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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!

    Pregnancy Test Versus God’s Test

    | NJ, USA | At The Checkout, Bigotry, Family & Kids, Health & Body

    (Two male customers approach my line not knowing each other. The first appears to be a teenager and the second seems to be in his late 20s. The younger of the two approaches first with only a pregnancy test, which we offer in our ‘family planning’ section.)

    Older Customer: *to me* “Pregnancy test? This is what’s wrong with teens today, right? All of them think they’re adults and decide to f*** each other.” *to the younger customer* “God hates you! You should be ashamed of yourself!”

    (The older customer continues going on about the younger customer, and I’m about to say something when the younger customer turns around.)

    Younger Customer: “Sir, I would like to get one thing straight with you. This pregnancy test isn’t for me. It’s for my sister who refused to get out of the car because she was terrified that she’d be judged for buying one. I went straight to get this test, grabbed it off the shelf, and walked around the store a few times to prove a point. Not one person has said a thing about me until now.”

    (The older customer appears like he’s going to respond when the younger customer continues. At this point people have begun to stare.)

    Younger Customer: “Furthermore, I have to admit that I find it funny that you, of all people, are the one to react, claiming that God hates me. You decided to preach about the evils of lust when a quick look at your cart would suggest you are a worse slave to it.”

    (The younger customer proceeded to take two particular items out of the older customer’s cart: a naughty magazine and an ultra-large bottle of lotion! The younger customer said this entire thing without once breaking eye contact with the older customer, or breaking stride. Embarrassed, the older customer pulled out of the lane, which by now had formed a line of at least seven people, and went to a register several lanes away.)

    Don’t Let Your Hair Down

    | UK | At The Checkout, Bizarre, Money, Wild & Unruly

    (I am a cashier. An older woman and her son come in, and spend about 20 minutes perusing the sweets section, all the while glancing back at me and smiling quite creepily. She finally comes to the counter with two bags of Jelly Babies.)

    Me: “Hi. How are you? Will this be everything?”

    Customer: “Yes.”

    Me: “That will be £2.10 please.”

    (She gives me a £50 note.)

    Me: *sighing inwardly for having to get such a large amount of change* “Thank you. Here is your change, £47.90.”

    Customer: “No, no, no. I am only paying £1.”

    Me: “I’m sorry, but individually they are £1.05. That won’t be enough.”

    Customer: “No, this is not right. I don’t want to pay that.”

    Me: “I’m sorry, but the price is clearly marked on the shelf, and they have scanned into to till at the correct price.”

    Customer: “Well, fine, but I want smaller notes in my change.”

    (I oblige, and change out the larger notes for smaller ones, noticing there is now a queue of about 5 people behind her, looking impatient.)

    Me: “Thank you very much. Have a nice day.”

    Customer: “You have nice hair. So long, such a nice colour.”

    Me: “Err, thank you. Is there anything else I can get for you today?”

    Customer: “Yes. No. I don’t want these sweets. Refund me, and I want my £50 note back.”

    (By this point I am getting quite impatient, but I still remain polite, and do as she asks, taking her change back off the counter and putting it back in the till drawer.)

    Me: “Okay. Here is your £50 note. Have a nice day!”

    (The customer suddenly lunges over the counter and grabs my hair, pulling me halfway over the counter, which is quite painful!)

    Customer: “Such nice hair! I want it! SO nice!”

    (I manage to get my hair free and jump back, quite startled.)

    Me: “I’m sorry, but it is not okay for you to invade my personal space and yank my hair. If you do not wish to purchase anything today, then I will have to ask you to leave as you are holding up a line of customers!”

    (The customer gives me a dirty look, practically snarling at me, and flounces out of the shop.)

    Next Customer: “What the h*** was that about?”

    Me: “I… I have no idea.”

    (Apparently the woman came back into the shop later in the week when I am not working, did the same long, drawn out process with the £50, requesting a lower price after the transaction has gone through, and then asking for a refund. She also asked after me, ‘the rude girl with the nice hair.’)

    If You Behave Like Children…

    | TX, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Family & Kids

    (I have just finished a long and difficult transaction. I have been calmly trying to guide the customer through the transaction, but the customer has become increasingly frustrated and angry. The angry customer has just had a temper tantrum and stomped off, and I start to help the next customer.)

    Next Customer: “Wow, some people get so angry about really little things. How did you stay so calm all that time?”

    Me: “I have kids.”

    Refunder Blunder, Part 4

    | Gaithersburg, MD, USA | At The Checkout, Theme Of The Month

    (I’m a part-time manager at a popular arts and crafts store. One of my cashiers has just called me on the radio to ask me to do a return for him. I am confused, but go up to find a customer we had dealt with two nights prior who had a bunch of returns and only had receipts for half of them. She has the receipt for a candle and a vase this time, but not for the other nine vases.)

    Customer: “I have a return card from before. You can just put the store credit from the ones without the receipt on there.”

    Me: “It doesn’t always work, but I can sure try. Let me just get these all scanned in.”

    (I put in her driver’s license number as I would for any return without a receipt and the system declines the return. This happens sometimes as a measure to prevent fraud if a customer is found to be doing a lot of high-dollar value of returns with no receipt.)

    Me: “I’m sorry, but I can’t process this return. There’s a number on that slip there that you can call for more information.”

    Customer: “What? So, you won’t give me back my money?”

    Me: “No, sorry. It doesn’t give the exact reasons, but you can call that number for more information as to why the return was declined. I can’t bend the rules here.”

    Customer: “That’s illegal. Where does it say that you can refuse to do a return? I want to speak to your supervisor!”

    Me: “Well, I’m not sure, but I’ll go look in our database to find you some proof.”

    (I go to the office and print out the policy for returns, cut out the simple return policy, and highlight the first line which states ‘[Store Chain] reserves the right to refuse any return regardless of receipt,’ which I then give to the customer.)

    Me: “There you go. As you can see, the first line clearly says we can refuse to refund you.”

    Customer: “This is ridiculous! [Store Name] is really willing to lose business over $18? That’s a stupid policy. Other stores let you return anything no matter what.”

    Me: “Yes, well, they’re owned by different people and they probably work with different credit companies.”

    Customer: “They’re your competition and they’ve been around for a long time. Do you really want to go to small claims court over $18, because I will call my lawyer. You need to get a job at a store with more class.”

    Me: “Our store has actually been around for forty years. What I NEED, ma’am, is to finish my degree and start teaching. That was rather personal.”

    Customer: “You wanna be a teacher? Well, I’m a teacher. I’m an English teacher, and I write a lot. I write a lot of letters and this will be out there.”

    Me: “All right, ma’am. You can certainly call our corporate number to lodge any complaints. Have a nice night.”

    Related:
    Refunder Blunder, Part 3
    Refunder Blunder, Part 2
    Refunder Blunder

    This Is Why We’re In A Recession, Part 29

    | Tokyo, Japan | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Money

    Me: “That will be ¥1260.”

    Customer: *gives a ¥1000 bill*

    Me: “And ¥260 yen more.”

    Customer: “I have only a ¥1000.”

    Me: “Okay. Since you’re short ¥260, shall we put some items away?”

    Customer: “Why?”

    Related:
    This Is Why We’re In A Recession, Part 28
    This Is Why We’re In A Recession, Part 27
    This Is Why We’re In A Recession, Part 26
    This Is Why We’re In A Recession, Part 25


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