An interesting thing happened today, when I was making my cigarette-bearing egress from Sam's Club. Allow me to recount the story, beginning, as it were, at the beginning:
About 11 months ago, I became a Sam's Club member. This was a failure of my morals, as I was overcome by the promise of slightly improved prices on the variety of c-note items I tend to find myself needing. I'll admit up-front that I knew this was a bad, bad idea.
One thing which has begun to irk me - and I'm sure that you, humble reader, have noticed this as well - is the proliferation of post-purchase receipt checking at the exits of retail stores. As far as I'm concerned, and I'm pretty well assured that the law's got my back on this one, as soon as I've made the exchange of money for product, and am issued a receipt, whatever I have purchased is mine. No questions, mine. The unfortunate wage slave who lurks at the store's exit, well, they only serve to assist the company in saving money in the unlikely event that the employee at the register managed to miss something, and possibly to dissuade would-be shoplifters.
Now, being that my business has officially completed upon the very moment that I am handed a receipt, one can reasonably assume that I am no longer inclined to wait in a line, much less prove that I received an accurate receipt, as my transaction was conducted in good faith, and I am going to be the one to lose out if I need to return something which is incorrectly listed on my receipt. Assuming otherwise, is tantamount to accusing me of trying to pull a fast one. Trying to slip on by. Flashing my coupon for a five finger discount.
I do not appreciate slander, even if merely implied.
So, as you have no doubt already concluded, I walk right out, passing the line. The most these sentinels of consumer behaviour ever get from me is the opportunity to run their marker across my outstretched receipt as I continue to walk past them; this only if there is no line at all. Normally, I just breeze on by, and ignore anything they might say... possibly pleasantly replying "no thanks" as I do so.
At Sam's Club, alas, this was not to be.
There is a fellow who works at the local Sam's Club, let's call him "Mike J." though that name is no more real than the sun, the moon, and the stars beyond. It is a convenient fiction, which, should it relate in any way to any real person's name who happens to work at Sam's Club over on Concord Ave., is purely intentional.
This particular Mike J. takes his responsibility as protector of all that is sold, or unsold, very seriously. In fact, he has called after me several times on my way past his line. Usually, I'm carrying one large item, and clearly holding my receipt. The first time, I simply ignored his requests to please wait. The next few times, same story. Sometime around the 4th or 5th time at this, he made a half-assed attempt at following me out, perhaps 15 feet, saying "Mr. Nice Guy, excuse me. Let me check your receipt Mr. Nice Guy."
I found this condescension a bit irritating, but his phraseology was humorous enough that I continued on my way and chuckled it off.
This happened again, though he was much louder and more insistent the next time. I, of course, thought this was even more funny. This evening, though, was the kicker.
Tonight, I purchased a carton of cigarettes. One carton. They have these locked-up and guarded, and you can't get your hands on them until after paying. I did my usual walk-past-the-2-fat-women-with-huge-cartfuls-of-individually-checked-items, and made my egress. My pal Mike, though, caught me off guard. He shouted "Hey ASSHOLE!", which as you can imagine, caused me to spin on my heel. As I was making the 20 foot walk back in his direction he proceeded to toss up a one finger salute and state "You are an asshole. You never wait in line, and never let me check your receipt, you asshole!"
Obviously, my response was "who is your supervisor?"
He declined to tell me, and I asked for his name. He wouldn't answer, but I saw his tag - "Mike J."
I marched back in to the next nearest employee and demanded to speak with Mike's manager. I was directed over to a group of employees at the end of the check-out lanes. I immediately said "Mike at the door just called me an asshole. This is totally unacceptable." They told me that he would be taken care of, then proceeded to tell me that I should have let him check my receipt - get this "it was in the paperwork you signed to become a member". So now, what should have gone like "Oh sir, I'm so sorry - Mike, get in my office - what can I do to make this up to you? Coupons? How about that carton of smokes for free? Anything!" turned ugly.
I told them that I was terrifically unsatisfied with the situation, and would be taking my business to Costco.
On my way out, back past Mike, he told me again how I had to let him check my receipt, to which I hissed in my most murderous tone, while staring him down, "don't you say another fucking word to me", and he shut up, and backed against the wall.
After this was done, I realized how utterly pissed off I was - and you who know me realize this is an abnormal state for me - and started laughing about the whole scenario. So now, I'm going to contact their HR dept. and give them the low-down. I don't expect much, as Walmart is basically a giant, golden goatse riding high on slave labor, but damned if I don't give 'em what-for.
That's my story. Mike J. - you're an asshole.