Karma Came for Me

Remember way back when “loyalty cards” were a new thing. Merchants offered amazingly good deals if only you would share a bunch of personal information with them. Well, I was a resister even then, and my primary grocery chain put up with me because there were a lot of resisters. They needed us to make the gimmick work. 

By “resister,” I mean that I happily took a card and used it, but I never registered it; I never gave them all that personal information they craved. I sacrificed some benefits, primarily gas discounts, to retain my privacy, but that was OK with me. I got the discount prices when I shopped, and that was all I wanted. 

Many stores realized how unpalatable this scheme was and let checkers use a card (perhaps a store card, or perhaps their personal card so they’d get the gas points?) at the register for people who didn’t have a card. Other stores were much more finicky. Safeway tried to detain us as we tried to walk out with an unregistered card until we handed it back to them. Others insisted on a phone number, but didn’t notice if we gave them an old one. So the game of cat and mouse quietly settled into a non-event. 

Until today. I’m in my third week of quarantine because the retirement home where I reside has cases of Covid-19 and we can’t get the tests we need to make sure which people are safe to interact with others (from a distance, yes). A friend picked up some groceries for me a week ago, (greatly appreciated, thank you, but she wouldn’t let me reimburse her, so I’m hesitant to let that happen often). In any event, I started investigating online ordering for delivery today, and guess what. That bleeping unregistered loyalty card that I’ve used ever since this “loyalty” scheme first surfaced is messing things up. 

To shop online, I need an account. To get an account, I have to give up my name, address, phone number, and (wait for it…) my loyalty card number. But, of course, my loyalty card is not linked to my name, address, and phone number, so I get bounced out of the process. I ask for a new card, and that doesn’t work. I’m supposed to give an “Alt-ID” but I don’t have one and don’t know what that even is. I tried online chat help, but that got no response and no estimate of a response time. 

So. Now what? I’m sure there are options. I could try to register with a chain that I haven’t used before. I could register with Instacart or some other scheme that would want all of my information. I could plead with my friend to accept reimbursement (that sounds best).

I could hire a personal assistant to shop for me and perhaps organize my life as well. 

Personal Assistant Wanted: Help charming 75 year old with assorted chores such as online grocery shopping, tossing out things, organizing things, deciding whether or not to get dressed today, deciding what to watch on TV today, deleting email from decades ago, deleting files related to projects I never completed; deleting photos of items I considered buying but decided not to, tagging photos I want to keep so I can find them when I want them, etc. Please submit resume and salary requirements, but don’t hold your breath. I’m not really on top of anything lately and probably won’t get around to hiring you.

Karma, you got me today. Now, please go reward someone who did good things and could really use an attaboy.

P.S. A note about those Covid-19 tests that we aren’t getting: Here’s a link to a Washington Post article interviewing our Governor Inslee who is beyond frustrated.

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