Wednesday, January 14, 2009

i feel like a superhero...

...fighting injustice using my superpower of reporting it to the proper authorities. It may not seem like much, but it just seems like sometimes nobody else is willing to do it. And that's one of my quirks: I'm shy as a mofo, but when somebody is being an ass and everyone else is too afraid to call them on it, I can't help myself. It's gotten me into some awkward situations - like the guy in high school who threatened me with a chair (on my birthday, no less) because I told him where he could shove it. But sometimes this little compulsion comes in handy.

I've bitched extensively about the Commissary before. It's mighty suspicious when somebody buys 10 packs of green tea soda or 12 bottles of white grape/peach juice (especially when they do it immediately before the price shoots up - hmmmm), but I guess I have to give them the benefit of the doubt. I mean, I don't know how much of this stuff they really go through. They could have 10 kids. They could go grocery shopping once a month, or even less. 10 gallons of milk is a little more suspicious, and quite honestly, baffling. How are you going to use up all of that milk before it goes bad? But again, maybe they have 10 kids. I don't know.

But today. Today I saw a woman unloading her cart, which consisted of maybe four boxes of cookie mix, 6 huge tubs of Crisco (3 each of regular and butter flavor) and - I wish I was exaggerating - AT LEAST 20 bags of flour. At least. I mean, the entire belt was covered with 10-pound bags of flour, and there were still several in her cart.

My first reaction was to turn to the people around me in line and ask, "Does this bother anybody else?" Of course it did. I mean, really. The woman in front of me agreed that she, too, has at least 3 or 4 items EVERY WEEK that she is not able to buy because they're all bought up. So when a manager happened to walk past me about 30 seconds later, I said, "Excuse me, is it really okay for somebody to buy so many of one thing?"

I got the answer I was expecting, because it's the same answer I've gotten before: they're aware of the problem, it's been brought to their attention before, they wish there was something they could do about it, but they can't. There's no item limit. I said thank you and started composing my letter to DeCA in my head. "I am begging you, PLEASE instate a limit. Or at the very least, please empower your employees to refuse to ring up OBVIOUS abuse of the Commissary benefit, such as what I witnessed today."

I was getting my coupons together and still finessing my complaint letter in my head, when the manager came back to talk to me again. I didn't totally understand what she was saying, because she had an accent, but it was something to the effect of, Thank you for bringing it to our attention, it's really NOT okay for someone to buy THAT many of one item.

Well, duh. I can think of several reasons why somebody would be buying 200+ pounds of all-purpose flour at one time (reselling, running a business, redistributing to a co-op - this is my guess), and all of them are blatant violations of Commissary regulations.

So, HAH! Lady who was trying to buy up all of the white man's flour and give it to everyone in your non-military neighborhood, I'm on to you. And I STOPPED YOU. The war may very well be unwinnable, but I won this battle. Until we meet again...just know that I am WATCHING YOU.


Dianne said...

I died laughing at the 'shy as a mofo' comment!

you go girl!!

flour hording bitch ain't seen nothin' yet ...

Mother Hoodwink said...

Are the people doing this even military? Didn't you tell me once that non-military people shop at the commissary? How hard is it for a manager to make a rule that you can't buy, I don't know, five of one thing? Hopefully the commissary in Japan will be less dumb.

Kerry said...

They're actually *pretty* good about checking ID's at the Commissary, it's the Navy Exchange that's full of locals.

Part of the problem, I think, is just in the culture of the area. The locals, for the most part, think that we don't belong here and RESENT (all caps doesn't even begin to express the intensity) how "good" we have it. So "military access" is actually touted as a benefit of joining the Reserve. (I posted a picture of a recruiting poster a while back that had those actual words on it.) This is what has given rise to my theory that one guy joins the Reserve, and then goes to the Commissary to do the shopping for his entire extended family. Or his entire neighborhood, in the case of the 200 pounds of flour.

Just a theory.

Dawn's Thoughts said...

Keep it up! One person can make a difference!