Thursday, April 29, 2010

Watch The Scanners

Twice in one day? Say it ain't so, Supermarket Joe!

I went first to Walmart Supercenter, land of low grocery prices, in search of the usual few items, but with an additional special order given me by Sweet Tooth, the mastermind behind the secret candy diet, only this time the orders were to get a pie, any pie, at all costs. My orders were not to return without a pie, so, naturally, at what I knew was great danger to myself, I went looking for the other things on my mental list first. Only when the shopping cart was approaching my wallet's ceiling did I bother with pie. By all the luck of my Irish ancestors, there sitting on a forlorn bargain shelf at the end of the dairy section, amongst the stale loafs of bread and crumbly packages of cookies, was one pie, and although it was missing most of the edge of the crust on one side, it was otherwise intact.

Being a captive of the Island of Misfit Pastries, it was marked down in price, to only $2.40. The price, however, was on the bottom of the box, so you had to turn the pie over to see it. I made a mental note to watch the low-wage scanner when he/she rang up the bill.

At checkout I watched, anxiously waiting for Pumpkin Pie to cross the finish line, when the price of $4.00 appeared on the screen just as Pie was stuffed into a plastic bag. After I pointed out this grievous error, the amount of $4.00 was subtracted and the correct figure substituted. It was a happy "I got a bargain because of my vigilance" moment, but I wondered how many others were cheated out of enjoying discount pie, never bothering to check their receipts.

Then I was off for 99¢ Only, the store that happily brings you stuff that is almost past its expiration date (though you shouldn't worry too much about those) on orders again from Sweet Tooth, this time for bargain Easter candy. I settled on chocolate-covered marshmallow Peeps, for only 4 for 99.9¢. Imagine my concern, then, when the clerk at checkout rang up $2.00 worth of Peeps and I noticed the number 8 after Peep on the big ring 'em up screen? Had I, in a moment of Peep passion, grabbed eight of the cute little chicks instead of four? No, only four (I can count, you know; I learned to do it in the backyard taking orders for mud pies), so I asked the checkout lady what was going on. She had an expression as though she'd been caught in a criminal act, which was quite possible, but dutifully removed four Peeps from my total.

All in all it was a satisfy shopping excursion. But the lesson is, don't steal unless you can do it on a really large scale, like supermarket chains do. Oh, and if you're a grocery shopper, WATCH THOSE SCANNERS!


  1. Haha.
    I hate cashiers like that.
    I'm a cashier, but I'm a good cashier, and I try to minimize my mistakes!

  2. All the stores need to clone you!

    Actually, I think most cashiers do a good job.


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