minutia press.
Sam's Club, restocking

My 4-year-old and I went on our semiannual pilgrimage to Sam's Club, in the land of Manchester where the bargains lie. Every time I shop at Sams (twice a year), there's some kind of problem when I go to check out. I had been freeloading off my wife's card, but last time they made me go get my own (they said I didn't resemble her picture enough to use the same card).

Why do I go to Sam's? I stock up on candy and carbs for my research assistants, advisees, and students about to take the mayhem I like to call Exam I in cs102. So being nearly depleted prior to the Spring break, I thought it prudent to restock. Hence the trips to Sam's.

When I tried to check out, the guy at the register kept scanning my card (my card, with my picture on it), but it kept saying "NM COS QUIT" which is short hand for "that guy is not a member here". It's only the second time I tried using the card, so of course a manager had to be called.

While we were all waiting for authorization from on high, the guy started asking me about all the candy and stuff I was buying. I also bought some drinking glasses to add to the ones we still have (their resemblence to restaurant glasses is purely coincidental). I decided to keep my M&M motives to myself, so I gave him some very vague answers, which only made him more curious. I told him that the reason for the candy was on a need-to-know basis, top secret.

At the end, he tried to pronouce my name to say good-bye, and asked me if that's how I say it (of course, it wasn't --- in fact, even those of you who know me very well don't know how I pronounce my name: fodder for a future post). I just shrugged and wheeled the cart toward the exit.

At Sam's, the exit guy looks at your receipt, pretends to scrutinize your cart, and then draws a yellow stirpe down the receipt. I think it's always yellow, but I don't sample all that frequently.

Well, the bottom line is that my office is now stock full of good stuff, so come by and help yourselves.


My experience at Sam's is a bit different. I'm usually there once every week or two to buy about $150 worth of soda and candy for ACM. I've been there so often that I know which checkers will get my soda scanned the fastest, and they often remember me. The on weird thing is that, they always have to transfer your purchases from one cart to another. The best checker has the codes for the soda memorized, and just types them in, which saves a lot of time that would normally be spent trying to find the barcode on the cans. But then we has to move all to another cart, which really slows things down. And I don't even want to get started on the pointlessness of the people checking the receipt at the door.

Posted by: david at March 12, 2003 11:36 AM