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    Should Have Been Carted Away

    | Cedar Hill, TX, USA | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests, Money

    (The woman currently being served has a shopping cart PILED with food, clothes and toiletries, but most of it has been rung up and bagged, so I think she is almost done. However, the next man in line, cart about 2/3 full, turns out to be her adult son, and his cart is added to her purchases. No problem, I think; only one payment to process instead of two, this will be even faster. Then the trouble begins.)

    Cashier: “Your total is [nearly $900].”

    Customer: “Okay.” *swipes card*

    Cashier: “I’m sorry, ma’am, it’s declined.”

    Customer: “Try it again!”

    Cashier: *does so* “Hmm, declined. Do you have another card?”

    Customer: “No, I know there’s money on that card! You’re not doing it right!”

    Cashier: “I’m sorry, ma’am, sometimes the machine doesn’t read the strip. Let me type your number in manually… No, I’m sorry, it’s still declined. Do you have another method of payment, like a check?”

    Customer: “Who writes checks anymore? I got this check CARD! That’s what it’s for!”

    Cashier: “How about a credit card? Visa, Mastercard, Amex—”

    Customer: “No, credit cards are a scam. Are you saying I don’t have any money? I HAVE MONEY!” *waving debit card*

    Cashier: “It doesn’t tell me why it’s declined, ma’am, just that it is. There’s an ATM right there, if you’d like to step out of line and verify your balance while I ring up the next person—”

    Customer: “NO! You’re helping ME! Don’t you move!”

    (She has her adult son stand behind her carts so I can’t move up to the scanner belt. The cashier sighs, and shoots me an ‘I’m sorry’ look. The customer goes over to ATM and fiddles around for a few minutes, then gets on her cell phone to the bank but is stymied by the automated prompts. I think this surely can’t go on much longer, as we’re approaching the 15-minute mark for her transaction.)

    Cashier: “Ma’am, if you can’t pay at this time, I need you to move aside and let other customers through. I can suspend your transaction so we won’t have to ring everything up again when you have your payment ready.”

    Customer: “NO. I have money on this card! I always use this card here, and you always give me trouble about it!”

    Cashier: “Do you have another card I can try? Or possibly you could remove some items from your transaction and try again with a lower total—”

    Customer: “NO! I need all this stuff! And I always pay with THIS CARD! I’m not on welfare. I have money! Why won’t you take my card?!”

    (The cashier summons a manager, who tells the woman the same thing; if she doesn’t have a working debit card or other form of payment, she will have to leave her two full carts of bagged items and come back when she can pay.)

    Customer: “…and THAT is why I always carry cash!”

    (She whipped out a huge roll of bills and peeled off the required amount, with plenty left over, then strolled out with her son and their two shopping carts as every employee and customer in earshot stood with jaws on the floor.)

    Needs More Self-Help Than Self-Checkout

    | Tucson, AZ, USA | At The Checkout, Technology

    (I’m a customer at the grocery store using the self-check out. Another customer and his wife approach the self-check out when the husband suddenly stops and turns to his wife.)

    Customer: “I’m not using self-check out! Those machines are smarter than I am!”

    Some Customers Really Need To Change

    | CT, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Crazy Requests, Money

    (I work as a cashier in a small grocery store. An older woman comes to my register with two gallons of milk and some bread.)

    Me: “Okay, ma’am, your total comes to $10.08.”

    Customer: “I only have ten dollars!” *waves a ten dollar bill in my face*

    Me: “You know what? I’ll just pay the difference for you, since you’re a regular.”

    Customer: “Fine.”

    (I take a quarter out of my pocket, complete the transaction, drop the change in my pocket, and hand her the milk.)

    Me: “Have a great day, ma’am!”

    Customer: “Where is my change? The screen says my change is 17 cents.”

    Me: “Well, since I used a quarter to pay just the eight cents I took the rest of the change back.”

    Customer: “You should give it to me! You’re stealing from me, you little b****! Let me talk to your manager!”

    (She continues to yell at me and my manager for a few minutes, calling us evil thieves.)

    Manager: “No one is stealing from you, ma’am. She didn’t even need to pay the difference on your total.”

    Customer: “I’m never coming back here again!”

    (She storms out.)

    Fishing For A Fisherman

    | FL, USA | Crazy Requests, Food & Drink, History

    (I am working at the seafood counter of my store when a little old lady walks up.)

    Old Lady: “Did you catch these fish yourself?”

    Me: *thinking she’s joking* “Heh, good one.”

    Old Lady: “Well? Did you?”

    Me: “… No, ma’am.”

    Old Lady: “Well, which one of the people here did catch them?”

    Me: “No one here caught them, ma’am.”

    Old Lady: “You mean you didn’t catch them locally? What kind of fisherman are you?”

    Me: “I’m not a fisherman, ma’am. I’m a retail employee, as is everyone else here. Also, we’re right in the middle of the Florida peninsula, 45 miles to the ocean in either direction. And I couldn’t tell you anything about the fish living in local lakes or rivers, but I’m betting they’re not good to eat.”

    Old Lady: “Well, then how did you get these fish?!”

    Me: “They were farm-raised in Vietnam, frozen, shipped overseas, and driven here in a refrigerated truck.”

    Old Lady: “What’s happening to America?! When I was a little girl, we used to go down to all the Mom-and-Pop general stores and buy fresh fish, caught right here in God’s country!”

    Me: “Mom-and-Pop general stores don’t exist anymore, ma’am. My company had Mom and Pop locked up and burned their store to the ground.”

    Dealing With A Smoking Gun

    | CT, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior

    (I work at a grocery store at the courtesy desk. Our store is relatively new and doesn’t sell cigarettes, unlike most others of the same chain. One day a woman approaches the desk.)

    Me: “Hello. How may I help you?”

    Customer: “Yes, can I have a carton of Marlboro Lights?”

    Me: “Oh, I’m sorry, ma’am. This [Store] does not sell cigarettes.”

    Customer: *shocked and annoyed* “What? Why not?!”

    Me: “The owner made the decision not to sell them before he opened this store.”

    Customer: “I can’t believe this. That’s just UN-AMERICAN!”

    (Her husband who was nearby hears her and walks up.)

    Customer’s Husband: Hmm? What’s the matter?

    Customer: “This store doesn’t sell cigarettes! Have you ever heard of that before?! It’s just un-American!”

    Me: “I’m sorry for the inconvenience. There is a store in the plaza that sells cigarettes just outside here.”

    Customer: “I shouldn’t have to! It’s just un-American to not sell cigarettes!”

    (The customer storms off leaving me and her husband to just stare in confusion.)

    Me: “Have a nice day, sir.”

    Customer’s Husband: “Yeah, not when I’m out shopping with her!”

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