A worker’s video detailing some of their worst customer experiences went viral and sparked discussion after being shared to TikTok.
In a video with over 899,000 views, user @expertbooksmuggler shares two separate stories of customer interactions gone wrong, inspiring many others on the platform to recount their own experiences dealing with difficult customers.
@expertbooksmuggler #stitch with @abdulrahim_florenzo #customerservice #retail ♬ original sound – expertbooksmuggler
“Once when I asked a group of 15 year old girls to not block my register—there were, like, 12 of them—they went and got their dad, and then their dad bowed up to me,” @expertbooksmuggler recounts.
“Another time, my employee asked somebody, like, ‘Hey, do you need anything? We closed five minutes ago. I’m happy to help you find whatever you need,’” @expertbooksmuggler continues. “They tried to get me to fire him.”
In the comments section, users shared their own stories of dealing with bad customers.
“A person asked to use our bathroom but it was out of order, so they went in dressing room and peed all over the clothes and left,” alleged a commenter. “Fun times.”
“I had one scream at me saying I can’t tell people to have a good day because I don’t know if someone in their family is dying or if they have cancer,” a second shared.
“I had a customer hit me because I told them they couldn’t return a light bulb that burnt out after 10 years,” wrote a third.
“I work at an art studio and someone tried to get me fired because she didn’t like how her ceramic piece looked,” offered a fourth.
Stories like these have some commenters avoiding customer service roles altogether.
“This is why I refuse to work another customer service job,” detailed a commenter. “It’s not worth it.”
“They be abusing us,” agreed another.
In an email exchange with Daily Dot, @expertbooksmuggler shared the inspiration behind the video.
“The video was made simply because it felt a bit impossible to not realize that just about everything has been done to people who work in customer service,” @expertbooksmuggler detailed. “I myself spent ten years in retail alone and can recount being stalked, harassed, and even sexually assaulted while at work…Many of those situations could have been avoided by being adequately staffed — it’s very common (especially in small business) to see employees working entirely alone. Not all of my situations could have been avoided this way, but a large majority of the scary situations happened while I was working alone at night.”
Changing this treatment of service workers requires a full mentality change, @expertbooksmuggler noted.
“To be honest, the biggest issue has been and will likely continue to be ‘the customer is always right’ mindset,” @expertbooksmuggler said. “The truth is that customers are often NOT right, but believe their wants and needs trump the humanity of the person serving them. It would require a massive cultural shift in the US to correct that, and it isn’t something I personally foresee happening any time soon.”