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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!

    The Screwdriver Is Complimentary

    | CA, USA | At The Checkout, Family & Kids

    (I work at a hobby store that sells everything from arts and crafts for kids to models and remote control vehicles. A customer and her small son come in and shop around for a bit. They eventually bring up a vacuum for catching bugs.)

    Me: “Alright. That will be [price]. This requires three AA batteries. Did you need those?”

    Customer: “Yeah. We better get some.”

    Me: “Okay. Your new total comes to [price].”

    (They pay and leave. Not five minutes later they come back in.)

    Customer: “I’m sorry, but do you have a screwdriver to open this with?”

    (The customer meant one she could buy but we have one behind the counter for this type of situation. I go ahead and just open the battery cover for her on the bug catcher.)

    Me: “There we are! You’re good to go.”

    (I hand it back to the little boy. They begin to leave when the customer turns around and addresses her son.)

    Customer: “Tell the nice lady ‘thank you.’”

    Son: *with a look of concentration on his face* “You… are… sooo… beautiful.”

    Me: “Why, thank you!”

    (The mom is slightly embarrassed but thanks me again. They leave. I turn to my coworker, who watched the whole thing and is smiling)

    Me: “I don’t know where he learned those manners from, but he’s gonna do well in life.”

    No Paws For Thought, Part 3

    | Albuquerque, NM, USA | At The Checkout, Health & Body, Pets & Animals

    (I’m a customer at a big-box superstore. I have an invisible disability. I have just gotten a small service dog to help me with it. We don’t have a ‘service dog’ vest for him yet. He’s currently sitting quietly in the child seat of a grocery cart, well out of reach of any of the store’s products. I’m waiting to check out. A customer right in front of me in line turns to me.)

    Customer: “They let you have a dog in here? That’s not allowed.”

    Me: “They don’t seem to mind as long as I keep him up and away from food. Plus, he’s a service dog.”

    Customer: “You can’t have dogs where’s there’s food. I know; I have a dog. I’d like to bring him with me but I can’t. You can only have service dogs inside.”

    Me: “He is a service dog.”

    Customer: *to cashier* “Can you believe that some people bring their dogs everywhere? You can only have service dogs inside.”

    Me: *louder* “He IS a service dog.”

    Customer: *still talking to cashier “People need to learn you can’t just bring your dog anywhere you want. Only service dogs are allowed.”

    (I give up and talk to the cashier.)

    Me: “He IS a service dog. I have the papers for him and everything.”

    (The customer ignores me. She finishes checking out and walks off, still muttering.)

    Customer: “Only service dogs are allowed inside.”

    Cashier: “What the heck was her problem? Some people need to spend some time living in real society like we do and figure out how things work.”

    Older Couple Behind Us In Line: “D*** right!”

    (We proceed to finish checking out. We spend five minutes laughing with the older couple behind us and telling jokes about entitled people. Thanks for making our day, grouchy customer!)

    Related:
    No Paws For Thought, Part 2
    No Paws For Thought

    What Would Jesus Discount?, Part 2

    , | PA, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Food & Drink, Religion

    (I decide to visit my old work on the off-hours for a quick bite to eat. I am served by a new cashier.)

    Cashier: “Okay. That will be $11.89. Press the confirm button to make sure your order is correct.”

    (I go to press confirm when this occurs at the same time.)

    Cashier: “Do yo—”

    Me: “Do you want any sauce with that?”

    Cashier: “Uh…”

    Me: “Did I just ask you if you wanted sauce?”

    Cashier: “Yup. You sound like you’d be fit for this place.”

    Me: “I worked the day shift.”

    Cashier: “Uh, well. Okay.”

    Me: “I need to get out of the food service industry.”

    Cashier: “Hey, at least you didn’t scream ‘THE CUSTOMER IS ALWAYS RIGHT!’”

    (A few minutes pass. Another customer goes to order. She proceeds to yell at the cashier seconds after she finished placing her order. Having several years of bad customers under my belt I was pretty sure I could handle this one, even though I didn’t work there anymore.)

    Me: “Pardon me, ma’am. What seems to be the problem?”

    Customer: “THIS CASHIER OF YOURS SCREWED UP MY ORDER! I WANT MY FOOD FOR FREE, AS IT’S THE CHRISTIAN THING TO DO!”

    (I see that this customer has ordered the food via a self-service order screen. The employee just reads the screen and then hands out the order.)

    Me: “Ma’am, I find it hard to believe that this cashier managed to screw up an order that is entirely dependent on the customer’s order screen.”

    Customer: “Don’t you dare talk back to me! It isn’t the Christian thing to do! God will ha—”

    Me: “Pardon me for a second, but I don’t understand you. While I might not be Christian, you claim talking back to you is not Christian. I’m not sure at what point you manage to assume a role higher than God to be able to dictate what is and isn’t ‘Christian.’ In fact just by doing that you are breaking two of the seven deadly sins! I’m sure that isn’t the CHRISTIAN thing to do.”

    Customer: “You’ll burn in Hell for this! I’ll make sure of it!”

    Me: “But isn’t that conspiring with the D—”

    Customer: “F*** YOU!”

    (The customer proceeds to run out of the building.)

    Cashier: “Wow…”

    Me: “The sad part is, she is a regular here and has been pulling that for months. Well, you had your weird customer, and your first ‘Not Always Right.’ I guess its time for your first tip.”

    Cashier: “This has been a long night…”

    (The cashier and I have been best friends ever since. That was her first day working there. Thankfully, she never saw the lady again.)

    Related:
    What Would Jesus Discount?

    A Minor Mistake, Part 2

    | Northland, New Zealand | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests, Food & Drink

    (I’m the night supervisor at a supermarket. I’m in my 20s but look younger than I am.)

    Customer: “I have wine here. You’ll need to call your supervisor.”

    Me: “That’s okay, ma’am. I am the supervisor on duty tonight.”

    Customer: “Really? Surely you have to be old enough to drink it before you can sell it.”

    Me: “Well, yes. But I am old enough to drink and have been for a few years now.”

    Customer: “No, you haven’t. You look like a child.”

    Me: “Ma’am, I can assure you. I’m in my 20s. But I’ll take that as a compliment.”

    (The customer begins to rant about child labour laws.)

    Me: “Thank you. Have a nice night.”

    Customer: “GO TO BED!”

    Related:
    A Minor Mistake

    How To Make Grandma Nun Too Happy

    | Toronto, ON, Canada | At The Checkout, Bigotry, Family & Kids, Love/Romance, Top

    (I am Asian. I work as a cashier at a supermarket. Today I get one of my great-aunts in line. We chat as I am checking out her groceries.)

    Aunt: “So have you found anyone yet, [Name]?”

    Me: “Not yet, Auntie.”

    Aunt: “Well, [My Grandma] is getting anxious, you know. She wants great-grandchildren.”

    Me: “She already has great-grandchildren, Auntie. My cousins have kids, remember?”

    Aunt: “Then, your parents! They want to see you married and settled with grandchildren!”

    (My parents have never made any such demands of me, nor made any indication of such being expected. I remain calm and polite, as I am still at work and my great-aunt is a paying customer.)

    Me: *changing the subject slightly* “I think my sister would have something to say about that!”

    (My sister is both older than me and already married.)

    Aunt: “Oh, yes, that’s right! She did the right thing, you know; marrying properly.”

    Me: “I’m sorry?”

    Aunt: “She married that nice [regional Chinese] boy. Not just [other Chinese], but [regional Chinese], like us. Proper. Your grandma said so.”

    (I am appalled, all the more so because she’s utterly sincere.)

    Me: “…I thought she was joking?”

    Aunt: “Oh no! Very serious. She was quite upset when [My Cousin] married that Vietnamese boy. And all these others, gwailo (white people) and…”

    (She goes on a tirade about not marrying outside the group. I am speechless.)

    Me: “Your total is [amount], Auntie.”

    Aunt: “Oh, I bought too much again! Ah, the boys will eat it. See you soon, [My Name]!”

    (I automatically wave goodbye, still dumbfounded. Finally, she’s bagged her things and gone.)

    Me: *thinking out loud* “Screw this. I might as well join a convent.”

    Next Customer: “I don’t think that’d work for a bright young girl like you, sweetheart.”

    (It is at this point I realize both my new customers are wearing habits and veils.)

    Me: “Oh, crap! Sorry, Sisters.”

    Nun #1: “Don’t be!”

    Nun #2: “We heard what she said. You love who want, when you want, in your own good time.”

    Nun #1: “Besides, running off to a convent doesn’t work like that these days. You need a vocation.”

    (She leans forward to take my hand.)

    Nun #1: “And convent life isn’t all that cracked up to be! You’re a good girl, and a lovely person. We always look for you when we stop by, you know. Take your time to figure out your path.”

    Nun #2: “And if it does lead to us, at least you’ll be prepared! Either way, have faith. Bless you, dear!”

    (I finish ringing them up, and they go on their way. My supervisor walks over.)

    Supervisor: “You all right?”

    (I shrug, dazed.)

    Supervisor: “Go take your break. You’re due for one, anyway.”

    (One of the weirdest and most heartwarming shifts I ever had!)

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