Friday, October 19, 2007

The Pretty Girl Discount

I bought my lunch today, and somehow, an $8 pack of sushi, a $4 half-sandwich, and a can of Diet Coke added up to less than $10. Huh? I looked at the guy behind the register, who'd greeted me in what suddenly seemed like it might have been a somewhat more than friendly fashion, and tried to figure out if he'd made a mistake. But all three items were sitting out on the counter, in plain view. He carefully put all three items in a bag. He smiled at me. He pointed out that chopsticks were behind me. He wished me a good afternoon. I paid my less-than-$10, thanked him, and left. I probably did give him an extra smile.

So I'm going to guess it was the Pretty Girl Discount. And it may be ethically dubious, but I take that when it's offered. At my neighborhood bodega, one particular guy always rounds down to the dollar--"For you, four dollars!"--and throws in one of the sour apple blow pops I like. I do not object.


VixenOnABudget said...

Yay! Being a woman does have a few advantages. :-D

Now you know where you'll be going for lunch when you don't brown bag it...

Ms. M&P said...

Haha! I get unsolicited discounts at quiznos. All my friends make fun of me for it. Does it ever make you a little uncomfortable? I feel like I can't frequent places that give me discounts because it just gets awkward after a few times...maybe it's just me.

hazygrey said...

Pretty boy discount?

My boyfriend used to come visit me in law school, and wait for me in the school cafeteria with a coffee. He said that on several occasions, the big, black middle aged ladies at the counter gave him a discount or gave him his coffee for free. Needless to say I never got any discount in my three years there.

Andrew Stevens said...

Hmm, I'm not sure how ethical this is. In general, I think it's probably not unethical to accept the discount. Probably what is going on (I hope) is that the cashier is passing on his own discount to you. This is ethically questionable, but not necessarily unethical. (I confess that when I was working a service job, I'd give my friends free fountain soda, which I got as a perk of the job. They paid full retail for everything else, though, and it's not like I had a ton of friends who would visit me; it was perhaps once a month. I should also say that the owner was aware that I would do this on occasion and had no objection, as long as I used my judgment.) By the way, I certainly never gave any discounts to people I didn't know, no matter how pretty they were.

For myself, I tend not to accept such discounts. (For example, my service job was an untipped position and I would decline tips when offered, though some people were very insistent and I did accept a couple here and there.)

By the way, being a very attractive young woman has enormous advantages, not just "a few." Many men will throw money at you just for showing up, if you're really beautiful. In general, I don't think there's anything unethical about taking advantage of this. It's no different from the advantages that accrue to intelligence, another morally neutral largely unearned trait.

Anonymous said...

Bronx Chica- I love the Pretty Girl discount! It's a shame that it is noticeable but hey it saves a little more in the

honugurl16 said...

My b/f always uses this term when I get treated "exceptionally" well. I didn't know it was such well-known term. I say, if people are offering it, then it's fine. There's a limited time that we're able to get this type of discount.

Emm said...

I don't know if this counts, but I think I get the "being the same visible minority" discount by the ladies in the cafeteria. This isn't necessarily in price discount, but they sometimes give me a very generous serving of whatever it is I buy.

I'm pretty sure it gives the same nice feeling as the pretty girl discount, though. ;p

Oleg K. said...

Sometimes it doesn't even have to with being attractive; I've gotten discounts and free stuff from cashiers for being friendly.

I know when I used to work at Subway, I would be nice to people who were nice to me. Sure, maybe my boss lost .50 cents here and there, but he never minded because these were now loyal customers. It's great for both customers and worker to establish rapport.

Simply: A smile never hurt anyone, sometimes it even saves a little money :O)

gildedbutterfly said...

I admit, I have what many of my friends call a "Starbucks boyfriend," who always remembers my name and order, and who always gives me a grande when I pay for a tall. (And if I get extra syrup, it somehow doesn't get added in...)

I don't think there's any difference in that and having a drink bought for you at a bar.

How'd the party go, by the way?

E.C. said...

The summer after my freshman year, I became a regular at the Taco Bell near campus since it was a convenient place for a quick lunch between organic lab and lecture. I started getting discounts from one of the cashiers, plus was generally given a soda cup and told to "get whatever you want," when I ordered water. At the time, I honestly thought the guy was trying to be charitable since I always ordered one of the cheapest things on the menu and always wore crummy clothes since labs can get messy.

I was amused when my ex suggested that it was instead a pretty girl discount, but I must admit I find that explanation a little more flattering.

Esme said...

I love the pretty girl discount. Likewise, when I was working customer service during my Uni days I gave out some handsome guy discounts too (or people that are nice, and people who just plain entertain me).

Anonymous said...

Ooh I love the pretty girl discount. The first time or two this happened to me I didn't get it, haha, oblivious! It's always a nice gesture in a world of obscene ones.

My favorite is when this happens on a day I'm feeling not-so pretty, it's a nice self-esteem boost

Anonymous said...

I like to call it the Pretty Girl Advantage, because it's not always a price discount. It might be not being charged cover at a club, being able to move up in a line, being able to use a bathroom that is "employees only." In my earlier days, it often meant not being carded at bars/clubs :) Recently, I got a free bouquet of flowers at Trader Joe's when I admitted to the cashier that my day was going pretty lousy so far. I justify the Advantage in 2 ways: 1) women have been given so few advantages in Western society for most of recorded history that a few discounts/freebies are in order and 2) from a business perspective, it does create a very satisfied and loyal customer.

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