What You Have To Do For a Buck Sometimes

I was filling out four different product rebate requests this morning, more fallout from my shopping spree a couple weeks ago: two cell phones and two Turbotax programs. 

I sort of resent all the contortions you have to go through to submit these things.  Halfway through, I start to feel like I’m part of a Candid Camera stunt as I’m cutting out bar codes and proofs of purchase, filling out multiple forms, licking stamps and envelopes (well, not the stamps, anymore, I guess), knowing all the while that any error or omission will result in no rebate.  I wonder if anyone’s actually bled to death while using an Exacto knife to wrench the barcode off of a blisterpack or cardboard box.

Then, there’s the hollow feeling when the $10 checks trickle in.  Wouldn’t it be easier for everyone if they just gave me a discount at the register?