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  • September Theme Of The Month: Overheard!

    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!

    Trying To Avoid A Razor-Sharp Employee

    | NY, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Liars & Scammers

    (I’m working as a cashier and this sweet-seeming older woman comes up to my counter to buy a razor.)

    Me: “Hello, how are you?” *scanning her items as we speak*

    Customer: “Wonderful. How are you?”

    Me: “I’m doing well, thank you. Your total is $14.”

    Customer: “What?! No, that’s five dollars! The bin said it was five dollars!”

    Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, this product is $14. Perhaps someone just put it into the $5 bin because they wanted the cheaper item?”

    (I get someone to check and the bin is full of a totally different razor set, which I suspected would be the case, especially because this razor was a really nice razor. So we explain this.)

    Customer: “This is ridiculous! This is false advertising! You should be sued!”

    (She leaves really quickly, while shouting. The associate who was standing there the whole time after checking the bins starts laughing.)

    Me: “What?”

    Associate: “She tried buying that same razor yesterday with an expired coupon.”

    When You Know You’ve Worked Too Many Doubles

    , | Canada | At The Checkout, Bizarre, Theme Of The Month

    (I’m working the drive-thru late at night when a man pulls up to the window wearing a latex horse mask; his friend in the passenger’s seat is wearing a Guy Fawkes mask.)

    Driver: “Evening. I’d like some cheese, please.”

    (I stand there for a few seconds, wondering if I’m dreaming.)

    Me: “…you mean a cheeseburger?”

    Driver: “No, just a slice of cheese, thanks.”

    (Without breaking my line of sight with the driver, I grab a single slice of cheese and give it to him.)

    Driver: “Thank you. Would you like a turtle?”

    (The passenger reaches into the back seat and pulls from it a large snapping turtle.)

    Me: “No thank you, sir.”

    Driver: “You sure? His name’s Waylon.”

    Me: “I’m sure, sir.”

    Driver: “Well, have a nice night.”

    (I have yet to tell any of my co-workers about this in fear of them laughing and saying I made it up.)

    Refunder Blunder, Part 9

    , | Fort Worth, TX, USA | At The Checkout, Food & Drink

    (I work in a large county hospital, and a national fast-food franchise has a facility in the hospital food court. I eat there very frequently, and this day I am in line behind a lady who is a family member of a patient. She orders a hamburger combo meal.)

    Clerk: “Order #109 ready.”

    Customer: “That’s mine! That’s mine!”

    (She proceeds to carefully inspect every item in the bag, I guess to make sure she got every last French fry she was entitled to. She pulls out and holds up an apple fried-pie.)

    Customer: “I did not order this!”

    Clerk: *looking at the receipt* “Oh, no, ma’am, you surely didn’t. I’m sorry. But see, you weren’t charged for it either.”

    Customer: “Well, I didn’t order it.”

    Clerk: “No, ma’am, you didn’t. But you weren’t charged for it either.”

    Customer: “But I don’t want it. Take it back and I want a refund.”

    Clerk: “Well, we can’t take back food, but it’s ok. Just keep it. Our mistake. You weren’t charged for it.”

    Customer: “But I didn’t order it and I don’t want it. Take it back.”

    Clerk: “Really, it’s okay. Just keep it.”

    Customer: “Well, I want a refund for it.”

    Clerk: “But you weren’t charged for it. I can’t give you a refund for something you didn’t purchase.”

    Customer: “It was in my bag and I didn’t order it.”

    Manager: *stepping in* “Yes, ma’am, I understand. We made a mistake, but you weren’t charged for the pie. PLEASE just keep it with our compliments. No problem.”

    (The customer slams the pie down on the counter and storms off with the rest of her order, muttering obscenities under her breath.)

    Clerk: *looking at me* “Can I help you, Doc?”

    Me: “I’d like an apple pie—”

    Clerk: “Oh, don’t even start with me…”

    Refunder Blunder, Part 8
    Refunder Blunder, Part 7
    Refunder Blunder, Part 6

    Ensuring A Lack Of Insuring

    | WI, USA | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Health & Body, Money

    Me: “Hi, how can I help you?”

    Customer: “I would like to pick up my prescription.”

    Me: “Okay, what is your last name?”

    Customer: “[Name].”

    Me: “I notice that we have not run insurance on this. Let me look into that.”

    (I pull her up on the computer and notice we do not have any insurance information on file.)

    Me: “We do not have insurance on file for you. Do you have insurance you would like us to bill?”

    Customer: “Yes.”

    (Usually the customer gets a card out so I give her some time, but she just stares at me waiting, so I ask:)

    Me: “Do you have the card with you?”

    Customer: “No.”

    Me: “Right now this costs $89.75, but your insurance should bring that down. We will need the insurance information located on your card to bill them. Would you like some time to go get it?”

    Customer: “It has never cost more than $5 before.”

    Me: “Okay, hold on.”

    (I look to see if we have another file for her that may have her insurance listed but none come up.)

    Me: “I’m sorry we don’t have your insurance information. Have you filled with us or at another location? Or could it be under a different last name?”

    Customer: “No.”

    Me: *frustrated at this point* “Okay, then, there are a few options. You can find your insurance card and we can run it through, or you can pay the $89.75 and come back later with the insurance card for a refund. We have seven days to do a refund in store. After that we would have to send it to corporate and it could take several weeks.”

    Customer: “”But it has never cost more than $5.”

    Me: “I understand. I am sure the price will go down as soon as we get your insurance information. Would you like to go get your card?”

    Customer: “I don’t have a card. I’ve never had a problem before.”

    Me: “Where did you get your prescription last?”

    Customer: “[Different pharmacy].”

    Me: “We are not connected with them and cannot access their files.” *I give her the two options again*

    Customer: “This is ridiculous; it should only be $5! You should have my insurance!”

    Me: “Actually it is your responsibility to carry your insurance card. Most people carry them in their wallet.”

    Customer: *walks away*

    Coworker: “She must think your name tag says magician not technician.”

    Self(ish) Checkout

    | Jacksonville, FL, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior

    (I am picking up my friend at the end of her shift. We both work at this retail store but I am off on this particular day. She is running self checkout which starts to close down at 10:00 pm. It is 10:30 pm and customers are finally understanding that self checkout is closed except for those who are slowly finishing their ring up process. A couple walk up to my friend after passing under the ropes that were put at the entrance of self checkout to block out customers.)

    Guy: “Hey, we’ve only got, like, three items. Can we use this?”

    Friend: “No, I’m sorry; self check-out closes at 10. These people are just finishing up.”

    Guy: *getting agitated* “It’s just three d*** items. The lines are too long so we came here.”

    (At this point the manager comes over to see why it is my friend is still here.)

    Manager: “[Friend], didn’t your shift end at 10?”

    Friend: “Yeah…”

    Guy: “Your cashier has been rude as h***! I just have three d*** items and I want to use self checkout!”

    Manager: “Fine, whatever. Just do it and don’t keep cursing. Self checkout closes at 10 pm every night.”

    (The couple then proceed to begin checking out slowly.  It’s then 10:45 and they ring up alcohol so my friend goes over to check ID.)

    Woman: “Why in the h*** you gotta be so rude?!”

    (At this point I am beyond annoyed and my patience goes out the door.)

    Me: “Maybe cause you two idiots have her staying almost an HOUR over just because you’re too d*** lazy to go to a regular line?! Seriously! It takes you 15 minutes to ring up THREE items?! How about this: why don’t you tell me where you work. I’ll come over the night before something big for you and keep you waiting for over an hour while I do everything to keep you from leaving?!”

    (At this point the couple’s jaws drop and they continue the transaction without saying a word and rush out.)

    Me: “About dang time.”

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