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!

Showing Signs Of Change

| ON, Canada | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior

(A customer walks into the restaurant, past the sign that says “please wait to be seated,” and towards a darkened section. As he walks into the dark, empty section he trips over a 4.5 foot tall sign, and then kicks it to the side.)

Customer: “Why the h*** is there a sign in the god-d*** way? You can’t even get in here without tripping over it!”

(I excuse myself from the customers I am speaking with and walk over to the gentleman.)

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but this section is closed. You’re welcome to sit in any of the other sections and a server will be right with you.”

Customer: “Well, why the h*** didn’t you put up a sign? How am I supposed to know?”

(I calmly pick up the sign he had kicked over and turn it so that he can see that it says “this section is closed.” He then looked at me sheepishly.)

Customer: “I’ll just go sit over there then…”

Her Sense Of Self-Worth Needs A Serious Discount

| Scotland, UK | At The Checkout

Me: “You’re eligible for a discount if you have a store card with us.”

Customer: “I do, but I don’t have it with me. Sorry.”

Me: “That’s fine. I’ll just need your phone number.”

Customer: “No.”

Me: “Sorry, do you not want the discount?”

Customer: “I do.”

Me: “Then I’ll need your phone number to get your details.”

Customer: “No.” *to her friend* “What a creep!”

(Her friend gives me a sympathetic look, but does nothing.)

Me: “I can’t get your account details any other way. The system only allows me to use a phone number. If you aren’t willing to give me it, then I can’t give you the discount.”

Customer: “Well, the answer’s still no.” *to her friend again* “Persistent!”

Me: “Okay, that’s £177.99, please.”

Customer: “Sorry, but I want the discount.”

Me: “I can’t give it to you without your phone number.”

Customer: “No. Can I speak to a manager, please?”

(I call one down.)

Manager: “How can I help you?”

Me: “Yes, your worker has been making advances on me and refuses to give me a discount until I accept.”

Manager: *shocked* “I’m very sorry about that. I’ll be sure to straighten it out. I can offer you the discount, though, to get you out of here.”

Customer: *looking smug* “Thank you. I don’t have my card with me, sorry.”

Manager: “That’s no problem. I’ll just need your phone number.”

Customer: “No.”

(She never did get the discount. The manager and I had a good laugh about it afterwards.)

Food For Tots

| Columbus, OH, USA | At The Checkout, Food & Drink

(I work at a fast food restaurant that offers fries and tater tots; you choose one for your meal.)

Customer: “I need a number four, with [Drink].”

Me: “Okay, did you want fries or tots with that?”

Customer: “Chili cheese tots.”

Me: “Okay, anything else?”

Customer: “No.”

(We prepare the food, I take it out, and a few minutes later they are back to complain.)

Customer: “I didn’t get my fries!”

Me: “You didn’t order fries. I had you down for chili cheese tots.”

Customer: “I know, but there’s a picture of fries on the menu! It comes with fries!”

Me: “It says at the top ‘your choice of tots or fries,’ and you chose tots. I can ring you out for an extra order of fries, if you like.”

Customer: “NO! It’s your fault; you need to fix it! There’s a picture of fries. That means I get fries AND tots.”

(After several minutes of arguing back and forth, and my manager coming out to explain that you can’t get two sides, he sped off in the middle of a sentence.)

I’ll Need Some ID, And A Song…

| MD, USA | At The Checkout, Bizarre, Funny Names, Money

(I work in retail in a small strip of stores in a relatively well-off rural area. Due to a policy we should all follow (though few actually do) I ask everyone paying with a credit card for ID. A few stores down from us, there’s a salon named after its owner. For the sake of this story, let’s say her name is Emma.)

Customer: *hands me credit card*

Me: “All right, can I see some ID from you, super quickly?”

Customer: “Oh, okay, but I’m Emma. You know, [Emma’s Salon]?” *points at her apron with the salon name*

Me: “Ah, sorry, I’m new… but I should still see your ID.”

Customer: “But I’m Emma!” *in a sing-song voice* “EM-ma! Emmaemmaemma Emmaaaaa! Em-MA! Emma EM-ma Emmmmmmmma! Eeeeeeemmaaaaaa! EM-MAAAAA! Em-MA, Em-MA, Em-MAAA!”

(This went on for at least a full minute. She did show me her ID eventually. I don’t think I’ll ask her again, though…)

Not So Sweet About The Syrup

| CA, USA | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests, Food & Drink

(I’m working the closing shift at work and, earlier in the night, we had run out of an ingredient to make one of the lattes. I’m working the drive-thru when I get this customer.)

Me: “Hi, thanks for choosing [Popular Coffee Chain]! What can I get started for you?

Customer: “Yeah, I’d like a [Popular Latte] with soy.”

Me: “Unfortunately, we’re all out of [syrup] for tonight. I’m so sorry about that.”

Customer: *angrily* “Well, I think that calls for a free drink!”

Me: “…”

Customer: “Okay, well, then, never mind.”

Me: “Are you sure I can’t get you some water for the trouble of coming out?”

Customer: “Nope. Bye!” *backs out of drive-thru*

(No, you’re not going to get a free drink just because we’re out of an ingredient, especially when you rudely demand it. The only thing I’ll get you for your trouble is water. Other people have come through that night wanting the same drink you ordered and were understanding and just ordered something else. And they were nice about it, too!)

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