Don't stand behind me in the supermarket line. Come to think of it, don't stand behind me in any line. My nickname is "Price Check on Register Three". I have an unfailing ability to pick out the ONE can from among hundreds that is not marked and not in the system. Yes, I am that lady that makes you shuffle your feet and roll your eyes because for some reason, my card doesn't scan, the sale stuff rings up at regular price and the coupons don't work.
Here is a case in point. Let me set the stage: Fact 1: You can NOT, repeat NOT buy tobacco products at any drugstore in my town. Fact 2: When I get Nicorette coupons from CVS, they say right on the bottom that the coupon can NOT, repeat NOT be used on a tobacco product. I therefore infer that since I CAN buy Nicorette in my town and since I can clearly USE the Nicorette coupon on Nicorette, that it is NOT a tobacco product. Any right-thinking logical mind would come to this conclusion. It's just like that math problem: An ant is an insect. A spider is not an insect. Therefore, Helena must be the capitol of Montana. No wait. That's something else . . .
BUT NOT SO FAST MR. OR MRS. AMERICA. When I go to CVS with my 25% Good Customer Coupon (translation: Good GOD girl you buy a LOT of stuff from us . . .) they tell me - wait for it - that it can't be used on Nicorette because IT IS A TOBACCO PRODUCT. Here is where my head starts spinning around and I try in vain NOT to smack the living daylights out of the drone at the register who keeps repeating to me like I am an IDIOT, that Nicorette is a TOBACCO product. Please understand that I respect all workers everywhere doing whatever job they do as long as their hearts and minds are in it. It's just that when the Starbucks iced coffee straw is hanging out of the corner of your mouth WHILE you are texting your boyfriend, picking at your nail polish, chewing gum and looking at the clock to see if it's quitting time yet, I have a hard time feeling your Commitment to Customer Service . . .
And why does the cash register get to MY pair of sneakers and go "NO SALE PRICE FOR YOU." Now we have to go through a little painful exercise I like to call "Ringing for the Manager". First of all, every time they ring for the manager, he or she is apparently driving here from another part of the country because by the time they get to the register, everyone in the long line that was behind me has left the store and there are little kids pointing at me on the way out. Then the manager has to get The Key. This is apparently some kind of magic device that only store managers have but NEVER BRING WITH THEM to the register in the first place. More time elapses. Governments rise and fall, the dinosaurs die out and FINALLY the manager emerges with the little pink plastic slinky and The Key. By this time I am contemplating checking myself into a cloistered convent or a jail cell, whichever is quicker.
I often wonder if the store employees are gathered behind a two-way mirror snickering at me. "Look! She falls for that EVERY TIME." They probably take bets on how long I will stand there waiting. But don't think this behavior is limited to stores. Oh no. ATMs suddenly forget who I am, the library computer wants to charge me eight thousand dollars in unpaid fines, the dry cleaning is not QUITE ready could I wait just a few more minutes and don't even get me STARTED on the DMV.