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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!

    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!)

    You Say Milk, I Say Epinephrine

    | Portland, ME, USA | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Food & Drink

    (I work in a fairly well known coffee shop chain. A woman comes up to the bar to pick up her drink.)

    Me: “[Name], your venti iced no whip mocha.”

    Customer: “Excuse me! Does that have milk in it?”

    Me: “The iced mocha?”

    Customer: “Yes. That’s what I ordered: iced mocha coffee, no whip.”

    Me: “Yes. It’s made with milk by default.”

    Customer: “WELL, I DIDN’T WANT IT MADE WITH MILK! I AM HIGHLY ALLERGIC!”

    Me: “Oh, I’m sorry, ma’am. Let me remake that for you. So, you’d like iced coffee with mocha syrup and no whip?”

    Customer: “Whatever. Fine. Yes. Mocha coffee iced with no whip.”

    (I remake her drink rather quickly.)

    Me: “Here you are. Sorry about that. Let me take that other one.”

    Customer: “If it’s okay– I know you’re gonna dump it; I was hoping I could have it.”

    Me: *confused* “Okay. That’s fine.”

    Customer: *puts a straw in both* “Yum! These are both great! Thanks!”

    Related:
    You Say Tomato, I Say Epinephrine
    You Say Potato, I Say Epinephrine

    Shell Shocked

    , | Rehoboth Beach, DE, USA | At The Checkout, Bizarre, Food & Drink

    (It is late at night, in the middle of summer. I’m working at the first window, taking orders as well as working the register. The customer I get sounds drunk, but I don’t think too much of it until he gets to the window. The customer is in the rear seat of the car; thankfully the driver is sober.)

    Me: “Good evening. Your total is $[total].”

    Customer: “Okay… so that’s… uh…”

    (The customer stares at the money in his wallet for a moment before handing me a wad of bills.)

    Me: “Alright. Here’s your change and your recei—”

    (I turn to hand him his change, to see that he now has a large brown paper bag on his lap. He looks at me, then reaches in the bag and pulls out a crab covered in Old Bay seasoning.)

    Customer: “D’you want a crab?”

    Me: “Er… no thanks.”

    Customer: “You sure? They’re really good!”

    (The customer tries to hand me the crab anyways.)

    Me: “I’m sorry. We’re not allowed to take… tips?”

    Customer: “Aww… that sucks. Well, you have a nice night.”

    Me: “Here’s your change. You have a good night, too!”

    (My colleagues and I were all left wondering what he was doing getting fast food when he had something better!)

    The Price Is Right, The Customer Is Not

    | Denver, CO, USA | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Food & Drink, Money

    (It is Thanksgiving. A customer comes up to the register with a mountain of ads from other stores, since we offer price match. She puts three turkeys on the belt.)

    Customer: “Hi. [Competitor Store] has turkeys for 87 cents a pound. Can you match it?”

    (Our price is 79 cents a pound.)

    Me: “Oh, ma’am. No need to price match; ours is cheaper.”

    Customer: “No, it’s not. I see the prices and [Competitor Store] prices are much cheaper.”

    Me: “Honestly, ma’am, they are indeed cheaper.”

    Customer: “Please humor me. Honor your policy and give me the price I want!”

    (At this point I shrug my shoulders and comply.)

    Me: “Alright. Your total is $47.90.”

    Customer: “See! Much cheaper.”

    (The customer puts the turkeys in her cart and walk away. About twenty minutes later, I’m helping the customer service desk. The same woman from earlier comes in line looking clearly upset. I open my register. Since she is next in line, she comes to me.)

    Customer: “You cheated me! You gave me [Competitor Store] price when you knew your stores prices were cheaper!”

    Me: “Ma’am, if I remember correctly, I tried telling you our price. You insisted on getting [Competitor Store] prices. Knowing that the customer is always right, I did as you wished.”

    (The customer turns bright red and starts yelling.)

    Customer: “In this case the customer was wrong! Now give me your price.”

    Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am. Once meat leaves the store, we can no longer return it, nor change the price you received.”

    (The customer screams. She takes her three turkeys and runs off.)

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