Eggs-istential Enigma (Part 2)

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If you missed Part 1, the next paragraph will get you up to speed…

On 03/16/22, I made a ginormous grocery purchase; grand total $282. Sensing something not so grand had happened, I carefully unpacked and organized that haul atop my dining room table, kitchen countertops and refrigerator shelves. With the register receipt as my guide, I checked off the matching items; by audit’s end discovering the cashier had overcharged me nearly $15 by ringing up 5 phantom items; i.e., 5 cartons of eggs when, in reality, I had NOT purchased any eggs at all!

Hence, this existential / Eggs-istential Enigma:

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Just how the hell does a NON-EXISTENT barcode get scanned
and, even more mind-boggling, NOT ONCE BUT FIVE TIMES?

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I had asked you, my readers, if you had any theories, especially those which might even exonerate / eggs-onerate the cashier of willful wrongdoing, BUT, with nary a comment these past two weeks, looks like I’ll be going it alone…

For starters, let’s attempt to clear the cashier…

Suppose her whip cracking boss has been demanding she work faster? It’s conceivable my struggling to reload bagged groceries into my shopping cart had slowed things down so much that, PRIOR to her properly finalizing my transaction, she began scanning the next customer’s purchase; hence, charging me for those damned eggs.

Next up, the dishonest cashier scenario…

Seeing how Easter Egg “hunting season” is nearly upon us, suppose my cashier’s bestie has been planning such a gathering “on the cheap”? Considering all the foul, fowl aspects of this caper, perhaps saying, “on the cheep”, would be more apropos? Anyway, the cashier’s MO would be to [1] let her accomplice breeze thru the checkout, sans scanning her eggs and [2] as a means to ease guilt about ripping off her employer, she’d make a patsy out of any patron making a huge purchase (going on the assumption that I’d be what? Too well-to-do and/or distracted and/or dense to ever realize I’d been ripped off?

Lastly, the cocky corporate clucker scenario…

Suppose the Dairy Department had accidentally smashed an entire egg shipment. Ergo, to recoup their loss, some corporate bean counter hatched a scam to corrupt the scanner software; program it to [1] morph unsuspecting patrons into patsies, [2] profile out-of-towners making ginormous purchases, [3] tack on 5 fake cartons of eggs to such purchases; all going on the assumption that we’d be what? Too well-to-do and/or distracted and/or dense to ever figure out we’d been ripped off?

Granted, such theories tend to sound unsound. As if invented by what? A chicken running about with its head cut off? Well, I suppose such a suspicious nature stems from my nearly lifelong exposure to reportage of Big Gov shenanigans / Big Biz swindling. Factoring in 3 decades’ worth of retail salesclerk / management indoctrination (re detecting / preventing internal theft) and voilà!

Anyway, it’d appear that such misery does love company. How so?

Well, one week ago, instead of registering my register overcharge complaint at the store, I phoned it in. My first request of Mary, the customer service rep, was that she retrieve my receipt’s image from their database. Bottom line, Mary was just as mystified as I was (still am) that a cashier could, somehow, scan not 1 but 5 NON-EXISTENT barcodes.

Tho Mary could not send me a cash refund thru the mail, she did offer the next best thing; to issue and dispatch a store gift card, which, btw, is now stashed in my wallet.

Little doubt, after I had hung up, Mary’s next phone conversation involved their company’s loss prevention manager, who’ll soon be paying a visit to question the, perhaps, questionable cashier?

Alas, in a pre-pandemic, slightly more civil era, grocery shopping used to be a yawner; the drama just as non-existent as those five phantom barcodes. Oh, how I yearn to return to those bygone, carefree days of yore.

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Stay Publicly / Properly Masked!
Stay Safe at Home!
Stay Healthy!

-30-

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