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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 Big Country Of Small Talk

    | UK | At The Checkout, Geography, Money

    (I work in a large retail clothing chain in the UK. The chain is actually an American brand, and popular in both countries. I am serving a customer at the till. I am always friendly to my customers, and always make small talk.)

    Me: “Hello, sir, how was your day today?”

    Customer: “Why do you want to know?”

    Me: “I was just asking, sir; you don’t have to tell me if you don’t want to.”

    Customer: “Quit the small talk. I don’t care what they tell you to say when I am here.”

    Me: “I am sorry, sir; that comes to [total]. Would you like to pay cash or card, sir?”

    Customer: “What’s with this ‘sir’ bull-s*** your giving me?! You should just stick to your job, and quit the small talk. No one wants to talk to you anyway!”

    (He throws his money on the counter, even though I am holding my hand out. I say nothing, and collect his change. He continues to rant at me.)

    Customer: “This is what is wrong with the world! People are becoming robots, and just saying things and not meaning them! It’s all fake smiles and stupid small talk!”

    Me: “I do not get paid any more or any less for talking to you, sir; I was just being polite. I am sorry if I offended you in any way. Have a nice day.”

    (The customer glares at me. His eyes go wide, and he starts to go red.)

    Customer: “HAVE A NICE DAY?! HAVE A NICE DAY?! THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT I MEAN! WE ARE IN ENGLAND! WE ARE NOT AMERICANISED! THIS IS ENGLAND! I SUPPORT OUR ECONOMY, AND I DEMAND TO BE TREATED LIKE AN ENGLISH PERSON!”

    Me: “Quite right, sir, we are in England as you correctly pointed out. However, you do realise that you have just spent money in this store, which happens to be an American company?”

    (He opens his mouth to retaliate, but he can’t when he realises what I have just said. The line of customers behind him all start laughing at him, as he walks away rather briskly!)

    The Machine Runs On Punch-Lines Of Code

    | PA, USA | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Food & Drink, Technology

    (I am working the self-scans, bagging a customer’s groceries. The customer puts two small plastic containers filled with olives on the belt. The self-scan is programmed not only to mention the price of an item, but also to weigh some items, and let people know if their item should be placed on the belt or not.)

    Self-Scan Machine: “Please take your item to the bagging area.”

    (The customer puts both containers on the belt instead of taking it to the bagging area, and watches as the belt doesn’t move.)

    Self-Scan Machine: “Please take your item to the bagging area.”

    (The customer puts her hand on both containers and instead of picking them up and giving them to me, she pushes them down the belt causing the self-scan to freeze.)

    Self-Scan Machine: “Please stand by. Help is on the way.”

    (The customer turns to me.)

    Customer: “Why do you need to help me?”

    Me: “Because you pushed your olives down the belt. You never have to put these on the belt. Just bring them to me so I can bag them.”

    Customer: “Oh! When the machine told me to bring these items straight down, I actually had to do it? I didn’t have to put them on the belt at all?”

    Me: “No, ma’am.”

    Customer: “I thought this machine was just joking with me.”

    Checking Her Out At The Checkout Just Checked Out

    | LA, USA | At The Checkout, Love/Romance, Top

    (My boyfriend is visiting me at work. He’s currently at the back of the store, looking at our soft drinks. I am ringing up a customer’s items.)

    Me: “Is this all you need, sir?”

    Customer: “No, I need your digits so we can go out sometime.”

    Me: “Not happening. Your total is $15.86, sir.”

    (He pays but he doesn’t leave. My boyfriend walks up to the counter with his drink. The customer nudges him with an elbow, and starts talking to him.)

    Customer: “What sort of guy do you think she goes for?”

    Boyfriend: “Well, she wants a guy who is smart, charming, witty, and funny in an off-beat kind of way.”

    (I am grinning as I nod.)

    Me: “Yep. He’d have to be 5’9; muscular but not beefy. He’d need hazel eyes, a light olive complexion, black hair, and a cheeky grin.”

    (My boyfriend smirks and the customer frowns.)

    Customer: “It sounds like she just described you.”

    Boyfriend: “That’s because she was describing me. She’s my girlfriend.”

    Customer: “Oh! I meant no harm, man!”

    (The customer runs out of the store with his bag, and we both start laughing.)

    Me: “You should visit me at work more often.”

    Drinking Shooters All Night Long

    | Calgary, AB, Canada | At The Checkout, Criminal/Illegal, Theme Of The Month, Top, Wild & Unruly

    (I’m in line at a local liquor store. The customer in front of me has clearly had too much to drink already, and is slurring his words when he speaks. The cashier is a smaller gentleman with long hair, who doesn’t look much older than 20.)

    Cashier: “Good afternoon, sir. What can I help you with?”

    Customer: “I’ll tell you what you can help me with; you can give me all the money you got up in this b****!”

    (The man proceeds to pull a gun out of his coat, which then falls to the ground. He stumbles after it, and points it towards the cashier, who hasn’t moved or said anything at this point.)

    Cashier: “Sir, please put the gun away.”

    Customer: “Not until you give me all your f****** money, you dumb-a** b****!”

    (At this point, I’m ducking behind one of the displays but can still see what is going on. Suddenly, the cashier reaches over the counter, presses the clip release on the gun, and takes the clip out. The inebriated customer looks shocked.)

    Cashier: “Sir, I’ve just recently returned from my tour in Afghanistan. I can tell that one, you have the safety on, two, this is an airsoft gun that you painted to look like a real gun, and three, you’re clearly far too drunk to fight back if I were to defend myself. So please, do yourself a favour; leave this store before I alert the authorities.”

    (The inebriated man looks down at his gun, back up to the cashier, and then drops the gun and runs out of the store before stumbling and passing out just outside. The other customers and I are laughing at this point.)

    Cashier: “Anybody want a free airsoft gun?”

    His Magnetic Personality Won The Day

    | Boston, MA, USA | At The Checkout, Bigotry, Health & Body, Love/Romance, Top

    (I am an African-American male. When I was 13, I was in a car accident that has left me with a little bit of a limp since. I have two metal rods in my leg from the accident. An elderly customer comes into my lane for checkout.)

    Me: “Hello, how are you today ma’am? Did you find everything you were looking for?”

    Elderly Customer: “Actually, I couldn’t find this brownie mix.”

    (The customer shows me a coupon for the mix.)

    Me: “Oh, I can get that for you! Just a moment!”

    (I start to walk away. My limp is showing, as it always is. I hear the woman speak up from behind me.)

    Elderly Customer: “Excuse me!”

    Me: “Yes?”

    Elderly Customer: “I know that you guys like to walk like that, but could you hurry? I’m in a bit of a rush!”

    Me: “What do you mean, ma’am?”

    Elderly Customer: “The way you young lazy n****** walk these days. I’m surprised your pants are even up!”

    (Now I get what she’s saying, and I feel I should show her something. We keep fridge-magnets for sale near the checkout. I call out to a nearby coworker)

    Me: “Hey, [coworker], can you toss me a magnet?”

    (My coworker tosses ones to me, and I stick the magnet to my leg.)

    Me: “My mother and I were hit by a drunk driver when I was 13 years old. I am lucky I can even walk, since my leg is held together by metal rods.”

    (The customer is now screaming incoherently; the only words that could be made out are racial slurs and shrieking. My manager walks up.)

    Manager: “Excuse me, but I’m going to have to ask you to leave the store immediately. You cannot speak to my employees like that.”

    Elderly Customer: “Fine! I don’t care! I wouldn’t buy anything any n***** touched anyway!”

    (The customer continues screaming the whole way out, slowly being drowned out by people cheering her out. When I look at who has been behind her in the line the whole time, I see the girl from the coffee shop next door. I have had a little crush on her for a while. She says that was the most amazing thing she has ever seen, and asks me out!)


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