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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!

Doesn’t Have A Liquor Sense

| Northampton, MA, USA | At The Checkout, Criminal & Illegal, Food & Drink

(I work in a grocery store with a liquor store attached. You can pay for groceries in the liquor store, but alcohol can only be purchased in the liquor store. A customer comes up with a bottle of liquor.)

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, you have to pay for that in the liquor store.”

Customer: “What?! Why?”

Me: “Even though the two stores are connected, the liquor license only applies to the liquor store.”

Customer: “That’s ridiculous! Can’t you just sell it to me?”

Me: “Sorry, sir, the register won’t let it go through. And anyway, I’m only 17 so it would be illegal for me to sell you this.”

Customer: “You know, you’d think that with the technology we have we’d have figured this out by now!”

Me: “Well, it’s not really a technological issue. It’s against the law…”

Customer: “The customer is always right!”

A Personal Lack Of Gun Control

| WA, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior

(I am a female working at a firearms retailer that also offers gunsmith services. A customer comes in and tosses a handgun onto the counter.)

Customer: “What can you quote me on a barrel extension for this?”

(I look down at the handgun and note several things.)

Me: “Well, I can certainly give you a price quote, but first, sir, if you want us to work on this, I must ask that you unload the gun.”

Customer: “What? Why?”

Me: “Well… besides the obvious safety issues in handling loaded firearms, we don’t want to risk your ammo getting lost when we have to disassemble the gun.”

Customer: “Fine.” *he ejects the magazine and puts the gun back down on the counter* “Happy?”

Me: “No, sir. I need you to check there isn’t a round in the chamber, too.”

Customer: “Look, woman, see this?” *waves the magazine at me* “Without this you’ve got nothing to worry about, okay?”

Me: “That’s… not always the case. Yes, some handgun models will not fire without the magazine but most are perfectly capable of firing so long as there’s a round in the chamber.”

Customer: “Look, is there a guy who can help me? Someone who knows how man things work?”

Me: “As you wish.”

(I call my manager and explain everything.)

Manager: “So, sir, let me see if I’ve got this straight. You don’t believe my employee, who is both licensed and has been handling firearms for the past four years she’s worked here, and are willing to endanger both our lives by handing us a loaded gun?”

Customer: “What’s the problem here? I’ve got the mag in my hands. The gun is safe!”

(My manager picks up the handgun and aims it out the window at a target range we have out back, making sure he’s not about to hit anything besides the concrete wall behind the store. He pulls the trigger and of course the gun fires as it’s supposed to, despite having no magazine.)

Manager: “May I ask you to please explain how that happened then? Since, by your own admission, you should know more about guns due to being a man?”

(The customer grabbed his now completely empty gun and stormed out of the store. The kicker? The gun was of a relatively new model that had a warning to check the chamber stamped on its side. Just goes to show why gun safety is so important!)

An Extra-Large A**-Hole

| CA, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Crazy Requests

(The pizza shop where I work has several in-store specials, including $11.99 for a large combination. Unless a coupon or special says otherwise, it’s $2 to upgrade to an extra-large pizza. A regular customer comes in after placing an order over the phone. He is always a little curt and slightly drunk, but I’ve never had a problem with him before.)

Me: “Okay, you had an extra-large combination pizza. Anything else today?”

Customer: “No.”

Me: “That comes to $13.99.”

Customer: “They said it was $11.99.”

Me: “The special is $11.99 for a large, and $2 for an extra-large.”

Customer: “But he said $11.99 on the phone! I spoke to [New Coworker], and he said $11.99!”

Me: “It’s possible he was confused. It’s $11.99 for a large combo, and $2 to upgrade to extra-large.”

Customer: “Look, I asked him twice. I wrote it down!”

Me: “I’m sorry sir, but it’s always $2 more for an extra-large. It’s on the poster in the window. If [New Coworker] said $11.99 for an extra-large, he was mistaken.”

Customer: “I wrote it down!”

Me: “I’m sorry, but—”

Customer: “Do you want me to leave the pizza here? I’m walking away.”

(I turn to my manager, who’s working nearby.)

Me: “Uh, what should I…?”

Manager: *quietly* “Just give it to him. It’s okay.”

Me: *to the customer* “Okay sir, $11.99. Sorry about the confusion.”

(The customer says nothing and hands me his credit card. The machine processes and asks to print a receipt.)

Me: “Thank you, sir. Would you like your receipt today?”

Customer: *annoyed* “No.”

(I finish the transaction and close the register.)

Me: “Okay, have a good day, sir!”

Customer: “Can I get a receipt?”

Me: “…”