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    Lucky Dollar Thirteen

    | OH, USA | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Math & Science

    (It is my first day working the cash register, and everything is going well. A customer approaches my register with a handful of items. At first, she can’t figure out which items she wishes to use for which promotions, constantly changing her mind. Then she wants to use multiple (expired) coupons on her purchase. I call my coworker over to help explain to the customer how the promotions and coupons work. We finally get her straightened out on the promotions, and then this exchange happens.)

    Customer: “Okay, I think I got it. Now, with this coupon I get one item free, right?”

    Me:” Yes, ma’am, one item up to $13.”

    Customer: “Okay, well, these items here are about $13 total. Can I use those?”

    Me: “No, ma’am, the coupon is for one item up to $13.”

    Customer: “Oh, okay. I’d like to use this item, then.”

    (She places her coupon on a $14 item.)

    Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but you can’t use the coupon to get that item free; it’s $14.”

    Customer: “But, you said $13.”

    Coworker: “Yes, up to $13, but that is $14.”

    Customer: “But, you said $13.”

    Coworker: “Yes, up to $13. THAT’S $14.”

    Customer: “But… didn’t you say $13?”

    Coworker:  Yes, the coupon is up to $13. That item is $14.”

    (This continues back and forth for nearly a minute.)

    Customer: “OH! You mean INCLUDING $13!”

    Coworker: “Yes?”

    Customer: “Well, the coupon should say that. I’ll find another item.”

    (The customer goes to get another item– We still don’t know if she understood a word we said. Since we don’t know how long the customer is going to take, I invite the next customer in line to come to the register.)

    Next Customer: *sets her items on the counter with a gracious smile* “I have four items and no coupons.”

    Me: “I am so sorry for your wait, ma’am…”

    Taiwannical Behavior, Part 2

    | Taiwan | At The Checkout, Bigotry, Geography, Politics

    (I am Caucasian and work in Taiwan. Taiwan is a de facto independent country, even though China claims otherwise. Chinese tourist are notorious for harassing the locals on that issue, but I never had to deal with that personally.)

    Customer: *rudely, as she enter the store* “You work here?”

    Me: “Yes, I do.”

    Customer: “You live in this city?”

    Me: “Yup, for many years now.”

    Customer: “Why you choose here and not Beijing?”

    Me: *cautiously, as I realize from her accent she is Chinese* “I like the life here.”

    Customer: “But Beijing is better! You should come to Beijing instead.”

    Me: “Beijing is probably very nice. Maybe I will visit someday.”

    Customer: “You better move. This city is no good. Beijing is better.”

    Me: “So, may I assume you are from Beijing?”

    Customer: *proudly* “Yes, I am!”

    Me: “Cool! So we are both foreigners here!”

    (She gave me a very black, angry look, then left the store without saying another word.)

    Taiwannical Behavior

    Should Have It Pinned Down By Now

    | ME, USA | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Technology

    (I am cashing out a customer who has just slid her debit card.)

    Customer: “This number pad is so big. Everyone can see me entering my PIN!”

    Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am. I assure you that I can’t see it from here.”

    (In addition, I make an obvious attempt to look away. The customer finishes typing in her PIN, and then taps ‘cancel.’)

    Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am. You did tap cancel, so it’ll just have you slide your card and enter your PIN again.”

    (She sighs dramatically, grumbling about the size of the number pad and how everyone can see. She finishes entering the PIN, and then taps ‘cancel’ again.)

    Me: “I’m sorry. It looks like you tapped cancel again. Slide your card one more time, then enter your PIN and make sure to tap the green ‘enter’ button.”

    (She gave me an ‘are you kidding me?’ look, and then reluctantly slid it again. As she typed in her PIN for a third time, she mumbled something along the lines of ‘after all this, you’ll have it memorized’…)

    Turns Out Not To Be Sweet Nothings

    | NY, USA | At The Checkout, Awesome Customers, Food & Drink

    (I am working the register, and it has been a bit slow. A man approaches with two shirts. I ask him all the usual questions, like if he found everything and if he’d like to sign up for our rewards card, and we get to the total.)

    Me: “Okay, your total is $27.94.”

    Customer: *looking at the candies by the counter* “Hmm, chocolate covered blueberries?”

    Me: “Yeah, I’ve had something like those before. They were weird, but pretty cool. Are you going to get those? If you are, I’ll need to add them to the total.”

    Customer: “Okay, sure. And I’ll share them with you guys!”

    (I look at my coworker who is standing behind me, trying to figure out if he’s serious or not. I can’t tell, so I just laugh awkwardly and add them to his purchase.)

    Me: “Okay, your total now is $35.05.”

    (The man swipes his credit card, and I give him his receipt. Then, he rips open the bag and offers some to me.)

    Me: “Wait, you were serious?”

    Customer: “Yeah! Hold out your hand and say when.”

    (He gave a couple to my coworker and me, then left. They were very good, and the gesture made my night!)

    Trying To Do A Double Take With A Double Take

    | NH, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Family & Kids, Liars & Scammers

    (I work in an ammo store. I’m working a morning shift, unpacking some newly arrived freight with 3 other workers. We’d just received some highly in-demand ammunition, in bulk packages, which is limited to 1 per customer per day due to its popularity. It comes in 325 round boxes, which is good for 1 to 3 trips to the shooting range. An older customer, gray haired and in his 60s, comes in.)

    Customer: “Hey, you have .22 ammo! Lemme get three boxes!”

    Coworker: “Sorry, we have a limit of one box per customer.” *hand him one box*

    Customer: “Oh, c’mon! No one cares. Just let me get three!”

    Coworker: “Sorry, I can only give you the one.”

    Customer: “What if I pay for this, leave, and come back?”

    Coworker: “I couldn’t give you another.”

    Customer: “You’re kidding me!”

    Coworker: “Nope, sorry. Strict policy, because it sells so fast.”

    (Customer walks away. After a few minutes, the guy who was behind the counter goes in the backroom to work there, and a suspiciously identical customer appears. He then speaks to a coworker who saw/heard none of the previous.)

    Identical Customer: “Hey, was my brother just in here?”

    Other Coworker: “Huh?”

    Identical Customer: “My brother! Looks just like me!”

    Other Coworker: “Uh…”

    Identical Customer: “Well, whatever. Hey, can you sell me some .22 ammo?”

    Other Coworker: “Um, sure…”

    (My other coworker begins walking to the ammo counter. I look over at my manager and shake my head ‘no.’)

    Manager: “Did he just leave here with .22 a minute ago?”

    Me: “Yup.”

    Manager: “Sir, we can’t sell you anything.”

    Identical Customer: “What?! That was my brother!”

    Manager: “No, it wasn’t. You need to leave.”

    Identical Customer: “Really!? You can’t hook me up?”

    Manager: “No. Leave.”

    Identical Customer: “Oh, well. Hey, you know I was just kidding, right?”

    Manager: “No.”

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