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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!

    Playing The Race Ticket

    | OH, USA | At The Checkout, Bigotry, Money

    (I am black/white biracial. I have just started working at a clothing and home goods store. We have a return policy that states that if an item doesn’t come back with a ticket, we have to go find one out on the floor. I’m working register, as are a Spanish/Mexican lady, a Puerto Rican, two African American women, and our Polish manager. An older African American lady comes up to the register five minutes before closing and wants to return a pair of jeans.)

    Coordinator: *who is Spanish/Mexican* “Sorry, ma’am, these don’t have a ticket and we haven’t received any of these in a while. We will have to find a pair on the floor to match the price.”

    Customer: *huffs* “Those pants were 12.99. Just make a ticket and take them!”

    (The coordinator sends out one of us to look for a pair.)

    Coordinator: “I’m sorry, but I can’t do that, ma’am. I need to have a number to make them from so that the computer will accept it.”

    (It’s taking a while to find a style that matches what the customer is trying to return and two minutes pass. During this time, the rest of us have finished behind the counter and are waiting for the return to finish so that we can close the store. Our manager has come up from the office to see what is taking so long.)

    Customer: *more huffs* “This is taking too long! Where’s your manager? I wanna talk to your manager about this!”

    (We all look at our bemused manager.)

    Customer: “What, that blonde lady?!”

    Manager: “I’m sorry, but this is our policy. To do the return, we need to copy a ticket.”

    Customer: *eyerolls*

    (A match is found and the return is completed. As the customer is stuffing her wallet back in her purse, she leaves the store, muttering.)

    Customer: “That’s racist. If I was a white woman it would’ve been done faster.”

    (We all turned to each other and start laughing.)

    Manager: “[My Name] is the only white person here! This blonde is all peroxide!”

    Over-spilling With Irresponsibility

    | Scotland, UK | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests, Food & Drink

    (We sell hot drinks in takeaway cups. We serve them without sugar, and direct customers to the end of the counter where they can add it if they wish. My colleague has just served a woman her coffee:)

    Colleague: “Okay, that’s your latte there. Sugar is at the end of the counter if you need it. Enjoy your movie.”

    Customer: “Thank you.”

    (The customer takes the drink, and goes to the end of the counter, where she puts her cup on an uneven pile of napkins. When she then takes the lid off, the cup tips, and covers the counter and the customer. At this point, my colleague goes over to help clean up.)

    Colleague: “Don’t worry. We will get this cleaned up, and I will get you another coffee.”

    (After he gets the coffee, the customer asks for a supervisor.)

    Customer: “I think you should take responsibility for this accident. I don’t think it’s anyone’s fault, but you should take responsibility.”

    Supervisor: “We should take responsibility for you placing your drink on the napkins instead of the counter, and then spilling it on yourself?”

    Customer: “Yes!”

    Cash-Backtrack

    | QC, Canada | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Money

    (I’m the supervisor in charge for the night and am standing right behind my coworker. The bank situated right next to us recently moved and they didn’t even leave an ATM, so we get lots of people who only want to withdraw money.)

    Customer: “I would like to withdraw money, please.”

    Coworker: “I’m sorry, but we do not offer this service. If you want to withdraw money, you need to buy something.”

    Customer: “But I don’t need anything. I just want money.”

    Coworker: “I’m sorry ma’am, but it costs us money when people take cash back, so we can’t accept any withdrawal if you do not purchase something.”

    (The customer insists she doesn’t want to buy anything and I can see my coworker starting to lose patience. So I turn around to face the customer.)

    Me: “We’ll charge you for a plastic bag. It’s only a nickel. Withdraw as much money as you want.”

    Customer: “Finally!”

    (My coworker gives me an annoyed look, but he proceeds with the transaction. As soon as the transaction is done with and the woman gets her money, she looks up at my coworker.)

    Customer: “I almost forgot! I’ll take a $2.00 lottery ticket!”

    Read Your Food For Thoughts

    | Somerset, England, UK | At The Checkout, Awesome Workers, Food & Drink, Geeks Rule

    (I work Saturdays at a local pub and it tends to be a very quiet shift. The chef comes up to the bar to check the evening’s reservations just as a customer is ordering.)

    Customer: “Can I have the ham and tomato baguette, but no tomato?”

    (I look to the chef and he nods.)

    Me: “Certainly.” *hits button for ham and tomato baguette* “What table was that?”

    Customer: “Table six.”

    (The chef leaves, giving me a thumbs up so I know he knows what to do.)

    Me: “Okay that’s [price].”

    Customer: *handing over the money* “Don’t you have to write a note?”

    Me: “A note?”

    Customer: “On the till, don’t you have to write a note letting the chef know?”

    Me: *hands them their change* “No, he already knows.”

    Customer: “How? Is he psychic?”

    Me: “He was the guy that was just up here. He heard you.”

    Customer: *walking away, muttering* “More fun when I thought he was psychic.”

    Common Sense Just Melts Away

    | Charleston, SC, USA | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests, Food & Drink

    (A small crowd has suddenly formed in the store, so I jump on the line to help my coworker with the sandwiches. She’s already started one and tells me the customer wants a chicken bacon ranch. I make the sandwich right in front of the customer. After heating up all the meats, I have her tell me what kind of veggies she wants on it. When the last veggie is put on, this happens:)

    Customer: “And tomatoes… but I wanted a melt, not a chicken bacon ranch.”

    Me: “I’m sorry?”

    Customer: “I told the other girl I wanted a melt.”

    Me: “Okay, ma’am. I’ll make you a new sandwich, but why didn’t you say anything for the last two minutes? You could see it wasn’t a melt, right?”

    Customer: “Yeah, I knew it wasn’t a melt. I thought you were going to figure out it wasn’t one either.”


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