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    Category: At The Checkout

    The customer has seemed normal and maybe even intelligent throughout the shopping purchase. But then they get to the checkout and as soon as human interaction is required it all falls apart. The checkout operators really are our first line of defense against the stupid customer!

    Acting Out Of Border

    | Kehl, Germany | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Language & Words

    (I am shopping in a store in Germany, really close to the French border, and only one full line is open. An elderly woman with only one melon asks the cashier if they could open a second line, which they do. When the second line opens, another woman with a full cart rushes in the other line to be first. The elderly women with the melon is second, and I am third.)

    Elderly Woman: *in German* “Please, I only have one item to buy. May I go through?”

    Other Woman: *in French* “I don’t understand what you say. Please stay behind.”

    Me: *in French* “She just wanted to go through since she only has one item.”

    Other Woman: *in French* “Aw, what a shame. I was here first! And she could at least speak to me in French! Tell her she has to stay behind like everyone else would have.”

    Elderly Woman: *in French too* “Are you kidding me? You French people cross the border to do grocery shopping here and WE have to speak in French? Also, I was waiting in the other line and asked for a new line. You just rushed like you were the only one in the store. How impolite is that?”

    Other Woman: *still in French* “I don’t believe how rude those Germans are. You can be assured that I won’t shop here again!”

    (The cashier finally let the elderly woman pass first, while the other woman was grumbling. Hopefully she’ll be more cooperative next time.)

    New Ways To Sleep On The Job

    | Muskegon, MI, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Rude & Risque

    (I am a small, twenty-year-old female working the closing shift at my store. A very large, unclean looking man is at my till about fifteen minutes before close. He’s been silent up until I’ve started ringing up the last items he has.)

    Customer: “You get out soon?”

    (I don’t find this question odd, as many people ask it just to make conversation.)

    Me: “We close at eleven, so ,yeah. I get out just a little after that.”

    Customer: “Do you want a job working for me?”

    Me: “Uh… no. That’s okay. I already have a job here, and I don’t really have time for a second job. Thanks, though. Your total is [total].”

    Customer: “Well, it’s only nights. You don’t have plans after work, do you? The job pays well.”

    Me: “Actually, I do have plans. My boyfriend is picking me up after my shift.”

    (The man grumbles something incoherent, pays with food stamps, then leaves. My manager comes over, to help close my register down.)

    Manager: “What was that about?”

    Me: “I’m not sure. I think he was trying to pay me to sleep with him.”

    Manager: “You know, I was wondering if that’s what was happening.”

    Buy One, Get One Free a From Thought

    , | Canada | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Food & Drink

    (A customer presents me with a buy one get one free for a burger.)

    Customer: “How much would this come to?”

    Me: “That’s [price].”

    Customer: “Okay, and how much would it be if I didn’t use the coupon and only got one burger?”

    Me: *That’s [same price].”

    Customer: “But how come it’s the same price?”

    Depressing Customer Service

    | CO, USA | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests, Family & Kids, Health & Body

    (A customer and her five-ish-year-old son are checking out at my register. There is a magazine display nearby. One of the magazines’ cover is a tribute to a comedian who recently committed suicide.)

    Customer’s Son: *pointing at the magazine* “Mommy, he died. Did you know he died?”

    Customer: “Yes, it was very sad.”

    Son: “He committed suicide. What does ‘committed suicide’ mean?”

    Customer: “It means he hurt himself badly. Now, let’s go.

    Son: “He hurted himself and died? I don’t understand. Can I skin my knee and die?!”

    Customer: “No, it’s not like that. He was very sad.”

    Son: “What? He died of being sad? Why was he sad? Someone said he was ‘depressed.’ What is ‘depressed?’”

    Customer: *to me* “Can you explain this to him? I don’t want to.”

    Me: “Um, well, I don’t really feel comfortable doing that; I’m sorry.”

    Customer: “What? I hate this store. You’re so unhelpful. I’ll be talking to your corporate office.” *drags son out the door*

    (I think even corporate will agree that explaining mental illness to a customer’s five-year-old is not my job.)

    Stupidity That Defies Explanation

    , | London, England, UK | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Food & Drink, Money

    (I work in a fast food restaurant as a cashier. A grumpy old man approaches my counter with a voucher.)

    Me: “Good morning. How can I help?”

    Customer: “I’ll have a bacon and egg muffin with a coffee, and I have a voucher.”

    (I take the voucher and ring it up at the discounted price.)

    Me: “That’ll be £1.99, please.”

    Customer: “What?” *complete with a puzzled/angry expression*

    Me: “That’ll cost you one pound and 99 pence, sir.”

    Customer: “No.”

    Me: “…I’m sorry?”

    Customer: “I want to use this voucher, for a free coffee.”

    Me: “Yes, with the voucher that costs £1.99.”

    Customer: “No, no.”

    Me: “Yes, it does, sir. The voucher is for a ‘free coffee with the purchase of a muffin.’ The bacon egg muffin is £1.99, and that’s all you’re paying so the coffee is free.”

    Customer: “NO, I want a BACON AND EGG MUFFIN, and I want to use this voucher for a free coffee.”

    Me: *at a loss for words* “Well… yeah, that’s fine, but it will cost you £1.99.”

    Customer: “No, I’m not following you. You’ve lost me.”

    Me: “Okay. You want a bacon egg muffin, and a coffee, yeah?”

    Customer: “Yeah.”

    Me: “Right, and you have a voucher. It says if you BUY a muffin, the coffee is free, yeah?”

    Customer: “Yeah.”

    Me: “Okay. So you must buy the muffin, which costs £1.99—”

    Customer: “—no! I want to use the voucher.”

    Me: “I’m sorry but I can’t explain it any more simply than that. The voucher says you need to buy a muffin to get a free coffee.”

    Customer: “You’ve lost me; I want to speak to someone else.”

    (I find my manager, who comes to my aid.)

    Manager: “Hi, what was it you wanted?”

    Customer: “I want a bacon and egg muffin and a coffee with this voucher!”

    Manager: “Okay that’ll be £1.99 please.”

    (The customer hands over £1.99 with no qualms! I can finally serve the idiot.)

    Customer: *in a condescending tone* “That wasn’t difficult now, was it?”

    Me: *in an even more condescending tone* “Nope, it really wasn’t.”

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