Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Scene In Which I Ruin The Cashier's Day

Today I was out and about running several errands on the northside, and though I was still a bit far from home, stopped at a Kroger up there to pick up a few items.

(Side note: HOLY HELL, are northside groceries nice!)

I grabbed the couple items I needed and proceeded to the checkout, where I chose the "5 to 15 ITEMS" line because I had 6 items, thankyouverymuch, and didn't want to wait in the "UNDER 5 ITEMS" line or the "ALL OTHER ITEMS" line.

And met "A," the cashier. (Names have been shortened to protect the innocent.)

Who, I now feel, may have been strategically placed in the 5 to 15 item line. Because his pace reaaaaally wasn't fast enough to placate someone with only 1 or 2 items and, forced into the large-item-load line, might have spontaneously combusted with indignation. There was a liiiitle bit of an OCD thing going on.

At any rate, after uttering a string of phrases that I could only assume related to paper versus plastic bags (though possibly not, since unable to understand I just said "Paper!" to his inquiry, and wound up with plastic), he asked, "Kroger card?"

"No, actually, I don't have one." I replied.

Which is strange, because being that it's one of the larger grocery chains in the city (including one literally within walking distance of my house) so you'd think I'd be able to produce one from the depths of my purse.


What you've got to take into effect here is that my closest Kroger hasn't earned the nickname Kroghetto on it's own. No, friends, it's taken YEARS of sad neglect to accomplish this mean feat. I'm not even kidding, there aren't words to describe the depression of shopping there. I literally get in my car, drive PAST it, and go to another grocery store 10 minutes away for groceries.

Lest you think I'm dramatic, I challenge you to come down here and shop here, holes in the floor and all. And deal with interactions like this one, circa 2007 or so:

Me to Employee: "Hi. Do you have citronella candles?"
Employee: "What are those?"
Me: "They're larger candles to burn outside....they keep bugs away?"
Employee: .......
Me: (Seriously??) "They're probably by the bugspray? If you have that?"
Employee: "Well, I don't KNOW if we have them, but if we do, then yeah, they'd probably be by the bugspray."
Me: (Wow. You don't say.) "And where's that?"
Employee: "By the seasonal stuff."
Me: (annnnnnd that would be where......?)"Ok....."
Employee: "You're welcome!"

Given this level of customer service it's rather unsurprising that I choose to shop elsewhere, and that I haven't been offered a card when I've stated that I didn't have one during checkout. IN FIVE YEARS.

So you can imagine my level of shock when A stopped what he was doing, secured me a card, scanned it,and handed it over.

I was elated!

Until he handed me the registration form to fill out.

Which I don't like to do.

Because, I mean, COME ON. I hate these things. You'd think it would be enough to know that I prefer to buy organic bananas over any others. That I am bizarrely fond of Asian Sensations General Tso's frozen chicken. That I buy milk nearly every time I'm at the store but rarely buy cereal (oh my god, what does she use it for? she never buys cereal!). That I have a fondness for mild cheddar cheese and that I have not purchased a caffienated drink since October BUT NO, THEY ALSO WANT TO KNOW WHERE I LIVE.

Well, tough.

So I filled out my first name and last initial, and my zip code. Because I'm not above giving the folks what they need for demographic research, I just don't want my mailbox filled with junk.

A took this as a personal affront to his kind gift of a card.

"Can you fill out your address please," he requested.

"No thanks. Not if it's not absolutely required for a card," I said, reasonably I thought- especially as I KNOW it's not required, it's just PREFERRED, so that the store and/or their "affiliates" can track my information and use it to back up studies of why we should increase the amount of cage-free eggs at my local store because many people in my age range that live there buy them. And then send me mail regarding the fact that they have them. And coupons. And mail about other unrelated products.

Unfortunately, this may have triggered the OCD a bit for A. Because, I'm sure, the employees are trained to do everything they can to GATHER! THAT! INFORMATION!

"Can you JUST FILL IT OUT?" he asked, growing agitated.

"Nope, I really don't like to. Is it required?"


"Thanks, but I'm fine with this the way it is."


"It really won't help anything," I said (because I do have a number that I give out that's not actually a number I use.) "It's not tied to an address, and I don't have a phone extension hooked up to it."

"WE DON'T SELL YOUR NUMBER!" he practially spewed. "JUST WRITE IT!"

"Yes, but I'm just not going to do that. You can have the card back."

"IT DOESN'T MATTER!" he said....though to what, I don't know.

Muttering what I can only assume were curses under his breath, he snatched the card out of my hand and made a dramatic show of crumpling it and tossing it into the trash at his feet.

And that's the story of how I'm pretty sure I ruined A's day.

But I did save $1.98.

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