Today, as I craved the sweet taste of the 99cent bucket of coke from McDonald’s, I walked into a local Chevron gas station to pump gas. Always on the lookout for a bargain, I noticed that the 42ounce fountain drink was on sale for 79cents. Cool! I thought. And, I could use the cup to refill!
I eagerly walked in, got my 42ounce cup, filled it up with cold ice and cool coke a cola.
Then I looked and looked, and no lids. I asked the girl at the counter, “Excuse me, where are the lids to the 42 ounce?” “We are out!” she responded.
So although I was annoyed, it was hot, and I was thirsty, I poured my soda into a 32 ounce cup, which had plenty of available lids.
I then looked up and saw that a 32ounce cup also has a deal. A 32 ounce soda and a hot dog combo was only $1.99.
Hmmm, I thought, I like hot dogs. I haven’t had dinner, this deal is pretty good!
But the mustard in the container was runny. I tried shaking it, but it was still watery.
I asked the salesgirl for mustard packets, she told me there were none.
Ok, no problem. I can deal with it, I thought, I’m only spending $2. I pilled on the relish, the ketchup, the mayo and the jalapenos. Still looked pretty tasty.
I go to pay and this happens:
Salesgirl: I know you used the 42 ounce cup, so I’m going to have to charge you for that, but its ok, because it’s still cheaper since its on sale for 79cents!
Salesgirl: but I can’t offer you the $1.99 deal because I’m charging you for the 42 ounce and the deal is only with the 32 ounce.
Me: well, how much is the hot dog by itself?
Me: So I have to pay for the hot dog AND the soda? Separately?
Me: well, why do I have to pay for the fact you didn’t have the lids to the soda I wanted?
Salesgirl: well, its only a 10 cent difference.
Me: yeah, for the hot dog, but now I have to pay for the soda as well? So you cant give me the combo deal?
Salesgirl: No… I can’t because you used the 42 ounce cup.
Me: yeah, but you know I couldn’t use the 42 ounce cup because you don’t have the lids, I asked you… remember? Like 2 minutes ago?
Salesgirl: yeah, but I still have to charge you for it.
Me: But you saw me saw me switch the cups because you don’t have lids… you know that’s why I did it. I WANTED the 42 ounce. Why can’t you just charge me the combo?
Salesgirl: yeah, but you used the 42 ounce cup first, and we can’t use that anymore, so I have to charge you separate.
Me: how is it MY fault that you didn’t have the lids or a sign that said you didn’t have the lids for the 42 ounce cup? Why do I have to pay for it?
Salesgirl: because you used it, I know you switched it, but we can’t use it anymore.
Me: well, I’m not going to pay for something you clearly know you don’t have and all I did was switch cups.
Salesgirl: I’m sorry, but if you don’t like it, you can just leave the stuff here.
Me: *sigh* (I had worked hard on making that hot dog look yummy). ok, Lydia is it? do you honestly want me to talk to your manager because you want to charge me for a cup you didn’t have a lid for? And you would rather have me leave the food here than offer me the combo deal?
FatLadyBehindMe: ugh! This is pathetic! Here! Here is the 10cents! I can’t believe you are making a big deal about this!
Me: (turning around): excuse me? This is not about the 10cents.
FatLadyBehindMe: whatever! I would never put anyone through this! this is ridiculous!
(I notice the FatLady’s ID on the counter, on top of 4 packs of Menthol Lights. Carmen, West Covina)
Chineseladybehindher: oh my goodness! Can I just pay?
(cute guy with aviators walks in. Great. Just Great)
FatLadyBehindMe: (to the salesgirl) I’m so sorry honey, I would never do this to you.
Me: *deep breath* (10 – 9 – 8 – 7 – ) ok, first of all CARMEN, mind your business- and second, (looking at Lydia, who is about to cry) this is not a personal thing with you Lydia, and it’s not 10cents, it’s an 89cent difference. The combo is $1.99, you want to charge me $1.89 for the hot dog and an additional 79 cents for the soda. If the store is offering a deal, you need to honor that deal. Telling me to leave the food makes the store loose money and my business. You wouldn’t want that would you? And, I still haven’t pumped gas. So just charge me for the combo and let’s move on.
(I can feel the burning eyes of the FatLadyBehindMe)
FatLadyBehindMe: (muttering) I cannot believe you… I would never…
Lydia proceeds on charging me $2.15 with tax for the combo. I give her $20.
She gives me back $17.85 in single dollar bills.
Me: Thank you Lydia, I appreciate it. Now, can you please charge me $30 on number 4? (I hand her another $20 and proceed to count $10 of the single bills she just gave me).
Lydia: (voice trembling) sure, on number 4?
Me: Yes. And can you give me a receipt please? – and Lydia, don’t sweat the company for a cup. Believe me when I say you’re better off just not fighting it. It’s hot, people are annoyed, put up a sign stating there aren’t any lids for the 42 ounce cups, or put the cups away. Trust me when I say someone else will walk in here, be more annoyed and much more pist than I am. And I KNOW they don’t pay you enough to put up with the shit people like myself have to say.
(Lydia half smiles. I suspects she hates me, but I think she knows I’m right)
Me: (turning around to the fat lady juggling the change in my hands): I appreciate your concern Carmen, and your 10cents, we both know this wasn’t about the money. You need to be a better educated consumer before you get involved in someone else’s purchase.
I felt like Tyler Durden. I am Jack’s 89cent savings.
I walked out and pumped gas, where I was approached by an obviously drugged out woman who claimed she needed money to get home. I did not give her my change.
Did I feel bad? No. I would have given money to someone selling oranges, or flowers or chocolate bars. Or someone who pumped my gas or attempted to clean my windows. But you want money? Just like that? You want me to give you the savings I just got insulted for? That I had to argue for? That I had to tell a salesgirl her boss could care less about her so stop trying to save the company a cup for?
I don’t think so.
A can of tuna for my cat costs 89cents. I pumped my gas. I took a bite from my hot dog. Not as good as I expected. In fact, not good at all. I ended up going to McDonalds for some chicken nuggets. Hot dog went to the trash.
I am Jack’s musterless uneaten hot dog.