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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!

    Grand Theft Innocence, Part 8

    | Helsinki, Finland | At The Checkout, Technology, Theme Of The Month, Wild & Unruly

    (I’m a customer at a popular independent games store in Helsinki. The store is very busy at the moment. I’m third in line when a customer storms in and rushes to the counter.)

    Customer: “Hey! I want my money back!”

    (The cashier completely ignores him, and keeps serving the customer whose actual turn it is.)

    Customer: “Hey! Nerd! I’m talking to you!”

    (The cashier still ignores him and serves the next customer.)

    Customer: “F****** nerd! Listen to me!”

    (When I am next in line the customer tries to grab the cashier’s hand. He manages to avoid this. The cashier looks at me as if asking for permission to deal with the angry customer. I nod and the cashier finally talks to the angry customer.)

    Cashier: “There is no way that you are going to get any help from me before I finish serving all these other customers who are politely waiting in line.”

    Customer: “F*** that! I have a complaint and I want my money back! Serve me now or you’re going to get your a** kicked!”

    (The customer is a big man and the cashier is quite small and skinny. Luckily, at 6’6″ I am even bigger, and having played hockey all my life I’m quite fit as well.)

    Me: “No, he is not going to get his a** kicked.”

    (The customer turns to me to yell something, but as he sees me he goes quiet. He turns to back to the cashier and continues his rant in a much calmer but still angry and derogatory tone.)

    Customer: “Listen, you little s***. I want my money back from this game.”

    (He waves a copy of ‘Grand Theft Auto V’.)

    Cashier: “I absolutely refuse to serve you before all these other customers, who are being patient and polite. You will get service from me after everyone who acts nicer than you has been helped first.”

    Customer: “Get me your manager! Now!”

    Cashier: “I am the owner. Now you go to the back of the line.”

    (The customer starts to say something, but I push past him in a not very gentle way. He goes to the back of the line muttering. I buy my game but decide to stay in the store until the angry customer leaves. When it’s finally his turn he slams the game on the counter.)

    Customer: “Money back!”

    (The cashier opens the case and looks at the game.)

    Cashier: “Looks perfect to me. Why do you want your money back?”

    Customer: “The game is totally inappropriate for my son! No one told me it was so violent when I bought it!”

    Cashier: “I clearly remember you buying it. You had your son with you, who looked to be about 10 years old. I told you it has sex, killing, torture, crime, and drugs in it. I advised you several times not to buy it. You even told me it was for you, not your son. My guess is that the boy’s mother threw a fit after seeing the game and now you are taking it out on me. You will not get your money back. Ever. And you are not welcome in my store anymore.”

    Customer: “Look here, you little—”

    (I have walked to stand behind the customer. I cough and he turns to me and goes pale. He leaves without saying a word.)

    Cashier: “Thanks, man!”

    Me: “No problem, I love the way you handled him. Maybe a little provocative but he deserved every minute of it.”

    Cashier: “He was a complete a**hole when he bought the game, and the minute I saw him today I guessed what his issue was. Customers like that are the reason I started my own store. I hate to see bullies get special treatment for acting threatening and being difficult, while all the nice customers wait. I try to be as slow and difficult as possible to customers like him. Honestly, their business is not worth it.”

    (The store is still thriving. I guess there are still enough nice customers out there!)

    Related:
    Grand Theft Innocence, Part 7
    Grand Theft Innocence, Part 6
    Grand Theft Innocence, Part 5
    Grand Theft Innocence, Part 4
    Grand Theft Innocence, Part 3
    Grand Theft Innocence, Part 2
    Grand Theft Innocence

    Double Blush

    | AZ, USA | At The Checkout, Bizarre

    (I’m working near the fitting rooms in a department store one afternoon when an older lady approaches me.)

    Older Lady: “Hello, dear!”

    Me: “Hello! Is there anything I can help you with today?”

    Older Lady: “I was just wondering, dear: do you have naturally rosy cheeks?”

    Me: “Oh! Yes, I do.”

    Older Lady: “Oh, you’re so lucky! That means you don’t have to wear blush.”

    Me: “Aww, thank you!”

    (With a smile on her face, the older lady leaves. I wish her a nice day as she goes. Just a few seconds later, a completely different older lady appears out from between the clothes racks. She looks rather excited.)

    Older Lady #2: “Oh, hello there, sweetie! I was just wondering: do you have naturally rosy cheeks?”

    Me: “Um… Yes? Yes, I do.”

    Older Lady #2: “Oh, you’re so lucky! That means you don’t have to wear blush!”

    Me: “…”

    A Price For The Devil To Pay, Part 3

    | Ocean, NJ, USA | At The Checkout, Money, Religion

    (It’s Friday the 13th. I’m ringing up some college-age students.)

    Me: “Your total is $6.66.”

    Customer: “Oh, no! And it’s Friday the 13th!”

    Me: “No, no. It’s okay! You’re getting rid of the six sixty-six, not accepting it. It’d only be bad luck if you were getting it as change.”

    Customer: *looking very relieved* “Okay… That sounds right. But what about you?”

    Me: “I’ll be okay. It sounds strange, but 13 is actually a lucky number for me.”

    (I ring her up and move on to her friend. By sheer chance, the total is $13.34, and I immediately see where this is going when she hands me a $20 bill.)

    Me: “Uh. Your change is… $6.66.”

    (She looked very uncomfortable as she took her change, and her friends teased her all the way out the door.)

    Related:
    A Price For The Devil To Pay, Part 2
    A Price For The Devil To Pay

    A Sign Of Things To Come

    | New Zealand | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Technology

    (I’m on my very first day of in-store training, going over the basics of what is done. My boss mentions that no matter how big or how close to your heads the signs are, customers will always ask us something that’s written on the signs.)

    Me: “They can’t really be that dense. Can they?”

    Boss: “You’d be surprised.”

    (A customer comes up to the counter just then and my boss takes over, as I don’t know my job well enough to serve yet.)

    Customer: “Hi. Can I put down a deposit for [game]?”

    Boss: “Sure thing!”

    Customer: “Great! When does it come out?”

    (There is a poster for this game literally ten centimeters to the right of his head hanging from the ceiling with the release date on it in emboldened letters, just like each of the ten posters for this game hung throughout the store.)

    Boss: “[Date].”

    Customer: “Oh, cool. Also, how much is [upcoming major console]?”

    (There is a very large wall poster for this console directly behind him, amidst a display of boxes for this console that also has the price in very large numbers.)

    Boss: “Console will be [price], though we’ve pre-sold out of the first two shipments.”

    Customer: “Okay, thanks a bunch!” *leaves*

    Me: “… That did not just happen.”

    Boss: “Get used to it. It happens.”

    Calculated Customer Service

    | USA | At The Checkout, Math & Science

    (I have just finished processing a customer’s transaction. Her total comes up to $22 and some change. She gives me a $50 bill. I have already typed in $50 as a cash payment. Once my till opens, she stops me.)

    Customer: “Okay, wait. Can I give you $2? I just don’t want to get a bunch of change back. This way, I’ll get $30 back.”

    Me: “Okay. Sure.”

    (I add in the $2, give her $30 back and then 21 cents, which is what the register tells me I should give her.)

    Customer: “Wow! That was really fast! You must be really smart! You calculated that all by yourself!”

    Me: “Well, it wasn’t too difficult! I just added the $2, so I ended up giving you $30 back, and then I gave you back 21 cents, which was what the computer screen told me to give you back in the first place.”

    Customer: “Wow! Okay!”

    (She walks away, takes her purchase with her and leaves the store, amazed at my ‘fast’ calculation.)


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