Jerusalem Post a few days ago, I saw an ad for a local grocery store advertising three products that we use often at exceptionally good prices. I don't yet know what a lot of things cost here, but prices for the foods we buy all the time are becoming more familiar to me. The next day, we went to a local branch of the grocery chain and I was disappointed to learn that, of the three items, this branch only carried one, and there was no indication that it was on sale.
Now, I often still feel frustrated and ineffectual at the grocery checkout line because I lack the confidence to ask about discrepancies in prices between what I think an item should cost and what rings on the register. Most times, I keep quiet and pay the higher price. I think of it as a kind of olim tax. But this time, my Hebrew-speaking husband was along, so I pressed him into service.
The kupa'it (cashier) brought the ad to the manager's desk and came back with an embarrassing update. Apparently, we were at the wrong store. The store with the sale was SuperDeal and we were at Shufersal Deal.
That was humbling. And my good, kind and decent husband did not, for one moment, make me feel badly about my mistake.
Today, we found the right store, bought the deals and discovered a set of cute little neighborhood shops in Talpiot that we would never have otherwise found. Wandering around the shops while our (half-price) frozen broccoli defrosted in the trunk of our car, we walked into a gift shop filled with handcrafted items, all made in Israel.
I was attracted to a set of magnets with Hebrew advertisements from the 1950s. I debated and debated about which of these 12 shekel (about $3) items I would take home. While we were waiting for the saleswoman to finish with another customer, I went and looked again at the pocketbooks that had grabbed my attention the minute we walked into the store. I asked the price and quickly decided to do something I almost never do but which, I have heard, is standard operating procedure in many stores in Israel.
I asked for a discount.
And without batting an eye, she gave me 20% off. And she threw in a magnet for free.
So I bought the bag and felt that, in my own little way, today's consumer success balanced out my consumer faux pas of a few days ago. I had redeemed myself.