Monday, November 14, 2016
Today's Annoyance: Cash Register Receipts
There's an issue that's been bothering me for a long time that I would like to bring to your attention.
I thought about this most recently when I went yesterday afternoon to the local Big Chain Supermarket to buy one item: a piece of meat for dinner. Amazingly and uncharacteristically enough, I went through the self-service checkout line* with my one item and received a receipt that measured 16-5/8 inches in length. Here's what that super-sized receipt contained:
Documentation of the sale (name and location of the store, store phone numbers, what I bought, price, date, taxes, type of payment, etc) - 7-3/8 inches, 1/2 inch of which told me that I had received "Bonus Buy Savings" for using my "Bonus Card" on the one item I'd bought.
A "Savings Summary" for using my "Bonus Card" - 1/2 inch.
A thank you statement for helping the store raise money for children's cancer research - 1-3/8 inches.
A statement of "Total 2016 Card Savings" - 1-3/8 inches.
A summary of the gas discounts I've earned by using my "Bonus Card" - 2 inches.
The last four digits of my customer number - 1/2 inch.
"Thanks for shopping with us" statement and store URL - 1-3/8 inches.
Trailer with repeated date and time of the sale, number of the sale, and ID of the checkout scanner - 1-3/4 inches.
Total length of receipt: 16-5/8 inches (totals may not be exact because of rounding).
Consider this: if that receipt had simply documented essential information (items purchased, price paid, date, and time), it could have measured about 8-5/8 inches ... half of the original length. How much paper is wasted every day in this one store by printing enormously long register receipts full of information we don't need or care about?
I realize that this may not rank high on the list of things that irritate many Americans. After all, many of our fellow countrymen are busy planning to move to Canada, cheering the diminishment of their freedoms of speech and the press and confirmation of their freedom of armament, or getting drunk on principle. I get that. Nevertheless, it bothers me.
And I probably won't to go to jail because I complained about it, even under the libel laws the new president wants to "open up."
Have a good day. Ask your supermarket how much they pay for all that cash register tape you're paying for.
More thoughts tomorrow.
* And you know how much I love those.