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!

Cappuccino-no

, | SA, Australia | At The Checkout, Food & Drink

(I’m waitressing when one of our baristas calls me over. She asks me to go to one of the tables and confirm that the elderly customer had ordered a long black and a cappuccino, as she had forgotten to write it down. The customer confirms this, and I take the order out to the customer and her husband who has now joined the table.)

Me: “Okay, long black?”

Customer: “Thank you.”

Me: “And your cappuccino, sir.”

Customer: “That was supposed to be a flat white!”

Me: “I’m so sorry; I thought I confirmed with you that it was a cappuccino.”

Customer: “Yes, but I forgot what my husband usually orders!”

(The husband spoke up and half-heartedly told me a cappuccino will do. I apologised again and then walked off wondering what part I had to be sorry for!)

Framing Herself

| New Orleans, LA, USA | At The Checkout, Money

(I work at a local craft store chain and I’m currently up at the register assisting the cashiers with the line of people. My next customer comes up with a basket of frames.)

Me: “Hello, did you find everything alright?”

Customer: “Yes, I did.” *hands me a stack of frames*

(I quickly start scanning the stack and lining them up to place into a bag when the customer stops me.)

Customer: “Hey one second… why aren’t these frames on sale?”

(I look at the frames, and from looking at the ad earlier in my shift, I know that particular type of frame is not on sale.)

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am. That particular frame is not on sale. It’s only the [current frame] style that’s on sale.”

Customer: “No. It IS on sale. There’s a sign back there!”

(Thinking it is a common misreading of the sign on what styles are on sale, I elaborate that only certain frames are on sale.)

Customer: “No, YOU don’t understand. It’s 40% off! There’s a sign! I’ll go back there and look myself AGAIN.”

Me: *knowing exactly how this is going to go* “Yes ma’am. Would you mind showing me the sign?”

(The customer snickers to her companion and mutters how she’s going to prove she’s right, and how I should learn how to do my job. I pay no mind though. I step from behind the register and have the customer lead me to the sign just in case it was put up at the wrong time or so I can explain it.)

Customer: *points to sign in distance* “See? It’s 40% off because that says so!”

Me: “Ma’am, the sign clearly reads [store brand, current two styles on sale] and on the label of the frames over there it clearly says either of those styles on the frame. That frame you’ve got is a [store brand] float frame, and is not on sale.”

(The customer goes silent and walks up back to the register and checks out the rest of her items, no issue. When I finished checking her out I hand her, her receipt and say with a smile:)

Me: “Guess I’m not too shabby at my job.”

Customer: *turns red and storms out of the store without another word*

When They’re More Bitter Than The Coffee

| Dallas, TX, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Food & Drink

(I work at a large coffee chain, and this week I’m helping out at another location instead of my ‘home’ store. Naturally, I don’t know any of their regulars.)

Me: *handing drink to a customer* “Okay, here’s your dark roast coffee with two sugars.”

Customer: “Next time I come in, you’re going to remember my order.”

Me: “Excuse me?”

Customer: “You’re not going to ask for my order again.”

(I think maybe he’s joking, because, while of course I’d like to give everyone personal service, no one who is new to the store would be able to immediately know (and remember!) what all the regular customers order. But he is stone-faced, without even a hint of a smile.)

Me: *with a smile* “Well, I’ll do my best, Sir!”

Customer: “No, you’ll remember. What was my order again?”

Me: “… a dark roast coffee with two sugars.”

(He takes his coffee and walks off without another word. I look around with a ‘did that really just happen?’ expression. As soon as he left, the other baristas all chimed in with other examples of him being unbelievably rude. Sure enough, the next day, he came in and insisted on being helped immediately because “you have four people back there,” even though all four of us were busy doing something to help the customers in line ahead of him. I have no idea why someone would choose to be a regular at a coffee shop and then treat everyone so badly all the time!)

A Beguiling Bagel

, | Raleigh, NC, USA | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Food & Drink

(I work as a sandwich maker at a fast food bagel shop. We make our sandwiches in front of the customer so they can request changes as we build the sandwich. Our featured breakfast sandwich of the month is the sriracha bagel; it is basically a sausage, egg, and cheese bagel but with peppers and sriracha sauce. It’s a slow day, and a young man approaches the counter.)

Customer: “Hi, I’d like a sriracha bagel.”

Me: ” All right, what kind of bagel would you like that on? It usually comes on a plain bagel.”

Customer: “Oh, I don’t know. A plain bagel, I guess. Oh, and can I get that with bacon instead of sausage?”

Me: “Sure, no problem.”

(I grab the bagel, slice it open and begin to assemble the sandwich. I go to get the peppers.)

Customer: “Excuse me, what are those?”

Me: “Those are the peppers that go on the sandwich.”

Customer: “Oh, I don’t like peppers. Can you leave those off?”

Me: “Sure, no problem.”

(I leave the peppers off, and place the bacon, egg, and cheese onto the bagel. I’m about to put the sriracha sauce on the bagel.)

Customer: “Excuse me, what is that?”

Me: “This is the sriracha sauce. It’s what gives the sandwich its name.”

Customer: “Oh, I don’t like spicy things. Can you leave that off?”

Me: “Okay, sure. So, just to make sure: all you want is a bacon, egg, and cheese bagel?”

Customer: “Yea. Hey, why don’t you guys just have that on your menu?”

(I had to struggle not to say anything as the bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich is the first thing listed under “Breakfast Sandwiches” on the menu. The worst part is when he got to the register he insisted on being charged for the sriracha instead of a bacon egg and cheese, and so he paid about a dollar more for his sandwich.)

Complaining About A Lack Of Complaint

, | OH, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Food & Drink

Coworker: “Uh-oh, she’s here.”

(One of our regulars has pulled into the drive-thru. This woman is from the rich part of town, and is notoriously difficult.)

Me: “I’m on it.”

(I begin preparing her regular: a small mocha, with four large creams, more hot chocolate than coffee, no whipped cream, and splenda on the side. She also orders a wheat bagel, triple toasted, with double butter. Yes, the whole order is disgusting. The customer places her order and pulls around.)

Coworker: *opening window* “That’ll be $4.55.”

Customer: “Fine. I hope you did it right this time. Last time it was completely disgusting. I don’t know who you have in there, but they have no idea what they’re doing.”

Coworker: “Don’t worry; we have our best employee on it. She always gets it right.”

(This is stretching it, because no one ever gets it right for this woman. She’s one of those people who isn’t happy unless she can send something back. I hand over the food and drink to my coworker. He slips the splenda into a bag with extra napkins and a stir stick and hands everything out to her. When he holds the drink to her, she refuses to touch it.)

Coworker: “Your drink, ma’am?”

Customer: “Excuse me? I’m not touching it like that. I want it double cupped and with a sleeve. I’m not burning my hand.”

(Somehow, my coworker manages to keep a straight face, despite the fact that her drink is cool to the touch because she ordered her SMALL drink with THREE LARGE creams. I silently hand him an extra cup and sleeve, both of which are new additions to her regular order.)

Coworker: “Here you go! I’m sorry about that! Have a nice day!”

(He closes the window and helps start on the next order. We’re all feeling anxious as we watch the timer tick up as the woman roots through her order, refusing to drive away until she’s checked everything. She opens the bag with the splenda and the begins rapping on the window.)

Coworker: “Is there a problem?”

Customer: *screaming* “I ONLY WANTED TWO SPLENDA!”

(She throws the extra splenda and the napkins at him through the window. We’re all stunned. She then sits there and pours the TWO splenda packets into her drink, mixes it, and slowly sips it.)

Customer: “UGH. This is disgusting.”

Coworker: “We can remake it for you, if you want—”

Customer: “No, I think you’ve wasted enough of my time!”

(She peels off. In total, she sat at our drive-thru window for five minutes during our rush. She, of course, came back everyday for her “disgusting” drink.)

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