I'm still stunned about this

As I have said many times, due to the lack of basic academic skills of our most recent generations, I weep for humanity. Be aware, the following story is somewhat funny and considerably disturbing all at the same time. And, in the interest of full disclosure, there is a part of me that still feels a bit “guilty” due to my own sense of personal integrity. (But not TOO guilty, as you will soon understand why…) Be that as it may, I got one helluva deal today…

Wife and I are doing a bit of “remodeling” to one of our upstairs rooms and needed a bit of carpet to complete the task. As such, this afternoon we went to one of the well-known large hardware stores in our area to procure said carpet. Upon finding the style we wanted, we summoned a nearby store employee to cut the amount we needed. (I should note, the carpet of interest was stored rolled up on a bar within a vertical “carousel” system, and it was twelve feet in length. Also, the info tag on the carpet showed its cost to be 61 cents per square foot / $5.49 per square yard.) I told the store employee I needed 7 feet cut from the roll, thereby making the piece I needed 7’x12’. 84 square feet, or slightly over 9 square yards. So far, so good, right? (By the way, the guy was probably in his mid-to-late twenties.) So, he called over another employee to help him put the cutting machine in place and cut the piece. Meanwhile, I took off to go pick up a couple of other items while my wife waited there for them to cut our carpet.

Upon returning to my wife, we gathered our selections and headed to the checkout counter. On the way, she showed me the paper the guy had given to her to give to the cashier. On it he had written the SKU number for the carpet along with the amount of carpet we were to be charged. Oddly enough, I noticed the amount of carpet he had written was “0.7 sq.ft.”. Obviously, I thought to myself, “That doesn’t sound right.” But I somewhat dismissed it, figuring they had their own “coding” system for such things. Anyway, at the register, I was watching the cashier enter the carpet info, and saw the total for the carpet was only five dollars and some change. “Gee, that is really strange,” I thought. And when she told us the TOTAL of our purchase (roughly $48 and some change), it was even LESS than what I had already calculated the carpet ALONE to be. (The cost of the carpet by itself should have been between fifty to sixty bucks.) At the same time, my wife had a confused look, because she also knew the total purchase should have been closer to a hundred dollars. So, me being me, I told the cashier, “Uh, I hate to do this, but I saw you enter the amount of the carpet as 0.7 square feet, but it should have been 84 square feet.” She looked at me kind of strange, then turned back to the register in an attempt to enter what I told her. At that point, I glanced over at my wife, and she gave me a “side eye” look that could have cut through steel. :sweat_smile: And I KNEW she was thinking, “What the FUCK are you doing, dumb-ass?!?” Luckily, the cashier “saved” me by saying, “I’m sorry, sir, but I can only enter square yards into the register. And it also looks like the wrong SKU number for what you are telling me.” I replied, “Oh, okay. Well, just let me go back and find the guy who wrote this real quick.” Now my wife is REALLY giving me the “death stare.” :joy:

So, I get back over in the carpet area and locate the carpet cutting guy. I told him what happened at the register, and I showed him he had written “0.7 square feet” on the info paper he had given my wife. Also, I told him the cashier said it was the wrong SKU number, and I showed him the info tag my wife and I had seen on the carpet when we selected it. He laughed a bit and told me, “Oh, sorry sir, I accidentally wrote down the SKU from another info tag. And I can’t believe I wrote square feet instead of square yards. I’m sorry. Let me change that for you real quick.” So he writes the info on another card and hands it to me. I look at it and notice he STILL has 0.7 as the quantity, but as square yards, rather than square feet. Ain’t gonna lie, my brain sorta “locked up” for a few seconds. He even laughingly called over to the employee who had helped him, “I wrote square feet instead of square yards. Can you believe that?”

You cannot imagine how torn I was at that moment. I KNEW exactly what mistake he had made, and I wanted so badly to point out the OBVIOUS discrepancy. At the same time, though, I was thinking, “This has to be a joke.” Then, after a brief moment of hesitation, I thought, “Well, I tried. I honestly tried to do the right thing, and they STILL did not fix it.” With that, I shrugged my shoulders and went back to the register to give the cashier the new info. As expected, my wife was staring bullets through me as I returned. The cashier rung up the new data, and it turned out the total price of the carpet went DOWN to about $3.80-ish. In other words, we got slightly over NINE square yards of carpet for LESS than a SINGLE square yard of carpet. My wife and I were laughing about it all the way home, but I still could not help but feel somewhat disturbed by the whole thing. And here is the overwhelming irony of it. I can only imagine the poor little casher thinking to herself after we left, “Geez, what an asshole. He went through all that trouble just to save only a couple of bucks on some carpet.” And I’m left wondering how long has that guy been working in that department and literally GIVING AWAY all that carpet? (Did I mention I weep for humanity?)

1 Like

Yes, even if those inching feetses and yardses and mileses are a confusing mess of units for me, I follow you.

OK, so even a die-hard user of SI (metric) as me would be able to make that conversion on the fly. I would suspect they have calculators available at the registers? Or she could just have made a quick mental conversion in your favour by dividing the area by 10, giving you the favour of a small discount for the trouble.

Being trained in, and being a daily user of metric, this is where I don’t quite follow. Is here a special “trick” you use when converting between ft/yd and ft²/yd² that he applied incorrectly, or what? I’m asking because since I don’t think in or use those units, and I invariably have to convert to metric to get a sense of the sizes involved. I don’t immediately see what kind of mistake he did. And the physics professional in me wants to know. :thinking: Care to elaborate?

Yes, you tried. Twice, with two different persons. And none of them caught the obvious error which they SHOULD have caught. Yes, it’s depressing, and I’ve seen similar symptoms here.

But in the end, I fault the store here for pricing the carpet by the area instead of by the length (since the width is presumably fixed). It would be trivial for the management to put up a poster close to the rolls of carpet with a conversion table, listing lengths in feetses, yardses and the corresponding area, together with the total price, for different carpets. This would be for the benefit of the customer, the employees, and the store.


When to stop doing the right thing because your environment is unresponsive to it, and just move on - it’s a learned art, eh amigo?

1 Like

I hope it was a Home Depot. But if it were, I encourage you to find a different store for future purchases. :woozy_face:

1 Like

Glad you asked. I was planning on elaborating a bit on that anyway, since I do know there are those here who are not as familiar with standard measurements. Basically, there are three feet in a yard. Therefore, 1 square yard equals 9 square feet. As such, if you want to quickly convert square feet into square yards, just divide the number of square feet by 9. Pretty straightforward and simple math, right? Meaning, the guy should have calculated the area of the piece he cut by multiplying the length (12’) by the width he cut it to for me (7’), thus getting 84 square feet. To convert that to square yards, simply divide 84 by 9, and you end up with slightly over 9 square yards. (9.3333, to be specific.) At $5.49 per square yard, the cost of the carpet should have been in the area of $50 +/- (not including tax). Instead, we got it for around $3.84 (not including taxes). And here is the mistake the guy made. (And I am still having trouble wrapping my head around this, especially considering he had another worker there helping him.) All he did was divide the 7’ feet he cut by 9, which (in HIS MIND, apparently) gave him 0.77777 square yards. So he rounded it down to the 0.7 square yards. (Even though he initially called it square feet.) Again, we got slightly over 9 yards of carpet for LESS THAN the cost of a single square yard of it. And they didn’t see it! Even after I pointed it out how the 0.7 was wrong. Actually took me a few seconds to “reset” my brain as I was walking back to the register. Even then, I was secretly hoping the cashier might still catch the mistake. Hell, I was even starting to question MY OWN calculations, thinking maybe I was somehow wrong. (After all, I was only doing rough estimations in my head. Maybe I missed a decimal place or something.) Anyway, in the end, all I could do was laugh along with my wife on the way home and be thankful she didn’t feel the need to strangle me in my sleep.

You are absolutely correct, and I do like that idea. That would definitely be a major convenience for customers AND workers. Sadly, that type of thinking in businesses today is frowned upon by middle and upper management. Most places I know hate it when the lower level employees think for themselves and try to “push ideas” the CEO’s and whatnot did not think of themselves. There are a few companies out there that are exceptions to that “rule”, but they are very rare in these parts.

Man, you have no idea how much that bugged me (and still does a bit). I do my best to hold myself to a higher level of personal integrity during my day-to-day activities, especially when dealing with folks out in public and when doing business at different places. So, while I was obviously pleased with not having to spend as much money as I had planned, the principle of the means by which I got the “discount” did not settle well with me, even though I did try to rectify it. But, like you said, sometimes you just have to move on and let others learn their lessons on their own.

Uh, well… er-uh… I can neither confirm nor deny your amazingly accurate speculation as to the location of the incident. And whether it was or was not that specific hardware store, I admit I am not a big fan of that particular nationwide enterprise. Unfortunately, though, there are things they have that I cannot obtain from other smaller business where I prefer to spend my money. Plus, the wife and I were already out in that area for other reasons, and it was convenient to stop there to get the items we needed. Otherwise, I try to avoid shopping at that place whenever possible… IF that was actually the location where the carpet incident occurred, of course. :grin:

1 Like

I was anticipating that this would evolve into a morality tale where atheists do the right thing because it is the right thing but kudos for trying. High five for sticking it to the man. Oh and glad you avoided a fist pump to the nose from your wife.

Years ago, well actually decades ago, my wife and I stopped into a grocery store to pick up a few things. One of the items, and I don’t remember what it was, happened to be on sale for 12 1/2% off. (Its important to note that this was at a time before scanners and the price was marked on the product. Not sure if any of you were even born then but anyway). We were in the check out line when the power went out and with no power the cash registers were also out. No problem because even though it was ages ago battery powered calculators were making their debut. And this store was able to round up enough to stand in for for the registers.

When our turn came everything went smoothly until it came time to calculate the discount of 15% on that one item. At that point the transaction skittered to a stop. I should add that all through school I had developed a firm belief that I was incapable of correctly solving the most simple math problem, a belief, I know was shared by any number of teachers that stood in front of a class and as a kindness did their best to avoid asking me a math related question or, when glancing over my shoulder at my work, would sigh softly and walk away.

The turning point came when I received a stunning 20% on my grade ten provincial math exam and had to take it over by correspondence. They say that a problem that affects one life is a problem that will be solved eventually. Getting through that course used up a large portion of my summer. I never would have thought at the time that that wasted summer would lead to any kind of reward but on that day in that grocery store showing that clerk how to solve for 12 1/2% I felt like a genius. Of course he had to confirm with his manager that multiplying the price by .125 and then subtracting that amount from the price was correct. I had the feeling that the manager wasn’t sure himself but managers have to be decisive if they hope to move up. And honestly @Tin-Man decimals, fractions and percentages its enough to confuse anyone.

1 Like

Ah, OK. So that was quite simply a matter of not understanding the difference between length and area.

This reminds me of one time I brought a vernier caliper to a hardware store to make sure the parts I got were the exact dimensions I needed. Two young employees were fascinated by the device and - never having seen one before - asked: “Oooh, what kind of device is that?” In a hardware store one would expect even the young employees to know how to use calipers. Anywhere else but in a hardware store I would just have shrugged it off and moved on. But there and then I lost quite a bit of hope for the young generation.


Why, what’s wrong with Home Depot? Their lumber department is better than our local Lowes’ is.

You slime ball. You sleaze. You shoplifting, filcher, of domestic consumer commodities. You heartless, indifferent, uncaring, thoughtless, malefactor of floor coverings. And now, recalling the fact that I have consumed eggy seasonal yuletide drinks from those klepto-like metallic claws of yours, I am repulsed and reviled to a state of nausea. Were the eggy drinks illicitly manufactured? Are you above nightly insidious clandestine operations? Do you reduce expenditures by skulking onto a neighbor’s property at night and molesting chickens as you pilfer eggs for Christmas yule? And, what of the cups? Have my feet stood on illicitly gained carpet? Have my lips touched the sinful abomination of immoral and tainted gains? Am I complicit and therefore culpable in your felonious undertakings? And now, as you have mindlessly posted your misdeeds on social media, shall I expect a knock on my door from the local law enforcement authority? I’m just letting you know that if they knock on my door, I am telling them everything I know!


Well that shouldn’t take long… :crazy_face: :face_with_hand_over_mouth:


Go ahead, Mr. Banana Breath, spill all the beans. There is something you might want to remember before you decide to do that, though. Two words: Pig nose. (Need I say more?)

Thanks. :sweat_smile: But, uh, allow me to be perfectly candid here for a moment. In no way do I have any delusions of considering myself a “morally superior” individual. I simply do not like seeing good/innocent people get taken advantage of, injustice of any form, or those who actively seek to cheat/harm innocent people. As such, if given the opportunity, the things I would do to the parasites who regularly thrive on committing such harmful acts against innocent people would cause the “morality meters” of most folks to peg out in the red zone. Therefore, my “code” of personal integrity stems primarily from not wanting to be a hypocrite. In the case of my “carpet incident”, I still feel a wee bit “guilty” (oddly enough), because I wonder if I should have been more persistent in pointing out the error. At the same time, however, I considered the business and the ways its customers and employees are often “cheated” in some form or fashion. Also, the fact it is a multi-billion dollar company that will not be affected in the least bit by a $45 “loss” due to their OWN fault. On that note, had the hardware store been a small, privately owned, family operated, local business, you better believe I would have NEVER left that store without paying the proper price. Although, in reality, it is HIGHLY UNLIKELY that type of mistake would ever be made in such a business in the first place. Anyway, point is, I am definitely NOT any type of moral “angel”. Hopefully, maybe some of that made some amount of sense.

Oh, I agree they can be tricky little devils at times. But (not bragging) I remember standing at the checkout counter with my Mom or Granny or whoever and calculating the amount of tax on a purchase in my head when I was as young as 9 or 10 years old. For whatever reason(s), math was never a problem for me. It was actually my top favorite subject all throughout my school years.

Yeah, basically. In some ways, though, that makes it even WORSE in my mind. I mean, aside from the fact here is a GROWN MAN who does not know this VERY BASIC knowledge, he is working in an area where that type of basic knowledge is VITAL to company profits. And the fact the company itself does not seem to “screen” potential employees to determine whether or not they possess such basic knowledge is beyond mind-boggling to me. In all fairness, though, why should the guy actually care one way or the other? After all, he gets paid the same whether the company sells 10 square feet or 10 THOUSAND square feet of carpet. And as long as the company doesn’t somehow catch that problem and hold him accountable for it, ol’ dude simply works his hours and collects his pay no matter how accurately he calculates the amount of carpet being sold. Why should he care, right? There are just SO MANY problems with this incident, it is difficult to determine which is the worst.

For me personally, they are really no different than Lowes. For that matter, no different than Walmart. I dislike them all equally. Are they convenient. Sure! Are they generally cheaper than locally owned businesses? For the most part, yes. Do they have and extensive range of merchandise available that is usually difficult to find elsewhere? Yep. But I DO despise them. “Why,” you many ask? Simply put, they are like a “cancer” that have plowed over/destroyed untold numbers of small “Mom & Pop” privately owned/operated businesses over the past several decades. Moreover, the “worker bees” of these corporate monstrosities are treated little better than indentured servants, with only those in “higher management” actually able to make a comfortable living. (And THAT is dependent on them being “Yes-Men” and “toeing the company line.”) So, yeah, while I would much prefer to avoid using such places as much as possible, the sad fact is that it’s incredibly difficult to obtain many necessities without them at times. (Okay, rant is over)

(Edited for minor spelling/grammar errors.)

Would I be far off the mark assuming that the particular employees in question are being paid somewhere near minimum wage? If so, the companies that don’t want to pay their employees a living wage can just stuff it - they get what they pay for.

1 Like

Oh, it’s worse than what you think. I honestly don’t know how much the average employees get paid. However, what I do know and have been told, VERY FEW employees at those places are allowed to be full-time status. In other words, forty hours a week is considered full-time status in most places. Being full-time makes the employee eligible for benefits such as health insurance, sick days, vacation days, etc. On the other hand, any hours UNDER 40 hours a week falls under “part-time” employment, making the employee not eligible for such benefits. That means the company can work a person up to a full 39 hours 55 minutes a week, and not have to offer that employee insurance or sick days or vacation, etc. So, basically, even if the employee gets paid MORE than minimum wage, they STILL have to pay for their own insurance, and there are no paid days available if they have to be off for illness or other emergencies. THAT is another reason why I detest the huge chain-stores such as Lowes, Home Depot, Walmart, etc. In my opinion, they are all damn-near criminal organizations. It’s downright disgusting in some ways.

And still people think it’s a good idea to not have universal health coverage or insurance (or whatver you call it over there)?


I have to travel over 100 klics to shop at Home Depot so don’t go often but I’ll never go again. He may not notice my absence but I’ll feel good about getting a kick in against the crazies.

1 Like

Most PEOPLE (in general) would welcome such coverage. Certainly wouldn’t hurt my feelings any. Here’s the problem, though. There are waaaaay too many doctors in waaaaay too many mega-corporate-hospital facilities that would end up losing their six figure incomes, with their respective hospitals losing even MORE money. But even FAR beyond that, the multi-BILLION DOLLAR health insurance industry (aka: Legalized National Scam) would go belly-up practically overnight. Do you honestly think that EITHER of those two corporations would ever allow such a thing to happen? (That’s a rhetorical question, by the way.) Bottom line is, whether people like it or not, or whether people even believe it or not, this (once) great country of ours is now run by corporations that contribute untold billions of dollars to our political system to keep all laws and policies in their favor. Average Joe and Jane citizens are practically (barely) paid “slave labor” for those corporations and for the politicians who profit from those corporations. It’s just that simple.


That is called capitalism.

“Units of Labour” or “Production Units” (that’s people to you and me) have been dehumanised by the gurus of Cornell, LSE, Harvard business schools for a long time now.

I am pretty sure it will end in blood. But not, thankfully in my lifetime.

1 Like


Why an aspirin taken in a hospital can cost upwards of $25

Many patients take their first look at a hospital bill, only to go into sticker shock. A single aspirin for $25? Newborn diapers for $100? Why do the products we purchase for pennies at the local drugstore cost so much more in the hospital?

The culprit behind these high costs is our reimbursement structure.

Public programs do not fully pay for the cost of care. The latest figures estimate that hospitals lose $35 billion a year on Medicare, Medicaid, and other forms of government reimbursement. For specific procedures, the picture can be even bleaker.

Take note, because this money isn’t lost – you pay the difference. Unable to absorb these losses, the bill gets passed to commercial insurers and employers that purchase health plans for their employees. Hence the itemized charges of $25 for an aspirin or $100 for diapers that are paid by insurers today, and by you and me tomorrow in the form of higher premiums and co-pays. And it’s only going to get worse as our population ages and more of us call Medicare our insurance provider.



A report from the North Carolina State Health Plan finds that claim is simply false.

In fact, many systems make millions off Medicare and Medicare Advantage patients.

In 2020, according to the report, North Carolina hospitals made a total of $87 million in Medicare profits.

“Hospitals have long used what they report as losses on Medicare to justify charging patients with private insurance higher prices,” says Kaiser Health News.

North Carolina hospital lobbyists claimed they lost $3.1 billion on Medicare in 2020, which is why they need to charge privately insured patients 280 percent more than what they get from Medicare.

But what hospitals claim, and what the report shows, are two very different things.

If hospitals make $87 million in profits from Medicare, then what is the justification to inflate prices for the privately insured by almost 300 percent?

No one is losing money by making money. The only money they think they are losing is money they ‘could have had’ if they billed at full price. Hospitals, doctors, and drug companies are gouging the public in the American economic system. The number one cause of bankruptcy in the USA is medical expenses.

" About 66.5% of bankruptcies are caused by medical debt , or about 530,000 cases a year. Should I worry about my medical bills in collections? While it’s always a good practice to pay for a service you used, medical bills won’t show up on your credit report if the bill is less than $500 or less than a year old." (USA Today, Updated 11:33 a.m. UTC Nov. 13, 2023)

We have one of the most fucked up medical care systems in the world. We rob our elderly of their golden years by stealing their nest eggs, their homes, and their golden years. I have worked with these people in the nursing care industry. I have seen their insurance run out and watched them shipped to county facilities despite the pleas of their children. I have watched people die horrible deaths, begging for an end to the pain, because healthcare facilities have some warped version of a Hypocratic oath that prevents them from assisted euthanasia. A kindness they extend to pets and farm animals but not to fellow human beings. Don’t get me started… (They are as bad as the NPO’s) LOL


Next (naive?) question: So why don’t these people vote for the politicians that also want such coverage (surely there must be some)?

1 Like