On the way to work the other day, I needed a sugar fix. I was coming up on a supermarket, so I pulled over, went in, picked up a bag of M&M’s, and walked to a cashier. He scanned the bag, and told me it cost fifty-two cents. I handed him a dollar bill. He put the M&M’s in a plastic bag, counted out my change, then handed both of them to me along with the receipt.
Now, I know that’s how a supermarket cashier is supposed to handle every transaction, but let’s break this one down.
First of all, when I’m buying M&M’s, you don’t need to put them in a bag. They’re already in a bag.
Second, I don’t need the receipt. There is exactly zero chance that I’m going to come back to the supermarket to lodge a complaint about candy and demand my money back. Even if it’s stale and tasteless, I’m going to write off the fifty two cents and go on with my day.
Have I ever returned something to a supermarket? Yes, when my wife told me I bought the wrong brand of cheddar cheese or detergent or whatever — but not because it was faulty, and not if it cost under a buck.
While I’m off on this returning-items tangent, I’ve often thought about taking cantaloupe or watermelon back once I got them home, opened them up, and found them not nearly ripe enough for consumption. But if I started doing that, I’d be at the customer service counter every day, because the produce department of supermarkets no longer sells ready-to-eat melons. They’ve all been picked-and-shipped prematurely, several days away from being close to ripe. Same thing with their bananas, which are consistently green with nary a yellow one in the bunch, as if no one could possibly want a banana now. If they sold bread the same way, you’d end up with unbaked dough every time.
Back to the M&M’s. After they fulfilled my need for a sugar buzz, I noticed two things on the package I’d never seen before. One was the apostrophe in the trademarked name — they are M&M’s, not M&Ms. Since there’s nothing possessive about the candy, and its name is not a contraction, that seems wrong.
The other thing that caught my eye, right next to the mandatory nutrition information rectangle that seems moot on a bag of candy, was the box that read:
This product should reach you in excellent condition. Satisfaction guaranteed or we will replace it.
Then it gave a phone number to call with questions or comments. What must it be like to answer the M&M’s customer service line and hear complaints like these?
- There was only one blue M&M in the bag! You ripped me off!
- I found a half of an M&M in the bag along with the whole ones. Do I get a refund?
- I put a handful of M&M’s in my mouth and almost choked to death! Where do I send the lawsuit?
- I’m trying to limit my dextrin intake. Exactly how much is in a single M&M?
- What’s the record for longest toss of an M&M across the room into a stoned guy’s mouth?