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!

When They’re More Bitter Than The Coffee

| Dallas, TX, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Food & Drink

(I work at a large coffee chain, and this week I’m helping out at another location instead of my ‘home’ store. Naturally, I don’t know any of their regulars.)

Me: *handing drink to a customer* “Okay, here’s your dark roast coffee with two sugars.”

Customer: “Next time I come in, you’re going to remember my order.”

Me: “Excuse me?”

Customer: “You’re not going to ask for my order again.”

(I think maybe he’s joking, because, while of course I’d like to give everyone personal service, no one who is new to the store would be able to immediately know (and remember!) what all the regular customers order. But he is stone-faced, without even a hint of a smile.)

Me: *with a smile* “Well, I’ll do my best, Sir!”

Customer: “No, you’ll remember. What was my order again?”

Me: “… a dark roast coffee with two sugars.”

(He takes his coffee and walks off without another word. I look around with a ‘did that really just happen?’ expression. As soon as he left, the other baristas all chimed in with other examples of him being unbelievably rude. Sure enough, the next day, he came in and insisted on being helped immediately because “you have four people back there,” even though all four of us were busy doing something to help the customers in line ahead of him. I have no idea why someone would choose to be a regular at a coffee shop and then treat everyone so badly all the time!)

A Beguiling Bagel

, | Raleigh, NC, USA | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Food & Drink

(I work as a sandwich maker at a fast food bagel shop. We make our sandwiches in front of the customer so they can request changes as we build the sandwich. Our featured breakfast sandwich of the month is the sriracha bagel; it is basically a sausage, egg, and cheese bagel but with peppers and sriracha sauce. It’s a slow day, and a young man approaches the counter.)

Customer: “Hi, I’d like a sriracha bagel.”

Me: ” All right, what kind of bagel would you like that on? It usually comes on a plain bagel.”

Customer: “Oh, I don’t know. A plain bagel, I guess. Oh, and can I get that with bacon instead of sausage?”

Me: “Sure, no problem.”

(I grab the bagel, slice it open and begin to assemble the sandwich. I go to get the peppers.)

Customer: “Excuse me, what are those?”

Me: “Those are the peppers that go on the sandwich.”

Customer: “Oh, I don’t like peppers. Can you leave those off?”

Me: “Sure, no problem.”

(I leave the peppers off, and place the bacon, egg, and cheese onto the bagel. I’m about to put the sriracha sauce on the bagel.)

Customer: “Excuse me, what is that?”

Me: “This is the sriracha sauce. It’s what gives the sandwich its name.”

Customer: “Oh, I don’t like spicy things. Can you leave that off?”

Me: “Okay, sure. So, just to make sure: all you want is a bacon, egg, and cheese bagel?”

Customer: “Yea. Hey, why don’t you guys just have that on your menu?”

(I had to struggle not to say anything as the bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich is the first thing listed under “Breakfast Sandwiches” on the menu. The worst part is when he got to the register he insisted on being charged for the sriracha instead of a bacon egg and cheese, and so he paid about a dollar more for his sandwich.)

Complaining About A Lack Of Complaint

, | OH, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Food & Drink

Coworker: “Uh-oh, she’s here.”

(One of our regulars has pulled into the drive-thru. This woman is from the rich part of town, and is notoriously difficult.)

Me: “I’m on it.”

(I begin preparing her regular: a small mocha, with four large creams, more hot chocolate than coffee, no whipped cream, and splenda on the side. She also orders a wheat bagel, triple toasted, with double butter. Yes, the whole order is disgusting. The customer places her order and pulls around.)

Coworker: *opening window* “That’ll be $4.55.”

Customer: “Fine. I hope you did it right this time. Last time it was completely disgusting. I don’t know who you have in there, but they have no idea what they’re doing.”

Coworker: “Don’t worry; we have our best employee on it. She always gets it right.”

(This is stretching it, because no one ever gets it right for this woman. She’s one of those people who isn’t happy unless she can send something back. I hand over the food and drink to my coworker. He slips the splenda into a bag with extra napkins and a stir stick and hands everything out to her. When he holds the drink to her, she refuses to touch it.)

Coworker: “Your drink, ma’am?”

Customer: “Excuse me? I’m not touching it like that. I want it double cupped and with a sleeve. I’m not burning my hand.”

(Somehow, my coworker manages to keep a straight face, despite the fact that her drink is cool to the touch because she ordered her SMALL drink with THREE LARGE creams. I silently hand him an extra cup and sleeve, both of which are new additions to her regular order.)

Coworker: “Here you go! I’m sorry about that! Have a nice day!”

(He closes the window and helps start on the next order. We’re all feeling anxious as we watch the timer tick up as the woman roots through her order, refusing to drive away until she’s checked everything. She opens the bag with the splenda and the begins rapping on the window.)

Coworker: “Is there a problem?”

Customer: *screaming* “I ONLY WANTED TWO SPLENDA!”

(She throws the extra splenda and the napkins at him through the window. We’re all stunned. She then sits there and pours the TWO splenda packets into her drink, mixes it, and slowly sips it.)

Customer: “UGH. This is disgusting.”

Coworker: “We can remake it for you, if you want—”

Customer: “No, I think you’ve wasted enough of my time!”

(She peels off. In total, she sat at our drive-thru window for five minutes during our rush. She, of course, came back everyday for her “disgusting” drink.)

Return Of The Returner: The Return

| Edmonton, AB, Canada | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior

(I work in a small soap company, dealing with all-natural products and ingredients. As such, we get a lot of eccentric customers, including hippies and high-end “nose in the air” customers. A customer walks into the store and immediately starts browsing the unscented lotions.)

Me: “Hello! How are you today?”

Customer: “I’m great, thanks. I was wondering which one of these lotions are the most recent ones.”

Me: “The batch numbers are all on the bottom; the newer numbers relative to today’s date will be the newer ones.”

Customer: “Can you find me the newest one?”

(I proceed to find the ‘newest’ bottle of lotion to her, which was made a couple months prior. I tell her the date and she’s clearly wary about this.)

Customer: “That’s not very recent.”

Me: “Well, all of our products have to be shipped from another province, and they also have to sit for a while at the workshop to cure.”

Customer: “Oh, okay. I’ll grab this then.”

(The customer takes the unscented lotion to the counter and asks about our return policy.)

Me: “Our return policy covers anything, whether you don’t like it, or just don’t want it anymore.”

Customer: “Oh great, I’ll grab all these other things, then.”

(The customer begins to pile things on the counter without even looking at them.)

Me: “Are you sure you don’t want to try them out first?”

Customer: “Oh, that’s okay! I’ll probably end up returning them all anyways.”

(This lady is a regular, and does, indeed, end up returning almost everything she buys.)

A Very Taxing Customer

| GA, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Food & Drink, Money

Cashier: “Okay your total is $8.57.”

Customer: “Whoa, hang on a second; the menu board says the meal is $8.26.”

Cashier: “Yes, the extra is the sales tax.”

Customer: “No, no, that’s bull-s***. You guys are lying on your advertisements. Why don’t you list the real price?”

Me: “Well, sir, the prices are set by corporate. Most businesses don’t include the tax because it varies by location. The tax added in one state is different than another.”

Customer: “Whatever, that is still crap. Here.” *hands over $8.26*

Cashier: “Okay, sir you still owe 31 cents.”

Customer: “No, I just told you I will NOT pay the tax on it.”

Me: “Sir, we cannot complete the transaction until you pay the remainder.”

Customer: “But why should I have to pay more than is listed?”

Me: “The sales taxes are what the state of Georgia says they are. I don’t have control over that.”

Customer: “Whatever.”

(The customer walks off leaving his $8.26 on the counter. We put it to the side and continue with the next customers in line. About 10 minutes later he walks up to the counter again.)

Customer: “Have y’all called my name yet; is my sandwich ready?”

Me: “Sir, we never processed your order.”

Customer: “WHAT? I HAVE BEEN WAITING HERE FOR 10 MINUTES!”

Me: “Sir, you never paid for the order.”

Customer: “Yes, I did! I gave the cashier $8.26!”

Me: “Yes, but as I explained to you, you owed 31 cents and didn’t pay it. Your money is over here if you want it, or if you want to pay the 31 cents we can start your order now.”

Customer: “This is total bull-s***. I am going to be filing a complaint with your store owner AND with corporate. ”

(The customer stormed off without taking his money. I put the money aside and waited for him to come back. By the end of the shift he didn’t show up so I put in the charity collection… ironically, the charity collection that doesn’t have a tax on it.)

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