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Category: At The Checkout

The customer has seemed normal and maybe even intelligent throughout the shopping purchase. But then they get to the checkout and as soon as human interaction is required it all falls apart. The checkout operators really are our first line of defense against the stupid customer!

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I Shall Return… In Ten Years

| Seattle, WA, USA | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests

(I am waiting in line to make my purchase. There are plenty of cashiers.)

Lady In Front Of Me: *beckons to an employee* “Can I return this here?” *shows the employee a bag with something in it*

Employee: “Should be no problem, if you have the receipt!”

(The lady is then called by the cashier, who is shown the receipt and the merchandise she wants returned.)

Cashier: “I can’t return this!”

Lady In Front Of Me: *turns around to the employee and points* “SHE said I could!”

(The employee rapidly comes up to the cashier, who points out.)

Cashier: “This receipt is from ten years ago!”

Lady In Front Of Me: *wails* “YOU SAID I COULD RETURN IT!”

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What Price Loyalty?

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

(I am working at a big box hardware store. At the time our pets policy is very lax but we stress that mainly dogs to help vision-impaired shoppers are the only animals allowed in. However, this did not stop a lot of people, especially the older customer in my line with a dog in his cart.)

Me: “Sir, just to let you know, we can only have service animals in here.”

Customer: “You know what? FINE! I hate this place! You tell your manager I’m never shopping here again and he can shove the policy up his ***!”

(The customer pays but he uses a gift card which now only has about a $5 balance remaining on it.)

Me: *about to hand the card back* “Wait, did you want me to throw this away?”

Customer: “Of course not! Why?”

Me: “You said you hated it here. You said you were never gonna shop here again…”

Customer: “Well, uh… umm.”

Me: “So, for five dollars, you’ll be back.”

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Will Need A Drink And A Smoke When They Get Home

| Sault Ste. Marie, MI, USA | At The Checkout, Bizarre

(A customer walks up to my register.)

Me: “Hi, how are you today?”

Customer: “Not good. I got a call people are breaking into my house!”

(I quickly scan her items.)

Me: “Do you have a frequent shopper number with us?”

Customer: “Yeah, but I’m in too much of a hurry to use it. People are breaking into my house!”

(She was buying vodka and cigarettes…)

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Returner Burner

| TX, USA | At The Checkout, Criminal & Illegal

(It is thirty minutes until closing time when a woman strolls in with a large bag of items, mostly brand name clothes – easily three hundred dollars worth of merchandise. Of course she has no receipt and so I will have to give her store credit. I process the items; there’s a lot of things so it takes a while. My phone rings and I notice it’s a call from inside the store.)

Me: *on the phone* “Customer service.”

Coworker: *on the phone* “Get her driver’s license number.” *hangs up*

(I ask the woman for her license, and while she digs for it she gets out her phone — which she didn’t dial anything nor did it ring — and pretends to tell someone she’s at [Store] doing some returns. I glance at my coworker and the people greeter, who is part of loss prevention, and they are both scowling. My coworker is shaking her head. I know they’re thinking the same thing I’m thinking. I write down her DL number and put it under my counter and continue to ring up the returns.)

Woman: *peers over my counter* “I need that piece of paper back.”

Me: *puzzled a moment, and also somewhat annoyed at having my concentration broken* “Hmm? Oh, uh…”

(I realize she wants her license number back. I don’t know what to say as I’ve never had to do a transaction this big before.)

Woman: “Can I have that piece of paper?”

(My coworker walks back by.)

Coworker: “When we do a transaction this big we have to take the driver’s license number. We keep it confidential.” *she gives me a look*

Me: “We’ll destroy it when we’re done here, okay?”

(The woman goes to the display across from the service desk, of electronic toys, cell phone accessories, etc. She picks up a set of earbuds and drops them into her purse.)

Me: “I have to scan that!”

Coworker: *quietly, to me* “Force of habit.”

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What Plays Around Comes Around

| Clayton, NC, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior

(I work as a cashier at a gas station. It is a small store and not very busy with only one register. Luckily, this is the most relaxed manager I’ve ever had; I am allowed to be my blunt self. After cashiering for several years, I am so sick of the little “jokes” that customers say and do. (Like, “Oh, no price tag. That means it’s free!” A customer is purchasing a pack of cigarettes and a candy bar. He looks to be in his 40s or 50s.)

Me: “That’ll be [Total].” *I reach to take the bill from his hand.*

Customer: *pulls the money back*

(I set both hands down on the counter and stare at him as he smiles, thinking this is a fun thing to do. He holds the money closer to me again and I hold my hand out for him to place it in.)

Me: “I work until 3:30, so I’ve got all day. It won’t bother me a bit if you don’t get your smokes and chocolate.”

Customer: “You don’t play around, do you?”

Me: “Nope. At least two people a day try that.”

Customer: “Fair enough.”

(He handed me the cash and I finished the sale. I guess we were close to his house or job because I started seeing him on my shift fairly frequently and he eventually became one of the customers I shared friendly banter with, so no hard feelings. The same stupid jokes all day every day gets really tiring, so please try to avoid them!)

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