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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!

Twice The Cheese, Double The Effort

, | Canada | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests, Food & Drink, Money

(I used to work at a small sandwich shop at which the manager and I were the only daytime employees. Our franchise serves shredded cheese on sandwiches, and customers often try to get us to put extra cheese on, since it’s more difficult to gauge the proper amount. The following happens during our regular lunch rush, as my manager and I are running back and forth, ringing people through and making their sandwiches.)

Me: “And what kind of cheese would you like?”

Customer #1: “Shredded.”

(I measure out the proper amount with our scoop and put it on his sandwich.)

Customer #1: “No, put more than that.”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but this is our standardized amount. If you want more, you’ll have to pay for extra cheese.”

Customer #1: “No, you didn’t put enough on. You need more than that.”

(My manager has just finished ringing someone through and comes over.)

Manager: “No, sir, I saw her measure it out. That is the standardized amount for a footlong sandwich.”

Customer #1: “No. I need more cheese than that!”

(This goes back and forth for a minute as I get to work on the next customer’s order, and finally my manager puts a full extra serving of cheese on.)

Manager: “So that will be [amount] extra when you get to the till, then.”

Customer #1: *mutters* “Well, put more than that on, then.”

(My manager ignores him, and I finish making his sandwich and start punching it into the till.)

Customer #1: “And I’m not paying for extra cheese.”

Manager: “I gave you double cheese. Are you saying you would like me to give you free food?”

Customer #1: “You didn’t put double cheese! You put a tiny bit extra.”

Manager: “No. You received the regular, doubled, amount. Are you going to pay for it?”

Customer #1: “No! You should have put more! I won’t pay for extra cheese.” *smiling smugly* “So, how much is it without extra?”

(My manager raised her eyebrows at him, canceled the order, threw the sandwich in the garbage, and went back to help the next customer in line. He stood there speechless until the other customers started applauding. Then his face turned red and he stormed out, muttering that we lost “$30.00.” His sandwich was only worth about $8.00, even with the extra cheese.)

Thinks She’s The Big Cheese

| Canada | At The Checkout, Family & Kids, Food & Drink

(I used to work for a large franchise, but at a small location at which we stopped serving shredded cheese on sandwiches for a while. During this period, a woman comes in with her two preteen sons, and everything is just fine until we get to the cheese.)

Me: “And what kind of cheese would you like?”

Customer: “Shredded, please.”

Me: “Oh, I’m sorry, we don’t serve shredded on sandwiches.”

Customer: “What? But I always have shredded.”

Me: “I’m sorry, but the shredded cheese is more expensive than the regular, and since we’re a small location, we need to save it to season our cheese bread.”

(The customer is getting visibly angry now.)

Customer: “This is ridiculous! I’ve walked out of stores without shredded cheese before! I’m a paying customer! You’re supposed to give me what I want!”

Me: “I’m sorry, but I’m not allowed to serve shredded cheese. If you like, I can give you [two kinds of our regular cheese that are in the shredded cheese]. It’s basically the same thing, it just won’t be shredded.”

Customer: “I CAN’T believe this. How hard is it to shred cheese?! I’ve walked out of stores before!”

Me: “The cheese comes pre-shredded or pre-cut. I have no possible way of shredding the cheese here.”

Customer: “I am a paying customer! That other cheese tastes like plastic! I should speak to your manager about this! I’m paying and I should get what I want!”

(Suddenly, one of the customer’s sons, who has been looking increasingly uncomfortable, speaks up:)

Customer’s Son: “Mom. It’s just CHEESE.”

Customer: “I know but as a paying customer I should be getting what I want!”

(She didn’t walk out, but she kept repeating that she was a “paying customer” through the whole transaction. Her poor sons looked like they wished the ground would swallow them up.)

Making You Feel Very Small (Talk)

| NM, USA | At The Checkout, Language & Words

(This was a few years ago when I was a receptionist at a bank. Sometimes people would come in and ignore friendly conversation. After a while, this gets on my nerves. I had a few ways of dealing with people like this.)

Me: “Good morning, sir! How are you doing today?”

Customer: “Karen.”

Me: “I’m sorry?”

Customer: “Karen.”

Me: “Are you dropping something off for Karen? Picking something up from Karen? Does Karen have paperwork for you to sign? Do you have paperwork for Karen to sign? Does Karen need to notarize something for you? Is Karen opening an account for you? Do you need Karen to do a Signature Guarantee for you? Is Karen closing an account for you? Do you have a meeting with Karen? Would you like to speak with Karen?”

Customer: “Uh… meeting.”

Me: *with a sigh* “Okay.”