October Theme Of The Month: Halloween!

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!

Ensuring A Lack Of Insuring

| WI, USA | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Health & Body, Money

Me: “Hi, how can I help you?”

Customer: “I would like to pick up my prescription.”

Me: “Okay, what is your last name?”

Customer: “[Name].”

Me: “I notice that we have not run insurance on this. Let me look into that.”

(I pull her up on the computer and notice we do not have any insurance information on file.)

Me: “We do not have insurance on file for you. Do you have insurance you would like us to bill?”

Customer: “Yes.”

(Usually the customer gets a card out so I give her some time, but she just stares at me waiting, so I ask:)

Me: “Do you have the card with you?”

Customer: “No.”

Me: “Right now this costs $89.75, but your insurance should bring that down. We will need the insurance information located on your card to bill them. Would you like some time to go get it?”

Customer: “It has never cost more than $5 before.”

Me: “Okay, hold on.”

(I look to see if we have another file for her that may have her insurance listed but none come up.)

Me: “I’m sorry we don’t have your insurance information. Have you filled with us or at another location? Or could it be under a different last name?”

Customer: “No.”

Me: *frustrated at this point* “Okay, then, there are a few options. You can find your insurance card and we can run it through, or you can pay the $89.75 and come back later with the insurance card for a refund. We have seven days to do a refund in store. After that we would have to send it to corporate and it could take several weeks.”

Customer: “”But it has never cost more than $5.”

Me: “I understand. I am sure the price will go down as soon as we get your insurance information. Would you like to go get your card?”

Customer: “I don’t have a card. I’ve never had a problem before.”

Me: “Where did you get your prescription last?”

Customer: “[Different pharmacy].”

Me: “We are not connected with them and cannot access their files.” *I give her the two options again*

Customer: “This is ridiculous; it should only be $5! You should have my insurance!”

Me: “Actually it is your responsibility to carry your insurance card. Most people carry them in their wallet.”

Customer: *walks away*

Coworker: “She must think your name tag says magician not technician.”

Self(ish) Checkout

| Jacksonville, FL, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior

(I am picking up my friend at the end of her shift. We both work at this retail store but I am off on this particular day. She is running self checkout which starts to close down at 10:00 pm. It is 10:30 pm and customers are finally understanding that self checkout is closed except for those who are slowly finishing their ring up process. A couple walk up to my friend after passing under the ropes that were put at the entrance of self checkout to block out customers.)

Guy: “Hey, we’ve only got, like, three items. Can we use this?”

Friend: “No, I’m sorry; self check-out closes at 10. These people are just finishing up.”

Guy: *getting agitated* “It’s just three d*** items. The lines are too long so we came here.”

(At this point the manager comes over to see why it is my friend is still here.)

Manager: “[Friend], didn’t your shift end at 10?”

Friend: “Yeah…”

Guy: “Your cashier has been rude as h***! I just have three d*** items and I want to use self checkout!”

Manager: “Fine, whatever. Just do it and don’t keep cursing. Self checkout closes at 10 pm every night.”

(The couple then proceed to begin checking out slowly.  It’s then 10:45 and they ring up alcohol so my friend goes over to check ID.)

Woman: “Why in the h*** you gotta be so rude?!”

(At this point I am beyond annoyed and my patience goes out the door.)

Me: “Maybe cause you two idiots have her staying almost an HOUR over just because you’re too d*** lazy to go to a regular line?! Seriously! It takes you 15 minutes to ring up THREE items?! How about this: why don’t you tell me where you work. I’ll come over the night before something big for you and keep you waiting for over an hour while I do everything to keep you from leaving?!”

(At this point the couple’s jaws drop and they continue the transaction without saying a word and rush out.)

Me: “About dang time.”

Incorrectly Prospecting Your Lack Of Prospects

, | London, England, UK | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Family & Kids, School

(I work in a fast food restaurant to earn some extra money while at university; I work at a branch quite far from my university in a popular shopping area so no one in my class knows. Most of the other people in my class are fairly well off and I don’t really fit in. I have colourful hair and three facial piercings. One day a girl from my class comes in with her mother and she notices me but doesn’t say anything as the mother steers her towards my station.)

Mother: “I’ve told you time and time again that you have to stay in education. You can’t just quit university because you’d rather spend time with your boyfriend.”

Me: “May I take your order?”

(The mother places order for them both and as I walk to fill the drinks I hear her say to her daughter.)

Mother: “If you drop out of university you’ll end up like that girl there, all filth and metal with no career or future prospects.”

Girl: “Actually, mum, she’s in my class and she works harder than most of us. She helps us all with our work if we get stuck and is really nice.”

(The mum was stunned into silence and I pretended not to have heard as I gave them their meal. The next day the girl asked if I wanted to go to a party with her!)

Customer Service People Aren’t People

| IL, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Theme Of The Month

(I’m waiting in line at a coffee shop. I’m on break, so I’m still in uniform. Someone behind me speaks up.)

Customer: “Excuse me! You know, you work here. You should really wait in the BACK of the line, and let us NORMAL, PAYING CUSTOMERS get our drinks!”

(I flinch. This mall is in a really ritzy neighborhood, and this is what I should have expected, but for some reason it startles me. I had had a bad day anyway, and I turn around to stammer out an apology… to find it’s one of our regulars, a woman who also works in the mall.)

Me: “I- I- I… I’m sorry…”

Customer: “Oh, my god, I’m sorry! I was joking! I really was! Do you really get people that do that?”

Me: *almost in tears* “Yes…”

Customer: “I am so sorry! Let me pay for your drink…”

Smile, And The Whole World Goes Crazy

| Toronto, ON, Canada | At The Checkout, Bizarre

(I’m in line at a grocery store. The cashier is a girl in her teens, and looks like she’s had a long night. She’s not rude or anything, just not particularly perky. She’s bagging the customer’s items.)

Customer: *leaning towards the cashier with a big creepy smile on her face* “You know, the smiles here are free!”

(The cashier’s eyes widen a little, but before she can decide if this woman is serious, the customer keeps going:)

Customer: “You know, I used to work as a cashier, and I know how hard it can be, but you just HAVE to keep smiling! Smiling is SO important in this job!”

(She smiles even wider, clearly pleased with herself and the ‘wisdom’ she’s imparted. She takes her bags, smiles EVEN WIDER, and skips off.)

Me: “I wonder if she knows that she stole that line from McDonald’s?”

Cashier: *dazed* “No, I think she thinks she came up with it. Thank god I’m off in five minutes!”

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