Paraphrasing real life:
Cashier: “Would you like to join our preferred customer shopping club?”
Me: “Sure, maybe. What’s that do for me?”
Cashier: “Well, you would get exclusive promotional savings and discounts.”
Me: “So I just use this card, and I get money off of my groceries.”
Me: “Great! Sign me up.”
(Gives the cashier personal information then waits for him to scan the groceries and new Preferred Shopper’s Club Card.)
Me: “Wait. Why didn’t I get any discounts?”
Cashier: “Oh, well, you have to download our app and scroll through and select which discounts you’d like to have applied to your card.”
Me: “All of them, I’d like all of the discounts. Can I just do that?”
Cashier: “Unfortunately, that’s not how it works.”
Me: “But aren’t I a preferred customer?”
Cashier: “Yes, and we prefer our customers to download our app and spend hours looking through hundreds of possible discounts and advertising rather than doing any of the billion things they’d prefer to be doing.”
Me: “What do I get if I don’t do that?”
Cashier: “Sir, I already gave you the card.”
Every week, for at least an hour, we get to make 1000 stressful, panic-inspiring decisions. We make split-second, risk-reward analyses that force us to weigh our finances against the health, safety, and future of our families, trying to predict if we’re even going to have enough energy to cook what we’re buying, knowing the whole time that all of the Produce may as well go directly into the trash, and all while fighting a rogue wheel of death on the front of our carts that’s trying desperately to slam us into the coolers, other shopper’s carts, and small, passing children. At the end of the hour, there is a brief moment when we look at our carts and think to ourselves, “I really think I nailed it this week. There’s no way this can be over $100.” Then they ring us up, and it’s $260. We reluctantly pay. Then we wrestle with the cart like we’re steering a ten-speed through a gravel quarry for the mile to the car even though all 300 spots right outside the doors are empty because they’re reserved for people who are wise enough to do online orders for pick-up.
My favorite Comedian, Forrest Shaw, said it best.
“They’re still making you make decisions on your health, based on money. We shouldn’t have to do that, but we’re in the store, and we’re like, OK, I can get the organic grapes for twenty dollars, or I can get the grapes for a dollar, ninety-nine sprayed with poison. I’m going with the poison grapes. I’ve got to pay rent. Bag ‘em up!”
Find out more about the hilarious Forrest Shaw at http://forrestshaw.net/ and listen to him co-host the I Don’t Know About That Podcast with Jim Jefferies.