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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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Can’t Quite PIN Down This Email

| WA, USA | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Technology

(The pin pads at our store allow the customer the option of getting an emailed receipt when they use a debit or credit card. Unfortunately, some form of this conversation happens at least once daily:)

Pin Pad: “Would you like an email receipt? [Yes] [No].”

Me: “There’s one more question there for you; it’s asking if you would like an email receipt.”

Customer: “Oh, no. Just the paper one.” *hits yes*

Pin Pad: “Please enter your email.”

Customer: “I don’t want an emailed receipt! Why is it asking for my email?!”

Me: “You hit yes…”

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Many A Slip Twixt Cup And Scam

| TX, USA | At The Checkout, Liars & Scammers, Popular

(I work the registers at a big box retailer. At the end of every transaction, I look down the line to make sure there aren’t any special attention items coming my way. A customer has a large stack of $1 cups in his basket the first time I look at him, but they are gone the second.)

Me: “Hello! How are you doing today? Did you find everything okay?”

Customer: “Yeah, I’m okay.”

(At this point I’ve already scanned three items, and sure enough every one of them has rung up as a cup. My favorite way to deal with shoplifters is to pretend to be completely dense, while talking loudly about their shoplifting.)

Me: “Well, that’s very strange. Somehow those last three items got the wrong label on them. Let me just take a moment and fix that.”

Customer: *looks up from his wallet* “Oh, um. That’s fine.”

(I continue to scan his order, removing every single cup label from every item.)

Me: “Boy, this is just so strange. I don’t know how this could have happened. But strange things seem to happen around here from time to time.”

Customer: “Uh… haha, yeah. I… I don’t know how that happened either.”

Me: “Well, your total comes to $245.50.”

Customer: “Hey uh, I… I left my uh, wallet in the car. I’m going to go get that.”

Me: “Okay, well, we can hold on to your order for up to 24 hours.”

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Must Be Another Trump Supporter

| Cornwall, England, UK | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Politics

(I am working a busy evening shift in my local village store. Normally our customers are fine but every now and then, one comes in drunk. My till is right by the newspapers.)

Me: “Good evening, sir. Having a nice night?”

Customer: *nodding at the papers* “They should just nuke them.”

Me: “Sir?”

Customer: “Those d*** terrorists. We should just nuke them.”

Me: “Er… I’m not sure that would be a good idea, sir.”

Customer: “Why not?”

Me: “Well, for one, terrorists organisations aren’t exactly in one particular location like a country, and two, it’s never a good idea to drop nuclear weapons.”

Customer: “We should f***ing nuke them!”

Me: “Very good, sir. You have a nice night.”

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Expressly Oblivious

| MA, USA | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests, Popular

(It’s incredibly busy, and our store is tiny — we have two registers, and hardly any counter space. A woman comes up with a basket full of cosmetics and creams. I ring everything up as quickly as possible.)

Me: “Okay, that’s going to be $60.50.”

Customer: “What? Really? That seems way too high.”

(A bit of sticker shock is understandable, since it’s a small pile of more expensive stuff that adds up, but the line is getting longer and longer.)

Me: “I don’t think I made a mistake. These things are all taxable. Maybe that’s throwing off your math?”

Customer: “No, it’s way too high. Let me see… uh, $1.99… plus $4.50… That’s $5.00? No, $6.00… plus $3.99… up to $9.00…”

(She apparently going to manually add up all of her groceries, and she’s taking her sweet time. I slide her basket back in front of the register.)

Me: “Here, I can just re-ring your items for you and we’ll see if anything’s off. This’ll be quicker and easier.”

(I scan all her items again, as fast as I possibly can, because there are at least five people waiting with their own full baskets and carts. The total comes to $58.00, and the customer smiles smugly…)

Me: “Oh, wait, the second package of tissues.” *I pull it out from under the basket, where it had fallen* “So, yes, $60.50.”

Customer: *while handing over her card* “That’s not right! I need to look at my receipt and count everything up. You’re way too fast; I’m not in a hurry.”

(I look at the completely packed store and paste on a smile to keep from screaming.)

Me: “Well, the customers behind you might be in a hurry, though…”

(The customer glares at me, snatches her receipt, and begins to veerrrry slowwwllly match up her items to the prices on the slip.)

Me: *shoving her basket down to the edge of the counter* “I’m just gonna slide you down so I can help the next customer; you look that over and ask if you have any questions.”

(She stood there, taking up about a third of the counter space, reading her receipt for about fifteen minutes before finally deciding I wasn’t trying to cheat her. In that time I must’ve served half a dozen other customers, and the line never let down. A different customer actually had to grab her cart and move it out from the aisle, because she was so oblivious of other people moving around her.)

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Your Overfriendly Neighborhood Grocery Store

| CA, USA | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests

(I am working as a cashier at the grocery store I work for. It is early in the day and not every busy. I have a regular customer come up to my register, who is always pleasant, and she, I, and the bagger are having a great conversation. I am at the time the fastest cashier at my store and the bagger is pretty quick as well. During this time I had several people go to different lines because there was no waiting and the regular had a larger order. All her items are bagged and ready to go as soon as the transaction is over. There is now another customer waiting in my line who seems impatient.)

Me: “Okay, you are all set for today! Have a great day!” *I turn to help the next customer* “Hi! How are you today?”

Customer: “You know, you shouldn’t talk so much!”

Me: “Excuse me?”

Customer: “That last person you had! You had other people waiting in your line that got fed up with you talking too much and had to go to other lines! You should not hold other people up just because you talk too much. It is rude.”

Me: “I am sorry, ma’am, if I made you wait too long. It was not my intention.”

Customer: “Well, next time don’t talk too much!”

(She leaves, and I turn to my bagger with a confused look, which the bagger shares.)

Bagger: “Did she just complain that we were being too friendly?”

Me: “Apparently. You know those other customers left because they could tell it was a large order and there were open lines.”

Bagger: “Well, at least working in a grocery store is never boring!”

(The best part was about a week later the regular customer came back through my line, and I had the same bagger again, and she overheard the whole thing. She told us we were wonderful, and that she was actually amazed by how quick we were!)

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