Checked Out

In the world I live in I only read things, for the most part, on my laptop, my iPad and depending where I am at, say the checkout line at the grocery store, I’ll use my iPhone. I pay for the privilege to surf the interweb to find those things I want to know more about. Not so much gossip, but more of getting information ASAP. My wife, however, will find one of the longer checkout lines for her quest on whats going on in the world of gossip. Instead of reaching for her iPhone, she reaches for one of the US Weeklys, Star, Women’s Day or whatever magazine that has the hottest actress on the front accompanied by some sort of variation of the word “SCANDAL.” She’ll thumb through the pages, perusing what interests her as we take the slow, short steps closer to the cashier.

Right about the time that the customer ahead of us is pressing the PIN number into that calculator-with-a-pen-attached device, the magazine not so covertly goes back to the rack, usually in the wrong place as evident by the assortment of other periodicals in need of the Dewey-Decimal system to organize.

My thoughts to her is that what she’s doing is “stealing.” She disagrees. My argument is “You just used something and you didn’t pay for it.” Proud of this clear assessment and explanation thereof, she quickly took any points from my corner when she responded with “Its not stealing when you test drive a car is it?” Ouch. Now the very foundation of my belief system has been altered. I him-haw around it and said something to the effect of “…then I’m only going to eat half of this Snickers Bar.” She looks at me, knowing that my last ditch effort to redeem myself was thrown out the door, and I concede.

The sub-provision of the “You Break It, You Buy It” law has gone to the wayside of stamps, Travel Agents and home telephones. The world of technology actually allows us to peruse magazines in the palm of our hands, so really, the weekly rags at the checkout aren’t the only place to get a gossip fix. So why do we still do it? Since we’re visiting the land of tech right now, let’s liken the checkout line enlightenment to hooking up on to your neighbor’s WiFi. Right? I mean, its there. You’re only using it to find the info that you want. They’re not home. You’re bored, right? Why not.

I’m probably coming off as a holier-than-thou crumudgeon. I’m actually tongue-in-cheek about all this. I really don’t care if she reads the mags or not. Its one of those things that couples like to do. Besides, I lose every argument anyway and deep down, I think she knows I’m right.

So, is it stealing?

Rock forth, Mitch
ISYWILAY

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6 Comments on Checked Out

  1. I dont think its stealing because if they didnt want you to flip through it then it would be in like a plastic wrap like some others are.. I use to look through the mags in check out, thats pretty much why they are there right? Idk

  2. I do the same thing..but I pick shorter lines. 🙂 I really think that if the stores wanted to crack down, they would wrap them in plastic like a certain gentleman’s magazine. But they don’t. Is it “stealing”? You are “taking” something you do not plan on purchasing, so my opinion is yes. I do the same thing at the bookstores..but on the flip side, I am purchasing items at their stores, so maybe its a trade off or even a distraction because they know that we will have to wait a long time, therefore why not keep us “entertained”! As far as my neighbors WiFi…here in ND, they lock everyone’s when they hook it up (unless you DIY it), so there is literally no sharing, and when I lived in FL, I only did if mine was being worked on and I needed to log on to fix mine. I hate “creepers” LOL

  3. I think it is stealing, reading a magazine in the checkout line. I have done the very same thing and I felt guilty about it afterward.
    It is different when you test drive a car. The dealership expects you to do this. They “allow” it.
    I think your wife really knows you are right, but she’s holding her ground, because she is a…… WOMAN!!!! lol
    Bev Lewis…. one of your Fans!!!! You RoCk!!!!

  4. I am an employee of a major retail establishment. I see this (and worse) happen every day, The answer to your question is, yes, it is stealing. When test driving a car, you generally have the intention of purchasing at some point. if you want to peruse a magazine for free, and dont want to do it electronically, go to the library, they have already paid for their magazines there. Not only does my establishment have to pay someone to go clean up those magazines that are all replaced in the wrong spots, if you aren’t purchasing the item, I am going to recieve less of a bonus at the end of the year.

    P.S. “Sampling” the grapes is also stealing. They aren’t samples if they arent offered by an employee. Thoes free samples ligitimately given out have been paid for by the manufacturer, and the ones you help yourselves to are never paid for, (again eating into my bonus). A few grapes ( or magazine articles) here and there doesn’t seem like much, but over the corse of a year its thousands of dollars of missed revenue for my business, and myself. Since I don’t get paid all that much, i depend on those bonuses to catch up the bills.

    I’m just sayin’.

  5. But reading something from PAPER is such a novelty now. Yeah tho she she buy it so it’ll still b there next trip. Still stand by my “pick line with hottest cashier or line women”-regardless of length.

  6. Well, it’s not why they put them there. They are there to have you think you have a few minutes, I’ll do something with my time and grab a mag to start reading. Now that you start reading, the idea is that you feel obligated to buy it. (More sales)

    It’s not there as if it were a library. It’s there for the same reason the candy bars are. It’s just the best place to put them to make a sale.

    Test driving a car is having the keys handed over to you. Permission was granted.

    I say buy it. If you’re not interested, don’t pick it up.

    I only pick something up if the cover says something, or has a picture I’m interested in (such as top 10 inexpensive vacation spots, grilling, de-clutter your garage etc).

    Then I make sure it’s what I think it might be and thumb through the contents to see if it is in fact what I may want to read (and that’s not the same as reading it) then buy if there’s something interesting in there.

    Reading full articles may be crossing the line.

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