Grrr! Keep the Receipt, Please

Just keep the receipt, please.

I really don't need it. I don't need the coffee receipt. I don't want the sandwich receipt. I don't want a receipt unless I ask for it.

Why do some stores insist on giving you a receipt even when you don't want it?

Many even go so far as to post signs reading: "If we don't give you a receipt your purchase is free," or "$5 if we don't give you a receipt." Wow, that's great. But when I buy my $1.51 cup of coffee every morning (it's NYC, after all), I don't necessarily want the receipt.

And I definitely don't want it mixed in with my bills and my change, forcing me to separate the receipt from my money before I put it into my wallet. Not only do I waste my own time, but I'm holding up the line.

At my favorite coffee/sandwich shop, the clerks are forced to give me a receipt. I'm not sure what drives this policy, but it Grrrs the heck out of me. I can probably safely assume that it has something to do with the eye-in-the-sky minders who need to see a physical transaction on the security cameras for every item that leaves the store or something like that. Can't trust anyone these days, right?

But some of the clerks are so adept at giving receipts they are like gunslingers.

Riiiip, off the register it comes, hand dips into the cash drawer, bills come sliding out, change on top, and into my hand it goes.

Now, not only do I have to maneuver my change from on top of my bills and into my pocket, I have to isolate the receipt on the counter, then fold my bills into my wallet, then grab my coffee, and then, even though I want to just leave the receipt on the counter for them to clean up, I'm guilted into crumpling the receipt and dropping it into the dirty trash can so that I'm skeeved the whole elevator ride until I can go into the bathroom to wash my hands.

I know, I know, the last thing I need is a caffeine fix, but that's my story.

Bottom line, I don't care about loss prevention at your store. If I want a receipt, I'll ask for it. Next thing you know, they'll ask me if I want an electronic receipt e-mailed to me.

Hey, that's not a bad idea. I better run to the idea office and apply for a patent, a trademark, a copyright, whatever.


TV commercials are getting better. I don't know if it's because a lot of people are skipping them with DVR technology at their homes or if the advertising executives are getting smarter (or younger), but I've seen some pretty decent spots recently.

It helps when the commercial doesn't make you go Grrr! Doesn't it?

But who is responsible for setting the audio level a few decibels higher on the commercials?

Nothing Grrrs me more than watching "Grey's Anatomy" or some other drama (not "Arrested Development" because it's post-season baseball time — Grrr!), and the commercials blast my eardrums into the next room.

And even though I can appreciate television that isn't the standard four-camera sitcom set — where the production goes out to actual locations — the audio does get a little dicey. That means I'm blasting my TV to hear the dialogue.

But them BAM! Here come the ads.

That being said, I'm a big fan of the new "First" ad for the Mercury Mariner. It's a husband and wife competing to wake up early enough to take the Mariner to work, and it's both funny and effective in getting its message across.

So, thanks for making clever ads. Just keep the volume down, please.


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Mike Straka is the director of operations and special projects for, writes the Grrr! Column and hosts the weekly "The Real Deal" webcast on and