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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!

    Cold Customers To Calculating Staff

    | Ashford, Kent, UK | At The Checkout, Math & Science

    (Working on the till can sometimes get a bit boring and repetitive, especially when having to ask the same questions over and over again. To keep my brain busy, when a customer pays with cash I sometimes work out the change in my head before the till tells me what it is.)

    Me: “Your change today will be [amount].”

    (I enter the amount of money given into the till. Sure enough, I am correct with the change.)

    Customer: “You knew it beforehand? How did you know?”

    Me: “Um, mental arithmetic?”

    Customer: “No, no! You work in a shop! You shouldn’t know math! Honestly, what next?!”

    Coffee Cookie Kindness

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

    (It is a busy Sunday morning, and I accidentally turn my register off. It takes about five minutes for the system to completely reboot and get back up and running. In that time a customer has pulled into my drive-thru lane.)

    Me: “Sorry, it should be just a minute before I can get your order in.”

    (As I say this, my computer crashes and I have to reboot it again. Since there is a line of customers ahead of them, they can’t pull up to the window to order either.)

    Me: *over the speaker* “I am so sorry about this! As soon as we get the line moving, I can get your order in at the first window.”

    Customer: “Don’t worry about it; we’re not in a hurry. Take your time!”

    (It takes two more minutes before I can get their coffee order in and they get to the first window to pay. They speak to my coworker.)

    Coworker: “Hello folks! Sorry it took so long. Your order has been paid for already, so go ahead and drive up to the next window.”

    Customer: “Paid for? Who paid for our order?”

    Coworker: “Actually, the girl that took your order felt so bad about her computer crashing she paid for your coffees.”

    (They leave a verbal thank you for me and leave. I think this is the end until an hour later the manager is screaming my name.)

    Manager: “What did you DO?!”

    Me: “I don’t know; what happened?”

    (The manager shows me the huge tray of piping hot homemade cookies. Apparently the customer’s wife decided to repay my kindness and made us all cookies! Best day of work ever!)

    If A Tree Falls In A Dollar Store…

    | OK, USA | At The Checkout, Bizarre

    (I work in a dollar store that has a lot of varying inventory. It’s not uncommon for people to come in and ask me if we have received a particular item in on the truck.)

    Me: “Did you find everything you were looking for today?”

    Customer: “Yes I did. I love coming in here and seeing all the new stuff you get. But I have a question.”

    Me: “Sure, if I can’t answer it I’m sure I can find someone who can.”

    Customer: “If I’m looking for something and I can’t find it, is it free?”

    Me: “I would suppose so. If we don’t have it, I can’t charge you for buying it.”

    Customer: “So if I look around and I do find it?”

    Me: “Then you found it and it’s no longer free.”

    (The customer thinks for a second while I finish ringing him up, pays, and turns back to me as he’s walking out.)

    Customer: “You win this round; can I go home now?”

    Me: “I assume so; I’m not stopping you.”

    (The customer walks out happy as can be.)

    War On Terrible Customers

    | CA, USA | At The Checkout, Food & Drink, Military

    (My husband and I are waiting in line. There is a customer in front of us that is finishing up her transaction, and a younger customer in the line behind us. The customer cashes out but then tells us it will be just one more minute since she has to ring up some other items in a separate transaction.)

    Younger Customer: “Oh my God, lady! Just hurry up already! People have places to be you know!”

    Customer: *turning to speak to us* “I’m so sorry; I just needed to ring my personal items up separately. You see, I volunteer to send care packages to our troops overseas and need to keep the donated items separate from my personal stuff.”

    My Husband: “Oh, no problem. It’s really awesome of you to do that! Take your time.”

    Customer: “I figure it’s the least I could do in exchange for everything they do for us.”

    (By this point, the younger girl behind us starts groaning again and I turn around and shoot her a dirty look. She turns a little red and looks away.)

    Customer: *after finishing her last transaction* “Oh dear, I forgot to scan these last few items. Oh well, I guess these will just have to be put back. I’m so sorry for the inconvenience!”

    My Husband: “Here, let us pay for those. Just stick them with our stuff.”

    Customer: “Oh, okay, thank you! Here you go. Have a wonderful evening.”

    (We put the items through on our order and just as the last one is scanned, the customer starts to walk away.)

    Me: “Ma’am, wait! Don’t forget about these!”

    Customer: “Oh, you guys are buying them for the care packages? I thought you were just going to keep them for yourself so they wouldn’t have to be put back. Oh my goodness, that is just the nicest thing!” *starts welling up* “You didn’t have to do that. You are such good people. Thank you so much! I know they will be appreciated!”

    (At this point, the customer comes back and gives us a hug before walking off. The younger customer starts unloading her cart full of stuff on the belt, but as soon as our transaction is finished, the checker decides to close the lane, forcing her to go stand in a line with about 10 other people waiting. Serves her right!)

    Can’t Get A Handle On The Situation

    | NB, Canada | At The Checkout, Language & Words

    (We sell brooms and mops, but we also sell a variety of replacement broom handles and broom and mop heads, all of which fit with each other. I get called to the cash for customer service.)

    Customer: *in French* “Yes, my father was in here yesterday and bought me five mop handles, but he never brought the mop heads.”

    (I figure he left them behind at the cash, and the customer has come to retrieve them. She hands me her receipt, and I see he only paid for the mop handles, not the heads. She cuts me off before I can speak.)

    Customer: “Yes, so I can’t really do much without the mop heads you know. Somebody should have told him. I’m going to need the mop heads.”

    (I realize that the customer thinks they come together, and wants me to correct ‘our mistake.’ She cuts me off again, speaking to her friend in French.)

    Customer: *in French* “I don’t think this girl understands a word I’m saying. This store is unbelievable. Their manager doesn’t even know what I’m talking about. I should—”

    Me: *in perfect French* “Yes, ma’am, I understand perfectly. Your father came in yesterday and bought you five mop handles, but forgot to buy mop heads to go with them. That is unfortunate, given that you had to come back today to buy them. However, as they are sold separately and do not come together, and customers often buy one or the other as replacements, my cashiers would have had no reason to believe that he had forgotten to pick them up or remind him. If you would like to buy some mop heads, I can show you exactly where they are; just follow me.”

    (The customer turns bright red, and her friend turns away trying to hide her laughter.)

    Customer: “Oh, uh… no it’s okay, thank you. I’ll find them myself. Thank you.”

    (The customer practically ran away to the cleaning department, paid for her mop heads without ever making eye contact with anybody, and left quickly. I’ve never seen her since.)

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