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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!

    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?”

    The War On Terrorizing Customers

    | East Sussex, England, UK | At The Checkout, Bizarre, History

    (I, like many other Brits, like to wear a remembrance poppy through October and November. I work in an in-store bakery, inside a larger supermarket, where adornments are not usually permitted in case they fall off into our raw products. I have bought a remembrance poppy from the British Legion. I laminate the paper part to make it wipe-clean, and glue the stem to a safety pin, so it’s not likely to fall off my uniform. My manager gives me the go-ahead to wear it, and I am chuffed. Most customers who see it compliment me on work-proofing my poppy and being so keen to support the charity, however…)

    Customer: “Excuse me. What is THAT?!”

    Me: “What, sir?”

    Customer: That… that atrocity next to your name badge!”

    Me: “Sir, it’s a Remembrance Poppy, a charity symbol. To honour our war-dead and injured veterans.”

    Customer: “I know what it is, you blithering idiot! What have you done to it?”

    Me: “Sir, I customised it a little bit so it would be safe for me to wear in my work environment. Nobody else seems to mind. In fact, the poppy seller at the front of the store was telling me he wishes they’d make laminated or plastic poppies anyway.”

    Customer: “You’re defiling a religious symbol! You should be sued!”

    Me: “It has nothing to do with religion! It’s the emblem of a charity and a national symbol of remembrance. Plenty of people from all religions and countries lose their lives in the tragedy of warfare. I lost a friend in Afghanistan several years ago. Furthermore, once I have bought and paid for the poppy, it is my property to do with as I wish. Laminating it was not intended to be disrespectful, but rather the opposite.”

    Customer: “But—”          

    Me: “Can I ask you, sir, would you have reprimanded me for NOT wearing a poppy at all? I am quite young, after all. You might blame me and my generation for not caring about our veterans.”

    Customer: “Well, you young people can be quite disrespectful. I don’t approve of the means, but I guess I understand the motive.”

    Me: “So, can I actually help you, today, sir?”

    Customer: “Just think before you defile a religious symbol next time!” *walks away*

    Rebirth And Return

    | Seattle, WA, USA | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests, Top

    (I am working behind the counter at a high end department store when a customer comes up with a bundled up wad of faded fabric under her arm.)

    Customer: “Excuse me. I need to return this dress I just bought. It doesn’t fit right.”

    Me: “No problem. Do have the tags or receipt?”

    Customer: “Of course! Here.”

    (She hands me what I’ve asked for. They’re both incredibly old; the paper is actually yellow with age. The brand of the dress is one we haven’t carried in years.)

    Me: “I’m sorry. I can’t return this.”

    Customer: “What are you talking about? This store always takes returns!”

    Me: “This dress is too old for me to return.”

    Customer: “Impossible! I only bought it a few months ago. I live far away so I haven’t had a chance to return it until now. Here, I even have the business card of the woman who sold it to me.”

    (She hands me the business card, which, while legitimate, has the company’s old logo which was switched out in 2000. It is now 2012.)

    Me: “Ma’am, I’m sorry, but the sale is too old for the computer to recognize. I can’t return it.”

    Customer: “This is unbelievable! I just bought this dress and it looks awful on me so I want to return it.”

    Me: “This receipt is from 1985. You bought this dress before I was born.”

    Now Has Self-Scanning Under Their Belt

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

    (I am working the self-scans when I see a customer put some grapes on the electronic scale and enter the produce number.)

    Self-Scan: “Place your item on the belt.”

    (The customer leaves the grapes on the scale.)

    Self Scan: “If you wish to purchase this item, please place it on the belt.”

    (The customer still keeps the grapes on the scale.)

    Self-Scan: “Please remove all items and try again.”

    (After the self-scan says this, the customer takes the grapes off the scale and places it on the belt. The customer then tries to scan another item but nothing happens.)

    Self-Scan: “Please remove all items from the front belt.”

    (The customer takes the grapes off the belt, places them on the scale and re-enters the produce. Once again, when the customer is told to move her item to the belt, she leaves it on the scale. She then takes the grapes from the scale and places it on the belt. Confused about what is happening, she calls me over.)

    Me: “Yes, ma’am. How may I help you?”

    Customer: “I keep trying to purchase these grapes but every time I put them on the belt, it tells me to take it off.”

    (I put the customer’s grapes on the scale, enter the produce number, and place them on the belt when I’m told.)

    Customer: “What did you do?”

    Me: “I entered your grapes, weighed them, and placed them on the belt when told to.”

    Customer: “But that’s what I did.”

    Me: “Actually, what you did was put them on the belt after the self-scan told you to remove them.”

    Customer: “So when do I put them on the belt?”

    Me: “The first time it tells you to.”

    Customer: “So when the self-scan tells me to put something on the belt, that’s when I do it?”

    Me: “Yes, ma’am.”

    Customer: “You learn something new every day!”

    This Scam Is Not Ready To Roll

    | UK | At The Checkout, Criminal/Illegal, Liars & Scammers

    (We are known for our breakfast rolls, which can have five different toppings. This morning two students walk in.)

    Student #1: “Hi. I’ll have a breakfast roll please.”

    Me: “Sure thing! What would you like on it?”

    Student #1: “I’ll have sausage, bacon, beans, tomatoes and a hash brown.”

    (I set about making his sandwich while my coworker serves his friend. They pay and I hand [Student #1] his sandwich. He opens the box, looks at his sandwich, nods, and goes upstairs. One hour later, he comes back down.)

    Student #1: “There are no mushrooms on this.”

    Me: “You didn’t ask for any.”

    Student#1: “B****! I want my food for free!”

    (This continues for a few minutes before I explain to the customer that I charged him for a five-item breakfast roll, so he didn’t pay for mushrooms. Regardless, at any point during the hour he’d been there he could have come down and asked for mushrooms, and he’d checked the sandwich before he went upstairs!)

    Student #2: *laughs* “I told you it wouldn’t work!”


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