to pay more for syrup. That was before I realized how little they really have to spend on the syrup anyway. The point I’m making is they aren’t trying to scam you. If you don’t want ice you don’t have to get ice. If it makes your teeth hurt, don’t get it. If you don’t like the sound of the rattling, don’t get it. If you want to drink it all in 10 minutes, don’t get it. You have the option not to.)
  • Want two large popcorns for the price of one? Buy a large and grab a paper bag. Burger King usually has big ones. Put the popcorn in the new bag. If it’s from Burger King I guarantee it’ll all fit if you pour it accurately. Go back and ask for a refill. They can’t refuse the refill just because you didn’t eat the popcorn yet. As long as the refill is done in the correct large bag then they’ll do it. Employees are supposed to mark the bottom of the bag with an X. If they don’t you might be able to get another fill assuming you return a bit later and don’t approach the same person for the refill.
  • If an employee is not standing in front a til calling you to be served then that til is not open. There are lines for a reason. People are waiting there so get behind them. We place more people on tils as business picks up, people are assigned to tils, so not every employee can use every til that they just happen to be standing next to and not every person is supposed to serve (some are there to prepare food and keep stock up). Be courteous to others that are waiting and just get in one of the lines.
  • WE DO NOT GIVE REFUNDS AFTER YOU HAVE WATCHED THE FILM. It boggles me how often people just expect us to give back their money because they didn’t like the movie. You can come out any time before the last half hour and get a full refund. If you choose to watch the entire film and want a refund then ask the people who made the film. You chose the film, you watched it, deal with it. Some Cineplex locations are more relaxed with this. If they aren’t, then respect that.
  • People clean up after every single showing, every single day. Please be courteous and don’t leave a ridiculous mess. You would be amazed at how much popcorn and garbage people leave all over the floor. However, we prefer not to have to empty the garbages that are outside the theater because they really don’t take much to get full. This is the best advice for what we appreciate most: Leave drinks in cup holders and place bags of popcorn face up resting on the seat (This works well for trays and other large items too). It allows us to easily walk by and just grab the garbage, instead of leaning down every few steps. Any other garbage would be best placed either in empty popcorn bags or in the cup holders. Since I’ve worked at a theater I’ve done this every time I go see a movie. Also while you’re watching your movie please be aware of the amount of popcorn you’re spilling on the floor. A piece here or there is fine, but some people create disaster zones that take several valuable extra minutes to clean up. There’s no reason you shouldn’t be able to keep the floor around you fairly clear of popcorn.
  • Retail employees are not there to make your life hard. They didn’t set the prices and had practically zero say in how the company is set up or run. Do not blame them or antagonize them for a second. I am a supervisor and I guarantee that 99% of the employees just want to serve you well and not hassle you. They’re trying to make your experience enjoyable and they’re trained to do that.
  • If you come with a coupon, you’re getting what’s on the coupon. We are responsible to the coupon provider to actually give what we’re supposed to give. We can’t exchange things whenever we want. If you don’t want what’s on the coupon then don’t use it.
  • Combos are only sold with specific candy brands. If you want a different one it’s no longer a combo. This is because the company has made a deal with those brands and need to hold that deal. If you want a different candy you’re effectively buying the items separately.
  • If you don’t want candy then don’t get a combo. You’ve been brainwashed to think the word ‘combo’ means you save money no matter what. A drink, popcorn and candy combo is not cheaper than just a drink and popcorn. If you don’t want candy then the word ‘combo’ shouldn’t change that.
  • There is no such thing as ‘fresh’ popcorn. The popcorn placed in the warmers is hotter and is probably just as old as the stuff still in the machines. We rotate it every hour so that it doesn’t get too old. The stuff that pops cools down in about 5 minutes and only gets hotter once it’s placed in the warmers. The firmness of the popcorn still in the machine and in the warmers is exactly the same over that hour. If you’re aim is to get hotter popcorn just get the stuff in the warmers. If it’s to get ‘fresh’ popcorn, it’s all the same.

Well that’s a healthy dose. Hope I was helpful/enlightening. I’ve been wanting to tell people this stuff for years. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Read the secret story of the song that changed the world – John Lennon’s “Imagine”.


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