I wandered into a Staples the other day with a friend.
When we got to the register, the cashier processed my friend’s purchase, then said, “Can I interest you in one of our pens for a dollar?”
I looked down and there was a tin can with a bunch of perfectly ordinary pens sitting in it, looking like lost orphans in a Salvation Army receptacle from The Twilight Zone.
I glanced around and realized that all the registers had similar batches of sad looking pens in front of them.
And obviously every single cashier was instructed to finish each transaction by trying to hawk a pen for a buck to every last customer.
This filled me with a swelling sense of despair.
I mean, a gigantic chain store has decided that selling pens for 100 pennies plus tax is the answer to financial uncertainty!
And rather than just offer them for sale, the poor help have to ask each paying customer if they want to buy them, praying to extort that extra dollar by trying to hijack each more serious purchase!
Maybe they can also get a kid to set up a lemonade stand.