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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!

    Lucky Dollar Thirteen

    | OH, USA | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Math & Science

    (It is my first day working the cash register, and everything is going well. A customer approaches my register with a handful of items. At first, she can’t figure out which items she wishes to use for which promotions, constantly changing her mind. Then she wants to use multiple (expired) coupons on her purchase. I call my coworker over to help explain to the customer how the promotions and coupons work. We finally get her straightened out on the promotions, and then this exchange happens.)

    Customer: “Okay, I think I got it. Now, with this coupon I get one item free, right?”

    Me:” Yes, ma’am, one item up to $13.”

    Customer: “Okay, well, these items here are about $13 total. Can I use those?”

    Me: “No, ma’am, the coupon is for one item up to $13.”

    Customer: “Oh, okay. I’d like to use this item, then.”

    (She places her coupon on a $14 item.)

    Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but you can’t use the coupon to get that item free; it’s $14.”

    Customer: “But, you said $13.”

    Coworker: “Yes, up to $13, but that is $14.”

    Customer: “But, you said $13.”

    Coworker: “Yes, up to $13. THAT’S $14.”

    Customer: “But… didn’t you say $13?”

    Coworker:  Yes, the coupon is up to $13. That item is $14.”

    (This continues back and forth for nearly a minute.)

    Customer: “OH! You mean INCLUDING $13!”

    Coworker: “Yes?”

    Customer: “Well, the coupon should say that. I’ll find another item.”

    (The customer goes to get another item– We still don’t know if she understood a word we said. Since we don’t know how long the customer is going to take, I invite the next customer in line to come to the register.)

    Next Customer: *sets her items on the counter with a gracious smile* “I have four items and no coupons.”

    Me: “I am so sorry for your wait, ma’am…”

    Renamed And Shamed

    | UK | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Extra Stupid, Wild & Unruly

    (This takes place at our order collection till. The system is down and as such we can’t check whether customers’ orders are in or not. It’s also close to Christmas and we’re full of customers. A woman approaches my till.)

    Me: “…and what name—”

    Customer: *quotes her order number*

    Me: “Sorry, ma’am, our system is down. Can I please have the name it’s under?”

    Customer: “[Customer].”

    Me: “And how many items is it?”

    Customer: *sighs* “Can’t you just check?”

    Me: “Sorry, like I said our system is down. How many items are you expecting?”

    Customer: “One.”

    Me: “Okay, ma’am. I’ll go get it for you.”

    (I go into the stockroom and search under the initial of her last name. I can’t find any under her name. So I go back to the customer.)

    Me: “Hi, sorry. I can’t seem to find your parcel. Can you just write down the full name it’s under?”

    (Customer writes it down, sighing the whole time. I go back and still can’t find the parcel.)

    Me: “Is it possible it could be under another name?”

    Customer: “No! I think I know my own name! What kind of stupid question is that?!”

    Me: “I understand. It’s just, sometimes—”

    Customer: “Just go back and check! You know this is supposed to be a faster option! I’ve been waiting in this line for half an hour.”

    Me: “I apologise, ma’am.”

    (I go to the stockroom for the third time. This time asking for the delivery team to help me find it. They tell me to leave and cover other customers. while they continue searching. I go to the customer and tell her the delivery team are looking.)

    Customer: “You know, I’m getting sick of waiting!”

    (She continues ranting at me and ‘terrible service at this store’ until her phone rings.)

    Customer: *on the phone* “I’ve been waiting for ages! They’re all useless! It can’t be that hard to find a parcel for [Customer]. It’s not exactly a common name.”

    (Suddenly the customers face goes white and she looks away from me.)

    Customer: *hangs up phone* “It… er… it may be under [Different Name].”

    (Lo and behold it was under Different Name. And, surprise, surprise – I didn’t get an apology.)

    Not Very Closed Minded, Part 3

    | Minneapolis, MN, USA | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid

    (It’s just about closing time. I am preparing the paperwork and getting the tills counted. A customer walks in and heads back to look at the drinks. He’s still shopping when closing time hits, and we turn out the lights. I’m going to lock the doors, when a new customer starts walking up to the door I’m about to lock.)

    Customer: “Oh! You’re closing. I’ll go elsewhere.” *turns to leave*

    Me: “No, it’s fine. Come on in.”

    Customer: “Nah, it’s all right. I’ve worked retail; I know how much it sucks to get kept after close.”

    Me: “No, really. There’s already a guy in here. You won’t be slowing us down.”

    Customer: “Ah, okay, thanks.”

    (He comes in, heads straight to what he wants, and brings it to the counter. Elapsed time, 20 seconds. He sees I have the drawer open and am counting cash when he walks up.)

    Customer: “Are you counting out the drawer?”

    Me: “Yeah, just hoping to get a head start on getting out of here.”

    Customer: “Okay, I’ll use credit then. Thanks for staying open for me.”

    Me: “It’s no problem. Thank you for doing that!”

    (He swipes his card and heads out. After he leaves, the original customer comes up to the counter. He throws down a hundred dollar bill for his under-$10 purchase, then looks around at the darkened store.)

    Customer #2: “Are you guys closing?”

    Taiwannical Behavior, Part 2

    | Taiwan | At The Checkout, Bigotry, Geography, Politics

    (I am Caucasian and work in Taiwan. Taiwan is a de facto independent country, even though China claims otherwise. Chinese tourist are notorious for harassing the locals on that issue, but I never had to deal with that personally.)

    Customer: *rudely, as she enter the store* “You work here?”

    Me: “Yes, I do.”

    Customer: “You live in this city?”

    Me: “Yup, for many years now.”

    Customer: “Why you choose here and not Beijing?”

    Me: *cautiously, as I realize from her accent she is Chinese* “I like the life here.”

    Customer: “But Beijing is better! You should come to Beijing instead.”

    Me: “Beijing is probably very nice. Maybe I will visit someday.”

    Customer: “You better move. This city is no good. Beijing is better.”

    Me: “So, may I assume you are from Beijing?”

    Customer: *proudly* “Yes, I am!”

    Me: “Cool! So we are both foreigners here!”

    (She gave me a very black, angry look, then left the store without saying another word.)

    Related:
    Taiwannical Behavior

    Wish You Could Jew Something

    | Pittsburgh, PA, USA | At The Checkout, Bigotry

    (A heavily tattooed bald man walks in to the restaurant where I am working. I am at the register. The guy orders his lunch.)

    Me: “That’ll be [total].”

    Customer: “Good, you didn’t overcharge me. Last week there was some Jewish b**** who got my order wrong. Of course, what do you expect? F****** Jews.”

    (I grit my teeth and smile. He hands me a some money.)

    Me: “Here’s your change and your receipt. Have a good day sir.”

    (During the course of this conversation he insulted me, my brother, my mother, my grandfather, my late grandmother, and my best friend from school, all without knowing it. I kind of wish I could have told him, but I doubt my manager would have been happy!)

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