No restroom for men…

So I went to a store and had to use the toilet. To my surprise, there was only a “Family” and a woman’s restroom. My family wasn’t with me, so I had to use the woman’s restroom, no other choice.

It’s not the first time I’ve used a woman’s toilet. I was interviewing for a job and was exhausted from the long flight and uncomfortable hotel bed. After my lunch with the recruiter I met my sister at Sam’s club to buy some snacks. I stopped off at the bathroom first and wondered why there were no urinals. I picked a stall next to someone who was sitting. I stood up to pee as normal. As I walked out I did a double take as I saw the “Men’s” sign as I exited the Woman’s restroom. My sister was doubled over in laughter, but I’m sure the lady that was still in the toilet was just as confused as I was.

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Small carts = big prices

It’s subtle, but stores that offer the smaller carts usually have higher prices. Warehouse stores that offer the large carts serve a purpose for bulk loading. When you enter a store and see that the little cart is the only option then walk away. Smaller carts are easier to push but you can’t put as much in them, so the store will jack up their prices so that you can’t carry too many of their items to your home. I’ve noticed these carts at: Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, Harris Teeter, and now PetSmart.

How to check out faster at a store

Typically humans will form a queue if there are multiple registers open. The term first in first out (or FIFO) comes to mind. However there are people who subscribe to the LIFO life (Last in first out). LIFO is our natural inclination, we are self-centered creatures and have our own interests in mind. So when someone bypasses the established queue, simply give them a reminder they’re not the only person in the store or on the planet.

For instance, this evening I was checking out at a sporting goods store and approached the register. At first I thought the checkout was empty until I saw the queue of four people waiting for the first available cashier. I took my place in the queue. As my turn approached a person jumped in front of me and began to place their items on the counter. The cashier said nothing. A person behind me said passive aggressively “Some people don’t know where the line starts”.  I kept walking and politely informed the lady that the line started (I pointed in the direction of the 5 people behind me). She said something like “she didn’t see the line”. I replied, “Yeah, it’s right over there”.

A queue makes sense if you are in a busy store that’s understaffed. It’s the faster way to check out. The only problem is the person who starts the queue has to enforce it for the second person who arrives. You have to space yourself at the just the right position between both registers. It helps the register are within close proximity.

Force Friday

Whatever happened to letting kids buy toys. I took my children shopping for Star Wars toys this evening and the shelves were empty. I can only assume that grown men and women went to buy the toys earlier and are now selling them on eBay for profit.

I know it’s fun to purchase “Hard-to-find items” but let the kids have a shot. If you really want one of each item then buy an entire case from entertainmentearth.com and let the children experience shopping for new toys rather than looking at a barren wasteland of potential Star Wars happiness.

I don’t know if this happens but retailers should split the toy shipment into two pieces. Set aside half of the shipment for the people who stand in line at midnight. Then the other shipment for people who have to work and have children who may want a few toys.

Yes, I’m just bitter that I didn’t get any new toys.

Buy one get one free…


Do you think BOGOs are a good deal? Hows come when you see the same item at Walmart it's the same price as one of the buy one get ones? That's because BOGO is a scam. Paying full retail price vs what the price should be. It's not near as worse as by 3 get 2 free. If you divide it out it's about the same price as a single item at Walmart or Aldi.

Tax Free Weekends

How much do you love people and massive amounts of them confined in one area? Do you like long lines at the dressing room and checkouts? Do you enjoy fighting over parking spaces and pedestrians who forget how to walk in parking lots? If you said yes to any or all of these questions then you will love shopping on tax free weekends in your state. It’s only rivaled by Black Friday sales. However, you can pay slightly a bit more and shop from your computer at home. You have to deal with the age old question, “How much is my time worth?”.

A well aged cheese

Apparently, I’m at the age now where I don’t care how much my bag of cheese costs. My younger self would have made a fuss over this situation and maybe my older self will do the same. But for now, I do not have time to fuss over the bag of cheese cost differential. What am I talking about? Well let me tell you.

Today I went to purchase a bag of cheese from my neighborhood market. I saw several selections of the shredded variety that caused me to seek out the best deal. Do I select the bag that has the greatest value? Do I select the most recognized name brand bag of cheese? At first glance, the brand that has the most commercials per capita on the television appeared to have the greatest value. One pound of shredded cheese in a bag for $2.58. That seemed to good to be true. Because it was.

After I scanned the bag of cheese at one of those lonely self checkouts, I noticed the price was almost double. I had fallen prey to the oldest trick in the shredded cheese bag book. The misplaced item on the shelf.

At this point what do I do? Call for the cashier and ask for the price it was labeled even though it was probably restocked by another customer after they found it on the bread isle after someone else gave up their grilled cheese sandwich adventure after they discovered the potato bread was out of stock? No, I didn’t want to do that. Do I cancel my transaction and walk back over to the bagged shredded cheese isle and find the correct item that I wanted? No, too much time. What do I do? I simply pay for this bag of cheese and enjoy it when I get home.

Like a well aged cheese, time is valuable and should not be wasted. Enjoy your cheese, whichever you choose.