Saturday, February 14, 2015

have you ever been had in Clubland

Last night, Mrs. P and I went to Sam's Club, the membership-only retail warehouse chain owned by the good people of Walmart. Sam's Club, named for beloved founder Sam Walton, is like a Walmart SuperCenter on acid. One can purchase a giant TV and pick up four tires just a few feet away. Then, just down the aisle, you can find a nine-foot high display of Cheerios, available for purchase in convenient, two-boxes-stuck-together packages. Most things are dirt cheap (a 32 ounce bag of prepared salad for a buck and a half!), while others are deceptively expensive (like, surprisingly, Coca-Cola products). 

Once your shopping cart is sufficiently loaded with selections – both sensible and frivolous* ones – they are checked out by a cashier and placed back into your cart without being bagged, Then, you head to the exit. It's up to you to put your unbagged purchases in your car so they don't fly all over the place on the ride home. Watch those quick stops lest you get nailed in the back of the head with a four-pack of canned tuna!

In an effort to control possible pilferage, Sam's Club employs a practice of checking each and every receipt before a customer is permitted to leave the store. A friendly man or woman, wearing an over-sized name badge and wielding a yellow HiLiter®, meticulously compares the list of items printed on your receipt to the items in your cart. And they better damn well match!

Yesterday evening, my wife and I approached the Sam's Club "purchase checker" after leaving the cashier. Mrs. P handed the receipt over to the young man at the door and he set to work examining the contents of our cart. Suddenly, he paused.

"Where's the 3-D X-Men movie?," he asked. He pointed to our receipt, singling out this item...

He craned his neck, as he gingerly lifted the 16-count pack of sandwich wraps and pushed aside the 3 pound bag of frozen salmon fillets. Mr. P and I exchanged glances and then turned to scan our purchases ourselves. Then, it hit me. This was the item in question...

It was a bulk package of 20 disposable razors that manufacturer Schick calls "Xtreme 3." It appears encoded on the receipt as "X3D Men's," as in men's razors, not Wolverine and his mutant pals. I pointed this out to the checker. "Oh.," he laughed and stroked our receipt with his marker, thus giving us the "all clear."

Sam's Club security is only as good as its weakest link.

And I think we met him.

*does anyone really need 132 ounces of ketchup at one time?

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