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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!

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.”

Has A Load Of Explaining To Do

| MI, USA | At The Checkout, Language & Words, Rude & Risque

(I am helping an older couple buy lottery tickets. They have a ten dollar bill, and their total is at nine dollars.)

Wife: “Why not get one more 1$ dollar ticket. I’ll blow my load!”

(I am thinking: do not laugh at that! You are an adult. That was an innocent statement meaning she’ll spend all her money. Maintain composure! Unfortunately she says it again, and the husband and I make eye contact and die laughing.)

Husband: *mutters* “It means something different these days; I’ll explain on the way home.”

(I can only imagine what that conversation was like!)