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  • September Theme Of The Month: Overheard!

    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!

    Checkouts Are Places For Change

    | Sandy, UT, USA | At The Checkout, Awesome Customers, Family & Kids, Money, Top

    (I am standing in line around midnight. In front of me is a pregnant girl, around 20 years old. She is wearing pajamas, and clearly looking as if she has seen better days. She also has a black eye, which is a little alarming to me.)

    Cashier: “Did you find everything alright?”

    Pregnant Customer: “Yes, thanks. Can you see if my card has anything on it before you ring it up?”

    Cashier: “No, sorry. I could ring things up one at a time and see if it’ll take for each one. If you don’t mind waiting for me to cash out the other three people in line, I’ll be more than happy to do that for you.”

    Pregnant Customer: “No, no, let’s just try. I hope the deposit has hit already.”

    (The cashier rings everything in, and the pregnant customer swipes the card. It declines.)

    Cashier: “Do you have another form of payment?”

    Pregnant Customer: “No…” *starts crying* “He must have already cancelled the card.”

    Cashier: “Cancelled the card?”

    Pregnant Customer: “My ex-boyfriend kicked me out tonight. He came home and said the baby couldn’t be his, hit me, and threw me out. He must have called and cancelled our food stamp card. I don’t even know where I’m going to put all this. A friend is letting me use her extra fridge until I can get an apartment.”

    (One of the customers in line behind me speaks up.)

    Customer Behind Me: “Ma’am, just put it on my ticket.”

    (I move out of the way so the customer behind me can push his cart forward. He clearly has $200 or more worth of food on his own, and the pregnant customer has about $150.)

    Cashier: “Sure.”

    Pregnant Customer: “No, no I can’t.”

    Customer Behind Me: “Honey, don’t lecture me. My mom was kicked out by my dad because he thought she was sleeping around on him. She worked two jobs to keep a roof over my head. I’m not letting some deadbeat a**-hole throw his girlfriend out because he has trust issues.”

    Pregnant Customer: “I can’t. It’s too much. I don’t have a job; I can’t pay you back.”

    Customer Behind Me: “Take my card. I’ve seen you in here a few times during regular shopping hours. You’re always very nice to the employees and everyone in line. I need a receptionist for my apartment complex on [street]. Come by tomorrow, and we’ll have an interview. I give discounts to my employees on their rent.”

    (By this time, the cashier has finished ringing in the items, and they’re bagged already.)

    Cashier: “Your total is $459.92.”

    (The customer behind me gently pushes past the pregnant customer. He swipes his card, enters his pin, and then hugs her.)

    Customer Behind Me: “Things do get better. See me tomorrow; I’m serious.”

    (Sir, wherever you are… You restored some of my faith in humanity. Thank you. Ma’am, wherever you are, I hope you and your baby have a great life, and you find someone to take care of you both and love you the way you deserve. I hope you got that job, but judging from how the man was talking, I’m sure you did!)

    Bill Of Rights Makes Up For All The Wrongs

    | USA | At The Checkout, Money, Technology, Top

    Me: “Thank you for calling [wireless company]; my name is [me]. May I have your first and last name, please?”

    Customer: “I just want to make sure I’m reading my bill right. It’s my second bill, but I just want to make sure I understand what I am paying for.”

    Me: “Sure, what questions do you have?”

    Customer: “So, I see that the first bill is $260.71. That has, I assume, the activation charges. It looks like my first month from June 6 through July 5, as well as the two days before from the previous bill cycle before my regular one started, and was due on July 1, right?”

    Me: “Yes, that’s correct.”

    Customer: “Alright, and so then the current bill here for $176.20 is for July 6 through August 5 and is due on August 1, and the late fee for not having the first bill paid on time, right?”

    Me: “Yes, ma’am, absolutely.”

    Customer: “Okay, so if I pay the $260.71 today, I won’t have to pay anything else until the first, and I also won’t get an interruption?”

    Me: “Yes, ma’am.”

    Customer: “Okay, I just wanted to make sure I understood it all. Thanks!”

    Me: “No problem, ma’am, so… thank you for reading and understanding your bill.”

    Customer: “You expected me to yell at you, didn’t you?”

    Me: “Honestly? Yes.”

    Customer: “I used to work in a bank, so I know what it’s like to be yelled at, especially when the issue isn’t your fault. After working there, I never yell at customer service reps, because I remember being there, myself.”

    Me: “On behalf of all of us here at [company], thank you. Let me waive that late fee.”

    Customer: No! No! Don’t waive it! I didn’t pay; it’s only fair I get the late fee!”

    Me: “Too late.”

    Customer: “It really meant that much?”

    Me: “You made my night. Have a good one!”

    Bad Jokes Make A Good Customer

    | KY, USA | At The Checkout, Awesome Customers

    Me: “Keep in mind, sir, these items are a three day return!”

    Customer: “Well I don’t think I will wait three days in line just to return some shirts.”

    Me: “Haha, very clever, sir. However do not worry; I wouldn’t make you wait three days. But if they don’t fit right when you get home, bring them back to me within three days so we can get you a refund.”

    Customer: “And you know what? I was eating at a fast food joint the other day. I noticed on the door in the bathroom it said that employees must wash hands. So I stood there and stood there, and no employee ever came in to wash my hands. I really didn’t think it was good service.”

    Me: “Thank you, sir; that made my day.”

    To Be, Or Not To Jollibee

    , | Quezon City, Philippines | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Food & Drink, Top

    (I’m in line at a very well-known chicken fast food place. It’s lunch hour, so the place is fairly packed.)

    Cashier: “Hi, what can I get you today?”

    Customer: “Oh, I don’t know. Do I want a one-piece or two-piece meal?”

    Cashier: “Well, people usually order the two-piece at this time, since it’s supposed to hold them for a few more hours.”

    Customer: “Okay, a two-piece meal then.”

    Cashier: “Would you like that ‘Original Recipe’ or ‘Hot and Crispy?'”

    Customer: “I don’t know. What’s the difference?”

    Cashier: “Um, the ‘Original Recipe’ tends to have softer skin and a tangy flavor, while the ‘Hot and Crispy’ is spicy and crunchy.”

    Customer: “Oh, I’m not sure which one of those I want. The ‘Hot and Crispy’ might be too spicy for me.”

    Cashier: “Don’t worry, our ‘Hot and Crispy’ isn’t really that spicy. It’s just enough for a kick in the taste buds, no more.”

    Customer: “Maybe, but I might want extra mashed potatoes with it.”

    Cashier: “If you order the full meal, you get a large side dish with your food.”

    Customer: “What if a large is too big? I don’t want to eat all that much.”

    Cashier: “Well, ma’am, the containers are behind me, so you can decide for yourself if large is too big.”

    Customer: “Hmm… wait, what if I don’t want chicken for lunch?”


    No Produce Reduce

    | TX, USA | At The Checkout, Food & Drink, Money

    (The customer in question is our grocery store’s former produce manager. She was encouraged to ‘retire’, because she was caught raising the prices of the produce so her sales would be better. She has a return and a few items, so I do her return and scan her items to balance out the difference in which she only owes me one cent.)

    Me: “Okay, your total is one cent.”

    Customer: “That’s not right. The onions are ringing up wrong.”

    (I look at my screen, and the onions she bought were ringing up 68 cents a pound.)

    Me: “They’re only 68 cents.”

    Customer: “They are supposed to be 99 cents a pound! That’s what the sign says.”

    Me: “Those are for large onions. You bought medium ones.”

    Customer: “Well… I guess I’ll take them for that price, but your new produce manager needs to learn how to price things right.”

    (She storms out in a huff, and my manager walks over.)

    Manager: “Did she just… want to pay the higher price?”

    Me: “Yes… and while you’re here, I’m reaching into my pocket to get the penny that she forgot to pay me for her stuff.”

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