Thursday, September 22, 2011

Misplaced Thrift?

So, yesterday I'm at the Mountain of Geese, picking up ammunition in order to make sure that I have enough for my upcoming Pistol class, and I have one of those experiences.

The older woman in line in front of me is apparently wanting a rebate coupon for the shock collar that she's purchasing. The line is piling up behind me, and spilling over to other registers as they open. Young Seth, the clerk, is paging glacially through his book of rebate coupons and not finding the item in question. I am beginning to suspect that he is in no danger of discovering any Unified Field Theories, and the customer doesn't strike me as a retired rocket surgeon, either.

Now the clerk's holding cryptic conversations with some oracular voice on the other end of his radio. Our rebate-seeker is unmoved. It has been nineteen minutes according to my cell phone clock; the customers are now flowing around us like we're a rock in the stream of retail commerce, and the rebate seeker ahead of me pouts "Well, fifteen dollars is a lot of money!"

Fifteen dollars? We've been standing here for nigh on half an hour! Minimum wage is $7.25/hr! Do the math lady! (It was at this point that I fished in my pocket to see if I had any folding money. As God is my witness, if I'd found a twenty at that point, I'd have handed it to her. My back teeth were floating.)


RobertM said...

$15?! I spent $19 on a frozen pizza and six pack of beer for dinner last night.

Tam said...

Sadly, I remember when fifteen bucks was a useful sum of money, and it wasn't all that long ago.

genedunn said...

I had a similar experience at that establishment and, hence, don't do business there anymore.
I will save you the whole story, but the upshot is I was buying an SW Bodyguard .380 (they had a really good sale). I go to the gun shop in the back, and they proceed to go through the "big book of how to sell a gun"... after about 30 minutes and 3 staff people working the issue, they hand me the piece and say "thanks for shopping..."
I stare at them for a minute and say, "So... I don't have to pay for it or anything?"
They all look at each other like I had just rolled a grenade behind the counter and proceed to invest another 30 minutes and 2 managers in figuring out how to take my money.

Rob Reed said...

I'm envious on your upcoming class.

After talking to you at the LG shoot, and reading your earlier AAR, Todd's "Shoot Fast/Hit Fast" class is on top of my list for 2012.

The only hitch is it has to be close enough to drive to the class.

The big weakness in my shooting is that I'm "slow as fuck," and Todd's class seems just the thing to work on that.


Bubblehead Les. said...

Never get caught in the Grocery Store Check Out Line behind the lady using her Women, Infants, and Children's Coupons (WIC). Unlike the Modern Welfare Debit Card, every single jug of milk has it's own individual form that must be SIGNED for. Swear to Crom, by the time the job is done, the lady is taking home Cottage Cheese.

Of course, in this Age of Transparency, and because of the Highly Efficient Nature of the Current Administration, we all know that it's Bush's Fault.

Joseph said...

I wouldn't have stood there 5 min, let alone 20+. You must have needed that ammo badly. There are plenty of locally owned shops around Indy that'd be glad to sell you ammo and don't mess around with frakin' rebates.

If you're buying it from Gander, you may as well order it online from one of the many reputable ammo dealers. Several are located locally in Indiana.

Tam said...


The gun shops, at least the ones with a good chance of having 750 rounds of 9 minimal on hand for a reasonable price, are all on the other side of town from where I was. And the class is Saturday, so I wound up having to pay a "convenience fee" to make sure I had the stuff on hand.

Tango Juliet said...

That looks like a great class. Can't wait for the AAR.

Tam said...

Tango Juliet,

I'm already deep into my traditional pre-class mantra: "Please don't let me suck. Please don't let me set myself on fire. Also, learning something would be cool, too, but I'll settle for the first two."

TJIC said...

> Fifteen dollars? We've been standing here for nigh on half an hour! Minimum wage is $7.25/hr!

So even if it took 19 minutes, that's $45/hr.

...and it's tax free. it's the equivalent of $60/hr.

As annoying as this is, she's not making a bad PECUNIARY choice.

Tango Juliet said...

I have a feeling you'll do just fine Tam.

Tam said...



I was thinking more along the lines that she had pretty much completely absorbed the cashier's value to the company for the whole hour in only about 20 minutes.

(The fact that she blew a goodly portion of her of her own morning's free time and inconvenienced dozens of other people is just the icing on the failcake.)

Stan said...

I wouldn't have given her a dime, that just rewards the fail.

Keads said...

Have fun this weekend! Tell Todd I said hi.

As far as your training mantra. I have now formally adopted it!

Anonymous said...

If my bad bucket outways the good one, the gods will send me to an eternal checkout line that has the devils cashier asking for a price check on every item.

The faceless people in front of me hand expired coupons one at a time, then argue they would accept them at Wally World while the pimpled dolt behind the cash registar rolls their red eyes.

The customer then begins to pay the bill in cash one dollar bill at a time then slows even more as they fish in their purse for the correct change. Seconds become Einstein days and still they search for the last few pennies.

And you know that every person in the line in front of you will do the exact same thing, for ever and ever and ever.

If that doesn't make me behave nothing will.


Matthew said...

15 bucks will buy a twelver of any number of locally-brewed, award-winning amber nectars. Or a growler/growler and a half of the same fresh out the tap.

Now there's a medium of exchange for you.

WV: arcused - how pirates in the dock stand

The Raving Prophet said...

I've heard stories of people who did exactly what you thought about- just gave the troublesome customer the few bucks they were complaining about.

The troublesome customer just pockets the money and continues to argue.

It isn't about the money, it's about having to win against the corporation, and the money is just how they keep score.

Rabbit said...

Hell, I'd throw in another $20. if she'd demonstrate the shock collar for us.

Sport Pilot said...

Sidebar question here Ms. Tam but with the level of training and shooting you've been doing recently isn't it time for you to consider buying a progressive reloading machine? I can recommend different level's of equipment if you'd like, otherwise I'll mind my own business...

docjim505 said...


Based on what you've written, I can only conclude that my bad bucket DID outweigh my good one (no surprises, really) and...





The special brimstone in my flaming cesspool is the folks who get into the self-checkout and absolutely cannot figure out how it works. They wave their items at it in the hopes that - somehow - magic will happen and the device will figure out what they want. The machine beeps and tells them to put it in the bag over and over while they stand there staring vacantly at it. Then, it's time to actually pay...

Kill me now.

Justthisguy said...

This reminds me of the newspaper story a few years back about the woman in the express checkout lane in the grocery store, who got all exercised and upset about the woman in front of her, who had two or three items over the limit, and was being a jerk about it, too.

The former woman got so exercised and upset that she up and jumped the latter one, and bit off part of her ear.

No weapons displayed or used but natural ones! That's manners, of a kind.

Justthisguy said...

P.s. It supposedly happened in Flarduh, of course. Sigh!

Anonymous said...

"It isn't about the money, it's about having to win against the corporation, and the money is just how they keep score."

Maybe. Or maybe about the store actually honoring promises it made to its customers. If the store advertises a deal, coupon etc, the responsibility to administer said deal efficiently lies with them.

(Someone who earns less than $15/hr, and thus would not buy something for $15 more than I expected to pay)