Torn Again

One of the first things that we noted when we arrived here last summer was the unusual ritual that the cashier did with receipt before it was handed to us. The woman made a small tear in the receipt on one end or the other  - or maybe even in the middle.

The first time it happened, I didn't think too much about it, but it happened over and over again. I tried to figure out why they were ripping my receipt.

I finally heard the whole story behind this seemingly odd behavior that was uniformly done in grocery stores or pharmacies or home decor shops. I was told that it's the law, or, at least, used to be the law.

Back in the Soviet era, all stores had their products behind the counter. You couldn't go pick out what you wanted like we do today. You had to ask the sale's person to pick out the items you needed.

She/he would then make a sales' receipt for you, but they weren't allowed to take your money. So the buyer would then take the receipt back to the cashier and pay for their purchases.

After the purchases were paid for, the buyer would then take the receipt back to a different person to fill the order of purchased goods. When the items were finally in the bag ready to go home, that sales person would be instructed to tear the receipt. Then no one could bring the receipt on a different day and ask for the order a second time. The torn receipt meant that the goods were picked up already. Plus, it meant that three people would have jobs that one person does today.

From what I heard, there was actually a law on the books that spelled all this out. Of course, today all of that is a moot point since the check outs are just like they are in the states, but the cashiers continue to tear the receipts. Maybe the law was never taken off the books. That's Russia for you.

PS to last week's article:

We just noticed today that the white stripes in the parking area are being painted over again removing evidence that they were ever there. Of course, that's only happening where there are no cars currently parked. I didn't know that my blog has so much influence over here!


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