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  • August Theme Of The Month: Best. Customer. Ever!

    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!

    You’d Be A Fool Not To

    | Bay Area, CA, USA | At The Checkout, Awesome Customers, Family & Kids

    (A woman and her six-year-old son walk into my store. She asks my coworker for help, while her son makes his way over to a case containing common and semi-precious stones. They are the only two in the store, so I have fun showing him some of the stones. He has picked up an egg-shaped piece of pyrite – also known as fool’s gold.)

    Son: “Mom! Can I have it?!”

    Mom: “I don’t know, baby. How much is it?”

    Me: “It’s [price under $5], ma’am.”

    Son: “So can I, Mama? Pleeeaaassseee?”

    Mom: “Why do you want it so badly?”

    Son: *looks thoughtful for a moment* “Because it’s AMAZING, and I want to fill my room with AMAZING things.”

    Mom: *almost under her breath* “Well, I don’t see how I can argue with that.”

    Acting Out Of Border

    | Kehl, Germany | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Language & Words

    (I am shopping in a store in Germany, really close to the French border, and only one full line is open. An elderly woman with only one melon asks the cashier if they could open a second line, which they do. When the second line opens, another woman with a full cart rushes in the other line to be first. The elderly women with the melon is second, and I am third.)

    Elderly Woman: *in German* “Please, I only have one item to buy. May I go through?”

    Other Woman: *in French* “I don’t understand what you say. Please stay behind.”

    Me: *in French* “She just wanted to go through since she only has one item.”

    Other Woman: *in French* “Aw, what a shame. I was here first! And she could at least speak to me in French! Tell her she has to stay behind like everyone else would have.”

    Elderly Woman: *in French too* “Are you kidding me? You French people cross the border to do grocery shopping here and WE have to speak in French? Also, I was waiting in the other line and asked for a new line. You just rushed like you were the only one in the store. How impolite is that?”

    Other Woman: *still in French* “I don’t believe how rude those Germans are. You can be assured that I won’t shop here again!”

    (The cashier finally let the elderly woman pass first, while the other woman was grumbling. Hopefully she’ll be more cooperative next time.)

    New Ways To Sleep On The Job

    | Muskegon, MI, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Rude & Risque

    (I am a small, twenty-year-old female working the closing shift at my store. A very large, unclean looking man is at my till about fifteen minutes before close. He’s been silent up until I’ve started ringing up the last items he has.)

    Customer: “You get out soon?”

    (I don’t find this question odd, as many people ask it just to make conversation.)

    Me: “We close at eleven, so ,yeah. I get out just a little after that.”

    Customer: “Do you want a job working for me?”

    Me: “Uh… no. That’s okay. I already have a job here, and I don’t really have time for a second job. Thanks, though. Your total is [total].”

    Customer: “Well, it’s only nights. You don’t have plans after work, do you? The job pays well.”

    Me: “Actually, I do have plans. My boyfriend is picking me up after my shift.”

    (The man grumbles something incoherent, pays with food stamps, then leaves. My manager comes over, to help close my register down.)

    Manager: “What was that about?”

    Me: “I’m not sure. I think he was trying to pay me to sleep with him.”

    Manager: “You know, I was wondering if that’s what was happening.”

    Buy One, Get One Free a From Thought

    , | Canada | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Food & Drink

    (A customer presents me with a buy one get one free for a burger.)

    Customer: “How much would this come to?”

    Me: “That’s [price].”

    Customer: “Okay, and how much would it be if I didn’t use the coupon and only got one burger?”

    Me: *That’s [same price].”

    Customer: “But how come it’s the same price?”

    Depressing Customer Service

    | CO, USA | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests, Family & Kids, Health & Body

    (A customer and her five-ish-year-old son are checking out at my register. There is a magazine display nearby. One of the magazines’ cover is a tribute to a comedian who recently committed suicide.)

    Customer’s Son: *pointing at the magazine* “Mommy, he died. Did you know he died?”

    Customer: “Yes, it was very sad.”

    Son: “He committed suicide. What does ‘committed suicide’ mean?”

    Customer: “It means he hurt himself badly. Now, let’s go.

    Son: “He hurted himself and died? I don’t understand. Can I skin my knee and die?!”

    Customer: “No, it’s not like that. He was very sad.”

    Son: “What? He died of being sad? Why was he sad? Someone said he was ‘depressed.’ What is ‘depressed?'”

    Customer: *to me* “Can you explain this to him? I don’t want to.”

    Me: “Um, well, I don’t really feel comfortable doing that; I’m sorry.”

    Customer: “What? I hate this store. You’re so unhelpful. I’ll be talking to your corporate office.” *drags son out the door*

    (I think even corporate will agree that explaining mental illness to a customer’s five-year-old is not my job.)

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