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  • This Round He Lost (In Translation), Part 4
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    A Race To Be At The Place

    | LA, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior

    (Customer #1 is paying with a check. She’s one of our regulars, and a very nice person, but it does take her a little bit of time to write all the information on her check. Customer #2 is in line behind her.)

    Customer #2: “Oh, dear gawd. How long is this gonna take?”

    Me: “Just a moment, ma’am. We need to finish up here.”

    Customer #2: “Some of us ain’t got all day. We don’t go ‘round wasting other people’s time, but here they be wastin’ ours. F*** this!”

    Me: “We’re almost done, and stop cussing. Okay?”

    Customer #1: “Thank you, sweetie. Are we done? Okay, fine. Have a good day, now!”

    Customer #2: *mockingly* “Have a good day! Have a good day! Get your old a** out my way!”

    (I silently ring up the rude customer’s purchases, and then tell her the total. She pulls a plastic baggie from her purse and starts counting it out in loose change. It’s a large total, and several times she gets a text on her phone and then loses track of her count. All in all, it takes nearly ten minutes for her to pay.)

    Customer #2: “There! We done? I got places to be!”

    (Customer #2 then strolls out the door and stands leaning on the lamp post next to the street, talking on her cell phone. I start ringing up the next customer.)

    Customer #3: “Yep. That’s her place to be, I guess.”

    Very Shy To TMI

    | USA | At The Checkout, Rude & Risque

    (I am a cripplingly shy teenage girl, in line at a dollar store. The elderly customer behind me has noticed my shirt, which says ‘Top Ten Reasons I Procrastinate:’, and is otherwise blank.)

    Customer: “Hey, I like your shirt! You know, I wanted to procrastinate, but I kept putting it off.”

    Me: *laughs nervously*

    (The man starts putting his items on the conveyor belt.)

    Customer: “We’re gonna have fuuuuun tonight.”

    (I glance back and notice that he’s buying 10 bottles of baby oil, and nothing else. I turn bright red and turn away.)

    Customer: *laughing* “Aw, I think I scared her.”

    (An elderly woman has just come up behind the elderly customer.)

    Woman: “What’s that?”

    (The customer explains what’s just happened to the woman—his wife.))

    Woman: “Oh! Haha!” *she walks up to me* “You see, things tend to dry out when you get older!”

    Angels In America

    | GA, USA | Awesome Customers, Family & Kids, Top

    (I’m stocking a shelf. I notice a customer with her five-year-old daughter. They both look like they’ve been through a hard time.)

    Little Girl: “Mama, I’m hungry.”

    (The mother looks near tears.)

    Mother: “I know baby; I’m sorry. Mommy only has $5, so we have to find food that will stretch until next week when mommy gets paid.”

    Little Girl: “Okay.”

    (I see a another customer with a baby in a cart walk up to the woman.)

    Another Customer: “Excuse me, I couldn’t help but overhear you. I don’t mean to put you on the spot, but I’d like to help you.”

    (The other customer holds out a $20 bill. The mother starts to cry.)

    Mother: “You don’t even know me, and you’re trying to help me. My husband walked out. I work a minimum wage job, and it’s just been so hard. You’re the first person who has shown me such kindness in a long time, and you’re a stranger to me.”

    Another Customer: “I’m someone who thinks the world would work a bit better if people paid it forward a little more. I might not know you, but I know you’ve been dealt a bad hand. When’s the last time you ate? I’m sure you’re making sure your daughter eats, but when’s the last time you did?”

    Mother: “How did you—”

    Another Customer “Because you’re a mother.”

    Mother: “I… thank you so much! This will really help. Are you sure?”

    Another Customer: “I’m positive. You know you can get some of the stuff here ‘2 for 1’, so that can help.”

    Mother: “Thank you… thank you so much! I’ll find a way to pay you back.”

    Another Customer: “There’s no need to do that. I hope things get better for you, and when they do, you can pay it forward.”

    Mother: “Thank you so much.”

    (I’m called to the front, so I don’t see the rest of the exchange. The mother and daughter come through my lane with a cart full of food.)

    Little Girl: “Mommy, was that lady an angel?”

    Mother: “Yes baby, she was.”

    (Their total comes to just under the 25 dollars the mother had. I relate the story to my manager. When the other customer comes up with her daughter, my manager has a gift card for $20 waiting for her. That customer comes in every month or so, and we all refer to her as the angel.)

    Talking Non-Cents In The Dollar Store

    | Canada | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests, Money

    (It’s a busy Saturday, and both our cash registers are lined up with customers. A woman is stood next to the line-up, clearing her throat and trying to get my attention. She finally shoves her way to the cash, ahead of the line-up.)

    Customer: “I need to return all these stickers. I was charged $7, when they’re only supposed to be $2!”

    (I’d normally send her to the back of the line, but at this point it will be faster just to serve her and get her out of the way.)

    Me: “I’m sorry about that, sometimes when we’re busy a cashier can miss a mistake like that. I just need your receipt.”

    Customer: “I don’t have my receipt! I shouldn’t have to keep my receipt; you made the mistake!”

    Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am; but I cannot do a return or exchange without a receipt. There has been an issue lately of people trying to return items they didn’t pay for.”

    Customer: “Are you calling me a thief? You charged me $5 extra per sticker, and I bought ten stickers! Give me my money!”

    Me: “Again, ma’am, I’m sorry. I cannot do a return or exchange without a receipt. If you’d like to wait a few minutes, my manager will be back from her break. Honestly, she’s only going to tell you the same thing, however.”

    Customer: “This is ridiculous, I’m not waiting around for anyone! You’re wasting my time; now give me my money back! This happens all the time here! You guys didn’t ask for a receipt the last time! I’m a paying customer! I bought a bunch of these stickers before, and the same thing happened!”

    Me: “If this has happened to you with this item before, why didn’t you confirm they were ringing in at the correct price the second time?”

    (The woman turns beet red. Without saying anything, she throws the stack of stickers at me and storms out the door, shoving past people as she goes.)

    Next Customer: “They really need to give you kids hazard pay for this s***.”

    Bowling For Breadwinners

    | Massapequa, NY, USA | Family & Kids, Wild & Unruly

    (I work at a dollar store in the area where I pack out boxes for a summer job. I am assembling plastic cups in the children’s section when I hear a large bang behind me. I turn around and find a child holding a heavily-loaded shopping cart loaded inches away from my legs. With all that weight, he could have severely injured me. The cart apparently hit the box I was packing out from.)

    Customer: “Mommy! I almost hit him!”

    Customer’s Mom: “Don’t worry sweetie. You’ll get him next time!”

    (I never asked to work in the children’s aisle again!)


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