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  • July Theme Of The Month: Great Timing!

    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!

    Time To Call It A Night

    | ON, Canada | At The Checkout, Bizarre, Theme Of The Month

    (I work the overnight shift. There is an older gentleman who says he can’t sleep at night so he often comes through my drive thru on his scooter to talk to someone. I feel bad for him at night and talk with him because there’s no way for him to get inside, but whenever I see him in the light of day he gets a lot creepier. It’s about 6:30 in the morning when I’m leaving work. My dad has come in to offer me a ride home when the customer rides into the parking lot.)

    Customer: *yelling across the parking lot to my dad* “Where are you going?! That’s my night time girlfriend!”

    Refunder Blunder, Part 5

    | Calgary, AB, Canada | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid

    (I’m the assistant manager of my store. I’m at work on a quiet day when I get the following call.)

    Caller: “Hello. I’ve got a problem here.”

    Me: “Sorry to hear that. What’s the issue?”

    Caller: “A refund with you guys didn’t show up on my credit statement!”

    (It’s rare, but possible for an employee to make the mistake of charging the card a second time instead of refunding the money, so I check that right away.)

    Me: “Oh, dear… By any chance does the same charge from us come up twice? If so—”

    Caller: “No, no. There’s just no refund listed!”

    (Baffled, I get her to give me the date and number from her receipt so I can look up the transaction.)

    Me: “Oh, so, this is the sale transaction, not the refund. When did you come in to return the items?”

    Caller: “I didn’t.”

    Me: “You… Sorry, what?”

    Caller: “I didn’t return them.”

    Me: “So… you didn’t actually do a return with us, and now you’re wondering why there’s no refund on your credit statement?”

    Caller: “Well, it just sounds silly when you put it like that!”

    Refunder Blunder, Part 4
    Refunder Blunder, Part 3
    Refunder Blunder, Part 2
    Refunder Blunder

    Diolch yn fawr Very Much, Part Dau

    | Deiniolen, Wales, UK | At The Checkout, Language & Words

    (I am on about my third shift as a new employee at a petrol station. I am currently the only day-staff member who speaks Welsh, and many customers, it seems, have never met the store’s Welsh-speaking night staff. As I live and work in a very Welsh-speaking area, my ability to use the language seems to be something of a novelty for the regular customers).

    Customer: *in Welsh* “So nice to have a true Welsh-speaking Welshwoman on the staff here, even if you’re not local.”

    Me: *in Welsh* “Well, thank you for the compliment. There are actually two ‘true Welsh-speaking Welsh’ staff members, but I’m afraid I’m not one of them!”

    Customer: *in Welsh* “Sure you are. I mean it’s obvious you’ve come up from, like, [Mid Wales Town] or somewhere to study at [Nearby University], as your manner of speaking is a bit more polite than us lot. We do like to yell at each other, you know.”

    Me: *in Welsh* “Well, you’re right about me studying at [Nearby University], but I’m actually from [Southern England town]. I’m polite because I am working in a shop and I’ve been trained to always treat customers with care and respect.”

    Customer: *in English* “No f****** way! You can’t be English. Your Welsh is too good!”

    Me: *in Welsh* “I assure you, I am English. I’ve had 3.5 years of Welsh lessons, and plenty of friends who’ve encouraged me to practice the language so that I’m comfortable using it in a work situation. I am flattered that you felt my Welsh was good enough to count me amongst born-and-bred Welsh speakers, though.”

    Customer: *in English* “So you could understand everything I was saying to you just now?”

    Me: *in Welsh* “Well, weren’t you of the impression I was from [Mid-Wales Town]? We sustained a conversation in Welsh.”

    Customer: *in English* “I just can’t get my head around being able to talk in Welsh to an English person. I’m sorry, but I’m going to have to talk to you in English. I can’t deal with talking to you in Welsh. It’s too much.”

    Me: *in Welsh* “Whatever makes you more comfortable. Would you prefer it if I also switched to English?”

    Customer: *in English* “Oh God, no! It’s about time you lot learned our bloody language!”

    Diolch yn fawr Very Much

    Likes To Party Hard

    , | Mexico | At The Checkout, Rude & Risque, Theme Of The Month

    (I am the cashier at a convenience store that also has a pharmacy on the back. It is a slow day and my pharmacy coworker asks me to watch his station for a minute. A mustached, gallon-hat wearing cowboy (boots and all) comes up to me and asks in a very deep voice:)

    Cowboy: “Do you carry generic Viagra?”

    Me: *stunned* “I’m sorry. If you could just wait for a minute?”

    (Thankfully my coworker heard him and took over. I went back to my station and then the same customer appeared. His purchases? Generic Viagra, a tequila bottle, and a 25-pack of lollipops…)

    Past The Point Of No Return, Part 6

    | NJ, USA | At The Checkout, Criminal/Illegal, Liars & Scammers

    (I’m on the floor helping a customer in our perfume department. She picks up two full sized perfume boxes and heads up to the registers. The line is long, so I follow her up and ring the line down. Finally, she approaches my register.)

    Me: “Hi, again. Decided to just get the perfumes?”

    Customer: “Huh? No. I need to return these.”

    Me: *turns the perfume around and point to the soft sensors on the back of the boxes* “Seriously?”

    (The customer finally looks at me and I can see the instant she recognizes me.)

    Customer: “Oh… uh… forget it.” *runs out of the store*

    Past The Point Of No Return, Part 5
    Past The Point Of No Return, Part 4
    Past The Point Of No Return, Part 3
    Past The Point Of No Return, Part 2
    Past The Point Of No Return

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