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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!

Renamed And Shamed

| UK | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Extra Stupid, Wild & Unruly

(This takes place at our order collection till. The system is down and as such we can’t check whether customers’ orders are in or not. It’s also close to Christmas and we’re full of customers. A woman approaches my till.)

Me: “…and what name—”

Customer: *quotes her order number*

Me: “Sorry, ma’am, our system is down. Can I please have the name it’s under?”

Customer: “[Customer].”

Me: “And how many items is it?”

Customer: *sighs* “Can’t you just check?”

Me: “Sorry, like I said our system is down. How many items are you expecting?”

Customer: “One.”

Me: “Okay, ma’am. I’ll go get it for you.”

(I go into the stockroom and search under the initial of her last name. I can’t find any under her name. So I go back to the customer.)

Me: “Hi, sorry. I can’t seem to find your parcel. Can you just write down the full name it’s under?”

(Customer writes it down, sighing the whole time. I go back and still can’t find the parcel.)

Me: “Is it possible it could be under another name?”

Customer: “No! I think I know my own name! What kind of stupid question is that?!”

Me: “I understand. It’s just, sometimes—”

Customer: “Just go back and check! You know this is supposed to be a faster option! I’ve been waiting in this line for half an hour.”

Me: “I apologise, ma’am.”

(I go to the stockroom for the third time. This time asking for the delivery team to help me find it. They tell me to leave and cover other customers. while they continue searching. I go to the customer and tell her the delivery team are looking.)

Customer: “You know, I’m getting sick of waiting!”

(She continues ranting at me and ‘terrible service at this store’ until her phone rings.)

Customer: *on the phone* “I’ve been waiting for ages! They’re all useless! It can’t be that hard to find a parcel for [Customer]. It’s not exactly a common name.”

(Suddenly the customers face goes white and she looks away from me.)

Customer: *hangs up phone* “It… er… it may be under [Different Name].”

(Lo and behold it was under Different Name. And, surprise, surprise – I didn’t get an apology.)

Not Very Closed Minded, Part 3

| Minneapolis, MN, USA | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid

(It’s just about closing time. I am preparing the paperwork and getting the tills counted. A customer walks in and heads back to look at the drinks. He’s still shopping when closing time hits, and we turn out the lights. I’m going to lock the doors, when a new customer starts walking up to the door I’m about to lock.)

Customer: “Oh! You’re closing. I’ll go elsewhere.” *turns to leave*

Me: “No, it’s fine. Come on in.”

Customer: “Nah, it’s all right. I’ve worked retail; I know how much it sucks to get kept after close.”

Me: “No, really. There’s already a guy in here. You won’t be slowing us down.”

Customer: “Ah, okay, thanks.”

(He comes in, heads straight to what he wants, and brings it to the counter. Elapsed time, 20 seconds. He sees I have the drawer open and am counting cash when he walks up.)

Customer: “Are you counting out the drawer?”

Me: “Yeah, just hoping to get a head start on getting out of here.”

Customer: “Okay, I’ll use credit then. Thanks for staying open for me.”

Me: “It’s no problem. Thank you for doing that!”

(He swipes his card and heads out. After he leaves, the original customer comes up to the counter. He throws down a hundred dollar bill for his under-$10 purchase, then looks around at the darkened store.)

Customer #2: “Are you guys closing?”

Taiwannical Behavior, Part 2

| Taiwan | At The Checkout, Bigotry, Geography, Politics

(I am Caucasian and work in Taiwan. Taiwan is a de facto independent country, even though China claims otherwise. Chinese tourist are notorious for harassing the locals on that issue, but I never had to deal with that personally.)

Customer: *rudely, as she enter the store* “You work here?”

Me: “Yes, I do.”

Customer: “You live in this city?”

Me: “Yup, for many years now.”

Customer: “Why you choose here and not Beijing?”

Me: *cautiously, as I realize from her accent she is Chinese* “I like the life here.”

Customer: “But Beijing is better! You should come to Beijing instead.”

Me: “Beijing is probably very nice. Maybe I will visit someday.”

Customer: “You better move. This city is no good. Beijing is better.”

Me: “So, may I assume you are from Beijing?”

Customer: *proudly* “Yes, I am!”

Me: “Cool! So we are both foreigners here!”

(She gave me a very black, angry look, then left the store without saying another word.)

Related:
Taiwannical Behavior

Wish You Could Jew Something

| Pittsburgh, PA, USA | At The Checkout, Bigotry

(A heavily tattooed bald man walks in to the restaurant where I am working. I am at the register. The guy orders his lunch.)

Me: “That’ll be [total].”

Customer: “Good, you didn’t overcharge me. Last week there was some Jewish b**** who got my order wrong. Of course, what do you expect? F****** Jews.”

(I grit my teeth and smile. He hands me a some money.)

Me: “Here’s your change and your receipt. Have a good day sir.”

(During the course of this conversation he insulted me, my brother, my mother, my grandfather, my late grandmother, and my best friend from school, all without knowing it. I kind of wish I could have told him, but I doubt my manager would have been happy!)

Should Have It Pinned Down By Now

| ME, USA | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Technology

(I am cashing out a customer who has just slid her debit card.)

Customer: “This number pad is so big. Everyone can see me entering my PIN!”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am. I assure you that I can’t see it from here.”

(In addition, I make an obvious attempt to look away. The customer finishes typing in her PIN, and then taps ‘cancel.’)

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am. You did tap cancel, so it’ll just have you slide your card and enter your PIN again.”

(She sighs dramatically, grumbling about the size of the number pad and how everyone can see. She finishes entering the PIN, and then taps ‘cancel’ again.)

Me: “I’m sorry. It looks like you tapped cancel again. Slide your card one more time, then enter your PIN and make sure to tap the green ‘enter’ button.”

(She gave me an ‘are you kidding me?’ look, and then reluctantly slid it again. As she typed in her PIN for a third time, she mumbled something along the lines of ‘after all this, you’ll have it memorized’…)

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