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!

Shelved Your Original Plans

| OK, USA | At The Checkout, Awesome Customers

(I am building a new shelving unit, I will have to do the routing, plugging, and sanding myself but I can live with it. I get my wood and am going to get it cut when I find there is a customer who has got to the cutting guy before me. I grumble a bit because this guy has a TON of things to get cut. I take my time and wander the store to find all the other things I need. I go back and am still waiting for him to finish. Finally he’s ready for me when an older lady comes up and speaks to the clerk.)

Lady: “Excuse me, but I need to build a couple shelves. Are you able to cut the MDF?” *medium-density fibreboard*

Clerk: “Well, sure. You’ll probably need a couple brackets for it, though.”

Lady: “Yes, yes, that’s fine.” *to me* “Would you mind? It’s just one cut.”

(I read all these stories and I know about the many “this will only take a moment” stories. I groan internally at another delay but…)

Me: “Sure, go ahead. Help her first if she only needs one thing cut.”

(I follow her and the clerk out of idle curiosity to see what she’s getting. The MDF is in the same dimensions as my pine, but is perfectly smooth with a rounded front edge. If I use that I won’t even have to do the routing, plugging and sanding. And better yet, it’s only 60% the cost of my pine.)

Me: “Ma’am, I am SO glad I let you go first or I wouldn’t have known about this.”

(Sometimes being nice pays off. I’m now looking at my nice new shelving!)

Children Of Crime

| UK | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Family & Kids, Food & Drink

(It’s busy at work so I decide to hop on a checkout. I have processed a couple of customers when I notice everything on the conveyor belt for my next customer has been opened.)

Me: “Miss, we prefer to have you wait until after purchasing before… eating your shopping.”

Woman: “Oh, my son was hungry. You can’t expect him to sit there quietly when he’s hungry!”

Me: *looking at the toddler in the trolley seat and then at the woman’s shopping* “Sure, but, you gave him whiskey?”

(The woman turned beet red and decided to sprint for the door, leaving her shopping and CHILD behind. She jumped in her car and sped off. We got in touch with the police and while giving statements in the back the woman came back in wearing something completely different and trying to act incognito. We all went down and when she saw the police she tried to do a runner again. I was honestly trying to hold laughter in while the police arrested her for robbery, child neglect, and drunk driving. Her son was smiling and laughing throughout.)

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Best Comment Of The Year

| IA, USA | At The Checkout, Bizarre

(A regular customer almost always has a similar exchange with me during checkout. Usually it goes, “That was a good year,” or some good other natured ribbing.)

Regular: “How much you need?”

Me: *total that sounds like a long ago year*

Regular: “That wasn’t a very good year.”

Me: *without a beat, not really paying attention* “That’s because you weren’t there.”

Regular: *can’t stop laughing*

A Regular A**-Hole

| PA, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Food & Drink

(I work in a popular international coffee chain. We often get confusing drink orders from customers, but this exchange takes the cake!)

Customer: “Can I get a [Popular Hot Drink] with regular milk?”

Me: “Did you want skim, 2%, or whole?”

Customer: “I want regular milk.”

Me: “Right, but what do you consider ‘regular’? We have three types: Skim, 2%, or, whole?”

Customer: *clearly getting agitated* “REGULAR. MILK.”

Me: “Right, so 2%? Whole?”

Customer: “I JUST WANT SOME GOD-D*** REGULAR MILK! IS THAT SO HARD TO UNDERSTAND?!”

Me: *quickly writes 2% on the cup and passes it down*

Me: *over the headset after the customer walks away* “What is regular milk?”

Coworker #1: “I always drink 2%.”

Coworker #2: “I would have said whole.”

Coworker #3: “I’m tempted to make his drink with water to be honest.”

Manager: “He wants you to get the cow and squirt the milk directly into his drink. Obviously.”

(The customer continued to make comments about our incompetence under his breath while his coffee was being made, but didn’t seem to care that I had written “2%” on his cup instead of “regular.”)

Database Contains An Astrological Amount Of Information

| USA | At The Checkout, Awesome Workers

(At work, we have a database with customer information — phone number, email, rewards membership, etc. — that we access when a customer inputs their phone number into our pin pad, in case the customer makes a return and can’t find their receipt.)

Me: “All right, Ma’am, if I could start with your phone number in the pin pad, please?”

Customer: “Sure!” *she puts in her number and her name pops up in the system*

Me: “Are you [Customer]?”

Customer: *gasps* “I am! What else do you know about me?”

Me: *I tap my index and middle fingers to my temples and appear to concentrate* “Are you a Taurus?”

Customer: *laughs* “Close enough!”

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