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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!

    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?”

    Some Customers Are Completely See-Through

    | Pittsburgh, PA, USA | At The Checkout

    (When a customer at the store uses a credit card, we always need ID and either the last four digits and/or the security code on the back.)

    Me: “Alright, sir, I’ll just need to see your ID and credit card for a second.”

    Customer: *hands me ID* “2-9-4-7!”

    Me: “I’m sorry, sir, I have to see the credit card for security reasons.”

    Customer: *shouting slowly* “2-9-4-7!”

    Me: “Yes, sir, I heard you. But I need to be able to see the card.”

    Customer: “No. No way. I never let anyone see my card. You people are just trying to take my numbers and use my card for yourselves! No way!”

    Me: “I promise you, sir, I will not be able to memorize your 16-digit number and know your security number by looking at the front of the card for less than two seconds.”

    Customer: “I know a girl who can do it!”

    Me: “Well, I do not have that kind of memory, but what if you put your finger over the numbers and just show me the name on the card and the last four digits? I absolutely must see the card, sir, or you will have to pay with a different method.”

    Customer: “Well…I guess that would be okay. You don’t have X-ray vision, do you?”

    Me: *laughs* “No, no I don’t.”

    Customer: “Don’t laugh! I know someone who does!”

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