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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!

    Brevity Is The Soul Of Hightailing It

    | London, England, UK | At The Checkout

    (We have briefs in packets; they normally cost a pack of 3 for £5. On this day, a customer comes with 6 packs.)

    Me: “That’s £30 please, Sir.”

    Customer: “What? No, they are 3 packs for £5! That sign says so.” *points at the sign, which says ’3 pairs for £5′*

    Me: “Oh! No, Sir, I’m afraid that’s not the case. The sign is referring to the number of briefs in each pack. They are still £5 each.”

    Customer: “No, that’s not right! You’re trying to screw me over, you little c***!”

    Me: *shocked* “No, Sir, I’m not. If you wish, I can get my manager and he can explain it to you.”

    Customer: “You better f***ing do that, b****! I’ll give him a piece of my d*** mind.”

    (I ring the bell to call my manager. He has already heard the shouting, and comes quickly. He is a 6′ 5” man who looks more like he belongs in wrestling gear than in a suit.)

    Manager: “Is there a problem here?”

    Customer: “Yes! There bloody well…” *he goes pale as he takes in my manager, and immediately goes all meek* “er… this girl is trying to… to dupe me.”

    Manager: “No, she isn’t. Now, I suggest you pay for your purchases, apologise to my colleague for what you called her, and then leave.”

    Customer: *gives me his card and mumbles* “Sorry.”

    (I’ve never seen someone leave the store so fast.)

    Beyond Help

    | Brooklyn, NY, USA | At The Checkout

    (I’m at the pharmacy picking up some toothpaste, and I overhear two women standing behind on line.)

    Customer #1: “Uh God, this is so slow.”

    Customer #2: “I know, and I hate these self check-out things. I wish they would have a cashier, a real cashier, just one, for those of us who don’t want to use these things.”

    Me: “Ma’am. They do a have a cashier. She’s right over there. See those people?”

    (I point to the side of the store where a cashier is checking out customers.)

    Customer #2: “I don’t want to walk way over there!”

    Semper Bye Bye

    | Indiana, USA | At The Checkout, Military, Rude & Risque, Top

    (I’m checking out a sleazy looking customer. He’s buying a gallon of milk. To not waste bags, we’re supposed to ask if people want their milk in a bag or if they’ll just carry it as is.)

    Me: “You want your milk in a bag?”

    Sleazy Customer: “Heh, heh. No, but I’ll take the milk in your bags. You got a boyfriend, sweetheart?”

    Me: “Oh yeah. He works here. One minute…” *over the intercom* “Greg to the front please, Greg.”

    (Greg isn’t my boyfriend, but Greg is one of our stock persons. Greg is about 6 feet tall and has been training for the Marines, so he’s completely ripped.)

    Sleazy Customer: *staring at my chest* “I bet he’s a real pansy. I could be a big man for you, sweetheart.”

    (I quietly take the customer’s money and give him back his change. Greg shows up to the front.)

    Greg: *to me* “What do you need?”

    Me: “Hey baby, this guy wanted to meet my boyfriend. He keeps talking about my…milk bags?”

    (The customer stares bug-eyed at Greg. Greg, for his part, doesn’t even miss a beat. He just leans toward the customer.)

    Greg: “Sir, the last man who sexually harassed my girl? I ripped him apart with my bare hands.”

    Sleazy Customer: *turns and runs out of the store*

    Me: *to the sleazy customer* “YOU FORGOT YOUR JUG OF MILK!”

    An Eye For An Eyepatch

    | Beaverton, OR, USA | At The Checkout, Bizarre, Top, Wild & Unruly

    (I’m the only employee still working a cash register late one night. I’ve got a long line, and the next customer keeps glaring at me.)

    Me: “Hello, miss, sorry about the wait. Did you find everything all right?”

    Customer: “I’m so sick of you people.”

    Me: “Of who?”

    Customer: “First, that awful girl stacking the shelves with the pink hair, and now you with that… thing on your face! Why are you brats so desperate for attention?”

    (Two years ago, I lost my right eye in an accident. I wear an eyepatch now.)

    Me: “Ma’am, that’s not a fashion statement, I really need—”

    Customer: “Don’t lie to me!”

    (Without warning, she lunges across the counter and grabs the patch, snapping the cord and pulling it off. She laughs with triumph for about a second before she sees my empty eye socket.)

    Customer: *screams and runs out of the store, leaving her items but taking the eyepatch*

    (That customer never came back. Fortunately, I have a lot of spare eyepatches, but I had to finish the rest of my shift that night with a paper bandage over the socket.)

    On A Berating And A Prayer

    | NY, USA | At The Checkout, Top

    (It’s 8 am on a Sunday morning, and only my second day working the register alone at a very large, well-known 24-hour store. Two customers come up to my register with four carts overflowing with food.)

    Me: “Good morning, how are you today?” *starts scanning and bagging items*

    Younger Customer: “Hello, these are separate orders.”

    Me: “Oh, okay! Just let me know when to stop for the first order.”

    Older Customer: “Who said to scan this stuff?! What’s wrong with you!? Did I say we were ready for you to start? Are you stupid?”

    Me: “Oh! Um…I’m sorry. I didn’t know.”

    Older Customer: “You should!”

    (At this point, the older customer begins to dig through the carts with the younger customer, separating things and barking at me to scan items here and there. After a bit, she asks me the price of a box of crackers.)

    Me: *checks the price on the register* “They’re [price].”

    Older Customer: “No! It said something else! It was a different price!”

    Me: “Well, ma’am, I can have someone check—”

    Older Customer: “You don’t know the price?”

    Me: “Not off the top of my head, no. I just started—”

    Older Customer: “Well, I DO know the prices of everything in the store because I shop here, and that is [price]! GOD, you’re stupid! And what are you doing?! Double bag everything! You’re being an idiot on purpose, aren’t you?!”

    Younger Customer: “Come on, mom. She’s trying her best.”

    Older Customer: “No, she’s too stupid to work here. She shouldn’t be dealing with people if she’s this stupid!”

    (She ended up calling me stupid several more times before leaving. A few months later, she went through another cashier’s line; her profession? A pastor.)

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