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A Scanner Barkly

, , , , , , | Right | September 9, 2023

Our store allows dogs if they’re on a leash, or in the case of this customer, they’re tiny little Chihuahuas in her little Chanel bag.

I am scanning her items, but the dog doesn’t like the “beep” noise my checkout makes every time I scan something. It growls a sniveling little growl at first, but then it starts lunging and barking at me every time.

Me: “Ma’am, do you mind moving your… bag… to your other side? I’m worried your dog might… get injured by my checkout.”

Customer: *On her phone* “Oh, he’s fine.”

Me: “Ma’am, I don’t think he is, and besides, I am not fine, either. Can you put your bag over your other shoulder so that you’re between your dog and me?”

Customer: “What do you have against dogs?! This store allows dogs! Why are you discriminating against me?!”

Me: “I’m not, ma’am, but your dog is having an aggressive reaction to my checkout noise, and I am worried that it will escalate if I scan the next twenty-or-so of your items.”

The customer rolls her eyes but does as I ask. I cautiously continue scanning the items with the Chihuahua protesting. However, then, she places her bag — containing the dog — ON TO THE BELT, so that she can text more easily with two hands. There is now nothing stopping this dog from jumping out of the bag and lunging straight toward me

I stop scanning, and the customer looks up from her phone.

Customer: “Why have you stopped?”

Me: “I’ll continue when you pick your bag back up, ma’am.”

Customer:Oh, my God! Are you serious?! He’s just a little Chihuahua!”

Me: “Ma’am, in the last few minutes, I am confident I can provide an accurate count of exactly how many teeth your dog has. Pick him up and place him behind you, or I am refusing you service.”

Customer:Oh, my God! You’re such a cry baby! He’s just a little excitable, aren’t you, my little shnookums?!

She reaches to pet the traumatized-looking dog, who then growls and snaps at her hand, drawing blood. The customer is shocked, and then she looks at me as I stare back at her, eyebrow raised.

Me: “Band-aids are on aisle thirteen. I’ll wait. Take your dog with you when you go.” 

She was silent after that! The dog wasn’t.

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