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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!

    Small Print, Smaller Minds

    | IN, USA | At The Checkout

    (I work as a manager at a large craft store chain. A customer comes in, wanting to return a clearance item she had purchased from another store in our chain.)

    Customer: “I want to return this item, please.”

    (I look at her receipt, and notice it is over 60 days old.)

    Me: “I’m sorry, but I can’t take back clearance items on receipts that are more than 60 days old.”

    Customer: “The cashier didn’t tell me that.”

    Me: “Well, our return policy is right here on the back of the receipt.”

    Customer: “Well, she didn’t tell me to turn it over and read it!”

    Not Quite The PIN-nacle of Intelligence

    | South Paris, ME, USA | At The Checkout, Criminal/Illegal, Extra Stupid, Money

    Me: “Credit or debit?”

    Customer: “Uhh… debit I, guess.”

    Me: “Okay, slide the card here and then enter your pin.”

    Customer: “But it’s my friend’s card. I don’t know the pin.”

    Me: “I’m sorry, but I can’t allow you to use a card that doesn’t belong to you.”

    Customer: “Do credit. I don’t need the pin for that.”

    Me: “Yes, but for credit the cardholder has to sign.”

    Customer: “I can sign it.”

    Me: “Only the cardholder can sign.”

    Customer: “Then I’ll just sign her name.”

    Me: “I can’t allow you to do that either. That’s fraud. We could both get into trouble.”

    Customer: “There won’t be any trouble. She told me I could use her card.”

    Me: “I’m sorry, but I can’t let you use a card that doesn’t belong to you. Can you pay for these things yourself and then ask your friend to pay you back?”

    Customer: “I don’t have any money. Besides, I can’t trust her to pay me back.”

    Me: “Then I can’t sell you these items. I’m sorry.”

    Customer: “Why?”

    Me: “Ma’am, we don’t know each other, right?”

    Customer: “Um… nope. I don’t think so.”

    Me: “If I were to try to buy something from you with a credit card that you knew wasn’t mine, what would you say?”

    Customer: “I’d ask you for some kind of proof that you had permission…” *lightbulb goes on* “Oh!”

    (Although the customer seems to finally understand, but she continues to stand there.)

    Me: “Was there something else I could help you with?”

    Customer: “So, can I just sign her name?”

    Likely Story, Unlikely Store

    | Wayne, NJ, USA | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid

    (A woman walks up to the customer service desk.)

    Me: “Hello, ma’am. How are you today?”

    Customer: “I’d like to return these sandals. They broke when I was wearing them, and I fell.”

    Me: “Okay ma’am, not a problem.”

    (I look at the sandals, and they are not a brand that we sell.)

    Me: “Ma’am, these sandals actually aren’t from this store.”

    Customer: “Of course they are! I bought them just a few weeks ago, right on the rack over there!”

    (Even if she had purchased them here, the rack she is pointing to is in the complete opposite direction of where are sandals are.)

    Me: “Ma’am, I’m sorry, but this brand isn’t one that we sell here. I don’t know where you got them, but it wasn’t from this store.”

    Customer: “This is ridiculous! I bought these from this store! And I fell in them and hurt myself! I’m going to sue you! I got hurt wearing a pair of your sandals!”

    Me: “One moment, ma’am… I will call over a manager to assist you.”

    (I call the manager, who heads over pretty quickly. The customer continues ranting in much the same manner.)

    Customer: “I’m going to sue you and this store! I know for a fact that I got these here, and—”

    (She has stopped mid-sentence because she is looking down at her sandals. As she does so, her eyes grow wide, and she becomes very pale.)

    Customer: “…Oh. I don’t want to speak to the manager.”

    Me: “I’m sorry?”

    Customer: “I don’t want to speak to anyone. I’m sorry, this is the wrong store!” *leaves*

    Taking His Wife’s Baggage Out On You

    | Nanaimo, BC, Canada | At The Checkout

    (I am working as an assistant manager at a department store and have been called to the refund desk. The clerk explains that a man at the desk wants to pick up some shopping that his wife has apparently left to be picked up. Unfortunately, we can’t find the packages.)

    Me: “I’m sorry, sir. We can’t find the purchases. Do you know what register your wife went through?”

    Customer: “The one up there.” *points to the entrance to the mall*

    Me: “Okay, I’ll call up there and see if the bags are there.”

    (I call up to the register area and ask the cashiers if there are any bags left for pickup; none are left.)

    Me: “I’m sorry, sir. There are no bags at the checkouts either. What time was your wife here?”

    Customer: “About 10 am…”

    (I know we only had one cashier on at 10am, and that her shift had already ended. I try and call her, but am unable to reach the cashier and verify the story.)

    Me: “I’m sorry, sir, I can’t reach the cashier.”

    Customer: “I don’t give a s*** whether you reached her or not. Just go and get me what she bought and give it to me”.

    (Obviously, I don’t know what she bought, nor am I giving him anything for free until I can verify his story.)

    Me: “I’m sorry; I can’t do that until I can find out what has happened.”

    Customer: “Give me my stuff!” *starts swearing*

    Me: “I’m sorry, I can’t do that right now.”

    (Suddenly, the customer takes a roundhouse swing at me. He does this a few times, when another customer behind him grabs the first customer by the shoulders, spins him around, and shoves him away.)

    Other Customer: “Get out of here before you get into trouble!”

    (The customer stomps off, and out of the store. A few hours later, I’m on the floor with my manager. I happen to look down the aisle, and see the same customer staring at me. Thankfully, it’s about 75 feet away so I have some time to think as he’s coming towards me. Anticipating another confrontation, I prepare to defend myself and tense up for a fight. The customer approaches me.)

    Customer: “Hey, I wanted to apologize for the way I acted this morning. My wife had already picked up the stuff!”

    Ring Me Up And Shut Me Down

    | WA, USA | At The Checkout, Awesome Workers, Top

    (I’m grabbing a few sundries after filling my car up. The only other people in the store are a young girl at the register, and a customer she’s serving. I take no interest in them till I suddenly hear the customer screaming.)

    Customer: “Get me your manager, now! You’ve worked your last shift at this place, you worthless b****!”

    Cashier: “I certainly will ma’am, but I was merely—”

    Customer: “No! Not another word! I am the customer; the manager will believe whatever I tell him. Now stop stalling and get him for me!”

    (The cashier sighs and disappears into the backroom, returning with said manager a moment later.)

    Manager: “Is there a problem, ma’am?”

    Customer: “I’ll say there is! This incompetent s*** rang my gum up twice, and then laughed in my face when I told her to correct the error. I’m certain she rang all my other stuff up incorrectly as well. I demand you kick her out to the curb!”

    Manager: “I see…” *to the cashier* “Is this true?”

    Cashier: “Well, just the part about ringing up her gum twice. I apologized and fixed the error immediately.”

    Customer: “Bulls***! You’re lying!”

    Manager: “Could you bring the transaction up please?”

    Customer: “She’s lying! She f***ing laughed in my face!”

    Cashier: “Ma’am, I was only smiling. I promise.”

    Manager: *checking the register screen* “Hmmm, and I see she did correct her error, and everything else was rung up properly.”

    Customer: “FIRE HER!”

    Manager: “Ma’am, may I ask you a question first? Namely, who are you?”

    (She states full name, job title, company and the location of her office, which is a small brokerage firm in the nearby town.)

    Manager: “Hmm, can’t say I’ve ever heard of them, or you. Nevertheless let me ask you this: why should I fire this girl, whom I’ve worked with for three years, has never missed a day without good reason, is always on time for her shift, and has been described by several of our regulars as one of the most courteous ladies they’ve ever met, over a simple mistake which, as I’m seeing here, she quickly corrected?”

    Woman: “Wha? But… I… you… because I’m the customer!”

    Manager: *nods* “Well, I’m sorry, ma’am, but I don’t see how that’s a valid reason to side with someone I don’t know from Adam, and thus lose a model employee whom I know to be perfectly trustworthy and respectful. Is there anything else we can help you with?”

    (With that, the customer screams, shoves what’s on the counter at the manager and storms out.)

    Manager: *to the cashier* “If I believed every windbag who came in here ranting incoherently, I’d never be able to hang onto any staff. I’ll be in my office if you need me again.” *disappears into the back*

    Me: *stunned* “My God. That was awesome!”

    Cashier: *beaming brightly* “Whole reason why I love my job!”

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