I'm just sayin'

Size Does Matter

on July 16, 2012

Awhile ago I went into a local deli for a cold drink and asked the high school girl working behind the counter for a ” small soda.” She said, “We only have medium and large.”I didn’t say anything for a second or two, thinking about what she said. Actually I was thinking did she really say that?  “We only have medium and large.” Of course, I couldn’t leave it alone. I said “You know, you can’t have a medium without a small and large.” She stared at me blankly and stated, “That’s what my boss said. We only have medium and large.” So, I asked her what  the medium was compared to, to make it medium?” Again she stared at me blankly and said, ” Which one do you want the medium or the large?” So I told her to give me the smaller of the two, the small drink. She sighed deeply and said, “So you want the medium?”  “Yes, if it is the smallest drink size you have,” I replied.  But I still wanted her to know that if there are two sizes, one smaller than the other than it is a small. I told her, “You know there has to be something smaller than a ‘medium’ to make it medium or its just a small, right?”  She repeated, ‘My boss says we just have medium and large.”  You would think I would have just dropped it, but it was a little entertaining to say the least.

As she handed me the the smaller cup of the two choices – in my word, the ‘small’ drink cup. I showed her the cups together and said, “See, this one is small and this one is large. Get it? small and large. There is no medium.” I think her look said, “I hate you. Get out.” Instead though she said nothing. I wasn’t sure she grasped it or was formulating her “I quit speech.” I asked her if she remembered the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears ?  One too soft, one too hard and the one that was just right was in the middle, often times called the medium. Get it? I could tell she did not. I knew it was time to move on. I’m sure she thought I was some wacky woman who hadn’t taken her medication that day. But really, I don’t think you can have a medium ( unless we are talking psychic medium ) unless there is something smaller and larger to compare it to.

I had to repeat the story to my friend, Jewell, to see if she got it. She did. A couple of weeks later when Jewell and I were in the city together we stopped for lunch at a pizza place and decided to share a pizza, the guy at the counter asked us which size, medium, large or family. I asked about their small pizza. He said we only have medium, large or family. I said, “Then your medium would be the small?” “Huh?” he said with wrinkled brow. I looked at Jewell and she said, “Just let it go.”  Okay, I did. But I didn’t want to.

What has happened in our society? Why are retailers afraid to use the word small? I don’t get it. I have checked around and I have not found a pizza parlor that will call it’s smallest pizza a small. Some name it ‘individual’ and jump right to the medium size. What is up with that? If we continue to use medium in place of small it changes a lot of history and tales and well, sizes. You think a lady who wears a small size will willingly slip into something marked medium when she has always worn a small. If she really wants it and buys it, you can bet she will say, “The label says medium, but it’s the smallest they had.” Or What about Robin Hood, what happens to Little John? Does he become Medium John? Doesn’t have the same ring to it, does it? It makes sense to me the word medium came after the words small and large.  How would you know if something was medium unless you had a small and large to compare it to? I’m just sayin’, size matters.


9 responses to “Size Does Matter

  1. Eric Lyon says:

    It is purely psychological, we want more food for our money (Costco etc) without increasing the size of our clothes of course. It’s like the psychological .99 price points. Whilst it is ridiculous, quizzing the employee is not appropriate in my book, they have absolutely nothing (or very little at best) to do with the script they are paid to reference nor does it expedite the transaction or improve the morale of the worker…i’m just sayin’.

    • VirgoVoice says:

      I didn’t think she would change her ‘script’ – I really think she thought there was nothing wrong with having a medium without a small. She could have just pointed to them and said “Which one do you want.” I’m just sayin’

  2. Eric Lyon says:

    Just to confirm, I am sure they both got a kick out of you and I know you were not unkind! I just know that customer service jobs (deli service especially) can be quite taxing in regards to all the different personalities, quirks and comments from the people that stare at you all day (the customers). Making a sandwich with 10 people staring at me, holding their little number and waiting for me to make a really good sandwich sounds like fun for a day (maybe), doing that everyday, all day, that’s not a job everyone could tolerate. Did you see The Wrestler? Great movie with a great deli scene…;)

  3. Smitty says:

    If you’re welcomed back, you might order off of the “kids” menu. I’m just sayin.

  4. Eric Lyon says:

    If an employee thought there was something wrong with the policy (regardless of it being in place to mind f**k the patrons) and voiced that to you or any customers, I would probably not look upon that favorably as an employer. To me, “which one do you want” does not sound like the verbiage she was trained to (or should) use. If we had a business selling sodas, I do not think that we would sell a Medium out of nowhere. If they said “Regular and Large” would more people buy the Large? What size do they make the most profit on? Regular, who wants something Regular? At least Medium is on the way to something bigger, maybe batter..;). You are right, size does matter and that is probably why they got rid of Small…in some cases (like Pizza places), the Small was there at one time and they just stopped offering/making it. Should they have changed the size descriptions? I could see that being more trouble than anything and/or altogether not a good marketing move. If a marketing strategy works, businesses will use it like a formula to get the desired outcome (more $$) and it appears that the Medium (in the middle or not) and larger thing is working…again need more data regarding profits etc. Thanks for the stimulating blog, I really enjoy it, I hope you don’t mind all my comments…okay, gettin’ back to work now.

  5. Karen Simon says:

    I think that most of the kids today just have a “script” and stick to it no matter what. The same thing happens when you give them change to make it “easier” for them after they have put an amount into the register. They can’t figure it out. All they know is what the register tells them to return to you. It is a little scary!!! I agree that you can’t have a medium without a small, but they don’t seem to have a sense of humor either. Gary and I think that we must have senior humor now! 🙂

  6. Pamela Van Gelder says:

    I agree with you, I had this same conversation at McDonalds about 4 years ago and Heather said,
    “Grandma just let it go” but it was the principal. So I ordered off the kids meals so I could get a small drink and then the girl had the nerve to tell me it was for ages 10 and under. So I asked about the senior menu and she said I didn’t fit that age catagory. So I said, “Did your boss every tell you the customer is always right and to keep them happy to come back?” She said, “YES” and so I got my kids meal and my small diet coke. Then Heather wanted to bring a high chair to the table
    and then I knew she was trying to be funny and I said, “Oh that will be to Go.” And off we went with my small drink.

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