How are you all doing today? I’m super sleepy because I was up watching the new Star Trek movie. Heads up, if you download the Atom app, you can get a free movie ticket, no strings attached…you know, besides downloading another app. I’m not sponsored by anyone, I just thought I’d share a sweet deal. Hey, but Atom, for real, if you want to pay me I’ll take your money.
Ok, but seriously, that’s actually the subject of the day. No, not Star Trek, there’s no way to have a good talk about something like Star Trek because there’s always someone that will disagree. Today I wanted to talk about deals. Specifically coupons or free tickets and the like. First of all, who doesn’t like a coupon? Seriously? How? There’s a non zero chance that this thing you would have bought for $50 is now only $40 if you just bring them a piece of paper, or a code to scan.
Yet for whatever reason we live with this weird, sort of low key stereotype about people who use coupons as being cheap. I mean, sure, there are always those people who wont shop somewhere unless they can get a coupon, but that’s such a tiny minority that they can’t be that impactful to the real life views of coupons. Let’s take it a step further. What happens if you’re on a date, and your partner offers to pay, and you let them. Super sweet of them right? Suddenly they pull out a newspaper clipping for $20 off on your restaurant bill. Is it less sweet that they offered to pay now that they’ve done this? If no, cool. If yes, why? Your food fees were still covered. If you hadn’t paid attention to how they paid, you would have had no idea that they didn’t spend money.
Even further, this person still spent their coupon on you, and not someone else, so they obviously care. Now lets say you are in line behind someone at Stater Bros. and they take a gritty piece of paper out of their wallet, hand it to the cashier, and their bill is reduced by $10. They pay the cashier, smile, and walk out the door. How do you feel? What did the person you picture look like? Was it some white guy in a business suit and those fancy shoes that all businessmen seem to wear? Was it a large African-American woman who walked with self-assurance and spoke with some sass? What do those stereotypes of what you pictured tell you about your view of someone who uses coupons? Maybe it was a teenager whipping out their phone so that someone could scan a code. Regardless, these are just images created within the context of your life, but they are then applied in real life when you see someone. If there is a negative association made with the use of coupons, then it is also true that, to some extent, all people who use coupons will be seen poorly. And that’s bad. In all honesty, I don’t have the answer on how to fix that, but I can tell you that if you actively attack your own stereotypes, whether its over coupons, or cloths, or lifestyle, you will be better prepared to reserve judgment on someone when it really counts.