The Customer: Not Always Right

So I’m on Spring Break. I’m cruising with The Son, listening to some Steely  Dan, en route to God’s Country. Our first stop is Springfield, Mo., for lunch at Mexican Villa, home of the world’s greatest burrito. With rice.

I’m driving down Sunshine and I see the Dillon’s supermarket and decide to make a quick stop because Dillon’s is the only place I know that sells Guy’s Tasty Mix. The party mix that’s so tasty, they put it in the name. The party mix that’s so tasty, they won’t sell it in St. Louis.

The Son and I walk into Dillon’s and turn left because the chip aisle in most stores is to the left. Not at Dillon’s. We walk the length of the store then have to turn back and walk to the other end before we find the chip aisle. I pick up 3 bags, which will probably last me the weekend, but I’m hoping my kind and considerate sister has already bought me multiple bags that are waiting for me at her house.

We go — logically — to the express lane. The sign says “About 12 Items.” About? What does that mean? “12 Items or Less” I can understand. But “About 12 Items?” Is 13 about 12? Is 15? Is 10 not enough to be about 12? I hate math. I only have 3 items? Is that about enough?

I get in line. Ahead of me is a woman with something in a plastic container that I’m guessing is her lunch. Ahead of her are 2 guys with a couple of 2-liter bottles of Coke and something else. Ahead of them is the woman being checked out. She appears to have 10 or so 2-liter bottles of soda. This won’t take long.

The cashier rings up the bill. $8.47. The customer disagrees. “That’s too much.” The cashier looks over the bill. She counts the number of bottles. They still disagree. She rings things up again. Same amount. Same disagreement. They look at the sale bill. They disagree on how the sale is supposed to work. The cashier leaves her post to go look at what the sign says in front of the soda display. They continue to disagree. Stalemate. The woman in front of me sighs and walks away.

Eventually the sales manager sees things are backing up and comes to the next stall and opens a new line. I leap over 2 people and carts but still wind up behind a senior citizen with a dozen items in his cart. Still, an improvement.

As he’s checking out the man — I swear to God I’m not making this up — and you see where this is going, right? — the cashier from the express lane comes over. “You’ve got to help me with this.” “I’m in the middle of checking this person out.” He pauses briefly to look at the receipt. “Let me finish this.” He checks out the old man. I’m right there. Next. He stops to deal with the cashier and the customer, who has now joined the fray.

NNNNNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Curse you Dillon’s! Curse you Guy’s Tasty Mix! Why must you be so tasty? Mexican Villa — so close but yet so far.

A sane man would take his 3 bags of chips, toss them on the ground, stomp on them, and leave. But I’ve hung in this long. Must see it through. Eventually the manager sides with the cashier, the woman pays her $8.47 and they walk away. I consider asking for a free bag of Tasty mix as an “aggravation discount,” but I’m a wimp so I don’t. Did I mention the manager was wearing a large badge that said “Customer Service” ?

I don’t know how long the whole ordeal lasted, but I can tell you what it felt like: 2.5 hours. Plus maybe an hour.

The burrito was excellent. And the customer service at Mexican Villa — muy bueno.

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One response to “The Customer: Not Always Right

  1. I did, in fact, purchase 4 bags of Guy’s Tasty Party Mix to bring to the farm for you this weekend. Guess I can keep those for myself now. By the way, did you happen to notice the four “self check out” lanes at Dillons? You could have used one of those and not had to deal with any cashiers. Oh, and I WOULD have asked for a free bag as an “aggravation discount.” Those two magic words have gotten me lots of free stuff or discounts over the years!!

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