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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!

An Automatic Autistic Response

| CA, USA | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Health & Body

(I work at a retail store. We are having a donation opportunity for the month of May where customers can donate money toward autism research. We are supposed to ask every customer if they would like to donate. I finish ringing this customers items up.)

Me: “And would you like to put a dollar towards autism research?”

Customer: “You know, kids would stop getting autism if they stopped all that vaccinating.”

Me: “…have a nice day, sir.”

The Rules Are Carved In Stone

| KY, USA | At The Checkout, Food & Drink, Money

(I ring up a lady who got only a carving pumpkin, which are quite large, and she slides her card through the machine. Note: I’m 16 and relatively new to my job.)

Me: “That’s weird; it didn’t charge your card.”

Customer: “What do you mean?”

Me: “It charged $0.00 to your card. Could you slide it again for me?”

Customer: “No, it’ll charge me twice.”

Me: “Well, it charged $0.00 the first time, so it shouldn’t be a problem.”

Customer: “Fine.”

(She slides her card again. This time I realize she’s using food stamps.)

Me: “Oh, ma’am, it’s not food stamp eligible.”

Customer: “Yes, it is.”

Me: “I’m sorry, but it’s not.”

Customer: “Pumpkins are technically food, so yes, it is.”

Me: “The computer doesn’t think it is.”

Customer: “Look, kid, have they not taught you in school yet that you can pay for food with food stamps?”

Me: “Ma’am, these are ‘carving’ pumpkins.”

Customer: “Okay, now you’re p***ing me off. Pumpkins are food. Now, ring it up right or I’m going to talk to your manager.”

Me: “Ma’am, I understand that pumpkins are food, but we sell these pumpkins specifically for carving, not for eating.”

Customer: “Pumpkins. Are. Food.”

Me: “Do you intend to eat it?”

Customer: “What?”

Me: “Are you going to eat this pumpkin, ma’am?”

Customer: “…no, but that shouldn’t matter.”

Me: “Ma’am, food stamps are for people who can’t afford to buy food themselves. If you can afford to use them to buy decorations, then maybe you shouldn’t be using them.”

Customer: *she glares at me for a second, then hands me a five dollar bill* “Unbelievable.”

(She then stormed out.)

Fickle Over A Nickel

| ON, Canada | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Money, Politics

(I have just completed a transaction with an otherwise calm customer. My city is right across the border from a major American city, and this customer has paid with American currency. Here, we have phased out the penny, and transactions either round up or down to the next .05 or .10.)

Me: “That will be $6.30, please.”

Customer: “But the screen says $6.27!”

Me: “Yes, but we do rounding here. 27 cents rounds up to 30.”

Customer: “Well that’s just ridiculous! I demand to see your manager! You’re trying to short change me! I know the tricks.”

Me: “Sir, it’s just three cents—”

Customer: “GET ME YOUR MANAGER!”

(My manager, having heard all this, steps in.)

Manager: “Sir, I’m going to have to ask you to calm down. My worker here is not trying to short change you, nor is she lying to you.”

Customer: “I want a refund!”

Me: “You didn’t even pay yet.”

(I glance at the money still in this hand.)

Customer: *flustered* “Well, good! I didn’t want you taking my money anyways!”

(He left in a huff, muttering about ‘foreign commies out to get his money.’)