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    Age Is Only A Social Security Number

    | Oklahoma City, OK, USA | Politics

    (I am ringing up a middle-aged man.)

    Customer: “You go to school, son?”

    Me: “Yes sir, I’m a college student.”

    Customer: “Good good. Be sure to start paying into social security. I’m going to need it soon.”

    Self-Diservice Checkout

    | Sheffield, UK | At The Checkout

    (A customer is getting frustrated at the self-checkout.)

    Customer: *shouting* “Miss! Miss!”

    Me: *with another customer* “One minute, please, I’m helping this lady right now.”

    Customer: *goes red in the face* “Miss!”

    Me: “Give me a minute, please. I’ll come to you next.”

    (The angry customer starts swearing and hitting the machine. The customer I am working with politely offers to wait while I go to the other customer. I apologize and go to the angry customer.)

    Me: “Can I help you?”

    Customer: “The stupid machine stopped working!”

    Me: “An item you have scanned isn’t on the metal bagging pad. Mind if I take a look?”

    Customer: *grunts*

    (I find that all but three items of a 30+ item shop has not been scanned. I explain the situation.)

    Customer: “Oh God, no! I can’t do all this again!”

    Me: “No problem! I’ll just put it all through for you.”

    Customer: “No! It won’t save me any money that way!”

    Me: “You don’t save any money with self-scan checkouts. I mean, you still pay for it all.”

    Customer: “This is stupid! I shouldn’t have to pay for it all if I’m doing your job for you!”

    Translation Is No Small Feat

    | Alabama, USA | Language & Words

    Me: “Hi, thank you for calling [supermarket]. How can I help you?”

    Customer: “Hey, can I speak to someone in the ladies wear department?”

    Me: “That’d be me. How can I help you?”

    Customer: “I bought some scrubs at another store and I was wondering what the ‘S/CH’ on the tag means?”

    Me: “It means it’s a small.”

    Customer: “But what does the ‘CH’ mean?”

    Me: “It’s the Spanish abbreviation for small.”

    Customer: “But ‘CH’; isn’t that American?”

    Me: “The letters C and H are used in a lot of different languages, including Spanish.”

    Customer: “Oh, how strange!”

    Feline Felony

    | Christchurch, New Zealand | Liars & Scammers, Pets & Animals

    (I am finishing my break and heading back to the checkout, a woman frantically calls me over and asks me if she’s allowed to take a free cat food sample, and I tell her yes. About 10 minutes later she comes through my lane, with 50 or more cat food samples stuffed down her top, cradled in her arms, and in her handbag.)

    Me: “I’m sorry, the free samples are one per customer.”

    Customer: “I was just picking some up for my friends.”

    Me: “I’m sorry, but your friends will have to come and pick up their own sample.”

    (She sighs and throws all the samples that she was holding in her arms onto my checkout.)

    Me: “I’m sorry, but you also have a lot more of our samples down your top and in your bag. You can’t have those ones, either.”

    Customer: “How dare you! I will have you know that I am currently eight months pregnant!”

    Me: “I told you that you could have a free sample ten minutes ago, and you weren’t pregnant then.”

    Customer: “Oh, s***!”

    (She empties all the samples from down her top onto the floor and sprints from the store, trailing escaped samples from her handbag as she goes.)

    Age Or Gender Gap

    | Gloucestershire, UK | At The Checkout, Family & Kids

    (A woman and her daughter are standing by the cigarette counter where I am working.)

    Child: “Mummy, can I have a chocolate bar?”

    Mother: “Okay. Pick the one you want and give it to the man.”

    (There is a long, tense pause as the child and I look at one another.)

    Child: *in a very condescending tone* “Mummy. I think it’s a lady.”

    Me: “She is correct.”


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