The company I work for has a rewards program, because who the fuck doesn’t nowadays, amirite? This rewards program started sometime around 2004. I was delivering pizzas then for another company than the one I recently left, when it started. Gas was around $4 a gallon here (it’s currently around $2.70) and everyone was pissed off. When this rewards program started, it offered everybody who signed up a five or ten cent discount per gallon, I can’t remember which, and that naturally got everyone to sign up like I did.
That discount only lasted until the end of that summer, but the perks for using it are still going. If you buy so much shit and scan your card, you get free shit. You can also get gift cards for restaurants or free gas. You know how it works, right?
At this point, more than a decade later, the only people who don’t know about the program are those people who moved to the east coast from the west coast or to here from another country, because our gas station is only on the east coast. Hell, we have kids who come in with their own cards. They can actually save money on gas, and they’re not old enough to drive. Excellent.
The point here is, BY NOW, most of the people who regularly shop at any of these stations knows about the card and the rewards program, and they have made up their minds whether they want to have a card or not. Hell, most of the people I ask for their card tell me they left it on their key ring in their car, because most of the people stopping in for stuff other than gas leave their cars running, and thus leave their rewards cards in the car. Kind of pointless to have the fucking thing in the first place, but whatever, that’s their choice.
Now, here’s problem number uno. Recently I was told that I had made a list of employees, company wide, who had fallen below a 50% scan rate of the cards. The memo said something about how we have to make all of our customers aware of the program (I covered this, it has been around for over a decade, everybody fucking knows about it) and that we, as employees, should push it more so that we get above the 50% scan rate per week.
That sounds right. Right? They want their customers to know about the program and to sign up for it. Sure, why not? They have the system in place, they want people to use it.
EXCEPT, for those who absolutely do not want it, like all of those customers who have known about it for over a decade and haven’t got one yet, like all of those customers who give me attitude when I ask if they have one because they’re sick of fucking hearing it and they’re sick of being told how they should get one, like all of those customers who are running late to work and only stopped in for a coffee and don’t want to be bothered, they’re never going to sign up for one. Who do I have left to tell about the program?
Fucking nobody, that’s who.
So what do we do? Well, we could have one card at the register that we scan for everybody who doesn’t have a card. Nope. Not allowed.
We could use our own personal card to get those points and use them ourselves, right? Nope. Not allowed.
We could let other customers who have cards get those points. More on that later, but that does happen from time to time. You don’t have one but the guy behind you does? Let him scan his shit.
To tackle the problem, for every person who doesn’t want one, we have to scan a card. And if they don’t want it, we throw it away. Because the head office checks all cards being scanned and if they see anything suspicious, like one card being scanned a hundred times a day, they’ll call shenanigans and bust us. Severe punishment or termination is what comes next.
It’s that serious to them.
But what happens if we stay below a 50% scan rate? Well, basically, if we stay below 50% for four weeks straight, we lose our jobs.
I can’t tell you how much I love those people who get around a yes or no question (do you have a card?) by saying things like, “I’m not worried about it.” No, fucker? Well I kinda am, since my job’s on the line. Fuck you.
Now, to recap. They say they want the customers to know about the program, but what they actually want is a high scan rate. They know we’re throwing the cards away, we’re on video doing it. They don’t care. They’re happy wasting all of that cardboard and plastic and money. They don’t care about the money, because each store has to pay for the cards that are used for this. Whoever the company is that makes the cards had a sweet fucking contract written out, didn’t they?
The night I found out I was on the list, I did the scan and garbage route. I got FOUR people to say, “Well hell, give me the card.” So my company got what they wanted out of those four people. On the flip side, I threw away about 70 cards. One manager I have does this for every one of his shifts. We’re frequently out of cards because we’ve thrown them all away.
What’s the purpose of this? Make the company who makes the cards rich? That’s awesome, and a perfect way to make the customers aware of the program. I have some customers who only scan their cards because they know it affects our jobs. I had one old hillbilly racist fuck go on a racist tirade about Obama and big brother because of the card and the rewards program. I only asked if he had one. He could have just said no.
Essentially, the company I work for bullied me and threatened me with my job over their fucking rewards program. Hey, remember a couple of decades ago when there were no such things as rewards programs? Remember how awesome shopping was then?
Now, back to customers having their cards scanned for other customers who don’t have cards. We’re allowed to do that every now and then. However, I found out the hard way that we shouldn’t let it be a habit. Here is the price of being nice.
We’ve had a homeless couple coming in every now and then. Naturally we have to throw them out because fuck the homeless. I’ve only dealt with them twice. The first night they brought some change in they had scraped together and got something to drink.
The second night was the problem. They didn’t have enough points on their rewards card to get a free drink, but they were close. So the woman stood by my register and had her card scanned for every customer who didn’t have a card. Nobody gave a shit about it, and I allowed her to do that so that they could get something to drink. Call me a pussy, but I got a soft spot in my heart for those in need.
The line of customers was long and I was in a rush to get them all taken care of. When I got done scanning all of one guys stuff, I scanned her card without asking him if he had one first. He then said something to the effect of how he had a card and would like it scanned, but never mind. I told him I could easily take her card off of the order and scan his, but he said no. Once his transaction was complete, he mentioned how someone at another store lost their job for doing that very thing, and left. He was pissed off.
It didn’t take but a couple of days before my store manager informed me of how an angry customer called to complain about what I did, and I was informed that if any other problems happened and corporate wanted an investigation on me, I could lose my job.
For helping a homeless couple to get something to drink.
For misusing this fucking rewards program.
It’s that fucking serious.
It’s no wonder this company has a hard time keeping employees. It shouldn’t be that serious, but it is. They apparently had nothing else to worry about, so they created a problem to deal with.
I’m so sorry I tried to help homeless people. It’ll never happen again. The next time I see a homeless person on the side of the road asking for change, I’ll tell them I’d give them change, but I might lose my job for it. I’ll also tell them how they’re going to Hell for being homeless, because being homeless is a sin and it should be looked down upon. I’ll finish it up by spitting on them.
Who knows, if I do that I might get a raise.