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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!

    Self-Disservice Checkout, Part 2

    | Grand Junction, CO, USA | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Technology

    (I make a quick stop at a grocery store one afternoon. I am using the self-checkout when I can’t help but overhear a couple at the self-check stand behind me.)

    Lady: “Why isn’t it working?”

    Man: “I don’t know. Just set it on the scanner.”

    Lady: “It still isn’t doing anything. Why won’t it scan?”

    (My curiosity finally gets to me and I turn to see what the problem was. The couple has a bell pepper, without any barcodes or stickers on it, and are trying to figure out why the scanner can’t read it. I just stand there staring at them in shock when the attendant walks up to assist them.)

    Attendant: “Oh, here, I’ll show you. There’s no barcode on that. You have to find the code.”

    Lady: “What!?! Why does it need a barcode?”

    Related:
    Self-Diservice Checkout

    Will Have To Wait For The Correct Answer

    | IN, USA | At The Checkout, Food & Drink, Theme Of The Month

    (I have just finished at the doctor’s office and talk my mom into taking me to get some coffee. We decide to go through the drive-thru as I need to get back to school and her to work. She is driving and I’m riding shotgun.)

    Cashier: “What can I get for you today?”

    Mom: “Two coffees, please.”

    Cashier: “That’ll be [total]. Please pull around to the window.”

    (As there is a long line, it takes about 10 minutes before we finally get to the window.)

    Cashier: “Sorry about the wait.”

    Mom: “Oh, I’m doing fine. How about you?”

    (At this, the cashier gets a deer-in-the-headlights look as he does not know how to respond to this break in the conversational cycle. I, however, am cracking up.)

    Mom: *looks at the cashier and then at me* “What’s so funny?”

    Me: “Mom, he said sorry about the wait.”

    Mom: “Oh! I thought he said ‘how are you.’” *turns to the cashier* “I’m sorry. You can laugh at me if you want…”

    Some Requests Just Take The Cake

    | Champaign, IL, USA | At The Checkout, Food & Drink, Theme Of The Month

    (I take a request on a phone call.)

    Me: “We can only make small round, large round, and small rectangle cakes, sir. We cannot make large rectangles.”

    Caller: “Okay, so is it possible for me to have a cake made by Sunday? Mother’s day?”

    Me: “We can have any cake ready for you by Mother’s day. Yes, sir!”

    Caller: “Any cake? I thought you just said that you can’t make large rectangles cakes.”

    Me: “We can’t, like I just said, sir.”

    Customer: “So, let me get this straight. You can make ANY cake except the large rectangle?”

    Me: *face-palm*

    Left Holding The Bag

    | QLD, Australia | At The Checkout, Awesome Workers, Theme Of The Month

    (Many of our customers bring their own bags for their purchases, so we always ask if they need a bag before we start putting their purchases into one. A customer walks up to the register.)

    Customer: “Just these today, please.”

    Me: “Sure. This is a popular range! I love it, too. Do you need a bag for these?”

    Customer: *sounding annoyed* “No, I said just these! I don’t want anything else!”

    Me: “Oh, sorry, I wasn’t trying to sell you anything. I meant something to carry them in: a free bag, or did you bring your own?”

    Customer: *sighing and rolling her eyes* “I said nothing else! Just these.”

    Me: “Okay, just checking. I thought you’d misheard me. It’s fantastic so many people these days are bringing their own to help save the environment.”

    Customer: “Yes…”

    Me: “There’s all sorts of ones that fold up so small now; it’s best to ask as they’re often hidden away. My friend has one that folds up into a strawberry key-ring.”

    Customer: “Okay…”

    (I finish scanning the items and process the payment. The customer stares blankly at me.)

    Me: “Um, you did say you wanted to put them in your bag?”

    Customer: “I don’t have a bag. Don’t you have one?”

    Me: “Sure. Sorry, I thought you said you had one. That’s what I was asking you about when you came up to the register.”

    Customer: “Oh, sorry, I wasn’t listening. I suppose you get that a lot…”

    Common Sense Isn’t In The Cards

    | USA | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Technology, Theme Of The Month

    (I work at a grocery store that has a club card for ‘extra’ savings. Two customers come up with a six-case of wine. I ring them up.)

    Me: “Ma’am, do you have a club card?”

    Customer #1: “What is this?! You are charging me too much! Fix it!”

    Me: “If you just swipe your club card, the price will drop. Do you have one?”

    Customer #1: “You are overcharging me! Give me my money!”

    Me: *calmly* “Do you have a club card?”

    Customer #1: “I said give me the correct price NOW!”

    Me: “Ma’am, you need to put in your club card number for the discount. Do you have—”

    Customer #2: “Listen, girl, just give us the correct price!” *begins screaming in unison with friend*

    Me: *being interrupted every other word* “I cannot give it to you without a club card. Would you like to sign up for one?”

    (Eventually, I beckon my manager over and end up using one of our spare cards to show them the discount. He smoothes things over, but not before one of them tells him that I should be more polite. He pulls me aside to ask what happened.)

    Me: “They wouldn’t let me even explain that they needed a club card for their discount.”

    Boss: “Well, next time, just swipe it. And remember, just because you and I have common sense doesn’t mean they do.”

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