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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!

    This Is Why We’re In A Recession, Part 34

    | OR, USA | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Money

    (I’m next in line at a chain arts and crafts store. Everyone who shops here complains about how long the lines always are, and how there are never any employees around, but I think it’s more because there is ALWAYS a difficult customer at the front of the line.)

    Customer: “I’d like to do an even exchange, this ribbon for this yarn. I don’t have a receipt for the ribbon.”

    Cashier: “Well, we don’t do exchanges without a receipt, but I can do a return on the ribbon and then we can use the money you’ll get back toward the yarn.”

    Customer: *death glare at the cashier* “Fine.”

    Cashier: “It looks like you’ll get $2.61 back for the ribbon. I’ll just put that toward the yarn if that’s okay?

    Customer: “Yes.”

    Cashier: “Okay, and the yarn comes out to $2.51. So you’ll actually get a dime back!”

    Customer: “WHAT?! I TOLD YOU I WANTED AN EVEN EXCHANGE! WHY ARE YOU SO STUPID?!”

    Cashier: “Ma’am, this is just the price of the yarn. I have nothing to do with it. It’s in your favor. You’re getting money back.”

    Customer: “WHY WOULD I WANT MONEY BACK?! I HATE THIS STORE! EVERYONE HERE IS SO INCOMPETENT!”

    (Everyone in line stares in confusion as she storms out of the store with the yarn and not the dime. As I’m next in line, the cashier looks at me.)

    Cashier: “Well, then. Looks like you get a 10-cent discount on your purchase, miss! I hope that’s okay; I know money’s so darn inconvenient these days!”

    Related:
    This Is Why We’re In A Recession, Part 33
    This Is Why We’re In A Recession, Part 32
    This Is Why We’re In A Recession, Part 31

    Crazy Requests Only Go In One Direction

    | UK | At The Checkout, Awesome Workers, Crazy Requests

    (I work in a shop that sells comics, video games, trading cards, and assorted trinkets related to the culture around them. I work in the back where I test incoming consoles to check for issues. Between the back and the front is a small hole in the wall where I see a customer with a problem.)

    Coworker: “That’s gonna be £32.20.”

    Customer: “Wait, I have the deal here.”

    (The place is running a small deal where you get 10% of the cheapest item if you present a flyer with the deal written on the back. My coworker proceeds to change the price accordingly. I get called to the front while the customer speaks to the owner. After hearing him rant for about five more minutes:)

    Customer: “I can’t believe you advertize a deal and not follow up on it. The [Competing Store] down the road would give me all this for free for all the trouble. What can YOU do for me?”

    Me: “Give you directions to [Competing Store]?”

    Her Threat Is Not Worth The Paper It’s Written On

    | Lake Forest, IL, USA | At The Checkout, Wild & Unruly

    (My store offers customers the choice between paper and plastic bags. As we are very busy in the days leading up to Easter, we run out of paper bags and only have plastic. It is now the day after Easter. An old woman comes up to my register with a small cart of items.)

    Me: “Hello, did you find everything you needed?”

    Customer: “Yes. I need all this in paper.”

    Coworker: *who is bagging* “I’m sorry, ma’am, we ran out of paper bags.”

    Customer: “Now, I said I’d NEVER shop here again if you ran out of paper bags.”

    Me: “I’m sorry; we ran out just Saturday. It—”

    Customer: “Well, [Other Grocery Store] never runs out of paper bags! This store is just too cheap to buy enough paper bags.”

    Me: “I’m sorry but I can’t speak for [Other Grocery Store]. All I know is that it was very busy Friday, very busy Saturday, and paper bags don’t come in until Tuesday.”

    Customer: *gives me a look of pure hate*

    Me: “Your total is [total].”

    (I finish bagging her grocery in silence and hand her her receipt.)

    Me: “All right, you have four bags. Would you like some help outside today?”

    Customer: “No, just put it in the cart.”

    Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, we’re not allowed to let the carts outside of the store. I’d be happy to help—”

    Customer: “Just keep your d*** groceries!”

    (The customer walks right out the door and leaves behind her paid-for groceries. I don’t know what to do, so I just go and tell my supervisor. She freaks out and gets me freaked out about what our store manager will say to both of us. The customer’s groceries are still just sitting at my register. 15 minutes later my customer comes back, somehow looking both haughty and intensely embarrassed.)

    Customer: “Well, since they’re mine, I’ll just take them.”

    Me: “Do you need help out—”

    Customer: “NO!”

    Keeps Coming Back For More For Less

    | Sacramento, CA, USA | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Technology

    (A customer comes up to my register with a cart full of various sizes of picture frames.)

    Me: “Hello! Did you find everything?”

    Customer: “Yes.”

    (She just stands there, not taking anything out of her cart, just looking at me.)

    Me: “Good! You can go on and put those smaller frames up here on the counter. And I’ll just need you to lift up the large ones so that I can reach the barcode on the bottom.”

    Customer: “You have to scan them?”

    Me: “Yep! If you are wanting to buy them, that is!”

    (I smile and laugh my hollow ‘customer laugh.’)

    Customer: “Oh, I thought… I didn’t know the scanning was necessary.”

    Me: “It’s how our registers know what you’re buying and charge you the correct amount. So you can just hand those small frames to me, and I’ll scan those, then we’ll get to the big ones. The small ones I can also wrap and bag for you.”

    Customer: “You mean I have to help you?”

    Me: “Well, that is the fastest way to check out. If you cannot lift them, though, I can come around and get them.”

    Customer: “I just don’t understand any of this…”

    (I give up and just take everything out of her cart myself, as a line is forming.)

    Customer: “What are you doing?! I have never had such rude service.”

    Me: “Ma’am, if you want to buy these, I have to ring them up. That’s all I’m doing.”

    Customer: “Whatever. Okay, these are all 40% off.”

    Me: “Yes, you’re right. Their sale prices are just up here on the screen. And with that sale, your total comes to [total].”

    Customer: “I don’t believe that’s the sale price.”

    Me: *internal sigh* “Well, see, for example, this frame was originally [price]. When you take 40% off of that price, it comes to [total], as displayed on the screen.”

    Customer: “Fine, whatever. I’ll double check the math when I get home. And I want to use a coupon.”

    Me: “Okay, sure! I just need to scan the barcode on it. Do you have a printed coupon or is it on your phone?”

    Customer: “What? I don’t understand.”

    Me: “I need the coupon to scan it, ma’am.”

    Customer: “Why? Just take the amount off. I’d like a 30% one, please.”

    Me: “I cannot apply a discount, then, ma’am. We have to scan the coupon for you to receive the discount. If you wish to come back tomorrow with the coupon and get a price adjustment, though, we can certainly do that for you. But the only available coupon for your purchases is a 10% one.”

    Customer: “Oh, I guess I’ll come back in. That’s poor service, though.”

    Me: “I’m sorry you feel that way. Now how will you be paying?”

    (As she runs her credit card through the card reader, I start wrapping her frames in paper to protect them.)

    Customer: “What are you doing?! You’re hurting them!”

    Me: “I’m wrapping paper around them to protect them from scratching one another.”

    Customer: “No, no, no, stop!” *she throws them in her cart with a crash*

    Me: “Okay, you just need to sign this receipt for me and you’re all done.”

    Customer: “No. I don’t sign things.”

    Me: *using my stern ‘mom voice’* “Then your transaction is not complete and you cannot leave with these items.”

    (She stares at me for a while and finally gives in with a huff. She leaves, muttering about poor service. Everyone in line behind her is wide-eyed with confusion, and the next few customers comment on how it seems like she’s never been in a store before. Then she reappears with her husband, holding one of the larger frames).

    Customer: “I’d like to trade this frame for another. It has scratches.”

    (I definitely gave her a quick, evil stare, but the frame is question is very easily scratched and it’s our policy to let customers trade them out.)

    Me: “Okay, sure. If you want to just leave that one up here, you can go on back and pick another one. If you pick a different style, we’ll have to run an exchange through the system.”

    (She leaves her frame and husband with me. It’s now 10 minutes to close, and we have a long line of customers. Her husband stands in front of my till browsing a magazine).

    Me: “Sir, if you will step to the end of my register here, I will check out a few of these other guests. We need to be closing soon, so I need to help everyone get out of the store. When your wife returns, I’ll do whatever needs to be done to process her frame.”

    (He throws his hands up in disgust and makes an exasperated noise, but doesn’t move.)

    Customer #2: *barreling up with a cart* “Outta my way. You aren’t doing a d*** thing!

    (She shoves her cart into him until he moves. I don’t say anything, because I’m too annoyed and trying not to laugh.)

    Customer #2: *to me* “There you go, love. What’s wrong with him? He a zombie?”

    (I ring up five guests before the original customer finally returns. Luckily, she’s got the same type of frame as the one she purchased, so I’m allowed to let her take it without doing anything in the register system.)

    Me: “Okay, awesome. Looks like that is exactly the same type of frame, so you can just take that and go! We don’t need to do anything else!”

    Customer: “What? You’re trying to make me steal!”

    Me: “What…? No, no I’m not. You’re leaving with essentially the same item as you brought back, minus a small scratch. I promise, it’s fine. Thank you, and have a good night!”

    (She and her husband stand there a minute complaining about me, then go stand in front of the automatic sliding doors, which slide open for them. They don’t move, talk, anything. They just stand there).

    Customer: “HOW ARE WE SUPPOSED TO GET OUT OF YOUR D*** STORE?!”

    (Everyone in the area just stares, shocked. I have had it, so I just turn around and call up the next customer to my register.)

    Customer #3: “Never have I so enjoyed waiting in line at this store! What a show! It was like an SNL skit or something! I’m gonna write to the Pope, tell him you should be sainted. You acted so pleasant the whole time, with just the perfect touch of ‘rage boiling under the surface.’”

    (The original customers must have figured a way out of the OPEN DOOR THAT THEY HAD ALREADY USED THREE TIMES, because we didn’t find them inside after we closed!)

    Wish You Were Just Pulling My Leg

    | Taylor, MI, USA | At The Checkout, Bizarre, Food & Drink

    (I was working as a cashier when a customer comes up with a cart full of two-packs of turkey legs.)

    Me: “Wow, these are pretty big; they make me think of renaissance festival turkey legs.”

    Customer: “Yeah, exactly! I’m going to put them in my smoker. They come out just like that.”

    Me: “Oh, sounds nice! Now I’m craving one!” *laughs*

    Customer: “You are? I could give you one if you like!”

    (I laugh it off as a joke and finish the transaction normally. However, a couple of days later, I see the customer return with a food container in the child seat of her cart.)

    Customer: “Oh! I was hoping you were working this shift again. Guess what I brought you!”

    (She opens the container and pulls out a whole turkey leg, smoked so much it’s falling off the bone she’s holding it by.)

    Customer: “I brought you one like I said!”

    Me: *surprised* “I… uh? Thank you, but… I really can’t take it!”

    Customer: “No, it’s okay. I have plenty. You saw. You said you wanted one right? Take it!”

    (I continue to politely refuse while she literally shoved the turkey leg at me, it’s falling apart on my belt and getting grease everywhere.)

    Me: *desperate* “I can’t eat on the job. I could get in trouble!”

    Customer: “Oh, well… I’ll just leave you it here for it later then.”

    (She puts the turkey leg right on the belt and hurries off like nothing happened, leaving me to clean up the greasy mess. It was a nice gesture but an odd one at that!)

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