• It Would Be Penny-Wise To Accept Them
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  • October Theme Of The Month: Halloween!

    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!

    Wish You Could Just Bury Your Head In The Sand

    | Australia | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior

    (There is a promotion on at the toy store where I work for a new type of sand that comes with several sets of molds. Because the promotion is going so well, we run out of molds in the first few days and are waiting for our new stock to come in next week. We used to have many signs around the store advertising both the sand and the molds, but we have taken down all the mold advertisements and actually put up a few sign saying that we’ve run out.)

    Customer #1: “Hi. My son’s birthday is next week. I want a pack of [Sand] and three molds to go with it.”

    Me: “Unfortunately, we’ve sold out of molds, but we are getting more in on Tuesday. Would you still like to buy a pack of [Sand] now or would you like me to put it aside for when the molds come in?”

    Customer #1: “EXCUSE ME? What do you mean you’ve sold out?!”

    Me: “Um… I mean we’ve sold out. We sold out a few days ago actually, but, as I said before, we are getting more in on Tuesday.”


    Me: “Pardon?”


    Me: “Ma’am, do you actually think it would be possible for me to know that you, a stranger, would need this product for your son’s birthday and have kept some aside for you? This is the first time I’ve met you.”

    Customer #1: “This is actually ridiculous. I will be back on Tuesday for my sand and three molds. There will be trouble if I don’t get them. Do you understand? TROUBLE!”

    Me: “…”

    (Customer #1 storms out of the store and I don’t see her for the rest of the day. I don’t work Tuesdays so I leave a note for my coworker saying explains what happened and to watch out for her. I come in on Saturday morning for my next shift and there is only one packet of [Sand] left and one mold to go with it. I am currently ringing up both of them for Customer #2 who regularly comes in to buy products for his daughter.)

    Customer #2: “My daughter is going to love these! Did you know it’s her birthday tomorrow?”

    Me: “No way! Wish her a very happy birthday from m- OH, NO!”

    (I see Customer #1 come through the doors and head straight towards me.)

    Me: “Hi, how can I help you?”

    Customer #1: “You know what I want.”

    Me: “Ma’am, did you not buy the products on Tuesday?”

    Customer #1: “NO! I didn’t get a chance on Tuesday. I was doing things. Now give me my products.”

    Me: “Actually, ma’am, we’ve sold out again, this time of both products. I can’t sell you anything. If you had come in earlier in the week when I told you the stock was arriving then you may have been able to purchase them.”

    (Customer #1 throws a huge fit and knocks over a large stand and shattering many products in the process.)

    Me: “Miss! You need to calm down! I just sold the last product to this man. You’re too late. You need to leave the store.”

    (Customer #1 proceeded to push over Customer #2, take his bag and make a run for it. Unfortunately for her, Customer #2 was an undercover police officer, who proceeded to catch her, arrest her, and charge her with both assault and theft! Customer #2 got the store a huge amount of compensation for for the broken products, which we ended up giving to him to spend on his daughter’s birthday. I never saw Customer #1 again!)

    A Third Of The Way To A Breakdown

    | MN, USA | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Math & Science

    (The current sale on a certain brand of pizzas is three for $10, making the sale price for each $3.33. A customer comes through the line with two pizzas.)

    Customer: “I know the sign says three for $10, but I only want to buy two of these pizzas.”

    Me: “That’s fine; they ring up at the sale price no matter how many you buy.”

    (I scan one pizza and show him that it rings up as $3.33.)

    Customer: “NO! You don’t understand; I want the SALE PRICE.”

    Me: “$3.33 is the sale price.”

    Customer: “No, it’s not!”

    (I’m beginning to have a line, so I pull out a calculator to show the math.)

    Me: “It is, sir. Look. Ten divided by three is 3.33.”


    Next Customer: “I do.”

    (The first customer refused to believe me, saying that he’d pay for them just this once. He also said he’d be informing a manager about the wrong sale price. Needless to say, I did not get in trouble.)

    Still Got Meat Between Their Ears

    , | Adelaide, SA, Australia | At The Checkout, Food & Drink, Money

    (I’m taking drive-thru orders over the speaker box. This particular fast-food chain is known for making burgers “your way” – adding or removing condiments, no matter what the request. Condiments such as lettuce and tomato are free within reason, but some customers try to get away with ordering a plain burger, and then requesting all of the condiments be added, assuming they will get a burger with everything for the price of a plain one.)

    Me: “Hi, welcome to [Fast Food Restaurant]. Place your order when you’re ready, please.”

    Customer: “I’ll have a hamburger, please.”

    Me: “Sure thing; one hamburger is $1.10. Is there anything e-”

    Customer: *”On the hamburger, I’d like cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, and mayonnaise.”

    Me: “No worries. That’s one Junior [Brand-name] burger with cheese. That’s $2.85; is there anything else?”

    Customer: “… Oh, uh, I’ve changed my mind. How much is a five inch bun on its own?”

    Me: “60c.”

    Customer: “I’ll get a five inch bun, with sauce, mayo, lettuce, tomato, onion, and cheese.”

    Me: “Sure thing. So, that’s a [full-priced burger] minus the meat. That’ll be $3.85… Drive through, please.”

    Customer: “D*** IT! You guys are meant to be stupid high-school drop-outs that are easy to fool. Just give me the burger with the meat on it then, thanks.”

    Very Slow Burn

    | Victoria, BC, Canada | At The Checkout, Bizarre

    (I am working in a large grocery store on a busy Saturday. Each till has at least eight people in line, and I can’t even see the end of the queue. I am scanning items as quickly as I possibly can and have not made any mistakes. My next customer is a lady with two overflowing carts of groceries, so I greet her and start scanning her items at my usual pace.)

    Customer: “SLOW DOWN!”

    Me: *startled* “I’m sorry?”

    Customer: “SLOW DOWN! I don’t like it when you scan my items so quickly.”

    (I double check her bill but see no mistakes.)

    Customer: “And I like to watch you scan every item so don’t touch another thing until I’m done unloading!”

    (The line up is still quite long behind her, and she has barely unloaded any items onto the belt. No amount of reasoning will convince her to let me start scanning her items until she has unloaded each product, one by one.)

    Me: *resumes scanning*

    Customer: “I said not so fast! Do I have to report you to your manager?”

    (In the end I had to scan her items at a snail’s pace, several people change queues, and when she finally pays and leaves she’s still muttering about reporting me to my manager.)

    Next Customer: “Please scan my items as quickly as you’d like. I don’t mind!”

    Credited With Having No Children

    | Canberra, ACT, Australia | At The Checkout, Rude & Risque, Technology

    Me: “Enter your PIN, sir.”

    (He does, and then removes card straight away, not waiting for the machine.)

    Me: “Sir, it looks like you pulled out early—”

    Customer: “Story of my life! It’s why I don’t have kids.”

    (The next customer and I burst out laughing.)

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