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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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Make No Concessions For The Price

| NY, USA | At The Checkout, Money, Movies & TV

(I’m working concession. A woman in a very expensive designer sweat-suit, and what appears to be expensive jewelry, walks up to me.)

Customer: “Small popcorn and a water, please.”

Me: “Sure thing. That’ll be $10.50.”

(She pauses and begins laughing wildly without breaking eye contact. After seeing that I’m confused, she stops.)

Customer: *suddenly looking panicked* “Wait… you’re not joking?”

Me: “No, ma’am. It’s $10.50 for a small popcorn and a bottle of water.”

Customer: *going pale* “I… I can’t…”

(She literally darts away without saying anything else. She comes back five minutes later.)

Customer: “Just the water, then.”

Me: “It’ll be $4.”

Customer: “Are you kidding? You weren’t last time. Please tell me you’re kidding this time! PLEASE! I just… I can’t understand!”

Me: “I understand your confusion and I apologize. The thing is, movie theaters make no money on ticket sales, really. Those profits mostly go back to the studios and distributors who make and release the film. Hence, concessions have to be marked up since it’s where our actual profit comes from.”

Customer: *VERY over-dramatic* “But I paid $10 for my ticket! I PAID $10 FOR MY TICKET! SURELY THAT’S ENOUGH FOR YOU TO MAKE ENOUGH MONEY NOT TO CHARGE ME SO MUCH FOR WATER!”

(My coworker from the next register speaks up.)

Coworker: “We actually make just pennies on the dollar for tickets during the first few weeks a film is out. He’s telling the truth. We really don’t make any real money off of ticket sales.”

Customer: “I CAN’T!”

(She storms away. About five minutes later, a man in similarly expensive clothing walks in and waits by concession. A few minutes later, I hear the original customer, in a panicked voice speak up.)

Customer: *to man* “Honey! Come here now! I need you!”

(He darts away, shaking his head. I’m guessing this has happened before. I overhear their conversation as they disappear down the hall.)

Customer: “It was horrifying! Horrifying! I had to go splash water on my face and do a breathing exercise in the bathroom to calm myself down! Because my heart was pounding so hard! They actually charge $10 for popcorn and water! I can’t do this! I just can’t do this! If I have a heart attack, I’m going to file a lawsuit against this crooked theater!”

(I make sure they’re out of earshot.)

Me: “Did the woman whose sweatpants alone probably cost more than I make in a month REALLY just imply she was going to have a heart attack over $10 of concessions?”

Coworker: “Hey, just be glad you weren’t working here the one time we had to call the cops on a lady for assaulting a manager over a 75-cent price increase on popcorn a few years back.”

Me: “I don’t even want to know…”

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Don’t F*** With The Menu

, | Australia | At The Checkout, Language & Words

(I work on drive-thru. I have a bit of a reputation for acting silly with customers, usually because I work the late-night weekend shifts and therefore talk to a lot of drunk people.)

Me: “Hi, welcome to [Restaurant]. Can I please take your order?”

Customer: *confused, obviously caught out* “Ah, ah – f***!”

Me: *not missing a beat* “That’ll cost extra, sir.”

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Be Glad You’re Not Invited

| Houston, TX, USA | At The Checkout, Bizarre

(Two guys, appearing to be in their early-to-mid 20s, walk up to the register. They place a box of fresh-breath strips, body hair removal cream, and a box of condoms on the counter.)

Customer: “WE’RE GOING TO A PARTY!”

Me: “I really wasn’t going to ask.”