July Theme Of The Month: Great Timing!

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!

Buy One, Get One Free a From Thought

, | Canada | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Food & Drink

(A customer presents me with a buy one get one free for a burger.)

Customer: “How much would this come to?”

Me: “That’s [price].”

Customer: “Okay, and how much would it be if I didn’t use the coupon and only got one burger?”

Me: *That’s [same price].”

Customer: “But how come it’s the same price?”

Depressing Customer Service

| CO, USA | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests, Family & Kids, Health & Body

(A customer and her five-ish-year-old son are checking out at my register. There is a magazine display nearby. One of the magazines’ cover is a tribute to a comedian who recently committed suicide.)

Customer’s Son: *pointing at the magazine* “Mommy, he died. Did you know he died?”

Customer: “Yes, it was very sad.”

Son: “He committed suicide. What does ‘committed suicide’ mean?”

Customer: “It means he hurt himself badly. Now, let’s go.

Son: “He hurted himself and died? I don’t understand. Can I skin my knee and die?!”

Customer: “No, it’s not like that. He was very sad.”

Son: “What? He died of being sad? Why was he sad? Someone said he was ‘depressed.’ What is ‘depressed?'”

Customer: *to me* “Can you explain this to him? I don’t want to.”

Me: “Um, well, I don’t really feel comfortable doing that; I’m sorry.”

Customer: “What? I hate this store. You’re so unhelpful. I’ll be talking to your corporate office.” *drags son out the door*

(I think even corporate will agree that explaining mental illness to a customer’s five-year-old is not my job.)

Stupidity That Defies Explanation

, | London, England, UK | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Food & Drink, Money

(I work in a fast food restaurant as a cashier. A grumpy old man approaches my counter with a voucher.)

Me: “Good morning. How can I help?”

Customer: “I’ll have a bacon and egg muffin with a coffee, and I have a voucher.”

(I take the voucher and ring it up at the discounted price.)

Me: “That’ll be £1.99, please.”

Customer: “What?” *complete with a puzzled/angry expression*

Me: “That’ll cost you one pound and 99 pence, sir.”

Customer: “No.”

Me: “…I’m sorry?”

Customer: “I want to use this voucher, for a free coffee.”

Me: “Yes, with the voucher that costs £1.99.”

Customer: “No, no.”

Me: “Yes, it does, sir. The voucher is for a ‘free coffee with the purchase of a muffin.’ The bacon egg muffin is £1.99, and that’s all you’re paying so the coffee is free.”

Customer: “NO, I want a BACON AND EGG MUFFIN, and I want to use this voucher for a free coffee.”

Me: *at a loss for words* “Well… yeah, that’s fine, but it will cost you £1.99.”

Customer: “No, I’m not following you. You’ve lost me.”

Me: “Okay. You want a bacon egg muffin, and a coffee, yeah?”

Customer: “Yeah.”

Me: “Right, and you have a voucher. It says if you BUY a muffin, the coffee is free, yeah?”

Customer: “Yeah.”

Me: “Okay. So you must buy the muffin, which costs £1.99—”

Customer: “—no! I want to use the voucher.”

Me: “I’m sorry but I can’t explain it any more simply than that. The voucher says you need to buy a muffin to get a free coffee.”

Customer: “You’ve lost me; I want to speak to someone else.”

(I find my manager, who comes to my aid.)

Manager: “Hi, what was it you wanted?”

Customer: “I want a bacon and egg muffin and a coffee with this voucher!”

Manager: “Okay that’ll be £1.99 please.”

(The customer hands over £1.99 with no qualms! I can finally serve the idiot.)

Customer: *in a condescending tone* “That wasn’t difficult now, was it?”

Me: *in an even more condescending tone* “Nope, it really wasn’t.”

In For A Penny, In For A Pound Bag

| Boston, MA, USA | At The Checkout, Math & Science, Money

Boyfriend: “Baby carrots are $0.99 for a one pound bag and $1.99 for a two pound bag.”

Me: “I need two pounds.”

(My boyfriend grabs a two pound bag and a customer next to him does as well.)

Me: “You know, it’s technically cheaper to buy two one pound bags—”

(The customer next to my boyfriend suddenly SLAMS his carrots down, snatches two one pound bags from the display and SPRINTS away.)

Me: “…by one penny.”

Kitten Smitten

| UK | At The Checkout, Bizarre, Pets & Animals

(I’m working on the till at a charity shop when a woman walks in. She has a small handbag, and while it’s open, I can’t see inside. She comes up to me with a book.)

Woman: “Just this, please.”

(I ring her up and tell her the price. When she reaches into her handbag for her purse, I see she has a folded blue blanket with something furry and ginger inside. Naturally, I assume it’s a cuddly toy for a child.)

Woman: *sees me looking* “Oh, do you like him?”

Me: “Him?”

(She takes the object and blanket out of her handbag to show me. To my astonishment, it’s not a cuddly toy, but a ginger kitten so small that its eyes aren’t open!)

Me: “Why do you have a kitten in your bag?”

Woman: *cradling the blanketed kitten gently* “He was pulled out of a burning building, and I’ve been hand-rearing him. I don’t go anywhere without him because he’s so small. At least he’s getting better after the fire!”

(I finish ringing her up and take a moment to pet the kitten. She puts him carefully back into her handbag.)

Woman: “Now to see if I can get him into [Supermarket]!”

Me: “…good luck with that!”

(Later, my manager scolded me for not calling her down. She wanted to pet the kitten, too.)

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