You won’t remember applying for the position, nor does your resume boast accomplishments in the field, but somehow, you will land the job.
On the up-side, it’s only part-time, you’ll only work a few hours a year (you can choose your own hours), but the pay is awful. And at “entry level”, there are few benefits.
I’m talking about a job that many new parents will take on, eagerly at first, before contempt swells like a morning diaper. The job is entering “rewards” codes from diapers and wipes packaging. And it could not be less rewarding.
Both Huggies and Pampers have featured user rewards for years, as many consumer products have. I think about beverage companies, in particular, putting codes under their caps and inside 12-packs. Properly executed, it can be a great way to increase customer loyalty to your brand – even encouraging consumers to use more of your products than they need to achieve even greater rewards.
Unfortunately, in the case of Huggies, the idea is far greater than the execution.
Let’s start with the small, printed code stickers from Huggies diapers. You can just take the empty packaging immediately to your computer (because doing this on a smartphone, even with a functional interface, is akin to bathing a cat) and type in the code. Or you can remove the sticker from the packaging, either by delicately peeling the sticker from the package, carefully cutting the sticker off – or as I do, aggressively ripping the sticker away from the bag and squirreling this sticker away until you have about 100 of them.
It’s my way or the highway, Huggies reward sticker.
Now that you have 100 or more of these silly things, wait for a quiet stretch of approximately one hour, in which you have nothing better to do than to sit down at your computer and proceed to ask yourself “why bother?” many times while you type codes into the Huggies website/code interface.
Now that you’re at your computer, you’ll need to log in to the Huggies website. And, because you’re the parent of an infant or toddler (or both), you will have long forgotten your password for the Huggies website and you’ll need to reset it. This requires some patience, as I believe pushing the “reset my password” button sets into motion a Rube Goldbergesque chain of events at Huggies corporate headquarters – involving a candle burning through a taunt piece of twine causing a spring-loaded boxing glove to strike a bowling ball, which rolls into a chicken, causing it to lay an egg… And kerpow! A mere six minutes later (the technological time-span equivalent of the entire Cambrian Era), you will have an email from Huggies and will finally be able to reset your password and begin entering rewards codes!
Each code is broken into three sets of letters/numbers, and each set has to be entered into it’s own field. The fields can be “tabbed” through, which I believe is an improvement from the entry process of a year ago, which did not allow it. Thank you Huggies, for embracing technological advancements in tabbing. You may also enter three (3) codes into a single entry page. The reason for this might be that after entering three codes, most parents realize that they could be using this time to wash dishes, clean the kitchen, fold laundry, or sit in a chair, staring blankly at a wall. Which, for a parent of a toddler, is its own reward.
I have no idea how many of these stickers I have, because most of them are stuck together. And I mean STUCK together. I don’t know what this glue is made of, but I want some for home repairs.
But I digress. Once you’ve entered three codes, it kicks you back to another screen. I don’t want to be at that screen. I want to keep entering more of these stupid codes. I’m like Alan Turing. I cannot stop. I will not stop. Except when he was done, the allies won the war. When I’m done, I will have won nothing.
After about 45 minutes, I’ve finished entering codes and have amassed 885 points. Now it’s time for daddy to see what’s what! Let’s explore the rewards!
The rewards number in the dozens, and feature a variety of Starbucks, Amazon, Melissa & Doug, and other retailer gift cards in a range of denominations. But I have 885 points, so let’s see the big stuff! I sort the rewards in order from highest “price” to lowest, and to my surprise, the highest priced reward is a $75 Amazon gift card. For 3,750 points. Ok, that’s out. What does Huggies have for me in the 800 point range?
Diapers. What else. For a thousand points, you can snag a box of diapers with a retail value of about $30. Now, for many working families (ours included), $30 worth of “free” diapers is a pretty sweet deal. We clip coupons and shop smart, looking to save about $30 a week in our grocery shopping. But there’s something irritating about saving these diaper rewards stickers for months, only to be rewarded with diapers. It’s nearly ironic. Even if I wanted diapers, I’m still over 100 points shy. So, I look to spend my points at another segment of the Huggies website, the Instant Win/Sweepstakes! Surely, I’ll be able to gain many entries into exclusive drawings for amazing prizes!
Not quite. the “Instant Win” prizes include a $10 Subway gift card, and an Evenflo baby bottle assortment. Well, I’m the one entering codes here, and it’s making me hungry, so let’s try for some $5 foot longs. For a single point, you can have one shot at winning. This could be a very quick and efficient system of noting how many points you’d like to spend, clicking, and then being told you’ve either won or not won. But, leave it to the fun-loving folks at Huggies to present you with a process which requires two slow page refreshes for each entry, and far more time than it needs to take to tell you (by way of an animated infant breaking wind) that you are a loser. I endure five rounds of this scatological insult comic before deciding to move on.
Now, I realize I’m being exceedingly negative about something which does not deserve a ton of negativity. I’m joking (for the most part) about the process and the prizes, and I do realize that there are some great Sweepstakes prizes up for grabs through the course of a year (I recall there being a complete kitchen remodel at some point in 2014). At the time of writing, the sweepstakes prizes include a child’s wagon and a Disney baby furniture set. Not too shabby, I know.
There’s also the opportunity to donate your Huggies reward points to the National Diaper Bank Network, which supplies diapers and other infant/baby essentials to shelters and emergency service providers across the US. For just 24 points, you can provide diapers to a baby in need for one day. That’s a quick way to win some karma and help others – and in my opinion, it’s the best reward you can buy. So that’s what I did.
Please consider doing the same.