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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!

A Cold Assumption

| OH, USA | At The Checkout, Family & Kids, School

(It has been a very harsh winter. I am washing dishes as well as collecting money at the drive through window, so I am constantly shivering due to my arms and hands being wet. This customer pulls up to the window with her daughter.)

Customer: “It must be really cold like that!”

Me: “It’s not too bad.”

Customer: *turns to her daughter* “Honey, this is why you MUST get good grades in school, so you don’t end up living a horrible life like her!”

(I am shocked and offended by what the customer has said to her daughter about me, right in front of me.)

Me: “You mean going to [Well-known Private University] and working to pay for tuition?”

Customer’s Daughter: *to her mom* “Didn’t Dad graduate from [Well-known Private University]?”

(The customer drove off once she paid, looking very sheepish. Her daughter now attends the same university as I do, but works in the cafeteria to pay for her tuition.)

One Little Vial Of Bigotry

| PA, USA | At The Checkout, Bigotry, Religion

(I’m a Pagan/Wiccan so I have on a pentacle necklace. Normally no one even notices it, but this day was very different. I’m working as the greeter on this particular day, so I stand just inside the door and hand out the weekly ad flyer to everyone that comes in. A lady walks in but is staring at her phone when I greet her.)

Me: “Good morning, ma’am!” *hands her the ad flyer* “Is there anything I can help you find today?”

Customer: *without looking up takes the flyer* “Oh, no thank you, honey.”

Me: “Okay, well, if you need any help just let me know!”

Customer: “Thank you.” *finally looks up at me and starts to smile, but then her eyes meet my pentacle necklace with a black crystal hanging from it, and her face freezes* “OH, LORD JESUS SAVE ME! THIS STORE EMPLOYS HEATHEN DEVIL WORSHIPPERS! I CAN’T SHOP HERE!”

(She proceeds to throw the ad flyer back at me and run from the store. A manager ,who has been at the other end of the store, hears the commotion and comes up to check on me.)

Manager: “Hey, [My Name], what’s going on up here?”

Me: “Oh, I had some customer, throw the ad flyer at me and call me a devil worshipper because she saw my necklace.” *points to it*

Manager: “Well, maybe you shouldn’t wear that here if it causes us to lose customers. Just keep it in your locker or something if you insist on wearing that thing.”

(I look at him in shock, hoping that he would realize that he just violated my freedom of religion, but apparently it never dawns on him. About a week later, I’m working in the same position and the same lady walks in, but I am not wearing my necklace this time, as I’ve stored it in my locker.)

Me: “Good morning, ma’am.” *hands her ad flyer*

Customer: *looks me up and down noticing the lack of pentacle necklace, and visibly relaxes* “Ah, that’s a relief! You’ve finally accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior and have renounced your heathen ways! I’ve been praying for you, child.”

(Having had enough of her religious bigotry, I calmly turn off my radio and look her straight in the eye.)

Me: “No, that’s not it at all. Do you remember the black crystal that was hanging off the bottom of my pendant?”

Customer: “…Off of the devil worship pendant? Yes, what about it?”

Me: “Well, it wasn’t actually a crystal; it was a vial of infants’ blood, and the other day I was really hungry so I ate it.”

(The customer drops the ad flyer from her hand in horrified shock, and runs out the door as fast as she could. Again the manager comes running from the other side of the store.)

Manager: “What the heck is going on up here?! What did you do this time, [My Name]?”

Me: *with completely straight face* “I have no idea what you’re talking about.”

(The whole time my co-worker in the printing area was trying to stifle his laughter. He is an Asatru, and has a Thor’s hammer necklace on, but no one ever says anything to him about it…)

Working With The Yes-Men

| Stockholm, Sweden | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Food & Drink

(I’m working at a popular café and serving customers as usual when an older man walks in.)

Customer: “I would like a sandwich, please.”

Me: “Of course, sir. What kind of bread would you like?”

Customer: “Yes.”

Me: “What kind of bread would you like, sir?”

Customer: “Yes.”

(At this point I assume he is an alcoholic so I just take a chance on which bread he wanted.)

Me: “Okay, what would you like on your sandwich, sir?”

Customer: “Yes.”

Me: “What would you like on your sandwich, sir?”

Customer: “White bread.”

(This goes on until I can finally understand what he wants.)

Me: “Goodbye, sir. Have a nice day.”

Customer: “No.”

The Mother Of All Assumptions

| FL, USA | At The Checkout, Bizarre, Holidays

(It’s Mother’s Day. Please note that I am 23 and look a little young for my age.)

Me: “Can I help you, sir?”

Customer: “Happy Mother’s Day!”

Me: “Thank you, sir?”

Customer: “You’re not a mother?”

Me: “No, sir!”

Customer: “Uh, Happy Sunday, then!”

On A Maturity Diet

| Sparta, WI, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Food & Drink

(Two customers approach my register one night with some two-liter bottles of Coke, some tubes of Mentos and other assorted snacks. I begin ringing them up.)

Customer #1: “Don’t worry; we’re not gonna go do the Coke and Mentos thing.”

Customer #2: “Yeah, that’s not what we’re going to go do.”

Me: “Well, I figured as much. You’d want the diet for that to work.”

(The customers trade a glance.)

Customer #1: “Really?”

Me: “Yup. It’s the artificial sweetener that helps speed the reaction.”

(The customers trade a second glance.)

Customer #2: “Mind if we go switch these out for diet?”

Me: “They’re the same price; go for it.”

Customer #1: “Thanks.”

(They exchange the bottles and as they’re headed out the door…)

Customer #1: “And we’re totally not gonna do the Diet Coke and Mentos thing!”

(The kicker? They were in their late 30’s at the youngest, judging by their salt-and-pepper beard stubble.)

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