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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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Wish You Could Be Joyless

| Colorado Springs, CO, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Popular

(At our store we have a notorious regular who comes in every single day and hates every single one of the entire staff and the whole store, and isn’t afraid to make it known. She hates everyone and everything. The irony is that her name is very similar to Joy. Our store is notorious for having excellent customer service and satisfaction and is often recognized by our corporate office in Arizona for it. This kind of interaction happens on a daily basis.)

Me: *sees Joy and perks up, trying to be as friendly and polite as possible* “Good morning! How are you today?”

Joy: *glares and frowns* “Terrible.”

Me: *as I start ringing her items up* “I’m very sorry to hear that. Is there anything I can do for you to make it better?”

Joy: “Leave.”

Me: *awkward pause* “Um… did you find everything okay?”

Joy: “No. I never do.”

Me: “I’m sorry about that. Would you like any rain checks?”

Joy: “No.”

Me: “Okay, I’m sorry, ma’am. Your total is [total] and I even gave you a couple extra bag credits today!” *customers can get five cents off their purchase for each reusable bag they bring in and we use*

Joy: *squinting at the screen* “Did you give me credit for my bag?”

Me: “Yes, ma’am, I actually gave you five credits today. I know it’s only 25 cents, but every penny helps, right?” *smiles*

Joy: *glares and gives me her money*

Me: “Thank you, ma’am. Have a nice day!”

Joy: “I won’t! I hate this store! You have terrible employees! I hate it here!” *takes her things and leaves*

Me: *sighs*

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A Taxing Customer

| Nashville, TN, USA | At The Checkout, Money

(Tennessee doesn’t have a state income tax, so sales tax is pretty high. Out-of-town visitors are often surprised at this. I witnessed this conversation between my coworker and two customers while I was at the next register.)

Coworker: “Your total is [amount]. You can swipe your card through the pad.”

Customer: “Wait, how much is that? Has it gone up?”

Coworker: “It’s [price]. We did have a little price increase at the beginning of the year.”

Customer’s Husband: “But that’s still not right. If it’s [price], then why is the total [amount]?”

Coworker: “Oh, that’s with tax!”

Customer: “What?! Why is the tax so high?”

Coworker: “Um… that’s the tax in this county in Tennessee.”

Customer’s Husband: “But WHY is the tax so high?”

(Pause.)

Coworker: “You can swipe your card through the pad there, sir.”

(They left still muttering about why the tax is so high. I almost told them that a neighboring county’s tax is .25% higher even than here. The kicker: when the customer gave her phone number for the rewards program, her area code indicated that she LIVED in the same town. She must freak out about the tax three times a day!)

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And The Gloves Come Off

| Ireland | At The Checkout, Money, Popular

(I’m on tills by myself and for the last 30 minutes I’ve been watching a lady trying on all our different work and garden gloves. I had tidied and re-priced that section only a few hours earlier; however, she has put nothing back in the right place and thrown gloves all around the rack as she takes them on and off. This lady is notorious for trying to get everything for well below the marked price. She finally walks up to the counter and throws down 2 pairs of heavy duty gardening gloves.)

Customer: “How much are these? There’s no prices down there for anything!”

Me: “Sure, they’re €5.99 and €11.99.”

Customer: “That can’t be right! Why are they more expensive?!”

Me: “The €5.99 ones are lightweight gloves. You’d use them for weeding or planting flowers. The €11.99 ones are much thicker gloves. They’re made for handling thorny plants.”

Customer: “Well, that’s the last pair down there. Surely you’ll knock a few euros off to get rid of them.”

Me: “We’re just low on stock. We’re getting more of them in next week.”

Customer: “Well, they were hanging on a peg that said €4.99 down there so you have to give me the gloves for that!”

Me: “Oh, so the section is priced?”

(The customer glared at me, before throwing €5.99 down on the counter and walking out in a huff with the cheap pair of gloves.)

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Getting A Real (Psy)Kick Out Of It

| MA, USA | At The Checkout, Awesome Workers, Popular

(I work Saturdays in a small sandwich shop in a very small town. A woman stops in and the following exchange occurs:)

Customer: “I’m on my way to pick up my daughter from a lesson; can you make me a sandwich quickly so I won’t be late? [Large sandwich chain] always takes forever.”

Me: “Sure, it will only take a minute; what can I get you?”

(She orders a simple turkey sandwich and leaves, but comes back later to tell us how amazing it was and how much her daughter loved it. For the next few months after that she stops in every Saturday and orders the same sandwich for her daughter, always in a rush. One day I happen to glance up and see her car pull in, so I quickly prepare her sandwich before she comes in.)

Customer: “I’d like to order [simple turkey sandwich she always orders]. And if you could do it quickly, I’m in a rush.”

Me: “I already have it here for you, ma’am; I saw you pull in and figured you wanted it quickly.” *tries to hand her the sandwich*

Customer: *looking at me suspiciously* “How do you know what I wanted?

Me: “Well, you’ve come in and ordered the same sandwich for your daughter for a few months now. I just remember the order.”

Customer: *still confused* “But… but I didn’t tell you what I wanted yet. How is it possible you remembered?”

(She just could not for the life of her believe we remembered her, even after the same order every single Saturday for three months. What’s more, she continued to come in every Saturday and act amazed when we knew her order.)

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Game, Set, And Matches

| USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Popular, Underaged

(I work in a store that was recently stung by the local P.D. and failed a decoy operation. The offending employee was fired, fined, given a court date, and charged with a criminal offense. This resulted in a huge crackdown on our ID policy from management. A young woman comes in and asks me for a free pack of matches.)

Me: “Sure, but I’m going to need to see your ID.”

Customer: “What? For matches?”

Me: “Yes, ma’am, it’s considered the same thing as purchasing a lighter.”

Customer: “I don’t have my ID.”

Me: “I can’t give you matches, then. I’m sorry.”

Customer: “I was just in here last week. You don’t remember me?”

Me: “No.”

Customer: “Do you just not have a memory?”

(At this point I’m kind of stricken by her rudeness and general demeanor. She’s obviously getting extremely upset about me not giving her a pack of matches.)

Me: “I see hundreds of people every week, ma’am. I can’t remember every single one of them.”

Customer: “You are very rude! Why are you being so mean to me?”

Me: “How am I being rude? I could lose my job for not asking for ID.”

Customer: “You’re making me feel stupid!”

(At this point her attitude changes completely and she actually begins to cry.)

Customer: “PLEASE just give me the matches! Why are you doing this to me?”

Me: “I can’t. Someone just lost their job and has to go to court because they didn’t ID a customer.”

Customer: “F*** you! I will be speaking to your manager!”

Me: “So you’re going to complain to my manager about me doing my job?”

(She ran out, still crying. She did show up complaining about me to my manager. This resulted in my manager backing me up for doing my job. She thankfully hasn’t returned.)

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