My husband David has a few days off and besides doing some extra writing I am also painting the living-room. I needed a break from painting this morning and David needed some mower blades for his lawnmower so we decided to go to Walmart alone together as a sort of mid-week “date.” I didn’t take my coupon box since we were just going to run in, get what we needed, and get back home. As we passed the toothbrush/toothpaste aisle I noticed a bunch of red clearance stickers on the shelves. Cute boy-print Reach 2-packs for $2.00? Colgate children’s brushes for $1.00.
“I have coupons for these,” I said wistfully, kicking myself at the same time for not bringing my coupons with me. I’ve been doing this for 30 years~ you’d think I would know better.
And then my dear husband, light of my life and supporter of my dreams said, “Let’s go home and get them!” Walmart isn’t that far. We’d be home in less than five minutes. But still, going back would be a hassle and I was grateful my husband would think of doing something like that for me.
We did just that; go home, pick up my coupon box, and head back to the store, where I proceeded to load up on marked-down merchandise, including 14 Reach 2-packs and 7 Oral-B toothbrushes that would be totally free. I also added 5 Stayfree pads to my cart. After $2 coupons, they were only 62-cents.
Off to the check-out, where I learned what a hick town I actually live in.
The cashier was nice and friendly, and seemed impressed by my tall stack of coupons. “You sure got some good deals,” she said, and then, “Uh-oh. I don’t know what this means.”
What she was pointing at was the CSM prompt on the register screen.
“Oh, I always have that. The CSM has to come up and use her key in the register because of how many coupons I used.”
“I’ve never seen that before.” This was an employee who has worked there quite a few years.
“Really? I have it all the time.” (I didn’t say IN DUBUQUE, where I usually shop, but that is the Walmart we normally frequent)
Before my coupons my total was $89.00. After coupon savings $20.00. This was neither the best shopping trip I’d ever had at a Walmart, nor was it the biggest, but when the CSM came she looked over the totals suspiciously.
“What is the problem here?”
“No problem, ” I answered, “I just used a lot of coupons and you have to use your key.”
“She had the right coupons,” the cashier defended me.”I’ve never had this happen before.”
Right then the CSM could have explained how the registers were programmed to call a CSM anytime there is over a certain amount of coupons, but she didn’t. Instead, she kept studying the receipt. Then she looked at the coupons, turning them over and studying the backs too. “Wrap that receipt around the coupons,” she said, “And stick it in the drawer for them to look over.” She didn’t smile, didn’t comment on the savings, and certainly did not do her job in educating a cashier. Instead, she made it sound like the whole transaction was some kind of conspiracy.
Am I really such an oddity in this town that no other person has used enough coupons to prompt a CSM to the checkout? Ever?
My husband just laughed. “She does this all the time,” he said, which probably made the CSM all the more suspicious. Does it all the time? Why? Why would anyone do this all the time? Trying to rip off the stores perhaps? Makes these things in her basement, does she?
All the toothbrushes were free. I paid 75-cents for the Crest toothpaste and $1 for the kid’s Colgate. I also picked up hot dogs and buns (not pictured) for the kids so David could cook lunch while I got back to painting. And the fiber bars? Well, all that good-deal hunting made us really hungry!