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  • Making A Mute Point
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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!

    A License To Kill Hope For Humanity

    | Rochester Hills, MI, USA | At The Checkout, Technology, Themed Giveaway

    (I work customer service desk at a local retail store. Sometimes I cashier when we’re busy.)

    Me: “Okay, your total is [total].”

    Customer: “Okay.”

    (The customer starts swiping her card, but it won’t read)

    Me: “Go ahead and swipe the card again. It didn’t catch it the first time.”

    (The customer swipes the card again, but it still won’t read. She keeps swiping it, and on one of these swipes I catch a glimpse of the card she’s using. She is getting increasingly frustrated.)

    Customer: “WHY. WON’T. THIS. SWIPE!?”

    Me: *trying not to laugh* “Ma’am, take a look at your card for me, please?”

    (The customer looks at her card. It’s her driver’s license.)

    Customer: “Oh…”

    Not One’s Cup Of Tea

    | Brisbane, QLD, Australia | At The Checkout, Bizarre, Food & Drink

    (I am waiting in line at a petrol station that sells coffees, snacks, and other small grocery items as well as petrol. The customer in front of me is speaking to the cashier.)

    Customer: “I just want two tea bags, please.”

    Cashier: “Do you mean you want two teas to go?”

    Customer: “No, I just want to pay for two tea bags on their own.”

    Cashier: “I’m sorry. We can’t just sell you individual tea bags. We have boxes of 20 tea bags over on the shelves that you can buy.”

    Customer: *getting annoyed* “I don’t understand. Can’t you just take two tea bags from the box and sell them to me?”

    Cashier: “No, we can’t do that.”

    (The customer turns to me with a look of disbelief on her face.)

    Customer: *to me* “Why can’t they just sell me two tea bags?!”

    Me: “Because they don’t have individual tea bags as an item in their computer system so they can’t just charge you for this arbitrary item. They are not items that are for sale individually.”

    Customer: “Ugh! Who asked you, anyway?!”

    Me: “Uh, YOU did.”

    (The customer leaves in a huff while shooting me a dirty look.)

    Missed The Magic Of The Magic Kingdom

    | Fayetteville, NC, USA | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Movies & TV, Religion

    (A customer comes up to the till and hands me a bunch of DVDs. We have to up-sell, for obvious reasons.)

    Me: “I see you are getting a bunch of Disney movies. Did you know the newest Harry Potter just came out? We do have some copies on the shelf.”

    Customer: “I’m not even going to touch that anti-Christ movie! Any movie that delves into magic is Satan’s movies!”

    (I look down at the movies being rented and finish the transaction with no more chit-chatting.)

    Me: “Enjoy The Little Mermaid, and Beauty and the Beast! Have a nice day!”

    Needs A Break(fast)

    , | MI, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Food & Drink

    Customer: “Do you have toast?”

    Me: “No, ma’am. We—”

    Customer: *points to greeter* “But SHE said I could have breakfast, so I want breakfast.”

    Me: “Even though it’s lunch time, we serve pancakes, bacon, and oatmeal all day. Would you like—”

    Customer: “You must be NEW because you don’t know ANYTHING!”

    Manager: “We also have some breakfast burritos left if you’d like those.”

    Customer: “Ring me up for PANCAKES, then. Pan… CAKES. She said breakfast. I want breakfast!”

    Me: “Would you like syrup—”

    Customer: “YOU DON’T KNOW ANYTHING! PANCAKES. I WANT PANCAKES.”

    (Luckily, her pancakes come up pretty quickly, and she yanks the tray out of my manager’s hands.)

    Customer: “SEE? Now you KNOW SOMETHING.”

    Me: *to manager* “I am now aware that we have pancakes. I now have edumacation. I are smart.”

    Manager: “You can leave early if you want…”

    Orders Can Not Be Made For Bread Alone

    | Quezon City, Philippines | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Food & Drink

    Me: “Hi. What can I get you today?”

    Customer: “Give me a six-inch parmesan oregano.”

    Me: “Certainly, and what would you like on that?”

    Customer: “What?”

    Me: “You’ve told me what bread and size you want. You still need to tell me what filling you want for your sandwich.”

    Customer: “Just the parmesan oregano.”

    Me: “Ma’am, that’s a kind of bread. What meat or vegetables do you want me to put in it?”

    Customer: “Why are you making this difficult?! I just want a six-inch parmesan oregano sandwich!”

    Me: “Ma’am, let me make this clear: that is a kind of bread. It is a wheat loaf that has been prepared with parmesan cheese and oregano, the latter of which is an herb. However, there are no additional cheeses or herbs in it to fulfill the definition of ‘sandwich,’ and I have no idea whether we’re even allowed to sell just bread. Now, what filling would you like for your sandwich, which will be made using your chosen six-inch parmesan oregano loaf?”

    Customer: “… Oregano isn’t a kind of meat?”


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