Walmart Employees Share the Most Absurd Customer Behavior They’ve Ever Witnessed
Weird things always seem to happen at Walmart. Whether you’ve worked there for decades as an associate or you just step inside every now and then for a quick grocery run, you have probably seen some interesting — maybe even downright bizarre — customer and employee behavior at least once. Maybe you’ve even snapped and posted a few of those crazy “people of Walmart” pics yourself.
You may think you’ve seen it all, but these Walmart customer stories are so outrageous they will shock and amaze even the most jaded Walmart shopper. From customers who insist they should be allowed to return empty boxes to oddball animal lovers who want to bring all kinds of pets into the store, some stories are sure to blow your mind. Get ready to be stunned, confused and potentially turned off by the idea of ever shopping at Walmart again!
A few years ago, I was tasked with converting surveillance video footage for an attorney. The footage showed a lady (at Walmart) cracking open a bottle of olive oil and pouring some out on the floor. She then looked around, walked over to the spill and made herself slip and fall. It was so funny to watch. I couldn’t help but call some of my coworkers over to my desk so they could get a good laugh too.
Sharing the Odor Protection
I worked at Walmart in the early ’90s. During one shift, I went on my break and saw this huge guy in a tank top — maybe 350 pounds — in the deodorant aisle. He took a stick of deodorant from the shelf, put some on, recapped the stick and put it back on the shelf. I told my manager about it, and he said stuff like that happened all the time.
Going Crazy for Bling
My mom worked at Walmart for about a year. She actually liked it there because it kept her on her feet more, but she ended up quitting after the jewelry department manager had a meltdown and started throwing jewelry at customers. One older lady even got pelted in the head with a heavy ring box during the incident.
It turned out that the manager was selling the jewelry to her friends and family, but she would keep the boxes and stuff them with rocks so the inventory would stay the same. She had the meltdown right before she was caught.
High-Speed Shopping (and Fashion) Emergency
One time while I was driving to work (at Walmart), an SUV came barreling from out of nowhere. It blew through a stop sign, cut me off and sped into the Walmart parking lot. The driver pulled up to the front and parked literally next to the entrance doors. I parked my car and made my way to the entrance, anxious to see the guy behind the wheel. Out stepped a dude with no shirt, wearing shorts and high heels. He went straight to the checkout, got what he needed and left.
Don’t Underestimate the Door Guy
I worked in the Garden Center at Walmart, and we had our own gate entrance just as other Walmarts with Garden Centers do. This meant we also had our own door greeter. Let’s call him Dale. Dale was in an electric wheelchair due to an accident he got into after the Vietnam War. He ended up a quadriplegic, but his arms still worked a little, and he could check receipts.
Dale took his job very seriously. One day, someone tried to pull the old Walmart dash with a big stereo system, but they had no car waiting outside. I’m pretty sure they figured they could pull it off because of Dale’s condition. Little did they know they were messing with the wrong guy. Dale tore after the guy through the parking lot in his chair, nipping the backs of his heels with the metal footrests. The guy had no choice but to ditch the massive box and sprint away. Dale then pushed the box with his footrests all the way back into the store, just as happy as could be.
Too Busy for a Real Snack Break
I was at Walmart getting an eye exam in the vision center. When I walked by one of the rooms, there was an older man eating a piece of fried chicken while he got his eye exam.
Escaping the Long Arm of the Law (Almost)
We had a customer we called Huffy because she would come in, huff the aerosol dust remover that people use to clean their keyboards and then pass out in the bathroom for a few hours. At the end of our parking lot, there’s a small grassy median, and on the other side of the median is a Burger King. Remember this.
Well, management and loss prevention got tired of Huffy coming in and stealing dust remover, so the next time she came in, a manager and a loss prevention associate went to approach her. She had already sniffed a few cans of dust remover before the two associates moved in, and when she saw them walking toward her, she took off as fast as she could. I’m not sure why they chased her; it was probably a slow day for them. The electronics employee who saw this whipped out his walkie and radioed us at the front: “It’s going down, and it’s moving toward you.”
I didn’t have anybody with me at the desk, so I moved out onto the floor just in time to see Huffy and the two associates streak through the doors. I then saw Huffy get in her car and speed out of the parking lot, clipping two cars as she made her escape and leaving behind the two winded Walmart associates. Then the chemicals from the dust remover she huffed started to kick in. I watched as the car swerved halfway across the parking lot and then straightened out as Huffy gunned it. She jumped the median and slammed her car through the back wall of the Burger King.
Shoes That Make a Statement
I remember one time two guys came in close to the end of my shift. They came to my register with (worn) shoes and a tag. I noticed one of the guys was really jittery and couldn’t stand still longer than two seconds. He was definitely tipsy. The other guy was thankfully sober. The guy who was tipsy told me that he was wearing the shoes he wanted to purchase, so he’s carrying his own shoes and the tag. It was no big deal to me; people did that all the time. “Sure,” I said. “May I put your shoes in a bag with the tag?”
He replied, “Yeah! What an awesome idea! Thanks!” He paused and then started bouncing like a little kid, “Can I show you my new shoes? Can I? Can I?” His friend shrugged at me. It seemed harmless enough, so I said, “Sure.” He then showed me the fluffy pink slippers he was wearing. I stared at them and then pasted on a smile, saying, “Yeah, they’re nice.” He then grabbed the bag and ran outside — in the pouring rain.
A Desperate Need for Granny Panties
I worked at one of the older Walmart stores back in 1998. I don’t recall many of the customers, except Ms. Allen. She was this elderly woman everybody knew, and she had a bad stutter. She also lived alone and had really poor hygiene. Her hair was always frizzy, and she often smelled of terrible B.O. She would always put $100 or so of granny panties on layaway, pay her minimum deposit then come back a month later and cancel the layaway. Customers were allowed up to three layaway accounts at a time, and she made full use of that policy.
She had been caught shoplifting a few times at the store as well. She always carried this giant purse in the baby seat of her cart that was big enough to probably smuggle out a TV. She was caught a few times trying to make off with the granny panties. When loss prevention and the local police tried to question her, she would start speaking with the really bad stutter, and they would just let her go.
The Consequences of a Poor Dye Job
When I worked as a cashier, someone gave me a fake $100 bill that was so poorly made the ink smeared when I scratched the corner. I had to walk away from my register and notify the floor manager. To my surprise, the person who handed me the fake bill didn’t seem to understand what was happening and waited there until the cops showed up. At one point, he asked me what the hold-up was, and I even told him that his bill was fake. He was taken in for questioning.
Taking Acting Like a Baby a Little Too Far
I worked at a Phoenix-area Walmart in the 2000s. We used to have a customer come in dressed head to toe in a baby outfit, complete with a bonnet, pacifier and adult diapers. He was a middle-aged white guy. The first time I ever saw him I freaked out, but everyone else was just like, “Oh, that’s Baby Guy.”
Apparently, he was a normal guy with a wife and a baby, and one day he just snapped and decided to live the rest of his life dressed as a baby. He would pay people to come to his house and change him and feed him in a highchair. He was a minor celebrity in the area before he passed away.
When You Gotta Go, You Gotta Go
Just last week, I was in the employee bathroom when another associate walked in. All the stalls were full, so he relieved himself in the sink and then left without washing his hands.
Doing Service Animals a Grave Disservice
One time, a woman had a live goose in her shopping cart. She said it was a service goose. The staff wasn’t allowed to ask to see the goose’s documentation, of course. We also had this other guy who came in with a live goat and said it was a service animal.
Don’t Put All Your Eggs in One Basket...or Carton
I was once in line behind a woman who was trying to buy a half-dozen eggs, but it kept ringing up as a full dozen. The cashier spent several minutes messing around with her computer, trying to identify the problem before finally calling over the manager for help. The first thing the manager said was “We don’t sell half-dozen cartons. Did you cut a carton of eggs in half?” The lady responded, “Yeah, I only needed six.”
Epic Potty Training Fail
Three weeks into my sentence at Walmart, a grown adult went #2 in one of the food aisles. Welcome to the big leagues, kid.
A few years ago, a young woman walked into my local Walmart and went straight to the bathroom. Five minutes later, she walked out of the store. It turned out that she had given birth in one of the toilets! She left the baby there, and it was still alive!
Dirty Deeds Do Not Go Unpunished
This was back in the late ’90s. I was working at Walmart in the Garden Center, and there was a guy looking at lawn fertilizer. I walked over and asked if he needed help. He said, “Not now, I’m just looking at the different kinds you have.” It was a pretty standard reply, so I said, “Okay, just let me know.”
I walked away and then swung back about five minutes later. The same guy had opened about 10 different bags of fertilizer, spilled them all over the ground and was rolling around in it. He even tasted the stuff at one point. I called my manager because I didn’t want to deal with it. Security escorted the guy out of the store and called poison control.
Something Doesn't Smell Right
One family always came to the Walmart I worked at, and they ran an animal rescue shelter as a family business. They would come once or twice a week and collect all the fruit and vegetables that would have otherwise gone to a food bank or the compactor. They claimed it was for the animals, but the produce associates said they would eat it right off the truck.
They also often brought a rescue skunk into the store with them, claiming it was a service skunk that alerted the dad when his blood sugar levels were too high. The kids were always unwashed and poorly dressed, and they frequently picked up scabies and lice medication from the pharmacy.
Apparently, Crime Does Pay
I had a guy bring in a copied $10 bill to make a purchase. When I told him he couldn’t use it, he demanded to speak with a manager. Despite the hand-colored, obviously xeroxed $10 bill, the manager approved the sale. I didn’t even bother arguing — it’s Walmart.
Just Trying To Help
One time, I was sitting outside during my break when a car drove down the road super fast. The driver lost control, and the car went over the top of a hedge that was blocking the road and flipped upside down. I ran over to help, but the guy crawling out of the car started threatening bystanders. There was also another guy inside the car who was unconscious. He had his seatbelt on and was bleeding from his head.
I was in the middle of calling an ambulance when I approached the scene. The driver saw me on the phone and full-on sprinted at me. He started screaming threats at me, saying he was going to end me. I ran back into Walmart and gave everyone the heads up about the crazy man, so they hid me. The crazy man came in, looked around and ran back out. The cops arrived after the driver fled. The passenger was taken away, and a manhunt ensued. It turned out the car was stolen, and I had to be the one to identify the driver.
Fruit Punch Emergency
I was part of the construction team for a new Walmart store back in the ’90s. At the grand opening, there were lines stretching all the way to the back of the store. It was madness. One woman in line drank some Tide liquid laundry detergent, which required emergency assistance, so when the ambulance arrived, it got even crazier. It turned out she didn’t speak English, and she thought the bottle was fruit punch, probably because of the red bottle color.
Watch Out for Those Doors
I worked in a Walmart superstore as a night stocker. The store was open 24/7, so we had to deal with all the tipsy people after 2 a.m. We would shut off the automatic doors after that time to reduce the risk of people trying to run out with stolen beer. One time, a guy grabbed a 24-pack and bolted for the door. He hit the mat, the door didn’t open and it knocked him out cold. We pulled him away from the door and called the cops, and he was still out cold when they took him away.
So Many Things
In terms of clowning around, one time, two guys were tossing a gallon of milk to each other. I just sat there watching them in speechless disbelief. At one point, the carton dropped, and milk exploded everywhere. They didn’t even bother to call someone to clean up the mess. They just grabbed another gallon and left. Additionally, a lot of people like to play bumper cars with the motorized carts. Some days, they even take them out to the parking lot.
I caught several women stealing eggs out of cartons and putting them in their purses. This was almost a daily occurrence that became so bad, they had to put up cameras in front of the eggs. I’ve also had people look inside the dairy cooler and yell at me to give them a carton from crates because the ones stocked on the shelf (with the same dates) weren’t good enough.
One guy took a giant bag of Purina dog food and filled it up with steaks and chicken from the meat section. He re-stapled it and everything. I kept an eye on him to see which line he was going to and reported him to the cashier, so he got caught. One lady cursed at me because we were sold out of Tyson chicken. She wanted to know how a Walmart could be sold out of chicken.
Step Lightly with That Lawsuit
Both of my parents work at the Walmart corporate offices in Bentonville, Arkansas (not the actual stores). One day, my stepdad told me he took a call from a guy who wanted to sue Walmart because a wood chip penetrated through the bottom of the shoes he made out of tape he purchased at Walmart.
Sorry, You Can’t Return That
I worked in a Walmart twice during two different summers while on break from school. Once, a woman argued with me and two of my managers for a solid two hours about returning a Dyson sweeper — except, it wasn’t a Dyson sweeper. My boss noticed the packaging was torn, so she opened the box to find an old, used Shop-Vac inside.
The woman swore she never opened the box, and the old machine must have been inside the box when she bought it. They gave her a full refund with Walmart credit. I almost quit that day, but then I decided I should just lower the amount I cared.
At Least He Tried?
An older gentleman unfortunately had an accident while attempting to make it to the bathroom. After it happened, he proceeded to stop in the linens section of the store to clean himself off with the towels there. He then nicely placed the dirty towels back on the shelf and proceeded to walk away, still slightly covered but no longer dripping.
Never Leave a Good TV (or an I.D.) Behind
Two men who were probably in their late 30s were walking around Walmart late at night with two televisions in their arms. This is usually a red flag. One slid by me, apologized and headed to the back of cosmetics. Not long after that, the alarm went off when they busted through the fire exit.
About seven of us went to the door. Technically, we couldn’t do anything, so we all just stood there and informed them that the police had been called. The guys were still in the parking lot and started freaking out. They were having a hard time getting the TVs into the car, so they finally jumped in the car and abandoned the second TV, which we went to retrieve. One of the robbers lost his wallet out of his pocket during the whole ordeal, and we were able to identify him using his prison ID.
Lots of Green
On my first night as a cashier on my own, a man came to my line with every head of lettuce we had. It was about 11 p.m., and there were probably 100 heads of lettuce in his cart. He didn’t say anything when I asked him what all the lettuce was for, and the person who came over to help me looked just as confused as I was.
Threats as Empty as the Returns
I had a lady come in to return two boxes of frozen lasagna without a receipt. Normally this wouldn’t be a big problem. We would just have her exchange the items for other food. However, the boxes were open and completely empty. She ate two family-size lasagnas, decided they didn’t taste good and then wanted her money back.
When I informed her that we needed at least 50% of the product, she demanded to speak to my manager. My manager told her the same thing I did. She then wanted to speak to his manager, who said the same thing. She then threatened to call corporate, so the assistant manager told her, “Okay, that’s 1-800-WALMART. Have a great day, ma’am.”
She stood right by the office and spent 30 minutes on the phone with the corporate office, just to be told what we had been telling her all night.
Taking Stinky Diapers to the Next Level
My old store accepted a customer return on a box of diapers the customer had purchased. The problem was the diapers had been used. I’m not sure how the person who took the return didn’t smell that.