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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!

    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!)

    Honesty Is A Gift, Part 2

    | Newtown, PA, USA | At The Checkout, Liars & Scammers, Theme Of The Month

    (A customer comes into the store to use a store credit. Our store always issues store credits in the form of a gift card.)

    Customer: “I’d like to purchase this with my store credit.”

    (The customer hands me the receipt only.)

    Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but I would need the gift card that was issued you when you received your store credit.”

    Customer: “Oh no, that’s okay. The cashier said that I only had to bring in the receipt.”

    (I look carefully at the receipt to read the cashier name, because I would need to know which cashier successfully issued a store credit WITHOUT doing it properly, since the computer makes it fool proof.)

    Me: “No, ma’am, see, that’s a lie because I was the one that issued you your credit. Our cash registers make it physically impossible to give you a credit without that gift card…”

    Related:
    Honesty Is A Gift

    Bedraggle Their Haggle

    | Norway | At The Checkout, Family & Kids, Money

    (My local grocery store is in a neighborhood with a lot of children, and right next to a primary school, so there’s a lot of kids going there on their own. I end up in line behind two boys, around 10 years old. They are counting their money.)

    Boy #1: “I think we’re short.”

    Boy #2: “It’ll be fine. We can get it for less; I’ve done it before.”

    Cashier: *to the boys* “That’ll be [price].”

    Boy #2: “We have [slightly lower amount]. That’s enough right?”

    Cashier: “Sorry, it’s not.”

    Boy #1: “Oh, please?”

    Boy #2: “Yeah, it’s not that much.”

    (While it’s a very small amount of money, I understand the cashier’s reluctance. The boys continue to haggle. Seeing this will go nowhere, I decide to step in.)

    Me: “Here, I’ll pay the difference.”

    (The boys thank me and leave.)

    Cashier: “Thank you! It’s not a lot of money, but we have so many groups trying to haggle every day. It’s okay once in a while, but if I let all of them get away with it, my till would be short every day, and I can’t do that.”

    Me: “It’s no problem. I’ve been here just after schools out. Sometimes it looks like half the kids there stop by on their way home.”

    Cashier: *chuckles* “Sometimes it feels like that, too!”

    Spinning A Yarn About Being Sorry

    | Gaithersburg, MD, USA | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests, Home Improvement, Money

    (A customer brings up a skein of yarn to the register. I see she is intending to use a coupon.)

    Me: “Ma’am, that coupon won’t work on the yarn because it is on clearance.”

    Customer: “Well, that’s not very fair. It’s only a few cents off from the normal price, anyway.”

    Me: “Actually, these are normally about $6, and it’s coming up for $2.64, so it’s cheaper than you would get using a coupon on a regular-priced one. Would you still like to buy it?”

    Customer: “It’s not fair! Why can’t I get my discount!? This is ridiculous!”

    Me: “I’m sorry you feel that way, but we don’t give discounts on clearance items.”

    Customer: “Oh, I bet you are.”

    (I am becoming both annoyed and nervous that the customer is going to have a full-on meltdown over this. I attempt to sound deeply sorry.)

    Me: “I cannot express how bad I feel about this, ma’am. There’s really just not much I can do here.”

    (The customer suddenly starts laughing and smiling.)

    Customer: “Oh, I’m sure. I still don’t think it’s fair, but thank you for having some humor about it!”

    (The customer pays for her yarn and leaves. The next customer in my line has been watching the whole exchange and is just as surprised as me that things didn’t turn ugly.)

    Next Customer: “Is your boss around?”

    Me: “Actually, I’m the boss right now; I’m the only manager here tonight.”

    Next Customer: “Oh, well I would like to compliment the crap out of you! I was going to say something pretty soon if she kept on like that!”

    Take Note Of The Note

    , | NM, USA | At The Checkout, Liars & Scammers, Theme Of The Month

    (A customer comes into the restaurant and buys a juice for $1.60 with a $20 bill. I’m a bit suspicious of people who pay small totals with much larger bills, as I had just been scammed that weekend and had to pay $19 to the store.)

    Me: “Thank you, let me just get your change.”

    Customer: “Wait, wait! I just found the change in my purse. Here’s $1.60.”

    Me: “Okay, thank you. Here is your $20 back.”

    (I stare at the bill I hand back to her for a full second before actually giving it back to her. I have to be sure I hand her a $20 bill, as that’s how the scam works.)

    Customer: “Hey, you only gave me back a dollar.”

    (As if to prove this, the customer waives a dollar at me.)

    Me: “Ma’am, I am absolutely sure I gave you a $20 bill.”

    Customer: “No you didn’t; take this dollar and give me my $20.”

    Me: “Ma’am, I know I gave you a $20 bill. If you’d like I can pull this drawer right now and count it. If it’s over by $19, then it’s my mistake, but I am sure I gave you back your money.”

    Customer: “No, no I’m very busy.”

    Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am; store policy is that I pull and count the drawer, so I’m going to go ahead and do that. It’ll take a few minutes if you want to take a seat.”

    Customer: “No! I’m very busy; I have to get to work. I can’t wait for you. Just give me my $20.”

    Me: “There are cameras watching this drawer; I cannot do that. I have to pull the drawer.”

    Customer: “Well you do that! I’ll be back later!”

    (The customer ends up leaving the dollar she was waiving at me on the counter. My drawer was spot on plus the extra dollar she left. She tried to scam me and instead lost money! She never came back, of course.)

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