A Humbling Experience at Dollar General


I’m pretty sure the rock bottom of my life just occurred when my check was declined at Dollar General.  

I had a plethora of items, some I was pretty excited about, like energy drinks and air freshener.  (It doesn’t take much for me.)  So I was in line to pay, got up there and gave her my check.  Declined.  What?  I just used a check there like a week ago.  She tried it again.  Declined.  Again.  Declined.  I used one of Andy’s checks he’d given me (he’s a brave man) and it was also declined.  Now by this point, a long line of people had formed behind me, some impatiently tapping their feet, uncomfortably shifting their items in their arms, giving me the death stare.  My face was as red as what I would soon need the Tampax for that I was attempting to buy.  (Oh, get over it.  Women have periods.  Grow up.)  

So in my mind, if their little check machine thingamajig was declining checks from two different banks, wouldn’t you assume that it’s the machine’s fault and not the check’s fault?  Well, I would.  But Dollar General employees would not.  So my bags full of wonderful finds and a few necessities sat at the register, and I asked if they could hold them for a while, thinking I’d go home and get cash from my doting, understanding husband.  The Dollar General lady said they could hold the stuff for basically an hour.  How generous of them.  At this point, another DG employee swept in and abruptly told me she had to cancel my transaction and use the register for other customers.  I weaved my way through the line of ready-to-pay customers, my face bright red, feeling their eyeballs burning into me, judging me.  I pushed my cart away and got the hell out of there where I could breathe again.

I felt humiliated, disappointed, pissed…I called Andy, who got way more pissed than I was.  He dropped several f-bombs and said he was going to go to Dollar General and “talk to them.”  I begged him not to.  Still, he ranted and raved about it the whole night.
I went to two stores after that and used checks with no problem.  This angered me even more.  I wanted to stop back in Dollar General with my purchases from Chief and Family Dollar and, like a low-budget redneck version of Pretty Woman, show them I’d spent my money elsewhere.  But instead I drove home and wistfully wondered what might have been had I been able to purchase that Sunflowers and Sunshine air freshener from Dollar General.

At the time of the “incident,” I felt like taking all of my aggression out on my punching bag.  By the time I got home, though, I was pretty much over it.  I wanted to take a walk.  The kids were at my parents’, so Andy and I took a long walk and talked.  He, as I said, was not over it, and angrily spouted off about it for a while until I reassured him that it was not the end of the world.  Things like that happen to everyone once in a while.  It was a humbling experience.  I survived.  I won’t shop there anymore, but I survived.  I actually find it quite funny now.  So a bunch of people in line at Dollar General think I’m poor white trash who can’t afford to buy my Tampax.  Well, it’s true.  So what?  It’s funny.  Life is funny.  This gave me another story to tell.  It’s all good.

Although…I did send a nastygram to Dollar General…and felt a whole lot better.