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!

A Sign That It Will Be OK

| ME, USA | At The Checkout, Awesome Customers, Top

(I’ve just gotten off a really long, rough shift and decide to treat myself with some ice cream from a shop that’s just opened for the season. I order a small cone and hold out my debit card for the cashier to take while checking my phone.)

Cashier: “Oh. Um… I’m sorry, but we don’t accept cards.”

Me: *looking up* “Oh, really?”

(As I look up, I see just above the cashier’s head a 2x3ft neon pink sign with large, bold letters that say, “No cards accepted. Sorry for any inconvenience”. I glance around and see no less than three more large, bright signs all saying some variation of the pink one.)

Me: *laughing* “Oh, my god, I am so sorry. I’ve always sworn to myself I wouldn’t be one of THOSE customers, you know? Ah, golly, here, lemme run to my car and get some cash. I’m so sorry.”

(After I pay, the girl hands me a medium cone. I’m about to go back to the counter and tell her she gave me a larger size than I wanted when I see some writing on the napkin wrapped around the cone.)

Note On Napkin: “Thank you for not being one of THOSE customers! Here’s to summer. Hope to see you again!”

Misread The Situation

| FL, USA | At The Checkout, Language & Words

(I work on the front end of a well-known pharmacy as a cashier. We have four registers at the front, and only one is active right now, #3. There are signs on the other registers directing the customer to #3, with a bell included on #3 that says ‘please ring for service.’ I’m stocking an aisle, when a woman walks up to register #1.)

Me: “Ma’am, I’ll be right there to help you. Could you please go to register #3?”

Customer: “Sure, no problem.”

(I walk up behind the counter, logging onto register #3, while the woman has her items set out on register #4.)

Me: “Ma’am, could I help you at this register, please?”

Customer: “Oh, right. I guess it would help if I could read.”

Me: “Well, that’s not really my judgment to make.”

(The woman goes silent for the rest of the transaction. I ring her up, hand her her receipt, and ask if there’s anything else I can help her with.)

Customer: “No, but I certainly hope you’re nicer to your next customer!”

Driving Away Illegal Sales

| TX, USA | At The Checkout, Criminal/Illegal

(At my store, we’re required to check a customer’s ID with alcohol purchases, no matter how old the customer looks. If a manager catches us not checking, we can be fired. A customer comes through my checkout with a bottle of wine.)

Me: “Hello, ma’am. May I see your ID with the wine?”

Customer: “What? No. I left it in the car.”

Me: “Oh, I’m sorry. I actually have to see it to scan the wine. I won’t be able to sell it without an ID.”

Customer: “Are you serious? I’m clearly old enough.”

Me: “I’m really sorry, but it’s policy. I could be in trouble if I don’t, or even fired.”

Customer: “That’s not my problem. Ring it up or call your manager.”

(I call the manager. She comes over, and I explain.)

Customer: “Tell her to just sell me my wine instead of wasting my time.”

Manager: “Actually, ma’am, she’s correct. We have to see an ID with all alcohol purchases. You said you have it in your car?”

Customer: “I’m not walking all the way out to my car just because of your stupid rule!”

Manager: “I won’t be able to allow this alcohol sale, then.”

Customer: “Fine! Leave it off, then! I’ll just get the rest of my stuff!”

(She pays and leaves, and in case she changes her mind, I hold the wine at my register for about 20 minutes. Finally I decide to send it to customer service, where merchandise is gathered to be put back on the shelves. About 10 minutes after that, the customer returns.)

Customer: “You were the one who took my wine before, right? I want to buy it now.”

Me: “I don’t have it here anymore, but I’ll have the manager bring it right back for you.”

Customer: “Why not?!”

Me: “You said you had your ID in your car, so I thought if you were going to come back for it, it would only take a few minutes. I waited a while before putting it back.”

(The customer huffs and taps her foot until the manager gets back, and since a line is forming behind her, the manager offers to take her to the next register over.)

Manager: “And I’ll need to see your ID with this.”

Customer: “I can’t believe you have such a stupid policy! I had to drive all the way home to get this and all the way back here for one bottle of wine!”

(The kicker? The ID she had to drive home for was her driver’s license.)

Racism Needs To Check Out

| TX, USA | At The Checkout, Bigotry, Politics

(I’m a cashier on an extremely hot Saturday afternoon in the bowels of Texas. I am bagging a customer’s goods.)

Customer: “You’re doing it wrong!”

Me: “Oh, so sorry! I’ll put these in a separate bag if you like.”

Customer: “God, you let one of them become president and the rest of you quit trying.”

Me: *biting my tongue* “Do you need help getting these into the cart, ma’am?”

Customer: “What color are you, anyway?”

(I hit the switch on the lights and called my manager over, who promptly checked the woman out. The customer vowed to visit the ‘white’ store next time.)

Committing Battery With Battery

| LA, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Wild & Unruly

(I work in an appliance parts store. In order to complete a transaction, we must fill out the name and phone number fields on the invoice. There is no way to continue if they are left blank. A man comes in and places a small pack of batteries on the counter.)

Me: “Is that all you need, sir?”

Customer: “Yep.”

Me: *starts typing* “Okay, the price is [price] plus tax. Can I get your name?”

Customer: “You don’t need that! I’m just getting batteries!”

Me: “Actually, sir, I have to—”

Customer: *THROWS the pack of batteries at me* “Keep your d*** part! You don’t need to know my name!”

Me: *catches the pack* “Sir, you don’t have to give me YOUR name. I just have to fill in a name or I can’t complete the transaction.”

Customer: “Okay, okay, fine…” *obviously making something up* “Sam Jones! This is ridiculous. Why do you people always want all kinds of information?”

Me: “I suppose it would be pointless for me to ask you for a phone number, right?”

Customer: *SIGH*

Me: “It’s fine, I’ll use our store number.”

Customer: “What do you people need all that for?! Its bull—”

Me: “The number is so that we can look up your invoice if there is a problem with your purchase.”

Customer: “I don’t need that! It’s just batteries!” *continues to grumble as I finish the transaction*

Me: “Okay, your total with tax is [total].”

Customer: *calmed down some* “Okay. Listen, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to get all ugly. It’s just I don’t like giving out all sorts of private information. I apologize.”

Me: “Thank you. I didn’t think you really needed to throw the batteries at me.”

Customer: “Oh, of course not. I’m so sorry.”

(He pays me and I give him his receipt.)

Customer: “You have a nice day now. And you know, that information stuff should really be optional. Most people aren’t ever gonna need you to pull up their invoice.”

Me: “Honestly, sir, most people really don’t have a problem with telling me their name.”

(He sputtered a bit, turned and left in a huff. I would have hated to have seen his reaction if he had paid with a credit card and I asked for his ID!)

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