Thursday, March 12, 2009

Et tu, Target?

Yesterday, while enjoying a leisurely shopping binge at Target, I came face to face with our nation's credit crisis, and couldn't help but feel betrayed by the store that I have grown to think of not only as a friend, but an ally during shaky economic times.

I filled my cart with random necessities and random non-necessities and approached the check out counter. I was, of course, confronted with the routine sales pitch:

"Would you like to save 10% today by applying for a Target Visa?"

I smiled, and replied that I already, in fact, HAD a Target Visa. (I failed to explain that the only reason I had acquired such a card was to circumvent the inevitable sales pitch/refusal dance that unfortunately occurred with every shopping experience).

I know for most people turning down the cashier when she asks you to apply for a credit card is NO BIG DEAL, but I am not like most people and find it very difficult, even painful, to reject anyone or anything, unless they happen to be in my immediate family, in which case I can trample their hopes and dreams with wild abandon. But I tread lightly when it comes to the friendly cashiers at Target.

So I went to my wallet to whip out my shiny red Visa and put an end to the programmed repartee of Target Visa enticements, only to remember that I had given Lindsay the card to use while we were out of town, and had left it at home.

"Oh, I just remembered I don't have the card with me," I explained.

"No problem. Just apply for another one!"

Another Target card? Oh, I get it. You don't believe that I really have one at home, and you've seen the ole "I left it at home" dodge tactic before.

"But I really DO have a card at home. Can you look my account number up if I give you my driver's license?"

"No, we can't look it up, you need your actual card. . . But it will just take two minutes for you to apply for another card and you can SAVE 10%! "

10%, wow! I don't really care. I'm pretty sure I don't need 2 Target Visas, although now I'm beginning to see why a back up may be necessary. I wanted to grab her hand and say, Hey, listen, I know how it works, I know that there is some little contest going on in the employee lounge where you get to color in a square for every approved credit application you reel in. And I know that there is probably a voucher for a free pretzel from the snack bar, and/or bragging rights, and/or maybe even a cash incentive riding on my participation in this little scheme, and I feel badly that I'm keeping you from your goal, but I DON'T WANT TO APPLY FOR ANOTHER CREDIT CARD!

But I didn't say that. I just explained that I didn't want or need another one and I would prefer to avoid an inquiry on my credit report, etc.

She was undeterred.

"It will only take 2 minutes, you can save 10%, and then you can walk right over to Customer Service and pay it off, and close your account! It will be like it never happened, except you will have saved 10%!!!!"

Really? A "Beat the System" tactic? Is the banking crisis not enough evidence that "beating the system" comes at a heavy price? Have you watched the news lately? No wonder families are being swallowed up in credit card debt. It's harder to AVOID getting a credit card than it is to apply for one!

At this point I was practically begging her to let me PAY the 10% just to ring up my cart and let me leave, debt-free. PLEASE.

Unfortunately as soon as I got to my car, I remembered that I had forgotten juice, an item that had been eclipsed by the $12.99 swimsuits, St. Patricks Day paraphenalia, and Mossimo t-shirts. I reluctantly went back in, picked up the juice and wisely chose a different cashier.

When she asked me if i would like to apply for a Target Visa I tersely said, "No." and left no room for discussion or banter. She printed out my receipt and exclaimed, as if I had won the lottery. . .

"You were pre-approved for a card! You could've saved 10%! If you want, we can cancel this transaction, fill out an application and you can charge the juice on your new card!!!!"

6 comments:

DEMI & GCG said...

OMGOODNESS!
I can just picture you there in line...so funny. HURRY LINDSAY GIVE THE GIRL HER CARD BACK!!

Sue said...

Oh gosh, I'm the same way. I hate telling people no. I hate it when people come up to me and ask me if they can help me find something and I have to say no. Sometimes I try to think of a question just so that I don't have to tell them no.

It's an illness. ;>

jacksonfamiliatwins said...

Love it! I wish I could have been there. Although, I feel as if I were, because it is so relatable. So funny~ I'll be thinking of u next time I check out at Target!

goddard girls said...

Ha ha...you need me to freaking go to the store with you! GROW A PAIR! miss you!

Wade and Katelyn said...

next time, just give her a blank stare and then just punch her right in the face, then gather up your bags ever so calmly and exit the store. that's what i do and they never bother me anymore.

Jeff and Rose said...

If you think Target's bad...avoid the Macys department store at all cost....
Oh, and the part about trampling your immediate family's hopes and dreams--is that genetic? I may have gotten some of that.