So I stopped at the grocery store on the way home to get just two little things and was left in awe of the checkout girl. First of all, for the 17th time in a row when I started reading off the phone number for our rewards cards (those things are such a freaking scam...can't you figure out a better way to track what I buy?) I was asked, after the first three digits, "is that the area code?" You see, both Danielle and I have "not from here" numbers because we got our cell phones "not here", but the checkout persons at the store somehow think that here, in 2013, we are going to try and give them seven digits and call it a day. I was going to ask her "when's the last time someone said "oh my mistake" and corrected it? does anyone EVER screw this up?" not so much to be a jerk but really because I was curious. Are there people out there that just say "867-5309" and walk away? I realize it's almost certainly not her fault; they do this so regularly that it has to be some sort of mandate or training they get that management has decided makes things run more smoothly. Just as my mind settled on "you should ask, but do so in a funny, joking way" I was hit with another whammy. My total was $12.xx you see, and when I dove into my wallet I found only 20s and a slew (but non 13) of 1s. I say to myself "Self, you can solve this problem with gusto and flourish!. You have been educated at arguably the finest university in all the land. What you must do is hand her the twenty dollar bill (which alone will cover the sum of your purchases), AND ALSO hand her not one, not two, but three of the Washingtons. You will receive a single $10 bill as change and everyone will be happier; your wallet will have fewer bills (always desirable) and her drawer will have more (always desirable). Self, you are a master of efficiency!"
My coup is met not merely with a vacant stare. If only that were the case! But not here, no no, here my efforts are met with open disdain bordering on hostility! "I don't need these...just the twenty" are the words I hear as my chin grows heavy, seeking desperately the floor, and the Washingtons are thrust back across the divider. As the change rattles out of the dispenser two feet further down the line (those things should be against the law I forget to grab it half the time) she goes for the death blow. Her drawer? Out of 5s. So what do I get right behind the three washingtons she just handed back to me to add to the six were patiently waiting in my wallet? Seven. More. She practically shoves the flowers and diet pepsi (serious business here) at me straight away, without even attempting any sort of bagging procedure, as I'm still stuffing the additional washingtons into my billfold. Ambling towards my car I am left with the distinct tingling sensation that I have just witnessed something magical.