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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!

    Inhuman Resources

    | UK | At The Checkout, Top

    (It’s a very busy Friday afternoon. As I’m serving customers, I hear a woman in the queue line speaking in a raised voice to her friend. She’s wearing a business suit and looks like a professional.)

    Woman: “Look at that! Their job is so easy! All they have to do is put things in bags and stand behind a till! A monkey could do that.”

    (Her friend looks very embarrassed as she prattles on, drawing stares from other customers in the process. Finally, she reaches my till and puts a basket full of items in front of me.)

    Me: “Good afternoon. Would you like an eco-bag with your purchase?”

    Woman: “Yes, yes, get on with it. I don’t have all day!”

    (I proceed to scan the items through. Throughout, the customer is talking in to her friend about how easy this job is, and how stupid myself and my coworkers must be. I can feel myself tearing up, but try to ignore it.)

    Me: “That’s £59.50, madam.”

    Woman: “What? That’s not right! Stupid little b****! You can’t even get something this simple right!”

    (Just then, a man being served at the next till speaks up. He’s wearing a t-shirt and jeans.)

    Man: “Hey, lady, watch your mouth. This girl has been doing a great job and has been extremely patient with you. I’d have thrown you out by now.”

    Woman: “How dare you talk to me like that! Do you have any idea who I am?”

    (She brandishes an ID card for a well-known company at him, on which the words ‘HR team leader’ are visible.)

    Man: “Well, what a coincidence.”

    (He shows her his badge for the SAME company, which has the words ‘senior executive’ visible.)

    Man: “I know your direct supervisor personally. I’ll be telling him about your attitude problem on Monday.”

    Woman: “I… I…”

    (She turns bright red, chucks the money at me and practically runs from the store. Her friend, grinning, follows.)

    Man: “Man, pulling rank feels good sometimes.”

    Long-Handed Short-Change

    | UK | At The Checkout, Math & Science, Money

    (I have been working for almost 14 hours straight, and have had several difficult customers throughout the day. A customer approaches the counter and places a 4-pack of beer on the counter. I scan it through.)

    Me: “Okay, that will be £5.54, please.”

    (The customer hands over £10.)

    Me: “Okay, so that’s £4.46 change.”

    Customer: “Thank you. Oh wait, this is on offer. It’s only meant to be £4.49.”

    (I check the shelf, and it is indeed meant to be £4.49.)

    Me: “Sorry about that, I’ll just refund your money then charge through the correct price.”

    (I do this. The man now has 2 piles of money. One of £5.54, and one of £4.46. A total of £10. I take £4.49 from the £5.54 pile and put it in the till. This leaves him with £5.51 in two piles. One pile of £4.46 and the other of £1.05.)

    Customer: “Is that us straight now?”

    Me: “Yes. Were fine.”

    Customer: “No! That money there is yours!” *points at the £1.05* “It needs to go in your till. Then you need to give me £1.05 from the till.”

    Me: “Erm… what?”

    Customer: “You’ve f***** up! That money is yours. Put it in the till then give me an extra £1.05!”

    Me: “You want me to put £1.05 in the till. Then take £1.05 out of the till?”

    Customer: “Yes that’s your money.” *points at the £1.05 on the counter* “Put it in the till, then give me £1.05.”

    Me: “Erm… okay?”

    (I do this and the man leaves the shop. I turn to look at my supervisor, who has tears of laughter streaming down his face.)

    They Changed Each Other

    | Mississauga, ON, Canada | At The Checkout, Awesome Customers, Money, Top

    (I work part-time at a store that sells pools, hot tubs, and other leisure items.)

    Me: “Will that be everything today?”

    Customer: “Yes, miss. What’s the damage?”

    Me: “That’ll be $50.05, sir.”

    (The customer opens his wallet and hands me a $50 bill.)

    Customer: “I’m sorry, but I only have the $50. I left my coin-purse at home today. Is that okay?”

    Me: “Not a problem, sir. I’m sure I’ve got a nickel in my purse, somewhere.”

    (I get a coworker to watch my till while I grab my purse from the staff room and try to find a nickel. I grab one, put it in the drawer, and cash the customer out; he thanks me and leaves the store, but a few hours later, my boss pages me to call his office immediately.)

    Me: “You rang, sir?”

    Boss: “Yes. Can you come to the front of the store, please? There’s someone who wants to speak with you.”

    (When I reach the storefront, the same customer is standing at the counter. He’s holding a beautiful, red rose, which he gives to me—along with a nickel!)

    Me: “T…thank you, sir. You know, you didn’t have to do this!”

    Customer: “Yes, miss. I did. You went above and beyond your job-description to help someone in need, and that’s customer service!”

    Me: *trying not to cry by this point* “Thank you so much, sir! Have a nice day!”

    Customer: “And you as well, young lady!”

    (After he left the store, my boss sent him a $50 gift-card, for ‘treating our staff like human beings’. It’s been 10 years since then, but I’ll never forget that customer for as long as I live. To this day, his kindness reminds me that there is still good in this world!)

    Belly Rubbed And Snubbed

    | MI, USA | At The Checkout, Wild & Unruly

    (I work at a department store as a cashier. I also have a medical condition where I must take a heavy amount of steroids, and a side effect of this is that I’m a bit chunky. I’m ringing up a customer.)

    Me: “Hi, did you find everything okay?”

    Customer: “Oh, my dear, how can they force a woman in your condition to stand at a cash register all day? Your ankles must be so swollen! When are you due?”

    (Suddenly, she reaches across the counter and rubs my belly, totally invading my personal space.)

    Me: “In about five years, after I finish college, get married, and get a job that pays above minimum wage. I’m fat, not pregnant, lady. And I do not remember giving you permission to put your hands on my body.”

    (The customer turns beet red, mumbles something, and abruptly leaves all her merchandise on the counter. I get a round of applause from the rest of the customers in line.)

    Next Customer in line: “I would have hit her if I were you.”

    They Got Owned

    | Greenwich, CT, USA | At The Checkout, Liars & Scammers, Top

    (I work in a very affluent part of town at a very well-known clothing store. The owners are known around town and come into the store very often. We get a lot of wealthy and prominent customers who are used to getting what they want, no matter what. Because of this, we try do everything we can to satisfy them the best we can.)

    Me: “Hello there, can I help you with anything today?”

    Customer: “Yes, I am looking for [item], and I need it in this size.”

    Me: “Okay! Let me go check for you. I’ll be back in a moment.”

    (Meanwhile, one of the owners walks in and starts talking to my manager.)

    Me: “I’m sorry ma’am, we don’t happen to have that item in stock. I can check another store for you if you like, and we can ship it to you free of charge.”

    Customer: *screaming* “THAT IS UNACCEPTABLE! I WANT THIS ITEM NOW! I KNOW YOU HAVE IT SOMEWHERE!”

    Me: “I am very sorry, ma’am, but we do not have that item. We don’t have it in any sizes. We unfortunately sold out. But I can call a few of our other stores and get it shipped to you.”

    Customer: “NOT ACCEPTABLE! I WANT THIS NOW!”

    (She sees another customer who is wearing what she wants. This ‘customer’ just happens to be the owner.)

    Customer: “This is the item I want. GIVE IT TO ME!”

    Other Customer/Owner: *winks at me*

    Me: “Ma’am, I’m sorry, but you cannot ask this customer to give you his shorts. I can check another store for you though.”

    Customer: “No! I want his shorts!” *turns to the owner* “Give me your shorts! I know the owner personally. He says I can do whatever I want!”

    Other Customer/Owner: “Oh, I had know idea that you knew the owner. What’s his name?”

    Customer: “Um, his name is Paul! Now give me the shorts!”

    (Meanwhile, a few other customers and the manager walk over to see the fuss.)

    Other Customer/Owner: “Huh, that’s weird. My name isn’t Paul. Welcome to my store. Now, get out before I press charges.”

    Customer: *freezes and runs out of the store*

    (I unfortunately didn’t get a raise. I’m only a seasonal employee, but I did end up being able to get a huge discount on clothes for the rest of my life and I even got to pick out a few outfits free of charge!)


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