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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!

    A Tale Of Faulty Thieves

    | ON, Canada | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Top

    (A family, wife, husband and teenage daughter, bring items to my till, and I start to scan them.)

    Father: “We’re not done yet!”

    Me: “Oh…”

    (They leave their items at my counter and continue to look around. Any time they see something they want, they bring it to my counter and then leave again. It is not busy, so I just scan and bag the items as they drop them off. They finally come with the last item, totaling their bill to over $200.)

    Father: “Is everything done?”

    Me: “Well, it’s not paid for.”

    Father: “I know that! Is it all scanned!?”

    Me: “Yes.”

    Father: *to his wife and daughter* “Okay, you guys can take this stuff out to the car then.”

    Me: “Oh, actually, you have to pay first before you leave the store with the items.”

    Father: “EXCUSE ME!?”

    Me: “You can’t leave the store with unpaid merchandise.”

    Father: “You calling me a thief!?”

    Me: “No, I’m just telling you that you have to pay first.”

    Father: “I don’t have to pay before I take your items! I’m a customer!” *to his daughter* “Take the stuff to the car!”

    Me: “Please don’t.”

    (The daughter is now confused and throws her arms up in the air in frustration.)

    Father: “Don’t you tell my daughter what to do!”

    Me: “Um, she can’t leave the store without unpaid merchandise.”

    Father: “You think my card is going to decline!?”

    Me: “I don’t know, but you still have to pay first.”

    (The father rams his card into the machine and stomps his fingers on the keypad. It declines.)

    Me: “It didn’t go through.”

    Father: “This is ridiculous!” *he rams his card up the machine again*

    Me: “You have to wait until the machine is ready.”

    (He rips his card out of the machine and then rams it up the machine again, and hits the buttons extremely hard. It approves and he starts to storm off without his receipt. Then he comes storming back and rips the receipt out of my hand and points to me.)

    Father: “YOU WERE CALLING ME A THIEF!”

    Me: “No, I wasn’t. No one lets customers leave a store with unpaid merchandise!”

    Father: “I am a paying customer! You should be fired for accusing me of stealing! This is the worst customer service I have ever had!” *storms off again*

    Purchasing Identity Crysis

    | New York, NY, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior

    (Usually, Black Friday at our store is organized and lined up, but it usually leads to people getting impatient and loud with us. If one person holds up the line, the rest get extremely upset. It’s the worst when customers trade a whole bunch of games to us when there’s a huge line behind them.)

    Coworker: “Okay, so the total amount of these trades that you’ll be getting back would be $54.46 in store credit, or $23 in cash.”

    Customer: “Are you serious?! I paid over hundreds of dollars for these games and they cost only $20 in cash? You guys are thieves! Just give me my damn cash then!”

    Coworker: “Well, I don’t control the prices here, sir. Alright, so I’d like to see your State ID please so we can continue to process these trades.”

    Customer: *getting paranoid* “Why do you want to see my ID? Obviously I look old enough to trade games, don’t I? I’m not giving you my ID. Thieving my identity!”

    Coworker: “I can’t process the trade without seeing some State ID, sir.”

    (I overhear the issue, and notice that people are getting edgy in line because this man is holding it up. I approach my co-worker.)

    Me: “What’s going on here?”

    Customer: *rudely interrupts my coworker before he can reply* “Your employee here is trying to steal my identification and gives me a BS amount on my games so he can sell it back on the wall for twice of what it’s worth!”

    Me: “Sir, we don’t control the trade amounts and that’s how the prices are processed. Business is business, but we’re not trying to swindle or steal anything from you, I can assure you.”

    Customer: “Then why do you need to see my ID for the games? Just take them and give me my f***ing cash!”

    Me: “It’s store policy and for authority purposes only. We would have no reason to take your ID but we cannot go through with the transaction if we can’t see your ID, so that means you won’t be getting your cash at all unless we just see the ID for a minute and we’ll hand it right back to you.”

    Customer: *huffs and holds out driver’s license* “Here but don’t touch it!”

    (My coworker strains to see the information to type in, because the customer refuses to stand any closer with it and complete the process.)

    Customer: “Can you put the cash on my credit card?”

    Coworker: “Sure, just swipe your card here and I’ll see the last four digits of your credit card.”

    Customer: “Why do you need to see all this personal information!? You guys are stealing from me, you a**holes! Not only my games but from me, too!”

    Me: “Sir, you’re holding up the line. If you plan to make a scene, please speak with my manager so he can explain it to you.”

    Manager: *already hearing the outburst* “Honestly, we’re not trying to steal anything from you and these games aren’t even worth it. Somehow, you’re making it worse for yourself by shouting because you’re raising suspicion on yourself. I would greatly appreciate it if you would just realize the fifty something people behind you and get this over with because most of them here have done a trade themselves and not once have they complained about any thievery. Now, please, restrain yourself because there’s children here, or I’ll ask you to leave the store and keep your games with you.”

    (The customer grumbles obscenities under his breath, and holds out his card in an annoyingly far distance yet again, then proceeds to sign and storms out.)

    In Need Of A Reality Check

    | Australia | At The Checkout, Awesome Customers, Top

    (I work retail as a cashier. I’m serving a couple that looks to be between 25 and 30, while behind them is a smiling old man with a cane no younger than 80. All of them are followed by a line that just keeps getting longer. The couple has handed me a check to pay for their goods, and this is a lengthy process. I’m half-way through the transaction when they get impatient.)

    Female customer: “Look, I don’t have all day.”

    Me: “Sorry ma’am, but this is the process I have to take for all checks. Unfortunately, it takes a while.”

    Male customer: *tapping his fingers on the desk* “Can you just hurry up? Geez! Keeping these people waiting!”

    (By this point my line is 10 people deep, and I’m beginning to get a bit stressed. The couple is still trying to hurry me along, but I’m going as fast as I can. Finally, I finish and hand them their receipt.)

    Male customer: “Finally! That only took all day! Maybe if you weren’t so slow we’d have been out of here by now!”

    (Suddenly, the elderly man behind them pipes up.)

    Elderly customer: “I didn’t know they still let you pay by check!”

    Me: “They do, but unfortunately it’s a lengthy process.”

    (The elderly customer continues to speak loudly, within earshot of the couple I just served.)*

    Elderly customer: “Hmph! Sounds to me some people just need to get with the 21st Century!”

    Young couple: *glares at elderly customer*

    Elderly customer: *waves and smiles*

    To And Fro Is The Way To Go

    | Houston, TX, USA | At The Checkout, Awesome Customers, Top

    (It’s the holiday season, and I’m shopping for DVDs as gifts for my family. I see a movie that I want to get for myself, but decide against it. A few minutes later, I change my mind, but the movie has disappeared. I take the rest of my purchases up to the counter, where I notice the customer in front of me is about to buy the movie I was looking for.)

    Me: “Ah, so that’s where it went.”

    Other customer: “Pardon me?”

    Me: *chuckling* “I was thinking about getting that DVD, but when I went back to the shelf, it was gone. I couldn’t figure out what happened to it.”

    Other customer: “Here you go!” *hands me the DVD*

    Me: “Thanks, but I don’t really need it. You go ahead.” *I hand the DVD back to her*

    Other customer: “If you want it, by all means, please take it.” *she hands me the DVD again*

    Me: “Are you buying this as a gift?”

    Other customer: “Well, yes, but…”

    Me: “Then you should definitely take it. I’ll pick it up some other time.” *I hand the DVD back to her*

    Other customer: “Are you sure? Because I can easily find something else.”

    Me: “I’m positive, but thanks again.”

    (At this point, we realize the cashier is staring at us with wide eyes.)

    Other customer: “Miss? Is everything okay?”

    Cashier: (emotionally) “You two are the only nice customers I’ve dealt with all day!”

    A Negative Shopping Experience

    | NH, USA | At The Checkout, Language & Words, Top

    (I am ringing up a customer.)

    Me: “Good afternoon, sir. How are you?”

    Customer: *remains silent as I scan his items*

    Me: “Are you a member of the store rewards program?”

    Customer: “No.”

    Me: “Have you heard about the program?”

    Customer: “No.”

    Me: “Do you care about the program?”

    Customer: “No.”

    (The ustomer swipes his debit card and puts in his pin.)

    Customer: “I can say more than ‘no’, you know. ”

    Me: “I don’t doubt it, sir. Would you like cash back?”

    Customer: “No.”

    (Thankfully, he had a sense of humor; after his last reply, we both looked at each other and laughed.)


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