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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!

    Some Customers Are A Blessing

    | AB, Canada | At The Checkout, Religion

    (I am a cashier, helping a customer. She sneezes.)

    Me: “Bless you!”

    Customer: “Are you a priest?”

    Me: “I’m sorry?”

    Customer: “Are you a priest?”

    Me: “Um… no. I am a cashier at the moment.”

    Customer: “Well, then you have no right to bless me!”

    Me: “Okay… my apologies?”

    Small Minded People

    | Scotland, UK | At The Checkout, Bigotry, Family & Kids

    (I am a dwarf, and need a stool to be seen clearly. From the till, I can pass as an average-height person. A customer and her small child approach.)

    Customer: “Do you have any woollen gloves?”

    Me: “Sure, we keep more stuff in the back. I’ll go and check for you.”

    (I step down from my stool, and come out from behind the counter. The customer is surprised, and takes a step back, taking her child’s hand. Despite being hurt by her reaction, I make myself smile. I head to the back room, where I can hear her son.)

    Child: “What was that, mum?”

    Customer: “Shush! Don’t stare. He’s just a midget; he won’t hurt you. He didn’t eat his greens, that’s all.”

    (I come back through with a box of gloves.)

    Me: “Sorry, I couldn’t help overhearing. Midget isn’t the most ‘PC’ term to use. Personally, I prefer dwarf; it’s different for everyone. Midget is definitely offensive for most though.”

    (The customer looks at me wide-eyed, saying nothing. I gesture to the box for her to look through.)

    Me: “You’ll probably find something in there. We have quite a lot of—”

    Customer: “Is it okay if you go back behind the counter? You know, for my son?”

    (Quite speechless, I go back behind the counter, and on to the stool. My manager decides to intervene.)

    Manager: “Is there a problem here? Do you think [my name] here is going to taint your kid’s innocence or something?”

    Customer: “I just don’t want him scaring my son. Is that too much to ask?”

    Manager: “Well, I’m not going to have you insult my staff. Either treat him like a human being, or leave this shop.”

    Customer: “Well, I don’t know why you hired someone like him to work on the till!”

    Manager: “Okay, that’s it. Get out.”

    (The customer and her child leave.)

    Me: “Thank you!”

    Manager: “Shush, just stay there. I’m going to the bakery to get you an apple turnover. You deserve something after dealing with her!”

    He Came First

    | ACT, Australia | At The Checkout, Health & Body, Rude & Risque

    (Two customers enter at the same time. One is a woman, and the other is a man in his 70s. I get their scripts ready. As the woman is done first, I send her up to the tills while I finish with the man. Since there is another customer at the tills, I end up putting the man through before the woman is served.)

    Woman: “I was here first! How come he is served before me? What does he have that I don’t?

    (The man responds without a second thought.)

    Man: “Raw sex appeal.”

    (If I was allowed to discount scripts, I would have given him his for free.)

    Shrewd With Shoes

    | Kansas City, KS, USA | At The Checkout, Criminal/Illegal, Liars & Scammers, Theme Of The Month

    (My manager is helping a customer and her daughter find a pair of shoes for the girl.)

    Manager: “This style has gone to clearance, so this is the only size we have left.”

    Customer: “Okay. Let’s try those on, and see if they fit her.”

    (My manager leaves the customer’s to try the shoes on. A few minutes later they come through my line to check out. The shoes are not in their pile of clothing.)

    Me: “So, you decided against those shoes?”

    (The customer seems flustered.)

    Customer: “Yeah, no. They didn’t fit.”

    Manager: “Since you aren’t purchasing them, could I have those shoes? I have another customer wanting to try them on.”

    (The customer points vaguely to the shoe section. My manager cannot find the shoes, so acting on a hunch, she calls security. I finish the customer’s transaction and bag her items. Security arrives a minute later, and the customer flees the store with her bags. Several minutes later, my manager and a security guard approach my register, holding the pair of shoes the customer said she left on the floor.)

    Manager: “I am going to have to write you up.”

    Me: “What? What did I do?”

    Manager: “You didn’t notice that woman had a pair of high top sneakers stuffed into her jacket! She threw them onto the ground as she was running. But since you checked her ID against her credit card and got all her information, I think I can let it go this time!”

    (Thankfully she was joking, and I wasn’t written up. She later testified in court against the customer, getting the thief’s name from the credit card she had used when I rang her up.)

    He Already Has Enough Issues

    | AB, Canada | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Spouses & Partners

    (One of my co-workers is checking out a couple.)

    Cashier: “Alright, so your total is [total].”

    (The wife starts paying with debit. Her husband is scanning our magazines at the side of the till.)

    Husband: *to the cashier* “Excuse me, miss? Can I get a magazine?”

    Cashier: “Oh, sure, I don’t see why not. We can do it as a separate transaction if you’d like?”

    Husband: “Oh? I have to buy them?”

    Cashier: *laughs* “Yes, sir. You would have to buy it.”

    Husband: “Oh… well then, never mind.” *turns to his wife* “This b**** won’t give me a magazine!”

    Wife: “Shut up; you’re being an a**!”

    (The two customers leave and the cashier turns to me.)

    Cashier: “I really hope he was drunk. If not, then what just happened?”

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