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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!

    Intelligence May Be Of Equal Or Lesser Value

    | Sydney, Australia | At The Checkout

    (My store is going through a buy two, get the third free sale. A customer comes up with only two items.)

    Me: “Hi. Just these ones today?”

    Customer: “Yes, thanks.”

    Me: “Did you want to grab another item of equal or lesser value for free?”

    Customer: “How much will it cost?”

    Me: “Nothing…it’s free.”

    Customer: “What’s the catch?”

    Me: “It’s of equal or lesser value of the items you have here.”

    Customer: “So, how much extra do I have to pay for it?”

    Me: “Nothing. It’s free.”

    Customer: “No. There’s a catch, isn’t there? You people are always trying to sell me more stuff with some sort of catch behind it. I will probably end up paying more for it or something.”

    Me: “No, it’s free, meaning you will pay no extra. You get it for nothing.”

    Customer: “No! I refuse to give into your gimmicks.”

    (The customer pays for two items and walks out of the store. She returns the next day.)

    Customer: “Yes, I came in yesterday and wasn’t aware of the sale you had going on for buy two, get the third free!”

    Smoking Oneself Out

    | Portland, OR, USA | At The Checkout

    (We have a policy that if you look under 30, we must card you for age restricted items.)

    Customer: “Can I get a pack of [cigarettes]?”

    Me: “Can I see your ID?”

    Customer: “I don’t have ID on me.”

    Me: “Well, we have to see ID if you look under 30.”

    Customer: “I look under 30? Well, I’m 29.”

    Flirtings & Salutations

    | Indiana, USA | At The Checkout

    (An older customer and his wife approach the register.)

    Me: “Hello! How are you today?”

    Customer: “Good. How are you?”

    Me: “Oh, I’m pretty good!”

    Customer: “You got the ‘pretty’ part right, but I’m not so sure about the ‘good’ part yet.”

    (The customer’s wife glares at him. I feel pretty uncomfortable and start to scan his groceries.)

    Customer: “Hmm…you’re pretty fast. Good, good…”

    (I hurriedly scan the rest of their groceries and turn my attention elsewhere.)

    Not Exactly The Sweetest Customer

    | Toronto, Canada | At The Checkout, Food & Drink

    (My store has a brand of cookies on sale for half price. On the shelf above them is a smaller pack of the same brand that is not on sale).

    Customer: “Excuse me, why do these bigger cookies cost less than these small ones?”

    Me: “Those cookies are on sale this week. They usually cost more.”

    Customer: “Yes, I know they’re on sale, but why doesn’t the smaller pack cost less?”

    Me: “Only the cookies in the larger size are on sale. The other ones are at regular price.”

    Customer: “But aren’t they the same?”

    Me: “Yes they’re the same brand, but only the larger size is on sale.”

    (At this point, the customer grabs hold of my arm.)

    Customer: “Yes, but why are the bigger ones cheaper? That’s more sugar! If you have too much sugar you can get diabetes! It’s not healthy!”

    Me: “Um, sorry?”

    Customer: “I don’t want to buy the bigger pack. I just want the smaller one. It’s too much sugar for me. Why should I have to buy the bigger one?”

    Me: “Er, well, you don’t HAVE to buy the bigger one.”

    (The customer sighs, shakes his head, and grabs the bigger pack of cookies. He leaves muttering about how everything has so much sugar in it.)

    Skimmed Milk, Skimmed Brain

    | Toronto, Canada | At The Checkout, Food & Drink

    Customer: “Excuse me, I need 2% milk.”

    Me: “Yes, it’s just right there on the shelf behind you.”

    Customer: “No, not that. That’s the 2% PARTLY SKIMMED milk. I want just the regular 2% milk.”

    Me: “Oh, but all 2% milk is partly skimmed. That’s what it means.”

    Customer: “What are you talking about? I don’t want that light stuff. I want just regular 2% milk.”

    Me: “All 2% milk is partly skimmed. That’s what is means.”

    Customer: “No! I buy regular 2% milk all the time at [competitor].”

    Me: “Well, you probably just never noticed the label before, but I’m sure if you do, you’ll see it says partly skimmed.”

    Customer: “I can’t believe they don’t have regular 2% milk here. What kind of grocery store is this?!”

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