Why fix a problem in seconds when you can throw an extended hissy fit instead?

In Japan, there’s an iron-clad rule of business that says “Okyaku-sama ha kami-sama desu,” or “The customer is god.” But while it’s an admirable attitude for businesses to adopt in striving to always provide the best possible service, shop clerks unfortunately sometimes find themselves having to deal with a customer from hell.

These eruptions of divine rage tend to happen most often at convenience stores, with complaints about being required to tap a button on a touchscreen to confirm the buyer is of legal drinking age. But in this video shared by Twitter user @smhl_Mg, it’s Japan’s other favorite vice, cigarettes, that has the customer standing at the register screaming at the workers.


Oonaa yobe, ora!” (“Call the owner, dammit!”) the Man in Red bellows repeatedly, along with “Renraku shiro!” (“Get on the damned phone!”). But what’s got him so upset?

Well, Japanese convenience stores sell a huge variety of cigarettes, which are stocked behind the counter and designated with corresponding numbers for specific brands, pack sizes, etc. When a customer wants to buy some, he tells the clerk at the register the number he wants, and the clerk retrieves the pack. However, the employee in the video has -GASP!- retrieved he wrong pack!

It’s important to keep in mind that Big Red hasn’t actually been charged for the mistakenly retrieved pack of cigarettes, so he hasn’t suffered any monetary damage. Really, the only thing he’s lost is the amount of time it would take to say “No, this isn’t what I want. I want pack number X,” which doesn’t seem like anything to get so upset over. Granted, some people do have very busy lives, but the customer’s decision to throw an extended hissy fit, as opposed to rectifying the situation by quickly and calmly correcting the clerk, makes it hard to think he’s in anything close to a rush or that his time is particularly precious.


After several demands for the employees, who appear to be working at an unidentified branch of convenience store chain Family Mart, to get their branch’s franchise owner on the scene, the employee at the register informs the angry customer that he’s the shift manager. “Shut up!” the customer hollers. “Don’t f**k with me! I told you, Number 103!” he continues, proving that he actually is capable of repeating his request, despite feeling the need to preface it with several rounds of high-volume whining.

While no one comes to the employees’ aid in the video, other Twitter users were sympathetic.

“That dude is not right in the head.”
“I work in a convenience store, and sometimes it’s hard to hear what number the customer said the first time. It’s doubly hard if they’re scary-looking.”
“What does this guy want the clerk to do other than saying ‘Sorry, I made a mistake?’ Occupying the space in front of the register like that is an obstruction of business.”

Other commenters had alternative suggestions as to who the staff should get on the phone instead of the store’s owner.

“Yeah, they should totally get on the phone and call the cops.”
“Calling a mental health professional would be a good idea.”
“Time to call this guy’s parents, because their son is acting like a bratty kid.”

And finally, one Twitter user had this to say about the vividly dressed, cap-wearing man with the rotund physique:

“Man, Super Mario needs to shut up already.”

It might seem strange to see the store staff, who are being confronted by an obviously unreasonably angry individual, calmly stand there without firing back any angry remarks of their own. Japanese society in general, though, holds that deescalating conflict is usually the best strategy. There’s even an old adage that translates to “Whoever shuts up first wins,” and that’s just one metric by which we can come to the conclusion that this customer s definitely a loser.

Source: Twitter/@smhl_Mg via Jin
Featured image: Twitter/@smhl_Mg

Follow Casey on Twitter, but don’t expect him to get his company’s owner on the phone.