icon_checkout

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!

icon_money

A Taxing Customer

| Nashville, TN, USA | At The Checkout, Money

(Tennessee doesn’t have a state income tax, so sales tax is pretty high. Out-of-town visitors are often surprised at this. I witnessed this conversation between my coworker and two customers while I was at the next register.)

Coworker: “Your total is [amount]. You can swipe your card through the pad.”

Customer: “Wait, how much is that? Has it gone up?”

Coworker: “It’s [price]. We did have a little price increase at the beginning of the year.”

Customer’s Husband: “But that’s still not right. If it’s [price], then why is the total [amount]?”

Coworker: “Oh, that’s with tax!”

Customer: “What?! Why is the tax so high?”

Coworker: “Um… that’s the tax in this county in Tennessee.”

Customer’s Husband: “But WHY is the tax so high?”

(Pause.)

Coworker: “You can swipe your card through the pad there, sir.”

(They left still muttering about why the tax is so high. I almost told them that a neighboring county’s tax is .25% higher even than here. The kicker: when the customer gave her phone number for the rewards program, her area code indicated that she LIVED in the same town. She must freak out about the tax three times a day!)

icon_money

And The Gloves Come Off

| Ireland | At The Checkout, Money, Popular

(I’m on tills by myself and for the last 30 minutes I’ve been watching a lady trying on all our different work and garden gloves. I had tidied and re-priced that section only a few hours earlier; however, she has put nothing back in the right place and thrown gloves all around the rack as she takes them on and off. This lady is notorious for trying to get everything for well below the marked price. She finally walks up to the counter and throws down 2 pairs of heavy duty gardening gloves.)

Customer: “How much are these? There’s no prices down there for anything!”

Me: “Sure, they’re €5.99 and €11.99.”

Customer: “That can’t be right! Why are they more expensive?!”

Me: “The €5.99 ones are lightweight gloves. You’d use them for weeding or planting flowers. The €11.99 ones are much thicker gloves. They’re made for handling thorny plants.”

Customer: “Well, that’s the last pair down there. Surely you’ll knock a few euros off to get rid of them.”

Me: “We’re just low on stock. We’re getting more of them in next week.”

Customer: “Well, they were hanging on a peg that said €4.99 down there so you have to give me the gloves for that!”

Me: “Oh, so the section is priced?”

(The customer glared at me, before throwing €5.99 down on the counter and walking out in a huff with the cheap pair of gloves.)

icon_checkout

Getting A Real (Psy)Kick Out Of It

| MA, USA | At The Checkout, Awesome Workers, Popular

(I work Saturdays in a small sandwich shop in a very small town. A woman stops in and the following exchange occurs:)

Customer: “I’m on my way to pick up my daughter from a lesson; can you make me a sandwich quickly so I won’t be late? [Large sandwich chain] always takes forever.”

Me: “Sure, it will only take a minute; what can I get you?”

(She orders a simple turkey sandwich and leaves, but comes back later to tell us how amazing it was and how much her daughter loved it. For the next few months after that she stops in every Saturday and orders the same sandwich for her daughter, always in a rush. One day I happen to glance up and see her car pull in, so I quickly prepare her sandwich before she comes in.)

Customer: “I’d like to order [simple turkey sandwich she always orders]. And if you could do it quickly, I’m in a rush.”

Me: “I already have it here for you, ma’am; I saw you pull in and figured you wanted it quickly.” *tries to hand her the sandwich*

Customer: *looking at me suspiciously* “How do you know what I wanted?

Me: “Well, you’ve come in and ordered the same sandwich for your daughter for a few months now. I just remember the order.”

Customer: *still confused* “But… but I didn’t tell you what I wanted yet. How is it possible you remembered?”

(She just could not for the life of her believe we remembered her, even after the same order every single Saturday for three months. What’s more, she continued to come in every Saturday and act amazed when we knew her order.)