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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!

    Un-bare-ably Competitive

    | Chicago, IL, USA | At The Checkout, Bizarre, Rude & Risque

    (It’s the end of the day at the grocery deli. Most of the other customers have left. I am just about to start closing up when a last customer walks up. He is wearing oversized glasses and mismatched clothing, as if he hasn’t done his laundry in a while.)

    Customer: “Hey, you closing up?”

    Me: “I’ve got enough time for ya! What do you need?”

    (He orders and I begin preparing it.)

    Customer: “So, how is that job?”

    Me: “Nothing really to complain about, other than the occasional weird customer—”

    Customer: “You know, I’m pretty weird! You want to see how weird I am?”

    Me: “No, sir, that’s all right, I was just—”

    (The customer proceeds to pull down his pants right in the middle of the store and does a little victory pose. I’m so dumbfounded I almost cut myself on the slicer.)

    Customer: *pulling his pants up* “I bet you haven’t met anyone weirder than that yet, have ya?!”

    Me: “No, sir, I most definitely have not.”

    Revenge Is A Treat Best Served Sweet

    | London, UK | At The Checkout, Food & Drink

    (I work in an awkwardly-sized shop where the chocolate counter is at one end of the shop, with the till at the other. This tends to result in customers waiting needlessly at the chocolate counter. This occurs during on a particularly busy time.)

    Me: “Sorry about the wait, sir. Would you just like to follow me to the till and I’ll just put your transaction though?”

    Customer: “I’ve been waiting bloody ages! This happens every year! You shop assistants are useless!”

    Me: “Sorry, sir. It’s just the shop is awkwardly shaped, so it’s difficult to keep track of people waiting—”

    Customer: *hands over his card* “I’m a business man, and it’s not the shop. It’s you! You’re just useless!”

    Me: “Once again, I apologise for the wait. It’s difficult to keep tabs on everyone—”

    Customer: “If you would do your job properly, it wouldn’t happen! Every bloody year, it’s the same!”

    Me: “Sir—”

    Customer: “If you make one more excuse, I’ll leave without buying anything!”

    (Note: I’ve already put his purchase though and I’m just trying to hand him his card and receipts.)

    Me: “Okay, I—”

    Customer: “That’s it! I’ve had enough! I’m leaving!”

    (The customer angrily storms out of shop. Five minutes later, he returns, albeit much calmer.)

    Customer: *sheepish* “I…er…left my card.”

    Me: “Don’t forget your chocolates, sir! Have a lovely day!”

    Whine Isn’t Gonna Get You Your Wine

    | Enniskillen, Northern Ireland, UK | At The Checkout, Awesome Customers, Top

    (I look young for my age and see no point in getting aggressive when asked for ID. However, the picture is old and has been refused before, so I try to get by without it. Alcohol is generally cheaper in Northern Ireland and I’m originally from a border town. This happens on a trip “up North” with friends from “the South”, AKA the Republic of Ireland.)

    Cashier: *before scanning a bottle of wine in my basket* “Have you any ID?”

    Me: “It’s out in the car somewhere, but I am 23.”

    My Friend: “I can vouch for her. She is of age.”

    Cashier: “Sorry, but I can’t let her without seeing ID. It’s store policy.”

    My Friend: “Okay, then, I’ll pay for it.”

    Cashier: “Can’t do that either. I’m sorry, but I’m just doing my job.”

    Me: “It’s fine, really. It happens all the time. I’ll just get the groceries.”

    Cashier: “I’m really sorry. Just we get a lot of young ones in trying to buy drinks.”

    Me: “I know. I’m from [town just over the border]. We used to come up here all the time when we were younger.”

    Cashier: “I feel terrible. Most people get angry, but you’re being so nice!”

    Me: “It happens all the time; don’t worry! There’s no point getting angry; it’s your job to ask.”

    (I go out to the car, get my passport, and make sure to go back through her lane.)

    Me: “Back again! The picture’s old, but it is me, I promise!”

    Cashier: *checks picture and DOB* “I’ll tell you now, when you’re my age, you’ll appreciate being asked! Thanks a million! It’s great to not be shouted at for once!”

    Together And Equal

    | Billings, MT, USA | At The Checkout, Top

    (I am a cashier. Sometimes people will go through a checkout line sharing a cart. Two middle-aged women come through the line.)

    Me: *pointing at their purchases* “Are you two together?”

    (Woman #1 looks lovingly into Woman #2′s eyes and holds her hands.)

    Woman #1: “Yes, we are…”

    Woman #2: “Honey, I think she meant if we’re buying all this together.”

    Woman #1: “Oh. No, we’re separate. Two transactions, please!”

    These Aren’t The Bags I’m Looking For

    | England, UK | At The Checkout, Wild & Unruly

    (I’m working New Years Eve on the tills when three rather older women come into the store. After I serve them, the door alarm goes off right after they leave. My manager goes to investigate.)

    Manager: “I’m sorry, ladies, but I’m going to need to check your bags and receipts in case you took something.”

    Woman #1: “No, we didn’t take anything. We swear!”

    Manager: “Well, I’m sorry, but I’m going to have to ask you to come back into the store and your bags be searched.”

    Woman #1: “No, we haven’t stolen! Look!”

    (Suddenly, the women—all in their fifties at least—begin to lift up their long skirts and tops and pull down their bras a bit. Not finding anything, my manager lets them go and comes back into the store.)

    Manager: “Thank God I get to go home and get drunk soon. I need a stiff whiskey to get those images out of my head!”

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