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Naked_Whale_Tamer's avatar

Why do some people have an apoplectic fit if a deli counter item is 0.001 lbs over?

Asked by Naked_Whale_Tamer (390points) February 7th, 2014

I’ve seen people become transmogrified when the item they’re asking for weighs a tiny bit too much.

Like when a customers asks for 1 pound of cheese, and the deli person slices 1.001 pounds (a crumb too much). Is this a first world problem? An American problem?

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18 Answers

Blondesjon's avatar

Because some folks have lost what they believed was ‘control’ in their life and compensate for it with shit like that.

It’s simple deli tantrums at first but before you know it, if left unchecked, the same people start bombing abortion clinics and want to burn books . . .

thorninmud's avatar

Well, there is a recognized general trend toward more demanding customers. Decades of customer-centric retail practice have accustomed people to expect their preferences to be catered to, and they’re less inclined to accept “close enough”.

glacial's avatar

Because the guy at the deli always puts a little more on the scale. It’s impossible to get the weight exactly, perfectly right, so why aim lower, from his perspective? Most of the time it’s only a little more.

But every person who’s ever bought deli meat remembers that one time that the guy piled on 50% more than was requested. And because we didn’t notice until we checked the bill at home, we still want to give that deli guy hell for it. We punish the guy who added 5 g of meat, because we don’t even remember what the guy who added 50 g of meat looks like.

In other words, human nature.

sinscriven's avatar

Aside from the catering to the bratty consumer, there seems to be a level of paranoia that EVERYONE, especially the people who you look in the eye is trying to screw you over even though there is no logical reason to believe so.

So they’ll accuse the butcher of ripping them off one thounsandth of a percent more cost even though they got one thousandth of a percent more cheese simply because they’re human and “Them” but not bat an eyelash when companies consciously use deceptive packaging presentation to screw them for less product for the same price with the Grocery shrink ray ,

chyna's avatar

The only time I’ve ever said anything is when I asked for a ½ pound of turkey and the guy was talking to his co-worker and not really listening to me. So he asked me 2 more times how much I wanted in between his conversation with his co-worker. Then he gave me a pound of turkey and asked if that was good. I said no, I only wanted a half pound. He said he had already sliced it. I told him he should’ve listened the 3 times I told him how much I wanted.
I normally take whatever they give me and never say anything.

Naked_Whale_Tamer's avatar

Please carefully read my question.

The question is not about large mistakes.

I’m asking why do some people have incredible fits over extremely minor variations.

Fortunately, the scales don’t have 4 or 5 decimals of accuracy (like laboratory instruments) or they’d have a coronary watching the weight change in front of their eyes as the product gained or lost moisture.

jerv's avatar

People want what they want.

They want exactly what they want.

Deviating from their wishes and expectations in even the slightest way is “just” cause for a total fucking meltdown, followed by cataclysmic retribution on those who dare defy them.

Some people are fucking Emperors of the multiverse, with enough power and importance to treat God as a serf, and you dare to give them 0.001 lbs of extra stuff?!

As near as I can tell, it’s an American thing though. To my knowledge, no place else is even half as capable of that sort of self-importance.

glacial's avatar

@Naked_Whale_Tamer We all answered that question. Perhaps you should take a second look.

LornaLove's avatar

People deserve to be given what they ask for.

jerv's avatar

@LornaLove You apparently don’t understand the whole concept of “tolerancing”. Are you the type of person that measures each gallon of milk and initiates a lawsuit if you get 127.83 or 128.12 fluid ounces instead of the 128.0000000000000000000000000000000… fluid ounces of a standard US gallon? Are you that exacting and demanding?

As a machinist in the aerospace industry, I deal with customers who (unlike many Americans) know that they can’t always get what they want, so their blueprints specify what they want, and what they will accept if they cannot get that; for instance, they will accept a 1/8” hole that is 0.121” as 0.004” is within the ±0.005” variation that they specify.

While there are limits on what is acceptable and what is not, there has to be a little leeway there unless you thrive on being an intolerable overgrown child. When I see that sort of fussiness, it makes me think that some people are not ready to leave Kindergarten, and definitely don’t deserve any of the privileges that adulthood has… like even going to the grocery store unchaperoned.

whitenoise's avatar

I’ve never seen that happen. Would be funny, though. I’ll keep my eyes open…

ibstubro's avatar

I think because large mistakes have probably been made in the past.

I’ve told the Deli woman (to be nice) ”about 4” and gotten ten.

Asked for ¼ pound and walked away with ½.

If you ask, you deliver.

hominid's avatar

I haven’t experienced this. But I wouldn’t be surprised. First, as some have mentioned above, past experiences could be playing a role. Interpersonal interactions are often seen as opportunities to “right” previous wrongs. The poor deli person could be the recipient of accumulated frustration and anger resulting from previous larger amounts.
Also, there is the possibility that what are witnessing is numerical ignorance. These customers could simply be incapable of understanding how small fractions are.

jerv's avatar

@hominid Given the state of education in the US, I am inclined to agree that numerical ignorance probably factors into it. Hell, that is the whole reason many prices end in .99; something that peopel won’t pay a dollar for, they are perfectly fine paying 99 cents for because it’s so much less than a dollar.

ibstubro's avatar

I think that often about gas prices, @jerv. “peopel” are gullible.

rexacoracofalipitorius's avatar

If it’s a consistent reaction, if they freak out that way every time, then it could be a sign of mental illness. There are sick people running around loose, deal with it.

If it’s not a consistent reaction, then it could be just someone having a bad day. No one’s perfect.

If it’s frequent but not quite consistent, then I suspect the person in question might be something of an asshole.

LornaLove's avatar

@jerv No, I am not that kind of person. Not sure why I answered this question it wasn’t worth the energy. I wouldn’t argue over 0.001 ml less or more. I was trying to answer a question as to why people would get upset with it. How the heck would I know? I do believe though that people should get what they pay for and what they ask for.

Maybe the person had spent a day with:

Waitpersons who ignored them
A person who wrong changed them
Got half a cup of coffee when they ordered a full one
Stood in a queue for two hours then the person went ‘on lunch’

Who knows? Who cares?

Your rather long text at me assuming I am demanding is wrong. I’ve spent nearly a year without hot water and heating in a place I pay rent for. Is that demanding? Don’t think so.

jerv's avatar

@LornaLove Bear in mind that the only dealings I have with most Jellies is what they write here, and those I don’t see much/any of, I really have nothing to go on, so I have no real idea what type of person is behind those words. If those words are strong, vague, and/or unreasonable, and I have no prior evidence to clarify, my default position is skepticism.
Would you have been so up in arms about your apartment if the heat only took the apartment to 68F instead of a toasty 75F, or you had enough hot water for a normal 10-minute shower but not a lazy 20-minute one? People deserve what they pay for with a reasonable margin for inexactness. Half a cup of coffee is unacceptable, but nine-tenths of a cup… well, that saves me the hassle of asking for room for cream.

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