Thursday, January 27, 2011

I've managed to go four months in the Queen City without a VIC card - er, the plastic keychain fob that boldly proclaims "special savings and benefits" with each visit to the Harris Teeter.

It's not that I don't love savings and benefits. (I do). It's just that I have a strategy of sorts. In order to avoid filling out the long application while holding up a queue full of impatient soccer moms and botox-ed cougs, I meticulously choose the checkout line with the friendliest looking cashier. When they ask me to hand over my VIC card, I give 'em a sweet little smile and the whole "I'm new to town and haven't gotten around to acquiring a one just yet" spiel. (Which is technically a lie. Because I've told it at least seven times. And I've lived here for months). But it never fails. The cashier smiles back, tells me not to worry, and types in the magic savings code. Voila.

Today was no different. I was feeling downright smug that I'd chosen not only the wide-open lane, but also the one with the kind-eyed grandma cashier at the helm. Cha-ching. Item by item. Scanned and bagged. When my total flashed on the screen, she popped the expected question. Gotcher VIC card? I gave my premeditated answer. But instead of savings and benefits, I got furrowed brows.

You don't have a VIC card?
(I shake my head no).
You got a friend with a VIC card?
(I shake my head no).
You don't got any friends?
(Okay lady, I was gesturing NO to the friend with a VIC card.
Not NO to friends in general. Way to make me feel like a social leper).
Well, you'd better getcher one if you plan on shopping here.
(A friend or a VIC card?)

To pour salt into the wound, Grandma Cashier leans across the register, pats my hand and hands me the receipt with a big, fat circle around what I could have saved... if only I had a VIC card.

1 comment:

  1. Sorry, but that made me laugh. I have an safeway card that I almost never carry and they always want to know my phone # so they can look it up, but I can never remember which of the 10 phone #s I have it under. SO, by the time I get through three and still haven't discovered the magic phone # I wonder if it's really worth it. On a side note, if they have a customer service desk you should be able to apply for the card there and not have to do it with angry people staring you down in line.