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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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Cents-lessly Arguing

| RI, USA | At The Checkout, Money

(A customer comes up to my register with a can of tuna. She explains that the tuna was part of a recall and would like to return it, but does not have the receipt. Normally returns without receipts are given store credit.)

Me: “Since it’s part of a recall, should I still give her store credit, or can I give her cash?”

Supervisor: “You can give her cash if the register will let you.”

(I process the refund and my supervisor overrides it so that I can give her the cash, which comes to $2.27.)

Customer: “It was 88 cents.”

Me: “Without a receipt I have to give you what the register thinks it’s currently worth, which is $2.27.”

Customer: “But I only paid 88 cents. I returned one at the other store and they gave me 88 cents.”

Me: *to supervisor* “She wants less money than I’m trying to give her.”

Supervisor: “So give her less money?”

Me: “Can I modify the price of a return?”

Supervisor: “No, the register won’t let you.”

Me: *to customer* “I’m sorry, but I can’t change the price. The register wants me to give you $2.27.”

Customer: “The other store gave me 88 cents. I only paid 88 cents. I don’t like to steal.”

(The customer then proceeded to count 12 cents from her wallet and take a dollar bill before leaving the store, leaving the rest of the money on the counter.)

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Needs A Bigger Cue To Queue

| Berkshire, England, UK | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Extra Stupid, Popular

(I am in the stockroom collecting a customer’s parcel. As I go to leave, a coworker lets me know that in my absence two queues have formed at the till and the order in which they queued.)

Me: *towards the gentleman who had been queuing longest* “Hello, how can I help?”

(The woman who had started the second queue glares at me angrily and starts to speak angrily and sarcastically.)

Female Customer: “Excuse me, but it would be nice if you could tell me where exactly we’re supposed to queue!”

Me: “Where the gentleman was queuing.”

Female Customer: “Well, how was I supposed to know that?”

Me: “Well, ma’am, I thought the fluorescent yellow arrowed tape on the floor was enough of a clue.”

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A Price For The Devil To Pay, Part 4

| TN, USA | At The Checkout, Money, Religion

(I am ringing up a customer, and it came time to tell them their total)

Me: “Your total comes to $13.34.”

Customer: *hands me $20 bill*

Me: “Out of $20? Ok, your change is $6.66. Have-”

Customer: “Oh! Oh no, can’t have THAT number! I don’t want that, you don’t want that either! Oh! Just.. put the coins in the donation box! We can’t have THAT!”

Me: “…Sure. Uh, have a nice day…”

Related:
A Price For The Devil To Pay, Part 3
A Price For The Devil To Pay, Part 2
A Price For The Devil To Pay

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Me No Speak Americano

| Vancouver, BC, Canada | At The Checkout, Bizarre, Food & Drink

(I work graveyards at a very busy location of a popular fast food restaurant in Canada. Our store is located quite close to a Korean shopping area, so we get a lot of Asian customers. Around two am an older, middle-aged Asian woman enters the lobby and comes up to me.)

Me: “Hi there, what can I get for you?”

Customer: “No English!” *gestures that she only knows some English*

Me: “All right, ma’am.”

Customer:“Ice cream!”

Me: “Which one would you like? We have—”

Customer: *interrupts* “Maple!”

Me: “I’m sorry; we don’t have maple ice cream.” *gestures that we don’t have any”

Customer: “Ice cream! Maple!”

Me: “Ma’am, we do not have maple ice cream. We do have a maple latte and a maple pie.”

Customer: *gestures me to take the next order*

Me: *takes the order and turns back to the woman*

Customer: “Ice cream!”

(Due to her lack of English understanding, I wonder if she wants our current promotional ice cream, which doesn’t contain maple. So I gesture to the picture on the menu.)

Me: “Is this maybe what you wanted?”

Customer: “No, No! Oreo!”

Me: “All right, ma’am.” *turns around and grabs our two cup sizes* “Which size?”

Customer: “Yes!”

Me: “Ma’am, which size?”

Customer: *gestures to larger size* “Two!”

Me: “Is that everything?”

Customer: *nods*

Me: “All right, your total comes to $[total].”

(Customer pulls out a card, and I press the corresponding button on my POS. She inserts her card then continues to look at the menu.)

Customer: *points behind me to our muffin display* “Muffin!”

Me: *walks over to display and points at the muffin I assume she was pointing at* “This one?”

Customer: “Blue! Blue!”

Me: “A blueberry muffin? Anything else?”

Customer: “Two!”

(Because she hadn’t finished payment, I cancel it and enter in the two muffins, while giving her the new total. By the time I am done, she has returned her card back into her wallet.)

Me: “Ma’am, you still need to pay. Please put your card in here.” *gestures to card reader*

Customer: *takes her card back out and enters it into card reader, presses a few buttons, then continues to look at the menu*

Customer: “Americano!”

Me: *sighs* “All right, ma’am.” *cancels payment again since she hadn’t finished* “What size?”

Customer: “Small!”

Me: *punches it into the system* “Your new total is $[total].”

(Her card is still in the reader, so I take it out, press the button on my POS, and put it back in. She doesn’t add anything else, so I go and start on the other customers order, and hand it out. I return to the POS and the payment hadn’t gone through.)

Me: “It didn’t go through; would you like to try again?”

Customer: *takes her card out and puts it back in*

(I restart the payment, walking her through the buttons to press until it gets to the pin screen. She enters her pin and it goes through. By this time her ice cream is done by my coworkers, so I hand it out to her, and tell her the rest is coming up.)

Customer: “I go sit!” *starts walking away*

Me: “Ma’am! Please stay here; your order is almost done!”

Customer: *walks back to counter* “Sorry! Drunk!”

Me: *thinking it all makes sense now*

(I grab her muffins and hand it to her.)

Me: “Here are the muffins; it’ll be just a minute for the Americano. Please wait here, ma’am.”

Customer: “I sit?”

Me: “No, ma’am, please wait here.”

(I go and get her Americano, and hand it to her.)

Me: “Here you are!”

(Looking at her two ice cream and Americano, I decide to get her a drink tray so she doesn’t drop anything. I put them in the tray and hand it to her.)

Me: “There you are. Now, be careful; the Americano is hot!”

Customer: *starts walking away* “Thank you!”

Me: *turning towards my manager* “That took WAY too long!”

(Thankfully the night went smoothly after that.)

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Throwing Dirt Until It Sticks

| ON, Canada | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid

(We have six self-checkouts. It’s a busy day and five machines are in use as one is broken, and I have a line of about five people. A customer approaches me from the entrance.)

Customer: “Can I get some of the dirt that’s outside?”

(It’s spring, so we sell 10 lb bags of topsoil which are all outside.)

Me: “No problem. If you’ll just get in line, we can ring that through for you.”

Customer: “Can you just ring them through for me?”

Me: “I don’t have a register to do so at the moment, but if you’ll just get in line I’ll help you as soon as I’m able.”

(The customer gets into the express line next to mine. This isn’t a problem: all checkouts have the PLU for the dirt written down and most cashiers have it memorized regardless. After a few minutes, he gets out of the slowly growing express line to approach me again.)

Customer: “Do I need to bring in a bag of dirt to scan or something?”

Me: “No, you don’t. We have codes at every register so you don’t need to. Just tell her what you want and she’ll be able to do it no problem.”

Customer: “Well, can’t you just ring me through?”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, I don’t have a register to do that for you. If you’ll just get in a line up, any cashier will able to do it for you when it’s your turn.”

Customer: “So you can just ring me through here?”

Me: “I can’t ring you through at the moment, no, but if you’ll get in line, when you have a machine I can put the dirt onto your order.”

Customer: “So can’t you just ring me through now?”

(This goes back and forth about five times in total before he gets back into the express line.)

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