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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!

    Throwing A Spanner In The Wax

    | Atlanta, GA, USA | At The Checkout, Money

    (A customer is trying to combine coupons on one purchase; this is not allowed. One is a coupon that allows her to buy expensive candles for half off and the other is a basic “free item with any purchase” coupon.)

    Me: “Oh, sorry ma’am, we’ll have to do this as two separate purchases. We’ll use your candle coupon first, then, if you just add another item you’ll qualify to use your second coupon and get your free item.”

    Customer: “But I was purchasing the candle to get the free item.”

    Me: “Yes, but you can’t use the coupon on the candle and then use a second coupon on the same purchase. But it’s okay, you can buy one of these cheap $1.00 items to qualify for the second coupon, I’ll just ring these items up separately.”

    Customer: “Or maybe I don’t buy anything at all!”

    (The customer swipes her cheap mailer coupon off the counter and walks away, leaving me holding her exclusive candle coupon.)

    Wheeling And Dealing With Reality

    | Alberta, Canada | At The Checkout, Money

    (We sell pepperoni sticks for two for one dollar. A customer brings up a box which consists of 40 sticks.)

    Me: “That will be twenty dollars.”

    Customer: “What? Why?”

    Me: “Because they are two for one, and twenty is half of forty.”

    Customer: “Oh, I thought the whole box was only fifty cents. That would be an awesome deal.”

    Me: “Well, it’s still cheaper than most places.”

    Customer: “Yes, but the one in my mind was better!”

    Time Waits For Slow Man

    | Austin, TX, USA | At The Checkout

    (A customer walks right before closing at which point I ask him if there’s anything I can help him find. When he says there isn’t, I politely let him know the store will be closing at in about 8 minutes. After spending 25 minutes in a dressing room, he puts his clothes on the counter and starts to look at the watches.)

    Customer: “I left my glasses at home. What’s this watch say on the face?”

    Me: “It says we closed twenty minutes ago and I’m ready to leave.”

    Customer: “Oh.”

    So Pho, So Crazy

    | London, UK | At The Checkout, Bigotry, History, Language & Words, Top

    (I am working the tills at a supermarket. I am of Vietnamese descent but was born in London. An older gentleman comes through my till.)

    Customer: *practically shouting* “Ni-Hao!”

    Me: “Hello to you to sir, but that’s Chinese. I am actually Vietnamese.”

    (I point to my name tag which in our shop goes by family name instead of first name. Mine is the very common ‘Nguyen’.)

    Customer: “Don’t lie!”

    Me: “I assure you sure I am Vietnamese.”

    Customer: “There aren’t any Vietnamese people left!”

    Me: “Pardon?”

    Customer: “Yeah, the Americans killed them all back in the seventies or something.”

    Me: “I think you may have your history confused. I assure you there is still a Vietnam and it is full of Vietnamese people.”

    Customer: “Well I don’t know how you managed to escape but I wouldn’t say it so loudly. There might be Americans around looking for survivors.”

    Me: *as I ring up his last item* “Probably a good idea. That will be £10.34 please.”

    Customer: *as he pays* “Wouldn’t want a young lad like you getting caught!”

    (The customer heads towards the exit, but unfortunately notices the security guard who also happens to be my brother. He is 6ft tall and a body-builder and I dread what might happen.)

    Customer: “Ni-Hao!”

    Brother: “Actually I’m Vietnamese.”

    Customer: “Another one?! But the Americans wiped you all out!”

    Brother: *standing to full height* “I think you might want to just keep on walking.”

    Customer: “How dare you talk to me like that?! I’m going to call the Americans, and then they’ll come down here and shoot you!”

    Penny For Your Thoughtlessness

    | Westchester, NY, USA | At The Checkout, Money

    (I am working as a cashier at a gourmet food store. A lady walks up with one item and a giant jar full of pennies. I ring her up.)

    Me: “That will be three dollars ma’am.”

    Customer: “Okay, here you go.”

    (She puts the jar down on the counter.)

    Me: “I’m sorry ma’am, what is the jar for?”

    Customer: “It’s how I’m paying. Are you blind?”

    Me: “I’m sorry ma’am, do you have any cash?”

    Customer: “No I don’t! I’m just paying in pennies for the fun of it. Get counting!”

    (She proceeds to dump the pennies onto the counter. I finish counting out the 300 pennies.)

    Customer: “Could you have taken any longer?”

    (She storms off. The next customer walks up with just one item.)

    Customer #2: *without missing a beat* “I know this is going to be $5.01. Can you spare a penny?”


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