Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Hot Deals, Cool Savings!

Remember that Geico commercial from a while back? Before the Cavemen, but post-gecko? Geico's web site was the bee's knees, a place you could get instant quotes and price comparisons and all kinds of neat stuff, and all you had to do was sign up.

The commercial riffed on it; some reporter guy asks the Geico Gecko (referred to henceforth as Geicko) "isn't it a little difficult to go to Geico.com to get a quote?"

And Geicko responds: "Saying you have to go to Geico.com is like saying, 'ello there, if you just...stand up, you can save loads of money. What's so hard about that? No thanks, you say. I'm so rich, I think I'll keep my seat."

Point being, people often ignore simple things they can do to save a bit of scratch. I'm not sure why I had to quote a years-old insurance commercial to make that point, but bear with me, I'm on cold medication.

The mysterious and not at all famous coffee company I work for offers a grand way to save bucks in the long run: the registered card. You buy one of their little gift card dealies, load it up with some money, register the numbers on the back at their website, and after a few transactions you get bonuses: free refills on coffee and tea. Free flavors, free specialty milks like soy or breve, free drinks every fifteen purchases.

All this for transactions you were going to make every day anyway. And yet, people endlessly try to get around the registered card requirement for these benefits, which, mind you, we're supposed to push.

"I'm only getting one pump of syrup. The Starbucks MoonDollars down the road doesn't charge me for it!"

"I just want a splash more tea on top."

"I want to talk to your manager, and I want one of those free drink coupons!"

The most egregious example was this one woman I served waaaay back in the day. She was a regular's regular, in multiple times a day every day, and despite the fact we all knew her name and how to make her favorite drink, not only did she never tip, she never even treated us like people. And she always...



tried to get a free refill on her drink. Without a registered card, refills cost 55 cents. Big money for a suburban housewife, no? Oh, if only we'd told her she could register her card and waive that cost! Ah yeah, wait, we did. Over and over. Every day. Like water off a duck's back, this advice went in one ear and out the other.

Finally I laid it out for her, after hearing her complaints for the hundred thousandth millionth trillionth time: "Look, I'm not giving you a free refill, because it's not our policy. You know exactly what you need to do to get one. I'll even help you do it."

"You should give it to me anyway!"

"I can't do that."

"Can't or won't?"

Both, I desperately wanted to say. "Can't," I said. "Miss, we have a policy in place for this. It's not my decision, I just have to do what the people upstairs tell me."

"Yeah," she replied, snatching up her drink and slapping down fifty-five little ones in one janky, angry motion, "that's what the Nazis said."

And she was right.

That's what the Nazis did, isn't it? Overcharged the Jews?

Or is it possible that they did something far, far worse, something so awful that it forever altered and affected an entire race of people? And that invoking their name for something as petty as a fifty-five cent refill (demanded five hours after the original purchase) might make whoever invoked it...a horrible person? Particularly since geographically she was pretty close to the highest concentration of holocaust survivors in America?

I guess we'll never know.*

Moving past that ugliness, we have a lovely screenwall!

I wish we had more of this in Chicago. I don't mean murals, because between the graffiti, the community projects, and the modern art, we're lousy with murals. I mean DRAGONS!!!

Everything could use more dragons. I think I just got an idea for the city's newest art piece. It's gonna breathe fire.

I miss bilingual conversation. My Japanese was never amazing, but between my garbled Nihongo and my conversational partner's struggling Eigo, we could usually meet someplace in the middle. It served well enough when we talked about our mutual dislike of Bush, when I needed to find swag for certain kinds of anime (coughRoninWarriorsJessiecough), or when I needed to buy the absolute best kind of beer.

Nothing against Jess' handwriting, which cheers me up every time I get it in the mail, but I do love how Lisa's English seems influenced by her Chinese. Lots of lovely lines. I wish I could go without redacting my last name; the Y looks really cool in it.

*Nah, we do know. Forget you, lady.

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