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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!

    Of Percents And No Sense

    | Canada | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Extra Stupid, Money

    (Our customer service areas double as our cashes, so it’s common to ring in one customer only to walk with the next customer to go pick out jeans or other items. One day an older woman comes to my station and looks disappointed.)

    Me: *holding her items* “Hello there, ma’am. Did you find everything you were looking for today?”

    Customer: “No. I wanted to find a coat for my husband but none of the styles here are right for him. He wants a fall jacket not a winter one.”

    Me: “Oh, I see. You’re right, all the jackets that we have out now are made more for winter since it’s October and everyone is looking for winter clothes. But if you’d like, before I ring these in, you can look over at [New Clothing Brand] and see if they have anything? They feature more high-end looks and I’m pretty sure there are some lighter jackets mixed in there.”

    Customer: “Hmm…”

    Me: “Most of the items of that brand are on sale for 30% off right now. I’m not sure if the jackets are on sale but if you want you can see if there’s one you like and I can see if there are any discounts on it?”

    Customer: “Oh, okay. Thank you! I’ll go have a look, thank you.”

    (The customer goes over to the section I mention and looks around; a few moments later she comes back with a light jacket.)

    Me: “Oh, it looks like you found one.”

    Customer: “I did. It’s almost exactly what he wants. Thank you for mentioning it.”

    (I take the coat to scan the barcode and notice the sticker on the tag. The sticker is our way of showing clearance items which have been marked down 40%.)

    Me: “It looks like you found one of the clearance jackets, because it’s already been reduced 40%, I can’t take 30% off of it, but 40% is still better than 30%.”

    Customer: “But you said everything was 30% off?”

    Me: “I’m sorry. I mentioned that most things were 30% off, but your jacket is already 40% off, so it’s a better deal.”

    Customer: “Well, now, that’s not what you told me. You said it would be 30% off!”

    (The customer continues to argue this back and forth for a while, with me offering to look for one that wasn’t clearance (but more expensive), but the customer refuses and leaves the coat behind. I go on my break soon after, feeling bummed that I wasn’t able to find the woman a gift for her husband. When I come back my coworker pulls me aside.)

    Coworker: “Your lady came back.”

    Me: “The one who wanted the coat? Why?”

    Coworker: “She came and demanded that she get the discount. She said that the signs said 30% off so she was getting it discounted.”

    Me: “But it says ‘unless already reduced…’ and it was already 40% off.”

    Coworker: “I know, but she put up such a fuss that the manager gave it to her. Then she said the manager was a big baby!”

    Me: “So she got a high-end coat for 70% off?”

    Coworker: “Yup.”

    Me: “… Only six more hours to go.”

    The Art Of Ordering Without Ordering

    | Olympia, WA, USA | At The Checkout, Bizarre, Extra Stupid, Food & Drink

    (I work in a restaurant and we have three kinds of shakes available: vanilla, strawberry and chocolate.)

    Me: “What can I get for you today?”

    Customer: “I would like a large chocolate shake, but without the chocolate.”

    Me: “You mean; you want a vanilla shake?”

    Customer: “Did I say I wanted a f****** vanilla shake? I said I want a CHOCOLATE SHAKE WITHOUT THE CHOCOLATE! Are you new or something?”

    Me: “No, I’ve been working here for six months. How do I make a chocolate shake without the chocolate?”

    Customer: “Ah, so, you’re f****** stupid?! You weren’t trained at all. I WANT A CHOCOLATE SHAKE WITHOUT THE CHOCOLATE, YOU UNEDUCATED LITTLE S***! My three-year-old could do your job better!”

    Me: “Okay, your total is $2.50.”

    (Customer throws the money on the table.)

    Customer: “That’s what I thought. I just have to repeat myself to you idiots.”

    (I made her a vanilla shake and handed it to her. She drank it at the table and didn’t complain at all about it.)

    Nothing To Tip Him Off

    | Colorado Springs, CO, USA | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Language & Words

    (My coworker and I are working at a gas station while our manager is working in the back room. A customer comes up to the register.)

    Customer: “Can I get a wine (tobacco product)?”

    (Because these products come in either wood tip or plastic tip, we always ask the customer which they would like if they don’t specify.)

    Coworker: “Wood or plastic tip?”

    Customer: “Wine.”

    Coworker: “Yes. Wood or plastic?”

    Customer: “WINE.”

    Coworker: “WOOD or PLASTIC?”

    (This continues on for another minute or two until they are near shouting at each other, despite my coworker acknowledging the request for wine-flavor. My manager comes around the corner with her phone out.)

    Manager: “Sir, she’s asking you very clearly which kind of wine (tobacco product) you would like: one with a wood tip, or one with a plastic tip.”

    (The customer has a dumbfounded look for a moment, and then slaps his hand to his forehead in embarrassment.)

    Customer: “OH! Oh, my goodness. I’m SO sorry! Plastic tip, please!”

    (We all start laughing as my coworker shakes her head and begins checking the man out. Before he leaves, he looks at my manager, who is still standing next to me, giggling.)

    Customer: “Why did you come out with your phone out, anyways?”

    Manager: “Oh, because it was just too perfect! I had to get it on video or no one would ever believe it really happened!”

    (She had recorded the exchange, and has since showed it to some of my other coworkers who couldn’t believe that this even happened. The man still comes in and has since remembered to specify which kind of tip he would like on his product.)

    Eternal Persistence Is The Price Of Pie

    | Melbourne, VIC, Australia | At The Checkout, Food & Drink

    Customer: “Can I have the [flavor] pie?”

    Me: “Sure! Would you like sauce with that?”

    Customer: “And it’s to eat-in please.”

    Me: “Sure. Do you need tomato sauce?”

    Customer: “I’ll also have a [coffee] with that.”

    Me: “I’ll add that to your order. Do you need tomato sauce for the pie?”

    Customer: “Make sure its skinny milk! And I’ll also have a slice of cake.”

    Me: *giving up* “Sure. Was there anything else I can get you today?”

    Customer: “No, thanks. That’s all.”

    Me: “Okay, so that comes to [total]. Here’s your table number.”

    Customer: *hands over money but doesn’t move*

    Me: “Um, if you’d like to take the table number, ma’am, we’ll bring everything out for you.”

    Customer: “Well, can I get some sauce first?”

    Bad Grandpa

    | TX, USA | At The Checkout, Rude & Risque, Theme Of The Month, Tourists/Travel

    (I am a female cashier and recently turned 21. I have worked at this store since I was 17 and am known for being a bit of a goody-goody with the other staff and regulars. A regular customer and I are discussing how much I would love to travel some day, with him telling me about his experiences.)

    Customer #1: “It isn’t so bad. You just backpack it. Go to a town, get a job for a while, and then move on when you’ve saved up again. And most of Europe speaks English, so it’s not like you have to learn every language along the way. Just a few phrases here and there.”

    Me: “I suppose. I guess I’d just be nervous to do it alone, y’know?”

    Customer #1: “Oh, yeah. The whole girl thing. I suppose you wouldn’t want to travel alone?”

    Me: “Yeah. Hostel horror stories, right?”

    Customer #1: “Well, don’t let it stop you. Find a friend or something. A girl friend, if that helps.”

    Me: “Maybe!”

    Customer #1: “Good luck with that! Next time I’m here, I want to hear you’ve bought a one-way plane ticket!”

    Me: “Hah! Yeah, right. Thanks! Have a great night!”

    (As the first customer heads off, the customer after him steps forward. He is a small, elderly man with a shaved head, round frame glasses, gold chains around his neck, large rings and a Hawaiian shirt. He isn’t a regular and I’ve never seen him before.)

    Customer #2: “I heard you talking about travelling around Europe.”

    Me: “Oh, yeah. It’ll probably never happen, though.”

    Customer #2: “Yes, yes. Travel can be scary.”

    Me: “And expensive. Maybe after I graduate.”

    Customer #2: “Are you eighteen?”

    Me: “Excuse me?”

    Customer #2: “Are you eighteen? You said after you graduate. High school?”

    Me: “Oh. No. I’m …yeah.”

    Customer #2: “Well. Perfect. You look so young, I wasn’t sure!”

    (He starts writing his name on the back of a business card. The other side has a generic sounding company name in hot pink, with a woman’s first name, phone number and email address.)

    Customer #2: “My friend, [Name On Business Card], can help you out. She makes good money…” *he winks* “…on the internet.”

    Me: “Oh. That’s. Okay. I’ve got a job.”

    (I start checking faster, feeling suddenly very awkward.)

    Customer #2: “No really! It’s very lucrative. Very discrete.”

    Me: “…”

    Customer #2: “You just tell her that [Customer #2] referred you, okay?”

    (He refuses to leave without putting the card in my hand when I give him the receipt. My bagger hands him his items and the customer leaves. The bagger approaches me as I’m tossing the card in the garbage under my register.)

    Bagger: “Dude, did you just get hit on by a sleazy grandpa?”

    Me: “Actually, I think he was soliciting me to make internet porn.”

    Bagger: “… I can’t decide if that’s worse or not.”

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