Friday, July 16, 2004

Report: Day 126 

My specific task was to exercise my consumer rights by attempting to purchase an item by the unit, not the predetermined number of units in the package.  Examples given were a dolop of face cream or two cookies.  Benrick claims I, as a consumer, have the right to do this.  However, non of my research could turn up any indication that this was correct.  I guess that's the trouble with having free Lexis on account of my job. 
I resolved to attempt it anyway.  So I went to the Stop N Shop and picked up a box of Pop Tarts.  I waited in line at the checkout and when I got to the front I opened the box and then opened a package and removed a single pop tart whcih I placed on the scanner.   Diane, the checker, looked at me askance. 
"There's no individual bar code, so you may need to ring it up manually."
"There's a bar code right there on the box."
"Yeah, but this bar code is for the whole box.  I just want this one pop tart.  Just the one."
"Well, they come in a box."
"Initially, that's true.  Initially they are in a box, but I want just a single unit.  Just the one."
"I'm gonna need to contact the manager."
"Ok.  I mean, I know you want to sell me the whole box because of corporate greed and the proffit motive, but when I buy a whole box most of them wind up going bad.  And that's crazy given the list of preservatives they have here on the label.   That's why I just want one."
"Yeah, you're gonna have to talk to my manager."
"Ok.  Cool."  So I picked up a tabloid and read about Oprah's recent weight gain while we waited for the manager to come over.  The people behind me were cursing me loudly, but I just ignored them and waited for the manager to come over.
"Hello, I'm Jason.  How can I help you."
"Hi Jason, I'm Brian and I want to buy just this one pop tart so I asked her to ring it up manually so I wasn't charged for all eight of them.  Becuase I just want one."
I watched the manager consider me.  I bet he was doing a cost value analysis considering factors such as how stubborn he thought I might be, how crappy his day had been up to that point, how much the pop tarts were worth and other salient facts.  I watched his face and I think I pinpointed the exact instant he decided to offer me a deal. 
"Well, we only sell them in a box, we don't sell them individually.  But how about if I get you a coupon to save you fifty cents on the box."
I took the deal.
Today is office gossip day.

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