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!

Customer Service People Aren’t People

| IL, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Theme Of The Month

(I’m waiting in line at a coffee shop. I’m on break, so I’m still in uniform. Someone behind me speaks up.)

Customer: “Excuse me! You know, you work here. You should really wait in the BACK of the line, and let us NORMAL, PAYING CUSTOMERS get our drinks!”

(I flinch. This mall is in a really ritzy neighborhood, and this is what I should have expected, but for some reason it startles me. I had had a bad day anyway, and I turn around to stammer out an apology… to find it’s one of our regulars, a woman who also works in the mall.)

Me: “I- I- I… I’m sorry…”

Customer: “Oh, my god, I’m sorry! I was joking! I really was! Do you really get people that do that?”

Me: *almost in tears* “Yes…”

Customer: “I am so sorry! Let me pay for your drink…”

Smile, And The Whole World Goes Crazy

| Toronto, ON, Canada | At The Checkout, Bizarre

(I’m in line at a grocery store. The cashier is a girl in her teens, and looks like she’s had a long night. She’s not rude or anything, just not particularly perky. She’s bagging the customer’s items.)

Customer: *leaning towards the cashier with a big creepy smile on her face* “You know, the smiles here are free!”

(The cashier’s eyes widen a little, but before she can decide if this woman is serious, the customer keeps going:)

Customer: “You know, I used to work as a cashier, and I know how hard it can be, but you just HAVE to keep smiling! Smiling is SO important in this job!”

(She smiles even wider, clearly pleased with herself and the ‘wisdom’ she’s imparted. She takes her bags, smiles EVEN WIDER, and skips off.)

Me: “I wonder if she knows that she stole that line from McDonald’s?”

Cashier: *dazed* “No, I think she thinks she came up with it. Thank god I’m off in five minutes!”

Misunderstanding Free Trade

| MI, USA | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests, Extra Stupid, Food & Drink

Customer: “I want a cup of 2% milk with four pumps of chocolate in it.”

Me: “What size would you like?”

Customer: “The size that’s free.”

Me: *thinking I misheard, or maybe she’s joking* “I’m sorry, what?”

Customer: “Whatever size is free! I want that size!”

Me: “Um, we don’t have a ‘free cup of chocolate milk’ in any size.”

Customer: “Don’t lie to me! I know that’s why you have the milk out on the condiment bar! But I want 2%, not creamer!”

Me: “That’s for customers to put in their coffee. It’s not so you can make free cups of chocolate milk.”

(It took me almost 10 minutes to convince her I wasn’t going to make her a free cup of chocolate milk.)

I Don’t Want To Wait. Oh Wait.

| MI, USA | At The Checkout, Bizarre, Food & Drink

Me: *answering the phone* “[Restaurant]. This is [My Name]. How can I help you?”

Customer: “Can you cook us a cheese pizza, and a pepperoni and beef pizza, and put them on the buffet? We are coming in to eat and we are in a hurry and don’t want to wait.”

(Even though we don’t normally do this, it’s a slow day, so I say okay. The customer and her friends arrive in about 10 minutes.)

Customer: “Are the pizzas we called ahead about ready yet?”

Me: “Yes, they were just put on the buffet for you.”

Customer: “Good, because we don’t want to wait.” *she looks at the menu* “Oh, can I order a 10-piece buffalo wings, too?”

Me: “Okay, but they take about 12-15 minutes to cook.”

Customer: “Oh that’s fine. We can wait.”

Pressured Into Showing Your ID

| Weirton, WV, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior

(So, my store has only started selling cigarettes recently, and corporate office demands we ID each and every single person, each and every single time, regardless of how old they look. Failure to do so can result in immediate termination. An older looking gentleman asks for a pack of cigarettes.)

Me: “May I see a piece of ID sir?”

Customer: *becoming furious* “What? Does it look like I dye my beard grey?!”

Me: “I do apologize, sir. It is company policy and I do not want to lose my job.”

(He shows me his ID, reluctantly, looking more angry every second. After the transaction is complete he says:)

Customer: “You are lucky my blood pressure medicine is working, because I’m so mad at your punk a** it would go through the roof!”

Me: “Sir, do you know what else helps with blood pressure?”

Customer: “WHAT?!”

Me: “Not smoking cigarettes.”

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