Tuesday, December 5

Much Ado About Nothing

The other day I reached into my wallet for some money and had a hard time finding it. That's partly because I didn't have very much in there; but I knew I had a little ... somewhere. The problem was I couldn't find the folding stuff among the receipts I had shoved in my wallet. Some housecleaning was in order.

So that evening I sat down with my wallet and register, prepared to dutifully note any debit card or credit card transactions. And no wonder I had trouble finding anything in there; the receipts measured to more than 18 inches laid end to end. Sounds like a lot doesn't it? Makes you think "gee, she should probably do that more often." Well guess what? That was only 3 receipts. Three. So now you're thinking "Aha! Clearly she made a lot of purchases on those 3 occasions." Well clearly you haven't made purchases lately that involved computerized cash registers. Because one of those receipts was about 7 1/2 inches long and had only one purchase listed! I counted up all the transactions, total, for those 3 receipts and it came to a whopping 8 items. I don't get it. Its not like the print is so big that they need all that space. Oh, and that doesn't even include the coupon slips they push on you. Maybe this doesn't bother anyone else. But it drives me crazy to purchase a single greeting card, for example, and receive enough paper to cloth myself with in return (I'm short, it could work).

While I'm on the subject, another thing that bothers me is the way cash transactions are handled these days. I did my bit behind the counter while I was in high school, and I remember being taught to hand the customer their coins first and then their bills. More and more often I get a cashier who slaps the bills down on my open palm and then piles the coins on top. Since I've usually got my wallet in my other hand it requires some juggling to put the money away. And you know, there's all those receipts in the way too. Inevitably, I end up dropping some coins.

I guess its just me, though, because I don't hear other people complaining about this stuff. They complain about other things. There was an article in the paper a few days ago saying that manufacturers were responding to customer complaints about the plastic "clam shell" packaging. Apparently in the future we will have kinder, gentler packaging. Half the contents will probably be missing but you'll be able to get to whatever is left a lot easier. This is because people complained about having to cut away at the plastic with a knife to get the packaging open, and it seems people sometimes miss the packaging and open an artery instead.

Okay, that's a problem. But I think people are looking at it all wrong. Its a question of perspective. Rather than seeing the risk, they need to concentrate on the opportunity. How often do you get to maniacally hack away with a serrated edge without raising eyebrows? You can vent a lot of frustration on those packages. Gives new meaning to the phrase "retail therapy." Without the packaging to deal with we'll need another outlet. And the cashier is just too convenient. I can see the headlines now. "Cashier Found Tied Up With Register Receipts, Mouth Full of Pennies." That's assault, right? But not robbery. Because the assailant did pay. The trouble began when he got his change back. With receipts.


Sheryl said...

You crack me up woman. I hear ya on the retail therapy. I practice your version on a semi-regular basis.

btuda said...

I LOL, then remembered I'm working retail this Christmas. Not much I can do about the reciepts, but I will try to remember to allow ample time for coins to be put away.

Maybe that's why so many people are asking to have their reciepts put in the bag. They need a handle to carry it!

McB said...

Btuda ... just remember ...


GatorPerson said...

COINS FIRST, ALWAYS. Don't those kiddies know any better? Yep, I complain.

See, here's the problem: The new, spiffy cash registers tell the dodos what the amount is they're supposed to return. We, of the dark ages, were taught to say the amount the customer was spending, then count the money into the customer's hand, starting with the pennies until we reached the amount they handed us.

Ah, progress. I also hate the dish drainers that won't hold my dishes without falling over. Ah, progress.

Well, I'll be snockered. This thing wants a confirmation. I do miss that over at the Bar & Grill.

hsgzjvw: He Said "Give Zesty Jellybeans. Very Wonderful."

Lou said...

Oh God, do I hear you sista. I too learned how to count cash back a long time ago. Now, I get a wad (a REALLY LARGE wad) of paper and bills together, then coins on top. It's tough enough to separate the bills and the paper, not to mention that the paper needs to be kept so that I will subtract it from my check register (ATM cards, bless thema) - then somehow the coins have to be dealt with. I need 4 hands! And have you noticed that now that we have these wonderful computers, the purchase takes 3 times a long because of all the wad of paper being printed out. Not to mention, that prior to computers, if the electricity went out, the store could still do business by lighting candles and using the cash register (what a concept). And yes, I know that inventory, etc., is tied in with sales in the computer, I'm just whining.

Cary said...

Oooh. Hot button issue here! Yep, I've seen those receipts - buy one item at the computer store, get a receipt that folds into a book.

And I love the blank look on the kid's face when you hand him $2.03 for a $1.53 purchase. Just yesterday, the gal at Taco Del Mar told me I'd give her too much.

And lo, the poor soul who enters your cash tendered amount wrong. The blank look on their face as they try to figure out your change. I feel so sorry for this new generation - no math skills. In my day, all we needed was a good abacus, a wax tablet, and a stick for a stylus. ;<)