When I was a little girl, I was wildly curious about everything. I was that annoying kid who has an incessant and endless barrage of questions about things, how they work, and why. I wanted to know everything. But as I grew up, I became more reserved and retreated more into my shell. I was still wildly curious but instead of asking, I relied on books and the Internet to point me to the answers to my questions. I learned to be more independent (in this pursuit of knowledge, at least), and acquired skills on how to get the information I need. "Google before you speak" became my new "Think before you leap."
But then, I also know that asking help from other people is not really a bad thing and I should't have to bite my tongue all the time. In my line of work where I always get to interact with people in person and online, I had to develop my social skills and get over my shyness (that can be terribly crippling at times).
I'm sharing this because I got a Fully Booked Discount Card today that gives an outright 10% discount for cash purchases of books. And what is the significance of a discount card to this hullabaloo about asking, you ask? Well, it's because you can only get one if you collect P15,000 worth of purchases in Fully Booked within one year, or you spend P10,000 on a single visit, or you pay a fee of P700. Pretty costly, if you ask me, especially since I've started buying less "tangible" books ever since I bought myself a Kindle. The only "tangible" books I buy now are those I personally consider as collectibles, like Neil Patrick Harris' Choose Your Own Autobiography. So yes, the Discount Card will cost me a pretty penny that I'm not sure I can earn back if the card will last me for just a couple of years, which is usually how long discount and loyalty cards last before they expire and go up for renewal. Renewal, meaning, you'll have to pay again. Maybe if the Discount Card offers a lifetime membership, then I will gladly sign my name in blood. I've always been curious but never got to ask (and this information is not available on their website).
But today, as I picked up my copy of My True Love Gave to Me that I have reserved in their Greenbelt branch, I asked the Book Specialist on duty my question about the length of validity of these Discount Cards, and he told me it's a lifetime membership! My heart, my heart! I confirmed this with the cashier, and paid an additional P700 to avail the card right then and there! She then took 10% off my purchase today so I only paid a little over P700 for my new beautiful hardback.
Now I'm thinking of all the money I could've saved if only I had the gall to ask this question years ago, huhu. I mean, it's not that big that I could've bought a house, but it would've been substantial enough to buy myself more books to fill this imaginary future house with. (The most expensive book I ever bought, I bought from Fully Booked!) I seriously wanted to kick myself in the face.
Oh well. I guess it's never too late to start maximizing my Fully Booked Discount Card's perks.
So yes, before assuming anything, ask. There's nothing wrong with asking if you're not sure about something, especially when it comes to important things like your job or how to do the Heimlich Maneuver properly. Ask.
As for me, a brand new copy of Neil Gaiman's The Sleeper and the Spindle is waiting for me to buy it.