Coupons: A How-to Guide For Minimal Asshatery

I work at a grocery store. It is TRULY the most glamorous of jobs, and I bet EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOU is jealous of me right now. It’s okay. You can admit it, I won’t tell anyone.

Anyway, for the most part, it’s not so bad. I’ve had much worse jobs. I could detail the three bizarre days I “worked” as a waitress at a restaurant where everyone but me spoke Spanish. Or the time I sat around printing out things from microfiche and was SO GOOD AT THAT that they promoted me to typing numbers from one box to another box. I did that for twenty minutes and gave up. At least this job comes with the occasional slice of free cake.

BUT I DID NOT COME HERE TODAY TO TALK TO YOU ABOUT CAKE.

No. I came here today to discuss a very serious issue: COUPONS.

Coupons are the bane of my existence.

Listen. I understand the appeal of coupons. You use one, you get an item you probably were purchasing anyway a little bit cheaper. That’s cool. That’s FINE. I get that, I’ve done it myself from time to time. I think we all dabble in couponery.

But then there are the SRS BSNS COUPONERS. The ones who come up to the register with eight kerfrillion coupons, who split their items up into several transactions so they can use even MORE coupons, who argue with the checkers whenever one of their coupons does not appear to reduce their one hundred dollar purchase by the forty cents it promised.

These people suck. If you are one of them, I hate you.

You may save money, but you make the lives of everyone else miserable in the process. You make the people behind you in line wait as you quibble over your piddly amount of savings. You make the person behind the register (who probably would rather be ANYWHERE else, I promise you) feel small and retarded. You abuse corporate policy so that the corporation has to go and make up newer, stupider policies to counter-balance asshats like you.

BUT WAIT. THERE IS A WAY TO USE COUPONS AND NOT BE AN ASSHAT.

I’m going to lay it down for you. If you insist on using coupons, please take into consideration the following tips and tricks:

1) DON’T BE A JERK.

Understand that the person ringing you up is not out to get you or thwart your attempts to save money in any way. If you are nice to them, they will be nice to you. If you accuse them of cheating you in some way, they will not respond with kindness and a willingness to help. They will respond defensively. Because you have just THREATENED THEM.

2) UNDERSTAND HOW A CASH REGISTER WORKS.

In most stores these days, the cashiers do very little than scan an item and let the cash register do the work. All of the information about an item, including its PRICE and ANY DISCOUNTS, is built into the system. The checker themselves typically do not have ANY BEARING over how much an item rings up for. Also, in a store with hundreds of products that go on and off sale on a weekly to bi-weekly basis, the odds are pretty good they do not know the prices of every single item, so they depend on the cash register to ring something up correctly. IF AN ITEM DOES NOT COME UP AT THE PRICE YOU EXPECT, DO NOT YELL AT YOUR CASHIER AS IF THEY ARE STUPID. It is not their fault. Gently mention that you think an item may have rung up wrong, and ask if there’s any way to check on it. IF YOU ARE NICE TO THEM, THEY WILL BE NICE TO YOU.

3) DON’T DO A MONTH’S WORTH OF SHOPPING IN ONE GO.

If you need eight billion things from the store and insist on using a coupon for every single item, do EVERYONE a favor and break your shopping up into a couple of trips. This helps EVERYONE have a more pleasant shopping experience, including you, for the following reasons:
– You are not holding up the line as badly by having a huge purchase with a million coupons that need to be rung up and checked after everything else has already been scanned.
– There is less chance of messing up your coupons since there are less coupons to deal with, which means that discrepancies can be caught easier and with less hassle. Once again, if you notice a discrepancy, DO NOT BE A JERK ABOUT IT. Point it out gently and politely, not as if the cashier is intentionally short-changing you.

4) LEARN TO ACCEPT THAT YOU CAN’T ALWAYS GET YOUR WAY.

If you are pushing the boundaries of company policy, company policy will push back. If you’re expecting your coupons to double and triple and they don’t, deal with it. If you are expecting to be allowed to break your purchase up into multiple transactions in an attempt to use more coupons and you are denied, deal with it. If you are trying to use more than one coupon on an item and are told you cannot, deal with it. Nine times out of ten, the people who come in to my store complaining about how they need every single one of their discounts have more money to spend on food than I do. Which means if I can live without using six billion coupons, so can you. It also means that if you try to throw that out there as an excuse to abuse the policy I’m paid to enforce, you won’t get any sympathy from me. Until you’re using those discounts to buy MY dinner, you’ll just have to suck it up like the rest of us. You are welcome to complain and throw a shit fit, but understand that if you do that, you’ll have landed yourself firmly back in the category of asshat.

THAT IS ALL. I dream of a day when coupon users and cashiers can live in harmony with one another. I believe that YOU can help me make this dream a reality. Until then, I have to go to work, have a nice day.

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One thought on “Coupons: A How-to Guide For Minimal Asshatery

  1. Man, I have recently used coupons to very good effect and I felt INCREDIBLY GUILTY about it because all I could think about was “oh god I hate it when customers use coupons do they hate me right now it’s just SUCH A GOOD DEAL augh I hope they don’t hate me” and then I apologized and they told me it was cool and now I don’t feel so guilty about it any more.

    Bath and Body Works coupons can be awesome sometimes, just sayin.

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