Mrs J, Baby J and I turned up to the supermarket in question this morning with our freshly folded and cleanly cut coupons as well as our regular shopping list.
Thursday is a busy shopping day in these parts. The weekend starts early so Thursday morning is the 2nd busiest day at the shops. Friday is THE busiest day - so crazy in fact that I have not been shopping on a Friday in 6 years.
The staff were interested in the coupons as they had heard they were being sent out, but hadn't seen them yet. I had to explain to one of them what the coupons were about - the top row for October and November, the bottom row for December.
There was even a picture of the Store Manager on the coupon letter and I saw him walking around the store, pleased as punch.
After an hour, 3,000 or so paces, and an interesting 'discussion' with Her Indoors, we arrive at the check out.
The female clerk (is that what they're called in these PC days?) was very friendly, chatted with Her Indoors and played with Baby J. She explained that she was not local but had been drafted in to deal with the influx of expected customers due to the coupons.
We had bought 1 of each thing on the coupon list and started to pass the items through. I handed the clerk the coupons and she said that she had to speak to her direct supervisor.
Fine. We had nowhere to rush to and there was no-one waiting behind us so we waited.
The supervisor arrived and explained that we had to show the coupons first as their system couldn't take the coupons after the item had been passed through the 'thing that goes "beep"'. Nice to see that they were ready for their big advertising splurge.
Great. She flashed her card through the system and we start packing the shopping.
But wait. if you have bothered to read this far its because you know there is a twist in the tale! The young couple in the checkout next to ours is having a bit of a combined meltdown. They've also got their coupons but are unhappy.
Mrs J and I listen in.
It appears that you can only use one coupon per purchase, each purchase a minimum of $25.
The Manager ambles over. 'Of course its only one coupon per purchase. It's written on the bottom line'.
I decide to confront the inept chap. 'Sir, I read the front of your coupon. It says the item and the price. I came here to buy them and now you're going to stop me from doing so? Are you sure?'
He slipped away without answering.
By now we had an audience watching us as it appears that most customers in the supermarket had coupons too!!
In typical 'thinking out of the box' fashion we come up with our answer.
Every $25 I the clerk and ask for the bill, and then pay. We have now made our purchase minimum of $25 and can now use one coupon!! We do this 3 times, laughing with the clerk at the attitude of the jobsworth* manager.
Tomorrow is Friday and both Mrs J and the sales clerk are very happy that they will be nowhere near that particular supermarket. It'll be interesting to say the least.
* jobsworth - from the phrase 'I can't do that, it's more than my job's worth' generally connected with not being able to get things done because of the rules. Jobsworth in wikipedia