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!

Won’t Lego Let It Go

| Canada | At The Checkout, Money

(A cashier pages for an associate covering the toys department to call the register. I respond. A customer says that a box of Lego was priced at $4, but it rang in at $12.86. I’ve been working on moving clearance items around all week, so I tell the cashier:)

Me: “Someone probably left it in the wrong spot. Just give it to the customer for $4.”

(Company policy lets us do that under $50. Not good enough; the customer wants to come talk to me. The cashier tells me the customer will meet be by the Lego. The customer shows up and points aggressively at the rest of the $12.86 Lego boxes.)

Customer: “There, I got it from right there. Someone took the label down, but it said $4!”

Me: “If you saw the box sitting by a Lego label that said $4, then you can have it for $4. The cashier has to adjust it, so we should go back to the register.”

Customer: “But I’m not making it up! There was a $4 tag right here, for these ones!” *points at a row of ‘Lego City’ boxes featuring a bulldozer*

(I pick up one of the boxes, read out loud the UPC number, pick up the nearest tag, and show her that the UPC matches. It is indeed $12.86.)

Me: “Our store policy says we can make price adjustments in cases like this, so you can still have it for $4. The cashier has to do it.”

(The customer phoned her boyfriend, put him on speaker, and told him to tell me that he also saw a $4 price tag below that box. Once again, I told the customer that she could have it for $4, but she had to go back to the register and let the cashier adjust it. She stormed off with a final “I’m not making it up!” Congratulations, you just wasted 10 minutes of my minimum wage time yelling about getting your way over a $12.86 box of Lego.)

Folding Back

| Woking, England, UK | At The Checkout, Bizarre

(I work in a high-end concession in a large department store. On this occasion, I am helping a colleague from another concession with a customer who has spent hundreds of pounds on dozens of items. I begin to fold the items in the way I have been trained, wrapping them in tissue paper.)

Customer: “Stop it. You’re doing it wrong!”

Me: “I’m very sorry, madam, is there a way you would prefer them to be folded?”

Customer: *in an irate tone* “No, let me do it myself.”

(The customer folds up her own items, which I had no problem with until…)

Customer: *angrily* “Don’t be offended.”

Me: “I’m not offended at all; I know everyone has their own particular way they like to fold.”

Customer: “No, you were just doing it wrong. Don’t be offended.”

Me: “I’m very sorry about that, madam.”

Customer: “Well, I am older therefore I know better than you. See, now my clothes won’t get creased in the bag. You would have creased them horribly. But, don’t be offended.”

(My colleague tells the customer her total, who then proceeds to rant about how pleased her husband will be that she spent so little, and she deserves much, much more out of him. She then decides she would like to keep the hangers and rams them into the bag with her clothes, crushing them into the bottom of the bag.)

Customer: “You had better not be offended, and you had better learn how to stop clothes creasing!”

(The customer stomps off with her over-full bag.)

Colleague: *to me* “I hope you aren’t offended!”

Smoked Sausage

| Leicestershire, England, UK | At The Checkout, Food & Drink, Health & Body

(I’m working the till on a morning shift in the middle of the week and it’s fairly quiet, as it’s the time of day when most people are at work or school, when a customer walks up to the bakery stand and makes a show of reading the labels on the bags of sausage rolls.)

Customer: *loudly, but to nobody in particular* “Good!”

(He walks up to my till and places a couple of bags of the sausage rolls and a few other items on it.)

Customer: *sounding very proud of himself* “I saw there weren’t any genetically modified ingredients on the label. It says if they are now.” *Note that such a law has been recently implemented in the USA, but it’s been the case here for over a year* “It’s important to be careful about what you eat.”

(I didn’t want to argue, so I just nodded and brought up the weather. After I ring up his purchases…)

Me: “Can I get you anything else?”

Customer: “25 grams of [Rolling Tobacco].”

(After I handed it over, he didn’t bother to check the label.)

Closing On A High

| Orem, UT, USA | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests, Criminal & Illegal, Time

(I’m a 19-year-old closing shift manager, who has one other employee with me. I come from a very strict religious family, in a very conservative town, so I can say that I’m a bit naive about certain things. One night just as I am walking to lock the doors at 10:58 pm, someone walks up and catches me.)

Customer: “Aww, are you closing? I just wanted a couple of burgers.”

Me: *thinking that technically we had two minutes* “Well we are about to close, but we can make a couple of burgers. No problem.”

Customer: *at the register* “Okay, let me have 18 burgers, 16 fries, 2 onion rings and 18 [Soda]s.”

Me: *knowing that once he is in the store, by policy I have to serve him, I’m fuming* “Okay, sir, but that is a lot of food, and we aren’t set up for that much. Everything has to be cooked from scratch. It’s going to take quite some time.” *hoping he will change his mind*

Customer: “That’s okay. I’ll wait…”

(After spending almost twenty minutes cooking all this food, it’s finally ready.)

Me: *trying to hide my anger at having to stay well past the end of my shift* “Thank you for you order; here you go.”

Customer: “Hey, thanks, dude. Here, I have a tip for you, since you were so nice to stay and cook for me.”

(The then hands me a small envelope. I just want him to leave, so I can go home, so I take it and walk him out. I head back to the office and start with my closing duties.)

Fellow Employee: “So what did that guy give you in the envelope?”

Me: “I don’t know. I didn’t look.” *opening the envelope, it’s full of marijuana, which I’ve actually never seen before in my life* “What the heck is this?”

Fellow Employee: “Well, that explains a lot.”

Me: “What do you mean?”

Fellow Employee: “He had the munchies…” *turning around, leaving me holding my first and last bag of weed*

Turning Alcohol Into Whine

| Wickham, WA, Australia | At The Checkout, Bizarre, Religion

(Due to an unknown genetic disease, I’ve been left with almost no sense of smell. On this particular night, a drunk man comes in and accidentally drops his bottle of alcohol on the floor. Being the only one who can’t smell it, my supervisor sends me to clean the mess when this interaction occurs. Note that I am 19 and have moved out of home by this time.)

Customer: “Oh, darling, it mustn’t be very nice having to clean up after other people. But don’t you be getting high off of those alcohol fumes!”

Me: “Well, I don’t think you can get intoxicated just by inhaling this stuff, but I’m not bothered by the smell much.”

Customer: “I suppose you mustn’t be. A lot of children like you have drunken parents. I’m sorry you have to go home to that.”

Me: *a bit offended* “I actually moved out of home last year. I turn 20 soon and my parents never drank.”

Customer: “Now, you can try to cover for them but it’s okay to tell people about living with parents addicted to alcohol. Did they force you to drink? Is that why you aren’t bothered by the smell?”

Me: *rather irate at this point* “I have a disease. I can’t smell because of that. I’d like to stop talking to you about this now, if you don’t mind.”

(The customer bows and shakes her head slowly, and I can hear her tutting.)

Customer: “So they got to you too, did they? Poor innocent youth…Yes, addiction is a disease, but you can overcome it by listen to the word of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.”

(By this point I’m astonished by her stupidity, and the mess is all clean. After giving her a weird look, I walk away and wonder what the heck just happened!)

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