by Ginger Marin

A package of LU cookies, Pims to be exact, was marked $2.09 at my local supermarket, but the scanner spat out $2.17.  I noticed this and brought it to the attention of the checker who wanted to take the cookies back to the aisle to see for herself, but I showed her where it was labeled $2.09.  It seems checkers are no longer accustomed to actually looking at packages for prices anymore.  It’s a foreign concept to them.  Instead, the fate of my money is left to the almighty computer once again, you know those gods of the circuit world that never make an error.  Hah!

I always keep an eye on what the scanner’s doing as at all times and still check my cash register receipt to make sure all the prices are in order.  Oddly enough, I’ve never found a mistake in my favor, just a sale item I didn’t know about.  But, I do know, that if not for my vigilant eyes, the supermarkets would be swiping money from me left and right.  What about all those items marked down on sale that you load into your basket only to find the scanner’s still charging regular prices?  Happens all the time.

Last month I bought a skin lotion that was on sale for three dollars off.  Now that’s a big savings! The scanner once again spat out the regular price.  I mean the only reason I bought the thing in the first place was because it was on sale.  And what amazes me, is that the checker will go running down the aisle to see that you’re right, charge you the sale price, but then doesn’t have the common sense to tell the manager that the computer’s not up to par, so that the next person, whose eyes may not be quite so vigilant, gets gypped.  I mean what does to take to do this right?    It’s either on sale or it isn’t.

Yesterday, the same store had cookies, actually “Biscotti” in little cellophane bags hanging on a rack with a sign $2.49 – on sale for $2.09.  There’s that damn $2.09 again, must be something about it the computer doesn’t like…maybe it’s the computer’s equivalent of 666, the mark of the devil.  Anyway, the scanner spits out $2.59.  Well, not only is that not the sale price, it’s not even the regular price!  Where did it come up with that one?  Does the computer just decide one day to pick different numbers out of its memory chips?  Is there a Ouiga board inside making predictions that the price of Biscotti will be $2.59 next week?  I’m reminded of the old adage:  “They can send a man to the moon, but they can’t _______ .”  And, it’s the truth.

Double-coupons.  Now there’s a great gimmick the supermarkets came up with. Whoever thought that one up ?   I’ve saved as much as $23.00 on a single order with all those double-coupons adding up.  Of course, everything’s so over-priced anyway, you’re still only paying what it should cost.  But, never mind, that’s another subject.  The coupons are a life-saver.  But, what the supermarket giveth in coupons, the supermarket taketh away at the scanner.  I figure it’s all designed to even out in the end.  (since this article was written the price of biscotti and Pims have gone up significantly; supermarket scanners are still a bit quirky.)

Author Ginger Marin is an actor, freelance writer and storyteller.  You can also find her on Google+

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