Last week, we had two experiences where we derived benefit from the mistakes of others:
We were at one of our local department stores, buying pieces for a halloween costume. We went as convicts, which was simple to do: scrubs with a number painted on, and some makeshift waist-chain handcuffs. We found the scrubs, but the top didn’t have a price tag on it. No big deal, we assumed it was the same price as all the other tops, which was $10 or so.
When we went to check out, the cashier rang up our things, and when he got to the scrub top, he started looking for the price tag, which was nowhere to be find. He looked a bit perplexed and annoyed, and Marcia said “it must be free!” (This is something we often say when a price isn’t immediately apparent, and doesn’t usually get much response from cashiers, especially at this store that doesn’t like to give up a cent if they can avoid it.)
The cashier looked at Marcia, and then said in a rather pathetic I-have-a-cold-and-feel-like-crap voice, “And I’m gonna give it to you free too, because I’m sick and don’t want to be here.” And then he put the scrub top in the bag without another thought.
Free scrubs! Score one for Marcia and the sick cashier.
Saturday night, we decided to order pizza. We had a coupon: Buy an extra large specialty pizza at regular price, get a large one-topping free. We thought that was a pretty good deal, so we called and ordered. This particular pizza place has a specialty pizza that Marcia really loves. To protect the innocent, we’ll call it the “spinach” pizza. We ordered an extra large spinach pizza, and got a large pizza with tomatoes (yes, tomatoes are excellent for a one-topping pizza) free.
We went and picked up the order, and when we got home and opened the pizzas (ALWAYS check the order before you leave the store… I know better), we found that the spinach pizza had onions and mushrooms all over it – both things that Marcia doesn’t like on her pizza, and which I didn’t remember ordering.
I called back to the pizza place, and explained that I thought there was a mistake. At first, the guy said “that’s what comes on the spinach pizza, which is what you ordered.” Then he realized what had happened: There is also a “spinach DELUXE” pizza in their computer system, and he had printed a ticket for the deluxe, when we had only ordered the regular. He asked if I wanted a regular spinach pizza instead, and I said yes.
I went to exchange the corrected pizza (they did offer to deliver it free, but it’s faster to just go pick it up), and when I took the original offending pizza in, they said I could keep that too, since all they would do is throw it away anyway. While Marcia won’t eat the mushrooms and onions, I will, so free pizza for me!
So, TWO extra large pizzas and one large for the price of one extra large – that’s a pretty good deal. Score two for me and the pizza guy with marginal reading comprehension skills.