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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!

    If A Tree Falls In A Dollar Store…

    | OK, USA | At The Checkout, Bizarre

    (I work in a dollar store that has a lot of varying inventory. It’s not uncommon for people to come in and ask me if we have received a particular item in on the truck.)

    Me: “Did you find everything you were looking for today?”

    Customer: “Yes I did. I love coming in here and seeing all the new stuff you get. But I have a question.”

    Me: “Sure, if I can’t answer it I’m sure I can find someone who can.”

    Customer: “If I’m looking for something and I can’t find it, is it free?”

    Me: “I would suppose so. If we don’t have it, I can’t charge you for buying it.”

    Customer: “So if I look around and I do find it?”

    Me: “Then you found it and it’s no longer free.”

    (The customer thinks for a second while I finish ringing him up, pays, and turns back to me as he’s walking out.)

    Customer: “You win this round; can I go home now?”

    Me: “I assume so; I’m not stopping you.”

    (The customer walks out happy as can be.)

    War On Terrible Customers

    | CA, USA | At The Checkout, Food & Drink, Military

    (My husband and I are waiting in line. There is a customer in front of us that is finishing up her transaction, and a younger customer in the line behind us. The customer cashes out but then tells us it will be just one more minute since she has to ring up some other items in a separate transaction.)

    Younger Customer: “Oh my God, lady! Just hurry up already! People have places to be you know!”

    Customer: *turning to speak to us* “I’m so sorry; I just needed to ring my personal items up separately. You see, I volunteer to send care packages to our troops overseas and need to keep the donated items separate from my personal stuff.”

    My Husband: “Oh, no problem. It’s really awesome of you to do that! Take your time.”

    Customer: “I figure it’s the least I could do in exchange for everything they do for us.”

    (By this point, the younger girl behind us starts groaning again and I turn around and shoot her a dirty look. She turns a little red and looks away.)

    Customer: *after finishing her last transaction* “Oh dear, I forgot to scan these last few items. Oh well, I guess these will just have to be put back. I’m so sorry for the inconvenience!”

    My Husband: “Here, let us pay for those. Just stick them with our stuff.”

    Customer: “Oh, okay, thank you! Here you go. Have a wonderful evening.”

    (We put the items through on our order and just as the last one is scanned, the customer starts to walk away.)

    Me: “Ma’am, wait! Don’t forget about these!”

    Customer: “Oh, you guys are buying them for the care packages? I thought you were just going to keep them for yourself so they wouldn’t have to be put back. Oh my goodness, that is just the nicest thing!” *starts welling up* “You didn’t have to do that. You are such good people. Thank you so much! I know they will be appreciated!”

    (At this point, the customer comes back and gives us a hug before walking off. The younger customer starts unloading her cart full of stuff on the belt, but as soon as our transaction is finished, the checker decides to close the lane, forcing her to go stand in a line with about 10 other people waiting. Serves her right!)

    Can’t Get A Handle On The Situation

    | NB, Canada | At The Checkout, Language & Words

    (We sell brooms and mops, but we also sell a variety of replacement broom handles and broom and mop heads, all of which fit with each other. I get called to the cash for customer service.)

    Customer: *in French* “Yes, my father was in here yesterday and bought me five mop handles, but he never brought the mop heads.”

    (I figure he left them behind at the cash, and the customer has come to retrieve them. She hands me her receipt, and I see he only paid for the mop handles, not the heads. She cuts me off before I can speak.)

    Customer: “Yes, so I can’t really do much without the mop heads you know. Somebody should have told him. I’m going to need the mop heads.”

    (I realize that the customer thinks they come together, and wants me to correct ‘our mistake.’ She cuts me off again, speaking to her friend in French.)

    Customer: *in French* “I don’t think this girl understands a word I’m saying. This store is unbelievable. Their manager doesn’t even know what I’m talking about. I should—”

    Me: *in perfect French* “Yes, ma’am, I understand perfectly. Your father came in yesterday and bought you five mop handles, but forgot to buy mop heads to go with them. That is unfortunate, given that you had to come back today to buy them. However, as they are sold separately and do not come together, and customers often buy one or the other as replacements, my cashiers would have had no reason to believe that he had forgotten to pick them up or remind him. If you would like to buy some mop heads, I can show you exactly where they are; just follow me.”

    (The customer turns bright red, and her friend turns away trying to hide her laughter.)

    Customer: “Oh, uh… no it’s okay, thank you. I’ll find them myself. Thank you.”

    (The customer practically runs away to the cleaning department, pays for her mop heads without ever making eye contact with anybody, and leaves quickly. I’ve never seen her since.)

    Putting The Sham Into Shampoo

    | Tinley Park, IL, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Crazy Requests, Money, Top

    (I work at a 24-hour store as a cashier. From 7-8 am I am the only cashier on duty. A customer has just dumped two baskets FULL of travel size shampoos, conditioners, body washes, and sunscreens on the belt.)

    Me: “Good morning, ma’am.”

    Customer: “Yeah, yeah. Make sure you put everything in separate bags.”

    (I look at literally hundreds of mini bottles on the belt and my eyes bug out.)

    Me: “You mean all the shampoos in one bag, and all the conditioners in one bag?”

    Customer: “Of course! You’re not that bright are you? No wonder you get s*** shifts at a crap place like this.”

    (At this point, another customer gets in line behind her and I can see his eyes bug out at all of the items as I have to check.)

    Me: “Alright, ma’am. That’s $98.74.”

    (The customer starts digging through her purse to find her wallet.)

    Customer: “I don’t have my wallet, so I don’t have my card.”

    Me: “Do you have cash or any other way to pay for the items?”

    Customer: “Do you not listen?! God you’re dumb! I don’t have anything!”

    Me: “Well, give me a moment. I have to have my manager come over and void out the order.”

    Customer: “You really should be nicer to your customers when your manager is around.”

    (My manager comes up and voids the order, all the while hearing this customer bad mouth me.)

    Other Customer In Line: “Lady, she’s just doing her job and she’s doing it rather well. I would have smacked you by now if you had talked to me that way. And if there is anyone dumb here, ma’am, it would be you who couldn’t even remember to bring your own wallet to the store with you.”

    Manager: *to the first customer* “I’ve voided the order, but I will keep all of it at customer service for you today so you can come back and get it later and not have to wait in line again.”

    (The customer gives the other customer in line behind her the finger, and huffs before leaving. My manager turns to the other customer in line.)

    Manager: “So, how big of a discount would you like today, sir?”

    Other Customer In Line: “Just my membership card thanks!” *to me* “You did good!” *grabs a chocolate bar from one of the racks* “Here, have this on me!”

    Been Awake For A Maternity

    | Bergen, Norway | At The Checkout, Family & Kids, Health & Body, Love/Romance, Top

    (A scruffy looking customer comes into the store. He is wearing his pajamas, bright colored running shoes, and a scarf. He looks like he has not slept for weeks. He walks around the store for five minutes before coming to the line at the register. It is just after midnight.)

    Me: “Good evening, sir.”

    Scruffy Customer: *mumbles*

    (He has three items: anchovies, asparagus in a jar, and bacon-flavored chips.)

    Me: “Will with that be all, sir? Do you want a bag for your items?”

    Scruffy Customer: “No and yes, thank you.”

    (He reaches for his pocket and takes out his car keys, ruffles around other pockets to look for his wallet, and finds nothing. Something breaks inside of him. He puts a hand to cover his eyes and is starting to turn away from me.)

    Scruffy Customer: “I am sorry; she is going to kill me.”

    (He starts to walk out. Another customer in line speaks up.)

    Customer: “When is she due?”

    Scruffy Customer: “What?”

    Customer: “When is she due?”

    Scruffy Customer: “In three weeks or so. How did you know?”

    Customer: “Buying strange things in the middle of the night wearing pajamas. That is kind of a recipe for a guy who has a pregnant girl at home.”

    Scruffy Customer: “Yeah, I guess so.”

    (The scruffy customer starts to walk out again.)

    Customer: “Hey, go get your stuff on the counter. I will pay for you.” *to me* “How much is it?”

    Me: “Uhh… 76 kroner with my staff discount.”

    Customer: “Wow, anchovies, asparagus and bacon flavored chips. She has got it bad!”

    Scruffy Customer: “If it’s smelly, spicy or has a strange texture, she has to have it. I think she has tried everything in those categories. Except for shark meat, I think.”

    (The scruffy customer smiles, and the other customers at the register give out a laugh. He thanks the customer for paying, and tries to get his information to pay him back. The other customers there start to talk to him, give him advice and try to lift his spirits. He now has a four-month-old daughter, and does not look scruffy anymore!)


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