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!

Can’t See The Wood For The Bags

| MA, USA | At The Checkout, Bizarre, Popular

Cashier: “So, will that be paper or plastic today, ma’am?”

Customer: “Oh, no, I prefer wood.”

Cashier: *just stares for a moment*

Customer: *realizing what she said* “Oh, um, paper is fine. I don’t know why I said that…”

(Meanwhile everyone around her was trying not to laugh as she exited the building without her wooden bags.)

Tastes Like Rubber Chicken

, | OK, USA | At The Checkout, Rude & Risque

(Our establishment allows us meal vouchers per shift to ensure we actually get something to eat on our lunch breaks. At first, employees weren’t able to use the vouchers in the gift shop, only at food venues, but a memo gets sent out that the directors are planning to change that. A few days after the new rules go into effect, this happens.)

Poker Dealer: *looking around at the shelves* “So, we can use our vouchers in here, right?”

Me: “Yep, anything you want. You just have to cover the difference.”

Poker Dealer: *talking with another dealer as they look before he reaches for an item holding it up* “Can I get these?”

Me: “Those are condoms…”

Poker Dealer: “So?”

Me: *jokingly* “Well, are you going to eat them?”

Poker Dealer: “No… but someone else is!”

Me: *speechless*

A Tale Of Two Charities

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

(I work in a charity shop which supports elderly people. A customer puts two books on the counter.)

Customer: “I want to exchange this for this.”

(I look at the books and assume she’s had a moment.)

Me: “Oh, this has an [Animal Charity] price ticket on, not [My Shop].”

Customer: “Yes.”

Me: “I’m afraid I can’t exchange it, because you didn’t get it from here.”

Customer: “You mean I have to take it all the way back there?”

Me: “I’m afraid so, because we’re not affiliated with them.”

(The customer sighs sadly and buys her book, which cost 99p. She then leaves on the epic trek to the Animal Charity shop, located five shops down from us.)

Wish You Could Counter The Culture

| UK | At The Checkout, Money, Popular

(I work in a small store that does not have enough sales to warrant paying for a credit/debit machine, so we take cash only. There is a large sign at the counter saying this, and there is a cash machine right outside. The cashier’s counter is very small and cramped. On this day, I have three or four people lining up to pay, and the first customer in the queue is buying a large kid’s toy plus a vase and some books.)

Customer #1: “Do you take cards?”

Me: “Sorry, no, it’s cash only.”

Customer #1: “Oh, sorry, I don’t have enough. Can you hold these while I pop over to the machine?”

Me: “Yes, no problem.”

(The customer leaves and due to the limited space I stand up and put the vase and the kid’s toy on my cashier chair and then start to stack the books at the edge of the counter to leave space for the next customer.)

Customer #2: *handing me his items – two books* “Didn’t she want her things?”

Me: “Oh, yes. She only had her card and we only take cash so she’s just gone to get some money. That’ll be [total].”

Customer #2: “Do you take cards?”

Me: “No… only cash. Sorry.”

Customer #2: “Oh. I’ll just have to go get some money out then. Can you hold these books for a few minutes?”

Me: “Yes, that’s fine.”

(I stack them next to Customer #1’s books. By now, there is very little counter space left.)

Customer #3: “That was ridiculous!” *hands me some CD’s*

Me: “Yeah, it happens. That’s [total], please.”

Customer #3: *hands me her credit card*

Me: *speechless*

Racism = Stupidity

| TX, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Bigotry, Popular

(My husband and I are in line to order behind this older redneck-type man with a sour attitude. For the most part, I’m paying no attention, because I’m sharing a work-related conversation with hubby, though it’s easy to see that the conversation is tense. Suddenly, the older guy explodes on the young, Hispanic cashier.)

Customer: “D*** it! I just want to order a d*** burger. Is that so f***ing hard to do?”

Cashier: “Sir, I just want to know if you want curly fries or regular fries.”

Customer: “I don’t speak wetback, boy! You need to learn American.”

Cashier: *visibly upset now* “I asked if you want curly fries or regular fries.”

Customer: “Can’t understand a f***ing thing. Need to fire all of your a**es and hire some d*** Americans.”

Me: “Wait, what seems to be the problem here?”

Customer: “I can’t understand the d*** wetback behind the counter. He’s got a f***ing thick accent.”

(This is a complete lie; the kid has no accent at all. We’ve understood every word that he has said clearly.)

Me: “Well, maybe I can help. I know a little Spanish.” *I turn to the cashier, and in perfect English, ask:* “What was the order number and what comes with it?”

Cashier: “He ordered a number eight. It comes with mayo, mustard, and ketchup. I wanted to know if he wanted curly fries or regular with it.”

Me: *turns to the older customer and as loud and slow as I can* “HE WANTS TO KNOW IF YOU WANT CURLY FRIES OR REGULAR FRIES!”

Customer: “What the f***?! Why are you f***ing yelling at me?!”

Me: “Oh, I thought you were deaf. So, is it a stupidity problem, then? Or just racism?”

(He got red in the face and stormed out, still muttering about how Mexicans were taking over Texas. The cashier and his fellow workers were laughing the whole way. I got a free small shake out of it, but I’d have done it with or without the shake.)

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