Borders Hates Trees, Smug Yuppie Geeks
I just got back from Borders in Pitt St, Sydney where I tried to use this coupon to get 35% off a copy of Malcolm Gladwell’s latest book, Outliers. Before I left work for some late-night shopping I’d considered printing the coupon as supposedly required, but then thought no - I would make a statement.
Rocking up to the counter I handed over the book along with my greasy iPhone displaying a zoomed-in view of the coupon’s barcode. With a wink and a winning smile I was saving paper and leading society into its wireless future!
The tired woman at the counter wasn’t nearly as impressed as I was. She blinked, then explained in a well-rehearsed monotone that, ”as stipulated on the coupon we can only accept printed versions”. For this I was ready with a rehearsed response of my own. “So what’s the difference?” I inquired as casually as I could, confident in the power of my enlightened eco-rhetoric to blow her mind wide open.
“We need it on the paper because we count them by hand.”
Yep. Apparently they scan the barcodes onto their computers, but for some reason don’t record a count of how many times they’ve done that. Long story short, I left speechless and bookless. I did not have a canned response for this, nor could I express a sufficient amount of outrage at the time. Luckily, Al Gore invented the internet for this very purpose.