It’s the principle that counts

So, a couple of times a week, I go downstairs and I buy one or two blueberries muffins. The muffins cost $1.20 each. They’re pretty good. I go down today and decide, since it is the day before a long weekend, that I will buy four. Should cost $4.80, right? Nope, he rings up $5.15. “Why?” I ask. “Oh, if it’s more than $5, you get charged tax,” he says. (Actually, I think he meant $4 but I get his point.) So I ask him to separate it out into two orders, which he does. But he insists on explaining to me that he really shouldn’t, that he really isn’t allowed to do that by the government, while he rings 3 up together and then 1. I get that point as well. But I’m not talking about ordering a single item of food and asking him to split the cost of that over two bills. That *would* be inappropriate. Splitting four items over two bills is, as far as I can see, not noted as being inappropriate in any official sales tax documentation. I couldn’t make the young guy understand is that, if my only choices were getting 4 muffins and paying an extra 35 cents or getting no muffins at all, my choice would be to get no muffins at all. Who wins there? I don’t, because I don’t get any muffins (though I do get to stand on my principles.) They don’t, because they don’t make a sale. And the government doesn’t. 

And what’s the point of explaining all of that to me anyway? Either separate it out or don’t. Don’t do it while lecturing me about why you shouldn’t.

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