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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!

    Overly Expressing Herself

    | Pittsburgh, PA, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Crazy Requests

    (I am the cashier for the express lane of the store. The express lane has a clearly posted sign that says twelve items or fewer. Unfortunately, a lot of customers come through with as many as twenty items. I still check them out, but I ask them to take larger orders to the regular checkout lanes in the future. In this case, a woman brings about 20 items through my lane.)

    Me: “Ma’am, in the future, if you have more than 12 items, please go to one of the regular lanes.”

    Customer: “No.”

    Me: “No?”

    Customer: “Express is faster.”

    (I just stare at her as she pays for her groceries and leaves.)

    Next Customer: “No shame.”

    Me: “Yeah…”

    Just A (Cast The First) Stone’s Throw Away From A True Christian

    | AL, USA | At The Checkout, Bigotry, Religion

    (I live in the Bible belt of America, where homophobia is the norm. I’m a gay man and was outed by a previous coworker, so now I deal with two or three bigots per week. This takes place an early Sunday morning.)

    Me: “Hello. Did you find everything today?”

    Customer #1: *a bigot who frequents my lane just to insult me* “Everything except a good, god fearing cashier!”

    Me: *scanning items and not paying attention* “Your total is $48.50, sir. Would you like to pay cash or credit?”

    Customer #1: “You’re going to Hell, you know! You and all your godd***** f*****! Pick up a Bible and learn how to be a Christian!”

    (He then proceeds to throw his credit card at me. I check him out while enduring his verbal abuse, as usual. Finally he’s gone to bag his groceries while the next customer comes up. He’s an elderly man, around 60, wearing a sweater and a large prominent cross. I fear the worst but he hands me a gift card.)

    Customer #2: “Bless you, son. I’d like you to have this to make up for those of us who are less then their best.”

    (Customer #1 has heard Customer #2 and starts yelling.)

    Customer #1: “You’re going to Hell for supporting this f**! Learn how to be a good Christian!”

    (Customer #2 removes his sweater to reveals he’s a priest. Customer #1′s eyes widen in shock.)

    Customer #2: “Well, if I’m going to Hell I don’t believe there’s much hope for any of us now, is there?”

    (He was the new pastor for the church and one of his first sermons was on spreading love instead of hate. I thank you, good sir, for reminding me what a real Christian is like.)

    A Phoned In Service

    | Bastrop, TX, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Rude & Risque, Technology

    (I’m a cashier for a retail store. Normally I’m pretty nice with one main exception: If you are on a phone, I will NOT talk to you. A customer come up to me talking on her phone and I proceed to scan up her items, giving a small smile and a nod to acknowledge her. For the most part the customer doesn’t seem to care until she’s almost done.)

    Customer: “Where’s my corn dog?”

    (She resumes her phone conversation as I put the corn dog on the counter next to the credit reader.)

    Customer: “HEL-LO! Where’s my corn dog?”

    (I silently start to put her items into the buggy while she’s STILL keeps talking on her phone as I point to the corn dog. For the next few moments she attempts to talk to me only to also talk to the phone.)

    Customer: “HELLO! Are you sleepy?! Where is my corn dog!?”

    (I point to it one more time as she pays with a card and takes the corn dog and receipt. As she walks off, another customer walks to the counter without a cell phone and we start to carry a conversation.)

    Next Customer: “Geez, she the only thing she seemed to care about was her corn dog! How do you deal with people like that?”

    Me: “Just like I just did. So, now, how are you?”

    Some Customers Will Even Pull Your Hair Out For You

    | TX, USA | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests, Health & Body

    (I am trying to fix the printer on a self-check out machine. I am a girl with long hair pulled back in tight braids and a bun. A loop of hair has snagged on a lag screw on the raised portion of the screen.)

    Me: *calling coworker on the phone* “Hey, I got myself stuck in the self-check. Can you come help me?”

    Coworker: “Sure.”

    (A customer pulls up to her station with a large order. I can’t see her and she can’t see me, so I wait patiently, bent completely over.)

    Customer: *walks up to me* “Can you check these out for me?”

    (The customer hands me a bunch of bolts.)

    Me: “I would be happy to, sir, just as soon as I get unstuck from this machine.”

    Customer: “Have you called anyone to help you yet?”

    Me: “Yes, sir. She should be here in a moment.”

    (There is a very long awkward pause, while the customer just stands there looking at me.)

    Customer: “Well….she’s not here yet. I guess I could help ya out.”

    Me: “I would appreciate that. Thanks!”

    (The customer proceeds to yank violently on my hair. A few strands come completely out of my head. Finally, the loop of hair comes off the lag screw.)

    Customer: “There. Will you ring me out now?”

    Didn’t See That (Second) Coming

    | Detroit, MI, USA | At The Checkout, Bizarre, Religion

    (I run an independent coffeehouse on the main drag in a small town. A regular walks in, doing her usual purposeful strut to the counter.)

    Me: “Hey [Name], how’s it going?”

    Customer: “Good. You know what I want?”

    (I nod as I begin making her nonfat, no carb latte with extra ice.)

    Customer: “You know, I like Criss Angel…”

    Me: “Yeah, he’s… something all right.”

    Customer: “You know…” *drifts off for a second before coming back down to earth with the rest of us* “I really think he’s the second coming…”

    (I stop what I’m doing to look at her as I wait for the punchline. Turns out it’s not coming.)

    Customer: “He can do everything Jesus could do.”

    (I’m still waiting for the ‘HA! Funny huh?,’ but I see she’s dead serious and waiting for commiseration.)

    Me: “Criss Angel is a magician.”

    Customer: *nods smiling*

    Me: “An illusionist. He does tricks.”

    Customer: *her smile slowly fades to a look of total desolation* “Oh.”

    (I finished her latte and rung her up. She didn’t say anything else and walked out looking much less sure of herself. I almost felt bad.)

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