My younger cousin and I went to Chapters (a large Canadian book chain) this afternoon as my cousin wanted to buy a few novels. I don't have a Chapters/Indigo discount card, but my aunt (said cousin's mother) does, and in the past they have granted the discount as my younger cousin is under the age of 16 and her mother usually isn't with us. All the cashier has to do is punch in my aunt's name and phone number and voila. If they wouldn't allow it, no big deal.
C: *scans books*
Me: Oh ... my cousin's mother has a Chapters card; would she be able to use her mom's card?
C: Whose card is it?
Me: It's my aunt's card.
C: Well, she's going to have to bring in the card.
Me: *a little confused because I don't know who she's referring to* My aunt or my cousin? You see, it's her mom and --
C: Yes, and I understand that. (in an extremely agitated tone)
Me: *a little stunned* I'm sorry if I upset or offended you; I was just looking for a bit of clarification. I'm not expecting a discount for her, but I was curious --
C: Yes, and I understand that.
Me: Whatever. (sounding slightly irritated at this point)
C: Well, she can take the receipt and her mom can get the discount after the fact.
Me: But I'm paying for the books. Her mom shouldn't be receiving money back if she didn't pay for them. I was just asking --
C: And I understand that.
Me: *pays for books and leaves, younger cousin in tow*
I ended up calling the store as soon as I got home 15 minutes later. I relayed the situation to the manager, who in turn was very apologetic. I emphasized that I was not expecting anything, only that in the past it was given to my younger cousin and I wanted to know if their policies had changed in the past while. The manager told me that it was out of character for that cashier to be so snippy, to which I replied that perhaps she's having a bad day, but there's no need for her to take that attitude out on the floor with her. After a few polite I'm sorrys and thank yous, I was told he was going to have a talk with her.
I sure as hell hope I didn't sound like an EB on the phone, but damn, I hate rude people -- clerks and customers.
ETA: There was one person in line behind me, and two cashiers on till at the time, so it's not like there was a huge crowd of people and I was holding up the line.
ETA2: The only times I've ever used my aunt's discount is if my cousin is with me. My cousin stays with me for a week or two every summer and I usually take her to the bookstore with my aunt's permission to use her card membership if they allow it. Not that this really has anything to do with the tale, but just in case people miss the point of this post ...