Pay Attention

| AZ, USA | At The Checkout, Bizarre, Health & Body

(One of our registers has been closed all day, with plenty of signs to say so. A customer runs up to me with a heavy accent.)

Customer: “Pay! I need to pay!”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but this register is currently closed. The nearest open registers are—”

Customer: *holds out a sweater to me* “Pay?”

Me: “I’m sorry, but this register is closed. The nearest open register is just down that way.”

Customer: “No, no, I need to PAY!”

Me: “Ma’am, this register is closed. Closed.” *I speak slowly* “I cannot work the register for you. They are locked. Only a manager can—”

(The customer starts writhing around in a strange manner, with her sweater held over her stomach and her legs bowed together.)

Customer: “Oh, I need to pay! So bad!”

(One of my coworkers has a brainwave and comes up to the customer.)

Coworker: “Excuse me, do you need a restroom? A bathroom?”

Customer: *looks at my coworker cheerfully* “I can pay?”

Coworker: “You need to… pee? A bathroom?”

Customer: “Pay!”

(The customer begins energetically following my coworker.)

Coworker: “The bathrooms are just down this way; if you follow this aisle, turn left up here and—”

Customer: “No! I need to PAY!”

(The customer runs off, completely ignoring my coworker’s directions. We still aren’t entirely sure what she was asking for!)

Weighted Opinions

| Vancouver, BC, Canada | At The Checkout, Bigotry, Technology

(I am an early 20s, able-bodied male, with a fair bit of muscle, and I also happen to be the only employee in the store who fits such a description.)

Me: “Hi, how are you today?”

Customer: “Good, thank you. Can I get a 55-inch [brand] TV, please?”

Me: “Why, certainly.”

(I make a phone call to the back stockroom to request the customer’s TV. While I am processing the sale, the person bringing the rather large & heavy item is one of my young female coworkers.)

Coworker: “Here’s your TV, ma’am! If you’re done shopping today, I will be glad to take this to your car!”

Customer: *to me* “Shame on you, young man. Shame on you!”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but I don’t quite follow.”

Customer: “How dare you make such a fragile young girl bring out something so big! She could’ve seriously injured herself! You should be ashamed!”

Me: “Believe me, ma’am: I would prefer to have done this job myself, but I have no control over my position. They put me on cash because I happened to be a little better at it, and my coworker here does this all the time.”

Customer: “This is not right! This is not right at all! A tall, bulky man like you should do the heavy lifting! Not this poor skin and bones over here!”

Coworker: “Ma’am, I’m seriously okay with this. When women fought for equal rights long ago, they knew that this was going to happen. And I’m glad it did.”

Customer: “But girls sh—”

Coworker: “Girl power! That’s what it is!”

Customer: “Alright fine, just load the d*** TV into the truck already.”

(My coworker helps the customer with her TV. A few weeks later, the same customer is at my till once again, this time, to buy a couch.)

Customer: “Alright, I know that a couple of weeks ago, that nice, young girl proved more than capable of doing this. But I still feel really bad for her, so can you get somebody else to help me?”

Me: “Not a problem, ma’am, she isn’t even in today.”

(This time, I call my manager to bring out the couch.)

Manager: “Okay, ma’am, where are you parked?”

(The customer takes a good look at my manager. Although my manager is a man, he very much looks like he is approaching his 70s.)

Customer: “This whole store is backwards!” *stomps out*

Manager: “What the h*** was her problem?”

Me: “Equal opportunity employment, apparently.”

Checkouts Are Places For Change

| Sandy, UT, USA | At The Checkout, Awesome Customers, Family & Kids, Money, Top

(I am standing in line around midnight. In front of me is a pregnant girl, around 20 years old. She is wearing pajamas, and clearly looking as if she has seen better days. She also has a black eye, which is a little alarming to me.)

Cashier: “Did you find everything alright?”

Pregnant Customer: “Yes, thanks. Can you see if my card has anything on it before you ring it up?”

Cashier: “No, sorry. I could ring things up one at a time and see if it’ll take for each one. If you don’t mind waiting for me to cash out the other three people in line, I’ll be more than happy to do that for you.”

Pregnant Customer: “No, no, let’s just try. I hope the deposit has hit already.”

(The cashier rings everything in, and the pregnant customer swipes the card. It declines.)

Cashier: “Do you have another form of payment?”

Pregnant Customer: “No…” *starts crying* “He must have already cancelled the card.”

Cashier: “Cancelled the card?”

Pregnant Customer: “My ex-boyfriend kicked me out tonight. He came home and said the baby couldn’t be his, hit me, and threw me out. He must have called and cancelled our food stamp card. I don’t even know where I’m going to put all this. A friend is letting me use her extra fridge until I can get an apartment.”

(One of the customers in line behind me speaks up.)

Customer Behind Me: “Ma’am, just put it on my ticket.”

(I move out of the way so the customer behind me can push his cart forward. He clearly has $200 or more worth of food on his own, and the pregnant customer has about $150.)

Cashier: “Sure.”

Pregnant Customer: “No, no I can’t.”

Customer Behind Me: “Honey, don’t lecture me. My mom was kicked out by my dad because he thought she was sleeping around on him. She worked two jobs to keep a roof over my head. I’m not letting some deadbeat a**-hole throw his girlfriend out because he has trust issues.”

Pregnant Customer: “I can’t. It’s too much. I don’t have a job; I can’t pay you back.”

Customer Behind Me: “Take my card. I’ve seen you in here a few times during regular shopping hours. You’re always very nice to the employees and everyone in line. I need a receptionist for my apartment complex on [street]. Come by tomorrow, and we’ll have an interview. I give discounts to my employees on their rent.”

(By this time, the cashier has finished ringing in the items, and they’re bagged already.)

Cashier: “Your total is $459.92.”

(The customer behind me gently pushes past the pregnant customer. He swipes his card, enters his pin, and then hugs her.)

Customer Behind Me: “Things do get better. See me tomorrow; I’m serious.”

(Sir, wherever you are… You restored some of my faith in humanity. Thank you. Ma’am, wherever you are, I hope you and your baby have a great life, and you find someone to take care of you both and love you the way you deserve. I hope you got that job, but judging from how the man was talking, I’m sure you did!)