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  • Smoking Away The American Dream

    | WV, USA | At The Checkout, Bizarre, Crazy Requests, Family & Kids, Wild & Unruly

    (A family walks in and gets some cigarettes and snacks. They walk to their vehicle and after ten minutes, the father, who was pretty rude earlier, walks back inside.)

    Me: “Hello.”

    Customer: “I need a new pack of cigarettes.”

    Me: “Okay, sir, which kind?”

    Customer: *tells me name of the cigarettes*

    (I go to ring them up, at which point he stops me.)

    Customer: “No, no, no! I want to exchange the ones I just bought for those!”

    Me: “Okay, sir, may I have the other pack?”

    (The customer hands me the opened, and half-gone pack of cigarettes.)

    Me: “Sir, once these are opened, I am not allowed to return or exchange them.”

    Customer: *angrily* “THIS IS AMERICA!”

    (I am slightly thrown off and just stare for a moment. He widens his eyes and tilts his head forward wanting a response.)

    Me: “Sir, I know this is America, but with THAT logic, I can go to a bank, rob it, scream ‘THIS IS AMERICA,’ and run out with no repercussions. This IS most definitely America, but we have rules and policies here that we still have to follow.”

    Customer:“I have the receipt!!”

    Me: *knowing full-well he declined the receipt when I offered it to him* “Sir, even with a receipt I cannot return an opened and incomplete item to the shelf.”

    Customer: “Give me my receipt!”

    (I print it out and hand it to him. He leaves and his son enters.)

    Son: “I need to exchange these.” *lays receipt on counter*

    (At this point I am very agitated.)

    Me: “Sir, I cannot exchange or return open and incomplete items.”

    Son: “But I have a receipt!”

    Me: “Sir, I’m sorry but it doesn’t matter. The cigarettes are open and several have been taken out. All I can do is ring up a new pack.”

    Son: “Can I have my money back for these, then?”

    Me: “No, sir, the pack is opened and some are missing.”

    Son: “Well, I’ll just keep the pack. You just give me my money!”

    Me: “That’s not how this works. I can’t give you a refund and let you keep the pack. But I can’t give you a refund on incomplete and used items anyway.”

    (At this point THE WHOLE family comes in and is yelling at me in another language, screaming occasionally ‘This is America!’ and ‘I know my rights!’)

    Son: “We want to see the policy that states you can’t take these back and give us a refund.”

    Me: “It isn’t written anywhere. It’s common sense.”

    Son: “I want to speak to a manager!”

    (Only one person is on shift at a time. Managers are not on site either.)

    Me: “No managers are currently on site, sir.”

    (This is also at 12 am and we are directed to leave any complaining customers with the store phone number and a time when managers will be available.)

    Son: “Then give me their personal number!”

    Me: “At 12 am? Sir, I can guarantee if you call them at 12 am, you will not get what you are wanting. Besides, we are not allowed to give customers personal numbers. I can give you the store number and a time when a manager will be available, but that’s really all I can do.”

    Son: “I’m calling the cops, then.”

    Me: “That’s fine. Please do.”

    Son: “You are a horrible employee!”

    Me: “Tell me, would YOU buy a pack of cigarettes that was ready opened? Or want to even use a pack of cigarettes that someone you know nothing about opened and touched?”

    Son: “…no.”

    Me: “Exactly. So why would you expect someone else to do the same?”

    Son: “THIS IS AMERICA!”

    Gonna Spread Her Terror Across The Street

    , | NY, USA | At The Checkout, Bigotry, Religion

    (I’m a customer waiting in line at a local convenience store. A man and a woman walk in, grab drinks out of the cooler and head for the register to pay. Suddenly, the woman throws the drink on the ground.)

    Woman: “Oh, h*** no! I don’t buy nothing from no towelhead, Muslim terrorists!”

    (The man behind the register, who is Middle Eastern, says nothing.)

    Woman: “You know what? F*** this place. I’m going to [Store across the street] and buy my stuff from Americans!”

    (Both of them storm out the door and head across the street. I walk up to the counter.)

    Me: “Well, that was interesting.”

    Clerk: “They’re not going to like it any better over there.”

    Me: “No?”

    Clerk: *laughing* “My brother owns that store!”

    Reading The Smoke Signal Loud And Clear

    | Columbus, OH, USA | At The Checkout, Awesome Customers, Bad Behavior

    (I’m working third-shift in a quiet part of town, when a car pulls up, a man steps out, walks in, and comes up to the counter.)

    Customer: “Pack of Marlboro Reds.”

    Me: “Sure thing. May I see your ID?”

    Customer: “What?”

    Me: “Your ID. I need to see it before I can sell you cigarettes.”

    Customer: “Are you f****** kidding me?”

    Me: “…no, sir. I need to see ID before I can sell you cigarettes.”

    Customer: “Look, I know this is a s***ty little town, but in a real city like Cleveland, they don’t ask people older than 18 for ID for just cigarettes.”

    Me: “Sir, I doubt that. I’m abiding by state law, and that applies in Cleveland, too.”

    Customer: “Just give me the smokes!”

    Me: “Sir, I can’t do that without ID.”

    Customer: “You know what? You’re just some dumba** kid who works a s***ty job, and you’ll never amount to anything because you live in this piece of s*** town. If you had a real job or weren’t a total loser, you wouldn’t be such a piece of s*** about this. You won’t ever be anything in life, you f***.”

    Me: “That might be true, but, you know what I can do that you can’t?”

    Customer: “WHAT?”

    (I turn, grab a pack of my brand of cigarettes off the shelf, scan them, pull out my wallet, swipe my card, grab my receipt, open the pack, and slide a cigarette behind my ear, before pocketing the smokes and receipt.)

    Me: “I can buy cigarettes here.”

    Customer: “F*** YOU!”

    (He turns and storms out.)

    Me: “Have a great mornin’!”

    Knocked Back By An Explosion Of Ignorance

    | MN, USA | Extra Stupid, Family & Kids, Transportation

    (Obviously at a gas station, most people know that gas is flammable and it’s dangerous to leave your car running while pumping gas. When we see a car running we are supposed to shut off the pump and tell them to turn off their vehicles so they can resume fueling the vehicle. Most do it; some fought about it.)

    Me: *shut off a pump and talk over the intercom* “Ma’am, on pump nine, in the black car, can you please turn off your vehicle so I can restart the pump?”

    (I watch the customer continue to try and pump gas, ignoring me. I tell her two more times to turn off the car before she finally hangs up the pump and comes in.)

    Customer: “I have pump nine. $2.83. And I couldn’t turn off my car because I had my kid in there.”

    Me: “It’s the law, ma’am. Your kid won’t freeze in the few minutes the car is turned off. If I had let you continue you could have possibly blown up the place and it wouldn’t have mattered if your kid was in the car.”

    Customer: “I’ve never heard of such a thing in my life.”

    Me: “It happened not too long ago at [Nearby City].”

    Customer: “That’s bulls***. I’m never going to stop here again.”

    Me: “That’s fine with me, ma’am. I’d like to keeping living and not get blown up by ignorant people such as yourself. Have a nice day.”

    Unbelievable To Unrecieptable

    | Germany | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests, Technology

    (During a change of shifts we are required to count the till. Unfortunately, there is a major technical problem with it at the end of my shift. As my coworker and I try to resolve the issue, a customer walks in. In front of us is a huge mess of receipts and an empty register drawer, while we ruffle our hair and write calculations down on pieces of paper. I’d consider it obvious that something is wrong.)

    Me: “Hi, there. I’m terribly sorry, but the till is broken at the moment. Is there anything I can do for you that doesn’t require a transaction?”

    Customer: *smiling understandingly* “Oh, I just need to pay for gas.”

    (I look at the pump’s registry. The customer owes us €20 flat.)

    Me: “Oh, now that’s convenient. That’s 20 exactly, so tell you what: If you have the proper amount on you and don’t need a receipt, you can just pay and be on your merry way while we try to sort this out. How does that sound?”

    Customer: *still friendly* “Hmm, that’s a pity. I need a receipt.”

    Me: “Well, I wouldn’t want you to wait longer than you really need to, so how about I write one by hand?”

    Customer: “No, that won’t do. I don’t like those. I’d prefer one printed by a machine.”

    Me: “All right… I’m very sorry, but in that case I will have to ask you to wait. If you change your mind, please don’t hesitate to tell us.”

    (She nods and strolls around the store for a bit as my coworker and I finally try one last thing – successfully. At least I can log on again. At this point, the customer has been waiting for about 2-3 minutes, tops. I put in the empty drawer and flash the biggest smile I can muster.)

    Me: “Again, I apologize for the delay, but at least we can take care of you now. Okay, that’ll be €20 exactly, please.”

    (As I say this, the customer slams the money down on the counter and gives me a death glare.)

    Customer: “Ridiculous! You should be ashamed, keeping me waiting like this! This was the worst service I have ever gotten!”

    (She curses under her breath as she leaves. Without her receipt.)

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