A Lack of Finesse

The woman paced the deli as I waited for my meats to be sliced. She invaded my space, standing between my cart and I, peering over my shoulder.

“These meats are so expensive!” She complains very loudly.

Her friend says something, but I can’t quite hear him. The slicing machine continues to whir as the deli attendant worked diligently with his back hunched and his left hand catching the sliced meats as they fell from the blade.

The woman walks over to the display next to the deli. “We’ll get these meats. Those at the counter are way too expensive. In fact, we’ll get Sargento cheese instead. It’s cheaper.”

The clerk doesn’t react as he places the meat on the scale. His fingers punch in a code. His dark eyes go to the couple and return again to the scale. I smiled extra big to him and said a little prayer for him that his day goes much smoother and he doesn’t have to deal with people like that woman.

The first thing my family taught me was not to yell out that something was expensive. Many times I’ll show Tony a price tag and raise my eyebrows, but I never insult the clerks that their products are over-priced. Personally, I really don’t think my grocery store is overpriced. The food is good quality. The meats in the other display case are the same price as in the deli case.

I’m frequently surprised over the years at the lack of common sense and grace. Even friends I know I have had to shush when they have unthinkingly blurted out that a product was too expensive. I believe every clerk deserves respect for the product they represent.

It is more polite to simply look and walk away. I left that day grateful for learning that lesson.

Have you ever said really loudly that something was too expensive?