The Most Entertaining Crime-Adjacent Stories From Publix, Grocery Icon Of The Southern United States

Ah, Publix. Maybe you're a Southerner devoted to the Publix grocery chain. Or you've made it a tradition to stop there on family vacations to Florida. But even if you've never heard of Publix, you'll enjoy hearing what Publix employees have to say about what it's like to be a worker who deals with the market masses daily.

The public at Publix do some bizarre things. Not surprisingly, plenty of Publix horror stories litter wild Reddit threads, shared by employees regularly abused by customers.

  • She Just Took A Bite, Okay?

    From Redditor /u/letsgomarauders:

    Had a lady come through last week, and I'm ringing her groceries and she grabs a candy bar from the rack, opens it, takes a bite, and says she doesn't like it, [then she] hands it to me, and says don't charge her for it. I was like "WTF?" for 15 seconds trying to figure out what I just saw and what she said to me.

    I stopped and said, "Ma'am, you ate it, I am going to charge you for it."

    She replies, "I didn't eat it, I took a bite."

    I replied back, "You can take your receipt to the CS [customer service] desk and they can refund the price back to you," as she had me throw it out. I work in a tourist-affluent area and they think they can just get away with crap like this.

  • The Sassy Old Stripper

    From Redditor /u/wolffangz11:

    An elderly lady paid her ~$30 order all in singles.

    She apologized and said, quote, "Sorry, I did a bit of dancing the other night."

  • He Was Just Excited About The Strawberries

    From Redditor /u/Pecola2011:

    One time I was ringing up a lady and I notice a middle-aged man behind her with eight-packs of strawberries on the belt. He says to me quite plainly, "When you get to me, I'm going to steal these strawberries." I think to myself for a second: what's going on.

    I continue ringing up the lady before him while discreetly scanning this other guy up and down, looking for a gun or some kind of other weapon he might be concealing. I strongly consider getting my manager involved as he steps up to my register. I cautiously proceed to scan his strawberries while eyeing him like a hawk. The strawberries ring up as two for $5, and the man excitedly shouts, "What a steal! You can't beat that!"

  • She Needed Her Wine

    From Redditor /u/Swysp:

    I have this lady who comes in every now and then, and she is so extremely bizarre that it's always an adventure. I was ringing up her groceries and she says, "Stop me before we get to $100." So we end up at $97 and change, and the only item she has left is one of those four-pack wine drinks.

    I inform her that the drinks would put her over, and she sighs before saying, "I guess it wasn't meant to be... unless you want to buy them for me." I waited for her to laugh, but it never came. She just kept staring at me as I tendered her $100 bill.

  • Gator Snacks

    From Redditor /u/himeeusf:

    The corporate campus is a certified protected natural habitat. The city of Lakeland either gifted or [was] temporarily housing (can't remember for sure) a bunch of swans at our large pond in front of the building. For those of you who don't live in Lakeland - this is a big deal. Swans are the city mascot and are very well known and loved.

    Between the gators and a hurricane that blew through very shortly after their arrival, it ended in disaster. Some were eaten; some were disoriented by the storm and wandered into the parkway to be hit by cars; and the rest just disappeared. I believe they lost every single swan within a month's time. (Bonus horror: the adorable otters that used to live on the pond are also no longer around, presumably [they were] also gator snacks.)

  • An Unexpected Exit Out The Emergency Door

    From Redditor /u/waterpolo125:

    I was cashiering like usual and begin to slide some ground beef across the scanner and it reeks. I said to myself, "This must have gone bad." I guess not, because the lady who was after the meat person said that it was definitely sh*t (she said she worked in a hospital). The smell began to grow and fill the store, a raunchy smell it was.

    I don't know about other stores, but our bathrooms are right next to the emergency exit. The man who defecated himself decided he didn't want to take a walk of shame back through the front lobby, and [he] bolted out the emergency door. The alarm went off and everything. Talk about trying to keep it on the DL [down-low]. Also there was sh*t running down his leg and on the floor in front of the bathroom... good times.