I approach the cash registers at the local Aldi grocery store. In a rare occurrence, no one is already in line.
I eye the cashier on duty and decide I don’t want him touching my items. So I go to the self-service checkout right next to his station.
I abhor self-service checkout, but I only have a few items, and the cashier is playing with his Android phone, so I’m doing him a favor. He is probably close to beating his high score in Super Mega Bubble Pop, which explains why he doesn’t glance up when I approach his station.
I start self-scanning my items and glance over at the cashier. He’s leaned all the way back in his chair, has a foot up on the counter, and is engrossed in his game. (Yes, Aldi cashiers sit in chairs, which is really weird.)
As I scan my items, I place them into my backpack. It’s a little too full; I bought too much, as usual. I pay, and the screen reminds me to take my receipt, which ends up at the bottom of my bag after I repack to make everything fit. (Note to self: don’t put bread in first.)
I turn on my heels, take a step towards the door, then hear a voice behind me.
“Did you get a receipt?” Oh, the cashier has awoken from his trance!
“Yup, got it. Thanks,” I reply.
“Let me see it.”
“I didn’t see your receipt print.“
“You were on your phone.”
“I need to see it.”
“No, you don’t. It’s in the bottom of my bag, and I’m not unpacking everything. I literally checked out right in front of you.”
“Show it to me or don’t ever come back,” he says, trying to sound authoritative while still leaning back, foot on the counter, and chip-tune music blaring from his phone.
“Ha! Yeah. Right. See you later, asshole,” I say, and walk out the door.
Postcript: I have, of course, been back. I haven’t seen Mr. Super Mega Bubble Pop again. (Which isn’t a surprise given the frequent turnover of employees at the store. I rarely see the same one twice.)
“Banned at the Aldi’s” will be the name of my next album.