Featured Story:
  • Always Time For A Rhyme
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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!

    Get The Independent Jeans

    | GA, USA | At The Checkout, Family & Kids

    (A young girl drives a cart load of her younger sister and some clothing to my register. I always hate to begin checking children out without their parents present. This girl appears to be about seven years old, and the younger sister is three. The seven year old begins to grab items out of the buggy when she realizes that her sister is stepping on some of her items. She begins fussing at her sister as if she is her mother.)

    Seven year old: *to her sister* “I done told you not to be standing on my stuff. Get out of this buggy, little girl!”

    Me: “Let’s wait to check you out until mom is ready okay, sweetie?”

    Seven year old: “She’s ready!” *yells to her mother, who is still shopping* “Let’s go!”

    Mom: “Okay, I’m ready!”

    (I begin scanning her items and come upon a pair of jeans that is on sale.)

    Me: *to the mom* “This pair of jeans is part of our ‘Buy One, Get One’ offer. If you’re interested in a second pair, it’ll only cost you a dollar extra.”

    Mom: “Well honey, go grab another pair real quick!”

    Seven year old: “Ugh, you go do it!” *throws the pair of jeans at her mother*

    Mom: “Okay, what kind do you want? Something similar or a diff—”

    Seven year old: “Oh, forget it! I’ll do it because you will take forever!”

    (She snatches the jeans from her mother and storms off, as dramatically as only a child can manage.)

    Me: “How old is she?”

    Mom: “Oh, she’s seven. She’s just so independent. She’s something else isn’t she?”

    Me: “Absolutely, ma’am!”

    Training Draining

    , | Australia | At The Checkout, Food & Drink

    (It’s around 12 pm. I’m training a new girl on her third shift. She’s never been on register before, so I’m walking her through it before I teach her how to serve. Our register layout has changed that day, so every employee on shift is re-learning it. All of a sudden, a woman who has been standing in line for around two minutes walks straight up to the register. The register has a sign on it clearly stating that it is closed.)

    Customer: “Excuse me, do you have to do that now?”

    Me: “I’m sorry?”

    Customer: “It’s lunchtime, and you’re training! Do you have to do that now?”

    Me: “I’m sorry ma’am, but this is her training shift and—”

    Customer: “I don’t care! I’ve been standing here for ten minutes! You have one girl serving and it’s extremely busy!”

    (We have around five customers besides her, three of whom have ordered and paid.)

    Me: “I’m sorry, I’ll get you my manager.”

    Customer: “It’s lunch time!”

    Manager: “Hi, what seems to be the problem today?”

    Customer: “This girl is being extremely rude to me and refusing to serve me!”

    Manager: “I’m sorry, but as you can see, this register is closed. Our trainee is currently being trained. If you’ll just step into that line over there, we’ll take your order.”

    Customer: “It’s lunch time! Are you all stupid!?. Some of us are on our meal breaks!”

    Manager: “I’m sorry about that, ma’am.”

    Customer: “This line isn’t even moving!”

    (The manager is needed in two other parts of the store at this point, so she instructs me to have the trainee serve the customer, and then get back to training her.)

    Customer: “Finally. It’s lunch time!”

    (The customer then proceeds to rattle off a long and extremely complicated order. This is difficult for both the trainee and myself and takes around five minutes to put through her order. She begins screaming about slow service around halfway through. The trainee is nearly in tears by this point.)

    Customer: “Oh, for God’s sake! You’re so f***ing slow! Don’t you know how to use a register?”

    Me: *finally losing my patience* “No, she doesn’t. That’s what I was trying to teach her before.”

    Customer: “I want to talk to your manager!”

    Manager: “I’m sorry, I’m going to have to ask you to leave. You have been extremely rude to my staff, who are only doing as they have been instructed to do. Here is your food.”

    Customer: “You can’t do this to me! I’m going to your owners, and I’m going to your head office! What’s your name? What’s her name?”

    (The manager gives both of our names.)

    Customer: “I’M GOING TO HAVE YOU BOTH FIRED!”

    (The customer then proceeds to charge out of the store, still ranting about poor service.)

    Manager: “Yeah, have fun with that.”

    Waxing Lyrical About Christmas Kindness

    | OH, USA | At The Checkout, Awesome Customers, Holidays, Theme Of The Month

    (Several customers are purchasing wax cubes. You’re supposed to melt them in a wax burner, but I can’t help but sniff them while I’m ringing them out. I didn’t want to stop smelling one in particular. However, after seeing one of the customers looking at me funny, I quickly close it and put it with the others in the bag.)

    Customer #1: “If you like those so much, you should buy some!”

    Me: “Oh, I don’t have a wax burner.”

    Customer #2: “You should get one! They smell really good when they’re melted, too!”

    Me: “I’m a college student. I don’t have money!”

    (The customers leave, only to later come back back through my line. They’re purchasing another lip balm and wax burner along with candy cane-scented wax. They start to walk away with just their lip balms and don’t grab their other items.)

    Me: “Hey, wait, you forgot your bag!”

    Customer #1: “That’s for you. Merry Christmas. You deserve it for trying to do something with your life!”

    (I was nearly in tears for the rest of the evening! Thank you, kind customer!)

    Fails To Register

    | Nanuet, NY, USA | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid

    (My store has three registers. I am stocking a shelf when a customer stops in front of the registers.)

    Customer: “Which register?”

    Me: “I can ring you up on the second register, ma’am.”

    Customer: *points to the third register* “That one?”

    Me: “No, the second one.”

    Customer: *points to the first register* “That one?”

    Me: “No, ma’am, the second register. This one here, with the light on.” *points at the second register*

    Customer: *angry* “Why isn’t this more clearly marked!? You should make it clearer which one is the one you’re on!”

    (Despite what I’ve said, she still walks over to the third register and drops her items on the counter. I walk over to the second register and put in my code.)

    Me: “I’ll take you over here, ma’am.”

    Customer: “You should’ve said that before I put my stuff down!”

    Putting Pickles Before People Will Put You In A Pickle

    , | Raleigh, NC, USA | At The Checkout, Awesome Customers, Food & Drink, Holidays, Theme Of The Month

    (It’s very close to Christmas and I’m on my break in the mall’s food court. The line I’m in is long; I notice there’s a customer with a young daughter throwing a fit, which is holding up the line.)

    Customer: “I specifically said no pickles! I’m a very busy woman; I don’t have time for you to correct your stupid mistake! You should have gotten it right the first d*** time!”

    (The customer continues to rant, at length, about how poor the service is and how she’s too busy to deal with it. This goes on for a few minutes while her daughter looks embarrassed and the rest of the customers in line are getting agitated. Finally, I decide to speak up.)

    Me: “Hey! Lady! It’s Christmas! We’re all busy. So how about you shut up, take the pickles off your own d*** sandwich, and stop acting like an a** in front of your kid? We all have lives we’d like to get back to!”

    (The customer tries to respond, but stops when she realizes the rest of the customers in line are applauding. She takes her food and drags her daughter off with a huff. The other customers actually push me to the front of the line, where the cashier looks nearly in tears, but is very relieved.)

    Cashier: “Thank you so much.”

    Me: “You’re welcome. Nobody deserves that kind of attitude today!”

    (The cashier gave me a free drink, and the man behind me in line insisted on paying for my order out of ‘The Christmas Spirit’.)

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