So I’ve been bragging about being more patient as time goes on. I’ve still got bragging rights, but boy oh boy, it hasn’t been easy. In the past few days I have witnessed and been victim to so many acts of stupidity that I am truly amazed that I even have the patience to even sit down to recount the tales.

Yesterday on the way to the ‘Real Canadian Superstore’ (got to love that name especially when I know that out east they’re called ‘Atlantic Superstore[s]’), I stopped by Winners (that’s Canadian TJ Maxx/Marshall’s/Ross to you Americanos) to pick up a few things. The cashier was particularly slow, but I wasn’t especially hurried so it wasn’t a big deal. As she’s removing the security tags on my fabulous discounted items, she runs into a glitch: one tag won’t come off! She struggles with the magnetic remover to no avail. So what does she? She scans the price tag again. I don’t know if that was a tactic to distract me from the fact that she couldn’t get the security tag off or she was just flustered, but I noticed and refused to pay another $27. So I drew the error to her attention. Miss Incompetent Cashier retorted, “No, there must be another $27 item here.”

There was another $27 item but it was in the “contemporary” category and not “activewear.” I pointed to the two “activewear” items with the same SKU numbers on the digital display.


So she starts to bag my merchandise and tells me that while she cannot accept debit at her cash, she can accept credit card but will have to call in because of some technical difficulties.

“Sure, sure.”, I say.

As she’s on hold, I rifle through the shopping bag and see that the while folded, my “activewear” pants still have the security tag stuck through the waistband.

“Excuse me, miss? The security tag is still on this item.”

“Yes, I know. It wouldn’t come off. That’s why I left it there…”

Blink. Blink. I cannot believe the words coming out of her mouth. Still, I manage to smile and say, “Yes, I understand but I can’t exactly leave the store with it still on.”

“Well, we can take it over to customer service to try to get it removed.”

“Yes, please. Thank you.”

Another sympathetic customer in line knowingly smiles at me while I sign my receipt and head over to the customer service representative with the manual tag remover. As she’s cutting the thing off she asks, “You already paid for it?”

My patience wanes but I smile and nod. I think I could only get a “Mmmmhmmm” out.

Today’s story involves my brother and I being embracing our inner Chinese cheapskate and heading out to fill our gas tanks at midnight. I had just gotten home from a rowdy night at a yuppy uptown restaurant (Grazie on Yonge for the Torontonians) with two of my favourite law school girls, Ladan and Carol and had seen the cheap gas after making a pit stop at another one of my favourite stores, Shoppers Drug Mart.

Completely unrelated to tonight’s theme is the fact that I ran into a school librarian at the drugstore and we exchanged a few friendly words. Weird to see people out of context like that.

Anyway, I came home to find the garage door open and being the interim nag in house while our parents are away, I bugged my brother about his carelessness. He, of course, the child who grew up on the Simpsons and had a Bart side to him had a ready excuse: cheap gas in the neighbourhood and a nearly empty tank.

He hadn’t had his wallet on him when he spied the magic numbers 84.5 glowing above him so he had to come home to collect it. Don’t ask me where his driver’s license was at the time; I don’t know and don’t even want to! I also don’t know why he needed the television break in between tasks, but I digress.

The station had a long queue of cars and my impatient brother who was really tempting fate with his thirsty tank took off to another nearby station. I had already come so far and was already feeling ridiculous for contributing to global warming by idling amongst my fellow ghetto folk just to save a few pennies.

The worst part–and yes, there is a point to this rambling story–was that the queues were unnecessarily long! After waiting for several painfully long minutes in their vehicles, people would fill up and go inside the shop to pay at the cash! WTF is wrong with these people? Every single driver around and in front of me was paying inside thereby doubling the wait time.

You see, the pumps at this particular station are all equipped with several easy payment options: debit, all major credit cards and even the fancy Speedpass which is the station’s own quick payment system that connects directly to both your credit and rewards cards! Even if you don’t have the Speedpass to wave across the sensor and pump, you can always insert your cards into the slot and follow the easy instructions that at most include, “Please select account and enter your PIN.”

There is no way that every single frugal customer at that station was paying with cash. I even saw people whip out their plastic to pay as I glared at them through the glass.

Someone please tell me what these people are afraid of? Are they the same people who are afraid of ATMs? I can understand almost understand why they are paranoid about the Speedpass but considering that it is not a stored value payment system, the same kind of security their credit card of choice affords them is built right in.

And that concludes tonight’s bitchfest. Maybe tomorrow I will have enough energy to tell you about how much I love this city.

6 Responses:

  1. reesie Says:

    I so much enjoyed reading this. Not because you were angry and frustrated, but because it was just too freakin’ funny with the whole stupidity of the cashier at Winners!!!! Good lord. I love how she tried to sneak it past you in the bag. Uh, as if you wouldn’t find it when you get home. Good thing you checked your clothes before leaving.

    I so want to come visit! I have never been!

  2. Another Cheapo Says:

    Chinese people are definitely NOT the only cheapos out there! My dad, unfortunately, is one of those people you would have glared at yesterday, as he refuses to use any of the pay-at-the-pump options. You know why? Because he thinks they should give him a discount if he pays at the pump because it saves the guy in the store from doing work. I tell him that the guy will be there anyways, whether he pays inside or out, but he just wont listen to reason, dammit.

  3. Viv Says:

    I haven’t visit your blog for awhile - Happy belated birthday! =)

    I had the exact same experience at the gas station…and I went to the ones on Hwy.7 and Chinese women take double the time filling up their tanks (they do everything in slow motion), so it takes me forever to get to the pump!

  4. gino888 Says:

    So. I’m curious why people queue up around midnight to perform this ritual? Is it like cheaper to gas (er, petrol) up at midnight as opposed to day?

  5. Adrienne Says:

    Gino: The fuel is indeed generally cheaper later at night. On this particular night it was much cheaper than earlier that day and all week so the Big Bro and I lined up to save a few pennies. Apparently, the rest of the neighbourhood had the same idea.

  6. gino888 Says:

    For all the Americans out there, that’s US$2.92 a gallon. That’s the night rate. And we complain our gas is too expensive. And people are lining up for this.

    For some reason this reminds me: having driven into Markham on the 401 during rush hour, I know it’s not that far from downtown, but it sure seemed that way. Is it better to take the GO Train into town? Sorry. Canadian in training.

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