Thursday, November 09, 2006

Monogambutchery. Cheating and the meat man.

Lets see. No I didn't mention how I caught the butcher red handed tilting the scale on Tuesday. He pushed it down while he was weighing a chicken and pressed the button for the ticket while it was on the way back up. The ticket said the weight and I promptly weighed it again when I got home. Just as I suspected. 480 grams of pricey nonexistent farm-raised chicken added to the bill. I had a guest coming for lunch and didn't have time to go back and tell him off, and I was supposed to meet her, and I couldn't find my cell phone, and I had to get the food in the oven, and and ... I cut my losses and didn't feel too sad, you see, he actually made things easy for me. I have been trying to balance a relationship between two butchers for so long, it was all getting to be too much. I was freezing a lot of meat to keep them both satisfied. Sometimes I'd go in to one of their shops or another and buy a little stub of bacon just to mark a visit. By ripping me off right in front of me and then actually looking into my eyes, winking, and saying "a vous de jouer" (the ball's in your court...) when he handed me that chicken, he made my choice rather simple.

I was on the way home going past his shop tonight I decided after all I'd better say something and get it off my chest, because I'd been thinking about it. He didn't apologise or admit to even the possibility of a mistake. He said he removed the head and that counted for the discrepancy. Oh yea. A 480 gram head. "The next time I don't care, I'll just leave the head on!" he said. Ha! I had to laugh when I heard that. Next time. I walked straight to my straight-on butcher, and when I arrived, there wasn't even a line. I stood there and calmed down. Things looked particularly appetizing this evening. The meat seemed to be glistening and sparkling. I asked him if it would be alright to start a weekly account. He doesn't take the carte bleu, see, and I don't always have cash on hand. "But of course madame!" he beamed. "A weekly account would be fine." Very good.

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10 Comments:

Blogger veronica said...

bonjour Lucy as tu recu mon mail a propos de la rencontre bloggeuse du 18 novembre a plus

12:38 AM, November 10, 2006  
Blogger Anita said...

Isn't it nice when you have your decisions validated? Your new boucher is delighted to have your regular custom, and the other wasn't even shamed into apology. Tsk.

1:48 AM, November 10, 2006  
Blogger sulu-design said...

I just came across your blog (from the comment section on Life, Love, Chocolate - thanks for the kind words about her new sulu-design earrings). I will definitely be back - you post gorgeous photos.

4:15 AM, November 10, 2006  
Anonymous MS said...

I really don't understand why you felt you had to "balance a relationship between two vendors." I mean, I do understand what you are saying, I just can't believe you would put yourself in that situation. Buy what you want where you want and that's that. And why wait until you get home, just tell the guy right there you can see he's tipping the scale. That's what a local would do. You see, here in the States I come across as too straight forward a person. To some that's a bit too much, too "European." Well, if I catch you cheating I will tell you right then and there. No vendor steals my money while I stand there watching!

3:07 PM, November 10, 2006  
Blogger wheresmymind said...

That would irk me to no end...I don't think the butcher would be smirkin' if my wife got ahold of him...she hates being ripped off! lol

3:29 PM, November 10, 2006  
Blogger L Vanel said...

ms, I didn't believe it when I saw it. When I was at the register, I asked him to tell me again how much it weighed, looking him in the eye, watching for any sign, even a glance to the side or a blink. I was giving him the benefit of the doubt: light and shadows, a sun beam shining in, they can play tricks. You never know if you might have not seen something correctly. It was a very quick thing. He got really nice when I asked him again how much it weighed, and he said a phrase or two about how I won't find a farm raised bird that weighs less than 1.6 kilos. He looked at the ticket and said again the weight on the ticket, instead of returning to the scale, and quickly handed it off. There was a line of people behind me. I thought I saw something, but then again I was a customer, a regular customer. I didn't want to believe it. That's why I didn't put him on the spot. I began to have second thoughts as I remembered what took place in the shop while I was on my way home. There was a line of people still waiting. I think if business had been quieter, I would have gone back. But I didn't.

What do you mean, "that's what a local would do?" I am a local. I handled it in my way. There's nothing more to say about that.

4:13 PM, November 10, 2006  
Blogger David said...

MS: Sometimes these things happen right in front of you, and you're so temporarily stunned that you can't believe it, and leave, knowing you've been ripped off. Then in hindsight, you think, "Why didn't I say something?"

I think it's such an odd feeling when someone knowingly cheats you, most likely because you're not a local; it's both shocking and rather mean-spirited. I hope when the butcher travels to a foreign country, he gets what's coming to him.

But Lucy, I have a more difficult dilemna: I need to change my cleaners (le pressing), simply because I switched yoga studios and no longer go by the old one. Yet it's taken me about a year to get in their good graces.
How will I measure up in the new one?

7:10 PM, November 10, 2006  
Blogger L Vanel said...

Yes, it's always hindsight, isn't it. Yea, why didn't I nail that swindler to the wall and shake him down till he screamed for mercy!

David, you have my sympathies. I guess the worst part is if you have to walk by your old cleaner wearing a nice spiffy outfit that they know they didn't clean. As for the new cleaners, you might take a large oriental rug in as your first cleaning job.

12:01 AM, November 11, 2006  
Blogger Mimi said...

I thoroughly understand balancing a relationship between two vendors as I often do that because I like the vendors. Also, living in a small town — or a quartier — it is good to develop relationships.

Too bad the vendor does not always understand that.

Excellent post, Lucy!

4:37 PM, November 12, 2006  
Blogger misschrisc said...

I'm so pleased you went back and told him. Sounds like the chicken wasn't the only thing with the oversized head.

2:51 PM, November 13, 2006  

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