[No Excuse Zone] One More Moron on the Loose in Norman

We just finished a fantastic vacation to the majestic Pacific Northwest with my daughter, while my son was in a camp for gifted kids near Tyler. More on the vacation later. In the meantime I must share a “Welcome back to Oklahoma!” moment that had nothing to do with the daytime temperatures, which even I must refer to as “hot.” [Personally I use Harold Taft’s old North Texas definition for “hot” — at least 100 deg F.]

Here I was in the Norman Lowe’s store yesterday (20 July, roughly 5 p.m.) buying five 40 lb. bags of salt for our water softener. The cashier was a dark haired, somewhat pudgy dude in his twenties whose name I forgot to note. He beeped one bag, multiplied, rang up the sale, and with a straight face, said, “Two fifty six thirty four.”

I thought he was joking, as some clerks are apt to do. I gave him a moment to correct himself, before he asked, “Is there a problem, sir?”

Then I realized he actually wanted to charge a quarter of a thousand dollars for five bags of rock salt! Amazing. A cashier at Lowe’s should know better than this. I said, “Two hundred fifty bucks for five bags of salt? Think about that.”

He pondered this a couple of seconds longer than anyone should, then hit a few buttons and said, “Oh, sorry…twenty four…”

When he had done was enter a multiple of 50 instead of 5, with sales tax boosting the erroneous total to a little more than ten times the correct one.

Hey, it’s not the mistake itself that bothered me. That was forgivably human, and easy to fix. The problem was that this clueless bonehead didn’t have any idea he had made such an outlandish error, or that rock salt isn’t supposed to cost fifty bucks a bag!


2 Responses to “[No Excuse Zone] One More Moron on the Loose in Norman”

  1. Joe on August 5th, 2006 7:36 am

    [EDITOR’s NOTE: This responder provided a bogus e-mail address. I’m only providing this to illustrate that such a slacker mentality actually exists.]

    As someone who has worked a mind-numbing job like this in the past, give the guy the benefit of the doubt. Those jobs are just that: mind-numbing. You scan the crap, you say the number, you take the cash. You do it long enough, and you take enough crap from jerk customers, and all of a sudden you’re zoning out for hours a day.

    The front line guys catch all the crap for every little problem that every customer has while they’re in the store. I try to cut them a break.

  2. tornado on August 11th, 2006 8:01 am

    Ridiculous. There is no excuse — absolutely none — for “zoning out for hours a day” on the job. What a waste. Anyone who does this isn’t cut out for that line of work, and needs to resign or be canned. Give the job to someone who will do it attentively and smartly. Such people and such devotion exist, because I see it often at cashier desks all over this great land.

    I don’t tune out for hours on end at work now, nor did I do so when I was working more “mind numbing” jobs as a younger man, and neither does anyone else whose mindset is devoted to doing his job the best it can be done.

    Can anyone, anywhere, tell me precisely how “zoning out for hours a day” is a mark of excellence?

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