After 111 seemingly pointless checkins on foursquare, which had up to that point awarded me with 7 virtual badges and three mayorships at places that no one ever visits, I have finally obtained the Holy Grail of foursquare: the special.
For those unfamiliar, foursquare specials are freebies that businesses offer to patrons who check in on the location-based social networking site. They are somewhat similar to Groupons in that it aims to build greater customer traffic and loyalty to the venue. For example, Starbucks offer the mayor of their stores discounts on their favorite beverages.
I was at Quiznos for lunch today and while waiting in line, I instinctively pulled out my iPod Touch to shamelessly check in on foursquare. While browsing through the list of available venues to check in, I noticed an orange “special” tag that made me skip a heartbeat. Quiznos was offering a foursquare special!
Keep calm, and don’t overexcite yourself, Tony.
Holy cow! A free cookie or soda with your purchase! Hallelujah!
But wait! Remember what happened last time at Wendy’s when you thought you had unlocked a foursquare special? The cashier just stared blankly through your soul as you pointed your finger wildly at your iPod Touch, pitifully trying to convince her that you were entitled to some free fries.
Screw it, I want that free cookie.
Me: Hey, so umm…are you offering a foursquare special by any chance?
Cashier: (Pauses for a moment) Foursquare? I think so…
Me: Yea, so like, here look. (Show him the foursquare special on my iPod)
Cashier: Well, lookie there. I suppose we are. Wait, can I check the date on that…maybe it has an expiration date on it somewhere…
Me: (Asshole doesn’t want me to get a free cookie)
Cashier: (Checks screen again) Ahhh…I see. No expiration date…Take your pick: cookie or soda?
Cashier: Fair enough.
Me: I’m the first person to ask you about this foursquare special aren’t I?
And with that, I obtained my cookie, validating my months of hard work as I laboriously checked in at every possible venue I could find on foursquare. All of those people who gave me puzzled looks as I tried explaining my neurotic desire to broadcast my physical location at every possible opportunity…it was all worth it in the end.