Wednesday, June 07, 2006

If knowledge is power, then ignorance is opportunity

A supermarket chain ran an ad for buy-one-get-one-free on a particular line of "nail treatments, lip treatments, and depilatories." I was asked by... um... well, by someone (that's all you need to know) to check if they had a specific hair removal product. Arriving at the store -- which was a very large chain store, by the way, not a mom-and-pop -- I found a sign marking the sale on the nail treatments, and also a sign for the lip treatments, but no sign for the depilatories. I found my product and took it to a cash register.

The cashier was a fine young man obviously in his teens. He scanned the product and told me it was not on sale. I told him that their ad said it was, buy-one-get-one-free, and got the ad out and pointed for him to read.

Fine Young Cashier: "That sale is for nail treatments and lip treatments."

Me: "And depilatories," pointing to the words in the ad, "that's what this is, a depilatory."

The cashier signalled a young lady standing by the courtesy counter. She came over, and her name tag identified her as an assistant manager, though I suspect she had only recently graduated from high school. I suspect this because her picture on the "Meet Your Management Staff" signboard, as you came into the store, was her high school graduation picture, and she hadn't changed an iota since that picture had been taken. She was only missing the mortarboard and gown, having replaced them with an oversized, shapeless, elasticised-waistband, supermarket-chain-issue uniform that made her look as though she had been a circus clown in her previous job, and was trying hard to fit in at a supermarket chain, but was having trouble shaking off her past. Have you noticed that this is the way all female employees look in big chain supermarket uniforms, like clowns who can't quite shake off their past? The male employees, on the other hand, don't look like clowns. Instead, they look like the guys the circus hires to clean up after the elephants.

But I digress. Back to my story:

Cashier, to assistant manager: "He [meaning me] says this is on sale."

I extended the ad to her and pointed.

Her: "That sale is for nail treatments and lip treatments."

Me: "And depilatories," pointing hard and wondering if by some Harry-Potter-like magic I was the only person who could see the words. "And depilatories," I said again. "That's what this is, a depilatory."

The two of them, young circus refugees, peered, cheek-to-cheek, at the ad for a moment; then they looked at each other.

Him, whispering to her: "I have no idea what 'depilatory' means."

Her, whispering to him: "Me either."

Him: "So should I?"

Her: "Yes!"

So I got my buy-one-get-one-free on the hair remover. But I also left the store wondering what other, better, maybe way better deal I might have gotten, if only I had known to take some expensive product to the cashier and simply claim it was a "depilatory...."

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What a great story! It is probably worth a trip back to the store at a different shift. My guess is that it is not too late to walk out of there with a large screen TV, I mean depilatory.
Nice. This totally made my Monday. :)

I tend to like the diamond-studded depilatories, the 14 K white gold ones, myself. Hee hee.
Oh, this was my dose of giggles for the day! Great!

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