She made her way to the check out station. She searched the 400 stations to find one that had the 12 items or less sign above it and made her way to stand in line behind the woman with 15 kids and a basket full of microwavable dinners and toilet paper. “Ma’am,” Gladys said as she tapped her fellow shopper on the shoulder “this is a 12 items or less lane.” The harried mother turned her evil eye upon Gladys and replied “So?” Seeing that the woman did not follow the rules of supermarket etiquette Gladys pressed on “Well you have like 400 T.V. dinners and a bunch of toilet paper in your basket. That doesn’t qualify for the 12 items or less.” The woman was not impressed with Gladys or her supermarket rules she simply sighed and said “I only have two things in my cart. T.V. dinners and toilet paper. See that’s only two things.” Gladys gave up and decided to just wait for the Express Lane police to take over. They never came and Gladys stood by while the T.V. dinner lady put 400 boxes of frozen Mexican food on the conveyor.
The woman fumbled for her check book and started writing a check when the clerk said “Ma’am this is a cash or credit only line.” Now wait just a frickin frackin minute. Gladys screamed in her had she calls her on the check but not on the obvious breach of line etiquette of having 5 million items in the 12 items or less lane. The woman turned the stink eye away from Gladys and now focused it on the cashier. She stood there and stared at her with hate in her eyes while her kids wallered on the floor and ran around the check stand. Finally through pure intimidation the cashier took the woman’s check.
It was Gladys’ turn and she set her 3 small items on the conveyor. She smiled at the cashier and said “Wow! Some people huh?” The cashier, Youlanda, stared at Gladys and said “That will be $19.47. Cash or Credit Card?” Gladys being the polite shopper already had her money in hand and gleefully handed her $20.00 bill and two quarters. The cashier looked at the money in her hand and then looked at Gladys. Gladys wasn’t sure if she was questioning the validity of her money or if she was trying to figure out how to make change. She opened the till and took out the change and handed it to Gladys. Then Youlanda dismissed Gladys then looked toward the man behind her in line.
Gladys looked at the change in her hand and said “Excuse me. You gave me a ten dollar bill.” The cashier looked at Gladys and said “I know. That’s your change.” Gladys looked back at Youlanda and then looked back at the ten dollar bill in her hand. “No, I gave you a twenty. I should only get a dollar and three cents in change.” The cashier stood there staring at Gladys, and then she said something so incredulous Gladys was left speechless. Youlanda, and no I’m not misspelling her name that was how it was spelled on her name tag, said “Ma’am you gave me a THIRTY dollar bill. I gave you change for your THIRTY dollar bill.”
The man in line behind Gladys snorted and the woman behind him sucked in a giggle. Gladys stood there with her mouth open looking at Youlanda. Finally she found her voice and said “There is no such thing as a thirty dollar bill. I gave you a twenty and I get a dollar in change. I can’t take this ten it’s not mine.” Youlanda was now irritated, she had been challenged and she was getting a little loud as she yelled “MA’AM YOU GAVE ME A THIRTY DOLLAR BILL! Take your change and go.” This of course alerted the manager who came over to the check out station. “Can I be of assistance?” she inquired. Gladys explained her predicament and how she could not in good conscience take the change as there is no such thing as a thirty dollar bill. The manager looked at Gladys and said “Since when? I mean there is a 10 and a 20 why isn’t there a 30. Ma’am just take your change.”
Now Gladys had a quandary. The man behind her was telling her to take the change, the manager was telling her to take the change and Youlanda was insisting she take the change. Her Jimmy Cricket conscience was telling her it was wrong. Gladys tried one more time. “Open the register and you will see there is NO thirty dollar bill in there.” The manager looked at Gladys and then at Youlanda and said “We can’t open the register unless we ring something up.” Gladys rolled her eyes and grabbed a pack of gum off the impulse shelf. She gave it to Youlanda and waited. The gum was scanned the register opened and low and behold there was no thirty dollar bill. She gave the ten dollar bill back to the cashier who then gave her change for the ten minus the 75 cent pack of gum. Gladys wanted to scream in frustration but instead she put the change on the counter grabbed her receipt and her bag and ran screaming from the store.
Who says our schools aren’t teaching our kids how to make change?