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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!

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The Price Very Gradually Goes Down

| FL, USA | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Money, Popular

(I’m the clueless customer, and have had a long day at work myself. I am dealing with “Teenitude” from my loving offspring and purchasing Teacher Appreciation gifts for said offspring’s teachers, so I am feeling VERY overwhelmed. A WONDERFUL associate has helped offspring and me pick out and find matching scents for sets.)

Cashier: “WOW! That’s a lot of sanitizer and lotion.”

Me: “Oh, just a few gifts for the teachers and staff at [Offspring’s School]. It’s Teacher Appreciation Week next week.” *smiles*

Cashier: “That is so nice of you. Looks like you have more than enough to qualify for some current discounts and specials. Do we send you e-mails?”

Me: “Yes, I get them all the time.” *still smiling*

Cashier: “Do you have your smart-phone with you?”

Me: “Yes.” *still smiling but not moving*

Cashier: *looking at me expectantly* “Can you pull up one of our emails?”

Me: “Uh… sure.” *confused*

Cashier: *sees [Company] email header, types a bit on her register* “Okay, great! Your total is [$50 less than original amount].”

Me: “Oh, my god!” *realization finally dawning on me* “Thank you!”

(Having in the past worked for another branch of the parent company I SHOULD have known in order to receive the discounts, she HAD to see at least one of the email offers. Thank you, super-helpful associates, for being so kind, understanding and walking me through my blonde moment without making me feel like a complete idiot. I referred her to Not Always Right.)

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Speaking Clear Anglish

| Canada | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Popular, Technology

(The store where I work has just gotten new pin pads to replace the old ones. The newer pads have a slimmer design and therefore do not fit properly in the holders designed for the old pads. The store has yet to replace the holders so in the meantime the cashiers are instructed to warn customers that, if they insert their card too quickly, it may go underneath the reader. Most people get it after only one or two tries. On this particular day an elderly gentleman approaches my cash.)

Me: “Hi there, did you find everything you were looking for today?”

Customer: *grunts*

(I go through the transaction as normal.)

Me: “All right, and how will you be paying today?”

Customer: *ignores me, jams card underneath the reader* “It’s not working.”

Me: “Oh, you just have it underneath the reader there; remove your card and try again. Just be careful because these readers are new—”

(The customer ignores me again and tries to twist his card into the slot. Fearing he may break his card, I politely ask if I may show him how to do it.)

Me: “It’s kind of tricky; you just need to angle your card up a little and it slides right in, see?” *demonstrating the method to him* “Here you go!” *I hand him the pin pad with his card already inserted*

Customer: *yanks card out of reader and shoves it back underneath again* “It’s still not working! WHY WON’T IT WORK?!”

(By this point I’m getting frustrated, but I force myself to remain calm and friendly.)

Me: “It just takes a little patience. Try inserting your card at this angle.” *I demonstrate with a gift card that was lying around*

(For the next several minutes this goes back and forth. I insert his card for him and he removes it, shoving it in the wrong way again. A line is forming behind him and other customers are getting upset. Eventually an older woman, seeming to be his wife, comes up behind him.)

Wife: “[Husband], are you still here? What’s taking so long?!”

Customer: “This stupid machine is broken!” *jams card in reader again*

Wife: *to me* “Is the reader broken?”

(I explain to her the way the reader works and why sometimes it’s difficult to insert the card. The wife then takes the card from her husband, follows my instructions, and the rest of the transaction goes smoothly. While I’m handing her the receipt, she explains to her husband what he was doing wrong.)

Customer: “WELL, SHE SHOULD’VE SAID SOMETHING IN THE FIRST PLACE!”

(They leave. The next customer walks up to the register.)

Customer #2: “Wow, what an idiot.” *jams card underneath the reader* “Wait, what’s wrong with this thing?”

Me: *sighs*

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Change (In Attitude) Required

| ON, Canada | At The Checkout, Money, Popular

(I work as a cashier at a grocery store, and during my first three shifts, a more experienced cashier shadows me to make sure everything goes fine. This happens the second night on the job.)

Me: “So, your total comes to [total].”

Customer: *hands me $1.75 more than total*

Me: “Okay, so your change is $1.75.”

Customer: “No.”

Me: “Excuse me?”

Customer: “I gave you [$3 more than total].”

Me: “Sir, I still have what you gave me in my hand. You gave me [$1.75 more than total].”

(I show him what he gave me and I shows he didn’t have any other change.)

Customer: “You need to learn how to count your money and do your job!”

Supervisor: “Sir, [My Name] is more than capable of counting her money and she is doing her job. Now, are you going to take the $1.75 and stop bothering her on her second day of work, or do I need to call [Boss] and tell him you’re harassing his workers when they’re doing their job correctly?”

Customer: *mutters under his breath as he takes his change and bags his items*

Me: “Thank you and have a nice day!” *turns to supervisor* “Thank you for that.”

Supervisor: “Welcome to customer service.”

Next Customer: “You guys need to be paid more.”

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Comes With Extra Salty Fries

| UT, USA | At The Checkout, Language & Words, Rude & Risque

(So, it’s the beginning of the lunch rush. After serving one customer I get on to the next, a stoic man in plaid.)

Me: “Welcome to [Restaurant]. What can I get for you today?”

Customer: “Yeah, I’d like a number one condom, medium, please.”

(I don’t know if he noticed, but I had to try very hard not to say something. Or repeat his mistake.)

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Tax Is Never Rewarding

| Houston, TX, USA | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests, Money

(A customer is buying two reams of paper for $10.)

Me: “Do you have a rewards card with us, sir?”

Customer: “Yes, I do. My phone is [phone number].”

Me: “Okay, thank you. Your total is $10.83.”

Customer: “Why are you charging me 83 cents?”

Me: *I want to look at him like he’s dumb* “Taxes?”

Customer: “Then what is that rewards card for? Shouldn’t it take off the taxes?”

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