Take a look at these most degrading on-the-job memories. And count your blessings.

35. The man who cried 'Meat!'

Background -variety of sliced salami.
Cesarz / Shutterstock
The customer wanted meat. Just meat.

Had a guy come in [and] say he wanted a sandwich on white bread, when I asked what kind he looked at me as if I was stupid and said "meat."

I asked what kind, and he again looked at me as if I was a complete moron and repeated "MEAT."

At that point I lost it and just pointed down and yelled "WHAT KIND OF MEAT, MAN?" And he finally got it and with a dead pan look on his face replied "salaymi."

The way he pronounced salami made me want to jump over the counter and beat him mercilessly over the head with stale bread.

| Shake007

34. This kid's a real winner

A six year old boy child is being funny and making a bratty face while sticking out his tongue.
Christin Lola / Shutterstock
The boy didn't like to lose.

When an 8-year-old lied to his mother and had her call the school to complain, and then to my face the next day said, "I'm going to get you fired," all because he got tagged in the game we were playing.

Thank you, Matthew.

| mermaidquesadilla

33. Taking it on the chin

Angry man throwing phone into camera isolated on a white background
Dean Drobot / Shutterstock
Watch out for when phones start flying.

... The guy who threw his brand new iPhone 6 at me in an AT&T store because it wouldn't turn on. Claimed that the phone should last forever, and refused to charge it.

Chucked the phone at me and bolted. The phone hit me straight in the face.

Definitely the most painful customer that I've dealt with so far.

You never know when you'll have to play dodge-the-hard-object at work.

| natos20

32. Orange is the new blech

Refreshing Orange Cream Soda Ready to Drink
Brent Hofacker / Shutterstock
The Chick-fil-A employee will probably never want an orange soda after this experience.

[I] worked at Chick-fil-A, [and a] kid projectile-vomited after drinking orange soda. Two other kids in the play area also barfed after they saw the other kid.

I had to go clean it. It was all over the slide, floor, ugh!

To this day I don't drink orange soda.

| txplf23

31. In the thick of it

Chocolate Milkshake.
Billion Photos / Shutterstock
The woman insisted on a thick milkshake.

I had a lady in drive thru when I worked at McDonald's ask me for a thick shake.

I asked her what flavor, and she said, "I said THICK SHAKE," really slowly.

I repeated the question a few times different ways, and she answered the same, getting more and more frustrated. Then she yelled "Are you stupid?"

"I told you I just want a thick shake!" When finally her friend in the car told her that I was trying to ask her what kind of thick shake, at which she laughed and thought the whole thing was really funny.

Sure lady, I LOVE being called an idiot because of your mistake. Don't apologize or anything. I'm just a lowly cashier, I don't have feelings.

| PaperbackWriter

30. Not a completely thankless job, but almost

Apologetic secretary on the phone
Phovoir / Shutterstock
The congressional intern had to deal with a lot of angry phone calls.

I had an internship at the office of a member of Congress during the [Obamacare] debate and vote.

The phones rang nonstop, nearly all of the callers angry about one thing or another.

I thought not getting paid for that [bleep] was the worst thing ever until the office decided to rub it right in our faces by giving us a PayDay candy bar.

| starberrySundae

29. A 4-wheeled weapon

Cerritos, California, USA - April 18, 2016: Carts in parking lot are being pushed by CartManager XD, a shopping cart pusher, to make cart retrieval more efficient and safe.
Supannee_Hickman / Shutterstock
The worker found himself under attack from shopping carts.

One day I was retrieving a group of carts when a shirtless man came towards me with a shopping cart of his own.

I thought he was just going to give me his cart to add to my group to take inside, but he instead rammed the side of my line of carts.

So I stopped, asking [bleep]. I tried to move the carts again, and he rammed them again.

I ended up leaving the carts in the middle of the street because whenever I tried to move them, he would just ram them again, while screaming nonsense at me.

At least he only targeted my carts and not me.

| thealmightybrush

28. Does this look like a steakhouse to you?

BANGKOK, THAILAND - MARCH 17 : Exterior view of Subway Restaurant on March 17, 2015 in Bangkok, Thailand. It is one of the fastest growing franchises in the world, with 43,035 restaurants.
Settawat Udom / Shutterstock
She wanted her Subway sandwich medium rare.

I had to stand there while some lady told me I was incompetent for not being able to make her steak sandwich medium rare.

I was working at Subway.

| Marzelsloth

27. Really off the menu

elderly couple watchin the menu in restaurant
stockfour / Shutterstock
Deciding what they wanted was a tall order for these restaurant customers.

I work at Olive Garden and had someone ask me for "the fritta." We have Lasagna Fritta, Shrimp scampi fritta (classic or spicy), Artichoke fritti, and a chicken fritta topping for the Cucina Mia.

This was after her husband ordered “Chicken Freeda," which turned out to be Chicken Alfredo.

Then it turned into the "spaghetti fritta, no the raviolis..." and then points to the Lasagna Fritta picture.

What the [bleep]. You just read the menu. Tell me the exact name of what you want and stop trying to make stuff up.

| wonderpickle2147

26. Service so good it's infuriating

MOSCOW, RUSSIA - CIRCA MAY, 2018: worker at McDonald's. McDonald's is an American hamburger and fast food restaurant chain.
Sorbis / Shutterstock
The customer thought the McDonald's employee was too good at her job.

I was a cashier once and had a regular, ordered the same exact thing every single day. He got up to the counter, and I told him his total before he even ordered, and he was super upset.

"How did you know what I even wanted?!?!?"

Because, sir, you have ordered the same thing every day for the last six months that I have been here.

That was the last day I ever sold him a Big Mac, lol.

| thatsbat[bleep]crazy

25. No meat? Not my problem

Two separated halves of a submarine sandwich loaf ready to be filled
3445128471 / Shutterstock
The woman complained that her sandwich had no meat.

Wait, if I buy something at one store I can't return it at a completely different store?

A woman walked in to my deli store with a sandwich in hand, yelling at me because there was no meat on this sandwich.

Sadly she didn't buy the sandwich from me — she got it at Subway.

But she didn't understand that I didn't give a [bleep]. So she stayed and yelled until finally the store director had to come and escort her out of the store.

| Ogglett

24. Putting up with a lot of spit

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND - SEPTEMBER 18, 2015: checkout counter in Migros supermarket. Migros is Switzerland's largest retail company, its largest supermarket chain and largest employer
Sorbis / Shutterstock
The supermarket cashier was in for a wet surprise.

I worked at a Kroger [supermarket] as a cashier when I was in high school.

I asked a customer for his Plus [rewards] card and reached my hand out to grab it, then turned away for a brief moment to unlock my register. I felt something wet and warm in my hand.

This guy had spit a wad of Copenhagen and a toothpick into my hand and said "I shouldn't need a damn card to get the prices advertised."

I emptied the dip into a bag of tomatoes he was buying when he wasn't looking.

| mammothtarantula

23. Not-so-funny money

50 US dollars under a magnifying glass. close-up
Standret / Shutterstock
The boss replaced a counterfeit $50 bill with the employee's money.

A few days ago I accidentally accepted a fake $50 while delivering some pizzas.

The next day I took out my real $50 to compare the two, and my manager snatched mine out of my hand and said, "Perfect. We're even."

I put my two weeks' notice in the next day.

| getoutofthepool

22. When the math isn't in your favor

businessman hand working with finances about cost and calculator  and laptop with mobile phone on withe desk in modern office
everything possible / Shutterstock
The worker did a calculation and thought: Hey, wait a minute!

My salary divided by 52 weeks and 40 hours was pretty good.

Then I took my salary and divided by 52 weeks and 65 hours because that's how much I work each week.

Now I don't make nearly as much as I wanted.

| goingrogueatwork

21. Won the fight, lost the job

Men in a fight
Ollyy / Shutterstock
The store loss prevention employee fought with shoplifters.

I used to work loss prevention at a store when I stopped some people for stealing. They ran out, and then five guys surrounded me with pipes and bats.

I fought them off and hurt three of them. I only got a few bumps and bruises.

Then about two weeks later I got fired for "fighting customers."

| imafitfatty

20. Reminds us of that word for a female dog

Woman drives car and dog sitting on passenger seat
Budimir Jevtic / Shutterstock
The dog owner was very fussy about her grocery bags.

When I was 16 I worked at a supermarket at the cash registers.

One day a lady started yelling at me because I put cans of dog food upright in the bag, because apparently if she dropped them they would hurt her feet and that doesn't happen if they are laying in the bag flat.

Also about halfway through the transaction she remembered she had brought her own shopping bags from home and yelled at me for not reminding her, and then she threw them at me.

Hopefully her feet got crushed real good by those cans of dog food.

| bortnib

19. The juiciest phone story

Fit happy woman sending a text during her workout at home on parquet floor
lightwavemedia / Shutterstock
The store associate told the young woman to stop working out with her phone.

When a thick stream of sweat drained out of this girl's cellphone case.

I had to explain to her that her phone had water damage and that she shouldn't work out with her phone in her bra — all the while trying to be professional and not gag while cleaning the mess.

(I sold phones at Sprint).

| dryerfuzz

18. Taking a flyer

Chinese Take-out Menu and sauce packets
Liz Van Steenburgh / Shutterstock
The cook thought it was a relief to have to leave menus at homes.

I'm the head cook. Today I picked up an extra shift, and had to stick menus in doors for hours.

I was so happy when I got kicked out of the complex, and just went home.

At least I made my normal salary.

17. Like white on ...

rice grain (jasmine rice) for background
maoyunping / Shutterstock
The old woman wanted to know where her kind of rice could be found.

[I was] working at a grocery store, at the time. I was stocking shelves when this old lady came up to me and asked, "Excuse me, where is the white people rice?"

I immediately pause and question what I just heard. I asked her to repeat, and once again she asked the same thing.

I mentioned to her that there is no such thing and that she meant "white rice."

After this, she got defensive, said I insulted her and reported me to my manager. My manager then proceeded to yell at me for belittling a customer. I quit a month later.

| redditsonurface

16. Without a lick of sense

Small kid showing his tongue to make a funny face
leungchopan / Shutterstock
The kid could give a good licking.

Worked at Disney for a year and a half. ...

Had parents tell me not to discipline their child when I told him to stop licking the handrail — all 40 feet of it. Like he applied his tongue to the beginning of rail at the top of the ramp and ran it the entire length.

Then afterwards I took some sanitizer and cleaned the whole thing. Probably the first time it had ever been cleaned.

| Tauge

15. Dance crazed

Lovely hispanic couple doing the macarena dance moves and smiling
Fotos593 / Shutterstock
The teacher found that not everyone loves the Macarena.

When the children started spreading rumors that I made them "uncomfortable," and my principal launched an investigation.

Turns out I made them "uncomfortable" because I "made them" do the Macarena after a student asked, "Can we do the Macarena?"

| ieatglue44

14. Waste not, want not

Metal pipeline of Sludge treatment in wastewater management system, flowing brown smelly liquid and drying, made it for fertilization can use in agriculture field. Selective focus.
Arpon Pongkasetkam / Shutterstock
Would you want to work in that?

I worked in an agricultural engineering firm in southern Wisconsin. A large part of our business consisted of separating the solids from liquids in cow manure to make fertilizer, reusable water, et cetera.

And then we started working with human waste.

And then I realized that $12/hour was not enough.

| yosho1108

13. When 'internet-ready' isn't enough

Confused grandmother using a pc
Ollyy / Shutterstock
The woman wanted to know why her PC didn't come with the internet already installed.

I had an elderly lady promptly return to Best Buy, furious, because we allegedly told her she could browse the internet on her new laptop.

Come to find out, the laptop didn't just come with THE INTERNET preinstalled, and it was my fault the files weren't already in the computer. Just so you know, it is impossible to educate someone that computer illiterate.

She ended up leaving the store and abandoned her purchased computer — then came back again and demanded free help for her "inconvenience." I hate people.

| Smaddady

12. Taking heat at Mickey D's

CHICAGO, IL -  MARCH 31, 2016: inside portrait of the worker in the Rock N Roll McDonald's in Chicago.
Sorbis / Shutterstock
Son, I just don't think you can cut it here.

The first time this happened for me was at McDonald's. I was working while in high school and was closing Fridays (there until around 2am).

The next Saturday the manager sat me down during my lunch break and started telling me that he needed me to close 1-2 more nights per week, school nights. I explained that I was still in school and needed more sleep than that.

He replied with "I guess there isn't room for you on the McDonald's team."

I saw this as the veiled threat that it was and told him if that was the case, he could finish my shift (during the busiest part of the day). I went to the back room, changed, and left.

11. She wanted her drink on ice

Portrait of a good looking worker in a concession food in a movie theater serving popcorn and soda to a female customer
antoniodiaz / Shutterstock

Not my story but this had to be one of them. I was standing in the queue for the movie theater, waiting to buy some popcorn. Middle-aged woman in front of me.

Woman: Hey, one medium popcorn with a medium Coke.

Cashier: Sure thing. (Cashier starts pouring up Coke.)

Woman: Excuse me, I would prefer if the ice cubes were on the bottom.

Cashier: That's ... not possible.

Woman: But I want it that way.

Cashier: I cannot do that, it's literally impossible.

Woman then grabbed the popcorn and walked away without paying.

| Alepale

10. Mirror, mirror

House of mirrors
Havoc / Shutterstock
The office became a house of mirrors.

I worked in an office and a new office manager was brought in. She put up playground mirrors around the office so that she could see us sitting at our desks without having to leave her office.

It was just absurd. I started looking for a new position that same day and thankfully found one very quickly.

That lady was cray cray.

| taniapdx

9. Becoming the news

audio console and microphone in the news radio studio
Forest Run / Shutterstock
The station owner wanted the radio board operator to take a big risk.

I used to be a board operator for an AM talk radio station. The job paid $6.75 an hour.

One day, our intern was going through the mail and opened an envelope containing a threatening letter and a bunch of white powder. She screamed. The program director called 911.

Within minutes, a HAZMAT crew was on scene, the FBI had a mobile lab on site to analyze the powder, and the building was under quarantine. ...

The station owner called me and told me I needed to stay and keep the station on the air. We were a local news station, after all, and this was most definitely news that needed covering.

He told me I would have to be the last one out, that that was my job. I owed it to our listeners to keep them informed. And, after all, if it really was anthrax, I had already inhaled it, so it wouldn't make a difference if I left now or in four hours.

It was in that moment that I realized my life was worth more than $6.75 an hour. ... So I quit.

(It was an inert, non-organic powder. They were never able to conclusively identify it, but we were all safe.)

| McWalkerson

8. High on the job

Electrician working on high power lines from a lift on the back of a truck
Mike Focus / Shutterstock
The employee didn't want to go up in the bucket -- but didn't want to operate the truck either.

I used to be an office manager for an excavation company. I was visiting a job site one day, and the owner of the company was the only one there doing work.

He asked me to get in the bucket of the excavator, and he would lift me up in the air to unhook a power line from a telephone pole.

I straight up said, "You don't pay me enough."

He responded with, "Fair enough, you get in the excavator and lift me up in the air."

I'd never operated a machine like this, and I have to say it was pretty terrifying having someone's life in your hands like that.

| vtaznj

7. Chuck E. Geez!

CANTON, MI - DECEMBER 30:  Chuck E Cheese's, whose Canton location logo mouse is shown on December 30, 2014, has over 500 locations.
Susan Montgomery / Shutterstock
Well, somebody's got to get into the costume.

I was an attendant at Chuck E. Cheese's, 16 years old, and making minimum wage. One part of my job was to wear the mouse suit and dance around for birthday parties.

It's important to note that the costume includes this giant mouse head, which severely limits your vision.

One day, I was going through the motions when I feel a tug on my cape. Then I hear an angry whisper, "I'm taking you down, Chuckie" and a couple other kids start trying to take me down.

Now, I wasn't a small kid, 6 feet and pretty sturdy, so I managed to swat them away and make it back into the dressing room. But I had bruises on my shins from being kicked, and parts of the costume were torn.

That was my last day as a walkaround character at Chuck E. Cheese.

| WillPE

6. Holy smokes, that's gross

Close up portrait of serious middle aged businessman wearing black suit and red shirt smoking cigar in office
Sergey Furtaev / Shutterstock
Customers often needed too much help lighting their cigars.

I work at a cigar lounge, and I hate it when people ask me to light their cigar for them.

I mean, I'll help you — I'll cut it, I'll hold the match, I'll tell you if you need to turn it or relight it.

But please don't ask me to stick your cigar in my mouth and light it, then give it to you. That's like asking me to drink some of your whiskey, swish it in my mouth, then spit it into yours.

| MamaXerxes

5. Put your child to work day

Little beautiful smiling girl in glasses pours tea from teapot into cup at kitchen table.
BestPhotoStudio / Shutterstock
He expected his co-worker's child to make the coffee.

When I was 13, it was bring your child to work day and my dad took me with him. At the southeast corner of the office was a "Break Room," children were entitled to sit there if they wanted to, [and] I went there to get the bitter hot chocolate with marshmallows.

Just then — a clerk walks in and asks me to serve him a coffee, I asked him why and he gave me the most weird look as if I had said something stupid and then he said "because you work here." I told him that I had come with my dad and he got really embarrassed.

Turns out that the poor fella was new and it was his second day.

| Flamingskullion

4. Baby, that's rude

Portrait of worried mid adult man with nurses examining pregnant woman in background at hospital
Tyler Olson / Shutterstock
There was no way he was missing his child's delivery.

My boss informed me by email that I needed to be on call while my wife was in labor with our first child and that I would have to come in on the day my wife was to be induced in order to complete some "vital" tasks.

Needless to say, I responded unequivocally that I would not be there that day and I would not be responding to work-related messages while my first child was being delivered.

I don't work there any more.

| trenthamm

3. Wooden-head

Warehouse with variety of timber for construction and repair. Delivery concept.
Petrychenko Anton / Shutterstock
You mean THIS wood?

I was working in a retail hardware store as a cashier, and I once got asked by a customer where the wood was.

I asked him him what kind of wood he wanted, because we have plywood, studs, boards, etc. He then turned around kept yelling louder and louder, "THE WOOD WHERE IS THE WOOD?"

I pointed down one of the aisles, standing there in front of the aisles where we have all our wood, in stunned amazement.

| ShadowTemplar59

2. Trying to keep things positive

Fake Bank statement and bank logo
jason cox / Shutterstock
The bank customer thought negative amounts were money in his account

[I] worked at a bank. There was a guy with a negative $80 in his account (overdrawn). He kept arguing that he had $80 in his account.

It took an hour to explain to him the concept of going negative, even getting into some sort of "if Jimmy had 10 apples" scenario.

On the plus side, he DID get it finally. I could see the light shine in his eyes as he finally grasped what was going on.

| themonkeygrinder

1. The flying janitor

Airline pilot wearing uniform with epaulettes and headset working in airliner during flight.
Monika Wisniewska / Shutterstock
You want me to do what???

[I] was flying a jet full of tech people to SXSW. Eight seats on the plane, and they were all full.

First thing in the morning, the passengers started having drinks. Two hours into the flight someone taps me on the shoulder and says "Captain, the toilet isn't working."

It was working just fine, but the tank was "at capacity." We could either land the plane and delay for a while, or they could hold it. Meanwhile, I had to pull on some rubber gloves, grab the knife from the bagel tray, and try to go Super Mario on the airplane's lavatory.

So there I was at 41,000 feet, plunging a toilet with a plastic knife thinking, "I'm too old for this [bleep]."

| Meisterspork

Our source.

About the Author

Doug Whiteman

Doug Whiteman


Doug Whiteman is the editor-in-chief of MoneyWise. He has been quoted by The Wall Street Journal, USA Today and CNBC.com and has been interviewed on Fox Business, CBS Radio and the syndicated TV show "First Business."

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