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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!

    Nothing To Tip Him Off

    | Colorado Springs, CO, USA | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Language & Words

    (My coworker and I are working at a gas station while our manager is working in the back room. A customer comes up to the register.)

    Customer: “Can I get a wine (tobacco product)?”

    (Because these products come in either wood tip or plastic tip, we always ask the customer which they would like if they don’t specify.)

    Coworker: “Wood or plastic tip?”

    Customer: “Wine.”

    Coworker: “Yes. Wood or plastic?”

    Customer: “WINE.”

    Coworker: “WOOD or PLASTIC?”

    (This continues on for another minute or two until they are near shouting at each other, despite my coworker acknowledging the request for wine-flavor. My manager comes around the corner with her phone out.)

    Manager: “Sir, she’s asking you very clearly which kind of wine (tobacco product) you would like: one with a wood tip, or one with a plastic tip.”

    (The customer has a dumbfounded look for a moment, and then slaps his hand to his forehead in embarrassment.)

    Customer: “OH! Oh, my goodness. I’m SO sorry! Plastic tip, please!”

    (We all start laughing as my coworker shakes her head and begins checking the man out. Before he leaves, he looks at my manager, who is still standing next to me, giggling.)

    Customer: “Why did you come out with your phone out, anyways?”

    Manager: “Oh, because it was just too perfect! I had to get it on video or no one would ever believe it really happened!”

    (She had recorded the exchange, and has since showed it to some of my other coworkers who couldn’t believe that this even happened. The man still comes in and has since remembered to specify which kind of tip he would like on his product.)

    Eternal Persistence Is The Price Of Pie

    | Melbourne, VIC, Australia | At The Checkout, Food & Drink

    Customer: “Can I have the [flavor] pie?”

    Me: “Sure! Would you like sauce with that?”

    Customer: “And it’s to eat-in please.”

    Me: “Sure. Do you need tomato sauce?”

    Customer: “I’ll also have a [coffee] with that.”

    Me: “I’ll add that to your order. Do you need tomato sauce for the pie?”

    Customer: “Make sure its skinny milk! And I’ll also have a slice of cake.”

    Me: *giving up* “Sure. Was there anything else I can get you today?”

    Customer: “No, thanks. That’s all.”

    Me: “Okay, so that comes to [total]. Here’s your table number.”

    Customer: *hands over money but doesn’t move*

    Me: “Um, if you’d like to take the table number, ma’am, we’ll bring everything out for you.”

    Customer: “Well, can I get some sauce first?”

    Bad Grandpa

    | TX, USA | At The Checkout, Rude & Risque, Theme Of The Month, Tourists/Travel

    (I am a female cashier and recently turned 21. I have worked at this store since I was 17 and am known for being a bit of a goody-goody with the other staff and regulars. A regular customer and I are discussing how much I would love to travel some day, with him telling me about his experiences.)

    Customer #1: “It isn’t so bad. You just backpack it. Go to a town, get a job for a while, and then move on when you’ve saved up again. And most of Europe speaks English, so it’s not like you have to learn every language along the way. Just a few phrases here and there.”

    Me: “I suppose. I guess I’d just be nervous to do it alone, y’know?”

    Customer #1: “Oh, yeah. The whole girl thing. I suppose you wouldn’t want to travel alone?”

    Me: “Yeah. Hostel horror stories, right?”

    Customer #1: “Well, don’t let it stop you. Find a friend or something. A girl friend, if that helps.”

    Me: “Maybe!”

    Customer #1: “Good luck with that! Next time I’m here, I want to hear you’ve bought a one-way plane ticket!”

    Me: “Hah! Yeah, right. Thanks! Have a great night!”

    (As the first customer heads off, the customer after him steps forward. He is a small, elderly man with a shaved head, round frame glasses, gold chains around his neck, large rings and a Hawaiian shirt. He isn’t a regular and I’ve never seen him before.)

    Customer #2: “I heard you talking about travelling around Europe.”

    Me: “Oh, yeah. It’ll probably never happen, though.”

    Customer #2: “Yes, yes. Travel can be scary.”

    Me: “And expensive. Maybe after I graduate.”

    Customer #2: “Are you eighteen?”

    Me: “Excuse me?”

    Customer #2: “Are you eighteen? You said after you graduate. High school?”

    Me: “Oh. No. I’m …yeah.”

    Customer #2: “Well. Perfect. You look so young, I wasn’t sure!”

    (He starts writing his name on the back of a business card. The other side has a generic sounding company name in hot pink, with a woman’s first name, phone number and email address.)

    Customer #2: “My friend, [Name On Business Card], can help you out. She makes good money…” *he winks* “…on the internet.”

    Me: “Oh. That’s. Okay. I’ve got a job.”

    (I start checking faster, feeling suddenly very awkward.)

    Customer #2: “No really! It’s very lucrative. Very discrete.”

    Me: “…”

    Customer #2: “You just tell her that [Customer #2] referred you, okay?”

    (He refuses to leave without putting the card in my hand when I give him the receipt. My bagger hands him his items and the customer leaves. The bagger approaches me as I’m tossing the card in the garbage under my register.)

    Bagger: “Dude, did you just get hit on by a sleazy grandpa?”

    Me: “Actually, I think he was soliciting me to make internet porn.”

    Bagger: “… I can’t decide if that’s worse or not.”

    Well That Throws A Spanner In The Wax

    | OH, USA | At The Checkout, Bizarre, Money

    (I work customer service for a retail store. We sell individual candles and you can grab them by a box. However, the box’s bar code is only for one candle not for four.)

    Customer: “I’d like to return these items.”

    (She pulls out a candle box with four candles and hands me her receipt. I begin to look it over.)

    Me: “Ma’am, you’re returning all four candles?”

    Customer: “Yes.”

    Me: “Well it looks like you were originally only charged for one candle.”

    Customer: “It could be on a different receipt.”

    (I find this odd since if she grabbed the box then she probably bought the four candles together.)

    Me: “I can try looking it up by the credit card you used.”

    (She hands me the credit card over and I run it through and find that she had only been charged for one candle.)

    Me: “Well, you really were charged for only one candle.”

    Customer: “Oh! I’ll just keep these then.”

    Me: “Ma’am, now that I know that you didn’t pay for the other three, if you leave the store you would be stealing them.”

    (She ended up returning the one she wanted, too, and had to pay for the three candles she didn’t originally pay for!)

    Delayed By A Customer Is A Certainty Principle

    | Phoenix, AZ, USA | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests, Money

    (I’m standing in line waiting at the check-out of a popular department store. There’s no one behind me, and I’m not in a particular hurry. The woman in front of me is buying a single item, for which she has a coupon.)

    Cashier: “I’m sorry, but the coupon won’t scan. Did you—”

    Customer: “What do you mean it won’t scan?”

    Cashier: “Well, I see that this coupon is for [Brand Name item] and you’re trying to purchase [generic version of the same item]. The coupon only—”

    Customer: “It’s the same thing, isn’t it?”

    Cashier: “Well, no. The coupon only—”

    Customer: “This is ridiculous! Just scan the coupon!”

    Cashier: “I’m terribly sorry, but the coupon won’t—”

    Customer: “I came here because I had that coupon. Now put the discount on!”

    (Since it seems like we might be here all day, and I know that trying to explain her mistake won’t get anywhere, I interject.)

    Me: “Ma’am, how much is the coupon worth?”

    Customer: “It’s for two dollars. But—”

    Me: “If I give you two dollars, will you pay and take your item?”

    Customer: *insulted tone* “No! It’s the principle of the matter!”

    (I wound up waiting another five minutes while they called over the manager, and no, she did not get her discount)


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