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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!

    Brains Over Brawn, Part 2

    | Dewitt, MI, USA | At The Checkout, Wild & Unruly

    (I am working an average rush hour at a large grocery store when I approach the end of an elderly woman’s order.)

    Me: “Okay, this will be $46.48.”

    Customer: *starts hitting card reader with signature pen* “Your machine isn’t working!”

    Me: “Ma’am, you need to swipe your card before you can sign.”

    Customer: *continues to hit card reader with pen* “Your g**d*** machine isn’t working!”

    Me: “Ma’am, please stop hitting the machine. You need to swipe you card.”

    Customer: *throws pen at me* “Your machine’s broken!”

    Me: “It isn’t broken. You just haven’t swiped your card yet.”

    Customer: “Your machine’s broken! See?!”

    (When she flips the card reader around, it is indeed broken—by her, of course.)

    Related:
    Brains Over Brawn, Part 2

    The Solemnest Guarantee

    | Chesterfield, Missouri, USA | At The Checkout

    Me: “Okay, what form of payment would you like to use?”

    Customer: “Credit, please.” *hands me credit card with photo on card*

    (I hold up the card to ensure it’s the right person.)

    Customer: “Trust me, there are no two people in this world this ugly.”

    Real Numbers, Imaginary Common Sense

    | Los Angeles, CA, USA | At The Checkout

    (Our store recently installed numerical locks on our doors due to vandalism. They are a minor annoyance, but usually not a huge issue.)

    Customer: “Can I get the code to your restroom?”

    Me: “Yes, sir, it’s 81818.”

    Customer: “I’m sorry, what was the number?”

    Me: “It’s 81818.”

    Customer: “I’ll never remember that. I need to hear it in real numbers. Can you tell me the code using real numbers please?”

    Me: *confused* “It’s eight-one-eight eighteen.”

    Customer: “No, that’s still not a real number. I need it in real numbers.”

    Me: “Why don’t I just write it down for you?”

    Customer: “No, it’s eighty-one thousand, eight-hundred and eighteen. Was that so hard?!”

    Placebo Me, Part 2

    | USA | At The Checkout

    Customer: “I need a pack of blue [brand] 100′s please.”

    (I go and get exactly the cigarettes that she requested.)

    Me:“Here you go!”

    Customer: “No, I need the blue ones!”

    Me: “Ma’am, these are blue.” *points to the blue label*

    Customer: “No, I want the shorts.”

    (I return the 100′s for the kings, still blue.)

    Customer: “No! I wanted the BLUE ONE-HUNDREDS! Are you color blind? Do you not know what you’re doing?!”

    (I return the kings and return again with the exact same pack of blue 100′s that I gave her the first time.)

    Customer: “That’s better. You might want to get your hearing checked.”

    Related:Placebo Me

    The Fragility Of My Temper

    | Seattle, WA, USA | At The Checkout

    (The place I work at sells everything for your home. Note, the store is a warehouse and has cement floors. A customer walks up to shelf check out, begins to check out, and drops one of two glass vases. The vase, of course, shatters into pieces.)

    Customer: *walks up to me with the unbroken vase* “I don’t want this vase anymore. I didn’t realize how fragile they were.”

    Me: “You didn’t realize how fragile these glass vases were?”

    Customer: “Yes, and I don’t want to purchase an item that can break this easily.”

    (The customer begins to walk back to her check out. Halfway, she turns around again to address me.)

    Customer: “Oh, and by the way, can you clean up this mess?”

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