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    Talking Non-scents

    | Columbus, OH, USA | Bizarre, Family & Kids

    (It’s a couple months after the winter holidays and I’m working self-scan check-outs. My store offers everything from food to electronics. A woman flags me over to her self-scan.)

    Customer: “These scented candles are supposed to be on clearance.”

    (The candles are scented gingerbread. Holiday items are extremely discounted and the candles are clearly ringing up at full price.)

    Me: “Yes, ma’am, let me fix that for you.”

    (I begin to fix the price on the six or so candles she’s buying as she begins to bag up the rest of her items. She comes up to me a moment later.)

    Customer: “Have you smelled these? They smell awful. You would think they would smell better.”

    Me: “No, I haven’t smelled them.”

    Customer: *offers a candle* “You should smell them.”

    Me: “Uh…”

    Customer: “Go ahead. Smell it.”

    Me: *reluctantly taking a whiff* “I really don’t smell anything at all, ma’am. Do you not want the candles if they smell bad?”

    Customer: “Oh, no, I still want them.” *she bags the rest up*

    (I finish changing the prices and help her finish bagging. My thoughts still turn to the candles.)

    Me: “Why are you buying them if you think they smell bad?”

    Customer: “Because they’re on clearance! You can’t pass up on these prices!”

    (I know customers like this who feel strongly about deals but I’m still stuck on why she would still want so many even though she clearly doesn’t like the smell.)

    Me: “But what will you do with them?”

    Customer: *pause* “I think I’ll give them to my sister… I don’t really like her either.”

    On Her Own Little Aisle

    | The Netherlands | Bad Behavior, Crazy Requests

    (I have just finished counting my till and am heading towards the canteen to change and go home after a 10-hour shift. On my way there, a woman in a scooter stops me.)

    Customer: “Excuse me!”

    Me: “Yes?”

    Customer: “Where can I find [specific liquor]?”

    Me: *not willing to walk her to it as I’m off duty* “It’s in the next aisle, near the end.”

    Customer: “Can’t you get it for me? I can’t go driving around the store just searching! I need a lot of things and you know where they are.”

    Me: “I’m sure it’s there. Now, if you’ll excuse me…”

    (I go to the canteen, take off my work clothes, and change into my regular clothes. I head out and bump into the same woman.)

    Customer: “Oh, are you off?”

    Me: “Yes, I’m heading home.”

    Customer: “Can you get me the milk?”

    Me: *waving* “It’s over there.”

    Customer: “It’s too high up; I can’t get it from my scooter. Get it for me.”

    (I sigh and figure I’d be off faster if I just follow her commands.)

    Customer: “See, now we’re getting somewhere. This is customer service; you’d better learn it quick!”

    Fixing For A Fixing

    | London, England, UK | At The Checkout, Awesome Customers, Bigotry, Family & Kids

    (In my local supermarket, there’s a very nice chap who usually works behind the tobacco counter. I have no idea what his preference is, but he’s obviously flamboyant and camp. He’s also always very friendly and helpful to everyone.)

    Angry Customer: “God, that f****** [homophobic slur] is so slow!”

    (Everyone else in the queue turns in astonishment, not sure that they just heard that. The angry customer continues ranting:)

    Angry Customer: “Those d*** gays; they’re everywhere! I don’t know what’s wrong with—OW! OW!”

    (We all look down to see a five year old standing there, kicking the ranting guy hard in the shins, repeatedly.)

    Child: “You’re—” *kick* “—not—” *kick* “—a—” *kick* “—nice—” *kick* “—man—” *kick*

    (The angry customer grabs the child, to the complete shock of everyone watching, at which point he is tackled by several people.)

    Angry Customer: “I have my rights! I have been assaulted!”

    (The police arrive very quickly, and calm the situation.)

    Policeman: *to angry customer* “Well, we’ve heard from all these people that you grabbed and then tried to hit that little girl. Is that true?”

    Angry Customer: “I demand you arrest her! She attacked me! She’s guilty of assault!”

    Policeman: “She’s five! She can’t legally commit any crime. You, on the other hand, have assaulted a small child and are now under arrest.”

    (The best bit of the entire story? Various people offered to buy the little girl some sweets.)

    Little Girl: “No! I don’t want sweets. I want this!”

    (She has a cheap 50-piece toolset with screwdrivers, pliers, and so-on. We confirm with her mum that it is okay to buy that for her at that age.)

    Mum: “Sure, why not? You’ve already seen that she likes fixing things.”

    Fits The Bill Of A Criminal

    | England, UK | At The Checkout, Criminal/Illegal, Holidays, Liars & Scammers, Money, Theme Of The Month

    (A couple of years back I worked as a Christmas temp at a major supermarket during a year off from university course. It is in the middle of a very busy shift.)

    Customer: *walks up to checkout with two very expensive electrical items*

    Me: “Hello, sir.” *scans items* “That will be £380 please.”

    Customer: *hands me a wad of £20 notes*

    Me: “Thank you very much.”

    (I start to count money out in front of him while also checking each note for authenticity.)

    Customer: *suddenly aggressive* “What are you doing?”

    Me: “I have to check that this is the correct amount of money and it is our policy to ensure that all notes are genuine. I do the same for all notes I get handed.”

    Customer: *grabs notes and starts to count them out in front of me quickly*

    Me: “Sir, I need to count the money myself so I can check each note.”

    Customer: “I am not a criminal!”

    Me: *getting suspicious* “I am not saying you are, sir. I am only doing my job as thoroughly as I can. Sometimes fake notes can be picked up by accident and the person who has them is not aware they are fake. But if I were to allow one into the till it could be passed to another customer and at that point the shop would have committed a criminal offence and could be held liable. I need to check the notes.”

    (I pick up the notes and start to check them again.)

    Customer: “I AM NOT A CRIMINAL!”

    (The manager comes over at the noise.)

    Me: “Please calm down, sir!”

    Manager: “[My Name], what is going on?!”

    Me: “This gentleman is not allowing me to check and count his money.”

    Manager: “Please calm down, sir, or we will have to call security.”

    Customer: *screaming at the top of his lungs* “I AM NOT A CRIMINAL! WHY ARE YOU TREATING ME LIKE THIS?! I WILL F****** SLIT YOUR THROAT, YOU F****** B****!”

    (Security came running over and the customer was restrained. When we checked his money all but £100 of it was fake. The police were called.)

    In The Firing Line

    | England, UK | Holidays, Theme Of The Month

    (I work in a small supermarket in my small town. It’s near Christmas and we are fully staffed. I’m on my break after four hours of constant checkout work. I am in the queue with some food with a very impatient customer who is a frequent annoyance in our store. I already handed my notice of leaving in and am starting a new job after Christmas.)

    Customer: *looks at me* “I’ve been waiting for 20 minutes!” *it has actually been more like four minutes*

    Me: “Yeah, it’s very busy this time of year. Everybody does last minute shopping. I’m only going to have five minutes to each my lunch.” *attempt at defusing with a laugh*

    Customer: “Why are you not working? Can you not jump on a till?”

    Me: “Sorry, I am on my break. I’ve been here since six am.”

    Customer: “I thought you people were meant to help customers whenever they need? The poster says so.”

    Me: “I am sorry, but all the tills are being used.” *gestures to all tills* “And the poster says ‘ask a member of staff and we will try to help you.'”

    Customer: “I know you have a spare till in the back that you only use for staff. Can you not bring it out? *giving the b***iest look I’ve ever seen*

    Me: *with a sarcastic shocked look* “How do you know about our secret till?! I am only used as a decoy here in the customer queue so nobody can catch on to our super secret discount staff till in the back because I love to wait in a queue instead of eating my lunch!”

    (The customer then scoffs and gets served and turns around to me.)

    Customer: “I would wish you a Merry Christmas but you’re obviously not as educated as me to comprehend such words.”

    Me: “And a very Merry Christmas to you too, Mrs [Customer]. I can’t wait to serve you and your excessive amount of booze on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings whilst everyone judges you in the queue!” *smiles*

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