A Small Thank You and a Big Coupon

This is a two parter. This first part is a personal thank you to someone who works retail during a time when most customers and businesses are feeling the economic pinch.

PART ONE in which my wallet stays home while I trek across town:
I'm not one to tout the virtues of Borders over other bookstores, in fact, they rank below most Independent stores, Barnes & Noble, and sometimes even Books-a-million. This, however, wasn't always the case.  
Back in 2002, when I was in grad school, I LOVED my Borders bookstore. Just north of Detroit, in Birmingham, along Woodward Avenue, I would stop in for book signings, inspiration, even short respites before or after school. This Borders felt spacious and stocked. They had every art book, philosophy book, and history book, I ever wanted. The customers, believe it or not, were actually thoughtful, turning cell phones off, speaking with indoor voices, and having conversations with employees that revealed an intelligence with which I'd like to associate.
After graduate school, I moved. Then I moved again, and again. Everywhere I went, I'd try on the Borders for size and it never lived up to the Birmingham, MI store. It quickly fell down the rungs of my bookstore hierarchy.
Today, however, my Greensboro Borders (which I was sure would close its doors last year because it was so poorly stocked, staffed, and organized) redeemed itself a tiny bit. Purchasing a few stocking stuffers, I walked up to the counter to pay and realized I'd left my wallet at home. I had on my person $20 in cash and over $20 in merchandise. Instead of rolling her eyes or sending me packing all the way across town to retrieve my wallet, the cashier pulled out an email coupon and scanned it. With the coupon, my total was just under $20, I paid and left a happy customer. So to that cashier, I say thank you. Thank you for having patience and understanding what it feels like on both sides of the counter/situation.

PART TWO in which coupons make themselves available:
So, this coupon that helped me save face and restored some of my faith in Borders, I found out, was a 50% off the list price of any one item.  It's good today through Thursday, Dec. 16th, 2010, you do need to sign up for a Borders Rewards card (but it's free).
Using this coupon, I was able to purchase a first edition copy of Matched by Ally Condie for $8 (list price is $17.99). That's better than the used book store price.

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