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  • 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!

    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!)

    Thanks No-Name!

    | QLD, Australia | At The Checkout, Food & Drink, Funny Names

    (I work in fast food, and at our store we have a number of questions we need to ask customers.)

    Me: “So that was a medium fries and a wrap. Would you like to upsize the fries for 50c?”

    Customer: “No.”

    Me: “…and did you want to make that a meal?”

    Customer: “No.”

    Me: “Did you have your loyalty card on you today?”

    Customer: “No.”

    Me: “Would you like to start one?”

    Customer: “No.”

    Me: “And can I grab your name for the order?”

    Customer: “No. Oh! Sorry. Paul.”

    Fluid Memory; Difficult To Grasp

    | Tucson, AZ, USA | At The Checkout, Food & Drink

    (I sometimes eat in at a pizza joint about a block or so down the road from work when my shift is over and I’m hungry enough to eat a rhinoceros.  I’m doing so after a very busy Christmas week shift I hadn’t been prepared for. Needless to say, I’m a bit out of it, and I usually order the same thing, so I hardly ever look at the menu. The drink order goes a bit like this.)

    Employee: “Hi, welcome to [Restaurant]. What can I get you to drink?”

    (At this point, I recall a half-and-half mix of root beer and Dr Pepper I grew fond of during a recent dinner party, and decide that’s my drink order for the evening.)

    Me: “Could I get a half-and-half of root beer and Dr Pepper?”

    Employee: “We don’t have Dr Pepper. Would you like something else in that half-and-half?”

    Me: “Well, could you please tell me what you do have?”

    Employee: *lists several sodas, including root beer – which I somehow mishear as Dr Pepper*

    Me: “Dr Pepper.”

    (The waitress repeats that Dr Pepper is unavailable at least three more times before I pause for about three seconds. I face-palm and start chuckling once I realize I’ve momentarily become that customer who never seems to understand something spoken to him, clear as day, regardless of how many times it’s mentioned.)

    Me: “Oh, my God. Ah, I’ll have a cola-root beer half-and-half, please.”

    Employee: “All right, a cola-root beer half-and-half. Anything else to drink?”

    Me: “No. Thanks for being so patient with me, by the way!”

    (I still visit that particular pizza joint. But every so often, as I’m eating my pizza, I still remember how I once somehow failed to understand what “We don’t have Dr Pepper” means.)