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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!

    How Sweet It Is To Be In Line By You

    | KY, USA | At The Checkout, Awesome Customers, Family & Kids, Food & Drink, Top

    (My three-year-old daughter and I are waiting to check out with a few odds and ends. Unfortunately, the store has only one lane open and several people are waiting in line. I don’t mind, as my daughter and I decide to pass the time playfully sword-fighting with paint stirrers. When I turn to the side, I notice the couple behind me has just one little ream of Post-Its.)

    Me: *to the couple behind me* “Would you like to go ahead of us? You’ve got much fewer items than we do!”

    Lady: “But…you have a kid!”

    Me: “It’s fine! We’re just playing together! Go ahead!”

    Lady: “But kids sometimes get bored of waiting. Are you sure?”

    Me: “Of course! You just have one thing! She’ll be fine; I promise! C’mon, go ahead!” *I scoot aside*

    Lady: “Wow! Thanks!”

    (When it’s time for them to check out, the man holds up his hand to the cashier.)

    Man: “I’ll be right back!”

    (He scrambles over to the next aisle and picks up a package of M&Ms to add to the order. After paying, the man turns around with the package of candy and hands it to my daughter.)

    Man: “Here you go, kiddo!” *to me* “Thanks again for letting us go ahead of you!”

    (It really put a smile on the cashier’s face…and ours too!)

    Just Not Registering

    | Brisbane, QLD, Australia | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid

    (At my store, if a customer swipes their credit or debit card early, it can freeze the entire register. There’s usually a 10-15 second delay after telling the customer the final price and before they can swipe, but for some that’s too long to wait. The EFTPOS machines clearly display ‘PLEASE WAIT’ during the time the customer has to wait.)

    Me: “That will be $42.90. How would you like to pay for that today?”

    Customer: “On my card.”

    Me: “All right, please wait while the computer connects to the EFTPOS machine. I’ll let you know when to swipe.”

    Customer: *ignores me and swipes her card immediately*

    Me: “Please wait until I or the EFTPOS machine asks for your card.”

    Customer: “I’m in a hurry.”

    Customer: *swipes her card again*

    Me: “Ma’am, if you swipe early, it freezes the register, taking even longer. It will only be another ten seconds.”

    Customer: “No, it doesn’t! Do you think I’m stupid? I’ve worked in retail before!”

    Me: “I assure you—”

    Customer: *swipes her card again, freezing the register* “This isn’t working!”

    Me: “That’s because the register’s frozen.”

    (I page for a coworker and a manager to come to the registers. The coworker is there right away.)

    Coworker: “Hey, what’s up?”

    Me: “My register’s frozen. Could you please put this lady through yours?”

    Coworker: “Sure.”

    Customer: “But I’m in a hurry!”

    Me: “I’m aware of that, but it will be quicker than waiting for my register to restart.”

    (The customer goes to the register next to me where my coworker has already re-scanned her purchases.)

    Coworker: “That will be $42.90. Please don’t swipe your card until I tell you to, as it can freeze the registers.”

    Customer: “No, it doesn’t! I’m not stupid!”

    (My manager arrives.)

    Manager: “What’s wrong?”

    Me: “Nothing. I just need you to restart my register for me as it’s frozen.”

    Manager: “How?”

    Me: “Um… EFTPOS swiped too early.”

    Manager: “Didn’t you tell the customer not to swipe? Why didn’t you tell the customer not to swipe? I’m sick of this; you girls know that if the customer swipes their card early, it will freeze the registers! I’m sick of wasting my time having to restart your registers!”

    Me: “Maybe if we were allowed to face the EFTPOS machines towards us, then the customer wouldn’t be able to swipe early?”

    Manager: “No, that will only slow things down. You have to tell them not to swipe early!”

    (Meanwhile my customer is again trying to swipe her card early right next to me, and my coworker has leaned over the counter with her hand OVER the EFTPOS machine trying to stop her from doing so.)

    Customer: *to manager* “Hey, your girl won’t let me swipe my card!”

    Manager: “You have to wait until she tells you, otherwise it freezes the registers.”

    Customer: “Oh, really? Why didn’t anyone tell me that?!”

    She’s Been Placed On The Blacklist

    | Redlands, CA, USA | At The Checkout, Awesome Workers, Bigotry

    (I am filling out an application at an empty register counter when I see a well-to-do looking customer screaming at one of the employees. The employee looks close to tears.)

    Customer: “Why the f*** can’t I use my coupon? I have a right to this deal. You sent it to my home! I am going to use it now. Take my freaking coupon!”

    Employee: “Ma’am, it only works on Black Friday. It is only Wednesday. It is store policy. There is nothing I can do about it.”

    Customer: “I just saw another woman use the same coupon!”

    Employee: “We sent out similar ones that work for Thanksgiving products like—”

    Customer: “Shut up! I know you are too dumb to understand what I am saying. Giving your people an education is a waste. A monkey could do this job. You n*****s have no right to be here, taking jobs from good people, like that girl right here! She is likely going to starve because you rats keep taking all the good work!”

    (The woman literally drags me over to where they are.)

    Customer: *to me* “Doesn’t it p*** you off that these blacks have their own holiday and excuse us good, Christian white folks? You need a job and I am going to get this girl fired for you!”

    Me: “Let go of me! Are you crazy? No need to be a racist b**** about it. Just because you are racist doesn’t mean she is stupid.”

    Woman: “I am not racist! This colored girl can’t do her job. She is obviously too stupid to work here. She needs to go back to Africa.”

    (At this point, a man who has been standing off to the side marches up to us.)

    Man: *to the customer* “You can leave right now. I am refusing you service.”

    Customer: “You have no right to tell me what to do!”

    Man: “I do. That employee is my wife, and my father owns this store.”

    (As he is saying this, he points up towards a camera. The woman looks up without thinking.)

    Man: “Great, now I have your face for the picture I am going to be posting on all the doors. I hope you like driving to [next town], because you are now banned from this store.”

    Customer: *sulks away, leaving her paid-for purchases*

    Man: *to me* “Would you like some free stuff?”

    How To Spot A Bad Penny

    | AK, USA | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests, Money, Top

    (I’m teaching a trainee how to operate the cash register.)

    Me: “You see, all you have to do is press this button here, then the drawer will open, and the amount to give back will be up on the screen, as well as the receipt.”

    Trainee: “Oh! That’s really easy!”

    (During this time, a regular customer has been watching us, kind of poking around at the end of the register for awhile. I’m keeping an eye on her, as this customer is notorious for being dramatic.)

    Customer: “I’m ready to check out!”

    Trainee: “Yes ma’am, how are you today?” *begins checking out her items*

    Customer: “Oh, I’m fine. I have some change I’d like to empty from my purse.”

    (At this point I’m relatively relieved, as there hasn’t been any issues. However, she proceeds to pull four BAGS of PENNIES from her purse, and plops them on the counter.)

    Customer: “It’s legal tender, so start counting!”

    Me: “No.”

    Customer: “Excuse me?!”

    Me: “There is a Coinstar to your left, and a bank right in front of you. The Coinstar charges 8.9 cents per dollar, and I’m pretty sure the bank does it for free. I’ll be happy to suspend your order until you’ve returned.”

    (Despite how calm I am, my trainee looks visibly terrified.)

    Customer: “Shame on you. What terrible customer service. I will call and have you fired!”

    Me: “Ma’am, as I’ve said, I will be happy to suspend your order, but if you continue on yelling, I will have to ask you to leave.”

    Customer: “I am the customer! I am always right, so be—”

    Me: “QUIET.”

    Customer: *goes slack-jawed*

    Me:You will not get anyone here fired. You have not only been horrifically rude, but have made an extremely embarrassing spectacle of yourself in front of most of the store. You are holding up this line. Here are your bags of pennies, so please leave.”

    (The customer dawdled away from my register, but stayed by the front of the store screaming at everyone who walked in about us not taking her bags of pennies. The manager had to eventually call the police on her. It took a long time to reassure my trainee that not everyone was crazy like that!)

    Mama Puts A Stammer In Your Swagger

    | OH, USA | At The Checkout, Awesome Customers, Family & Kids, Rude & Risque, Top

    (I’m up working the cash register on a slow day, when a teenage boy comes up. He looks to be about 14. He’s sagging his pants, trying to look tough.)

    Customer: “Hey, baby.”

    Me: “Hi there, sir. How can I help you today?”

    Customer: *leans on the counter* “You can get me your number.”

    (I’m 25, and engaged.)

    Me: “Sorry, but that’s not going to happen. Can I help you with anything else?”

    Customer: “Why the f*** not, you stupid b****?!”

    Me: “One: That would be illegal. Two: I am happily engaged. And three: even if I ignore the first two, it’s against company policy.”

    Customer: “You’re a f***ing b****! You should be happy I want a piece of your a**!”

    (As the customer continues ranting and raving, a woman appears behind him. She reaches out and taps his shoulder twice.)

    Customer: “What the f*** do you want—”

    (He turns around. All the color drains from his face. He manages to squeak out some words.)

    Customer: “Hi, mama.”

    (She smacks him across the face.)

    Customer’s Mom: “I did not raise you to be a self-entitled douche-bag! I did not raise you to think you are better than this poor girl!” *she grabs him by the ear, and shoves him against the counter, facing me* “Now, apologize!”

    Customer: “But mom!”

    Customer’s Mom: “Now!”

    (He looks close to tears. He mumbles out how sorry he is, and how it wasn’t fair of him to treat me like a piece of meat. His mom, by his ear, pushes him towards the door.)

    Customer’s Mom: “Go.”

    (He walks out of the store, ready to cry. She turns to me, gives me a huge smile, apologizes again, and even buys me a gift card. Apparently there are some good parents still out there!)

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