Winn Dixie Hates Families

I hate these godforsaken “discount cards” required by most stores now in order to get their advertised best price.  I remember a decade ago, when I first became aware of this demonic practice.  It was a Kroger store in Bowling Green, KY.  (It’s particularly stupid when necessary in a city in which you don’t live, at a chain that is not available within a thousand miles of your home; but go ahead and waste a nickels worth of plastic for the landfill, see if I care.)

It seemed like a strange marketing gimmick, but harmless, I thought at the time.  The card was free, so all you had to do was play along and let them think they had come up with something ingenious; little did we all know how the long arm of the practice would reach into the very pit of our souls and threaten to possess us in eternal fire.

Okay, so I’m being a little dramatic, but how annoying is it that you have to present personal information in order to get the best price?  The penalty for not doing so is price gouging.  I’m not so sure enforcing the practice would hold up in a class action law suit.  Any lawyers out there want to use me as a test case?  I mean, it’s not as noble a cause as Rosa Parks, but it’s a certain kind of freedom from injustice, and I’m ready to take a stand.

I know that once upon a time, of the big three drug store chains, Walgreens did not have a card; for which I thanked their employees personally, every time I bought something there.  Now, the last time I went in, they asked if I had my “Customer Rewards Card” or whatever bullshit name they are giving it these days.  I stammered, “I thought Walgreens didn’t have a card”, but oh, yes, now they do, and my 75% off Easter items were about to be full price if I didn’t let them attach my name, address and telephone number to a bar code.

Back in the early days, if you didn’t have a card, the cashier pulled a new one out of the drawer, scanned it and handed it to you with instructions to fill it out online later.  Well apparently the assholes got wise to the fact that absolutely none of us were doing that, so now, at Winn Dixie at least, in-store registration is REQUIRED.

I had thirty minutes before my daughter’s end-of-season acting recital was to be performed.  I used that opportunity to dash to my closest grocery store, one mile from home, Winn Dixie, in order to have something to feed my family for dinner.

I threw a bunch of food in the cart and while waiting in line, discovered that my Winn Dixie card was not in my wallet.  The key chain version broke off and disappeared long ago.  Those plastic key tabs won’t last forever you know.  So I say to the stupid, and I mean, stupid, cashier, “Can you give me a new card?”

“I can register one for you, but I don’t have them here,” says she.  So I dash to Customer Service while she is finishing the customer ahead of me.  Okay, so now they won’t just GIVE one to you, you have to register online right there at a monitor in the store.  Are you kidding me?

I told the poor customer service rep how much I resented having to jump through these hoops to get their advertised prices, while simultaneously apologizing to her, as I realized that it was not her fault how the company was run.   She was a nice lady.

If you have your driver’s license handy, you can just scan the bar code of your license to attach yourself to the Winn Dixie card.  Hello?  I hate to sound like a paranoid schizophrenic, Tea Party Prepper, but isn’t that a little too much identification from me in order to buy a loaf of bread?  It doesn’t take a huge leap of imagination to believe that if the “establishment” wanted to round-up and send to an internment camp say, gun owners, Christians or redheads that they could find us by our damn grocery shopping card.  (I know the first two are particularly concerned about such things, and as a redhead, who 200 years ago would have been burned at the stake, I am adding myself to the Unicorn-list of perceived persecution).

So, after entering information, bypassing the screen that asked for email and cell phone number; seriously? – I finally got the card, and dashed back to the register, to find two-thirds of my groceries rung up, yet none of them bagged, and the 20-year-old zombie they hired just staring at me.

At this point, my husband called to ask where I was, as it was the very moment in which they should be starting the performance.  I told him to tell them to wait two minutes and I would be there.  I asked him to hold up the families of a dozen students so that I could get through the check-out line at Winn Dixie.  Yes, I did.

I should have walked off and left the hundred dollars’ worth of frozen food laying on the damn conveyor belt, but we had no food in the house, and I had scored some on-sale bargains, and I was trying to multi-task and do it all; every 20 minute window of time, must have at least one daily task completed in that period.

I told Blondie, that she needed to get it done quickly or I would walk off and leave it there.  I also questioned why she didn’t have any of it bagged; asking her what she had been doing for the last five minutes.

So, I start throwing stuff in bags; at one point I reached for what she had in her hands, after ringing it up, and she would not hand it to me, and I nearly screamed, “hand that to me now”; she said, “I have to put it in a bag” and I said “I am bagging it” as if the moron hadn’t already noticed.  I snatched it and continued to literally throw stuff in my cart.  I should have walked out.  That is what a woman of dignity would have done.  Rosa Parks would have done.  But I stayed and fought the system and the clock, and nearly lost.

I definitely lost the upper-hand.  I looked crazy, as she got passively aggressively more polite.  “I’m sorry you are in such a hurry.”  Sugary sweet – “I hope you have a good day” as I snatched the receipt out of her hands.  She was enjoying my distress and I gave it to her.   I don’t blame her.  That is exactly what I would have done.  She did nothing she could be fired over, and still managed to have her way with me.  I lost.  I admit defeat.

On my way running out the door, I did a two second drive-by, never slowing down, telling Ms. Customer Service – who didn’t deserve me – that from now on, I would shop at Publix (who doesn’t have a card, God love them).

I was ten minutes late.  The teacher and parents held the three-minute performance for TEN MINUTES so that I could get there.  For that simple kindness, I will be forever grateful.  My daughter would have been devastated if I had not been there for those few minutes in her life.  I have been taking her to class for two months.  Last night, we picked out her costume.  Her Dad took off work early.  I brought my camera, with extra batteries.  And I almost missed it.  Because you can’t check out of a grocery store without walking across hot coals.

Yes, I knew that I had over-reacted, but my only child is important to me.  We pay attention in our family to things large and small.  We give them importance and make memories of these days so that we always remember that we loved each other and were loved.

To not put too fine a point on it, Winn Dixie tried to destroy my family today.

For regular readers of my blog, you will know that I have declared jihad on Walmart, (if you haven’t read the story, read “Walmart, I Hate You, as I Hate Myself for Drifting Towards Your Siren Song, published February 3, 2013, then do so to catch up) and yes, I shamefully admit that I have fallen off the wagon a few times, but have picked myself up and gone on.

It’s like any addiction, you just have to keep trying until you succeed, and every time my daughter sees a Walmart bag and says, “Momma, we have to stop shopping there!”, and I say, “I know, I’m trying”; I’m motivated to continue on, promising myself that I will never darken Walmart’s door again.

So now, Winn Dixie is on my very long list of shit, which leaves my beloved (but further away than W/D and higher priced than Walmart) Publix, but at least they don’t require the blood of your first-born in payment. (I love Publix, see “Thank You for Being a Friend”, published March 1, 2013).

I make a stand now, that no matter where I shop, I will not use a customer service card.  They will either use a store card to give me the price or I will take my business elsewhere.  If everyone joins me, they will stop doing it.  Just refuse to use the stupid card and make a manager give you the “real” price or walk out.   You know we are the ones with the power, right?  We just have to use it en masse.  If you are sick and tired of giving your personal information to purchase items for sale in a public business in a free-market economy, then STOP DOING IT and join me in our quest for freedom.

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About reneadijab

Renea Dijab

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7 Comments on “Winn Dixie Hates Families”

  1. Carole King Says:

    Join the no-stupid-card club…..That is, again, why we love Publix! I am now boycotting Walgreen’s because they’ve gone to the card thingee. Target hasn’t yet but I fully expect that to happen also.


    • reneadijab Says:

      I thought Winn Dixie was safe, but as always, you are right. Publix and only Publix is my new motto. Please God, don’t let Target do to a customer card, I can not stand it.


  2. Bob Says:

    Sweety; perhaps you might consider a little less caffeine..?


  3. thelastsongiheard Says:

    I live in Louisville and Kroger is all over town like a rash… I have no idea who buys their food from there… because they are massively over-priced and the only way to get regular prices is to use their stupid card…

    …we much prefer Meijer and even Wally World!


    • reneadijab Says:

      I am from Bowling Green, KY. I know Kroger. When I am home, I have to get a stupid card, then toss it after purchasing the one thing I needed to take to my sister’s house. I tell them I don’t live there. I tell them we don’t have Kroger stores where I live. I still have to have a card or pay double. And yes, they are expensive.


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