I Decline To Comment

| Yorkshire, England, UK | At The Checkout, Money, Technology

(I’ve just scanned the shopping of a customer and he is paying with his card. However, the transaction doesn’t go through. This usually means that the customer’s card has been declined, although occasionally we have brief connection issues with our system, so we always give it a second try.)

Me: “I’m sorry, sir. The transaction hasn’t gone through.”

Customer: “Why?”

Me: “Well, sometimes it’s a brief problem with our connection rather than your card. We’ll give it another go and see.”

Customer: “Hmmm… okay.”

(We go through the process again, however it doesn’t go through. My card machine is still functioning normally, and my colleagues are still able to use their card machines, meaning that the system is not down. It is definitely a problem with his card.)

Me: “I’m really sorry, sir, but your card isn’t working. Do you have any other method of payment?”

Customer: “What? What’s wrong with your machines?”

Me: “There doesn’t appear to be any issue with our system, sir. I’m afraid it’s very likely to be a problem with your card.”

Customer: “It can’t be. Try again.”

(We try again, but it doesn’t work. However, he insists the problem is on our end. I move him onto my colleague’s till, but it isn’t accepted again.)

Colleague: “I’m really sorry, sir, but your card has been declined again.”

Customer: “Why is it being declined?”

Me: “It could be any number of reasons, sir. You’d have to contact your bank.”

Customer: “No! I want you to tell me! Why won’t you take my card?!”

Me: “Sorry, sir?”

Customer: “Tell me what it says on your screen! Tell me why you won’t take my card!”

Me: “All it tells me is that your card is declined, sir, I don’t know the reason. You’d have to contact your bank.”

Customer: “That’s crap! I’m not leaving until you tell me why my card is declined! I’m flying out to Afghanistan tomorrow! I’ve had this all day, I don’t need this, and I’m sick of it!”

Me: “Sorry, sir, did you say you’d had this all day?”

Customer: “Yes! Every shop I go into, they won’t take my card and they won’t tell me why! I’m flying to Afghanistan in twelve hours! I don’t need this!”

Me: “…Ok, sir, you really need to contact your bank.”

(He eventually left  to go and talk to his bank, still muttering that we “must know why; it will say on the screens.” We spotted him in store just a couple of days later, so I’m not sure why he insisted he was going to Afghanistan.)

Trying To Charge Of Taking A Charge

| Leicestershire, England, UK | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests, Money

(Recently, a minimum 5p charge for plastic bags has been rolled out across the country. A rumour that it’s illegal to charge for bags because they have stores’ logos on them (and therefore advertise the store) has been making the rounds.)

Me: “Do you need a bag?”

Customer: “I’m fine, mate. I’ll just carry them.”

(After I ring him up and pile his purchases on the counter in front of him he points to a plastic bag I have ready on the counter.)

Customer: “It has the [Store] logo on it. That means it’s illegal to charge!”

Me: “By that logic, wouldn’t it be illegal for Apple to charge for any of their products?”

Freshly Chipped

| Auckland, New Zealand | Crazy Requests, Food & Drink

Customer: *selecting a small bag of potato chips and waving it in my face belligerently* “Are these FRESH?”

Me: “I’m sorry; I’m not sure what you mean. They’re as fresh as any other potato chips, I guess.”

Customer: “I bought a bag of chips here once and they were not fresh. Is this a fresh bag? How long ago were they made?”

Me: “Well, honestly, I’ve never thought about it before. I don’t know where they are made or how long it takes them to get here. But I can tell you that we restock the shelves a couple of times a day, and a truck comes once a week to deliver more of them. So, I guess those chips probably got put out on the shelves this morning.”

Customer: “So they were fresh this morning?”

Me: “They weren’t made this morning, if that’s what you mean by fresh.”

Customer: “THIS IS RIDICULOUS. YOU CAN’T SELL FOOD THAT ISN’T FRESH! I WANT SOME THAT WERE FRESH THIS MORNING!”

Me: “Ma’am, I think the only way you can do that is to buy a potato and slice it up yourself and fry it into chips at home. Any bag of chips we sell here is perfectly safe to eat but they’re a commercial product, they come from a factory somewhere and I don’t know exactly when or where the chips in this particular bag were made.”

Customer: *throwing down the bag, and taking a different bag of chips of the same brand* “FINE. I’LL HAVE THESE ONES INSTEAD.”

Can’t Take The Weight Of Her Daughter’s Behavior

| Oklahoma City, OK, USA | Family & Kids, Food & Drink

(I am at the cash register ringing up people when I notice a mother and her daughter walk in the store. The little girl goes one way, towards the frozen yogurt, and the mother goes the other. The girl gets the biggest cup we offer and fills it all the way to the top with frozen yogurt and puts the dome lid on, then proceeds to fill it up the rest of the way with toppings. Like all frozen yogurt establishments, the price is dependent on the weight of the items. The mother and daughter walk up to the register at the same time.)

Me: *as I start ringing up the mother’s items* “Can I get you ladies anything else?”

Mother: “No, that’s it.”

Me: *talking to the daughter now* “Okay, sweetie, can you please put your yogurt on the scale so I can figure up the price?”

(Daughter complies and puts her yogurt on the scale. I quickly noticed this transaction was going awry when the mother noticed the price on the scale said $9.09.)

Mother: “That price can’t be right!” *now talking to her daughter* “Pick that up! Now set it back down! Pick it up! Set it back down!”

(20 seconds of this later:)

Me: “Ma’am, the price isn’t going to change because it’s dependent upon the weight.”

Mother: “No! You’re wrong! We came in here last week and got the SAME EXACT AMOUNT of frozen yogurt and it was only $3! How do you even know how much it is per ounce?! There’s no signs!”

Me: “Well, if you would look back at the frozen yogurt section, you would see that there are two electronic signs stating that the frozen yogurt is [price].”

(She looks back at the signs and whips her head back around to me.)

Mother: “Those signs aren’t at eye-level! How is anyone supposed to see those! They don’t walk in the store looking up at the wall when the yogurt is at eye level!”

Me: “I don’t know what to tell you. If you got the same exact amount of yogurt and toppings as last time, which would be almost impossible by the way, the yogurt total today would come out to $3. My guess is that last time you were in here, she was supervised when getting the frozen yogurt.”

(She pauses, stunned for a second that someone dare talk to her or about her darling angel this way.)

Mother: “Well I’m not paying for this s***! This is unbelievable! I want to speak with your manager!”

Me: “I’m the manager on duty. ”

Mother: “Come on, [Daughter]! We’re going to get you ice cream at [Fast Food Place]!”

Daughter: “NO! I WANT THIS ICE CREAM!”

Mother: “Okay, honey, I’ll get it for you this time, but next time mommy isn’t going to spend so much money on ice cream.” *she then turns to me* “We WILL NOT be coming back here… EVER!”

(I physically restrained myself from throat-punching the woman by holding onto the sides of the register.)

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Like Popeye To Spinach

| NY, USA | Bizarre, Food & Drink

(It’s nearly closing and there are not many people as we’re in the suburbs, not the city. I watch a woman in her 20s stumbling in, looking really tired or drunk and all out of breath. She stumbles towards to the cashier.)

Woman: “Seaweed… seaweed… dried seaweed snacks.”

Cashier: “Second aisle near the middle.”

Woman: “Thanks.”

(The woman stumbled over, crashing into the first aisle before disappearing from view. A moment later the woman appeared holding several packages of dried seaweed snacks. One package nearly got dropped on the ground before she threw them on the checkout counter along with a bill. She then flopped on the ground opening one of the packages, and shoved as much seaweed as she could into her mouth. The cashier was now done ringing her up and tried handing her change, which she ignored for a while. As there was no one else paying the cashier just sat patiently. A few minutes later, the woman had eaten one entire package. She stood up, full of energy now, took the rest of her seaweed and change and left, walking out really fast. I still don’t know what I witnessed back there.)

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