Bier de Stone ( wrote,
Bier de Stone

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I dub thee Sir Tolerable of Hagglers

Went to Borders with a coupon in my pocket—25% off with I.D. I guess this is what you call a fringe. Every now and then I get e-mail with discounts for city employees. Anyway…

I had to pick up SLAYER's new CD. I asked my boss to pick up a copy of it a week or two ago when one of the librarians had budget money to burn on direct purchase items. When the librarian returned empty handed, the excuse was that none of the CDs I had requested were there. The closest Borders, or BN, is the Glendale outlet; so either Glendale never has good shit, or peoples are heading to Glendale to make their buys (instead of Hollywood). I went to Hollywood's Borders.

And there it was. So I walk up to the cashier (male Afr/Am) and show him my coupon. I printed it off the laser printer at work and took precautions to print the contents of the e-mail message on the back. It's in the body of the e-mail that instructs employees to bring their fucking employee I.D. but the clerk behind the register asks "Do you have your membership card?" meaning the plastic cards used mainly to offer member discounts ,AND keep people on a mailing list IMO. I say "no, I don't think I need it because this coupon says I only needed to bring an I.D." But he goes "No, no. Sorry, but you have to sign up."

I can see this transaction is going to forcibly take longer than norm, but I respond not in so many word "Na-ah, that's bullshit." You know, kinda like saying "Fuck you" with my middle finger in his face. I ask that the clerk confirm what he's saying, meaning, get your manager out here. So, what he does is refer me to the "manager" who can be found behind the information booth.

What's a manager doing behind an information booth?

I couldn't help feel like trash in that I was being given the run around. When I first walked into the store, I asked the clerk whom it was I should direct questions about looking for a particular book, and he directs me to the information window, NOT the manager at the information window.

The clerk catches my reluctance to be referred and offers to check the item to prove to me that the machine won't take the coupon unless I am a signed member of Borders mailing list. He scans in my CD, I then hand him the print out of the coupon. He punches the numbers into the keyboard like he's taking his frustration out on the computer. He then flips the page over and reads the e-mail text. "Oh, hey! yeah, it took. You saved 25%." he spews.

Just as I begin to swipe my credit card and complete the transaction of a simple purchase, I inquire whether the coupon is good for "Whole purchase, or single item only". He says single item. I can't help but replay the entire event over in my head in disbelief of the service that is offered to customers who go thru the trouble of collecting coupons, or waiting for discounts before they shop. I mean, I don't understand how it is possible that the vendor should contact the consumer with lures of savings and stall their transaction to elongate the time shoppers need to wait at the check out stand.

As I ponder this incident, these words stay in my mind:


and they become:


"Oh," says the cash register clerk "it's for single I dumb only."

I figure the more I convince myself that I got the mofo to say he's dumb for failing to harass a customer into signing up for a membership account, and denying the value of a coupon, my anxiety over having been dealt so crudely, possibly because of the friction between Afr/Am people towards Mexicans, slowly comes to a decline.

Tags: kaka treatment, linguistics, music

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