Friday, July 15, 2011

Well I Never

I am a firm believer in saving money, however I also have very little patience in a check out line. Yesterday I was standing in line in Wal-mart trying to purchase some Diet Coke with lime. The little lady in front of me was purchasing a bag of iceberg salad mix, one yellow squash, a cucumber, and a bunch of bananas. To set the seen she had on her "Sunday-go-to-meeting" outfit complete with matching hat, purse, and shoes - no doubt the gloves were in the purse. (And it was only Thursday.)

As the cashier rang up her items, the lady commented, "Now, that lettuce should be a dollar fifty." "Nom', it says here a dollar sixty eight cents." "Well the sticker on the shelf says one dollar fifty." "Mam, I just go by this here machine and it says a dollar sixty eight." "Hm." And, the cashier continued to ring up the remaining items.

"Now, those squash were seventy eight cents a pound." "Yes mam." "So don't tell me it weighs a pound." "Must not 'cause it says fifty eight cents." I could tell from the look on the cashier's eyes, she feared the lady was going ask her to do the math on that one. But she was spared. "That'll be five dollars and seven cents."

The little lady opened her coin purse and handed the cashier a five dollar bill. The cashier stood there with her hand still extended waiting for the rest of the money. The lady just stood there. After a few moments, the lady smiled and said, "You owe me eleven cents." Perplexed, the cashier looked at the five dollar bill in her hand and the amount of five dollars and seven cents on the register. I could see her mentally trying to figure it out. The little lady continued, "The lettuce was only one fifty and you charged me one sixty eight, so you owe me eleven cents."

At this point both the man behind me in line and I were both reaching in our pockets for eighteen cents to spare everyone the pain of this situation. The cashier didn't know what to do. She was three times the size of this slight of a woman but you could tell she wasn't willing to pick a fight with her. (Thank God when I worked in my Daddy's drugstore had this issue arisen, I could have just said, "Yes, mam", handed her the eleven cents and be done with it. In Daddy's eyes the customer was always right.) However in today's world, this was going to require a call for a manager over the PA, an override of the system, and some type of documentation.

About that time the little lady took her bag, looked at the cashier and said, "You can keep your seven cents, I still say the sticker said a dollar fifty, I don't care what your machine says." With that, she turned on the patent leather heals of her sensible shoes and left, muttering under her breath, "A dollar sixty eight for lettuce, well I never." I looked at the cashier. "You think that's bad, yesterday, this old man told me he had never paid more than a dime for Baby Ruth and he wasn't going to start now."

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