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!

Dropping The Change You Want To See In The World

| Berkeley, CA, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Health & Body

(I’m ringing up a frail, elderly customer who is having a hard time getting her money out, when she drops a quarter onto the floor. She turns to the customer behind her in line, who is in her late 30s.)

Customer #1: “Excuse me, do you mind helping me pick that up?”

(Customer #2 sighs, but bends down and picks it up for her.)

Customer #1: “Thank you so much.”

(I continue ringing her up, when she drops a coin again.)

Customer #1: *again to Customer #2* “I’m so sorry, do you mind helping me again?”

Customer #2: “Okay, but if this keeps happening, maybe you should ask somebody else.”

Customer #1: “I’m sorry; I have arthritis and—”

Customer #2: “Yeah, well, I have my own problems, lady.”

Me: *speechless*

Sadly This Behavior Is Old News

| PA, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Crazy Requests

Customer: “One copy of the local paper, please.”

Me: “Okay, that’ll be [amount].”

Customer: “I just want to look at it for a minute.”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, our newspapers are not for browsing. You will need to purchase it.”

Customer: “When the h*** did that become a rule?”

Me: “People were clipping coupons, marking up, and otherwise rendering the papers unsalable, so management—”

Customer: “Well, I’m not going to do that! I’m here to buy gifts. Just give me the d*** paper.”

Me: “Ma’am, I can’t do that. I’ll be happy to hold a copy for you until you’re done shopping and ready to be rung up.”

Customer: “You f****** little b****. Whatever happened to ‘the customer is always right’? I’m one of your best customers! Get me your manager!”

(I call my manager to the counter. The customer continues to berate me, at one point telling me she hopes I burn in h***.)

Manager: “What seems to be the problem?”

Customer: “Your employee will not let me merely look at a newspaper. I came in here today intending to purchase gift cards for my entire family for the holidays, but if this is the kind of customer service I get, I will take my business elsewhere!”

(My manager looks at this customer, and I can see the moment he picks business model over me.)

Manager: “Your behavior towards my employee was very rude, but given the holiday season, I’ll let it slide. Here is a newspaper. Please bring it to the checkout with your purchases when you’re ready.”

(The customer walked off with her paper, and I was graciously given five minutes in the back to ‘get myself together.’ Two hours later, the cafe employees brought the news that the customer clipped three coupons out of the paper, spilled water on it, and left without buying anything.)

Pulled Something Out Of The Bag

| AK, USA | At The Checkout, Spouses & Partners

(I’m checking out and bagging for a customer with a reputation for being a little difficult and picky about the way her items are bagged. Normally I get this feeling of dread because she always comes to my lane, even when everyone else’s are open. But today her husband comes up.)

Customer: “Oh! [Husband], let me introduce you to this cashier!”

Me: “Uhm… hello.”

Husband: “Hi?”

Customer: “Listen to this, [Husband]. This is my FAVORITE cashier here. I mean, she’s always just so POLITE and PATIENT with me, ‘yes ma’am,’ ‘thank you, ma’am’… I always go to her lane; she’s much better than those other cashiers!” *to me* “Thank you, honey!”

Me: “No problem… That’ll be [total].”

(The customer and her husband leave, and honestly, I don’t think I’ll ever see her the same again!)

Has An Expensive Chip On His Shoulder

| Charleston, SC, USA | At The Checkout, Awesome Customers, Money

Customer: “How much are the bags of chips?”

Me: “Just a little over two dollars with tax.”

Customer: “What? That’s unreasonable! Why would you charge me that much?”

Customer’s Wife: “Shut up. What makes you think that poor girl set the prices on the chips?”

Flirting With Disaster

, | KY, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior

(I’m a high school student working at a fast food restaurant in a very small town. One day, a girl from school comes in who is known to be a little more than friendly to guys. A fairly good looking older guy comes in after and she takes notice.)

Girl: *shakes her hips as she approaches the counter*

Me: “Hi, [Girl]! How can I help you?”

Girl: *glancing at the guy while she seductively reaches in her pocket* “An apple juice. And make it fast!” *tosses a few coins at me*

Me: *I dodge the change flying towards my face then pick them up off the floor*

Girl: *laughs* “They are so cute when they struggle for money.”

Guy: *raises and eyebrow but says nothing*

Me: “Uh, sorry, but you need 50 more cents.”

Girl: *sighs dramatically* “No, I don’t. I think you are just wanting to put a little more cash in your pocket.”

Guy: *rolls his eyes and pinches the bridge of his nose*

Me: “They are $1.25 and you only gave me 75 cents. I just need…”

Girl: “Listen here, since you are so dense and have to work to get anything, I’ll go easy on you and give you a math lesson. Two quarters, two dimes, and a nickel equals to $1.25. Now, if you please, give me my apple juice.” *looks at guy* “I have to go to the gym later.”

(I should point out that we don’t have a gym in this town.)

Guy: *looks at the girl* “Okay, this is taking so long. Anyone with a grade school education knows that two quarters, two dimes, and a nickel is only 75 cents. Now, please, give her the money and get going. I’m in a hurry. And don’t throw it at her this time. She’s obviously way smarter than you and doesn’t need to take any crap from people like you.”

Girl: *nervously digs in her pocket for the rest of the change, lays it on the counter, receives her juice, and runs out*

(She never came back again and won’t even look at me in school!)

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