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  • Had It Up To Their Neck With Bad Customers
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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!

    Your Urgency Is Not My Emergency, Part 2

    | Kittery, ME, USA | At The Checkout

    (It is approximately five minutes past closing time at our drugstore. While my manager and I are counting the cash drawers, a man begins frantically banging on the doors and yelling at us.)

    Customer: “Why are your doors locked?!”

    Me: “I’m sorry, but we’re closed for the evening. We close at 9 and it is now almost 10 minutes past.”

    Customer: “But I just need one thing! It’s an emergency!”

    (I look over at my manager who sighs and nods. He puts one of the cash drawers back into the register while I unlock the door and let the man in.)

    Customer: “You’re lucky you decided to unlock that door! I was about to break it down!”

    Me: “What is it that you need? I can help you find—”

    (The man pushes past me. After waiting for a few minutes, my manager is fed up.)

    Manager: *yells toward the back of the store* “Sir? What is it that you need? Sir?”

    (There’s no response from the customer, so my manager starts to head back to find him. They nearly collide at the end of an aisle.)

    Customer: “Hey, watch it! I got what I need. Why are you so impatient?”

    Manager: “Because we are supposed to be on our way home by now! My children are waiting for me to read them a bedtime story. Please pay for your items and be mindful of the store hours from now on.”

    Customer: “Don’t talk to me like that! I’m a paying customer!”

    (The man comes up to my register and drops his items on the counter: a bottle of personal lubricant, a bag of chips, and a bottle of wine. The customer pays and leaves. My manager is fuming.)

    Manager: “THAT WAS THE BIG EMERGENCY?!”

    Related:
    Your Urgency Is Not My Emergency

    Sticking It To Sticklers For Stickers

    | Ottawa, ON, Canada | At The Checkout, Top

    (I’m a supermarket cashier and have 5 minutes left on my shift. I therefore put my “Closed” sign up as I finish with my current customers. However, a customer walks right past the sign and starts putting his items on the belt. Seeing as he only has a few items, I let it slide and serve him.)

    Me: “How are you today, sir?”

    Customer: “Fine…”

    Me: *begins ringing up his items*

    Customer: “Hey, my bread is supposed to be 50% off! It rang up full price!”

    (The customer shows me the pink “Reduction” sticker our store uses to discount certain items. This sticker was on the bottom of his bread.)

    Me: “Oh! No worries, sir. It’s an easy fix! Sorry about that.”

    (I proceed to void the bread, hit the “Reduction” key on my register, and then scan the bread again.)

    Customer: “How can you be a cashier if you’re going to miss obvious things like that! You shouldn’t be in the customer service industry if you’re going to be friggin’ oblivious! Gah, this is why I hate this store!”

    Me: “Sir… I’m only human. Human beings make mistakes and miss things sometimes, just like you missed my closed sign when you walked up to my cash. I, however, didn’t bother calling you out on it. Your total is $11.03.”

    Customer: *sheepishly looks at my sign* “…Debit.”

    Me: *big smile* “Have a WONDERFUL evening, sir.”

    Don’t Be A-Gas-t, Just Being Help-Fuel

    | Robeline, Louisiana, USA | At The Checkout, Money

    (It’s around closing time and two customers walk in. One is a regular and the other is a frazzled looking woman who is talking to herself while digging in her wallet.)

    Woman: *mutters to herself* “No money, but I need gas. I wouldn’t worry, but the fuel light is flashing…”

    (She glances my way and I notice that she’s on the verge of tears.)

    Me: “Ma’am? Can I help you?”

    Woman: “I really need gas but this is all I have.” *opens her hand to reveal $0.42*

    Me: “I know how that is. Tell you what… why don’t you go pump $5 and I’ll pay for it, okay?”

    Woman: *wide-eyed* “Are you sure?”

    Me: “Yes, I’m sure. Go ahead, I’ve got it.”

    (The woman walks out looking less distressed. However, the regular gives me a stern frown.)

    Me: “What?”

    Regular: “Why’d you do that?”

    Me: “Because I could only afford to let her get $5. If I wasn’t broke right now, I would have told her to go for $20.”

    Regular: “No, why did you let her get gas on your dime? She could have been lying for all you know!”

    Me: “She looked lost as a goose and terrified. I doubt she was lying. Even if she was, it’s my money, not yours.”

    Regular: “Hmph!” *pays for his items and leaves*

    (As for the woman, she actually came back in the store, wanting my address to send me the money but I insisted it was fine!)

    Best Not Berate Bob Or You’ll Get The Boot

    | New Jersey, USA | At The Checkout, Awesome Customers, Top

    (I go to my local post office several times a week. One the employees, Bob, always has a smile on his face no matter what. One day, I come in and see he’s the only one working. There’s a long line due to many large and complicated orders. A customer comes in behind me, sees the long line, and starts complaining about the slow service.)

    Customer: “It’s much faster at [other] post office. Don’t you think they are slow here?”

    Me: “No. I think there are a lot of people, it’s lunch time, and Bob there is going as fast as he can.”

    Customer: “They are much faster at [other] office.”

    Me: “No, they aren’t. That’s why I come here. Bob’s as fast as he can be. Look, he’s not slacking. You can see he’s working as fast as possible.”

    Customer: “But they are so rude here!”

    (Now I’m angry. This office, and Bob, in particular, is never rude.)

    Me: “No, they are not rude. They are nice, even when they have to deal with people like you.”

    Customer: *stomps around* “Well, I’m never coming here again! Everyone is rude and slow! Next time, I’m going to [other] office instead!”

    Me: “Why don’t you just go there now?”

    Customer: “I will!”

    (As she leaves, all the other customers nod in relief and the tension in the line disappears.)

    Bob: *still smiling, to me* “Thank you.”

    Don’t Vex The D-Rex

    | Alberta, Canada | At The Checkout, Bigotry, Top

    (At the music store where I work, two girls who are probably in their early-mid teens approach my till, hand in hand. I go through their rather long order, and after awhile they start getting really overtly sexual—feeling one another up, biting necks, etc.)

    Me: “Excuse me, but can you please not do that in the store? That kind of behavior isn’t really appropriate for public places and it makes some of our customers uncomfortable.”

    Girl #1: “What the f***? What’s wrong with kissing my girlfriend? F***ing homophobic b****!”

    Me: “Homophobia has nothing to do with it. Those kind of activities aren’t appropriate in public when they’re disturbing others.”

    (Girl #2 by this point seems completely uncomfortable, but Girl #1 just keeps rolling along.)

    Girl #1: “It’s a**holes like you that make this world horrible! You f***ing homophobe! How dare you tell me I can’t kiss my girlfriend in public! I wanna talk to your f***ing manager! I’m going to get you fired!”

    (The Manager on Duty has been standing nearby with a huge grin on his face.)

    Me: “Yo, wanna weigh in on this, boss man?”

    Manager: “No, no. I’ll let you break it to her…”

    Girl #1: *to my manager* “You’re not going to tell her off for being a homophobe?! What, do you have a problem with queer people too, you f***ing a**hole?!”

    (My manager just folds his arms and his grin gets even bigger.)

    Manager: “Not really. She’s also the last person I’d accuse of being homophobic.” *to me* ”So how’s your girlfriend, [me]?”

    Me: “Well, she got her certification and is working as an electrician. So, pretty well I think.” *to the girls* “Incidentally, I’m not a ‘homophobic b****’… I’m a raging dykeasaurus. I also know that there’s a time and a place for groping my girlfriend, and a mall full of people isn’t on the list. It’s called public decency and has nothing to do with your sexual orientation. Now, are you going to stop swearing and act like a big girl, or am I going to void this transaction and kick you out?”

    Girl #1 & Girl #2: *both look absolutely mortified and go quiet*

    (Later on, Girl #2 actually came back with a coffee shop gift card and apologized. She was as sweet as could be and totally embarrassed. She apparently loved the word ‘dykeasaurus’, though, and I got a $10 gift card out of it!)


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