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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!

    It Isn’t The Coffee That Is Bitter

    | Phoenix, AZ, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Food & Drink

    (Our store serves mostly older customers and families. We promote a very friendly atmosphere, calling customers ‘hon’ and the like. An older customer comes in for a coffee.)

    Me: “Hi welcome to—”

    Customer: “I want a large hot coffee, with two creamers, and six sugars, and nothing else. And I want the senior discount.”

    Me: “Of course. After your discount, it comes to $2.06.”

    Customer: “Add the senior discount.”

    Me: “I already did, ma’am. Before the discount it was $2.29.”

    (The customer gestures to another customer.)

    Customer: “He got his for less. Why are you overcharging me?”

    Me: “He works here; it’s just his day off. The employee discount is different than the senior discount.”

    Customer: “Well, okay. So I owe you $1.73?”

    Me: “No, $2.06. The $1.73 on your screen is before tax. Right below that you should see $2.06.”

    Customer: “Thirty cents in taxes!?! I’m not paying that much!”

    Me: “I can’t control how much tax is ma’am. Here, how about I buy your coffee today.”

    Customer: “Two creamers, six sugars.”

    (I make her coffee, and she takes it outside. Less than two minutes later, she returns, fuming.)

    Customer: “This is so bitter!”

    Me: “I’m sorry. I can add some sugar for you.”

    Customer: “How many did you put in?”

    Me: “Six.”

    Customer: “I only want six. Don’t put any more in.”

    Me: “Okay, would you like non-sugar sweetener?”

    Customer: “No! Just make my coffee sweeter!”

    Me: “Hun, I don’t know how to make your coffee sweeter without adding anything to it.”

    Customer: “I want a refund! You’re terrible!”

    Me: “Your coffee was free. I can’t give you a refund on something free.”

    Customer: “I want my money back! Get me your manager!”

    (I got my manager, explaining everything. Eventually she ended up giving the customer a voucher for two free coffees, but not before I was called a “stupid, fat c***”.)

    Happy Birthday Two You

    | Nanaimo, BC, Canada | At The Checkout, Awesome Customers, Top

    (I am working a shift on my birthday. An elderly customer that I recognize comes in without any items to have altered; I assume she is picking up an order.)

    Me: “Good afternoon Mrs. [name]! What can I do for you today?”

    Customer: “I just wanted to come in to tell you what a lovely job you did on my pants last week, and to give you this!”

    (She ‘ninjas’ a bag out of her purse, and places it on my counter. It is a little bag of gourmet chocolate squares!)

    Me: “For me? Really?”

    Customer: “Yes! You were so nice to me, and I thought it would be nice to give you a treat!”

    Me: “Well, that was really nice of you! Wow! These are even all the flavors I like! It is my birthday today, so thank you for the present!”

    Customer: “It is? It is my birthday today, too! How about that! Happy birthday!”

    Me: “Happy birthday to you, too!”

    Customer: “Well, goodbye! I will see you again sometime!”

    Me: “Have a great afternoon, and I hope so! Bye!”

    There’s Nothing To Fear But Beer By Itself

    | Manteo, NC, USA | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests, Food & Drink

    (During the night shift at the 24-hour gas station, it’s against policy to have the store open from midnight to five if you’re working alone. My coworker hasn’t shown up, so I am doing some cleaning while the store is temporarily closed and locked. A customer bangs angrily on the door. After several mimes of miming ‘Sorry!’ and pointing to the ‘Closed’ sign, I open the door a crack, figuring she might be in trouble or have run out of gas.)

    Me: “Yes?”

    Customer: “Open the door!”

    Me: “I’m sorry, we’re closed. I’m not allowed to be open from midnight to five.”

    Customer: “You’re CLOSED?!”

    Me: “Yes! Well… is it an emergency?”

    Customer: “It is an emergency! I need beer!”

    Calm A Barking Customer

    | CA, USA | At The Checkout, Pets & Animals

    (A somewhat disgruntled customer comes up to me, with a service dog in her cart.)

    Me: “Good afternoon! You have a very lovely dog.”

    Customer: *sharply* “Don’t pet him.”

    Me: “Oh, don’t worry. If you don’t want me to, I won’t.”

    (I start scanning her items.)

    Me: “Would you like to add a protection plan to your product for only $5.99?”

    Customer: “Are you kidding me? Fine, I guess.”

    Me: “It is absolutely your decision, ma’am.”

    (As we go through the process, I try to make small talk.)

    Me: “So what is your dog’s name?”

    Customer: “It’s [name]. He gets very nervous around anyone but me.”

    Me: “I completely understand. I’ve got an old dog at home, and he sometimes gets anxious around people when I take him out on walks.”

    (The chit-chat goes on throughout the transaction, with the woman growing considerably less and less grumpy.)

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

    Customer: “You know, I’m really sorry if I seemed out of it. It’s been a very rough day, and you were so very understanding of me.”

    Me: “I know what it’s like to have rough days. You take care of yourself!”

    (It takes working in customer service to understand a customer!)

    Looking For A Toast To The East Coast

    | WI, USA | At The Checkout, Food & Drink, Geography

    (I work the night shift. We regularly get the bar crowd in trying to buy beer after the bars close. Due to a city ordinance, we can’t sell it after midnight.)

    Drunk Customer: “Where is all your beer?”

    Me: “I’m sorry, sir; we can’t sell beer after midnight.”

    Drunk Customer: “Well, where can I get beer?”

    Me: *jokingly* “I think the bars are still open in New York City!”

    Drunk Customer: “Cool, how do I get there?”

    Me: “It’s over one thousand miles away.”

    Drunk Customer: “No, which direction is it from here?”

    Coworker: “That way.” *points east*

    Drunk Customer: “Cool, well thanks.”

    (He stumbles out towards his car. I turn to my coworker.)

    Me: “You’d better call the police.”

    Coworker: “Already on it.”

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