Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Good deed?

It seems like I have a particular skill for choosing the exact wrong line in the supermarket.

A few days ago, I was in the supermarket with my preschooler. We were in a bit of a rush, and the supermarket was surprisingly crowded for the middle of the morning on a weekday. But since we had only eight items, I was able to go to the 10 items or less line, where there was only one woman in front of me, and she was currently paying.

Unfortunately, we only discovered after my daughter had painstakingly loaded all our items onto the conveyor belt that there was an issue with the woman's payment. The woman kept running her debit card and typing in the pin number, and it kept giving her an "insufficient funds" message. I think she actually even called the number on the back of the card while in line. The manager came over, but there wasn't really much that they could do for her. She was buying a pack of cigarettes, which cost $11, and she did have eight dollars in cash, but that left her three dollars short.

It was getting a little bit ridiculous. The woman obviously didn't have the money to pay for her item, but she was basically not willing to move off the line. And to add to the pathetic factor, she was in one of those motorized shopping cart, so obviously she had some medical issues. Considering she was only three dollars short, I really wanted to just offer to pay it for her. If she had been buying a loaf of bread or something like that, I would've happily paid it immediately, regardless of the cost, and counted that as my good deed for the day. But she was buying cigarettes. The most evil product you can buy in a supermarket. I felt like I couldn't in good conscience give money to the tobacco companies, and buy this woman a product that was contributing to her premature death.

However, several minutes later, with this issue still not resolved and my daughter getting antsy, I decided that just this once, I would give three dollars to the evil tobacco companies.

I didn't feel good about the situation. But what could I do? I didn't want to be the jerk yelling at the poor woman to get off the goddamn line if she couldn't pay.

15 comments:

  1. $3 is a small price to pay for your sanity. Spoken by the woman with at least $50 worth of matchbox cars purchased in the checkout aisle over the years.

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  2. I probably would have done the same.

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  3. This could have been dealt with by the manager. Take her to costumer service and straighten it out there.

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    1. Yes, but I felt like it was a role of the cashier to make her go to customer service. Not mine.

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  4. Wow! A pack of cigarettes is $11! How do people afford to smoke? In any case, there are many things more life-threatening in grocery stores including bacon (actually, all meat), badly handled veggies, store-made baked goods...well, pretty much everything the grocery store sells is somehow tainted or made of bad stuff.

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    1. I was shocked by that too!

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    2. Anonymous at 10:03, you must either not be involved in healthcare or work in a very unusual patient population. Nothing in the grocery store sold for human consumption comes close to the lethality of cigarettes. I have a patient in the hospital now who has had multiple heart attacks and is having his second leg removed at the hip today, entirely due to cigarettes. He is not over-weight or diabetic. I do not expect him to survive to hospital discharge. He is not yet 60 years old. He is not very unusual among smokers.
      Dr. B

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  5. Ugh, how annoying. I would've done the same thing though.

    Part of me wonders if the chair was part of a scam many times she's come up short at the register....because if I was short I wouldn't have the balls to continue to stand at the register. So I wonder, exactly what did she think was going to happen?

    Totally agree with you that the cashier should've sent her to the service desk.

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    1. The chair is part of the smoking habit, not part of the scam.
      Dr. B

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  6. Phone ate some of my words.

    Meant to say "part of a scam and/or how many times"

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  7. you got burned by a patient, clever schemer

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  8. You would have done her a bigger favor by saying what you wanted to vs. paying for the cigs. The manager should have booted her out.

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  9. I paid for a child in a mother and child combo getting on the bus. The mother had money to buy smokes, but not the money to pay for her daughters bus ticket.

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  10. I certainly understand you were frustrated & really wanted to get the heck out of there & the store handled the situation inappropriately! The cashier should've voided the transaction & escorted the customer to the service desk well b/f the manager was called over!

    However, I would never have helped her pay for her cancer sticks! Had it been anything else (w/ the exception of alcohol) I'd of helped the person out w/out a second thought!

    Hope everyone has a great weekend!

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  11. Hope your behind my Jack Daniels when shpping i go to

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