S.G. Browne

My Safeway Alias & People Who Call Me Steve

While I tend to do most of my shopping at Trader Joe’s, I occasionally go shopping at Safeway, a chain supermarket in California that offers discounts on merchandise to shoppers who are members of their free Safeway Club program. This is one of the main reasons I shop at Safeway. As a member of the Safeway Club program, I can get a pint of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream in any flavor for $3.49. At least $1 less than at any other grocery store, including Walgreens. Score!

Not to mention all of the other discounts I can get on such items as Odwalla Superfood, organic butter, Nestle semi-sweet chocolate chips (for baking chocolate chip cookies), and Dungeness crab, in season.

But Corona beer is still less expensive at Trader Joe’s.

But back to Safeway.

When it comes my turn at the check-out register, I punch my ten-digit phone number into the point-of-sale terminal and watch as my Safeway Club Card member savings appear on the electronic register readout. Once my sale is complete and I pay for my groceries, the clerk tears off my receipt, glances at it, then hands it to me with a smile and says:

“Thank you, Mr. Cypert.”

Or, to be more precise, Mrs. Cypert. The name on the receipt for the Safeway Club Card program is a woman’s name. I’ve omitted her first name because I didn’t want anyone to go off and Google her.

Anyway, I don’t know who she is, but for the past ten years her name has been attached to my phone number on Safeway’s Club Card system. I don’t know how it’s attached or why, but it’s my phone number and I’m not changing it. And it’s not like I care about the accumulated benefits of the Club Card program. I just want my discounts.

So I say “Thank you,” take my receipt, and go merrily on my way.

This isn’t the first time I’ve willingly accepted the identity of someone else.

Back in college, an acquaintance I met at a party at the end of my junior year kept calling me Steve. Scott. Steve. They share two of the same letters and there’s a vowel in there. Not the same one, but there are only five vowels (and sometimes “y”). Close enough for an end-of-the-year party, especially when you don’t expect to run into the person again, so I didn’t bother to correct him.

Naturally, we ended up in a class together the following fall.

Surprisingly enough, the professor never used any first names and I didn’t know anyone else in the class,so when this misinformed student once again called me Steve, I still didn’t bother to correct him. I don’t know why. I just didn’t. I was 22 and in college. It seemed kind of amusing.

After a while, enough time passed where I couldn’t correct him. It would have been awkward. So I became Steve. It got to the point that if someone called out “Steve!” across the campus, I’d turn and look to see if it was for me.

So I’m okay being Mrs. Cypert, so long as it continues to get me $1 discount on my pints of Ben & Jerry’s.

Filed under: Just Blogging — Tags: , — S.G. Browne @ 12:15 pm