December 27, 2004

Zero Tolerance...

A while back I came up with a little phrase I liked. I'm thinking about t-shirts...a veritable "zero tolerance" revolution!

I really could have used this t-shirt yesterday. Allow me to illustrate.

The Place: The local grocery store.
The Time: Early afternoon
The Mood: Cranky. Still groggy.

The first half of the trip was uneventful. I was on-task. I was set to break some sort of grocery store land-speed record. Finished loading my cart with food for the week, I headed to the check-out lanes. As you probably know, picking a lane is a science. Luckily, there was one very close to me that didn't look all that busy. The guy checking out, while he'd bought bunches of stuff, was pretty much done. I moved in. And I was sitting pretty...for about 30 seconds. With the transaction nearly completed, he turned to the cashier.

Asshat: Those peppers you rang up for me? The price on those was wrong. You charged me $0.29 for each and the sign in the produce department says they're two for $0.29. I noticed they rang up wrong when I bought one earlier in the week.

So, that gets me thinking...why didn't this asshat tell this kind lady behind the cash register as she was ringing them up? I was all set to beat him over the head with the many available copies of The Inquirer and start pelting him with Tic Tacs when the checker nodded and seemed to take care of the problem.

With the ringing-up completed, Asshat pulls out a credit card and starts trying to swipe it at the machine thingy. Would you be really and truly shocked if I told you the card wouldn't work? Of course not. He tried several times. The checker then tried about 152 times and even the manager came over to give it a shot. Then, instead of just entering the damn card number, they shoved it inside a plastic bag and tried swiping it a few thousand more times. To no avail. The crack team of checker and manager entered the card number. Then the confusion began.

Asshat: Hmmm. Should I choose credit or debit?
Checker: Whichever works best for you.
Asshat: I just don't know. My wife would probably know.
Checker: Do you need cash back?
Asshat: No.
Checker: Then just go ahead and push 'credit'
Asshat: No, I don't think I want to do that. I want the money to come out of my checking account.
Checker: Sir, either way the money comes out of your checking account.
Asshat: No it doesn't. If I choose 'credit' I'll get a statement and have to pay it later in the month.
Checker: No, sir, that's not the way it works. You have a check card. The money comes out of the same account. You just have to use the debit option if you want money back.
Asshat: Really? I'm not sure I believe you. You promise me I won't get a credit card statment on it later?
Checker: I promise.
Asshat: Are you sure?
Checker: I am.

The pregnant pause that ensued should have ended in the delivery of a litter. I mean, the dude stood there and weighed his options for, no joke, two or three solid minutes. Then he turned around to me, apologized, then pointed at the checker and rolled his eyes as if it was her fault. He eventually, miracle of miracles, chose 'credit' after which he did something that thoroughly amazed me. He pulled out a coupon, laughed and said, "Oh, could you cancel that and let me use this coupon? My wife will kill me if I don't."

There are many lessons here. I think you can probably extrapolate for yourselves. Just remember the mantra - zero tolerance for asshats. Learn it, live it, love it.

Posted by Chris at December 27, 2004 11:41 AM

Yo Chris! If you make tee-shirts... I want one. Just a suggestion... On the back, how bout it reading "THIS MEANS YOU"

Posted by: Scarlett Cyn at December 27, 2004 12:44 PM

Ahh, my weekend job for the last couple of years has been in the local grocery store. I have seen my fair share of asshats. Unfortunately, this particular asshat is an all-to-common one. And I love how he pointed at the cashier and rolled his eyes. Next time I hope she sneezes all over his grapes.

Posted by: tone at December 27, 2004 02:11 PM

I always seem to choose the wrong lane as well! I have no idea what that's all about other than if there is someone with a check-out problem, I am uncontrollably compelled to stand right behind them and spend an extra 5 minutes in line while the line with 10 people two lanes down is checked with 0 problemos. And thanks for the word "extrapolate"...I'm gonna have to see if I can work that one into a conversation at least once today! hehe

Posted by: groovebunny at December 27, 2004 02:28 PM

So where's the shirt? And what are the goals of "ZTFA"?

Nice design. I'm jealous of your mad skills. :)

Posted by: alektra at December 27, 2004 02:31 PM

I'll take two of those shirts...

Posted by: kalisah at December 27, 2004 02:36 PM

LMBO Chris...
*you made me smile*

Posted by: La-Bella at December 27, 2004 03:26 PM

I may have been one of those asshats in the past. Is it just me or does every single store seem to have a different system for debit vs. credit? At one store you give the card to the cashier person and at a different grocery store you select twelve buttons that say "ok" before you swipe your card. Oh well.

Posted by: jessica at December 27, 2004 03:59 PM

I woulda yanked that guy out of the store by his ear and told him to next time send his wife, because he obviously can't handle the task. Amazing that you didn't run your cart over his ankles! lol

Posted by: etherian at December 27, 2004 04:55 PM

oh my GOD i hate grocery store customers. *kicks all the idiots* ... did you happen to shop at my store this weekend? *lol* like you'd make a trip to dallas to go grocery shopping, but still. lol

Posted by: Manda at December 27, 2004 07:36 PM

That guy deserved a swift beating.

But I'm glad you were able to restrain yourself!!

Posted by: Dawn (webmiztris) at December 27, 2004 07:37 PM

"My wife will kill me if I don't."

At that point you say, "I will kill you if you DO."

Posted by: Jon in Michigan at December 27, 2004 08:04 PM

Hmmm...yet another reason for me to get my concealed weapon permit... ;-)

Posted by: Ginny at December 27, 2004 08:18 PM

Oh my God! I love the self checkouts, and since I used to do retail I'm quick even with a whole cart full. The downside? I always... not sometimes... ALWAYS get stuck behind that one person. The one who has no idea how to use the damn self checkouts. Not only do they not know how to use it, but as the machine screams instructions they don't pay attention. As the machine screams, they just stand there and keep trying to scan the same thing over and over. Sorry... ugh.

Posted by: Mary Jo at December 27, 2004 08:30 PM

I commend you on your restraint, I think I would have done some serious injury to him! I marvel at the stupidity of people sometimes!

Posted by: Nina at December 27, 2004 10:03 PM

I've never heard of a self-checkout. That'd be interesting. But yeah, I definitely run into more than my share of grocery-store asshats at work. It's always a grand old time. But Boxing Day? Was surpisingly docile, and all in all just a really good work day.

Posted by: Heather at December 28, 2004 12:09 AM

Just the fact that you made it through all of that without tackling the Asshat shows you have more than zero tolerance (and FAR more tolerance than I have). My boyfriend is constantly nudging and hitting me for yelling/talking down to asshats in public. Who is right? Him for being nice or me for being smart?

Posted by: DeAnn at December 28, 2004 12:28 AM

I can't stand people like that, but at least I'm glad to see I'm not the only person who feels they always get stuck behind them. I thought I was cursed! Typically I'm so vehemently afraid of being an asshat that I speed through check-out lines as quickly as humanly possible. I have my credit card at the ready, I rarely have coupons, and most often I'm concerned that I'm too short with the cashiers when they want to chitchat. But I don't care, at least I'm not a lane-hogging asshat.
Hey, were you at Target this morning? I swear I saw someone there next to the lightbulb aisle that looked just like you.

Posted by: Heather at December 28, 2004 02:17 AM

I will join your Zero Tolerance for Asshats brigade. I don't think they'd let me wear the shirt at work, though, and that's where I'd need it most.

The Spousal Equivalent is management at a grocery store. He says he knows that guy. :p

Posted by: Michelle at December 28, 2004 07:44 AM

Ah, how I miss the six+ years I worked at a supermarket...

There's a reason I call the A&P the Aim & Piss, after all.

Posted by: Daria at December 28, 2004 08:11 AM

OMG, I think that was my dad! heeeeee, bless him!

Posted by: Amber at December 28, 2004 08:15 AM

Grocery Store Asshatery..I experienced it last night with an item that wasn't priced. The lovely cashier, instead of ringing up the rest of my order while waiting on the price check, gabbed with her neighbor instead, got the price of the item, then hit total and got mad at me when I told her the rest of the items needed to be entered. Eesh.

Posted by: Sue at December 28, 2004 09:39 AM

I think you showed a lot of restraint. I would have taken my cart and repeatedly run him over.

Posted by: Wendy at December 28, 2004 10:29 AM

I'll take one of those shirts. And my latest grocery asshat experience involved one of the managers who, when asked where the German Chocolate was, said, oh, we didn't order it this year. What freaking grocery store doesn't stock German Chocolate?!

Oh, and I think Manda must shop at my grocery store here in Dallas.

Posted by: Kelley at December 28, 2004 01:01 PM

OMG! That guy was everywhere I went this weekend. Now I know who he belongs to. I'm sending him back to YOU!! HA!

I do have an idea though... we should be able to stamp those people on the forehead and have Immigration Services pick them up and tote them back to StupidandAnnoyingLand where they came from!

Posted by: Gweny at December 28, 2004 01:30 PM

DUDE. I so need that logo. Can I use it as an avatar on one of the message boards I admin?


Posted by: sledge at December 28, 2004 02:44 PM

You could definitely sell those shirts...hell, I'd buy one! And WHY do they let people who are technologically ignorant HAVE CHECK CARDS!!! They should just keep their damn check books or would make life easier on us who KNOW what we're doing!

Posted by: randi at December 28, 2004 04:30 PM


And a t-shirt? Yeah. You can send an entire truckload my way.

Posted by: Retro Girl at December 28, 2004 08:07 PM


I think I would have committed Asshat Murder right there in that checkout line. Unfortunately, I see that kind of stuff all too often.

Sign me up for one of those t-shirts! We must defend our sanity against Asshats!

Posted by: ironic1 at December 31, 2004 08:48 PM