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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!

    Paying it Forward Credits Everyone

    | NC, USA | At The Checkout, Awesome Customers, Food & Drink, Money, Top

    (My school’s residence hall is going on a fast-food run. My friend is really hungry, but has no money to go, so I give him all my cash to pay for it, as I intend to pay by debit. Most of the group goes to one specific fast-food place, but I am dropped off first to pick up some Taco Bell.)

    Cashier: “Cash only.”

    Me: “Excuse me?”

    Cashier: “I’m sorry, but the card machine is broken. We can only take cash at this time.”

    (I turn around to see the bus driving off to the other fast-food place.)

    Me: “Darn, I was really craving Taco Bell recently. Guess I’ll wait for the bus to get back.”

    (The only other customer walks up to me.)

    Customer: “Don’t worry. I’ll pay for you.”

    Me: “No, it’s fine; I’ll get picked up and go somewhere else.”

    Customer: “No, it’s fine; I’m paying for you. End of story.”

    (Without hesitating, she pulls out her pocketbook, and pays as I order. When I see my friend, I tell him the story, and tell him he doesn’t owe me a penny.)

    How The Cookie Crumbles, Part 2

    | Welches, OR, USA | At The Checkout, Bigotry, Family & Kids

    (I am in line to get cookies for my second grade class that I teach for the last day of the semester. I am rather thin, have blonde hair that’s very long and dyed, and I have high heels. I am speaking to the clerk.)

    Me: “Hey, can I get these for my class?”

    (I’m pointing to a selection of pink writing icing. The customer behind me suddenly speaks up.)

    Customer: “Stupid blonde w****!”

    (The clerk and I look at him.)

    Clerk: “Please don’t use that language in here, sir.”

    Customer: “What? She is! Oh, little miss b****, what’ve you got there?”

    (The customer points to my grocery bag.)

    Customer: “Oh, let me guess! Lipstick and eye makeup, and daft things to go in your sissy blonde hair! Skinny underwear, and big bras, tampons and oh—let me guess, a massive box of condoms!”

    Me: “Listen to me. Firstly, this is not my real hair. I’m actually a ginger, but to avoid confusion with another person at work, I dyed it blonde. Secondly, I’m buying cookies for my second graders. Thirdly, I am a virgin and have a Bachelor’s Degree. Fourth, although I am about to marry someone, I am, like I said, a virgin.”

    (The customer walks out without buying anything. By the way, my class enjoyed the cookies!)

    Related:
    How The Cookie Crumbles

    Lack Of Register Does Not Register

    | Green Bay, WI, USA | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Top

    (We’ve been having some problems with one of our registers. It is the first one you see when entering the store, and is often assumed to be the one to use. Today, it has been taken apart, and is being worked on by one of my managers. Parts are all across the counter, and several signs are post staying the register is out of order.)

    Me: “You know, I will laugh if a customer comes up and starts unloading their stuff, expecting you to check them out.”

    Manager: “The register is taken apart, the screen is off, and there are three signs saying this is out of order. I doubt anyone will be that stupid.”

    (A customer walks up literally right after my manager says that, and starts unloading and pushing parts out of the way.)

    Customer: “Why is this counter so cluttered!?”

    Manager: “Ma’am, this register is closed; we’re doing maintenance on it.”

    Customer: “Don’t be lazy!” *continues unloading*

    Manager: “Ma’am, please go to the other check-out. [My name] will be happy to help you.”

    Customer: “No! I came to this one, and YOU WILL help me!”

    Manager: “Once again, ma’am, this register is under maintenance. I can not check you out.”

    Customer: “Lazy ungrateful brat! Get your manager!”

    Manager: “I am the manager on duty. One more outburst like that, and I will have you leave the store.”

    (The customer mumbles something, and storms out, leaving her items behind. My manager turns to me.)

    Manager: “Alright, you can laugh.”

    Chose A Bad Example For A Bad Example

    | AL, USA | At The Checkout, Bigotry, Family & Kids, Top

    (Customer #1 is a young woman, with two children under the age of three. Customer #2 has a daughter around age 12. Customer #1 is checking out.)

    Customer #2: “How can you live with yourself? Having two children at your age? You’re a disgrace! I bet my tax dollars are paying for those groceries! People like you shouldn’t be allowed to shop here. You’re a bad example for my daughter!”

    Customer #1: “Not that it’s any of your business, but I’m 27. I went to a private college with a scholarship, graduated, and then became a kindergarten teacher. After teaching for two years I got married, then had kids, and my husband makes enough saving lives as a firefighter and a paramedic that I am able to stay at home with our kids. Now if that’s being a bad example for your daughter, I would love to see what you consider a good example!”

    Customer #2: “Uh, well you didn’t look old enough to… um…”

    Customer #1: “I’m going to take that as compliment that living right has kept me looking young.”

    Body Language Lost In Translation

    | OR, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Bigotry, Liars & Scammers, Top

    (One of our new employees is dealing with a customer who is clearly angry, and is being physically aggressive and threatening. We are on the verge of calling security, but we can see that our new employee is still very calm. We hit the button when we see the customer lunge at her, despite the fact that she doesn’t react at all, and just stares at him. I run over to see what’s wrong.)

    Me: “Hi there, I’m the manager. Is there a problem I can help with?”

    Customer: “This white b**** won’t give me the sale price!”

    (The customer waves a sale leaflet from one of our competitors in my face.)

    New Employee: *still very calm* “I tried to tell him that isn’t our flyer, and we don’t even have that item, but he doesn’t seem interested in hearing that.”

    Customer: “Don’t lie to me, you b****! You just don’t want me to get this great price!”

    New Employee: “Sir, I have two things to say. Firstly, that flyer is from last year—”

    Customer: “How the f*** do you know?!”

    New Employee: “Because, it’s for a summer sale, and it is currently February. Second, if we had that item at a great price and you wanted it but could not find it, I would do my best to track it down in-store for you. If we didn’t have it here, I would call other stores for you. The simple truth is that we don’t carry that particular item.”

    Customer: “How the f*** do you know?”

    New Employee: “Because, sir, it’s an adult novelty, and this is a children’s clothing store.”

    (Security arrives and escorts the customer out of the store.)

    Me: “I don’t know how you were able to stay so calm! You almost sounded bored! I don’t think your expression changed the entire time!”

    New Employee: “Oh, I have a lot of trouble with body language. I figured out a long time ago that when I get confused, it’s better not to respond at all, because usually I laugh and it makes them angry.”

    (She’s now one of our area supervisors, and is actually better at handling the rare aggressive customer we get than our security team. This is because, apparently, a person who can’t be intimidated makes people uncomfortable.)


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