Small Change

Albert is definitely the worst supermarket in the world.  They are badly organized, they run out of stuff (like rolls, for  instance) a lot, and their cashiers tend to be old, and rude, and unpleasant.

But, it’s where I usually shop, just because it’s the closest supermarket to where we live.  In fact, it’s the closest two.  There’s a Billa just a bit further than the 2nd Albert, and a Kaufland about that distance in the other direction, but unless I’m looking for a long walk, and not buying anything heavy, I usually wind up at Albert #1.

Now, the other day there, I decided to stock up on the cheap, packet noodle soups.  We call them Chinese soups but any Chinese person would probably resent that.  They are probably not the most nutritious option, filled  with  monosodium glutamate, but the kids love them, they are easy to make and, as I mentioned, they are cheap.

4 crowns 90, which of course is always rounded up to 5 crowns.  They don’t even  mint the hellers anymore.  So, 4 crowns 90 is actually an  imaginary amount.  Unpayable.  An unreal number.
So, the  cashier saw I had ten (figuring that way I  would  only pay  49 crowns, instead of 50) and said “I’ll just ring this up 5 at a time, O.K.?”

Well, partly I wasn’t quick enough to mount an argument, partly I  was gobsmacked they would pull that shit, but mostly I  didn’t want  to get into an embarrassing argument over 1 crown (20 something to the dollar, so a bit less than a nickel) with a line behind me.
Also, I’m sure it wasn’t the cashier’s fault.  I’m sure she’d been instructed to do precisely that in that situation, because it’s no more trouble to multiply by 10 and get to 49 crowns as to do them 5 at a time, round up each 5 from 24.50 to an even 25, and there you have it.
But, here is why some people are rich and some people are poor.  While I would have been embarrassed to cause a confrontation over such a small amount, the owners of Albert who, I’m sure, are all worth millions (in Euros) are not embarrassed at all about using such a cheap, penny pinching trick dozens, probably hundreds of times a day.

Bastards.

 

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