Tuesday, November 15, 2005

All about the money

five euro cents
Originally uploaded by pajp.
Situation 1: I moved to Amsterdam in January this year. It was my first day at work. A Dutch colleague of mine and I headed to the nearby supermarket Albert Heijn to buy something for lunch. At the counter she threw her set of keys on the line along with the groceries. I must have looked puzzled because she continued:
"Tommi, first thing you have to do here is get your bonus card. You save money every day."
We had basically met three hours before.

Situation 2: A young Dutch couple in front of me at the Albert Heijn. The young man asked for the small plastic bags that you use for vegetables and fruit. They started packing their stuff in them in the end using eight bags because they kept breaking. They were free of charge, a normal plastic bag would have cost twenty cents.

Welcome to the Netherlands.


Teea said...

Are you allready forgetting where you're from? Remember how we in Finland collect and save all the plastic bags (some of us even fold them neatly)? And how the averige person has at least three bonus cards for different stores?

Look at me, I'm suddenly defending the Finns for being cheap. :)

Tommi said...

Finland is also the country with the most concentrated bonus system. S-Group is giving people plain money on their activity - and it works - try to shop e.g. in the Helsinki centre without someone not asking you loyal customer card.

For me, the issue what I do not get here in NL is the active amount of people who still want to collect those tiny little stamps, spaarzegeltjes. Collect them, glue them to the book, 500 hundred or some and then get a discount of 5 euros or less. Hello is the 21st century ... :)

Marija said...

Yesterday a woman threw me her bonus card at AH just so that I don't pay a full price - and I didn't even ask for it, that was the funniest part .. that's dutch people for you, heh :)))

Tommi Laitio said...

For me this entire way of thinking is a bit weird. I mean I do have a bonus card for Albert Heijn but I have no idea what the impact is. I guess some computer geek and marketing specialist has noticed that I buy brown bread, sliced cheese and Braeburn apples.

For me one sign of moving from student life to "normal" life (adult life) is that I may buy what I want from the supermarket. My way of understanding finances is all and all a bit weird. I may spend minutes pondering between two chocolate bars because the better costs 15 cents more and then spend a lot of money on a T-shirt.

TommiP said...

To Marija's example: for it was not another client, but the cashier who went and took new AH-bonus card and told me that "this is the way you pay less". Nice service, but I wonder what would AH managers think about that kind of behaviour :)