Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Big Buy

The Big Buy
By Allison Adams / Submitted to The Greeneville Sun on 07-26-10

“Welcome to Buy Big! Do you have your Preferred Customer Perks card?”

“My what?”

“Your Preferred Customer Perks card.”

“No, but I just want to buy this one thi…”

“Yes, I see, but I need to scan your Preferred Customer Perks card first.”

“Ummm. Well, uhhhh … let me look in my wallet … hang on … Oh! Here it is!”

“Let me see that.”

“Here, it’s my Super Shopper card.”

“Oh, I’m sorry, I can’t accept that.”

“Okay … uhhhh … I’m sure it’s right here – oh! Here’s my Swipe-n-Save card! I’ve had that card for 14 years!”

“That’s a long time!”

“Yes, it is!”

“Unfortunately, you can’t use a Swipe-n-Save card here at Buy Big.”

“Well … wait a minute. Lemme keep digging … Oh! Here we go!”

“What’s that?”

“It’s my V.I.C. card!”

“I’m sorry ma’am, but I’m not familiar with the VIC card.”

“V.I.C. - Very Important Customer!”

“I’m afraid we cannot accept that card. Our customers aren’t very important; they are Preferred. I need to scan your Preferred Customer Perks card.”

“How about this? It’s my Bonus Bucks card!”

“Impressive! However, we don’t give our customers any bonuses.”

“What about bucks?”

“No, no bucks either. We do, however, award points based on your purchases!”

“Oh, really? Do you get rewards for your points?”

“I’m afraid not.”

“Wouldn’t that make them pointless?”

“Have you ever shopped with Buy Big before?”

“Yes, when you were called Cash-n-Carry.”

“That explains it! When we were called Cash-n-Carry, we didn’t issue a card! You just paid for your purchases without a card.”

“Okay – NOW you’re talkin’! That’s exactly what I’d like to do! I just want to give you some cash, and then carry this one thi … “

“I’m sorry, ma’am, but I’m afraid that’s not possible. At Buy Big, we offer big savings to our preferred customers, using their Preferred Customer Perks card!”

“Look, I’m in a little bit of a hurry. I just wanna buy this one thi… “

“Why don’t you take just a moment to fill out this Preferred Customer Perks card application form?”

“I have to fill out a form just to buy this one thi… ?”

“It’s a very short form. We just need your name, address, home phone number, cell phone number, e-mail address, and your signature.”

“I thought this was the Express Lane … “

“And on the back here, we need you to come up with a series of PICs.”

“Wha …?”

“PICs – Personal Identification Codes. If you ever forget your Preferred Customer Perks card, we’ll allow you to make a purchase without a penalty by entering one of your PICs. You need to fill in a 6-digit Access Code, a 7-digit Password using letters, numbers, and at least one symbol, and also a case-sensitive User ID.”

“I’ll never remember those.”

“No problem! See? Right here there’s a place for you to write down 3 Shopper Secrets! Just provide us with your mother’s maiden name, the name of the color directly opposite of your favorite color on the color wheel, and the nickname of your current pet.”

“Wha …?”

“If you go to checkout, and you don’t have your Preferred Customer Perks card with you, and you can’t recall any of your Personal Identification Codes, we’ll regenerate your codes for you when you correctly provide the answer to one of your Shopper Secrets!”


“Yes, ma’am! That’s a friendly service we provide to our Preferred Customers, at no extra charge!”

“This is ridiculous! I just wanna buy one thi …”


“Wait! Okay, I’ll fill out the form!”


“Here. Here you go. Now can I please just pay for this one thi …”

“Sign here, please.”

“Okay. There you go. Now … ?”

“I need your thumbprint in this little square.”

“Oh for heaven’s sake.”

“I’ll waive the requirement to have this certified by a Notary Public, since you seem to be in such a hurry.”

“Good grief.”

“Okay – now I can check you out!”


“Do you have any coupons?”

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