Work sucks, but it can be a lot of fun if there are no rules and you’re not afraid of getting fired. That magic combination only happens, however, when someone mistakes you for an employee. Reddit is jam-packed with funny and interesting tales of people who look like they work in stores, but don’t let on that they are, in fact, customers. Livid Karens everywhere want to speak to the manager once they realize an employee is messing with them. What do they do, though, when the person they’re yelling at doesn’t even work at this Walgreens? Let’s find out together.
Most of my stories where this happened to me aren’t very funny. For instance, I’ve been asked many times where a specific book is in a bookstore, and rather than correcting the person who asked, I pretended to be an employee and found the book for them. Why bother an overworked bookseller? The times, however, I pretended to be a police officer did not go so smoothly. Just kidding. I exude authority.
These people did a great job playing the role of employee and thankfully shared the results with us.
Here are the most satisfying and funny examples of customers mistaking other customers for employees at a store:
1. Fred’s Framing Story.
“Quite some time ago, my girlfriend and I (now my wife of more than 15 years) moved in together, and had to set up all the things. Cable, internet, phone, etc. We got our home phone number, our 2 cell phones, and we were off to the races.
Almost immediately, we start getting calls for an establishment that does custom framing and various other art-related things. Let’s call them “Expo for Art.” Of course, we had caller ID, and we had friends that would call us, but inevitably if we didn’t recognize the number it was someone wanting to find out if their order was complete, or their frame was done, of what their hours were, or any of a thousand other questions.
“I’m sure anyone else who had had this happen will recognize this exchange.”
“Sorry, that’s no longer their number, this is a residence.”
“Yes, I’m sure.”
“No I’m not giving you my address.”
“No I don’t know their new number.”
“Yes I have a phone book, but so do you.”
Eventually, after a thousand of these, and changing the message on our answering machine to say “This is not, I repeat not, Expo for Art. If you are trying to reach Expo for Art, please hang up, look up their number, and try that, because we aren’t them.”
Eventually, I got my gazillionth call, and I asked the person on the other end of the line where they keep getting this number.
“Well it’s printed on my receipt. I guess I’ll just call this other number.” Any chance you can give me that one? Thanks.
I call it.
“Hello, Expo for Art.”
“You guys are still giving out my home phone number on your receipts.”
“Well, fucking stop it. It’s been at least a year since you haven’t had that number. At least cross it out or something.”
“That’s a pain in the ass, I’m not making my employees do that.”
“So you’re the manager?”
“I’m the owner.”
“So let me see if I have this right. You, what was your name again?”
Let’s call him Fred.
“You, Fred have decided that it’s too inconvenient to cross my home phone number off of your receipts, so you’re just going to keep giving it out?”
“Yup. What are you gonna do? Sue me?”
“Whatever. I’ve got shit to do. Bye.”
I called a lawyer. Didn’t really have a leg to stand on.
I went to the store and asked for Fred. “Fred’s not here. He’s hardly ever here, really. You want me to call him?”
“No, I’m fine. I know this is going to sound odd, but is there any chance I can see one of your receipts?”
She picks up a receipt book, and shows it to me. Sure enough, it’s got my phone number at the top, above another one. I say “I thought so. I couldn’t get you at the other number, some guy yelled at me, and I didn’t have my old receipt, so I had to come down here.”
“We’ve been having that happen a lot. Ever since Fred decided we didn’t need two phone lines. But he had just bought like 20 boxes of these receipt books and business cards, and he’s too cheap to buy more until they run out. I’d hate to be that guy.”
“Yeah, that’s gotta suck.”
So I went home and hatched my evil plan.
Next phone number I didn’t recognize: “Hello, Expo for Art.”
“Hi, this is Mary Smith, I dropped off a thing last week to be framed. Is it ready?”
“Let me check. Yup. We finished it this morning. I hope you don’t mind, but we decided to upgrade the matting because of the weight of the piece. It’s the same color, and won’t be charging you for it, since it was my decision.”
“Oh, thank you. I’ll be down to pick it up later today. What time do you close?” I look down at the business card, with my number and the hours clearly marked 11-4. “Take your time, we’ll be here until 7.”
“Thank you so much, can you tell me how much that was?”
“$19.99 ma’am, plus tax so $21.39”
“Wow that’s cheap. Are you sure?”
“Of course. If anyone has a problem, tell them you talked to Fred.”
“OK, see you around 6.”
“See you then. Thank you for calling Expo for Art.”
For WEEKS I kept giving out completely random information.
How much is a 36″x48″ matted frame? Let’s say $24.99. Wow that’s cheap, how much to have it done custom, how they want it? Custom is an extra $10, so $34.99. Wow that’s cheap, I’ll be right down, what was your name? Fred. See you in 10 Fred. How much to have the entire front page of the New York Times from 9/11 mounted and framed? $33.99, unless you want our special, proprietary newspaper frame and mat service, only $49.99 and guaranteed for life, only at Expo for Art, tell them Fred sent you.
I can only imagine the number of pissed off people who showed up to pick up orders that weren’t ready, and when they finally were, were given a price WAAAAY higher than what Fred had told them over the phone.
Eventually, someone let slip that “they called the number on the receipt, and that’s what Fred had told them.” Fred was NOT happy.
“Hello, thank you calling Expo for Art, this is Fred.”
“YOU’RE NOT FRED, I’M FRED!!! ARE YOU TRYING TO PUT ME OUT OF BUSINESS?!?!?!?!?!‽”
“Why Fred, whatever do you mean?”
“Someone has been giving prices to my customers, and telling them their orders are in when they’re not due for weeks.”
“Well, Fred, who called them?”
“Nobody called them, they called us.”
“Then what’s the problem. If someone called you, and got pricing information, that would seem to be your problem.”
“They didn’t call me, they called you.”
“Well, how would that happen?”
“Your number is on my receipts and business cards.”
“My my. It seems to me there’s a very simple solution here. Take my number off of your receipts and business cards.”
“Do you have any idea how much promotional materials cost?”
“Is it MORE than it costs to do these jobs for the prices you’re quoting? Is it more than it costs to lose customers, or less than that?”
“This is extortion!!!”
“Call it what you want Fred. The choices, and consequences, are entirely up to you.”
A week later “Hello, Expo for Art, this is Fred.”
“I’VE ORDERED NEW RECEIPT BOOKS AND CARDS. CAN YOU PLEASE STOP THIS BULLSHIT!?!?!?!?!”
“Sure. Bye Fred!” –u/Billiam201
2. Karen wants to know why she can’t get her car.
“This story is from roughly 2013, I was an adjuster for “Lizard Insurance” and would go to many tow lots after car accidents and decide if a car was a total loss or send it to a body shop, as well as do the initial write up of an estimate on repair costs. The tow lot I was at this day also worked with the state police and housed their overflow storage for anything deemed evidence and on hold from release. These vehicles were kept behind a locked gate inside the already fenced, gated tow yard.
I was there to do a appraisal on two vehicles that had been involved in a minor accident however both were left unable to drive from the scene due to either multiple flats, lights knocked out or windows busted. i’ve finished the first vehicle and i’ve started taking photos of the second vehicle. i have headphones in and i’m listening to the album “Cavalcade” by The Flatliners (seriously, check them out.) anyhoot, i see a woman i’d guess around 50 walk up to the police evidence lot and the gate swing open out of the corner of my eye. not paying much attention as the vehicles i was working with were on the same side of the lot but about 50 meters down from the evidence lot. as my back is turned to this woman i will hear on refer to as karen i take the last couple of photos i need, the last being a photograph of the vin of the vehicle which is located where the windshield meets the hood almost on the dash through the windscreen (hope this makes sense.”
Karen out of literally nowhere grabs both cables to my headphones from behind and rips them out of my ears.
Karen: EXCUSE ME… why are there two cars in front of mine so i cannot get it out. (this lot would stack cars in 4 or 5 deep side by side and move them around with a small truck to release them.)
Me: please don’t touch me and i don’t think you should be in there AND i don’t w-
Karen: you shouldn’t be listening to music on the job anyway or slacking off taking pictures of other peoples belongings, you’re probably back here stealing.
I attempt to point at the “Lizard Insurance” logo on my blue jacket but Karen continues on
Karen: are you going to do your job or do i need to call the police because you’re refusing to give me my property.
Me: have you went into the office at ABC Towing?
Karen: no i saw you here and you need to move these cars so i can get mine and leave.
(as Karen opens the door and gets into the first car in the ones blocking her)Me: HEY! HEY! NO! you can’t go in there that is police evidence
(i use my cell phone to call ABC Towing and inform them)Karen: if you won’t move these cars then i will, where are the fucking keys?
Me: In the office with the employees.
The manager comes running out with one of those weird smartphone/Nextel style phones in his hand.
ABC Manager): Hey, lady. Get the hell out of there, those cars are property of the state police! (Manager frantically uses his Nextel to talk to someone.)
M sees the chain used to keep the lot closed has been cut WITH BOLT CUTTERS YALL, Karen was carrying a pair of bolt cutters and had thrown them into her car when she was back at it.
M and Karen argue back and forth, I intently listen and half pay attention as I finish my duties for work.
about 8-10 minutes pass and SEVEN police cars come flying back into the lot.
M greets the police and explains what is going on, but not after Karen attempts to scream at the police that I had stolen her car. P (Police) tell Karen to stand over in a direction he points, sending one officer to wait with her. turns out the Lieutenant was on scene who was in charge of the County’s Police Tow Licenses.
After getting M’s story LT comes to me and takes mine, while i’m informing him of what happens Karen overhears and starts yelling and attempting to approach me, the officer standing with her grabbed her by her arm. Karen yanked that arm out of the female officers hand and shoved her, surprisingly knocking the officer down. Karen is screaming incoherently as she charges toward me. The LT steps in front of me and with his taser hits karen with the most beautiful sound in the world. Karen goes limp and face plants in the dirt/light gravel of the lot and skids slightly. they immediately handcuff her.
Guess what happened next…!
Turns out Karen had walked onto the lot carrying the bolt cutters while I was in the office talking with staff about the two cars I needed to adjust. She had been roaming the lot until she saw me and i happened to be near her car.
Karen was charged with burglary, two counts of tampering with evidence, assault on a police officer, assault on me, trespassing and resisting arrest. I know Karen did jail time but I’m not sure how much. years later the tow company I now own impounded her car for being double-parked, she remembered who I was and quietly paid.” –u/whipssolo
3. Right this way.
“My wife and I are ‘senior citizens’… in other words, we are OLD. My dear wife (DF) is a strong, independent, take no sh*t from anyone, type of woman. I adore her for it! She keeps me in line pushes me to be a better man, and is the reason behind my (modest) success in life. She is sarcastic, is wicked smart, can cuss like a sailor, and as she gets older, her filter is practically non-existent!
A few months ago, we decided to treat ourselves, we made reservations and went to a rather high end restaurant. They had a maître de, sommeliers, highly trained wait staff, etc. My wife, even though she is in her 70’s, has very little grey hair and can pass for 55. She was wearing a very pretty white, lacy blouse, very flattering black pants, and black flats (she looked GOOD!).
When we arrived, there was no line…
The maître de had apparently stepped away from the podium where he stands. We were waiting there and my wife was right next to the podium and I had sat down at one of the benches provided by the entrance, when another couple came in. Without missing a beat, the man walked up to the podium and told my wife, “Rockafeller (not the name he used), we have reservations for two”. My wife said that she was sure someone would be with them shortly. The woman huffed a little and the man said, “Please seat us NOW!”
My wife told them that she is waiting to be seated but the man said again, “Seat us NOW!” So my wife said, “Right away, walk this way, she walked away with them behind her as she walked around the partition separating the entrance to the dining area, circled around to the other end and led them back to the entrance and, pointing to the bench, said, “SIT DOWN!”
The man looked like he was going to blow a gasket, and my wife repeated, “I don’t work here you moron, you wanted me to seat you, so sit the “f” down!” As the couple were sputtering, and before it could escalate future , the maître de arrived, we gave our name and he lead us away.
There was no yelling and no threats of calling the police.
We had a wonderful meal (overpriced but, oh well) and the other couple was several tables away from us. We didn’t interact again with them, but they did shoot us dirty looks now and then.
Now, before you say my wife overreacted and could have explained that she didn’t work there in a better way, she has a wicked sense of humor and hates idiots. She LOVES being a smartass and is so good at it! One of the reason that I, after being with her all these years, still love being “put in my place” by her when I start getting a little too misogynistic.
I wanted to post this again because since the original posting, I have lost the love of my life to “the current global health crisis”. Maybe, someday, I’ll be able to post new content about the wonderful woman I was honored to call my wife… I’m just not in the head space to do so now.” –u/MrTooOldToCare
4. Grandma will take care of everything.
“Not mine but my grandmother’s. From the time I was in first grade until my freshman year of high school, my grandmother’s phone number and the local high school in our small town had a phone number that was exactly the same except, the last two digits were reversed. Every morning Monday through Friday between 6:45 and 7:45 a.m. my grandmother’s phone would ring off the hook.
My grandmother being the sweet wonderful woman that she was, would answer the phone. Now you need to remember this in the late 80s and things were a lot different then. Every morning during the school year, between set times someone was calling to say their student wouldn’t be at school. When it first started happening my grandmother would kindly say I’m sorry you have the wrong number.
After a while she got to the point where she would sit down at her kitchen table get a cup of coffee a notebook and set the phone on the table. Every morning when these calls started coming in my grandmother would kindly ask what’s your name, what’s your student’s name, and why aren’t they coming in? Then every morning at 8:10 she would call the high school, and give them her list. What a wonderful woman. Long Live Ollie Kate. A true Irish saint!” –u/Candiland50
5. You must be my delivery person.
“This happened last week. I was visiting Austin, TX and staying at a nice hotel. I’m brown and I’m an IT executive.
I ordered take out from a local BBQ place and was going back to my hotel with my food in a large paper bag with the name of the restaurant written in large letters on the side.
There was a group of people outside the hotel and as I approached the hotel entrance, this women rushes over and grabs my bag of food. I yank it back.
She goes “I’ve been waiting for this!”
“It just hits me that she thinks I’m her food delivery driver here with her food. I politely tell her I’m not her delivery driver. With a confused look on her face, she goes “Are sure? You LOOK like one”.
At this point, I just want her to let go of my bag and a few of her guy friends come over and tell me to stop giving her a hard time and to hand over her food.
So I spell it out for them. “I am NOT your food delivery driver. This is MY food. I’m a guest at this hotel.” I yank the bag away from her and as I enter the hotel, I see her pulling out her phone and saying “I’m calling (delivery service) and telling them what an asshole you are … and I want my money BACK!”
Go right ahead, lady. Go right ahead.” –u/omartoor
6. Free bread fixes many issues.
“I wear bright blue scrubs for my job. I had a doctors appointment, so I’m taking a later lunch, and decided to get curbside pick up. Unfortunately, the poor store is visibly swamped. After waiting about 15+ minutes, I decided to walk in to pick up my order (no biggie, I have eyes, I see what’s going on). After I collected my meal and walked out, a lady rolls down her window and starts waving and yelling her last name (I assume) over and over.
I ignore her and get in my car with my bag, take out my delicious baguette, buckle my seatbelt, etc. when suddenly, SHE OPENED MY CAR DOOR!!!!! She started screaming about me taking her food or not delivering to her or something… I was in shock and fear. She grabbed my bread!! I was so scared I started yelling for help.
Thankfully, some people on the patio, and the girl why was actually delivering food heard me screaming, and came. (Side note delivery girl dropped this woman’s bag of food to run and intervene) The police were called and while they were on their way, I finally understood what was going on. “Look at me! I am in scrubs! I work at a hospital, not Panera you idiot!” The manager of the Panera gave me some gift cards and more bread, and crazy lady was arrested. BONUS: she parked in a handicapped spot, and I think her car will be towed.” –u/Bangbangsmashsmash
7. Old job, same old BS.
“Long story short, in 2014 I was working at a pizza chain in a rural Utah farming town. (I won’t say which one, but they’re a national chain known for being ‘greasy greasy’.) At the beginning of July, I gave a two week notice to my manager that I’d be leaving to move out-of-state to be closer to family (and a better job market). I finished out my time as promised, moved, found a new, better gig, and that was that.
Of course, you read the title, so you know that wasn’t really all. In summer of 2015, I received a call from a new store manager. He informed me that he’s been putting me on schedule and it was unacceptable that I wasn’t even coming in to look. If I didn’t show up today, he would have no choice but to fire me.
I asked, “did the old manager not take me out of the system after I quit last year?” He grumbled and made some snarky complaint that if I had quit a year ago, I wouldn’t be in his scheduling program. I let him know I live in a completely different state, am working a completely different job, and would not be showing up for any shifts he scheduled me for. He threatened to fire me again, and I reiterated “hey, I don’t actually work for you, so do what you gotta.” He hung up and that was the last I heard of it…
Until we fast forward to yesterday. I received a letter from the corporate office informing me that, per their records, I haven’t shown up to work since July 2014, and, unfortunately, they were going to have to terminate me. I still almost can’t stop laughing – especially since, you know, they sent the letter to the address I gave them when I quit.” –u/MeesterPepper
8. Exclusive access.
“In the 1990’s I was a TV news “stringer” – a freelance news cameraman – in San Francisco. I would listen to the police scanners mounted in my car and rush to the scene of breaking news stories, where I would get my video camera out, record news footage and sell it to the local TV stations.
One night I heard the police get called to a homicide scene. I scooted over there, parked and got my camera out of my trunk just as a couple of homicide detectives pulled up. I should explain that my camera was a mid-sized “industrial” model, not one of those huge multi-thousand dollar broadcast models that only the TV stations could afford.
The detectives spotted me holding my gear and motioned me over to the house where the murder had taken place and held the door open for me to enter.
I’m flabbergasted. This has never happened to me before. Usually when the cops see me show up they start throwing up “police line” tape to keep me and my camera as far back as they can. This is a very unexpected welcome, but Hey, I’ll take it.
I walk in, shoot a wide, establishing shot, get a couple of medium shots and about then in walks another cameraman with a camera about the same size as mine – only he is wearing a SFPD badge on his belt. Everyone looks at him, and then they all turn and look at me. Someone finally breaks the silence by asking me “Who are you?” I respond “TV news”. The officers who had held the door open for me blanch and give each other an “Oh shit” look. as they realize their mistake. “Ah, you shouldn’t be in here” he says. I say “No problem” and I leave.
Just to be clear, I did not include the footage that I managed to shoot inside the crime scene in the package I sold to the TV stations. If I had, I am sure that several hard working police officers would have gotten into trouble. No need for that to happen.
I suspect that decision on my part was appreciated, as I ran into the same cops at other scenes in the following years and they always treated me both friendly and fairly. In fact I got a call or three over the years suggesting that I and my camera might want to be at a particular place at a particular date and time – almost always resulting in me getting exclusive footage of this or that major bust.” –u/rainystateguy
9. Be nicer than this person, please.
“My wife is deaf, I’m hearing. We communicate primarily in sign language, especially when we’re out of the house since masks make any lipreading impossible.
Last night we go to our local liquor store to pick up a fancy bottle of scotch to celebrate some good fortune in our lives. While the (actual!) manger is grabbing the bottle from above the fancy scotch case, we’re standing off to the side and having a little signed conversation.
A group of 6 people, 3 couples, walks up. Probably all in their early/mid 60’s.
Their Ring Leader walks up to me and parks his cart in front of me.
RL – “Chilled whites.”
Me – Stopping my signed conversation and turning around – “huh?”
RL – “Where are the chilled whites.”
Me – Still trying to get my bearings at what the hell he was talking about “I…?”
RL – “DO. YOU. GUYS. HAVE. CHILLED. WHITE. WINE?”
Me – “I have no idea dude. Do you think I work here?”
RL – “…..Oh. I just saw you gesturing….like you worked here.”
Me – “I’m using sign language. With my deaf wife.”
RingLeader didn’t even apologize. He just stood there stunned for a few seconds then slunk off with four out of six of them trailing.
The last couple stopped and the lady turns to us in PERFECT FLUENT SIGN LANGUAGE and says “I’m really sorry about that.” Turns out she was a deaf educator for a while. We had a pleasant little chat where I explained that it was fine, I’m used to being mistaken as a manager, just not when I’m with my wife since most people are terrified to approach a signing couple.” –u/SignKitchen
h/t Reddit: r/IDontWorkHereLady