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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!

Leaving Only With Emotional Scar(f)s

, | UK | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests, Popular

(I am a volunteer in a charity shop. There is nowhere to store personal belongings, so I put my handbag under the counter and my coat and scarf on the back of the cashier’s chair – this is also behind the counter. I am sitting on the chair. A customer is about to pay for a book, and spots my scarf. There are several scarves for sale in the shop, including in the window display.)

Customer: “Can I see that scarf, please?”

Me: “Which one?”

Customer: “There.” *points to my scarf*

Me: “Oh, sorry, that’s mine. We have lots of others around the shop.”

Customer: “Yours? What do you mean?”

Me: “It’s mine; it belongs to me. It’s not for sale.”

Customer: “Of course it’s for sale. You can’t just keep anything you like the look of. I want to buy it. How much is it?”

Me: “No, sorry, it’s mine. It’s not from the shop. It’s really not for sale.”

Customer: “Yes, it is. How much?”

Me: “It’s MY scarf, I wore it to come to work this morning, it BELONGS to me, and it is NOT for sale. I can’t be much clearer.”

(At this point the customer glares at me and starts to walk AROUND the counter, looking at my scarf and is obviously just going to grab it. The other customers are staring at her in disbelief. I take my scarf from the chair and stuff it under the counter with my handbag, and physically stand in front of the customer so she can’t get round to the cashier’s area.)

Customer: “Hey, I want that! You can’t just hide it and keep it for yourself.”

Me: “Yes, I can, because it’s mine. You are not buying it. I am not going to sell it to you. Now, do you want the book?”

(She stands and glares at me, then throws the book onto the counter and stomps out of the shop, shaking her head and making comments about how rude I am and how she can’t believe how I treated her.)

Next Customer: *after a few moments of stunned silence* “So… how much for your coat, then?”

Barking Mad Behavior

| Port Saint Lucie, FL, USA | At The Checkout, Bizarre, Pets & Animals

(I work for a popular green market. A customer approaches with a dog in her cart.)

Me: “Aw, what a sweet dog!”

Customer #1: “Want to hold him? You don’t need to keep ringing me up!”

Me: “N- no, that’s okay. He looks very sweet, though. I have a dog—”

Customer #1: “Go say hi!”

(The dog suddenly leaps out of the cart and onto the moving conveyor belt! The other customers in line start panicking, while I hurry to catch the man’s dog that is now running up and down the belt, and across my scanner. When my manager finally gets the man and his dog out, the other customers and I stand in awed silence. Until…)

Customer #2: “That just happened.”

Me: “Ah, yeah. Yeah, it did.”

(We both stare at the paw prints all over the scanner and belt.)

Customer #2: “I can wait until that gets cleaned…”

Doesn’t Meet The Minimum Standard

| Milwaukee, WI, USA | At The Checkout, Money

(I work as a cook for a very popular pizza place, and am cashing out a pick-up order for a guy who looks like he is in his 20s.)

Customer: “So, what do you make here?”

Me: “Besides pizza? Well, we have breadsticks, wings, pastas—”

Customer: “No, like money.”

Me: “Oh… well, as a cook, I make minimum wage.”

Customer: “So like, $9?”

Me: “Uh, no… $7.25.”

Customer: “Oh… never mind. I think I’ll just keep playing video games.” *takes his pizza and walks out*

Put Your Foot In Your Mouth

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

(The customer has been generally rude and unpleasant while I ring up her purchases, with lots of whining and complaints all the tough things she’s done, shopping and sightseeing, and about things my store has no control over, like how far it is from the train station. Finally I’ve had enough.)

Customer: “I’ve had to do far too much walking. I can’t believe there weren’t more places to sit down in [Museum next door].” *condescendingly* “You have NO idea how much my feet hurt.”

Me: “Actually, ma’am, I’ve been standing for eight hours and am not allowed to sit down or have breaks, so I might have some idea.” *sugary sweet voice and huge fake smile* “Here are your purchases and a receipt. I hope your rough day gets SO much better!”

Not Very Open Minded, Part 14

| Kent, England, UK | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests, Technology

(I work on the customer service desk of a large, busy retail store. We open later on Sundays, at 11 am. Our opening times are clearly signposted on the doors. It’s around 10 am and although we’ve raised the metal shutters on our storefront we haven’t yet unlocked the doors, and are still setting up for the day. The customer bangs on the door, causing me to look up from my paperwork. I shake my head and point to the sign.)

Me: “We’re not open yet, sorry!”

(Customer continues to bang on the door, then with an almighty shove manages to actually break it down.)

Customer: “I want to do a return!”

Me: “Uh… you just BROKE our door. We aren’t open!”

Customer: “Right, whatever. So I need to return these picture frames. Here’s my receipt…”

Me: “I can’t return them. Our tills aren’t on, and even if they were our office team hasn’t put the cash drawers in. You have to wait until 11 am.”

Customer: “What? You’re telling me I can’t return these? Why aren’t your tills on yet?”

Me: “We’re not open. We open at 11 am. Our opening times are on the sign outside. See?”

Customer: “What? So I can’t return them?”

Me: “You can, but you need to wait another hour. The tills aren’t on. The store isn’t open. I physically can’t give you your money back yet.”

Customer: “This is ridiculous! This is dreadful customer service; I’m never coming back here again!”

(She stormed out in a huff, leaving me confused, bewildered, and with the task of fixing the doors back up before we open.)

Related:
Not Very Closed Minded, Part 13
Not Very Closed Minded, Part 12
Not Very Closed Minded, Part 11

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