Enough With The Courtesy

Due to the rain and my ultimate laziness the other day, I didn’t want to go all the way to Trader Joe’s. So I took a quick jaunt down to Pavilions just to get a few things. I’m all for conversation with the cashiers and/or hello’s, goodbye’s, have a nice day’s and thank you’s. But I draw the line at this inane ritual that takes place at Pavilions during the handing over of the receipt.

Again let me reiterate, I only shop at Trader Joe’s. Only. I love the food, the lack of “In Touch” Magazine at the counter, the lack of processed refined sugar cakes and overwhelmingly large aisles.

Anyway, I guess I saved fifty-two cents or some such bargain today because confetti practically dropped from the ceiling as the cashier handed me my receipt. Whatever happened to throwing it in the bag? He tried to pronounce my name. He handed me the receipt, TOOK IT BACK to read my name off it, as I waited, bag in hand ready to go. “Thank you Mrs. Kier, Ker, Kirkland, Kirman?” K-I-R-K-M-A-N. Not that hard. Kirk, think Kirk Cameron. Man, think a very common word in the English language which means opposite of woman.

This guy was not from another land. English was his first language (or else I wouldn’t be such a dick about it.) Now, I’m boiled and annoyed that youth of today can’t pronounce, KIRKMAN. He is not deciphering handwriting. He is reading it off a fucking receipt.

I nod, “Yeah. Yeah. Kirkman. Thanks. Okay.” I make a swipe for my receipt. I’m almost stabbed in the palm because now this cashier has his pen out and he’s circling something on the receipt. “Thank you Mrs. Kier, Ker, Kiman? You have saved fifty-two cents.”

Okay. I saved fifty-two cents. Yeah. I fucking know. When I swiped that Pavilions card (that you guys made me get last year even after my insistence that I only come in once a year) and the screen said “savings fifty-two cents”. I saw it on the bottom of the receipt when I watched it flow out of the printer. I saw it when my total went from $11.92 to $11.40. The saving of fifty-two cents has flashed before my eyes many times. And you know what? I got it each time! I’m smart!

He still held on to my receipt. He CONTINUED to explain my savings to me. He circled somewhere else on the receipt. Up where it said the original total. He started explaining about subtracting fifty-two. I grabbed the receipt. I hated to be rude but I’m so sick of being polite when it’s utterly inconvenient. “I got it. I won’t blow it all in one place.” Hacky, on my part but I had to get out of there.

I know that some middle management fucko somewhere thinks he’s real smart, probably even got a raise or got to keep his job over this one. “Hey Boss, what if we make our cashiers call the people by their first names? Nah, forget the fact that most teenagers can’t read anymore, they can stammer and stutter and take up to ten minutes to pronounce the person’s name because, people love to be called by name! It’s so polite! It makes people feel important.”

I don’t need some crummy “personal touch” because my ego is so fragile and I don’t get enough love that I need to be called by my name. I’m just a dumb-ass who needed some apples. I don’t need to be called by name. Don’t call me by name. Just make eye contact. That’s nice sometimes.

I want to say to this cashier. “It’s not that I’m rude. I’m old school. I want to free you from this bullshit that corporations make you do. A real personal touch would be not jacking up prices only to slightly lower them with a dumb card. You don’t have to learn my name or circle my savings. Get going on the next customer. Take a sip of Diet Coke. I want you to have these precious 90 seconds back. You need them. I was voted Fastest Cashier at Roche Brothers from 1987-1989 in Needham, Ma. And I didn’t get that title by giving people’s receipt an audit in line. Keep it moving and everyone’s happy.”


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