Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Checkout Line: Part Deux


A woman in her 30’s has some socks and a couple of bags of M&Ms. The young female cashier proceeds to run them across the scanner and ring them up.

Cashier: You total is $5.30… would you like to save 10% today and open a Target account?
Woman: (Holding out cash) No thanks.

Me thinking to myself: Really? Someone rings up a total purchase of $5.30 and you think it is a good time to ask them if they want a credit card? Did the ability to save a whopping 53 cents on this purchase really sound like a strong selling point? Ok – for the family with three shopping carts full of clothes, shoes, and diapers with a grand total of $1100 I can see a Target card being a reasonable idea because they could save $110 on the purchase, but for the woman spending 5 bucks?

As the woman receives her change and takes her items the cashier turns towards me and starts ringing me up.

Cashier: The total is $44.30.

I swipe my debit card, complete the transaction and as I’m handed my bag she pleasantly says to me “Thanks – have a nice day”.

So I’m thinking….I just spent almost five times more than the woman before me yet she didn’t offer me a Target Card and never told me that I could have potentially saved $4.43 on my purchase…..should I be offended?


Customer: I would like a number four with curly fries.
Cashier: (Extremely monotone voice) Would you like the value meal?
Customer: Yes

Me (again thinking to myself): Ok so he just said he wanted a number four with curly fries. The number four is a value meal. The fact he said he wanted curly fries reinforces the idea that he wants a value meal, yet – for some strange reason the cashier still asks if he wants the meal?

Honestly – do people go to Arby’s and try to order by number but not with fries or a drink? If someone wants a regular roast beef sandwich, is it common for them to say “I’d like a number one, but I don’t want the fries or the drink… just the sandwich”.

I don’t think so – if they want a regular roast beef, they will order a regular roast beef. If they want a value meal, they tend to order via number – because a value meal is just that….a meal. And the term “meal” suggests it just might very well be more than just a sandwich!

One thing is for certain. If you ever find yourself questioning your faith in mankind, it is best to avoid all fast food and retail outlets as they will likely make you believe beating your head against a concrete wall is more productive.


  1. Dear, you shouldn't use a debit card. It is linked directly to your checking account. If you lose your card and gypsies get it, they will clean you out. Use a credit card. If they gypsies get that, you can tell the credit card company and you won't have to pay and they will go after the gypsies and we will have less gypsies.

  2. My debit card carries the same protections as a credit card...thus I'm not liable for the actions of any random gypsies. Zowie!