Monday, August 9, 2010
I've recently become aware of THE most wasteful and ridiculous development of recent history: the length of receipts. Has anyone noticed how freaking HUGE register receipts have gotten lately? Remember when they were just tiny slips about 2 inches wide and just a few inches long? Or when all they recorded was the cost of each item and then the total? Those days seem to be long gone.
I recently dashed into Star Market (the East Coast version of Albertsons for you Westcoasters) to buy exactly two items: a gallon of cheap lemonade and a box of fudgesicles. I went through the self-checkout lane to "save time"* and when I was finished, the receipt that printed for me was the most astounding artifact I have yet found of the super-sizing of all things American. The thing was approximately 5 inches wide, 7 feet long and had enough information on it that it must have included: my purchased items (including SKU, weight, regular price, sale price, price per ounce, price last year on this date, price I would have paid if I actually remembered my frequent shopper card, and a short narrative description of said item), the total (including what my total would have been had I saved with the shopper card), a customer service response survey, a message from the President of the company, my credit history, three coupons for things I didn't buy and the entire text of the New Testament. The ridiculousness only increased when I went home later and attempted to photocopy said receipt for record-keeping and reimbursement purposes. I had to fold the thing in thirds and press copy three different time to get it all!
When did this happen? And why did it become necessary? It's insane! I've concluded that by now there is probably an island of receipts floating somewhere off the coast of Malaysia the size of Manhattan. I know there is one at least the size of a generous size shoe box in my desk drawer.
* Tangent: WHY aren't ALL the self-checkout lanes open all the time? Isn't that the friggin POINT of self check-0ut? Why are half of them always closed so you still have to wait in line to check out your own damn groceries? ARGH.