Where have all the freebies gone?
I can understand many reasons why free customer service isn't found very often anymore. Long gone are the days when one pulled into a gas station and a helpful person rushed out, filled your tank while cleaning the windshield; air was put into tires free if needed. Bag boys (or girls, rarely) haunted cash registers to take packages out for a tip. These were good jobs for persons otherwise unemployable, mostly because of age or inexperience. With minimum wage, insurance requirements, etc., it just isn't economical now. But free products are a thing of the past too.
If you have a few years on
you, perhaps you remember when a dishtowel or dishcloth was often
included in boxes of soap. Groceries and gas stations often gave away
dishes, glasses, tableware and other tidbits with each purchase. When
our family first moved to Florida, Winn Dixie, then called Margaret Ann,
gave away free plates with a purchase for several weeks; then matching
free cups, then free saucers, etc. We had arrived with little matching
dishes, and we soon had a full set of plaid-patterned dishes, painted in
brown and avocado. Even further back, the Jewel Tea salesman who visited
homes to take orders in suburbs and rural areas gave away dishes,
including lovely serving pieces with a stylized brown and orange flower
patten. Remember the S & H green stamps? I tried to shop where they were
offered, and stashed them in the kid's large closet in a brown paper
bag, saving up for some large item I couldn't afford to purchase. I
remember the day I read in the paper that they were being discontinued,
so I rushed to the closet to drag them out and see what I could get.
I'll never forget my shock when I found that one of the children, in a
rare excess of cleaning, had thrown them out!