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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!

Some Customers Will Even Pull Your Hair Out For You

| TX, USA | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests, Health & Body

(I am trying to fix the printer on a self-check out machine. I am a girl with long hair pulled back in tight braids and a bun. A loop of hair has snagged on a lag screw on the raised portion of the screen.)

Me: *calling coworker on the phone* “Hey, I got myself stuck in the self-check. Can you come help me?”

Coworker: “Sure.”

(A customer pulls up to her station with a large order. I can’t see her and she can’t see me, so I wait patiently, bent completely over.)

Customer: *walks up to me* “Can you check these out for me?”

(The customer hands me a bunch of bolts.)

Me: “I would be happy to, sir, just as soon as I get unstuck from this machine.”

Customer: “Have you called anyone to help you yet?”

Me: “Yes, sir. She should be here in a moment.”

(There is a very long awkward pause, while the customer just stands there looking at me.)

Customer: “Well….she’s not here yet. I guess I could help ya out.”

Me: “I would appreciate that. Thanks!”

(The customer proceeds to yank violently on my hair. A few strands come completely out of my head. Finally, the loop of hair comes off the lag screw.)

Customer: “There. Will you ring me out now?”

Didn’t See That (Second) Coming

| Detroit, MI, USA | At The Checkout, Bizarre, Religion

(I run an independent coffeehouse on the main drag in a small town. A regular walks in, doing her usual purposeful strut to the counter.)

Me: “Hey [Name], how’s it going?”

Customer: “Good. You know what I want?”

(I nod as I begin making her nonfat, no carb latte with extra ice.)

Customer: “You know, I like Criss Angel…”

Me: “Yeah, he’s… something all right.”

Customer: “You know…” *drifts off for a second before coming back down to earth with the rest of us* “I really think he’s the second coming…”

(I stop what I’m doing to look at her as I wait for the punchline. Turns out it’s not coming.)

Customer: “He can do everything Jesus could do.”

(I’m still waiting for the ‘HA! Funny huh?,’ but I see she’s dead serious and waiting for commiseration.)

Me: “Criss Angel is a magician.”

Customer: *nods smiling*

Me: “An illusionist. He does tricks.”

Customer: *her smile slowly fades to a look of total desolation* “Oh.”

(I finished her latte and rung her up. She didn’t say anything else and walked out looking much less sure of herself. I almost felt bad.)

Bird Is The Word

, | Montgomery, AL, USA | At The Checkout, Awesome Customers, Food & Drink, Religion

(I am working the drive thru on a Sunday, a time when we have a lot of regular customers after church lets out. I recognize a man from last Sunday.)

Me: “Hey, I remember you from the other day!”

Customer: “That’s right! You have a good memory! I like to hear the word and eat the bird!”

Going Bananas Over The Bread

| WI, USA | At The Checkout, Awesome Customers, Crazy Requests

(I’m at the self-checkout, and I can hear a woman yelling about her own self-checkout order to the cashier.)

Customer: “I can’t believe you would just let someone bag their own groceries! How was I supposed to know bananas would flatten my bread? I want a new loaf of bread, and I want it free!”

Supervisor: “Ma’am, we can’t just give you free groceries for your own errors. As we told you last week, putting heavy things on top of light things will cause problems. We’ve suggested you take your items to a cashier to be bagged properly, and—”

Customer: “I don’t care what you said last week! There is no sign here telling me the bananas will squish my bread! I want it free!”

Supervisor: “No. I told you, you can’t get any more free groceries.”

(At this point, I decide to intervene.)

Me: “Ma’am, can I help you with something? Do you need money?”

Customer: “What the h*** do you mean by that? Do you even work here?”

Me: “No, ma’am, I don’t work here. I just thought given the fuss you were making over a two dollar loaf of bread, you probably needed the money. Let me write you a check; how much do you need?”

Customer: “I don’t need anything! It’s the principle of the thing!”

Me: “And what principle is that?”

Customer: “Well… I… These people need to learn their place!”

Me:“They make minimum wage, and I’m sure many of them have second jobs. I’m sure many of them know ‘their place’ in YOUR version of society. So you mean to tell me you’re just being mean to make others feel inferior?”

Customer: “Well… I…”

Me: “In that case, I’ll buy you a free loaf of bread just to get these poor employees some peace!”

Customer: “Well, I never met someone so rude!” *storms out of the store with her squished bread*

Three-dom Isn’t Free

| TX, USA | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Food & Drink, Math & Science

(I’m a cashier at the local supercenter and I’m working the afternoon shift. We have impulse candy racks at the end of each register that come in both normal and king-sized packages. Under the price tags is a strip that reads “all king-sized candy bars three for $3.” A customer approaches my register.)

Customer: “The candy is three for $3 dollars, yes?”

Me: “Yes, sir. The king-sized candy bars are all three for $3.”

(The customer grabs a few of the candy bars from the candy rack and sets them down on the conveyor belt with the rest of his items. I check them all out like normal and I notice that he had purchased two candy bars for $0.68 and one king-sized candy bar for $1. The customer gives me a strange, irritated look as I hit the total button on my keyboard.)

Customer: “The candy was three for $3. You said it was three for $3.”

Me: “Yes, sir, the king-sized candy bars are all 3 for $3. You bought two candy bars that cost $0.68 and one king-sized candy bar for $1.00.”

Customer: “But your sign says three for $3! Why is it not $3 for these candy bars!?”

Me: “Because, sir, the candy bars that you purchased amount to less than $3.00.”

(The customer went silent for a moment, though his irritated expression never left his face. He paid for his merchandise without another word and left. I stood there for a few moments trying to figure out what kind of math he was using.)

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