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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!

    The Dividing Line

    | Albany, NY, USA | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Holidays, Theme Of The Month

    (I am a customer in line at a major lingerie store in a mall at midnight on Black Friday. As expected, the line is well over 10 times longer than normal due to a free gift bag they offer if you spend $65 or more. Two customers come up to me.)

    Customer #1: “Is this where the line starts?”

    Me: “Yes.”

    (The two customers line up behind me and instantly start to rant.)

    Customer #2: “Oh my God! This line is too long!”

    Customer #1: “They should have every register open!”

    Customer #2: “They do have every register open. They need to have this store on two floors!”

    Customer #1: ” Yeah! They should have two floors!”

    Customer #2: “I mean, look at all of these people in here! How can they have this may people in here and not see that they need two floors!”

    (Normally any other day of the year, this store is plenty big enough for its typical haul of customers.)

    Customer #1: “If they run out of gift bags by the time it’s my turn, I’m going to scream and call their corporate offices! It’s ridiculous how many people are in here!”

    Customer #2: “All of these people are gonna make me late for work!”

    Customer #1: “What time do you have to be in again?”

    Customer #2: “In a half hour!”

    (Based on where we are in line, and how fast the line is moving, also the amount of people cutting in line, it could take at least another hour and a half to reach the registers that we can’t even see.)

    Customer #1: “They shouldn’t have slow cashiers working either! The rest of us have things to do!”

    Customer #2: “I know what you mean! I can’t stand when they hire slow people!”

    Customer #1: “When I get up there, I’m gonna give them a piece of my mind! They need to have 2 floors!”

    (I wanted nothing more to tell these two women that it was Black Friday. It was going to be busy no matter what store you went to. However, I decide that with their tensions high, it would be in my best interest not to provoke these ladies by telling them off.)

    Customer #2: “Ugh! I can’t stand this anymore! I’m going to be late! This line hasn’t moved! I have to leave!”

    Customer #1: “I wish you weren’t out of sick days! I’m not staying here alone with all of these people! I have things to do!”

    (Thankfully they left at that point. Hallelujah!)

    Daddy Meets Miss Demeanor

    | Virginia Beach, VA, USA | At The Checkout, Awesome Customers, Family & Kids

    (I am temporarily relieving a coworker in the toddler room of our daycare so she can go to the restroom. A father arrives to pick up his child, who is familiar with me as the toddler room is next to the one I work in.)

    Father: *on cellphone, very loudly* “No, I know, the delivery should have come in by now.”

    Me: “Sir, here’s [child's name's] report and his coat.”

    (He waves at me to be quiet. I keep trying to get his attention as I need his signature on some documents, but he waves me off even more with a huge frown. I give up and start putting the child’s coat on as the father taps his foot loudly.)

    Child: “DADDY! Miss is talking!”

    (The father finally gets off the phone long enough to sign the papers I need him to, although he does not hang up the call and speak to me. As they are leaving, the child turns round.)

    Child: “Bye, miss!” *to his father* “Dada mean!”

    She’s A Bad Penny

    | Ashford, Kent, UK | At The Checkout, Awesome Customers, Money, Top

    (I work in a department store with a food hall. Company policy is to charge 5p for carrier bags in the food hall, and has been for several years. A woman walks up to the till with a few items and a backpack on.)

    Me: “Hello, do you need a bag?”

    Woman: *not paying much attention* “Yeah.”

    Me: “Is a 5p bag okay?”

    Woman: “Yeah.”

    (I charge her for the bag and scan/pack her shopping.)

    Me: “That’s [price], including the 5p bag charge.”

    (She pays for her shopping using her credit card, then stops just as she is about to leave.)

    Woman: “Was I charged for this bag?”

    Me: “Yes, it cost 5p.”

    Woman: “Well, I don’t want it then!”

    (She tips her shopping out of the bag, back onto the counter, and then starts putting it in her backpack.)

    Woman: “I want a refund!”

    Me: “I’m sorry, I’ve closed the till, and only a manager can open it. I’ll just call one over for you.”

    (I call a manager, but they’re all busy with other customers.)

    Woman: “Hurry up! I want my money!”

    Me: “I’m sorry to keep you waiting.”

    (A little old lady, waiting in the queue, gets fed up and takes 5p out of her purse.)

    Little Old Lady: “Here you go, dear. Now off you trot!”

    (The woman takes the 5p and leaves.)

    Me: *to the little old lady* “Thank you so much!”

    Little Old Lady: *smiles* “I don’t see why people like you and I have to put up with people like her!”

    Careless Carers

    | MI, USA | At The Checkout, Criminal/Illegal, Family & Kids, Top, Wild & Unruly

    (I work in a large retail center, and we are highly understaffed. I work in the outdoor department, and stop to help a caretaker with a child; they’re looking for a baseball glove.)

    Me: “Hello, do you need some help?”

    Caretaker: “I’m just trying to get this d*** kid to wear this glove.”

    Me: “…Excuse me?!”

    Caretaker: “Yeah, I work as this brat’s caretaker, and he won’t put his hands in the glove.”

    (I lean down to help the child, speaking softly and quietly, as he seems frightened. This only seems to enrage the caretaker further.)

    Caretaker: “How dare you, b****… talking s*** to him about me?! You’re a d*** stupid loser and that’s why you work here!”

    Me: “Pardon me, ma’am, I wasn’t talking about you. And please, don’t call me stupid; you do not know me.”

    Caretaker: “Why do you work here if you’re not an idiot?”

    Me: “I’m still working on my RN, so I can be more than a caretaker with a nasty attitude.”

    (The caretaker walks away, still cussing at the child. I call security and ask them to follow her and be sure she doesn’t hurt the boy. Meanwhile, I am called up front to work on the register. Of course, the same caretaker is in line.)

    Caretaker: “Hurry it up, b****! I spend my hard earned money on these groceries. Don’t waste my time.”

    Me: “Okay, ma’am… your total is $100.67.”

    Caretaker: “Here. Use my food stamps.”

    Me: “Okay, ma’am.”

    Caretaker: “Unless you’re too f***ing dumb to know how to do that.”

    (I finish ringing her up, but before she pushes her cart away, two sheriffs walk up and place handcuffs on her. Unbeknownst to me, she had, in fact, struck the child after I dealt with her the first time.)

    Sign Up For A Rewards Karma

    | Concord, NH, USA | At The Checkout, Awesome Customers, Money, Top

    (The store is having a big sale on all dog costumes because it’s 10 days away from Halloween. You must have our rewards card, which is free, to get the sale price.)

    Me: “Alright, do you have a rewards card? The costume is on sale today.”

    Customer: “No, thank you.”

    Me: “Are you sure? You could save a bit of money. It’s completely free to sign up.”

    Customer: “I said no! God! You people!”

    Me: *taken aback* “Alright. Your total is $16.99.”

    Customer: *mumbles* “Stupid cards.”

    (She takes her receipt and starts gathering her things as I ring up the next customer, who is also buying a costume.)

    Me: “Alright, that’ll be $4.49.”

    Customer: “Hey! Why is hers so cheap?!”

    Next Customer: “Because I used the free card you rudely refused, after she tried to save you money.”

    (I try not to laugh as the rude customer storms out of the store, leaving her pet’s costume at my register. My thanks to the next customer who said what I couldn’t!)

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