There is a grocery chain where I have shopped since I worked for them all through high school. Lately, however, they have begun to anger me. It is not that their food is bad, or too expensive, or their stores are too far away.

It started a couple of years ago when you had to get a special membership card, or club card to get special deals throughout the store. You got a card that would fit into your wallet along with your credit cards. Also you got a smaller card that fit on your key chain. It took about two weeks for the key chain card to break, then you had to remember to take your wallet to the store to get the good deals that only “members” got. It all became a giant sized pain in the backside and the store eventually discontinued it.

Never one to learn from previous mistakes, the chain recently started a campaign where you put an app on your cell phone to get the special “member“ deals. You also could get special discounts at a chain of gas stations. Once again the store has made it difficult to shop there. If you don’t jump through their hoops, you have to pay more.

Also I know this is the season of giving, but get a grip. Saturday, I gave to the Salvation Army bell ringers when I entered the store. After purchasing a salad that cost five dollars, I was asked if I had the app, then asked if I wanted to round up my total with the change going to a charity that feeds the poor. I declined because I had already given to another charity entering the store. Then there were more bell ringers at the exit door, which I also declined. I left the store feeling stupid for not having the app, and Grinch like for snubbing two of the three charities.

I miss the days when you could just go to a store, buy something and go home.