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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!

    She’s A Bad Penny

    | Ashford, Kent, UK | At The Checkout, Awesome Customers, Money, Top

    (I work in a department store with a food hall. Company policy is to charge 5p for carrier bags in the food hall, and has been for several years. A woman walks up to the till with a few items and a backpack on.)

    Me: “Hello, do you need a bag?”

    Woman: *not paying much attention* “Yeah.”

    Me: “Is a 5p bag okay?”

    Woman: “Yeah.”

    (I charge her for the bag and scan/pack her shopping.)

    Me: “That’s [price], including the 5p bag charge.”

    (She pays for her shopping using her credit card, then stops just as she is about to leave.)

    Woman: “Was I charged for this bag?”

    Me: “Yes, it cost 5p.”

    Woman: “Well, I don’t want it then!”

    (She tips her shopping out of the bag, back onto the counter, and then starts putting it in her backpack.)

    Woman: “I want a refund!”

    Me: “I’m sorry, I’ve closed the till, and only a manager can open it. I’ll just call one over for you.”

    (I call a manager, but they’re all busy with other customers.)

    Woman: “Hurry up! I want my money!”

    Me: “I’m sorry to keep you waiting.”

    (A little old lady, waiting in the queue, gets fed up and takes 5p out of her purse.)

    Little Old Lady: “Here you go, dear. Now off you trot!”

    (The woman takes the 5p and leaves.)

    Me: *to the little old lady* “Thank you so much!”

    Little Old Lady: *smiles* “I don’t see why people like you and I have to put up with people like her!”

    Careless Carers

    | MI, USA | At The Checkout, Criminal/Illegal, Family & Kids, Top, Wild & Unruly

    (I work in a large retail center, and we are highly understaffed. I work in the outdoor department, and stop to help a caretaker with a child; they’re looking for a baseball glove.)

    Me: “Hello, do you need some help?”

    Caretaker: “I’m just trying to get this d*** kid to wear this glove.”

    Me: “…Excuse me?!”

    Caretaker: “Yeah, I work as this brat’s caretaker, and he won’t put his hands in the glove.”

    (I lean down to help the child, speaking softly and quietly, as he seems frightened. This only seems to enrage the caretaker further.)

    Caretaker: “How dare you, b****… talking s*** to him about me?! You’re a d*** stupid loser and that’s why you work here!”

    Me: “Pardon me, ma’am, I wasn’t talking about you. And please, don’t call me stupid; you do not know me.”

    Caretaker: “Why do you work here if you’re not an idiot?”

    Me: “I’m still working on my RN, so I can be more than a caretaker with a nasty attitude.”

    (The caretaker walks away, still cussing at the child. I call security and ask them to follow her and be sure she doesn’t hurt the boy. Meanwhile, I am called up front to work on the register. Of course, the same caretaker is in line.)

    Caretaker: “Hurry it up, b****! I spend my hard earned money on these groceries. Don’t waste my time.”

    Me: “Okay, ma’am… your total is $100.67.”

    Caretaker: “Here. Use my food stamps.”

    Me: “Okay, ma’am.”

    Caretaker: “Unless you’re too f***ing dumb to know how to do that.”

    (I finish ringing her up, but before she pushes her cart away, two sheriffs walk up and place handcuffs on her. Unbeknownst to me, she had, in fact, struck the child after I dealt with her the first time.)

    Sign Up For A Rewards Karma

    | Concord, NH, USA | At The Checkout, Awesome Customers, Money, Top

    (The store is having a big sale on all dog costumes because it’s 10 days away from Halloween. You must have our rewards card, which is free, to get the sale price.)

    Me: “Alright, do you have a rewards card? The costume is on sale today.”

    Customer: “No, thank you.”

    Me: “Are you sure? You could save a bit of money. It’s completely free to sign up.”

    Customer: “I said no! God! You people!”

    Me: *taken aback* “Alright. Your total is $16.99.”

    Customer: *mumbles* “Stupid cards.”

    (She takes her receipt and starts gathering her things as I ring up the next customer, who is also buying a costume.)

    Me: “Alright, that’ll be $4.49.”

    Customer: “Hey! Why is hers so cheap?!”

    Next Customer: “Because I used the free card you rudely refused, after she tried to save you money.”

    (I try not to laugh as the rude customer storms out of the store, leaving her pet’s costume at my register. My thanks to the next customer who said what I couldn’t!)

    How Sweet It Is To Be In Line By You

    | KY, USA | At The Checkout, Awesome Customers, Family & Kids, Food & Drink, Top

    (My three-year-old daughter and I are waiting to check out with a few odds and ends. Unfortunately, the store has only one lane open and several people are waiting in line. I don’t mind, as my daughter and I decide to pass the time playfully sword-fighting with paint stirrers. When I turn to the side, I notice the couple behind me has just one little ream of Post-Its.)

    Me: *to the couple behind me* “Would you like to go ahead of us? You’ve got much fewer items than we do!”

    Lady: “But…you have a kid!”

    Me: “It’s fine! We’re just playing together! Go ahead!”

    Lady: “But kids sometimes get bored of waiting. Are you sure?”

    Me: “Of course! You just have one thing! She’ll be fine; I promise! C’mon, go ahead!” *I scoot aside*

    Lady: “Wow! Thanks!”

    (When it’s time for them to check out, the man holds up his hand to the cashier.)

    Man: “I’ll be right back!”

    (He scrambles over to the next aisle and picks up a package of M&Ms to add to the order. After paying, the man turns around with the package of candy and hands it to my daughter.)

    Man: “Here you go, kiddo!” *to me* “Thanks again for letting us go ahead of you!”

    (It really put a smile on the cashier’s face…and ours too!)

    Just Not Registering

    | Brisbane, QLD, Australia | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid

    (At my store, if a customer swipes their credit or debit card early, it can freeze the entire register. There’s usually a 10-15 second delay after telling the customer the final price and before they can swipe, but for some that’s too long to wait. The EFTPOS machines clearly display ‘PLEASE WAIT’ during the time the customer has to wait.)

    Me: “That will be $42.90. How would you like to pay for that today?”

    Customer: “On my card.”

    Me: “All right, please wait while the computer connects to the EFTPOS machine. I’ll let you know when to swipe.”

    Customer: *ignores me and swipes her card immediately*

    Me: “Please wait until I or the EFTPOS machine asks for your card.”

    Customer: “I’m in a hurry.”

    Customer: *swipes her card again*

    Me: “Ma’am, if you swipe early, it freezes the register, taking even longer. It will only be another ten seconds.”

    Customer: “No, it doesn’t! Do you think I’m stupid? I’ve worked in retail before!”

    Me: “I assure you—”

    Customer: *swipes her card again, freezing the register* “This isn’t working!”

    Me: “That’s because the register’s frozen.”

    (I page for a coworker and a manager to come to the registers. The coworker is there right away.)

    Coworker: “Hey, what’s up?”

    Me: “My register’s frozen. Could you please put this lady through yours?”

    Coworker: “Sure.”

    Customer: “But I’m in a hurry!”

    Me: “I’m aware of that, but it will be quicker than waiting for my register to restart.”

    (The customer goes to the register next to me where my coworker has already re-scanned her purchases.)

    Coworker: “That will be $42.90. Please don’t swipe your card until I tell you to, as it can freeze the registers.”

    Customer: “No, it doesn’t! I’m not stupid!”

    (My manager arrives.)

    Manager: “What’s wrong?”

    Me: “Nothing. I just need you to restart my register for me as it’s frozen.”

    Manager: “How?”

    Me: “Um… EFTPOS swiped too early.”

    Manager: “Didn’t you tell the customer not to swipe? Why didn’t you tell the customer not to swipe? I’m sick of this; you girls know that if the customer swipes their card early, it will freeze the registers! I’m sick of wasting my time having to restart your registers!”

    Me: “Maybe if we were allowed to face the EFTPOS machines towards us, then the customer wouldn’t be able to swipe early?”

    Manager: “No, that will only slow things down. You have to tell them not to swipe early!”

    (Meanwhile my customer is again trying to swipe her card early right next to me, and my coworker has leaned over the counter with her hand OVER the EFTPOS machine trying to stop her from doing so.)

    Customer: *to manager* “Hey, your girl won’t let me swipe my card!”

    Manager: “You have to wait until she tells you, otherwise it freezes the registers.”

    Customer: “Oh, really? Why didn’t anyone tell me that?!”


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