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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!

    Look Into Your Heart You Know It To Be True

    | Lexington, KY, USA | At The Checkout, Love/Romance, Movies & TV, Theme Of The Month, Top

    (I’m checking out my items at the front of a store, when a couple bursts in. The girlfriend is clearly upset at her boyfriend.)

    Girlfriend: “You really expect me to be all right with you hanging out with your friends on our one-year anniversary?!”

    Boyfriend: “It’s been a tradition of my friends to do this for over six years! I can take you out any weekend, but [name of his friend] only gets his brother’s VHS copy of the original Star Wars movies once a year, and so we have a marathon! Come on! It has all the original scenes and characters before Lucas screwed it up!”

    Girlfriend: “You all are such nerds! Who cares about the changes! If anything, it made the movies better!”

    Boyfriend: “You haven’t even seen the movies!”

    Girlfriend: “No real girl has! I haven’t, and…” *points at me* “…she hasn’t! Fine! Go ahead with your stupid marathon! I don’t care anymore! Do whatever the h*** you want!”

    (The girlfriend storms down an aisle.)

    Me: *imitating Admiral Ackbar* “It’s a trap!” *imitating C-3PO* “Let the girlfriend win.”

    (Not only did the boyfriend crack up, but the check-out guy gave me his number!)

    Really Creped Out

    | New York, NY, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Food & Drink

    (I am a customer waiting for a table at a chain restaurant that specializes in breakfast. They are having their annual ‘free pancake day’ promotion. The free pancakes are available only for sit-down customers, not takeout. Another customer approaches the hostess station.)

    Hostess: “Hi, how many?”

    Customer: “Do you do takeout?”

    Hostess: “Do you mean for the free pancakes?”

    Customer: “Why would you even ask me that?!”

    Hostess: “I’m sorry, ma’am; that’s just what everyone else has been asking today.”

    Customer: “Well, I’m not everyone else. You have so many other things on your menu; why would you assume I want pancakes?”

    Hostess: “I’m sorry. Yes, we do takeout.”

    Customer: “Whatever. I don’t even want to eat here anymore. F*** you guys; you disgust me!”

    Refunder Blunder

    | Rochester Hills, MI, USA | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests

    (A customer has walked up to my register carrying a bag from a competitor. We’re a well-known, national chain drugstore and our stores are fairly small. The competitor is a major big box retailer. The names are not similar and our primary color is blue; the competitor’s color is red. The competitor is located on the other end of town.)

    Customer: “I need to make a return.”

    Me: “Okay. Do you have your receipt?”

    Customer: “Yes, it’s still in the bag.”

    (I reach into the bag and find a private brand item from the competitor and a receipt, also from the competitor.)

    Me: “Well, ma’am, unfortunately this item was purchased at another store, so I’m afraid I can’t do a return for you here.”

    Customer: “WHAT?! I bought it here yesterday!”

    Me: “I’m sorry, but this is generic brand for a different store. It is not possible you bought it here.”

    Customer: “Yes I did! The receipt is right there!”

    Me: “The only receipt in this bag is from [competitor].”

    Customer: “YES.”

    Me: “You’re at [my store].”

    Customer: *blank stare*

    Me: “Not [competitor].”

    Customer: *blank stare*

    Me: *holding up the circular* “You’re at [my store]. I cannot accept a return from [competitor], as it’s a different company, and this is not a brand that we carry. You need to go to [competitor] to return this item.”

    Customer: “Oh! You’re not [competitor]!”

    John Hancocked And Ready To Fire

    | Naples, FL, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Technology

    (I’m working the register. The pin-pad/card reader is about two weeks old, but the screen has already started to give out. I have been telling customers to be gentle with it, and to tap only once, as there is a pause between verification and the ‘yes’ and ‘no’ buttons going away, leading to a lot of screen mashing.)

    Me: “Good evening! How are you?”

    (I start scanning, and the customer remains silent. I scan all the items and I notice the customer has pulled out a debit card, so I start the little speech.)

    Me: “Okay, please swipe your card, and tap gently and once per button on the screen, as the—”

    Customer: “You know, that’s incredibly rude!”

    Me: “I’m sorry; I wasn’t trying to—”

    Customer: “You were! You are being very rude talking to me like that! I heard when you said that to the other person; you don’t repeat yourself to me!”

    (Other customers in the line start shaking their heads.)

    Me: “I’m very sorry. Please verify—”

    Customer: “STOP TALKING AT ME! I can call a manager over if you keep talking at me!”

    Me: “Okay.”

    (I wait for customer to finish. The customer attacks the pin-pad’s screen during the half-second wait for approval. I don’t say another word, and hand her the receipt. She leaves in a huff. The other customers in the line talk about how rude she was being, and the manager on duty comes up.)

    Manager: “Who was beating up my new cashier?!”

    Poor Memory

    | PA, USA | At The Checkout, Books & Reading, Money, Top

    (We are having a book drive for a local school that has had a terrible fire, causing it to lose its entire library. When customers come up, we are allowed to tell them about the drive and ask if they would like to donate. If not, it is okay, but we ask just the same.)

    Me: “Would you like to donate a book to the St. [Name] book drive?” *I clearly explain their situation*

    Customer: “No, I don’t give money to poor people. If they want money, they have to work for it like the rest of us. I don’t like lazy layabouts.”

    (I am about to remind the customer that it was a fire, when the customer’s husband interjects.)

    Customer’s Husband: “Do you really feel that way, dear? I wonder if you felt this way 27 years ago when we had an infant, no jobs, no money, and had to ask my parents for an allowance so we could live. Now that we have money in the bank, a Volvo in the driveway, and a designer handbag on your arm, suddenly we are too good to help others?”

    (The husband then turns to me.)

    Customer’s Husband: “Are these the books you are selling?”

    (The husband indicates a pile we have beside the register. I nod, dumbfounded.)

    Customer’s Husband: “We will take them all.”


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