Thursday, January 20, 2022

And the Doughnuts Go Rolling Along



By Carol Glassman

I am so distraught! While checking on my AARP account this week, I learned from the young-sounding woman on the phone about all the wonderful deals and offers, most of which I had missed. Are you like me, weighed down by a two-inch stack of frequent buyer and discount cards for various stores and organizations? When I check into a motel, it’s all I can do to remember my name and license number and ask for a smoke-free room — how can I remember to ask for AAA, Senior and AARP rates too?

But here’s the real sad news: In all the years I have held the AARP card, never once have I taken advantage of the free doughnut with coffee from a local barista. Now don’t laugh. That adds up to at least 7,300 doughnuts that I have missed. All right, so maybe my hips have not missed them, but I could have given them to the company for whom I constantly buy and create wonderful desserts, whether or not they come. (Maybe they went to your house by mistake? Oh well, can’t waste those fabulous desserts.)

There are so many great offers out there, if we only had the time and energy to take advantage of them, and the know-how needed to get them. Why just the other day, when I was investigating yet another credit card fraud on my favorite card, I noticed a few other charges I didn’t recognize. On closer examination, I realized they were for three magazine subscriptions I no longer wanted after several years. Now, I clearly remembered the final warning that I had received the very last magazine, and service would come to a dead halt if I did nothing. Since I don’t have enough time to read everything that comes through the door anyway, I paid no attention, so how had these nervy people managed to charge me — and we are talking about $50 charges here — for something I didn’t request?

Luckily, those charges came with an 800 phone number (I wonder if they were the ones I have been ignoring on caller ID), so I dutifully called and reached, you guessed it, Ms. Cheery Automaton. In her most up-beat voice, she offered me the opportunity to communicate with her either by pressing numbers or making voice replies. I chose voice, thinking perhaps I could intimidate her by snarling and growling my answers. Once she verified my height, weight, blood type, sexual preferences, recent surgeries, medical history and that the purpose of my call was to cancel three subscriptions, she perked up substantially and informed me that I had been chosen — imagine that “chosen — to receive those very same magazines annually for only $12 each instead of $35-$50 (of course postage would most likely be extra at a rate of $30 per magazine). All I had to do was…I bellowed “NO!”

At the end of these tedious exchanges, one per magazine, the automated cheer machine informed me that in 48 hours the charges would magically vanish from my account, and wished me a good evening. Whew, sure glad that’s over. So sorry it took several more calls and one to the human supervisor to get it resolved finally.

There really is NO free lunch! But speaking of food, all this confessing and writing has left me decidedly in need of a snack, and I must admit the thought of all those missed doughnuts is still on my mind, even though I must say I would rather have a muffin. Do you think there is any hope that I could somehow collect on those doughnuts or an equivalent, like a bad debt or rubber check? Where did all those doughnuts end up since I didn’t collect them?

Did you ever wonder why those servers in “the other place” get such a strained look on their faces when the seniors show up for their free coffee? Don’t give it another thought!

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