[posted by Justin Levine]
So I was at the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf in Manhattan Beach yesterday, when I had this revealing conversation with the cashier –
ME: I’d like a regular size Black Forrest ice blended please.
CASHIER: Will that be for here? Or to go?
ME: To go please.
[After waiting a beat…]
ME: Um….excuse me. I was just thinking [usually a bad idea in my case, but it happened despite my best efforts to prevent it], why do you bother to ask people if the order “to go” or not? I mean, you serve the drinks in the same paper cups and plastic containers regardless of if they drink the coffee here or elsewhere, right? So, why spend the energy to ask people if their drinks are “to go”?
CASHIER: We have to charge them tax if they drink it here.
ME: I beg your pardon??
CASHIER: There is a tax if you drink your coffee on the premises. But there’s no sales tax if its to go.
ME: You’re joking.
ME: You mean even if I actually drink most of it here, as long as I tell you its “to go”, then I won’t get charged sales tax??
ME: That’s crazy.
CASHIER: I know. [Another coffee store that will go unnamed] doesn’t even bother to ask their customers. They just assume that none of their orders are “to go” and charge everyone the tax.
ME: Wow. Thanks for asking then. It’s a good thing I actually do want this to go. I wouldn’t have known to give the right answer otherwise.
CASHIER: No problem.
ME: Tax law sure is crazy in this state.
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