"Ummm. I don't have the card with me..."

I was checking out at the Hallmark store this weekend when the clerk started the now familiar dance.

“Do you have one of our Hallmark Crown Rewards cards?”

“Umm, no.”

“Would you like to sign up for one? You can earn points for rewards with every purchase.”

“No thanks.”

What I actually wanted to say was, “No, I just want to buy my cards in peace. Thanks.”

It isn’t that any individual clerk is particularly pushy about it. It’s more that you can rarely go into a store any more where they don’t want you to sign up for a card or a “club.” I guess they offer coupons or gift certificates if you buy a certain amount at the store. But what they really do is allow a store to track what you purchase. I’m not super worried about the privacy issues involved. I’m more interested in being able to buy something without going through that extra conversation.

Every. Single. Time.

At Best Buy: “Do you have a Reward Zone card with us?” I do, I never carry the actual card and I don’t think I’ve actually ever redeemed a single reward point from Best Buy.

At Dunham’s: “Do you get our coupons in your email?” This is an easy one. I can say, “I already get them, Thanks!” I do, but I’ve filtered the emails so I don’t have to see them.

Tractor Supply Company might be the worst. They don’t have a club that I know of, but they always require your phone number and zip code before they check you out. It’s like being held hostage (very pleasantly, for a very short time) in order to buy some Carhartts!

We have a club, too. We call it the Mead Family Dental Gold Club. It’s for people who don’t have dental benefits that are looking for a great way to control costs for regular dental care.

But I promise we’ll never hold you up at the check out to offer it to you.

You can share any Mead Family Dental post with a “Like” on Facebook, a “+1″ on Google+ or you can even “Tweet” it with Twitter! All you need to do is hover over the heart shaped button next to the title of the post. Or you can leave a comment by clicking on the balloon shaped icon next to the title.

If you’re looking for a dentist in Saginaw, we’re always happy to accept new patients! You can request an appointment online or call the office at (989) 799-9133. And, as always, you can email me at alan@meadfamilydental.com with any questions or comments. I always answer my own emails!