I've got so many reward cards that my wallet now looks like a Costanza Wallet.
My youngest is in preschool from 9 am to 1:00 pm on MWF. I'm now back to work on Mondays and Wednesdays. That leaves me with approximately four hours, one day a week, to complete all of the tasks I need to get done without children. The grocery store, dry cleaners, picking up quick gifts here and there, a workout & shower if I'm lucky, mundane errand running. I am on a timer. I don't have time to lose so when what should take 2 minutes at the checkout takes me 10, I start to get prickly.
In the beginning, I was just too nice to say no to a rewards card. Everytime a cashier asked me if I wanted to sign up, I said sure why not. I know they are required to ask every customer - it's not their fault. I'm certain they hate having to ask everyone that comes through their line so they don't need people to be bitchy on top of it. The problem is, I now have so many rewards cards that every time I go somewhere, I spend another two minutes looking for it in my purse, not for an additional discount but to some day receive a piddly little 2% off of my entire next purchase with a window of about 9 hours before it expires. I don't want any more rewards cards..and oh how I wish they would stop asking me if I did. I LOVE saving money and accumulating points but why does it have to be so stressful every time I go to use my card for a discount or cash in a reward that came in the mail - it's "ohh this one doesn't start for another 2 days.." or "yeahhh this one isn't available on sale items.." etc. etc.
Most places, when it is finally my turn to checkout (I swear I get behind all of the slowest people, probably because I am in a rush), I think I am almost done and have the receipt in my fingers, only to be in a tug of war with the cashier..."one more thing! please be sure to call to take a brief survey about your experience with us today.." as she starts yanking the receipt back to circle miscellaneous numbers and codes on the receipt. "Do this, and you can be entered to win a $50 shopping spree to our store! chances of winning are less than getting attacked by aliens from Mars! Thanks and have a great day!" I almost always leave aggravated, I can't help it. I am holding on by a thread at this point, watching the minutes tick off of my timer. Incidentally, I have done a few surveys - I've suffered through the prompts, the questions, the "I'm sorry, we could not understand your response" and all that jazz. I have YET to win anything. Maybe you've won - if you have, that is awesome. As for me, I think I'm going to spend my time elsewhere.
Let's talk about Kohl's for a moment shall we? I get a $10 Kohl's cash card in the mail about once a month. I always think to myself hmm..I could go in, get a multi-pack of socks or StarWarsLego undies for the boys and LEAVE. It's like a fun little freebie. But we all know once you get IN Kohl's you're not leaving with just $10 worth of socks or undies. No - you get lured in to the other things like the cutest Batman or StarWars caped-pajama Sets for boys that would somehow make bedtime less of a struggle - and the big surprise of "why do we have to put our jammies on and brush our teeth" nightly conflict will somehow be just a little bit easier. Oh but the Jammies are full price at $49.00 - and they have them "on sale" for 50% off today. WHAAAT?? Who are they kidding? I'm a seasoned shopper! I know those are still going to be more expensive at 50% off than any other store like Target or Walmart. I may be terrible at math, but sale math, I understand - and I know this is a raw deal. So you get to checkout with a whole bunch of stuff, all of it with some crazy markdowns, percentages off of the astrnomic original price and your total comes to $100. They rip the receipt off and show you the circled amount - YOU SAVED $6,000 TODAY ON YOUR PURCHASE. Who is falling for this crazy shit? Look, I know there are tons of savvy shoppers out there that really can manipulate the sales and the coupons - and their 80% off racks to save lots of money at Kohl's. But when you're on a time limit, sometimes it's hard to scavenge through the rubble left on the racks.
Bath and Body is the worst. They are slow as molasses checking you out because they keep trying to add on to your sale. I inevitably buy the wrong combination of their buy two get one free hand soaps and they start asking me if I want another one to get $2 off four or some nonsense and totally confuse me with retail-sales-gimmick mathematics. Once I have added 6 more things I did not need to my purchase, I finally think I am done and reach for the receipt when they start the Inquisition.
Salesgirl: "Are you on our email list to receive coupons and sale alerts?"
Salesgirl: "Can I have your phone number, not to call you but for research purposes?"
Me(politely): "No thanks."
(They always get pissy and start the eyeroll at this point). Salesgirl: "This is just to track purchases so you can get better coupons in the mail and email."
Me(smiling through gritted teeth): "Got it, but no thanks. "
Salesgirl: "Would you like to open a credit card today and save 10% on your purchase?"
Me, looking at my watch and realizing I'm almost out of time: "No, I'm so sorry, but I'm kind of in a hurry, can we just skip all of that?"
Rips off receipt, hands it to me in an 'now you've annoyed me' kind of way. Eeeeek, I've pissed her off! I'm sorry, I know you HAVE to ask me all of these things but PLEEEEASE stop! I've said no nicely 3 times!!! ENOUGH!
What? All I wanted to do was check out quickly and easily. Nevermind that I didn't even get what I came in for because you discontinued it after what, two weeks? Now I am on the fecal roster (shitlist) for not wanting a credit card or giving my phone number out. Brilliant sales tactic!
Like a fragrance at Bath and Body Works? Better buy 50 of them or you'll end up on Ebay scavenging and paying 20x as much!
I have just a few hours to myself, one day a week - and sometimes not even. I just want to get my shit done in peace. I don't want a fight, I don't want a battle of wills; I get enough of that with three children. I come in peace, I swear, I do; so please can I enjoy my time in your store, share a laugh or two with you during checkout, and be on my merry way?