When I was a young punk so long ago, I had a summer job working at a drug store. I would stock shelves and run the register. I remember my overzealous manager harping on us to remember to always hand the customer their receipt. “All returns must have a receipt. So I don’t want to hear from any of our customers that they didn’t receive one.” Yeah, that’s about as difficult as it got. It was simple work for a simple time.
My favorite part of working the register was watching people’s behavior as they would purchase condoms. As I noted, it was a long time ago, but this particular store was breaking out of the Stone Age by placing the condoms for sale in one of the aisles rather than behind the counter. This way people can place the item in their basket without having to interact with the old man pharmacist or the young punk behind the counter (like me).
My job (people watching entertainment for a pay check) taught me that when men buy condoms they will always hide the box among other items. A magazine, a bottle of pop, a box of condoms, and a candy bar. See? You probably didn’t even see the word “condom” in that last sentence. I, being the good little cash register runner, would act like I didn’t notice their particular special item. Although the voices in my head were always screaming. “Twenty four pack, huh? I guess that should last you until the end of the decade. You know, these only have a shelf life of twelve months.”
Here is your receipt. Have a nice night.
Women, on the other hand would walk right up to the counter, drop their box of condoms, pay for them, and be on their way. Although I watched this behavior many times over, I’m still not sure if women are just bolder or simply trying to push through this awkward moment as fast as possible. I’m leaning toward bolder.
There was this one time where this woman brought her box of condoms up to the counter and paid for them. She stated that she didn’t need a bag, grabbed her purchase, and headed to the door. I, like a good little employee, held out her receipt and said, “I have your receipt here.”
She turned around and looked me straight in the eye. She held up her box of condoms, and said, “I’m only going to need that if these break.”
I put the receipt in the trash.