Partisan Politics from Partisan Hacks

Just about 10 minutes ago, I had MSNBC on in the background. The incredibly talented and wonderful Contessa Brewer (/sarcasm) had two guests on to talk about the election.

Some guy– Doug was his name– was one of the two guests. She introduces him and I missed his last name or his supposed credentials.

Doug goes on to wish Barack Obama a happy birthday, and then says something like “…but he’s pretty young so I don’t even know if he graduated from high school.”

OK, fine. Typical partisan crap from a typical partisan hack.

Contessa blows past it and continues on with the topic of discussion– the Republican side of Congress trying to get Pelosi or Bush to call Congress back into session to try to work out some sort of “solution” to high energy prices. She bounces back to Doug.

Doug says, and I quote, “The American people don’t want to hear partisan politics.”

Well thank you Doug, you genius, you spreader of wisdom, you enlightener. You hit the nail on the head. We don’t want partisan politics. We want discussions about the issues that attack viewpoints and not people. We want honest and legitimate dialogs offering all sides of an issue so we can make more-informed decisions. And Doug, we don’t want partisan hack scumbags like you making purely partisan attacks against candidates (who we may or may not support), and then in the same segment telling us we don’t want to hear partisan politics.

At least Contessa Brewer, whom I despise, pointed out, as the interview wrapped up, that she was going to invite the other guy (pro-Obama/anti-McCain) in on McCain’s birthday so he could tear him apart, just as Doug did to Obama.

And in 25 days, John McCain will turn 72. My suggestion for someone looking to insert partisan politics into it could include references to casket shopping, cryogenic freezing, possibly 4:00PM dinner times at Denny’s, 8:00PM bedtimes, dementia, senility, Alzheimer’s, skin cancer, and quite possibly drug-addicted thieving mistresses who take precedence over and subsequently replace a sick wife.

Kroger Scan-Right Guarantee

We do quite a bit of our grocery shopping at Kroger. They have this thing called the Scan Right Guarantee. Basically, if the price of an item, once scanned, is different than the price marked on the shelf, you get the item for free.

I have been taking full advantage of this lately.

A few weeks back, I realized I had been charged double on a fresh pack of bratwurst buns. The package was marked at $2.99 with “Kroger Card” savings making the final price $1.50. It seemed like a fair deal, so I bought it. Once I returned home, I realized I had been charged the original price, twice what I was willing to pay for the item.

So I kept the receipt around and waited until I finished the buns in order to bring them back for a refund. Unfortunately, my brother ate the last bun and threw the bag away, not knowing I needed it to get a price adjustment.

Since that day, I have decided to nitpick every single price on every single item I purchase at Kroger. If I am going to have to monitor my grocery prices like a hawk to ensure I am charged the price shown on the shelf, I’m going to take full advantage of any benefits that this requirement placed on me carries with it. If it does not scan right, I get it free. I don’t care if the shelf says $1.00 and I’m charged $0.50. If it scans wrong– high or low– it’s free.

Last week, I got a free pound of asparagus, $3.00 value. Today, I just got a free pound of strawberries, a $2.50 value.

Today’s free strawberries ticked me off, though. The big sign in front of the produce section says “California Strawberries, $1.98/lb”. OK, fair deal. Jaime loves strawberries. I’ll get her some. I get to the area where I scan and I bag my groceries and I scan the strawberries last, knowing Kroger’s prices are most often wrong on produce. They scan at $2.99.

OK, so it’s a wrong scan. I’m overcharged by $1.01. I politely tell the employee, he goes and checks the sign while I wait, and comes back to tell me the price was $2.50 on the sign. I went and got the sign, and brought it back to him. He and the manager point out that the sign says it is for a sale on Friday. OK, fine. Why put the sale dates in tiny, tiny print (about 1/10th the size of the prices and about 1/4th the size of the description on the sign) and then proceed to put the sign right in front of the produce? Oh yeah, I get it– you’re trying to confuse me into buying the strawberries at full price based on a glance at the sign and not a thorough reading of the relative fine print. Shady, Kroger, shady.

I tell the guy I don’t want them and then I realize– wait a second, I was charged $2.99, the sale price was $1.98, and the shelf price was $2.50. I was still charged wrong. I tell the guy as much and he says, “that’s the price for different strawberries.” So, again I walk over to the produce to read the sign. One sign: $2.50. One display of strawberries, two brands but all the same size. No differentiation between the two packages at all. These things are all supposed to be the same price because they are to be sold as the same product; Kroger just happened to get stock from two different sources.

I went back to the guy, who was talking to the manager, and said, “The shelf says $2.50. The Scan-Right Guarantee says I get them for free, even with the misleading sign.”

He says, “Take them.” So I did.

As a service to anyone who shops at Kroger or any other store with a similar scanning policy, I recommend you grab a piece of paper and write down the cost of each of your items. It takes two seconds per item. I find that about 10% of items scan incorrectly, concentrated mostly on produce. On today’s purchase, I saved 25%, a huge savings.