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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!

    H2Slow, Part 5

    | MI, USA | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Money

    (Over the span of a month there are several university students going through orientation. We have a deal for the orientation groups in which they receive coupons for our theater, one of which is a deal for concessions. They get a popcorn, a drink, and a candy for $7. This is clearly stated on the coupon, and yet many of the students are confused about how it works.)

    Customer: “I just want a bottled water.”

    Coworker: “All right, that’ll be $2.50.”

    Customer: “But I have this coupon and I just want a water.”

    Coworker: “Right, so that will be $2.50.”

    Customer: “But I got this coupon for free.”

    Coworker: “Even if you used the deal on the coupon you would still owe me money, but since you are just getting water it will be $2.50 instead of $7.”

    Customer: “But I got this free coupon.”

    Coworker: “You still owe me money.”

    Customer: “But I just want a bottled water. I don’t want popcorn.”

    Coworker: *turning to my manager* “I really don’t think it should be this difficult to understand.”

    (The girl still didn’t understand but she paid for her water. Despite this conversation the other students were still confused as well.)

    Related:
    H2Slow, Part 4
    H2Slow, Part 3
    H2Slow, Part 2

    A Day For A Dollar

    | OR, USA | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests, Money

    (I’m grocery shopping at the local discount store. I pick the line that looks shortest, and set my basket down. The fairly well-off looking woman in front of me has apparently been accidentally overcharged a dollar, due to the ancient cash registers requiring the cashier to key in the amount to charge someone’s card.)

    Woman: *angrily* “You do realize that this refund will take three days to go through? Three days I have to wait for my money! Couldn’t you just give me a dollar?!”

    (At this point, it’s obvious that the woman’s been going off like this for some time. The manager is trying to calm her down while showing the cashier how to run the return. The poor cashier looks like he’s looking for a hole to crawl into and die in.)

    Me: “You know, if you’re in such bad financial straits that being out a dollar for three days is going to completely wreck your budget, I could give you your dollar. I’m unemployed, on food stamps, and having to scrounge recyclables to return for cash to fill my gas tank, but if you’re making such a fuss over being out a dollar for three days, you’re obviously poorer than me.” *holds out a dollar bill*

    (The woman goes beet red and signs the return in silence, then darts out to her car.)

    Cashier: “Thanks, ma’am, you’re awesome.” *fistbumps me*

    The Sweetest Thing Wasn’t The Candy

    | USA | At The Checkout, Awesome Customers, Money

    (The ice cream shop I work at also sells candy in a separate section. Since I’m working alone, I’ve closed the candy section. A girl who looks about nine comes in.)

    Girl: “Excuse me, could I go in the candy spot?”

    Me: “Sure.”

    (I open the section and let her wander around. I notice she keeps approaching the candy bars, then backing away looking disappointed.)

    Me: “Are you looking for something special?”

    Girl: *shyly* “I only have this much…”

    (She holds out her hand, revealing about twenty cents in nickels and pennies.)

    Me: “Why don’t you look at the bulk bins? We sell that candy by the weight, so you can probably get something from there.”

    (She heads to the bins I’m pointing at and carefully counts out a few candies to weigh.)

    Me: “Okay, that’s going to be fourteen cents. Do you want to get a few more?”

    Girl: “Nope, that’s just enough!”

    (She handed me the money, but still had a few cents in her hand. As she took the bag from me, she dropped the remaining change in the tip jar and scurried out. She gave up a little extra candy to give me a tip. It was far from my largest tip, but it was my favorite.)

    Fixing For A Fixing

    | London, England, UK | At The Checkout, Awesome Customers, Bigotry, Family & Kids

    (In my local supermarket, there’s a very nice chap who usually works behind the tobacco counter. I have no idea what his preference is, but he’s obviously flamboyant and camp. He’s also always very friendly and helpful to everyone.)

    Angry Customer: “God, that f****** [homophobic slur] is so slow!”

    (Everyone else in the queue turns in astonishment, not sure that they just heard that. The angry customer continues ranting:)

    Angry Customer: “Those d*** gays; they’re everywhere! I don’t know what’s wrong with—OW! OW!”

    (We all look down to see a five year old standing there, kicking the ranting guy hard in the shins, repeatedly.)

    Child: “You’re—” *kick* “—not—” *kick* “—a—” *kick* “—nice—” *kick* “—man—” *kick*

    (The angry customer grabs the child, to the complete shock of everyone watching, at which point he is tackled by several people.)

    Angry Customer: “I have my rights! I have been assaulted!”

    (The police arrive very quickly, and calm the situation.)

    Policeman: *to angry customer* “Well, we’ve heard from all these people that you grabbed and then tried to hit that little girl. Is that true?”

    Angry Customer: “I demand you arrest her! She attacked me! She’s guilty of assault!”

    Policeman: “She’s five! She can’t legally commit any crime. You, on the other hand, have assaulted a small child and are now under arrest.”

    (The best bit of the entire story? Various people offered to buy the little girl some sweets.)

    Little Girl: “No! I don’t want sweets. I want this!”

    (She has a cheap 50-piece toolset with screwdrivers, pliers, and so-on. We confirm with her mum that it is okay to buy that for her at that age.)

    Mum: “Sure, why not? You’ve already seen that she likes fixing things.”

    Methadone And Done

    | UK | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests

    (I work behind the chemist counter and a lot of addicts come in to get their methadone. This one turns up five minutes before closing.)

    Customer: “Here you go.” *hands over her prescription*

    Me: “Thanks, I’ll just go get the pharmacist for you.”

    (Whilst she’s waiting she notices the slides we used to detach our counter-caches which store all of the notes.)

    Customer: “What are those?”

    Colleague: “Those get the counter-caches off for us, for cashing up.”

    (The customer picks one up and starts playing with it.)

    Me: “The pharmacist will be right out.”

    Customer: “No problem. In the meantime I’d like one of these.” *hands me the slide for the counter-caches*

    Me: *thinking she’s joking* “Um, sorry, I don’t think that’s allowed.”

    Customer: “Don’t laugh at me! GIVE ME THE F****** COUNTER THING!”

    (It escalated from there. She refused to leave the shop or take her methadone, and we had to call the police and stand there whilst she trashed the store. We ended up staying an hour late to clean it all up. The pharmacist rang her doctor and asked for her to be sent somewhere else for her methadone and possibly be given a stronger dose.)

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