On the African Savanna, every animal shows up at the water hole whether they hate each other, fear each other, or want to eat each other. Here in the United States, your local grocery store is not dissimilar. No matter what their background, people of dangerously different mental states and states of desperation will show up at the grocery store. What happens when the madness comes to an end could be anyone’s guess. It could be the hospital, the morgue, jail, or a courtroom.
If you think it can’t happen to you, think again. According to the BLS Census of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses, 8.4% of grocery store workers were injured at work in 2000, and that doesn’t even account for injuries to shoppers. How much higher that number is now is anyone’s guess. While you might be protected from certain owner neglect on their premises, who knows what customers will do. It happens to ordinary people every day, just like it happened to the people in these harrowing stories.
10 Grocery Horror Stories That Could Happen to You
Here’s a recap of 10 totally wild stories, mostly seen originally on reddit.
The Potato Soup Madman
One former deli worker at a Vons in Illinois said, “I was cleaning up in the deli when a customer threatened to come over the counter and beat the living s#it out of us because we were sold out of bacon potato soup.” He was rattling the sneeze guards and yelling at the top of his lungs, the former deli worker then said that he was later reprimanded for not having made more potato soup earlier.
A produce manager tells a frightful story that could be a scene in a horror film. She describes a woman who was being monitored by security for suspicion of shoplifting. Then, without warning, the woman grabbed and bit into a clerk’s arm. She then produced a box cutter and waved it at the staff. Everyone ran out of the building and two hours later, police found her hiding in the ceiling behind the air conditioner unit.
The Game Toss Defender
A Game Stop employee had this to say about an irate customer. “A guy came in with a five-year-old Xbox wanting a refund. I told him we can’t help him and started to move toward the back room because he looked strange. He shouted, “Don’t you walk away from me.” Then, I turned around and he threw the Xbox, hitting me in the back and knocking me down. My coworker tackled him. Later he said he didn’t feel good about having to attack him from behind.”
One grocery store cashier told a frightening story that could happen to anyone at any time. He said, “I was working the third shift around one in the morning when a woman came to my register. She just stood there looking a bit out of it. When I came up to the counter to ask her if I could help her she suddenly projectile vomited all over the front of me. I ran to the back and got some mouthwash and sanitizer. It was horrific.” He said he ran up a bill of about $37 in hygiene products.
Bumper Cart Produce
One clerk told a strange story about a man accosting a woman with his shopping cart. He said that the two were arguing over a bag of grapes. The woman put the grapes into her cart and the man ordered her to put them back because he wanted them. When she refused he bumped her with his cart. He told her to put them back again and when she refused he rammed her repeatedly with his cart. The clerk later said the grapes were worth less than a dollar.
The Jewelry Carousel Crusher
A Macys employee tells the story of a brief but strange event in which a woman suddenly acted out for no apparent reason. She said a woman along with several other customers were browsing the jewelry counter when one woman suddenly pushed a rotating jewelry display onto the floor. She said the woman had pushed it so forcefully that the entire floor inside the enclosure was covered in broken glass.
Romance in the Toy Aisle
One evening shift stock worker saw something he didn’t want to deal with. He said, “A middle-aged couple was dry-humping in the toy aisle. I caught a glimpse of them from like five feet away, said ‘Nope,’ turned around, and told a manager.”
Something Brewing in the Ball Pit
A former Mcdonald’s employee shared a disturbing story. He said a family was eating with their children on a Saturday afternoon and their kid threw up in the ball pit. He threw up loudly for a solid minute. The family complained that the fries had made their son sick and just walked out. Then an elderly man came in, pointed a finger at the employee, and said, “You make me sick.” The ball pit was closed for a month.
The Easter Ugh Hunt
A Walmart employee tells a story going back at least five years in which he describes revolting surprises being left in hidden places all around the store. He said he had found rotten food in the middle of circular clothing racks, what appeared to be a homeless person’s bedding shoved into dairy refrigerators, and even human faces smeared on the back sides of shelved items. He said these kinds of things happened up to a dozen times over five years and that all of the most atrocious cases involved an apparent attempt to hide the item long enough for it to begin to smell.
Return of the Ravioli
A Home Depot associate told a business magazine about a curious return-item scam. The customer returned what was apparently a power drill in the box for a refund. But after taking the item and providing the refund, the staff found that inside the box was actually cooked ravioli, just enough to match the weight of the drill. He said, what was most strange was the fact that she bothered to cook the ravioli first.
Certainly, not all of these incidents resulted in injury, though all of them did lead to a financial loss for the business involved. Incidents like these result in unexpected injury, illness, and loss every day. When they do, the people involved require capable representation to recover lost wages, medical expenses, and more.