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!

A Bad-Behavior Burrito

| PA, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Bigotry

(I’m at a place where you pick out your food and have it made to order. I’ve just told the woman I want a burrito, when a man comes up behind me.)

Man: “Take my order first!”

Worker: “I’ll be with you next.”

Man: “I need to be first.” *then to me* “Stand down.”

Me: “What?”

Man: “Stand down! I’m going before you.”

(By this time the worker has the beans and rice on my burrito and passes it to the next worker, who asks me what other ingredients I want. The man totally is ignoring the first worker who is asking for his order, and instead is yelling at the worker helping me.)

Man: “Don’t listen to her! She doesn’t know what she wants! She doesn’t know her place.”

(I ignore him and proceed to the checkout, I hear him yelling at the first worker.)

Man: “You should have taken me first! You b****, don’t you understand!”

(Next thing I know the manager comes out and asks the guy to leave. He lunges across the sneeze guard at him. The other worker says they are calling the cops.)

Man: “You can’t call the cops! I am an American! I have a coupon! I have to be here! You should have taken me first. I have a coupon.”

(He goes over and starts throwing all the napkins, straws, etc. on the floor, and grabs a patron’s food off their table and flings it. We are all kind of trapped because he is blocking the door. Next he sees me and starts yelling at me.)

Man: “Had to have your precious burrito, you b****. Eat it! Choke on it! I won’t save you if you choke!”

(He grabbed the bag with my food in it and started swinging it around, I ran behind the counter where the employees were to get away, A security guard came in not moments later and forced the guy out, still raving about his coupon and saying I should choke on the burrito. Ironically, I got a coupon for a free meal from the manager who felt bad for me.)

What A Bunch Of Old (Hand)Bags

, | Northampton, England, UK | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests

(I am serving on the till and currently dealing with a woman who has sat her child on the counter as she deals with her payment. Two ladies are behind her waiting.)

Customer In Line: *to me* “Should she really have her daughter sitting up there?”

Me: “Well, we don’t have any policy about this and her child is being very well behaved.”

Customer In Line: “Well, it’s very dirty and food is prepared here so I don’t think the child should be sitting there.”

(At this point I am shocked at the rudeness of the customer, speaking as if the mother was not there. The mother in question has kept quiet the entire time, counting out her change. I have no patience for rude customers so I speak up.)

Me: “Actually, food is not prepared here. Anything that sits on this counter is either wrapped, on a plate, or on a tray, so it does not come in direct contact with the surface. Plus people put their handbags on here all the time as well as their money, two incredibly dirty objects, anyway.”

(Both ladies behind the mother have their handbags on the counter.)

Customer In Line: *ignores me* “I just can’t believe you’d let a child sit up there. It’s so dirty! Food is prepared here!”

(At this point, the mother finally speaks up.)

Mother: “I’ll sit my child wherever I please.”

(She then paid and left with her child. I just wish I could have high-fived her for putting the other customer in her place!)

A Healthy Customer Interaction

| CT, USA | At The Checkout, Health & Body

(I work in a pharmacy. A youngish woman approaches the counter.)

Customer: “I’m here to pick up my daughter’s prescription.”

Me: “Of course. Can I get her name and DOB?” *She gives it and I look it up* “I’m sorry, but we don’t have it here.”

Customer: “The doctor should’ve called it in two days ago. It’s all right, though, I can use my DEA to call it in.” *a series of numbers and letters used to identify doctors*

(I’m a little surprised. She doesn’t really look old enough to prescribe.)

Me: “Ma’am, are you a doctor?”

Customer: “No, but I have a DEA.”

Me: “Well, that might not be necessary. It might be on hold at drop off.”

Customer: “All right, I’ll check there first.”

(She goes to the other counter, and I lose track of her with my own customers. About 30 or 45 minutes later, she comes back to pick up her daughter’s prescription.)

Me: “Oh, glad she got her [prescription].”

Customer: “Yeah, it wasn’t over there, though. Glad I could take care of her and call it in without having to call the doctor. ”

(It’s late on a Sunday afternoon, when most doctor’s offices are closed.)

Me: “It must be reassuring you can always get her medicine. You could do it too if you had an NPI [other set of identifying numbers, necessary for calling in narcotics].”

Customer: “Oh, I have one of those, too, but I don’t really use it. I work at a women’s health clinic, so I’ve never prescribed those.”

(I work in a pharmacy in an area known for prescription drug abuse, and where narcotics are given out like candy. This was reassuring on her part.)

Me: “Oh. Here’s her prescriptions ”

(We do have a few patients that are doctors, and write their own prescriptions, and occasionally for their family that are also our patients. They’re usually arrogant, however, and argue prescription prices, drug types, etc. She was extremely nice, though. It made my day a little bit better.)

Should Be Prescribed Some Manners

| The Woodlands, TX, USA | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests

(A woman, aged around 40, comes to pick up her prescription. I ask for the last name so I can find her in the system. It is a long complex last name, and our system requires full perfect spelling to bring it up. She spells it out slowly and condescendingly. I brush it off and get her prescription from our bin. When I walk back to the counter she throws a coupon at me. I had noticed her prescription was already billed to insurance AND coupon, so I ask her what’s it for.)

Woman: *rudely* “If you read it, you’d know.”

Me: “The reason I ask is because there is already a coupon applied.”

Woman: “Oh, well, it must’ve been automatically applied.”

(That isn’t possible; we bill them like insurance and it is somewhat a long process, especially when it’s a coordination of benefits. I say nothing to that and ask her to type in the last four digits of her phone number as one of our verification methods. Rudely again, she snaps.)

Woman: “Why would I do that?”

Me: “If you want your prescription, you must verify your number.”

Woman: “Well, that’s an invasion of my privacy.”

Me: “It’s to ensure the prescription goes to the correct person.”

(She reluctantly agreed and she dramatically covered the PIN pad all while grumbling as it as if it was a debit pin. Her prescription was in my hand and it contained her full name, address, and the full phone number she partially typed. She then began to make small talk as she handed me her cash. I gave her the change, and she stood at the counter staring at the receipt and recounting her change for literally 15 minutes. Since I was fairly new, my coworkers explained that she was notorious for being rude. When she comes through drive-thru, apparently she doesn’t speak a single word. She just throws her credit card into the drawer and expects us to know that she’s picking up.)

Entree-Level Knowledge

| USA | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Food & Drink

(I am working the drive-thru speaker. After the customer gives her order, consisting of several sandwiches without combos, I repeat it to her.)

Me: “So that was one [Item #1], entree only, one [Item #2], entree only, and—”

Customer: “No, no, no! I ordered the sandwiches! I don’t know what an entree is, but I’m not paying for that! Ring me up right!”

Me: “Yes, ma’am, I—”

Customer: “Why are you people always getting my order wrong? I just want the sandwiches!”

(She continues to rant, but when she finally takes a breath, I cut in.)

Me: “Okay, ma’am, please pull forward to the window.”

(When she pulls up, she starts yelling at my coworker as soon as she gets to the window.)

Customer: “I don’t know what those entree things you rang me up for are! You’d better make sure my order is right and not charge me for any entrees! I just want [Items], with no combo meals!”

Coworker: “Okay, ma’am, we’ve got that right here. Your total is [amount].”

(None of us felt like dealing with the screaming and line delay that would have come if we’d tried to educate her.)

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