So, I’m at the grocery store, buying the week’s groceries (plus bananas for poor Muskrat’s tired muscles), and I see in the discount aisle that macaroni and cheese are on sale, four for a dollar. Now, we can eat us some mac n cheese, and 25 cents is a sweet deal. So I tossed a couple handfuls of boxes in the shopping cart (the one with the race car on the front, ever since Baby spent the day with our friends and they introduced her to the racecar concept, since which moment any other cart is beneath her). I noticed, as I passed the regular, non-sale macaroni and cheese aisle, that the price hadn’t been marked down there–an observation which only concerned me because the sale stuff was the regular mac and cheese “dinner” and I vastly prefer the noodle shape in the “rich and creamy” variety. No worries–on to the checkout.
At checkout, Brittany, my very tall and very dour cashier, swiped and rang and beeped through our cartload of value priced, store brand cereal; discount name-brand dairy products; and a 1/2 pie from the bakery overstock rack. I see, as I watch the prices scroll by (I ALWAYS watch to make sure my Price Card goes through), that the mac and cheese is ringing up as 59 cents, with 10 cents off for the value card customer, NOT four for a dollar. I bring this to Brittany’s attention. She brings it to Bagger’s attention. Bagger is about 8000 years old and skinny like a swizzle stick, with graying hair and the early stages of a widow’s hump.
She asks, “What’s it supposed to be?”
Brittany replies, “Well, I GUESS it’s supposed to be four for a dollar.” Because, naturally, I’d lie about a 25 cent difference on a processed pasta product.
Bagger heads off to check the price. I watch her shuffle right on past the sale aisle–which I had pointed out to Brittany as the source of the macaroni–and over to the non-sale aisle. Same product, different sign. She comes back with the sticker from the shelf–she took the sticker off the shelf, people!–reading 59 cents. I point out that it’s on sale on aisle 4, not 6, but tell Brittany that I’ll just complete my purchase and take it up with customer service, since the people behind me have begun grumbling, as in, “It’s for 50 cents. Can you blee dat?” Hard to blame them, since Bagger shuffled like her osteoporosis medicine was years past due, but I didn’t dare risk their increased ire by a prolonged stay.
I leave the cart, Baby, and the Tween at the exit door, pushed off to one side, and head off to locate the sale sign and thereby verify that I’m not, in fact, crazy–if you’re taking someone to the wall over 25 cents, it’s best to be certtain one is on the side of right. Bagger follows me down the aisle. Over my shoulder, beginning to get more miffed, I call, “No need to come with me. I’ll take care of it over at customer service. You head on back–don’t worry about me.” She continues to follow. I get to the sign, bend over and–following the precedent established by Bagger–take the whole sign with me.
Bagger: “You can’t take that whole sign!”
Me: “Um, yes, I can. Watch me do it.”
Bagger: “You gonna need to come back to me anyway, I’ll take it.” She reaches for the sign in my hand and begins to attempt to snatch it from me.
Me: “I’m not going to wrestle you for this sign, lady.” I take it back and march away.
At customer service, I stand behind no fewer than four store employees waiting to make change and one well-dressed woman purchasing a pack of Black and Milds for her holiday celebration. We make small talk, I complain about the issue at hand. She reminds me you gotta “stay on these people. Mmmm, mmmm, mmm.” I get to the front of the line. I repeat my tale of woe. The woman behind the counter takes the box of macaroni, the enormous sign I have wrangled at risk of limb and fetus, and my receipt. I apologize if I’ve taken out my frustration on her. She tells me, “Oh, honey, I didn’t do nothing wrong–we gonna get you all taken care of, now.” She’s lovely.
I collect the children two minutes later, clutching my one free box of macaroni and my $1.31 refund, knowing the world is safe for another day because I traded 15 minutes of my holiday to defend the principle of the Sale Price.
More blogs, more cheapskates here.