Tuesday, September 30, 2008

No good deed goes unpunished.

I like to think of myself as a courteous person. Or as the CFO would say TOO courteous. I even let people over in traffic. In the past I would get angry if you did not wave to say "thank you" if I let you over as I would then need to pass you as punishment:) But I have let that one go. As another cost savings in the house I now go grocery shopping once a week after the kids are in bed. Don't worry, the CFO stay at home:) If I go without them then I can take my time to be sure I am getting the best deal. Why is it that sometimes "value sized" does not mean value priced? So, last night I went to the Winn Dixie as I had a $10 off $75 coupon. By the time I got to the register it was 9:30. As you may know, at that time of night there is usually only one cashier. You may also know that there is also usually some idiot buying a ton of groceries clogging up the line. Last night, I was that idiot:) I was waiting to be next when I noticed a young man (kid) behind me in line with two things to buy. I had great empathy for him so I smiled and said "you can go in front of me, no reason for you to wait." He was VERY appreciative. All was good until he swiped his debit card. Huh, it didn't work. Here is a summarized recount of the next 15 minutes, I am not exaggerating.

Customer: It didn't work.
Cashier: Try it again.
Customer: It still didn't work.
Cashier: What does the screen say?
Customer: It says to hand it to the cashier.
Cashier: Let me try it.... It did not work for me either. Let me try something.
Cashier then takes one of the grocery bags, puts the card in the bag and tries swiping it again. This is a trick that often works, no really, it does.
Cashier: I will just punch in the number... Oh, it is asking for an imprint of the card, we don't do that anymore.
Cashier: Let me get someone... Over the intercom "Sally (don't remember her real name) to lane three, Sally to lane three" He should have said "Sally, get up to the front ASAP as I am the only register open and an angry mob will attack me soon if I don't get the line moving.
At this point I could see the young man (kid) sweating and feeling VERY embarrassed. It was like they just did a price check on tampons for him:) So I looked him dead in the eye and said "don't worry about it, I am in no hurry." Which I wasn't, but my frozen and refrigerated items were beginning to sweat more than him.
Sally: Did you try..... he has to give her the play by play of what he has tried already.
Sally: Here, let me try... another swipe, then another bag.... She calls for backup... Over the intercom: "Mr. Fartendumper (definitely not his real name) to isle three, Mr. Fartendumper to isle three"
Imagine you hear the Jeopardy theme song for about a minute while everyone looks at each other... Sally repeats the page....
Mr. F: Have you tried.... Sally and the cashier alternately give him a recount of everything that has happened up until this point. By this time I was starting to run out of tabloids to look at and I was pondering actually reading an article in a magazine. This is serious....
Mr. F: Here, let me try... Being the Manager he pulls out the ever important "Manager Keys." I am not sure what all those keys go to but I would love to have a set as they always seem to solve any problem that arises. Just imagine a superhero... Tadadada! It's a sea lion, it's a baby elephant, no it's Captain Keys..... With a single key he rights all wrongs! But I digress.....
Mr. F: There you go... Have a great night.
More Jeopardy music while the customer looks at the screen on the swipe device and the cashier looks at the register. At this point I am looking at how to make festive sugar free meals for the holidays. Yes, I was down to the bottom rack of magazines. The customer's look of hope soon began to fade into disbelief....
Customer: It says "processing."
Cashier: Mine says "ask customer if they want cash back." Another call for Mr. F over the intercom.
Mr. F: I'll fix it this time.... more keys...
Mr. F: See it was.... he goes into a diatribe of there issues with running debit cards vs. credit cards.
I am still giggling to myself at this point about the whole matter. I am so bored that I am actually starting to feel sympathy for all the stars in the tabloids.... this is getting ugly. My frozen foods are now refrigerated foods and I have mentally changed the "sell by" date on all refrigerated foods to 9/30.
Cashier: You need to press the OK button.
Customer: Thank you.

Believe it or not, that is the short version. I have always said "The truth hurts some people, I have learned to live with it." I know that I always choose the wrong line or lane so I have become OK with that truth in life. Heck, if I let things at the grocery store frustrate me the Triplets would send me to the Not-So-Funny Farm:)

More pictures from our weekend excursion to the aquarium.

Not much gets past William.

William is calculating the surface area of the wings vs. the mass of the butterfly and thinking "so extrapolating this into a formula, I can easily calculate how big wings need to be for me to fly."

Sometimes the appropriate response to reality is to go insane.
Philip K. Dick (1928 - 1982)


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