The great treasure hunt

I just had an unusual experience. I bought a new phone card at the supermarket to add money/minutes to my cell phone. The cashier took the card and gave me a receipt that appeared to have very little information on it. I asked her, “Is this really all I need?” She said yes.

Two hours later, after several failed attempts to load the money onto my phone, lots of internet research, and a long call with a helpful ja! mobil representative, I returned to the supermarket. When I got to the front of the line, I told the cashier — a new one; the old one had left — that I was missing a receipt I needed to use the card I’d bought. Without a moment’s hesitation, she shouted, “Herr Something-or-other!” and turned to the next customer. Herr Something-or-other emerged from the back room, looked at the receipt I did have, and yelled, “Who is 12?” The cashiers, after some consultation, announced that number 12 was Frau So-and-so.

“Frau So-and-so,” yelled Herr Something-or-other. (I’m not sure why he was still yelling.) “I thought so.” Meanwhile, everyone in the checkout area was watching the strange sideshow that was unfolding. Herr Something-or-other brought me over to one of the checkout aisles and said something that sounded like, but surely couldn’t have been, an instruction to get back in line and then dig through the garbage.

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