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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!

Half A Mind To Watch What You Say

| Veron, NJ, USA | At The Checkout, Family & Kids, Language & Words

(A father and son check out books and DVDs.)

Me: “That’s it. Books are due in two weeks and the DVDs are due in one. But you can return the books at the same time as the DVDs are due, if you have a mind to. Thank you.”

(A few minutes later, as they go in the children’s room:)

Son: “What did she mean by that, Daddy?”

Father: “Well, I think she’s from down South and it’s just a saying…”

(I’m watching what “down South” expressions I use now…)

But We Do Have Some Everlasting Gob-Stoppers

| Annapolis, MD, USA | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Food & Drink

(It’s a snowy winter day on the East Coast. Customers are placing their items on the checkout counter to be rung up by me. I’m wearing jeans and a long-sleeved t-shirt, not a winter coat, no gloves or hat, and I’m three registers away from the open outside door.)

Customer: “Brrr! It’s so COLD! How can you STAND it in here? You must be FREEZING!”

Me: “No, I don’t mind it. We keep busy when we are at the register.”

Customer: *eyeing the previous customer’s frozen ice cream containers being bagged by a coworker* “How can anyone buy ice cream on a freezing day like this?”

Me: “Ah, well then, you should buy some Willy Wonka’s Hot Ice Cream! It’s perfect for those cold days.”

Coworker: *stops bagging items and stares at me with open mouth*

Customer: “Wow! Really? That sounds great! Is it too late to go back and get some?”

Me: “Sorry, we’re temporarily out of stock.”

Coworker: *turns away to laugh*

Customer: “Oh. Too bad.”

Me: *smiling at the customer’s ignorance of Roald Dahl’s book ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’* “Maybe next time. Have a good day!”

The Mother Of All Nice Gestures

| Fort Collins, CO, USA | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests, Family & Kids

(I am just about to clock out from work when a teenage girl walks in to return a shirt that was paid for with credit card. My coworker handles the transaction.)

Coworker: “So, you’ll be getting $13.94 back for this. Do you have a credit card to put that on to?”

Girl: “No.”

Coworker: “Well, I can give you a voucher to the store instead.”

Girl: “Okay, that works.”

(My coworker finishes the transaction, and gives her the voucher. The girl’s mother then comes in and becomes furious when her daughter gives her the voucher instead of cash. So she stomps over to my coworker.)

Woman: “Excuse me, but I wanted cash back for this, not a voucher.”

Coworker: “I’m sorry; you only get back your return how it was originally paid for.”

Woman: “Fine, I’ll put it back on to my card.”

(Unfortunately my store cannot put money from a voucher back onto a credit card. It’s final once it becomes a voucher. My coworker explains this, the woman gets mad and demands to speak to a manager. My manager comes over.)

Woman: “You have to put this back onto my card. I need to get gas for my car.”

Manager: “I’m sorry, but once it’s been put onto a voucher there’s nothing we can do.”

Woman: “You have to.”

Manager: “I can’t.”

Woman: “You HAVE to!”

Manager: “I can’t!”

(This unpleasantness goes on for awhile, until my manager has had enough.)

Manager: “I don’t have to do anything. Especially something that’s impossible.”

(The woman finally gets it through her head and leaves with her daughter. Then after a couple minutes her daughter comes back in, tears streaming down her face, and goes back over to my coworker and manager.)

Girl: “Is there anything you can do?”

Manager: “I wish I could but it’s impossible.”

(The girl looks to be on the verge of tears again.)

Girl: “Please…”

(I’m finally clocked out now, and after watching this whole situation and feeling terrible for the girl, I walk over.)

Me: “How much is on the voucher?”

Coworker: “Uh…$13.94.”

Me: “Okay.”

(I pull out my wallet and get $14.)

Me: “I’ll give you this for the voucher.”

Girl: “…really?”

Me: “Yeah.”

Girl: “Thank you. So much.”

Me: “Of course.”

(The girl takes the money and leaves. My coworker hands me the voucher.)

Coworker: “Thank you, [My Name.]”

Me: “Yeah, no problem.”

Manager: “That was amazing, [My Name]. Thank you, I appreciate it.”

Me: “Just to be clear: I did it to help out the poor girl, not her f****** mother.”