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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!

R2-Dum Too

| LA, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Geeks Rule

(It’s a really slow night so I pull a crochet project out of my bag and sit off to the side of the counter in the break area so that I can work on it. A customer walks in and points at it.)

Customer: “What you making?”

Me: “A hat for my boyfriend.”

Customer: “That’s a funny color pattern.”

Me: “Oh, that’s because it’s not finished. When it’s done it’ll look like this.”

(I show him the pattern’s photos, which is for an R2-D2 hat, and he wrinkles his nose.)

Customer: “Is he a kid?”

Me: “No, he’s not.”

Customer: “Is he actually going to wear that thing?”

Me: “Yes, because he specifically asked me to make it for him.”

Customer: *makes a disgusted face* “Ugh! So he’s a geek!”

Me: “Yes, he is. And your point is?”

Customer: *condescendingly* “He’s a nerd.”

Me: “Yes, and so am I. Again: what’s your point?”

Customer: *throws up his hands* “He’s a nerd! A geek!”

(The customer kept saying that over and over again as he picked up the items he had come to purchase. I’ll never understand people that think being geeky/nerdy is a bad thing. At least my boyfriend likes nerdy handmade things he gets.)

Enough To Make You Almost Pop Your Corn

| NY, USA | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Food & Drink

(I work at a movie theater. We are offering a special promotional coupon where customers can buy a large popcorn and drink combo, and get a second large drink for free. I am approached by an elderly couple.)

Husband: *handing me a coupon for the promotional deal* “I want two!”

Me: “All right, sir. Just to double-check, did you mean you wanted two combos, or the single combo with two drinks?”

Husband: *scoffs* “Do I stutter, kid? We want two of these combos!”

Me: “…Okay. What would you like for your four drinks?”

Wife: “Four drinks?! We only want one, you idiot!”

Me: “I apologize; I thought you wanted two of the combos.”

Husband: “We do!”

Me: “Two combos would mean you’d end up with four drinks… Each combo comes with one large popcorn and two large drinks.”

Wife: “But we only want one!”

Me: “Okay.”

Husband: “Yeah… two combos!”

Me: “I’m really not understanding… How many combos do you want?”

Husband: “Two combos!”

Me: “So, what would you like for the four drinks that come with the two combos?”

Wife: “Where are you getting four drinks from?! Just the two combos! What are you, dense?!”

Husband: “Stop wasting my time, you stupid idiot!”

Wife: “We want one!”

Me: “…So, you just want the one combo with the two drinks?”

Husband: “TWO COMBOS!”

Wife: “With the one!”

Husband: “Exactly, two combos!”

Me: *by this point, I’m just assuming they mean they want one combo with two drinks* “Okay… what would you like to drink?”

Wife: “I want one Coke!”

Me: “And what else?”

(Neither one answer for almost a full 30 seconds.)

Me: “Sir, what other soda would you like?”

(Neither answers for another 10 seconds.)

Husband: *suddenly* “Why aren’t you getting our two combos?!”

Me: “Sir, I need to know what else you’d like to drink.”

Husband: “MY WIFE WANTS COKE!”

Me: “Okay.”

(I get a large popcorn and large coke and bring them to the couple.)

Husband: “Where’s our second soda combo?!”

Me: “Sir, you only told me one drink.”

Husband: “But we got two combos!”

Me: “SIR. I. Need. To. Know. What. You. Want. Before. I. Can. Get. It. For. You. You only told me one soda.”

Husband: “Two f****** combos!”

(This back and forth continues for another 30 seconds, before I just decide to get them another large Coke to get it over with.)

Me: “That will be $14.”

Husband: “Is this two combos?”

Me: *lying to get the transaction done* “…Sure.”

Husband: “Fine. Took you long enough. Now, where’s our free soda?”

Me: “It’s right here, sir. I just gave it to you.”

Husband: “Oh.”

Me: “So, that’ll be $14.”

Husband: “But this is supposed to be special coupon! Why does it cost so much?”

Me: “Our popcorn and soda combo is $14. We gave you the second soda for free, as per the coupon. Without the coupon, the order would’ve been $19.”

Husband: “…Well, that’s too much. This only should cost me a few dollars!”

Me: “I don’t know what to tell you, sir. We need to have prices that high for the theater to make any money. We don’t get to keep much, if any, of ticket sales.”

Husband: *throws his credit card at me* “Fine!”

(I complete the transaction and they finally leave. Immediately after, a 20-something approaches me.)

New Customer: “…You know, I looked up how much it costs theaters to make popcorn. Popcorn should really only cost customers—”

Me: *interrupting* “Trust me… Today is NOT the day to complain to me about prices. Did you see that exchange that just happened with the couple who was just here?”

New Customer: “Yeah?”

Me: “That’s unfortunately not the first time something that prolonged and stupid that has happened to me today… not even the first time this hour. In fact, not even the first time in the past 10 minutes.”

New Customer: “…Oh.”

Me: “So if you’re only here to complain and not to buy something… please leave my line.”

(He left after seeing just how serious I was.)

He Got The Idiot Card

| ON, Canada | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests

(I just finished checking out a customer purchasing a birthday card and a few other things. It’s slow, so there’s no one in line behind him.)

Customer: *opens card* “Can I borrow a pen?”

Me: “Sure, no problem.” *passes him his pen and begins to bag the rest of his things*

Customer: *begins writing on the card, but then stops* “Err… ma’am?”

Me: *looks up* “Yeah?”

Customer: *looks flustered* “I just spelled my friend’s name wrong.”

Me: *stares*

Customer: “Do you think I could put this card back and I could just grab a fresh one?”

Me: “Err… no?”