Can you see yourself in any of these annoying customer profiles?

A lot has been said about Japanese service and the attitude that “the customer is god” but that doesn’t mean there aren’t little things that irk store employees at registers in Japan. Twitter user and trainee supermarket clerk @osamegu121 has drawn a series of humorous images illustrating the everyday encounters that many register staff experience — and it turns out she’s right on the money, with thousands of likes and agreeable comments from fellow store workers around the country.

Let’s take a look at some of the common types of customers that exist in Japan.

1. The Pre-Emptive Customer

In Japan, the store clerk often asks the customer if they would like a bag to carry their goods. This question-answer interaction is one of many small rituals which go largely unnoticed during day-to-day shopping, however some customers, particularly elderly women, throw common rules of courtesy to the wind by immediately throwing out a hasty “iranai“, or “not necessary”, before the clerk even has a chance to ask the question.

1Source: Twitter/@osamegu121

2. The Arguing Duo

This is one we’ve probably all been guilty off at least once in a while — a friend or relative offers to pay for the shopping and a polite refusal turns into an argument over who will pay, until one person eventually overpowers the other with kindness and hands over the money. In the meantime, the store clerk and all the customers waiting in line are silently screaming for the Arguing Duo to hurry up.

3Source: Twitter/@osamegu121

3. The Tape-Loving Customer

In Japan, purchases that don’t require bags are marked with a small piece of sticky tape, usually bearing the store name. Used to indicate that the product has been paid for, this system actually has a large fan base: small children. These young customers have little patience for the purchasing process however, jumping up and down and asking for tape to be put on their products immediately, fraying the nerves of store staff who are trained to follow procedures, which include verbally counting out and naming products as they are checked and leaving the taping of products towards the end of the purchase.

8Source: Twitter/@osamegu121

4. The Small-Changer

There are times when store clerks appreciate small change and there are times when we really want to lighten our pockets too. The Small-Changer, however, shows no regard for details like counting out money, instead dumping all their coins on the tray for the cashier to pick through. @osamegu121 vents her frustration at this by finishing her illustration with a bold “まじか” (majika), meaning “Seriously?”


02Source: Twitter/@osamegu121

5. The Finger-Licker

You don’t have to be a shopkeeper in Japan to know about this one. A technique favoured by older Japanese women in particular, this delightful customer uses saliva to give their finger some traction when picking out a note from their wallet. The obvious problem with this is that the poor store clerk has to touch the note, trying desperately to avoid the wet spot.

03Source: Twitter/@osamegu121

6. The Mute

While most of us know to answer a simple question when asked, The Mute prefers to say nothing. Questions like, “Will you be paying with credit card?”, “Would you like a bag?” and “Would you like some chopsticks?” are met with silence.


05Source: Twitter/@osamegu121

7. The Drooling Product Fondler

Thankfully this is limited to young children around two or three years of age who feel the need to hold their favourite drinks before their parent makes the purchase. Scanning the drink results in the store worker getting “よだれ”, yodare, or drool, all over their hands.

06Source: Twitter/@osamegu121

8. The Disappearing Customer

In Japan, cashiers are taught to give change in a specific manner which almost resembles an art form. After handing out the note portion of the change, the clerk will turn back to the cash register to retrieve the remaining coins, if any, along with the receipt for the customer. When there are no coins and only a receipt left to be given, @osamegu121 says that customers will often disappear, leaving her standing with the receipt in her hand before she has a chance to notice.

08Source: Twitter/@osamegu121

Ah the joys of customer service in Japan! To check out more weird and wonderful supermarket characters, stop by @osamegu121‘s Twitter account, where she has added to the eight customer profiles here with some more humorous anecdotes. If you do happen upon her at the local supermarket, though, remember — behind her polite manner and pretty smile, there’s a little girl that might just look like this.

010Source: Twitter/@osamegu121 (edited by RocketNews24)

Source: Spotlight
Top Image: Twitter/@osamegu121 (1, 2) (edited by RocketNews24)