Sunday, March 30, 2008

Costco Cash

My job requires a bit of travel, so my credit card gets a lot of use. I try to use American Express as much as possible. At the risk of sounding like one of their ads, all of the purchases I make using my card earns me cash-back. 3% for restaurant charges, 2% for travel charges and 1% for everything else.

Only they don't send me a real check. They send me a Costco check, which I can use to buy merchandise at Costco. But I am able to redeem my check for cash at Costco, if I am willing to stand in the unholy checkout lines there.

I received my check several weeks ago, for $1,070.55. This was the result of charging $58,000 over the past 12 months.

I am obviously inexperienced in holding large wads of money, otherwise I would have been sure to put the large bills on the outside to better flaunt my wealth.

Since I don't go to Costco very often the check has been lying around. Kelley tried to cash the check while I was in India. She forged my signature and everything.

Unfortunately for her, she was unsuccessful. As apathetic as most shop workers in New York are, each has his own personal boundary, that point where he decides to care enough to actually do his job, follow the rules, etc. We now know that at least one Brooklyn Costco employee draws the line at cashing a $1,000 check for a person without identification.

So on Saturday Kelley and I decided to go to Costco and cash my check. The unfortunate part of shopping at Costco in Brooklyn is that it is located in Brooklyn. That means standing in lines with some of the most inconsiderate people I've ever encountered. As usual, the store was packed so we stood in line for a while, which requires constant vigilance lest someone cut in the line.

When we finally got to the register I handed the cashier my check. She looks at it and yells, "Oh shit! This check is for $1,000!"

Yes, in New York it is perfectly acceptable for a cashier to yell obscenities at a customer. That and to announce to the entire store that another customer was about to be given $1,000 in cash.

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