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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!

Wish You Were Just Pulling My Leg

| Taylor, MI, USA | At The Checkout, Bizarre, Food & Drink

(I was working as a cashier when a customer comes up with a cart full of two-packs of turkey legs.)

Me: “Wow, these are pretty big; they make me think of renaissance festival turkey legs.”

Customer: “Yeah, exactly! I’m going to put them in my smoker. They come out just like that.”

Me: “Oh, sounds nice! Now I’m craving one!” *laughs*

Customer: “You are? I could give you one if you like!”

(I laugh it off as a joke and finish the transaction normally. However, a couple of days later, I see the customer return with a food container in the child seat of her cart.)

Customer: “Oh! I was hoping you were working this shift again. Guess what I brought you!”

(She opens the container and pulls out a whole turkey leg, smoked so much it’s falling off the bone she’s holding it by.)

Customer: “I brought you one like I said!”

Me: *surprised* “I… uh? Thank you, but… I really can’t take it!”

Customer: “No, it’s okay. I have plenty. You saw. You said you wanted one right? Take it!”

(I continue to politely refuse while she literally shoved the turkey leg at me, it’s falling apart on my belt and getting grease everywhere.)

Me: *desperate* “I can’t eat on the job. I could get in trouble!”

Customer: “Oh, well… I’ll just leave you it here for it later then.”

(She puts the turkey leg right on the belt and hurries off like nothing happened, leaving me to clean up the greasy mess. It was a nice gesture but an odd one at that!)

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!”