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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!

    Alarmingly Bad At Listening

    | FL, USA | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid

    (I am ringing up a customer. The transaction goes smoothly until he is about to walk away with his purchases in his cart.)

    Me: “Oh, sir, you can’t take the cart out the doors. Our alarm will go off.”

    (The customer ignores me and keeps walking. Thankfully he turns around because his wife wanted to purchase another pair of shoes. Once that is done, I try again. Once again, he ignores me.)

    Me: “Sir, you can’t take the cart.”

    (The customer and his wife ignore me and continue to leave, until the security alarm goes off.)

    Customer: *pokes head back through the door* “Am I good?”

    Me: “No, you can’t take the cart.”

    Customer: *smiles and nods* “Okay.” *leaves with the cart*

    Me: “Well… okay, then.”

    Change Can’t Make You Change

    | ME, USA | At The Checkout, Bizarre, Top

    (I’m a 22-year-old queer female. While I don’t exactly go around singing my orientation from rooftops, I do have two queer pride pins on my work uniform and I always wear a rainbow bracelet, so it’s pretty hard to miss. A  man who’s about 60 years old comes through my line.)

    Customer: “I have a bad back. Can you lift that out for me?”

    (He points to a 15-pack of beer. I lift it out, scan it, and put it back in his cart.)

    Customer: “Wow, look at you. You’re pretty strong. Your boyfriend must be happy with you.”

    Me: “I don’t have a boyfriend.”

    Customer: “Well, why not?”

    Me: *deadpan* “I have no idea.”

    Customer: “Well, we can’t have that. How about I take you out to dinner tonight?”

    (I take a moment to very pointedly look at my two pins and then hold my arm up in plain sight and stare at my bracelet.)

    Me: “I already have supper plans.”

    Customer: “Come on, it’s just one night.”

    Me: *as I hand him his change* “I already have supper plans.”

    Customer: “That’s a shame. I would have let you keep the change if you’d said yes.”

    (After he leaves, my manager, who’s known me since high school, approaches.)

    Manager: *laughs* “Yeah, because eight bucks is gonna turn you straight and take away your standards.”

    Chipping Away Until You Get The Answer

    , | MI, USA | At The Checkout, Food & Drink, Funny Names

    (An elderly customer walks into my store.)

    Me: “Hi! I can take your order when you’re ready!”

    Customer: “I’d like some chips.”

    (The customer doesn’t have a noticeable accent so I assume he isn’t from England.)

    Me: “We don’t have chips, but would you like fries instead?”

    Customer: “No, I’d like some chips!”

    (The elderly customer then points to the chocolate chip cookies we have sitting out front.)

    Customer: “You know what I want! I want chips!”

    Me: “Oh, you mean chocolate chips!”

    Customer: “No! Chips!”

    Me: “I’m sorry, sir, I don’t understand. If you’d like I can get my manager and see if he knows what you’re talking about?”

    Customer: “I don’t want your manager! I want chips! You know they’re like chips of chicken!”

    Me: “Oh, you mean chicken nuggets?”

    Customer: “Yes! There you go! Chicken chips! See, I told you, you had chips!”

    Don’t Always Have To Scream For Ice-Cream

    | WI, USA | At The Checkout, Awesome Customers, Food & Drink, Top

    (It is a busy night in the drive thru. I am trying desperately to catch up on the significant line, and the previous customer had asked for directions at the window after receiving her food. We sometimes miscalculate and get our dessert items ready too early, so the next customer’s ice cream is getting a little ‘melty.’ I know I should re-scoop it, but the line is so long and I hope she won’t mind.)

    Me: “Here’s your ice cream. [Price], please.”

    Customer: “I don’t mean to be a b****, as I know it’s not your fault they asked for directions, but could you re-scoop this for me?”

    Me: *ashamed* “Of course. I’m sorry.”

    (I get her a new one. She produces a $10 bill.)

    Customer: “Can you break this ten into two fives for me?”

    Me: “Here you are.”

    Customer:  *only takes one of the bills* “That one’s for you! Thanks for getting me a new ice cream!”

    Me: *astounded* “Thank you so much!”

    That Reasoning Doesn’t Fly

    | Boston, MA, USA | At The Checkout, Food & Drink, Tourists/Travel, Transportation

    (I work in a duty free shop and a customer wanting to buy a bottle of cognac comes to my register. All is well until I ask for his boarding pass.)

    Me: “All right, sir, may I see your boarding pass?”

    Customer #1: “No.”

    Me: “Then you can’t buy this cognac.”

    Customer #1: “Why not?”

    Me: “Alcohol is a customs bonded item, and as such can only be bought by people leaving the country directly from this point. I need to see your boarding pass so I can make sure you are doing so.”

    Customer #1: “But I am French.”

    Me: “That does not mean you are leaving the country.”

    Customer #1: “But this is an international airport.”

    Me: “Domestic flights go out of this airport regularly.”

    Customer #1: “Well, I won’t show you my boarding pass.”

    Me: “Than you can’t buy the cognac.”

    Customer #1: “But I want to.”

    Me: “Then I need to see your boarding pass.”

    Customer #1: “NO!”

    (This goes on for five minutes and the customer leaves in a huff without his cognac. The lady behind him comes up toting a five pound bag of pretzel M&Ms, which, like all candy, is not bonded.)

    Customer #2: “Um, I’m on a domestic flight to Phoenix. Can I buy these M&Ms?”

    Me: “Sure. Candy isn’t bonded.”

    Customer #2: “Okay.” *looks at the cognac* “After that last guy you might need some of that yourself.”

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