Of Supermarkets & Sweets

‘Madam ngojea switi’, the rude cashier at the supermarket said to me a few days back. I was so mad I told him to put the coins in the Red Cross till at the counter. Sadly this trend has become very rampant in supermarkets not only in Nairobi but across Kenya despite CBK issuing a statement saying that there are enough coins in circulation.

kenyan shillingSome supermarkets are so notorious to the extent that they have notices on their walls facing you at the counter saying they are experiencing a coin shortage yadayada like that’s our problem. How come Mama Mike the estate shopkeeper always gives you your full change, bobs and all without much hustle?

There are so many theories that are going round about supermarket and coins. One I heard was the cashiers have a ‘merry-go-round’ with those coins they collect a day by forcing us to take those cheap ‘sweets’ that live your mouth sore and full of cuts. I am not good with figures but let’s just say a cashier serves a hundred people in a day from whom they take on average KES 3 per person, in a day that cashier makes KES 300 multiply by say 5 cashiers in a day that’s KES 1500. What do they make in a month? Do the math.

I found this theory very far-fetched but just in case its true, then we are being ripped off willingly (or unwillingly for some cases)

My mama is a very no-nonsense woman (it runs in the family) so one day she is paying for her bill after shopping and the cashier brought up that ‘sweets’ issue. She simply told the cashier that she didn’t have kids to just give her her 3 bob. Poor man kept insisting, some people can’t read facial expressions/body language or they are just plain dumb (or pretend to be) for lack of a better word. She didn’t make a scene but she insisted on seeing the manager. 3 bob materialised from nowhere.

That’s an example of how we should teach supermarkets a lesson. I have heard crazier stories where a chick literary climbed on the counter to demand for her 4 bob in a supermarket located in a posh estate, the drama must have been awesome but she assured the shocked onlookers (mostly jungus) who were gawking at her that she wasn’t as rich as them and that she really needed those KES 4, girl got her shilingis.

We can complain all we want even shout murder from the rooftops but some of us are to blame. How many people have mkebes in their houses/offices full of bobs? ALOT, have you ever counted those coins? You would be amazed to find that they are ALOT. Why people accumulate them beats me.

Put the coins out there and spare some of us from the cheap ‘sweets’ pandemic.

Another bone of contention to chew is with the supermarkets. Why in hell do they put those weird price tags like KES 999, 47, 12 etc if they don’t have the bobs for the change required? Kenyans are looking to save that shilling while shopping so why steal from them indirectly? Why not round off the figures to like KES 995, 45 or something?

So please supermarkets wacheni kujenga Uchumi yenyu by stealing from us! We are looking for opulence just like you and those bobs put together make sh.5, 10, 15, 20 and eventually our biggest note, ksh.1000!

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  • http://lily.co.ke/members/quill/ Mwesh

    I agree with you on that…and also the habit of giving customers fifty cents as if they were cashew nuts is also another thing that irritates me.Their common reason being that they are short of coins.Imagine being given coins amounting to 10 shillings…..

  • http://lily.co.ke/members/bailey/ bailey

    This is the most irritating thing about shopping in supermarkets. Local kiosks have coins in plenty, you will never hear someone was denied some shillings there, so why is it that way in supermarkets?
    The other maddening thing is that these same supermarket attendants will insist on giving you 50cent coins then when you try and buy something with those coins IN THE SAME SUPERMARKET, they will say they don’t accept 50cent coins. WHAT!?

  • http://lily.co.ke/members/suki/ Suki

    #Ruth like Bailey said above try using the same fifty cents to buy something from the same supermarkets to them its not legal tender and yet they give them to you as change. The best thing is to always carry coins in your bag they will come in handy in such situations.
    #Bailey I feel you girl, try throwing the ‘sweets’ on the counter I tried it once and I felt quite relieved :) it’s a rip-off nonetheless

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