Tuesday, May the 23rd, 2006

Not to come-off as some sort of snob, but ever since I moved to the ritzier part of town a couple of years ago, I’ve done all my shopping at those speciality stores which are very tailored to specific niches. I don’t care if they cost twice as much as those large chains; I absolutely adore their unhurried ambience, and the fact that the people who run the places are aware and passionate about what they’re doing. As a matter of fact, I enjoy having to choose between 72 different kinds of exotic coffee; and I don’t even drink coffee!

What began innocently-enough as evenings spent exploring varied kinds of chocolate and sniffing different cheeses, soon crept into all aspects of my shopping. Before long, even grocery-shopping morphed to adventures in hand-picking wild berries; and the large chain-stores were soon a fading memory.

But, as was made painfully apparent a few days ago, there is always some eclectic thing which these stores won’t stock—a highly specific sort of head for a European electric toothbrush, perhaps?—and then you’re forced to make a trip to the big city and enter the big (bad) chain-store to satiate those needs.

After stepping-in and picking-up an item of toiletry or three, you soon find yourself owing the big (bad) chain-store $132, and you’re at the check-out counter, where an over-worked, under-paid “Wendy” will be there to “help” you. I mean, come on, she doesn’t even know my name (or how I like to organise my lotions)! Anyway, upon reaching said cashier’s counter, I was asked to present to her my SavingsPlus+ (the additional plus sign to really emphasise how much you’re saving?) card. You know, the things which magically drop the price of a stick of gum from 80c to 68c? The things that conveniently help the big (bad) chain-store keep a track of your purchasing habits? Yes, those SavingsPlus+ cards.

Having not shopped there in a couple of years at least, I informed “Wendy” that I didn’t have one, and that I was more than willing to forego their fabulous discounts.

As it turned out, this wasn’t the smartest thing to do; it seemed to really throw “Wendy.” Apparently, this was one concept her brain wasn’t wired to comprehend. She went berserk trying to show me how much money I’m losing ($6.34, if you’re curious), and kept insisting that I apply for a discount card right then and there. Not wanting to bother myself with filling out a form, I tried telling her again that I wasn’t interested in her savings, I just wanted to get out of there. When it was apparent she wasn’t listening, I rudely presented her the $132, and walked away with my things.

I realised soon enough that I was being chased by someone. Not just anyone, but our tenacious “Wendy,” who just wouldn’t let up. She’d followed me out to tell me that if I were to rush home and return with my SavingsPlus+ card, I could have my $6.34 back.

At this point, I nearly snapped. “Cool it lady. It’s 6 bucks. It’s MY 6 BUCKS. AND I DON’T CARE. I DON’T KNOW HOW THINGS ARE IN EAST EUROPE OR WHEREVER YOU’RE FROM, BUT THESE THINGS AREN’T A BIG DEAL,” were along the lines my mind was racing, but I politely nodded and left the scene.

Needless to say, I won’t go back there ever again, and I most definitely don’t plan on letting them track my spending habits anytime soon through their SavingsPlus+ scam.

I don’t care if people looked at me funny for picking up a few years’ worth of exfoliating body wash.

This is a printer-friendly version of the journal entry “On being a snob, not” from actuality.log. Visit to read the original entry and follow any responses to it.

4 Responses to “On being a snob, not”

  1. pUl| says:

    Does this commenting system work?

  2. pundit says:

    I am being hammered by spammers and I’m sorry if something you typed out got eaten. It was either swallowed by the new ultra-stringent blacklist rules, or your real comments were one amongst a set of hundreds of spam ones which I ended up deleting by accident. Sorry.

  3. pUl| says:

    I don’t wish to be a snob either, but what is so wrong with saving 6 odd bucks? If all it takes is you applying for some savings card (which by the way isn’t entirely useful to them either, given your frequency of visits), you might as well concede. Case in point, you could always purchase some extra food for those 6 bucks and drop it off at one of those donation boxes in the same chain store.

  4. pundit says:

    While I can’t really argue with anything you’ve said being that it’s remarkably noble, all that mattered to me at the time was to get my few things and get out of there. I didn’t want to argue with some sales-clerk, I didn’t want to fill out a stupid form, I didn’t want to work toward saving 6 bucks (or “stick it to the man” by giving it away); I just wanted to pay and leave.

8,709,153 people conned into wasting their bandwidth.