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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!

    Do The Return, Feel The Burn

    | Cedar Rapids, IA, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior

    (I’m helping a customer, Customer #1, pick out a watch at a department store jewelry counter. Another customer, Customer #2, interrupts.)

    Customer #2: “Excuse me, I have a return. I had to wait in line at Customer Service just to be told I have to come up here.”

    Me: “I’ll be with you in a minute ma’am, I am helping this other lady at the moment.”

    Customer #2: “Well! I don’t have all day!”

    Customer #2: *to me* “You can return that for her.” *whispers* “Before she throws a fit.”

    (I do the return and turn back to Customer #1.)

    Customer #2: “EXCUSE ME! The customer service lady said you would ring this all out for me as well.”

    (Customer #2 holds up 2 boxes of shoes, some shirts, jeans and under garments.)

    Me: “Normally I would be able to, but as I said before I am helping this lady in watches. You can wait until I finish helping her or go up to the registers with your purchases.”

    Customer #2: “Well, I wouldn’t want to inconvenience you!”

    (Customer #2 storms off to the registers and stands in line, but continues to glare at me from afar.)

    Customer #1: “Whoa! Someone needs a nap!”

    The Dirty Dozen

    | MA, USA | At The Checkout, Top

    (I’m standing in line at the ’12 items or less’ self-checkout behind a nice yet flustered older lady. My hands are full of stuff for my lunch—can of soup, loaf of bread, etc. A second woman comes up behind me with an over-flowing carriage; she’s way beyond 12 items.)

    Older Woman: *reading from the screen* “Swipe card.”

    (The older woman looks around, but misses the card reader in front of her.)

    Me: “It’s right in front of you.”

    Older Woman: “Where?” *continues to look all around*

    Woman Behind Me: “Tsk.”

    Me: “Just extend your arm straight ahead…”

    (The older woman turns to face me and extends her hand, with credit card in hand, to me. I put my items down and point out the swipe area on the card reader in front of her. She’s finally able to finish her transaction; all this time, the woman behind me has been tapping her toes, shaking her head, etc. The older woman starts to leave with her purse still sitting on the counter.)

    Me: “Ma’am, your purse.”

    Older Woman: “Oh! Thank you. I wouldn’t have gotten far without that.” *takes her three items and leaves*

    Woman Behind Me: “Some people just can’t follow directions.”

    Me: “Like 12 items or less’?”

    Woman Behind Me: *turns bright red*

    I Don’t Work Here, Actually Worked Here, Part 3

    | Cape Cod, MA, USA | At The Checkout, Awesome Customers, Money, Themed Giveaway

    (I don’t work at the store, but my uniform is similar to the store I’m at. An elderly man asks me for help and even though I’m not an employee I help him with his list. I eventually finish my shopping and step into a line. I see the old man step up behind me, so I casually step out of line so he can check out his fewer items first.)

    Elderly Man: “Did you stop out of line so I could get in front of you?”

    Me: “Nope, I was looking at this magazine over here.”

    Elderly Man: “Well, you get right back in front of me.”

    Me: “No, that’s okay; you’ve got less items than I do, so you’ll go through faster.”

    Elderly Man: “Now you listen here, young lady: I’m older than you and you have to respect your elders. Now, respect me and get ahead.”

    (I still refuse and because it’s his turn to check out, he has no choice but to unload his items. I unload my things behind his while the man hands the cashier clearly too much money.)

    Elderly Man: “You see that insufferable young lady right there? I want you to use this money to pay for her things. Stupidly I thought she worked here, and even though she doesn’t, she helped me find all of my items and then let me go ahead of her. I want you to use that money but give her a condescending look for being such a nice girl.”

    Cashier: “You want me to scold her for being kind?”

    Elderly Man: “No, I want you to scold her for not listening to her elders. You give her a nice smile for being kind.”

    (The man then leaves and I’m checked out.)

    Cashier: “That was really the most interesting conversation I’ve ever had, and if he hadn’t paid for your items, I would have for being such an outstanding customer!”

    Related:
    I Don’t Work Here, Actually Worked Here, Part 2
    I Don’t Work Here, Actually Worked Here

    Marked Down But Not Giving It Out

    | Helsinki, Finland | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests, Money

    (It is the 1990s. We have ‘marks’ as our currency. I work in the grocery store, and my duty is to sell fish and other seafood. A women approaches me.)

    Customer: “Excuse me, can you change this thousand mark bill into one 500, four 100′s,one 50, four 10′s and ten coins of 1 mark?”

    Me: “I’m sorry madam, I can’t. I don’t have a cash register here at all and I’m afraid that even cashiers aren’t allow to change a thousand mark bill, because it is early in the Saturday morning and we need to have small change in our cash registers. But there’s no harm asking; the cash registers are over there.”

    Customer: “No, no, I meant that can you change this from your own money?”

    Me: “I’m sorry, I can’t. I’m a college student and work here only part time and since I’ve just paid my rent, I don’t even have that kind of a money in my bank account.”

    Customer: “I’m not interested what you have or don’t have in your bank account. I want you to change this for me. Take the money from your pockets.”

    Me: “Well, as I don’t have that kind of the money in my bank account, unfortunately I don’t have that kind of money in my pockets, either.”

    Customer: “I don’t believe you. Show me your pockets!”

    Me: *showing* “As you can see, the only thing in my pocket is this handkerchief.”

    Customer: “But you are a woman, you surely have a hand bag, don’t you?”

    Me: “Well, yes I do.”

    Customer: “So, where is it?”

    Me: “It’s in my locker, in our locker room.”

    Customer: “So, why won’t you go to your hand bag and fetch the money from there?”

    Me: “I’m afraid I can’t leave, because I’m the only seller here right now, and it wouldn’t be any use anyway. I can assure you that I don’t have 1000 marks in my purse either.”

    Customer: “So, why do you work here if you can’t even help a customer by changing my bill into a smaller bills and coins?”

    Me: “I work here because I need to finance my studies.”

    Customer: “Some fine financing! I can’t believe you won’t be able, or willing, to help me out!”

    A Moment Of Kindness Is Unquantifiable

    | Forest, VA, USA | At The Checkout, Awesome Customers, Themed Giveaway, Top

    (Our point of sale has crashed, meaning we can not accept cash. My coworker is in the back trying to fix it. Meanwhile, I am in the front handling more customers than I’ve seen my entire shift, while having to turn away those who don’t have cash. A woman walks in and orders a hot chocolate.)

    Me: “What size can I get for you?”

    Woman: “Just a small.”

    Me: “One moment; I will figure out what that will cost.”

    (The woman looks around at the other impatient customers, reaches in her wallet and hands me a $10.)

    Woman: “It looks like you’ve had a rough night. You can figure it out whenever you get the chance and keep the rest as tip.”

    Me: “No, ma’am! Really! That’s too much! It will only take a second!”

    Woman: “It’s really okay. Please keep it.”

    (That’s more than I normally make in tips in a week. I never saw the woman again.)


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