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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!

    Driving The Point Home, Part 2

    | Australia | At The Checkout, Criminal/Illegal, Top

    (A few customers are milling around the store, including a young woman and a uniformed police officer. Note that 99.9% of people here use a driver’s licence for an ID.)

    Woman: “Pack of [cigarettes], please.”

    Me: “Sure, do you have some ID on you?”

    Woman:No. Why the h*** would you ask me that?!”

    Me: “I’ll need to see some ID before I put these through, sorry. It’s our policy to ID anyone who looks under 25.”

    Woman: “Are you kidding me? I am 25; I just drove here!”

    (This entire time, the officer has been waiting in line behind her, and has overheard the conversation. Upon hearing that she has been driving, the officer makes eye contact with me, and after a second or two it clicks.)

    Me: “Sorry, so you don’t have your driver’s licence on you from the drive here? You know it’s illegal to drive without a licence on you?”

    Woman: “F***ing duh. What’s it to you?”

    Me: “Nothing at all to me, ma’am.” *looking over to the cop* “Sorry, officer, won’t be a second.”

    (The woman turns around and finds herself face-to-face with the police officer, who’s grinning like a child. Long story short, she walked home that day.)

    Related:
    Driving The Point Home

    One Steps Forward, Two Step Back To The Car

    | Baton Rouge, LA, USA | At The Checkout

    (I’m a customer in a well-known chain grocery store and I’m in the express lane behind two other customer. One of the customers is loading a bunch of deli takeout into the checkout while gabbing away on her cellphone.)

    Cashier: *rings her up* “Alright, ma’am, that will be [total].”

    Customer #1: “Oh, hold on…” *to the cashier* “What did you say?”

    Cashier: “Your total’s [total].”

    Customer #1: “What?! But I only got this much!” *shows a small wad of cash*

    Cashier: “Do you want to put anything back?”

    Customer #1: “Oh, h*** no. I got kids to feed!” *back on her phone* “Hold on, girl. I gotta go get my purse out my car and get more cash out.”

    (She flings her cart in the general area of where the carts are stacked and walks out to go get her purse. The cashier voids the transaction, sets the items aside and starts ringing up the second customer.)

    Customer #2: “I can’t stand when people do that. It’s so rude and inconvenient!”

    Cashier: *laughing* “Yeah, it happens…alright, your total is [total].”

    Customer #2: *searches her pockets* “Oh, dear.”

    Cashier: “Forgot your purse in your car too?”

    Customer #2: *sheepishly* “Yes…” *slinks away*

    Driving Miss Crazy, Part 3

    | Askim, Norway | At The Checkout, Bizarre

    (I work in a supermarket. This particular day, an old lady who is a regular customer comes in. She’s just paid for her groceries.)

    Customer: “Oh, I can’t get home. You have to help me.”

    Me: “Sure, we can call you a taxi. That’s no problem.”

    Customer: “NO! Don’t call a taxi! It’s too expensive! I live on welfare!”

    Me: “Who else should we call?”

    Customer: “I live on welfare. I can’t afford a taxi! It’s too expensive!”

    Me: “Okay, is there anyone else we can call?”

    Customer: *ignores me* “Oh, how am I supposed to get home now?”

    (It’s only fifteen minutes before we close, so I talk to my colleagues about this, and we agree that the quickest and simplest solution is for me to drive her home in my own car. We get to the nursing home where she lives, and I help her bring the groceries to her room.)

    Me: “Okay, there we are. Take care now.”

    Customer: “Oh, thank you very much for your help! That was very kind.”

    (This is the first time I’ve ever heard her say anything nice.)

    Me: *closing door*

    Customer: “YOU DRIVE LIKE A PIG!”

    Related:
    Driving Miss Crazy, Part 2
    Driving Miss Crazy

    Surrogate Swearers

    | Hampshire, UK | At The Checkout, Language & Words, Top

    (I am working on a till that frequently has problems with the scanner. I attempt to scan a customer’s item, but the barcode won’t go through and I mouth a swear to myself.)

    Customer: “Go on, say it.”

    Me: “Sorry?”

    Customer’s Husband: “What did she do?”

    Customer: “Swore under her breath.” *turns back to me* “You can say it. Vents the frustrations!”

    Me: “I’m afraid I’m not allowed to swear in front of the customers.”

    Customer: “Shall I say it for you?”

    Me: “If you like.”

    Customer: “Bugger!”

    Me: “Ah, I feel better now.”

    Mad As A Bull In A China Shop

    | Long Island, NY, USA | At The Checkout, Bizarre

    (At our china shop, we’re having our biggest sale of the year. This requires me to manually lower the prices on items. I’m dealing with an incredibly rude and snappy customer, who is causing quite a line to build up behind her.)

    Customer: “That was supposed to be $4.97, NOT $9.99!”

    Me: “I know ma’am, that’s why I’m adjusting the price. See?”

    (This continues until the grumpy customer has been completely rung up. She then returns a few minutes later, receipt in hand.)

    Customer: “You charged me $10.99 for this plate! The sign outside says $6.97!”

    Me: “I’m sorry, the owner keeps marking down prices, and as the lower price wasn’t on your item, I didn’t realize it should have been less. Here, give me your receipt and card and I’ll refund you the difference.”

    Customer: “Well, you should know all the prices and be more careful! This place always rips me off!”

    Me: “Here’s your receipt. I’ve credited your account. Can I have the next customer, please?”

    Customer: *suddenly pleasant tone* “Thank you so much!”

    (I help the next customer.)

    Customer: “I really appreciate it!” *in a more aggravated tone* “Good luck with the sale!” *even more upset* “Keep smiling!” *yelling on her way out the door* “HAVE A SPARKLING DAY!”

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