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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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Wish You Could Counter The Culture

| UK | At The Checkout, Money, Popular

(I work in a small store that does not have enough sales to warrant paying for a credit/debit machine, so we take cash only. There is a large sign at the counter saying this, and there is a cash machine right outside. The cashier’s counter is very small and cramped. On this day, I have three or four people lining up to pay, and the first customer in the queue is buying a large kid’s toy plus a vase and some books.)

Customer #1: “Do you take cards?”

Me: “Sorry, no, it’s cash only.”

Customer #1: “Oh, sorry, I don’t have enough. Can you hold these while I pop over to the machine?”

Me: “Yes, no problem.”

(The customer leaves and due to the limited space I stand up and put the vase and the kid’s toy on my cashier chair and then start to stack the books at the edge of the counter to leave space for the next customer.)

Customer #2: *handing me his items – two books* “Didn’t she want her things?”

Me: “Oh, yes. She only had her card and we only take cash so she’s just gone to get some money. That’ll be [total].”

Customer #2: “Do you take cards?”

Me: “No… only cash. Sorry.”

Customer #2: “Oh. I’ll just have to go get some money out then. Can you hold these books for a few minutes?”

Me: “Yes, that’s fine.”

(I stack them next to Customer #1’s books. By now, there is very little counter space left.)

Customer #3: “That was ridiculous!” *hands me some CD’s*

Me: “Yeah, it happens. That’s [total], please.”

Customer #3: *hands me her credit card*

Me: *speechless*

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Racism = Stupidity

| TX, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Bigotry, Popular

(My husband and I are in line to order behind this older redneck-type man with a sour attitude. For the most part, I’m paying no attention, because I’m sharing a work-related conversation with hubby, though it’s easy to see that the conversation is tense. Suddenly, the older guy explodes on the young, Hispanic cashier.)

Customer: “D*** it! I just want to order a d*** burger. Is that so f***ing hard to do?”

Cashier: “Sir, I just want to know if you want curly fries or regular fries.”

Customer: “I don’t speak wetback, boy! You need to learn American.”

Cashier: *visibly upset now* “I asked if you want curly fries or regular fries.”

Customer: “Can’t understand a f***ing thing. Need to fire all of your a**es and hire some d*** Americans.”

Me: “Wait, what seems to be the problem here?”

Customer: “I can’t understand the d*** wetback behind the counter. He’s got a f***ing thick accent.”

(This is a complete lie; the kid has no accent at all. We’ve understood every word that he has said clearly.)

Me: “Well, maybe I can help. I know a little Spanish.” *I turn to the cashier, and in perfect English, ask:* “What was the order number and what comes with it?”

Cashier: “He ordered a number eight. It comes with mayo, mustard, and ketchup. I wanted to know if he wanted curly fries or regular with it.”

Me: *turns to the older customer and as loud and slow as I can* “HE WANTS TO KNOW IF YOU WANT CURLY FRIES OR REGULAR FRIES!”

Customer: “What the f***?! Why are you f***ing yelling at me?!”

Me: “Oh, I thought you were deaf. So, is it a stupidity problem, then? Or just racism?”

(He got red in the face and stormed out, still muttering about how Mexicans were taking over Texas. The cashier and his fellow workers were laughing the whole way. I got a free small shake out of it, but I’d have done it with or without the shake.)

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Paying Attention Is Not In The Cards

| Colorado Springs, CO, USA | At The Checkout, Money, Popular

(At our store, if a customer swipes a food stamps card that doesn’t have enough to cover the entire purchase, the POS will decline the transaction and then print out a slip with the available balance. We then have to type in the amount the customer would like to use and process the card again.)

Me: “Okay, ma’am, your total is [total].”

Customer: *swipes EBT card and the purchase is declined*

Me: *hitting ‘OK’ so the slip prints out* “Okay ma’am, it’s telling me that you don’t have enough to cover the whole tr—”

Customer: *cutting me off* “I know.” *swipes her VISA card*

Me: “So it printed out a slip telling me yo—”

Customer: “Yes, yes. I know.” *swipes VISA card again*

Me: “So now I have to type in the amount and run your card again.”

Customer: “I. KNOW.” *swipes VISA card*

Me: “Ma’am, if you want me to use the available balance on your EBT card I need to run it again.”

Customer: *getting angry* “I kn— Wait, you need to run it again?”

Me: “Yes, ma’am.”

Customer: “Oh…” *swipes EBT card*

(She’s lucky I was paying attention to which card she was swiping and was trying to help! I could easily have just hit the card button on my screen and the entire purchase would have been charged to her VISA instead.)

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The Mother Of All Bad Customers

, | Salt Lake City, UT, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Family & Kids, Food & Drink, Popular

(I work at a very popular fast food place. It’s Friday night, so we’re incredibly packed. I’m on front register, which I rarely do; I usually always make the food. Despite this, I have no affiliation with the drive-thru, as I’m trying to take care of all my customers by myself. A woman comes up almost behind the counter and starts SCREAMING at me, interrupting the customer’s order I’m currently taking.)

Customer: “THIS IS A F****ING JOKE! I HAVE BEEN IN THE DRIVE-THRU FOR 20 F****ING MINUTES AND NO ONE HAS TAKEN MY ORDER!”

(The store goes silent as this woman is almost yelling bloody murder.)

Me: “I apologize, ma’am! I am currently serving customers up front but I can grab my manager for you!”

Customer: “BULL****! I USED TO WORK AT THIS F***ING DUMP AND WE USED TO STAND OUTSIDE IN THE RAIN AND TAKE ORDERS BY HAND! YOU’RE ALL A BUNCH OF LAZY MOTHERF***ERS! GET OUTSIDE AND TAKE MY ORDER!”

Me: *dumbfounded*, but trying to get my line back in order as she storms out*

Next Customer: “What a f****** b****. I’m sorry. I can’t believe people get off on screaming at hard workers over food. I’ve always loved how well you guys work here, and I don’t mind waiting for good food.”

Coworker: *head down, in shame* “That was my mom. She’s so embarrassing.”

(I later found out she cut in line and screamed at a manager of mine until she cried. I still boil remembering this transaction, but I still feel awful for my coworker. I heard he went home and told her off royal and she hasn’t tried it again.)

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Can’t Vouch For You On Sundays

| England, UK | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests

(Please note I am a young worker, whilst the patron is an elderly lady with her daughter; both appear angry. It is a sunny Sunday afternoon.)

Customer: “Coffee, and this voucher.”

(Hands over a voucher for a free cup of coffee, not valid on Sundays, which is clearly stated on the back.)

Myself: “I’m awfully sorry, ma’am, but this voucher isn’t available on Sundays.”

Customer: “Well, then, you are breaking the law!”

Myself: *unsure how to respond* “I’m sorry?”

Customer: *points to dates that voucher is available, next to where it states not on Sundays* “YOU have put the dates here and YOU are breaking the law by not allowing it!”

Myself: “Sorry that you feel that way. Anything else for you?”

Customer: “This is illegal! BREAKING THE LAW!”

(The customer then proceeded through the transaction with a death-stare at me the whole time whilst I smiled back!)

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