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Day 2: Ask if the vegetable is free because there's no barcode on it

June 13, 2019 | Hayley Ablott


Dear reader,


If it doesn't have a barcode, you can have it for free right? Apparently not. That's not how it works. But that's what I asked. I'm in the middle of working from home, and my lunch break is fast-approaching. That means the rejection challenge is upon me.


This particular one made me rather nervous. But it seems so simple, and easy, right? After writing a minimal but legitimate shopping list, I am ready. I think. Am I? I drive down to the local supermarket. I wander around the store for a while, do my shopping, walk around some more, decide a green capsicum would be the weapon of choice, and walk over to the assistant working the self-serve checkouts.


I ask if I can have the capsicum for free because it doesn't have a barcode on it. She looks at me. Did she hear right? Did she really just ask that? I think she is trying not to laugh as a smile and small chuckle overcomes her.


She walks me over to the self-serve checkout and explains how it works then asks if I still want this green capsicum. I should have rejected her and said no. But I said yes. Then proceeded to scan the rest of my items whilst she hovered behind me, her eyes burning holes into the back of my head.


She was now watching my every move. Making sure I wasn't about to steal a bunch of fruit and veg. Security may have been only seconds away. But I make it. I'm through, and I'm carrying my groceries to the car. Glad it's over.


What did I learn?


I learned that the fear here came from the time I had to mentally prepare. I knew I was going to be doing this rejection today. I had time to think about it. I considered how ridiculous I would sound. I care way too much what others think of me. So this pushed my boundaries. But that's the point. I felt a sense of accomplishment, having pushed through this discomfort.


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