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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!

    A Lot Of Hot Air Over Very Little Gas

    | OH, USA | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests, Money, Transportation

    (When customers pre-pay for gas with a credit card, but their vehicle won’t take as much as they’ve put on it, the system automatically refunds the remaining portion onto the card that was used. This conversation takes place near the end of a 10-hour shift.)

    Customer: *in a not-so-nice tone* “I sent a kid in here earlier to get gas and he only pumped $17, but I was charged for $25. Why was I over-charged?”

    Me: *looks at his receipt* “Oh, well, it looks like they pre-paid for gas and it was charged to a credit card. The remaining portion would have been automatically refunded to your card.”

    Customer: “I need a receipt showing that it refunded.”

    Me: “I am so sorry, sir, but I can only print receipts for the past 10 transactions, and it looks like the kid you sent in got gas well over two hours ago. There isn’t a way for me to pull it up.”

    Customer: “Well how the h*** am I supposed to know that it refunded? How do I know you didn’t steal my money?”

    Me: “As soon as the nozzle on the pump is hung back up, it refunds automatically. You could actually call your credit company right now, and it would show that the balance is there.”

    Customer: “No! I will not call them! I want you to show me proof right now that you didn’t steal my money!”

    Me: “As I just said, there is nothing I can do. It’s been several hours since this transaction took place, so I can’t look it up. I assure you, if you would just call…”

    Customer: “I need you to write down that I only pumped $17 worth of gas and sign it so I can dispute it when it charges me $25 on my bill!”

    Me: “Sir, I have no idea how much gas you pumped, so I will not sign anything saying you only pumped $17. Furthermore, you’ve been yelling at me for over three minutes during a very busy time and I’m the only person here to ring out the 12 people behind you. I’ve told you that all you have to do is call the number on the back of the card to verify that you were only charged for what you pumped, and yet you’re still unsatisfied. The only other thing I can offer is that you call our customer service center and file a complaint. The number, and our store number are posted right beside you, and my name is on your receipt from earlier.”

    Customer: *shoves a pen and his receipt in my face* “I’m not leaving until you write a statement about my gas and sign it!”

    Me: “If you don’t leave, I will call the police to escort you from the premise.”

    (Just then, one of our regulars, who is a police officer and in uniform, walks in. I sigh in relief, but the customer doesn’t notice.)

    Customer: “You WILL write down that I only pumped $17. I’m not going anywhere!”

    Me: “Hey, [Officer], could you do me a favor?”

    Officer: “That depends… What is it?”

    (The customer looks over at the officer, back at me, and scrambles out the door.)

    Me: “Never mind; he left on his own.”

    Closing Time Crime

    , | WA, USA | At The Checkout, Food & Drink, Liars & Scammers, Theme Of The Month

    (I work at a fast food restaurant that closes at 9:30 pm. A customer comes in just before then, as I am helping close up for the day.)

    Customer: “Hi. I ordered an eight-piece fried chicken during my lunch break, and got baked instead.”

    Me: “All right, sir. I’m terribly sorry. Do you want a refund or a correct order?”

    Customer: “I’d like what I ordered, please. The eight-piece fried chicken meal.”

    Me: “Sure, sir. We’re about to close, so at this point at night, we aren’t making the fried chicken anymore.”

    Customer: “What? But you’re a fried chicken place!”

    Me: “Yes, we are, but we’re also closing for the night.”

    Customer: “Okay, so, can I get an order that’s the same amount of money?”

    Me: “No problem. I just need the receipt and I can get you that, sir.”

    Customer: “The receipt? Oh, I think I threw that away.”

    (I look at him apologetically. I cannot correct an order or give a refund without the receipt.)

    Me: “What? Sir, I cannot give you your meal without the receipt.”

    Customer: “What? It’s just a piece of paper, I had the wrong order earlier and now I want what I paid for!”

    Me: “Sir, we fill out hundreds of orders around lunch time and I would not be able to find your order among them.”

    Customer: “I WANT MY FRIED CHICKEN!”

    Me: “Sir, please lower your voice. We don’t have the fried chicken, and without your receipt I can’t give you a refund.”

    Customer: “[Other Fast Food Chain] doesn’t need receipts to give me my food!”

    Me: “Sir, I am fairly sure they do. Look, it’s closing time but I can try to look through our computer system to find your order.”

    (He suddenly backs down a bit, from menacing to nervous.)

    Customer: “No, no, that’s okay. I’ll just go get dinner somewhere else.”

    (He leaves quickly. My manager walks over to see what it was about, and after I tell him, he shakes his head.)

    Manager: “I’m willing to bet there was no receipt, and he was just after a free meal!”

    The Breast Awareness

    | USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Rude & Risque

    (During October we have a Halloween costume contest at work. I work at a family-friendly restaurant and my costume is not very revealing. I am in an alcove putting an order into the computer when a customer with an alcoholic beverage in his hand walks up to me and blocks me in the alcove.)

    Customer: *looking at my chest* “I just wanted to check.”

    (Thinking he wanted to look at my name tag in order to vote for my costume, I turned towards him.)

    Customer: *gesturing towards my breasts* “Nice.”

    Me: “…”

    Customer: “You’re SUPPOSED to say THANK YOU!”

    Can’t Imagine Why You Can’t Use Imaginary Coupons

    | NJ, USA | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid

    (I greet a table of ten. In the middle of introducing myself this happens:)

    Customer: “I have a coupon.”

    Me: “Okay, hang on to it. It is applied at the end.”

    Customer: “Hang onto it? I don’t have it with me. Is that a problem?”

    Me: “So, you want to use a coupon that you don’t have with you?”

    Customer: “I don’t understand why you have coupons if you won’t accept them.”

    Me: “…”

    On The Need For Hazard Pay, Part 8

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

    (I work in a well-known department store chain as a cashier. By law, I’m required to offer our store credit card to each and every customer that comes through my line if they’re over the age of 18.)

    Me: “Okay, ma’am, your total is [total]. If you don’t have our [Store] card, I can try to save you $10 or $15 on this purchase.”

    Customer: *mumbles so low that I can’t hear her*

    Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am. Could you please repeat that?”


    (At this point she starts screaming her head off, and I see my manager, who is really short and stocky, running down the aisle to see what all the yelling is about.)


    Me: “Ma’am, I have never met you before. How would I know that you don’t have any credit cards?”


    Me: “Ma’am… those are two completely separate things.”

    Customer: “NO, THEY’RE NOT! STOP F***ING LYING TO ME!”

    (My manager has just gotten to my booth when the customer slaps me, hard, across my face.)

    Manager: “[Customer]! Why did you just hit my cashier?!”


    Manager: “Get out of my store! This is the third time you’ve done this! Do not come back!”


    Manager: *after the customer left* “Are you okay? Go on a break. I’ll cover for you.”

    Me: “So… no hazard pay?”

    Manager: “Ha. Good luck with that. I’ve been here 40 years and I don’t get hazard pay.”

    (She did the customer satisfaction survey on the receipt that we print out and gave me the lowest possible rating, a 0, because of “terrible service” and actually WON a $1,000 gift card to the store via the sweepstakes system. Corporate was notified and they cancelled the gift card right away and gave me a $100 gift card!)

    On The Need For Hazard Pay, Part 7
    On The Need For Hazard Pay, Part 6
    On The Need For Hazard Pay, Part 5

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