Stupidity is a Waste

Stupidity not only wastes time, energy and brain cells, it squanders earth’s resources as well. To wit: paper.

How long should a simple store receipt be? A few inches in length, perhaps? How about a foot long? A yard, you say, that arrives in three separate parts? I can hear Sears’ company representatives heartily applauding those of you who agreed with this last choice because that’s exactly what they provided as evidenced by my actual photo below:

When I purchased a single gift certificate, even the sales associate was appalled at the nearly interminable receipt. He said,

“What a waste of paper! Can you believe that last week’s receipts were double this length?”

I carefully examined said paperwork for a clue as to the reason behind the unprovoked elongation. A full three and one-half inches was devoted to my actual transaction. The rest read like a one way conversation with a store mannequin, if mannequins could talk, and if they were bilingual in English and Spanish.

“We value your feedback,” took almost four inches; “Satisfaction guaranteed,” took another four inches. The second two pages were coupons that took more than two feet to list all the items for which the discounts could not be used.

I suppose if I regarded this extended piece of paper as a kind of letter from Sears to its customers, I could be appeased. But even then, the length could be reduced:

Dear Valuable Sears Customer,

We hope you are happy with your purchase. If you’re not, please save your receipt and return or exchange the item within 90 days. If you are inclined to and over the age of 18, please give us your feedback at Also, to reward you for shopping at Sears, you may use this letter as a 15% coupon on kids’ clothes and a 20% coupon on adults’ clothes. Many, many, many items are excluded from these coupons, but you are welcome to attempt to find something that is not. You have until 1/31/08 to make these purchases. Thank you ever so much.

Very truly yours,


The above note could have been printed on a six-inch long receipt. It easily could include the letter plus the transaction information. The paperwork Sears provided me alone, could have been used on six customers.

Stupidity is not efficient or effective. There is little one can do with idiocy of this ilk other than to write a letter to the executive office and hope it rings a little bell that awakens an otherwise dormant mind.



12 Responses to “Stupidity is a Waste”

  1. Reilly says:

    This brings to mind forms that have to be filled out that seem miles long and say the same thing over and over again. I always wondered who the stupers were behind such things. Long receipts are the same. Ridiculous!

  2. Mary says:

    Agreed. To make matters worse, my grocery stores prints out a ton of coupons that match up or are similar with the items you have purchases to entice you to come back again. The catch is, you have to buy about 4 of each product to get the deal. No thank you to the extra paper and extra spending.

  3. Maribeth says:

    I agree, a lot of these receipts are longer than most of my manuscripts:0
    Instead of Hugging a tree they are Kicking it:)


  4. Mahala says:

    About half my grocery reciept is devoted to telling me how much I “saved” by using my “discount card.” I hate those friggen things.

  5. Keli says:

    Those forms are very redundant, aren’t they? I’d like to tie a few of the lawyers up who write up those things and read them out loud to them over and over…just for giggles.
    I agree – these people behind the print-outs actually believe extra paper will entice customers to spend more. Maybe stupermers (stupid customers) will.
    Your comment sent an immediate snapshot to my overworked mind of a poor, innocent tree being kicked. Oh, how cruel!
    I’m with you.

  6. I broke up with Sears a year ago. Sears is a stuper; I’ve suffered atrocious customer service from them.

    Also, I have a professor who was refused service from Sears. She wanted to buy a normal push mower from them, and the salesman refused to sell it to her and tried to push a lighter model because she was a “little lady.” I know someone else who went to Sears to buy power tools and was told she should come back with her husband, because she shouldn’t be making those kind of purchases without a man’s input.

  7. Chuck says:

    I agree with all of you. Many stores have receipts that are far too long. If they are smart they are monitoring the blogs and taking appropriate action. The only way we have an impact is by continuing to blog and making sure we name the stores that are creating such waste. In June there were people blogging about how Lowe’s receipts were way too long and had a ton of white space. Then just a month later there were national news stories aired about how Lowe’s was making efforts to eliminate the waste from their receipts. This works!

    I stopped going to Sears because of their endless receipts. My grocery store is a big offender Giant (of PA). My dilemma… do I drive further to another sotre that uses less paper? Unfortunately the answer is no because they all have long receipts with one exception and that store is too far away. Super Fresh has long receipts and coupons that could be printed on a piece of paper 1/3 the size of what is generated. Same with Giant (of PA). They could save a lot of paper by printing the coupon offers on the reverse side of the register receipt…

    Keep blogging about this and don’t forget to name names.

  8. online game says:

    Thank you for this article.. I’ll bookmark it so that i can read every chapter.

  9. sears parts says:

    great post !!
    I read a few of your other entires.
    Thank you for sharing.

  10. Boatrupt says:

    Not only did I get the long receipt and 3 coupons that were long, The searsfeedback.comwebsite will not come up…

  11. Jaaerdfaul says:

    hi all

    I figured it would be a good idea to introduce myself to everyone!

    Can’t wait to get to know you all better!


    Thanks again!

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