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  • Listening Skills Don’t Carry Much Weight

    | WV, USA | At The Checkout, Bizarre, Transportation

    (I am a cashier at a grocery store. Our management does not allow customers to take shopping carts outside. Instead, if a customer has a large order of groceries, we load them into a trolley and an employee follows the customer to their vehicles with the groceries. We always have employees on-hand to do these carry outs. An elderly customer comes to my register with several two-liters of soda and a box containing a 12-pack of soda, among other things. Thinking that this must be heavy, I offer to call a carry out for her.)

    Me: “Hello, ma’am, would you like a carry out today?”

    Customer: “What?”

    Me: “Would you like help out?”

    Customer: “What?”

    Me: “Would you like help out to your car?”

    Customer: “What?”

    Me: *very slowly and deliberately* “Would you like someone to help carry your bags to your car?”

    Customer: “Oh, no, dear. I don’t need that.”

    Me: “Are you sure? It would be no trouble at all.”

    Customer: “I’m sure!”

    (I shrug and ring up her order. I bag her groceries, she pays, and I hand her a receipt.)

    Me: “Thanks a lot. Have a great day!”

    Customer: *stares at her bags of groceries* “Well, how am I supposed to carry all of this by myself?!”

    A Mixed Bag

    | USA | At The Checkout, Bizarre, Language & Words

    Coworker: “Paper or plastic?”

    Customer: I don’t care. I’m bi. I like it both ways.”

    Not A Green Machine

    | Aurora, CO, USA | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Technology

    (At my store our pin-pad works a bit differently if you want credit instead of debit. You slide your card and then are prompted to enter your PIN. If you want credit you hit the green button – labeled CREDIT – as the red button cancels the transaction.)

    Customer: *slides card and hits cancel* “Oh, I’m sorry I think I canceled it.”

    Me: “That’s okay. Just slide your card again and hit the green button for credit.”

    Customer: “Okay, thanks.” *does so*

    (I finish the transaction and hand her the receipt, then start ringing out her boyfriend who was in line behind her and watching the whole thing.)

    Customer’s Boyfriend: *slides card* “I want credit.”

    Me: “Okay, sir, just hit the green button.”

    Customer’s Boyfriend: *hits the red button*

    Me: “Sorry sir, you canceled it. Slide it one more time and hit the green button for me.”

    Customer’s Boyfriend: *slides again and hits the red button again* “I want to do it as credit!”

    Me: “Yes, sir, just slide your card again and press the green button.”

    Customer’s Boyfriend: “… But I want credit.”

    Me: “Yes, sir, the green button for credit.”

    Customer’s Boyfriend: “To run it as credit? I don’t want to use my PIN.”

    Me: “Yes sir, just hit the green button for credit.”

    Customer’s Boyfriend: “But I want to run it as credit! I don’t want to enter my PIN!”

    Me: “I understand that, sir. Just slide your card for me and then press the green button for credit.”

    Customer’s Boyfriend: *narrows eyes and hits the red button again* “I WANT TO DO IT AS CREDIT!”

    (The first customer sighs and does it for him.)

    Customer’s Boyfriend: “But I wanted credit!”

    Me: *smiles* “It ran as credit, sir. See it shows it here on your receipt. Thank you and have a nice day.”

    Next Customer: *slides card and hits the red button*

    Me: *sighs*

    Some Customers Are Thicker Than Others

    , | Wichita, KS, USA | Crazy Requests, Extra Stupid, Food & Drink, Technology

    (It is my third shift at my first job. I have been mostly getting complicated/difficult orders, and I’ve had no real training; they threw me into the chaos and expected me to figure it out as I went. So far I had been managing, but only barely. An elderly customer  approaches the counter.)

    Me: *smiling brightly* “Hi there, ma’am. What can I get for you?”

    Customer: “I’d like a half pound of [specific cheese] sliced as thick as your slicer will go.”

    Me: “That’s half a pound of [specific cheese] on the thickest setting, right? Coming right up!”

    (I am incredibly relieved as I get the cheese she wanted and get it on the slicer. This is the easiest order I’ve had all day and I can’t see how it could possibly go wrong. I bag the cheese and hand it over the counter to her.)

    Customer: “No, this is wrong.” *hands it back*

    Me: “I’m sorry. What’s wrong with it?”

    Customer: “That’s not how thick I wanted it. That’s not thick enough!”

    Me: *bewildered* “I’m sorry, ma’am. You asked for the thickest setting on the slicer, and that’s as thick as it will cut things.”

    Customer: “No, it isn’t! I get it cut thicker all the time! It should be one block. ONE. BLOCK.”

    Me: “Uh, I’m terribly sorry about that. I’ll fix this.”

    (I go get one of the knives and proceed to cut about half a pound off the block of cheese and bag that for her.)

    Me: “Here you are. I’m really sorry about—”

    Customer: “NO! NO! YOU HAVE TO CUT IT ON THE SLICER!” *throws the block back over the counter*

    Me: “I…I…Ma’am, I’m really sorry, but the slicer won’t—”

    Customer: “Don’t lie to me! Don’t you lie to me! I want my cheese cut that thick on the SLICER!”

    (I begin looking around frantically for a coworker, but my shift supervisor, who had been there only moments ago, has conveniently disappeared, and my only other coworker is dealing with a long line of customers at the hot bar.)

    Coworker: *calling across the deli to me* “[My Name], go cut it on the ‘special slicer’ in the back. I guess [Shift Supervisor] forgot to show it to you. It’s by the prep table back there.”

    (I’m confused but take the cheese back. The only thing by the prep table are the sinks, but then I see clean knives on it and realize that I just need to cut the block with a knife where the customer can’t see me doing it, so I hurriedly do so and rush back to the front.)

    Me: *handing the new block over* “I’m really sorry about that, ma’am. I just started and no one told me about that slicer.”

    Customer: *snatching the cheese* “Hmph. Well, you should have known. Next time don’t be so stupid.” *storms off*

    (This coworker saved me on several other occasions when customers were being exceedingly difficult, though the ‘special slicer’ remains the most amusing to me.)

    The Collapse Of Human Decency

    , | MI, USA | Crazy Requests, Extra Stupid, Top

    (I work in the fuel kiosk at a popular chain grocery store. There is only one person in the kiosk at a time, unless cash office people are counting the safe money. I have not been feeling well, but come into work anyways.)

    Cash Office Worker: “Could you shut the safe for me?”

    Me: “Sure.” *notice a customer at the window and stand* “Hi, how can I—”

    (Suddenly I get very dizzy and pass out, hitting my head on the concrete floor. When I come to, my coworker is standing over me.)

    Cash Office Worker: “The manager is on his way, and an ambulance. Don’t try to sit up yet. Are you cold? Do you hurt anywhere?”

    Customer: “ISN’T ANYONE GOING TO F****** HELP ME?!”

    Cash Office Worker: “He’s been yelling for about two minutes now, even though he saw you pass out.”

    (The manager comes running into the kiosk.)

    Manager: “Is she okay? The ambulance is almost here. I heard the sirens.”

    Me: “I’m okay but I think my head is bleeding.”


    Manager: “You’ve got to be kidding me.”

    (The customer not only stood there and yelled the entire time, but later filed a complaint against me!)

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