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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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Seriously Needs Some Change

| USA | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Money

(A group of five friends come up to the stand to buy pretzels. We have a deal going on: buy three pretzels get the fourth for free.)

Customer #1: “We need FIVE pretzels.”

Me: “All right. You’re going to be getting one of those for free today, so your total is going to be $12.36!”

Customer #1: *hands me their card, gets declined*

Me: “Oh! Your card was declined.” *inspects card a bit more to find that it’s a gift card that says $24 on it written in sharpie*

Customer #1: “Well, I just used it in a store five minutes ago, so it should be working. Scan it again!”

Me: “How much did you spend at the store?”

Customer #1: “Uhm. Like $14.”

Me: “The card has $24 , so since you spent $14, you only have $10 and the order is $12.36.”

Customer #1: “Um, okay.” *to Customer #2* “Gimme $2!”

Customer #2: *slowly digs through purse to find a wad of singles; [Customer #1] snatches $2*

Customer #1: *to Customer #3* “Gimme $0.36!”

Customer #3: *dumps out change purse on counter and counts out $0.36 in pennies*

Me: “Thank you… Now I just need to rescan your card to get the $10 since it declined it the first time!”

Customer #1: *hands me a $20*

(I and all the other customers just stared at her in disbelief.)

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The Family Business Is None Of Yours

| Gulf Shores, AL, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Family & Kids, Popular

(I am watering plants, when a customer approaches the cashier. The customer is quite rude, arguing about prices, insisting the cashier is trying to rip her off, insulting her, and demanding a discount because she knows the manager, Mark. I merely smile and keep watering. The cashier is very polite and cheerful throughout.)

Customer: “Well, I want you to know that I’m never shopping here again! What happened to all the good cashiers that used to work out here? They’ve replaced them with a disrespectful jerk like you!”

Cashier: “Ma’am, I’ve been at this store, in this department, for three years.”

Customer: “Oh, well…”

Cashier: “Yes, perhaps our paths just haven’t crossed?”

Customer: “Oh, I guess. I don’t usually come in on Tuesdays.”

(The cashier tactfully doesn’t reply that she comes in four days a week and sometimes more, if we need her.)

Customer: “But that doesn’t matter! I’m going to tell Mark that you wouldn’t give me my discount!”

Cashier: “John.”

Customer: “Excuse me?”

Cashier: “I said John. Mark hasn’t been the manager for over a year, since he was caught giving out unauthorized discounts.”

Customer: “Oh. Oh! Well, you… just wait! I’ll tell him, then!”

Cashier: “Of course, but before you do, you should probably know that he’s my stepfather.”

Customer: “F***!” *storms out*

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The Cold Reality Of Drinking Alone

| Berkeley, CA, USA | At The Checkout, Food & Drink

(I have had a long day at work and am stopping by a sake brewery on my way home to pick up some for the weekend.)

Me:” I’d like one… no, make that two large bottles of plum sake.”

Salesman: *while bagging my order* “How are you going to drink that?”

Me: *assuming he is asking how I can manage to drink three liters of sake on my own* “Hey! I have friends!”

Salesman: “I prefer to drink it warm, but some people like to drink it cold.”

(Turns out he was asking at what temperature I was going to serve it!)

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Too Taxing For Them To Understand

| ON, Canada | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Technology

(About once a month, the grocery store I work at holds a sale event called “No Tax Day” where the store pays the taxes for the day. There’s no real way for our system to do this automatically. I work the U-Scan machines. At every machine, we have a large, bold sign telling customers to hit the help button when they’re finished scanning so the attendant can remove their taxes for them. Despite this, most customers do not. I try to catch as many as I can before the customer gets a chance to hit the payment button, and some sorts of payment I can cancel from my station to take off the taxes. The debit/credit machines, however, have to be cancelled from their pinpads.)

Customer: *hits the debit button and begins debit payment*

Me: *notices, rushes over, pulls out her card and puts it down, and hits the cancel button on the pinpad* “Ma’am, if you’ll give me just a moment, I can take off your taxes for you before you pay.” *taps the sign*

(I rushed back to my station, which only took a moment. By the time I got there, she’d already begun her debit transaction again.)

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At Last They See The Light

| Brooklyn, NY, USA | At The Checkout, Popular

(I am on register in the last 10 minutes before my shift ends, so I turn the light off on my line, letting them know I am closing. Two customers, #1 and #2, are my last. I am helping Customer #1 understand the pin-pad, and when I pull back I see a third customer with a very filled cart, loading the belt with her things.)

Me: “Excuse me, ma’am, I’m closed.”

Customer #3: “What?”

Me: *I point to my lane number, which is off* “I’m closing. I’m sorry but I have to close.”

Customer #3: “You didn’t say anything before. I already started unloading.”

Me: “That’s because I was helping this customer with the pin-pad, ma’am.”

Customer #3: “Well, I didn’t see anything saying you were closed. There was no sign!”

Me: “Usually, there are signs we put on the belt, but they are too few and most are broken. Most customers know that when the light is off, the lane isn’t taking anyone.”

Customer #3: “Well, who looks at the light?”

Me, Customers #1 and #2: “EVERYBODY!”

(We didn’t shout this but with all three of us at the same time, it came off as very clear. Customer #3 blushed and left my line.)

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