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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!

    Racism Comes In Many Languages

    | AZ, USA | At The Checkout, Bigotry, Geography, Theme Of The Month, Tourists/Travel

    (I am standing behind a woman at a supermarket. Of the two cashiers available, one is of Asian descent and speaking in what seems to be Chinese to some customers. The other appears to be of Middle Eastern descent, whose customer is speaking very loudly and slowly.)

    Woman: “Do you understand what I’m saying? I want this in a separate bag.”

    Cashier: “Certainly, ma’am. I can definitely speak—”

    Woman: “—it’s like they don’t even cater for English speakers! Not a proper American in sight!”

    (The woman then spots me, a white guy in my late 20s.)

    Woman: “You’d know what I mean! Eh?”

    Me: “I’m an Australian tourist here visiting friends, et Je crois que vous ‘tes conasse raciste.”

    (“I think you’re a racist b****”, in French.)

    Woman: “UGH!”

    How To Disarm Volatile Customers

    | USA | At The Checkout, Military, Money, Top

    (I work at a clothing department store. We don’t offer a discount to our military, but we do have deals going on all the time. I overhear a customer speaking as if he has a military background. He eventually comes up to the counter.)

    Me: “Hi, I couldn’t help but overhear, but what branch are you?”

    Military Customer: “Oh, I am in [legitimate military branch]. I did a tour of Iraq for a while.”

    Me: “In that case, I can see that you forgot your coupon! That’s not a problem; we’ll take 30% off for you!”

    (The next customer behind him starts yelling.)

    Next Customer: “I don’t have my 50% coupon!”

    (I ignore her, and finished the soldier’s purchases.)

    Next Customer: “I deserve my 50% off!”

    Me: “Ma’am, our store has never had a coupon that goes over 30%.”

    (The next customer begins to yell.)

    Next Customer: “You gave that discount to him! Why can’t I get the discount?”

    (The military customer calmly walks over, and takes off his left arm. The next customer’s eyes get really large.)

    Military Customer: “Don’t worry, the 50% discount only costs an arm and a leg; give or take a bit.”

    (The next customer flees without buying anything. Thank you to all of our military, and especially the ones with great humor!)

    They Are Calorie Counting On Each Other

    , | Eugene, OR, USA | At The Checkout, Bigotry, Food & Drink, Theme Of The Month, Top

    (I am a customer. There’s a woman in line ahead of me, already at the register and ordering for herself and three kids, and a guy behind me. Another customer comes in. He looks to be in a rush, muttering under his breath about people not ordering until they know what they want. The young woman working the register has a slight but obvious German accent, but not thick enough to present any difficulty communicating at all. I get to the counter.)

    Me: “Hi! I’d like a regular meal, but can I substitute the drink with a shake?”

    (The cashier repeats it back to me, as one would logically do to make sure. The impatient customer barks at her.)

    Impatient Customer: “If you spoke English right, you’d know that’s what he said the first time!”

    Me: “I’ll bet her English is a h*** of a lot better than your German, dude.”

    Impatient Customer: “I don’t have to know that s***, because we’re in America!”

    Me: “And I can take my time giving her my order… because we’re in America.”

    (I turn to the cashier.)

    Me: “Do you still have any of the strawberry pies tonight?”

    Cashier: “Yes, sir. Would you like one?”

    Me: “I don’t know. Is the calorie amount listed for them on the menu right?”

    (The cashier smiles as she catches on.)

    Cashier: “I believe so, sir. If you’ll wait just a moment, I’ll bring the official list from the office to make sure.”

    (As she starts to turn toward the office, a second cashier comes from the back and tells her that she’ll go get it for her. The impatient customer has had enough. He starts moaning to the customer in line behind me.)

    Impatient Customer: “This is bull-s***!”

    Customer Behind Me: “Those pies sound good. I want to know more about them.”

    (The impatient customer turns to the cashier.)

    Impatient Customer: “Get your manager!”

    (The second cashier is just putting a key in the office door. She turns toward the impatient customer and smiles.)

    Second Cashier: “I’m the manager, sir. I’ll be happy to help you as soon as I get the nutritional information for the gentleman who is being served right now. You’ll be served when your turn comes, or I can ring you up myself as soon as I get the list. I’m not sure where it is in there, though, so I may be a while.”

    (The impatient customer is now red-faced, and turns to each of us as he enunciates each word, looking at me first.)

    Impatient Customer: “F***. ALL. OF. YOU! I’m going to [other fast food chain]!”

    (He storms out and we all start laughing. I look at my watch.)

    Me: “[Other fast food chain] closed three minutes ago.”

    A Garden Needs A Good Offence

    | NJ, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Home Improvement

    Customer: “Excuse me, I have a ques—oh.”

    (She folds her arms, and eyes me critically.)

    Me: “Yes?”

    Customer: “Well, I doubt you would know. You look awfully young.”

    (I am 21, but look younger.)

    Me: “I’m older than I look. What can I help you with?”

    Customer: “No, I really don’t think you would know. You look like a d*** little kid!”

    (I raise my eyebrows and stare at her.)

    Customer: “I guess that was a little rude, huh.”

    Me: “More than a little. Can I help you?”

    Customer: “Like I said, I doubt it. I like that pink plant over there, but I don’t know anything about it.”

    (I rattle off the plant’s name, sun preference, average height and width, and how often to water and fertilize it.)

    Customer: “Huh! You did know all about it! I just seem to keep offending people today; every time I open my mouth!”

    Me: “Maybe try keeping it shut.”

    Pumped Up About Not Pumping Up

    | TN, USA | At The Checkout, Money

    (A customer is yelling and swearing at the new cashier, insisting that the amount of gas he put in his car wasn’t the amount he was charged. The cashier is getting a little frazzled.)

    Me: “Hey, what’s wrong?”

    Customer: “This d*** store gave me less gas than I paid for! The pump is wrong!”

    Me: “So, wait. You mean that you bought a pre-set amount of gas, pumped it, and you think the pump gave you the wrong amount?”

    Customer: “Yes! My tank should be full, and it’s not!”

    Me: “Sir, those gas pumps are federally regulated. I happen to know—for a fact—that you actually get slightly more than you pay for, just so this sort of thing doesn’t happen.”

    Customer: “That’s stupid; this is none of your business, b****!”

    (He turns to the cashier.)

    Customer: “I want to speak to your manager!”

    Cashier: “Sir, he’s in Puerto Rico.”

    Customer: “Well, I need to talk to him now!”

    Cashier: “From Puerto Rico?”

    Customer: “Yes, you d*** b****!”

    Me: “[Cashier], don’t call him.”

    Customer: “What the h*** do you think you’re doing? I said call him!”

    Me: “Well, sir, she could call him. But I really doubt he’d be willing to help you after you cussed out his employee and his daughter.”

    (The customer storms out and returns a few minutes later. I’m about to threaten to call the police, when he passes the cashier a $20 bill.)

    Customer: “I, uh, forgot to pump it, sorry.”

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