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Friday, November 4

Gimme a Break


Most have already had to listen to me gripe about a certain customer from last night. But, this was not an isolated incident. There are so many repeat offenders when it comes to coupon theft that it's insane...especially here, in one of the wealthiest suburbs around. In addition to my coupon customer, though, I will also detail a couple of other incidents from the store that follow along the same lines. Why am I interested in doing this? Kind of for the same reason as Smokey the Bear appears time and again in ads and on television..."Because only you can prevent ripping off retail stores."

So Borders placed a slew of coupons at the registers that were good starting yesterday. And all was well with that for a majority of my shift. As I drifted on to and off of register throughout the night, the customers would look up at me with a gleam in their eyes anytime I offered them one of the coupons if they had not already seen them. In my last hour of work, though, there was a woman who came through with, let's say, 10-15 items, ranging from CDs, Burt's Beeswax, and magazines. Well, there was one general coupon I had been pushing for 30% off of any one regularly priced item. The others were combo deals--like buy 2 jazz or blues CDs, get one free. So this woman approaches and wants to split her rather small order into like 5 once she starts reading the other coupons...and she does this because I've told her she can only use one per vist and/or transaction. Then, as the line started to grow and people grew upset, she had the nerve to ask me which coupons would get her the best deal. To this, I wanted to reply, "Well, since you're already abusing the system, would you like for me to call corporate and confer with them so that you can be sure to rob us blind?" I mean this woman just completely blew my mind. I rarely lose my patience in front of people...I'm more the type to feel very upset with them but wait until they've left to just vent and feel better. With this woman, I was convinced that that pattern would not persist, so I called a manager up to finish the transaction. I could not take this woman--her arrogant, inconsiderate, oblivious self!

Another customer called yesterday, inquiring about a DVD collection. And he figured that it'd be the same price in-store as online; however, what he doesn't realize is online prices are generally lower than store prices because there is not a staff to worry about, etc. But, he was a little taken aback that we would not honor the online price. I told him about the 30% coupon, and he agreed to come in and buy the store copy with the coupon, but it was such a struggle to get him out of his "Save me money!" mode. Truly incredible.

All-in-all, I understand the human affinity for coupons because I'm a starving student...I use them when I'm not too lazy to do so. But I get stuck on the fact that I struggle to get from pay to pay whereas these people choose to buy an IPod at the registers--as an impulse buy, all $200-300 worth. Thus, I only wish for people to use coupons fairly...so as not to ruin the point of them.

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