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!

Muffins Are Sweeter Than Bagels

, | PA, USA | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests, Food & Drink

(I’m a manager at a fast food restaurant but I’m currently on register covering a break. An older lady, probably in her 60s or 70s, comes in and sets her purse on the counter. Our egg muffin sandwiches come with ham, egg, and cheese.)

Me: “Good morning! What can I get for ya?”

Customer: “Good morning. I need an egg muffin… on a bagel… with bacon.”

(Since some customers like more than one type of meat on their sandwich I’ve gotten similar request before. Wanting to see if this is the case, I try to clarify:)

Me: “Okay, so you’d like a bacon, egg, and cheese bagel? Do you want ham and bacon on the sandwich or do you want to substitute the bacon for ham?”

Customer: *shaking her head* “No, no, no. I need an egg muffin… with bacon… on a bagel.”

Me: “So you want bacon, egg, and cheese on a bagel?”

Customer: *smiling sadly at me* “No that’s not what I want. See, this is why I came inside to order. No one can get my order right in the drive-thru.”

Me: “I’m sorry, I’m just confused. If you just tell me what you want on the sandwich I’ll ring it up for you and make sure you get it exactly how you want.”

Customer: “I just want an egg muffin on a bagel with bacon.”

(At this point I turn toward the giant menu board behind me and find the BEC Bagel on the menu I point to it looking back at the customer.)

Me: “This is a bagel with bacon, egg, and cheese can you tell me what about this sandwich you’d like to change and I will modify it for you.”

(Customer looks at the menu for the first time since entering the restaurant, seeing where I’m pointing she looks a little surprised.)

Customer: “Oh… Oh, I see… I thought you had to… Um, I guess I’ll have that.”

Me: “No problem, ma’am. Will there be anything else this morning?”

Customer: “Yes, could I also have a coffee with cream and sugar but can I have the packets?”

Me: “Of course! Your total will be [total].”

(As the lady fishes out her money, I turn to pour her coffee and get her cream and sugar packets. When I turn back around her money is sitting on the counter, she has gotten her food, and is putting the bag of food in her purse. I pay her out and give her her change then proceed to hand her her coffee and packets.)

Customer: *gestures at the packets* “Oh, could you put those in for me?”

Me: “So, you want a coffee with cream and sugar on the side but you want me to put the cream and sugar in for you?”

Customer: *looking confused* “No… No. I meant…”

(She begins looking around for something and her eyes come to rest on the food bag still sticking out for her purse. Realizing she wanted me to put the packets in the bag I begin to ask for her to hand me the bag but before I do she scoops up the packets and haphazardly tries to shove them in the food bag some of them falling out into her purse in the process. She then goes to pick up her coffee and leaves, muttering a thanks.)

Me: “Have a great day, ma’am!”

(I turn to my boss, the store manager, who was behind me the whole time assembling orders.)

Me: “Hey [Boss], could I have an egg muffin with bacon on a bagel?”

Boss: “Sure! And what about some coffee with some cream and sugar on the side but put in?!”

Trying To Re-Coup

| Tampa, FL, USA | At The Checkout, Money

(I answer the phone while working the register during holiday rush.)

Customer: “Hey, I made a several hundred dollar purchase a few days ago during the big sale. And I got a 20% off everything coupon today. Can I bring the coupon in and get 20% off my original purchase?”

(Is this a test? A recorded call from one of my superiors, because this cannot be serious.)

Me: “I’m sorry. That coupon is intended for your next purchase, not one that was already completed!”

Customer: “But I spent so much money! Can’t I just return everything and then re-buy everything with the coupon?”

Me: “I’m sorry. That is incredibly unlikely and will not work. That coupon is intended for the next purchase.”

Customer: “But I spent so much money… You sure?”

Me: “I’m pretty gosh darn positive. Have a nice day, though!”

(The lines were already backed up and I could not imagine if she honestly tried to bring everything back in and argued for the coupon discount!)

The Order In Disorder

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

(I’m taking orders for drive-thru in a well-known Canadian fast food chain.)

Me: “Welcome to [Restaurant]! How can I help you?”

Customer: “Yes, I’d like a large strawberry banana smoothie with no yogurt.”

Me: “You said strawberry banana, correct?”

(I ask this for confirmation and the man proceeds to repeat his whole order again but obviously slower than the first time.)

Me: “And will that be everything today?”

Customer: “Yeah.”

Me: “All righty, then, your total is [total]. We’ll have that ready for you at the window.”

(I wait a couple of seconds and hearing nothing else from the customer, as is quite common for us, I send the order to the next till. A couple seconds later the customer starts talking again.)

Customer: “I’d also like an extra large coffee with—”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir. We’ll have to add the rest of your order at the window.”

Customer: *in a whiny voice* “But I’m not done yet!”

Me: “Sir, I just asked you if that was everything for today and you said ‘yes’. I’ve already sent the order to the next till.”

(This was said politely and with no attitude or rudeness even close to being intended. However lo and behold, the next day I was called into the office and written up for having a “bad attitude” and “bad customer service” and now have to change my “bad attitude with customers” in two weeks or be fired. Thanks, man. Thanks.)

Going On And On And Coupon

| OH, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Money

(I used to work as a cashier at [Large National Chain]. One afternoon I am ringing out an elderly couple’s groceries. The elderly woman has a duplicate coupon for an item that she can only use one for. I give it back to her and try to explain that we don’t allow duplicate coupons. The woman becomes irate.)

Elderly Woman: “We already spend so much money here! Why can’t we just use it?”

Me: “Ma’am, you only have one of those items, and the coupons are only good for one item each. You can get another one and use the coupon, but I can’t ring the second one up when you only have the one item.”

Elderly Woman: “I don’t understand. My husband and I spend so much here. Can’t you just allow it?”

Me: “I can’t. I’m sorry, but the coupon won’t even scan, and I’m not allowed to hand-key it in at this location.”

Elderly Woman: “That’s stupid. Just forget it.” *throws her items at me* “I don’t understand why you can’t just do it when I spend so much money here.”

(I apologized to the woman and continued scanning her items. Later, I was working at the customer service desk and she went up and complained about me. To me.)

Both Brains Were Fried

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

(In this case, both the cashier AND I were idiots. I’m a product demonstrator buying supplies for my next demo: 12 bags of French fries. I get to my car and realize the cashier only charged me for 10. So I go back in and explain the problem.)

Cashier: Thank you so much! I’d have been in so much trouble.”

Me: *feeling sheepish, I brought the receipt but NOT the un-scanned bags back in* “Should I go get them to scan again?”

Cashier: “Nah, just grab two more from the cooler. I’ll scan those and charge you for them.”

(I run and get them. I get back and she’s explaining to the entire line what a tool she is and how grateful she is to me for my honesty. As such, she’s working distracted and on autopilot… It’s 10 pm and I’ve had a long day myself, so I’m not precisely paying attention either.)

Cashier: *scans bags* “Okay, that’ll be $4.99.”

(She automatically bags them and hands me the bag. I automatically take them, say thank you, and leave.)

Me: *10 minutes later at home, un-bagging groceries into my freezer* “Oh, lord! Now I’ve paid for 12 and have 14!”

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