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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!

    Always Jump At The Chance For Fun

    | CT, USA | At The Checkout, Awesome Customers, Bizarre, Top

    (A customer in her forties comes through my line, and we exchange pleasantries as I ring her out. It’s a perfectly normal interaction.)

    Me: “Do you have your [store] rewards card?”

    Customer: “No, I don’t believe I have one.”

    Me: “Well, would you like to sign up?”

    (The customer agrees and I walk her through the process. Everything goes smoothly and at the end, I scan her new card and hand it to her.)

    Me: “There you go!”

    Customer: “Yay!”

    (Suddenly, the customer starts jumping up and down in joy, waving her hands and looking for all the world like an ecstatic six year old. This goes on for a while and, not knowing what else to do, I wind up jumping with her. Just as suddenly as she started, she calms down and stops jumping.)

    Woman: “There, wasn’t that exciting? Now you’ll be cheery for the whole rest of the day!”

    (I certainly was!)

    This Customer Is Alright

    | Lexington, KY, USA | At The Checkout, Awesome Customers, Bad Behavior

    (Note: I am the shift supervisor. We’re very busy, and I’m on my way to help a customer find something when one of my coworkers stops me.)

    Coworker: “[My name], how long can we hold things for customers?”

    Me: “We can probably hold that until the end of the day tomorrow.”

    Customer #1: “I need you to hold this until Monday.” (Note: it’s currently Friday.)

    Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but I can’t do that. Store policy is that we can only hold things until the end of business on the same day, so I’m already bending the rules by holding it for an extra day.”

    Customer #1: “But I need you to hold it until Monday! You’re having a big sale starting Monday, and I want this at the sale price!”

    Me: “Again, I’m very sorry, ma’am, but I simply can’t hold it that long.”

    Customer #1: “That’s terrible! You should hold it for me!”

    Me: “I’m sorry, I really can’t. Excuse me, please; I need to go help this woman who has been patiently waiting for me.” *to Customer #2* “What can I help you with?”

    (As Customer #2 and I start walking away, she speaks to me.)

    Customer #2: “Man, what a b**** that woman was!”

    Me: *stifling a laugh* “I would never say that.”

    Customer #2: “Well, I’m another customer, so I can say it!”

    Full Of Holiday Sneer

    | Washington, DC, USA | At The Checkout, Awesome Customers, Bad Behavior, Food & Drink, Money, Theme Of The Month

    (I am a customer at a convenience store buying coffee. Since the holidays are very near, I want to do something nice. There is an older gentleman behind me, about 65 years old, with two cups of coffee.)

    Me: *to the cashier* “I’ll pay for his, too.”

    Cashier: *smiles* “Okay, that’ll be $[price].”

    (I pay, and then the man walks up to pay.)

    Cashier: “It was taken care of, sir.”

    Man: “No, no, no, why? Here, I need to pay for this.”

    Me: “I got it for you. Happy holidays!”

    Man: *scowls* “Who do you think you are, some kind of good Samaritan? I can buy my own coffee.”

    Me: “…I guess I was only trying to be nice…”

    Man: “Well, I don’t want it!”

    Children Of The Candy Corn

    | Kansas City, MO, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Family & Kids, Food & Drink

    (I notice a mother has three children with her; the youngest (and only boy) is about eleven. As I am ringing up her groceries, the boy is looking at a rather large bag of candy on the belt.)

    Me: “Did you find everything alright today ma’am?”

    Customer’s Son: “Mom! Get me some candy!”

    (As he says this, the son starts grabbing candy bars from a display and puts them on the belt.)

    Customer: “I already bought you a bag of candy.”

    Customer’s Son: “I WANT SOME CANDY!”

    Me: “Sorry, your mother said you couldn’t have any.”

    Customer’s Son: “Shut up!”

    (I ignore him and as the candy comes down the belt, I take it off, intending to put it back. However, the son sees me do this.)

    Customer’s Son: “Hey! Stop that! I want that candy!” *turns to his mother* “Make her stop! Make her give me the candy!”

    Customer: “I just bought you a big bag of candy!”

    (This exchange goes on for a while, and finally the mother caves and I reluctantly ring up the candy. I begin to bag it as the boy goes through the bags, grabbing the large bag of candy, hugging it to his chest, and running out of the store.)

    Me: “I normally don’t give opinions on kids, but he could have at least helped you carry out the bags.”

    Customer: “Oh, he’s the only boy in our family. We have to spoil him and he knows it!” *leaves*

    Put Your Money Where Your Obnoxious Mouth Is

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

    (I get in line to purchase some iTunes cards. In front of me is a customer in his late 50s telling his life story to an annoyed looking cashier; he’s bragging about his business and complaining about cellphones.)

    Customer: *to cashier* “…and I run a business, not a charity, right!?”

    Cashier: “Yes, sir. That’ll be—”

    Customer: *spots me and my iTunes cards* “Wow, you sure have a handful of cards! What are they?”

    Me: “iTunes cards, sir.”

    Customer: “What are they for?”

    Me: “To buy music and things for my iPad.”

    Customer: “iPad?”

    Me: “Uh, yes, sir. It’s a kind of—”

    Customer: “I know what an iPad is! I have one! You can’t listen to music on an iPad, now can you! That’s an iPod!”

    Me: “Actually, sir, there is a place where you can download the music, and an icon to click on where they are stored.”

    (The customer goes back to talking about how his business is not a charity while the cashier tries to hurry him up.)

    Cashier: “That’ll be $5.02.”

    Customer: *takes $5 bill out of his wallet* “Oh, looks like I’ll need to bum some pennies off of someone, don’t wanna run back out to the truck.” *he turns to me* “Do you have some pennies?”

    Me: “Yes, sir, but were you not just saying that you weren’t a charity? Nor am I.” *hands pennies to cashier*

    (The customer doesn’t thank me and leaves.)

    Cashier: “I f***ing hate that guy!”

    Me: “Oh?”

    Cashier: “He always acts like a superior a** and always bums money off people. And I know that family; he is absolutely loaded!”

    Me: “I guess that’s how he stays that way.”


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