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  • Had It Up To Their Neck With Bad Customers
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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!

    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!)

    Honesty Is A Gift

    | WI, USA | At The Checkout, Awesome Customers, Family & Kids

    (I work at a small museum that has a proportionally small gift shop. A girl who looks to be about seven years old walks up to the checkout.)

    Me: “Hello, how may I help you today?”

    (The only thing she’s holding is a silly little fortune teller fish made of thin plastic that costs 50 cents. It should also be noted that she looks terrified yet determined.)

    Customer: “Hey, um, I actually wasn’t planning on buying anything, but I was looking at this fish thing and messing with it and then it ripped. And I don’t have any money with me. So… um…”

    Me: “Oh, that’s so sweet of you! I know plenty of people who would have just stuck that in their pockets and walked right out. You know what, I’ll take care of that for you, and I’ll even give you a free gift card for being so honest!”

    (The poor kid is so relieved it makes me laugh.)

    Customer: “Oh, thanks, ma’am! I was so scared!”

    Me: “No problem! It’s honest people like you that are going to go far in life! Have a good day, honey!”

    (Totally made my day!)

    Do As You’re Told Or You’re On Your Bike

    | USA | At The Checkout, Family & Kids, Themed Giveaway

    (A group of young kids comes into the store. One of them is running around, asking questions without paying attention to the answers, being messy, and generally being annoying. Also, the store is going to be shut down in a few weeks, which has understandably left all of us on edge.)

    Polite Kid: “I’d like this one, please.”

    Me: “Sure! That’ll be—”

    Rude Kid: “My friend wants this one!” *shoves another game and gift card into my face*

    Me: “Did you want to do this in the same transaction as this friend, or a different one?”

    Rude Kid: “Different one!”

    Me: “Then you’re going to have to wait.”

    Rude Kid: *turns to friend* “Oh, hear that? You gotta wait.”

    (I finish the transactions, and watch the kids mess around in the store.)

    Rude Kid: “Yeah, so, we’ll have to come back tomorrow. I’ll be loaded up again by then; I’m getting $20!”

    (The group starts to leave. Another customer comes in and approaches me.)

    Customer: “Hey, I wanted to let you know those bikes are blocking the door.”

    (I nod to the customer and turn to the kids who are heading for the door.)

    Me: “Hey, just so you know; next time you can’t leave your bikes there.”

    Rude Kid: “Not like it matters, since you’ll be shut down soon anyway.”

    Me: “Next time, we won’t sell you anything if you leave those bikes there. Use the bike rack, or don’t come in again.”

    (The rude kid finally shuts up and leaves quickly.)


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