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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!

    Relationships, Like Hair, Can Be Parted

    | Glen Rock, NJ, USA | At The Checkout, Bizarre

    (A woman, her husband, and her sister are checking out on my line.)

    Customer: “Your hair is FABULOUS!”

    Me: “Thanks!”

    Customer: “Can I touch it?”

    Me: “Uh… sure.”

    Customer: “How old are you?”

    Me: “21.”

    Customer: “Are you married?”

    Me: “No.”

    Customer: “We have sons.”

    Me: “Oh, that’s nice, but I have a boyfriend.”

    Customer’s Sister: “…and they have girlfriends.”

    Customer: “I don’t care! Think about the babies they would have! Good hair genes!”

    Me: “Here’s your receipt. Have a good day!”

    Customer: “GOOD HAIR GENES!”

    Needs To Press Paws

    | NC, USA | At The Checkout, Awesome Customers, Bad Behavior, Criminal/Illegal, Pets & Animals, Top, Wild & Unruly

    (I am cashier at a pet store. I see a man walk into the store, pick up a large and expensive coffee table book on show dogs, and get in my line. My manager has warned me, and shown me a picture of this man. He tries to convince cashiers to give him a refund for items he has just stolen. I immediately page my manager, who, unbeknownst to me, is tied up with a minor medical emergency in the back of the store.)

    Thief: “I want to return this item.”

    Me: “Do you have a receipt?”

    Thief: “No.”

    Me: “I’m very sorry, sir. Without a receipt, I cannot give you a refund.”

    Thief: “Give me a refund.”

    Me: “Sir, I watched you pick that book up when you came in. I know you did not buy it.”

    Thief: “Give me the f****** money, or I’ll kick your a**.”

    (Most of the customers in my line start backing away.)

    Me: “Sir, I cannot give you any money, and if you leave with that item I will call the police. Please leave the store.”

    Thief: “You little a**-hole!”

    (The thief grabs the front of my shirt, and rears his arm back to punch me. I throw my arms up to shield my face. Out of the corner of my eye, I see a flash of movement. The next thing I see is a spatter of blood on my counter, and the man out cold on the floor with a bloody nose. My manager, with a paramedic from the earlier emergency, walks up.)

    Manager: “What the heck just happened?”

    (As I tell my story, an assistant manager calls the police, opens another line, and checks out the waiting customers. The paramedic starts checking on the man, who has a clearly broken nose. The man slowly regains consciousness, and points to me.)

    Thief: “She assaulted me! I’m going to sue!”

    (I talk to the police.)

    Me: “He grabbed me, but I never hit him. I don’t know how he got hurt!”

    (The man, a known criminal, is handcuffed and put in the police car. The officers and my manager go to review the security cameras. About ten minutes later, I get called to come back to the office.)

    Manager: “You have got to watch this!”

    (The camera footage clearly shows the man getting the book, getting in line, arguing with me, and then grabbing my shirt. At that moment, the customer in line after him, a tiny, middle-aged Asian woman, leaps up, grabs the hair on the back of his head, slams his face into my counter, and then calmly steps back to where she had been standing. She did it so quickly, that we have to run the footage back on slow to see exactly what she had done. After the thief is out cold, she walks over to the new line that the assistant manager opened, buys her bag of cat food with cash, and leaves without a word. Apparently, the other customers either didn’t see what she did, or decided to keep their mouths shut. We have no idea who she is, and we never see her again. The thief was charged with assault on me, and arrested. Wherever you are lady, thanks! You’re my personal super hero!)

    Cashier Doesn’t Register The Cash

    | Glasgow, Scotland, UK | At The Checkout, Awesome Customers, Money

    (I’m showing a new employee the basics of working behind the counter. Everything is going well and it’s a quiet night, so I decide to call my mum and ask if she could lend me some money for the night. As I am on the phone, one of my regular customers comes in. I tell the new employee to have a go of the till on his own. I finish the conversation with my mum.)

    Regular Customer: “Hi, how are you?”

    Me: “I’m alright thanks, yourself?”

    Regular Customer: “Yeah, I’m not too bad. Were you asking your mum to borrow money there?”

    Me: “Yeah, I’m supposed to be going bowling tonight with my friends, but I’m a bit low on cash. She said it would be alright if I paid her back when I get my wages.”

    (We have a chat as we usually do. She tells me she was always borrowing money when she was my age.)

    Regular Customer: “Okay, well I hope you have a nice night!”

    Me: “I will, thanks a lot; see you later.”

    (She leaves, only to come back a minute later, and talks to me incredibly fast.)

    Regular Customer: “You’re always really friendly and have a chat with me. Here, take this; enjoy your night!”

    (She slams a £10 note on the counter, and runs off into the night before I can even say anything.)

    Me: “WHAT? WAIT! THANK YOU?!”

    (I try to catch her to tell her she doesn’t need to do that, but she is away in her car before I can even get out from behind the counter.)

    Me: “I… I don’t even know what just happened. That is the nicest thing that’s ever happened to me.”

    Coworker: “Does this happen a lot?”

    Me: “Never! This never happens. You just witnessed history.”

    Acting Like A Has-Bean

    | Yonkers, NY, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Food & Drink, Money

    Customer: “Excuse me, how much is one coffee bean?”

    Me: “One bean?”

    Customer: “Yes, just one.”

    Me: “Can I ask why you want a single bean?”

    Customer: “Just tell me the price!”

    Me: “Uh… well, they’re [price] per pound, so you could try to weigh one bean and work it out from there.”

    Customer: “Perfect!”

    (She weighs one bean. The scale comes up ‘0lb, 0oz’.)

    Me: “Well, I guess if you just want one bean you can take it, although you won’t get much coffee from it.”

    Customer: “That won’t be a problem.”

    (She grabs the entire stack of bulk bags, and begins placing a single bean in each one, weighing it, and then printing out a price tag.)

    Me: “Wha… hey! You can’t—”

    (My manager suddenly appears.)

    Manager: “Shush, let her finish.”

    (It takes the customer nearly half an hour to load up as much coffee as she wants. She proceeds to an automatic checkout, but after scanning her second free bean, the machine stops.)

    Automatic Checkout: “If you have combined two of the same item, please combine them.”

    Customer: “D*** it!”

    Manager: “Oh, I’m sorry. These machines can be kind of picky. I’ll get that for you.”

    (He stacks the entire mound of bagged coffee beans onto a scale, weighs it, and then presents her with the now massively inflated price.)

    Customer: “I… hey! I’m not paying that much! Put them back.”

    Manager: “I’m sorry, I’m not permitted to return food to the shelves once it’s been handled.”

    (They argue, and finally the shopper gives up and pays for the beans—and the bags. After the customer leaves, my manager returns.)

    Me: “She paid!? We were all expecting her to throw them on the ground and run out!”

    (I was actually correct! When I left the store, I noticed dozens of bulk bags strewn around the parking lot!)

    Bigotry Does Not Check Out

    | NJ, USA | At The Checkout, Bigotry

    (A male customer cuts in line at the check-out during Black Friday.)

    Customer: “B****! Get off your lazy a** and bag my items!”

    Me: “Excuse me?”

    Customer: “You heard me! Or didn’t you? All you woman are as useless as—”

    Next Customer: “Pardon my interruption, but you do realize you wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for you mother… A WOMAN? You call that useless?”

    (The customer leaves quickly, without eye contact.)


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