I have been saving Sara Lee bread bags all summer. I only needed 5 UPC codes to send away for a free Toy Story light-up lunchbox (soft, full-sized zippered lunch tote--$14.00 value and includes shipping and handling fees—Collect the entire set!) for my soon-to-be 1st grader. Today was the day I decided to clear off the kitchen counter and see where to send my codes to redeem them for this “very special” offer.
So, I went to the website as instructed on the bags, which directed me to enter the 10-digit number from the UPC area which I did without a hiccup, I took a high school accounting class, I have mad 10-key skills. Anyway, after that, the website asked me to either register or login. What does that mean? I did not understand, but I decided that my odds were 50/50 that one of the choices would take me where I needed to go to get my prize, and since I have a “back” button, I picked register.
Then the computer asks me a series of personal questions (everything from my date of birth, to mother’s maiden name, and how I take my coffee in the morning) but I do not fret, because I am a woman of the new millennium, a Gen-X’er (or is it Gen-Y'er?)on a mission for a free-freakin’ lunch pail, so I give them all the data they ask for and press enter. The screen pops up with a message “This Login has been taken please try again.” Ok, my name must be really common, I will try a different user ID, i.e. name, that is not my own and pick something totally random, like: Apple pie. The computer screen says: Taken. So I try: Dutch apple pie. Taken. Pecan pie. Taken. Banana Cream Pie. Taken. Lemon Custard. Taken. Scotch. Taken. Scotch and Soda. Taken. Scotch and Soda with a Twist of Lime. Taken.
AAAAAh, I take a deep breath, bang my head on my keyboard a few times and then pour myself another cup of coffee and take 2 aspirin, crack my knuckles, and think to myself, maybe I have registered on this site before. I go back to the “Register or Login” section and pick Login. Then I click the button that says “Forgot Login ID,” because I have. I think. A new screen pops up and asks me to enter my email address. They, the evil torturing people who are running this website, send me my login info in an email, so now I have to go check my email. Sure enough, I have registered at this site before, because right before my eyes, in my email inbox is the Login ID (name) of a long-since-dead pet--a fire belly newt--named by my children: Goliath Scooby Doo.
Phew! Step 1 complete. That wasn’t so bad, 45 minutes or so, went by in a breeze. I wonder if I can suffocate myself with a bread bag? But alas, I have to continue my quest, I can almost see the light at the end of the tunnel, I mean it is a $14 value after all, so I go back to my screen, and search for the tab where I can enter my Login. No, not that one, not that one either, no not that one, a-ha I found it. Now I click “forgot password” and sure enough they, still the crazy psycho-paths running this site, will send it to me in an email. So I go check my email. Nothin. I reload my messages. Nothin. I put my coffee cup in the sink and stare longingly at my knife-block contemplating my own demise but snap back to reality when I hear my 6-year-old yell from across the house, “Mooooom, I need to poop!” I yell back, “Well, go then!”
Ok, back to this lunch tote thing. Check my email. Nothin. What in the heck? So I go back to the screen that said it would send it to me electronically and read the fine print. “Our system will usually send a response immediately, but please allow 24 hours for password to arrive in your inbox.” As I started to crawl under my desk to unplug my computer to chuck it out the window, the screen popped up with “You have 1 new messages.” Eureka, I am saved! I pick myself up and open my email and there it is: One password. I enter it in the proper screen and wait for it to tell me where to send my plastic bags to redeem my free gift.
Then the screen says the unthinkable: “Oops, we are out of stock. Please check back for future promotions from Sara Lee.” AAAAAAAGGGHHHH! I start cursing under my breath. I have lost over an hour of my life, one that I cannot get back. I am not a young person; an hour is a lot to a person my age. I am beside myself with grief. “Why? Why me?” I lament. How could I be so deceived by these devil-bread-maker-free-lunch-tote-offering-lunatics? Then in small print on the bottom of my screen, blurry from my tears, were the words I had been longing for: “Enter UPC Codes for a chance to win a family vacation for 4 to Pixar Animation Studios, have lunch and meet your favorite Toy Story 3 characters.”
Hope is not lost! I have 5 UPC codes! I may not have a lunch box, but wouldn’t a family vacation be better? So I click on it. I enter my information. Things are going smoothly. I am already registered. I know my password, I know my login, and I have my codes. Then I get to the final screen and it says: “I am sorry this contest is now closed.” The fine print says it ended yesterday, which is about the amount of time I spent trying to get my information entered on-line.
The moral of the story is, don’t eat bread, it is full of carbs and it will just raise your blood sugar, your blood pressure, and steal your soul, causing you to die. Trust me; I know what I am talking about.