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  • Motherly Advice To Mother
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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!

    Motherly Advice To Mother

    | Pittsburgh, PA, USA | At The Checkout, Family & Kids

    (It’s late at night, and I’m working the checkout aisle when a woman comes up with her young daughter and her cart load of groceries. Everything is going fine at first.)

    Daughter: “Mommy, look!”

    (The daughter has grabbed the now empty cart, pulled it to the end of the aisle and is now pushing it towards her mother at fairly high speed.)

    Mother: “No, dear. Please don’t.”

    (She catches the cart just before the little girl runs her over.)

    Daughter: “Hey, mommy, look!”

    (This time the little girl really gets a running start. The cart is moving dangerously fast. As the cart passes me, I grab the handle, bringing it to a stop. I lean over the counter and look the little girl straight in the eyes.)

    Me: “Trust me. You really don’t want to do that.”

    Daughter: “Why?”

    Me: “Because you could hurt your mother. And if you hurt her you will be in trouble.”

    Daughter: “How much trouble?”

    Me: “Not able to go home trouble. Probably ‘time out’ trouble.”

    Daughter: “Oh. That doesn’t sound that bad.”

    Me: “Or, your mother could be like mine and send you to bed with no supper.”

    Daughter: “Oh.”

    Me: “Now, why don’t you go help your mother bag the groceries?”

    Daughter: “Okay!”

    (The mother looks at me.)

    Mother: “Thank you.”

    Me: “Don’t worry about it. That was one of the less stressful things I’ve dealt with tonight.”

    Mother: “Really?”

    Me: “Yeah. All I had to do was grab the cart and tell her the truth.”

    (The woman pauses for a moment and looks at me.)

    Mother: “Maybe I should try being more like your mother. She certainly got something right with you!”

    (That comment pretty much made my night, and I managed to finish out my shift with a smile.)

    Doesn’t Provide THAT Kind Of Customer Service

    | NS, Canada | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests, Rude & Risque

    (I have just started working at a small-town video store. I’m female, 20 years old, and look much younger. We have an ‘adult’ room in the back. Most customers who buy or rent the porn are middle-aged or elderly men, and are not remotely creepy. Most, in fact, were awkward around me at first because I looked like a teenage kid. They chat about the weather, they get their porn, and get out. One shift when I am working alone, one customer wanders into the store, heads straight to back room, and comes up to my till five minutes later with an armful of adult DVDs.)

    Customer: “Just these, please.”

    Me: “No problem, sir, give me a second to check the discs. That’ll be [total].”

    Customer: “Thanks.” *pays* “Hey, I’m from out of town, just in for two days. Do you have the number to the escort service?”

    Me: “Um, no. We actually don’t have one. This is a pretty small city.”

    Customer: “What!? No escort service? Well, what about a gentlemen’s club? With dancers?”

    Me: “No, sorry, there’s actually no strip clubs, either.” *laughs nervously* “We don’t have much to do here…”

    Customer: *frowns* “Well, do you know anyone who works on the side? Someone a lonely out-of-town visitor can call and spend a few hours with?”

    Me: *wanting to die at this point* “I… are you asking me if I know any prostitutes, sir? I can assure you that I don’t.”

    Customer: “I’m not a cop or anything.”

    Me: “And I’m not exactly a pimp, sir.”

    Customer: “Why did I even come here!? This is the worst business trip I’ve ever been sent on! What do people do for fun around here anyway?!”

    (The customer stormed out. It probably took another hour for the color to come back to my face, and for the feeling of ‘ew,’ to wear off.)

    Trying To Do A Double Take With A Double Take

    | NH, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Family & Kids, Liars & Scammers

    (I work in an ammo store. I’m working a morning shift, unpacking some newly arrived freight with 3 other workers. We’d just received some highly in-demand ammunition, in bulk packages, which is limited to 1 per customer per day due to its popularity. It comes in 325 round boxes, which is good for 1 to 3 trips to the shooting range. An older customer, gray haired and in his 60s, comes in.)

    Customer: “Hey, you have .22 ammo! Lemme get three boxes!”

    Coworker: “Sorry, we have a limit of one box per customer.” *hand him one box*

    Customer: “Oh, c’mon! No one cares. Just let me get three!”

    Coworker: “Sorry, I can only give you the one.”

    Customer: “What if I pay for this, leave, and come back?”

    Coworker: “I couldn’t give you another.”

    Customer: “You’re kidding me!”

    Coworker: “Nope, sorry. Strict policy, because it sells so fast.”

    (Customer walks away. After a few minutes, the guy who was behind the counter goes in the backroom to work there, and a suspiciously identical customer appears. He then speaks to a coworker who saw/heard none of the previous.)

    Identical Customer: “Hey, was my brother just in here?”

    Other Coworker: “Huh?”

    Identical Customer: “My brother! Looks just like me!”

    Other Coworker: “Uh…”

    Identical Customer: “Well, whatever. Hey, can you sell me some .22 ammo?”

    Other Coworker: “Um, sure…”

    (My other coworker begins walking to the ammo counter. I look over at my manager and shake my head ‘no.’)

    Manager: “Did he just leave here with .22 a minute ago?”

    Me: “Yup.”

    Manager: “Sir, we can’t sell you anything.”

    Identical Customer: “What?! That was my brother!”

    Manager: “No, it wasn’t. You need to leave.”

    Identical Customer: “Really!? You can’t hook me up?”

    Manager: “No. Leave.”

    Identical Customer: “Oh, well. Hey, you know I was just kidding, right?”

    Manager: “No.”

    Adding Gallons Of Fuel To The Fire

    | MI, USA | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests, Transportation

    (I work at a gas station that doesn’t require customers to prepay for gas. And yes, the pumps do display the number of gallons a customer pumps.)

    Me: “Hi! Were you on pump two?”

    Customer: “How many gallons did I pump?”

    Me: “I can’t figure that out until you pay. I can print you out a receipt if you would like.”

    Customer: “I just want to know how many gallons I pumped!”

    Me: “I can’t tell you right now, but if you pay the $52.70 I can give you the receipt and it will say the amount you pumped.”

    Customer: “WHY THE H*** CAN’T YOU TELL ME THE GALLONS?!”

    Me: “I can get a calculator and divide the amount you owe by the price of gas, but it would be faster if you paid and I got you a receipt.”

    Customer: *angrily throws money on the counter and walks out*

    Me: *before he even reaches the door I have the receipt printed* “IT WAS FOURTEEN POINT TWO EIGHT GALLONS, SIR!”

    Didn’t Play Their Cards Right

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

    (Our store is having an Easter sale and has sent promotional emails to our customers, which contain ads and coupons. I’m ringing up a customer who has made a large purchase, most of which consists of gift cards, which are never discounted. When I tell her the total and how much she’s saved, she becomes upset.)

    Customer: “I spent nearly $300! My discount should be much higher!”

    (I double-check the totals to make sure I haven’t rung up anything incorrectly.)

    Me: “Ma’am, I believe your savings are lower because most of what you spent

    was on gift cards, and we don’t discount those.”

    Customer: “But the email I was sent had a picture of an Easter basket with a gift card in it! I should get my discount on the gift cards too, since there was a gift card in the picture! That’s false advertising!”

    (Despite my best efforts to explain, she asks to speak to my manager.)

    Manager: “Ma’am, a gift card is literally an exchange of money, dollar for dollar. We don’t ever give discounts on gift cards, and as you can see, we don’t charge tax on them either. That doesn’t happen until you purchase something with the gift card.

    Customer: “Oh… well, I guess I learned something today.”

    Manager: “For future reference, the fine print here on your coupon also states that we can’t discount gift cards.”

    Customer: “I could spend all day reading fine print if I wanted to. I have a Ph.D.! Nobody reads the fine print!”

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