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  • August Theme Of The Month: Best. Customer. Ever!

    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!

    Trouble Brewing, Part 5

    | Champaign, IL, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Criminal/Illegal, Food & Drink

    (I am working the Friday night shift at a gas station located on the campus of a big university. The city’s liquor law prohibits the sale of alcohol after midnight. I’m working by myself at 3 am, when a customer with a look of urgency and intoxication comes barging right in.)

    Customer: “Dude, I have a huge party at my apartment and we just ran out of beer! I need like six cases!”

    Me: “Sorry, buddy, but we stop selling alcohol at midnight.”

    Customer: “I’m desperate! There are like 100 people at my place, and a ton of hot b*****! If I don’t get more beer soon, they’ll leave! I’ll give you a $20 tip if you sell me some.”

    Me: “Sorry, even if I were to try to sell you some, I couldn’t since our registers also block all sales of alcohol after midnight.”

    Customer: “How about if I just walk out with two cases, and ‘accidentally’ drop $40 on the ground on my way out?”

    Me: “That would be stealing, and I’m not okay with that.”

    Customer: “Okay, what if I stuck my hand in my pocket, and pretended to have a gun…”

    (The customer proceeds to stick hand in his jacket pocket and make it look like he’s holding me at gunpoint.)

    Customer: “…and ‘robbed’ you for some cases of beer. Then you would chase me out, and while chasing me outside, I would ‘accidentally’ drop $40?”

    Me: “I couldn’t let you do that either. First of all, I would be required to immediately call the police and file a police report for a robbery. The police would then get your face from the store cameras, easily track you down since you live close by, and put you in jail. Is this party worth going to jail over?”

    Customer: “I’m sorry for bothering you dude. I really don’t have a gun. I just wanted to get some beer for this party really bad, and didn’t want to come back empty handed. Please don’t call the cops!”

    Me: “I’ll forget this even happened if you leave immediately.”

    Customer: “See ya!”

    Me: “Bye!”

    Related:
    Trouble Brewing, Part 4
    Trouble Brewing, Part 3
    Trouble Brewing, Part 2

    His Psychotic Two Cents

    | MI, USA | At The Checkout, Bizarre, Money

    (Two customers—who seems to be friends—are checking out a few small items. Customer #1 has already paid and is waiting while Customer #2 pays.)

    Cashier: “That’ll be $11.97.”

    Customer #1: “Ooh, you get pennies!”

    Customer #2: “Oh, I love pennies!” *suddenly very serious and angry* “Unless they’re Canadian! God help him if he gives me Canadian!”

    (Customer #2 is cheerful again, smiles at cashier as he gives her the three pennies.)

    Cashier: *nervously* “Have a nice day…?”

    Customer #2: *cheerful* “You too!”

    An Impatient Patient

    | Yorkshire, England, UK | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Health & Body

    (It is a Sunday, so not many pharmacies are open. I’ve come in with my friend, who is rather unwell. The staff know my husband and I quite well, as we’re in there for our regular medication. Additionally, I have multiple piercings, a rather large tattoo on my nape of my neck, and teal green hair.)

    Pharmacist: “Won’t be long; please take a seat.”

    (We do, and I give the tech I know well a smile and a nod in greeting. Another customer enters.)

    Customer: “How long will it be for my medication?”

    Pharmacist: “About 20 minutes. We have a few people in front of you.”

    Customer: “Fine. I wouldn’t come here if you weren’t the only pharmacy open on a bloody Sunday; you’re always slow!”

    (The pharmacist brushes it off and goes to make up medications.)

    Customer: “I’m only having to wait this long because of stupid drug freaks.”

    (My friend turns to say something, but I put my hand on her arm and shake my head.)

    Customer: “Yeah, I mean you, green freak! What, come in for your methadone early, and they won’t give it to you?”

    (I’ve deliberately turned my back on him at this point.)

    Customer: “F****** druggies! We pay for you to get f****** high.”

    Pharmacy Tech: “Sir, can you watch your language please?”

    Customer: “No I f****** won’t! That stupid b**** is the reason I have to wait so f****** long! She’s strung out, look at the f****** circles under her eyes; they’re all bloodshot!”

    Pharmacy Tech: “I’ll have you know that young lady there is a full-time carer for her husband, who is disabled. And all this whilst being disabled herself. She looks like she hasn’t slept in a week because she probably hasn’t; between caring for him, volunteering with [national advice organization], and helping out her friend here who is rather unwell. And I don’t personally care if my taxes are being used to help her out; I wish there were more people like her out there!”

    Customer: “I… I… I demand to see a pharmacist!”

    Pharmacist: “Sir, I am not going to reprimand my tech for handling that much better than I would have. Do not insult my customers. Here is your prescription back; please fill it somewhere else.”

    (The customer stomps out.)

    Me: “I’m really sorry I caused that.”

    Pharmacist: “Eh, don’t worry; he’s always an a** when he comes in here. Besides, he has an exemption certificate, which means our taxes are paying for his meds too!”

    Throwing Around Bags Of Blame

    | PA, USA | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests

    (I am ringing up an older customer—Customer #1—who has always been a bit difficult. I have a line and am trying to get it down as much as possible. The customer forgets her bag, so I put it aside in case she comes back—which she does. By now, I am serving a second customer.)

    Customer #1: “Did I leave a bag here?”

    Me: “Yeah, I have it right here for you.”

    Customer #1: “It’s your fault I left it here!”

    Me: “Oh? How is that?”

    Customer #1: “You were too busy and didn’t tell me how many bags I had! It’s all your fault! This is horrible customer service! I won’t be back!”

    (Fortunately, Customer #2 speaks up in my defense.)

    Customer #2: “How exactly is it your fault that she forgot something?”

    Me: *sarcastic* “Not sure. It’s obvious she’s never forgotten one before…”

    Got To Give That Customer Credit

    | Peoria, IL, USA | At The Checkout, Awesome Customers, Bad Behavior, Money, Top

    (I am a first-time customer at this salon. According to my stylist, they’ve recently installed a new computer system, which is giving them fits. It will not process credit card payments. The stylist has to call the card in, a process that takes about five minutes. An older woman walks in, looking to buy some hair products. My chair is fairly close to the register.)

    Stylist: *to the other customer* “Okay, so our register isn’t taking credit cards right now. I’ll have to call your card in. It’ll just be a minute.”

    Customer: “Oh, this is ridiculous!”

    (The customer stands there, rolling her eyes and sighing loudly while the stylist attempts to run her card via the phone.)

    Stylist: “Ah, this isn’t working again!”

    (My stylist walks over and attempts to run the card with no luck. Meanwhile, the customer is rolling her eyes, sighing, tapping her toes, and making comments under her breath. My stylist comes back to me and resumes work on my hair.)

    My Stylist: “I’m sorry about this!”

    Me: “Hey, no worries. Y’all can’t control the computer, right?”

    My Stylist: “It’s been doing this all day! It’s so ridiculous.”

    (I speak loud enough for the customer to hear.)

    Me: “It is what it is. If the computer decides to act up, it’s not the employee’s fault. Rolling your eyes and being impatient won’t fix anything! I work at [bank], and I have customers who act like that when my computer is slow. Acting like a spoiled child won’t make the computer go any faster!”

    (The customer scowls at me, and I smile back at her.)

    Me: “I’ve worked a lot of retail jobs. It’s not the employee’s fault!”

    (The customer quickly pulls $20 out of her wallet, hands it to the stylist, and slinks out of the salon.)

    My Stylist: *laughing* “I think she heard you.”

    Me: “That was the idea! I have a credit card too, so I’d like to apologize in advance…”

    (The stylist encounters the same problem with my card. After fighting with the system for 15 minutes, she declares that my haircut is ‘free today’. And my hair looked fabulous. I’ll definitely be back!)

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