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!

Should Be On Decaf

| Long Island, NY, USA | At The Checkout, Bizarre, Food & Drink, Popular

(I work at a deli, and for the past month a woman has been coming in and ordering a coffee every day. She is unfailingly polite and friendly, and I begin to look forward to her arrival. One day, she comes in:)

Woman: “Hi, [My Name]. My usual, please?”

Me: “I’m really sorry, [Woman], but the coffee machine is broken. We’re working on fixing it, and it should be fixed by—”

(The woman goes deathly pale, her eyes go as wide as saucers, and she screams at the top of her lungs.)


Me: “[Woman], are you al—”

(She continued screaming like a banshee and dashed out of the deli, screeching and flailing all the while. I never saw her again.)

It’s Going To Be A Long Weight

| Dunbar, PA, USA | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Popular

(I am a cashier.)

Customer: “Excuse me… but why does that say I am being charged $2.91 for these bananas when they are only 44 cents a pound?”

(I look at the screen to see that the customer confused the weight of the bananas, 2.91, with the price he was being charged, $1.44.)

Me: “No, sir. That’s the weight. The price that you are being charged is here.” *I point to $1.44 on the screen*

Customer: “I know that. But why does it say that I am being charged $2.91 for these bananas?”

(Since I am new at the store, I started to think that this was a prank being done by a few friends of mine who got me the job.)

Me: “No, that’s the weight. Not the price. The price you will be paying is $1.44.”

(At this point, I take my finger and walk the customer through what is on the screen, which looks something like this: 2.91 lbs. X .44 [price per pound] = $1.44)

Customer: “I know that’s the weight—” *points to the weight* “—that’s what I am being charged—” *points to $1.44* “—but why am I still going to pay 2.91?”

Me: “Sir, that’s the weight. Not what you will be paying.”

Next Customer In Line: “Oh, my god!” *picks up his groceries and leaves*

(I am working one of the express lanes and have a line of about five customers, not including the current customer. After this latest exchange, I noticed that my line is completely gone. At this point, I am out of things to say and do.)

Customer: “OH! THAT’S THE WEIGHT! SO I’M PAYING $1.44!”

(After this sudden revelation, I quickly rang the customer’s remaining items and sent him on his way!)

Making A Meal Out Of The Ordering Process

, | Finland | At The Checkout, Food & Drink, Popular

(I work at a drive-thru window most of my shifts and as we usually get much more customers than our volume can handle, so I’ve created a way to ask questions to get through the orders swiftly as well as recommending extra purchases to the orders (as it is part of my job description). This customer comes during dinner hours when we are extremely busy.)

Me: “Welcome, may I take your order?”

Customer: “Yes, I want a [Burger].”

Me: “Would that be the burger or the meal?”

Customer: “Yes.”

Me: “So, the burger?”

Customer: “What? No! The meal!”

Me: “All right, then. What would you like to drink with that?”

Customer: “Yes, a [Meal #2].”

Me: “Okay, so, [Meal #1] and [Meal #2] meals. Would you like any dip sauce with the fries?”

Customer: “Don’t be so hasty. I’m not done yet!”

Me: “Oh, all right. Any other meals?”

Customer: “[Soda]s.”

Me: “So, did you want both of the meals with a [Soda]?”

Customer: “YES!”

Me: “And how about the dip sauce, then? Would you like any?”

Customer: “Just calm down for a moment.”

Me: *slightly confused with the sudden command* “All right, then, would you like anything else?”

Customer: “Yes, two times the garlic sauce.”

Me: “Okay, are you in mood for any desserts or coffee, or was that everything?”

Customer: “No! Nothing more!” *sounds frustrated that I would even ask*

Me: “That would be [sum]. Please drive forward to the window.”

Customer: “Which window?”

Me: “There is only one window.”

Customer: “Which window do I drive to?”

Me: “The only one.”

Customer: “You only have one window?”

Me: “Yes.”

Customer: “How does that work?”

Me: “How about you drive up here and see?”

Customer: “Okay, how much was it?”

Me: “[Repeats the sum].”

Customer: “Thanks. Bye!”

(At this point I can finally go back to serving the customers ahead of him in the line. When the customer arrives at the window I greet him and read out his order to make sure it had everything correct.)

Customer: “Yeah, yeah.” *hands me a bill without listening*

(I don’t really appreciate when customers do this, but I know not to repeat myself because it’s no use at situations like this. I hand him his change and then give him the drinks.)

Customer: “Hey, this is two [Soda]s.”

Me: “That’s right. Did you want something else?”

Customer: “They we supposed to be Diet [Soda]s.”

Me: “Oh, I’m sorry, I must have missed that. Let me change those for you.”

(I change the drinks and then give him rest of his order.)

Customer: “Oh, hey! Add three ice creams to that.”

Me: “What kind of ice creams would you like.”

Customer: “All flavors of those.”

Me: “Sorry, which?”

Customer: “Those.”

(He points to a sign that’s on the wall outside the restaurant out of my view but I gather it must be the newest addition to the menu.)

Me: “Would you like to add anything else to the order?”

Customer: “No, that’s all.”

(I charge his ice creams and go make them. When I return to the window the customer gives me a long look.)

Customer: “You know, you really should calm down and listen what your customers want to order.”

Wouldn’t Want To Be In Their Shoes

| UT, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Family & Kids, Popular

(It’s a slow day, and I’m the only cashier up at the registers. A frazzled mom comes up to make her purchases with her chatty toddler son in tow. The kid is talking non-stop, pointing out every little thing, and obviously has been doing so for some time. The mother is quickly losing her patience and hardly says a word to me.)

Me: *reaching for a pair of toddler boy shoes to scan* “Hey, bud, are these awesome shoes for you?”

(The little boy nods excitedly and stops mid-sentence to begin chatting about his shoes. The mother cuts in.)

Customer: “Obviously those are for him. Please don’t talk to my son.”

(The rest of the transaction was done in uncomfortable silence, save for the little boy continuing to chat away non-stop. To this day I’m still dumbfounded over her response!)

Snack Attack

| ON, Canada | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Food & Drink, Money, Popular

(I work at a store that specializes in popcorn. We have regular sized bags for the popcorn (small, medium, large) as well a much smaller snack sized bag. The store offers this snack size at an unreasonably high price to encourage people to buy the regular sized bags. When customers want to buy the snack sized bags, it’s usually because they have multiple children and want to get them each a little bag so that they don’t fight over one bigger bag. However my coworkers and I know that the store offers free paper bags for regular sized bags of popcorn so that people can share. We usually go out of our way to inform parents of this and even split the popcorn into the paper bags for them so that they can save time and money. I am serving a woman with three children.)

Woman: “Hi, can I get three snack bags of buttered popcorn?”

(Each snack bag is $3 while a small is just $4. These prices are labelled clearly on our display of different popcorn flavours.)

Me: “Sure! Before I pack the bags, I would just like you to know that the small bag of buttered popcorn is $4 and three times the size of a snack—”

Woman: *cuts me off* “NO! I want three snack bags for my three children.”

(I sort of understand her frustration because three snack bags sounds perfectly reasonable for three children so I continue politely because not everyone knows that we offer free paper bags.)

Me: “Okay, ma’am. I just wanted to let you know that it’s much cheaper to get a small bag and I can even split it into three FREE paper bags for your three childr—”

Woman: “NO! Just give me the three d*** snack bags!”

Me: “Okay, ma’am, that will be $9, please.”

Woman: “Okay, now, was that so hard?!”

Me: “Uh, no… I guess not… Have a nice day.”

(It doesn’t end there… My coworker who was on her lunch break comes out from the back of the store and this woman decides to have ‘a chat’ with her about my behavior. I continue to serve the next customers in line, a young couple with two children, who overheard the exchange I just had with the woman.)

Father: “Hi, we’ll have the small regular bag of popcorn with two of those free paper bags, please.”

(I pack the bag and pour some in the two free paper bags.)

Me: “That will be $4, please.”


(Before I can respond the father that I just served interjects…)

Father: “CLEARLY she already tried to tell you that the small bag would be cheaper but you were too rude to listen. Now if you continue to harass these ladies and raise your voice around young children, I will personally throw you out of this store.”

(She suddenly got quiet and walked out. The father and mother gave me a generous tip for telling them about the paper bags and dealing with the “d***” lady!)

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