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    From Mumble To Stumble To Rumble To Humble

    | USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Health & Body

    (I have an inner ear condition and am hearing impaired but not really to the degree that I need a hearing aid. An older woman approaches my line.)

    Me: “Hello! How are you today?”

    Customer: *mumbles while looking at the floor*

    Me: “Um… I’m sorry. What did you say?”

    Customer: *sighs and looks to the right, still away from me, mumbling again*

    Me: “Ah, okay.”

    (I ring up her items and tell her the total. She holds up three different cards and mumbles again, but I can read her lips to understand, ‘not enough.’)

    Me: “I’m sorry. I didn’t quite catch that. Did you say you want to use all three cards?”

    (She nods and rolls her eyes, then swipes the first card.)

    Me: “All right, and how much did you want on that one?”

    Customer: *mumbles into the card reader*

    Me: “I’m sorry. What did you say?”

    (She mumbles once more, but since this is the third time I asked her to repeat herself and I’m feeling embarrassed, I just let the transaction run through as if she was using one card because I have no idea how much she wanted on there. The card is, of course, declined and she shouts wordlessly.)

    Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am. Could you swipe it again, please? And I’m sorry, but how much did you say you wanted on that card?”

    (AGAIN she mumbles, with her head bowed so low I can’t even see her lips to try to read them. By that point, I’ve had enough.)

    Me: “Ma’am, I’m sorry, but I really need you to speak up, please. I’m hearing impaired and you’re speaking rather softly. I can’t hear you at all.”

    Customer: “You lying b****!”

    Me: *taken aback* “Excuse me?!”

    Customer: “Lying about being deaf is no excuse for your irresponsibility! You’re young! You’re not deaf. If you were, you’d have an earpiece in! You just listen to your music too loud; all you kids do. Keep that up, and you WILL be deaf before long!”

    Me: “Ma’am, I have [inner ear condition]. I have constant, loud ringing in my ears. Several times per day I lose all hearing in one or both of my ears for anywhere between three seconds to three hours. You’re right; I’m most likely going to completely lose my hearing before I’m 40 because there’s no cure or real treatment for it beyond surgery that might not even work. So please, while I still can hear you at all, could you speak up just a little?”

    (The customer stares at me, red-faced and silent, for a few moments. Finally she swipes the card again and then looks at me.)

    Customer: *loudly* “I’d like $10 on this card, please.”

    Seriously Cheesed Off

    | FL, USA | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Food & Drink

    (I work in the deli section of my store. We have only one meat slicer and one cheese slicer. Right now, we have a long line at the slicers. My coworker is slicing meat and I’m slicing cheese.)

    Me: *to the line of people* “Cheese? Cheese? Anyone getting sliced cheese?”

    (A customer puts his phone down and approaches.)

    Customer #1: “Hi, can I have a pound of turkey?”

    Me: “Okay. Any cheese for you, sir?”

    Customer #1: “No, I’m not getting cheese.”

    Me: “Oh. Well, I was asking about cheese. My buddy here is slicing meat. He’ll be with you in a moment.”

    (He gives me a disgruntled look and gets back in line.)

    Me: *louder* “Is anyone getting cheese sliced today?”

    (Another customer approaches me.)

    Customer #2: “Yes, can I get cooked ham, please?”

    Me: “Do you need any cheese, sir?”

    Customer #2: “No.”

    Me: “Then I’m afraid there will be a short wait. I’m only slicing cheese; my coworker is doing the meat.”

    Customer #2: “Um, okay.”

    (He gets back in line.)

    Coworker: *snickering*

    Me: *very loudly* “DOES ANYONE HERE NEED SLICED CHEESE?”

    (A little old lady walks up to me.)

    Customer #3: “I want to get some turkey breast, please.”

    Me: “Are you getting any cheese, ma’am?”

    Customer #3: “No, I don’t need any.”

    Me: *sighing* “I’m sorry, I’m only slicing cheese. He’s doing meat. I’m doing cheese.”

    Customer #3: “You mean I have to wait?!”

    Me: “We only have one meat slicer, ma’am.”

    (She throws her hands up in frustration and gets back in line. My coworker is now chuckling loudly.)

    Me: “Well, since no one needs cheese, I’m going to go clean up the mess in the cooler.”

    Coworker: “What mess?”

    Me: “The one that’s going to be there after I face-palm my brains all over the wall…”

    Listen To The Irony Of The Situation

    | Abilene, TX, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Bizarre, Theme Of The Month, Top

    (I work as a cashier in a grocery store that values guest service very highly. We’re expected to greet, converse with, and thank every customer. My current customer, a young woman, is talking on her cell phone.)

    Me: “Hello. How are you today?”

    Customer #1: *talking on phone* “… and then we went to the mall and shopped for mom’s birthday…”

    (Noticing she’s on her phone, I don’t attempt to make any more conversation other than ‘paper or plastic’ and ‘sign here, please.’ She doesn’t say a word to me. I then turn to the next person in line, an older lady shopping with a friend.)

    Me: “Hi! Did y’all find everything you needed today?”

    Customer #2: *ignoring me, speaking to her friend* “Can you believe that girl? When I’m working at [Retailer], I won’t ring them up until they get off the phone. So rude!”

    Me: “Would you like your milk in a bag, ma’am?”

    Customer #2: *still speaking to friend* “I mean, is your conversation SO important that you can’t pay attention to the person in front of you?”

    Me: “Your total is [amount]. Can you sign the screen, please?”

    Customer #2: *signs without looking at me, still chatting* “Common courtesy is dead, I’m afraid.”

    Me: *quietly bagging the groceries* “Thank you. Here is your receipt. Have a nice day.”

    (They left without a word. Some people just aren’t very self-aware, I guess!)

    Self-Disservice Checkout, Part 2

    | Grand Junction, CO, USA | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Technology

    (I make a quick stop at a grocery store one afternoon. I am using the self-checkout when I can’t help but overhear a couple at the self-check stand behind me.)

    Lady: “Why isn’t it working?”

    Man: “I don’t know. Just set it on the scanner.”

    Lady: “It still isn’t doing anything. Why won’t it scan?”

    (My curiosity finally gets to me and I turn to see what the problem was. The couple has a bell pepper, without any barcodes or stickers on it, and are trying to figure out why the scanner can’t read it. I just stand there staring at them in shock when the attendant walks up to assist them.)

    Attendant: “Oh, here, I’ll show you. There’s no barcode on that. You have to find the code.”

    Lady: “What!?! Why does it need a barcode?”

    Related:
    Self-Diservice Checkout

    Common Sense Isn’t In The Cards

    | USA | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Technology, Theme Of The Month

    (I work at a grocery store that has a club card for ‘extra’ savings. Two customers come up with a six-case of wine. I ring them up.)

    Me: “Ma’am, do you have a club card?”

    Customer #1: “What is this?! You are charging me too much! Fix it!”

    Me: “If you just swipe your club card, the price will drop. Do you have one?”

    Customer #1: “You are overcharging me! Give me my money!”

    Me: *calmly* “Do you have a club card?”

    Customer #1: “I said give me the correct price NOW!”

    Me: “Ma’am, you need to put in your club card number for the discount. Do you have—”

    Customer #2: “Listen, girl, just give us the correct price!” *begins screaming in unison with friend*

    Me: *being interrupted every other word* “I cannot give it to you without a club card. Would you like to sign up for one?”

    (Eventually, I beckon my manager over and end up using one of our spare cards to show them the discount. He smoothes things over, but not before one of them tells him that I should be more polite. He pulls me aside to ask what happened.)

    Me: “They wouldn’t let me even explain that they needed a club card for their discount.”

    Boss: “Well, next time, just swipe it. And remember, just because you and I have common sense doesn’t mean they do.”


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