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!

Got No Tat For Tit

| MN, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Health & Body

(It’s a slow day at the retail store where I work and I have no one in line at my cash register. One of my managers walks over to my till.)

Manager: “Turn your light off. I need to talk to you for a moment.”

(I turn my light off, a little nervous.)

Me: “Am I in trouble or something?”

Manager: “Okay, well, no, not really, but I kinda have to talk to you anyway because it’s policy.”

Me: “Okay?”

Manager: “We had a customer complain to us about your shirt.”

(The shirt I’m wearing is within our uniform regulations. It’s a v-neck that doesn’t show any cleavage, although it is flattering to my figure.)

Me: “Why?”

Manager: “Well, he said that your shirt was too low-cut and it was inappropriate and that, when you leaned over, he could see your tattoo down your shirt…”

(I stare at my manager for several long seconds, dumbfounded.)

Me: “[Manager], I don’t have tattoos ANYWHERE.”

Manager: *laughs* “Y’see, I didn’t think you would!”

(Satisfied that she has followed through on our policy, my manager leaves it at that. Almost a year later, I’m wearing the same shirt and am about to open one of the registers. Our registers are set up in lines where the cashier is facing their customers on the opposite side of the belt, but behind them is where the line for the next register is. I start to reorganize the register because it’s messy when a man in the line behind me mumbles something.)

Customer: “…your shirt.”

(Thinking it was something nice, I politely smile to the customer.)

Customer: “You look like a whore!”

(My face falls flat when all of a sudden it hits me — this is the same man who complained about my shirt before. Without opening my till, I walk to a manager and explain what happened. After my manager goes to confront the customer and finds he’s already left, my manager comes back to me.)

Manager: “Sorry about that. That guy’s been saying stuff about the female cashiers for several months now, regardless of what they’re wearing. We try to kick him out when we find him.”

Patient Laughter

| USA | At The Checkout

(My mom and I enter a meat market to buy more chicken, as my sister is having friends over for dinner and we don’t have enough at home. Only one register is open as we enter the checkout line, and there is one lady in front of us. The machine is not working with her card, and the system is failing repeatedly, even after the cashier switches registers. Meanwhile, a line has formed behind us.)

Cashier: “I don’t know what is happening. Let me try once more. I’m sorry it’s taking so long.”

Lady In Front Of Us: “It’s fine. We are all learning how to be patient today!”

Man Behind Us: *in joking tone, while smiling* “Hurry up!”

(Everyone in line starts laughing.)

Mom: “Oh, no, a fight can’t start. I’m in between you two!”

Man: “Nah, life is too fast as it is. It’s nice to slow down once in a while.”

Cashier: “Let me run and get my boss.”

(Of course, as soon as the boss shows up, the machine accepts the card and works smoothly. The boss walks away to the back of the shop again.)

Lady: “Of course it works when he shows up!”

Cashier: “Yup, just my luck.”

(The lady leaves and we are up next. My mom hands the cashier her credit card.)

Mom: “You can just run it as credit.”

Cashier: “Um… ma’am, the system isn’t working again.”

(At this point, all we can do is laugh.)

Mom: “I’ll pay in cash, then. It only works when the boss is around! He must be back there messing with us, pulling the cord to it or something!”

(It’s nice to know there are still patient customers out there willing to laugh it off when things go wrong.)

Mummy And Daddy Play Too

| ME, USA | At The Checkout, Family & Kids, Rude & Risque

(I work in a little touristy/toy store for kids and all ages. Near the till we have a lot of gag stuff displayed like funny books, fake dog poop, etc. One of the items we have is a set of toy handcuffs. I am checking out a mother.)

Little Girl: *probably around four* “Oh, mommy, look! Handcuffs!”

Mom: “You don’t need those; put them back.” *continues with transaction*

Little Girl: “Not for me; for you! You said you wanted to handcuff daddy!”

Mom: “No, I didn’t!”

Little Girl: “Yeah, you did; you said you wanted to handcuff daddy but we didn’t have handcuffs, remember? Well, here. I think these are the ones. You can handcuff daddy now.”

Mom: “No, we don’t need those.”

Me: *now finished and trying very hard to not laugh* “Have a nice day!”

(They left without the handcuffs but the girl said ‘you wanted to handcuff daddy’ a few more times!)

Credited For Trying

| NC, USA | At The Checkout, Money, Time

(I’ve been working since pre-opening hours and it’s close to closing time. I’m expected to ask customers if they would like to apply for the store credit card.)

Me: “Would you like to apply for the credit card and save 10% off your first purchase with it?”

Customer: *looks at her daughter, who nods* “Yeah, I’ll do it.”

(I proceed to sign her up for the card and finish my end of the process.)

Me: “Ma’am, the system says you weren’t automatically approved for the card tonight, but you’ll be getting a notification in the next few days about it, and once you’re approved, you’ll receive your 10% on your next purchase.”

Customer: “What? You lied to me! You said I’d get 10% off this purchase. I’m a manager at [unintelligible mumbling] and we would never falsely lead a customer into such traps. I want you to give me my 10%! I want a manager.”

Me: “I’m sorry for the confusion, ma’am. You get the 10% when you’re approved, but I can get my manager if you like.”

Customer: “Oh, forget it! I don’t want you to waste anymore of my time here. I only applied for the 10% otherwise I wouldn’t have wasted the time here. Don’t just stand there! Finish ringing everything up.”

(I finished the transaction in silence. She and her daughter stormed off with their $17 purchase. The 10% wouldn’t have saved them $2.)

In Line And Out Of Line, Part 14

| USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Popular

(I am at a store with my father. We are standing in the line for a self-checkout. It’s a five person line and all the machines are in use. One opens up and the first customer, a young woman, moves to the checkout. The second customer, an old man who hadn’t been in the line, steps in front of her and goes to check out his groceries.)

Father: “Hey, the line starts right here.”

(He motions to the spot behind us.)

Customer #2: “I have to check out my groceries.”

Customer #1: “So do the rest of us, and none of us skipped past the line.”

Customer #2: “My groceries are more important!”

Me: “By what standards?”

Customer #2: *to Father* “Didn’t you teach your kid to respect his elders?!”

Father: “Not when they’re being a**holes.”

Related:
In Line And Out Of Line, Part 13
In Line And Out Of Line, Part 12
In Line And Out Of Line, Part 11

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