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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!

    Putting The Situation On To A Knife-Edge

    | Canada | At The Checkout, Criminal/Illegal, Top, Wild & Unruly

    (I am a customer at a party store, picking up a Halloween costume. The store sells not only costumes, but also toys, props, things for pranks, etc. As I’m getting ready to leave, a gruff-looking customer enters and marches up to the counter.)

    Customer: *pulls out a gun and aims it at the cashier* “Give me all the money or I’ll blow your f****** head off!”

    (Frightened, the cashier starts doing as told, while the other customers are shocked and unmoving. I recognize the gun as not real, but sadly the cashier does not. The customer isn’t paying attention to me. I sneak over to a shelf, pick up a certain item, and quietly remove it from its packaging while he keeps yelling. Eventually, I sneak up behind him.)

    Customer: “Hurry the f*** up! I don’t have all f****** d—”

    (I suddenly shove the stage knife I have unpackaged against his throat from behind.)

    Me: “Drop the gun or I swear to god I will slit your throat right here and now!”

    (Shaking, the man slowly puts the gun on the counter. I grab it with my free hand, just in case. The cashier calls the police, and when they arrive, she explains what happened to them. They arrest the man.)

    Me: “Hey. Before you take him away can I show him something?”

    Officer: “I don’t see why not.”

    (I hold up the fake knife, turn it, and plunge it into my stomach. The fake blade retracts into the handle and does nothing to me. I show him the knife again, and his eyes widen.)

    Me: *in a singsong tone* “Plastic!”

    (The customer was taken away looking both embarrassed and ticked off. The cashier let me keep the fake knife and gave me a discount on the costume I had come in to purchase. All in all, a good day!)

    Slow To Register, Part 2

    | OH, USA | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid

    (We have a self checkout section. Sometimes one of the units won’t take money and will only accept cards. When it happens we put up a bright lime neon green sign stating that. A customer comes up to one of these units, then rips the sign off because it was blocking the slot to put his money in.)

    Me: “Sir, the unit doesn’t take money.”

    Customer: “Where does it say that?”

    Me: “On the sign you just ripped down.”

    Customer: “I didn’t read it.”

    Me: “Clearly.”

    (I have to take the cash and use the register at the podium because the customer has no other way of paying. I put the bright lime neon green sign back up and then put another over the main screen saying ‘Beep Boop Beep Beep Is Robot For “Does Not Take Cash.”’)

    Related:
    Slow To Register

    This Diet Is Really Going Against The Grain

    | MN, USA | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests, Food & Drink, Theme Of The Month

    Customer: “Excuse me. You used to stock a drink in the cooler. It was tea. It had no carbs.”

    Me: “I’m sorry. We probably don’t have any more. Sometimes they cycle out drinks that don’t sell very well.”

    Customer: “It was tea. It had no carbs.”

    Me: “I think I know the one you’re thinking of. If it’s not in there, then we’re out. We have some iced tea brewed up if you would like to try that.”

    Customer: “How do I know that it doesn’t have carbs?”

    Me: “I brewed it myself. I can promise you that there are no carbs.”

    Customer: “I want the other tea! You know that soda in there has 33 carbs! You should really stock more options for customers who don’t want to have so many carbs.”

    Me: “I’d be happy to give you some of our iced tea, or some water.”

    Customer: “Ugh! I don’t want any of that. I want the old tea.”

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

    Customer: “Yes! I’ll have a large cookie.”

    Six Red Flags

    | TX, USA | At The Checkout, Criminal/Illegal, Liars & Scammers

    (Two customers come to my register with two baskets overflowing with groceries. They’re accompanied by four children between the ages of 4 and 11. The carts are loaded to overflowing with baby food and formula, diapers, expensive meats, cheese, beer, wine, sodas, and lots of frozen meals. They are extremely friendly and lay on the endearments quite heavily.)

    Me: “So, did you find everything okay tonight, folks?”

    Customer #1: “Oh, honey! Bless you! You bet we did, baby!”

    Customer #2: “Woooo! More than everything! Look at these steaks! These are gonna be great!”

    (The customers and their eldest two children load the first cart onto the belt. They take it, empty, to the end of my register to bag and load their groceries, since I don’t have a bagger. After several minutes, I finish ringing them up.)

    Me: “Okay. Your total comes to [large, triple digit sum]. How would you like to pay that today?”

    Customer #1: “By check. Let me write it up for you, honey.”

    (As the first customer writes the check, the rest of the group finishes packing the groceries. She finishes writing the check and hands it to me.)

    Me: “Okay, great. Can I see your ID to confirm a few details?”

    Customer #1: “Sure, honey. Sure.”

    (She opens her wallet and flips to the clear ID panel. The driver’s license inside looks really wrong.)

    Me: “Sorry. Do you mind if I remove the ID from the plastic to see it better?”

    Customer #1: “No, baby! Go ahead, sweetie! Help yourself!”

    Me: “Okay. Ah. Do you have another form of identification, ma’am?”

    Customer #1: “What’d you say, honey?”

    Me: “Another form of ID? A driver’s license or something?”

    Customer #1: “Honey, that IS my driver’s license.”

    Me: “Actually, no, ma’am. It’s a Six Flags ID. See? The back here says ‘not government issued ID’ and the ‘Texas’ holograms are just gold puff paint.”

    Customer #1: “I don’t know what you’re talking about. That right there IS my real ID, baby!”

    Me: “And your check has a few routing numbers scratched out—”

    (The customer suddenly snatches the check and ID out of my hands. The whole group bolts for the exit as I call for a manager. He commends me on catching them out and gets staff to put the items in the freezer for the time being. A few minutes later, I get a phone call on my register.)

    Me: “Hello. This is [Store Name], register 12. [My Name] speaking. How may I help you?”

    Cashier: “Hey, [My Name]. Can you get me [Assistant Manager]? I’ve got someone trying to pass a bogus check on gas and soda out here.”

    Me: “Does she have [Name] tattooed across her chest in a script font?”

    Cashier: “That’s her.”

    Me: “Stall her. Tell her the check’s jammed in the machine or something. I’m sending him out.”

    (I call the same assistant manager as before. The acting unit manager, loss prevention member, and the assistant manager book it out the door to the parking lot. By the time they arrive, the customer and her group had made a run for it, leaving the stolen check and fake ID behind. Police are called. We are questioned, and then told that the woman has no fewer than three warrants out for her arrest.)

    Not Acting Their Sunday Best

    | IN, USA | At The Checkout, Books & Reading, Crazy Requests, Religion

    (I work in a shop that exclusively sells Christian books, music, and church supplies. The store is, strangely, open on Sundays.)

    Me: “All set? Did you find everything you needed today?”

    Customer: “I did. Thank you.”

    (She places a large stack of items on the counter. I’m halfway through ringing them up when she speaks up.)

    Customer: “I can’t believe you’re open on Sundays.”

    Me: “The owner believes it’s convenient for customers who can’t make it during the week, so it’s no hassle.”

    Customer: “You shouldn’t be open! This is the Lord’s day!”

    Me: “We do have reduced hours on Sundays so the employees can attend church. I came straight to work from a service at [local church] this morning.”

    Customer: “No! You should be closed today in honor of the Lord’s day!”

    Me: “Ma’am, if we were closed today, how would you get these things you’re buying right now?”

    (The customer blinks in surprise and stares at her purchases. Then she scowls and thrusts a credit card at me.)

    Customer: “It doesn’t matter! You should be closed on Sundays! Now do your job and ring me up!”


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