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!

Using Rude Language

| Bethesda, Wales, UK | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests, Language & Words

(A good 90% of our customers speak Welsh, so I end up speaking Welsh 90% of the time.)

Me: *in Welsh* “Good evening, sir. Would you like a carrier bag for your shopping?”

Customer: *unintelligible grunt*

Me: *still in Welsh* “Was that ‘yes’ to a bag, sir?”

Customer: *in English* “What?”

Me: *in English* “Sorry, sir! Would you like a bag for your purchases?”

Customer: “Do I look Welsh to you?”

Me: “I couldn’t say, sir. I noticed a daffodil and a dragon pin in your jacket and took you to be local. I am sorry if I caused offence.”

Customer: “You shouldn’t speak Welsh.”

Me: “Excuse me?”

Customer: “You shouldn’t speak Welsh. It’s rude.”

(I pondered arguing back about his own rudeness for telling me I should not speak my language in my country, but settled for just saying “sorry” again and completing his transaction in silence.)

It’s Gonna Be A Long Summer

| NH, USA | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests, Food & Drink

(I’ve just finished training to be a cashier at this store, and I’m still not able to recognize a lot of the produce on sight. A customer places an order on the belt that includes what I believe to be summer squash, so I ring it up as such. However, when I announce his total the customer squints at the screen behind me that displays his purchases and says:)

Customer: “Oh, wait, I didn’t get any summer squash. There must have been some kind of mistake.”

Me: “Oh, I’m so sorry, sir! I’m new here and haven’t really learned all the produce yet. Here, let me fix that for you.”

(After canceling the item, I pulled the produce back out of the bag.)

Me: “Okay, now, would you mind telling me what this really is so I can ring it up correctly?”

Customer: “It’s…some kind of squash.”

Me: “Yes, sir, but what kind is it?”

Customer: “It’s uh, it’s some kind of squash.”

Me: “I know that sir, but what KIND is it?”

Customer: “Um, I’m not sure. Can’t you just ring it up?”

Me: “Sir, we have over twenty kinds of squash for sale in our store, and they are not all priced the same. I need some kind of… kind.”

(I ended up reading him the entire list of squash vegetables that could be rung up by the computer, and none of them rang any bells.)

Customer: *frustrated* “Can’t you just ring it up? It’s some kind of squash!”

Me: “You want to know if I can ring it up as ‘Some Kind Of Squash?'”

Customer: “Yeah!”

Me: “…No.”

(I decide to call a manger over, but before I can the customer leans over to get another look at the squash, which has been sitting on the scanner in front of me the whole time.)

Customer: “Oh, wait! I remember what it is now!”

Me: *excited* “Really?”

Customer: *triumphantly* “Yeah! It’s summer squash!”

Me: “…”

(I mentioned this story to my manager in passing later on, and do you know what he said? “Welcome to customer service.”)

Extra Register Does Not Register

| CT, USA | At The Checkout

(A coworker and I are working the registers during an early afternoon shift at our store. We are both busy ringing out customers at our respective registers, when an elderly gentleman, looking highly confused, approaches my coworker with two younger girls. Keep in mind that I am currently handing my customer her change for the transaction and her receipt, and my coworker is scanning items for her customer. There is also a sign above the registers that says “Check Out Here.” This is all in plain view of the elderly man.)

Elderly Customer: “Is this a register?”

Younger Girls: “YES, IT IS A REGISTER!”

Elderly Customer: “Are you sure?”

Coworker: “Yes, sir, this is a register. Either I or [My Name] could help ring you out in one moment.”

Elderly Customer: “But are you sure? All you are doing is folding clothes. Can you ring me out here?”

Coworker: “Yes, sir, I can ring you out now.”

Elderly Customer: “But you can ring me out here?”

Coworker: *clearly getting annoyed* “Yes, I am free to help ring you out right HERE.”

Elderly Customer: “Okay, but this is really a register? You looked busy folding those clothes, I assumed you were putting them away. I’m so happy you can accommodate me and ring me out here. It would be too hard finding the actual registers!”

(All the while, one of our supervisors overhears the conversation and walks over to me.)

Supervisor: *whispers* “Because clearly the area marked ‘Check Out Here’ is not a register! We should have told him these were the dressing rooms!”

Getting It All In Español, Part 3

| San Marcos, TX, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Language & Words

(I work for a popular clothing retailer, and we have an ongoing issue of persons reselling our merchandise after purchasing.)

Customer: “I would like to return these items. Here is my receipt.”

(After examining the receipt and items, I notice that there are different prices written on the back of the tags.)

Me: “I can’t return these items. They have been resold.”

Customer: “That’s impossible. I bought them for my family, and I demand a refund.”

Me: “I can’t return any of them; they have alternate prices on the back.”

(Her husband walks in and they begin to converse in Spanish. I am fluent.)

Customer: *in Spanish* “This a**-hole won’t do the return. I guess we will take them back to the shop.”

Me: *in Spanish* “So sorry I can’t do the return. Anything else I can do for you?”

(They left in a hurry, but I got a call from another store in another town asking about the same couple. Needless to say, they didn’t get what they wanted there either.)

Related:
Getting It All In Español, Part 2
Getting It All In Español

Has Been Given “Alternative Facts” About Climate Change

| PA, USA | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid

(A woman approaches my register and hands me four reusable grocery bags she has brought with her. I scan her groceries and start bagging them into the reusable bags.)

Woman: “What are you doing! Don’t put stuff directly in the bags! They’ll get dirty!”

(I stand confused for a moment, but she comes around and starts bagging items individually into plastic bags, then putting the plastic bags into the reusable bags. I follow her lead.)

Woman: “Honestly! You’d think they would have you better trained. EVERYONE uses cloth bags nowadays!”

Me: “I apologize. Most people use them because they are better for the environment.”

Woman: *smiling at me now* “Oh, I know. That’s why I bought them!”

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