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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!

    In Line And Out Of Line, Part 6

    | Chicago, IL, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Family & Kids

    ( am around five and I am at the grocery store with my dad. We are waiting in line and it is long because only a few registers are open. When we are next to be rung up a business lady defiantly walks in front of me and my dad and proceeds to unload her cart.)

    Me: “Hey, dad, that lady just budged us!”

    (To this my dad replied loudly enough for everyone around us to hear:)

    Dad: “Well, [My Name], it’s all right for her to do that because she is important. Far more important than we are. In fact, she probably works for the government and she has to cut in front of us because they need her to help save the world. So, don’t get angry that she walked in front of us like we didn’t exist because she’s way too important to the country to wait in line like a normal person. In fact, she probably doesn’t wait in line anywhere because lives could be lost if she doesn’t get her milk and eggs three minutes sooner.”

    (At this point the cashier has stopped ring her items up and everyone around us was watching. The woman turned to us, a mixture of annoyed and embarrassed.)

    Woman: “I, uh… You can go in front of me if you’d like…”

    (My dad holds up his hand.)

    Dad: “I would never, ma’am. Your time is far too important for us mere peasants to waste. You go off and keep protecting our country.”

    (She was completely red as she finished her purchase and walked out quickly.)

    Related:
    In Line And Out Of Line, Part 5
    In Line And Out Of Line, Part 4
    In Line And Out Of Line, Part 3

    Differing Degrees Of Snobbery

    | Memphis, TN, USA | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, School

    (I’m a cashier at a small, high-end grocery store. One day, towards the end of my shift, a middle aged man and a girl, around 11 or 12, walk up. Note that I appear around five years younger than I actually am and took the cashier job out of necessity.)

    Me: “That’ll be $25.62, sir.”

    Customer: *ignoring the other customers waiting behind him* “Are you in school?”

    Me: “I… excuse me?”

    Customer: “Are. You. In. School?”

    Me: “Well, no, I already—”

    Customer: *talking to the girl* “See, this is why you gotta study hard! I don’t want you working some crap job because you didn’t go to college.”

    Me: “Um, sir? That’ll be $25.62.”

    Customer: *slams $30 into my hand*

    (I get his change and hand it to him along with his receipt. As the next person in line starts putting their items onto the counter, he stands in place and starts counting his change.)

    Customer: “You shorted me.”

    Me: “Oh, I’m sorry. How much did I give you?”

    Customer: “This is why you have to work a crap job like this! Because you can’t even count right!”

    Me: “Sir, I need to see how much I gave you so I can give you the right amount.”

    Customer: “You gave me $4.38.”

    Me: “…that’s right. It should be on your receipt.”

    Customer: “No, I need a five.”

    (I print out another copy of his receipt and show him that his change was correct. He stands there and argues with me, so I call over the manager to talk to him. The conversation takes a while, so when my next customers are done, I stroll over.)

    Manager: “I don’t know how else to tell you… that IS the amount you’re owed.”

    Customer: “No, it’s basic math! Can’t anyone here do basic math?”

    Me: “Here.” *I pull out my phone and show him on its calculator* “It all adds up to $30.”

    Customer: “What do you know?! You didn’t even go to school!”

    Manager: “I thought you went to [Well Known Private College]?”

    Me: “I did. I have a bachelor’s from there.”

    Customer: *stunned* “What? How? You’re a kid.”

    Me: “I’m 25, sir.”

    Customer: “Why didn’t you say so! I guess it’s okay, then.”

    (He and the girl finally exit.)

    Manager: “…that’s the kind of man who gives his credit card number to a prince of Nigeria.”

    God Loves Little Girls Who Stand Up For Others

    | Denver, CO, USA | At The Checkout, Bigotry, Family & Kids

    (I’m a manager at a technology store and a lesbian. There are two men holding hands and giving each other little kisses every now and then, a woman who is trying her hardest not to look at them, and a mother and her five- or six-year-old daughter, all waiting in line. The two men get to the register.)

    Man #1: “Hi, we were wondering if you do wedding registry here?”

    Me: “No, sorry, we don’t. But my wife and I found when we were doing our wedding registry stuff that if you find a shop that doesn’t do a registry, just write down the SKU numbers so people can come in and—”

    Woman: “Come on, none of us have time to be dealing with your little gay pride bulls***! None of you should be getting married anyway. It’s a sin!”

    (I start to open my mouth, but the little girl stomps her foot and gives the woman the meanest look I have ever seen.)

    Little Girl: “That’s not nice! You say you’re sorry, right now!”

    (The woman is taken aback, but is not done with her rant.)

    Woman: “I will not apologize to sinners! What they are doing is wrong! God hates people like—”

    Little Girl: “No! Girls can like girls and boys can like boys. If God wanted boys and girls only to like each other then he would have made them only like each other! And don’t you know God loves everyone, even boys who like boys?!”

    (The woman and the little girl look at each other for a good 10 seconds until the woman drops her items on the floor and storms out. The mother, the gay couple, and I are all speechless. Like a total boss the little girl takes the expensive robotic toy from her mother and walks to the counter.)

    Little Girl: “I want this, please!”

    Man #2: “My soon to be husband and I would like to pay for that.”

    Me: “And wouldn’t you know it, we give 50% discounts to amazing little girls here!”

    No ID, No Idea, Part 16

    | Columbus, OH, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior

    (I’m working register as my shift starts when a teenaged couple walks in. The guy walks up, girl in tow.)

    Customer: “I’d like some cigarettes, please.”

    Me: “I’ll need to see your ID.”

    Customer: “SERIOUSLY?”

    Me: “Uh, yeah. State law, all that.”

    Customer: “Do I look like I’m under 18?”

    Me: “Well, you look under 30, and that’s really what we go by.”

    Customer: “Ugh, FINE. I’ll go out to the car and grab it. What a waste of time.”

    (He leaves to go grab his ID out of the car. His girlfriend looks rather embarrassed. He storms back in, and slams his ID on the counter.)

    Customer: “There. Can I buy my f****** smokes now?”

    (I check his ID. It’s legit.)

    Me: “Sir, you turned 18 three days ago.”

    Customer: “Well, duh, I know that.”

    Me: “My point is, you’re going to be asked for ID for a long time, so, you might wanna be ready for that.”

    Customer: “But I’m 18! Why would people ask me for my ID now?”

    Me: “Because it’s the law… Can I give you another tip, sir?”

    Customer: *sighs* “What?”

    Me: “If you don’t want to be carded for age-restricted purchases, you probably shouldn’t be wearing your high-school letterman jacket around. Doesn’t help your case.”

    (He looks down at himself and verifies that he is, indeed, gaudily labeled as a high school student. His girlfriend giggles. He takes a moment to gather his thoughts.)

    Customer: “Oh… well, okay. Thanks for the advice. Can I get some smokes, now?”

    Me: “Certainly.”

    Related:
    No ID, No Idea, Part 15
    No ID, No Idea, Part 14
    No ID, No Idea, Part 13

    Self-Helpless Against Stupidity

    | Middletown, NJ, USA | At The Checkout, Awesome Customers, Extra Stupid, Technology, Theme Of The Month

    (One of the local supermarkets recently ‘upgraded’ their self-checkout systems. While nominally faster, the new systems are more complicated and far more prone to bugs. The first time I hit the ‘use a coupon’ button the whole screen is covered with a ‘please wait for attendant’ warning. One of the workers comes over.)

    Me: “Oh, I’m sorry; I don’t know what happened.”

    Attendant: “Let me guess. You needed to use a coupon?”

    Me: “Um… yeah?”

    Attendant: “No problem. One second.”

    (She swipes her ID card, types in a code, swipes the coupon, hits ‘done,’ and puts it in the slot.)

    Attendant: “There you go.”

    Me: “I guess there’s a problem with the coupon part?”

    Attendant: “Yeah, we had a rash of people having issues with the sensor when putting the coupons in the slot who were just about ripping the machine apart instead of asking for any help at all.”

    Me: “There’s no way they’d be that—”

    (As if scripted, there’s suddenly a loud banging just behind us at the other machine; another shopper’s receipt jams in the printer because they tried to yank it out before it was done printing, and she is now PUNCHING the printer to try to get it to work.)

    Me: “…okay, thank you for the help. Have a nice day and God’s speed, brave warrior!”

    Attendant: “Once more into the breach!”

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