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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!

    Cold Hard Cash(iers)

    | GA, USA | At The Checkout, Awesome Workers, Bad Behavior, Food & Drink

    (My mother is a cashier at a popular liquor store. I stop by to drop off her lunch. The credit card machines have shut down and the manager is in the back trying to get them running. The employees have let their customers know they will have to pay cash until then. Some customers leave for another store; most went next door to the bank ATM to get cash. One customer, however, isn’t particularly happy about this.)

    Customer: “So, you’re telling me I have to walk all the way over to the ATM to get cash?”

    (Note: the bank is right next door.)

    Mom: “I’m sorry, sir, but the credit card machine is down for the moment. You can go to the ATM or go to another store.”

    Customer: *scoffs* “Fine.”

    (He leaves the store, and comes back a few minutes later with cash in his hand.)

    Customer: “I had to pay three dollars to get money out of that ATM! I better get a discount!”

    Mom: “I’m sorry, sir. I don’t have that authority.”

    Customer: “I don’t care! I better get one!”

    (He picks up a $50 Scotch and returns to my mom’s register; she rings him up.)

    Customer: “Hey, you didn’t give me my discount!”

    Mom: “Sir, I’m sorry but I can’t give you three dollars off because you made the choice to go to the ATM.”

    Customer: “B****, give me three dollars off!”

    (The store goes absolutely silent, and everyone is watching the exchange.)

    Me: “Don’t talk to my mother that way.”

    Mom: “I’ll tell you what I can do.” *takes scotch and puts it under her stand* “I can refuse to sell this to you.”

    Customer: “I want to see your manager!”

    Mom: “Fine.” *calls manager*

    Manager: *comes over* “What’s the problem?”

    Customer: “Your employee said, and I quote, “I won’t sell you s***!”

    Me: “No, she didn’t!”

    Mom: “Sir, I did not use that language towards you.”

    Customer #2: “I’m a witness, and she didn’t say that.”

    Customer: “I WANT A DISCOUNT!”

    Manager: “Sir, leave. Now.”

    Customer: “Give me my discount!”

    Manager: “If you don’t leave right now I will call the cops.”

    Customer: “Fine, call the cops! I don’t care!”

    (The manager, Customer #2 and I, pull out our cell phones.)

    Customer: “I’m never coming back!” *runs out of the store*

    Me: “What was his problem?”

    Customer #2: “That guy needs to pull up his skirt.” *smiles at my mom* “I’ll keep coming back for the wonderful customer service, and tough-as-nails cashiers!”

    Giving More Than His Two Cents

    | Hamden, CT, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Money

    (A male customer buys nothing but a water and is checking out with me.)

    Me: “Have a nice day!” *big smile*

    Customer: “You too!”

    (The customer leaves with no issue and is gone for perhaps a minute before he comes storming back in the exit door.)

    Customer: “Did you charge me 5 cents for this water?” *waving receipt in the air*

    Me: “The water itself is two dollars and then we have the deposit fee.”

    (There is a 5-cent deposit on all beverages in my state. Period. You get it back when and if you recycle it at a machine that gives vouchers. It has been this way for as long as I can remember in my 22 years.)

    Customer: “So you charged me 5 cents?!”

    Me: “It’s not an extra five cents, Sir, there’s just a deposit.”

    Customer: “I want my 5 cents back!”

    Me: “I’m sorry, sir, it’s a state law. All beverages have a 5 cent deposit.”

    Customer: “You can’t do that! It’s not displayed. I want my 5 cents back!”

    Me: “Sir, I can’t give you a nickel, I’d be a nickel short in my till.”

    Customer: “You need to give me my 5 cents back! It isn’t on a sign! You have to have a sign about it!”

    Me: *shocked pause* “Let me call my manager… one second.”

    (A new manager approaches and asks what the problem is. As the customer is obviously irate, he takes him back to his office to talk, something you really aren’t meant to do. When their meeting is finished, the customer storms out of the office.)

    Manager: “I should have just given him the five cents. I think we just lost a customer.”

    Me: “…I think we can survive losing that particular customer.”

    Customers Providing Change For A Change

    | Oakville, ON, Canada | At The Checkout, Awesome Customers, Money, Theme Of The Month

    (I have seen only one customer all day: a regular contractor who normally goes to another location.)

    Me: “Hey! What do you need?”

    Contractor: “Just a roller sleeve; am I the first you’ve had all day?”

    Coworker: “Well, with the roller you’re buying, so far we’ve made $13.79 today.”

    Contractor: *throws a $50 bill on the counter* “Wow. Use the change to buy some magazines and snacks so you aren’t just sitting here anymore.”

    Me: “Thank you! Oh, wow! You should keep this, but thank you so much. I’m dying of boredom!”

    (Five years later, all I remember about that job was how awful my boss was, and how nice the contractor was every time he came in, no matter what was happening or how long it took to get his paint. He was always wanting the employees to be happy, and whenever he walked in we were.)

    Failing To Register

    | Bowie, MD, USA | At The Checkout, Awesome Customers, Bad Behavior, Theme Of The Month, Top

    (It’s early morning and we have just two people working, one person to take money, the other to get the order. This is how we are trained to work, and we function quickly and efficiently this way. A regular customer has begun complaining about the way we run the bakery every day she comes in, and has tried several times to cut in line. On this day, she cuts in front of another customer I’m serving to complain yet again.)

    Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but she is ordering with me right now. It’ll be just a moment.”

    Regular: *steps off in a huff* “Why are two people helping one customer? You need to open another register.”

    (After the other customer is done, the regular rushes to my register again.)

    Me: “Good morning.”

    Regular: “Why do you need two people to help one person? It’s bad business!”

    Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am. What would you like today?”

    Regular: *gives her order* “You people have become so slow! You used to be good, but recently you’ve been giving really terrible service.”

    (I want to explain that this is the slowest month of the year, and the management has cut the amount of staff in half to accommodate for the lack of business and ease up on labor costs, but I don’t want to start an argument.)

    Me: *repeats her order* “Would you like anything else today, ma’am?”

    Regular: “No. You need to have more registers open, it’s bad business!”

    Me: “That’ll be [price]; for here or to go?”

    (She gives me the money as she continues to rant about how slow we’ve gotten and then turns away in a huff. Meanwhile, there’s another regular, a city police officer, who is sitting at the table immediately next to my register. She stands up and watches the regular stomp away.)

    Officer: “Somebody woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning.”

    Me: *whispering* “She’s like that every day!”

    Officer: “Really?”

    (I turn and discover that the first regular has flagged down my manager, and is continuing her rant loudly.)

    Me: *still whispering* “Oh, great, now she’s harassing him.”

    Officer: *loudly and in the regular’s direction* “There is nothing wrong with how these young ladies run this business! Leave them alone! If you have a problem with them or this establishment, you can go somewhere else!”

    (All I could do was stare as the regular leaves with her food as quickly as possible; I haven’t seen her since!)

    Always Jump At The Chance For Fun

    | CT, USA | At The Checkout, Awesome Customers, Bizarre, Top

    (A customer in her forties comes through my line, and we exchange pleasantries as I ring her out. It’s a perfectly normal interaction.)

    Me: “Do you have your [store] rewards card?”

    Customer: “No, I don’t believe I have one.”

    Me: “Well, would you like to sign up?”

    (The customer agrees and I walk her through the process. Everything goes smoothly and at the end, I scan her new card and hand it to her.)

    Me: “There you go!”

    Customer: “Yay!”

    (Suddenly, the customer starts jumping up and down in joy, waving her hands and looking for all the world like an ecstatic six year old. This goes on for a while and, not knowing what else to do, I wind up jumping with her. Just as suddenly as she started, she calms down and stops jumping.)

    Woman: “There, wasn’t that exciting? Now you’ll be cheery for the whole rest of the day!”

    (I certainly was!)

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