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!

Doesn’t Have It In The Bag

| North Vancouver, BC, USA | At The Checkout, Bizarre

(I’m working as a cashier at a popular grocery store. A woman comes in my line with a shopping cart full of typical grocery items.)

Me: “Hi, there. How are you doing today?”

Customer: “I’m okay. I forgot my (reusable) bags at my house, though.”

Me: “That’s okay; it happens to us all.”

(The first thing on the belt is three 4-litre jugs of milk.)

Me: “Do you want bags for the milk?”

Customer: “Yes, please. And could you double bag it?”

(Next are a few things of meat products.)

Me: “Did you want the meat all in one bag?”

Customer: “No. I need the bacon in its own bag. And could you also separate the meat and seafood?”

Me: “Sure.”

(This keeps going throughout the transaction, wanting bread in one bag, the produce broken up into numerous bags, cleaning products in smaller bags before being put into bigger bags, and most of these being double bagged. At the end, there is a bag of chips left on the belt.)

Me: “Did you want this in its own bag?”

Customer: “Oh, no, thanks. I’m trying to cut down on the number of plastic bags.”

(I ended up using more bags than she had groceries.)

Not Cut Out To Be Good Customers

| Shreveport, LA, USA | At The Checkout, Awesome Workers, Top

(It’s noon and there’s a huge sale on so naturally the store has quite a few customers.)

Employee: *as she dashes from the cutting table to the register* “I’ll be right back, sweetie! Let me just check out those two ladies, okay?”

(I nod and patiently wait the few minutes it takes for her to cash out the other customers.)

Employee: *slightly breathless as she returns* “Whoo! I’m getting my exercise today!” *smiles brightly* “How much of this did you need, miss?”

Me: “Three yards please, ma’am.” *glancing around at all the other customers* “Where’s your help? They had to know it’d be busy today with the sale and all.”

Employee: *as she cuts* “Well, there’s supposed to be another girl here but she called about ten minutes ago and said she has a flat so I don’t know when she’ll be in.” *tags and passes over my fabric* “Here you go. Just let me know when you’re ready to check out, okay?”

Me: *nods* “Sure. I just remembered something else I needed.”

(I pick up the thread I needed then wander about the store a bit looking at the sale items near the register. Two older women walk up to the register and just stand there for about ten minutes.)

Customer #1: *wrinkles her nose* “The service here is awful.”

Customer #2: *purses her lips* “It is. I knew we should have gone to [Store’s other location] instead.”

(The two customers toss their large amounts of fabric and notions on the counter then flounce out the door. I walk back to the cutting table where the employee has just finished up with another customer.)

Employee: “Are you ready to check out yet, hon?”

Me: “Yes, ma’am, and I thought I’d let you know those two women left all their stuff at the register. Sorry.”

(We return to the register and she puts the fabrics and notions aside.)

Employee: “Now those will go in the remnants.” *sighs* “I told them to tell me when they were ready and I’d come up here!”

Me: *rolls eyes* “I guess they thought they were too good to come to you.”

(She rings up items with a smile.)

Employee: “Your total is $38.57.”

Me: *stares at her in disbelief* “That can’t be—”

Employee: *suddenly sounding nervous* “But the fabric was on sale for $12 a yard—”

Me: *cutting her off as I cover my face with one hand* “And the pattern was on sale for $1. The rest is taxes and the thread.” *grins sheepishly* “I thought it should be MORE! I forgot that the pattern was on sale!”

Employee: “Oh!” *looks visibly relieved then scans something near her register* “Since you’re so nice and waited so patiently, I’m giving you the 10% student discount! Your new total is $34.71!”

Me: “You don’t have to do that! I really did think it should have been more! I wasn’t trying for a discount!”

Employee: *smiling* “I know but you could have just left like those others did. So, cash or card, miss?”

(This is my new favorite location because she is always so sweet!)

Giving You A Heart Attack With A Heart Attack

, | Dayton, OH, USA | At The Checkout, Food & Drink

(I am working the drive through with the manager.)

Me: “Hi, welcome to [Store]. Would you like to try [new sandwich]?”

Customer: “OH, MY GOD! ARE YOU TRYING TO GIVE ME A HEART ATTACK?!”

(I jumped, scared by the customer’s volume. Meanwhile, my manager was laughing, as she recognized her boyfriend in the drive-through. The rest of the order went smoothly.)

That’s My Name, Please Wear It Out

| London, England, UK | At The Checkout, Bizarre, Funny Names

Me: “Hi, do you need assistance with your shopping?”

Customer: *stares at name badge* “Hi, [My Name]. How are you today?”

(I often get customers that call me by name when I greet them, which doesn’t bother me. I pack his bags.)

Customer: “Thank you for packing my bags, [My Name].”

Me: “No problem. That comes to [amount].”

Customer: “Thank you, [My Name].”

Me: “Are you paying by card or cash, sir?”

Customer: “Can I pay by card, please, [My Name]?”

Me: “Okay, if you would like to put your card into the card reader and follow the instructions?”

Customer: “Okay, [My Name].” *takes card and receipt* “Thank you, [My Name].”

(I start serving the next customer.)

Customer #2: “If you didn’t know your own name then I guess you do now!”

That’s No Way To Talk To A Customer

| CA, USA | At The Checkout, Health & Body, Top

(I’m the customer in this story. I’m checking out at a grocery store and the cashier has a sign out that reads ‘I’ve lost my voice. Please work with me.’)

Cashier: *nods at me by way of greeting; points to the sign*

Me: *nods and give thumbs up to indicate that I saw it*

Cashier: *scans a bottle of wine; pantomimes opening his wallet*

Me: *wordlessly show him my ID*

Cashier: *holds up a bag; raises eyebrow to ask if I want one*

Me: *nods; hold up one finger*

Me: *out loud* “Oh… I guess I can still talk, huh?”

Cashier: *smiles and writes me a quick note on a scrap of paper*

Note: “Don’t feel bad. You’re at least the 10th person today.”

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