This morning I had a few errands to run. I had to mail a thing for Christopher, pick up a few things at Target, swing by the place where I have an interview tomorrow (so I know how to get there), and then stop for just a couple of items at the grocery near home.
So, I went to the nearby mall with the Target first, because there’s a post office in the mall. However, unlike the POs in the neighborhood, it seems that this one doesn’t open until 9:30 and I was there at 8:40. Damn. Oh well, at least I could get what I needed at Target. Found a couple of tops and some cropped pants on sale for me, and picked up toothpaste for Christopher (who doesn’t like mine). Unfortunately, they had no decent coffee-makers (our leaked massively again this morning, something it does from time to time, so I thought I’d see what’s out there) and were out of folic acid. “Oh well,” thought I, “I’ll just get some t-shirts for Christopher.”
I get to the men’s t-shirt section and it looks like the beer section in a Miami carryout before a hurricane. Damn damn. I went to check out.
Never even saying “hi,” the girl scans the items I had while continuing her conversation with a colleague. I handed the girl the Amex gift card we had with about $30 on it and said I’d put the rest on my check card. She says, “you mean your debit card” and I said no, it’s a credit card. See, if you choose “debit” with some systems, you’ll get charged a fee so you should always use check cards as “credit” when checking out. Anyway, she said “This (holding the gift card) is a credit card in our system, and you can only use one credit card.”
“No. See, this (again holding the gift card) is a credit card. We can only process one credit card. So you choose–use the card and pay the rest by check or cash or do something else.”
Her tone, being a bit snotty, just made my hair raise up. I calmly said, “Forget it–the whole thing. I’ve got a friend at corporate and I’m going to complain. This is lunacy.” And I left…with nothing but a bad taste in my mouth.
Then I went to the post office in Normal Heights (after driving by where I’m interviewing tomorrow, so I now know how to get there) and mailed Christopher’s thing. No problem there–the woman at the PO was very nice and helpful and even explained about 4 different ways I could send it to get confirmation, which we wanted. Great customer service…and this was at a US post office of all places.
On to Vons to get stuff for dinner tonight: one lemon, one zuke, one yellow squash. Easily found, I went to the express lane, prepared to zip through with cash in hand. The bleach-blonde girl scans the lemon. On the screen behind her it says, “1 lemon @2/$1.00 $.50.” She scans the lemon again. It repeats what it said before and I look at her wondering why she did that. Again, she scans the damn lemon, while my mouth hangs open in incredulity. She then asks a woman at the next register, in perfect surfer-girl-ese, “Does this go by weight or number?” and, when turning to look at the woman, sees the screen that now says:
1 lemon @2/$1.00 $.50
1 lemon @2/$1.00 $.50
1 lemon @2/$1.00 $.50
“Oh,” she says, “um…how do I get rid of these?” she asks, holding up the lemon to her 40-something colleague. After looking at the blonde for a second with a what-the-hell-are-you-talking-about expression, it dawns on the woman what Blondie means.
“Void it” the woman responds, and tells her the steps; however, that seems to be way too complicated for Blondie. She screws it up and calls the manager.
He comes over and shows her what to do, twice (after I mentioned that it was over-rung twice). As he starts to leave she holds up the zuke and looks at the manager with doe-eyes. He immediately says, “4371″ which she enters and then she holds up the yellow squash with a child-like “and this?” He again gives her the code, with a smile like she’s just the cutest thing ever, and she rings it up.
Remember, this is the EXPRESS LANE.
“Your total is $1.59″ she sing-songs at me. I hand her, all at once, a $5 bill, two quarters and a dime. She says, “out of $5.00…no wait, out of $5.50…no, that’s not…um…okay out of $5.60.”
At this point I’m whapping my head against the little stand on which one usually writes checks or signs credit slips. After much fumbling with the $1s, she hands me my change and I (finally) leave the store.
Just outside the door is a guy shilling for contributions to a christian homeless shelter.
“Sorry,” I mumble in passing. I really hate people begging outside of grocery stores like that and I particluarly loathe dealing with pushy Christians all the time.
“God bless you anyway” he responds.
It’s all I can do not to throttle the well-meaning man.
If he had said something like “Jesus loves you anyway” I’m pretty sure I’d be writing this from a jail cell.