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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!

    Acrimonious Acronyms

    | Middletown, RI, USA | At The Checkout, Technology

    (A customer pulls out his credit card to pay for his purchase. We cashiers have to push a button on the computer before the card reader will work.)

    Me: “Will that be debit or credit?”

    Customer: “Credit.”

    Me: “Okay, wait for the green light then slide your card through the machine.”

    Customer: *slides card before the green light comes on then stares at the machine* “It didn’t work.”

    Me: “That’s okay. Just slide your card again now that the green light is on.”

    Customer: “Oh, yeah. You did say to wait for the green light. I have an acronym for that. FTFD!”

    Me: “FTFD?”

    Customer: “Follow the f****** directions!”

    Time To Call It A Day

    | Chicago, IL, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Technology

    (We have a sign posted on the counter informing customers to hang up their phones before conducting business. Often, they ignore this. A customer comes up, talking on his cellphone. I am not required to address him while he’s on the phone. He talks and talks for minutes, staring at me. Finally…)

    Customer: “Hold up, baby.” *to me* “Yo, you gonna help me?”

    Me: “Oh, sure, sir. Once you’re finished with your phone call.”

    Customer: “I can do both!”

    Me: “Sir, perhaps you missed the sign, but we will not conduct business with you while you are in the middle of a personal phone call.”

    Customer: “You a rude motherf*****! I wanna talk to your manager!”

    (I walk over tell my manager what’s up. The manager comes over and the customer is on his phone AGAIN.)

    Customer: “Hold on, baby.” *to manager* “Yeah, this guy was very rude to me and is refusing to help me. He should be fired!”

    (My manager looks at him.)

    Manager: “Who are you talking to?”

    Customer: “My wife.”

    Manager: “Can I speak to her?”

    Customer: “Why you wanna talk to her?”

    Manager: “Well, if I’m going to fire this guy, I need another witness, and since you ignored the sign that explicitly tells you to hang up your phone we have a second witness, and I want to get her account of what happened.”

    Customer: “Y’all’s a bunch of ignorant motherf*****s! I hope this motherf***** burns down! You just lost a customer!”

    (The customer storms off. An hour later I get a call from another dealership saying a guy came in and was cursing us out. But apparently, he learned to stay off his phone!)

    Close, But No Cigar

    | Reno, NV, USA | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests, Language & Words

    (I work at the front counter of a chain store, and am responsible for all tobacco sales during my shift. A customer comes up to the counter and waves a $20 bill at me.)

    Customer: “[Brand].”

    Me: “Sure. What kind?”

    Customer: “[Brand]!”

    Me: “Sir, I have a lot of different kinds of [Brand]. Which one do you want?”

    Customer: *getting annoyed* “[Brand]!”

    Me: “Short or long?”

    (There is a long pause.)

    Me: “Sir?”

    Customer: “[Brand]!”

    (I point at the cigarettes at the top left corner and slowly slide my finger along the 12-foot display. I repeat this for every shelf until the customer finally speaks.)

    Customer: *excitedly* “Finally! [Brand]!”

    (I ring up his cigarettes and the customer leaves.)

    Manager: “Does he even speak English?”

    Me: “He did yesterday!”

    A Race To Be At The Place

    | LA, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior

    (Customer #1 is paying with a check. She’s one of our regulars, and a very nice person, but it does take her a little bit of time to write all the information on her check. Customer #2 is in line behind her.)

    Customer #2: “Oh, dear gawd. How long is this gonna take?”

    Me: “Just a moment, ma’am. We need to finish up here.”

    Customer #2: “Some of us ain’t got all day. We don’t go ‘round wasting other people’s time, but here they be wastin’ ours. F*** this!”

    Me: “We’re almost done, and stop cussing. Okay?”

    Customer #1: “Thank you, sweetie. Are we done? Okay, fine. Have a good day, now!”

    Customer #2: *mockingly* “Have a good day! Have a good day! Get your old a** out my way!”

    (I silently ring up the rude customer’s purchases, and then tell her the total. She pulls a plastic baggie from her purse and starts counting it out in loose change. It’s a large total, and several times she gets a text on her phone and then loses track of her count. All in all, it takes nearly ten minutes for her to pay.)

    Customer #2: “There! We done? I got places to be!”

    (Customer #2 then strolls out the door and stands leaning on the lamp post next to the street, talking on her cell phone. I start ringing up the next customer.)

    Customer #3: “Yep. That’s her place to be, I guess.”

    A New Form Of Reverse Psychology

    , | CO, USA | At The Checkout, Bizarre, Crazy Requests, Food & Drink

    (I am working the drive thru and we were about to close. I see a car full of high-schoolers pull up to the window and the whole car is backwards. I go see what’s going on.)

    Customer: “I bet you haven’t seen a car drive backwards through your drive thru before!”

    Me: “No, sure haven’t!”

    Customer: “So this means we get free food then right? For being original?”

    Me: “Um, no. Nice try.”

    Customer: “Okay. Had to try.” *drives off in reverse*


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