Saturday, November 04, 2006
Oh Oh It's Still Not Fixed
Despite my best efforts the BeerBox is still in pieces on the kitchen table. Due to an adverse concatenation of circumstances there was just no time to get to it yesterday.
Friday was an adventure in the twilight zone of the retail industry. Our fist stop was a thrift store. We wandered around and I found a really nice Smith Corona manual typewriter, unfortunately Jan would not let my buy it, claiming that the 30 typewriters I already have at home were quite enough. What a spoil sport!
Anyway we did find a few things to buy and it was off to the checkout line. This was where we waited, and waited, and then waited some more. We were about fourth or fifth in line. The lady behind the counter who must have been about 130 years old, should be in the Guinness book of records for being the slowest sales person in the world.
The totally amazing aspect about this was the cash register that she was using. It was set up similar to a McDonalds register, all the buttons had been pre-programmed. If it was a mans shirt, all you had to do was hit the button with 'Mans Shirt' printed on it and the register would ring up $4.99, or whatever.
One would have thought that this would have assisted the easy flow at checkout time. Not for our delightful checkout lady though, each item that she had to deal with was a new adventure. It was almost like she was suffering from very late stage alzheimers, her short term memory of the placement of the register keys being lost after each item.
After a painful 20 minutes we were finaly outside with our purchases in hand. A check of my watch showed that the bar was not open for another 15 mins, and I really needed a beer! The store next door was an 'Organic Supermarket'. That looked like a harmless place to while away 15 mins.
My first reaction was, organic produce, organic prices. My god it was expensive. What did appeal to me though was the fresh celery Root (Celeric), and I decided to buy one to experiment with. This was the second big mistake of the day. Armed with our one item we stand in line at the checkout. Once again we are forth or fifth in line. This 'Organic Supermarket' sells stuff in big tubs that the buyer gets to stick in clear plastic bags, the checkout operators mission in life is to identify which of the 10,000 mixtures of nuts and grains the customer has, weigh it and price it. It quickly becomes apparent that the young man operating the register is not all that conversant with the product line and we are in price check hell!
After 10 minutes we are still fourth in line and the prospects of actually purchasing our one celery root before darkness falls is looking bleak. A young lady comes to our rescue and invites us to a new checkout where we are number one in line. This is good, I am convinced that we will be done with supermarket hell in less than one minute. I mean how hard can it be to price one celery root?
Well as it happens, one celery root turned into quite an adventure.
I tried to be helpful by telling her that it was a Celery Root, after much rustling around of her price list she eventually found the 4 digit code for it, and up pops $5.06 on the register. Even she knew that could not be right. So, after much random punching of buttons on the register she eventually manages to void the transaction, but only after we have run the bill up to $10.12.
I am generally a believer that if it doesn't work the first time, it likely is not going to work the second, third, fourth or fifth time. Our Checkout girl apparently disagreed with my theory and proceeded to keep retrying the same transaction and obtaining the same result.
Eventually the store manager came over, and he tried it, and yes you guessed it, he got the same incorrect result!
The manager goes to Plan B, he whips out a pocket calculator and within 5 mins of furious calculations i.e 'weight of item X cost per pound' (Which I could have done in my head in 5 seconds) he announces that the correct price is $2.16. I hand over the money and at last we are free!
A quick check of my watch shows that the bar has been open for 15 mins. That means it took us 30 mins to buy one celery root! God do I need a beer now!
And that is exactly what we did, actually I think it was three or four beers. hahahaha
So by the time we got home dealing with the BeerBox just did not seem all that important. Maybe today will be better (although I have a sneaking hunch it will not be, but you will have to wait for the next post to find out why! hahahahahah)
Posted by Simon Barrett at 4:36 AM