Greek-American Stories: Super Marketing

“Anyone tried the new super market yet?” George asked those seated round the table at Dixon’s that Sunday. Dimos shook his head. “I read about the grand opening but I shop around my neighborhood. I find everything I want there.” John nodded. “Yeah! Me too!” Then, asked, “how was the experience, George?”

“Not bad! They have shopping carts that let you take stuff you want without holding them,” he answered. Yiannis said, “I went on the first day it opened. They gave half price on all your shopping to the first twenty customers.” Surprised, George asked, “What time did that take place?” Yiannis responded, “It was from eight in the morning to nine thirty.”

“Oh! I was there after work at six”, said George. Yiannis stirred his coffee. “I was there from seven-thirty in the morning.” Grinning, John asked him, “were you among the first twenty customers?”

“Of course! I took a cart and I put in what we needed. And, like they promised, I paid half price. It was a saving, let me tell you.” Then, he continued. “I tried to go back for another half price shopping. But, by the time I got home and unpacked it was too late to go back, again.” George grinned, figuring it was just like Yiannis to try that plan.        

“Was Areti with you?” asked Kipreos. Shaking his head vigorously, Yiannis said, “you kidding? She would have piled the cart to capacity. You can’t trust women with shopping and money. She would take hours and she’d wait around and take her time and we’d lose the opportunity for the half price deal.” After a pause, he continued. “But, something interesting happened. The loudspeaker announced that a wallet was found with one hundred dollars in it, with no identification in it. And, would the owner come to the customer service station.”

“Don’t tell me it was your wallet, Yiannis!”  Kipreos asked, showing concern. Shaking his head, Yiannis said, “No! I have a zipper in my back wallet pocket. Well, the loudspeaker announced the same thing, meaning no one came forward to claim it, I guess.” Yiannis reached for a donut. “I checked my stuff to make sure I had everything and went to the check-out line where the half price was going on. There were about fifteen people before me. So, getting that half price was a sure thing.” He paused to sip his coffee. “It took about forty minutes before my turn came. Some shopping carts took a long time until all their stuff was taken out of the cart and priced.”

“But, would you go there again to shop, Yiannis?” asked John.

George piped up, “only if they offered another half price deal, right Yiannis?” After a pause, he responded with a firm nod to his head, and said, “right!”

“How long was it before you left the place?” asked Dimos. “I took more time than the others behind me because I rechecked to see if the clerk was pricing them all correctly. I had my calculator with me and I handed him each article that I placed on the moving counter.”

“That must have exasperated the clerk and the customers behind you,” laughed Dimos. Yiannis shrugged. “I just wanted what was advertised. I wasn’t looking for anything I wasn’t entitled to.”

“Did it all turn out alright, finally?” John asked, wondering if the manager would request that he didn’t come back.

“Of course!” Yiannis announced a satisfied expression on his face. “I, even, got a coupon for a free loaf of any bread of my choosing the next time I came.” “They, sure, treated their opening day customers really special!” Kipreos said. “I think I’ll go there to try it out Friday.” Then he asked, “was it much longer before you left the place?”

“No! Of course, it took more time before I was finished because of making him do it twice when I thought he made a mistake. He went too fast with the cans of tomato sauces. But, he was right.” The others took in a breath of relief. George asked, his eyes narrowing, “What about that wallet at customer service counter?

Reaching for another donut, Yiannis, shrugged. “I didn’t bother. That line there was longer!”


FEBRUARY 3RD: On this day in 1830, the sovereignty of Greece was confirmed in the London Protocol.

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