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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!

    Countering Those At The Counter

    | IN, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Crazy Requests, Health & Body

    (I’m in line at the pharmacy. It’s been a long day, and I just want to pick up my prescription and go home. The customer in front of me has a basket full of groceries.)

    Customer: “I need to pick up my medicine! And I want to pay for my groceries here. I only have six things.”

    Pharmacist: “Sure, let me get those for you.”

    (The customer puts way more than six grocery items on the counter. I am beyond irritated at this point since she’s making me wait. As the pharmacist scans the groceries, however, I decide not to let it get to me. The wait isn’t that much longer, and I’m next in line anyway.)

    Pharmacist: “… and there you go. You’re all set. Have a nice evening!”

    Customer: “You too.”

    (The customer turns to go and notices me standing in line behind her.)

    Customer: *to me* “Excuse me.”

    Me: “Oh, it’s no problem—”

    Customer: “I SAID, EXCUSE ME. THE SIGN SAYS YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO WAIT FOR THE PHARMACIST, NOT CROWD AROUND THE PEOPLE AT THE COUNTER. YOU ARE IN MY WAY!”

    (She grabs her stuff and storms off in a huff, leaving both me and the pharmacist speechless.)

    Trying To Force It Through

    | QLD, Australia | At The Checkout, Geeks Rule, Movies & TV, Technology

    Customer: *waving shirt in front of scanner* “Sorry, I can’t scan this item! I’ve tried so many times.”

    Me: “Sorry about that.” *scans item in one go* “There you go!”

    Customer: “Oh… uh…”

    (I notice it’s a ‘Trust Me, I’m a Jedi’ Shirt.)

    Me: “It’s okay… I’m a Jedi.”

    Lack-Of-Clothes Make The Lack-Of-A Man

    | UK | At The Checkout, Money, Rude & Risque

    (An older customer comes to my checkout. He has been staring at me a lot while he has been waiting for service. I am 17 at the time.)

    Customer: “Are you from [area in my town]?”

    Me: “Oh, no. I don’t live there.”

    Customer: “Are you sure? I’ve seen you around there, at [address that is not mine].”

    Me: “Oh, no. You must be mistaken.”

    (The transaction continues, extremely awkward as he keeps insisting he ‘knows me from somewhere’ and has ‘seen my house’ and things to that effect. I brush him off as one of the harmless, odd customers that one sees in a day.)

    Me: “Right, so that comes to £52.56.”

    Customer: “Oh I only have £50 on me.”

    Me: “Well, if you have no other means of paying, we’ll have to take something off.”

    Customer: “Like your clothes?”

    Me: “…no.”

    Customer: “Like my clothes?”

    (I am speechless and upset, and about to go into a rant and call a security guard over, when the next customer intervenes.)

    Next Customer: “You are soooo creepy, mate.”

    (The customer scuttles off after paying me the full amount, obviously embarrassed about being caught harassing a teenage girl!)

    Lucky Dollar Thirteen

    | OH, USA | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Math & Science

    (It is my first day working the cash register, and everything is going well. A customer approaches my register with a handful of items. At first, she can’t figure out which items she wishes to use for which promotions, constantly changing her mind. Then she wants to use multiple (expired) coupons on her purchase. I call my coworker over to help explain to the customer how the promotions and coupons work. We finally get her straightened out on the promotions, and then this exchange happens.)

    Customer: “Okay, I think I got it. Now, with this coupon I get one item free, right?”

    Me:” Yes, ma’am, one item up to $13.”

    Customer: “Okay, well, these items here are about $13 total. Can I use those?”

    Me: “No, ma’am, the coupon is for one item up to $13.”

    Customer: “Oh, okay. I’d like to use this item, then.”

    (She places her coupon on a $14 item.)

    Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but you can’t use the coupon to get that item free; it’s $14.”

    Customer: “But, you said $13.”

    Coworker: “Yes, up to $13, but that is $14.”

    Customer: “But, you said $13.”

    Coworker: “Yes, up to $13. THAT’S $14.”

    Customer: “But… didn’t you say $13?”

    Coworker:  Yes, the coupon is up to $13. That item is $14.”

    (This continues back and forth for nearly a minute.)

    Customer: “OH! You mean INCLUDING $13!”

    Coworker: “Yes?”

    Customer: “Well, the coupon should say that. I’ll find another item.”

    (The customer goes to get another item– We still don’t know if she understood a word we said. Since we don’t know how long the customer is going to take, I invite the next customer in line to come to the register.)

    Next Customer: *sets her items on the counter with a gracious smile* “I have four items and no coupons.”

    Me: “I am so sorry for your wait, ma’am…”

    Renamed And Shamed

    | UK | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Extra Stupid, Wild & Unruly

    (This takes place at our order collection till. The system is down and as such we can’t check whether customers’ orders are in or not. It’s also close to Christmas and we’re full of customers. A woman approaches my till.)

    Me: “…and what name—”

    Customer: *quotes her order number*

    Me: “Sorry, ma’am, our system is down. Can I please have the name it’s under?”

    Customer: “[Customer].”

    Me: “And how many items is it?”

    Customer: *sighs* “Can’t you just check?”

    Me: “Sorry, like I said our system is down. How many items are you expecting?”

    Customer: “One.”

    Me: “Okay, ma’am. I’ll go get it for you.”

    (I go into the stockroom and search under the initial of her last name. I can’t find any under her name. So I go back to the customer.)

    Me: “Hi, sorry. I can’t seem to find your parcel. Can you just write down the full name it’s under?”

    (Customer writes it down, sighing the whole time. I go back and still can’t find the parcel.)

    Me: “Is it possible it could be under another name?”

    Customer: “No! I think I know my own name! What kind of stupid question is that?!”

    Me: “I understand. It’s just, sometimes—”

    Customer: “Just go back and check! You know this is supposed to be a faster option! I’ve been waiting in this line for half an hour.”

    Me: “I apologise, ma’am.”

    (I go to the stockroom for the third time. This time asking for the delivery team to help me find it. They tell me to leave and cover other customers. while they continue searching. I go to the customer and tell her the delivery team are looking.)

    Customer: “You know, I’m getting sick of waiting!”

    (She continues ranting at me and ‘terrible service at this store’ until her phone rings.)

    Customer: *on the phone* “I’ve been waiting for ages! They’re all useless! It can’t be that hard to find a parcel for [Customer]. It’s not exactly a common name.”

    (Suddenly the customers face goes white and she looks away from me.)

    Customer: *hangs up phone* “It… er… it may be under [Different Name].”

    (Lo and behold it was under Different Name. And, surprise, surprise – I didn’t get an apology.)

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