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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!

    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!”

    Gift Card And Ye Shall Receive

    | Texas, USA | At The Checkout

    (I’ve just finished a week of cashier training for a large retail store. This is my first customer.)

    Me: “Hello, how are you?”

    Customer: “At the end, I have a gift card I want to use. Is that cool?”

    Me: “Sure thing!” *rings up her items* “Your total is $10.97.”

    Customer: “There’s no way that’s my total.”

    Me: “Pardon?”

    Customer: “I said I had a gift card. Add it now.”

    Me: “Maybe I’m misunderstanding…did you want to purchase one and add money to it?”

    Customer: “No! I want to use my gift card to pay for my s***!”

    Me: *slightly panicking* “I apologize. May I swipe it for you?”

    Customer: “Ugh! No! I don’t have it here with me!”

    Me: “Ma’am, you need to have it with—”

    Customer: *throws hands up in the air* “Forget it! I’ll go somewhere where they know what they’re doing!” *leaves without paying for anything*

    Like Her Hearing, Her Cents Comes And Goes

    | Portland, OR, USA | At The Checkout, Money

    Customer: “Hey, I believe I was charged the wrong price for this item. Could you refund it to me?”

    Me: “Oh, of course, ma’am. Let me just see the receipt and I’d be happy to.”

    Customer: “Here it is.”

    (The customer hands me a receipt that is over three feet long and totals over $300.)

    Me: “All right, which did you believe you were over-charged on?”

    Customer: *points out three items*

    Me: “Ma’am, it seems that you were charged an extra two cents for these two items here. Do you really want me to refund you the two pennies?”

    Customer: “YES! And to be sure I want you to return and re-ring my purchase to make sure.”

    Me: “Okay.”

    (20 minutes later, after re-ringing her entire purchase, I let her know that she’ll be getting two pennies back.)

    Customer: “What?! Why did you even do that if it was only two cents?! How stupid can you be?”

    Me: “Um, ma’am, I informed you that you’d only get the two pennies back before I did the transaction.”

    Customer: “No you didn’t! I can’t believe the incompetence of the people working here!”

    (She takes her bag and walks out of the store, yelling obscenities the whole way.)

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