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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!

    He Came First

    | ACT, Australia | At The Checkout, Health & Body, Rude & Risque

    (Two customers enter at the same time. One is a woman, and the other is a man in his 70s. I get their scripts ready. As the woman is done first, I send her up to the tills while I finish with the man. Since there is another customer at the tills, I end up putting the man through before the woman is served.)

    Woman: “I was here first! How come he is served before me? What does he have that I don’t?

    (The man responds without a second thought.)

    Man: “Raw sex appeal.”

    (If I was allowed to discount scripts, I would have given him his for free.)

    Shrewd With Shoes

    | Kansas City, KS, USA | At The Checkout, Criminal/Illegal, Liars & Scammers, Theme Of The Month

    (My manager is helping a customer and her daughter find a pair of shoes for the girl.)

    Manager: “This style has gone to clearance, so this is the only size we have left.”

    Customer: “Okay. Let’s try those on, and see if they fit her.”

    (My manager leaves the customer’s to try the shoes on. A few minutes later they come through my line to check out. The shoes are not in their pile of clothing.)

    Me: “So, you decided against those shoes?”

    (The customer seems flustered.)

    Customer: “Yeah, no. They didn’t fit.”

    Manager: “Since you aren’t purchasing them, could I have those shoes? I have another customer wanting to try them on.”

    (The customer points vaguely to the shoe section. My manager cannot find the shoes, so acting on a hunch, she calls security. I finish the customer’s transaction and bag her items. Security arrives a minute later, and the customer flees the store with her bags. Several minutes later, my manager and a security guard approach my register, holding the pair of shoes the customer said she left on the floor.)

    Manager: “I am going to have to write you up.”

    Me: “What? What did I do?”

    Manager: “You didn’t notice that woman had a pair of high top sneakers stuffed into her jacket! She threw them onto the ground as she was running. But since you checked her ID against her credit card and got all her information, I think I can let it go this time!”

    (Thankfully she was joking, and I wasn’t written up. She later testified in court against the customer, getting the thief’s name from the credit card she had used when I rang her up.)

    He Already Has Enough Issues

    | AB, Canada | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Spouses & Partners

    (One of my co-workers is checking out a couple.)

    Cashier: “Alright, so your total is [total].”

    (The wife starts paying with debit. Her husband is scanning our magazines at the side of the till.)

    Husband: *to the cashier* “Excuse me, miss? Can I get a magazine?”

    Cashier: “Oh, sure, I don’t see why not. We can do it as a separate transaction if you’d like?”

    Husband: “Oh? I have to buy them?”

    Cashier: *laughs* “Yes, sir. You would have to buy it.”

    Husband: “Oh… well then, never mind.” *turns to his wife* “This b**** won’t give me a magazine!”

    Wife: “Shut up; you’re being an a**!”

    (The two customers leave and the cashier turns to me.)

    Cashier: “I really hope he was drunk. If not, then what just happened?”

    Gift (Of Life) Box

    | Canada | At The Checkout, Awesome Workers, Family & Kids

    Customer: “Do you guys sell watch gift boxes?”

    Co-worker: “Yes we do!” *she pulls one out* “Will this do?”

    Customer: “Hmm, no. I need something a bit bigger. I need one large enough to fit a pregnancy test!”

    (My co-worker and I are leaning down, looking for a larger gift box. It takes a minute for us to process what she says.)

    Co-worker: “Oh! Congratulations!”

    Customer: *looking teary-eyed and grinning widely* “Thanks so much! I am so excited!”

    (My co-worker found her a box, and gave it to her on the house!)

    Purchasing Blood Wine

    | Atlanta, GA, USA | At The Checkout, Bizarre, Food & Drink, Underaged

    (I see two guys who appear to be in their early 20s approach a self-checkout machine with a case of alcohol. One of them appears to have some tissue in his nose. The other is acting nervous. Given the exchange of money between the two, I suspect a third party purchase.)

    Me: “Good evening, gentlemen. I’ll just need to see both of your IDs before I approve the sale.”

    (The customer with the item in his nose scowls and turns his nose up at me, revealing the dangling string of a tampon.)

    Customer: *angrily* “Why do you need to see his ID? I’m buying it.”

    Me: “Sir, it’s the law and store policy that I check the IDs of everyone in the party purchasing alcohol.”

    Customer: “I guess I’m not buying this then, since he’s under 21!”

    (He storms off, leaving alcohol on counter.)

    Customer at the next machine: “What the h*** was that? Did he really just try that? And with a tampon in his nose?”


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