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iplayanken avatar 1:23 PM on 01.11.2008  (server time)
Got yer receipt there?

Paper is a fantastic invention. Paper is used in books, bags and boxes. Paper is used for art. Paper is money. Paper is origami. Paper is used to contain still fruit drinks and to wrap fish suppers.

Paper is also biodegradable and is often used by retail establishments the world over as proof of purchase.

Unfortunately paper is also highly under-rated. It can often fulfill these wonderful deeds, yet is shunned with a disgraceful par of respect akin to that of our current nonentity love affair(s) (or is that just me?).

I can't say I'm a huge fan of a nostril-flaring equation charging plastic-bag-first into my designated till area, thrusting a video game down my tits and grunting urgently before my face like a badly constructed porno metaphor.

Aforementioned nostril-flaring will inevitably subside, followed by a boom of 'WANT MA MONEY BAK'. Yes, Sir, all right Sir. Now, do you have your receipt Sir? Carrying on the slight-porno theme, there is what one might call a "pregnant pause" between thought and answer to this simple question.

I have heard various responses in my time: "was given as a gift/lost it/threw it out/can't you look it up on the loyalty card?" and my personal favourite "you didn't give me one".

I cannot stand customers who blatantly lie. I like to nickname them 'cuntomers', and believe that most have never worked in a retail environment in their life. White lies I can deal with, but fibs which tie blame directly to a member of staff makes me wonder how people can be so heartless. Most of the time I know they are simply not thinking, but given my general think to talk ratio, I fail to understand wht most people can't copy my example, think before they speak, and keep their slobbering chops closed.

Sadly jaws tend to gnash violently, even although most of the time the conclusion is a simplistic "Well, how do we know you bought it from here if you have no proof?"

And a note to consumers: I do not have a fucking photobank memory. I can't recall your ugly mug from my mind almost instantaneously, even if you reassuringly pat me on the arm, look me in the eye and insist "You served me dear". Wank off.

I often witness situations like these disintegrate into metaphoric political debates. Coming to a suitable agreement - or alternatively sticking the finger up and saying "bite me" - can take anything up to fifteen minutes of my working time. That's fifteen minutes I could have been tidying. Or pricing. Or eating, sleeping, drinking or wanking. That's fifteen minutes of my life that I won't get back, and that sucks.

Individuals with an honest nature don't trouble me: they can have my fifteen minutes, and I will gladly mend any misunderstandings. But face me with a coward spouting the 'but-I-haven't-even-taken-it-out-the-box' drivel, as I stand grimacing at the food/scratch/DNA/unknown substance coating the product, and I'll most likely explode violently over the disgruntled customer (and hopefully the disgruntled customers unwanted purchase too).

It doesn't take a great effort to hang on to a receipt. It is infuriating to imagine the countless personal bags of the population, stuffed with rubbish and bottom-lined by old receipts steadily turning to a papier mache mould.

Receipts are - in my opinion at least - the backbone of retail society. Without one, your unwanted PES 2008 (of which I am duly informed you have two copies of, bought by both your auntie and your granny) is of no use to anyone. So please, give us a break and save us the hassle of pointless arguing, rehearsing store policy, and having to spend un-natural periods of time staring at your mugshot until you finally get the hint. Please, consumers, sponsor a till monkey today, and hang on to your proof of purchase.

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