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!

Walking A Thin Line

| Boone, IA, USA | At The Checkout, Bizarre

(I work as a cashier at a grocery store. A couple of customers, one male who is very flamboyant and a female, come through my line.)

Me: “How may I help you?”

Female Customer: “I would like two packs of [Brand] cigarettes.”

(The cigarettes are located at an express register a few lanes down from mine. I go get the cigarettes and come back.)

Me: “Will that be all today?”

Female Customer: “Can you get me two more packs? He wants to see you walk again.”

(I’ve never walked more stiff legged in my life.)

How To Eliminate A Customer’s Baggage

| England, UK | At The Checkout, Awesome Workers

(I work for a company that is known for having amazing customer service. However, we’re allowed to joke around with regulars. The regular in question is a large imposing man in his late 40s and I’m a small 20-year-old girl.)

Me: “Would you like a bag?”

Regular: *sarcastically* “No, I’m going to put all of my shopping into my pockets.”

Me: *deadpan* “Well, okay then.”

(I put the bags away and starts scanning things through without breaking eye contact.)

Regular: *looks away sheepishly* “Maybe I do need a bag…”

Someone Buy Them A Clue

| NJ, USA | At The Checkout, Money

(Customer orders two entrees and uses a buy one, get one free coupon.)

Me: “Okay, so your total is [price].”

Customer: “Excuse me? Don’t I get one for free?”

Me: “Yes, you do, so you’re getting two and only paying for one.”

Customer: “But it says free.”

Me: “It says buy one, get one free. You have to buy one first in order to get one for free.”

Customer: “Wait, what? What does that mean?”

Me: “It means you owe me [price].”

No Point Crying Over Stepped-Over Milk

| Chicago, IL, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Crazy Requests

(I’m picking up exactly three items at the grocery store, and when I go to get in line, there’s a jug of milk sitting on the floor in the middle of the cashier’s lane, so I step around it and get into line. A few seconds later, a man with a very full cart comes up behind me.)

Customer: “You cut me!”

Me: “What? No, I didn’t. You weren’t in line.”

Customer: “I was totally in line! What did you think the milk was for?!”

Me: “That’s not being in line. That’s putting a jug of milk on the floor. That doesn’t count.”

Customer: “You cut me, and I demand you let me go first!”

Me: “No. You weren’t in line. Besides, I have three items; I’ll be done in two minutes.”

Customer: “How do you know how long it’ll take?! You lying jerk. I’m going to report you to the manager!”

Me: “That’s nice, but I’m not getting out of line.”

Customer: “You a**-hole! That just ain’t Christian!”

Me: *laughing* “Don’t worry; I’m not either of those.”

(I was done checking out by this point, so I collected my bag and headed out the door. I wonder what the manager made of that complaint!)

Those Customers Lost The Waiting Game

| MI, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior

(The store I work at prides itself on being modern but our register/computer system is as old as dirt. It’s slow, crashes and messes up a lot, and when we start running chipped credit cards, it all gets even worse. I’ve been able to identify what things cause the most problems and try my best to avoid them, but customers don’t listen.)

Me: “Looks like you have a chip card. The reader will let you know when to insert; just give it a moment.”

(It takes maybe five seconds tops for the reader to prompt the card. The customer waits for about two seconds before she gets impatient and shoves her card in. I sigh.)

Customer’s Mom: *laughing* “Oh, looks like you didn’t need to wait after all!”

Customer: *laughs smugly*

(I see the tell-tale signs that there’s some problem between the pin pad and the computer, as is what nearly always happens when people put their cards in too early.)

Me: “Actually, yeah, it’s going to take a few minutes now. When the card gets put in too early, it causes a miscommunication between the pin pad and the register computer and now we have to wait it out.”

(I start folding clothes on our back counter because there is literally nothing I can do to the register short of turning the computer off for the solid three minutes it takes to time itself out. The customer and her mom are seemingly getting more and more impatient, sighing loudly and staring at me.)

Customer’s Mom: *talking to [Customer], but looking at me* “Maybe we could just cancel it and start over. That wouldn’t take as long.”

Me: “Ah, yeah, sorry, there’s nothing I can do now. I can’t cancel it. We just have to wait. It does this when the chips get inserted too early.”

(It finally timed out and I was able to continue the transaction. The two of them wouldn’t look at me the whole time and left without so much as a “thank you” or “bye.” Pro tip: when an employee tells you to do something, there’s a reason! Don’t ignore them just because you think you can do what you want. It might mean it takes you five times as long to check out your one shirt!)

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