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    Take A Swipe At Reading

    | Raleigh, NC, USA | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Technology

    (The card reader in my store is a little different, in that it asks you to select credit or debit before you swipe. It is much more intuitive than most, and the machine gives very explicit instructions, but it still trips people up. The following happens at least 10 times a day.)

    Me: “Your total is [total]. Go ahead and select credit or debit on the screen first, and then swipe.”

    Customer: “Credit.” *swipes card*

    Me: “You’ll need to hit the credit button first, and then you can swipe.”

    Customer: *swipes card*

    Me: “Ma’am, if you’re using credit, you’ll need to hit the blue button on the screen. After you do that, you can swipe your card.”

    Customer: *hits button on screen*

    (Screen now reads, in large letters, PLEASE SWIPE CARD.)

    Customer: *stares blankly at screen*

    Me: “Ma’am… swipe your card now.”

    Customer: *swipes card* “Why is it asking for a PIN? This doesn’t have a PIN, it’s a credit card! Why doesn’t your machine work?!”

    Me: “It’s asking for a PIN, because you hit the green debit button instead of the blue credit button. Hit CANCEL, and we can start this again…”

    Playing The Race Ticket

    | OH, USA | At The Checkout, Bigotry, Money

    (I am black/white biracial. I have just started working at a clothing and home goods store. We have a return policy that states that if an item doesn’t come back with a ticket, we have to go find one out on the floor. I’m working register, as are a Spanish/Mexican lady, a Puerto Rican, two African American women, and our Polish manager. An older African American lady comes up to the register five minutes before closing and wants to return a pair of jeans.)

    Coordinator: *who is Spanish/Mexican* “Sorry, ma’am, these don’t have a ticket and we haven’t received any of these in a while. We will have to find a pair on the floor to match the price.”

    Customer: *huffs* “Those pants were 12.99. Just make a ticket and take them!”

    (The coordinator sends out one of us to look for a pair.)

    Coordinator: “I’m sorry, but I can’t do that, ma’am. I need to have a number to make them from so that the computer will accept it.”

    (It’s taking a while to find a style that matches what the customer is trying to return and two minutes pass. During this time, the rest of us have finished behind the counter and are waiting for the return to finish so that we can close the store. Our manager has come up from the office to see what is taking so long.)

    Customer: *more huffs* “This is taking too long! Where’s your manager? I wanna talk to your manager about this!”

    (We all look at our bemused manager.)

    Customer: “What, that blonde lady?!”

    Manager: “I’m sorry, but this is our policy. To do the return, we need to copy a ticket.”

    Customer: *eyerolls*

    (A match is found and the return is completed. As the customer is stuffing her wallet back in her purse, she leaves the store, muttering.)

    Customer: “That’s racist. If I was a white woman it would’ve been done faster.”

    (We all turned to each other and start laughing.)

    Manager: “[My Name] is the only white person here! This blonde is all peroxide!”

    Unhappy To Have Nothing To Complain About

    | PA, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Bizarre

    (It is after dark and I am attending to a line of customers as we have had a pretty busy night due to the holidays. An older woman comes up to my register.)

    Me: “How are you today, ma’am?”

    Customer: *is quiet for a few moments before throwing her items onto the table* “Hello.”

    (I begin to scan her items all the while she makes numerous demands of how she would like everything bagged a certain way. I am pleasant and cheerful the entire time as she has caught me in a good mood.)

    Customer: “And see that you pack these together! Oh, and all the food in one bag. And make sure that box isn’t scratched!”

    Me: “Oh course. That’s no problem!”

    (I smile and continue to pack her things. There is a long pause.)

    Customer: *in a sharp and sarcastic tone* “Well, you sure are… chipper and rather fast today.”

    Me: *I smile* “Oh, I try to be! I’ve been here so long this job just comes as second nature.”

    Customer: “Well, see that you stop that! You’re going too fast for me! And stop being so happy!”

    Me: “… I’m sorry?”

    (The woman walks off as I am left stunned.)

    Coworker: “Did you really just get yelled at for being too nice?! Now I’ve seen it all!”

    Paying Dearly

    | AR, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Wild & Unruly

    (I am working my second day as a cashier when an elderly customer walks up with a bundle of bananas and a drink.)

    Me: “Hello, sir, and welcome to [Store]. Would you like me to match the price of these bananas, dear?”

    Customer #1: “No, godd*** it!”

    Me: “Okay. Not a problem. I apologize. Would like to donate anything to [Charity We Support]? ”

    Customer #1: *turns away and mutters something*

    Me: “Was that a yes or…”


    Me: *all smiles* “I’m so sorry, sir. Not a problem.”

    Customer #1: “I am so f****** tired of your s***, you little b****! The people here are so godd*** stupid. Quite smiling. Your job f****** sucks.”

    (He walks off cursing under his breath.)

    Me: *turning to the next customer* “Hello, dear. How ar—”

    Customer #1: *rushing back* “And don’t call people dear, you little tramp! I’m old enough to be your d*** grandfather and she’s a woman, you f****** lesbian!”

    (At this point, I’m almost in tears because it’s my second day ever and I’ve had nothing but positive responses all day. My current customer speaks up.)

    Customer #2: “Don’t listen to that old b******, honey. You’re doing great and can call me whatever you like. Now, how much can I donate to that charity you were askin’ about?”

    Stupidity Can Accumulate

    , | ON, Canada | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Math & Science, Money

    (I am working as a cashier. A customer comes up with a large order, which I ring up.)

    Me: “All right, sir, your total comes to $2000.”

    (The customer swipes his card and enters his account information and pin. It’s declined.)

    Me: “I’m sorry, sir, your card was declined.”

    Customer: “No, it wasn’t! I have lots of money in this account! Try it again!”

    (I try it again. Again it’s declined.)

    Me: “Did you mean to hit chequing? If you meant to use your savings account, that could be why it’s declined.”

    Customer: “No, I only use my chequing account!”

    Me: “Well, do you have a daily limit? Some banks have that set up, so you can only spend a certain amount each day.”

    Customer: “Yes, I have a $500 daily limit.”

    Me: “This transaction is for $2000, sir. That’s a lot more than $500.”

    Customer: “But I haven’t used this card in three days!”

    Me: “It’s a DAILY limit. It resets every day.”

    (I didn’t feel like explaining that, even if it was cumulative, that still wouldn’t have equaled $2000.)

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