Wednesday, December 20, 2006

I got yer spirit right here

Almost came to blows with a clerk at Barnes & Noble today.

Started innocently enough, when I dumped $88 worth of books, periodicals and other wordy ephemera on the counter.

"Do you have a B&N card?"

I winced. "Nope." Dry. Flat. Honest. Uninterested. Ring me up and move it along, pal.

"Really? You could save ten percent."

I looked him in the eye, smiled and said in an even and convincing tone: "I'm not interested."

Evidently it was not convincing enough, because he continued:

"You have $88.00 worth of books here. If you make a purchase this big between now and next Christmas..." There was more to his pitch, but I was not listening. I was watching his cheerful face describing this AMAZING credit card offer with a mixture of disbelief and contempt. What about "No, Nope, Not interested" failed to convince this guy? Did I really look that on-the-fence look to him? What involuntary poker tell had I emitted to invite him to continue with this conversation. Did the man have no boundaries? Don't they teach you how to be observant in book-selling 101?

"I'm being reimbursed for all these books, so I really don't care."


I was ready to get ugly, but just like that, it stopped. Finally, an unassailable argument. There's nothing in this for me, man. I'm going to get all $88 back.

And then he puts my receipt in the bag. Which I hate. For a guy who had no problem asking me questions, to skip right over the "Would you like your receipt in a bag?" question was pretty annoying.

I have a credit card. I use it. I pay it off. I earn miles on it. I can use it almost everywhere (except a handful of family-run restaurants that only take cash, including the Plumstead Tavern, a mediocre bar in everybody's hometown: Media, PA.)

I don't want a Barnes and Noble card. Or an Old Navy card. Or a frequent-luncher card. Or a weekly email from iTunes. Wow.

I DO have a collection of keychain tags for the various Dallas area grocery stores (because it's utter insanity to pay $1.40 for a can of soup, when you can pay .60 cents for the same can of soup. No credit application required. No yearly fee. And they donate a percentage of my purchases to my son's school. Done. Love it. Give me my soup and shut up.

I don't know which angers me more: pushing credit cards during christmas or charging me upfront for a discount.

Either way, I'm out. And I'm buying all my books online.


Make the logo bigger said...

"Would you like your receipt in a bag?"

MN is big on that: “Receipt with you or in the bag?“

Um, what? Where would it be safer. Then that’s my choice.

Jetpacks said...

I have never been asked the receipt in the bag question. They always hand it to me. Maybe I look mean or something.

James-H said...

Great. I'll bet they skip right over you with the "Want a credit card" bullshit too.

I gotta get a new haircut.

BT said...

Am I the only idiot that tries to use my Albertson's card when I check out at Tom Thumb?

James-H said...

No, no.

In fact, I have to ask them point blank "Where am I?" every time, because I have a 'loyalty card' for at least three supermarkets.

David Wen said...

if you like used books, is the way to go for like new books. I got some bookss on there for 95% off before.