Monday, September 18, 2006

A change is due

Since Raccoons One and Two are off sleeping for the day, I have temporarily wrested the blog from them.

This is a bit of a rant: When I pay cash at a store, I'm tired of being handed back all my change at once, a handful of wadded bills and loose coins with the receipt stuck in the middle. I'm sure you know what I mean. Sometime in the last 20 years, the art of handing back change has been cut out in the name of expediency. Except it's not, because I'm not expedient.

There are two factors at work here: the rush to get on to the next customer and the fact that the modern counter, such as at a discount store or a grocery, has been shortened. Customer One can no longer gracefully slide down a bit in order for the next person in line to be in line with the clerk. There's no where to go. If you have a buggy, you can turn and stuff your money into your wallet, but you're standing there in someone's way. If there are enough groceries and the store offers the service of carrying your purchase to your car, you're stuffing while they're waiting on you!

Whatever happened to handing back the coins (as in counting them), plunk! into the coin purse, then handing back the currency (counted of course), slide! into the wallet. Receipt next, or, "Would you like the receipt in the bag?" (They ask the latter with purchase at a deparment store. Didn't realize what a lost, nice touch it was until now.)

So how have I responded to this gradual decline in manners and service? I have become slow. I stand there and put my coins up. I do not toss them into the bottom of my bag. I put the currency where it belongs. I place the receipt in a bag which I probably have to open in order to do. I will do this my way.

And what's the next person in line to be doing? Wait for me. Because I guarantee you I recognize the symptoms of a person ahead of me who has had it with rushed-service and I will wait for them. I'm not saying that if we all waited for the person ahead of us to accomplish what should be service-oriented, that the stores would get the hint. They won't. The counters are short and the service perfunctory for a reason. And it's not like I can go elsewhere because it's the same everywhere.

So I have become slow and deliberate and I invite you to do the same.

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