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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!

    Team Cougar

    | Michigan, USA | At The Checkout

    (I am working at the checkout when a mother in her 60s and daughter in her 40s walk up to checkout. There is a rack of magazines next to my register, including one with pictures from the upcoming Twilight movie.)

    Daughter: “That Taylor Lautner is hot! Don’t you think so?”

    Mother: “Oh, yeah, he’s much hotter than that Rob Pattinson guy.”

    (I must have given them weird looks because the daughter now looks at me and begins to speak loudly and defensively.)

    Daughter, to me: “What?! He’s legal!”

    Go Beep Yourself

    | Texas, USA | At The Checkout

    (We are having a sale where if you buy any one of a certain set of DVDs or CDs you get a music sampler for free. The customer I’m ringing up has one such item. I grab the music sampler, explain that she gets it for free today, scan it, and place it in her bag.)

    Customer: “Hold on! That isn’t free! You scanned it. You scanned it and your computer went beep! You’re charging me for it!”

    Me: “We have to scan the free items so that we can keep track of our inventory, but it rings up as zero.”

    Customer: “Don’t lie to me! It went beep! Take it off! I don’t want it if you’re going to charge me!”

    (I turn my computer screen around so that she can see it and point to the title of the music sampler and its price.)

    Me: “See? It rang up zero. I just have to scan it so that we can keep track if how many we sell.”

    Customer: “But it beeped! You b****, don’t lie to me! That’s unchristian! I’m never shopping at this store again!”

    (She snatches up her keys and stomps out of the store without buying anything.)

    Of Dirty Mouths And Dirtier Assumptions

    | Sydney, NSW, Australia | At The Checkout

    (I am serving a mother and her teenage daughter. There is a limited edition version of a popular type of gum. The daughter picks up a packet.)

    Customer: *looking outraged* “I’m not buying you condoms!” *slaps the gum out of her hands*

    Customer’s daughter: *embarrassed* “They’re not condoms!”

    Customer: “Or…whatever they are!”

    Customer’s daughter: “It’s gum!”

    Customer: *embarrassed*

    Customer’s daughter: *even more embarrassed and turning bright red*

    Both of them: *hurriedly pay and leave, without the gum*

    A Dogged Sense Of Humor

    | Cochrane, Alberta, Canada | At The Checkout

    (A customer comes to me with two giant bags of dog food. I ring them through.)

    Customer: “You must think I have a bunch of dogs huh?”

    Me: “Um, yeah. Sure.”

    Customer: “Nope! The in-laws are in town!”

    You Few Who Queue To Argue

    | New Zealand | At The Checkout

    (This occurs at the busiest time of year for our company. We have every checkout possible open and there are often lines of at least 15 people during most of the day. I am serving at my checkout when I hear a customer grumbling from the line. He comes to my checkout.)

    Me: “Hi there, sir, thanks for waiting. Is this everything you wanted today?”

    Customer: “NO! I am NOT buying these products! I waited in line for twenty minutes and that is far too long for anyone to wait to buy anything!”

    Me: “I’m sorry, sir, this is our busiest time of year and as you can see, all of our staff are currently serving–”

    Customer: “I don’t care! I’m not buying anything! You can put this all back yourself. I didn’t wait in line for this kind of treatment.”

    Me: “Um, so you waited in line to tell me that you aren’t going to wait in line and buy these products?”

    Customer: “Yes!” *storms off*


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