The tale of the register tape

rite aid receipt

It seemed a little excessive.

So, we stopped into the Rite Aid at the University Plaza in Albany the other day to pick up one item.* We paid cash.

And that's when the cashier handed us what has got to be the most disproportionately long receipt -- maybe ever. We got out the measuring tape (because we're like that) and the thing was 15 inches long! For one item!

We now have proof of both purchase and the destruction of a small forest.

*The one item was lens wipes. We like to see clearly.


I've noticed the slow creep of receipts growing ever longer for a while now. Of course, i never thought to actually measure one of them. This might be an interesting experiment - go buy one item at a variety of stores and measure each of their receipts. Longest and shortest get awards of some kind.

I get annoyed by this all the time, especially when there's a chain of coupons attached for things I'm never going to buy!

Been to Price Chopper recently? You can't walk out of there without the register spitting out a fist full of coupons loosely related to every item you bought.

Have you ever checked out the receipts from Sears? Those things are also very environmentally un-friendly.

I think the ones at CVS are even longer.

The ones that had at Circuit City were 18"by6", I have no idea why.

There's a grocery store chain by me that also prints out inordinately long receipts, except then they print out a SECOND piece of paper (the size of a normal receipt) with the same credit card information that appears on the original receipt. Can I not just get that exact information eight inches above? I'm fairly certain that I'm physically able to roll my eyes up/move my hands down to read it.

More stores should start taking Whole Foods' lead-- some of them have machines that print on both sides of the paper, so the receipt's actually half as long as it could be. Sure, the register probably costs more than the average machine, but they'd probably make up the difference in the cost of tape pretty quickly.

reminds me of a great Mitch Hedberg line "I bought a doughnut and they gave me a receipt for the doughtnut... I don't need a receipt for the doughnut. I give you money and you give me the doughnut, end of transaction. We don't need to bring ink and paper into this. I can't imagine a scenario that I would have to prove that I bought a doughnut. To some skeptical friend, Don't even act like I didn't buy a doughnut, I've got the documentation right here... It's in my file at home. ...Under "D"."

The other annoying thing is the automatic gift receipt that gets printed at many places - even outside of "Christmas Season". I imagine the typical percentage that needs a gift receipt is rather small so it is likely not worth it...

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