We’ve seen kids have hissy fits in public, but have you ever seen a grown adult have one? These bystanders share the time they caught another adult throwing a major tantrum in PUBLIC. The content has been edited for clarity.
We Can Tell Where The Son Got His Manners From
“My sweetie and I were in a BBQ restaurant in Cambridge, MA. The place was crowded with lots of people, including a family of 2 adults, 1 son, and an infant. The son was going from table to table flailing his arms, screaming in people’s faces, grabbing their food, and knocking over their drinks, while their parents did absolutely nothing to control their child, who was ruining dinner for everybody else in the place.
The layout of the restaurant meant that we would be the last table for him to torment. Sure enough, he arrived and began shrieking very, very loudly in our faces. My sweetie smiled at him and made the exact same sound back at the kid. In an instant, the child stopped, smiled, and began a low and happy conversation with my guy. End of problem. It was the first and only time the kid smiled.
What happened next was unbelievable. The mother came up to our table and began to yell as loudly as she could that we were being horrible to her child, we should be thrown out of the restaurant, and never allowed back again.
The next thing that happened was my sweetheart changing his demeanor 100 percent. In an instant, the gentleman playing with the kid was gone, to be replaced with a deadly serious person who quietly but forcefully said to the woman, ‘Hey lady, get lost.’
Other customers actually applauded. As the husband/Father got control of his family, he came to apologize for his wife’s behavior, saying dealing with the kid was very hard on her.
While I had all the sympathy in the world for the family, no child should be allowed to ruin the dining experience for 50 other people. If the child can’t be controlled, then take it outside. Period.”
Who’s Really At Fault Here? Teacher? Student? Or Ticked Off Dad?
“So, as a substitute teacher, I see a lot of tantrums thrown by children. But every so often, I get an off-putting glimpse of how the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
It was the end of the day, all the kids had left campus and I was talking with another teacher about scheduling a day to cover her class. This is how I get most of my jobs, and I knew this teacher well, so we were having a nice chat as we walked back towards the classrooms to do all the fun after-the-students-leave work.
It had been a rough class, and I was glad the day was over and happy to partake in some adult socialization.
I’m a bit hard of hearing, so I was concentrating on listening to her talk when I heard a noise behind me. Kids are noisy and there were still a few running around, as the school had an after-school program, so I ignored it.
Slowly, puzzled, I turned around. Just to see what all the fuss was about. ‘Hey, you’ is obviously not my name, nor is it a nice way to address a stranger. I hadn’t quite connected yet that the rude shout was to get my attention.
A large, belligerent man hulked towards me, dragging his petite 9-year-old daughter along with him. She looked like she wanted to shrink into the earth, and having grown up as that child, I instantly realized what was coming. You see, I was the kid who had a parent that screamed over the wrong topping on a pizza – I knew very intimately the want-to-sink-into-the-earth feeling.
‘WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?’
At this point, his yelling caught the attention of several teachers. Two tiny little bird-women in their 50′s hovered behind me, baffled about what was going on but not liking his tone.
But I got this.
I worked in retail for 10 years, several of them as an assistant manager. I had seen all sorts of tantrums and rants. I figured there was little this man could do to top them.
Putting on my best assistant manager demeanor, I calmly greeted him and asked what the problem was.
‘WHY THE HECK DID MY DAUGHTER MISS THE BUS?!’
He went on and on about how inconvenient it was to pick up his daughter (understandable) and then went on and on about how I let some kid jab her with a pencil the day before (I hadn’t even been in that classroom – he clearly had no idea who he was addressing at all) and how the school was terrible (it is off-color) and the school district was terrible and how terribly unhappy he was with it all. Not those words of course but you can imagine.
Also, we were still in the hallways of an elementary school while this was going down.
I listened to his ranting because hey, this guy was ticked off and the last thing I was going to do was turn my back on him or make any move to escalate it into violence.
His face just got redder and redder and his voice kept going up and up. I could see him vibrating with rage, his eyes watering and popping out, his lips trembling and collecting spittle. He had his shoulders all balled up and his fist all balled up.
I had no idea who he thought he was going to fight. I weighed 115 pounds soaking wet and have medical conditions that make me rather frail. He was easy twice my size and furious. If it came to blows, I was going to (obviously!) bail and notify the police.
When he started losing steam, I looked at him and said, ‘I’m very sorry your daughter missed the bus. It is inconvenient that you had to come pick her up, but thank you for doing so.’
Then I looked at his daughter and asked mildly, ‘Sweetie, when I asked who rides the bus please raise your hands, why didn’t you raise your hand? The other students who rode the bus aren’t being picked up by their parents.’
I swear if that man were a cartoon his neck would’ve cracked at how fast he turned to look at his daughter!
She squeaked out, ‘I don’t know. I wasn’t listening?’
I nodded sagely, ‘Sometimes that happens. Next time, we need to listen more carefully to the teacher so things like this don’t happen, right?’
Dad wasn’t happy, probably felt like he’d been played by his daughter into looking like a fool, but he grumbled and left with the child in tow.
Without an apology of course.”
He Managed To Ruin More Than His Career That Night
“I was barely twenty-one and working the overnight shift alone in a convenience store. A boy about seventeen was a regular. We talked quite a bit and I learned a lot about him. It seems he had some pretty bad parents who had moved away and left him on his own. He had worked to buy his own car and was determined to graduate high school. A teacher at the school had taken him in because he was such a good kid.
One night while I was working, the boy was playing a video game in the corner. A man came in to buy a case. I was careful to request a picture ID because law enforcement in the area had been really cracking down and performing many sting operations. They could be very tricky. The man could not produce the ID and got an attitude, finally saying ‘Just give me a pack of smokes.’
I told him I still needed the ID for that too. He did look military and old enough but I had underage friends in ROTC that could pass that test as well so I wouldn’t give in. The man flew into a rage and began cursing and calling me names. He stormed out, got into his truck, and gassed it. As he spun his truck around, he smashed into the boy who had been playing video games. I called the local police who also called the military police from the nearby base.
We had to go to court and I was called as a witness. I heard that he was reduced in rank because of the incident even before his court date but it got worse from there. I took the stand and his lawyer began questioning me. I will never know why but his lawyer asked if anyone was with him that night. I answered yes there was a woman waiting for him in his truck but it wasn’t the one he brought with him to court that day, who was apparently his wife. I felt really bad for her as the entire courtroom burst out in laughter, but she did need to know. Her face said it all. He was found guilty and faced several charges but that was the least of his problems at that point. That man had managed to destroy his career and his marriage all in one night.”
Walmart Behavior At A Target
“I have two small kids and frequently end up at Target. It’s near the house, it gives my wife an hour or so to herself and the kids love it!
So anyway, I was pulling into a parking spot at Target. I went over to the passenger side to get my son and the door gently tapped the Audi next to me. I say gently because I’m pretty good at ensuring my car doesn’t hit someone else’s door. The wind got it a bit, but lightly hit your hand to your desk and that would be the impact.
I got my son out, closed the door, and there was ZERO damage to my door or the driver’s door as I would expect. Then I noticed there were people in the car.
I said, ‘No worries, there is no damage.’
I took my son and then went around the car to get my other son. I noticed the door next to me slammed shut from the passenger side.
‘WHAT THE HECK DID YOU JUST DO TO MY CAR?’ he screamed before even seeing the car.
He was the passenger, and his wife was on the driver’s side. Apparently, he had to get out.
‘Hey sorry, the wind got it a bit. I checked, and there is no damage. It’s fine. Also, I’ve got kids, please mind the language.’
He cursed again and said, ‘You damaged my car.’
I ignored him since I was getting my 11-month-old out of his car seat.
He walked over and noticed there was no damage. Around the same time, I was getting my little one out, I said, ‘See, I told you, no damage. No need to get your panties in a bunch.’
Yeah, he didn’t like that. He launched a verbal tirade about how I was an irresponsible parent, a terrible driver, and a rude prick. I just stood there and only said the same thing over and over again, ‘Dude, mind the language.’
Finally, after about 90 seconds, his wife got out and yelled, ‘John, enough! There is no damage to the car, grow up!’
I looked at her, laughed my butt off, grabbed my kids, and headed into Target.”
The Soup Refund
“As the dinner rush ended, a middle-aged woman stomped into the restaurant. I tried to greet her but she went right to the cash register, ignoring me until I met her there. Ok, I thought, she knows what she wants at least. I could easily fill the order and then help my co-worker with clean-up. With my customer service voice, I asked her what I could do for her.
A container of soup was put on our counter. I recognized the soup from our own restaurant as well as the restaurant’s take-home containers. I was shocked (and relieved) the container didn’t burst upon the violent landing.
‘This soup has salt in it!’ The woman angrily said.
‘Yes? It does?’ I replied, confused. ‘Is this a problem?’
‘Yes, it’s a problem! I can’t have salt! I’m going to have surgery the day after tomorrow and the pills I take after the procedure say NO SALT! How can I have soup if it has salt in it?!’ The woman spat.
Probably should’ve mentioned that when you ordered it before. I offered to exchange that soup for a different one. She agreed with a pout of annoyance. With that, I pull out the giant information binder on our soups so I could make sure whatever we had would be safe to eat.
‘I just want to make sure. No salt whatsoever?’ I checked.
‘NO SALT! I SAID NO SALT!’ She snapped.
I paged through the book. While there were some low-salt options, none of the soups we had on hand were salt-free. Heck, nothing was salt-free.
‘I’m sorry ma’am but we don’t have any soups that are salt-free at the moment. While we do have low-sodium soups on hand, we-….’ I started to say.
‘HOW CAN YOU PEOPLE NOT HAVE A SOUP WITH NO SALT?! JUST MAKE A FRESH BATCH!’ She demanded.
‘This is the last hour before we close. We cannot make fresh soup as the kitchen is starting to close for the night.’
Whatever else I was going to say would be interrupted.
‘MY DOCTOR SAID I CAN’T HAVE SALT! I CAN’T HAVE SALT!’
This was screamed at several times. My co-worker popped her head out to check on us. I gave her a shrug and motioned her to stay off to the side, avoid the wrath of the lady.
‘Since we have no options you can safely eat, how about I issue a refund?’ I suggested.
The lady gave a loud huff which I took as a yes. Two more customers came in and my co-worker attended to them.
‘Do you have a receipt?’ I asked.
‘No one keeps receipts!’ The lady spat.
‘Did you use a credit card? If so, I can try to track down the purchase in our system.’ I said.
If looks could kill, I’d be dead ten times over. Still, the lady gave me her card and the needed information to look up her purchase. I had what I needed and wrote everything down on paper.
Now if it was a paper receipt, I could’ve issued a refund right away. But with cards, you needed access codes and security protocol (in case of fraud or something) The only one who had the authority to refund purchases made by card was my boss, who was not in at the time.
‘I have all the information written down. When my boss returns tomorrow morning, she will-…’ I started to say.
‘So am I getting my refund or not?’ The woman questioned.
‘You will tomorrow. I need my boss to access the security and-…’ again, never got to finish explaining.
‘YOU’RE STEALING MY MONEY!’ The woman screamed. ‘I WANT MY REFUND! I CAN’T HAVE SALT! YOU’RE CHEATING ME!’
Nothing I said got through to her. She was red in the face, shrieking away. The way she repeated ‘can’t have salt’ and ‘you’re cheating me’ almost sounded like some demonic beast.
I did my best to keep her anger on me so my co-worker could successfully assist the two customers. One of them was a regular who usually took his order to go but decided to eat in the restaurant, closely watching everything. I later learned he chose to stay because he was legitimately concerned this woman would attack me.
When the woman demanded I get my boss, I was almost too happy to comply. My boss wasn’t on shift so I had to grab my phone. The problem was my boss had the bad habit of never checking her phone. I called three times with no response. After leaving a voicemail explaining everything, I tried to relay this to the woman.
‘YOU’RE STEALING MY MONEY! YOU JUST DON’T WANT YOUR BOSS TO FIND OUT YOU’RE STEALING FROM ME!’
My co-worker grabbed her phone and ran to the kitchen. I hoped she could get through as I listened to the same screams over and over. When my co-worker signaled her lack of success, I tried to repeat things to the woman.
‘We don’t have any salt-free soups.
We can give you a refund, it just has to be tomorrow.
We can’t reach my boss right now.’
Anyone who works in service knows that it’s nearly impossible to reason with someone who is engulfed with rage. At some point, I had enough of the screams and told her I would be preparing the restaurant for closing while I keep an eye out in case the boss called back.
The angry woman snorted, sat down in a chair, and yelled ‘I’M NOT LEAVING UNTIL I GET MY REFUND!’
My co-worker and I did our best to attend to the few customers who wandered in while ignoring the woman screaming the same old tired complaints. Sometimes she would try to yell at the customers about how we ‘rip people off’ with ‘bad soup.’ I was a little nervous that we’d wind up alone with her at closing time or we’d need to call the police to forcibly remove her but pretended to be fine for the sake of the other customers and my co-worker (a new girl who was terrified of the woman).
Our customers were even concerned for us, making sure we weren’t in any danger.
We managed to get through without incident. A few minutes left to close, my boss finally called back. Since the woman was still there, the boss asked to talk to her. I gave the lady the phone and started cleaning. There was a little yelling though not as much as with me. After some time, the woman hung up and left the restaurant.
What did my boss say?
That we had no sodium-free soups and that we’d refund her order but due to credit card security, it’d have to be done the next day with my boss in the facility.
Yes, it was what I was trying to tell her before.”
Really? In A Hospital?
“I was visiting my mum in the hospital after she had had a hysterectomy. She was in a double occupancy room, with a very nice older lady in the other bed who had had her gallbladder out or some such thing. They were both recovering from surgery.
My husband, my dad, and I were sitting around my mum’s bed (by the window) watching her sleep in a morphine-induced nap, and were chatting with the other lady (who was very sweet) when the other lady’s family came in.
There was an older teen-looking boy, a teen or early 20s girl, and a middle-aged woman. The younger girl was the granddaughter and the middle-aged woman was the daughter of the older lady patient. The boy was a grandson.
They had only just started up a conversation amongst themselves when the mother suddenly grasped the bed railing and slowly lowered to the floor. She had slowly passed out and was lying on the hospital floor. The grandma said she would push the nurse call button and the granddaughter immediately started shrieking like some kind of deranged banshee. Screeching that nobody better call the nurse because they’d have to admit the mother and she didn’t need that because she passed out all of the time, this was normal and NOBODY NEEDED TO BE CALLED. She was yelling in the face of the grandmother and jumping and clutching her own face and throwing a complete drama fit, acting like a fool howling and crying and threatening the grandma that she’d better not push that button.
I could tell they were used to this kind of thing from her because the boy just stepped back and rolled his eyes and the grandma just sighed.
I had had enough and pushed my mum’s nurse call button. When the nurse got there the girl got up in her face, shrieking and throwing a fit, and wouldn’t let her in the door. The nurse saw the unconscious woman and turned to go call for help and the stupid girl tried to block her way, all the while screaming at the top of her lungs in the nurse’s face.
Some other nurses saw what was happening and called security.
Eventually, the passed-out mother was taken by hospital staff and the hysterical girl was forcibly removed from the hospital by security. The boy followed along behind like a puppy.
Just as the girl was being removed, my mum woke from her sleep and said ‘What the heck was that? Sounds like someone needs their behind lit up!’
There was complete shocked silence from our family because mum was not one to swear or get involved in other people’s dramas, but I suppose the morphine removed some inhibitions.
After about ten silent seconds the older lady in the other bed started giggling and then laughing out loud and saying ‘It’s so true! She should have had her behind kicked years ago!’ She went on to say the girl had never been properly disciplined by her mother and that when you ignore your parenting duties, this is what you unfortunately get. She was pretty much just disgusted by her family but found it hilarious that my mum had voiced it.
To this day I have never seen such a ridiculous scene. She humiliated herself and embarrassed three generations of her family, disrupted an entire hospital wing with her noise, and made a visit to grandma all about her. Some people do indeed need to have their ‘behinds lit up’.”
Free Movie Tickets
“I went out to dinner and a movie last night with an old friend and her sister, who was visiting from another state. After dinner, we headed over to the small, boutique theater where we discovered the elevator was out of order. I’m in a wheelchair so I could not get up to the theater level.
No big deal, it happens. My friend and her sister planned to go upstairs and see the (limited-run) movie. I was fine with that. The manager felt bad and comped me two tickets for a ‘future show’ so I could come back another time.
After the manager walked away, I put the tickets in my purse and told them to enjoy the movie.
Then everything went downhill.
The sister wanted to know why I was stealing those tickets! She felt that any decent human being would have just automatically given those tickets to her and her sister, and it was incredibly selfish and self-serving for me to simply pocket them and plan to keep them to myself. The more she ranted, the louder and more offensive she got, calling me quite a few colorful names, stomping her feet, and yelling in my face. She said they deserved those tickets because they were just as inconvenienced by the lack of an elevator as I was.
Finally, she grabbed my purse, intending to take ‘her’ tickets, and I told her if she continued, I was going to have her arrested for assault and theft. She finally sputtered to a stop and became aware of people staring, so she stormed off and went upstairs to the theater level.
My friend and I just stared in amazement. WOW!”
Water Pump Vs An Alternator
“I was waiting in line at an auto parts store and the guy in front of me set down an alternator and asked the clerk for a water pump. The clerk naturally was confused and asked about the alternator. The guy told him it was a water pump and that was why he asked for the water pump.
The clerk tried nicely to correct him and even showed the guy a picture of an alternator vs. a water pump for his specific car. To no avail, the guy ‘knew more than this poor clerk. Who I might add was 100 percent correct that the alternator was NOT a water pump? The power connections kind of gave it away especially when there were no hose attachments for it to pump coolant a.k.a. water.
Anyway, the guy just went nuts. He threw the alternator at the poor clerk, luckily missing his intended target. He then made huge threats about calling corporate; of course, he had tons of friends on social media so he threatened to close the store down. On and on this guy went about how much smarter he was than anyone behind the counter, and how they always gave him the wrong part. I swear it lasted 20 minutes.
Anyway, the manager was in the back counting out the money or stocking something, not really sure, but she was in the back. She came out, picked up the alternator, set it on the counter, and asked the guy why he was throwing such a temper tantrum over an alternator.
Oh, here we go again! How dare a woman correct him. She doesn’t know anything about cars. What’s a woman doing working at an auto parts store. The vile things just kept going. Well, during ALL of this mess someone in the oil section decided to call the cops. At some point, the cops snuck in and were right behind me and this entire mess.
I was gently pushed aside and they yelled, ‘Sir!’ really loudly.
He turned and went ghostly white. The cops started asking about the situation. One has taken the rest of us aside, found the caller, and we were telling them what we witnessed. The other officer was talking with the mister alternator/water pump.
Next thing you know he was under arrest and as they were escorting him out, we heard one officer tell the other officer that arguing about alternators was the dumbest thing they have witnessed all month. To which the guy yells, ‘It’s a water pump!'”
The Exchange Policy
“I worked at a maternity store. For obvious reasons, we had a pretty strict exchange policy. You won’t make any money on maternity clothes if women can buy one set and then swap them out as their bodies change throughout the course of their pregnancy and the first few weeks postpartum.
Because the policy was so strict, we had it printed out on the back of each receipt and we required every customer to initial on their own receipt after we had recited the policy to them. That way, if they came back in and challenged the policy, we had evidence that they had agreed to it.
Pretty obnoxious, and I rarely had anyone kick up a fuss over it so it makes you wonder how often that policy was actually useful, but who am I to question the decisions of people with B.S. degrees sitting in a corporate office halfway across the country?
One day, an unusual customer came into the store. Now, the shopping mall was a major tourist destination in a major city. We got all types. This woman looked to be a local resident, but she was anything but typical.
She loomed from all the way across the store. And she had a pair of enormous headphones clamped onto her head, and a strange expression on her face. Glazed and angry, like she wasn’t really there, but if she came back, she’d come back swinging.
‘Welcome to (store)! What are you shopping for today?’ I asked. The woman shoved some clothing along a rack. I walked closer.
‘Welcome to (store)! What are you shopping for today?’ I asked. The woman threw clothing in random sizes over her arm and turned away. I followed.
‘Welcome to (store)! What are you shopping for today?’ I asked, then went back to straightening the store, because wherever she was, she couldn’t hear me.
Eventually, she approached the cash wrap, like a freighter coming in to dock. She was tall. Extraordinarily tall.
I rang her up while reciting the exchange policy, but the woman still had her headphones on and wasn’t looking at me. It didn’t look like she was processing anything I was saying. At my elbow, my petite coworker bagged the items.
I repeated the exchange policy a second time, and the woman still didn’t make eye contact. Finally, I stopped in the middle of ringing her items up, dropped my hands to my sides, and stood motionless. The woman rumbled briefly into action. She reached up, grasped her headphones, and pulled them away from her ears. I repeated the exchange policy a third time, and she released the headphones, earpieces clamping back down onto her skull. She never made eye contact or indicated that she was listening.
I finished ringing her up, printed out her receipt, and flipped it over.
‘Please initial your copy of the receipt to acknowledge that you understand the exchange policy,’ I said.
Suddenly, I was not standing underneath a silent stone of a woman. I was standing underneath a screaming, raging, fist-shaking maniac.
‘You won’t get my signature on anything! Forget you!’
My tiny coworker slowly tipped over backward and slid gently to the floor to lean against the bra display. I felt a fixed grin appear on my face. I picked up the phone and dialed security.
The officer who answered cut off their greeting midsentence as they heard the screaming.
‘Remain calm, ma’am,’ they said. ‘We will have someone for you immediately.’
‘Yep! Just a customer who has a problem with our return policy!’ I responded.
‘IMMEDIATELY,’ the officer said.
I hung up and resumed grinning sickly at the woman, who apparently decided she wasn’t going to get whatever she wanted out of this interaction, because she grabbed a pen, slashed it across the receipt and desk in one deeply gouging swoop, grabbed her bag of clothing, and barreled to the front of the store.
And then she was gone. I felt the rictus smile fade from my face. As my coworker slowly appeared beside me like a prairie dog checking to make sure the hawk is gone, I examined the ink scored into the countertop and the bisected customer receipt left behind. Motion caught my eye, and I looked up to see a huddled pair of middle-aged women, who had been completely obscured from view by the woman. One of them held out a small bundle of clothing.
‘Honey,’ she said, ‘we will sign anything you give us.’
Security never did show up.”
“My family was having dinner at a LoneStar restaurant. As we were just served our food, we saw a family get up from their table to leave. They were walking towards us to leave the restaurant. A middle-aged woman was at the front of the group and she was dressed up nicely like they were celebrating some special event. My son and I both looked up at the same time just as the woman – middle-aged, took a couple of steps and dived forward right beside our table. She landed face forwards with her hands extended to break her fall. She had high heels on and it was very clear to us that she tripped over her own feet. We saw the before, during, and after, like a slow-motion video. Her family was right there to help her up and she looked at us, embarrassed. The next thing we knew, she started to yell and moan loudly, so the entire restaurant went silent, watching her.
She claimed the floor was wet. It wasn’t. She said she broke her ankle, but we saw her dive forward, not sideways or backward. She yelled for her husband to hold her as she hopped on one leg towards a bench beside the restaurant door, still in her high heels. She insisted that the restaurant call an ambulance.
The restaurant manager very quickly cleared the way for her to put her feet up and tried to dissuade her from calling the ambulance. All this time the woman yelled loudly that it was negligence on the part of the restaurant and she wanted the police. The manager came to our table and looked at the floor and saw that it was completely dry. No spilt drink, or food. The husband now said he saw a piece of paper on the floor that caused her to fall. There wasn’t. The manager was trying to reason with them and offered ice for her ankle, but she screamed for an ambulance and police.
The ambulance came. Yes! She insisted on an ambulance for a supposed twisted ankle! Not a life-or-death situation. Just a twisted ankle. The ambulance attendants couldn’t believe it and we heard them telling her that there was no swelling, no sign of a broken ankle, and they didn’t think she needed to go to emergency. She started to cry loudly but agreed that she would not need to go to the hospital.
One of the ambulance attendants came by our table and asked if we saw what happened. We told him that we saw the whole event and described the scene to him. He rolled his eyes and walked to the front and left with his team. The woman and her family left right after, but yelled back at the manager ‘You’ll hear from my lawyer!’
We left our name and phone number with the manager and told him we would be happy to provide a witness account of what we saw. He was most grateful.
A few days later, we did hear from the restaurant -corporate office. They asked us to recount the event and said they’d let us know if they needed anything else. We never heard from them.”