But today, I need to give an award to the last establishment that I'd ever expect to give it to (well, second-to-last; we can't forget evil, evil Telefónica). Today's Caught Being Good award goes to...
An employee at Extra Supermarket!
I know, right? Extra?! I'd actually decided to boycott the one closest to my apartment, partly because of the clientele but mostly because every single time I went there, something ridiculous happened.
But then todaaaay I caved in. I was in the middle of making this AND this for dinner (not a traditional combo in theory, but it worked deliciously), and I realized that my lentils had bugs in them! Ugh. But it happens, am I right, Jim? So I decided to just suck it up and run over to Extra and buy some lentils and hope the employees didn't close their registers with 4 people waiting or let their friends cut in line again.
I quickly found the lentils (above some other product's price tag and without their own price tag in sight, but I digress) and headed over to the quick checkout line, which in this store is for 20 items or less.
When I got in line, I realized that the guy in front of me clearly had more than 20 items in his cart. I decided to count (I was in line; what else was I gonna do?) and he actually had more like 35 items. It wasn't even a "ehhh....let's ring up all those beers as 1 and let you slide" kinda deal that the 20 items or less cashiers allow for. It was just a blatant disregard for order or respect. The guy was about 30, and was dressed in overpriced jeans and a overpriced and overly-thin polo shirt that had some nonsense English babbling about Australia on the back (the back, not the front, because that makes him cooler, right?) He clearly had this attitude of "I'm richer than all of you and I make sure you all know so that you'll be pressured to agree that rules don't apply to me."
I considered saying something. I wanted to say, "It's surprising that someone with enough money to waste on clothes like that still hasn't learned how to read," and then point at the giant "20 ITEMS OR LESS" signs above his head. But I was worried that my sarcasm wouldn't work in Portuguese (it never does) and that he'd scoff at me and my accent. Then I remembered this little story I read on the internet once about some woman who tried cutting in an American 10 items or less line. The cashier said to that woman, "OK, so which 10 items would you like me to ring up today?". I fantasized about the Brazilian belp cashiers having that kind of snark. The man caught my eye, and I mustered a disapproving glare, glancing back from him to the cart and back to him again. He quickly looked away. Douche.
Eventually, it was the man's turn. The cashier called out próximo! (all you really hear is the ó) and the man sauntered up with his cart full of groceries. The cashier was bent over fixing something on her register and didn't immediately see the man. He quickly started loading his stuff onto the conveyor belt, hoping to pressure her into ringing him up, or maybe betting that she didn't know how to count (not an unreasonable assumption). But. Get this:
The other cashier next to him TURNED AROUND, tapped Mr. Playboy on the shoulder, shook her head and gave him a firm NO.
"You've got too much stuff. This is the 20 items or less line. You're gonna have to go wait in the regular line." She pointed up at the signs, then pointed over at the regular lines.
The man tried to play dumb. "Oh, really?" he said, in way too high of a voice. "Oh, wow. I didn't know. Oh, I've already put my stuff up and everything." He tried giving her the puppy dog eyes that he must use on his mother and dumb girls at the bar.
The woman just stared at him menacingly until he took his things off the conveyor belt, put them back into his cart, and walked sheepishly away.
In my mind, I was dancing in place, and shouting, "haha! In your FACE, caralho!" And pointing at the yuppie guy with glee and both index fingers. But instead I just smiled at him sweetly in the off chance that he caught my eye again. He didn't.
At that moment, the Caught Being Good winner called out for the next customer, too, so I went to her line and the lady behind me went to Mr. Douchebag's line. I was happy I got to talk to her.
"Congratulations!" I said. She gave me a small smile. I wanted to say, "You're so going to get a Caught Being Good award on my blog!" but of course I didn't.
My words were not necessary today. The Extra employee gets a Caught Being Good award for being awesome and bringing justice to the checkout line and, ya know, for doing her job.
I still consider this a fluke on the part of one lone Extra employee with some sense, and I don't plan on ever shopping there regularly, but I've got to give credit where credit is due!