Loyalty Schmoyalty – SoCS

Since it’s the custom of marketing giants everywhere to extend a day into a week, a month, or in the case of Christmas, an entire season; we’re still celebrating St. Patrick’s Day at the bar. David and I are here to relax. While we’re here, we’ll continue bashing people who are bad at marketing as we wrestle with Linda G. Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt:

“Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is ‘tape.’ Use it as a noun or a verb. Use it any way you like. Enjoy!”

If we were having a beer, the topic would be marketing, or data, or privacy, or….

“Hey Dan. Can I get you your usual beverages?”

“You can, Cheryl. It’s been a busy week, and I’m ready for a nice cold beer.”

“OK, I’ll be right back, and David, I’ll bring some John Howell’s Bourbon.”

“Did I see a picture of Preston on your blog, Dan?”

“Yeah. I was cat sitting on Monday and Tuesday. Faith was out of town at a meeting.”

“Tough days to be out of town. I hope she was able to avoid the snow.”

“She sat out the storm in a hotel. I sat with my fluffy buddy.”

“Here you go guys. Now don’t get mad at me, but I’m supposed to ask you to join our loyalty program.”

“No thanks, Cheryl. I saw the sign out front, and I’m not interested.”

“I didn’t think you would be, Dan, and I know David isn’t doing anything where he has to put his credit card on file.”

“It is a ridiculous requirement. It’s just one more place to worry about my information being stollen when they get hacked.”

“I’m supposed to tell you that it’s designed to make your life easier. That way, you get points automatically just by using that card.”

“But I don’t always use that card.”

“Don’t shoot the messenger, David. I knew you guys wouldn’t be interested.”

“I’ve been coming here since this place opened. I think that’s loyalty enough. If your boss is going to treat me like a stranger because I won’t give him my personal information, I’ll start being loyal to a different bar.”

“It’s not even him, Dan.”

“What do you mean, David?”

“I was here on Wednesday. They taped a flier to the slip. It’s a national service.”

“That’s even worse. Do they understand we come here because this bar is local, and we like the bartender?”

“♫You’re nobody ‘til somebody ♪tracks you, Dan.”

“I think Dean’s message was ‘loves you,’ David.”

“That was then.”

“He’s right, Dan. Get with the program. Here’s your beer, and David, your bourbon, seltzer, ice, and cherries.”

“If I sign up for the loyalty program, Cheryl. Will Skippy get my drink orders right?”

“David, it’s a marketing ploy, not a magic carpet ride.”

“How ‘bout the owner steps up and gives us a beer on the house? That way, he doesn’t have to share our information with anyone. He doesn’t have to pay for the service, and we’ll feel, you know, like he recognizes us.”

“That doesn’t work for takeout orders, Dan.”

“It works for me. I take food home almost every week.”

“Dan, not everyone sits at the bar for two beers worth of conversation before placing a takeout order.”

“Would you rather I just phoned it in, David?”

“No! It’s your turn to buy.”

“I think the thing that confuses me the most, is that companies have all this information, but they still don’t provide better service.”

“Cheryl, I sense a rant coming on. Please stand ready with another round.”

“OK, David.”

“Alright, Dan, who has you up in arms this week?”


“That was last week’s rant. Is this a new complaint?”


“OK, permission to rant.”

“It’s not a complaint, David. It’s just weird. They’ve been pestering me for over a month to renew my blog plan.”

“When does it expire?”

“At the end of April.”

“Maybe they had their money with Silicon Valley Bank. They might be broke.”

“Perhaps, but they act like I’m a newbie. I finally renewed, just to stop the constant flow of emails. They sent me a ‘Welcome to WordPress’ email with instructions on how to build my new website.”

“You’re not starting another blog, are you, Dan?”

“No, David.”

“Thanks goodness. One is enough.”

“My point, David is that I’ve had it for twelve years—I mean I processed a renewal! I posted my two-thousandth post at the end of December.”

“Please, Dan. Don’t remind us.”

“Here you go boys, a second beer and bourbon. Thanks for continuing to sit here and drink. Your call money is important to us.”

“Thanks Cheryl. My point, David, is why don’t they know this? Why do they treat every transaction the same, when they have enough data to make it truly personal?”

“You problem, Dan, is that you expect them to care. If you were running WordPress, you’d be all ‘Thanks buddy for having a blog since two-thousand-eleven, posting over two thousand blog posts, blah blah blah.’ They don’t work like that.”

“I guess you’re right, David.”

“Of course, I am. Once you processed that renewal, they don’t have to act like they care about you. Cha-ching, throw this schlub on the pile with the others.”

“If my memory serves me correctly, both you boys are having the Corned Beef special, and Dan is taking a second helping home.”

“Right you are, Cheryl. See, David, that’s a loyalty program.”

If you like magical realism with suspense, action and a bit of family sarcasm, you will enjoy these books:

The Evil You Choose
When Evil Chooses You

Series page on Amazon

My profile page (and books) on Lulu

All available on Kindle Unlimited!


  1. Good morning Dan, sounds like you carry a pair of scissors in your pocket to deal with red tape! I agree I don’t like large companies having my details it is not something I like either.
    The food at the bar this week looked interesting, was it good?
    The photos looked great the fourth one, which you put up, the one into the sun looks like you are by a lake. Nice video of Dean Martin to ease me into another day!
    Have a good weekend 💜.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good morning (afternoon?) Willow. The corned beef and cabbage was good. It’s one of the best places around to get that meal (and everybody offers it). The picture you mention surprised me. It’s a utility access road next to the park I walk to. I sent it to our daughter, and she also thought it was a lake at first. The way the band of clouds split the sunlight made for a very interesting sky.

      All I could think of with this promotion was that company getting hacked and then me getting a text (‘cuz you have to give them your phone number) saying “There a problem with your credit card – ending in 1234…” The bad guys don’t even need all your information to trick you into doing something.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Dan – loved the birch tree and your photos – and yes the corned beef looks filling – whose bowl is empty – yours or Preston’s?! cheers Hilary

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I still say WordPress should be paying you, but they don’t listen to me. Not to mention you are retired now. Winter keeps hanging on, but here I can tell by the shift in the direction of the sunlight, spring is staking her claim. I was curious if you work in your shop in the winter or if that is a spring to fall situation?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Spring is coming, Maggie, but it’s taking its own sweet time. I walked this morning, and the cold wind felt like it was bringing snow. It’s not cold enough for that, but, brrrrr. I don’t work in my shop during the winter. I can the shop warm enough with a small space heater, but all the tools and metal surfaces remain cold. I can’t afford to heat it full time. I think I’d have to keep it about 50-degrees in order to be able to work on demand. I can make repairs and tackle small projects, but the rest has to wait until April/May.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you for both rant and laughs! There is nothing like a good rant to help me with my own –misery loves company and all that. I actually had a place tell me they couldn’t sell me the shoes unless I gave them my phone number. I told them to keep the shoes. I never give the right zip code either. Do I want my receipt emailed? Not a chance! I love your version of the old song. Snark rules, so my day is off to a great start!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I remember Radio Shack always requiring your address for the smallest of items. It used to annoy me. I always tried to have cash so they couldn’t say it was for security. Remember shopping and paying with a check? This program might be nice, but enrolling in it requires more information than I want to share with the local pub, let alone a company that will surely collect and sell the information. It wouldn’t be long before I’d be getting spam about better beer choices.

      Why you would need to give them a phone number to buy shoes is beyond me. Whatever happened to “You have stuff, I need stuff, I have money, done!”

      Liked by 1 person

  5. When I check out at a store and the employee offers me some type of ‘gift’, I politely thank them but say ‘no.’ Most times they stop there, but sometimes they keep going and get a little annoyed as I continue to decline. It’s all about the $$ and today it is all about the information which leads them to more $$. Happy Saturday, Dan, and it’s nice seeing bare ground in your area.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The retail experience is getting out of hand with regard to the information they want to know about us. At first, they said the company doesn’t keep track, but the next time you pay, the register asks the bartender, “Is this Daniel?” It may only keep a portion of the credit card number, but that’s enough to create some dangerous spam-texts (you enroll with your phone number) if the company gets hacked. I mean, it’s a bar/restaurant. They know what beer I drink, what I like on our pizza, what specials I’m going to always buy, and what entrees I periodically take home. What more do they need to know?

      I think we have bare ground from here on out. I hope you have a nice weekend, Judy.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. While I do sign up for loyalty programs now and then, it’s only with the ones who don’t require credit card information. Our grocery store has a great one and since I go there every week I save a nice bit of money. Thankfully all they want is name and phone number … and if they want to track how much toilet paper and apple sauce I buy in exchange for saving me $50 a week? Have at it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re right. Some are mutually beneficial. I like to think, if they know what I buy, they’ll keep having it in stock. Our stores let us know when the things we usually buy are going to be on sale. Of course, it’s often the case that the sale starts after I paid full price, but… The only reason this bar needs to collect this information is so the company that runs their point-of-sale system can gather data about me. The bar doesn’t need it. During the heyday of the pandemic, the bartender bought the beer I like at a grocery store when she couldn’t get it from their distributor.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. WordPress drives writers to drink? Now I’m wondering, is WP invested in Jameson or Jim Beam? Not impossible. 😄 Fun response to the prompt, Dan, and great line – “not a magic carpet ride.” Have a great weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Great chatter at the bar today. My answer to all requests for personal information is “No thank you”. Then they turn around and expound on all the privacy rules that are in place. Give me a break!

    Handsome Preston is always glad to see you Dan. And it’s wonderful that when Faith has to be away, Preston doesn’t have to be alone. You’re a good man, Charlie Brown.

    Love the photo of the sun highlighting the birch tree. And the 3rd and 4th shots of the unusual cloud formation. Old Glory backed up by that same cloud formation makes a beautiful shot.

    I agree, kids shouldn’t have to get on a school bus at a playground. That’s just mean!🤗

    Thanks for the Dean Martin video. He’s one of my very favorites.

    Hope a pleasant weekend is in store for you. Gonna be cold Sunday morning though.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I figured Dean Martin would be a treat for some of us, Ginger. I remember watching his variety show, with my mom. I think she had every album he ever made. I still remember Mambo Italiano – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jAQQ1Vlk1nE

      I join some loyalty programs, but I wonder if they ever read the data they gather about me. I keep getting offers for luxury cruises and front row seats to a prize fight, as good ways to use my points. Seriously?

      The narrow band of clouds, or the narrow break in the clouds made for some unusual photos. I don’t normally include too many at once, but these were amazing. I always like it when I can capture the flag against an interesting sky.

      I’m glad you agree about boarding the bus at a playground being mean. And Preston and I enjoy our time together. He’s shy at first, until he remembers, “Oh that’s the guy that’s here to feed me.”

      I hope you have a nice weekend – stay warm!


  9. Have to stick around until Dino Martini’s tune is done. He is my favourite crooner!
    WordPress is a machine that gives zero sh*ts about its users. If they did, they would not have foisted the damn block on those who do not want it. Give it as an option, yanno? Rant over.
    Love that birch tree taking a sunbath and your confusing photo – the sky could almost pass for an ocean. It’s really cool! (I love when I see what I captured once it has been uploaded. Some great surprises happen that way.)
    Have a great Saturday!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Dale. Having spend my entire career dealing with data, designing databases and the systems that use them, it makes me sad when I see such stupid behavior. I know exactly how easy it would be for them to get this right and at least pretend to care about their customers. I guess that would require spending more money on marketing talent.

      I love birch trees basking in the sun. They are a little on the fragile side, so we don’t see a lot of really tall ones. The sunrise, with its narrow bands of clouds and light created some interesting effects. I like the way these photos came out, but I wasn’t trying ;-) I hope you have a great weekend.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I hear you. All they are doing is creating job security by bringing in these totally unnecessary changes. And yes they could better work on their “delivery”!

        They are fragile – I said it to a friend just the other night during a walk after dinner. He seemed surprised that they are. The sunrise was beautiful.
        Thanks, I plan to! :)

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Great rant, Dan. I get an annoying barrage of ads and don’t even look at them. It’s such a waste of paper and money on the corporate end. Great meal (yum) and pics too. We finally saw a hint of spring yesterday. Yay! It’s been taking long enough.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Love this banter today, Dan. The Dean Martin song, too. :) The sky photos are stunning. About WP…well, it’s the best platform out there and I got my renewal notice too. So I’m sure I’ll get the welcome note when I renew. Good post today!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I remember when they just said “Thanks for flying with WordPress.” I hope mine is a fluke, but I’ve now received three emails in a series and they included what the next email will cover – sigh. It is the best platform. I wish Google would sink some serious money into Blogger, but that won’t happen. I started blogging over there. The ironic thing about WordPress, is that it isn’t WordPress, it’s the community.

      I’m glad liked the post and photos. I hope you have a great weekend!


  12. Lol. WordPress is fast becoming a dirty word in general. The problem as I see it from my minuscule place in the Cosmos, is that all things have become so automated and oversimplified to the point of zero attention to real people with real concerns, issues and input. Every time I clear my search engine caches I have to sign i to online accounts. That’s one thing ut if I use any of my three same apple devices that I’ve used for years I get the new sign-in from a strange device message prompting me to alert Google or ignore. Then it prompts me to ‘set up’ my device. 🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️Love that image of you and Preston. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  13. The birch and sun photos are beautiful, Dan. I love shooting straight into the sun.
    I am so tired of, as I go to pay for any purchase, the common question now is, “Would you like to save some money? You qualify for our (insert store name here) credit card AND a free gift.” I have gotten just snarky enough (imagine that!) to respond, “No, I don’t care to save money and you can keep the gift.” What happened to just giving the receipt and sending you on your way?!
    David is so right–to WP you are just another schlub. I guess all of us that pay are schlubs.
    Hello, handsome Preston! Cute photo of you and the human slave. My girls say hello! 😻

    Liked by 1 person

    • You? Snarky? Say it isn’t so… They phrase those questions in a way that demands a snarky response. And it’s not a free gift, not by any means. They will make more money from the sale of your information than you will ever get back from them. One schlub to another, way to go!

      You summed up the photo with Preston perfectly. Hi to the girls.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Ha! Great visit to the bar, Dan. That corned beef dinner looks so good that it made me hungry even though I only had breakfast a little while ago.
    Deano’s song is going to have wacky versions going around in my head for the rest of the day.
    The large photo is splendid and it’s lovely to see handsome Preston too. You’re a good dad to look after him. Wishing you good weather. Hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Teagan. Sorry about the food (it made me hungry, too). It was a nice day today but it’s going to be cold again tomorrow. March is that kind of month. I wasn’t sure how many people would remember Mr. Martin, but it looks like it was well received. I’m glad you like that photo – it surprised me.

      I hope you have a nice weekend.


  15. Privacy is an illusion and has been for a very long time. I’m beginning to think I don’t have any problems with WordPress because they don’t remember I’m still here. I am so OK with that!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m not too worried about privacy, but putting my information in the hands of people I don’t trust to hold it safelyis a bridge too far for me. I can ignore ads, but I don’t want the hassle of undoing the damage from someone gaining access to my credit card.

      As for WordPress, we don’t want them to bother Pam/

      Liked by 1 person

    • Good luck, Bruce. I think my “problem” is I refused to turn on automatic renewals. I like to delude myself with the thought that I’m in charge. Dean was my mom’s favorite, or one of them. She loved his variety show.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. I like the store loyalty programs that don’t ask for personal information but give you a card with spaces that you get checked off each time you make a purchase… and, when it’s complete, you get something free. Maybe you can get something like that started in the bar: a free beer and bourbon every tenth visit!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. “Automatic” seemed like a marvelous thing once upon a time, but now, it’s getting old. With those marketing ploys, trackers, and strange snake trails in the sky, we really need your sweet cat and squirrel photos, and old songs, too. :)

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I love all the photos this week – the skies, the trees, the clouds, the contrails, the flag, and charmer Preston, oh, and yes, the squirrels too. Yeah, those loyalty programs aren’t for me. It’s just another way to make purchasing so convenient that we don’t have to think about where we’re spending our money – a reporting system will tell us and monitor us for ‘our own’ convenience, yeah, right. It’s gonna be an interesting rest of the year. I hope you have a great week and that Faith makes it back safe and sound!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Love, love, love the sky photos. The “confusing” one has to be my favorite. I would totally use that as a screensaver, but I wouldn’t get any work done because I’d be picking out details all day. WordPress reminds me of those Phone Company Lady sketches Lily Tomlin used to do. “We don’t care. We don’t have to.”

    Liked by 1 person

Add your thoughts or join the discussion. One relevant link is OK, more require moderation. Markdown is supported.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.