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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!

    Not So Rewarding, Part 2

    | USA | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Money

    (Every winter my store offers a rewards program for store credit card holders. The program is heavily advertised, especially at the cash wrap. Regardless, this exchange happens at least once a day.)

    Me: “I see you’re paying with your [Store credit card]. Have you already enrolled in [rewards program]?”

    Customer: *hostile* “What’s that?”

    Me: “It’s a rewards program that—”

    Customer: “No! I don’t want anything to do with that!”

    Me: “Okay, your total will be—”

    Customer: *suspiciously eyeing rewards program advertisement* “What’s this 10% thing? I want 10%!”

    Me: “That’s [rewards program]. That—”

    Customer: “No! I don’t want it!”

    Related:
    Not So Rewarding

    Shouldn’t Be Listening

    | UT, USA | At The Checkout, Family & Kids, Money

    (I am a cashier at a popular craft store. A woman is purchasing lots of items for her daughter’s upcoming birthday party. Most of these items are little things, like individual lip balms and wrapped candies. We don’t have scanners at this store, so it takes me a good seven or so minutes to ring up all her items.)

    Customer: “This is all for my daughter’s birthday! Isn’t it wonderful?”

    Me: “Yes, it is. How old is she turning?”

    Customer: “Three. And she’s mommy’s little princess. She’s my pageant winner. We spend so much on pageants! Oh, it’s so expensive. I really shouldn’t be buying her all this for her birthday.”

    (The customer goes on and one like this as I ring up all her items. She keeps talking about her daughter’s pageants. Her little girl is sitting in the cart with a lollypop in her mouth, apparently too young to care about big birthday parties and pageants.)

    Me: “Do you have a coupon to use today?”

    Customer: “Yes, I do. 40% off right here.”

    (Her sum is quite large, so I make sure she understands.)

    Me: “You do realize that this is for 40% off one individual item, right?”

    Customer: “Oh, yes, yes. And it’s great because I really shouldn’t be buying all this. I really don’t have a lot of money.”

    (The customer doesn’t seem to have understood what I said about 40% off one item, not the entire purchase. After clarifying one more time, I process the coupon and finish the transaction. About ten minutes later she comes rushing back into the store.)

    Customer: “I didn’t get 40% off my purchase! I told you I shouldn’t be buying all of this.”

    Me: “Ma’am, I did tell you several times before finishing your transaction that the coupon was for 40% off one item, not the entire purchase. You told me you understood.”

    Customer: “Fine, Then I want to return most of this.”

    (She then proceeded to unload all the individual lip balms and candies she had purchased. It took me another ten minutes to process her refund, and then she swept out of the store muttering about how expensive the birthday party was turning out to be.)

    A Crime Against Closing Time

    | UT, USA | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests

    (I am working the register at a craft store. We are getting close to closing time, and make announcements over the PA system about every five minutes or so, warning customers to finish their purchases. About once a month there is a customer who comes in and wanders right up until the closing time before she comes to the register. Being at register one, I am the last cashier to close my till and have to wait until we’ve finished helping every customer that was in the store before we close the doors.)

    Me: “Did you find everything all right tonight, ma’am?”

    Customer: *sighs* “I suppose.”

    (As I ring up her purchases, she grabs a weekly ad from beside my register.)

    Customer: “Ooh, spring items are 40% off. Can I go look really fast before you finish ringing me up?”

    Me: “Ma’am, we’re closed.”

    Customer: “I’ll be quick.”

    Me: “Ma’am, you have already looked back there. We are closed, and as soon as I’m done with your transaction I am closing my till. If you’d like to take a look at our spring sale, you can come back tomorrow morning. We open at 10 am.”

    Customer: “I just want one item. I promise I’ll be quick.”

    (We are 15 minutes past closing, all my coworkers have closed their tills and cleaned up their respective areas, and are standing up at the front waiting, since we all have to leave the store together.)

    Me: “Ma’am, we are closed. And your total is [amount].”

    (The customer pays and trundles out of the store, finally.)

    Manager: “Way to be firm. I thought I was going to have to drag her out of the store.”

    I Nintendo All

    | Oakville, ON, Canada | At The Checkout, Family & Kids, Geeks Rule

    (I work at a frozen yogurt shop. I’m serving two parents and their young son. I hand the son his spoon and notice he’s holding a plush toy of Luigi, from the Mario series of Nintendo games.)

    Me: *quietly* “Luigi!”

    Boy: “How did you know his name?”

    Me: “Because he’s a character from a video game. A very famous video game!”

    (I wasn’t sure how to interpret the look the boy gave me as he left the counter, but he almost seemed either suspicious, skeptical, or confused. I, for one, wonder how *he* found out about Luigi, if not from the games!)

    Driving On Booze Control

    | Princeton, NJ, USA | At The Checkout, Criminal/Illegal, Food & Drink, Underaged

    (I work at a liquor store, and we have one major rule. If you appear to be under 30 you MUST have your ID on you unless you are accompanied by a parent or guardian. If you do not have your ID on you no one in your group is allowed to purchase alcohol. Two guys come into our store together and start making a ruckus. The one guy looks about 23 or so, but the other can’t be 17. They’re yelling up and down the aisles to each other looking for something to purchase. I greet the two of them and start scanning their items. I ask for their IDs.)

    Customer #1: “Here you go.”

    Me: “Thanks.” *pointing at Customer #2* “I just need to see your ID as well.”

    Customer #2: “I don’t got mine.”

    Me: “Okay. Is it in the car or something? I need to see both of your IDs because you came in together.”

    Customer #2: “Why? I didn’t come in here with him. We met up outside and walked in together.”

    Me: “Let me get my manager. He’ll be able to sort this out for you guys.”

    (My manager comes over and I explain to him that the one has his ID, but the other guy doesn’t. My manager reiterates the store policy. As this is happening, Customer #2 hands a $5 bill ‘stealthily’ to his buddy.)

    Customer #1: “We’re friends from work! We ran into each other inside. Why am I getting denied service because I happened to run into him and happened to get in line with him at the same time.”

    Manager: “Well, if that’s the case why did he just hand you money and try to walk out towards the door?

    Customer #1: “I had asked to borrow some money! This is b******t!”

    Manager: “I’m sorry you feel that way, but that’s the law. For all we know, you’re about to purchase alcohol for a minor, and we could get fined for that.”

    Customer #2: “That’s racist! You’re refusing to sell to us because we’re [race]!”

    Manager: “No, sir, that’s not why. I just told you why I’m refusing service.”

    Customer #2: “Well, if that’s the case why didn’t you card that baby in the other dude’s line over there?”

    Manager: “Sir. Think about what you just said. Do you really think that baby is really going to drink anything in that cart?”

    Customer #2: “Whatever. I’m calling the cops. You’re going to be arrested for being racist. You racist son of a b****!”

    Manager: “Okay. I can wait. I’ll just tell them that your pal just tried to purchase alcohol for a minor.”

    (With that they walked out of the store, screaming and ranting, and wound up kicking over one of the basket returns by the exit, never to be seen since.)

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