There's a good chance almost everyone has seen someone completely lose it in a store, and call for the manager. It's always entertaining to watch this unfold, but there's another part of the equation people don't think about- that person's children. Seeing their parent act like that is incredibly embarrassing- just ask these Redditors.
Children of "Let me talk to a manager!" parents share their side of the story on Reddit. Content has been edited for clarity.
“My Mother Unleashes A Tirade”
“Our local grocery store had this sign up that said if an item rang up higher than an advertised price, it was free.
My mom was buying a box of Little Debbie cakes, and they rang up for $2.85 instead of the advertised $2.50. So now mom wants her free cakes. The cashier doesn’t know what to do, summons a manager. The manager tells her to ring up the sale otherwise, and he’ll be right back.
He comes back and hands my mother 35 cents cheerfully and says, ‘There you go!’
My mother points out the sign behind him and he says, ‘Oh, the last manager put that up, it doesn’t make any sense. I’m the new manager and I just haven’t had the sign removed yet.’
Mom insists they honor their sign, he says nah. Now, up to this point, I as an adult looking back am totally on board with mom’s actions.
Mom gathers her things, decides against taking the Little Debbies on principle, and we get in the car. Mom wordlessly drives downtown to the main store of this 3-5 store chain, knowing the office is next door. We walk into this perfectly 80’s wood paneled office where my mother asks the secretary to speak to the owner of the store and is permitted to do so since this is a family owned business, and their ‘corporate office’ is smaller than the row of cubicles my staff occupy at work.
Here my mother unleashes a tirade about how she has lost faith in this brand, and how his word is meaningless since they will not honor the sign etc. This guy stands up, profusely apologizes, validates her anger and then pulls out his wallet and hands her a $5 bill along with a promise that he will speak to the manager and the sign will either be honored or removed.
We get home and find that the ice cream we bought melted in the trunk because summer, and ruined the cereal and the bread.”
“She Was Going To Regret Her Life Choices”
“My mom and I were in line at the supermarket. It was a pretty long line and I would say we were like 4th out of maybe 20. So this woman opens up another line and she calls for next in line. Well my mom rushes over and the woman tells my mom it was supposed to be the person next in line. Well that person already had all her stuff on the belt, and wasn’t moving and neither did the person behind her. The lady wasn’t nice about it either, and tried to tell my mom to get at the end of the line. And oh. My. God. I could see my mom’s face just flush red, and I knew this woman was going to regret her life choices.
My mom flipped out, saying ‘Are you kidding me right now? How do you have a job in customer service looking like that? You are just treating me like this cause you are God awful ugly, and girls like me picked on you in high school. You got this job at Marshall’s as a cashier making $5 an hour, and all of a sudden you think you can tell me what to do?’
My mom on and on to the point where I felt bad for the woman.
Another manager came over after the woman started crying and took my mom to the customer service desk and gave her a discount and politely told her not to come back. She was so proud of herself for making that woman cry. Horrible woman.”
“I Died A Little”
“I was sitting in the library in middle school with my mom and my advisor, getting my assessment done to transition to high school. A bunch of other kids were at other tables with their parents and advisors. We were having a decent conversation but as soon as my advisor went over my test results for math my mother blew up.
I scored in the 99th percentile, ahead of kids in the honors classes. My mom was screaming and ranting in front of everyone else there. All the students were looking at us. She wanted to know why they had held me back. Why they never put me in one of the high school math classes. And when the advisor recommended not sending me to summer school to complete algebra, it just made her furious.
I remember seeing my crush’s face and when he locked eyes with me I died a little in that chair.
Thing was, I wasn’t some math genius. She just forced me to learn algebra in my free time. That year. So they couldn’t have figured it out because it didn’t happen until a few months prior.
And she knew it.”
“Am I Wrong?”
“I worked in a call center about 10 years ago. Every time I visited my mother, she used my visit as an excuse to call various customer service centers since I was an ‘expert.’ She felt like this gave her some sort of insider secret to the whole process.
She would then proceed to be rude as heck, escalate the call for no legitimate reason and often thrust me on the phone by announcing, ‘Well my son is a supervisor (I wasn’t) at ‘Company’ Inc, why don’t you talk to him?’
I would get on the phone, be polite, apologize and wrap up the issue as quickly as possible.
One time she was arguing with a manager at the cable company on speaker over some inane issue and turns to me sitting next to her, and says, ‘Am I wrong?’
Frustrated and embarrassed by her I then explained yes, she was indeed wrong and she needed to stop being such a brat to the lady on the phone. The sound of laughter from manager on the phone was quickly muted but nonetheless noticed by my mother. She hung up the phone and the chastised me for embarrassing her. I then told her that she is exactly the kind of customer that no one wants to deal with on the phone, everyone openly hates once the call is done and that from now on she needs to handle her own business.
I wish I could say that was the last time, but she would try to do it again and again over the years. I refused or made up an excuse to leave as soon as she started to broach the subject. Eventually visiting her started to feel like I was signing up for overtime without pay. Now when we talk she asks me why I don’t come by and visit more often.”
“Never Been So Embarrassed”
“My mom is and has a hair pin trigger on her temper. When I was 15, she and I went to the store at 10:30 pm, three weeks before Christmas, and she needed to buy smokes so we were confined to the only smoke line in the store. After having to wait 10 minutes in line my mom’s hands were shaking with unconstrained rage and that’s usually my sign to get the heck out if we aren’t in public, but unfortunately we were in this situation.
She hurled her purchases at the cashier, and if they landed on the ground she screamed at the poor girl. In the process of moving her own cart, she slammed it so hard into the side of the lane that the register started rocking. When a manager came over to see what all the ruckus was about, my mom shoved her face into the other woman’s and screamed herself purple.
I’ve never been so embarrassed in my life. I tried to quickly explain to the manager that the cashier did nothing wrong (I’m pretty sure everyone knew that but I felt so awful for the whole thing). I had to walk home after because my mom was infuriated that I was defending those ‘awful employees,’ but that was the preferable outcome really.”
“We Then Left Immediately”
“My dad is a union tire worker. He is gruff, logical, and curt. He doesn’t appreciate people. He hates banks, conservatives, and corporations.
One day, we went to Wells Fargo. He was depositing $3,000 in cash. He deposited the cash at the teller and we turned around to leave. At just that moment, he remembered that he wanted to go to the junkyard to pick up tires or something. He turned back around and went to the same cashier.
He said, ‘Oops. I forgot I needed some cash to get some stuff. Can I get back $200 of that cash?’
The cashier said, ‘Sure! Just a second.’
She then went to the drive-thru area and talked to another cashier for a second. My dad was annoyed that she left, but waited like a champ. A few minutes later, she returned to tell my dad that because he didn’t have $200 in his account prior to the deposit that he would have to wait 24 hours before his deposit ‘cleared.’
He instantaneously burst into a fit of rage, screaming expletives about how stupid it was that ‘cash’ had to ‘clear.’ They somehow got him corralled into the manager’s office, where a long screaming match ensued and the cops were called. Before the cops could get there, my dad put his arm on the manager’s desk and ‘swept’ the desk clean, including his computer and everything else on the desk. We then left immediately. I assume that they closed his account and sued him, but I have no idea how it ended.
I was around 10 at the time, but I’ve never gone back to a bank with my father.”
“He Was On A Mission”
“My dad is the king of ‘I want to talk to your manager.’ He does the whole thing where he screams at cashiers for not accepting expired-last-year coupons, and will complain if his fast food he got for free with a coupon doesn’t come with enough potato wedges. That kind of thing.
The most embarrassing experience for me was one time when we went to Safeway, and he wanted to buy doughnuts for my brothers and me. Now, the Safeway bakery doesn’t exactly have top-tier baked goods, but they’re cheap, I guess. The doughnuts are 49 cents apiece. So he buys us all doughnuts, and then we eat them like 40 minutes later when we’re done with shopping and get home. I had selected a jelly doughnut, and when I ate it there was barely any jelly filling. I made the mistake of saying this out loud in front of my dad, but I wasn’t upset about it. I just kind of shrugged like ‘Oh well,’ and finished the doughnut.
My dad, however, was livid on my behalf. The next day he drives us way out of the way (probably spending multiple dollars in gas) to go back to the Safeway, because ‘no jelly filling in a doughnut is just unacceptable and we’re going to get you a new one.’
I begged him not to and said that I really didn’t want another doughnut and there was no need to go back to Safeway, but he was on a mission. We get to the Safeway, and he immediately gets a new jelly doughnut and marches up to a cashier like ‘I bought a doughnut for my daughter yesterday and it had no jelly filling. It was clearly defective, so I need to get a new one for free.’
Cashier was like, ‘Okay…are you returning the old doughnut?’
Dad: ‘No, she already ate it. That’s how we know there was no filling. And that’s just unacceptable. We need a replacement.’
I was standing as far away as possible, wishing I would melt into the ground, but he keeps gesturing at me, so I’m clearly part of this.
The cashier was like ‘Er…okay, I guess. Do you have the receipt?’
Of course my dad had the receipt. He keeps all of his receipts. He hands it over to her and then says ‘Actually, you should refund me for the original doughnut and also give me this one for free since I had to drive all the way back here to get a new one.’
Cashier says, ‘I can’t refund you and also give you a new one. It’s either/or.’
After arguing with the cashier for a minute or two, Dad asks to speak to the manager and throws a fit about the defective jelly doughnut. Manager apologizes profusely, and refunds my dad his 49 cents and gives us the new doughnut for free. My dad hands me my new doughnut triumphantly, and I’m like ready to cry from embarrassment and really annoyed at my dad.
As we walk out the door, I throw the new doughnut in the trash because, I didn’t want a new one in the first place, and I was so fed up and embarrassed at this point that I wouldn’t have been able to eat it even if I had wanted to.
My dad is angry that I ‘wasted’ it, and lectured me about being immature.”
“We Knew This Lady Was Messed Up”
“When I was a kid, my dad’s ex-wife took my siblings and myself all Christmas shopping. Everything is going just fine until we go to the local Staples so that she can mail a package to her brother. The guy behind the counter was being 100% polite, and they’re making the general small talk that happens during the average retail experience. Now, this guy is very clearly wearing a Star of David around his neck, so my then-step mother starts to ask him what his plans for Christmas are (now mind you, my former stepmother was extremely religious, so this fact was not lost on her at all), to which he politely replies that he is Jewish and does not celebrate Christmas. A normal person would accept this answer and move on, but not Paula.
Paula then proceeds to inform this poor guy that it is very unfortunate that he’s Jewish, and that he needs to get on the Jesus train, because ‘as of this moment, you’ve got yourself a one way elevator ride straight to purgatory!’
The cashier, now clearly offended, says as politely and restrained as possible that he’s sorry that she feels that way and tells her what her total is. Wrong response; this causes her to morph into mega brat and initiate ‘let me speak to your manager’ protocol one.
This poor little lady comes over to help, and my future former stepmother proceeds to unleash the most unhinged rant I think I’ve ever heard, using just about every slur in the book. This sorry excuse for a human begins ranting about things that had nothing at all to do with the interaction that had just happened,
Meanwhile, my siblings and I are standing there wide-eyed and in shock. We knew this lady was messed up, but we had zero clue as to what level of awfulness she had achieved.”
“I Had Nothing To Say”
“When I was 18 and had just moved out of home, my mother wanted to keep her claws on me and make sure I knew I was irresponsible and couldn’t handle life out on the mean streets.
We were driving in the car and I let it slip that I had lost track of my (learner’s) drivers license a month or so ago, because I had given it to a cab driver as collateral when my payment didn’t go through on the machine. I was in a hurry and needed to get to work, so I didn’t think much of it. I went to the cab company’s headquarters pretty late after that, at least a few weeks, to pay my bill and retrieve the license, that I didn’t care about – although it was my only form of ID. But I was 18 and the legal age in Canada is 19, so whatever, I didn’t need it.
I made the mistake of telling her this.
She immediately turned the car around, and sped for the company’s headquarters, all the while screaming at me for being so irresponsible for risking identity theft (on an…expired, invalid license) and threw in some rude comments about ‘cabbies,’ for good measure. We arrived at the front door, and I begged her to just drop this and let us continue what was supposed to be a nice day. I told her it was fine, I’ll get a new card, we don’t have to do this.
We walk into the ‘lobby’ (really just a hallway with some chairs, I live in a small city) and she immediately requests (rather, yells) to speak with someone. The poor, overworked dispatchers start searching through the lost and found and records to see if they can track down my license as she barks at them. Nothing comes up.
This drives my mother up the wall, and she demands to speak with the president of the cab company. Who was a few doors down, and not as hard to reach as either one of us expected. At this point, I want to die.
The president ‘invites’ us into his office, and I start explaining the situation, quietly, rationally, to show that she may be my mother, but I sure as heck don’t care as much as this nutcase.
‘So, a few weeks ago..I gave my license to one of your drivers-‘ I began.
‘She had her license STOLEN by one of the drivers-‘ my mom cut in.
‘No, no. I gave it to him, voluntarily and -‘ I restarted.
‘However I don’t believe the driver is LEGALLY allowed to do this-‘ my mom continued.
We went through a lot of back-and-forth, with me trying to be calm and collected and my mother all but screaming in this poor man’s face. I shared a sympathetic glance with him, and made it clear that it was not lost on me that this woman in a fur coat and a thousand dollar shoes had nothing better to do than try to fight her daughters’ (very small, very insignificant) battles. The president explained to us drivers are asked to collect collateral if not given payment (which is just standard issue for any business) and that he had done nothing wrong. I gave the car number, he looked up the history, and again, we weren’t able to really find anything. At this point my mother was so angry she was shaking and nearly…in tears? I had nothing to say, and desperately didn’t want to be there.
She yelled at him some more (we had also gathered a small audience in the hallway) and strutted off, threatening and promising to sue and screamed at me to follow. The president and I had a quiet moment of silent understanding together as we heard the front doors slam and I apologized profusely for her behavior. It was clear he was shaken, but also thought my mother was kookoo freaking bananas.
I walked out of there, defeated, red-faced, and never wanting to take a cab again in my life. She yelled at me the whole drive home.”
“I Was Groaning Internally”
“Around two years ago, we moved to a new house, and the realtor company gave us a housewarming basket that included a prepaid gift card for about $150. About a year ago, my mom discovered that we never used the card. It was expired, and she was sure we could ask for a new one. So we’re driving in the car and my mom calls the realtors on the Bluetooth speaker extension to her car. I’m in the seat next to her, and the whole thing just unfolded like this:
Mom: ‘Hi, I’m calling about the gift card part of our housewarming basket?’
Secretary: ‘Hello! What seems to be the issue?’
Mom: ‘Well it’s expired, and I wanted to know the protocol for getting a new one.’
Here, the secretary is rightfully confused.
Secretary: ‘Ma’am, I’m sorry to tell you this, but if it’s expired we cannot give you a new one.’
Mom: ‘But what am I supposed to do now? You are always supposed to accommodate us! We deserve the card! How would we know that it would expire eventually?’
I was groaning internally at every use of we. It was a gift card, it is not something we paid for and had the right for. It’s just unfortunate that it expired.
Secretary: ‘Sorry, but we cannot give you a new card.’
My mom continued to yell for a bit at the poor secretary and then demanded to talk to a higher up, who told her exactly the same thing. They were under no right to replace the gift card. My mom was very upset and hung up the call, and called the secretary again. It was like a never ending circle of awfulness while we drove. I just wanted to listen to the radio! Eventually she accepted defeat.
I personally was super glad they refused, as this would help wean my mom off her habit. I of course didn’t tell her that, or I would have faced her wrath.”
“I Wanted To Die”
“My dad thinks he’s above any rule. Throughout my life, he has thrown every micro tantrum when he didn’t get his way. I remember we were visiting family for a week in South Texas, and went to go see a lighthouse. Well, we got there right when they closed, and he went on and on to the poor attendant that we traveled all the way to take a tour. We had already been there a few days…
The WORST one, however, was when we went to rent a movie at our local Non-Blockbuster video store. I was in 11th grade and one of my friends was working the counter. We were joking around and chatting while my dad was perusing the videos. Finally, my dad was ready to make his purchase.
She looked at her computer and cringed right before telling him, ‘I’m sorry, sir. I can’t rent that to you because you have a late fee.’
I don’t remember how much it was, but he made a huge stink about it. To a teenager. Doing her job. You know, the same age as your daughter. I wanted to die! Eventually, with much grumbling, he paid the late fee and we still rented the movies, but I was so embarrassed.
She was super cool at school the next day, and also afterwards, but I could not stop apologizing.”