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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!

    The Slippery Subject Of Price

    | NY, USA | At The Checkout, Bizarre, Food & Drink

    (A customer puts bananas on the conveyor belt at my till. I pick them up and type the

    number for the bananas in.)

    Customer: “Wait up. The bananas are [price] for one set of bananas, not [price] for one single banana.”

    Me: “No. We have no scales here so the price of fruit is per single item.”

    Customer: “You didn’t explain that fast enough so I’m not getting them.”

    Birthright Is Wrong

    | Australia | At The Checkout, Bigotry, Family & Kids, Language & Words

    Customer: “Oh! What an interesting accent! Which country are you from?”

    Me: “Thank you. I was born here, but my dad is Northumbrian, so I have a bit of his accent.”

    Customer: “So when did you arrive in Australia?”

    Me: “I never left. I was born here.”

    Customer: “No, that’s impossible. I don’t think you were. In fact, I KNOW you weren’t.”

    Me: “So, it’s impossible for my mother to have me in Australia with my dad, who migrated from the UK and has a strong accent that I picked up?”

    Customer: “Yes.”

    Me: “I was born here in Australia, ma’am.”

    Customer: “Oh, you keep thinking that.” *winks and leaves the store*

    Used And Useless

    | MT, USA | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests, Technology

    (A customer is coming through my line with a series of energy drinks and several bags of chips. He is also holding a game with a receipt. I figure that he bought it in our game department.)

    Me: “Oh, [Game]! I have been waiting for that to go on sale. It looks like a good game.”

    Customer: “It’s okay. I finished the game in like a day though.”

    (I’m puzzled by this, as he is holding the game.)

    Me: “Really? Huh.”

    Customer: “Yeah. I just tried to return it. It was too short. I can’t believe you guys didn’t take it back.”

    Me: “So you bought a game and tried to return it because you finished it?”

    Customer: “I was really dissatisfied after I finished it. Do you know where I can take it to return it? Or do I have to file a complaint or something?”

    Me: “Well, it’s now a used game… so, [Used Game Store]?”

    Customer: “They’ll only give me used game price.”

    (We stand there for 10 minutes while he tries to grasp the concept of returns. He leaves in a huff. After, my boss comes over.)

    Boss: “Did that just happen?”

    Me: “Doesn’t it always?”

    From Mumble To Stumble To Rumble To Humble

    | USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Health & Body

    (I have an inner ear condition and am hearing impaired but not really to the degree that I need a hearing aid. An older woman approaches my line.)

    Me: “Hello! How are you today?”

    Customer: *mumbles while looking at the floor*

    Me: “Um… I’m sorry. What did you say?”

    Customer: *sighs and looks to the right, still away from me, mumbling again*

    Me: “Ah, okay.”

    (I ring up her items and tell her the total. She holds up three different cards and mumbles again, but I can read her lips to understand, ‘not enough.’)

    Me: “I’m sorry. I didn’t quite catch that. Did you say you want to use all three cards?”

    (She nods and rolls her eyes, then swipes the first card.)

    Me: “All right, and how much did you want on that one?”

    Customer: *mumbles into the card reader*

    Me: “I’m sorry. What did you say?”

    (She mumbles once more, but since this is the third time I asked her to repeat herself and I’m feeling embarrassed, I just let the transaction run through as if she was using one card because I have no idea how much she wanted on there. The card is, of course, declined and she shouts wordlessly.)

    Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am. Could you swipe it again, please? And I’m sorry, but how much did you say you wanted on that card?”

    (AGAIN she mumbles, with her head bowed so low I can’t even see her lips to try to read them. By that point, I’ve had enough.)

    Me: “Ma’am, I’m sorry, but I really need you to speak up, please. I’m hearing impaired and you’re speaking rather softly. I can’t hear you at all.”

    Customer: “You lying b****!”

    Me: *taken aback* “Excuse me?!”

    Customer: “Lying about being deaf is no excuse for your irresponsibility! You’re young! You’re not deaf. If you were, you’d have an earpiece in! You just listen to your music too loud; all you kids do. Keep that up, and you WILL be deaf before long!”

    Me: “Ma’am, I have [inner ear condition]. I have constant, loud ringing in my ears. Several times per day I lose all hearing in one or both of my ears for anywhere between three seconds to three hours. You’re right; I’m most likely going to completely lose my hearing before I’m 40 because there’s no cure or real treatment for it beyond surgery that might not even work. So please, while I still can hear you at all, could you speak up just a little?”

    (The customer stares at me, red-faced and silent, for a few moments. Finally she swipes the card again and then looks at me.)

    Customer: *loudly* “I’d like $10 on this card, please.”

    Hiss-terical

    | WA, Australia | At The Checkout, Bizarre

    (I am having a pretty good day, with no bad customers. A middle aged customer comes up to my till.)

    Customer: “Mhhhhrmrrm.”

    Me: “… Okay. Would you like a bag?”

    Customer: “Mhhrrrrmrmr!”

    Me: “…  Do you have a rewards card?”

    Customer: “Mhhrrrrmrmr.”

    Me: *concerned* “Will that be credit or cash?”

    Customer: “HISSSSSSS!”

    (I jump back in surprise, but act as normally as possible for someone who has been spat on and hissed at.)

    Me: “Have a nice day!”

    Customer: “Mhhhhr!”

    Me: *to Boss* “What was that?”

    Boss: “Oh, she comes in here a lot. If you say the wrong thing she hisses at you.”

    (I transferred off tills very quickly after that!)

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