The Sausage Lady

Yesterday, Raquel and I went to Megamart (a supposedly low-price electronics and furniture only line of Myer shops) at Chadstone to browse at digital cameras. We just wanted to know how much an Olympus C-770 Ultra Zoom camera at the shop. Yes, we’re about to replace our relatively new Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-P73 mainly because we wanted a digital camera with higher optical zoom capabilities (C-770 had 10x while DSC-P73 has 3x).

While there, we also looked at current TV models. We’re thinking of getting another one with a bigger screen size (68cm or bigger). We’ll probably end up buying some cheap 68cm Sanyo or Philips TV instead of those very expensive digital HD LCD TVs that are priced at a minimum of $1999. Anyway, we were just browsing with no real intention of buying a new TV.

I also looked around for a USB Headset so that I can voice chat with people playing online on the Playstation 2. The PS2 doesn’t seem to support text-chat with a keyboard during an actual game session so the only way to communicate with teammates in team-based online games is with a headset (unlike in PC games like Counter-strike). I was also looking around for USB keyboards and mice hoping that I could connect those to my PS2 and make first-person shooting games easier to play. It’s very difficult to play FPS games with the controller, let me tell you.

Anyway, by the time we were finished with all the in-store browsing, I was feeling a bit hungry. The smell of barbecued sausages wafting through the shop’s exit only made me think more of buying something to eat than getting something electronic.

So when Raquel and I got out of the shop, I stopped by the sausage stand (also called a “sausage sizzle”) right by the shop entrance. Although I can already see thin sausages, “jumbo” hotdog sausages and sliced onions cooking on the grill, I was curious to know what exactly was for sale and for how much so I stood there to read the “menu” on the banner.

The jumbo hotdog was $5 while the sausage was for $3 on roll and $2.50 on bread. Condiments and onions were free of charge. I wasn’t finished reading the “menu” when the sausage lady asked me what I wanted.

I wasn’t ready to order but she was rushing me somewhat. The way she asked me what I wanted, it had the tone of “are you ordering or not?” But wait a minute. $3 on roll and $2.50 on bread? Erm, what was the difference? Isn’t a roll also bread? I saw hotdog buns on a plastic container on their table but I wasn’t sure if that was the roll or the bread.

So, I asked her, “what is the roll and what is the bread?”

“Yes,” she replied. “That’s $3.”

What? That didn’t make sense so I asked her again. “What bread is that?” I asked while pointing at the hotdog buns.

“Those are rolls,” she said. “This is bread,” she added in a irritated tone of voice while holding up a slice of loaf of bread. She certainly was in a sour mood. It’s not my fault I didn’t grew up in Australia. Maybe it was obvious to Aussies that the bun was the roll and not bread but it wasn’t obvious to me. Although I was thinking that maybe the bun was the roll before hand but I was still curious what the “bread” was if the bun was the roll.

Anyway, she was still rushing me so I just decided on the $5 jumbo hotdog-like sausage which wasn’t really like the hotdogs I grew up on but tasted close enough. I also asked that onions be added. There was also a container with shredded cheese on the table so I asked her, “is the cheese going to cost extra?”

“Yes,” she replied curtly. “It says so right on the board, mate.”

I would’ve found that out for myself if she wasn’t rushing me and hadn’t interrupted me from reading the said board! If she didn’t like selling sausages, she shouldn’t be selling sausages!

Anyway, there was a table nearby with three condiments: tomato sauce (a.k.a. ketchup), mustard and barbecue sauce. I added tomato sauce first but discovered that the barbecue sauce actually goes better with these sausages. The sausage actually tasted great which sort of balanced out the negative experience I had with the sausage lady.

Even though I didn’t enjoy my interaction with the sausage lady, I’d probably buy sausage rolls again from a sausage sizzle stand in the future. I just wouldn’t buy from her again.

Published in: on May 30, 2005 at 5:22 pm  Leave a Comment  

Esprit Privilege Card Disappointment

Here in Australia (and most likely in New Zealand), the Esprit clothing shops have this promotional discount card called the Esprit Privilege Card which would give a qualified card member discounts and other benefits.

Here are the benefits as listed on the Esprit website:

  • 15% off all full price merchandise at Esprit stores in Australia, New Zealand and selected stores in Asia *
  • 15% off all full price merchandise at selected Red Earth stores in Australia and New Zealand
  • advance notice of sale events
  • exclusive offers, bonuses and competitions
  • Sounds great, right? Well, before you become a card member, you’d first have to spend an accumulated total of $300 in their stores within a three month period.

    Three hundred dollars may not be a lot of money to spend on clothes for some people but for Raquel and me who aren’t really much into brand-name clothes, it had been difficult. It was difficult in part because everything was much more expensive than when you purchase something real similar in Target or Kmart. Granted that the quality of the products you would buy in Esprit may be better than those in Kmart but I’m sure that it isn’t that much better.

    The other difficulty was that we were having a hard time picking stuff we actually liked. The stuff they’re selling weren’t cheap so we really have to like what we’re buying. In the past, I’ve bought two shirts from them and I hardly wear them. Sure, I buy shirts from Kmart that I also hardly wear but at the Kmart shirts didn’t cost me as much as the Esprit shirts.

    Last week, we had purchased a total of about $248 in a span of almost three months (short of one week). We needed to buy something worth $52 before the week ended last week or we would miss the opportunity to qualify for the privilege card. So, we’ve visited Esprit shops in the city, DFO, Chadstone and Southland trying to buy something — anything — worth $52 just so we could meet the $300 purchase requirement.

    Last Friday, Raquel was finally able to buy a decent $55 black shirt from Esprit in Chadstone. Finally, we were qualified to get this coveted Esprit Privilege Card. She filled out the membership form and passed it on to the cashier. The cashier started writing at the bottom of the form to complete it.

    This was the disappointing part: the cashier wrote the expiry date on the form. I was not really paying attention at the time but I noticed that in the year part of the expiry date, he wrote “05” in the blank. Excuse me? As in, year 2005? The so-called Esprit Privilege Card only lasts for less than a year?

    Not only was it less than a year but it was actually only effective for three months! We would only be able to benefit from this card for three short months after we spent three difficult months accumulating $300? To top it off, the cashier told us to expect the actual card within two months’ time. So worst case scenario, we only get to hold on to the actual card for one month before it expires? I thought such a membership privilege card would last a year at the very least. Unbelievable.

    In the meantime, we have this temporary cardboard cutout for a card that we can show Esprit shops that we are actual card members. We must now buy often in Esprit just to get the full benefit of the discount card. I don’t think so! I will only buy something from Esprit if something catches my eye, regardless of a discount card. After this one expires, I don’t think Raquel and I will actively try to get another one from them. I think we’ll just rather wait for seasonal promotional shop discounts instead.

    Three months duration. They should put that on their website.

    Update (27/06/05): Read this update on the Esprit privilege card.

    Published in: on May 30, 2005 at 7:00 am  Comments (2)