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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!

    She Also Speaks Ironic

    , | Brisbane, QLD, Australia | At The Checkout, Bigotry, Language & Words, Top

    (I manage a fast food restaurant. I’m currently serving a customer who is from East Asia. She is clearly new to the country, as she is having significant trouble with the transaction, and I’m finding it difficult to communicate. My coworker steps in.)

    Coworker: “Excuse me, where are you from?”

    Asian Customer: “I am from Korea.”

    (Suddenly, the next customer in line speaks up.)

    Customer: “Racist! You’re a racist!”

    Coworker: “Excuse me, ma’am?”

    Customer: “I said you’re a racist! It doesn’t matter where this young lady comes from, she should be welcome in your store. You should feel ashamed!”

    (The shouting customer turns to me.)

    Customer: “You! Do something about her!”

    Me: “I absolutely agree. You see, my coworker here is studying a master’s degree in Asian studies. She was just asking because she could process this transaction in Korean, Japanese, Mandarin, Cantonese or Indonesian, and didn’t want to look like an idiot by making an assumption about someone she didn’t know.”

    Got To Give Him Credit For Trying

    | Allentown, PA, USA | At The Checkout, Books & Reading, Liars & Scammers, Money

    (My husband and I are customers in a fairly long line at the bookstore’s register. A customer ahead of us puts pile of about 10 books on the counter.)

    Customer: “I’ll take these.”

    (He opens his wallet and pulls out one of those credit card-shaped pieces of tan card stock that has the words ‘CREDIT CARD’ around the edges and comes inside a new wallet to demonstrate where your credit cards would go. Other than the words ‘CREDIT CARD’ around the edges, the card is completely blank. There is no name, card number, card type, etc.)

    Customer: “Credit, please.”

    (The customer hands the cashier the ‘credit card’.)

    Cashier: “Uh…”

    Customer: “This is a new card from Citibank. They are switching to paper instead of plastic because it is better for the environment.”

    Cashier: “I don’t think—”

    Customer: “THIS IS A CARD FROM CITIBANK! I WANT TO SPEAK TO A MANAGER!”

    Manager: “How can I help you?”

    Customer: “I want to buy these books. Here is my credit card. It is a new card from Citibank; they are switching to paper from plastic to help the environment!”

    Manager: *very obviously trying not to laugh* “I… uh… I’m sorry, but only major credit cards are accepted here.”

    Customer: “I CAN’T BELIEVE THIS! YOU JUST LOST YOURSELF A SALE! I AM TAKING MY BUSINESS SOMEWHERE ELSE!”

    (The customer takes his ‘credit card’ and storms off.)

    First Aisle Problems

    | Long Island, NY, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Geography

    (I’m a customer in line waiting to pay, when suddenly the registers freeze and have to reboot. There are two impatient customers in line behind me.)

    Employee: “Sorry, but the registers just froze. Please be patient while we reboot them.”

    Impatient Customer #1: “What did she say?”

    Impatient Customer #2: “The registers froze.”

    Impatient Customer #1: “Ugh, it’s like living in a third world country!”

    All’s Well That Messengers Well

    | Toronto, ON, Canada | At The Checkout, Health & Body, Money

    (I work at a healthcare store. Whenever we have promos such as gift cards when purchasing more than a certain dollar amount, we call our regular customers a week in advance to let them know. After each call, either actually talking to the customer or leaving a message, we put a check next to their name on our list. One cranky regular misses the promo weekend and comes in three weeks later.)

    Customer: “Hello, [My Name]. I’m just parked outside. Can you get me my products?”

    Me: “Sure, I’ll be right back.”

    Customer: “Don’t you have any promos? You haven’t had one since December.”

    Me: “No, I know it’s been a while.”

    (I make sure not to mention the promo three weeks prior, as I know she missed it, and I am sure she will throw a fit. I go to the back to get her products. As I am coming back, I see the customer yelling at my coworker. She then turns to me.)

    Customer: “This is so disappointing! I told you guys to call me every time you have a promo. [Coworker] said that you had one three weeks ago!”

    Me: “Oh, we did call you. I’m sure we did. You’re the first one we call.”

    Customer: “No, I did not get any call. No message. This is the second time!”

    Me: “I remember the first time you said your daughter forgot to tell you.”

    Customer: “Well, this time I really didn’t get any call! No message, nothing!”

    (The customer goes on and on as I am ringing her in, and I am just nodding. She’s always in a hurry, so I need to ring her in as I am listening. I can see the other customers looking at her.)

    Me: “I really apologize, but as you see here on our call list, I called all these customers including you. Your name even has an asterisk ’cause you’re the first one we call.”

    Customer: “Well, I didn’t get anything! There could be something wrong with my answering machine, but I doubt it! You guys owe me!”

    (The customer storms out of the store. The next day she calls.)

    Me: “Good afternoon, [Store]. [My Name] speaking. How may I help you?”

    Customer: “Oh [My Name], this is [Customer]. I just called to apologize for my behavior yesterday. I asked my daughter if she knew of any promos you guys had, and she just gasped because she forgot to tell me that you guys called.”

    Me: “That’s okay Mrs. [Customer]. It’s not a problem.”

    Customer: “Okay, thank you. Bye!”

    Fought For His Country, Not Just His County

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

    (Our store gives a military discount, but you have to have one of three types of nationally-issued ID cards to get it. It can’t be a state, county, or city-issued ID. My current customer has a county-issued veteran’s card.)

    Me: “I’m sorry, sir; we can’t take these. It must be a nationally-issued card.”

    Customer: “This IS nationally issued!”

    Me: “No, this is a county VA card. The county seal is right there. It has to be from the Department of Veteran’s Affairs in DC.”

    Customer: *blankly* “This IS a VA card.”

    (I pull out the cheat-sheet for cashiers.)

    Me: “It has to be one of these types. They’ve gotten very strict on that.”

    Customer: “I’m going to [competitor]! They know how to treat their veterans right!”

    (The customer storms out. A regular, who is a retired vet, comes up to me.)

    Regular Customer: “Good for you! I can’t stand people like that.”

    Me: “I was about ready to rattle off my parents’ names, ranks, and postings. Mom did her 22 years, and Dad’s a Lieutenant Colonel. And both of them would’ve told me that if I didn’t have my ID, too bad!”

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