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    Like A Dog After A Bone

    | USA | At The Checkout, Bizarre, Pets & Animals, Theme Of The Month

    (It’s about half an hour before closing time on a Saturday, which is jokingly referred to by the employees as ‘the creeper hour’ because of all the strange customers we get during that time. However, this night has been relatively slow and weird-free. Customer #1, a man, comes to my line and sets down two cartons of ice cream.)

    Me: “How are you today?”

    Customer #1: “Fine, thanks. My dog wanted to go for a ride, so I thought I’d reward myself for listening to him.”

    (I kind of laugh with the customer and ring through his order. After he pays, he still stands at my register, staring at me.)

    Me: “Can I help you with anything else?”

    Customer #1: “My dog is a real little dog. It’s probably tearing up my car right now. I can never get him to settle down.”

    Me: “Yeah, smaller dogs tend to have more energy.”

    Customer #1: “It’s because his parents are siblings.”

    Me: “Oh…”

    Customer #1: “I had the brother and sister dogs and they got together somehow. Had four puppies. One was born with heart problems and died. I gave two away.”

    Me: *trying to not cringe* “Okay…”

    Customer #1: “I don’t know how they did it. I don’t know why they did it. Why do brother and sister dogs f***? I caught them once. I couldn’t get the brother dog off his sister. You just never forget those kinds of things.”

    Me: “Sir, do you mind just—”

    (At this point, a second customer comes to my line. She loudly throws some soup cans on the conveyor belt.)

    Customer #2: “Oh, hello, sweetie! How are you tonight?”

    (Customer #1 glares at her and moves down a little, but still is at my register and opens his mouth as if to continue talking.)

    Customer #2: *loudly* “Boy, I can’t believe how great the sales are this week! Oh, do you mind putting my milk in a bag? I hate to be a bother, but it’s just easier to carry.”

    (Customer #1 finally seems to get that he can’t continue talking about his incestuous dogs and actually pouts as he walks away.)

    Customer #2: “Actually sweetie, I’m sorry. I’m not done shopping yet. I still need to get a couple more things. You just looked like you needed a way out.”

    Me: “Oh, my god, thank you so much. Here, I’ll unload the rest of your things and ring them through while you go get what else you need.”

    Customer #2: “But did I hear him right? Did he really say what I think he said? Who even thinks that that’s okay?!”

    Me: “Ma’am, I don’t mean to be crass but if you think that’s weird then you don’t want to hear the other stuff people have said to me.”

    (She laughs and gets the rest of her groceries. When she pays, she asks for $5 cash back and gives it to me for ‘putting up with the village of idiots.’)

    It’s Not Cute

    | Aurora, CO, USA | At The Checkout, Food & Drink, Rude & Risque, Theme Of The Month

    (At my store we sell a brand of clementines known as ‘Cuties.’. Sadly, this is kind of a common occurrence.)

    Me: “Sir, would you like your cuties in the box or in a bag?”

    Customer: *takes them out of the box and hands it to me* “This is for you, because you’re such a cutie.” *winks*

    Me: “Um… thanks…” *smiles awkwardly and finishes the transaction* “All right, sir, your total is [amount]. Would you like any help out to your car tonight?”

    Customer: “Will you be the one helping me out?”

    Me: “No, that would be him.” *points to the male courtesy clerk*

    Customer: *face falls* “Then, no.”

    Vampire Hunting For Beginners

    | Melbourne, VIC, Australia | Bizarre, Theme Of The Month

    (I am standing at the tills waiting for a customer to finish browsing. I look down to adjust the bags and look up to him approaching me.)

    Customer: *throws something at me*

    Me: “Sir, why did you throw a clove of garlic at me?”

    Customer: “Just wanted to test your reflexes!”

    Me: “…”

    Bad Grandpa

    | TX, USA | At The Checkout, Rude & Risque, Theme Of The Month, Tourists/Travel

    (I am a female cashier and recently turned 21. I have worked at this store since I was 17 and am known for being a bit of a goody-goody with the other staff and regulars. A regular customer and I are discussing how much I would love to travel some day, with him telling me about his experiences.)

    Customer #1: “It isn’t so bad. You just backpack it. Go to a town, get a job for a while, and then move on when you’ve saved up again. And most of Europe speaks English, so it’s not like you have to learn every language along the way. Just a few phrases here and there.”

    Me: “I suppose. I guess I’d just be nervous to do it alone, y’know?”

    Customer #1: “Oh, yeah. The whole girl thing. I suppose you wouldn’t want to travel alone?”

    Me: “Yeah. Hostel horror stories, right?”

    Customer #1: “Well, don’t let it stop you. Find a friend or something. A girl friend, if that helps.”

    Me: “Maybe!”

    Customer #1: “Good luck with that! Next time I’m here, I want to hear you’ve bought a one-way plane ticket!”

    Me: “Hah! Yeah, right. Thanks! Have a great night!”

    (As the first customer heads off, the customer after him steps forward. He is a small, elderly man with a shaved head, round frame glasses, gold chains around his neck, large rings and a Hawaiian shirt. He isn’t a regular and I’ve never seen him before.)

    Customer #2: “I heard you talking about travelling around Europe.”

    Me: “Oh, yeah. It’ll probably never happen, though.”

    Customer #2: “Yes, yes. Travel can be scary.”

    Me: “And expensive. Maybe after I graduate.”

    Customer #2: “Are you eighteen?”

    Me: “Excuse me?”

    Customer #2: “Are you eighteen? You said after you graduate. High school?”

    Me: “Oh. No. I’m …yeah.”

    Customer #2: “Well. Perfect. You look so young, I wasn’t sure!”

    (He starts writing his name on the back of a business card. The other side has a generic sounding company name in hot pink, with a woman’s first name, phone number and email address.)

    Customer #2: “My friend, [Name On Business Card], can help you out. She makes good money…” *he winks* “…on the internet.”

    Me: “Oh. That’s. Okay. I’ve got a job.”

    (I start checking faster, feeling suddenly very awkward.)

    Customer #2: “No really! It’s very lucrative. Very discrete.”

    Me: “…”

    Customer #2: “You just tell her that [Customer #2] referred you, okay?”

    (He refuses to leave without putting the card in my hand when I give him the receipt. My bagger hands him his items and the customer leaves. The bagger approaches me as I’m tossing the card in the garbage under my register.)

    Bagger: “Dude, did you just get hit on by a sleazy grandpa?”

    Me: “Actually, I think he was soliciting me to make internet porn.”

    Bagger: “… I can’t decide if that’s worse or not.”

    Silenced Her Cake-Hole

    | Wasilla, AK, USA | Bad Behavior, Food & Drink

    (I am in at the customer service desk behind a lady who is attempting to make a return.)

    Customer: “This is false advertising! You’re f****** lying to your customers!”

    Clerk: “I’m sorry, ma’am?”

    Customer: “THIS!” *slams a half-eaten cake onto the counter* “The label says it’s ‘German Chocolate Cake!’ I bought it for my book club as part of our International Cuisine week and they tell me it’s not from Germany at all!”

    (The clerk and I both get the same look of utter disbelief.)

    Clerk: “Erm, yes, ma’am. German cake is named after the man who created it, Sam German. It has nothing to do with the country.”

    Customer: “Well, how the h*** are customers supposed to know that? Do you have any idea how embarrassed I was by this? I should sue you for emotional distress!”

    Clerk: “Do you have your receipt? We normally don’t return food if it’s half-eaten but I’ll see what can be done for you.”

    (The woman shoves her receipt in the clerk’s face and grumbles as the clerk goes off to check with her manager.)

    Customer: “Honestly, can you believe the type of people they employ here?”

    Me: “Yes, I know. It’s quite impressive, isn’t it? I doubt I’d have been that patient if it were me behind the counter.”

    Customer: “Huh?”

    Me: “Well, she’s happily making the effort to circumvent policy for something that is not at all her fault. If that had been me you were yelling at, you’d probably be wearing that cake right now, and have been kicked out of the store for being such a clueless, abusive idiot.”

    (The customer opened her mouth as if to say something, but couldn’t think of anything. When the clerk came back, saying she could give the woman a full refund, the customer quietly accepted it and quickly took her leave.)

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