Trying to buy groceries here, not sass! Shoppers on Quora share rude things people have done in checkout lines. Content has been edited for clarity.
Dude, They Clearly Had The Bread
“I was dating a guy (for about six months, which you’ll soon understand why) when we went to a Subway sandwich store to grab something quick for lunch, as we had a full day planned.
As we were walking in, I suddenly recalled this store never seemed to have Italian Herb and Cheese bread. Regrettably, I wondered out loud to my date as we were entering, if they were going to have it this time.
We got to the counter and the young man, maybe 17 years old, asked us for our order. I started to give mine, when my date spoke over me, asking him if they had the Italian Herb and Cheese bread. I realized he was just trying to impress me by showing he remembered what I liked on my Subway, which we had ordered only once before, a few months back. So, I figured I would give him this moment, although I was a little taken aback by the fact he had just rudely interrupted me, speaking over me. I had to mentally tell myself he was unaware of his rude action and his intent was to be gentlemanly.
The young man replied to his demanding question of if they had that bread in stock with, ‘What would you like on it?’
My date responded, ‘Do you have the Italian Herb and Cheese bread?’
Again, the young man answered with, ‘What toppings would you like on it?’
For the third time, this guy says, in a very loud, aggressive, and condescending tone, “’t’s yes or no! Do. You. Have. The. Italian. Herb. And. Cheese. Bread?’
The counter kid responded in an equally condescending tone, ‘Yes. What. Do. You. Want. On. It?’
My date said, ‘Finally, you learned how to answer the question! Sheesh!’
He went on to place our orders, giving me a sideways look like, ‘See how I handled him? Yeah! I’m the man!’
All I could do was stand there, stunned! I had never seen anyone treat any type of service employee so rudely! His attempt to impress me, by showing he remembered what I liked on my Subway, made me feel guilty as if I was somehow complicit in his idiotic treatment of this kid. We were both in our early 40’s and this could’ve been my son.”
He Had No Right To Say That
“I was next in line, behind a middle-aged man. Throughout the line, he seemed irritable and impatient. Tapping his foot loudly, grumbling complaints, giving a sigh when the woman in front of him needed a minute to find her card, you get the picture.
The cashier was in her early twenties, at most. She was doing her best to keep up with the high demand of shoppers that day. A lot of people, few cashiers (no baggers). Despite the insanity, the woman remained positive and helpful.
In between the two customers, her phone buzzed. The cashier immediately checked it with a worried look, then sighed in relief. Her phone was put back before she helped scan the items.
‘You shouldn’t do that,’ the guy said.
‘Excuse me, sir?’ the girl asked, confused.
‘Your phone. You shouldn’t have your phone at work. You millennials are too addicted to your phones. Can’t even give proper service with those eyes glued to the screens!’ he grumbled.
The millennial behind him (i.e. me) rolled her eyes. Being in customer service at the time, I wasn’t a stranger to obnoxious, rude people like him.
‘I’m sorry about that. I had to check if it was an emergency,’ she explained.
‘What kind of emergency does a young person even have? You have no reason to be on your phone!’ the man snapped.
‘My mom is in the hospital, having surgery. I’m her emergency contact,’ the cashier pleaded.
‘Your mother’s in the hospital and you’re WORKING? What a disgraceful daughter you are! You should be there with her! How could you ignore your mother?!’ the man roared.
I was about to tell him off but the cashier calmly kept up the conversation, unfazed.
‘She needs help paying for the procedure. I wish I could be there with her but I want to make sure her recovery isn’t met with any kind of stress,’ she said in a calm tone.
I thought of my own mom. Heaven forbid anything happens to her, but I knew if she needed help paying for medical expenses, I would do the same. Yet the cranky man didn’t seem affected.
‘See, there’s the problem with you millennials. You slack off in school and don’t go to college, so you wind up in a dead-end job that doesn’t pay. If you had any initiative, you’d get a better job instead of working at a lousy grocery store. But you’re too lazy to even do that. Your mother would be ashamed of you.’
He went on to complain about service and insult the cashier. I really wanted to shout off a few choice words to the guy. However, I noticed the cashier wasn’t bothered at all. She continued smiling as she scanned the items and carefully put them aside. Even her tone was pleasant when she read the price of the items and wished him a good day.
The man’s rambling became mutters as he started to bag his own items. When it was my turn, I spoke up.
‘Thank you so much for your service. I know it’s a crazy day today and you have a lot going on, but I appreciate your help. I hope your mother gets better soon,’ I told her.
If looks could kill, the man’s glare would’ve put me six feet under.”
Ma’am, There Is A Literal Blizzard Outside?
“A blizzard had been predicted and, in fact, had abruptly appeared out of a dazzlingly blue sky. I left work early and scrambled to the grocery store nearest to my home. The snowflakes came out of nowhere and came fast.
I grabbed a cart, got bread and milk and a few other items, and high-tailed it to the checkout. I got in the shortest line, and soon found myself with a caboose of people whose carts snaked down the aisles to the back of the store. This was standard.
I was nervously watching the golf-ball-sized snowflakes outside the windows fall and rapidly accumulate. This fast, sticky snow is dangerous. Finally, there was only one person ahead of me in the line: a little old lady.
She put her purchases carefully on the belt.
Her purchases were rung up. She produced a wad of coupons.
Again, I’m not going to complain. I’m sure she’s on a fixed income.
The coupons were rung up and she wrote out a check in slow motion.
I was only a mile from home, and I was getting nervous I would not be there to get my son off the bus. He’s old enough technically, but he’s special needs and gets very upset if I’m not there when he gets home.
‘Oh,’ she said, as she went to return her checkbook to her purse. ‘I forgot a coupon. Here you go,’ and she tried to give it to the clerk.
The noise in the store that was nearly empty when I arrived was now cacophonous. It’s jammed. People could barely navigate the aisles for all the carts in the lines. Despite the blizzard warnings, only two cashiers were on duty.
The cashier blanches.
‘Please, use it next time,’ she said.
‘Oh, no, it’s a dollar,’ the old lady whined.
‘It’s a blizzard,’ the cashier countered.
‘It’s a dollar,’ she repeated, as if the cashier didn’t understand.
The cashier looked at the lines. She looked at the snow falling.
‘For you to use that coupon,’ she explained, ‘I have to cancel your order. The manager has to come and void the transaction, and she’s on the floor and very busy. Then I have to re-ring everything, plus the other coupons, just to get the last coupon. Then you’ll have to write another check.’
‘But it’s a dollar,’ the old lady bleated again.
My impending old-ladyhood meant nothing to me now. She’s committing a cardinal crime: she’s holding up the line during a snowstorm.
There is an etiquette here. During a snowstorm, we don’t hoard. We don’t buy ten cases of toilet paper or every gallon of milk. We buy what we need to get by until we’re dug out. And we don’t hold up the line; we want everyone to get out and get home.
The cashier is at her wit’s end.
‘Please, use it next time. Look at the line behind you,’ she said.
‘But it’s a dollar,’ the lady whined.
Seriously, I think there could have been a riot. If I had any cash at all, I would give her anything for her to step out of the line and go home. Surely, based on her age, she remembers the Blizzard of ‘78, when the snow fell so fast it buried the main highway. People died in their cars.
The general manager must have heard the roar of the people in line behind me, and she came running to the register. The old lady stood there, calm as a tourist on a beach, refusing to budge. She was still holding the coupon out. The cashier began to explain, but the manager caught on in an instant. She whipped out her key, turned it in the register, typed something, and began to re-ring the order while the cashier bagged it up again. The customer stood there, oblivious, waiting until the end to rewrite the check, even though she knew what the total would be and could have had it ready.
Ever so slowly, the woman put her bags in her cart and finally moves a foot. She turned to the angry mob behind her.
‘It was a dollar,’ she whined for the last time.
Now, whenever my son and I find someone being unreasonable, we look at each other and intone, ‘But it’s a dollar.’”
Why Did He Turn Back?
“Once I was shopping with my dad at Shoprite. We had gotten some things and stood in line behind a middle-aged man, who was standing behind another customer.
Once the lady in the front of the line got her things billed and had paid for them, the man in front of us walked to the checkout counter where the nice lady behind the counter greeted him politely with ‘Good afternoon.’
He didn’t reply to her and grumbled something none of us could hear.
After the lady was finished billing his things, she asked if he’d like a plastic bag to carry his things, which would cost an extra two dollars Just then he started screaming at the nice lady, saying that he spent almost thirty dollars, and he should get a free plastic bag, but the lady refused and calmly told him he’d have to pay. My dad said in a calm, yet strict, tone these were the rules of the place. Surprisingly, the man calmly told my dad to not intervene and he demanded to speak to the manager. The manager came and settled things with him; in the end, he ended up paying for two plastic bags with a sour face.
Afterward, the nice checkout lady at the counter was sanitizing the counter, when the man once more yelled at her saying he was actually allergic to the spray! Mind you, he turned around halfway while exiting the store to yell at her about the spray.
The poor counter lady was about to burst into tears when somebody yelled at the idiot to get out. Soon everybody chimed in, and he left in a hurry.”
This Man Needs To Be Banned
“I had been shopping in a local supermarket, in my wheelchair, accompanied by my assistance dog. Just as we were leaving the till, some idiot (who was more concerned with their mobile phone than their direction of travel) cut in front of me and stopped. This left with me no choice but to sharply cut my chair to the right to avoid hitting said moron.
Accordingly, my dog had to jump out of the way. She is trained to do this, and my command ‘Move!’ helped her anticipate my chair was coming her way. My chair made no contact with either idiot or my dog; she was fine, I rewarded her with praise, and we started through the queue out of the shop. It’s not the first time we have had to avoid such clueless obstacles.
This is when ‘Mr. Kindness’ started to loudly berate me for ‘abusing’ my dog by ‘running over her.’ He was saying I hurt her, and she was clearly in distress. I tried to just ignore him, but he was yelling, loudly, ‘people like you shouldn’t have animals, shouldn’t bring them into stores, should realize it’s cruelty to make them work.’
He was yelling to other people, ‘That woman is a dog-beater!’
My dog was there with her ears up, tail wagging, happily following right beside my chair and clearly oblivious to whatever great harm Mr. Kindness was protesting had befallen her.
Mr. Kindness pushed past people to get to me, and shoved me. My dog, who is as placid as can be, put herself between me and him. She would not ever be aggressive, but she does (without being trained to do so) decide she should be between someone she thinks will harm me, and me. He took a step back, giving me room to get past.
I tried to just get out of the store and to the car, and he just kept yelling evil things. Thankfully, security stopped him from following me out to the car. I felt frightened, and humiliated.”
Why Did She Think She Could Say That?
“My best friend and I bought some snacks in a shop, paid, and sat down on a bench right in front of that shop.
My best friend was very overweight at the time and struggled with some bullying, though it never happened in front of me. She always told me random strangers laughed about her and called her names wherever she goes, and this was the reason why she hated to leave her house. It wasn’t I didn’t believe her, but I thought she might take unmeaningful things too much to hear or interpret them wrongly since I’ve never seen anybody even paying attention to her when I was with her. She insisted it only happens when she’s alone, and she’s sick of not having proof to show me.
But on that fateful day, I saw it live and in action.
So we sat on that bench, a bit apart from each other, I was looking at my phone and one could easily mistake us as two people just randomly sitting on the same bench without knowing each other.
Then, an old woman came out of the shop with her shopping cart, looked in our direction, stopped, and walked over. She approached my friend, completely ignoring me, probably thinking I was just some dude.
She tapped her on the shoulder and had the most superficial and fake-friendy smile I have ever seen on someone’s face other than on a fishy car’s salesman.
‘Excuse me, but how old are you?’ she asked.
My friend looked confused, and said, ‘I’m 20?’
‘And you still sit like that?’ she said. ‘This is not good manners.’
My friend and I both looked confused. We sat on that bench in the exact same way, one leg folded over the over.
Yet, she completely ignored me, speaking only to her.
My friend apologized and put her leg down. I did the same.
Then the old lady added, smiling sarcastically, ‘But I get it! I mean, what else can you do? So much mass needs a lot of space.’
She turned around, intending to walk back to her shopping cart. I thought there was something wrong with my ears.
I gasped, ‘Did you just REALLY say that??’
She turned around looking confused, not expecting me to get involved.
‘I understand you may dislike the way she sat, but what incredibly rude remark was that?’ I said.
She shrugged. ‘Well, sitting like that is without manners.’
‘But I was sitting right next to her in the exact same way. Yet you didn’t speak to us, you only spoke to her! Makes me wonder if you only approached her to comment on her weight!’ I snarled.
She looked trapped and overwhelmed with being confronted about it.
‘Oh really? Ah, I didn’t see you were sitting in the same way.’ That phony smile again. That annoying I-try-to-hide-my-bad-intentions-by-looking-overly-friendly- smile.
I was furious. ‘That was an utterly rude and unnecessary comment!!!’
‘I know it wasn’t nice to say that. But sitting like that isn’t pleasant either!’ and she turned around, walking over to her shopping cart and acting like she was looking for something in her bag, visibly embarrassed by the situation.
I bit my lip, I had to really keep myself back from causing a serious scene. Then I got up and walked over. I said very loudly and clearly.
‘I think it’s absolutely disgusting what you just did!!! Bullying this woman in such a shameless way!! You old people always complain about young people being disrespectful. But what you just said wasn’t any better! I hope you feel utterly embarrassed by your manners!!’
I walked away, the woman completely ignoring me and acting like it was none of her business. Some people gave her a look.
I apologized to my friend afterward because I had never fully believed her. She said it was okay. She was more grateful and astonished I actually stood up for her.
And I would again. Always.”
They Had No Right To Make Those Comments
“I was standing in line with my daughter, who was about 14 months at the time. She was teething and had just got a fever while we were in the grocery store, so as you can imagine she was not a happy camper.
We obviously had to cut our trip short, so we proceeded to the checkout line to pay. As we were waiting to have our groceries rung up, two older women got in line behind us.
I could hear one of the women say to her friend, ‘Why would they bring her out like this?’
Her friend said, ‘Yeah, some people shouldn’t be parents.’
I turned around and said very calmly, ‘Excuse me.’
The one old biddy said sarcastically, ‘I was just commenting on your wonderful parenting skills.’
The thoughts that flashed through my head were not very pleasant, but I knew I needed to get out of there and it was not worth causing a scene.
So I calmly replied, ‘Like you, yourself, are demonstrating what a good person you are.’
She smirked at my response as I turned around and waited to get checked out. Fortunately, the young man in front of me overheard the encounter and offered to let me pass. This was great because he had a shopping cart full of product.
I went past him and paid for my groceries. The two women behind him had assumed the gentleman would allow them to pass as well since they only had three things.
So as they were making their way past him, he told them they would need to wait their turn ‘because that is what good people do.’
If my daughter had not been feeling so miserable, I would have smiled all the way to my car.”
Doing What He Said
“My two-year-old daughter was potty training and doing a good job. That day, she wanted to wear her big girl panties. She had been doing so for months.
The wait was long at the pharmacy. She needed to use the restroom. I asked if there was a restroom.
The pharmacist barked ‘no’ at me.
I explained the situation and asked if she could just use the employee restroom since we had waited for a half-hour already.
The pharmacist said, ‘She will just have to wet her pants.’
Really? I turned to my child and said, ‘Honey, just pee on the floor here. This place is just one big potty.’
My two-year-old politely squatted and peed all over the floor. The pharmacist was screaming.
I said, ‘Honey, this nice man will clean it up right after he gives me my paper back so we can go somewhere else.’
There were a lot of mothers also waiting and everyone found it quite funny but the pharmacist. I went back to that place a few years later and they had installed a public restroom.”
Not A Good Boss
“I’m a cashier at a small local grocery store. One time, I was working a morning shift with a supervisor I had only worked with a few times before. A man came through my line and practically threw his groceries (a bunch of canned goods) at me. After I finished scanning and bagging his items, I asked him if he had a rewards card. During this interaction, he had started a conversation with my supervisor. They appeared to be good friends. Either he didn’t hear me ask for his card or he deliberately ignored me, but he didn’t reply. I figured I shouldn’t bother him since he seemed to be in a bad mood when he threw his cans at me, so I didn’t ask for his rewards card again.
When I told him his total, he suddenly got angry and yelled, ‘You have to ask for my rewards card! You aren’t allowed to forget to ask those questions!’
In my mind, I was thinking, ‘If you’re so concerned about it, then you should have been paying attention.’
I then asked for his phone number so I could look up his rewards card. The screen shows you the name of the person, and I usually don’t bother to double-check because I figure people should know their own phone number.
After I clicked out of the rewards screen, he then said, ‘Tell me my name. You have to tell me my name so I can make sure you got it right.’
At this point, I feel like I’m either going to burst into tears or punch him in the face. In order to bring the rewards screen back up, I had to type in his phone number again, which meant I have to ask him for his number again. After it was all said and done, my supervisor seemed happy as can be for being able to catch up with an old pal. I’ve lost all respect for her now due to this interaction, frequently leaving me by myself to talk with friends, and distracting my customers while I’m trying to check them out.
About a week later, the same man went through my coworker’s line and did practically the same thing to her. I guess some people’s purpose in life is to make others feel miserable.”
She Should Not Have Said That
“I did my grocery shopping and must say, I did have quite a full cart. I started to unload my cart as quickly as possible and put everything on the conveyor belt. An older woman came into the line and as she came into the line, she let out a huge sigh and said, ‘Oh boy, here we go, you people always hold up the line.’
I wanted to say something, but I just ignored her. The reference to ‘You people’ took me back, but not by surprise. As I was paying, she once again opened her mouth and said, ‘Well, I haven’t got all day.’
I responded and I said, ‘Well, I do’ and proceeded to punch in every digit of my PIN code slowly as possible. I got my receipt, told the cashier to have a wonderful day, and began whistling my way out of the store.
Sometimes you just have to laugh at the ignorance of others. Life goes on and karma will definitely come knocking at their door.”