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  • Making A Mute Point
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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!

    Green Eyes Don’t Get You The Green

    | TN, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Bizarre, Health & Body, Money

    (I am keying in banking and income information for a customer who really wants to borrow 200 dollars.)

    Me: “Congratulations! You’ve been approved for $150 today!”

    Customer: “Oh, man! Thanks! Did you know you have the most beautiful green eyes I’ve ever seen, young lady?”

    Me: “Thank you so much, but our loans are computer generated amounts based on your income and banking information. I can’t approve for more than the $150.”

    Customer: “Oh. Well, they aren’t that pretty after all.”

    Me: *just staring at him* “Umm?”

    Customer: “That came out wrong.”

    Take Note Of The Note, Part 2

    | Auckland, New Zealand | At The Checkout, Criminal/Illegal, Liars & Scammers, Money

    (I’m a cashier and food server working alone on the morning shift in a small store. I have just served a customer and he is waiting for his fries to cook.)

    Customer #1: “How long until my chips are ready?”

    Me: “1 minute and 45 seconds away.”

    Customer #2: “Hey, man. I don’t mean to be a bother, but I’m in a hurry. Can you change some money for me?”

    Me: “Possibly. How much do you need changed?

    (Customer #2 holds up a $20 note.)

    Me: “Yeah, sure. Why not?” *I take the $20 off of him, and give him two $10 notes*

    Customer #2: “Thanks, man.” *leaves the store*

    (I have a funny feeling about the exchange, so when I put his note in the till, I fold the bill below just in case. A minute later…)

    Customer #2: “Hey, man. You only gave me $20. I gave you three $20 notes.”

    Me: “I’m 100% sure you only gave me $20.”

    (I am about to offer to take his details which is procedure in these circumstances when he cuts me off.)

    Customer #2: “Look, man. I’m not trying to scam you. My cousin gave me $60 and I needed them changed. They might have been stuck together and looked like one bill but there were three. I would like my $40.”

    Me: “I am 100% sure you only gave me $20. If you had asked to change $60 I would have said no in the first place. I also folded the bill below so I can check should a customer come back.”

    Customer #2: *about to begin arguing*

    Customer #1: “Dude, you only gave him $20.”

    Customer #2: *stammers* “Oh, really. My bad, then!”

    (Customer #2 walks of rather fast, only to stop at the door, come back, and grab the two $10 notes he’s left on the counter. A few seconds later, Customer #1′s order is ready.)

    Me: “Here’s your chips and some sauce on the house, for before.”

    Customer #1: “Thanks. So was that guy trying to scam you or what?! He seemed genuine and dodgy at the same time.”

    Me: “Yeah, but he didn’t come back to change the other $20 notes.”

    Customer #1: “I wouldn’t hate Monday mornings if I saw something that entertaining each week!”

    Related:
    Take Note Of The Note

    Technology That Makes You Cry

    | Tacoma Area, WA, USA | At The Checkout, Food & Drink, Technology, Themed Giveaway

    (I’m working at the self-checkout area assisting customers when issues arise, such as weight discrepancies, inputting coupons, and just giving general help with the system. One customer has a lot of produce which requires a produce code to be input in order to weigh the items on the scale. One customer is growing increasingly frustrated with the produce look-up feature.)

    Customer: *frustrated* “I can’t find where the celery is.”

    Me: “You know…” *shows him feature* “you can actually look things up by name, spelling it out, instead of searching by category. It goes much faster that way. As you type in the letters for the name it’ll narrow the choices.”

    Customer: “Oh, ok. That is much faster.”

    (The customer continues for a few minutes with inputting his produce. It takes him a bit but he’s slowly catching on and learning the system. He stops, stumped, when he can’t find one.)

    Customer: “What is this?” *holds up an onion, looking very confused*

    Me: “… That would be an onion.”

    Customer: “No, I mean the code. I can’t find it.”

    Me: *laughing* “Oh! 4665.”

    (My coworker starts crying because she was laughing so hard at the onion comment and had to walk away for a minute to lose it. We still laugh about ‘that’s an onion’ to this day.)

    Smile, And The World Scowls With You

    | TX, USA | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests

    Me: *sick and feeling nauseated* “Hi. Did you find everything okay, ma’am?” *starts to scan her items*

    Customer: “I found everything.” *scowls at me* “You should smile more when you’re greeting people.”

    Me: “I usually do. I’m not feeling well today, but I couldn’t call in. It’s a Saturday, which means we have a lot of balloon orders—”

    Customer: “Whatever. We don’t care if you feel like dog s***. The customer is always right, and if I say I want a smile, I expect a d*** smile.”

    Me: “Um, sorry, ma’am.” *tries a smile* “Your total is [total].”

    Customer: *rolls her eyes and throws money at me* “It’s a wonder you have a job at all with that kind of attitude.” *storms out*

    Oh, Boy!

    | New Zealand | At The Checkout, Family & Kids, Top

    (I’m working the checkout on a fairly light day. The next person in queue has a young girl with her, about six or seven years old. The girl pulls out a hat from her pocket and puts it on, then reaches for an energy drink on display.)

    Mum: “Sweetie, you can’t have that. They’re not good for you.”

    (The girl’s face and shoulders drop as she is visibly and suddenly deflated. She takes off her hat and puts the can back.)

    Girl: “But mum… I was Mikey! He has them all the time! How did you know it was me? Mikey told me when I wear his hat you would think I was him and would let me buy it, and wouldn’t know it was me.”

    Mum: “Oh, sweetie, I’m your mummy. I would recognize you anywhere, no matter whose hat you were wearing.”

    (The girl calms down, but is still upset. As her mother and I exchange pleasantries, the girl puts the hat back on and pulls it down low over her face, but I can still see her lips trembling.)

    Me: “What a lovely boy you have there, ma’am. He looks really big and strong.”

    (The girl cranes her neck up to look at me under the low visor, her eyes huge and shining.)

    Me: “Hi, young man. What’s your name?”

    Girl: *smiling and trying to fake a deeper voice* “Mikey! Mikey! Michael.”

    Me: “That’s a great name, son. You take good care of your mum there, okay?”

    (She nods gravely, completely happy and satisfied. As they walk out, I hear the girl’s tiny voice.)

    Girl: “Mummy, mummy, I knew it! I knew it would work! Mikey said it would! Do you think daddy would know it’s me, too?”

    (The mother turns and gives me a thankful smile and a wink before leaving.)


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