Friday, January 07, 2005

Grocery Store of Horrors

I went to the grocery store yesterday and ran into two examples of total ignorance:

Ignoramus Number One appeared in the form of a guy working behind the customer service counter.

I asked him if I could cash a check that I had received in the mail. He said, "Yes."

Everything went fine until he asked me for my phone number.

I had already handed my identification card to the man and had keyed my Social Security number into this little gizmo on the counter.

And I knew that giving him my phone number was unreasonable at that point. I am not required to do so. Trust me on this. The man had no right to ask for more information than my bank does to cash a check.

Besides, there were some rough-looking characters hanging around the counter and I didn't want to announce my phone number to them, too.

I cupped my hand when I keyed-in my Social Security number and I grabbed my ID card back very quickly after the counter guy looked at it.

After I glanced around for a military recruiter [I was certain by this time that I had joined some branch of the Service] I told the counter guy that I didn't want to release my phone number.

"Oh?!?" said the man, looking at me like I had suddenly turned into a terrorist.

"Nope. I know that it isn't required. I just want to cash my check and go do some shopping."

"It's in the rules!" the man declared, sliding the now marked-up check back across the counter.

"What rules?"

"The store rules."

"Well I have a rule of my own, Sir: You mess with my check...you cash it."

"What if I didn't have a phone number? Would you refuse to cash my check? Why am I obligated to have a phone number? Isn't my address, my photograph and my Social Security number good enough?"

"This check is guaranteed [The check was not a personal one and is 100% guaranteed] and you know it. I have no idea why you want to have my phone number, but I'm telling you right now that you're not going to get it."

We stared each other down for a few seconds. Then he grabbed the check back in disgust and brought it over to the cash drawer.

He handed me my money and I told him that I would bring something in to show him the next day.

He looked at me with big eyes and asked, "What are you going to bring in here? Are you threatening me? Do you want me to get the manager?"

I rolled my eyes.

"No, I want to tell you that I have a paper that will show you that I am not required to give you my phone number when I come in to cash this type of check."

"In other words, you made a mistake, Dork."

I could not resist calling him that. I found his behavior absolutely wrong.

Then I turned around and pushed my shopping cart over to the produce aisle.

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