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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!

    Taiwannical Behavior, Part 2

    | Taiwan | At The Checkout, Bigotry, Geography, Politics

    (I am Caucasian and work in Taiwan. Taiwan is a de facto independent country, even though China claims otherwise. Chinese tourist are notorious for harassing the locals on that issue, but I never had to deal with that personally.)

    Customer: *rudely, as she enter the store* “You work here?”

    Me: “Yes, I do.”

    Customer: “You live in this city?”

    Me: “Yup, for many years now.”

    Customer: “Why you choose here and not Beijing?”

    Me: *cautiously, as I realize from her accent she is Chinese* “I like the life here.”

    Customer: “But Beijing is better! You should come to Beijing instead.”

    Me: “Beijing is probably very nice. Maybe I will visit someday.”

    Customer: “You better move. This city is no good. Beijing is better.”

    Me: “So, may I assume you are from Beijing?”

    Customer: *proudly* “Yes, I am!”

    Me: “Cool! So we are both foreigners here!”

    (She gave me a very black, angry look, then left the store without saying another word.)

    Related:
    Taiwannical Behavior

    Wish You Could Jew Something

    | Pittsburgh, PA, USA | At The Checkout, Bigotry

    (A heavily tattooed bald man walks in to the restaurant where I am working. I am at the register. The guy orders his lunch.)

    Me: “That’ll be [total].”

    Customer: “Good, you didn’t overcharge me. Last week there was some Jewish b**** who got my order wrong. Of course, what do you expect? F****** Jews.”

    (I grit my teeth and smile. He hands me a some money.)

    Me: “Here’s your change and your receipt. Have a good day sir.”

    (During the course of this conversation he insulted me, my brother, my mother, my grandfather, my late grandmother, and my best friend from school, all without knowing it. I kind of wish I could have told him, but I doubt my manager would have been happy!)

    Should Have It Pinned Down By Now

    | ME, USA | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Technology

    (I am cashing out a customer who has just slid her debit card.)

    Customer: “This number pad is so big. Everyone can see me entering my PIN!”

    Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am. I assure you that I can’t see it from here.”

    (In addition, I make an obvious attempt to look away. The customer finishes typing in her PIN, and then taps ‘cancel.’)

    Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am. You did tap cancel, so it’ll just have you slide your card and enter your PIN again.”

    (She sighs dramatically, grumbling about the size of the number pad and how everyone can see. She finishes entering the PIN, and then taps ‘cancel’ again.)

    Me: “I’m sorry. It looks like you tapped cancel again. Slide your card one more time, then enter your PIN and make sure to tap the green ‘enter’ button.”

    (She gave me an ‘are you kidding me?’ look, and then reluctantly slid it again. As she typed in her PIN for a third time, she mumbled something along the lines of ‘after all this, you’ll have it memorized’…)

    Turns Out Not To Be Sweet Nothings

    | NY, USA | At The Checkout, Awesome Customers, Food & Drink

    (I am working the register, and it has been a bit slow. A man approaches with two shirts. I ask him all the usual questions, like if he found everything and if he’d like to sign up for our rewards card, and we get to the total.)

    Me: “Okay, your total is $27.94.”

    Customer: *looking at the candies by the counter* “Hmm, chocolate covered blueberries?”

    Me: “Yeah, I’ve had something like those before. They were weird, but pretty cool. Are you going to get those? If you are, I’ll need to add them to the total.”

    Customer: “Okay, sure. And I’ll share them with you guys!”

    (I look at my coworker who is standing behind me, trying to figure out if he’s serious or not. I can’t tell, so I just laugh awkwardly and add them to his purchase.)

    Me: “Okay, your total now is $35.05.”

    (The man swipes his credit card, and I give him his receipt. Then, he rips open the bag and offers some to me.)

    Me: “Wait, you were serious?”

    Customer: “Yeah! Hold out your hand and say when.”

    (He gave a couple to my coworker and me, then left. They were very good, and the gesture made my night!)

    Motherly Advice To Mother

    | Pittsburgh, PA, USA | At The Checkout, Family & Kids

    (It’s late at night, and I’m working the checkout aisle when a woman comes up with her young daughter and her cart load of groceries. Everything is going fine at first.)

    Daughter: “Mommy, look!”

    (The daughter has grabbed the now empty cart, pulled it to the end of the aisle and is now pushing it towards her mother at fairly high speed.)

    Mother: “No, dear. Please don’t.”

    (She catches the cart just before the little girl runs her over.)

    Daughter: “Hey, mommy, look!”

    (This time the little girl really gets a running start. The cart is moving dangerously fast. As the cart passes me, I grab the handle, bringing it to a stop. I lean over the counter and look the little girl straight in the eyes.)

    Me: “Trust me. You really don’t want to do that.”

    Daughter: “Why?”

    Me: “Because you could hurt your mother. And if you hurt her you will be in trouble.”

    Daughter: “How much trouble?”

    Me: “Not able to go home trouble. Probably ‘time out’ trouble.”

    Daughter: “Oh. That doesn’t sound that bad.”

    Me: “Or, your mother could be like mine and send you to bed with no supper.”

    Daughter: “Oh.”

    Me: “Now, why don’t you go help your mother bag the groceries?”

    Daughter: “Okay!”

    (The mother looks at me.)

    Mother: “Thank you.”

    Me: “Don’t worry about it. That was one of the less stressful things I’ve dealt with tonight.”

    Mother: “Really?”

    Me: “Yeah. All I had to do was grab the cart and tell her the truth.”

    (The woman pauses for a moment and looks at me.)

    Mother: “Maybe I should try being more like your mother. She certainly got something right with you!”

    (That comment pretty much made my night, and I managed to finish out my shift with a smile.)

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