The sign said that, if the checkout person didn't mention "today's daily special," she would be obligated to give it to me for free.
As I was reading it (it's my ADHD, I can't stand still for a moment without doing something, so I tend to read absolutely everything around me), she quickly explained in an apologetic tone that she hadn't mentioned "today's daily special" because I already had it in my basket.
I was puzzled. If I already had it, why bother mentioning it? And especially, why apologize?
Heck, it's Christmas, so I smiled and said Merry Christmas and left with my few groceries.
But I kept puzzling over the encounter. I guess there's also a bit of OCD in the basket of psychological/emotional issues that make me who I am (no daily specials - cheap and easy for me to take advantage of anytime.)
The answer suddenly came to me in one of those aha! moments - after I mentioned it to Donna and she said, "Of course, if she hadn't mentioned it, you could have been a bastard and demanded that you get it for free."
Oh, yeah. The checkout person interpreted my inclination to read anything - everything - voraciously as "checking the rules."
She thought I was about to call her out on "today's daily special" - demand I get it free - so she quickly corrected her "oversight."
Because there are jerks out there who'd have made a stink over that stupid technicality.
The foolish thing is that the sign is not for the cashier or for ordinary, decent people who either would have not bothered, because they obviously hadn't intended to buy "today's daily special" in the first place, or would not capitalize on someone's insignificant error.
That sign was there specifically to encourage the jerks. The ones who would eagerly wait for the tiniest error, and then pounce on it for even the slightest personal gain, without regard for the expense to someone else.
It's the same attitude people employ when they get too much change at the till because of a simple error in counting: you made the mistake, it's your tough luck, and screw you.
When we were kids, we played a lot of cribbage. One of the official rules of cribbage is that, if you miss counting some of the points in your hand, the first person who catches your error can claim those points.
We were quickly disabused of the notion that that was a fair way to play any game. The rule was disallowed in our home.
The sign, the crib rule. it's all dog logic: "Anything I can take from you is mine."
It's the logic that sends jerks over the border to shop and save a few pennies at the expense of their neighbours in Canada who end up paying for all the services that our taxes buy - for everyone, including the cross-border jerks.
That includes some services that Americans don't get at all, like the "free" health care that the jerks happily accept when they need it.
The jerks don't get that health care is not free at all. Our overall cost is cheaper than Americans pay on average, but it still only seems "free" because we all pay a fair share - except the jerks who sidestep taxes by slinking across the border to do their shopping.
The irony is that the people who shop across the border are the ones who could afford to shop here. If you really can't afford to shop locally, you probably do not have the means to take the trip across the border, or to buy enough stuff at a time to make the trip worthwhile.
Health care and other tax-funded services are only free for the jerks who don't pay their fair share. For them, life is full of "today's daily specials" that some poor schmo forgot to mention.