Because I Can

The grocery stores were extra busy over the holiday season. Checkout lines tend to snake down the aisles of the stores a lot of the time anyway because the checkers here can be kind of chatty and it was more so right before Christmas. The woman in front of me had a cart full of stuff. Her conversation with the checker was not a quiet one and I didn’t have to hone my eavesdropping skills to hear them. I learned most of the woman’s purchases were for a birthday party that afternoon for her five-year-old daughter. The checker told her he had an eighteen-month-old son and was looking forward to birthday parties like that in his future. When he finished ringing her up, he told her she was getting a ten dollar discount, as today’s birthday special. It made me smile and made her smile even more. She thanked him profusely and went on her way. When he got to the end of my order, he said he was giving me a five dollar discount. He told me it just felt good to do that for people during the holidays. Because one of our grandsons worked at this large chain a few years ago, I know that employees are allowed discretionary price reductions for one reason or another. It primarily has to do with dissatisfaction with something or an item that had been mis-priced and I’m sure if a clerk did that all the time, the place would eventually go out of business but it felt really nice that morning. When I asked the guy why he was giving me a five dollar discount, he shrugged, smiled and said simply, “Because I can.”


Photo courtesy 568647 at

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