Time for me to play Grumpus …
So my dear wife Karen and I are shopping at the, oh, third largest big box family fix-it store in our part of the world.
We want to put something large together, so we’ve brought an example nut and bolt to this usually easy place in hopes of bringing eight of each home in relatively painless fashion.
I know enough to try to discern the proper size by threading each with the labeled demonstration pieces on the side of the aisle. But, wait, there are so many boxes to decipher … Hello! A helpful worker comes to our aid and finds eight bolts, them eight nuts. He makes sure they fit on each other. They are the last of each box, so he puts them inside each cardboard receptacle, they go inside our basket with the couple other things we’ve selected, and up we go to the register.
The one line is long, so another cashier is paged from the back room. We split off to that line. He rings up our bath tub grippees and batteries and gets down the nuts and bolts.
He asks if we know how much they cost.
I know a little about registers, having worked front end for the biggest of family improvement box boxes three years ago, so I suggest he use his scanner to shoot the bar code on the box. That gives him a price for multiple pieces, not individual pieces. He’s annoyed. What’s the price?, he asks us. Don’t know, I say. Karen scurries back to the aisle, where the helpful worker reappears, I see, and I know it will take them some time because he gave us the boxes for the final nuts and bolts of this size.
I stew. And then I speak my piece.
You know it’s your job to know the price of these things, not mine, I tell the cashier, a man roughly the same age as myself. And besides, it’s not a good idea to make me feel dumb for not knowing the price.
The guy is pissed at me. His face gets red. He argues back. No, he says. He never said we should know the price. He just asked if we did. The woman at the next register looks at me and opens her mouth in a silent “oh!”
I stand silent. I do not say how he should have looked up the price or called the guy on the floor or …
Karen and the helpful worker return with the prices for the nuts and bolts. They inform the cashier, he finishes our tally, and I pay.
Have a good day, I tell him.
On the way to the car, I informed Karen how I’d said my piece for the way the guy had treated us. I knew you would, said my dear wife.
When I worked front end, the customer was always right, even if the worker thought the customer wasn’t.