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Can’t See The Wood For The Bags

| MA, USA | At The Checkout, Bizarre, Popular

Cashier: “So, will that be paper or plastic today, ma’am?”

Customer: “Oh, no, I prefer wood.”

Cashier: *just stares for a moment*

Customer: *realizing what she said* “Oh, um, paper is fine. I don’t know why I said that…”

(Meanwhile everyone around her was trying not to laugh as she exited the building without her wooden bags.)

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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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One Customer To Wine About

| CA, USA | Bad Behavior, Food & Drink, Popular

(I am filling in for my discount grocery store’s liquor manager on his day off. It’s the closing shift, and there is more work to be done than people to do it. There are about two hours left until we close and things are getting more hectic by the minute.)

Front-End Manager: *on intercom* “[My Name], you have a wine call on line one.”

(I pick up using the nearest phone.)

Me: “Hello, this is [My Name]. How may I help you tonight?”

Customer: “Hey, I’m [Customer]. I don’t know if you know but I shop there a lot. I was wondering if you had [Popular Brand of wine]? I want to buy some.”

Me: “I think we have some of that brand. Do you mind if I put you on hold while I make sure we do?”

(The lady on the other end says it is fine. I put her on hold and trot to the wine section, where I find that we have two varieties of the red wine the customer wants, although both display stacks are down to less than three cases apiece.)

Me: “Yes, ma’am, we have [Wine Brand] in cabernet and merlot. Should I put some aside for you? We’re open for another hour or so if you want to buy it tonight.”

Customer: “No, don’t bother. I’ll come in tonight and get some for myself.”

(The customer briefly thanks me and hangs up. I resume my duties, which now include the tasks of another coworker who went home sick on top of stocking the beer and wine department and the bread racks. About 30 minutes later…)

Front-End Manager: *on intercom* “[My Name], service to the wine department, please.”

(I abandon the cardboard I’ve been breaking down and go to the wine department. There is a middle-aged woman standing there that I recognize from the previous evening; she’d knocked a container of pancake syrup onto the floor, where it had made quite a mess.)

Customer: “Hello, I’m [Customer]. We spoke earlier on the phone? I was hoping to get some help with my wine.”

Me: “Yep, the wine you’re looking for is right here and here.”

Customer: “Okay.”

(I motion to the two stacks of wine, on opposite ends of the block. I deduce that since she hasn’t taken any, and that she probably wants at least a case, even though she’s already declined to have me put one aside for her.)

Me: “Were you looking to buy a case?”

Customer: “How many bottles are in a case? 12?”

Me: “Yes.”

Customer: “I think I want a bottle of the merlot—”  *there are two bottles left in the display* “—and eleven bottles of the cabernet.” *there are a full twelve bottles in that display* “Oh wait, I want ten of the cab and two of the merlot.”

(I count out the total of twelve bottles of the two varieties and place them in her grocery cart. Now, at this point it must be noted that to form our wine displays we cut the cardboard boxes about 3/4 to the bottom and give the sealed tops and dividers to liquor customers for free, leaving the bottom of the box as a flat display.)

Me: “There’s your wine ma’am. Anything else I can help you with?”

Customer: “Yes, can I get a wine box?”

Me: “Yep.”

(I scurry off to look for one, but I quickly find that we are out. Customers routinely tend to pirate the boxes for non-liquor use. As quickly as possible I go to a reserve pallet in the back and cut a standard box from an unopened case. I return with the box, feeling tired and out of breath, as it has been a long day at the end of long work week.)

Customer: *in a condescending tone* “Oh, I wanted a box with flaps on the top. You know, so you can seal it up again for me. I need to store this wine in my garage with the box on its side.”adxffdfff

(At this point, she would have been far better served if she’d asked me to reserve a case. There were no empty wine boxes with flaps on them – there never were any like that to begin with.)

Me: “Okay, umm… Ma’am, we don’t have any like that right now.”

Customer: *in a condescending tone* “Sure you do.”

(She points at one of the two remaining unopened cases in the stack. The customer doesn’t even hesitate before pushing past me and clearing the two remaining bottles off the top – placing them haphazardly on the floor, tossing the flat, ripping open the next box and swiftly emptying the box. When she is done, she takes the now-empty box, leaving me to keep other interloping customers from tripping on the 14 wine bottles littering the floor.)

Customer: *still in a condescending tone* “Don’t worry; you’ll get it one day.”

(She pats me patronizingly on the shoulder and walks off, pushing her cart. At that point I observe she’s helped herself to a third bottle of the merlot, leaving the next box in that stack ripped open and thus rendering it unusable for future customers. This interaction has lasted nearly 30 minutes and I am down 3 wine boxes. I abandon restocking the wine and use the little time I have left dealing with aisles. The customer has stayed in the store. At one point, she is on the next aisle chatting up one of my equally-busy coworkers.)

Customer: “You know [My Name] in the wine department? He doesn’t seem very happy. Maybe your manager should talk to him.”

(My coworker shrugged that off and the customer eventually checked out. I later found out that the same customer makes trouble for the cashiers and routinely scams our 100% money-back guarantee.)