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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!

    Good Things Come In Small Dosages

    | New York, USA | At The Checkout, Awesome Customers, Family & Kids, Top

    (My coworker at the pharmacy has been working with a customer who seems to be having the worst day. Unfortunately, my coworker is the victim of the customer’s mood, and he has reduced the poor girl to tears. Behind this customer is a young father in his mid-20s and his three sons, aged probably six, two, and less than a year old. The young father is clearly upset with the behavior of the customer in front of him, but, probably for the sake of his children, is keeping his mouth shut. Out of nowhere, his six-year-old son speaks up.)

    Six-year-old Son: “‘Scuse me, sir? I think you’ll probably get what you need easier in life if you’re nice to people. You’re making the pretty lady sad and she didn’t do anything wrong.”

    Customer: *clearly shocked* “Didn’t your father here teach you to mind your own business, son?!”

    (The young father is actually grinning proudly, and reaches over to high-five his son.)

    Father: “Actually, I taught him not to raise his voice at good, honest people.”

    Customer: *clearly embarrassed, pays and leaves quickly*

    Six-year-old Son: *to my coworker* “Can I give you a hug? If anyone gives you trouble, call me!”

    (My coworker was very impressed by the brave little boy’s actions, while his father proudly teared up. I doubt the family will ever have to pay at our pharmacy again, and my coworker has a new best friend!)

    Thank God His Name Isn’t Johnson

    | Ann Arbor, MI, USA | At The Checkout, Rude & Risque

    (I’m ringing up a middle-aged lady.)

    Me: “Do you have a rewards card?”

    Customer: “Yes… last name is ‘Jones.’”

    Me: “Under ‘Jonathan?’”

    Customer: “Yes, as much as possible!”

    Me: *stunned silence*

    Self-Serving Stupidity Will Not Be Served

    | Cincinnati, OH, USA | At The Checkout, Awesome Customers, Top

    (I am a customer, standing third in line behind a very well-dressed woman in her 50s—we’ll call her Customer #1. The cashier, in her 70s, has just finished ringing out a young 20-something woman with pink hair. It is about 1 am and I am dead tired, literally swaying on my feet. There are three other customers behind me, which we’ll call Customers #2-#4.)

    Cashier: *to Customer #1* “Oh dear, just a moment!”

    (With that, the cashier runs off after the pink-haired customer, who has left behind a gift card she just purchased. Angrily, Customer #1 slams a 24-pack of canned drinks on the counter and turns to me.)

    Customer #1: “I bet she is going to try to make me put this back in my cart, but I won’t. It’s a little game I like to play called, ‘Who’s Getting Paid for This?’”

    (Note: Customer #1 has left a 40-pound bag of cat litter and 20-pound bag of cat food in her cart, both heavier than the drinks.)

    Me: *shrugs*

    (The cashier returns, panting and out of breath.)

    Cashier: “Sorry about that. She left her gift c—”

    Customer #1: “I don’t care. Just ring my purchases up!”

    Cashier: “Oh, um… right, sorry.”

    (The cashier rings the small items through, double-bagging the cans and folding the clothing with care, before using the hand scanner to ring up the drinks, the litter, and the cat food.)

    Cashier: “Your total is [price], ma’am.”

    Customer #1: “Well, it’s about time. Load my d*** cart so I can get the h*** out this s***hole!”

    (The cashier sets the bags in the cart around the litter and cat food, and then looks at the 24-pack of drinks.)

    Cashier: “You’ll have to set the pop in the cart, ma’am. I’m sorry, but I can’t lift it.”

    Customer #1: “You can’t lift it? What kind of bulls*** is that? Why the h*** not?”

    Cashier: “I can’t lift over 10 pounds; doctor’s orders.”

    Customer #1: “That is none of my business. Why are you telling me this? Just do your d*** job!”

    Customer #2: *to Customer #1* “You asked her why; that is why she’s telling you. Ugh!”

    Customer #1: *glares at Customer #2* “Well, this is not acceptable. Get your manager over here now. Maybe he can load my cart since you are too lazy.”

    (At this point, I’ve had enough and grab Customer #1′s 24-pack of drinks and set it in her cart.)

    Customer #1: “What the f*** are you doing?!”

    Me: “Lady, it is 1 am. I am tired and want to go home. I will load the d*** groceries in your car if it gets you out of the way faster!”

    Customer #1: “You have no right to touch my groceries!”

    Customer #2: “And you have no right to be such a b****. You didn’t have to lift it, she did…” *points at me* “…even though you obviously were able to put it in the cart and on the counter by yourself. You got your change, so get out of the way!”

    Customers #3 & #4: *echoes of agreement*

    Customer #1: “Well, I never—“

    Me: “It is obvious you have ‘never.’ You have NEVER had to work a low paying job with a**hole customers who get enjoyment out of making your life harder. We get it. Now go away!”

    (I set my two items on the counter as Customer #1 stomps away to customer service.)

    Cashier: *crying silently* “Thank you so much.”

    (Customer #2 and I stand away from the register for a few minutes talking after that. Customer #1 has caused enough trouble at this point to be escorted out of the store by the store manager and security. Afterwards, the store manager hugs his cashier and sends her to break so she can calm down. As it turns out, the cashier is his ailing aunt who has been working while getting chemotherapy. She really isn’t supposed to be working at all, but is unable to afford treatment otherwise.)

    Store Manager: “There is only so much stupid I can tolerate!”

    There’s No Business Like My Business

    | California, USA | At The Checkout, Bizarre

    (I work at a well-known retail pharmacy. One night while I’m still new on the job, I’m manning one of the cash registers.)

    Woman: “Hi, where is your baking soda?”

    Me: “Um, I can’t guarantee that we have baking soda, but if we do, it would be in Aisle 3.”

    Woman: *goes off to look for it*

    (15 minutes later, the customer comes through my line with her baking soda.)

    Me: “Oh, I see you found it! I’m glad we carry it.”

    Woman: “If you hadn’t, I would have been very frustrated, and I would never have come here again!”

    (I think she’s joking and laugh a bit.)

    Me: “Well, I’m certainly glad you found it!”

    Woman: *completely serious* “I did that to [other retail store] when they didn’t have lettuce, and they went out of business within a week!”

    Me: *pause* “Um… I’m REALLY glad you found the baking soda, then.”

    No Returns, Period

    | UK | At The Checkout, Health & Body

    (Our store has a policy that if an item of lingerie has tags and a receipt, and is in resaleable condition, we will refund it if it is not reduced by 50% or more.)

    Customer: “Can I have a refund on this, please?” *puts bag on counter*

    Me: “Okay, is it lingerie?”

    Customer: *snorts* “Of course it is.”

    (I tip out the bag. It contains a single pair of briefs that match a bra we also sell.)

    Me: “So, you want to return these briefs? Do you have the receipt?”

    Customer: *digs through her purse* “I have it in here somewhere.”

    Me: “Um, there’s a… mark… on the inside of these briefs. I don’t think I can return them even with a receipt.”

    (Note: There is a large, very obvious blood stain on the inside of the briefs. I cannot return an item in this condition unless it is seriously faulty. I am already feeling concerned that I have handled the item before knowing about the blood stain.)

    Customer: “Why not?! They don’t fit! When I bought them, the girl said I could return them with the tags and receipt!”

    Me: “I’m sorry, we can only return items in a resaleable condition and these aren’t so.”

    Customer: “She said I could return them with tags and a receipt! I have both, so you have to give me a refund!”

    Me: “I’m sorry, but there’s a blood stain on these. We can only return items that are faulty or in a resaleable condition. I’m familiar with all our products and I know these aren’t faulty. Because of the stain, we can’t resell them so I can’t process a return either. I’m really sorry.”

    Customer: “But she said I could return them with a receipt and tags! I want to speak to a manager!”

    Me: “I will get a manager, but it won’t change anything.”

    (I go to get our department manager.)

    Manager: “I’m sorry, but you can only return items in a resaleable condition. Even if you wanted an exchange, which you don’t, these have a blood stain so I can’t allow you to return them.”

    Customer: “BUT THE GIRL SAID I COULD RETURN THEM WITH TAGS AND A RECEIPT, WHICH I HAVE!”

    Manager: “If you wanted to return them, you should have tried them on over another pair of pants so they wouldn’t become stained with blood. You have put my staff at risk by trying to return them in this condition, and I am not prepared to even offer you an exchange given the condition you have presented this item in. In the future, please try on briefs when you are not at ‘that time of the month’ and there won’t be a problem.”

    Customer: *gives manager a mortified look and scuttles out*

    Me: *to my manager* “Thank you!”

    Manager: “Go wash your hands. I’m sorry you had to deal with that!”

    (I washed my hands about ten times until I felt like I’d taken a full layer of skin off!)

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