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!

Just Run With It

| Lafayette, LA, USA | At The Checkout, Awesome Customers

(I’m ringing up an older woman.)

Me: “That’ll be [price], please!”

Customer: “Well, since you said ‘please’…”

Me: *laughing* “What, if I hadn’t, you’d have grabbed it and run?!”

Customer: “Yeah!”

Take Care At The Daycare

| Kent, England, UK | At The Checkout, Awesome Customers

(I’m a secretary/receptionist for a nursery. I’m dealing with a VERY upset parent whose husband has just left her. Another parent approaches my desk to pay, hears what’s going on and backs up to give the first parent some privacy.)

Parent #1: “I don’t know what to do. He just packed his stuff, said he ‘didn’t want to do it anymore,’ and left. I don’t know how I’m going to pay you.”

(The more she spoke, the more she cried. I buzzed for the owner and she took the parent into her office. The second parent then approached the desk again:)

Parent #2: “Oh my goodness, that poor woman. Anyway, I need to pay [Son]’s bill for the month, please.”

(I told her how much and she writes a cheque. She then hesitates a little.)

Parent #2: “Could I pay her bill as well?”

Me: “Pardon? You want to pay another person’s bill?”

Parent #2: “Yes. She needs all the help she can get right now.”

(I tell her it’s almost double her bill but she insists. Just as she’s finished writing the cheque the owner and the first parent come out. The woman has calmed down a bit and rushes to pick her son up.)

Parent #2: “Excuse me, [Owner], could you do something for me? Would you give this to her, please?”

(She’s holding a gift card for a supermarket.)

Parent #2: “I’ve been putting £50 a month on it since January; there’s £500 on it now. They’re going to need it a lot more than we will.”

(I and the owner stared at her for a moment, completely taken aback by her generosity. The owner took the card and the parent went to get her son. That’s when I started crying. I was so overwhelmed by what had just happened. Two days later, when the first parent brought her son in, the owner greeted her and asked her to come to the office where she gave her the card and told her the bill had been paid. I could hear her crying through the door. That was the best day at work and probably the kindest thing I’ve ever seen.)

A Cold Assumption

| OH, USA | At The Checkout, Family & Kids, School

(It has been a very harsh winter. I am washing dishes as well as collecting money at the drive through window, so I am constantly shivering due to my arms and hands being wet. This customer pulls up to the window with her daughter.)

Customer: “It must be really cold like that!”

Me: “It’s not too bad.”

Customer: *turns to her daughter* “Honey, this is why you MUST get good grades in school, so you don’t end up living a horrible life like her!”

(I am shocked and offended by what the customer has said to her daughter about me, right in front of me.)

Me: “You mean going to [Well-known Private University] and working to pay for tuition?”

Customer’s Daughter: *to her mom* “Didn’t Dad graduate from [Well-known Private University]?”

(The customer drove off once she paid, looking very sheepish. Her daughter now attends the same university as I do, but works in the cafeteria to pay for her tuition.)

One Little Vial Of Bigotry

| PA, USA | At The Checkout, Bigotry, Religion

(I’m a Pagan/Wiccan so I have on a pentacle necklace. Normally no one even notices it, but this day was very different. I’m working as the greeter on this particular day, so I stand just inside the door and hand out the weekly ad flyer to everyone that comes in. A lady walks in but is staring at her phone when I greet her.)

Me: “Good morning, ma’am!” *hands her the ad flyer* “Is there anything I can help you find today?”

Customer: *without looking up takes the flyer* “Oh, no thank you, honey.”

Me: “Okay, well, if you need any help just let me know!”

Customer: “Thank you.” *finally looks up at me and starts to smile, but then her eyes meet my pentacle necklace with a black crystal hanging from it, and her face freezes* “OH, LORD JESUS SAVE ME! THIS STORE EMPLOYS HEATHEN DEVIL WORSHIPPERS! I CAN’T SHOP HERE!”

(She proceeds to throw the ad flyer back at me and run from the store. A manager ,who has been at the other end of the store, hears the commotion and comes up to check on me.)

Manager: “Hey, [My Name], what’s going on up here?”

Me: “Oh, I had some customer, throw the ad flyer at me and call me a devil worshipper because she saw my necklace.” *points to it*

Manager: “Well, maybe you shouldn’t wear that here if it causes us to lose customers. Just keep it in your locker or something if you insist on wearing that thing.”

(I look at him in shock, hoping that he would realize that he just violated my freedom of religion, but apparently it never dawns on him. About a week later, I’m working in the same position and the same lady walks in, but I am not wearing my necklace this time, as I’ve stored it in my locker.)

Me: “Good morning, ma’am.” *hands her ad flyer*

Customer: *looks me up and down noticing the lack of pentacle necklace, and visibly relaxes* “Ah, that’s a relief! You’ve finally accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior and have renounced your heathen ways! I’ve been praying for you, child.”

(Having had enough of her religious bigotry, I calmly turn off my radio and look her straight in the eye.)

Me: “No, that’s not it at all. Do you remember the black crystal that was hanging off the bottom of my pendant?”

Customer: “…Off of the devil worship pendant? Yes, what about it?”

Me: “Well, it wasn’t actually a crystal; it was a vial of infants’ blood, and the other day I was really hungry so I ate it.”

(The customer drops the ad flyer from her hand in horrified shock, and runs out the door as fast as she could. Again the manager comes running from the other side of the store.)

Manager: “What the heck is going on up here?! What did you do this time, [My Name]?”

Me: *with completely straight face* “I have no idea what you’re talking about.”

(The whole time my co-worker in the printing area was trying to stifle his laughter. He is an Asatru, and has a Thor’s hammer necklace on, but no one ever says anything to him about it…)

Working With The Yes-Men

| Stockholm, Sweden | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Food & Drink

(I’m working at a popular café and serving customers as usual when an older man walks in.)

Customer: “I would like a sandwich, please.”

Me: “Of course, sir. What kind of bread would you like?”

Customer: “Yes.”

Me: “What kind of bread would you like, sir?”

Customer: “Yes.”

(At this point I assume he is an alcoholic so I just take a chance on which bread he wanted.)

Me: “Okay, what would you like on your sandwich, sir?”

Customer: “Yes.”

Me: “What would you like on your sandwich, sir?”

Customer: “White bread.”

(This goes on until I can finally understand what he wants.)

Me: “Goodbye, sir. Have a nice day.”

Customer: “No.”