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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!

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Damaging Customer Relations

| NJ, USA | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests

(I’m working in the handbags section of the store. A customer approaches me with two of the same bag, but in different colors. One has blue and green tones while the other is neutral colors, like brown, pale pink, beige.)

Customer: “Could I ask for your opinion?

Me: “Sure! Trying to decide between these two?”

Customer: “Yes. I like the green and blue better but I’m not sure what I’d wear it with.”

Me: “Well, the neutral colors would be easier to match, so you could get more use out of it.”

Customer: “Maybe I’ll get both.”

(The customer looks at the tags, and they are each $30. She doesn’t want to spend much more than that.)

Me: “If they were a little cheaper, I would say buy both.”

Customer:Can they be cheaper?”

Me: “I’m sorry?”

Customer: “Can you get me a discount?”

Me: “I’m sorry, we only discount damaged merchandise.”

Customer: “Well, could you damage it?”

(I wait for her to laugh, but she just looks at me, expecting I will help her.)

Me: “No… No, I can not.”

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A Sad Sign Of The Times

Washington, DC, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Crazy Requests

(I am waiting in the express lane to buy groceries (15 items or fewer). The customer in front of me has a full cart.)

Cashier: “Excuse me, sir? This is the express lane.”

Customer: “Okay.”

Cashier: “Fifteen items or fewer.”

Customer: “What?”

Cashier: “It’s fifteen items or fewer for this lane. Since you’re already here, I’ll let you stay in line, but for the future, please use another lane.”

Customer: “Well… how was I supposed to know it was fifteen items or fewer? There should be a sign!”

Cashier: “It’s right there.”

(He points right above the customer’s head, where there’s a giant sign reading “EXPRESS LANE – 15 ITEMS OR FEWER.”)

Customer: *angrily pointing to a random spot next to the cash register* “Yeah, well, it SHOULD be over THERE!”

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Momentarily Shocked

| Hudson, WI, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Time

(I’m working the drive-thru at my job, and like many of our lunch rushes, we end up getting slammed that day. Since I’m the only one wearing the headset, I have to put a few customers waiting to place an order on hold.)

Me: “Hi, welcome to [Restaurant]! I’ll be with you in just a moment.”

Customer: “Okay.” *short pause* “Your moment’s up.”

(I’m startled into a brief silence. I’m fairly certain the guy was joking, but in the middle of a rush, I’m never in the mood for jokes.)

Me: *slowly* “Fine. I’ll be with you in thirty seconds.”

Customer: “That’s better.”

(I was actually ready to take their order about ten seconds after that. But because they decided to pull that rude joke, I counted down to exactly thirty seconds before actually taking their order.)