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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!

    Driving On Booze Control

    | Princeton, NJ, USA | At The Checkout, Criminal/Illegal, Food & Drink, Underaged

    (I work at a liquor store, and we have one major rule. If you appear to be under 30 you MUST have your ID on you unless you are accompanied by a parent or guardian. If you do not have your ID on you no one in your group is allowed to purchase alcohol. Two guys come into our store together and start making a ruckus. The one guy looks about 23 or so, but the other can’t be 17. They’re yelling up and down the aisles to each other looking for something to purchase. I greet the two of them and start scanning their items. I ask for their IDs.)

    Customer #1: “Here you go.”

    Me: “Thanks.” *pointing at Customer #2* “I just need to see your ID as well.”

    Customer #2: “I don’t got mine.”

    Me: “Okay. Is it in the car or something? I need to see both of your IDs because you came in together.”

    Customer #2: “Why? I didn’t come in here with him. We met up outside and walked in together.”

    Me: “Let me get my manager. He’ll be able to sort this out for you guys.”

    (My manager comes over and I explain to him that the one has his ID, but the other guy doesn’t. My manager reiterates the store policy. As this is happening, Customer #2 hands a $5 bill ‘stealthily’ to his buddy.)

    Customer #1: “We’re friends from work! We ran into each other inside. Why am I getting denied service because I happened to run into him and happened to get in line with him at the same time.”

    Manager: “Well, if that’s the case why did he just hand you money and try to walk out towards the door?

    Customer #1: “I had asked to borrow some money! This is b******t!”

    Manager: “I’m sorry you feel that way, but that’s the law. For all we know, you’re about to purchase alcohol for a minor, and we could get fined for that.”

    Customer #2: “That’s racist! You’re refusing to sell to us because we’re [race]!”

    Manager: “No, sir, that’s not why. I just told you why I’m refusing service.”

    Customer #2: “Well, if that’s the case why didn’t you card that baby in the other dude’s line over there?”

    Manager: “Sir. Think about what you just said. Do you really think that baby is really going to drink anything in that cart?”

    Customer #2: “Whatever. I’m calling the cops. You’re going to be arrested for being racist. You racist son of a b****!”

    Manager: “Okay. I can wait. I’ll just tell them that your pal just tried to purchase alcohol for a minor.”

    (With that they walked out of the store, screaming and ranting, and wound up kicking over one of the basket returns by the exit, never to be seen since.)

    No ID, No Idea, Part 15

    | Salem, NH, USA | At The Checkout, Criminal/Illegal

    (The store I work at sells chocolate liqueurs. Because they are alcoholic, I cannot sell them to anyone who doesn’t have an ID on them. A couple of young women come up, and seeing the liqueurs by the register, put a couple in with their purchase.)

    Me: “I’ll need to see some ID for those.”

    Customer: “Oh, I left my ID in the car.”

    Me: “I can hold onto your stuff while you go get it.”

    Customer: “I don’t want to go all the way to my car and back!”

    Me: *moving the liqueurs aside* “All right. I’ll just put those back, then.”

    Customer: “But, I want them.”

    Me: “I’ll need to see your ID.”

    Customer: “It’s in the car!”

    Me: “I can hold your stuff for you while you go get it.”

    Customer: “Look, I LOOK old enough to drink, don’t I?”

    Me: “Yes…”

    (Smiling, the woman nudges the liqueurs back into her pile of stuff. I promptly nudge them back out.)

    Me: “My underage sister LOOKS old enough, as well.”

    Customer: “But I want those!”

    Me: “I’ll need to see your ID.”

    Customer: “It’s in the CAR!”

    No ID, No Idea, Part 14
    No ID, No Idea, Part 13
    No ID, No Idea, Part 12

    The High Point Of My Night

    , | Canada | At The Checkout, Criminal/Illegal, Food & Drink

    (I work as a cashier and am finally at the end of a long, frustrating split-shift. About 10 minutes to closing a group of guys in their early 20s come in and head straight for the confection aisle. They seem to be having a hard time deciding, and become panicked when my supervisor makes the closing announcement. They shove their candy, chips, and pop into the arms of one guy, and push him toward the cash. They leave the store, leaving their friend to pay. He places the items very slowly on the counter, blinking with confusion a number of times, swaying a little on his feet. I ring his items through.)

    Me: “That’s $14.59. How will you be paying?”

    Customer: “Uh… debit?”

    (He slowly pulls out his wallet and fumbles for his card. He finally places it in the debit machine, and then stares at it, unmoving. The machine times-out, so I reset it. He manages, with some difficulty to make it through the rest of the transaction. When I place his bag in front of him, he looks confused.)

    Customer: “Is this mine?”

    Me: “Yes, it is.”

    Customer: “These are the things I bought?”

    Me: “Uh… yes. Are you all right?”

    Customer: “Huh? Oh, yeah, don’t mind me, I’m just really fried.”

    (He pulls a 2 dollar coin out of his pocket and puts it on the counter.)

    Customer: “Don’t tell; my parents know the owner.”

    (He left, marveling at the automatic doors as he did. He has been back to the store a number of times, in the same state, and makes my day whenever he shows up.)

    Totally Free From Thought

    | ON, Canada | At The Checkout, Money

    (A customer comes up to my till and hands me two movie passes and a club card.)

    Customer: “Hi, I’d like two for [Movie], please.”

    Me: “Here you go, two tickets for [Movie]. Enjoy your movie.”

    Customer: *takes out her debit card and puts it in the debit/credit reader*

    Me: “Oh, sorry, did you want more tickets for that show on top of the passes?”

    Customer: *takes debit card out* “No, I only need two.” *gestures at herself and husband and puts debit card in the reader again*

    Me: “Oh… well, it’s just that you keep putting your debit card in the machine but you don’t need to pay for anything, so I don’t understand—”

    Customer: “What? OH! It’s free, isn’t it?”

    Me: “Yes, ma’am.”

    Customer: “Oh! Okay! Sorry!”

    Fickle Over A Nickel, Part 2

    | MD, USA | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests, Money

    (I am currently checking out a line of customers. I hand a lady her change which is roughly $0.94. She counts it then hands me back a nickel.)

    Customer: “This is not a nickel. This is Canadian. I want an American nickel.

    Me: “Ma’am, it is still worth five cents. Any store will accept it.”

    Customer: “IT’S NOT AMERICAN!”

    Me: “Okay, ma’am, let me call my manager. She has to open my drawer for me so that I can exchange the nickel.”

    (I call the manager and pray for her to hurry up.)

    Customer: “IT’S NOT AMERICAN!”

    (My manager is being very slow and thankfully the customer behind her pulls some change out of his pocket and hands her a nickel.)

    Customer #2: “Here, ma’am. Take this.”

    Customer #1: “Thank you.”

    (Customer #1 begins to walk to the door but overhears me talking to Customer #2.)

    Me: “Here, sir, would you like this Canadian nickel, it is still worth five cents.”

    Customer #2: “Thank you.”

    Customer #1: *standing half way out the door shouting at me* “IT IS NOT AMERICAN!”

    Fickle Over A Nickel

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