Checkout lanes at the grocery store are always tense, but these customers had meltdowns that were uncalled for. These people need to take a deep breath, calm all the way down, and head to the back of the line.
(Content has been edited for clarity)
She Thought Calling The Helpline Would Win Her Case
“I work in a big supermarket in Australia, and it has a popular loyalty system that people are obsessed with making sure they always get the most from.
I was managing one day and one of the team members called me over to help them out. There was an angry customer (AC) who wanted to use her loyalty dollars but didn’t have her card on her. I tried to explain to her that she needed the card in person to be able to use the program, but she wasn’t having any of it. At this stage, a line began to build, so I had the cashier close the register and move other customers away so that AC could have all the space she and her young child could want.
AC: ‘I have given you all the details you could need to put this through. I can’t believe that you can’t just do it this way.’
Me: ‘Unfortunately, our loyalty card is a separate system to our register, so we do need the card to be able to put it through.’
AC: ‘I’m sorry, but I don’t believe that. You will put this through; I have all these points saved. I knew I shouldn’t have come into this store; it was a mistake. I want to speak to your manager.’
My manager didn’t want to come down to speak to AC, because, well, he didn’t want to do deal with her. But he told me the same thing I told AC. During my time calling the manager, AC had decided to take it upon herself to call the loyalty card helpline.
AC: (talking on the phone) ‘Look I’m here at the register, and I want to use my points, but the cashier says I can’t use them without the card. [Silence] Well, I threw that card out, I didn’t want to have to keep carrying around so many cards. [Silence] Well eff you, what a waste of time!’
She then hung up and pulled out her card to pay, all the while swearing at me and telling me how she’ll never shop at our store again and will give up on the loyalty program. I handed her the receipt, and then World War III happened.
Me: ‘Have a nice day!’
AC: ‘How dare you insult me like that! I cannot believe that, you bimbo. I am going to call your management!'”
She Felt Like The Store Owed Her Something
“I’m on the checkout, and this lady comes up to my register. I scan and bag her items. She pays and I hand her bags over.
Customer: ‘You know, I’ve been coming here for a long time, and I don’t feel appreciated.’
Me: ‘Oh, I’m sorry, what makes you think that?’
C: ‘Well, I’ve shopped here and given you so much money and business, but I don’t get anything in return.’
Me: ‘Do you have a membersh-‘
C: (Interrupting) ‘You should give me some lottery tickets and scratchers.’
Me: ‘Madam, I can’t do that.’
C: ‘Come on. It’s the least you can do for me for not going to the other stores.’
Me: ‘Sorry, we can’t give away free lottery tickets, we don’t own Lotto, and it would be breaking our license with them.’
C: ‘Not even ONE scratch card?’
Me: ‘No, you’ll need to pay for them.’
C: ‘BUT I’VE ALREADY BOUGHT FROM YOU!’
Me: ‘Sorry,’ and I shake my head at her.
C: ‘Fine, I’ll do my shopping elsewhere. Thanks for nothing.’
Me: ‘Right, take care then.’
She came back the next day for some milk. I smiled and said, ‘Hello, again,’ to her. She didn’t say anything and walked away.”
He Couldn’t Be Bothered To Move One Register Over, So He Flipped His Lid Instead
“I work in the UK, and at one point I was working at a well-known supermarket. This happened in October 2016; it was my first retail job, and I was pregnant at the time.
It was daylight savings, and of course, the majority of our card readers had gone down. I was lucky and was stationed at a register where the card reader took sympathy on me and functioned. This left me with a massive line and a lot of disgruntled customers. Most customers seemed happy when I apologized for the wait and explained the circumstances. Some of them even wished me luck on the rest of the day.
My coworker at the register behind me called me over and told me he had run out of receipt paper. I asked my supervisor if we had any in the stock room and she said no, she would have to go to the back offices. Then she told me to get my colleague to close the register as we couldn’t operate the register without receipt paper. I approached the line of irate customers and explained why the register needed to be shut down. I also told them I was opening the next register over and they could all gladly come there. Most customers grumbled but began to queue at the register I was opening apart from one man. My colleague was still at the register that wasn’t working, waiting for the receipt paper. He’d already shut the barrier and turned off his register.
Customer: ‘No! I want this register to serve me! I’ve waited in line for ages!’
Me: ‘I’m very sorry sir, but the register is closed and cannot operate. You will not lose your place in line, and I will serve you in the same amount of time my colleague would have.’
Customer: ‘I will be served here!’
Me: ‘Well, no you won’t, sir. The register is closed now.’
Customer: ‘Well, I want to speak to your manager! This is ridiculous.’
Me: ‘Sir, I would also love to speak to my manager, but it seems they have left the shop floor to deal with the technical issues.’
By now the man was slamming his items onto the conveyor belt that wasn’t even on. A security guard placed themselves at the end of my register as the man approached me. He pushed past the current customers and leaned over my register.
Customer: ‘Get on that register and serve me!
Me: ‘I can’t do that, sir. I already explained I could serve you at my register. My colleague is waiting for his to be operational again.’
Customer: ‘This is a joke! I want to be served now! You’re a stupid bimbo; you know that? Serve me!’
I’d had enough. I was fat, hormonal, and I didn’t know whether I would cry or shout, so I looked at the security guard, who approached us with haste.
Me: ‘Sir, as I have explained multiple times, I would have served you had you put your items on my belt. Instead, you screamed and shouted at me. So now nobody will serve you. You can leave on your own or my colleague here will take you out.’
The man laughed until he realized we were serious. He grabbed the basket he had his items in and threw it at me. I ducked behind the register and then rose to see security had grabbed him.
Customer: ‘She shouldn’t have provoked me! it’s her fault!’
Me: ‘I never provoked you, there was no need to be rude! Instead of probably being on your way home by now, you’re now going to be barred from this store. Well done.’
Security went off with him, and my colleague turned to me and asked if I was okay. I was shaking as I hate confrontation, but I just snapped. I nodded and apologized to the customers in my queue, who were all lovely to me. One man in my line used to work at the store and said how well I handled it and how he probably would have thrown the basket at the man’s head.
I later found out from my manager that the man had, in fact, been banned from our store and the other local store in our chain because of the incident. It was fun to see him try and enter our store only to be told to leave by security. I couldn’t help but smile from my checkout as he was forced to leave!”
His Attitude Was Way Over The Line, But Then He Went One Step Further
“I worked at a large grocery store a few years ago, and on my very first day I had some interesting characters, but this guy took the cake for the day.
I was about halfway through my shift when an older man approached my line. He had a 24-pack of brewskies and was clearly over our age suggestion of 40, but this was my first adult beverage sale EVER at my first retail job EVER. I wanted to make sure I did it right. I had my trainer shadowing me, and she agreed that I should ask for IDs just to get the hang of asking for it.
(M will be me, OM will be the older man, T will be my trainer.)
M: ‘Hello sir, I need to see some ID for this.’
OM: ‘Are you kidding me? I never get carded when I come here.’
M: ‘Well, I’m truly sorry for the inconvenience sir, but this is my first day, and I don’t want to make any mistakes!’
OM: ‘I don’t have my ID, you stupid girl. CLEARLY, you aren’t doing your job correctly, because I’m over 40.’
At this point, I had turned beet red. I knew he was over 40, but I still wanted to ID him to get the hang of it, and now I had to refuse the sale. I told him that I wouldn’t be able to sell him the drinks and he lost it. He started shouting, calling me incompetent and swearing, just making a huge fuss. I told him he could leave the drinks with me and continue the transaction, or I could suspend it, and he could leave to get his ID. The old man shouted louder, yelling obscenities and insulting me. Then he picked up his groceries and moved to the line behind mine.
I turned to my trainer and let her know that I saw the guy slide into another lane with the drinks. Seeing as how we knew the guy didn’t have his ID, he couldn’t purchase it now, regardless of if he went into another lane. She smiled at me and said she’d handle it. She slid onto my coworker’s lane and ran the register for her.
T: ‘Hello sir, are you having a good day today?’
OM: ‘Of course not! I can’t believe that dumb bimbo over there wouldn’t sell me this when I’m OBVIOUSLY over 40.’
T: ‘Well sir, I’m afraid I’m going to need to see some ID as well.’
OM: ‘ARE YOU KIDDING ME?’
T: ‘As I understand it, my trainee asked for your ID, and you said you didn’t have it. In order to sell this to you, I need to see valid ID.’
OM: ‘THAT IS RIDICULOUS. I’M CLEARLY OVER 40!’
T: ‘I can see that sir, but I can also see that you did not have valid ID when we asked for it.’
OM: ‘THIS IS RIDICULOUS. I’M GOING TO GET YOU ALL FIRED FOR THIS! HOW DARE YOU TREAT ME THIS WAY. I ALWAYS SHOP HERE, AND I HAVE NEVER BEEN ID’D THE ENTIRE TIME.’
He stormed off and headed to customer service, ranting and raving about us and how he was going to get us fired for mistreating him.
We didn’t get fired.”
She Basically Witnessed Their Break Up
“A man (M) and a woman (W) approached my register with their stuff. M put the basket on the counter while W stood a few feet away, looking at a display. M pulled out his phone as I started ringing up their stuff.
Me: (to M) ‘Hi! How are you, today? Find everything you were looking for?’
No response. W turned around and began addressing me.
W: ‘We’re fine, thank you! Sorry, he probably didn’t hear you.’
M: (without looking up from his phone) ‘Oh no, I heard her.’
Crickets. W just stared at the back of his head and blinked. It set in that he deliberately chose (quite rudely) to not answer me. She let out the longest exasperated sigh I’ve ever heard.
M: (still doesn’t look up, but sort of tilts his head in her direction) ‘What? What’s wrong?’
W stormed out the door. M finally looked up as she left then followed her out.
M: ‘Whaaat? What did I do now?'”
Drinking And Tasers Don’t Mix
“This happened last New Year’s Eve. I had just closed up self-checkout for the night. We had to have everything shut down early since our closing hours were different. I still had about a half an hour or so left in my shift, so I went to go help with some of the restock stuff. I was at the far end of our soda aisle, putting 12-packs up on the shelves when I heard ‘bzzt.’
I stood straight up and thought, ‘Was that a taser? Why would somebody have a taser in the store?’
As soon as I finished thinking that, I heard one of the cashiers loudly ask very, ‘Why do you even have that in here?’ That question was followed by another ‘bzzt.’ Something was about to go down, so I ran to the registers to see what was going on. I got to the registers to see a large circle that had formed around this one customer. She was yelling at another person in line, so I asked the cashier for a quick rundown. She explained that the customer was wasted and trying to buy a bottle of bubbly. The cashier denied the sale and the lady pulled a taser on her.
Our night manager hopped out of his check stand and stood next to me. Taser lady had stopped yelling at the other customer and was demanding the bottle of bubbly.
TL will be taser lady, B is boss, C is the other customer, the one TL was threatening.
TL: ‘You’re gonna give me that bubbly, right?’
TL: ‘Why not?’ The whole time she was speaking, she was also waving the taser around.
B: ‘Well, for starters, you’re already hammered. And you’re out here threatening people with a taser.’
TL: ‘Is that a problem?’
B: ‘Yeah, it is. I’m gonna give you the opportunity to leave now or I’m gonna call the cops.’
C: ‘Too late. I already did.’
TL: (Turning to face the other customer) ‘I’ll deal with you in a minute.’ Turning back to Boss, ‘You wanna come over here and kick me out?’
TL: ‘What? You afraid to get tased?’
B: ‘Yeah. I don’t feel like wasting my New Years getting tased cause you’re an idiot. Seriously, just leave now.’
TL: ‘I’ll do whatever I want. I’ll leave when I want. I’ll drink what I want. I’ll…’
C: ‘No, you should leave now. I’m still on the phone with the cops. They can hear you. The dispatcher says they’re maybe a minute away. Unless you want to get arrested, then by all means, please, keep being dumb.’
Taser lady thought it over, waved the taser at the customer, then made her way to the exit. Our security guard, fresh from stopping a fight in the parking lot, went to walk her out while keeping at least 10 feet away from her. They were halfway to the door and taser lady started screaming at him to stop following her and started swinging the taser at him. He looked back at us like, ‘What is going on here?’ Then he turned back and laughed at the lady. She finally walked out.
Everybody got back into their normal spots and the customer who had called the cops said, ‘I have a confession to make. I didn’t actually call the cops.'”
This Old Woman Was A Stickler For The Rules
“I was a cashier at a well-known grocery franchise. It was kind of a slow day, which was rare at this particular store. I rang up this older lady (she’ll be lady A) who had maybe five small items. I finished her transaction and handed her her change. She moved to the end of my register to put her change away and look for her car keys, no big deal. The next women had 13 items, all of which were bags of chips and some soda. I quickly rang her up, handed her her receipt, and sent her on her way. I was happy there was no line behind her for a minute.
Lady A, who was still standing at the end of my register, came up to me as soon as the other woman walked away.
Lady A: ‘Excuse me, but that women you just rang up had 13 items. This line is 12 items or less!’
Me: ‘That’s okay, it isn’t a big deal. There was no line, and she was taken care of.’
Lady A: ‘I don’t believe you understand, this is a 12 ITEMS OR LESS LINE, and that women had 13 items! You’re both wrong!’
Me: ‘I’m sorry? I didn’t keep you or anyone else waiting. Your transaction was complete, so I don’t see the big deal.’
Lady A: (who is now angry at me) ‘Well, you’re wrong! I’m going to the customer service desk about this!’
Then she stormed off, complained that I took someone with 13 times (after her transaction was already over, might I add) on the 12 items or less line, suggested that management suspend me for not following rules, gave me a dirty look, and left. Both my manager and I laughed. I love retail customers!”
Even The Cops Couldn’t Believe This Moron
“Christmas was on the horizon and the morning started as usual: restocking the Christmas food aisle. I’d only been at work for about an hour when I overheard a woman on her phone.
Woman: ‘Yeah, apparently there’s a bomb in McDonald’s.’
I didn’t think anything of it for some reason and carried on. About five minutes later, I heard my coworker on the intercom system: ‘This is a customer announcement. Unfortunately, there is an emergency, and we will have to ask you to quietly evacuate.’
As people started to make their way to the exit, a few police officers stormed down the aisles to reiterate that we must all leave. Most people took a little while to understand, but they all abandoned their baskets and left. I started to power walk around making sure all the customers were leaving. It started to feel real for everyone, except for this one stubborn guy.
(He’ll be SG, and I’ll be Me.)
Me: ‘Excuse me, sir. We have to evacuate right away.’
SG: ‘I have all I need. You can check me out quickly.’
Me: ‘I can’t do that. This is an emergency situation.’
SG: ‘It’s your job to tend to me!’
Me: ‘I’m sorry for the inconvenience, but right now your safety is my priority.’
At this point, I saw my manager giving me a look of ‘What are you doing?!’ as she stood by the exit, waiting for us to leave.
Me: ‘Look, you’ll have to come back another day. Apparently, there’s a–‘
A police officer came belting up behind me and took over trying to convince him to evacuate.
PO: ‘Guys, we have a possible bomb in the perimeter of the shop. For your safety, you need to evacuate.’
SG finally dropped his basket with a thump, and we all made our way to the exit, but he clearly couldn’t leave without getting in another word.
SG: ‘If I knew it was a bomb, I’d have left ages ago!’
I said nothing and met with my coworkers outside as he disappeared down the street. The funny thing is that even if I wanted to assist him, I was a stock assistant and had no idea how to work the tills.”
“I’m Not Really Myself, But It’ll Be Alright”
“I was checking out a customer before going home.
Me: ‘How are you doing today?’
Customer: ‘I’m doing ok, I suppose. I mean, I’m not myself, but it’ll be alright.’
Me: ‘Sometimes you have to power through tough times. Did you find everything you were looking for today?’
Customer: ‘I just got off the phone with the hospital. My daughter got into a car wreck, and all three of my grandkids are dead, and my daughter is having her leg amputated.’
I was speechless.
Customer: ‘Oh wait, there are some socks that I need to buy. Also, I put my coupons on the counter. Actually, can you hold onto this stuff while I go back for a few more items?’
I was on autopilot at this point, wondering if his story was true or if it was all some plan to get me to say something self-incriminating or if it’s oddly manifested grief. It was definitely an odd experience for me.”
She Did Everything Right, But The Customers Were Still Upset
“One day I wasn’t consistently busy, but customers would come in bursts that lasted for quite some time. Naturally, so the people in line wouldn’t have to wait too long, I moved quickly and tried to make sure things went as smoothly as possible.
A man came to the register with a bag of dog food and a few other items, which he set on the counter. Before I could even greet him or ask for his club card, he noticed a tear in the dog food bag.
Man: ‘Can I just run and grab a new bag?’
Me: ‘Not a problem! I’ll hold your other things here.’
There was another woman in line who only had a single item: a bag of dog food, which was already flipped in the cart, so the UPC was facing me. I figured I could help her quickly so she wouldn’t have to wait, and the line wouldn’t grow if more people showed up while we waited.
Me: ‘Hi, I can help you if you’re ready!’
Woman: ‘Uh…are you not going to wait for him?’
Me: ‘If you’d like to wait, we can, but he will be a moment, and it didn’t seem like you had much today!’
She stepped forward, and we had a quick transaction. The man came back as I was handing the woman her change.
Man: ‘SERIOUSLY?!’ He glared at me, and I was taken aback for a moment.
Woman: ‘I told them to wait for you!’
Me: ‘I’m sorry sir, it’s nothing against you! It’s been a little busy, and I wanted to keep things moving. She only had one item, and we’re already finished, so I can help you.’
He didn’t say anything more but was a little more stern through the rest of the transaction.I apologized again, as it still didn’t feel like it was that big of a deal. And, as expected, when his transaction was complete, there were three more people in line.”
“Don’t Lie To Me!”
“I was training a new cashier on a register, mainly just standing there in case the trainee had a question when this mother came in with some groceries and her kids.
She said that she needed us to look up her store credit card and I informed her that our store didn’t do that and that she was probably confusing us with another store.
Then she said, ‘Well you’ve done it before so figure it out.’
I offered to get a manager, who said that the store never had the ability to search for the store credit cards. This angered the dummy and caused her to say, ‘Don’t lie to me, you’ve done it before,’ before leaving her groceries on the belt and walking away.”
Stealing Candy From A Store Is A Lot Harder Than Taking It From A Baby
“I was a cashier, and a woman came through my line with her two children.
The girl was smaller than the boy, and the boy was tormenting her as a result (hitting her, poking her, pulling at her, just bothering her basically). To her credit, she never hit him or poked him back and instead kept yelling at him to stop. The mom was doing that monotone, ‘Cut it out. Stop it,’ that extremely checked-out moms have perfected. Pretty par for the course at this point.
Except as the mom was putting the groceries on the belt, her son grabbed a pack of candy and stuck it in his pocket. When he saw me watching, he smirked at me and stuck out his tongue. Game on, kid. I put on my cheery, retail smile, and started scanning. As the order flew by, the kid started to look around and get bored. I guess he thought he got away with it.
I waited until the very end, and as the woman pulled out her card to pay, I smiled and said, ‘And the candy as well?’ This kid’s head spun around from looking at the end of the register, and he gave me the most incredulous expression.
The mother looked at me and went, ‘What candy?’
Looking straight into her son’s eyes the whole time, I said, ‘The candy your son stuck in his pocket earlier.’
This woman went from 0 to 100 in one second flat. She spun around and started SCREAMING at her son, waving her arms, just flipping out, and spanked him. The kid was freaking out, and his little sister was looking on with the most satisfied expression I’ve ever seen. The mom paid and hauled him out of the store; the candy bar sat at the edge of the register as a homage to the craziness that just occurred for the rest of my shift.
As horrible as I feel about that kid getting spanked, I hope it makes him think twice before acting like a jerk again!”