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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!

The Birth Of Assumption

| East Falmouth, MA, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Bizarre

(A guy comes in, buys his stuff by credit card, as I hand him his bags and receipt:)

Me: “Have a nice day!”

Customer: “What? The h*** did you know?”

Me: “Sir?”

Customer: “The f*** did you know it was my birthday? You see my ID in my wallet or something?”

Me: “Uh… sir? All I said was have a nice day.”

Customer: “…”

Me: “…”

Customer: “Not ‘Happy Birthday?'”

Me: *trying VERY hard not to smirk* “…No.”

Customer: “Well, this day’s off to a good start…”

Me: *smiling sympathetically* “Have a nice day, sir. And Happy Birthday.”

The Cigarettes Are All Smoke And Mirrors

| Robeline, LA, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior

(A customer comes up to the counter and is looking at the cigarette display over my shoulder.)

Customer: “Do you have any [Brand] menthols?”

(I look over my shoulder at that exact brand/flavor then give the customer a sidelong glance. I usually bite my tongue in this sort of situation but I’ve had a long day and can’t resist.)

Me: *grin* “Nope, sorry, those are a figment of your imagination.”

Customer: *pauses then laughs* “I set myself up for that, didn’t I?”

Minimum Spend, Maximum Satisfaction

| Boston, MA, USA | At The Checkout, Books & Reading, Criminal & Illegal, Money

(I work at a small bookstore. We have a credit card minimum. I get so sick of people telling me that this is illegal that I look up the legislation a few months ago. A woman brings a greeting card to the front.)

Me: “$2.66, please.”

Woman: *hands me a credit card*

Me: “Do you happen to have cash? We have a $7 minimum.”

Woman: *gleefully angry* “Oh! That’s against the law young man, and I’ll be reporting you!”

Me: “Actually, it’s not.”

Woman: “Yes, it is! What’s the name of this business?!”

Me: “2010 house resolution 4173, also known as the Dodd-Frank act, says we can set up to a $10 minimum as long as it’s consistent between issuers. It’s on page 698. And the name is [Store].”

Woman: “You’re a little smart a**.” *throws greeting card on the ground and walks away*

Customers With Very Specific Baggage

| Tigard, OR, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Crazy Requests

(I work at a large retail store. On the credit card machine, at the end of every transaction, a one question survey would pop up for the customer, asking to rate our customer service, from 1 to 5. I’ve just finished ringing up a customer and put her items in a plastic bag. She has been fairly normal so far, until…)

Customer: “Do you have any bags with handles?”

Me: “Yes, all our bags have handles.”

Customer: “No, I mean a paper bag. I don’t want plastic.”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am. All we have are plastic bags.”

Customer: *angrily replies* “Well, I don’t want a plastic bag!”

(She then picks up the stylus pen and chooses “1” on the customer service questions, deliberately pushing down so hard on the screen that it permanently leaves a mark.)

Customer: “Next time have paper bags!”

Shake Up The Calorie Count

| Perth, WA, USA | At The Checkout, Food & Drink, Health & Body

(Our shake/sundae machine is down for cleaning and boy, did that create a lot of unhappy customers.)

Customer: “I’d like a chicken burger meal with a chocolate shake, please.”

Me: “Sorry, our shake machine is down for maintenance at the moment. Would you like to try a chocolate frappe instead?”

Customer: “What’s in that?”

Me: “Blended ice, chocolate, and whipped cream on top. It’s—”

Customer: “Oh, no, that’d have way too much sugar and fat. I’ll have a [Soda] instead.”

Me: “…Okay, then.”

(Frappes have a lower calorie count than both shakes AND [Soda]. I just… sigh.)

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