Thursday, October 8, 2009

"Tom Petty, Lori Petty, Richard Petty, Mr. Pettibone, Petticoat Junction, Petty Officer, Petty Cash.........................."

Good Afternoon;

Well it is certainly a beautiful day out, I could bounce back and forth across the equator from Spring to Autumn and back and never miss Winter and only occasionally desire Summer.

As I was packing to leave the library last night my phone rang and it was Allan asking "Where've you been and are you okay", he said a bunch of folks at the Starbucks have been worrying also. [Which is the same thing Monkee asked], (I have not been up to the St. Thomas store for about 2 weeks due to the construction causing the loss of the outdoor seating, the broken heat & air conditioning system, and the general air of tension that has seemed to been permeating the place, and the fact that I get there and stay, because the bus schedule is so limited and limiting, and it is just generally out of the way from everywhere else I want or need to be...[I miss talking to Richard, Nathan..[and his daughter], and Ted though, and seeing a few others also, Mary and her husband...{my mind just blanked on his name}, and Tony and his girlfriend.}...).
Allan had some clothes for me, 2 really decent high quality heavy weight hoodies..(University Of Maryland...GO TERPS!! were XXL and fit! Also 2 pairs of sweat pants, not matching sets...alas,but still nice, which are only XL but will be good enough to sleep in if they are too snug..(you REALLY don't want to see my silhouette in tight stretchy fleece.....LOL!!), but I have not tried them on yet, so the jury is still out...(oh hell, bad metaphor at the We sat and talked for 45 minutes or so in his SUV, which is beginning to be a kind of semi-regular nightly ritual around 9:00 to 10:00 pm. And that was just an observation, not a's been a good thing, an outlet for both of us. You know, that male bonding thing....."I love you, man"...."You're not getting my Bud Light!".................rotfl!

Okay, here is an example of how some people think every homeless person is going to steal or scam from a store, and an illustration of one woman's control and domination issues. I have been going into the Pikesville 'Gucci' Giant for the past 9 months on a daily, (and sometimes twice or more), basis, and before that regularly over the past 10?-15?-20?, how ever many years they have been open. I know, and am known to, at least 1/2 the employees by sight and to greet, and maybe a quarter of them by name and to converse with familiarly. As soon as I walk in I place my bag in an out of the way corner, so there is no semblance of shoplifting to be imagined in any way and to avoid any misunderstanding with security.

So.... there are a few who are almost sullen in their attitudes and facial expressions and only grudgingly acknowledge a greeting because of company policy. Of these, there are a couple who stare at me as I come in and seem to be watching and waiting for some sort of overt criminal act by me. Now I spend most of my food budget in this store, know management by name and have NEVER done or intimated that I was about to, anything that would lead one to think I was stealing or otherwise committing an illegal act. The worst thing I do is to taste the salad bar at times to see the seasoning level of a product.

I regularly buy the 'day old' or 'oops' baked goods from the discounted shelf and when I am using a debit card with no cash access, I'll sometimes pay the full value for the item and then go to Customer Service desk and redeem the coupon for cash..AT A MAXIMUM VALUE OF $1.50!!!!!.. Now remember this is after the product has been paid for, and within minutes and sometimes seconds of purchase. This is my coffee or bus fare cash on some days, and has been going on, with many different cashiers, for about 2 years. One card I have has a bad magnetic strip and has to be manually entered by a cashier, when I choose to go through the self service registers, I press the button for "Pay Cashier" get a receipt and stand right in front of the "Self Service Assistance Register"...every time!, for the past 3 months or so since the strip went bad.

So today....this one woman cashier, one of the 'attitudinal' folks, is watching me, and pounces on the pastry container to get the coupon off. I tell her, No Thanks, I'll deal with it, and she goes on and on and on about how I HAVE to use it RIGHT NOW!!!, or it is no good...yadda yadda yadda... I tried telling her I do this all the time and I know what I am doing, which only infuriates her..yes that is the proper word.. I mean, she was about to go 'Linda Blair' on me, I was waiting for the head spins and the pea soup.....welllll maybe I exaggerate a wee bit, but it was a bit bizarre. She went to another cashier and they were whispering together, and when I went to pay for my groceries, the second cashier, who knows who I am and sees me all the time, and has dealt with my card before, acts as if she does not know what I want, when I am standing there with the special receipt with the bar codes on it to be scanned. And then when I hand her the card to be punched in she says.."you can just swipe that..".....Uh-Huh, sure. So I go to the customer service desk and see them huddled around the lectern a few feet away, waiting to pounce on me like a couple of vultures watching a dying rabbit. As I offer the coupon to the cust. svc. cashier....the first one jumps in like an I.C.E. agent at a Home Depot, telling me I can't get my money or discount now, it's too late. The poor cust. svc. woman looked like a deer caught in the headlights of a car, (she has been doing this for me and anyone else who presented a coupon and proof of purchase..all legal..for what..2 years or so?), I told her just to do what she felt was right for her, and if she could not reimburse me, just cancel the sale and refund my money, and if necessary credit it back to the card, (which is a pain in the ass for them and WHY everyone else just returns cash). She gave me the $1.50 and said she would not do it anymore, and I don't hold anything against her, she was unfairly pressured by the first cashier. The first woman put more surveillance effort into trying to keep me from $1.50 than Homeland Security and NSA trying to find Osama Bin Laden! I just smiled a lot and rolled with the flow, willing to take whatever form the the refund came in, today being one of those times when it really made no big deal. It is not clear to me whether this whole incident is silly or sad.
Some folks are just petty.
I'll see you later..................Dave

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