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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!

    Being The Bigger Man

    | Edinburgh, Scotland, UK | At The Checkout, Awesome Customers, Family & Kids, Top, Wild & Unruly

    (I am standing in a line for a checkout at a supermarket, when I look over and see a family with two kids in another line. The kids are throwing stuff everywhere, tins, bottles, and jars. The cashier, a young girl, is frantically trying to calm them down. Note: I’m pretty big, about 6’3″ and broad, plus I have a black eye, cut nose and a cut across my lip from a sports match the day before.)

    Cashier: *to kids* “Please stop throwing things. Someone’s going to get hurt.”

    Father: “How dare you! You people just get off on telling other people what to do! You’re all just fascists, that’s what!”

    Cashier: “Look, I’m not trying to tell you what to do, but your kids are going to end up hurting someone, and then it’ll be a big problem for all of us.”

    Mother: “Are you threatening us?”

    Cashier: *looking shocked and confused* “No! Not at all. I’m just saying that it would be best if you asked your children to stop before someone gets hurt.”

    Father: “You’re still making threats! Either you stop with that right now or I swear to God I will give you a big problem! I’m going to make you sorry you were born, unless you shut the f*** up right now!”

    (I catch the cashier’s eye, and she looks hopeless. I bend down, pick up a tin thrown by one of the kids and quietly move to just behind the parents.)

    Me: “Excuse me.”

    (They spin round. The father is not that tall, about 5’10″, so he’s pretty much looking me in the neck. I point at my black eye and battered face.)

    Me: “One of your kids just hit me in the face. Is this a problem I should take up with you personally, or should I just call the police?”

    (I’m looming over him now, very much invading his personal space.)

    Father: “Oh, God, I’m sorry! I’m really sorry, I didn’t mean to…”

    Me: “I would recommend you apologise to the nice lady who’s been putting up with you for the last 10 minutes without calling the police. It seems she’s had far more to deal with than me!”

    Peaking At High School Isn’t F-U-N-N-Y

    | USA | At The Checkout, Awesome Customers, Bigotry, Top

    (I’m having a particularly bad day. Customer #1 is a male in his 40′s while Customer #2 is a female in her 20′s.)

    Customer #1: *waving a book in my face* “I want my godd*** money back!”

    Me: “I’m sorry to hear that. Do you have your receipt, sir?”

    Customer #1: “No. But you’re giving me my money back, you stupid wh***! You have no right to defy me!”

    Me: *taken aback* “I’m sorry, but the best I can do without a receipt is store credit.”

    Customer #1:” No, the best you will do is money! M-U-N-N-Y. Get it? I got this book because I never finished reading it in high school, and it sucks!”

    (At this point, the Customer #2, the customer in line behind him, speaks up. She’s over a foot shorter than the male customer.)

    Customer #2: “Congratulations, numb nuts. At 40, you finally made it through a high school level book, and you still can’t spell ‘money’.”

    Customer #1: *wheeling around* “How dare you?! Do you know who I am?”

    Customer #2: *dryly* “Someone who never figured out how to work a breath mint?”

    Customer #1: *leering down at her* “Who do you think you are?”

    Customer #2: *sounding bored* “I am so displeased to meet you.”

    Customer #1: *spluttering* “How da—the nerve, I mean—really!”

    (He grabs his book and storms off.)

    Me: *laughing* “Wow. That was hilarious.”

    Customer #2: *joking* “He can’t words good. I bet that happens a lot, yea?”

    Me: “More than anybody would like. What can I help you with?”

    Customer #2: “I have an exchange. Got the wrong edition, you know. But, I do have my receipt.”

    (Customer #2 ended up getting hired at our store about a month later!)

    Hair Unapparent For This Fair Parent

    | Eustis, FL, USA | At The Checkout, Awesome Customers, Family & Kids, Health & Body, Top

    (Note: Customer #1 is a well-known regular in her late twenties who has been coming to our store since before her son could walk. She usually sports funky hair while her son is in elementary school and likes talking to the employees. On this day, Customer #1 seems to be in pain but we’re talking as I scan her items while her son is joking about school with the bagger. Another customer, Customer #2, is waiting impatiently.)

    Customer #2: “Will you all stop talking and hurry up?”

    Me: “I apologize, ma’am, but this lady has quite a few items. As you can see, we’re both working as well as talking. If you don’t want to wait, you can take your things to the customer service desk where they’ll be happy to help you.”

    Bagger: *to Customer #1* “Do you need help out today?”

    Customer #1: “Yes, please, and thank you.”

    Customer #2: “What the heck?! Why are you being so d*** lazy? Other people need help out. Do it yourself.”

    Me: “There are other baggers who will happily come over and help you if you need, ma’am.”

    Customer #2: *to Customer #1* “You young people are so d*** lazy these days. You probably stay home and paint your hair all those ridiculous colors. I bet you’ve never even worked a day in your life. What the h*** kind of example are you setting for your kid?”

    Customer #1: “Not that it’s really your business, but you’re wrong. I worked for [local city] before my son was born. I worked at a [local gas station] until the fact that I have [chronic illness 1] and [chronic illness 2] meant I was in too much pain. I’m having a very rough day today and wouldn’t have come out if I didn’t have to pick up my medication and food. [Son] isn’t strong enough to help with the heavy things, so I’m accepting the bagger’s offer to do so.”

    Customer #2: “Well, I, uh…”

    Customer #1′s Son: “You’re a mean lady, and I shouldn’t act like you!”

    Customer #1: “…And that’s the example I set for my son. I hope you learned something too!”

    Your Urgency Is Not My Emergency, Part 2

    | Kittery, ME, USA | At The Checkout

    (It is approximately five minutes past closing time at our drugstore. While my manager and I are counting the cash drawers, a man begins frantically banging on the doors and yelling at us.)

    Customer: “Why are your doors locked?!”

    Me: “I’m sorry, but we’re closed for the evening. We close at 9 and it is now almost 10 minutes past.”

    Customer: “But I just need one thing! It’s an emergency!”

    (I look over at my manager who sighs and nods. He puts one of the cash drawers back into the register while I unlock the door and let the man in.)

    Customer: “You’re lucky you decided to unlock that door! I was about to break it down!”

    Me: “What is it that you need? I can help you find—”

    (The man pushes past me. After waiting for a few minutes, my manager is fed up.)

    Manager: *yells toward the back of the store* “Sir? What is it that you need? Sir?”

    (There’s no response from the customer, so my manager starts to head back to find him. They nearly collide at the end of an aisle.)

    Customer: “Hey, watch it! I got what I need. Why are you so impatient?”

    Manager: “Because we are supposed to be on our way home by now! My children are waiting for me to read them a bedtime story. Please pay for your items and be mindful of the store hours from now on.”

    Customer: “Don’t talk to me like that! I’m a paying customer!”

    (The man comes up to my register and drops his items on the counter: a bottle of personal lubricant, a bag of chips, and a bottle of wine. The customer pays and leaves. My manager is fuming.)

    Manager: “THAT WAS THE BIG EMERGENCY?!”

    Related:
    Your Urgency Is Not My Emergency

    Sticking It To Sticklers For Stickers

    | Ottawa, ON, Canada | At The Checkout, Top

    (I’m a supermarket cashier and have 5 minutes left on my shift. I therefore put my “Closed” sign up as I finish with my current customers. However, a customer walks right past the sign and starts putting his items on the belt. Seeing as he only has a few items, I let it slide and serve him.)

    Me: “How are you today, sir?”

    Customer: “Fine…”

    Me: *begins ringing up his items*

    Customer: “Hey, my bread is supposed to be 50% off! It rang up full price!”

    (The customer shows me the pink “Reduction” sticker our store uses to discount certain items. This sticker was on the bottom of his bread.)

    Me: “Oh! No worries, sir. It’s an easy fix! Sorry about that.”

    (I proceed to void the bread, hit the “Reduction” key on my register, and then scan the bread again.)

    Customer: “How can you be a cashier if you’re going to miss obvious things like that! You shouldn’t be in the customer service industry if you’re going to be friggin’ oblivious! Gah, this is why I hate this store!”

    Me: “Sir… I’m only human. Human beings make mistakes and miss things sometimes, just like you missed my closed sign when you walked up to my cash. I, however, didn’t bother calling you out on it. Your total is $11.03.”

    Customer: *sheepishly looks at my sign* “…Debit.”

    Me: *big smile* “Have a WONDERFUL evening, sir.”


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