Don’t get me wrong, I like Costco. I do not, however, enjoy their policy of guarding the exit and carefully inspecting my receipt as I am trying to leave. It irks me that their default mode is to treat all customers as shoplifters, and I especially don’t like that they won’t own up to the reason why they do this. According to the signs they have posted, they’re delaying my exit for my protection. Gosh, thanks.
The receipt inspectors are generally a friendly lot, and if you have kids, the fellow may draw a smiley face on the back of the receipt. Alex has come to look forward to this. “Happy face!” he says, well in advance. His favorite part of going to Costco is leaving.
Or used to be. Today, the receipt inspector made Alex say “Please” and “Thank you,” which is within the bounds of reason… but then the guy reprimanded Alex because he didn’t say the words clearly enough. He wouldn’t hand over the drawing until he was satisfied with Alex’s enunciation. A frustrated Alex began to cry, which got Lea crying as well, and then my wife had two loudly crying kids on her hands. Thanks, Costco!
J regrets not having the presence of mind to lace into the guy. She mainly wanted to get the kids the hell out of there, and who can blame her? If she stuck around too much longer, he might not have let her leave until she passed a basic math test.
Man oh man, do I wish I could have been there. Did I say that already? Oh, right, it’s the title of this blog post.
For any Costco executives who might wander by here, and wish to understand the extent to which their gatekeeper royally screwed up, perhaps this bit of information will prove useful: ALEX IS MILDLY RETARDED. He didn’t talk at all until after age 3. Not one word. That Alex can converse as well as he does, as he heads towards his seventh year, is the result of a lot of hard work on the part of Alex’s teachers, parents, and Alex himself. And we sure the hell don’t need random store employees telling us we’re still not up to snuff. Just hand over the smiley face, schmuck. Or better yet, just get out of the way.
Update: For the benefit of the three bazillion Consumerist readers who are pouring through here… first of all, welcome! Second of all, for those of you who don’t care to read all the comments: I am no longer nearly as pissed off as I was when I wrote this. Some people think I’m trying to get the Costco guy fired, or want to set fire to his home, or whatever. No. I don’t even know his name, nor care. Should I get around to writing a letter, it will only be to the manager of my particular store, it will not identify the employee by name (how could it?), and it will merely say the things that would have been better said at the time of the incident, i.e., “I know your friendly employee was trying to banter with my kids, but perhaps that bantering should stop short of correcting a child’s diction.” We’re not overreacting or going to pieces over here, I promise.
I still don’t like Costco’s receipt-checking procedure, but that’s another story.