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  • Writer's pictureRachelle Jervis

Day 47

Updated: Jun 26, 2019

My go-to joke when cashiers would ask me if I wanted to “save 3% by signing up for a credit card” was “I can’t. If I get another credit card then I’ll have to get a new husband and it will be a net loss.” This made the cashiers laugh 100% of the time. I wear bizarrely expensive clothes for someone who has never eaten a meal that didn’t partially end up on their lap. So, the idea that I am a spendthrift is not a great leap for any cashier to make.


Post-Constance, I went to the store because I found myself with a half a handle of vodka and only water to mix with it. I can’t drink vodka and water like some person with a problem. ;) Despite the late hour, I got in the car and drove to the store.


While checking out, a cashier who has worked there for at least as long as I’ve lived in Highland Park asked me if I want to save 3% and sign up for a credit card. First, I said, “No, not at all.” Then I leaned in and whispered to her, “Do you ever get sick of asking people that?” She smiled. I continued, “A cousin of mine worked in a Target in Michigan and he got so sick of the pressure to ask people that he’d only ask when his manager was around and then he’d loudly project his voice as if he was yelling across the store. I think he lasted a month.”


Apparently, this story was just the grease this jar needed because she opened up and said they were forced to ask everyone. She said they were under so much pressure, she was sure the managers got bonuses based on it. Shockingly, she reported that the people a level above her were forced to write three reasons they didn’t make their credit card sign up goal every time they didn’t make it. “What? Isn’t the largest factor regarding sign-ups whether customers are new to the area with the store? That’s ridiculous,” I said incredulously. She confirmed the assertion and said when a new development went up in Glenview they beat them and it was a whole thing.


As our conversation continued, she ran out of beverages to scan and just started scanning coupons through her coupon binder from front to back. The teenagers behind me in the queue seemed incredulous at the long length of our dialogue. There were other lines and a self-checkout that was open, so I was unmoved.


“Well, what do you do to survive?” I asked, both curious and concerned. She revealed all, “Well we have our friends who don’t care about their credit go through our lines every month. The cashiers also go through each other’s lines each month. If you’re new, you’ll get three people who immediately befriend you and try to pressure you to go through their lines first.” I summarized, “So you figured out how to work the system to survive. I guess it’s like that to some extent at every job.” “Yeah,” she agreed. “Well good for you,” I said, finally leaving.


While walking to the car, I thought about how different I am now. Definitely not better, but significantly different. Returning home, I drank two Bais, sans vodka, and wrote this entry. Time to climb into bed with a book and dressed in my fancy pajamas.


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