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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!

The Order In Disorder

| ON, Canada | At The Checkout, Food & Drink

(I’m taking orders for drive-thru in a well-known Canadian fast food chain.)

Me: “Welcome to [Restaurant]! How can I help you?”

Customer: “Yes, I’d like a large strawberry banana smoothie with no yogurt.”

Me: “You said strawberry banana, correct?”

(I ask this for confirmation and the man proceeds to repeat his whole order again but obviously slower than the first time.)

Me: “And will that be everything today?”

Customer: “Yeah.”

Me: “All righty, then, your total is [total]. We’ll have that ready for you at the window.”

(I wait a couple of seconds and hearing nothing else from the customer, as is quite common for us, I send the order to the next till. A couple seconds later the customer starts talking again.)

Customer: “I’d also like an extra large coffee with—”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir. We’ll have to add the rest of your order at the window.”

Customer: *in a whiny voice* “But I’m not done yet!”

Me: “Sir, I just asked you if that was everything for today and you said ‘yes’. I’ve already sent the order to the next till.”

(This was said politely and with no attitude or rudeness even close to being intended. However lo and behold, the next day I was called into the office and written up for having a “bad attitude” and “bad customer service” and now have to change my “bad attitude with customers” in two weeks or be fired. Thanks, man. Thanks.)

Going On And On And Coupon

| OH, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Money

(I used to work as a cashier at [Large National Chain]. One afternoon I am ringing out an elderly couple’s groceries. The elderly woman has a duplicate coupon for an item that she can only use one for. I give it back to her and try to explain that we don’t allow duplicate coupons. The woman becomes irate.)

Elderly Woman: “We already spend so much money here! Why can’t we just use it?”

Me: “Ma’am, you only have one of those items, and the coupons are only good for one item each. You can get another one and use the coupon, but I can’t ring the second one up when you only have the one item.”

Elderly Woman: “I don’t understand. My husband and I spend so much here. Can’t you just allow it?”

Me: “I can’t. I’m sorry, but the coupon won’t even scan, and I’m not allowed to hand-key it in at this location.”

Elderly Woman: “That’s stupid. Just forget it.” *throws her items at me* “I don’t understand why you can’t just do it when I spend so much money here.”

(I apologized to the woman and continued scanning her items. Later, I was working at the customer service desk and she went up and complained about me. To me.)

Both Brains Were Fried

| Toronto, ON, Canada | At The Checkout, Food & Drink

(In this case, both the cashier AND I were idiots. I’m a product demonstrator buying supplies for my next demo: 12 bags of French fries. I get to my car and realize the cashier only charged me for 10. So I go back in and explain the problem.)

Cashier: Thank you so much! I’d have been in so much trouble.”

Me: *feeling sheepish, I brought the receipt but NOT the un-scanned bags back in* “Should I go get them to scan again?”

Cashier: “Nah, just grab two more from the cooler. I’ll scan those and charge you for them.”

(I run and get them. I get back and she’s explaining to the entire line what a tool she is and how grateful she is to me for my honesty. As such, she’s working distracted and on autopilot… It’s 10 pm and I’ve had a long day myself, so I’m not precisely paying attention either.)

Cashier: *scans bags* “Okay, that’ll be $4.99.”

(She automatically bags them and hands me the bag. I automatically take them, say thank you, and leave.)

Me: *10 minutes later at home, un-bagging groceries into my freezer* “Oh, lord! Now I’ve paid for 12 and have 14!”