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  • Always Time For A Rhyme
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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!

    No Produce Reduce

    | TX, USA | At The Checkout, Food & Drink, Money

    (The customer in question is our grocery store’s former produce manager. She was encouraged to ‘retire’, because she was caught raising the prices of the produce so her sales would be better. She has a return and a few items, so I do her return and scan her items to balance out the difference in which she only owes me one cent.)

    Me: “Okay, your total is one cent.”

    Customer: “That’s not right. The onions are ringing up wrong.”

    (I look at my screen, and the onions she bought were ringing up 68 cents a pound.)

    Me: “They’re only 68 cents.”

    Customer: “They are supposed to be 99 cents a pound! That’s what the sign says.”

    Me: “Those are for large onions. You bought medium ones.”

    Customer: “Well… I guess I’ll take them for that price, but your new produce manager needs to learn how to price things right.”

    (She storms out in a huff, and my manager walks over.)

    Manager: “Did she just… want to pay the higher price?”

    Me: “Yes… and while you’re here, I’m reaching into my pocket to get the penny that she forgot to pay me for her stuff.”

    In Line And Out Of Line

    | Durban, South Africa | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Family & Kids, Money, Top

    (I’m in line to pay. Customer #1 in front of me is about in his 40s, and very well-dressed in a suit and tie. Customer #2 in front of him seems to be a single mother with her child. I’m 25, and pretty shabbily dressed; wearing only faded jeans, an old, novelty Star Wars shirt, and have my long hair almost covering my eyes.)

    Customer #1: “Lady, can you hurry up! Some people are important and actually have places to be!”

    (Customer #2 is fumbling with her money. In her cart she only has basic groceries and what appears to be a birthday cake for her child. She mumbles something about not having enough money, and decides to leave the cake behind.)

    Customer #1: “Don’t waste everyone’s time if you can’t even pay for your s***! Or maybe you need another government handout that comes from my taxes?!”

    (At this point, I feel like I’ve got to step in.)

    Me: “Hey man, that’s enough!”

    Customer #1: “Who do you think you are? I’ll have you know I’m the [high profile position] at [large shipping company], and no one ever talks to me like that.”

    (Suddenly, I become much more respectful.)

    Me: “I’m so sorry, sir. I had no idea you were so important. Would you mind if I asked you for your business card?”

    (Customer #1 smugly hands me his card. I see he is, indeed, who he says he is.)

    Me: “And here’s my business card.”

    Customer #1: “Why the h*** would I want your—”

    (Customer #1 suddenly goes pale, as he notices that I am co-owner of [large shipping company].)

    Me: “Now that I know your name, I’ll be sure to phone your supervisor to ensure you’re put on probation. One more act like this and you’re fired.”

    (Customer #1 stammers for a bit, before practically running from the store. I end up paying for the mother’s cake, and even gave them a bit extra to buy the kid any toy from the store.)

    The Text Signaler Concurrence

    | Ashford, Kent, UK | At The Checkout, Geeks Rule, Theme Of The Month

    (I am on the checkout, chatting away to a woman and her daughter whilst putting their shopping through. Suddenly, the woman gets a text message on her mobile.)

    Phone: “Bazinga! Bazinga!”

    Me: “Um, did your phone just ‘bazinga’?”

    Woman: “Oh, yes, I have a text. Sorry about that.”

    Daughter: “You’re the first to recognize the word.”

    Me: “Oh, we love The Big Bang Theory. My dad has that as his text alert too.”

    Daughter: “I have the theme as my ringtone!”

    Me: “So do both my parents!”

    (We all talk about the show for a few moments before parting ways. The next customer comes up, having overheard the last part of our chat.)

    Next Customer: “I’m glad they’ve gone. They were in my spot.”

    Me: “Another fan?”

    Next Customer: “Oh yes…”

    She Also Speaks Ironic

    , | Brisbane, QLD, Australia | At The Checkout, Bigotry, Language & Words, Top

    (I manage a fast food restaurant. I’m currently serving a customer who is from East Asia. She is clearly new to the country, as she is having significant trouble with the transaction, and I’m finding it difficult to communicate. My coworker steps in.)

    Coworker: “Excuse me, where are you from?”

    Asian Customer: “I am from Korea.”

    (Suddenly, the next customer in line speaks up.)

    Customer: “Racist! You’re a racist!”

    Coworker: “Excuse me, ma’am?”

    Customer: “I said you’re a racist! It doesn’t matter where this young lady comes from, she should be welcome in your store. You should feel ashamed!”

    (The shouting customer turns to me.)

    Customer: “You! Do something about her!”

    Me: “I absolutely agree. You see, my coworker here is studying a master’s degree in Asian studies. She was just asking because she could process this transaction in Korean, Japanese, Mandarin, Cantonese or Indonesian, and didn’t want to look like an idiot by making an assumption about someone she didn’t know.”

    Got To Give Him Credit For Trying

    | Allentown, PA, USA | At The Checkout, Books & Reading, Liars & Scammers, Money

    (My husband and I are customers in a fairly long line at the bookstore’s register. A customer ahead of us puts pile of about 10 books on the counter.)

    Customer: “I’ll take these.”

    (He opens his wallet and pulls out one of those credit card-shaped pieces of tan card stock that has the words ‘CREDIT CARD’ around the edges and comes inside a new wallet to demonstrate where your credit cards would go. Other than the words ‘CREDIT CARD’ around the edges, the card is completely blank. There is no name, card number, card type, etc.)

    Customer: “Credit, please.”

    (The customer hands the cashier the ‘credit card’.)

    Cashier: “Uh…”

    Customer: “This is a new card from Citibank. They are switching to paper instead of plastic because it is better for the environment.”

    Cashier: “I don’t think—”

    Customer: “THIS IS A CARD FROM CITIBANK! I WANT TO SPEAK TO A MANAGER!”

    Manager: “How can I help you?”

    Customer: “I want to buy these books. Here is my credit card. It is a new card from Citibank; they are switching to paper from plastic to help the environment!”

    Manager: *very obviously trying not to laugh* “I… uh… I’m sorry, but only major credit cards are accepted here.”

    Customer: “I CAN’T BELIEVE THIS! YOU JUST LOST YOURSELF A SALE! I AM TAKING MY BUSINESS SOMEWHERE ELSE!”

    (The customer takes his ‘credit card’ and storms off.)

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