There are crazy work stories and then there are crazy Christmas work stories, which always seem to be 200% more crazy. Here, we’re sharing some of the craziest things that Capsule readers have experienced over the silly season.
Welcome to the Christmas Diaries! Sure, it’s the most magical time of the year, but it’s also a time where people are at their limits. A couple of weeks ago we shared our stories from working in retail over Christmas, and then last week we brought you stories from Capsule readers who had wonderful, outrageous and hideous things happen to them on the job over the festive season.
“I used to be the receptionist at an A&E and we are very busy every Christmas, with Covid and with Christmas parties gone wrong / stress related issues / strange injuries. One of the strangest I’ve come across was a guy who was at his office’s Christmas party and decided to photocopy his butt, but the glass broke and shards got stuck in his rear end. I left my job before Christmas rolled around this year!”
“I read your first story about people trying to eat Christmas ornaments and have a story to relate. I worked in a donut store and we had a cute little tree on the counter that had fake sugar cookie ornaments on it. I cannot tell you how many people tried to eat those cookies. It was insane.”
“I work in a bar and the week before Christmas, one Saturday we had a woman come in, with her husband sheepishly hanging back behind her. She said they were there to get a charge on his card corrected. The night before he’d been charged $1,870 and she said obviously we’d put an extra zero on the end or put the decimal point in the wrong place, and they “weren’t going to make a big deal about it”, they just wanted the money back. Then, my workmate who had been there the night before, worked over because he recognized the guy. He recognized him because the night before he’d put his credit card on the counter, climbed on the bar and yelled, EVERYONE’S DRINKS ARE ON ME.”
“I always remember getting this huge pizza order on Christmas Eve. It was for 30 pizzas, and we were all a bit annoyed. If they hadn’t of prepaid we would have thought it was a prank. But then the couple turned up – they weren’t for a party, they were to hand out to homeless. It was very sweet.”
“I worked in retail at a clothing shop. The week before Christmas we were slammed. Constantly clearing out changing rooms. One late night shopping evening was particularly bad. I went into a changing room to check it for the next customer, and there was somehow a giant pile of clothes in the corner. I started scooping them up when I realised the bottom ones were wet. Someone had peed in the corner and then put a pile of clothes on top.”
“I worked in a toy shop over Christmas one year. There was a toy that was insanely popular, every time we got it restocked, we’d sell out. By December 1 we already had allocated all the stock for our last shipment drop before Christmas AND we had a waitlist. We even put a sign up in the store explaining this. So on Christmas Eve a guy came in and asked to buy one for his kid and when I explained the situation he lost his mind. Then, security had to remove him because he retaliated by peeing on a display.”
“I work in hospo and have a small business of my own. It does well at Christmas and it’s when I earn most of my money, so last year I hired a temp to man the phones, process orders etc to help out. There were a few hiccups but I didn’t realise how bad they were at taking orders until Christmas Eve when people came to pick up their orders and they were all wrong. E.g. someone thought they were getting 12 custom cupcakes but I made 21. Another wanted green and gold and I’d made grey (I thought it was weird) and gold.”
“I work in retail. I’m a store manager. We had a little Christmas function on a Thursday night. Two of the staff really sent it. They were also the two who were rostered on the next day. One turned up at work looking green and threw up in a changing room. The other one had someone call up and obviously pretend to be her doctor saying that she had a bad case of laryngitis (not a hangover). It was clearly her flat mate or friend.”
“Way back in 1980, I was the Toy Buyer for Kirkcaldie and Stains in Wellington. Not long before closing time on Christmas Eve, a VERY tipsy male customer weaved his way into my department looking for a present for his son who he only saw for holidays.He selected a 7 foot soft toy Pink Panther – you had to be there, it was the 70s – and asked for it to be gift wrapped. I planted the customer – woozily – in a chair and proceeded to gift wrap the Pink Panther. There were escaping arms and legs ( the panther’s) everywhere but eventually I subdued (and gift wrapped) it enough for the customer to leave very happily with a giant present for his son.”
“This is not a work story, but it’s a Christmas work party story. A few years ago my husband and I got up in the morning to find a woman we didn’t know asleep on our sofa. We got one heck of a fright – but probably not as big of a fright as she did. It turned out she was planning on staying on her colleague’s sofa, but they got separated during the night out and went home separately. She got the house wrong. Her friend lived next door. We have no idea how she got in, but she made a cup of tea, ate some chips and used the blankets/cushions to make a bed.”