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Pecan Pie for the Mind: Open letter to generous cashiers everywhere
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In one of my many high school and college "careers," I worked as a cashier at Sears, down at Southlake Mall, way over there in Clayton County. I worked in the automotive department, ringing up mufflers, shock absorbers, oil filters, new tires and scented air fresheners. It was a fun job for a college boy, and I'm sure I made lots of rookie mistakes. But, there's one mistake I never made. I never forced a "60-plus senior" discount on anyone. The fact that Sears had no such discount is irrelevant. I knew the devastating effect of misplaced age-based discounts.

I'm a magnet for senior discounts. I was at one of my favorite cafeterias and I got one. I was buying ice cream cones, and I got one. I went to the grocery store and got one. This bugs me for two reasons. First, I'm only 49. I'm not even AARP material yet! I don't qualify for "60 plus" discounts. Second, I'm too tightly wound just to take the money and run. I usually bring the issue to the cashier's attention and suggest he or she take back the money. I'm starting to hate the whole dance.

Cashiers, let me be clear: I don't want your 60-plus senior discounts... not yet, at least! I'm not a pitiful old man, strolling down aisle six, drooling over the cat food selections. I'm not a "senior" as your ice cream discount policy requires. And Heavens! When I hand back the receipt and tell you I don't qualify, do not look me in the eyes and say, "But, you're at least 62 aren't you?" That hurt, dear woman. I know you apologized, but that was the low point of my entire March 2009.

Maybe I just look old. Maybe, to a 20-year-old cashier, I'm a walking fossil at 49. But, let's not put me in my grave just yet. If you see me in your store, shop, salon, saloon, or whatever, just give me some leeway on the 60-plus thing. Until April 6, 2020, I will happily pay 100 percent. Come April 6, 2020, however; I fully expect to see a 10 percent discount on every purchase I make. That includes every single tasty can of cat food that I may or may not be forced to buy, circumstances in 2020 being what they may or may not be.

David McCoy, a notorious storyteller and proud Yellow Jacket, lives in Conyers. He can be reached at