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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!

    Wiggled Out Of That One

    | West Chester, PA, USA | At The Checkout, Bizarre

    (I am the stupid customer in this one. I have just bought a wig from a friend for a costume I am working on and am wearing it to break it in and get used to the feel. I am also wearing contacts, but keep my glasses in my pocket in case the contacts begin to irritate me. I go to a local corner store for a pack of cigarettes.)

    Cashier: “May I see your ID?”

    Me: (*gives ID*)

    Cashier: “…um. Sir, this isn’t you.”

    Me: “What do you mean it’s– Oh, s***. One moment.”

    (I remove the wig and put on my glasses.)

    Me: “Better?”

    Cashier: (*confused*) “I, um… Sure, that’s a match.”

    Time Waits For No Chinaman

    | TX, USA | At The Checkout, Bizarre, Math & Science, Time

    (An older customer approaches my cash register.)

    Customer: “Did you know that all the reality TV shows you watch today are 35 years old?”

    (I look up to see if he was joking as some people with odd senses of humor come in my store. He isn’t.)

    Customer: “Yeah! Five years ago I created a virus that turned all the TV transponder clocks back 50 years to 2008. At my old house, I received a TV station from China that was all in English and they said that the year was 2100. If you believe that the year is actually 2014 you are sadly mistaken.”

    (I am still speechless. I don’t know if I should mention the inconsistencies in the time that it actually is or is not, so I just ring up his purchases. After the customer leaves, the next customer approaches.)

    Next Customer: “It is kind of a scary thought that that man is allowed to operate a motor vehicle!”

    Me: “Yeah. I figured I shouldn’t tell him that I have actually lived in China and we pretty much agree on what year it is.”

    (The man’s purchases: two Neil Diamond cassette tapes easily over 30 years old. Maybe he was stocking up for the next time he releases the virus again!)

    Funny Money

    , | LA, USA | At The Checkout, Bizarre, Food & Drink, Money

    (I am working in the drive thru lane. A car with two women in it pulls up. Both look strung out, like they are on drugs.)

    Me: “That’ll be [total].”

    (The driver doesn’t say anything to me but pulls a bill out of her wallet, smells it carefully, then nods to herself.)

    Customer: “Okay. This one’s good.”

    (She hands me the money and I try not to be too obvious that I’m very gingerly handling it. I washed my hands after they left, just in case!)

    How To Re-Tire Bad Customers

    | WI, USA | At The Checkout, Awesome Customers, Transportation, Wild & Unruly

    (It’s Black Friday and I have a noon shift. I have been berated and belittled by most of the customers since most of the doorbusters have been sold out.)

    Rude Customer: “WHY even advertise this if you don’t keep it in stock!? That’s stupid! If you run out you shouldn’t advertise it!”

    (There are two younger customers behind them, a guy and a girl.)

    Girl: “You know… sometimes I just wanna make people suffer ya know? Like mentally. Like I wanna slash the tires of some real ignorant a** so they can’t go on and abuse another cashier.”

    Guy: “I have that hunting knife in my car still. Wanna do it once we’re out of here?”

    Girl: “We could. I have one target it picked out.”

    (The rude customer shuts up and pays quietly and quickly runs out the door. I eye up the couple not sure if I should report the threat or not. The girl grins at me.)

    Girl: “Got her to shut up.”

    Me: “Wait. You weren’t serious?”

    Girl: “Please. I could never do that.”

    Guy: “I could…”

    I Am More Than The Sum

    | UK | At The Checkout, Math & Science, School

    (I’m working a register during the busy Christmas season. I’m coming towards the end of a 12-hour shift when a man comes to my till.)

    Me: “Okay, sir. That will be [price].”

    Customer: “Can I pay part with cash and the rest on my card?”

    Me: “Yes, that’s fine. I’ll have to process the card first, so how much do you have in cash?”

    Customer: “[Amount].”

    Me: “Okay. That’ll be…”

    (I try to work out how much remains after subtracting his cash from the price, but my brain is just fried and I can’t think.)

    Me: “That’ll be… erm…”

    Customer: *sighs angrily* “It’ll be [other amount] on my card!”

    Me: “Right you are, sir. Sorry about that. It’s been a long day.”

    Customer: *mumbles about me being an idiot*

    (Once the customer has paid, he goes to leave. Suddenly, he turns back to me.)

    Customer: “You know, you are useless. Can’t even do simple calculations without needing a calculator. No wonder you’re working in a shop!”

    Me: “I’m sorry, sir, I’m coming to the end of a long shift of overtime, due to the busy season. Plus I’m a little tired after being up all night studying for my post grad molecular and microbiology final tomorrow. I hope you’ll understand.”

    (The customer went red and shut his mouth quickly. He ran off without so much as an apology!)

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