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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!

    Just Till-ing It Like It Is

    | East Sussex, England, UK | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests

    (A customer comes in at about 2 pm; he is the only customer in the store.)

    Customer: “Why is there only one person by your tills?”

    Coworker: “Because it’s a quiet period. My manager and my other colleague are currently restocking the shelves.”

    Customer: “That’s ridiculous! Somebody should be on every till!”

    Coworker: “Ma’am, with respect, you’re the only person in the store. Why would we need all three tills to be manned?”

    Customer: “I should have the right to choose who I get served by.”

    Coworker: “Well, I could buzz for my colleagues if you like?”

    Customer: “No, I don’t want to have to wait. I’m busy. I’m in a rush.”

    Coworker: “Well, either I can buzz for my colleagues or I can serve you and you can get on with your day. Which would you prefer?”

    Customer: “NEITHER! I WANT TO CHOOSE MY TILL!”

    Coworker: “Ma’am, those are my only two options. My colleagues aren’t at the till. If you want a choice, I can buzz them and they’ll get here within twenty seconds, or I can serve you and you can be out of the store and getting on with your day within twenty seconds. The choice is utterly yours.”

    Customer: “I can’t believe your service is so poor. You know what? I don’t even want this!”

    (The customer puts down a bottled drink.)

    Customer: “I will just have a drink when I get home.”

    (By now, my manager and I have heard the commotion. We come over after the customer leaves.)

    Manager: “What just happened?”

    Coworker: “I… I’m not sure.”

    A Wee Bit Foreign, Part 2

    | Brisbane, QLD, Australia | At The Checkout, Bigotry, Language & Words

    (I am Scottish, and working the registers.)

    Me: “Hi, how are you today, ma’am?”

    Customer: “Pardon?”

    Me: “Uh, was just asking how you were going today.”

    Customer: “Wow, that’s a strong accent you have there. Are you working whilst backpacking or something?”

    Me: “No, ma’am, I have lived here for the last 10 years now. Moved over here with my parents.”

    (I continue scanning and packing the customer’s items, while she just stares at me blankly.)

    Customer: “So, if you’ve been here so long, how come you still can’t talk properly?”

    Me: “Uh… I’m sorry, ma’am?”

    Customer: “Oh, it’s alright. Not your fault you’re a bit slow.”

    (After finishing the transaction in stunned silence, she thanks me and leaves with her items. I look over at my supervisor who heard the exchange.)

    Supervisor: “You always get the interesting ones, don’t you?”

    Related:
    A Wee Bit Foreign

    Phoned In Bad Customers

    | Pensacola, FL, USA | At The Checkout, Awesome Customers, Crazy Requests, Technology

    (My phone is old and has stopped working, so I’ve taken it in to get it replaced. The clerk and I have had to switch registers twice now because of a malfunction. I find it amusing and he keeps thanking me for being patient.)

    Clerk: “I’m sorry about how long this is taking.”

    Me: “It’s no problem. I work with computers every day. I know how finicky they can be.”

    Clerk: “You would be surprised at how mean people can get.”

    (I am about to tell him I know because I worked retail to get through college. As if on cue, a customer storms into the store and begins yelling.)

    Customer: “Where are your mice?! [Other Store] sent me over here because all they have are Chinese mice, and I want a good mouse!”

    Assistant Manager: “Sir, this is [cell store]. We don’t sell mice.”

    Customer: “The b**** at [Other Store] said this store had them! Where is [Office Supply Store]?!”

    Assistant Manager: “I don’t know, sir. I’m only a temporary employee here. I don’t live in this area. I’m sorry.”

    Customer: “D*** right you are!”

    (I am fed up, and attempt to keep this customer from berating the employees more.)

    Me: “The [Office Supply Store] is just down this road next to another [Cellphone Store].”

    (I proceed to give the customer directions, and he leaves in a huff without a thank you. Another customer chimes in shortly after he leaves.)

    Customer #2: “Now everyone, turn to the person next to you and thank the good Lord that they aren’t like that man.”

    (The store erupts in laughter. The clerk goes back over my account and found a bunch of discounts for me!)

    This Scam Gets Top Billing

    | Buckinghamshire, England, UK | At The Checkout, Liars & Scammers, Money, Theme Of The Month

    (A customer walks up to my till with his items and hands me a £50 note. I immediately become suspicious as the transaction total is only £7.50.)

    Me: “Okay, that’s £7.50, and here’s your change.”

    (I always count up the change I take out of the till.)

    Me: “So that’s £20, £20, £1, £1, 50p, totaling £42.50, right?”

    (The customer takes the money and starts to walk out. My manager, who is nearby, sees the customer pocket something. While looking towards me, my manager points to his office before he disappears. I am about to serve the next customer when my original customer comes back up to me.)

    Customer: “Sorry, you seem to have only given me £22.50.”

    Me: “Oh, I’m sorry. But I know I counted out £42.50 exactly.”

    (The customer then places the £22.50 back on the counter and empties his front pockets.)

    Customer: “See, only £22.50. Can I have my other £20 back please?”

    Me: “I’m sorry; I can’t open the till for that without a manager’s authorization. It’s against company—”

    Customer: “But this next customer is paying by cash, so you can just take it out then, can’t you?”

    Me: “No, that would be negligence on my part as I would be removing too much money from the till during that transaction, and it would not show up on our register logs.”

    (The customer then steps aside and lets the next customer come to the till. The first customer then starts insulting me in front of the other customers.)

    Customer: “You thief! You b****!”

    (I process the next customer’s items and then take his cash and open the till drawer.)

    Customer: “See? It’s open now and you won’t give me my £20 that you stole from me!”

    (The customer reaches over towards the till drawer.)

    Me: “Sir, I told you I need a manager before I can process that!”

    (I slam the till drawer closed before the customer can get near it. I then hand the next customer his change, who thanks me and leaves. I turn back to the first customer, whose face seems to be getting redder and redder.)

    Customer: “How long are you going to keep me here?!”

    (Just then, the phone next to my till rings, with the display showing ‘MANAGER.’)

    Me: *to the customer* “Just a second, sir.”

    Manager: *to me over the phone* “The customer has hidden the missing £20 in his back pocket.”

    (I try not to smile as I put the phone back down and my manager appears from the office. I turn to the customer and speak loudly enough that the other customers in line can hear.)

    Me: “Sorry, sir, but my manager has told me I cannot open the till to give you your £20 back, because you have it in your right back pocket.”

    Customer: *flustered* “T-that’s a lie! How d-dare you, you f*****!”

    Me: “Sir, I’ve been told to ask you to leave before we call the police.”

    (At this point I have my finger on the panic button, and he can visibly see that. He quickly gathers up his change from the counter and runs out of the store yelling profanities at my manager and me. The next customer, an elderly lady, walks up.)

    Elderly Lady: *laughing* “Even I counted it out when you did and got the same amount, and I tell you, that’s a feat at my age!”

    This Just Took A Downward Slide

    | USA | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid

    (A customer walks up to my register and tries sliding his card.)

    Me: “Oh, actually, your card won’t work until the very end of the transaction.”

    Customer: “Oh, okay.”

    Me: “Do you have a [store loyalty card] with us?”

    Customer: “Yes. Under my phone number.”

    Me: “Okay.”

    Customer: “It’s [number].”

    (I type in the phone number.)

    Me: “Under [Name]?”

    Customer: “Yes.”

    Me: “Okay, so then just hit ‘correct’ over there for me.”

    (I gesture to the screen. The customer slides his card again.)

    Me: “Oh no, first you’ll need to hit ‘correct’ for me.”

    Customer: “Okay.”

    (The customer slides his card again.)

    Me: “No, hit correct first.”

    Customer: “Okay.”

    (The customer slides his card AGAIN.)

    Me: “Hit the button.”

    Customer: “Oh.”

    (The customer slides his card again. I give up and just hit the ‘total’ button.)

    Me: “Okay, you can slide your card now.”

    Customer: “I thought I slid it already.”

    Me: “You did, but I wasn’t ready for you yet.”

    Customer: “Oh, slide now?”

    Me: “Yes.”

    (The customer slides his card. The PIN number prompt comes up. The customer just sits there, staring at nothing in particular.)

    Me: “It’s asking you to put in your PIN number.”

    Customer: “Oh, okay.”

    (The customer types in his PIN, and then stares off into space again.)

    Me: “Now it’s asking you to approve the total.”

    (The customer hits the ‘no’ button.)

    Me: “Is something wrong?”

    Customer: “No, why?”

    Me: “Well, you hit the ‘no’ button.”

    Customer: “Oh, I thought it was asking me if I wanted cash back.”

    Me: “No. We don’t offer cash back. It was asking you to approve the total. No worries, I can re-run it and it’ll just ask you to put in your PIN again.”

    Customer: “I have to put in my PIN AGAIN?”

    Me: “Yes, you do.”

    Customer: “Ugh. This is so FRUSTRATING!”

    Me: “Okay, so now just hit ‘yes.’”

    (The customer finally hits ‘yes,’ and we are able to go on our merry way!)

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