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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!

Can’t Ignore The Little Comment

| QC, Canada | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Popular

(Customer #1 approaches me while I am already helping Customer #2.)

Customer #1: “Can you come help me when you are done with the little old lady?”

Customer #2: *who obviously heard* “Here, honey, now you can go help the fat lady!”

Leaving Only With Emotional Scar(f)s

, | UK | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests, Popular

(I am a volunteer in a charity shop. There is nowhere to store personal belongings, so I put my handbag under the counter and my coat and scarf on the back of the cashier’s chair – this is also behind the counter. I am sitting on the chair. A customer is about to pay for a book, and spots my scarf. There are several scarves for sale in the shop, including in the window display.)

Customer: “Can I see that scarf, please?”

Me: “Which one?”

Customer: “There.” *points to my scarf*

Me: “Oh, sorry, that’s mine. We have lots of others around the shop.”

Customer: “Yours? What do you mean?”

Me: “It’s mine; it belongs to me. It’s not for sale.”

Customer: “Of course it’s for sale. You can’t just keep anything you like the look of. I want to buy it. How much is it?”

Me: “No, sorry, it’s mine. It’s not from the shop. It’s really not for sale.”

Customer: “Yes, it is. How much?”

Me: “It’s MY scarf, I wore it to come to work this morning, it BELONGS to me, and it is NOT for sale. I can’t be much clearer.”

(At this point the customer glares at me and starts to walk AROUND the counter, looking at my scarf and is obviously just going to grab it. The other customers are staring at her in disbelief. I take my scarf from the chair and stuff it under the counter with my handbag, and physically stand in front of the customer so she can’t get round to the cashier’s area.)

Customer: “Hey, I want that! You can’t just hide it and keep it for yourself.”

Me: “Yes, I can, because it’s mine. You are not buying it. I am not going to sell it to you. Now, do you want the book?”

(She stands and glares at me, then throws the book onto the counter and stomps out of the shop, shaking her head and making comments about how rude I am and how she can’t believe how I treated her.)

Next Customer: *after a few moments of stunned silence* “So… how much for your coat, then?”

Barking Mad Behavior

| Port Saint Lucie, FL, USA | At The Checkout, Bizarre, Pets & Animals

(I work for a popular green market. A customer approaches with a dog in her cart.)

Me: “Aw, what a sweet dog!”

Customer #1: “Want to hold him? You don’t need to keep ringing me up!”

Me: “N- no, that’s okay. He looks very sweet, though. I have a dog—”

Customer #1: “Go say hi!”

(The dog suddenly leaps out of the cart and onto the moving conveyor belt! The other customers in line start panicking, while I hurry to catch the man’s dog that is now running up and down the belt, and across my scanner. When my manager finally gets the man and his dog out, the other customers and I stand in awed silence. Until…)

Customer #2: “That just happened.”

Me: “Ah, yeah. Yeah, it did.”

(We both stare at the paw prints all over the scanner and belt.)

Customer #2: “I can wait until that gets cleaned…”