Barking Mad Behavior

| Port Saint Lucie, FL, USA | At The Checkout, Bizarre, Pets & Animals

(I work for a popular green market. A customer approaches with a dog in her cart.)

Me: “Aw, what a sweet dog!”

Customer #1: “Want to hold him? You don’t need to keep ringing me up!”

Me: “N- no, that’s okay. He looks very sweet, though. I have a dog—”

Customer #1: “Go say hi!”

(The dog suddenly leaps out of the cart and onto the moving conveyor belt! The other customers in line start panicking, while I hurry to catch the man’s dog that is now running up and down the belt, and across my scanner. When my manager finally gets the man and his dog out, the other customers and I stand in awed silence. Until…)

Customer #2: “That just happened.”

Me: “Ah, yeah. Yeah, it did.”

(We both stare at the paw prints all over the scanner and belt.)

Customer #2: “I can wait until that gets cleaned…”

Not Always Right: The Magazine

| CA, USA | Crazy Requests, Food & Drink

(I’m checking out a woman’s groceries while her boyfriend flips through the magazines at the checkout, looking increasingly dissatisfied.)

Customer: “All of your magazines are messed up! You should offer me a discount.”

Me: “Messed up in what way? I’m not authorized as a cashier to offer discounts, but I’ll be happy to have a look and let my manager know when he’s back from his break.”

Customer: “See, right here where the outside edge is messed up, and all of them are like that!”

(I look and see that the outside edges are indeed a little rough looking, but not so much that the magazines are ruined for reading.)

Me: “I’m sorry about that, sir, but again I’m not authorized to offer discounts. If you don’t mind waiting, I can push the call button to call my manager now, and perhaps he can offer a discount.”

Customer: “Well, it looks sloppy and unprofessional. You should fire whoever is responsible for this!”

Me: “It’s not a store employee that we can fire, sir. All of our magazines are stocked by an outside vendor. Again, I’m not authorized to offer discounts, but my manager should be available shortly if you’d like to take it up with him.”

Customer: “No, YOU should offer me a discount! The customer is always right, and YOU should be able to fix this without me having to wait for a manager! I used to work in a grocery store, and I know how things should work!”

Me: “If you used to work in a grocery store, sir, then you’ll know that customers treat the register magazine racks as a personal library, and aren’t always careful about how they return items to the rack. Once again, I am not authorized to give discounts, but I’ll be more than happy to call my manager over for you.”

Customer: “But I’m the customer, I’m right, and you can’t argue with me!”

(I once again offered to call my manager, and said nothing more while I finished his girlfriend’s transaction. He ended up purchasing the magazine, grumbling all the while that the condition of our racks was “unprofessional” and he shouldn’t have to wait for a manager.)

H2-Slow, Part 11

| Highlands Ranch, CO, USA | Extra Stupid, Food & Drink

(My younger, newer coworker approaches me for help with a customer asking question he doesn’t understand. The customer has a 5 gallon jug water exchange in a cart.)

Customer: “Excuse me, I’ve got a question about this [Brand] water?”

Me: “Sure, what can I tell you about it?”

Customer: “Does this have an expiration date?”

Me: *stunned* “Um… it’s water.”

Customer: “So… does it?”

(I told him if the water is held to EPA and FDA standards it would be properly filtered for pathogenic organisms and protozoan. I’m still stunned that anyone would think water could expire.)

Related:
H2Slow, Part 10
H2Slow, Part 9
H2Slow, Part 8

Overflowing With Problems

| Appleton, WI, USA | At The Checkout, Family & Kids, Health & Body, Popular, Rude & Risque

(I’m bagging groceries, and in the middle of an order I notice that the cashier has paused, and is delicately holding up an item she has grabbed out of the shopping cart. She turns to the customer, and the following exchange happens.)

Coworker: “Ma’am, there appears to be something on this. Did you want a new one? Or…”

Customer: “Oh, that, yeah. My daughter had diarrhea, and it overflowed her diaper.”

(At this, my coworker and I take a closer look at the contents of the cart. It’s everywhere. My poor coworker just makes a horrified face, as she realizes she just got a handful of feces.)

Customer: “Yeah, you’re gonna clean that all up, right?”

(We are nowhere near capable of properly cleaning up what turned out to be a few dozen items coated in fecal matter (including a serious need for gloves) at the register, but she was “in a hurry” so we had to clean it up with just paper towels and the glass cleaner we use to wipe down the registers, all the while holding back the urge to vomit. Of course the customer didn’t say another word, but at least my coworker and I got relieved to go sanitize ourselves!)

Carting Around Your Assumptions

| Appleton, WI, USA | Awesome Customers, Popular

(I’m working out in the parking lot one day, bringing carts in with a cart caddy. I’m bringing a line of carts to an entrance, and I stop to let a few customers in ahead of me. I’m female.)

Customer #1: “Honey, we were just talking about you!”

(I just give her a puzzled look.)

Customer #2: *points to the other end of the parking lot, where you can see three of my male coworkers walking together with the other cart caddy, not pushing any carts* “Look at that! It takes three of those guys to escort that empty thing, and yet here you are, getting all these carts all by yourself!”

Customer #1: “You go, girl!”

(I couldn’t bring myself to tell them that one of those guys was done, one was going on his lunch break, and the third had just gotten in, and had gone out to relieve the others. It sure felt nice being appreciated though!)