I thought I’d show you some of my end-of-season seed packages I got at Dollar General. For the first time in two years, I had worked two weeks at a temporary job so I had a little cash in my pocket. Most of them are flower seeds because I had decent success with flower seeds this spring. I did buy a package of kohlrabi and another of butternut squash to play with but if they don’t produce, I won’t be broken-hearted.
All of the 25 packages in this pile were marked 50% off. I expected to pay $4.65 but was charged $5.31 because Dollar General priced them as individual items and each half penny was rounded up in their favor rather than mine. To further peeve me, 23 of the 25 packages were unit priced, i.e., 2 for $1 or 3 for $1. Half price on 3 for a $1 would be 50 cents rather than charging me three times for 17 cents. So, in my opinion, Dollar General appropriated an additional 66 cents from me because they figured I was some stupid consumer who wouldn’t notice.
We think there is nothing we can do in such situations when really we have several options. Two come instantly to mind:
#1: I could have said to the cashier, “I’m sorry but these were 50% off or $4.65 for these seed packages. If I can’t have them for $4.65 then I will let Dollar General keep them.”
#2: Go ahead and let Dollar General hose me for the seeds but get even later on.
I chose the latter. You know I have a bad memory. Half of it, maybe more, got up and walked off so many years ago I can’t even remember when it happened. You cheat me, however, and my memory locks up like a bank vault where all those done-me-wrong scenarios are safe and sound.
The bank vault conveniently coughed up the 66 cent over-charge the next time I was in Dollar General. Also, conveniently, an opportunity for justice presented itself. Now I know some of you are gonna try to remind me that God said vengeance belonged to Him. Suppose, however, He’s busy with the prayers of all those people who haven’t once cracked open their Bible in the last year? So He runs a little short of time to handle resentments we didn’t tell Him about but, because He knows what’s in our hearts, He tosses an opportunity for vengeance to us? Obviously, I’m not gonna be ordained any time soon but let’s just say that’s my take on it.
You know how guys shop. If it’s some plain ole utilitarian consumable like dish soap that he can’t lovingly wax, polish or tinker with, he’s gonna reach for the first thing on the shelf. A guy walked up and reached for a $3 bottle of Ajax that was half the size of the 56 oz. bottle of Dawn I had just pulled from the shelf. There you have it. Opportunity.
Immediately, I said to him, “Are you particularly fond of that brand because you can get these big old jugs of Dawn for $3.75. It’s all in the language you use. You mention big old jugs and it’ll stop a guy in his tracks. Every time.
The guy looked over at my jug, looked back at his Ajax, put it back on the shelf, reached for the Dawn, and thanked me for the tip. Now, how many times will he go back and buy the BIGGER jug of dish soap LESS OFTEN and thus spend LESS MONEY at Dollar General?
I love justice when it keeps on paying, bwahahahahahaha.