Better Living Through Mathematics

I love grocery store checkers and I know they have a hard job. I once had that job and was always the slowest, most pathetic cashier in the store. I know this because they had a poster in the break room with everyone’s speed and accuracy ranking. My feet, legs, back, and arms ached by the end of the day and I hoped I was getting faster, but according to el sheeto del ranko, I was the lowest of the low and pretty much stayed there. I have a deep respect for those who can do it and do it well.

That said, I just about had a rumble with my local snooty grocery store checker this week (The store is snooty, not the checker. She is just very very confused). This is the store that I go to just to get the door-busters and then run screaming away from. This is the store with the $1.00/lb bananas (non-organic, mind you). Sadly this is by far the closest store to my home and it is beautiful and warm and fuzzy and sells a large selection of exotic plants and foods, beautiful baked goods and books for 25% off the publisher’s list price. I love this store, but oh how I hate it.

Last week they had Prego on sale — buy1 get 1 free. So the normal price ranges from $2.59-$2.79 per bottle. Ya still with me? I bought something like 20 bottles for my food storage because we go through the stuff like water. I also had a coupon for $1.00 off when you buy 2 bottles.

After ringing my order through, she attempted to scan my coupon but got an error message. From my experience as a checker and just a person who has been to a grocery store before, I know that coupons often don’t scan properly and need to be entered manually. She was not aware of this and handed the coupon back.

Checker: You can’t use this.
Me: You could probably just enter it manually.
Checker: It won’t go through.
Me: I know I bought at least three bottles. So, it should be valid.
Ch: Let me print the receipt and we’ll have a look. Okay, see, here’s why it won’t work. You’re trying to get more money using this coupon than you actually paid for the sauce.
Me: Waaaa…..?
Ch(sort of annoyed at my idiocy): Look, the original price for the sauce was $2.79/bottle. Then down here, your special value deal took off the discount of $2.59/bottle. So the Prego only cost you 20cents in the first place and you’re trying to get a dollar off on top of that.
Me: No, because they’re two for one. So the deductions are just the price of the free bottles being deducted. I still paid about $1.40 for each bottle.
Ch: You’re trying to make money off the deal. This doesn’t make any sense.
Me: No… sure doesn’t.

I then re-explain calmly how a 2-for-1 works and she somewhat frantically explains how I am trying to rip off the store and put them out of business for a measly dollar. I wouldn’t have cared if she’d just said, we don’t take coupons on sale items. I would have walked away. But the MATH…..I just can’t let it go. She looks at me like I’m the biggest moron/con-artist ever to live. How sick am I? Oh no, I must be avenged. I will not budge.

Ch: Your total is $47.69.
Me: What about the coupon?
Ch: We’ll get it figured out after you pay?
Me: After I pay?
Ch (looking at me like, “DUH”): Yes, ma’am.
Me: O….Kaaaayyyyyy

So I pay for the stuff and she calls her manager over. The checker explains how I am trying to rip off the store with my coupon scam.

Manager: That doesn’t make any sense.

The manager rings the coupon through and hands me a dollar with a wide-eyed, why-me look on her face that says, “I am so, so deeply sorry.” Meanwhile the checker looks aghast that I am getting away with this fraud. I truly hope the manager will explain it all to her some time. I was too tired.

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One Response to Better Living Through Mathematics

  1. Heather says:

    Keep fighting the power! I LOVE it!!!

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