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  • September Theme Of The Month: Overheard!

    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 Gross Grocery Error

    | Newark, NJ, USA | At The Checkout, Bizarre, Health & Body

    (The customer in front of me is dropping off a prescription. She’s on her phone.)

    Customer: “…and then can you pick up [Name] from school, or do you want me— Hang on, I’m at the front of the line.” *to pharmacist* “Here’s my prescription, ID, insurance data. Need anything else?”

    Pharmacist: “Just give me a minute to read through this.”

    Customer: *on phone* “So, anyway, about the groceries. Why is taking—”

    Pharmacist: “Excuse me?”

    Customer: “Oh, hang on.” *to pharmacist* “Sorry, I know it’s rude to talk on the phone, but—”

    Pharmacist: “No, no. Your prescription. It says ‘cheese, yogurt, chunky peanut butter.'”

    (There is a pause.)

    Customer: *on phone* “I think I know why it’s taking you so long at the grocery store.”

    Going Bananas About Pajamas

    | AB, Canada | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests, Holidays, Theme Of The Month

    (It’s December 23rd. I have never worked a Christmas at my current job.)

    Me: “Hello. Are you finding everything alright?”

    Customer: “Um, no. I can’t find your pajamas.”

    (I’m really confused by this. We are a hardware store, and so do not and have never sold pajamas.)

    Me: “Sorry. Did you say pajamas?”

    Customer: “Obviously. What are you, deaf!? They are clothes that you you wear to bed. Do you understand now?”

    Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but we don’t sell pajamas.”

    Customer: “Well the very nice young lady across the street said you would have the pj’s I’m looking for. I came in last week and I couldn’t find them. So I went to the [Big Clothing Store] across the street. She definitely said you were getting a shipment of purple and pink flowered pj’s today.”

    Me: “Again, as I said, we don’t sell sleepwear. If you would like I can tell you another store which might have what you are looking for, or bring my manager to confirm we don’t have any pajamas.”

    (The customer is very visibly upset by this, and starts yelling and cursing at me.)

    Customer: “What kind of store doesn’t sell pj’s at the holidays! I am holding you personally responsible, you b****! Why dont you get your manager and tell him that!?”

    (As the customer says this she knocks over a whole shelf of Christmas ornaments and other decorations.)

    Customer: “I hope you have an awful Christmas!”

    (The customer starts hurling more insults and horrible names as she walks out. A coworker has observed all of the proceedings.)

    Coworker: “–and a happy new year!”

    Customer: “F*** you too!”

    Getting All Hancocked Over A Benjamin, Part 2

    | Las Vegas, NV, USA | At The Checkout, Criminal/Illegal, Liars & Scammers, Money

    (I am a manager working the concession stand at a theater attached to a hotel/casino.)

    Cashier: *over radio* “Manager to register two.”

    (I head over. The cashier has a customer at her station who looks angry.)

    Me: “What can I do for you?”

    Customer: “Yeah, this b**** stole my money! I paid with a hundred and she only gave me change for a fifty! I want my f****** money back!”

    Me: “All right. Did you see what she did with the bill?”

    Customer: “Yeah! She put it below the counter!”

    (We are only allowed to keep bills $10 and smaller in the till itself. All larger bills go into a lockbox right below the cash register. I walk behind the desk and point to the lockbox.)

    Me: “She put it in here?”

    Customer: “Yeah! Now give me the rest of my money!”

    (I unlock the lockbox and remove it from its position, placing it on the counter in front of the customer. I then open it to reveal three $20 bills, and one $50 bill, which is the last bill deposited.)

    Me: “Well, sir, it looks like the last bill deposited was a fifty. Is it possible you simply forgot which bill you paid with?”

    (At this point, I know he’s lying. The cashier is one of my best employees, and the evidence is stacked against him.)

    Customer: “NO! I PAID WITH A F****** HUNDRED! I WANT MY F****** MONEY!”

    Me: “All right, sir. If you’re that adamant, I’ll call the casino’s security.”

    Customer: “Good!”

    Me: “I just don’t like calling them. They’re so harsh about fraud. I mean, they drag people into the back room just for TRYING…”

    (The color drains out of the customer’s face.)

    Customer: “That… That’s a myth…”

    Me: “I wish it were, sir. I wish it were. Let’s call them.”

    (I pull my radio up, but he stops me.)

    Customer: “You know what; it’s not worth the hassle.” *to the cashier* “Enjoy the tip, b****.”

    (The customer stormed off as fast as he could towards his theater.)

    Related:
    Getting All Hancocked Over A Benjamin

    The Only Thing She Skipped Was Kwanzaa

    | NY, USA | At The Checkout, Holidays, Religion, Theme Of The Month

    (I’m standing behind a nice old lady who is checking out at the grocery store.)

    Lady: “You look like you both need a smile. This is for you!”

    (She hands the cashier a few pieces of Christmas themed candy, and gives one to me.)

    Cashier: “Oh, thank you! Happy Holidays!”

    Lady: “Oh, it’s okay. You can say ‘Merry Christmas’ to me. I know you want to.”

    Cashier: “Actually, I’m Jewish—”

    Lady: “Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to offend you. Oh, yes! Feliz Navidad to you!”

    (The cashier and I both just smiled, because regardless of what you call it, she still had the best seasonal spirit!)

    Christmas Jeer

    | Naples, FL, USA | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests, Holidays, Theme Of The Month

    (I work at an office supply store that also does computer repairs. We are open late for Christmas. I’m the certified technician. The cashier is taking a break, so I volunteer to take over her register. A customer has walked up to the customer service desk. This desk has no register, but there is a register about five feet to the right.)

    Customer: “Hey! I was looking for this pocket calendar, but for this year. This other brand has more space, but I can’t find this one.”

    Me: “Sure. Let’s go take a look so you can pick the one you want!”

    Customer: “I already checked all of them. You don’t have it! I’m NOT walking back there! That’s what I came up here for! Now GO!”

    Me: “Okay…”

    (I walk back, stunned, and check for the product. We are out of stock. I come back to tell the customer. My coworker has come back, and tries to check another customer out, but register #1 has crashed. She has already taken the customer to register #2 and is checking them out.)

    Me: “Unfortunately, ma’am, we are out of stock. We can order the one you want online, however.”

    Customer: “No! I’ll just take this one. It’s already in my purse.”

    Me: “Okay. I’ll take you over at register #2, as register #1 has crashed.”

    (My coworker has finished checking out the customer, and is standing behind me watching this occur. The customer is standing, staring at the wall, obviously ignoring me.)

    Me: “Umm, ma’am? I said I can help you at register #2.”

    Customer: “You said you’d help me RIGHT HERE!”

    Me: “Sorry, I didn’t. Register #1 has crashed, and that’s the customer service desk. I couldn’t ring you up there if I tried.”

    Customer: “But that is not open. THIS ONE IS! HELP ME HERE!”

    (The light for register #1 is on still, and #2 is off. No one pays attention to the lights so no one turns them on for the occasional customer that is brought to them.)

    Customer: “This one’s light isn’t on. You can’t help me here.”

    (I turn the light on to humor her and start ringing.)

    Customer: “You all are so rude and unhelpful! I can’t believe you would treat me like this!”

    Me: “I’m sorry you feel that way about us.”

    Customer: “YOU ARE NOT SORRY! YOU ARE BEING INTENTIONALLY RUDE! YOU HAVE TERRIBLE CUSTOMER SERVICE!”

    (At this point I can’t tell whether to be angry or laugh at the absurdity. I am leading the numbers for customer service, and I’m always going out of my way for the customers.)

    Me: “Okay. Your total is [total]. You can swipe whenever you are ready. ”

    Customer: “I GAVE you the card. Figure it out yourself!”

    Me: “Okay.”

    (I swipe the card, and turn the PIN-pad towards her.)

    Me: “Please sign here.”

    (The customer proceeds to scribble on the screen in long sweeping motions, before finally pounding on the screen with the stylus. It does not respond to hard tapping, only light tapping. I’m afraid the screen will break at this rate, so I put my hand out near the screen.)

    Me: “Please do not break our screen.” *I tap the button*

    Customer: “DON’T F****** TALK TO ME LIKE THAT! I DON’T WANT TO HEAR IT! DON’T OPEN YOUR MOUTH TO ME AGAIN!”

    (The customer throws the stylus at me.)

    Me: “Yes, ma’am.” *hands receipt* “Have a great evening, and happy holidays!”

    Customer: “Screw you! You people are so F****** RUDE!”

    Me: “Alright!”

    (The door closes.)

    Me: *to coworker* “I really don’t know whether to be mad or laugh… I’m so conflicted!”

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