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by Casey White
May 12, 2003

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Inflation_Casey White- On the way home from work last week, I stopped into a DVD/Video Store to spend a gift card that I had been given for a job well done at work. It was for $25. Spending considerable time weighing the options, and moving several times to get out of the way of a fellow shopper (who always seemed to be anxious to look at the rack I was viewing,) I finally arrived at my choice. This particular DVD was $29.99, but on sale for $19.99. "Such a deal," I was thinking, "I will get something worth more than my gift card, and get money back besides. I made my way up to the counter.

A young man, likely a Junior in high school, was finishing up another sale. The preivous shopper left, but he continued to process her check without looking up. Then, he grabbed my purchase off the counter. With two rings on his right-hand fingers, he was also wearing three earings on his left ear, and had two strings of beads around his neck. In silence, he bar-code-scanned my DVD and I tendered my gift card. He swiped it through, and said my purchase was $21.19. He bagged my disc and the receipt, and then handed back my gift card. "There is three dollars and eighty-one cents left on this," he said.

No change? "Uhhhh.... you mean I can't get the change back from this purchase?" I said. "There is nothing in this store that I can get for $3.81."

The young clerk looked at me, with something between a sneer and a smirk on his face, and said, "Oh, we can't give change from these. It's against store policy." And then, with one eye squinting and the other wide open, and shaking his head, he offered, "Besides, it's just a small amount."

Obviously, I was being a penny-pincher (adjusted to 381 pennies for inflation.)

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