Saturday, March 31, 2007

Can't fool me, I'm in marketing

Oh, Borders, you wound me. You really do.

Here's how the Borders Rewards Program used to work: for every $50 I spent, I got a personal shopping day during which I received 10 percent off everything I bought. Now, every time I spend $150, I get $5 in "Borders Bucks," good for one month. I'm not a math whiz by any means, but this doesn't seem like nearly as sweet a deal. (Previously: spend $50, get personal shopping day, spend another $50 and save $5; now, spend $150 to save the same $5.) I especially loved the headline in the e-mail telling me about these changes: "Now Simpler Than Ever!" Uh-huh, it's simpler all right ... for Borders. I am not impressed.

Speaking of books, I forgot to mention that I recently read Odd Girl Out: The Hidden Culture of Aggression in Girls, which I found fascinating in a trainwreck sort of way, but hardly surprising. (Is there a grown woman alive who doesn't know that girls can be evil to each other? I doubt it.) I agree with the second reviewer on Amazon that not enough page time was given to girls who are complete social outcasts, but it was still interesting to read other people's stories of being bullied by so-called "friends." I experienced that when I was around 11, at the hands of a friend who abused me physically, by digging her nails into my arms and raking them until I bled, and emotionally, with the classic "now-I'm-your-friend-now-I'm-not" technique. Like the girls profiled in the book, I refused to end the relationship, despite urging from my parents, because in my mind it was better to have a mean friend than no friends at all. Sad but true.

The funny (and scary) part of that story is that my arm-clawing "friend" grew up to be a pediatric dentist. I've occasionally been tempted to go sit in the waiting room at her practice, which is only a 15- or 20-minute drive from here, and ask the other parents "Did you know that Dr. _____ is a sadist?" I doubt I ever would, but it makes for an entertaining fantasy.

No comments: