Tuesday, June 26, 2012
The Shopper's senior's discount
That's it. It's official. I'm old as dirt.
The other day I was into Shopper's Drug Mart in Bracebridge, laying down one-tenth of my weekly pay cheque on feminine hygiene products and soap. What a total waste of money, I tell ya. Think how rich I'd be if I was a man who didn't bathe.
Not that I know any men like that ....
My first indication that I was Old came when I was floundering around with the debit machine. Not that I want to offend anyone but, come on. Everyone knows old people have trouble with debit machines. Young people, why they just zip their card through with the confidence borne from being hatched with their fingers on the text button. Makes for some painful childbirth, I gotta tell you. Those little cell phone buttons and antennaes hurt on the way out. Thank god for touch-screens.
Old people, well, how do I say this... they just SUCK at debit machines, drive-through banking windows and even ATMs. Have you ever been behind an old person in line to pay for something? They always swipe their card the wrong way, for starters. Then they forget their pin number. Then they punch in the wrong pin number and they often hit chequing instead of savings and vice versa so they have to run through the whole process about 50 times until they get it right.
So there I was, fecking up the debit machine at Shopper's. I have a new chip debit card and I'm never sure what end is the right end. One end has a square chippy looking thing but the other end has markings that look sort of like arrows. Why can't it just have a sentence that says INSERT HERE? Honestly. So there I was floundering around with the wrong end of the card. The lady reset it and I tried the other end, but I didn't push it in far enough so she had to reset it again. This time I tried swiping it but I swiped it backwards. Finally I got the feckitty-fecking card in right but I was so embarrassed that I momentarily forgot my pin number. I stared at the woman with my mouth gawping open and drool threatening to come out while my mind completely erased. It was like the black screen of death on my computer. It took a few inexorably long, painful, horrible moments before my brain rebooted and I remembered the pin number.
But of course I hadn't remembered it exactly. The machine screen screamed at me, in all-caps: INCORRECT PIN NUMBER. TRANSACTION CANCELLED. PLEASE TRY AGAIN. Feck, feck, feck.
The lady behind the counter was not amused, so I tried my level best to amuse her. That's what I do. Always try to amuse those who cannot and will not be amused. If I can garner a smile out of one of these pickle-up-their-butt sourpusses, I feel I have served my greater purpose in the universe.
"That's what happens when you get to my age," I said to her, shooting her a dazzling smile and hoping I had no dinner remnants wedged between my teeth. "You forget how to use the debit machine." I was hoping she'd say something like, "Oh, you're not old, what are you talking about?" But she was busily ignoring me while she reset our transaction.
Not content with leaving well enough alone I said, "Pretty soon I'll be ready for the senior's discount. How old do you have to be for that anyway?" I was thinking she was going to say 60, or maybe even 55.
"Fifty," she said.
"Fifty," I repeated. "Really."
"Really," she said. "You can insert your card again. This way." She showed me which end to insert.
"So I'm old enough to get a senior's discount," I said. Shocked. I hoped she'd say, "Naaaa, you don't look old enough for a senior's discount."
"Yep," she said.
I asked her what, exactly the senior's discount was. "Twenty per cent off all purchases on Thursdays."
TWENTY PER CENT OFF. I didn't know what to think. I was excited and depressed all at the same time. My mind was racing between, YOU'RE A SENIOR and YOU'RE GONNA GET STUFF CHEAPER and SHIT - I GET PAID ON FRIDAYS AND THUS HAVE NO MONEY ON THURSDAYS.
Yesterday was my supervisor's 50th birthday. We threw a pot luck party for him. He got a nice bottle of Chivas as a present but the biggest excitement came when I announced he now qualified for the senior's discount at Shopper's. He was so excited he texted his slightly younger wife to tell her the big news.
Then it dawned on him – he would now be the one to pay for his wife's soap and feminine hygiene products every Thursday for several years to come.