October Theme Of The Month: Halloween!

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!

Crazy Golf

| WA, Australia | At The Checkout, Bizarre, Money, Theme Of The Month

(To pay for university costs, I work for a small, government run golf course as a cashier. A customer in his forties enters the store.)

Me: “Hi. Welcome to [Golf Course]. How can I help you today?”

Customer: “Yeah. I’d like to play nine holes on the course with buggy hire. Thanks.”

Me: “Alright. Your total comes to $30. Will you be paying in cash or by card?”

Customer: “Actually, I was hoping I could give you this instead?”

(The customer slides a bottle of unmarked, white liquid across the table and looks at me grinning.)

Me: “Uh… sir. I don’t know what that is.”

Customer: “Oh, I make my own perfume in my bathtub! How about this bottle for my course fees?”

Me: “Sir, I must insist that you pay with currency. Perfume is not legal tender and I not be able to balance my till otherwise.”

(The customer takes the bottle back hastily, looking as if I’d just insulted his mother.)

Customer: “You don’t want my perfume? What kind of golf course is this!?”

Certified Or Certifiable?

| Pasadena, MD, USA | At The Checkout, Bizarre, Health & Body, Theme Of The Month

(A few weeks ago I accidentally stabbed myself in the hand, between my thumb and index finger. Though it has healed, I have a scar, and it still hurts quite a bit if I hit it on anything. A customer has purchased a battery operated device. Store policy is to put batteries in it to make sure it works before they leave. I go to put batteries in but the cap slips out of my hand and manages to hit my scar.)

Me: “Ouch!”

Customer: “What happened?”

Me: “Oh, sorry. The cap hit the scar on my hand.”

Customer: “How’d you get it?”

Me: “Oh, I was at my other job, when I accidentally stabbed my hand. It healed pretty quickly with no infection. So, it’s all better now.”

Customer: “Why would you do that?”

Me: “What?”

Customer: “Why would you stab yourself?”

Me: *joking* “Well, it just seemed like such a good idea at the time.”

Customer: “You shouldn’t do that! You should see someone about your issues right away!”

Me: “Um, it was an accident. I didn’t do it on purpose.”

Customer: “You shouldn’t lie to cover up your problems. Here take my card. I’m certified for these kinds of things.”

Me: “No, thank you. It really was an accident. I was just joking earlier.”

Customer: “Nonsense! I demand that we set up an appointment. I’m going to help you. I’m certified for these kinds of things.”

Me: *sigh* “….so you said.”

Customer: “Good. Now, how does meeting me at [address] at 2 pm tomorrow sound?”

(I am defeated, and am just trying to get this customer out of my store.)

Me: “Sure, sounds just fine.”

Customer: “Okay! See you then. And don’t worry, we will help you with your issues. Just don’t do anything too bad before we meet again!”

(The customer walks off smiling. I never went to that meeting, although I did give my boss a heads up if a crazy woman came asking for me.)

Stupidity Is Its Own Reward, Part 3

| USA | At The Checkout, Bizarre, Theme Of The Month

(A customer comes up to my till. I start ringing her up)

Me: “Do you have a rewards card with us?”

Customer: “Do you sell our information?”

Me: “No. We just use the rewards card to give you coupons every time you spend a certain amount of money with us.”

Customer: “Oh, well. I don’t need that, if that’s all it’s for.”

Me: “Okay…”

Stupidity Is Its Own Reward, Part 2
Stupidity Is Its Own Reward

Gift Card For The Gifted

| Syracuse, NY, USA | At The Checkout, Bizarre, Theme Of The Month

(At the end of each transaction, I have to circle a survey on the receipt that the customer can enter to win a $500 gift card. Three teenage boys have come in and are buying a sweatshirt.)

Me: Here at the bottom of your receipt, we have a little survey. If you can take a minute to fill it out for us, you can be entered in a drawing to win a $500 gift card!”

Teenage Boy #1: “$500 to here?! I can buy so many clothes! I can buy so many pairs of yoga pants! My a** will look fantastic!”

To Their Credit, Cashiers Are Not Psychic

| NY, USA | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests, Money

(I’m working at one of the express lanes in a big-box retailer. A woman and her husband approach with a full cart but since it is a slow night, I agree to take them. I scan everything they have, and the couple is overly chipper and pleasant until it comes time to pay.)

Me: “Alright, you’re all set! It’ll be [price].”

(The customer holds out her card.)

Me: “Oh! Sorry, go ahead and swipe your card right here.”

(I tap the credit card machine.)

Customer: “Sheesh! Sorry! It’s been a long day! It’s going to be credit.”

(The customer slides the card through.)

Me: “Alright, then just hit cancel, and select credit.”

(I hit the credit key on my side when she agrees to the amount and selects credit. She signs and then hits ‘OK.’ The receipt prints and I hand it to her.)

Me: “Here you go! Have a nice night!”

Customer: “What’s that?”

Me: “Your receipt?”
Customer: “Why are you giving me the receipt?! I wanted to pay a different way too!”

Me: “Ma’am, I’m sorry, if you had informed me prior to sliding your card I could have processed it but—”

(The customer slams her hands on the counter.)

Customer: “Why didn’t you tell me that in the first place!? Now I’m overdrawn!”

Me: “Ma’am, I’m sorry, I really am. I understand the problem but there’s nothing I can do. If I had known before hand I would have told you but you didn’t tell me you wanted to pay using more than one method.”

Customer: “You should have known!”

Me: “Ma’am, you can take your receipt to customer service and they can reverse the charge. I don’t know if it will help but the money will go back in a few days.”

Customer: “This is stupid! You people need to anticipate our needs!”

(The customer grabs the receipt and storms off towards customer services. Her husband just rolls his eyes at her and trails along with the cart. She demands that we pay her overdraft fees, throws a huge fit, and has to be dragged out by her husband!)

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