November Theme Of The Month: Black Friday!

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!

A Legal Standing

| IN, USA | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests, Criminal/Illegal

(Just the pharmacist and I are working the late shift, around 2:00 am. at a popular 24-hour pharmacy. An elderly woman, who has a reputation for getting prescriptions early, hands me a script for painkillers.)

Elderly Customer: “Hi, I need this filled.”

Me: *for narcotics, our store requires we ask vague questions to help weed out fraudulence* “All righty, is this from today?”

Elderly Customer: “Yes, but I want it dated for three days ago.”

Me: “Forgive me?”

Elderly Customer: “Yes. You all cheated me out of my pills, so I had to wait three days for my refill. So you will date it three days early so that i can get it early from now on.”

(The pharmacist, a 65-year-old man who’s so close to retirement he’s not afraid of being fired, hears the conversation and comes over.)

Pharmacist: “Hello, I’m the pharmacist. Can I help you with something?”

Elderly Customer: “Yes. Your technician refuses to fill my prescription. I want you to fill it and date it for three days ago.”

Pharmacist: “No. It is against the law to do so. I will fill and date it for today.” *turns to leave*

Elderly Customer: “Hey, a**-hole! I’m not done with you!”

(At this point, the pharmacist turns slowly around. I am searching for cover.)

Elderly Customer: “You’re gonna fill my d*** pills for how I want! I’m the customer!”

Pharmacist: “What you are asking is so illegal, it isn’t even physically possible to do with our software.”

Elderly Customer: “It’s not illegal where I’m standing.”

(The elderly customer gives a big grin like she has won. The pharmacist proceeds to walk around the counter, out of the pharmacy, and stands next to the customer.)

Pharmacist: “Ehhh. Nope! It’s illegal over here, too. Good luck getting that filled, though.”

(He handed her the prescription, and she stormed away screaming curses.)

Doesn’t Quite Swear By That DVD Player

| Vancouver, BC, Canada | At The Checkout, Family & Kids, Food & Drink, Language & Words

(I work at a store that doesn’t do refunds. If a customer wants to return an item, we can only offer to exchange it for the exact same item, or give store credit to put towards a new purchase.)

Customer: “Hi, I’d like to return this DVD player. It no longer works.”

Me: “Sure. Would you like to do a straight exchange, or would you like a store credit?”

Customer: “Straight exchange, please. I really like this DVD player, and I’d really like another one like it.”

Me: “All right, just let me see if we have any in stock.”

(I do a search on my computer, and we show zero in stock. I even check with the stockroom staff to verify this.)

Me: “Sir, I’m afraid to say this, but we no longer have this DVD player in stock.”

Customer: “Are you sure?”

Me: “I’m absolutely sure. There aren’t any on the shelves, the computer says we have zero, and there aren’t any in the back. We’re all tapped out, I’m afraid.”

Customer: “Aw, s***!”

(Both the customer and I notice that there’s a small child next to us, and he heard the whole thing.)

Customer: “Uh, I mean poo-poo caca. Aw, poo-poo caca, I can’t believe you ran out of my favorite DVD player. Can you check to see if any other locations might still have it? I’m sorry to ask you this, but I really like this DVD player.”

Me: “Sure thing. Which location is the nearest to you?”

Customer: “Can you try [Location #1]?”

Me: “Certainly.”

(I dial the number to Location #1 to make my inquiry.)

Me: “I just got off the phone with [Location #1]. They don’t have it either.”

Customer: “Poo-poo caca. Can you try [Location #2]?”

(I phone up Location #2.)

Me: “They don’t have it either.”

Customer: “Aw, poo-poo caca. Can you try [Location #3]?”

Me: “Okay…”

(This went on for four more locations, and they all don’t have the very specific DVD player that my customer is looking for. Every time I told him the bad news, he responded with “poo-poo caca.”)

Double The Trouble

| TN, USA | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid

(As the store is quite busy on a Saturday night and there is only one cashier scheduled, I’ve taken over the customer service desk which has two registers. I am calling customers to both sides so I can help two people at once. I’ve just called the next two customers down, two of whom I have to ask to take a longer route to the secondary register on my right.)

Customer #1: *at the left side of the desk* “Why are you letting people check out over there? Won’t everyone skip the line and go to the other side for a shorter line?”

Me: “Ma’am, I called them from the long line. That’s the only line I’m calling from. They were kind enough to go around to the other side of the desk so I can help both of you at once. Since there’s such a long line tonight I’m doing what I can to keep the line moving.”

Customer #1: “That doesn’t seem right.”

Me: “I’m sorry about the inconvenience, but thank you for hanging in there with me while I try to get everyone taken care of. Your total is [total]. If you’ll please swipe your card at the pin-pad I’ll get these people started on the other register.”

Customer #2: *on the right side of the desk* “Since you’re doing the work of two people do you get paid twice as much?”

Hold Fire On That Receipt

| Finland | At The Checkout, Bizarre

(It’s Friday afternoon and I’m in a liquor store with my dad. We both know the guy who’s working as cashier.)

Cashier: “Do you want the receipt?”

Dad: “Yeah, I’m going to heat the sauna today.”

(Our sauna is heated with wood and we use trash paper to light the fire.)

Cashier: “Okay, have a nice weekend.”

Me: “You, too.”

(We pack dad’s bottles, and the cashier serves another customer. We are leaving when he offers a receipt to her.)

Customer: “No, thanks. I have an electric sauna.”

Return Of The Returner

| MA, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Crazy Requests

(A customer comes in, carrying no bags, and heads straight for the return desk.)

Customer: “Hello, I need to return this coat.”

Me: “I’m sorry, what coat?”

(The customer takes off the coat she’s wearing and dumps it on the counter.)

Customer: “This coat! I can’t wear it anymore! I need a new one!”

Me: “All right, do you have a receipt?”

Customer: “Yes, I do.”

(The receipt she comes up with is from November. It’s January now. But she has the receipt, so I have to process the return.)

Me: “All right, that’s [price].”

Customer: “No, no! It’s [higher price].”

Me: “No, you got a ten percent discount when you bought it.”

Customer: “That wasn’t on the coat! It was on everything else!”

Me: “Ma’am, the ten percent came off the whole order.”

Customer: “No, I called someone yesterday, and they said I could get the whole amount. I have to go. Just ring it up for the whole amount.”

Me: “Do you know who you spoke to?”

Customer: “No. A manager.”

(I call the supervisor over, and he authorizes the return without the ten percent.)

Customer: “Now I want the ten percent off the one I buy. I’ll be right back.”

(She returns with another coat that’s more money.)

Me: “And the difference is [amount].”

Customer: “What? Did you take the ten percent?”

Me: “I can’t take the ten percent off because it’s a one-time discount.”

Customer: “The manager told me I could do that!”

Supervisor: “Do you know which manager you spoke to? What was his name?”

Customer: “He didn’t give me his name. I’ve got to go. Can we just ring this up?”

(Supervisor authorizes the discount again, eager to be rid of this woman. Little did we know…)

Me: “Wow, that was weird.”

(Five minutes later, the customer comes back, shedding her new coat and dropping it on the counter.)

Customer: “I can’t wear this! It’s too big! Give me the money back, and I’ll go get another one!”

(At this point, the supervisor took over and rang her himself.)

Customer: “You’re sure it looks all right now?”

Me: “Yes, it’s very nice.”

Customer: “It’s not too big?”

Me: “No, it looks good on you.”

Customer: “Okay.”

(The customer leaves, and I breathe a sigh of relief. A few minutes later, she came back.)

Customer: “This is ripped!” *she shows us a minuscule tear in the cuff* “I can’t wear it like this! Take some money off!”

Supervisor: “This item is final clearance. I can’t mark it down any further.”

Customer: “It’s torn! I have to take it to a tailor now! Give me a discount!”

Supervisor: “I physically can’t do it. The system won’t allow me to mark down lower than the final clearance price.”

Customer: “But it’s damaged goods! Would you buy this like this?”

Supervisor: “It’s marked down sixty percent off the original price. That’s the lowest the system will let me go.”

Customer: “I can return this, if it costs to much to repair?”

Supervisor: “Yes, just save your receipt.”

Customer: “Fine.”

(The customer finally leaves, and for the rest of the evening, I was terrified she’d come back again!)