Friday, April 22, 2011
Lesson 1: Stand Your Ground!
I have that same habit I'm sure a lot of you have. The one where you wander around the kitchen like a lost soul, opening and reopening the refridgerator door praying for something delicious to magically materialize in the pantry. The sad truth is this never happens, as I'm sure you are all aware.
So for me, leftover porkchops, stale hotdog buns and some deli cheese sounded like something I could work with. Sliced pork sandwiches it is.
My roommate offered to pay for whatever else I needed, which I decided was an onion and a red and green bell pepper. I figured I could saute the onions and peppers for a bit, then layer it all in the hotdog buns along with some sliced porkchops and cheese. Throw it under the broiler and hey, I've got something semi-healthy that both my roommate and boyfriend will eat.
I picked up what I needed at Albertsons, along with some special requests for my roommate, since he was paying. At the checkout counter I was ready for my total...and it was wrong. I quietly said to the girl behind the counter, "I'm sorry, but the price on the red bell pepper is wrong. It should be $1.98, not $2.49."
She looked at me with a condescending "I'm too pretty to be a checkout girl and I know it" look and asked, "Are you sure?"
"Yes I'm sure."
"Well I'm going to have to go check. And then I'll have to void it off, and then a manager is going to have to come and override..." Her voice trailed off and was replaced by the loud smacking of her gum.
I knew what she was trying to do. She was trying to make me feel guilty for making all the nice people wait in line while someone fixed my $0.51 dilemma. And I'm not going to lie, it was working. I could sense the tension of squirming people behind me, all of them doubting their earlier decision to get behind the girl with five items in her grocery basket. All of them duped by the possibility of a swift checkout. They seemed annoyed and angry, so I followed the cardinal rule of anyone taking up time at the cash register: I didn't make eye contact.
"Oh that's okay," I said. "I'll wait." Then I threw in a sweet smile just for the fun of it.
She left to check the correct price. People behind me started doing the "checkout dance" as I call it, when they try to calculate if switching to another line would save them more time than waiting in this one. Some stayed, some took the risk and line jumped.
She returned. "It was $1.98" she said sternly. She took a deap breath, "But now I'm going to have to get a manager to override this price differential. I don't know where she is right now."
Should've line jumped.
I stared blankly. She stared back. A real mexican standoff in the middle of Albertsons. "I'll wait," I said. She picked up the phone and called for the manager over the loudspeaker.
Right now I'm spending an average of $434.74 on groceries for both me and my boyfriend. Per month. Damn right I'll wait.
Miss Manager came over, punched some buttons in the screen and reduced the price of the pepper to $0.00. The clerk stammered, and the manager replied that if the price of an item is wrong, the customer gets it for free.
Score. Free red pepper.