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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!

    The Oregon Fail, Part 2

    | Spokane, WA, USA | At The Checkout, Canada, Geography

    (I’m working at a national retail electronics store. We’re required to attempt to collect demographic data in the form of a ZIP code, unless the customer is from another country.)

    Me: “That will be [total]. May I have your ZIP code?”

    Customer: “I’m from Ontario. ”

    Me: “Ontario….?”

    Customer: “Oh, my god! You Americans are so ignorant about any other country! You should know it’s in Canada! Honestly!”

    Me: “Ma’am, there is an Ontario, Oregon and an Ontario, California in the US that I know of. Since you’re from Canada, I don’t need your information. Have a nice day.”

    (The customer’s face turned red, and they left immediately.)

    Related:
    From NotAlwaysRelated:
    The Oregon Fail

    Drawing A Blanc

    | UK | At The Checkout, Criminal/Illegal, Extra Stupid, Food & Drink

    (We are one of only two supermarkets in our small town, so we get lots of regular customers. Although we have to ID everyone under 25 every time they buy alcohol or cigarettes, we often make exceptions for people who forget to bring their ID, because we have seen it previously. We try to be relaxed about the rules as much as we can, to keep the locals happy. I am alone on the checkout when an old lady regular comes up with milk and wine.)

    Me: “And how are you this evening?”

    Customer: “Oh, very well! I’m just in to buy this wine because my granddaughter is cooking dinner for us. She can’t buy any because she’s under 18, and, well, she’s making this lovely kind of pavlova!”

    Me: “That sounds lovely, but you do realise that you REALLY shouldn’t have told you’re buying alcohol on behalf of someone who is underage? I can’t sell this to you if that’s what you’re doing.”

    Customer: “WHAT? But that’s why I’M buying it, for my dinner! I can buy wine if I want!”

    Me: *thinking hopefully I misheard her rambling* “Well if you ARE buying it just for your dinner, then maybe I can let you off with it, but you do need to understand that you can’t buy with intent to supply to alcohol to underage people.”

    Customer: “I can buy alcohol for my granddaughter if I want to. It’s for cooking. She won’t be drinking it!”

    Me: “I know what you are trying to say, but I need you to understand that you can’t TELL ME you’re buying it for a teenager. You can have it this time, under the circumstances, but I need you to tell me you understand you shouldn’t do it in future.”

    Customer: “This is unbelievable! If you’re going to be like that, you can take it back! I should be able to buy whatever I want! I’ll just go to [Other Supermarket] and buy it there!”

    (She storms off dramatically and the only other customer comes up to the counter.)

    Customer #2: “She didn’t seem like the brightest spark, did she?”

    Calling At All Stations To The 19th Century

    | FL, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Crazy Requests, Food & Drink, Religion, Top

    (I’m working in the deli section of my store part-time and studying computer science at a local university. Tomorrow I have an exam and it’s making it hard to concentrate at work, as the elderly woman I’m serving notices.)

    Customer: “Excuse me, young man. I said I wanted the smoked ham, not the honey ham.”

    Me: “Oh, I’m sorry about that. I’m just a little distracted. Smoked ham coming right up.”

    Customer: “You really should pay closer attention to your work.”

    Me: “Yes, ma’am. I just have an exam tomorrow and it’s a little hard to concentrate.”

    Customer: “You look a little old to still be in high school.”

    Me: “I’m not in high school. I’m studying computer science at [University].”

    Customer: “[University]? Oh, no, no, no. That won’t do at all.”

    Me: *stopping slicing* “Excuse me?”

    Customer: “Oh, honey, you need to leave that university right away. You’re not smart enough to go to college.”

    Me: “Uh…”

    Customer: “If you were, you wouldn’t be working here. Besides, God ordained you to be part of the servant class. The purpose of your life is to serve the good people, like me.”

    (My jaw is hanging open.)

    Customer: “You need to invest yourself totally in your work here. This is what people like you were meant for. You should never try to rise above your station. You’ll make God very angry.”

    Me: “…well. I’m just going to step away from my ‘station’ for a moment. [Coworker], could you give me a hand here? I really need to step out.”

    (I walked into the cooler, closed the door all the way, and didn’t come back until the customer had gone and I had calmed down.)

    Number-Crusher

    | Cornelius, OR, USA | At The Checkout, One-Liners, Rude & Risque

    (I am 19 and working at the register in the slowest and emptiest part of the store, so I tend to get a lot of creepy people with no one in sight to help me. A customer in his 50s comes up and I ring him up. As I finish the transaction…)

    Customer: “So, do you have a boyfriend?”

    Me: *laughs, thinking he’s going to be sweet* “No.”

    Customer: “Wanna go out some time?”

    Me: “Oh, thank you but no.”

    Customer: *gets annoyed* “Why not?”

    Me: “Um… you’re just a little bit too old for me.”

    Customer: “You know, age is just a number in your mind…”

    Me: “Yeah, but yours is a REALLY big number…”

    Not So Sweet On The Sweet Chili

    | Australia | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests, Food & Drink

    (I work at a popular sub shop that makes sandwiches in front of customers to their liking. I am serving a woman and everything is fine until we get to the last few steps.)

    Me: “And would you like any sauce on that?”

    Customer: “Just a little bit of sweet chilli, please.”

    (I put one thin line of sweet chilli sauce on her sub.)

    Customer: “No, that’s too much!”

    Me: “I’m sorry, I can wipe some off or remake your sandwich for you if you like.”

    Customer: “No! You should have listened to me to begin with! When I ask for a little bit, you don’t drown the thing in sauce! I have a f***ing stomach ulcer. That’s why I can’t have much! Just forget about it!”

    (The customer storms off, muttering about how stupid I am and how I ruined her sandwich. I turn to my coworker, who witnessed the entire ordeal.)

    Me: “If she has a stomach ulcer maybe she shouldn’t order it to begin with!”


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