Archive for November, 2011

Disloyalty Cards

Posted: November 26, 2011 in Uncategorized

When the hell did they start making shopping so difficult? I walked into a bookstore today, picked up the new Terry Pratchett hardcover and headed to the cashier. Turns out my ex-employers have added a new layer of aggravation to  the simple concept of commerce. They now have 2 separate loyalty cards. One you can buy for a steep price which gives you 10% or so off books, the other is free and gets you…a series of vague promises of savings and/or rewards. I don’t know about you but I already have a wallet full of these friggin’ cards. In fact I have a wallet full of the useful ones and a kitchen drawer full of the useless ones. I tried to explain to the “Customer Experience Representative” that I wasn’t going to bother keeping the card in my wallet, I already had enough of them in there.

“But sir, you don’t have to keep the card. We can just give you a sticker and you can add it to a card you already have in your wallet.”

– Ummm…no, I really don’t want to add your sticker to my bank card just to collect points for a new bookmark.

“Well, we can just pull you up in our database. You don’t need the card at all.”

Then why the fuck do you have cards at all? Why were you so desperate to cram one in my hot, sweaty hands a couple of seconds ago? Anyway I suppose I should tell you I was lying earlier, I already have one of your cards in a drawer at home. If it means I will get out of this fucking mall any time in the near future then please feel free to look it up.

“Can’t seem to find it listed here.”

– Suddenly I am less confident in your database.

“Well, we will just add a new account with all your details so that they can look it up next time”

– Suddenly I foresee a future when I get a new one of these fucking cards every time I buy a book.

So why did I bother signing up? Because I knew they would waste time trying to pitch one to me EVERY SINGLE FUCKING TIME I WENT IN. That is the reason most of us break down and get one, so we don’t have to listen to some over eager store manager explain the virtues of signing up every time we stop in to buy something. Handing over my personal data is literally the price I have to pay to make buying items from that store quick and convenient again. If I know I am going to interact with the company again then odds are good I will break down and sign up for the card at some point, it is just a matter of the right cashier pestering me at the right time.

I remember back when the started with these damn cards, it sounded like a great idea. You fork over some personal information for a reduced cost on items. Mostly it was for grocery stores and they were kind enough to make it worth your while. Now every store, boutique, and barely legal massage parlor has a card like this*. After people ran out of room in their wallets and started leaving the damn cards behind some genius thought up those key fobs. Now a person would need an entire keyring just for those alone.

But what are they doing with all this personal info anyway? The idea was to use it to better market to individuals and track market trends. It isn’t working though. The e-mails I get from the bookstore are just the picks from the CEO of the company and her only philosophy for book choices seems to be “What Would Oprah Read?” I also get weekly e-mails from a grocery store about their deals. Like I am supposed to clear my schedule for the day because they are having a sale on tampons and baby food (just what every bachelor needs kicking around in his pantry). Plus the marketing data collected would probably be more overwhelming than useful. Unless some fairly obvious trends cropped up the purchasers would probably still decided what items to carry in their stores the old fashioned way, whichever company offered the best steak dinners and lap dances.

Maybe it is just me getting nostalgic for a time when serving customers was the point of customer service, when did pestering the shit out of your clients become a good sales strategy?

Rancid J. Monke
* – Kentucky Fried Chicken has a fucking loyalty card! What possible use does the Colonel have for tracking my fried chicken consumption? Is he using it to figure out when to send flowers to my next of kin? When the card stops getting used on a weekly basis does he send a team out to harvest my organs for experimentation or something?

I imagine there are people all over the world who are satisfied to wake up in the morning. There are places where such mundane things as clean drinking water and not getting killed by vicious animals, religious fanatics or drug enforcers overnight is cause for celebration.

Your droughts, mudslides, famine, earthquakes, low wages, no wages and lack of medical care make it hard for me to bitch about my petty little problems. I go on Facebook to complain about my day in a cryptic status update, hoping someone will sympathize with me. Instead I get the standard “things could be worse” comments. Despite the fact I am not making shoes for $1 a day, I have my own hassles that are very real to me.

Every day I face off against some of the most mediocre threats to happiness and well being any person can face and I sure as hell will not be silent about it. My suffering will not go unrecorded.

Download Envy – My internet connection isn’t great. That isn’t to say it is bad, it is just not as fast as it could be. No matter how much porn I can download in a night or how many noob corpses I teabag in a match I will always know that I am not at my full potential. As my digital balls rest lovingly against the lips of my victim I will never see the shot that ends my killstreak.

Cheap Seat Numbness – When the hell was it decided that movies could top the 2 hour mark?! The most I can sit in a poorly cushioned seat with a group of people with questionable hygiene is 1 and 45 minutes. After that I am itching to hit the door and get some fresh air. Remember when the last Lord of the Rings movie hit theatres with it’s 5 separate “Fade to black…head fake them into thinking your about to roll credits” moments. I was already squirming in my seat before the first one hit. By the time they hit the docks for the emotional hugging I was experience intense pain in the places that weren’t completely numb. Some people might ask why I didn’t just get up for a bit and walk around…These would be the same people who buy the large cola and have to take 5 trips to the bathroom or don’t bother to turn off their cell phones. Here is the only etiquette you need in a movie theatre. Sit down, shut up, don’t move till the credits no matter what you are doing to your long term health.

Food Court Blues – When I used to go to the food court my only issue was choosing which of the greased up treats I wanted to indulge in. Now I have to weight all my options –
Which ones can I eat without getting the taco shits for 2 days after?
If I eat what I really want will I be able to make it home or should I pick out the cleanest restroom stall now?
Which of the healthy alternatives is actually healthy and which ones would be the equivalent of a bucket of fried chicken while still lacking any flavour?
Are they seriously expecting me to shell out $10 for a forced colon evacuation?

Personal Trainer Insanity – When I first started at the gym I shelled out for the basic personal training sessions. To put this in perspective, I spent so much of my day being a lazy, shiftless bastard that I needed to pay someone good money to watch me go through a series of exercises designed to simulate what my grandfather would probably describe as “a light day of work”. After about 6 months I was so very proud of myself for managing to drop a pant size. After switching to my new job I accomplished the same thing in 2 months without setting foot inside a gym (despite the fact I still pay them dues). The mere thought of working out after I get home is ridiculous, I barely have time to eat, shower and sleep before I have to be up and at work again.

Dating Profile Adversity – Have you ever tried to write a dating profile? It is like an amateur trying to cut his/her own hair. Despite the fact that more and more people are meeting online there is little to no quality info on how to write a profile. It is like trying to write an essay on the most awkward subject you can think of without any prior research. Trying to think of an awkward subject, hold on. Ah, got it, It is like trying to write an essay about geriatric sex by avoiding retirement homes (and the entire state of Florida). The idea is to stare into your soul, peer in to the inky blackness of your hate, regrets and shame and then write a lighthearted 3 paragraphs about how much you like quadding and dressing up in your high heels. One might think that was a gender specific example but it probably wasn’t, dating sites are kind of messed up like that. Point being, No sane individual usually has the type of self awareness necessary to write an honest profile and asking your friends is sort of like asking “Who farted?” in a packed elevator. No one is going to tell the truth and it will leave stains…umm on your heart, somehow. Listen, these analogies are hard to make up on the spot. I am taking time out of my busy masturbation schedule to write this, would it kill you to be nice?

Fuck it then, I am going to bed.

Rancid J. Monke
Facebook –
Twitter – @rancidmonke

You know how I know I am getting old? Whenever I walk into a food court now I know that there isn’t a single place I can go eat that won’t cause later violent bowel distress. Even the more healthy options are guaranteed to take the short and distressing trip through my colon like a fat kid on a greased water slide.

None of it even tastes very good any more. I sit down to a burger and fries and all I really notice is how bland it is under the mountain of sauces. I could pour myself a big cup of mustard and ketchup and pretty much achieve the same flavour experience. I think that is why most of those places are so liberal with the onion use. Nothing like violently assaulting your taste buds with raw onion to make you ignore the flavour of grade F beef.

When I was a kid this food was like the golden standard. It was the mark of a delicious meal that it came with moist towelettes and individual satchels of ketchup. Now my golden standard is any home cooked meal I didn’t have to make myself. If I get to put 0 effort in and get to have a decent meal out the other end then I have had a successful day. I can cook, don’t get me wrong, but nothing tastes as amazing as something that was made while I got to sit on my ass contemplating my navel lint. 

Seriously though, who are all the people who won’t eat leftovers? What the hell is their problem? Like somehow the perfectly acceptable meal from last night has somehow become inedible in the span of a night in the fridge? Maybe you need to CLEAN THE DAMN FRIDGE THEN! You people irk the shit out of me, that is all I am saying.
Rancid Monke