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Monday, November 26, 2012

No doubt you're familiar with Black Friday. And most of us have now heard of Cyber Monday and now Black Thursday, Small Business Saturday, and this year Giving Tuesday. It seems everyone wants to get in on the act.

Not one to disappoint, I am getting in on the act this year too and I need your help.

Our mission: Decipher December.

Here's the back story:
Today I went into a Super-Walmart to purchase some cleaning supplies, paint, motor oil and some food. I waited in line for what seemed like forever and finally it was my turn. I watched as the cashier mindlessly scanned in all my items; robotically listening beep-beep-beep. He turned to me and said, "Fifty six dollars and sixty five cents.”  I opened up my wallet and pulled out three twenties.  He looked at me and asked, "Out of sixty?” 
I politely replied, “We’ll see.  Just wait.”  And proceeded to look / dig into my pocket.  I produced three quarters and while doing so could see out of the corner of my eye a look of fear descend upon his brow. 
Then I produced a one dollar bill.   He looked at me in complete confusion.
"Not out of sixty?” he asked.   
“No," I replied.  And before he could figure out the amount that I had handed him and type it into the register, I interjected, “Can you tell my how much you are going to give me back before you type it in?!”
He looked at me startled for a second, then looked at the other people in line, then paused and meekly asked, “Ten dollars and ten cents?” 
“No,” I said.  “Five dollars and ten cents.”  He gave me an evil eye and with a hope for vindication on his face he typed 61.75 into the cash register. "Huhm,” he said as he gave me my change. 
Some man in the back of line yelled, “It ‘aint like the old days!”   
“No it’s not,” I shouted back.
“What is going on in our country?” I pondered as I walked to my car.  “How can we ever hope to get our country on solid financial footing if people can’t even make change without a machine?”

Then I thought of it.

And this is where you come in.

Decipher December.

All YOU have to do is do one thing:
Whenever you buy anything during the month of December – as you hand the person at the cash register your money, simply say, “Tell me the change before you enter it in and let’s see if we’re right.”  Of course that means you need to figure out the change too so you can confirm or deny their answer before they type the numbers in.
Now I am sure you are thinking, “OK, will do, but only if there’s not a line.”

Nope.  Do it even if there is a long line.  It’s good practice (and entertainment) for everybody to dust off that part of their brain and do some thinking while they are waiting.

Do this diligently and report in throughout the coming month.  Return here to share your comments and stories.   I want to hear them!  Maybe this is only a New Hampshire thing.  Maybe it is only rural areas.  Maybe it's only Walmart.

Make some real change this holiday season!