The Rewards Program Is Not Its Own Reward

, , , , , | Working | January 12, 2018

(I am shopping with a friend. I notice a new employee at the register. While most employees at this store wear clothes with goth and/or metal aesthetics, she stands out; she is absolutely decked out with the store’s merchandise, and she has dyed a bright blue streak in her hair. Initially, I think little of it, and when I’m finished with my shopping, I go to her register to pay. Then…)

Employee: “Okay, and what is your email address?”

Me: “Why are you asking me for that information?”

Employee: *snottily* “Management says that everybody who shops here is joining our rewards program. Give me your email address.”

Me: “I have never heard of that policy before. What is my email address being used for?”

Employee: “Everybody who shops here is required to sign up for the rewards program to purchase. I am signing you up.”

Me: “No, thank you. You haven’t even explained what it is.”

Employee: “We will send you frequent promotional messages telling you what’s new at [Store]. You can also earn points with every purchase. It’s free money, and who doesn’t like that?”

Me: “No, thanks; I don’t want any emails from here. I want to pay for my stuff.” *pulls out wallet*

Employee: “I mean, I guess you could not join, if you really hate getting good deals and free money.”

Me: “I don’t want emails, thank you. Please let me pay.”

Employee: “But you’ve already earned points. I mean, there’s no need to be so wasteful.”

Me: “No, thank you. Here is my credit card.”

Employee: “If you don’t sign up for a rewards program, I’m giving them to the next customers. Those two guys behind you are going to steal your points.”

Me: “They can have them. Please let me buy my stuff.”

Employee: *glares as she slowly swipes my debit card on both sides* “Well, people have turned down joining the rewards program and regretted it before. Are you—”

Me: “I do not want to join your rewards program.”

Employee: “Ugh, fine.”

(I got my card and purchased stuff from her with no negative repercussions. She did indeed push the program on the two guys behind me; they obliged pretty quickly as she made passive-aggressive remarks about my intelligence. My friend reported similar behavior when she tried to pay later on, and even a few months later, when it turned out the employee not only managed to stick around but works most days and hours of the week. We have not returned since!)

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