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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!

Armed And Dangerous

| CA, USA | At The Checkout, Awesome Customers, Crazy Requests

(I don’t normally work at our store’s other location, but because of the holidays we are short-staffed all-around and I need to fill in. The one coworker working with me today is on break, and I am taking orders, making food, and making espresso drinks as fast as I can.)

Customer #1: “Excuse me! We’ve been waiting forEVER for our drinks!”

Me: *looking up from the line of five sandwiches I am currently making* “I’m so sorry, ma’am. I know it’s taking a bit long but I promise it’ll be up soon.”

Customer #1: “God! I hate coming here. You kids are so incompetent!”

(Customer #2, a regular at both of our stores, steps forward.)

Customer #2: “Excuse me, how many of you are there back there?”

Me: *thinking I’m gonna hear it from him, too* “Just me for right now.”

Customer #2: “And how many arms do you have?”

Me: “…Just the two?”

Customer #2: *looking at [Customer #1]* “Ah, well that explains it.”

(Customer #1 gets a mean look on her face and marches back to her table.)

Me: *whispering* “You’re so cool…”

(Customer #2 definitely got his usual latte on me that day!)

Holy Guacamole, Get Off The Phone!

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

(I’m a customer in line at a fast food restaurant that makes burritos. I am behind a customer in line who is talking on his cell phone, not acknowledging the employee trying to take his order and holding up the whole line. There are two employees making the food, the first one putting the hot ingredients into the orders and the other handling the cold. The first employee is smiling and being patient with the customer on the phone, but I can tell it’s difficult.)

Employee #1: “Sir, what type of beans—”

Customer: *to phone* “Hang on, this guy is asking me something.” *he looks up, annoyed* “What?”

Employee #1: “Black or pinto beans, sir?”

Customer: “Ugh, black. So anyway—” *he launches back into the conversation with the person on the phone*

Employee #1: “The meat, sir? Sir, what type of meat would you like? Excuse me, sir?”

(The employee waves to catch the man’s attention, but he completely turns his back to him. The employee looks taken aback, but leaves the customer’s unfinished burrito where it is on the line and comes back to me, smiling as best he can.)

Employee #1: “All right, then. Hi, what can I do for you?”

Me: Hi. I’ll have a bowl for here: white rice, veggies, no beans, steak, please.”

(I catch Employee #1’s eye, point to the guy in front of me, mimic putting a telephone to my ear, and do a ‘what the h***?’ expression. He laughs, shrugs in a resigned sort of way, puts my order together efficiently, and moves on to the next customer. Meanwhile, Employee #2 has completely cleaned out all the customers in front of the phone guy, and brought his meatless burrito up into the area of the line with cold ingredients. The phone guy finally turns back around.)

Employee #2: “Vegetarian burrito, sir? Would you like any mild, medium, or hot salsa?”

Customer: “Chicken.”

(Employee #2 quickly reaches over to scoop out a portion of chicken, even though it’s on Employee #1’s area of the line.)

Employee #2: “Yes, sir. Mild, medium, or hot salsa? Maybe some corn or sour cream?”

Customer: “CHICKEN!”

(I swear I can see Employee #2’s eye twitch, but she keeps smiling as the chicken scoop makes it to the burrito.)

Employee #2: “Yes, sir! Would you like any salsa today?”

Customer: *into the phone* “Ugh, hold on again.” *slowly and loudly, to [Employee #2]* “CHIIIICKEEEEEN.”

(At this point Employee #1’s side of the line is totally full of customers’ orders waiting to move on to Employee #2’s area, and Employee #1 cannot physically fit any more orders in the line to get them started. More people come in, and the line’s getting halfway to the door. I have had enough.)

Me: “Excuse me? If you were paying attention, you’d see she got your chicken already. Do you want mild, medium, or hot salsa?”

Customer: “What? Who do you think you are?”

Me: “I’m the first in a long line of people who wants you to get off your phone and finish your order already.”

Customer Behind Me: “Seriously!”

Me: “Mild, medium, hot. Pick.”

Customer: “Wh- uh, medium.”

Me: “Corn, sour cream, cheese.”

Customer: “Sour cream and cheese, and uh, guacamole, but—”

Me: *instinctively, without even thinking about it* “It’s going to cost extra; is that okay?”

(The employees all laugh.)

Employee #2: “That’s my line!”

(The flustered customer finally finished up. I went back and finished off my order, and I got it for free!)

Driving Through The Line

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

(I am working at the drive-thru and our customer traffic is far higher than usual. A vehicle drives up to the pick-up window. It’s a large white fleet van for an HVAC contractor, and the driver is wearing matching overalls. I read his order from the monitor.)

Me: “That’ll be [amount], please.”

Customer: “I haven’t ordered yet.”

Me: “You didn’t order [items]?”

Customer: “No.”

Me: “Then why are you in line?”

Customer: “I cut in line. I want you to take my order now.”

Me: “Sir, that’s not fair to the many vehicles in line behind you. Please get in line and order like everyone else.”

Customer: “I’m f**** here right f**** now, and you’re gonna take my f***** order!”

Me: *pointing at headset* “I can’t take your order unless you use the radio unit by the menu at the start of the line.”

Customer: “I wanna talk to your manager!”

(My manager had been listening in on the other headset, and was already at the window.)

Manager: “How can I help you?”

Customer: “This f***** won’t take my order!”

Manager: “I will take and fill your order personally, but only after you personally explain to all the cars in line behind you why they have to wait an extra fifteen minutes because of you.”

(The customer launched into a hysteric stream of profanity and drove away. My manager was already dialing the HVAC contractor’s phone number written on the side of the customer’s van. The HVAC contractor’s boss assured us that a stern reprimand would be in order.)