Ann Taylor Loft and Barnes and Noble extend their teachers’ discounts to homeschoolers, so I didn’t think I was being crazypants when I asked the clerk at Office Depot whether homeschoolers were eligible for their My Star Teacher program.
“It depends,” the clerk explained, “on what school you’re affiliated with.”
“Waste of Office Supplies” by Scott O’Donnell
I thought I might have misheard her or maybe she misunderstood me.
“Oh no,” I said. “I was wondering about homeschoolers.”
“Right. What school are you affiliated with?” she asked.
“Well,” I said, not entirely sure what to say. “We aren’t. We homeschool.”
“Ugh,” she grimaced. “That’s so weird. What school will they graduate from?”
“That’s not how it works in this state,” I said. “Homeschools don’t operate under a school.”
“That just doesn’t make sense,” she said. “How can they …? I just don’t understand the homeschool system.”
“Clearly,” I thought.
I probably would’ve walked away from the whole transaction after such an odd and rude response, but I’d already paid. So I just said, “You know what? Nevermind,” and I picked up my binders and dry-erase markers and left.
I was still curious about the program when I got home, so I looked up Office Depot’s Terms and Conditions of the My Star Teacher program. It says that “Membership is open to Office Depot® customers who are teachers currently employed at the primary and secondary grade levels (pre-K and K through 12).” The “employed” phrasing would seem to preclude homeschoolers from eligibility.
And that’s just fine. I’ll probably be a Staples gal from now on anyway.
Edited 07/31/12 to add …
I put a link to this post on Twitter, and the Office Depot people responded with a confirmation that homeschoolers aren’t eligible for the program:
Unfortunately we currently can’t accommodate homes school teachers.They have to work for a public, private, or charter school k-12
— Office Depot (@officedepot)