Have you ever worked a retail job? Working retail can be many things: monotonous, frustrating, rewarding, hilarious, infuriating… I imagine that the man working the thrift store cash register on Sunday found what I’m about to describe as frustrating and perhaps infuriating. I, however, found it to be hilarious.
Some back story: I’m moving soon, and I needed some kitchen items so that I have plates to eat on and utensils to eat with when I get into my new place. My room mate and I went thrift shopping on Sunday day so that I could get the items I need on the cheap.
At our last stop, I finally found cutlery. There were some cute butter knives packaged in a group of four for $1.16. Not a bad deal, so into the shopping basket they went. Most of the rest of the silverware were not bundled, nor priced (similar to the below image except x6, and there were very few forks). I didn’t fret though. I picked through the mess to find some spoons and forks that I liked, and I assumed that we could easily bundle them once I got to check out. (You know what they say about assuming… )
The line was short when my room mate and I went to the checkout. (There was an older couple in front of us, and the woman was buying some very cute shoes. ) My room mate quickly made her purchase, and I put all of the items that I wanted on the counter (e.g. a mixing bowl, a butter dish, measuring cups, things to poach eggs in, and of course the knives, spoons (5), and a fork).
About half of these items did not have price tags, and the cashier was rather upset by this. He left the cash register to talk to his manager about the un-priced items. When he returned a few minutes later, he had bundled three of the spoons and a fork (one of the only forks in the store for some reason) and told me the price would be $1.16. C’est parfait!
However, two spoons remained. I was informed that I could either go back to the cutlery section and choose two more spoons to complete the bundle or I would not be able to purchase the spoons.
I did rather want the spoons. They had a pretty, flowery design on the handle. But this transaction was starting to take quite a long time and was getting to be a bit ridiculous. I was also very conscious of the growing line behind me, even if they were taking all of this in good spirit.
To speed things up I made the rather generous offer to purchase both of the spoons for $1.16.
No deal. His manager wouldn’t allow that.
I decided to let the spoons go.
The rest of the transaction went smoothly. I did ask the cashier to tell his manager that it made good business sense to take the money if a customer offers to pay more for a product. Especially for a thrift store that supports charitable interests…
I could imagine his manager responding, in Animal Farm style, “Four spoons good, two spoons bad!”
So as of right now, I’m short one spoon and three forks short in my cutlery set. I guess Yule is coming up!
And with the upcoming holidays, please be kind to retail employees. The front-line employees often have little power in the grand scheme of things, and it really isn’t their fault with a lot of problems. If you start getting frustrated in your holiday shopping just start yelling, “Four spoons good, two spoons bad” at the top of your lungs!