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!


Has Something Else In Store

| Glens Falls, NY, USA | At The Checkout, Bizarre

(A customer approaches at the checkout.)

Me: “Hi, you find everything okay?”

Customer: “Yes.”

Me: “Do you have a store card?”

Customer: “Yes…” *stops, looking up and around, seeming very bewildered* “What store is this? This isn’t [Store], is it?”

Me: “Yes, this is [Store.]”

Customer: “Huh… I could have sworn this was [Competitor Store]. I’m going to go there. Things are cheaper there.”

Me: “Okay, then… Have a nice day.”

(I’m still not sure how she missed the giant red signs on the main building and the driveway.)


Caught Red-Solo-Cupped

| MI, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior

(A family has just finished checking out their smaller-sized order and left their shopping cart in front of the u-scan. I don’t want to take care of the cart just yet, but decide not to ignore it when I see they also left an empty drink cup in the seat.)

Me: *follows them out the door with their cart* “Hey, guys, did you want your drink?”

Woman: *stops and stares at me* “Oh yeah, um, thank you.” *reluctantly takes her empty drink cup and walks away*

Me: *cheerfully* “You’re welcome! You guys have a good night!”

(It was so awkward, but so worth it!)


First-Born Going The Way Of The Check

| Allentown, PA, USA | At The Checkout, Family & Kids

(I’m helping a family shop at our little store, and they’re now at the cash register. Because the store is small, they’re the only customers.)

Father: *gesturing to his daughter* “By any chance, do you take firstborn children as payment?”

Me: *with the straightest face I can manage* “Well, we used to; that’s how they got me.”

Coworker: *chiming in* “And that’s why we don’t take them anymore.”

Father: *laughing* “That’s all right. She’s the middle kid, anyway!”


Needs More Self-Help Than Self-Checkout, Part 2

| CT, USA | At The Checkout, Technology

(It’s 6:30 in the morning and our store has been open for about a half hour. I am the only cashier at the moment, so I am taking care of a cash register, as well as two self scan registers. A lady with a carriage full of items walks past my cash register down to the self scan registers. After she tries to find her first item, she calls me over.)

Lady: “I can’t seem to find these bananas in the computer; can you find them for me?”

Me: “Sure, you just click right here—” *clicks PRODUCE button* “—and click on the banana picture. All the produce is listed in here and is in alphabetical order.”

Lady: “Oh, thank you!”

(I start to head back to my cash register and not two seconds later, she calls me again.)

Lady: “I can’t seem to find the zucchini. Can you help me again?”

(I help her find her zucchini as well as about fifteen other produce items. After the produce, she proceeds to have me scan every other item in her shopping cart, because she can’t seem to get them to scan. Finally, after about ten minutes, she finishes and starts to pay.)

Lady: “Gosh, I just wish these things didn’t take so long.”

Me: “I know the self scans can be tricky sometimes, so if you’d like, the next time you come in, I can ring you out at my cash register. The cash registers are a lot quicker than the self scans; I could have your order done in less than two minutes.”

Lady: “Oh, no, it’s okay, honey. I like doing it myself!”

Needs More Self-Help Than Self-Checkout


Doesn’t Have Twenty-Twenty Cent Vision

| Bavaria, Germany | At The Checkout, Liars & Scammers, Money

(Here in Bavaria stores are mandated by law to close at 8 pm so it’s usually rather packed from 7:30 until 8 pm. A line of approximately 15 people are waiting at the register. First in line is a woman in her 40s.)

Woman: “I’m sorry. Why is my receipt saying this cucumber is 70 cents?! I’m pretty sure it’s 50 cents.”

Cashier: “Well, if it rings up for 70 cents it usually is. But I can take a look at my price sheet.” *she takes a look in her binder* “No, sorry, 70 cents.”

Woman: “Well, then you must have priced it wrong. The price tag said 50 cents!”

Cashier: “I’m sorry. Maybe you looked at the wrong price tag. Happens to the best of us.”

Woman: “NO! YOU ARE COMING WITH ME TO THE AISLE RIGHT NOW! I’m not letting you f*** me over! They cost 50 cents!”

Cashier: “Well, if you insist.”

(The cashier is standing up from her register and walks away with the angry woman. Meanwhile there are over 20 people waiting in line. It only takes 2-3 minutes until the cashier comes back with the woman who appears even more angry.)

Woman: “NO! YOU’RE F****** ME OVER! I’m sure someone heard me complaining and changed the tag! THEY WERE F****** 50 CENTS!” *while waving around with said cucumber, slamming it on the counter*

Cashier: “Well, again, I’m sorry but the tag, the register, and my price sheet are saying 70 cents. Now please pay so I can attend to those other customers.”


(Suddenly, a customer is walking up to the woman and throws 20 cents at the counter. By now the line reached until the back of the store.)

Man: “HERE! Now take your stuff and leave. Let’s hope the IRS will not find out I’m throwing around such huge sums!”

(The woman angrily stormed out, got in her – I wish I was kidding – BMW-SUV, and drove away. The kicker? She left the cucumber behind.)

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