We Don’t Serve Your Kind Here

Gift_Card

One of the most fun things about the Post-Christmas/Pre-New Year’s time frame is the shopping that you get to do with the money you received through the mail from out-of-town relatives.

I remember that my Grandpa in Pennsylvania used to send me a post card with 4 quarters taped onto the back of it.

This may sound cheap now, but $1 of pre-Jimmy Carter era money could buy you a whole bag of Green Army Men and a pack of Fruit Stripe Gum.

We don’t send cash through the mail anymore, now we send people gift cards. Gift cards are a much safer way to make sure that someone gets the money you sent them and still feels special.

Or so we all like to think.

It’s the week after Christmas, or as I like to call it:

“The week you find out that no one will take your gift cards.”

Thrice now I’ve attempted to redeem one of my plastic gift cards only to find out that the retailer whose name is emblazoned across the card “doesn’t redeem gift cards.”

That was the response I got from the crazy blended juice smoothie establishment (the one that smells like oranges) when I ordered my all-fruit brain freezer.

It was especially frustrating to fork over $6 of cash since I would never have ordered 22 ounces of frappeed fruit salad had someone who loves me (and apparently wanted to give me diarrhea) not given me a gift card.

That night, as I flossed raspberry seeds from between my teeth, I wondered why I hadn’t asked why my card was refused.

A few days later I ordered an unreasonably priced coffee at a beverage outlet that should consider re-naming itself “Fourbucks”.

The incredibly bearded hipster behind the counter told me that he couldn’t accept my gift card.

This time I made sure to ask why.

What followed was an insightfully thorough answer that was so well rehearsed that it made the monologue from Walt Disney’s “Jungle Cruise” seem like a Ricky Gervais improv.

It seems that not all “Fourbucks” are actually “Fourbucks”. Sometimes a bookstore or supermarket will send people to get trained by the coffee folks from Seattle, then purchase the items from the corporation at a discount and sell them inside their business for a profit.

These people are deeply offended by gift cards from the actual empire of the green mermaid.

To clarify the predicament that I was in I simply asked if the reason that they wouldn’t accept my card was because they weren’t really a “Fourbucks” restaurant.

He replied that this was technically true.

That’s when I asked him why he was wearing their hat, green apron, and standing next to their sign. He chuckled and I used a credit card to purchase $4.35 worth of coffee that I didn’t actually finish.

Two days ago I decided to celebrate the joy of Christmas by eating my weight in mall quality cinnamon rolls. After ordering, and then being handed, $20 worth of caramel and pecan “bon-ity” I was coolly informed that my gift card wouldn’t work at this location.

Of course it wouldn’t.

I wouldn’t have ordered a full Andrew Jackson of carbo-sleep if I thought that I was going to have to pay for in cash. As I write this I’m sitting here looking at three gift cards that I have no idea if I’ll ever be able to redeem without playing the shopping center equivalent of Russian roulette.

At this point I’ve lost all confidence in my ability to determine whether or not I’m walking into an actual restaurant or just a store where Westworld type impostor droids are cleverly re-selling name brand goods at a markup.

I suppose that I could just walk up to the cash register and ask if they take Apple gift cards at the Apple Store?

What kind of response do you think that this will get me nine times out of ten?

These gift cards are turning out to be simply recommendations of places that people think that I should try. “Hey Jon, try going to get some egg rolls at the place on the card… also make sure you bring your wallet.”

Here’s a tip for retailers across America, If your business’ name is on the gift card you need to either accept the gift card or change your name to something else… like “Out of Business”.

We put a man on the moon in the year 1969 and now, on the eve of 2013, we can’t figure out a way to redeem gift cards.

Attention card givers:

Next year send your friends a business card from a place you’d like them to try.

Wrap a $10 bill in notebook paper and mail it to their house.

Even if just the business card makes it through, you’ll still be ahead of the game.

You can send me a bucks worth of Fruit Stripe.

3 Responses to “We Don’t Serve Your Kind Here”

  1. Ernest December 31, 2012 at 1:05 am #

    Just be glad that you got a gift card. I didn’t get any gift card, much less three. And of course, if you did any research, you would know that you can’t redeem your Starbucks gift card at church, even if they “proudly” serve that coffee, then you would have went to a real starbucks… ;)

    • Jon January 1, 2013 at 7:24 am #

      Smirk!

  2. Jeff Pattersom December 31, 2012 at 5:01 am #

    Thank you referencing the economic utopia that was pre-JC.

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