UPDATE: I've Chosen a Winner. The Giveaway is closed. (but it's still a good story)!
Klout purports to track One's online influence. Based on your interactions with others--if they click things you ask them to click or actually respond to you when you tweet something or make a status update or whatever--and your number of followers, you are assigned a score of 0-100. My score is a 60. Sometimes a bit higher. Sometimes a bit lower. But apparently 60 is a high enough score for me to earn what are known as Klout Perks. They send you a Free Item or Items and then you are supposed to use your Social Media Mojo to spread the word and influence others.
Sometimes, I am offered a Perk by McDonald's or Red Bull, and I just don't bother. I mean, I rarely go to McDonald's and I have never tasted Red Bull except the one time when Mary Lou made me try her dumb Jaeger Bombs. I thought they tasted just like Robitussin, so there. (See, Klout? I'm super influential).
Anyway, I received notice a couple of weeks ago that I was eligible for a perk from People Magazine. I'd get x number of months of their magazine and digital media and a Box of Free Items chosen especially for influencers by the editors at People. I thought, "I'm a People. I shall accept." So I did.
About a week later, my items came. In my fun box, wrapped in sort-of gold tissue paper, were the following Items (none of these links are affiliate links, by the way. I'm just letting you know what I got).
- One pack of Jamberry Vinyl Nail Wraps
- A blue enameled silver bangle of unknown provenance
- A light-weight animal print scarf, also of unknown provenance
- A full-sized package of Rembrandt Intense Stain Dissolving Strips
- Five of the cutest note cards ever that I have already sent off to five fans. Also of unknown provenance
- Three rolls of the darling of Pinterest and scrapbookers everywhere: Washi Tape
Kohl's Dream Receipt
Last Sunday, after using a couple of the Whitening Strips just for fun, I threw my Animal Print Scarf jauntily around my neck and went to Kohl's with The Beloved in search of tee shirts and belts for him.
We mosied around the store for quite awhile, procuring two belts and two tee shirts, and then we started looking at Kitchen Items, and Home Items and generally just sort of killing time. There were other things I'd have liked to have picked up--a new toaster oven, for one--but we aren't really made of money so I became Sullen and Grumpy. Sigh.
The line to check out stretched before us like the Great Wall of China, and we resignedly took our place at the very, very end. The Beloved looked at me and said, "Maybe I should just stop in during the week. I bet the line would be shorter." I glared at him. "We are here now, and we are going to Stand Here as long as it takes."
Directly ahead of us in line were two teachers who had arrived separately and had obviously not seen each other in a long time. One was a media specialist and one was a technology teacher. They yammered perky teacher talk at each other the entire time we were in line, and I became surlier and surlier. I used to be a teacher, so I still understand perky teacher talk. I just don't speak it myself anymore. (Thank goodness for perky teachers, though. It is a tough job, and to be perky while doing it can be a chore).
By the time we snaked our way up to the point where we could actually see the registers, I knew all about both teachers' classes. Their joys and sorrows. Their hopes and dreams. I wanted to punch them both.
When it was our turn, I plodded up to the register and put down our mesh bag containing two belts and two tee shirts. Our check-out person was very nice (thank you, Kohl's check out person), but by this time I was too grumpy to be very pleasant. I dug deep and worked up a half-hearted grimace and told myself that in the right light, it looked like a smile.
I swiped my Kohl's card, but apparently I jumped the gun and had to re-swipe. I rolled my little eyes. Then, the very nice check out lady said, "Do you have a Kohl's Reward Card?" I gave her a blank stare. Because my eyes, they were dead. "What's that?" I sort of sighed at her, resigned to listening to some sort of sales pitch.
She gamely carried on in the face of my baleful doll-eyed stare and told me that there was no cost and that for every 100 points I earned, I'd get $5 off via email. "That sounds pretty good," I said.
I was forced to fill out a form on the little pay pad thing. It wouldn't pick up my phone number, and I had to retype it a few times. And then the pad thingy didn't want to let me advance to the next screen, and I required assistance. By this point, I was so surly and grumpy I wanted to punch myself in the neck, so I can only imagine how badly our very nice check-out lady wanted to my back disappearing out their door.
At any rate, I finally got all signed up for the rewards program, swiped my card--the rewards one this time--and practically ripped the receipt from the very nice check-out lady's hand as I turned to leave.
And then, "Oh, wait..."
I turned back to the lovely check out lady. If I had weaponized lasers for eyes, I totally would have left her a pile of black ash, I am ashamed to say.
"Wait. I have to call the manager."
"It's a Good Thing," she added. "You'll be glad you waited."
So we waited. For the good thing. I tried to work up a smile. I may have done slightly better than a grimace. I had thumbed off the deadly eye lasers at least.
The next woman in line wondered aloud what it was.
And buzz began buzzing. Other sales associates wandered over and asked, "Oh, did you get One?"
If by "One" they meant a surly, laser-eyed customer, the answer was yes.
That associate looked at me and said, "I wish I could tell you, but the manager likes to do that."
Finally the manager, who I believe was twelve, came up and asked me if I knew about Kohl's Dream Receipt program. I said no, and he proceeded to explain that every day between Thanksgiving and Christmas one winner per store (for a total of about 1200 winners per day) is randomly selected to win the Dream Receipt. Which means that Kohl's refunds the entire purchase price, regardless of what it is, and you get to take home Free Stuff.
So: two free belts and two free tee shirts!
He took my photo to send to the Home Office. If it's on the web, you will recognize me because I'm wearing my kicky Klout Perk Animal Print Scarf and my facial expression is somewhere between chagrin, a grimace and a smile.
I am taking the kind check out lady some fudge today. She totally earned it. Not only did she not punch me, she managed to deal with me and my surliness with a smile, albeit a tentative one. Bless her. Retail is no walk in the park.
Pay It Forward Giveaway
- Klout Perks Animal Print Scarves contain powerful Juju.
- Awesome things can happen when you least expect it. Just when I was feeling stupidly sorry for myself, I was given a gift. And I totally didn't deserve it, especially acting like a laser-eyed ass hat.
- Kohl's Dream Receipt program is a real thing. It is not like Bigfoot or Yeti. It actually happens.
- When the universe smacks you in the head with free stuff, you best Pay It Forward.
So, here's the deal. Since I got free stuff from Kohl's (partly due to the power of the Klout Perk Scarf, I'm sure), I am paying it forward with a giveaway.
CLOSED The Pay It Forward Giveaway Prize If you win and you happen to live in the US, I will send you an Amazon gift card for $50. If you live outside the US, I will send you $50 via PayPal. If you win and live in the US, I will also send you the bracelet and/or the tape, if you want either or both.
How to Enter I'm giving you guys a few chances to enter. I normally don't do that because it hurts my head, but I am making an exception in this case. Leave a separate comment for each entry. If you just say you jumped through all my hoops in one comment, that only gives you one entry. So: Separate Comment For Each, friends. Please make sure a valid email address is associated with your comment/s so I can contact you. You certainly don't have to jump through all of these hoops, but if you do, you'll have six chances of winning. Leave a comment here explaining how you pay it forward (or how you will pay it forward) when awesome stuff happens to you. If you just comment and say "I want to win" or "She should have punched you," or something, it won't count. Connect with me on Google + and then come back here and leave a comment saying that you did. Sign up for my newsletter (in the sidebar at the top of the site) and leave a comment saying that you did. If you've already signed up, let me know that in a comment too. Go like Kohl's on facebook and leave them a comment telling them that you heard about the Dream Receipt program through me and that I'm paying it forward. Then, leave a comment here saying that you did. Tweet this, "I heard abt @ & 's program thru @ Animal print scarves are powerful! Then, come back here and leave a comment letting me know that you did. (Full Disclosure: I can maybe win a trip to the OSCARS in March if the People Magazine People think I am an Awesome Influencer, so you will be helping with that if you tweet) Share this giveaway on your own facebook page (either fan page or personal) or on G+ and then come back here and let me know that you did. And that's it. Oh, the giveaway starts right now and runs through Friday, December 20 at 7pm, EST, at which point I will draw a random winner using Random.org, so get your entries in by then! If you win, you have 24 hours to respond to my email or I shall reluctantly choose another winner.
Merry, Merry to All, and thanks for entering the Pay It Forward Giveaway. I wouldn't be here without you, and I'm grateful for the time you choose to spend with me!