When I go to my pharmacy, they want to know if I have their “care card,” that little piece of plastic that gets me discounts, but also tells them everything I buy so they can more easily sell me more stuff. Because somehow, over the course of the last half decade, we are no longer druggist and druggee. We have a “relationship.”
Every time Bank of America shuts down my credit card because I have done something its fraud detection unit disapproves of, like being in a different city than my husband, because married people, you know, never do that, I have a screaming interaction with them over their 800 number (I am the one doing the screaming), and then they e-mail me a survey to see how satisfied I was with their customer service. I fill out the survey, explaining every time that their customer service person, while perfectly nice, is the helpless pawn of their stupid corporate policies and poor communication practices. And then a couple of months go by and they shut me off again and we repeat the whole cycle, including the survey. Because Bank of America and I have a “relationship.” An abusive one, but a relationship nonetheless.
A couple of weeks ago, a rep from Angie’s List called my husband at 8:00 am (which might as well be 6:00 am around here) and harangued him into giving feedback on a gutter cleaning service we’d found via Angie’s List and failed to leave “feedback” on.
“They came. They cleaned the gutters. I really don’t remember them,” my husband said testily.
Amazon is chronically insecure about its packaging. How many times is it going to ask me if everything was okay? I can hear it whining, “It was good for me, but was it good for you?”
Just what I need in my life. A needy online retail giant.
My wallet is fat with affiliate cards. If I just have one more cup of coffee, buy one more book, make 20 more copies, I will get a free something. If I remember the card and can find it the next time I enter the store.
You know what I long for?
I long for the time when I gave you money, and you gave me stuff.
Or I contracted for services, and you delivered them.
And then we shook hands, parted ways, and never thought about each other again.
That’s what I long for.
“It’s not you, it’s me,” I explained to the woman at the checkout counter as I turned down her offer to sign me up. Again. “I just can’t be involved in any more relationships.”