November Theme Of The Month: Black Friday!

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!

An Oscar Major Weiner

| QLD, Australia | At The Checkout, Bizarre, Rude & Risque

(An older man comes in as I open the store. He seems innocent enough and is roughly 80 years old. When he comes up to the checkout we make idle chat, until I’ve scanned all of his groceries.)

Me: “That’ll be $42.99 today.”

Customer: “I won an Oscar. Do you want to see it?”

Me: “Sure!”

(He quickly runs out of the store, leaving his groceries there before shortly returning. He is holding a fake Oscar, but looks very proud so I humor him.)

Customer: “Look!”

Me: “It’s very nice. What did you win it for?”

Customer: “Read the inscription!”

(The inscription says “Longest Standing Member.” By now, I was confused out of my mind, until the old man snickered and moved his hand, revealing the statue had large private parts standing out.)

Me: *speechless, but quietly laughing*

Customer: “My wife got this for our anniversary!”

Just Popped Their Corn Bubble

| NY, USA | At The Checkout, Food & Drink, Movies & TV

(I’m working concession when I hear the following exchange between two customers standing about 10 feet in front of me looking at the menu-display we have above stand.)

Customer #1: “I think I’m gonna go for the medium popcorn.”

Customer #2: “Don’t do that! That’s just silly! Don’t you know movie-theater popcorn isn’t freshly made! It’s made days and days ahead of time and then shipped in from out-of-town, in big plastic garbage bags! You could be eating week-old popcorn if you get it at the movies!”

(I smirk and chuckle to myself, because we make fresh popcorn all day, every day with fresh and fairly expensive ingredients and most certainly don’t import week-old popcorn in garbage-bags. Our poppers are even visible in the back of concession if guests look hard enough.)

Customer #1: “That’s not true, is it?”

Customer #2: “It is! It’s part of their scam! This guy here knows it, and he doesn‘t care because he gets a cut of the big money they make from selling old food to innocent customers. It‘s highway robbery at it‘s finest.”

(I chuckle again considering I definitely haven’t gotten a cut of this non-existent “scam money” and am living check to check on minimum wage. I decide to have a little fun with the customers. I radio my manager, speaking just loud enough so that the customers can hear me.)

Me: *into radio* “Hey, I just wanted to double-check… Do you think I should make an extra batch of popcorn this morning just in case the next showtime sells out? I wanna make sure we have enough fresh popcorn ready.”

(Customer #2 hears and looks at Customer #1 with a scowl.)

Manager: *over radio* “If you think you should, go ahead. Nothing wrong with making another fresh batch just in case.”

(I turn and go into the back of concession while the two customers watch and put in fresh kernels and oil into the popper and start it, before turning it on.)

Customer #2: *quietly to her friend* “You see what he just did. It’s just special effects! We’re at the movies, after all. They pretend to make fresh popcorn, but all they sell is the cheap, old stuff!”

Customer #1: “Really? That’s just disgraceful. I’m going to call their corporate office and complain about this. It’s not right to scam their loyal customers like this!”

(They stormed off. I guess some people just HAVE to believe that they’re getting ripped off, even when they aren’t.)

Cutting Straight To The Point

| Arlington, VA, USA | At The Checkout, Language & Words

(I have been waiting on line for a long time, but am finally next. Just as the person in front is finishing up their transaction, a woman cuts right in front of me.)

Me: “Excuse me.”

Woman: “Are you next?”

Me: *in an annoyed tone* “Yes.”

Woman: “And are you a total b****?”

Me: “…Also yes, but I don’t see what that has to do with it.”

Opening His Account And His Mouth

IL, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior

(I am opening an account for a high school age kid. He has been attempting to hit on me the entire time. I’m in my 20s, but have been told many times that I look to be about 18, so I’m used to this, but this kid is starting to get on my nerves. He’s been at my desk for 40 minutes. I set up the account half listening to his attempts to impress me, and am trying to politely get him out.)

Me: “So, looking at your ID makes me feel really old.”

Customer: “Oh yeah, why?”

Me: “Because you were born in [year]. See, I was born [seven years earlier], so the fact that someone seven years younger than me just opened a bank account makes me feel very old. Speaking of which, your account is all ready to go. Do you have any questions about it?”

Customer: “I’m feeling old today, too! My back and my legs hurt! I think it’s because I play sports. Football, basketball, MMA fighting… Yeah, I do it all.”

(This kid is shorter than I am and quite skinny.)

Me: “MMA? Seriously?”

Customer: “Uh-huh. Impressive, right?” *grins*

Me: “I have a cousin that does MMA for real. He’s about the size of three of you.”

Customer: “Well… uh… I’m small, but I’m quick! You have to watch out for me!”

(The kid did not stick around much longer after that.)

Shouldn’t Count On A Discount

| Long Island, NY, USA | At The Checkout, Liars & Scammers

Customer: “[My Name] always gives me a deal on these.”

Me: “I’m [My Name].”

Customer: “Are you sure? Is there another [My Name]?”

Me: “No, I’m the only one. Yes, I’m sure that’s my name.”

Customer: “…So, can I get a discount?”