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Old 12-02-2014, 01:46 PM
 
6,057 posts, read 6,943,905 times
Reputation: 15722

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Welcome to the world, 2014 style.

Everything is a process; no offense to the clerk, but there could be a monkey or a machine back there. Nothing is left to discretion, or heaven forbid, service.

The clerk sees you with a large coffee; he either scans it in, or less likely, punches it in. Everything is recorded. Then you come up short on money. He either has to void the entire transaction (why?) or void the transaction and override the system so your coffee costs $2.00 (again, why?). All of this is being recorded electronically, and by cameras. Sadly, the clerk has no wiggle room if a question should ever be raised. It looks even worse if he is on camera digging into his pocket and putting cash into the till, or even worse, putting in a dollar and taking out $.90 in change.

I go out of my way to patronize mom and pop shops. Granted, that isn't so easy when it comes to fuel as they are all franchises or company stores. Even the local coffee shop is all but gone.

There is a reason retail sales are soft. Some of it is the lack of service (try going into a retail store and asking a question about the product!) and some of it is simply a lack of customer caring. There are plenty of advertising gimmicks to get you to buy something; they don't (think) they need to provide service as part of the process. I would aguyw rthat the numbers speak for themselves, but that is another argument for another time.

I would put the whole thing behind you. Remember that the local mini mart is NOT your friend; they are there to make money for themselves by selling you stuff. They could care less, especially the hired clerk who MIGHT say good morning like he knows you/is your "friend". He is not!

I would also slip a few bucks in the glove compartment or the overhead visor. I keep a handful of singles up there "just in case".

Welcome to 2014. And it won't get any better in 2015. And if you start going to a new place for your morning fill-up, don't expect that things will be any different. Does it stink? Yup. But, quite frankly, the only person in the process who gives a damn about it is you.

(And while we are at it, I will open up a whole new can of worms: wrong change in my favor? Mine. Prices mismarked in my favor? Mine. I would NEVER have done that it years gone past--even with a corporate operation. But they want to hustle you for a dime? All is fair game then! Hey, I didn't make the rules, I just am forced to live by them.).
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Old 12-02-2014, 01:51 PM
 
850 posts, read 1,104,731 times
Reputation: 1776
OP - why you're holding this "customer loyalty" thing over the head of the likely minimum wage counter clerk shows a lot more about your character than his, or the business owner.

20 years ago, in a local "Mom & Pop" style store, sure...this was a regular occurrence. In fact, in one of the towns I grew up in, I routinely ran a tab in the local convenience store, and paid up (or more appropriately, paid ahead) about once a week. But it was also a family run store, where I knew the owner on a Mr. XYZ basis, and I went to school with his kids that ran the place.

In a modern chain store, the owner typically doesn't have a clue who you are, or how much business/how much money you spend there outside of being part of a line item on his balance sheets every month. As others mentioned, those clerks are on video surveillance 24/7 now, and coming up even 10 cents short at the end of the day is potentially a big deal depending on management. I once worked in such a store in my younger days, and one of the guys occasionally picked up the extra in cases like this...manager eventually caught on, and he got fired as the manager thought he was intentionally selling things for less than the actual price in a "friends and family discount" kind of way and fudging the till at the end of the day.
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Old 12-02-2014, 02:35 PM
 
Location: San Francisco
271 posts, read 466,799 times
Reputation: 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by jambo101 View Post
I've been going to this convenience store/gas bar for a couple of years. i generally stop in at 5am before going to the gymn, always get a large coffee, and sometimes a muffin and fill up both my cars there once a week, today as i only wanted coffee i just brought the $2 with me, evidently their price for coffee went up 10 cents over the weekend leaving me 10 cents short, i said i'll pay you the extra 10 cents tomorrow,i was astounded when the usual cash person said i cant do that as my cash wont balance out at the end of the day , really?
I ended up getting a small coffee instead of a big one, but really felt like my patronage to this store wasnt even worth 10 cents

I'm with you... it's the principle of the thing. Also agree with the guy who said it'll be 2015 soon and it won't get better. You're seen as a wallet, basically. It's really hard to be principled in a world that has none. But, I suspect you'd do the same thing I would do if you own that shop and a long-time customer walks in a dime short. For those that look at the bottom line? You can't even get an extra cup from these folks.

And it's far from a rule that stores don't allow credit... I can name two in my office building alone that allowed me to pay later for something I can't cover now.

However, these are the proprietors, not lowly, powerless clerks. They can get into serious trouble for having short tills, even if it's a dime. It's a horrible practice-- this whole not trusting your employees with pennies, but giving them the keys to the store thing.

With most retail and food operations being soulless entities, it's best to try to build up rapport with your local guys who WILL remember you the second time you walk in, let alone the two hundredth. And better yet, if they're well-run by a proprietor that actually cares, the staff won't turn over. Oh, your till is a dollar short? We'll just take it from the communal tip jar. There are places like this everywhere and they deserve support.
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Old 12-02-2014, 03:03 PM
 
Location: Verde Valley AZ
8,776 posts, read 9,925,358 times
Reputation: 11385
Quote:
Originally Posted by jambo101 View Post
I've been going to this convenience store/gas bar for a couple of years. i generally stop in at 5am before going to the gymn, always get a large coffee, and sometimes a muffin and fill up both my cars there once a week, today as i only wanted coffee i just brought the $2 with me, evidently their price for coffee went up 10 cents over the weekend leaving me 10 cents short, i said i'll pay you the extra 10 cents tomorrow,i was astounded when the usual cash person said i cant do that as my cash wont balance out at the end of the day , really?
I ended up getting a small coffee instead of a big one, but really felt like my patronage to this store wasnt even worth 10 cents
Any employer who gets bent over a dime shortage...well, that's silly. People sometimes make mistakes giving change, it happens, and nobody gets hung for it. As for the extra dime...if I were the clerk I'd have tossed it in myself, told you don't worry about it but pay it forward. I actually do that at work now. I always carry change in my pocket for customers who might be a few pennies short. In 4.5 years I've probably 'paid out' about $3. Nothing big but the customers appreciate it and it doesn't hurt me. The biggest one I paid was $1. A little boy buying his birthday present with a gift card. Tax not taken into consideration so I paid the $1 for his birthday. He was so happy! lol

Did you use the same cup, just with less coffee, for the $2 or did you get a new smaller cup? I wonder how much two cups and two lids cost for want of a dime!
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Old 12-02-2014, 03:40 PM
 
35,115 posts, read 42,534,702 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AZDesertBrat View Post
Did you use the same cup, just with less coffee, for the $2 or did you get a new smaller cup? I wonder how much two cups and two lids cost for want of a dime!
The coffee is made behind the counter, like the way MacDonalds does it, i'm not sure what he did with the large cup of coffee,he just returned to the counter with a small cup. I would imagine he tossed the large coffee.
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Old 12-02-2014, 04:36 PM
 
1,804 posts, read 6,357,045 times
Reputation: 1200
Hmmm. I understand the op's chagrin at the situation. I would likely feel the same. One thing I've noticed is many times the clerks don't have good problem solving skills; as in having the insight to think of you and all of the business you provide, and to quickly shift gears and fix the problem. Or, they just don't care. Or the store could be a stressful overly strict police state-esque working environment and they truly don't have the power or think they don't have the power to respond to an unusual atypical circumstance.

I think I would maybe casually mention what happened to the manager and see how they respond to you. If you get an apology, if they seem to be concerned perhaps give them another chance.
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Old 12-02-2014, 05:03 PM
 
Location: Murfreesboro, TN
273 posts, read 356,159 times
Reputation: 379
I see a simple solution:

Fix up a large coffee and charge for a medium. Write a note for the supervisor and carry on with your day.

Boom!
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Old 12-02-2014, 05:38 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in America
12,304 posts, read 11,049,382 times
Reputation: 20569
Your patronage might matter to a manager, but not to a cashier. Their drawer has to balance at the end of each shift. If it's short, they can be written up or fired. Same thing if it's over. There are places that take money from employees' pay to make up the difference in the register. Why on earth would a complete stranger be willing to risk their job over your cup of coffee? You are the one who is short on money not the cashier. Why should they front it for you? You're not friends. It's a convenience store not the local pub where you can run a tab because you've been drinking like a fish there for 10 years and your bill alone paid for the owner's kid to go through college.
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Old 12-03-2014, 06:56 AM
 
35,115 posts, read 42,534,702 times
Reputation: 30481
To clarify.
This person is the night manager and i've been talking to him on a first name basis every weekday for the best part of 2 years.If he cant figure out how to temporarily slide a dime through the system for a regular customer he doesnt deserve me continuing to be a regular customer.
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Old 12-03-2014, 07:32 AM
 
Location: Diaspora
21,540 posts, read 24,664,736 times
Reputation: 8929
Quote:
Originally Posted by joe from dayton View Post
If you are a regular, I'm surprised they didn't take the ten cents out of a penny jar. Human error is allowed and tills are frequently over/under by small amounts.
If it's a Mom & Pop shop they still exist with pennies, nickels and dimes. One usually finds them further away from the cities. But get closer to the cities, they hardly exist and thus I carry a Credit Card and rarely carry any cash.
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