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!

The Sauce Of All The Weirdness

, | Port St Lucie, FL, USA | At The Checkout, Bizarre, Food & Drink

Customer: *in drive-thru* “Can I get a [Sandwich #1]? But what comes on that?”

Me: “It comes with lettuce, cheese, special sauce, onions, pickles, meat, and bread.”

Customer: “Okay, yeah. Can I have that, but I don’t want a bun. Or cheese.”

Me: “Okay, I can do that.”

Customer: “I don’t want onions or lettuce either. And no pickles. And no meat. What does that leave?”

Me: “Sauce.”

Customer: “And no sauce either.”

Me: “So, you don’t want the [Sandwich #1]?”

Customer: “No, I want it. Hey, what’s on the [Sandwich #2]?”

Me: “It comes with—”

Customer: *drives off into the distance never to be seen or heard again*

(What the f*** just happened?)

Rage Against The Machine, Part 5

| ON, Canada | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Technology

(I’m working the self-scans. I had just noticed a pattern of, while I wasn’t looking, someone scanning the same items — two salads — onto a couple different machines and then being gone by the time I looked. Whenever I see a machine with a couple things on the order but neither the customer or their items anywhere, I cancel it to free up the machine. Finally, I spot the customer with the salads fighting with the machine.)

Customer: *shoves coins into the coin acceptor, which spits them back out every time*

Me: *approaches customer* “Ma’am, right now the machine wants to know if you want to purchase any bags.”

Customer: “No.” *frantically slams her finger against the screen in multiple places before she finally hits the NO BAGS option*

Me: “Now you just have to hit the CASH button, and then it’ll read your coins.”

Customer: *slams the cash button violently and starts shoving their coins in*

(I go to help someone else for a bit, but eventually notice the customer is having trouble getting the machine to accept one of her coins. She’s getting more and more violent and slammy as it goes on. I walk over to offer to take her coin at the till.)

Me: “Can I—”

Customer: *she interrupts, yelling right into my face* “NO!”

Me: *takes a careful step back and allows her to continue*

(It took her about five minutes to pay because of this, despite the fact it would have taken only a second had she allowed me to help her. This was the first time I’ve actually been legitimately frightened of a customer. She’s lucky she chose one of the working machines to fight with, though, because there’s one in particular that tends to eat any coins that are dropped into the coin acceptor before it’s told to expect cash. I really don’t want to think about how she might have reacted to that!)

Rage Against The Machine, Part 4
Rage Against The Machine, Part 3
Rage Against The Machine, Part 2

Salt And Paper

| Jacksonville, FL, USA | At The Checkout, Bizarre

(I work in the deli in a small grocery store. I am there with two other people, and we are all in our last week of training. Two minutes before my shift ends, a sweet looking older lady comes up to the counter.)

Customer: “Do you sell salt-free turkey?”

Me: “We do not, but we have reduced-salt turkey.”

Customer: “Oh, no, that’s not good enough. What other types do you have?”

Me: “We have oven roasted—”

Customer: *cuts me off* “I will have that. Can I try a sample first?”

Me: “Of course.” *I slice off a piece and hand it to her, but she refuses it*

Customer: “You didn’t wrap it in paper first. I need it in paper.”

Me: “Oh, yes. Sorry ma’am.”

(I wrap the slice in wax paper and hand it to her. She eats it and gives me a thumbs up, but continues talking.)

Customer: “You know, it’s very rude of you to hand it to me without the paper.”

Me: “I am very sorry ma’am.”

(I slice the rest of her order. She turns to my coworker who has just walked up. I am standing within arms distance from her.)

Customer: “Are you training her?”

Coworker: “We are all in training, ma’am.”

Customer: “Well, she doesn’t know what she is doing. She tried to force me to take a sample without the paper, and then gave me an attitude when I asked for it. You need to have a serious talk with her.”

Me: *I hand her her turkey in a bag* “I am very sorry, ma’am. Is there anything else I can get for you?”

Customer: “Definitely not. But always remember the paper. We simply cannot do without the paper.”

Me: “Again, I am sorry. You have a nice day.”

Customer: *she walks away, still muttering under her breath* “I always have to have the paper.” *she stops and looks at the bag of turkey* “Hmm, I wonder if this is salt-free.”

Me: *I turn to my coworker who looks just as confused as I am* “And on that note, I am going home.”

Coworker: *mockingly* “Just don’t forget the paper. Always remember that paper. We cannot survive without the paper.”

Bagging On The Bags

| Germany | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests

(The store I work at decided to stop selling plastic bags more than six months ago, for environmental reasons. There are posters at every location and the in-store radio repeats it all the time. Still I get this exchange at least once a day.)

Me: “…that would be [price], please.”

Customer: “Oh, and I’d like a bag, please.”

Me: “Okay, do you want a small one for €0.75 or a big one for €1?”

Customer: “Huh? But the bags are only €0.10!”

Me: “Well, the company decided to stop selling plastic bags. The alternatives we’re offering now are nice cotton bags or a big permanent bag, which you can use multiple times.”

Customer: “I don’t believe this; every store is ditching the good old plastic bags! This is an outrage! I don’t want your ugly cotton bags, thanks!”

The Hunger Exclaims

| MI, USA | At The Checkout, Food & Drink

(I am working drive-thru at a popular fast food restaurant and taking a very large order.)

Customer: “Oh, and finally, I want [Meal] with an extra [Sandwich].”

Me: *exclaiming without hitting the drive-thru button* “How many people are you feeding!?”

Customer: “I’m hungry!”

(I panicked until I realize she was speaking to someone else in her car who was also making fun of how much food she was ordering.)

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