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!

Stop And (Meno)Pause For Thought

| Seattle, WA, USA | At The Checkout, Bizarre, Health & Body, Money

(Every month my store has items that are free after rebate. This deal is extremely popular so sometimes we run out of the items. A customer walks up to me with an ad paper and points to one of the free after rebate items.)

Customer: “I am looking for this item.”

(It was very obvious to me that English was not this gentleman’s first language. I also knew we were running low on that particular item.)

Me: “Well, sir, I can show you where it would be if we have any left. Follow me.”

(I bring him over to cosmetics area where the display was.)

Customer: “Why are we in the ladies department?”

Me: “Ah, well, sir, the item that you pointed out to me is a product for ladies.”

Customer: “Item is free after rebate, yes?”

Me: “Sir, I have to ask. Do you know what the item is for?”

Customer: “It’s free.”

Me: “Yes, it is free after rebate. But do you know what the product is used for?”

Customer: “No.”

Me: “This product is a lubrication for ladies that have gone through menopause.”

Customer: “Huh?”

Me: “It is a lubricant for women who are older and can’t have children anymore.”

(He stares at me totally shocked.)

Customer: “I don’t want that!”

Me: “I thought you might not. You have a nice day, sir.”

Minimum Wage Gets Minimum Recognition

| Brisbane, QLD, Australia | At The Checkout, Money, Tourists/Travel

(A man has come to the registers and is buying some travel sized shampoos.)

Customer: “I’m going overseas for a while. Thought I’d stock up.”

Me: “Oh, that’s exciting. Where are you heading?”

Customer: “India, Spain, and then Morocco for a year. It should be good.”

Me: “I’m so jealous! I’d love to go travelling when I can find the money.”

Customer: “You already have the money. You’re just spending it on other things.”

Me: *deadpan* “Yes, like rent. And food.”

(The man didn’t seem to comprehend that not everyone can afford to go overseas at all, much less for a year!)

Registering The Awesome Customers

| Austin, TX, USA | At The Checkout

(I’m a barista in a well-known coffee franchise inside a large retail store. Our register is broken so we’ve been taking orders and sending customers over to the food window to pay for their drinks. It’s been nearly a week since our register broke and tech support is fuzzy on when they’ll be in to fix it. Our regulars have been understanding.)

Me: “Here’s your order slip. If you’ll step next door, they’ll ring you up while I get your drink ready.”

20ish Girl: “You STILL haven’t fixed your register? Omigod! How LONG is it going to BE like this? Every time I’ve come in it’s broken!”

30ish Lady: *behind her* “Why yell at her? You think she’s gonna whip out an MIT degree and fix this? If it’s ‘broken every time’ you’ve come, why do you keep coming? It’s JUST a drink. Get OVER it, Buttercup!”

(The 20-something stalked out angrily as the rest of the line began laughing. The 30-something lady steps up to order.)

Me: “You are SO not paying for your drink today.”

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Not How Diabetes Works But Okay

| UK | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests

(We’ve been instructed to ask for customer feedback while checking customers out in the form of a questionnaire. Most is multiple choice with a comments section at the bottom. The line has died down when the receptionist, looking rather disgruntled, turns to us and reads out the feedback from their last customer.)

Comment: “Too helpful! Too nice! Tried having a chat with me and it was just abhorrent! Even her hello was so sweet it gave me diabetes.”

Receptionist: “I’m sorry we can’t all be as sour as gone-off bottle of milk!”

Making A Few Cosmetic Adjustments

| Murfreesboro, TN, USA | At The Checkout

(I work for a cosmetics line in a major department store. We are running a free gift at the time, where a customer receives a gift if they purchase a certain amount from us. This is standard everywhere, and every store and brand has the exact same policy: only that brand’s merchandise qualifies you for the brand’s free gift. I have never in all my years of retail had to explain this to someone.)

Customer: “Hi, I just need a mascara today.”

Me: “Sure thing! Is there anything else I can do for you today? We’re having a free gift if you spend thirty-five dollars, so one other [Brand] item would qualify you.”

Customer: “No, that’s all I need from [Brand] right now. Can you ring up these clothes for me? And make sure you give me all my discounts.”

Me: “Absolutely, ma’am, the clothes will ring the same price anywhere in the store.”

Customer: “Really? I didn’t know that!”

(I ring her one Brand item and her clothes, bringing the total to almost two hundred dollars.)

Customer: “So I get the gift with that, right?”

Me: “No, ma’am, the mascara alone doesn’t qualify you; that’s why I asked if you needed anything else right now so you could get the gift.”

Customer: “But I bought all these clothes!”

Me: “Yes, but the free gift is from [Brand], so only [Brand] merchandise qualifies you.”

Customer: “Well, that makes no sense!”

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