CVS this week and being gracious

That’s 24 rolls of paper towels!

First, I’ll spell out my CVS trip:

Bounty 12 ct mega roll $13 (x2)
-$10 ECB wyb 2
-$.50/1 coupon (x2)
Fall pumpkin decoration $4.99
-$5 off Halloween decorations coupon
-$5/$30 purchase coupon
=$10 (or $.41 per roll or 68% savings

Now, it didn’t go very smoothly. First, I took my kids with me. I fed them McDonald’s first, which I thought would be enough to attempt a trip to CVS (where the carts are too small to put them all in and therefore confine them,) but it wasn’t. Mark broke down while I was checking out, which added to the drama.

Second, the computer didn’t like any of the coupons I used. I was using ECBs to pay for it, as well as the coupons that I mentioned above. It said the $5/$30 purchase coupon wasn’t for my card, it wouldn’t accept the Halloween decor coupon at all, and it didn’t recognize my ECBs as valid upcs.

Well my cashier (who is one of my favorite cashiers at my favorite CVS) was sweet and understanding and pushed them through saying that the computer had been acting oddly all day, BUT she needed a manager to approve it. Here’s where it all went badly.

The manager, who I’ve dealt with before, said that he wasn’t supposed to take the ECBs because they were expired, although he’s the same manager who told me in the past that they take them regardless of the expiration date listed, but he would do it this once. Then he said that I couldn’t use the $5/$30 coupon because it says not to use with any other dollar amount off of another dollar amount coupon (ie $3 off of a $15 purchase) and the $5 off of any Halloween decor item counted as such. I think he was really reaching on that one, because it was clearly not a $ off of a $ purchase coupon, but oh well. I held my tongue and decided to accept it. I asked if I could buy the pumpkin in another transaction.

Well, he said that if I did that, my total wouldn’t make the $30 amount to use the $5 off of a $30 purchase (my total, including a drink for the kids, would only be $27,) and he was right. So I said, nicely and politely while trying to stop my child from screaming and throwing all the gum on the ground, that I would just forget about the paper towels and get the drink since we had already opened it.

He said that he was just trying to play by the rules, and I said that I am as well. I don’t want to do anything that isn’t allowed, but the only reason that I was getting the paper towels was that the coupons made it under my target price for buying paper towels, and if I couldn’t use them, it wasn’t worth it to buy them. I wasn’t mad, I just didn’t want to buy them because they weren’t the price I had planned on.

The manager stopped and just stood there for a little bit and finally told the cashier to do the whole thing, taking all the coupons, just this once because he just wanted to move things along and get me out of there (insert slight attitude here.)

Now, about six months ago, I probably would have said something because I wasn’t too thrilled with the attitude he was expressing with that last sentence, especially since I was working so hard to control my emotions (and my tongue) and there was literally no other customer to be found that my taking so long could have bothered, but I said thank you, and that I appreciated what he did.

I don’t think he was exactly following CVS’ coupon policy (which I will be calling corporate to seek clarification,) he was contradicting himself (from a prior conversation about taking expired ECBs,) and the attitude from the end of the interaction was less than desirable, but I was willing to let the deal go, and I said thank you for his help. I would have done the same even if he wouldn’t ‘let me’ do it.

I’m writing this because I’ve seen similar situations go much differently, in fact, I’ve BEEN THAT woman before, I’m ashamed to say. I have been the woman who can’t control her rising anger over a coupon injustice. I am glad to say that I’ve never thrown anything or raised my voice, but that’s about all I can say. That, and the times I have lost it have been few and far between, thank you Jesus.

I think it’s important to remember that, even if something doesn’t happen the way we thought it would, or even the way it should have according to the rules, we can still be gracious.

All week long, my kids follow me on shopping trips, to the gym to work-out, and on errands, and all week long, they hear me say thank you to all of the people who do things for me, from the person who holds the door open for us, to the voice from the drive-through speaker. Lately, they’ve been asking (over and over again) why I say thank you. I tell them that I say thank you because someone’s doing something for us, and we should ALWAYS tell them thank you.

I want my children to learn to treat others with respect, which means that they have to see me doing the same thing, even when things don’t go my way. It’s ok to make a point and correct someone, but it’s NOT ok to be cruel.

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