OK, I admit it, I let my subscription to the Detroit Free Press run out. I am a reader, just in case you think otherwise. I have subscribed to a newspaper for 40+ years, at one time, we received 3 different publications here at the old ranch. Now, why did I cancel? Because the paper did not come every day. And because my favorite comics disappeared. And because many of my favorite columnists disappeared. Because the “headline news” grabbed of the wire services is available to me in other ways: on my Iphone, and my RSS feeds, in my feed reader, and my TV, and my radio. I need a newspaper that tells about my community, and gives me information about what is happening in my neighborhood.
The FREEP became more expensive, was delivered less frequently, and finally there was nothing left for me to read in it. There are bloggers, and even some twitter users who cover local news better, although their journalistic standards are not pristine. It is no secret that many bloggers are using the internet as a free personal soapbox to let you know why they are correct and you are incorrect. There are RSS feeds for every TV station, network outlet, radio station, newspaper, magazine. There is e-mail and sis for crimes in the neighborhood. An e-newsletter for anything. There is more information than I can digest, but it does not come on news print, in a box each morning.
I am an internet kind of gal, I thought that I would read my newspaper every morning on the computer. It turns out that nothing in that paper that was of much interest to me. So, I just canceled.
Papa and I were suffering withdrawal symptoms Sunday, so we headed up to a local store to buy the Detroit paper and a Pontiac paper to see if we might wish to subscribe to the Pontiac one. The jury is still out on subscription decisions, but something happened that gave us our daily fix of entertainment.
Right. I paid 2.50 for two papers. My friendly fast checkout was provided by Fastlane104, and I got a gift receipt! We laughed all the way home. We read the papers and speculated about returning them, giving the reason as “No good news”. We laughed some more. Papa posted the event on Facebook. We speculated about returning to the store with 100 of our best friends, and each one buying something under $5. We would then form a line at customer service with our gift receipts to return the item. Imagine what it might cost for the store to issue a a store credit (gift card) for 100 of these items!
I know something about computers, enough to know that in the self checkout environment, the gift receipt function is probably all or nothing. I would think that time studies show that it is faster to just give one than have every Fastlane104 customer go to the clerk and ask him or her to print one out. I don’t know this store’s policy on gift returns under $5, perhaps they give cash. But even if they did we would tie up the clerk for a while.
Have I decided about subscribing to a paper? No. But I did get some entertainment value, and an idea for a blog post, and a few laughs.