Sunday, November 6, 2011

Browsing only in the corner store

I never really meant to take a four month hiatus. I had nothing in particular to say one week, and then I had something I really wanted to say the following week, but I had no time to do so. Next thing you know it's November and the Mexicali's are having lunch at my house when Mr. Mexicali says: "I check for new posts on your blog every now and then, but there hasn't been one for a while." All true. I just explained why so I am not going over that again.

And it's not like nothing happened during those months that was worth commenting on because heaven knows, while I can't explain it, I am totally convinced that if you simply get out of bed every day and leave the house, eventually something strange will happen.

Last week I was in our neighbourhood corner store -- yes, the same one that I boycotted for six months a few years back until I was suitably convinced that the owner got my point and missed me. Well, he may have missed me and I did return, but the people who work there are not less ridiculous than they were then.

I found a new product in the refridgerated cheese section -- actually, it was the low fat version of an existing cheese product that I really like but regularly refuse to buy because I wouldn't allow myself or my family to eat anything with 28% fat content.

I quickly scanned the label and put two packages in my cart. I continued with my shopping and made my way to the cashier. I placed all my acquisitions on the moving belt. The cashier finished with the man in front of me and started on my groceries. When she noticed the unfamiliar cheese product, she picked it up to have a better look. I thought she was quietly acknowledging the fabulous new product as I had done just a few minutes prior.


She looked over the cheese a few times and finally looked up at me and said: "You can't buy this."

As you may remember, I have had more than one scrap with the corner store and I absolutely refuse to go quietly into the night. I am not going to be bullied, intimidated or manipulated by any cashier that they may throw at me.

"Why not?" I asked her.

"I don't know what it is and I don't know how much it costs, so you can't buy it." That was all she had to say. As far as she was concerned that was the end of that.

As far as I was concerned that was only the beginning and I shifted into rebuttal mode. "If you place a product on a display shelf," I said, "then it is for sale. And if you don't know how much it costs then charge me the same as the regular version."

I thought that I had made two sound arguments and so did the irate customers in line behind me. Everyone was nodding in agreement and I was sure that I had won the debate.


"I can't sell it to you," she said. And with that, she took the cheese and placed it under her work area.

"Well, if it isn't for sale, then why is it on the cheese shelf?" I thought for sure that the conversation was over now and that she would relent.

Here's what she said: "we only put it there so that people would know we had a new product."

And with that, she told me how much I owed her for the other items had had just purchased.