“Please don't scan that in self check. Here, let me scan it for you.”
If a cashier says that to you, that should be an indication that it isn't going to work. One customer didn't heed such advice from me on one occasion and proceeded to get rude. He was attempting to scan a heavy bag of concrete on the self check machine. We didn't allow those at this store, as it was common for the bags to break in process and ruin the machine or get all over the customer.
The fact that I was manning 4 self check machines, as well as my own register, yet still offered to help him should have been an indication that he needed me to do it. I nicely attempted to come scan it for him with my handheld scanner. However, he insisted on doing it anyway. Lo and behold, the bag of concrete broke across the machine, causing us to have to call for an expensive repair. Even so, I politely ran and grabbed him another bag of concrete, scanned it myself, and sent him on his way.
Sometimes you just have to let people figure things out for themselves. He was pretty polite after that and upon return visits always chose my line and never scanned his own concrete again. Sometimes what can be perceived as rude may just be a preference of independence or someone having a bad day.
Speak another language, eh? No problem.
One busy day, while working customers quickly through my line, I heard two women speaking in French. No problem with that part. However, what they were doing was speaking in French to cover up the fact that they were making fun of one of my co-workers, who happened to be an extremely nice lady.
She hadn't done anything wrong to them. They simply didn't like her looks, as well as a few other superficial things. Now, some people might get upset, but instead I chose to to give the same excellent service I always do – but in French. I wasn't rude, nor did I say anything at all about their rude behavior. I simply killed them with kindness.
The expressions on their faces were great when I started speaking in French and they were shocked as I completed the entire transaction that way. I doubt they were expecting that. The next time they came in the store, they were extremely friendly to both myself and the co-worker they were so rude to before. Imagine that.
I have many more stories like these, as I've worked in customer service since I was a teenager. But maybe I'll save some of the others to tell you about another day.
*I originally published a version of this on another network (no longer published there).