Friday, September 16, 2016

Freebie Collection Day!

Right after my birthday, I travel around to various stores, collection my free birthday things that I've been offered through signing up for newsletters and joining free VIP clubs. I love this day, Freebie Collection Day. Eddie thinks of it more like Anxiety On The Verge Of A Heart Attack Day. His ideas about free stuff and my ideas about free stuff differ a little bit.

On my actual birthday, I went to Dunkin Donuts on my way to work and got a free iced green tea.

The day after my birthday, I went to Starbucks and got a free tall iced caramel macchiato. I could have gotten a bigger size, but with the amount of sugar that drink has, I was fine with the tall. I didn't want to go into sugar shock. When I ordered, I explained that I couldn't find the birthday offer on my app, but it had been there the day before. The cashier wished me a Happy Birthday and said that it would come up when she scanned my card. Then she wished me a Happy Birthday again.

On Freebie Collection Day, I started at Roosevelt Field. I got a free cleanser from Sephora. I had a choice between that and an eyeliner/lipstick combo. I've never had a choice before! The cashier wished me a Happy Birthday twice. This was fun.
I then visited Teavana for a free sample of tea. This is not birthday related. I simply always go there for a free sample. Then I headed over to David's Tea for the same reason. There, I actually bought something. They had travel tumblers on sale, marked down from $10 to $5, and that included filling it with what would be a $4 cup of tea. I paid for it with a birthday gift card, so, you know, free. And now that I signed up with a frequent buyer card, I got another free tea that I can go get, plus another free tea for finishing my profile. Two more await. All free. All for me. I also found that Jamba Juice has free samples, so I tried two flavors there. Yum.

Chatting with the Teavana gal
Being sold by two David's Tea staffers

Up in the food court, I hunted down where I could get a Chock Full O' Nuts coffee. The coupon I had said that I could get a $16 oz coffee in the food court, but there wasn't a Chock Store anywhere. Then I saw that one of the salad places sells that kind of coffee. I asked them if I could redeem my coupon there (while Eddie stood about a mile away from me). The cashier looked at the coupon all puzzled. Then she showed it to a manager. They both came over and told me I had to go to the place outside of La Bottega. So I asked, Even though the coupon says specifically to come to the food court, I have to go to the other place? They said yes. I said, Ok thank you!
Me haggling
Over in the corner, there's a pow wow going on.

So I headed over to the grill across the way that also sold Chock coffee. I showed it to the cashier. She didn't know what to do, so she showed it to the guy flipping chicken on a grill and another guy standing around doing what seemed to be, well, simply that--standing. There was a lot of conversation about this whole coupon. Then someone came out from the back, and they all showed her the coupon. She read it a few times, and then she said, Give her a cup of coffee. It was less of a Happy Birthday coffee and more of a Just give her a coffee dammit, but still, free is free.
We went to Green Acres mall for the second round. I had a coupon for The Pretzel Maker. The deal there is to buy a medium or large drink, and you can get free pretzel bites. Last year, the cashier gave me sort of a hard time, but then gave in. When I approached the counter, Eddie whispered, It's the same woman from last year! I wasn't sure that it was or not, but I was certain that after last year, I'd get my pretzels without a problem. I'd buy my drink with my birthday gift card, and it would all be free.

I showed the cashier my coupon, and she said, I don't know.

How do you respond to that? There was no question asked. The paper clearly explained the whole deal. So I went about explaining the whole concept: I did this last year. I come here, I hand you this coupon, I buy a medium drink, and you give me pretzel bites with it. Just scan the coupon. Look, your address is right here. It's your store. Okay?

She instead told me, I don't know. My manager isn't here.

I said, You don't need a manager.

She looked at the coupon and then asked, Is this your phone number?

I paused for a moment and then responded, No, it's your phone number. Like, for this store.

So then she asked for my phone number. I gave her a fake one because this was getting weird. She then asked what I wanted to drink. I asked for a medium lemonade, which would run me a little over $2. Then she told me the total was $4.69.

I wanted to respond, I don't know, but instead I asked, How is it $4.69 if the drink is only $2?

She was like, I told you I don't know, and waved the coupon at me.

So she asked for my order as if she would accept the coupon and then charged me for the whole order, though I'm not sure what she did exactly because pretzel bites are not $2 also, so the total should have been higher than what she said. I think she was making things up.

I politely took back my coupon and asked that she cancel my order. I went over to Eddie, who was standing about a mile away looking mortified, and told him I couldn't get my pretzels. He told me to write a very strong letter. I said I was already doing so in my head. (later on, I wrote an email to the company telling them that if they put a store on their coupon, they should inform the store of the promotion--the store doesn't have to participate, but then don't put it on my coupon. They responded by telling me that the stores are independently operated so they would alert the store of the issue. Meaning I'm not getting my pretzel bites. For shame, The Pretzel Maker, for shame!).
The approach
The explanation: It says it right here on this coupon.
The confusion

We walked over to Panera. I told the cashier I was there for my birthday treat. She wished me a Happy Birthday and told me to choose any baked item. I had another choice! I chose a large festive candy cookie.
Easy Peasy at Panera (also I'm noticing my ass looks like a box in this skirt)
Then we went to Baskin Robbins a few blocks away, and I got a free small scoop of chocolate chip ice cream. The cashier wished me a Happy Birthday.

I brought the cookie and the ice cream to my parents to enjoy. I told my brother that I would have had pretzels for him but the cashier "didn't know." He was okay with that.

Yesterday I took my coupon for a free Fribble to Friendly's. The cashier saw what was in my hand and told the other worker behind the counter, It's a birthday coupon. So I was like, Oh, you've seen this before! She was like, Happy Birthday, by the way. The other worker was like, Happy Birthday, and I was like, Can I have a chocolate Fribble please? Then she made a chocolate Fribble and handed it to me, telling me to enjoy the rest of my birthday. I brought it to my parents for them to share.

Go right ahead...I bet you can't even try to tell me this isn't the most adorable picture you've ever seen.
I also handed over my free meal from IHOP. I had my Pancake Revolution Anniversary last month for which I had a different free meal, so I probably won't make it to this birthday one. I have to see if they'll change my anniversary date so I can space out my free meals.

You see, it's not that I want all these free things for myself. I want to share the love. And I want people to continue to wish me a Happy Birthday.

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