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!

Working With The Yes-Men

| Stockholm, Sweden | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Food & Drink

(I’m working at a popular café and serving customers as usual when an older man walks in.)

Customer: “I would like a sandwich, please.”

Me: “Of course, sir. What kind of bread would you like?”

Customer: “Yes.”

Me: “What kind of bread would you like, sir?”

Customer: “Yes.”

(At this point I assume he is an alcoholic so I just take a chance on which bread he wanted.)

Me: “Okay, what would you like on your sandwich, sir?”

Customer: “Yes.”

Me: “What would you like on your sandwich, sir?”

Customer: “White bread.”

(This goes on until I can finally understand what he wants.)

Me: “Goodbye, sir. Have a nice day.”

Customer: “No.”

The Mother Of All Assumptions

| FL, USA | At The Checkout, Bizarre, Holidays

(It’s Mother’s Day. Please note that I am 23 and look a little young for my age.)

Me: “Can I help you, sir?”

Customer: “Happy Mother’s Day!”

Me: “Thank you, sir?”

Customer: “You’re not a mother?”

Me: “No, sir!”

Customer: “Uh, Happy Sunday, then!”

On A Maturity Diet

| Sparta, WI, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Food & Drink

(Two customers approach my register one night with some two-liter bottles of Coke, some tubes of Mentos and other assorted snacks. I begin ringing them up.)

Customer #1: “Don’t worry; we’re not gonna go do the Coke and Mentos thing.”

Customer #2: “Yeah, that’s not what we’re going to go do.”

Me: “Well, I figured as much. You’d want the diet for that to work.”

(The customers trade a glance.)

Customer #1: “Really?”

Me: “Yup. It’s the artificial sweetener that helps speed the reaction.”

(The customers trade a second glance.)

Customer #2: “Mind if we go switch these out for diet?”

Me: “They’re the same price; go for it.”

Customer #1: “Thanks.”

(They exchange the bottles and as they’re headed out the door…)

Customer #1: “And we’re totally not gonna do the Diet Coke and Mentos thing!”

(The kicker? They were in their late 30’s at the youngest, judging by their salt-and-pepper beard stubble.)

Not Too Chicken To Confront About The Chicken

, | Lethbridge, AB, Canada | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests, Food & Drink

(I’m ordering on a busy day at a popular sandwich chain.)

Me: “I’ll have the egg and cheese, please.”

(The worker puts an egg patty on my sandwich.)

Lady Behind Me: “Ew! Gross! What is that? WHY would you EAT that?”

Me: “Oh, it’s just an egg patty. They’re pretty tasty, actually.”

Lady Behind Me: *grumbles* “Gross.”

(I don’t think anything more of her until it is her time to order.)

Lady Behind Me: “Now, I want a chicken sandwich. But not that chicken. That chicken looks too pink. Do you have anything fresher and more well-cooked?”

Worker: “No, sorry, that’s the only chicken we have.”

Lady Behind Me: “FINE. But if I get food poisoning I’m coming back to sue you PERSONALLY. Now, I want two and a half slices of cheese on the bottom of my sandwich.”

(The worker starts putting cheese on.)

Lady Behind Me: “I said on the bottom!” *now screaming* “ON. THE. BOTTOM. HOW IS THAT SO HARD?!”

(I am now biting my tongue, despite being pretty shy about speaking to strangers. The worker moves the lady’s sandwich to the vegetables section.)

Lady Behind Me: “I want some shredded lettuce.”

(The worker puts a handful of lettuce on.)

Lady Behind Me: “More.”

(The worker adds another handful.)

Lady Behind Me: Less.

(The worker takes some off.)

Lady Behind Me: “More.”

Me: “OH, MY GOD. Go home and make your own f****** sandwich! There’s a grocery store next door. Go buy your own cheese and your own chicken and your own stupid lettuce and quit harassing the employees! As a bonus, you won’t have to look at ‘gross’ food like mine!”

(The customers who had been stuck behind her applaud slowly. The lady turns beet red and storms out, leaving her sandwich. The next customer points at me.)

Next Customer: “I’d like to pay for her sandwich, please!”

Banana-Drama, Part 2

| TN, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Money

(It’s around nine pm, and only my first week at this new store. I’m a cashier and my bagger is helping me with the register when I need help. An elderly woman walks up to the counter.)

Me:“How are you tonight, ma’am?”

Customer: “Horrible! I can barely afford to buy groceries, but there are little girls winning Miss America pageants and I have to scrape pennies to buy food! It’s not fair!”

(I can’t get a word out before she starts going on about God and becoming an atheist.)

Customer: “Why, God?! Why?! Why me?!”

(At this point, several employees have gathered and are watching her have a full blown breakdown in the store. She throws her items on the belt and I ring them up, and wait for her to stop screaming. She finally stops.)

Me: “Do you have your rewards card with you?”

(All the other employees, most of them teenagers burst out laughing. She throws her card at me and I scan it. I give her her total, and all h*** breaks loose.)

Customer: “Jesus Christ, I can’t afford that! Take it all off; I don’t want it!”

(I void all the items off and she says she will buy one banana. I weigh it and give her the total. She then starts dumping her purse out on the counter and starts throwing pennies at me. I count them and tell her she still owes an amount of cents. She throws more pennies on the counter and complains that she is spending her life savings on one banana. At this point, all my coworkers are just staring at her speechless. She ends up taking the banana, and I try to give her her change of one cent back and she walks out waving the banana around cursing God. Then she reenters minutes later and goes through another lane with bread and does the same thing with the other cashier. After she leaves, the cashier, who is actually a manager, walks over to me and says:)

Manager: “I hate my life.”

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