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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!

    Just In The St. Nick Of Time

    | Pennsylvania, USA | At The Checkout, Holidays

    (It’s five minutes before closing Christmas Eve, and I’m handling the register. A man and woman walk up with a just few bottles of soda, so I wave them in and turn my lane’s light off.)

    Me: “Good evening!”

    Woman, to the man: “Get the cart.”

    Man: *wanders off*

    Me: “So, ready for the holidays, I take it?”

    (I finish scanning a 2-liter bottle of soda and start to scan the second one; this shouldn’t take much time at all. The woman interrupts me.)

    Woman: “There’s more.”

    (I am confused, but then see the man return with a large cart used for stocking the shelves. It’s stacked completely full with RACKS of the soda product.)

    Man: *points to the giant pile of sodas* “That’s 80 bottles in one, 58 in the other…”

    Me: “Okay, then. This might take another minute or two…”

    (Note that the store closes at 6 pm. I’m a minor, so I can’t be late clocking out. I therefore scan as quickly as possible and ring up her total.)

    Me: “All right, there we are! Your total is [nearly $200].”

    (It’s now a minute before closing. I think I’m in the clear, when…)

    Woman: “Here’s $100, but let me pay the rest with these!” *hands me stacks of $5 bills*

    (I am completely stunned now. Fingers flying, I count out the huge bill, finally finishing right at 6 pm on the dot.)

    Me: “Okay…you’re good to go! Hope you have a great holiday!”

    Woman and man: *says absolutely nothing in return and leaves with their huge cartful of sodas*

    (Thankfully I got out of there right on time!)

    Ignorance Isn’t Bliss

    | Kansas City, MO, USA | At The Checkout, Language & Words

    (I am signing to a deaf couple, asking them if they need help. Before they can reply, a customer interrupts me.)

    Customer: *gasping* “You’re in a gang!”

    Me: “What?”

    Customer: “I saw you! You flashed them a gang sign!”

    Me: *laughing* “No, ma’am, it’s ASL.”

    Customer: “I don’t care what your gang is called. It’s people like you that make me scared to go out at night!”

    (She leaves with her purchase, which turns out to be a shirt that says “B****es Get Stitches.”)

    No Taxation Without Misinterpretation

    | Long Island, NY, USA | At The Checkout

    (A customer and her adult son come to my register with a case of water. Since some people forget, I explain that it’s the price shown plus five cents per plastic bottle per NY state law.)

    Customer: “There’s no tax on water in New York state!”

    Me: “It’s a tax on the plastic bottles, not the water.”

    Customer: “That’s only for soda.”

    Me: “I’m sorry, but it’s all plastic bottles. Since you’re buying 24 bottles, it adds another $1.20.”

    Customer’s son: “I work in a supermarket. There’s no tax.”

    Customer: “Exactly! It’s only on soda because of the corn syrup!”

    Me: “I honestly don’t know what to tell you, except that I’m 100% positive it’s on the plastic. I can’t remove the tax.”

    Customer: “Fine! I won’t buy any, then!”

    A Glitch In The Matrix

    | Somerville, MA, USA | At The Checkout

    Customer: “This is such a nice store you have here!”

    Me: “Why, thank you. We do our best to keep it neat.”

    (The customer places one of our reusable bags on the counter to purchase it. The bag she is holding has my store’s name on it, along with motifs associated with our name.)

    Customer: “These bags remind me so much of [my store's name].”

    Me: “That’s because—”

    Customer: “These bags are so cute, too! I wish I could get one from [my store's name]…”

    Sweets From A Sweetie

    | Raleigh, NC, USA | At The Checkout, Top

    (It is my 18th birthday. My manager has tied a “Happy Birthday” balloon to my register. One customer is asking about it.)

    Customer: “What the h*** is this?”

    Me: “Well, sir, it’s my birthday.”

    Customer: “Your birthday?! As in, the day you were born?!”

    Me: “Yes, sir!”

    Customer: *grabs a fist full of candy bars to add to his purchases* “These are for you. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!”


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