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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!

    Her Heart Is Just Not In It

    | Sheffield, England, UK | At The Checkout, Health & Body

    (A well-dressed, middle-aged lady comes to my till.)

    Me: “Hello there, how can I help?”

    Customer: “Just a packet of ten [Brand Cigarettes] please, dear.”

    (I go to the cabinet, find the cigarettes, scan them, and hand them to the customer. She stares at the packet.)

    Customer: “Oh, no, dear. I don’t think I’d like this packet.”

    Me: “That’s okay, madam. Which brand would you like instead?”

    Customer: “No, I mean I don’t like this packet. Could I have another please?”

    (The customer gestures to the health message on the packet, which reads ‘Smoking causes throat cancer.’ It comes with a rather graphic picture.)

    Me: “Oh okay, how about this one?”

    (I hand the customer a packet labeled ‘Smokers die young.’)

    Customer: “No… no, not this one either I’m afraid.”

    Me: “Okay, madam. How about ‘Smoking harms both yourself and others around you’?”

    Customer: “No, I don’t like that one.”

    Me: “’Smoking causes heart disease’?”

    Customer: “…no.”

    Me: “‘Smoking can cause impotence’?”

    Customer: *after a pause* “…yes. Yes, okay. I’ll have that one.”

    Tip Top Service

    , | Scotland, UK | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Money, Technology

    (Our card readers are set up to offer an option to add a tip to the total. This isn’t typical for card readers in our location, and it gives some customers a lot of problems, especially if they need reading glasses or don’t look at the screen.)

    Me: “Okay, sir, I just need to you to follow the instructions on the card reader now while it asks a few questions. The green button is yes, and the yellow button is no.”

    Customer: “Fine, fine, okay.”

    Me: “So, first it just asks if that’s the correct total, then it’ll give an option to add a tip if you’d like. Just press the yellow button if you’d prefer to skip it.”

    (I don’t usually spell it out quite this much, but I have the feeling that this man isn’t really listening.)

    Customer: “Yeah, fine, fine.”

    (The customer presses the buttons worryingly fast, then swears.)

    Customer: “Hey, why is it asking for my PIN again? I just entered that! Stupid machine.”

    Me: “Oh dear, I’m sorry but I think you may have entered your PIN as a tip. I’d better cancel the transaction to make sure it—”

    Customer: “No, no, it’s fine. I didn’t put in a tip.”

    Me: “Are you sure you definitely pressed ‘no’? The only way it’d ask for your PIN again is if the first time was the tip prompt, not the PIN prompt. It’s easily done. It’s happened before—”

    Customer: “Are you calling me stupid? Are you trying to suggest I can’t follow simple instructions? I’m a high-level manager at [Department Store Chain]. Do you think I can’t work a simple machine?”

    Me: “Really sir, I think it would be safer if I redo the transaction just in case.”

    (The customer sighs theatrically.)

    Customer: “Fine, then, just to prove to you that I’m not a moron.”

    (I cancel the transaction and the receipts print out. I see a tip had been added, and I only have to glance at the first digit to see that it could not have been intentional. I quickly hand the receipt over to protect the customer’s PIN privacy, without looking at the full number.)

    Me: “Here’s the cancellation receipts, sir, and I’m giving you both copies so that you can keep your PIN private.”

    (The customer takes the receipts and his eyes go wide. He seems to swell up, and for a moment I think he’s going to start screaming at me, before he suddenly deflates.)

    Customer: “Oh god, I’m so sorry. Thank you, you just saved me from a serious talking-to by accounts.”

    Me: “I’m sure your credit card company wouldn’t have authorised it anyway, sir, so it would’ve been fine. As I said, don’t worry. It’s happened before.”

    Customer: “No, you don’t understand. This company card has a £15,000 credit limit.”

    (I’m still not sure if the credit card would have authorised that size of transaction, but we still joke about the ’1000 per cent tip.’ Just for comparison, that first digit was a 6…)

    Just Burst Their Kentucky Fried Bubble, Part 3

    | USA | At The Checkout, Bizarre, Crazy Requests, Holidays, Theme Of The Month

    (I work for a gourmet chocolate shop, and the majority of our products are imported from several factories in Europe.)

    Customer: “Do you have chocolate turkeys for Thanksgiving?”

    Me: “No, Ma’am, we do not.”

    Customer: “Why the f*** not?!”

    Me: “Well, we’re a Swiss company, and they don’t celebrate Thanksgiving.”

    Customer: “You’re a f***ing liar. Like h*** they don’t celebrate it. It’s a national holiday!”

    Me: “Yes, it is. It’s a national holiday, Ma’am. It’s only celebrated here, in the US. You can try [other European brand], though. I’m pretty sure I saw chocolate turkeys in their window display.”

    Customer: “Trying to make me look stupid, huh? Well fine, I’m never shopping here again! And everyone knows that turkeys are extinct in Europe, so why would [other European brand] have chocolate f****** turkeys?!”

    Me: “…and you have a lovely day, Ma’am.”

    Related:
    From NotAlwaysLearning
    Just Burst Their Kentucky Fried Bubble, Part 2
    Just Burst Their Kentucky Fried Bubble

    Getting Owned By The Owner, Part 4

    | Philadelphia, PA, USA | At The Checkout, Food & Drink, Liars & Scammers

    Customer: “Hi, can I get a [sandwich]?”

    Me: “Sure, that’ll be [price].”

    Customer: “Oh, I’m the owner’s brother. I always get a discount.”

    Me: “You’re the owner’s brother?”

    Customer: “Yes.”

    Me: “No, you’re not.”

    Customer: “How do you know, you f****** b****?”

    Me: “I’m an only child.”

    (I then point to a photo of myself on the wall, with the word ‘OWNER’ just below it.)

    Me: “Full price then?”

    Customer: “…yeah.”

    Related:
    Getting Owned By The Owner, Part 3
    Getting Owned By The Owner, Part 2
    Getting Owned By The Owner

    Fast Food And Speed Dating

    | Oklahoma City, OK, USA | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests, Love/Romance

    Me: “Okay, you want a hamburger, hold the onions, with mustard and regular fries.”

    Customer: “That’s right.”

    Me: “Can I have a date?”

    Customer: “Oh no, you’re much too old for me.”

    Me: “A birth date. So we can call out your order. Like October 22nd?”

    (After the customer leaves, the owner turns to me.)

    Owner: “She could have at least lied and said she was already with someone.”

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