Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Reading's Labor Lost

If you need proof that people don't read anymore, then I have a story from my Labor Day that will enlighten you.
As I mentioned before, I spent most of my weekend painting my house. I couldn't finish due to the weather as well as my ankle (my foot, today, is mostly purple....I could be a Vikings fan I guess). Anyway, I needed more primer and a taller ladder in order to due the higher portions of the house. So, I went to Home Depot to procure those items. When you walked into the Fridley Home Depot, there was a giant sign. When I say giant, I mean 11 feet tall and 7 feet wide with huge lettering. You could not miss this sign when you walked in. You couldn't. The sign dealt with the Home Depot State Fair Coupon Sale. Essentially, you go to the fair and bring a coupon from the Home Depot Center at the fair, and you get a bunch of money off of certain items. It was just that simple. Explained just like that on the board.
So, with hurt ankle and a wee bit of exhaustion, I grabbed a heavy ladder and went to get in one of the two lines that were open. Now, it's Labor Day. Most people are off from work, yet HD had only two lines open. So as I stood there halfway down the plumbing aisle, I listened to stupid conversations around me. Fast forward to fifteen minutes later. Finally, there is one person in front of me, and she is checking out. She finishes, and I step up. Just as the cashier is about to scan my ladder, the woman returns with a popping vein in her forehead. The man behind me steps up and pins me in. Now, there's a frothing mad woman in front of me, a man who's pinned me in behind me, and no place to put this ladder without possibly hurting myself. I asked the woman to move and was told, "In a minute...Wait your turn!"
Here's where the reading part comes in to play. It seems that the woman was charged full price for some solar lights that she was sure were on sale. The conversation went as follows:
Cashier: Miss, they're on sale if you have the coupon. You didn't give me the coupon.
Lady: What coupon? What are you talking about?
Cashier: It was on the sign with the sale prices Miss.
Lady: No it wasn't.
Cashier: Yes it is, Miss. It's right there on the top. (He points.)
Me: Please, could you just move a little so I don't drop this ladder on you?
Lady: Could you please not be so rude!? God! (She moves to look at the sign, the cashier moves with her. After a few seconds, she returns and talks to the cashier again.)
Lady: That's not very clear. It expects you to read the whole sign. Most people would just look at the numbers.
Cashier: Regardless, Miss, it says that you must have a coupon to get the discount. You didn't give me the coupon.
Lady: I want to speak to your supervisor. You have done a terrible job here today, and I think this is your fault. Not mine, yours.
(The cashier shrugs and looks sheepishly at her. Then he pages the supervisor. The Lady continues to berate him as he starts to check me out.)
After I paid, I heard the lady explain that she was mad because of nine dollars. NINE DOLLARS! She treated this guy like crap, held me up as well as the rest of the line for nine dollars. Beyond that, however, the cashier told me that more than half his customers that day had not read the sign carefully. They all complained (not as much as her, however) that the sign was unclear. It wasn't. From the moment I walked in, I could tell the sign was talking about the coupon. It said, "Bring your coupon from the State Fair Home Depot Center and save on these items." It said that TWICE. No one reads anymore. We glance over it. The only way it would have worked is if it was on a TV screen.
That's not only place where I see this anymore. Forget that most students don't look at the board unless told to, people just don't look at things unless told. Life has to be turned into stereo instructions for alot of people now.
At least that's my opinion.

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