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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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We’re Living In A Bag Dystopia

| KY, USA | At The Checkout, Bizarre

(I’ve just finished ringing up a customer’s to-go order.)

Me: “Would you like a bag for all that?”

Customer: “Oh, do you have bags?”

Me: “Y-yes. Would you like one?”

Customer: “Ooh, could I have one?”

Me: “Um, sure.”

(I guess it sounded too good to be true.)

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Ducking Out Of The Guilt Trip

| Tampa, FL, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Family & Kids

(I’m in line at the register behind a woman who is carrying a baby on her hip and has a young boy who is exchanging his old video games for store credit. The cashier, who is a young woman around my age, has a small clip in her hair that looks like a little rubber duck.)

Woman: *pointing at the hair clip* “Oooh! It’s a ducky! It’s a ducky! Do you see the ducky?”

Baby: *the baby is too young to talk, but sees where she’s pointing and smiles and babbles happily*

Woman: “Awww, you love duckies! Duckies are your favourite, aren’t they? I bet you wish you had that ducky! Do you want that ducky?”

(This goes on for an increasingly uncomfortable length of time. The cashier keeps inspecting the games being traded in and doesn’t react other than to give a polite smile and laugh, while the woman keeps pointing at the hair clip and essentially goading her baby.)

Woman: “Aww, you don’t have the ducky! I bet you want that ducky! Poor baby loves duckies!”

(The baby, who was previously behaving perfectly, is clearly starting to get confused and upset. It begins to cry. Meanwhile, the cashier has finished with the transaction.)

Woman: “Oh, oh! I guess we have to say goodbye to the ducky! But you love duckies, don’t you? I guess it’s too bad! You have to leave the ducky! It’s so sad!”

Little Boy: *looking embarrassed* “C’mon, Mom, I’m done.”

(The woman stands there for a moment longer, staring at the silent cashier who is still smiling politely, then throws up her free hand in disgust, and turns and storms out with her boy and crying baby, muttering loudly about how “unbelievable some people are.” The cashier gives me a disbelieving look.)

Me: “Was she seriously trying to guilt you into giving your hair clip to some random stranger?”

Cashier: “I don’t even know. I’m just so tired.”

(I just felt sorry for the little boy who was clearly embarrassed by his mother’s behaviour, and the poor little baby who had no idea what was happening and being deliberately upset by its own mother.)

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Toying With Charity

| ON, Canada | At The Checkout, Money

(I want to start off by saying that it doesn’t bother me whatsoever if people don’t donate to charities. We have to ask because it’s part of our job, but I’m not offended when people say no, and I of course don’t judge them. I just thought this particular transaction was pretty funny.)

Me: “And would you like to donate to [Local Charity] today?”

Customer: “No, thanks. I don’t have enough money.”

Me: “Okay. So that’ll be [price].”

Customer: *looking at a $7 item* “Oh, what are these?!”

Me: “Oh, they’re just little gimmicky toys. They just say the store’s slogan when you press them, but they don’t do anything else.”

Customer: “Ha! That’s hilarious. I’ll buy one of those, too.”

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Super Bowl Scam Day

| CA, USA | At The Checkout, Liars & Scammers

(I am working as the shift supervisor during the late afternoon on a Super Bowl Sunday. It is typically one of our slowest days of the year, so it’s just myself and two other employees working. A guest pulls to the speaker and orders. Because we have no other orders my cook makes his order right away, and since it takes the guest a little over a minute to pull around, I have his order bagged and ready before he gets to my window.)

Me: “Good afternoon, sir. Your total today is [total].”

(The guest hands over his payment, and I make the change quickly.)

Me: “All right, sir, here’s your receipt, and your change. Just one moment, and I will have your drinks for you.”

(I turn around and grab the tray with his drinks and see that he is already pulling out of the drive-thru. I lean out the window and shout for him.)

Me: “Sir! Sir! Your drinks!”

(The guest backs up to the window and I hand out his drinks.)

Me: “Here you go. Wouldn’t want you to leave without these.”

Guest: “What are you going to give me?”

Me: “I’m sorry?”

Guest: “Normally when you people mess up, you give me something, like free cookies or something. What are you going to give me?”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, I didn’t mess up. I told you I had your drinks and when I tried to hand them to you, you were driving away.”

Guest: “This is stupid! You owe me something. I’m missing the Super Bowl for this!”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir. I understand how frustrating that is. I’m missing a Super Bowl party myself.”

Guest: “You’re really not going to give me anything?”

Me: “No, sir, I am not.”

Guest: “Fine! I’ll just call tomorrow. They’ll give me something!”

Me: “Best of luck to you with that, sir. Enjoy your food, and have a wonderful rest of the evening!”

(The guest glared at me for a few seconds, before driving off. I left a note for the managers for the following day. The guest did try to call, but my general manager told him that we would not be giving him something free because he chose to drive away without his drinks while I was trying to hand them to him.)

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The Icy Wastes

| MA, USA | At The Checkout, Bizarre, Food & Drink

(I work in a popular coffee shop. We carry both iced and hot drinks, with the hot drinks being in white, opaque cups, and the iced drinks being in plastic, transparent cups. The ice is clearly visible through the plastic. Two older women approach the counter together.)

Woman #1: “I’d like a small, iced coffee, please.”

Me: “Sure!”

(I make her coffee, CLEARLY ICED; she pays and finds a seat.)

Woman #2: “I want the same thing as her.”

Me: “No problem! Exactly like hers? A small, iced coffee, black, correct?”

Woman #2: “Yes, please, dear!”

(I make her coffee and bring it back to her. She pays and seems okay with it, until she goes to pick it up.)

Woman #2: “Oh, honey, I didn’t say anything about it being cold! This is icy!”

Me: “I’m sorry; I thought you wanted an iced coffee, exactly like your friend.”

Woman #2: “No, I HATE iced coffee!”

Me: “Sorry about that, ma’am. I’ll make you a new one right away.”

Woman #2: “No, no, no, I don’t want you to waste it! Just put it in the microwave for me to warm it up!”

(We do not have a microwave in the store, only ovens, and even if we did, you’re not supposed to put plastic into a microwave.)

Me: “It’s no problem. I’ll make you a new one; it won’t take long.”

Woman #2: “No! Just put it in the microwave! I don’t want to waste it!”

Me: *face-palming* “Okay, ma’am.”

Woman #2: “Teens these days, wasting everything! When I was a girl, it was a SIN to put something perfectly good to waste!”

Me: *internally* “I wouldn’t HAVE to waste it if you had ordered correctly in the first place!”

(I end up just making her a completely new, hot coffee.)

Woman #2: “This is the same coffee, RIGHT?”

Me: “Sure, ma’am. Have a good night.”

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