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  • February Theme Of The Month: Hazardous Customers!
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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!

    On The Need For Hazard Pay, Part 8

    | MD, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Crazy Requests

    (I work in a well-known department store chain as a cashier. By law, I’m required to offer our store credit card to each and every customer that comes through my line if they’re over the age of 18.)

    Me: “Okay, ma’am, your total is [total]. If you don’t have our [Store] card, I can try to save you $10 or $15 on this purchase.”

    Customer: *mumbles so low that I can’t hear her*

    Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am. Could you please repeat that?”


    (At this point she starts screaming her head off, and I see my manager, who is really short and stocky, running down the aisle to see what all the yelling is about.)


    Me: “Ma’am, I have never met you before. How would I know that you don’t have any credit cards?”


    Me: “Ma’am… those are two completely separate things.”

    Customer: “NO, THEY’RE NOT! STOP F***ING LYING TO ME!”

    (My manager has just gotten to my booth when the customer slaps me, hard, across my face.)

    Manager: “[Customer]! Why did you just hit my cashier?!”


    Manager: “Get out of my store! This is the third time you’ve done this! Do not come back!”


    Manager: *after the customer left* “Are you okay? Go on a break. I’ll cover for you.”

    Me: “So… no hazard pay?”

    Manager: “Ha. Good luck with that. I’ve been here 40 years and I don’t get hazard pay.”

    (She did the customer satisfaction survey on the receipt that we print out and gave me the lowest possible rating, a 0, because of “terrible service” and actually WON a $1,000 gift card to the store via the sweepstakes system. Corporate was notified and they cancelled the gift card right away and gave me a $100 gift card!)

    On The Need For Hazard Pay, Part 7
    On The Need For Hazard Pay, Part 6
    On The Need For Hazard Pay, Part 5

    Seems To Be Their Calling Card

    | USA | At The Checkout, Criminal/Illegal, Extra Stupid


    (A customer has just left after paying for their stuff with a credit card. A few minutes later…)

    Customer: “Hi, again. I left my credit card behind. Have you seen it?”

    Me: “Let me see.” *looks around the register, counter, and pin-pad machine* “Is it on the floor?”

    Customer: “No. Well, where is it?”

    Me: “I do not know.”

    Customer: “You didn’t check out anyone else, did you?”

    Me: “I have not.”

    Customer: “I checked my purse, my pockets, and my bags. I can’t find it. Do you have it?”

    Me: “No, ma’am, I haven’t seen it.”

    Customer: “You have it. Don’t lie to me. It’s not right to steal credit cards. Call your manager, now! You thief! Give me back my card!”

    (I call the manager up.)

    Manager: “Are you sure you checked everywhere?”

    Customer: “Just check him! I should be calling the police.”

    (I reveal my pockets. My manager checks all around my station, and then:)

    Customer: “Oh, silly me. I put it in my glasses case. Thank heavens I found it.”

    (The customer leaves.)

    Me: “No, no. Just forget that you were blatantly accusing me to be a thief. Feel free to leave without a heartfelt apology.”

    Manager: “Don’t worry. At least the police didn’t get involved this time.”

    Me: “This time?!”

    Bill Of Rights

    | NY, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Money

    (The gas station I work at frequently runs out of small bills on the weekends so we have a difficult time making change. Normally, we put large, colorful signs on the front counters asking for smaller bills, and most people will oblige, but we still get people who try to ask for change after using the ATM.)

    Customer: “Could I get change for this twenty?”

    Me: “I’m sorry. We don’t have any small bills to spare.” *points at neon pink sign*

    Customer: “That’s stupid. Just give me some change.”

    Me: “I can’t. I won’t be able to make change for people who actually buy something.”

    Customer: “Fine, whatever!”

    (He then proceeds to wander the store, finally picking out the cheapest item we have, a 50-cent package of crackers, and walks back up to the counter.)

    Customer: “Yeah, I’d like these.” *hands me a twenty*

    Me: “Sir, I really don’t have change for this.”

    Customer: “Just sell me this so I can get some f****** change!”

    (I ended up giving it to him just to get him out of the store.)

    Waiting For The Bad Customer That Never Comes

    | Milwaukee, WI, USA | At The Checkout, Awesome Customers, Food & Drink, Time

    (I’m getting food at a rather well-known fast-food joint that specializes in American-Chinese cuisine. I’ve just finished placing a large order.)

    Cashier: “The [dish] is out right now. Would you like something else, or would you like to wait? It’ll be about 10 minutes to make another batch.”

    Me: “I’m fine with waiting. Thank you.”

    Cashier: “Okay, that’ll be [total]. Can I have your name so I can call you when it’s all ready?”

    (I give her my name, pay, and take a step back to wait. About three minutes pass and I notice her walking out to me with a cup.)

    Cashier: “Sir, I’m sorry it’s taking so long. Would you like a complimentary drink?”

    Me: “Uh… sure, I guess. It’s really no problem though. Only 10 minutes, right?”

    Cashier: “Thank you for being so understanding!”

    (She hands me the cup and goes back to serving other customers. Another three minutes pass and I notice one of her coworkers is waving me over to the counter.)

    Coworker: “We’re really sorry for the wait, sir. Would you like a complimentary order of egg rolls for your trouble?”

    Me: “Thank you for the offer, but no. Seriously, I’m really fine with the wait. It’s no problem.”

    Coworker: “Okay, then. Just let us know if there’s anything we can do for you.”

    (I step back from the counter and wait a few more minutes until the cashier calls my name.)

    Cashier: “Here you are, sir! I’m so sorry for the delay, I tossed in a few orders of egg rolls and rangoon because it took so long.”

    Me: “Really, that’s very nice, but you didn’t have to do that. You were up-front with the wait time and it took almost exactly what you told me. You really don’t owe me any free food or even the drink.”

    (Suddenly it all clicks.)

    Me: “People still freak out when they have to wait even after you tell them how long it’s going to be, don’t they?”

    Cashier: “You have no idea. Have a great day!”

    Hard Of Earring

    | Basingstoke, England, UK | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Crazy Requests, Criminal/Illegal

    (I work in a high-end high street women’s clothing store. We also sell accessories. Like most UK stores, we do not accept returns on earrings for any reasons, bar them being defective. We’ve just entered the mid-season sale period, where a lot of our jewellery is now 70% off. A fair amount of customers are returning and rebuying items to get the discounted price.)

    Customer: “I want to return this set of earrings and rebuy them.”

    Me: “I’m sorry. Store policy says we’re not allowed to accept returns on any earrings, unless they’re defective. Even though you’re wanting to rebuy them, I cannot process the return.”

    Customer: “I WANT TO RETURN THEM!”

    Me: “I’m sorry; I’m not allowed to do that.”

    Customer: “Yes, you are! You’re just saying that because you don’t want to give me the sale price!”

    Me: “I’m sorry you feel that way, and I assure you we do allow returning and rebuying. We just can’t accept returns on earrings unless they defective in some way.”

    Customer: “I want to talk to someone else!”

    (I get my assistant manager, who comes over and relays what I’ve just told the customer.)

    Assistant Manager: “I’m sorry, we can’t accept the return on them unless they’re defective.”

    (The customer drops the earrings on the floor, then stomps on them. She picks them up and puts them on the counter.)

    Customer: “I want to return these. They’re defective.”

    Assistant Manager: “We don’t accept returns on items that have been damaged purposely by customers.”

    Customer: “You have no proof I broke them. It’s your words against mine, and the customer is ALWAYS right!”

    Assistant Manager: “This may be true in most circumstances. Here, we have CCTV showing you damaged them yourself. I’m sorry. We cannot accept returns on them. Is there anything else you’d like me to help with today?”

    Customer: “MY EARRINGS ARE BROKEN! What am I gonna do with broken earrings?!”

    Me: “Would you like me to dispose of them?”

    (The customer glared at my assistant manager and me, then stormed out.)

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