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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!

Customers With Very Specific Baggage

| Tigard, OR, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Crazy Requests

(I work at a large retail store. On the credit card machine, at the end of every transaction, a one question survey would pop up for the customer, asking to rate our customer service, from 1 to 5. I’ve just finished ringing up a customer and put her items in a plastic bag. She has been fairly normal so far, until…)

Customer: “Do you have any bags with handles?”

Me: “Yes, all our bags have handles.”

Customer: “No, I mean a paper bag. I don’t want plastic.”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am. All we have are plastic bags.”

Customer: *angrily replies* “Well, I don’t want a plastic bag!”

(She then picks up the stylus pen and chooses “1” on the customer service questions, deliberately pushing down so hard on the screen that it permanently leaves a mark.)

Customer: “Next time have paper bags!”

Shake Up The Calorie Count

| Perth, WA, USA | At The Checkout, Food & Drink, Health & Body

(Our shake/sundae machine is down for cleaning and boy, did that create a lot of unhappy customers.)

Customer: “I’d like a chicken burger meal with a chocolate shake, please.”

Me: “Sorry, our shake machine is down for maintenance at the moment. Would you like to try a chocolate frappe instead?”

Customer: “What’s in that?”

Me: “Blended ice, chocolate, and whipped cream on top. It’s—”

Customer: “Oh, no, that’d have way too much sugar and fat. I’ll have a [Soda] instead.”

Me: “…Okay, then.”

(Frappes have a lower calorie count than both shakes AND [Soda]. I just… sigh.)

It’s All Fun And Games Until The Till

| Ashford, England, UK | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests

(Every morning, around 9 am, we have “Team Brief,” where the manager talks about the business issues of the day with the workers. The briefing takes place in an alcove near the lift, which is just off to the side of the main store. There is no door separating the customer area and alcove. The manager usually makes the briefings very informal. On this particular day, two colleagues remain on the tills to serve customers – one on a full sized till, and one on the “10 items or fewer” till. The briefing is going well and the manager has said something amusing, causing us all to laugh.)

Angry Customer: “Why the **** are you standing here laughing? I want to be served!”

(Everyone stops laughing, and the manager goes out to see what is happening. The small till is empty, but there are two customers waiting at the big till.)

Manager: “This till is available, sir.”

Angry Customer: “That’s not a proper till! I demand a proper till! If you were serving and not f****** around in there then I wouldn’t have to f****** wait!”

(Another employee opened another “proper” till and serves the man, who stormed off angrily after that. Nevertheless, we were all in a quiet mood for some time afterward.)