Listen, bitch.

I found myself in Kohl’s last week. I found myself looking at some kickass shoes.

Then I found myself at the checkout counter face-to-face with a smiley middle-aged cashier or whatever the hell we’re calling them these days.

I’ll call her Linda. Later on though, I’m going to call her “bitch.” You were warned.

Here’s how it all went down.

Hello. How are you this evening?

Hello! I’m fine, thank you.

Linda (as she begins removing hangers from clothing I am purchasing):
Will this be on your Kohl’s charge?

No, Linda. This will be on the PittGirl Card O’ Debit.

PittGirl, do you have a Kohl’s charge with us?

No, Linda.

Would you like to open a Kohl’s charge today?

PittGirl (flipping her gorgeous hair around):
No, thank you.

Linda (as she begins scanning bar codes):
If you open a Kohl’s charge today, you’ll save 15% on all of this.

No, thank you.

Are you sure, because in addition to 15% off you’ll receive special discounts and coupons up to nine times a year.

PittGirl (looking around all “am I on Candid Camera?”):
Um, no thank you, Linda. I’ll be using my debit card.

It only takes a moment.

Linda. I’m not opening a charge account today.

Linda (hits the total button):
If you open a Kohl’s charge today, you would save like 7 or 8 dollars on all of this.

Listen, bitch. I don’t want to open a damn Kohl’s charge account!

Okay, have a nice day.

Now with this ridiculously aggressive sales pitch, I can only assume that Kohl’s has instituted a new reward policy for their employees that whoever signs the most people up to a Kohl’s charge account gets like Steelers season tickets or something.

No wonder America is mired in credit card debt.


  1. chrys
    September 19, 2007 9:30 am

    LOL!!! I used to work there like a few years ago.. and yes, there are incentives to getting people to open accts. It used to be you had to open a certain amount a month or you could be written up for not doing your job..LOL! They were bastards.. I very rarely shop there anymore. My advice.. lie! Tell them you have one and don’t want to use it..LOL!

  2. Kelli
    September 19, 2007 9:39 am

    Yes, the incentive for those folks to do it is keeping their job.

    I too tell them I have one, but won’t be using it. I figure then they can mark it down as attempting to sell to me, but unable to. You know, so the corporate beast doesn’t come down too hard on them.

  3. Ms. Caroline
    September 19, 2007 9:46 am

    I was in Kohl’s last week and bought a lovely faux croc bag. Like you, I was accosted (sp?) at the check out. I rarely go there for that reason, but I really wanted a new purse. I took my chances. I had to take a shower as soon as I got home. I felt so dirty. Great purse tho….

  4. aj
    September 19, 2007 9:57 am

    I believe the they use the “POS” term for those employees. Point of Sale. I was a part of that team for around two years in the late 90’s. We only ever got $.50 for each application, sometimes a whole dollar if they where doing a promotion. I was never threatened with being fired if I didn’t get any… I hated pushing the credit cards so I didn’t. From the other replies sounds like they have gotten more agressive with that though.

  5. GoodGirl
    September 19, 2007 10:31 am

    Hey PittGirl – I know how you feel. I have lots of different little games I play with these folks. Sometimes I tell them that I can’t open a credit card because I am in bankruptcy. Sometimes I tell them that I have many Kohl’s credit cards all in different names – which one would you like me to use?

    The last time I shopped at Kohl’s I got a dress shirt for my son marked down from $30.00 to – get this $4.50!! The cashier was in such a hurry that she just punched in any numbers in the register to get me through the line. Unfortunately, the shirt did not fit my son so I attempted to return it with the receipt. The customer service blimp told me I DID NOT purchase the shirt at their store – even with the receipt. I told her that I just wanted an EVEN exchange, no money and that take it up with the cashier for not inputting the correct merchandise numbers. I got loud but still stayed nice. I was not leaving there without the shirt. She told me I would have to pay $18 for the shirt. I told her I wanted to see a manager. Well, she made an even exchange after all with no manager involved. SHOPPERS BEWARE!!

    My mom worked at a Sears store in the appliance department several years ago. They were told they had to sell service agreements for each appliance they sold or they would be penalized. How horrible. My mom did her best but would not push them because she felt that the merchandise should be good enough so that you would not have to buy one. Let’s just say the higher ups did not feel the same and she eventually left that department.

  6. Susan Helene Gottfried
    September 19, 2007 1:08 pm

    At what point do you think TPTB at Kohl’s will wise up and realize they can carry all the Tony Hawk and Vera Wang in the world and people still will shop elsewhere, just to avoid the Credit Card Nazis?

  7. Sofa King
    September 19, 2007 1:23 pm

    A few years ago, I used to work in phone sales for a large insurance company. At the time, the company was a firm believer in the hard sale. Since they monitored most of the calls, you had no choice but to ask for the sale over and over again until either A) you completely ran out of relevant things to say, or B) the customer flew into a fit of rage and then abruptly hung up in disgust.

    Here is, no joke, an actual exchange I had:

    Me: “…and Mr. Jones, how much are you currently paying for your car insurance?”
    Mr. Jones: “Umm…for me, the wife, and 3 kids, it comes out to $1800 every 6 months.”
    Me: “Oh, okay, well let’s see what we can do about that.”
    Mr. Jones: “Okay.”

    ***Silence, gasp, chuckle***
    ***Silence, chuckle, roll eyes***

    Me: “Okay, Mr. Jones, your total 6-month premium comes out to $6,800, now would you like to get that started today with your Visa or Mastercard?”
    Mr. Jones: *Laughing out loud* “You’re joking, right?”
    Me: “No sir.”
    Mr. Jones: “Ummm…” *laugh* “, that’s okay.”
    Me: “Well, sir, you do have 3 young drivers and we do offer roadside assistance to keep them safe, so let’s get out that credit card and get this policy going.”
    Mr. Jones: “No thank you. I have AAA”
    Me: “Well, our roadside assistance is much cheaper than AAA and has no limits for towing distance.”
    Mr. Jones: “Really, no thank you.”
    Me: “Well, you did mention that you have that new car, with our breakdown insurance we’ll cover you for up to an additional 50,000 miles on the factory warranty. With that in mind, what’s your credit card number?”
    Mr. Jones: “Well, that’s fine and all, but I can buy a warranty for about $1000.”
    Me: “Okay, well, we do have that great non-deductible glass breakage coverage, so how would you like to get this started today?”
    Mr. Jones: “Are you nuts?!”
    Me: “No sir, why do you ask?”
    Mr. Jones: *click*
    Me: “Hello? Hello?”

    I felt like such an assclown, I damn near quit 10 times in the first 6 months.

  8. Sofa King
    September 19, 2007 1:24 pm

    How I hate the f**king hard sale…

  9. the violet
    September 19, 2007 1:24 pm

    I used to work for Kaufmanns a while back and would take home credit card applications to have my friends fill out. None of them would get approved so it was no biggie. Kaufmanns would pay out so much for a completed application. Two or three bucks a pop. The other incentive was keeping your job. Too bad I got fired for not getting enough…oh and for getting too many “unfriendly”s from a secret shopper. I’m still pretty ticked at that damn secret shopper.

  10. Pensgirl
    September 19, 2007 3:07 pm

    I got two stories:

    Before my recent trip that included a stint in Canada, I called my credit card companies to let them know I’d be going there. The first company’s rep asked me where I would be for each leg of my trip, thanked me for calling, and that was that. The second company’s rep tried to sell me “fraud protection for all my cards” and as I kept saying no, all Pittgirl-like, he finally said “why NOT?” Um, because fraud protection is FREE on credit cards, so you’re asking me to pay for something I already get. That card is not long for this world.

    Second…way back in the late eighties, my parents had carpet installed. They bought it at Kaufmann’s. The installer asked for my mom’s sweeper to clean up when he was done, and then he “accidentally” broke it. The next day, my mom got a call from Kaufmann’s….imagine this, they were selling sweepers. When my mom declined, the salesman told her “We know you need a new one.”


  11. Zsa
    September 19, 2007 4:51 pm

    Honestly, Vera Wang annoys me (don’t know why, just one of those irrational girl things) and that fact that Kohl’s is carrying stuff w/ her name on it makes me never want to shop there ever again.

    Not credit cards exactly, but a few of my friends work for Jo-Ann Fabrics and they’re supposed to get as many people as possible to sign up for their mailing list – again, they get written up if they don’t get a certain amount. The catch is, you can’t have more than one person at the same address w/ the same last name. So I signed up my all-white cat as Fuzzy* White. It cracks me up when he gets a flier in the mail telling him about the latest specials on calico and scissors.

    *not his real name

  12. Kat
    September 19, 2007 5:21 pm

    I’ll cop to liking Kohl’s and the new Vera Wang stuff. I’ve never been hassled there, either.

    The hardest credit card sell I ever had was at Kaufmann’s where after five minutes of hassling, the cashier lady huffily told me that if I did decide to sign up for a card while I was at the store that day, to do it through her so she’d get the credit.

  13. ItsMe
    September 19, 2007 5:31 pm

    How about car salespersons, huh? I hate it when they think you are so dumb (especially women) when you are dealing with them. My husband and I do our research when buying a car (new or used) and go armed with all the information we need to make a good purchase. You get to a certain figure that is still too high (they know it and you know it) and they tell you they are going to their sales manager to see if he will agree to lowering the price …. you know he is only going down the hall to scratch himself or say hello to another crony – then, he and the sales manager come back in and the sales manager proclaims “well, what is it going to take to put you in that car”. We always say that we go no higher than what he have presented to them to which they say they cannot possibly do that. So we walk out and they are already calling us on the cell or leaving a message at home that they can drop the price another $100. What a joke. We had an experience a few years back where we knew our credit was better than excellent and we asked about the best interest rate. The salesperson gave us 6& and said he could go no lower. We went to another dealer – got a better car at a better price and, low and behold, our interest rate on a USED car was 3.9%! When the first dealer called back to inquire why we would not purchase the car from him we told him that we had gotten the lower rate. He said he could do the same if we came out again. I just hung up.

    Be prepared when going to get a car – used and new!!!

  14. Still A. Fan
    September 19, 2007 10:44 pm

    not only that……typically it will lower your credit score if you keep opening a new card with each dept store. i cut mine up years ago before buying my first house and switched to amex only. 1 bill to pay. damn sales people. it;s like buying a $10 clock radio at best buy and being asked to buy the service plan. when are these morons going to “get it” that these days unless you are paying over $1000 for something, it’s disposable. really. if my iPod kicks the bucket after 3-4 years….i’ll buy a new one. big whoop.

  15. Sofa King
    September 20, 2007 8:24 am

    I opened up a Macy’s charge 2 years ago to save some extra cash on a Christmas gift I was buying. Now, I purchased a car and opened another credit account around the same time with no additional marks on my credit report, but that damn Macy’s card dropped my score a full 20 points. That’s really annoying when you have really good credit otherwise.

  16. deebee
    September 20, 2007 9:52 am

    The next time you are not satisfied call the 800 number and vent or email the company. It’s not the person’s behind the counter’s fault if they have to push those applications to keep thier jobs.

  17. Zsa
    September 20, 2007 10:28 am

    This is a really stupid question, but why does having store credit cards lower your credit score? If you pay them off every month, would it still do that?

  18. spoon
    September 20, 2007 11:02 am

    Still A. Fan, in a previous life I worked at Staples and you HAD to offer the service plan no matter what the item. The manager would randomly ask the customer if they were offered the plan. If not the employee was in trouble. Plus the secret shoppers always nail you if you dont offer it. Sucks, but it’s part of retail.

  19. Kat
    September 20, 2007 11:29 am

    I had always heard that having more credit cards means that you have more credit available to you and actually increases your credit score.

  20. Sofa King
    September 20, 2007 12:14 pm

    Kat and Zsa, you are both sort of right and both sort of wrong.

    Having credit cards doesn’t necessarily decrease your credit score however, when you apply for a line of credit the creditor will often run a credit check on you. These “hard inquiries,” as they are called, essentially act as signals that you are applying for more credit and thereby reduce your score. A “soft inquiry” credit check, such as those pulled by people for their own reference, via or other venues, or the ones insurance companies use to determine your premium, do not leave any marks on your report and thus do not harm your credit score.

    On the flip side, it’s not completely true that having a lot of credit cards will help your credit score, either. What is important is how much credit you use as a percentage of what is available to you. For example, if you have 5 credit cards, each with a $2000 limit, and you have a total combined balance of $9,000, you are effectively using 90% of the credit immediately available to you. However, if you have only 2 cards, each with a $2000 limit, but your total combined balance is only $1000, then you are using only 25% of the credit available to you and thus your credit score will be comparatively lower.

  21. J
    September 23, 2007 8:10 pm

    I work for a major clothing retailer PT while finishing my graduate degree, so yes …, I’m the bitch who’s pushing the card at you at the checkout. I’m really nice about it, though and I really hate being pushy. Sometimes I luck out, sometimes I don’t. I just thank God that I don’t have to be doing this for the rest of my life.