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!

Piercing Judgments

| Medford, MA, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Health & Body, Top

(I have a purple/reddish birthmark about the size of a quarter above my eyebrow. I generally forget it exists. A self-important looking customer in his 60s comes to my register.)

Customer: “Serves you right.”

Me: “Excuse me?”

Customer: “What happened, did it get infected?” *huffs* “That’s what you get for piercing your face.”

(Note: I have several small studs in each ear, but no other piercings.)

Me: “I don’t know what you mean.”

Customer: *smugly points to my eyebrow without saying a word*

Me: “That’s actually a birthmark, but thanks for being so judgmental!”

(The customer turns red, grabs his coffee, and quickly walks away without saying a word. He nearly spills his coffee on someone else in the process!)

He’s Got The Bear Necessities

| MN, USA | At The Checkout, Family & Kids, Theme Of The Month, Top

(A little boy, around five or six, comes into my work with his parents. He has a scab below his eye.)

Me: “Hey, buddy! What happened to your eye?”

Boy: *looking down, embarrassed* “I fell off a chair.”

(I lean down, and whisper to him just loud enough for his parents to hear.)

Me: “Just tell people you got in a fight with a bear, and WON!”

Boy: *lights up* “Yeah! Dad, can I say that?”

Dad: “Well, that’s what happened, right? You got in a fight with a bear and WON!”

Boy: “YEAH!”

Failed The Balancing Act

| ON, Canada | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Money

(I am working at a busy café, serving a customer who is busy gossiping with her friend.)

Me: “So, your total comes to $4.95.”

(The customer hands me her pre-loaded store card without saying a word. I swipe for payment.)

Me: “Oh, it looks like your balance is reduced to zero now. You just owe $0.35.”

Customer: “YOU USED THE CARD?!”

Me: “Yes, you gave it to me.”

Customer: “Oh my God! I just wanted the balance!”

Me: “Okay, well you should say that when you hand me the card after I ask you for payment.”

Customer: “UGH! Like… I have change!”

Me: “Okay, I’m sorry that you weren’t aware.”

Customer: “Just give me the d*** balance!”

Me: “You have no money on the card. I told you your total. You gave me your card without saying anything. And so I used it. And now there is no money on it. And you still owe me $0.35.”

(The customer gets red-faced, pays the remainder, and still tries to act cool leaving.)

Of Mama Bears And Magic Hairs

| AB, Canada | At The Checkout, Bizarre

(I am working as a cashier. A very tall and slender man, in his late 20s, wearing all black, with shoulder length black hair, facial piercings, and white and black face make up, and his nails painted black comes up to my till.)

Me: “Hi, did you find everything? Or is there something I can help you with?”

Customer: *in a very quiet low voice* “Um… yeah. I was wondering if you can hold this for a little while. Mama bear is done shopping over at [grocery store], and I need to go get her.”

Me: “Sure, if you just want to leave it here, I can put it under my till or you can take it to customer service.”

Customer: “I will leave it here.”

(The customer walks away. After about 15 minutes, he comes back to my till.)

Customer: “Hi, mama bear wasn’t finished, so I need to know if you can hold my stuff a while longer.”

Me: “Sure thing, that won’t be a problem.”

(He then proceeds to reach out a touch my hair.)

Customer: “I feel the energy of your hair. It wants you to know, it loves you.”

Me: “…”

(Once again he walks out the door. After another hour he comes back in with an older lady, in her 80s with a cane.)

Customer: “See Oma, this is who I was telling you about. Do you feel that energy?”

Old Lady: “Yes, she feels very light, like clouds.”

Me: “Are you ready to pay?”

Old Lady: “In a minute, dear.”

(This is when a middle aged lady, maybe 50, walks in grabs their hands and starts leading them toward the door without purchasing their items.)

Customer: “But mama bear, the hair!”

Coworker: “That was odd.”

You Reap What You Soy

| DE, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Food & Drink, Health & Body

(I’m a regular customer standing in line at my favorite coffee shop. It’s a busy morning, and the very friendly barista I know is flying through orders. Customer #1 is ahead of me waiting.)

Barista: “I have a large latte for [Customer #1].”

Customer #1: “Is that soy? I asked for soy.”

Barista: “Oh no, it’s not. I apologize; the cup was not marked properly. I’m glad you checked.”

Customer #1: “I have a severe dairy allergy. It was supposed to be soy.”

Barista: “Well I do apologize; I’ll start another right away. We always say ‘soy’ when the coffee contains soy, so thanks for checking.”

Customer #1: “I don’t need your attitude!”

Barista: “I did not mean to give you any attitude, ma’am. Again I apologize. In fact, I have a diary allergy myself, so I understand. Here’s your tall latte with soy.”

(I can tell that everyone around me is feeling uncomfortable witnessing Customer #1’s bad behavior. She starts to leave with her coffee, and turns to Customer #2.)

Customer #1: “What a b****!”

Customer #2: “You sure act like one!”

(At this, the remainder of the customers shout statements of agreement.)

Remainder Of Customers: “Yeah! Way to be a nasty person over a little mistake! Poor girl is just doing her job, and she’s hustling through it too! I would never want to have to put up with you! You really ought to be nicer to people who serve you your food!”

(Customer #1 practically runs from the store. It gives me a little more faith in humanity!)

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