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Some Customers Are Just Too Much

| Glens Falls, NY, USA | At The Checkout, Bizarre

(I am in my second year of employment as a bagger at a higher-end grocery store that sells itself on its all natural and organic products, all of which are at a significant mark-up. It’s late at night; the only people on the floor are two service leaders and me. A customer with a cart near overflowing comes to the register. She unloads her cart, almost entirely comprised of organic foods, and we set about getting the order completed. I am nearly finished bagging.)

Cashier: “That will be [three-figure price].”

Customer: *stated, with no emotion in her voice* “Oh, that’s too much.”

(As it is late, we are tired, and unsure of what the customer wants us to do about it.)

Cashier: “Well, most of what you bought was all organic, and that is more expensive than the non-organic.”

Customer: *still emotionless* “That’s too much.”

(At this point, the customer starts looking around, and it occurs to us that she is hoping another customer, of which there are none, will heroically come to her rescue and pay for the not insignificant cost of her groceries. Upon realizing that she is alone, she looks back at us.)

Customer: “I only have 75 dollars.”

Cashier: “Well, would you like us to take something off of your order?”

Customer: “Yeah, lemme see…”

(The customer proceeds, taking no more than two items off at a time, again hoping that someone will come to her financial rescue. A half-an-hour later, we have reduced her order to only a handful of very expensive items, but are below the 75 dollar limit. She pays, and walks out, leaving the belt covered in her excess groceries. As the woman leaves the building, the cashier turns to me.)

Cashier: “Did she really think someone was going to pay for her groceries at 10:30 at night?”

Me: “I try not to think about it. It just makes my head hurt.”

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Irresponsibly Entitled

| USA | Criminal & Illegal, Family & Kids

(I am the cashier serving a woman with a very full grocery cart. Her son, who looks to be around four, is hanging from the handle, swinging like he’s trying to be a monkey and making the cart tip back slightly.)

Me: “Honey, it’s not really a good idea to do that. The cart could tip over and fall on you.”

Woman: “Don’t tell my son what he can or can’t do! That’s not your job!”

Me: “I apologize, ma’am. I’m merely trying to prevent him from hurting himself.”

(At this point the cart’s front wheels are lifting off the ground every time the boy swings. His mother just shrugs.)

Woman: “If he does then I’ll just sue you for having unsafe carts and take you for everything you’re worth!”

Me: “Actually, no, you can’t. I’ve officially given both you and your son fair warning that what he’s doing is dangerous and could lead to injury, therefore I’ve fulfilled the legal requirements for health and safety. Whatever happens from here on is squarely your fault and your fault alone.”

Woman: “But…”

Me: “And if you’re going to try and lie about it to my manager or a lawyer, please direct your attention to the cameras overhead. They record both picture and sound so that’s additional confirmation I did everything I could to keep you and your son safe and thus you are entirely at fault for not stopping him.”

(The cart suddenly tips backwards, and the boy loses his grip on the handle. Miraculously it doesn’t tip over though; it just crashes back onto its wheels. He gets up and tries to swing from it again.)

Me: “By all means, ma’am, if it’ll make your day to sue us then go ahead. Just note you’ll have no case whereas I will have plenty of cause for calling social services on you.”

(The woman turns white and smacks her son’s hands.)

Woman: “DON’T YOU DARE TOUCH THE CART AGAIN!”

Me: “Thank you for understanding, ma’am.”

(I finished ringing her up and she hurried out of the store with her son in tow. Sometimes you really do have to spell it out for people why they can’t just laden all their responsibility on others.)

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Not Drinking Inside The Box

| MI, USA | At The Checkout, Food & Drink, Money

(A customer comes through the checkout with a case of a new kind of beer from a well-known Canadian beer maker. The case doesn’t ring up.)

Cashier: “Sir, do you know how much this was?”

Customer: “The sign said it was $6.99.”

Cashier: “That doesn’t sound right. [My Name], would you see how much this case of beer costs?”

Me: *after checking the price* “Sir, $6.99 is the price for the six-packs inside the case. For whatever reason they just haven’t been taken out of the box yet.”

Customer: “Fine! I only want one!”

(I have no idea how anyone can think they can get 24 bottles of beer for just $6.99!)

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A Barrier To Business

| SD, USA | Bizarre

(While working after hours in the bakery, I notice a thoughtful-looking customer looking at the bakery’s front counter. It’s also the first time I have to assist a customer here.)

Me: *approaching* “Is there anything I can help you with?”

Customer: *indicating an item on our counter shelf* “Yes, I’d like these carrot cupcakes, please.”

Me: *simply grabbing them* “These? Just the one box?”

Customer: “Oh, I thought there was a glass barrier here! Well, thank you anyway…”

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Doesn’t Want Any Maca-phoney

| Edwardsville, IL, USA | Food & Drink, Spouses & Partners

(One evening an elderly man comes up to the service desk asking where to find a packet of dried cheese. He insists the cheese is for popcorn and that he knows his wife, who is away visiting family for a few weeks, has purchased it at our store. After a search, I suggest that the next time he is in he could bring the old packet with him and maybe then we can help him find it. He leaves immediately and returns 15 minutes later and comes right up to the service desk.)

Customer: “Had to get it out of the trash, but I found it!” *he holds up a crumpled packet of cheese sauce mix from a box of macaroni and cheese, which as a student I was very familiar with*

Me: *trying not to laugh* “Sir, I’m pretty sure that’s from a macaroni and cheese dinner package.”

Customer: “Well, if it is, that’s what I want. They discontinued the popcorn cheese I liked and I didn’t like any of the others until she found this one. I’ll go get a box and see.”

(He leaves to do his shopping and I don’t see him again until he stops by the service desk on his way out. He smiles as he holds up a new packet of cheese sauce mix.)

Customer: “Thank you for your help! I’ll have to ask her what she does with the macaroni part.”

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