Saturday, October 17, 2009

What am I demanding? Justice? Consistency?

Today at the store, I really needed relief for my sore throat, but I knew I still had to purchase my prescription later, so I thought it would be ok to take just the one, and then buy the box with my purchase. We've all done that before, right? I've seen others do it many times. I've done it myself more than once.

Well, for some reason, I wanted to be extra up front about it so as to not make anybody feel nervous if they happened to see me break into a box I hadn't purchased yet so I asked the lady.

"Would it be ok if I took one of these now and payed for the box with my prescription that you are filling?"

"Yeah, sure, you just need to pay for it now."

OK... First of all, the answer is No, which is the opposite of "yeah, sure". Secondly... consider this, Mrs. checkout lady... Someone comes in to pick up a prescription and hands you an already opened box of lozenges as if to pay for it as well. How would you react in that situation? No reaction at all, perhaps? Certainly you wouldn't hand them over to security or even give them a lecture about what they've done.

Why then, is this situation really that much different? Sometimes I feel like people are running on some kind of script and are otherwise totally incapable of thinking even the simplest things through without a backup script that fits the situation.

You may say, well, she can't condone that, she would be responsible. Would she not also be responsible for turning in a known "thief" when they attempt to purchase goods which they had previously stolen?

OK, so maybe it's not the lady at fault, but the store policy that thwarts honesty and does little to nothing to catch actual law breaking.

Either way, I lose and the people who aren't so considerate win (in addition to those who are actively trying to steal... as if a thief would ask permission first).

Anyway... just wanted to rant about that. Cheers.


  1. I would have just opened them and then paid with the prescription and skip the whole asking process. I have had many a grocery store adventure involving giving the checkout lady and empty cheese stick wrapper to scan.

  2. Yeah, that's exactly my point. I've done it too. I think we all have. It's just sad that asking forgiveness is better than asking permission in this case. It bothers me because of how wrong it is that it suddenly becomes not ok if you ask to do it where it is otherwise apparently perfectly acceptable.

  3. I think it depends on the store and the person working. I have many times opened a box of crackers to keep a screaming baby happy, I think in that case they are glad that I did it. In your case, you are a grown man and I guess they expect you to keep yourself from screaming. Still not fair, though! Just never ask for permission.

  4. That's what is called "customer no service"...and it's getting worse all the time. I could see the clerk's response if it were a produce that is sold by weight, but...come on....throat lozenges?

    Just the other day, I saw a mom feeding her kid grapes to keep him quiet while shopping. I ran into her again in the produce dept trading her opened-half empty bag for a full one. Hhhhmmmm....I wonder if they weighed the kid coming in and going out?

    Oh tried to do things in the appropriate bad the clerk just didn't "get it".

    If all else fails....SMILE!


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