Is the Human Race Losing Its Ability to Read

Is the human race losing its ability to read and digest what is written, or is it just that everyone is in such a hurry that they don’t take time to think about what they are reading and making sure they understand it properly?

I run into this all the time at my cashiering job, not so much in our personal business, but definitely related to specials and coupons.

We offer a digital coupon to customers that own a cell phone with texting. The phone needs texting because after the person signs up, they are sent a text with a code that they use to put into their computer to make the sign up complete.

Those that have smart phones can even choose which digital coupons they want to use while they are in the store shopping. This is a nice feature for many times we forget to clip those coupons especially when deals are being run on the whole grocery order. Those with smart phones can take time to clip the coupons they want while they are still shopping.

The only thing they don’t have  is a read out (printed copy) of the “clipped” coupons which means that sometime things aren’t understood as well as they would have been if they had been printed out.

For instance, often we have specials on pre-cut vegetable trays or fruit trays. Some of the coupons are for specific sizes while others are for ones that come with the dip enclosed in the packaging. When a person picks out the coupon they want to use, no picture is shown. A size is mentioned, but unless the customer has a picture to shop with, they don’t always know which one they are to buy.

I don’t own a smart phone, therefore I do my best to remember to print out my coupons. I don’t remember to get on my computer often enough to make choices, but just like newspaper and magazine coupons digital coupons may have several weeks and sometimes even a few months before they expire.

With paper coupons it’s easy to check them to look at the expiration date assuming you carry them with you and they aren’t on your kitchen table or in a drawer, but the digital coupons you cannot carry with you unless you print them out. Even having a smart phone isn’t always the answer to the problem for the pictures in most phones are too small for the cashier to read and see if the person did indeed purchase what was listed.

The only way to really prove that is if they bring in their printed copy.

That was all background to my story. Within the past few days those of us with texting on our cell phones got a text from the grocery store saying that a special was happening today where the shopper could get five percent (5%) off their health and beauty items along with grocery items. For us, grocery includes anything found in the aisles from one end of the store to another where the aisles are between produce and dairy, other than pet products everything else is considered general merchandise.

I knew this sale was coming up, but I don’t get paid until tomorrow and wasn’t planning on purchasing anything today, so I didn’t go into the screen to ‘clip’ the coupon for the 5%.

Let me say this also, right here, that we get some people that don’t realize they need to actually clip the coupon-granted it’s digitally, but it’s clipped just the same. Also, I found out after we had the program for a while that a coupon can only be used once, then no one takes advantage of them. Otherwise, those with smart phones could keep clipping something that was an excellent deal.

So, I didn’t clip the coupon because I wasn’t expecting to purchase enough to make a difference for I usually don’t buy groceries until I get paid and that won’t take place until tomorrow.

I had someone stop in front of  my lane yesterday looking through her receipt. I wasn’t busy at the time, so I went over to her and asked if I could help. She said she had signed up for the digital coupon special but it looked like it didn’t work even though she put her code in the register console.

I looked at her receipt and sure enough she had entered her numbers in, but no discount came off. Since I didn’t take the time to sign up for it, I didn’t remember when the date for it was at that time. I asked if she brought her sheet with her as I could see a loose-leaf notebook, but didn’t know if she had a printed copy with her.

She gave me her printed copy and I found the offer right at the top, but it said on top only valid for 11/28/2012 and at the bottom it restated it a bit different, but basically said the same thing. I pointed it out to her and she said, “Well, they have to get you someway, don’t they?” I explained that it was written right on the coupon she clipped, but she didn’t agree with me. She figured it was done on purpose.

Tonight, I decided to get a few things knowing full well that I hadn’t clipped the coupon but I figured if I wasn’t buying much I wouldn’t get much back anyway. It wouldn’t really matter since I don’t own a smart phone and I wasn’t about to drive all the way back home and then return just to get 5% off of a small purchase. It ended  up that I bought over 60.00 worth of food. Ah well. I could have clipped it and didn’t.

Another thing I was thinking about on the subject of folks not reading is that in our city leaves are picked up on the street near the curb before a major snow storm. If at all possible the trucks work their way around the city two times, sometimes if we get a big snow they only pick some of them up once while others do get the two times.

I saw people that had leaves in their yards well before the first pick-up but they probably weren’t too concerned figuring they would make it in the second pick-up. Well it’s already snowed here once, and those leaves are still on the road. Most home-owners  are hoping the trucks will make it around one more time. We’ll see.

One thing the city requests is that no yard debris or trash is put in with the leaves, for they don’t want either of those things to break the trucks that scoop the leaves up.

I’ve seen all sorts of tree and yard debris in the piles of leaves along with broken pumpkins, and trash. I sometimes feel like going to those peoples houses and leaving a note on the door.

I know I’ve read things wrong myself and I’m sure it’s something we all do to some extent.

When shopping, though, I generally suggest that the people pick up what they think are on sale, double check the size and sometimes the code used between the package and the shelf tag to see if they match before assuming they have the right product in their hands.

This post is 1225 words while a review and some chatting done earlier today equals to 256 = 1481

 

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