Ask For A Receipt Then Check It
When I was a youngster, I went grocery shopping with my Mom each week. I’ll always remember her teaching me to ask for a receipt, then check it against your purchases when you get home.
On more than one occasion, she’d drag us back to the supermarket because the cashier had overcharged her for an item. And there were more than a few occasions when she’d drag us back even faster when the cashier failed to charge her for an item or two, or gave her too much change.
If the cashier owed her money she’d go to the manager, (She knew them all on a first-name basis), and she’d show him the register receipt. She’d tell him not to hold it against the employee: Everybody made mistakes.
When the cashier gave her too much change, or failed to charge her for an item, my Mom would patiently wait around until no one was around, and quietly return the overage to the cashier. As far as she was concerned, the manager didn’t have to know everything.
“I don’t want a cashier to lose their job just because I kept a dollar or fifty cents. (Remember, back in the 50’s and the 60’s, fifty cents was fifty cents.)
“They need their jobs.”
When you think about it, my Mom and other Moms like her created the concept of street cred.
Exam Time Means Sunflower Seeds
So, let’s fast forward to Wednesday morning. I’d driven my daughter to school because this is midterms and finals week. Since the beginning of time, or at least since she’s been taking midterms and finals, she gets a good breakfast and gets to relax to Mozart on the way to school.
On the way to my office, I decided to stop at a Mobil station and purchase the newspapers, some truly rot-gut coffee and a Drake’s Cake. While there, I noticed they had Sunflower seeds in stock. These were the Jumbo seeds, for a tagged price of $1.49 a bag.
Before I continue, my daughter studies and does her homework best while enjoying sunflower seeds. Some kids blast music: She’s a Seeder.
I prefer her choice.
So, purchasing three (3) Jumbo Bags of Original Sunflower Seeds for just $1.49 each was a real bargain. Nothing like keeping the seed supply cabinet fully stocked, I say.
So, I happily brought the three bags of seeds, newspapers, stomach-acid supplement, and cake to the counter. When the clerk behind the counter totalled everything he told me it was $12.54.
When I heard the total, something didn’t sit quite right with me, so I asked him for a receipt. Twice. He finally complied, and I returned to my car.
Mom would be proud because while studying my receipt I saw the clerk charged me $2.19 for each bag of seeds. So, instead of paying $4.47, I’d been charged $6.57. Now to some of you, $2.10 may not sound like a lot, but I have to generate an average of $26.00 in gross revenue to net $2.10.
So, I returned to the store and showed the young man his error. His explanation? “That’s what the computer says.”
What Is This? Colossus, The Forbin Project?
I told him I didn’t care what the obviously poorly programmed computer said. The price of $1.49 was clearly stamped on each bag. He huffed and he puffed and I stood my ground. He again insisted he charged me the correct price.
“Tell you what” I said. “Either you give me my $2.10, or you can have everything back and return all of my money. Don’t take to long to think about it, because I’m not going anywhere. The line will get long and this won’t be friendly.”
Grudgingly, he returned the $2.10. He kept the receipt, but that’s okay.
I’m going to keep the bags as proof.
Well, two of them anyway. She’s got an AP B/C calc midterm in the morning. One bag is already gone.