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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!

    Tipping The Scales Of Sobriety

    | OK, USA | At The Checkout, Bizarre, Money, Pets & Animals

    (I am ringing up a couple customers. The first is visibly drunk, but has been pleasant throughout the transaction.)

    Me: “That will be [total], sir.”

    Customer: “What’s that mean?”

    (He is pointing at our tip jar, which has a sign reading ‘Tipping: Bad for Cows, Good for Staff.’)

    Me: “You mean cow tipping?”

    (He stares at me, clearly very confused.)

    Me: “It’s a stereotypical redneck activity where you go out into a field and push a cow over while she’s sleeping.”

    Customer: “You… what? Why do you push the cows?”

    Me: “… because it’s funny?”

    (I spend another five minutes trying to explain the concept. He really tries to wrap his head around it but he’s just too inebriated to manage it. Finally, he gives up and walks off with his food. The second customer, who has witnessed all of this, steps up to the register. He’s laughing and gesturing to his flannel shirt and jeans.)

    Customer #2: “Don’t worry, honey. I’m a farm boy and I know what cow tipping is.”

    Me: “Oh, thank goodness.”

    Wallet Walkabout

    | Sydney, NSW, Australia | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Criminal/Illegal, Money

    (I work in a store with four departments, each with their own checkout counter. A woman approaches my counter and asks to make a payment on a layby. I ask if there is anything else she needs. I have a funny feeling about her.)

    Customer: “No, just this. I’ll be leaving now.”

    (I watch her leave, then get to a point and turn into a tight aisle of fabric which is better accessed from the other side. I walk up to her.)

    Me: “Is there anything else I can help you with today?”

    Customer: *eyes wide with shock* “I, umm, oh, I don’t know what it is… I haven’t touched it.” *quickly leaves*

    (I look down to find a ladies wallet in the rolls of fabric. I take it to my counter and page for the owner a couple of times. I then get stuck serving customers for 10 minutes before I take it over to the office. I pass by the fabric counter as I do.)

    Me: *to a coworker* “Is there anyone in the office? I have found a wallet.”

    Coworker: “Where did you find that? We’ve been looking for it. I was serving a customer who put it on the counter, went to pay, and it was gone.”

    Me: “Really?”

    Coworker: “Yes, and the woman who was behind her in the line left suddenly as we noticed. We both asked where she was going and I stopped her to ask if she had seen the wallet. She told me no. Then I watched as she went around the back of your department and you served her. I just figured she had forgotten something.”

    Me: “I had a funny feeling so followed her. She pretty much led me to where the wallet was hidden. *takes coworker to the spot*

    Coworker: “This is right where I stopped her. She must have thrown it into the fabric, the b****!”

    (We had no real proof but the woman was lucky that we didn’t report it as her layby contained her name and address. The other customer was so happy to have the wallet returned intact!)

    Not So Rewarding, Part 2

    | USA | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Money

    (Every winter my store offers a rewards program for store credit card holders. The program is heavily advertised, especially at the cash wrap. Regardless, this exchange happens at least once a day.)

    Me: “I see you’re paying with your [Store credit card]. Have you already enrolled in [rewards program]?”

    Customer: *hostile* “What’s that?”

    Me: “It’s a rewards program that—”

    Customer: “No! I don’t want anything to do with that!”

    Me: “Okay, your total will be—”

    Customer: *suspiciously eyeing rewards program advertisement* “What’s this 10% thing? I want 10%!”

    Me: “That’s [rewards program]. That—”

    Customer: “No! I don’t want it!”

    Related:
    Not So Rewarding

    Shouldn’t Be Listening

    | UT, USA | At The Checkout, Family & Kids, Money

    (I am a cashier at a popular craft store. A woman is purchasing lots of items for her daughter’s upcoming birthday party. Most of these items are little things, like individual lip balms and wrapped candies. We don’t have scanners at this store, so it takes me a good seven or so minutes to ring up all her items.)

    Customer: “This is all for my daughter’s birthday! Isn’t it wonderful?”

    Me: “Yes, it is. How old is she turning?”

    Customer: “Three. And she’s mommy’s little princess. She’s my pageant winner. We spend so much on pageants! Oh, it’s so expensive. I really shouldn’t be buying her all this for her birthday.”

    (The customer goes on and one like this as I ring up all her items. She keeps talking about her daughter’s pageants. Her little girl is sitting in the cart with a lollypop in her mouth, apparently too young to care about big birthday parties and pageants.)

    Me: “Do you have a coupon to use today?”

    Customer: “Yes, I do. 40% off right here.”

    (Her sum is quite large, so I make sure she understands.)

    Me: “You do realize that this is for 40% off one individual item, right?”

    Customer: “Oh, yes, yes. And it’s great because I really shouldn’t be buying all this. I really don’t have a lot of money.”

    (The customer doesn’t seem to have understood what I said about 40% off one item, not the entire purchase. After clarifying one more time, I process the coupon and finish the transaction. About ten minutes later she comes rushing back into the store.)

    Customer: “I didn’t get 40% off my purchase! I told you I shouldn’t be buying all of this.”

    Me: “Ma’am, I did tell you several times before finishing your transaction that the coupon was for 40% off one item, not the entire purchase. You told me you understood.”

    Customer: “Fine, Then I want to return most of this.”

    (She then proceeded to unload all the individual lip balms and candies she had purchased. It took me another ten minutes to process her refund, and then she swept out of the store muttering about how expensive the birthday party was turning out to be.)

    A Crime Against Closing Time

    | UT, USA | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests

    (I am working the register at a craft store. We are getting close to closing time, and make announcements over the PA system about every five minutes or so, warning customers to finish their purchases. About once a month there is a customer who comes in and wanders right up until the closing time before she comes to the register. Being at register one, I am the last cashier to close my till and have to wait until we’ve finished helping every customer that was in the store before we close the doors.)

    Me: “Did you find everything all right tonight, ma’am?”

    Customer: *sighs* “I suppose.”

    (As I ring up her purchases, she grabs a weekly ad from beside my register.)

    Customer: “Ooh, spring items are 40% off. Can I go look really fast before you finish ringing me up?”

    Me: “Ma’am, we’re closed.”

    Customer: “I’ll be quick.”

    Me: “Ma’am, you have already looked back there. We are closed, and as soon as I’m done with your transaction I am closing my till. If you’d like to take a look at our spring sale, you can come back tomorrow morning. We open at 10 am.”

    Customer: “I just want one item. I promise I’ll be quick.”

    (We are 15 minutes past closing, all my coworkers have closed their tills and cleaned up their respective areas, and are standing up at the front waiting, since we all have to leave the store together.)

    Me: “Ma’am, we are closed. And your total is [amount].”

    (The customer pays and trundles out of the store, finally.)

    Manager: “Way to be firm. I thought I was going to have to drag her out of the store.”

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