On the subject of coercion...
"Have you got your loyalty card?" asked the matronly cashier, reminding me of our old swimming teacher when someone had forgotten their towel.
Tut. Sigh. "Tell me your name and address and I'll add your points."
"I haven't got a card."
"OK I'll start you off with one. Name?"
"I don't want one, thanks. I just want to pay for the brush."
More sighing. "If you don't have a card, you won't get the special offers."
"We don't come in often enough to get any special offers." (Yesterday was the first time in five years. I didn't realise the staff had mutated since my last visit. They couldn't be bothered to speak to customers once upon a time.)
"It doesn't matter. You'll still get points."
"No thanks, I don't want one."
"Well, I'll start you off with one anyway," she said, and reached for the form and scanned the bar code.
"I SAID I didn't WANT ONE."
Silence. The whole queue held its breath to see what would happen next.
The cashier glared. Stared. I met her gaze thinking: I've got k'ung fu, Lady, and 15 years on you. Do your worst.
She slowly and dramatically ripped the form in half and said, "Ooo kay.. I was only concerned you might miss your special offers..."
"Right. Here's five quid for the brush."
"...And your free things.."
"Do you want this money or not?"
She took the money and handed me my receipt as if I suddenly smelled bad. When we walked away I heard her saying to the next person: "Some people don't know what's good for them, do they?"
I guess I'll be barred from Boots now, for displaying wilful lack of loyalty ;-) Not that I'll notice: it'll be another five years, no doubt, before I'm desperate enough to want to shop there again. (Nowhere else stocked baby brushes.)
So. How much commission are they on for those loyalty cards? Or.. is that cashier just a frustrated swimming teacher, in the wrong job?