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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!

More Taxing To Some People

| Austin, TX, USA | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Money

(A customer brings a pack of gum to the counter. The MSRP, 69 cents, is printed on it.)

Me: “Okay, that’ll be 75 cents.”

Customer: *practically yelling* “No, it says 69 cents right here!”

Me: “Yes, and sales tax makes it 75.”

Customer: “Tax is 8 cents to a dollar, and this is less than a dollar, so there isn’t supposed to be any tax on it!”

Me: “That’s… that’s not how sales tax works…”

(He left without buying the gum.)

Making Universal University Assumptions

| USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, School

(I am in college and working full-time as the receptionist for a car repair shop to pay my way. Because I don’t always have customers calling or coming in, the management allows me to bring my homework with me, provided I can put it down immediately when someone phones or comes in. I am 21 and look very young for my age. One older customer walks in and looks down at the book on the desk while I’m pulling her file.)

Customer: “Does your teacher know you’re skipping class?”

Me: “Well… this is just my homework. Now, about your car—”

Customer: “What? High schools don’t have class at night. Is it even legal for you to be here?”

Me: “Actually, I’m in college. I’m 21; I just look a lot younger than I am.”

Customer: “Do not lie to me, young lady. You should be ashamed of yourself. Skipping class and lying. Does your manager know this?”

Me: “Ma’am, I’m sorry, but I’m not in high school. And I’m working on my schoolwork here, so I’m obviously not trying to ditch schoolwork. Now, if I can get you to sign these papers here, we’ll get the estimator to come and—”

Customer: “Nonsense! You’re just trying to get out of responsibility, and now that I’ve caught you, you’re trying to distract me by talking about my car! You young people dropping out of school is what is causing the economy issues we’re having!”

(I quietly flip over the book to show her the cover, which lists the state university name, as well as a college-level class name.)

Customer: “What forms did you need me to fill out?”

Needs More Self-Help Than Self-Checkout

| Tucson, AZ, USA | At The Checkout, Technology

(I’m a customer at the grocery store using the self-check out. Another customer and his wife approach the self-check out when the husband suddenly stops and turns to his wife.)

Customer: “I’m not using self-check out! Those machines are smarter than I am!”