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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!

    Can’t Get Nicotine From A Teen

    | Grand Forks, ND, USA | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests, Wild & Unruly

    Cashier: “Hello, sir. What can I get for you today?”

    Customer: “Do you always talk to your customers like that? How rude!”

    Cashier: “Excuse me, sir. I’m sorry to have upset you. Was there something I can grab for you today?”

    Customer: “Shut up. Just shut up! I just want [Cigarette Brand] and that is all. Can you do that?!”

    (By this time, the cashier was turning his back away from the customer to search for the item. He hid his face from the rude man, and asked what the box looked like.)

    Customer: “How dare you turn your back to me, boy! Hey, are you listening to me?”

    Cashier: “Sorry, sir, I am looking for your cigarettes.”

    Customer: “Well, hurry up, then! Jeez, don’t you know what they look like?”

    Cashier: “Well, no, sir. I do not. I am afraid I do not smoke, so could you tell me a little more about the pro—”

    Customer: “It’s the smallest box there! Hurry up, I’ve not got all day!! Typical of [Store], always hiring foolish, stupid kids on a department they have no knowledge of. Look, it’s grey, if that helps you at all. God d***, kid, hurry the h*** up!”

    (I come over to assist our cashier. The customer is leering over the counter and the cashier is slightly going through a bit of a panicked frenzy.)

    Me: “Sir, what seems to be the problem here?”

    Customer: “Your dumb-a** associate doesn’t know what his smokes are and I am upset that you chose to hire him. Your foolish management and your stupid associates can’t do anything right! I am out of here!”

    Me: “I am sorry to hear that, sir, but—”

    (Before I can say another word, the customer storms out of the store, not looking back once. I quickly open up the gate to greet the cashier to assure him the customer is gone.)

    Me: “Hey, hey now. No worries, the guy is gone. Are you okay?”

    Cashier: “I think so…”

    Me: “He was just angry because it’s a Monday. You’re all right.”

    Cashier: “I suppose so.”

    Me: “So, what happened?”

    (The cashier then told me everything that happened, and I felt bad so I treated him to a coffee. But that was not the only thing bothering him.)

    Me: “Well, what could possibly be wrong that you are a bit unaware of the kinds of cigarettes out here?”

    Cashier: “It’s not so much that I don’t know all of them. I know some, but I never smoke. But it doesn’t help describing the color to me…”

    Me: “Why is that?”

    Cashier: “I’m colorblind.”

    Doesn’t Have The Gift(card) Of Foresight

    | Miami, FL, USA | At The Checkout, Books & Reading, Money

    (I have previously worked for a large bookstore chain that went out of business. I now work at their competitor.)

    Me: “Thank you for calling [Current Bookstore] in South Miami. How may I help you?”

    Caller: “Yeah, do you guys accept [Previous Bookstore]’s gift cards?”

    Me: “I’m sorry, but we don’t. They were a different company, so they’re not valid here.”

    Caller: “But when I go to their website it redirects me to yours!”

    Me: “Yes. When the company closed, [Current Bookstore] bought their domain, and I believe their mailing lists, but they were never actually affiliated with them.”

    Caller: “So you don’t accept their gift cards?”

    Me: “I’m sorry, but no. They were a different company. ”

    Caller: “So what am I supposed to do with this gift card?”

    Me: “I’m afraid there’s nothing you can do. The company went out of business. It’s closed. The cards are worthless now.”

    Caller: “But someone paid good money for these cards!”

    Me: “I understand that. But I worked for [Previous Bookstore] when they went under. When they announced their bankruptcy, they also made it very clear that as they liquidated they would only accept gift cards through a certain date. There were signs all over the stores. You had two months to come and use the card. After that, even the stores stopped accepting them. [Previous Bookstore] didn’t exist. They were owned by a liquidation company at that point.”

    Caller: “But someone paid for this. And you’re telling me that money is gone?! That’s unacceptable! I want my money!!”

    Me: “Ma’am, with all due respect, the store closed three years ago. How important could the value of that card be to you if you’ve waited three years?”

    (Click.)

    Understaffed But Over-Spoken

    , | Seattle, WA, USA | At The Checkout, Food & Drink

    (Working late at night the store is understaffed. There is a manager and I running the entire store. We are trying to keep up with drive through demand, but the wait time is slipping from two minutes to about five minutes.)

    Me: “Welcome to [Store]. How may I take your order?”

    Customer: “I’d like [hamburger meal] and a large drink.”

    Me: “Thank you. Please pull up to the second window.”

    (The customer waits in line for a few minutes until I can handle the customer before him and prepare his food. He drives up in an expensive sports car.)

    Me: “Sorry for the wait, sir. Here is your—”

    Customer: “You know I’ve been to your stores all over the country, and yours in the only one that always takes such a d*** long time to get anything done!”

    Me: *embarrassed/angry*  ”I’m sorry for the long wait, sir, but we are understaffed. There is just the two of us here handling all the orders. But if you are interested in helping get things sped up, we are hiring right now and I can get you an application.”

    (The customer made a face, took his food, and sped off.)

    Running Out Of Consideration

    | Marengo, IL, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Food & Drink

    (I work at an ice cream and grill. It’s small so it usually doesn’t take long to close up. It’s 8:59 and I’m just about to lock the door when a customer runs in.)

    Me: “You know we close in 20 seconds, right?”

    Customer: “I know; that’s why I ran! I’d like [several meals].”

    Not Going To Put The Matter To Bed

    | NS, Canada | At The Checkout, Family & Kids

    (It is the day before Mother’s Day. A little boy, around seven or eight years old, comes up with his dad to buy a cake and a card.)

    Me: *to the boy* “So, are you going to make breakfast in bed for your mom tomorrow?”

    Boy: *in awe, with wide eyes* “How did you know I was gonna do that?”

    Me: “I’m psychic!”

    (At this point the dad has just finished paying, and as they are walking away I hear this:)

    Boy: *to his dad, still in awe* “But, Dad! How did she know I was gonna do that?”

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