Here's one I sent out a few weeks ago.
Hi. I've been habitually going to Store #521 both for fountain drinks and for gasoline since well before it was a [xxx] property, probably spending in the neighborhood of five or six hundred dollars a year.
Tonight, I walked down to the store only to be told that the cash register wasn't working, and "we can't do anything at all" The gentleman trying to fix the problem was, understandably, looking pretty stressed.
No problem, I said, all I wanted was a fountain drink refill for which I am usually charged 89 cents. I could fill my cup, leave a dollar on the counter, and they could ring the sale once the cash register was working again.
"I can't do that," he replied.
Naturally, I was surprised. I pointed out that he could in fact do it very easily, since the transaction didn't involve using a scanner. I suggested - politely, I think - that remembering to ring in the dollar later was, in addition to an opportunity for a sale, not much of a concession to a customer who had taken time out of the evening to make a trip to the store.
"I can't do it," he repeated, not quite rudely but with some heat. Well, as I say, he seemed under a lot of stress, and perhaps he was bound by a policy? I don't know, of course. He went on to suggest that I go elsewhere in the neighborhood. Having exhausted my arguments, I had no choice but to take his suggestion.
And do you know what? It turns out that not only is there a closer soda fountain to my house, but a closer (and cheaper!) gas station too. So it seems I've just been going to ol' #521 through force of habit, ignoring these other places places because, I suppose, I already HAD a neighborhood gas station.
Anyway, I thought this was an interesting experience. And just to emphasize -- I didn't encounter any real rudeness tonight. Just a baffling inflexibility.
So here are my questions:
1. Is it a healthy thing that I let a frustrating social interaction get so far under my skin that I spend twenty minutes writing about it and figuring out where to send what I've written?
2. Is it possible that I'm just being a weasel? Am I a snitch who deserves stitches?
3. Is it a kind of handshake with totalitarianism, that I would essentially collaborate with the corporate overlord against the poor working stiff?
4. Or is it maybe a good idea to write in, keeping pressure on everybody in the system to keep those front-line transactions positive?
Curious what y'all think.